Friday, February 21, 2014

SAR #14052

Politics, religion and matrimony each value perception over reality.

Reflections: Remember when Obama said he wasn't going to kill civilians any more? Especially civilians gathered to celebrate a wedding? Yeah, me too. Too bad he doesn't.

Groundhog Day: The Labor Department said that unemployment claims fell a smidgen to 336,000 this weak week, and that the booming recovery had created a miserly 113,000 jobs in January which was better than December's 75,000, both of which are far below the 180,000 or so needed to simply break even. Unremarkably, retail sales declined in January by the most since June 2012, falling 0.4% after a 0.1% in December.

Briefly: "The proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable is misguided, monopolistic and bad for the U.S. economy." But free markets...

Hit & Run: While Obama contemplates an increased role for the US in Syria, Caracas burns as the rich try to wrest the country from the poor, police kill protesters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while China, Russia, the US and France jostle to get involved. Elsewhere, China's manufacturing index hits a seven-month low, Japan's trade deficit hits new highs, the Russian ruble hits new lows, Facebook spends $19 billion for a single app and – of course - stocks on the NYSE rise.

Best 2 Out Of 5: In Alabama, a bill allowing teachers to lead students in prayer was approved in committee by a vote of 2 'Yea' to 3 'Nay'. It's Alabama, go figure. 
Sleight Of Hand: The Overlords at Homeland Security say they will not collect and store information on license plates as long as civilian companies do. After all, the government can tap into the records whenever they want - just like the NSA with Google and ATT, they can get the information from the folks who do collect it. But technically, it's not the government tracking you. What, warrants? They don't need warrants, just a purchase order.

Vocabulary Quiz: What word should be used to describe 100 tons of highly radioactive water escaping from a holding tank? In Fukushima, TEPCO calls it a 'leak'. The 'leak' stopped when workers closed the valves. Right, "after workers closed the valves." I think I see the problem. 
Foot-bone Connected To The... Wal-Mart, citing the decline in food stamp availability for its employees and customers, reported a 21% drop in 4th quarter profits. This is the fourth consecutive quarterly decline in same-store revenues. 
More Is Less: After the President told the NSA to end its program to collect data on Americans, government lawyers have told the agency to step up both collection and storage of the data. Why? Because it will be needed as evidence in lawsuits brought by Americans who object to the data being collected and stored. It's a lawyer thing. 
Prey Tell: For decades, Bob Jones University has told victims of rape they were liars and sinners and not to report sexual abuse because it would make the school look bad. 
What Big Teeth You Have, Grandma: Capital One, in a finely printed fine print notice to its cardholders, claims the right to drop by the house and chat with you about your late payments. Or to call you, pretending to be someone else, to get you to pay them. Better yet, they reserve the right to stop by your cubicle at work and put up banners reading 'deadbeat'. Or “in any manner we choose.” Maybe you should choose a different card.

Two'fer: Discovering the meaning of life does not automatically preclude achieving happiness. Could'a fooled me. 
Turgidson, Generally: Retired Lt. Gen Wm. Boykin wants you to know that Jesus is coming back and when he does he'll be carrying AR-15 in order to protect the Second Amendment. It's in the Bible, the general claims, where Jesus told the disciples “now, if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” What he really meant was go get an AR-15. 
Porn O'Graph: Another winner.

The Parting Shot:
 Squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis.

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