Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SAR #14091

The forest of outstretched arms begging for work grows ever thicker, while the arms themselves grow ever thinner...” Karl Marx

Coming Attractions: "Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,"

One, And Another: Turns out that the saturated fat found in steaks, butter and cheese does not cause heart disease. Remember eggs? Vitamin and other diet supplements? Fish oil? Can anybody here play this game? But don't get stressed over it – and if you do, don't take some of the common anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping potions because they seem to be associated with an increase in the risk of death. 
It's All In The Wrist: “We might be approaching a political breaking point where the widespread frustration among European citizens takes a more constructive and clear political direction.” 
Graveyard Whistling: According to the Bundesbank's Jens Weidmann, the euro zone is not in a deflationary cycle. Really, it's not. Not even close. Why, last year the ECB reported inflation was speeding along at a 0.7% rate. This lackluster growth, he said, was curable by firing more Spanish and Italian workers structural reforms. 
Something Gnu: Scientists report finding a new, very small planet in an eliptical orbit at the far edge of the solar system. The called it a dwarf and nicknamed it 'Biden', neither of which seems politically correct.

The Rich Are Different: Du Pont heir Robert Richards IV, having been found guilty, will serve 8 years on probation. Because, according to the judge, he would “not fare well” in prison. Most men convicted of raping their 3-year-old daughters don't.

Bank On It: Two former top executives of the Vatican bank will soon be on trial for money laundering. Money laundering by the Institute for Religious Works (the bank's actual name) first came to public attention last year when senior Vatican accountant Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. Not as offensive as the church's widespread history of sexually abusing children, but another stable that surely needs shoveling out.

It's All About Profits: If it were not for tight oil – which makes up 4.3% of today's production - world petroleum production would be lower today than it was in 2005. And the new stuff is expensive – oil must sell for over $100 a barrel to make new production economically viable. 
Deep Under the Covers: A UK undercover agent assigned to infiltrate a protest group was so successful that he ended up living with one of the women in the group. For six years. As part of his cover he got her pregnant. Once the operation was over, he left her and the kid. This was not a lone occurrence – eight women are suing the government for similar treatment. Collateral damage.

Inquiring Minds: 60 Minutes wanted to know if the US stock market is rigged. The answer was 'yes', and it didn't take them 60 minutes to answer the question.

Obliviously: At a company-wide Wal-Mart conference discussing ways to get the merchandise out of the back room and onto the shelves, not a soul brought up hiring more staff. They were proud to point out that in the US they are now running more than 4,200 stores into the ground. They hope to increase profits by buying less inventory than they are selling, which is an interesting approach.

The Tide Rolls On: It's not so much that the all-white sororities at the University of Alabama tried to block court-ordered integration of their sororities that bothers me. It's not even that they were successful in blocking the integration of their Greek houses. What bothers me is that they were still segregated. 
Porn O'Graph: What goes up...

The Parting Shot:

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