Monday, June 30, 2014

SAR #14080

We don’t need to have this much inequality. Joseph Stiglitz

Baby Steps: The DEA has petitioned the FDA to “reconsider rescheduling” marijuana and removing it from the list of Schedule 1 drugs. This comes after the House voted to cut that portion of the DEA's budget that goes to marijuana enforcement. We'll face dealing with all the people we've foolishly and prudishly put in jail over the lost decades at another time. 
Multiply By Zero: The US has announced that it will extend the same privacy rights to citizens of the EU that are allowed to US citizens. Curb your excitement.

A Miracle: The Republicans running NC into the ground have passed a bill that lets students include their religious beliefs – as long as they are Christian – in homework assignments and in answering tests. This is expected to raise students grades, not knowledge.

... Not As I Do.” The US and the EU, both of which profess to believe in democracy and majority rule, are upset that a vote in the UN did not go their way. Specifically, most of the world wants to establish a treaty to regulate human rights abuses by transnational corporations, and the US and EU – whose rich and powerful control most of these corporations – think things are fine as they are and promise to do everything they can to obstruct the process. 
Same Song, Another Verse: BP wants US courts to force a “vast number” of business along the Gulf to give back part (or preferably all, with interest) of the compensation they received following BP's attempt to destroy them.

Reader's Digest Version: Back in 2002 when Argentina went belly up the last time, vultures at the NML hedge fund bought up a large amount of Argentinian bonds at enormous discounts and now want to be paid face value for them. Over 90% of Argentina's bondholders have long since agreed to steep haircut, but with the US court siding with NML it now looks like instead of working things out, Argentina – its economy and its citizens – will be kicked into the gutter so a bunch of drones can get even richer for doing nothing. 
Psst! Pass It On: Pope Francis says that Karl Marx “did not invent anything,” but stole his best ideas from Christianity. Takes one to know one.

Batting .300: Two-thirds of American youth are too obese, overly tattooed, excessively medicated or far too undereducated to be become part of the US military machine. Which is fine because the Army is going to be downsized soon unless we can scare up another war.

Needles and Haystacks: In 2013 the NSA asked the FISA court for permission to access the phone data on only 248 “US persons” after collection all the data on all of us, 24/7/365. But don't it's not a total loss because the NSA keeps all that data (and probably the original conversations...) forever, somewhere out in the desert. Just in case.

Precocious: In Surprise, AZ (you can't make these things up) a 5 year old kindergartner who pulled his pants down on the school playground has been charged with Sexual Misconduct. First in his class.

Oops: The Vatican's former ambassador to Dominican Republic has been defrocked after being convicted of paying for sex with minors. He didn't understand that priests are not supposed to pay for sex, just prey for it.

The Parting Shot:


Anonymous said...

for your further morning reading, we have Blackwater threatening an government investigator in Iraq, back in 2007.

GS said...

About the Vatican ex-ambassador to the Dominican Republic, arch-bishop Wesolowski: alas, he hasn't been convicted yet. He's escaped to Vatican and hides behind Vatican citizenship, while two investigations (one in the Dominican Republic, another in Poland) are ongoing. The defrocking, if it is supposed to mean anything, should be followed by his extradition to either of the above countries -- both of them filed appropriate requests or legal queries with the Vatican state, and the response was "as a Vatican citizen, arch-bishop Wesolowski cannot be extradited"... He's gonna live there defrocked, but otherwise unpunished.