Saturday, August 2, 2014

SAR #14212

We get only what we pay for; too bad we're such cheapskates.

Play It As It Lays: The President admits that “We tortured some folks”. Now that doesn't sound too bad, does it. Unless you were one of those 'folks'. Or are next.
Recovery! The BLS household survey showed that all age groups except those 25 – 54 contributed to a 209,000 increase in jobs last month, while those folks – the primary age group of US workers – lost 142,000 jobs. Wal-mart greeters are proliferating nicely, as are gray-hared ladies cleaning tables at MakyD's. Production workers? We don't need no production workers.

Fair's Fair: The Israeli military has announced that they will be destroying the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza and strongly suggest that the injured and sick women and chlidren drag themselves out of the way.

Deep End of the Pool: The entire United States stock market has become one vast dark pool. Orders are hidden in every part of the market, making the stock markets an unregulated battlefield of hedge funds, high frequency traders and dark pool operators which effectively keeps its many crimes hidden in secrecy, in the dark.” Citigroup – which the taxpayers propped up with $45 billion of TARP funds, over $300 billion in asset guarantees and more than $2 trillion in low-cost loans - runs what is effectively an unregulated stock exchange handling over $1 trillion a year in un-reported stock transactions. So much for the open market theory of stock prices.

Relativity: In the Middle-East, 72 hours flys by in 2 hours.

Name Of The Game: Shell, Exxon, BP and friends are not in the oil business. They are in the making-money business. They used to make money by investing huge sums in drilling holes in the ground and pumping out oil. Not so much any more. Shell is investing $30 billion in buying back its own shares, driving up their prices by financial chicanery rather than actually looking for and producing oil, which is just too damned hard to do much of anymore.

Hide In Plain Sight: Be the first on your block to apply anti-surveillance camouflage to your face and walk around free and proud. Study the basics of facial recognition software, then devise pattern-blocking makeup to the appropriate areas. Better get some fancy iris-hiding contacts and put a stone in your shoe, too.

Judicial Restraint: A US district court high priest judge has absolved Union Carbide of all sin in regard to the 1984 disaster in Bhopal that killed thousands and inured thousands and continues to kill and injure yet today, even though Union Carbide was the majority owner of the plant and got the majority of the plant's profits. After the 'accident' Union Carbide walked away, closing the plant and abandoning the site without cleaning up the toxic wastes. Because US corporations can do no evil, or some such malarkey.

Smoke & Mirrors: Here's how politicians think: “Tomorrow never comes, at least not while I'm in office.” Which is the only way to explain the popularity of “pension smoothing”, a process by which the Congress lets companies underfund their pension programs (even more than they already are underfunding them) and thus report a bit more income and thus pay a bit more in taxes. Then, years from now, the companies will be required to declare bankruptcy, steal what is left of the pension money and fade away pay back the amounts they underfunded. Except, of course, most corporations don't pay corporate taxes anyway. They just move to Dublin.

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