Noted: Obama's first reaction to the IS threats in Northern Iraq was to drop bottled water on the 40,000 desperate Yazdids threatened with death and bombs on IS forces threatening the oil center of Erbil. Can you spell Libya?
Gag Me: The Institute for Economics and Peace released their Global Peace Index for 2014 where contemporary times are the “most peaceful century in human history.”
Taking The A Train: Over two decades, the DEA improperly paid – they didn't like the term “bribed” - over $800,000 to an Amtrak secretary for access to passenger lists.
Business As Usual: Amnesty International claims that the US military has systematically and deliberately covered up “abundant and compelling evidence” of war crimes and torture in Afghanistan.
Slippery Slope: NATO says there is a “high probability” that at least some of the 45,000 Russian troops poised on the border will invade Ukraine under the pretense of an aid convoy while Ukrainian government troops prepare to retake Donetsk. There's also a pretty high probability that someone will miscalculate and then all hell will break loose.
Higher Education: Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil who wish to become teachers must confirm their virginity as part of a screening to determine their ability to keep the job for the next 25 years. The law doesn't seem to provide for retesting.
Deja Vu: Obama says the US is providing arms directly to the Kurds as part of “a long term project” to counter the IS, even though the Pentagon knows that US air strikes will have “minimal” impact on the IS. Einstein pointed out that repeating the same m over and over was insane; it is also US foreign policy.
Mother Of The Year: A Ukrainian convict who escaped when a bomb damaged the prison he was in has been returned to jail by his mother.
Mama Mia: The Italian economy is not growing, so they won't be earning their way out of their debt problems. There's no inflation, so they can't whittle it away either. And Draghi is not about to inject funds via quantitative easing; he is still intent on continued austerity and “labor reform” coupled with lower taxes and much lower social spending. The ECB sees future eurozone stability depending on “enforcing the existing rules.” That these rules have not worked, are not working and will not work is irrelevant. Perhaps “something will give, and soon.”
The American Way: A Steubenville, OH student who served 9 months in Juvie for raping a 16-year old girl is back on the high school football team. He has all the earmarks of a pro.
Future, Tense: Federal Reserve vice-chair Stanley Fischer notes that the economic recovery has been “disappointing” and suggests that the future will reflect “a permanent downshift in economic potential.” What's that mean, Ernie?
Darwinian Evolution: A couple taking a selfie on the edge of a cliff fell off. Died.
Applied Logic: Mississippi has the lowest homeless rate in the nation, Hawaii the highest. No one would voluntarily stay in Mississippi if they didn't have a home, and sleeping on the beach isn't all that bad. Washington, DC has the highest rate, but that's mainly due to the number of Congressmen who are afraid to go home.
Quote: “If climate change doesn’t scare you, and our failure to act doesn’t inspire despair, you’re not paying attention. And the great sin of the climate deniers is their role in delaying action, quite possibly until it’s too late.” Paul Krugman.