Thursday, September 18, 2014

SAR #14259

Why do so many stories about the economy have 'unexpectedly' in the first sentence?

Yesterdays: Obama makes the fourth successive US president to announce that the US would solve the world's problems by bombing Iraq. Why do we cling to the idea that death from the air will carry the day in the desert – against over 25 years of evidence to the contrary.

Plot Summary: A measure of homebuilder sentiment is at a 9 year high while mortgage applications are at a 14-year low.

The Downward Spiral: Turkey's newly re-elected Erdogan continues his Islamification of once secular Turkey by mandating that all school students at all grades must study Islam. It appears that the majority of Turks want their country dragged back to the level of religious savagery common in the middle ages – or in ISIS-occupied Iraq.

A Little Parsley: Ten percent of American workers between 35 and 44 get garnish with their wages – being docked up to 25% of their wages to repay credit card debt, medical bills or student loans. Often such debts go uncollected for years as the interest and fees compound, making repayment nearly impossible and providing an even larger unearned income stream to lenders.

Tense: Justice Sotomayor says technology has led could lead to “Orwellian world”.

The Low-Down: The US cost of living “unexpectedly” dropped by 0.2% in August. Excluding food and fuel, the so-called core measure was unchanged, the first time it failed to increase in almost four years. Let's hear it for the recovery!

Race To The Bottom: The $1.5 billion bribe Nevada extended to Tesla to get the battery factory brings up the question: Is this really a sensible thing to do? To bribe industries to come to your state or city, to pay their employee training costs, to build factories, roads and other services... for the promise, often not kept, of thousands of jobs at low wages. It is almost as silly as cities building professional sports stadiums. But no one dares be the first to quit.

Surprise! New reports indicate that as late as 2011 Citi, BofA and Deutsche Bank continued to launder drug money. Who thought they'd stop?

Fish Story: In the mid 2000's mackerel started showing up in the waters between Greenland and Iceland, which was not in their traditional range. By 2009 Iceland set a mackerel quota of 112,000 metric tons. In 2012 bluefin tuna weighing 220 pounds were being occasionally caught. In the last three months 21 tuna had been caught along with schools of mackerel. These waters used to be too cold for bluefins; no longer. 
Studying War Just A Little: The LA school system has decided to return the three grenade launchers it got from the Pentagon, as being in excess of their needs. They are keeping 61 semi-automatic rifles and a mine resistant armored personnel carrier.

Can't Win For Losing: Research (finally) has shown that using artificial sweeteners makes Type 2 diabetes worse, not better. While cutting the calories of sugar, the sweeteners do more harm than the real deal would, by increasing blood sugar levels. “Non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they were intended to fight."

It's A Feature: New Apple devices come with kill switches that will allow the government users to lock the device and erase all the data on it. Something to deter theft, among other things.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re The Downward Spiral: It is asserted, to apparent general agreement, at the blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, mainly frequented by retired military and intelligence types, that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have bankrolled ISIS, and that the reversal of Turkey's westward-looking secularization - put into place after World War I by Kemal Atuturk - is gathering momentum. The Turks - their leadership, their majority - are NOT on our side.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Also not on our side, of course - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - but everyone knows that already, except for those who believe what the government and the media tell them.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

As an old Turkish hand from way back when Atatürk was still a god, I am very disappointed with what has happened to the country since Erdoğan de-fanged the Army, who were the true backbone of democracy and secularism.

Yes, Erdoğan is leading the country into a Sharia-law country.

Yes, Turkey has joined Saudi Arabia and the other rich oil states in supporting both the ridiculous religion call Wahabism and its offspring Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

And no, we as a country are never going to acknowledge this.

Yonatan said...

Linking to Pam Geller - eeeew, gross! You could at least give a NSFW warning.

If Erdogan wanted Turkey to be a murderous theocracy, he would have to chose Christianity - for example, nuking Japs in God's name.