Friday, October 10, 2014

SAR #14282

Surveys show that 72.4% of Americans believe statistics from surveys.

What Happened? The Dow dropped over 300 points yesterday, continuing the whipsawing of market participants. The common wisdom is that while the day before was goosed nearly 300 points by the belief that the Fed was not going to raise interest rates and the downer was a response to Gremany's export drop. Or some such fairy tales. Truth is that nearly everyone realizes that the good times are about over and don't want to be the last to make a buck or first to lose a bunch.

Doom, Doomed: Turns out that raising the minimum wage did not slow employment growth, nor did it increase employment prospects. But those who got jobs earned more, which was the point after all.

Motivation: When the government claims that the Syrian town of Kobani is “not strategically important,” they are either lying or naïve. Most of the $2 million a day ISIS raises by selling and smuggling oil goes through Kobani, and in theory cutting off their funding might be considered “strategically important.” Of course our good friends and close allies the Turks could shut this down if they wanted to, but there are still Kurds in the world.

Passing The Torch: China has passed the US to become the world’s largest economy.

Bad News Bearers: The general in charge of the US Southern Command (overseeing Central and South America for the empire) acknowledges that “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa. If it comes to the Western Hemisphere, many countries have little ability to deal with an outbreak.” And he didn't mean 'if', he meant 'when'. He said that Ebola will “rage for a period of time” in many countries in the Western Hemisphere. The CDC has warned that inaction by international agencies will insure that Ebola becomes the next world-wide crisis, similar to AIDS. It would be interesting to know what the commander of the US Northern Command has in store for us.

Forever And A Day: Afghanistan has been bribed and beaten into signing a treater to permit 10,000 US troops to remain in the country for another twenty years. Oops, only ten. To start with.

Downward Spiral: New rules permit the Australian Federal Police to burglarize secretly search a suspect's house. Another new proposal would permit Australian secret police intelligence agents to detain citizens without charge, imprison them for refusing to answer questions, to conduct “coercive questioning” to extract the answers they want, and imprison journalists for ten years for reporting on national security. And a senior advisor to Australian PM Tony Abbott maintains that climate scientists have been involved in “temperature manipulation.” The theory seems to be that it wouldn't be so hot if the scientists didn't keep records.

Poof, Gone: All of the information on some smartphones and tablet computers held in British evidence lockers has been erased, apparently by remote commands. If you can't afford that level of clever, maybe you could devise a dead-man-switch that would erase your data if you didn't enter a particular key at a particular time... 
Three Cheers: A large silence has met the CBO's announcement that the federal deficit has declined to $486 billion – the smallest deficit since 2008. As a percent of GDP the budget deficit is below the average over the last 40 years. 
Cause And Effect: Hand in hand with the decrease in the percentage of Americans participating in the workforce, which is at a 36 year record low, unemployment claims have fallen to an 8 year low, permitting various economists and politicians to claim victory.

Chickens, Cooped: German exports fell by 5.8% in August, mainly due to the economic distress caused by the austerity they've imposed on their customers for years. Serves 'em right. The IMF and others have cut their forecasts for German growth by nearly 50% while urging greater government spending – which is a complete non-starter because the Merkel government has promised a balanced or even surplus budget. This will be bad for Germany and disastrous for the rest of Europe, with serious deflation on the scale of the Great Depression a distinct possibility
Vetted: Before being allowed to participate in China's National Day ceremony, each of the 10,000 pigeons had its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials.

No comments: