Thursday, October 23, 2014

SAR #14295

Protecting Democracy: Turkey, in a move aimed at "strengthening the guarantee of public liberties and security", will now jail demonstrators found to be in possession of banned objects such as “stones and other sharp objects” or suspected of possessing such things, or guilty of talking about demonstrations on public social media will be arrested, “without concrete evidence”, and then be sentenced to four years in jail. Presumably after being found guilty of something. That this law follows an ALEC model designed for the US states was not immediately verified. 
Spineless: Half of the world's vertebrate wildlife population has disappeared in the last 40 years. We're winning!

Privatization: Maine Governor Paul 'Company Store' LePage wants to sell students' loans to their employers because it could be “a very profitable operation” for the state. Certainly would simplify garnishing their wages.

Tarred Heels: For 18 years athletes at the University of North Carolina have been guided into classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies which do not meet, have no professors, and give A's and B's to everyone, especially football and basketball players. The theory is that no one in the University's administration knew this was happening, and no one above the rank of water-boy in the Athletic department had a clue either. 
Revisionism: Now the National Institute of Health says you should eat more fat. As far as the previous decades-long campaign against fat, well that “belief system didn't pan out.”

Loyalty: In KY, Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign (McConnell himself, as usual, knew nothing) paid his former campaign manager $100,000 this summer, some of it on the day he resigned because of his involvement in a bribery scheme in Iowa. In SD, Governor Mike Rounds (another Republican) acknowledged that he knew Richard Benda, one of his cabinet, was going to work for Northern Beef meatpackers when he gave the company a $600,000 low cost state loan, $225,000 of which went directly to Benda. The plant is now out of business; Benda is not.

Lunch Money: Russia wants Ukraine to get a couple of billion dollars from the EU or the US and give it to them. And soon. This week. Or no gas.

Rights, His, Yours & Mine: A California man with tattoos covering his arms, shoulder and neck thinks it should be illegal for employers to discriminate against him because of his tattoos. Tattoos are voluntary. Body piercings are voluntary. Being fat is pretty much voluntary. Declining to hire people because of the things they voluntarily do is also voluntary.

Margin: Republican MI Gov. Snyder has signed a bill banning Tesla from selling its cars directly to customers and saving them the money that Snyder's donors would make by jacking up the prices. 
Spoiled of War: Pretty much in lockstep with the failure of the US war in Afghanistan, the effort to eradicate poppy cultivation in the country was also a complete bust; the $7.6 billion US effort has resulted a record-level opium crop this year.

Listen Carefully: The Australian government says that blocking websites is not the same as filtering web content. But then, of late the Australian government has been saying a lot of silly things.

Porn O'Graph: Send in the subs.


Tulsatime said...

If I have not said so before, MANY thanks for linking to Gail on the page. She makes more sense of oil in the economy in her first two paras than almost anyone else I have read. I miss TOD, and all the bits of intel that always came from their comments.

GS said...

"Lunch money" --
What Russia wants is for Ukraine to pay outstanding debt for gas deliveries. I don't see why anyone, including Russia, should be expected to sponsor their customers by providing massive amounts of merchandise without requiring the customer to pay for it.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I agree that Russia should be paid for the gas delivered to Ukraine, I just don't see why we - in the US or EU should give Ukraine the money so they can give it to Russia. Much like the banks that loaned money to people who couldn't pay them back, Russia rather well knew that their Ukrainian customer couldn't and wouldn't pay, but sent the gas anyway - not as a humanitarian gesture, but as a political move. Which is working out pretty well for them.

LJansen said...

Just when I was getting to like this site, you say something like being fat is voluntary. Next thing, you'll say being gay is voluntary. And then we will have a problem.

GS said...

I'm not quite sure Ukrainian gas debt was a premeditated Russian policy: it had accumulated over years, causing at least twice a cut-off of supplies, and a switch to the pre-payment system, among quite vocal altercations: Ukraine was for example forced to admit to siphoning of gas intended to be just transited through its territory. Of course, this debt is quite useful now, but Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas gave Kremlin enough general political leverage, it didn't need to give Ukrainian politicians even more rope.

Anonymous said...

"Lunch Money"

Ukraine has received several tranches of money from the IMF, some of which was supposed to pay off its debts. What happened to that?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Haven't you heard of overhead and administrative costs?