Friday, October 24, 2014

SAR #14296

Nature is far more creative than we are.

Yes, But:We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, justice and the rule of law. We will not be intimidated into changing that”. So said Canadian MP Justin Trudeau, as PM Stephen Harper pushed the Maple Leaf edition of the Patriot Act through parliament. He did not, however, tell Canadians to go shopping. 
Alert: North Korea has banned all tourists in the country in fear of an Ebola outbreak. Both of them were disappointed.

CAT's Out of the Bag: Caterpillar has raised its earnings forcast for this year and said that sales may gain in 2015 if the world's economy doesn't fall apart. Most of the improvement in its per-share earnings comes from its enormous buy-back program. CAT is on schedule to spend $10 billion repurchasing its stock, instead of investing in its business. It's called 'buying growth'. 
Touching Base: Unemployment claims were up 17,000 last week, the CPI was up a measly 0.1% in September and 1.7% over the last year, thus Social Security recipients will get a 1.7% raise come January. (Celebrate responsibly) and real hourly wages fell in September, the sixth time in the last 7 months that wages stagnated. 
Seconded: Speaking at the UN, Noam Chomsky said that it would be nice if the United States lived up to international law. Surprising, too.

Finally: The US is “threatening sanctions” on countries and companies buying oil from the Islamic State – which at a million dollars a day from the oil and hundreds of millions in free American armaments courtesy of fleeing Iraqi troops is the wealthiest bunch of terrorists ever. Well, non-state terrorists.

Hand Me The Decoder Ring: When Britain's largest retailer, Tesco, reported a 92% fall in pre-tax profits, the CEO said that a mysterious black hole had appeared in its profits. That's a quote. So's this, as the big guy reassures us: "My decision reflects the important principle of accountability on behalf of the board and will support the company to draw a line under the past as it enters the next phase of its development... Consideration will be given to all options which increase flexibility and create value for customers and shareholders." He also said he would be spending more time with his family.

Tippie Toes: Under new regulations in the UK, computer users who damage national security, human welfare, the economy or the environment can be imprisoned for life. What constitutes “damage” and how much of this undefined act would trigger arrest were not detailed. “Trust us” seems to be the byword. Because they don't trust you.

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