Line in Der Sand: Sure, Britain's PM says they'll ignore the EU demand for another 2.1 billion euro that's due December 1 – but that's not what Chancellor Merkel is upset about. It's the silly insistence the Brits have on curbing immigration. EU rules say citizens of EU nations have the right to live and work in any EU state they wish. Merkel says Germany would rather see the UK leave the EU than get away with breaking that covenant. Which goes along with the Conservatives in London, who would rater leave the EU than let another wog in.
Essentials: The world is far to complex for simple answers, which is all our politicians can peddle to their credulous audience. We are asked to trust in the wisdom of simpletons.
Descriptors: Reports from people on the ground in Sierra Leone characterize the spread of Ebola there as “vastly under-reported”, “catastrophic” and spreading “frighteningly quickly”, with entire villages dead and the rural healthcare systems overwhelmed. If there is but one trained nurse for 10,000 people and ten or twelve nurses die... the math works, even if nothing else does.
The Ears Have It: The NSA and Britain's GCHQ have expended a great deal of effort spying on various nations' climate negotiators. We wouldn't want a bunch of yaboobs from the Third World ganging up on us and making us pay for the damage we've done to everyone's future.
Pignostication: After the Republibullies take the Senate expect the CIA torture report to disappear along with various and sundry of our seldom-used rights. Then the feeding frenzy by the privatizers will shift into high gear. Sure, call me an optimist.
Homework: The Huntsville, Alabama schools paid a former FBI agent to monitor the Facebook accounts and websites of over 600 students - leading to a number of expulsions – 86% of whom were black, out of a student body that is only 40% black. According to a county commissioner, the program “is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues." This is not, he added, “like folks are going out looking at everybody’s Facebook...” Nope, just the black ones.
Whose side is Turkey on? What, is this a one answer multiple choice question? Theirs, of course. Are they making wise decisions? No, they are run by a seriously deluded egomaniac, just like the rest of us.
Moar of the Same: The revanchist government of Australia now wants to force ISPs to store – and make accessible to the government – every user's metadata. Yes, I've been posting a lot about the gallop to totalitarianism Down Under – it is, I believe, a foretaste of what we're in for come January 2017.
Strangelove 2.0: For the last week or more, Russia has been sending its warplanes towards (and sometimes into) NATO airspace – probing of the sort that was routine in Cold War days. Would it be possible to box in Russian craft and give it the choice of landing or crashing into a NATO fighter? And now that Putin is testing ICBMs again, perhaps we should lob a Peace-In-Our-Time missile into Russia with coupons for clean underwear.
Enough: The bankers (with the gleeful assistance of the IMF and World Bank) have finally pushed the Irish as far as they will go. Over 100,000 have marched in protest against the privatization of their water supply. After years of docilely accepting austerity punishments for the crimes of their bankers, it is nice to see that there may be a limit.
Watching TV: The neat thing about the new smart TVs (and don't get me started on smart phones) is that while you are watching them, they are watching you. And tattling.
For Example: Public demonstrations in protest of French police brutality have resulted in 34 arrests and a number of injuries as police responded to the criticism with batons and rubber bullets.
Translation: Boko Haram says that the 200 teenage girls they captured have converted to Islam and have been 'married off'. For which read: raped and sold. Won't it be nice when the Middle Ages ends?
Porn O'Graph: On average, it's average.