Priorities: The Obama administration says it is concerned about global warming and encourages the development and spread of sustainable technologies like solar energy. As long as the solar equipment used is US made. None of this India using locally manufactured stuff, nope, that's cheating. Profits first, saving civilization second.
Sauces: Just as 24/7 surveillance of US citizens is fine with Congress but a little surveillance of Congress is unacceptable, it seems that the US hacking into Chinese tech companies is fine, but when they hack the US it is cyberterrorism. Drones, anyone?
Clear And Present Danger: Returns on 10 and 20-year government bonds in the US and UK predict that extremely low interest rates will continue will into 2016, and beyond 2020 for the EU nations. A decade and more of ultra-low rates; and that's just to get to a 2% level. Secular stagnation in all its glory with no encouragement for investors to invest or for companies to borrow or banks to lend. It implies low growth, low wages, extended unemployment and low everything economic for years to come. Given this, how can soaring stock prices be justified – other than by continuing the hollowing out of the economy for the benefit of the few? Worse, the step from low inflation to deflation threatens. Couple that with the inevitable increases in food and energy costs and it is easy to envision some very bad outcomes.
Motive Purity: The rigid stiffling of worker advancement by Steve Jobs and friends was “needed to protect innovation” (they claim) and (here's the true part) “to avoid spiraling costs.” It was for our own good.
Relax and Enjoy: An IBM honcho says that the ubiquitous tracking and monitoring of the public through biometrics is too far advanced to stop, so we should stop worrying about this latest assault on our individuality and privacy and figure out how we can best enjoy the attention. Anyone with enough money and manpower will soon be able to know where we are and what we are doing at all time. “Everything will be monitored” he said. Get over it.
The Spoils of War: 1,892 US Veterans have committed suicide since January 1, 2014.
Relaxation Therapy: Don't get all worked up about the Supremes siding with Hobby Lobby. Hope that they do. Because that will put paid to the idea that the people behind a corporation are not the corporation. If the corporation can deny a worker certain health benefits because of the beliefs of its owners, then the legal veil between a corporation and its owners has been pierced. From then on we can sue the owners for what the companies they own do.
Confession: “We don’t actually know much about how to produce rapid economic growth — conservatives may think they know (low taxes and all that), but there is no evidence to back up their certainty. On the other hand, we know how to make a big difference in income distribution, especially how to reduce extreme poverty.” It's called redistribution.
A Rose By Any Other Name: A judge has ruled that Beef Products Inc. can belatedly sue ABC News for calling pink slime pink slime. The company maintains that calling pink slime pink slime cost the company $1.2 billion, which is a lot of pink slime. They claim that pink slimes actual name is “lean finely textured beef” - which not even its friends call it - and isn't slime at all but finely ground up connective tissue, trimmings, and other pieces of the less palatable pieces of animals – presumably cattle – that are mixed, chopped, heated and spun in a centrifuge, resulting in a squishy pink goo. Note that the only part of the ABC description that the beef people have a beef with is the sobriquet 'pink slime'. If ABC had instead used the phrase “a pink slimy goo called lean finely textured beef' everyone would have been happy. Except the customers.
Fun With Numbers: It is harder to get a job at Walmart (2.6% of applicants get hired) than it is to get into Harvard (8.9% of applicants get admitted). Apples and Oranges, true. And those applying to Harvard pretty much know where next week's groceries are going to come from. Who's the teacher and what do we learn?
Porn O'Graph: It takes a while for the magic to work.
The Parting Shot: