Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Too Much Of A Bad Thing: The amusingly named US Justice Department, starting with its Inquisitors in the DEA, have been using traffic cameras, supplemented by their own systems, to record and store hundreds of millions of records of car licenses – tracking where you have been (and when) – without benefit of warrants or judicial oversight. The original aim of the program was to help the DEA seize automobiles, money and other assets but has since been expanded to help local police 'investigate crimes' or at least to track their spouses to see what they're up to. And there is an even larger license database run by private companies that will sell a record of your movements to anyone who can come up with a couple of bucks.
Good News Is Bad: The US budget deficit shrank last year and will shrink even more this year, If you think this is good news you don't understand how much deficit spending drives our economy.
Smoke/Fire: Syrian President al-Assad says that Turkish President Erdogan is “personally responsible” for the ongoing war(s) in Syria. Certainly Erdogan's affection for ISIS (and al-Qaeda) is not in question, but Assad should shoulder a goodly amount of the credit for the years of rebellion in his country.
Preview: A hospital in Kiel, Germany is in the midst of a serious outbreak of multiresistant bacterial infections. So far of the 27 patients known to be infected, 11 have died. No, not Ebola – worse perhaps.
Say / Do: Central banks around the world have been adding to their gold reserves while assuring the public that it is not money, just a metal. The Netherlands just added to its gold reserves for the first time since 1998, while supposedly cash-strapped Russia bought gold for the ninth successive month.
Are You Feeling Lucky? When 2,000 people who have more than a 10 percent chance of a 'first' heart attack in the next ten years take a baby asprin once a day for two years, one heart attack will be prevented. It's called the therapeutic Number Needed to Treat (NNT) and pretty much your doctor and his pharmaceutical reps don't want you to know anything about it.
Standoff: The Responsible Bankers in Northern Europe have told the upstarts in Greece that there will be no defaulting on international debts permitted and there will be no 'haircuts' given, either. Not because the Greek turnip has any more blood to be squeezed out of it, but because the Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italians do. The Greeks do not seem to share this view.
Recovery Rebound: The December Durable Goods data, instead of recovering from the drubbing it got in November, came in even worse, which may explain the Dow closing down about 1.65%. Then again it might be a snow job.
Red Rover, Red Rover: Despite official attempts to keep global warming out of the country, experts predict that Australia will see a temperature rise of more than 5°C (9°F) by the end of the century. Further bans on talking about it are expected.
Porn O'Graph: Spot the differences.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:25 AM