Thursday, February 19, 2015

SAR #15050

Capital is another word for swag.

Red Rover, Red Rover: The US has condemned Egypt for using the jets we gave them to bomb ISIS in Libya without asking permission because “these sorts of things should be resolved politically and without outside interference.” That's why Egypt has asked the UN to send an international force to Libya.

Calling Home: The US is reportedly going to give 'friendly' Syrian rebels the ability to call in airstrikes. Relax, it won't be any worse than the ones we target ourselves.

Bunch'a Numbers: US factory production rose less than 0.2% in January as the nearly undetectable recovery creeps along. Residential construction fell 2% during the month, too. Mortgage applications decreased 13.2% last week, with refinancing down 16% and purchase applications down 7%. (Note: Americans with student loans are less likely to take out mortgages than young college graduates once did.) The producer price index (PPI) fell 0.8%. Beef prices were up 24%. None the less, “persistent employment gains and cheaper energy costs will help underpin domestic demand and keep manufacturing from faltering.” 
As Designed: All sorts of financial and economic dufusses have lately bemoaned the, to them, bewilderingly absent growth in US hourly wages, citing the increase in profits, dividends and stock prices as indicators of growth. The explanation is simple – it's floating off the California coast on those container ships. 
Snakes On A Plane, Oil On A Train: Don't think of them as accidents, derailments, or fiery infernos polluting rivers, burning towns and killing people. Nope, they are, officially, “unintentional releases” from railroad pipelines. There were more than 140 of them last year as 60 to 70% of North Dakota's shale oil is shipped to refineries by train. That's up from an average 25 a year only 3 years ago. Note that the tank cars in the WV crash were the new and improved safer design.

Personal Attention: Marco Rubio on the art of politics: "I can buy information on any single individual in this classroom. I can overlay it with your voter information and make a profile — but I’m not done. I can get you directly. . . . I’m going to send an ad to [your] computer or, increasingly, directly to [your] television set." 
Speak Up: For at least the five last years, British intelligence agencies have been eavesdropping on lawyer/client conversations. 
Peaceful Coexistence: If you are surprised that India is spending $17 billion on building 7 stealth frigates and 6 nuclear-powered subs, you haven't been following how their economy is growing while ours is shrinking.

Takes One To Know One: Google says increasing the FBI’s warrantless digital search and seizure authority would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”.

Climate Change: If the earth's getting warmer, what's with the cold and the snow? Well, most of the heat has gone into the seas, more water evaporates from the warmer seas, thus more snow (also larger rain storms in the summer) when the wet air meets the cold air from the Arctic that slips further south these days because the temperature difference between the high and mid latitudes has decreased, and thus the barrier keeping the cold where it belongs has weakened. That's the short version.

On The Up And Up: After a number of deaths, the deadliest route up Mt. Everest has been closed due to deterioration caused by global warming.

Vocabulary: The term 'human capital' confuses wage workers with capitalists. To pretend that the source of one's income is immaterial is mistaken – and often done for ideological reasons. The term 'human capital' should be reserved for economic systems which practice some form of slavery. Oh, it is.

. . . and Only Half of What You See: This year, 20% of the images submitted to the World Press photo competition were rejected for “significant addition or subtraction to the image content.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful commentary, thanks much!