Monday, June 15, 2015
The Beat(ing) Goes On: The bankers – ECB, IMF, EU & most importantly,Frau Merkel – continue to insist that Greece run a budget surplus of 3.5% a year – and use that money to pay back their creditors. They demanded even more cuts to pensions and social spending, higher taxes on energy and increases in the VAT tax on everything. The Greeks did a Nancy and just said 'no.'
Note: Berlin and the ECB are not grinding Greece into the gutter over economics, nor even as an exercise in indirectly proping up banks that stupidly lent too much money to Greece. It was never about the money and not even really about Greece. Bonn and the bankers felt a deep need to show Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy who was boss and what happens if you don't do as your are told and refuse to accept dictators appointed by those who must be obeyed. It's about central control and the submission of the citizens. It's about the end of popular democracy at the national level throughout Europe. Greece should get out as fast as it can and others shuold start packing their bags.
Wind, Blowing: Barcelona and Madrid are now being governed by coalitions of social movements, not political parties.
Timing Is Everything: By now you've undoubtedly heard about the Russians and Chinese breaking the encryption on Snowden-stolen files that have forced MI-5 and th CIA to suddenly whisk hundreds of intelligence operatives out of those countries. Hope you smiled and said “Piffle.” This is not a reliable bit of reporting. First, no actuall sources for the story are named. Second, MI-5 and the CIA together probably don't have more than five or six actual assets in either Russia or China. And lastly, sources are identified by code names. Their information is reported in a sterile fashion with no personal identification attached. So, why now? And why so clumsily done?
New & Improved: The US is “poised” to deploy enough heavy weapons in Eastern Europe for 5,000 American troops, who will be along shortly.
The Scarlet Letter: Back in 1995, Jeb Bush – having completely misunderstood Hawthorne - wanted the hussies who gave birth outside of marriage to be publicly shamed and humiliated. Somebody should tell him 40% of the mothers in this country would need be put in stocks, and not all of them would end up voting for him.
Unclear on the Concept: Under a Freedom of Information request, the CIA has finally released its report on Saudi involvement in the 9/11 disaster... and 29 out of the 30 pages have been blacked out.
Act Surprised: The increase in Obamacare health insurance premiums for 2016 will be grotesque – from 15% to 36% and more. Why are the insurers doing this? Because a) they can, b) they have to and most of all c) it was baked in to begin with. The ACA has covered millions of people who needed medical coverage – but not enough healthy folks. There is a real, significant, and demonstrable gap between the income from the poliicies and the cost of the services. And that's before profits. So the rates will go up, the government's cost via subsidies will go up, and the number of insured will go down. The only reasonable solution would be a tax supported single-payer system, which isn't going to happen. Expect more band aids.
Our Associates: Any CEO who claims that “people are our most important asset” is either lying or by “people” he means the politicians his company has on the payroll.
Individuality: I don't understand all the hubbub about the lady at NAACP who pretended to be black. Lots of people pretend to be this or that. Obama, for example, pretends to be a Democrat.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:52 AM