Monday, September 14, 2015
The real trick is getting the rabbit into the hat.
Crime Pays Some More: Twelve of the largest banks – BofA, Credit Suisse, Goldman, etc – have agreed to pay a $1.9 billion nuisance fee to make civil and criminal penalties involved in their multi-billion dollar profits made by price-fixing trillions of dollars worth of credit default swaps back in the hey-day of fiscal highjinks.
Point Of Reference: When Muslims want to run a country based on the laws and rules found in the Koran – Sharia law - the Christians in the West are appalled. When public officials in the West want to impose their Bible-based laws on the country, Christians applaud.
Hubris: The heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the rest of America's secret police do not understand why, after a decade of warantless wiretaps, cellphone snooping and email intercepts topped by repeated admissions – after being caught lying – that they continue to violate our constitutional right to be left alone, we do not trust them. They really, really want to read all our mail, monitor our internet activity, track our credit cards and cars and on and on 24/7. But only to protect us, they say. They think we are cynical.
Hear, First: “The United States, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, still struggles with food insecurity. In this nation with a surplus of food, there are 49 million Americans impacted by hunger. Here [in America], many cannot afford healthy food to live productive lives.” Translated from the Mandarin.
Score One For The Donald: Candidate Trump says that high salaries paid to chief executives were a “joke” and a “disgrace” often approved by corporate boards made up of other overpaid CEOs. He's right, but I'm still not voting for him.
The After Math: After 9/11, the US – having been attacked by zero Iraqis and zero Afghans – began a series of invasions, bombings, drone and missile attacks that resulted in the destabilization of the entire area and triggered the current refugee crisis.
Terms of Endearment: Alabama, of all places, has a reasonable solution to the marriage/gay marriage nonsense – do away with state-sponsored marriage. It would require a new word or two – perhaps spouselship and enspousing to describe what is now called legal marriage and leave the marriage/wedding nonsense to the religious sects and anyone else wanting the Big Show. What the majority of us – gay, straight or in-between – want out of marriage are the legal benefits, permissions and entanglements we get from inviting the state into our personal relationship. Those who want to invite God in still could – as long as they also went down to the courthouse and got espouseled.
Castor Oil: Yes, you are now running Windows 10. No, you didn't want it, but Microsoft is downloading it to your computer whether or not you have asked for it. Relax, they are sure you will like it.
Scorecard: “There is no logic to the claim that Bernanke, Geithner and the rest saved us from a Second Great Depression. They kept the Wall Street banks alive.”
Clarification: If you've wondered why all these companies are buying back their stock rather than paying dividends with the money (assuming they didn't borrow the money to do the buybacks, which a lot of them did), it's a way of dodging taxes by and for the very rich. Shocked, aren't you.
Terminology: A councilman in Dadeville, AL wants the city to ban “saggy pants,” as well as “those shorts up so high looking like under garments and dresses so short, I don't want us to be showing favoritism." I didn't think it was the young ladies' favoritism that was showing.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:46 AM