Friday, October 30, 2015
Clarification: The US now acknowledges that “direct action” is combat by another name, as it starts (?) ground operations against ISIS in Iraq... and Syria. Okay, so they didn't actually say “Syria” yet.
Lipstick On Pigs: September new home sales fell 11.5%. Housing starts were up, but completions fell, and house prices were rising twice as fast as wages. The US trucking industry is slowing dramatically, leading to cuts at diesel engine factories. Even the bankers are cutting back – Deutsche Bank is letting 15,000 go. Maybe there's a reason the economic recovery doesn’t feel like one.
Family: Our closest relative is the orangutan, 20,000 of whom are danger of being burned alive in Indonesian forest fires.
Asked & Obvious: Are all these corporate share buy backs jeopardizing future growth? Nope, if there was any hope of expanding future growth they wouldn't be trying to bamboozle the shareholders with buybacks.
Buy High, Sell Low: As part of the budget/debt limit deal, at the GOP's insistence the government will sell off part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. You know, the oil we've squirrelled away to protect against an unseen disaster to our oil supply. The one we filled up at $80-$90 a barrel. Because,
the GOP points out,
we can get $44 abarrel for it these days.
Straw, Last Few: We live in terrible times in a terrible country, according to the GOP candidates. Our women's physicians are harvesting brains from living babies (Carly Fiorina). The federal government is persecuting Christians for their religious beliefs (Ted Cruz), and putting them in jail for practicing their beliefs (Mike Huckabee). Our nation is being over-run by brown-skinned drug dealing rapists (Donald Trump). Things are so bad that the president should unleash drone strikes on those who would join ISIS (Lindsay Graham). And health insurance is mandatory, gasp! (All of 'em.)
Farmer's Almanac: It takes a long time to walk from Aleppo, Syria to Sweden. Those who set out today will still be enroute in December, looking for shelter in January... It's a human tragedy that will become far worse.
Freedom From The Press: The government refuses to obey a US District Court order to release videotapes to the press that show prisoners at Guantanamo being force-fed. Rectally. According to the judge, “what the government is really saying is that its classification system trumps the decisions of the federal courts.”
Simplification: In Bal Harbour, a ritzy community just north of Chicago, the cops simplified law enforcement by becoming the criminals and running a money-laundering service in and around Chicago. They “earned” $2.4 million while returning $71.5 million to their clients who were mostly drug dealers. No arrests were made. No police reports were made. Profits, however, were made. And spent. Somewhat like the Justice Department and Wall Street.
American Heroes: We are constantly bombarded with propaganda proclaiming that our combat troops are “American heroes”. Unless, of course, they have PTSD. If a soldier comes back from a second, third or fourth combat deployment and is diagnosed with mental health problems (Imagine!), the Army gives them dishonorable discharges for “misconduct”. In the last six years they've done this over 22,000 times. This saves the military and the VA immense amounts of money and lets the military downplay the horrific psychological damage repeated deployments required by an Army far too small for
the empire its
Picture This: FBI Director James Comey blames citizens with cameras for increase in violent crime.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:41 AM