Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SAR #15322

Inquiring Mind: If, under Roe Vs. Wade, abortion is a constitutional right, why can't HEW establish the definitive, universal rules concerning the facilities and providers and do away with all this subterfuge by Republican states to deny women their constitutional rights?
Let Them Eat Cake: A Hong Kong billionaire spent $48.5 million on a diamond for his seven year old daughter.
New Beginnings: Everyone should stop listening to Saudi Arabia and take a careful look at its role in the political/religious disaster that is the Middle East.
Game, Set, Match: “ ...humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. So let us work for peace ... and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments." Dalai Lama.
Mission Accomplished: US corporations have come full circle. First they exported US jobs to overseas locations where workers would accept smaller wages and worse working conditions. Now the same companies are bringing jobs back to rural America, where workers will accept even less in the way of wages and conditions while the companies get tax breaks and other taxpayer funding to come exploit them.
New And Improved: Much of new debt taken on by corporations is being “invested” in stock buybacks instead of building new equity in the business. It's a case of owning more or owing more.
No Comment: “Rising prosperity for the few means undue hardship for the many. That is the economy’s underlying problem and it won’t be solved until policymakers face up to it” Teresa Tritch, Editorial Page Editor, NYTimes.
The Good Doctor: Ben Carson became famous (or made himself famous... you pick) for separating the Binder twins; one of whom is dead, the other permanently brain damaged.
Diversion: Saudi Arabia has given the UN $110 million towards establishing an International Anti-Terrorism Center. It isn't clear how this pittance compares to Saudi Arabia's funding of al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Previews: The events in Paris are exactly the type of disaster that the power structure seizes on to gather even more power and resources under its control. Expect expansion of state surveillance, added military budgeting, increased demagoguery and less democracy.
Ooops: In London, charges against a Swedish man accused of supporting terrorism in Syria were dismissed when the Court learned that MI6 had been arming the same group of militants.
Correction: The FBI maintains that “The allegation that we paid CMU £660K to hack into Tor is inaccurate.” Quite so, they were paid in dollars. A million of 'em.
Porn O'Graph: Learning curve.


McMike said...

Re asking God to bail us out. Indeed, and be careful what you wish for. The Judaeo-Christian God in particular appears to rely mainly on plagues and floods in his toolkit.

At this point it seems to be only a question of will God or nature hit the giant reset button first.

(However, 40 years in the wilderness might do us some good....)

Blissex said...

«No Comment: “Rising prosperity for the few means undue hardship for the many. That is the economy’s underlying problem and it won’t be solved until policymakers face up to it” Teresa Tritch, Editorial Page Editor, NYTimes.»

It is not policymakers that need to zface up to it», but the voters, in particular the middle classes who have enormous faith that «Rising prosperity for the few» means for themselves, and screw everybody else. I have two apposite quotes, one about the attitudes of some middle class journalists as to this:
«journalists/columnists of a certain age (meaning ones not much older than me and younger) are coming around to the realization that the economy is screwing them, too. There was a moment when a lot of them (we’re talking ones at elite outlets, not your random small town paper) thought they’d done everything right, would become celebrities, and get Tom Friedman’s speaking fees. The economy sure was working for them, and screw everybody else.»

and more widely the writing of an 18th century very perceptive political economist, B Mandeville, who anticipated both marxian (from the other side) and keynesian approach. What he writes here is in effect the "Republican Party"/"USA middle class" manifesto:
«It is impossible that a Society can long subsist, and suffer many of its Members to live in Idleness, and enjoy all the Ease and Pleasure they can invent, without having at the same time great Multitudes of People that to make good this Defect will condescend to be quite the reverse, and by use and patience inure their Bodies to work for others and themselves besides.
The Plenty and Cheapness of Provisions depends in a great measure on the Price and Value that is set upon this Labour, and consequently the Welfare of all Societies, even before they are tainted with Foreign Luxury, requires that it should be perform’d by such of their Members as in the first Place are sturdy and robust and never used to Ease or Idleness, and in the second, soon contented as to the necessaries of Life; such as are glad to take up with the coursest Manufacture in every thing they wear, and in their Diet have no other aim than to feed their Bodies when their Stomachs prompt them to eat, and with little regard to Taste or Relish, refuse no wholesome Nourishment that can be swallow’d when Men are Hungry, or ask any thing for their Thirst but to quench it.
As the greatest part of the Drudgery is to be done by Day-light, so it is by this only that they actually measure the time of their Labour without any thought of the Hours they are employ’d, or the weariness they feel;»
«If such People there must be, as no great Nation can be happy without vast Numbers of them, would not a Wise Legislature cultivate the Breed of them with all imaginable Care, and provide against their Scarcity as he would prevent the Scarcity of Provision it self?
No Man would be poor and fatigue himself for a Livelihood if he could help it: The absolute necessity all stand in for Victuals and Drink, and in cold Climates for Clothes and Lodging, makes them submit to any thing that can be bore with. If no body did Want no body would work; but the greatest Hardships are look’d upon as solid Pleasures, when they keep a Man from Starving.
From what has been said it is manifest, that in a free Nation where Slaves are not allow’d of, the surest Wealth consists in a Multitude of laborious Poor; for besides that they are the never-failing Nursery of Fleets and Armies, without them there could be no Enjoyment, and no Product of any Country could be valuable.
To make the Society happy and People easy under the meanest Circumstances, it is requisite that great Numbers of them should be Ignorant as well as Poor. Knowledge both enlarges and multiplies our Desires, and the fewer things a Man wishes for, the more easily his Necessities may be supply’d.»

kwark said...

RE "Mission Accomplished": Maybe not quite yet. The wholly-owned subsidiary called the Republican Party hasn't yet eliminated or gutted those silly encumbrances like the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act. When they do (or their pals "implementing" the Trans Pacific Trade abomination) we'll be set to emulate China or your choice of abused third world countries. Ahh, back to the good old days. Maybe we can look forward to the Cuyahoga River catching fire again!

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Bissex - Thank you profusely for the Mandeville excerpt. I copied and parsed it and would not be shocked if it were to turn up in SAR one of these days.