Friday, January 29, 2016
The rich don't just think they can get away with it, they know.
Clash of Civilizations: A French diplomatic dinner for Iran's Hassan Rouhani was canceled when the French refused to remove wine from the menu. Good, it was bad enough that Italy put bras on Rome's statuary to protect Hang 'em High Rouhani's delicate sensibilities.
Behavioral Analysis Units: Political campaigns - just like banks, health insurers and the NSA – know far more about you than you think they do. They know that if you like canned asparagus you probably oppose abortion... and so on. They know what you buy and where you shop and what restaurants you go to and what car you drive and the put all this together to figure out how you will likely vote and how to capitalize on this, to get you to vote for their doofus rather than some other doofus. But they all are doing it, so relax and enjoy the attention.
Infrastructure: The top US Army General in Iraq says that the collapse of the Mosul Dam is likely and will be “catastrophic”. What do you think will be fixed first, the Mosul Dam or the Flint, MI water supply?
Best Friends For Never: The US government has reluctantly concluded that sentencing a journalist to life in prison for reporting on a regime's secret and illegal arms supply to jihadists is reason to question that nation's “commitment to democracy.” There should be no question that Erdogan's Turkey is committed to to ending democracy as fast as possible and letting Erdogan rule as an absolute monarch, with no input from the masses. The US should wash their hands of Erdogan and let him get back to killing Kurds.
Progress: Ecuador is auctioning off one-third of its remaining rainforest to Chinese oil companies.
Very, Very Secret: The claimed ISIS super-duper Android based encryption system for exchanging messages and instructions on how and when to destroy the west turns out to be vaporware at best and most likely a hoax.
Good Question: Jeremy Corbyn asked David Cameron if ordinary people can pay the same rate of tax as Google and Apple.
Robin/Spring: Caterpillar, generally taken to be a good indicator of the global economy's health, reports that its Q4 retail revenues fell by 23% leading to a 111% collapse in operating profit – if profit is the right word for a $114 million loss.
Hang 'Em High: The governor of Maine, citing a constitutional right to carry arms, is encouraging his citizens to “Load up and get rid of the drug dealers.”
Horse/Cart: In that China gets most of its electricity from incredibly dirty coal-fired plants, using an electric car is up to five times worse for the environment than driving a gas guzzler.
Short On The Basics: A group of ranchers in Utah have denounced federal control of their lands. Actually, it's federal control of our lands; they are supposed to be renting them from us.
Circus, No Bread: Some wonder if our freedoms will survive the current political season – which assumes we have any such things left. Truth: your vote does not matter. Hasn't for several decades. We do not have a democracy, nor even a democratic republic. What we have is a choice of front men (mostly men) chosen by and answerable to the economic élite. But the entertainment beats the tedious work involved in self-government.
Noted: According to the IMF and World Bank, “these are bad times for oil producers and their creditors.” Ah, understatement.
The Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:19 AM