Saturday, February 13, 2016

SAR #16044

Outlooked: Could negative interest rates lead to a situation where banks would pay you to take out a mortgage? No, but think about the implications of giving the government $10,000 for ten years and getting only $9,950 back. What does that imply about the prices of assets of all kinds, and about the safety of your savings?
Bite By Bite: Researchers in Brazil and Argentinia strongly suspect that it is not the mosquito that is transmitting microcephaly, but a Monsonto pesticide, Pyripoxyfen, used to control mosquito populations by arresting the development of their larvae. They theorize that the pesticide has contaminated water supplies. Pregnant women, the theory goes, drinking the Pyriopoxyfen laden water ingest enough of the chemical to cause development problems with their fetuses. This may explain why the Zika virus has been found in such a low percentage of the micorcephalic infants. It may not be the Pyrippozyfen-altered mosquitoes, by the larvacide itself that is to blame. Certainly the area where the majority of the affected children were born and the area sprayed with Pyripoxyfen are nearly identical. Zika has traditionally been held to be a relatively benign disease that has never before been associated with birth defects, even in areas where it infects 75% of the population.
Peace In The valley: A suit has been filed in federal court in Alabama seeking a determination of Ted Cruz's right to become president in that he is a natural-born Canadian, and not a “natural born” American. He may have derived citizenship, but that, the suit alleges, does not meet the definition of “natural born”.
Credulity Gap: Yes, it is possible that the Texas Attorney General could be disbarred for telling county clerks they could, and should, disregard the US Supreme Court's gay marriage decision. “Could.” But this is Texas politics and it just ain't gonna happen.
Priorities: A Vatican prelate is telling newly commissioned Bishops that they are not obliged to inform law enforcement of instances of child sex abuse by priests under their supervision. In God we trust, in his earthly representatives, not so much.
Backpedaling: The Democratic National Committee – for which read Hillary & Bill, Incorporated – has finally decided to back President Obama's desire to ban contributions from lobbyists, now that they've given Hillary all they were going to until it becomes clear whether she can do them some good.
Good Question: Phil Angelides, chair of the government commission that produced the definitive report on the causes of the global financial crisis, wants to know you the Department of Justice has yet to indict and try any senior bank executives for the widespread fraud and corruption that lead to the collapse of the US mortgage market. Banks have paid immense penalties – Morgan Stanley just agreed to pay another $3.2 billion for “flawed” mortgage bonds – but not a single individual has been charged with wrongdoing.
Walk A Mile In Her Shoes: Ms. Clinton says “ “I know I have had a blessed life, but I also know what it’s like to stumble and fall. And so many people across America know that feeling.” Wrong. Hillary stumbles, but a great many of us have been tripped by the establishment and been shoved into the gutter by the same Wall Street folks who give her millions “with no expectation in return.”
Porn O'Graph: Let them eat cake.
The Parting Shot:


McMike said...

re immense bank penalties. I know those amounts may seem "immense" to ordinary humans, but they'd barely cover a day's worth of war-fighting expenses. And the fines did not seem to hurt the banks very much (or the bank exec's bonuses). Besides, the fines are tax deductible, and partially not paid in cash but in accounting credits or community service or somesuch, and probably whittled down behind the scenes in a backroom later. So, instead of immense, I would say: modest cost of doing business expenses.

re pesticide cause of fetal damage. Good thing the newspapers will now have some open front-pages real estate (formerly used for virus panic coverage) to spread the good news.

Anonymous said...

I first posited here about 4 days ago that it was probably the insecticide used to control the mosquito, rather than the virus, but I didn't expect developments to go this fast. Many insecticides act upon hormones, and infants/children undergoing growth are much more sensitive to them.

The problem will continue to be that for the convinced of a small group of capitalist we allow any chemical to be introduced into the environment and wait until a problem becomes not just evident, but proven before taking action. Getting this proof from a complex, uncontrollable environment is next to impossible, and the money is always supporting keeping the status quo. This is bad ethics, bad science and bad economics.

George Anderson said...

Re: Priorities: I have no truck with 'Spirit in the Sky' and especially have no use for those who claim to speak for 'he/she/it', thus it is more than a little ironic that many a politician claims close contact with the 'alleged' almighty and often claim to be doing 'it's' bidding.

Most of us were born into our religion although the trend has been to let the young 'find their own way' with many abandoning the search right about the time puberty hits. (I have a found God and he lives in my pants!)

But this isn't my point.

Disturbingly we have a deeply corrupt, er, 'legal system' that victimizes more people than it protects, ADDED to a religious system that refuses to practice what it preaches! Compound that with a predatory 'buyer beware' commerce system and I think we've got the beginnings of a good working definition of Hell.

Is there a 'way out'? Yes...but some won't want to pay the price and, sadly, that dividing line needs to be held firmly.

Our current predicament/today's world proves you really can't have it both ways.

While I admit to being purposefully opaque, most of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

McMike said...

re George A. Two things at play with churches: (1) The Iron Law of Institutions wherein leaders of organizations become more preoccupied with their own power than with the success of the institution. and (2), there's another principle, I am sure it has a name, but if not it's the McMike principle, which states that the larger an organization gets, the more pathological it becomes.

lastly, there's the overriding principle of politics and torts, which declares that no one ever owns up to anything.

McMike said...

Ding dong the witch is dead.

Oh my, sorry, that was unseemly.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...


Although I clearly remember where I was and what I felt when I learned that J. Egdar had died.

McMike said...

Re Hoover. Indeed, and I prefer to imagine that Scalia was found, as I picture Hoover, in a lace baby-doll teddy, with sheer push-up bra and rose-print boy-shorts. All colored red, of course. And that he died, perhaps, having stumbled off his eight-inch stiletto heels while reaching for the cat-o-nine-tails.

Actually, even though it was fun to write the above. I actually suspect Antony was more of a form-fitting long silk gown type, daring but red-carpet-ready. The back plunging nearly to the top of his derriere, and a single outer leg slit up to his hip. He died from frustration, unable to work the clasp of his diamond-and-pearl encrusted clutch.

George Anderson said...

I was thinking/imagining something along the same line with the exception that I wondered how much it was costing the GOP to hush up the young boys involved...

Is anyone else wondering who Scalia's 'successor' is? [Headline in today's NY times] I was unaware the Court subscribed to the concept of 'heredity'

Kinda unconstitutional...but that hasn't stopped them lately.

@ McMike, I completely agree, once established, large organizations become obsessed with maintaining power, image be damned.

And given my professed athieism, I don't subscribe to Hell either but we certainly have all the ingredients to make a dandy one!