Saturday, March 5, 2016
It is not the events of the day that are frightening, but our reaction to them.
New Rules: The Justice Department, acting on the theory that failing to tell someone about some pretty bad stuff that you know about that they don't, and profiting from it, is a crime, has referred Exxon to the FBI to be investigated for the crime of “failing to disclose” the dangers of burning fossil fuels/global warming to the public. An interesting approach, and applicable to a wide number of “crimes.” Imagine actual jail time for Big Tobacco, faulty cars, harmful pharmaceuticals - oh, and ruinous financial manipulation...
Size Matters: The United States' globe-spanning military on Thursday dispatched a "small armada" into the South China Sea, reported the Navy Times, in the latest show of force in the disputed area. It was probably just as well that they didn't send “a medium armada”, which might have disturbed the Chinese excessively.
Goes Around/Comes Around: Attempts to replicate last year's study showing that most academic studies cannot be reproduced failed to reproduce those results.
Gobblization: As expected, analysis of the economic effects of globalization concludes that “offshoring and import competition have depressed the wages of low-skilled workers to the point where many U.S. jobs are now competitive with those overseas.” And TPP will make things even better... for corporations.
Perspective: Norway is budgeting $1 billion to build and improve highways for bicycles, to encourage their 5 million citizens to rely more on bikes and less on pouting cars. Try imagining the US spending $63,400,000,000 on something as neat as that.
Menu: Brazil is reportedly “on course” for its worst recession in nearly a century. The global banks are gathering for the feast...
Sum Numbering: Nonfarm employment was up a bit in February, unemployment theoretically remained at 4.9%; new jobs were in retail food service and “drinking places” while manufacturing jobs fell 16,000. Average wages fell, the trade deficit increased, and exports fell to a 5 year low.
On Recovery: The average American's income has fallen steadily since Georgie boy came into office. But things could have been worse – according to economists technological improvements – think smart phones and Facebook – have distracted us so we haven't noticed just how much we've lost. And it's not just the proletariat; the country has clearly declined in power, wealth and prestige in the world. But we can Trump that, right?
Plotline: Try this one: The Russian colonel-general in charge of military intelligence (the GRU), who reportedly died in Moscow of a heart attack was actually killed by Turkish agents while he was involved in a secret mission in Beirut involving several Middle Eastern intelligence agencies.
Too Many Lawyers: Delaware North of Buffalo, NY has trademarked the name “Yosemite National Park”, which comes as a surprise to the citizens of these United States, who thought they owned the place.
Porn O'Graph: Collateral damage.
A Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:27 AM