Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SAR #8135

The next best thing to having good ideas

is recognizing good ideas
P. Schmidt

Jiggle The Handle: In the CPI, Food counts only 8% of the CPI, even though 80% of US workers spend 20% or more of their income on food. But food (and gasoline at $4.12 a gallon!) don't count in "core" inflation. And don't forget the "hedonic/subsitution" factor - the one that counts hamburger as steak if you can't afford steak.

Getting High: CO2 levels are now at 387ppm, up 40% since the Industrial Revolution. Some scientists fear climate change could grow out of control. Others fear it already has.

Cattle Cars: ICE rounded up hundreds at a meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa in the first raid of what may turn out to be a very nasty chapter in the US immigration wars. Homeland Security is using Social Security's 'mismatch' list, - which cites errors between name and number on employers reports - to target sweeps. They apparently intend to arrest all 18 million of these workers and then release the 70% who are turn out to be legitimate US citizens. Fleets of buses haul the catch to Halliburton-built detention camps for processing. Keep your National ID card driver's license handy.

Here There Be Tygers: Financial Armageddon has an excellent recap of 'the experts' opinions on inflation/deflation, recession/depression, bottom/worse to come, predictions for the future - or whether there will be a future.

Refueling: About that $3.00 gasoline for 3 years; Chrysler figures that giving you back $2,500 over three years in order to sell you a highly profitable $30,000 SUV will be, well, profitable. Profits before progeny, I always say.

Trick or Trick: The amount of methane in the atmosphere has begun to rise very rapidly; we've managed to thaw large streches of permafrost, releasing the methane trapped for tens of thousands of years. It is over 20 times as dangerous as CO2.

Simple Math: Which do you prefer? Prices of import are up 1.8% this month, or import prices are up 15.4% from a year ago? Either way, it's the highest inflation rate on imports on record. But it is mostly fuel; absent that it is only a 1% per month, 5.8% over last year. But the CPI will be adjusted, so don't worry.

Bureau of Lying Statistics: The BLS claims the US added 800,000 jobs in the last year at the same time 1,500,000 joined the food stamp program. Keeping in mind that the government wants to brag about employment and hide hunger, which of these numbers is less trustworthy?

Steel Yourself: It costs more than a penny to make a penny and 7.5 cents to make a nickel. Back to the future with steel pennies from my youth and new steel nickels. Or just do away with the penny, there's an idea.

One Dollar, One Vote: Politicians in the House are investigating politicians in the White House for politicizing science at the EPA for the benefit of politically prominent contributors. Eight scientists on a chemical advisory panels were receiving "support" from the industry and two were employed by companies making the chemicals under review. Worse, the American Chemistry Council appareantly fired an EPS scientist who spoke out against the health hazard deca.

Porn O'Graph: 27 million Americans now on Food Stamps. Go look.

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