Violence is inevitable, for power equals survival.
Third Time's The Charm: Throwing $3.8 billion after $13.5 billion it had already wasted on GMAC, the government became the majority owner of a firm that will post a $10 billion loss this year. Would you be surprised to learn that this loss is from their house mortgage business and has nothing to do with all the money that GM and Chrysler lost making cars? Don't bitch about unions until something is done about the executives that got so well paid for being so inept.
Faint Praise: John McCain and Joe Lieberman speak highly of the effectiveness of drones in the war on terror. Takes one to know one.
Steps: In 1950 the earth held 2.5 billion people. By 1990 it was about 5.2 billion. Today it's 6 going on 7 billion. By 2050 it will be 10 or 12 billion. Write a coherent essay on sustainability or global climate change that does not mention population.
Now For Some Action: New York State's legislators have pandered to the whims and desires of lobbyists for too long, feeding on “an addition to spending, power, and approval” that has plunged the state into economic catastrophe. Claiming the state would no longer be “run like a payday loan operation,” Governor Paterson said he would prevent the the state from writing bad checks by vetoing spending bills and delaying previously authorized spending. The chamber met his State of the State speech with silence and fidgeting. Giving the speech was the easy part.
Hearts and Mines: Last year 1,050 children were killed in the war in Afghanistan. Two thirds of the deaths were caused by Taliban-linked actions, only one out of three was killed by the US. We're winning.
Without Comment: Scientists have discovered that listening to cell phones seems to prevent or postpone Alzheimers in rats.
Size Matters: It is refreshing to see the 326,000 citizens of Iceland tell the British and Dutch – and their own elected capitalists – that they have no desire to pay for the greed of Icelandic bankers or the stupidity of European investors. The $6 billion “owed” comes to $18,000 a person, which is a ridiculous amount for innocent bystanders to have to come up with. In the US, the each citizen now owes $40,000 to bail out the bankers – enough to keep us all in debt for decades. But we'll pay up and keep envying Icelanders for doing what we are too cowed to contemplate.
Barn Door: President Obama says the United States “will not succumb to a siege mentality.” You want to tell him?
Meth Heads: A “dramatic increase” in the amount of methane leaking from beneath the seabed of the East Siberian Shelf is well underway and “looks stronger than it was supposed to be.”
Cup/Lip: In the next 20 years we must find and develop sufficient oil reserves to pump 45 million barrels a day – just to replace the production that will be gone by then. We've also got to find and develop at least another 20 mbd to meet anticipated demand. And that's after the 2030 demand estimate was cut from 121 mbd to only 105 mbd. Given today's economies, we could not afford to develop the fields even if by some remote chance they were found.
Statistic: Nearly 50 million pounds of plastic ends up in the world's oceans every day. None of it ends up doing any good. And it lasts forever.
Whose Country ? In its draft regulatory filing, AIG revealed that it had passed TARP bailout money on to several banks, notably paying Goldman Sachs 100 cents on the dollar. Tim Geithner, then President of the NY Fed, told them to withhold that sort of detail from the public record, so they did.
Porn O'Graph: Paperwork production's up.