Monday, May 17, 2010

SAR #10137

There are only so many band-aids in the box.

Finally:  BP admits it sucks.  Third time's the charm.  Just how charming isn't known yet.

Hotel Europa: ECB president Trichet,  “If a country joins the euro area, it shares a common destiny with the other members.”  As for the debt problem,  “They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...” or words to that effect.

Group Think:  The Pentagon says that US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost too much and lasted too long, that large-scale counterinsurgency battles have high casualty rates for troops and civilians, eat up equipment and rarely end well.  Counterinsurgency "is a good way to get out of a situation gone bad," they say, “but it's not the best way to use combat forces... counterinsurgency is a losing proposition.”

Cheap? Are mortgage rates cheap? In nominal terms, at 4.93%, yes. In real terms? Not so much. And will the house appreciate? Eventually. Maybe. And will you still have a job? Ah.

The Graduates:  Tens of thousands will graduate this spring without a job in hand, nor any real prospect of getting one.  The economy doesn't need them, doesn't want them, hasn't got room for them.  Today 17% of the 20-24 year-olds are unemployed, including 2 million college grads.  A lucky few will win the crowded competition to become assistant baristas, waitresses, pizza delivery drivers, busboys and bouncers.  Many will be moving back in with mom and dad.  Mom and dad, if not the kid, are beginning to suspect the whole thing is a con, and has been for decades.

Inside Joke: If no solution is found to the nation's jobs deficit the growing budget deficit will be a minor problem.  But the only jobs the government can rapidly create are government jobs.  Funny, that.

Out of Slight:  Oceanographers have discovered that the oil slick on the Gulf of Mexico is just the appetizer.  The real spill is in as many as 5 layers spaced from the surface into the depths.  Some submerged slicks are as much as 10 miles by 3 miles by 300 feet thick.  The dispersants released underwater are getting much of the blame, but much of the separation is simply various components of the leaked petroleum seeking their natural buoyancy – asphalt and tars at the bottom and lighter layers going up.  Oil can deplete oxygen in the water, killing plankton and other tiny critters that serve as food for a wide variety of sea life.  Oxygen levels in some areas have dropped 30 percent, and will continue to drop.

Distinct Difference:  Should any government be permitted to assassinate one of its citizens, far from a combat zone, based on secret information, with no judicial process, even though they cannot intercept his telephone calls without a warrant?  Is it okay if they are called 'targeted killings' instead of 'assassinations'?

X-Men:  Researchers have found that the only element of 'attractiveness' that matters in human sexual selection is which male is physically the most dominant.  Winner takes all.  Or at least the one he wants.

House of Preyer:  The Louisiana House has voted to let people carry concealed weapons to church.  I agree with Rep Norton (D-Shreveport), “If you need to have a gun in church, you need to go to another church."  I understand folks taking their guns into Starbucks - after all, they've been robbed there before.  Well, on second thought, churches, too.

Ground Floor: There are about 15,000 empty houses littering Las Vegas – 9,000 or so never been lived in.  Prices there have dropped 60%. Yet there are 1,100 new houses under construction – buy a couple now, before the prices go up!


Anonymous said...

What about the "Church of the heavily armed Christ"

jm said...

Under "Inside Joke" you wrote, "If no solution is found to the nation's jobs deficit the growing budget deficit will be a minor problem."

Did you not perhaps mean to write, "If a solution is found ..."?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

jm - Nope, I meant that if we do not solve the growing long term unemployment problems, the problems predicted to result from the growing deficits will be moot: Hordes of hungry, homeless unemployed will be a far more immediate and serious problem.

In fact, I meant that if we do not solve the nation's jobs problem by putting people back to work, the bankers' dislike for US Treauries and/or the eventual sovereign default of the US will a comparatively minor problem.

Which is, I think, what I did say.


Dink said...

"Well, on second thought, churches, too."

Delicious ;)

Demetrius said...

Oil Slick - five different layers of contamination and damage. This idea can be applied to a lot of other things, finance and politics come to mind. Interesting that the USGS hurricane/tropical storm watch came up early this year.

kwark said...

RE: Distinct Difference I'm a bit fuzzy on why this causes "unease." It seems to be OK to assassinate OTHER nation's people based on "secret evidence" - much of which is likely of very dubious value. Oh and never mind that we seem to kill 15 innocents for every one of those guys we presume to be guilty. And we wonder why there's a never ending stream of new recruits? Either the suits and brass in DC are stupid or someone's making a buck off of the mess. Count on someone making a buck.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

kwark - Always.