Thursday, August 11, 2011

SAr #11223

Wealth is an illusion.. with the permanence of fog.

Sentimental Journey: The markets keep falling. It is amusing to listen to the rationales attached, when the true explanation of all market moves is either greed or fear. Markets go up or down depending on which prevails.

What Color Is Your Shirt? What if Great Britain's neighborhood mobs begin to fall under some form of effective leadership and expand and coordinate across and among cities?

Sideshow: While everyone was watching Societe Generale deny all the rumors in the main ring, Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second- largest bank, reported a 93% drop in quarterly profits due to losses on their Greek bonds.

Bunker Mentality: Apparently Obama is avoiding any job creation initiative because his political handlers do not think Congress would pass an effective bill so they have chosen not to try. Instead they will go along with the Republicans and pretend that the long term government debt is the current economic threat. They hope to spin a few minor victories on spending cuts into electoral victory - amid the economic ruins of the country. They are, in sad fact, the dream team.

Abstract: A quick survey from the Weimar Republic to modern day Greece and Great Britain suggests that fiscal austerity, politically motivated violence and social upheaval go hand in hand.

Reality Check: Federal taxes, at 14.8% of GDP, are the lowest level they have been in over 60 years, down a tad from 2009 & 2010's 14.9%. The post-war average is 18.5%. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” Someone else noted that you get what you pay for...

Smallpox: An Amazon tribe that had had no previous contact with modern civilization may not have survived its first brush with the 21st Century – a group of drug smugglers.

Credit, Where Credit Is Due: Now that the Tea Party has had a few moments to bask in the illusory warmth of an glowing economic future achieved by spending cuts alone, it is time to turn to the real question: Who will pay to fix the things that have been broken by thirty years of trickle-down free-market foolishness? Not who should – we all know they'll manage to escape – but who will?

Forecast: Real 10-Year Treasury yields are zero, predicting a future with no economic growth. This should kill the inflation boogeyman, but it won't.

Tanks for the Memories: Syrian military forces backed by tanks and APCs have occupied several villages near the Turkish border in their continuing attempt to crush protests and protesters. Heads of state are in full hand-ringing mode and harsh condemnations are expected.

Crumbs: The number of Americans receiving food stamps has increased over 40% in the last two years.

Two If By Sea: Fish caught 55 km (30 miles) from Fukushima contain radioactive cesium at levels that far exceed the allowable limits for human consumption.

Porn O'Graph: US exceptionalism, child poverty edition.


jm said...

As your blog is high on my list of favorites, and I know you are interested in finding and communicating truth, in the spirit of constructive criticism I must plead that you invest some intensive study time on radiation health issues. Your wording that the radioactive cesium levels 'far exceed the allowable limits for human consumption' is not up to your standards. According to your referenced source,

'The samples ... included a species of rockfish that measured 1,053 becquerels per kilogram. The reading, the highest among the samples, is well in excess of the government-set limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram, ...'

but though 1,053 becquerels is twice the government-set limit, that limit has been set at a level such that continued consumption would cause only a very, very low increase in cancer risk. The becquerel is a truly tiny unit -- if you were to consume a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of that fish per day every day of your life, your body's load of Cs-137 would stabilize at about 100,000 becquerels (because you excrete about 1% of your body load per day). This would equate to an annual increase in your radiation exposure of about 5 milliSieverts, bringing your total annual radiation exposure to about twice the natural level, still far below levels that pose a meaningful risk.

Which is why GreenPeace (who I support in some contexts) used the wording (perilously close to a weasel-wording) that,

'"There is no allowable limit for internal exposure that can conclusively be said not to pose any problems," ...'

That's about the wimpiest warning of danger I've ever read. But it's quite right for the infinitesimal danger those Cs-137 levels present to the population.

Compared to the tolls of death and injury due to our dependence on fossil fuels, those due to even our worst nuclear power accidents are miniscule.

tulsatime said...

Bunker Mentality:
Obama has proven himself either a total coward, in not going for an easy fight that makes the thugs look bad, or corrupt beyond measure in just going through the motions. I don't buy the line that he is 'captive' of bad staff.

It is a damn shame there is no credible alternative for primary. Barak makes me sick at the waste of a rare liberal chance.