Thursday, April 19, 2012

SAR #12110

Keep your pants zipped.

Get A Grip: What is all this hypocritical outrage over the idea that a bunch of healthy young men, off duty and on their own time, in a city where prostitution is legal, spend some time and money relaxing? Besides, the Gideon Bibles were in Spanish.

Nothing To Be Seen, Move Along: The Supremes unanimously agreed that a survivor cannot sue an organization - a political state or its appendages, nor a corporation - for torture or murder. Only the actual person(s) doing the dastardly deed can be sued, so take notes.

On Speculation: If you pay $600 a share for Apple, that's an investment. If you buy an option on oil hoping to make a profit, that's speculating. Neither the selling/buying of Apple stock nor the buying or selling options on oil produce anything in the real economy. Not more iPads, not more oil. Nor less.

Gimme Re-write: The headline said: "Cheer up: the world has plenty of oil." It should have read: "Cheer up, the world has lots of $200 a barrel oil left."

Gratuity: The Republicans – mainly so they can pass a tax cut the Dems will have to oppose – are promoting The Small Business Tax Cut Act, which would give a 1-year, 20% tax cut to every business with 500 or fewer employees (which is an interesting description of small) and it will only cost $46 billion.

Exhibit For The Prosecution: Why do we spend so much on pharmaceuticals? (1) research and development costs. (2) games played for profits. (3) games played to maintain enormous profits. (4) political contributions by Big Pharma. [Some are more right than others.]

Popular Science: A new poll shows that 60% of Americans now - after the unusually warm spring - think that climate change is making our weather worse. Ah, science by popular vote.

Littering: For reasons that are somewhat obscure, Scottish taxpayers in an independent Scotland, would have to pay the £30 billion it will take to decommissioning the oil platforms in the North Sea. Quite why the companies that made the profits don't have to clean up after themselves is as much a mystery there as in the US of A.

Papers, Please: When you get off the public bus in downtown Houston, be ready to tell the TSA agent where you are going, why you took the bus. And that's after your purse and packages were searched as you got on the bus. It is one more step in the increasing police-state intrusion by Homeland Security into our daily lives to “curb crime and terrorism.” This joins randomly stopping traffic on Tennessee highways, patting down train passengers after they have completed their journeys, and screening ferry passengers. And don't forget Big Sis has over 9,000 checkpoints and 37 VIPR teams (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) deployed at “transportation hubs”. As long as you are docile and don't look them in the eyes, you'll be all right. Maybe.

Conundrum: If competition is good (ie. capitalism), why aren't the results of that competition (monopoly) good?

Time, And Temperature, March On: To recap: Europe had a deadly heatwave in 2003. Russia's 2010 drought was so severe the country ceased wheat exports. Texas recent drought was so bad that the accounts of massive tree die-offs are not tall tales. And we've only had 0.8º C of warming so far. Scientists are now calmly discussing a 3º C increase by 2050 (just 38 years fromnow) and 6ºC by the end of the century. That last is a joke, of course. The end will come much sooner.

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