Thursday, April 26, 2012

SAR #12117

Fear is generally a matter of quantity, not quality.

The Shouting: Bloomberg, among others, has once again announced that the six-year housing slump has ended.

Didn't Get The Memo: Israel's military chief, departing from the US-Israeli script, says that Iran's leaders are “very rational”, are not now pursuing nuclear weapons and are unlikely to decide to do so. Someone should tell Romney's putative VP candidate Marco Rubio who claims a unilateral US “military solution” may be needed to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Stumble: Durable goods orders fell 4.2% in March, which will be explained away in the rush to recovery and higher stock prices. Excluding defense related purchases, new orders fell 4.6%.

Endless Summer: Starting mid-May 90,000 Californians will stop receiving unemployment benefits as they fall victim to the new 79-week rule. That'll help the economy.

That, Watson, Is a Clue: Saudi Arabia has built up a 35.4 million barrel inventory of crude oil in the December- February quarter, not to keep the world price up but to prepare for the substantial increase in demand this summer that it cannot meet by “simply raising production levels”. Extra points if you can explain this without using the term 'peak oil.'

Lord of the Flies: If you doubt there is a ruling class in America that is above the law, how do you explain the Honorable Jon Corzine?

Teaching Point: Last month a quarter of a million college students poured into the streets to protest the government's plan to raise tuition by 75% over the next five years. It was probably the largest protest ever held in Canada – which explains why you've never heard about it. This was but the midpoint of the struggle by Canadian students, 180,000 of whom remain on the picket lines. So, why haven’t you heard about this before?

Ah, Justice: The first criminal charges resulting from the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf have been filed against former CEO Tony Hayward an engineer, charged with deleting emails.

A Giant Step For Stupidity: Jerome Corsi's new book, “The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People”claims that all that oil was created abioticly - how, he asks, did those dinosaurs get buried tens of thousands of feet below the surface? Never mind that oil was formed from algae in the shallow seas of the Cretaceous and Jurassic, not from dinosaurs and that the process is well understood. That's science. We want bread and circuses.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies stored at the Fukushima complex sit in pools - many 100 feet above ground and now open to the atmosphere - that are vulnerable to future earthquakes, tusnami, loss of water, or simple bad luck. They hold about 85 times the long-lived radioactive material than was released at Chernobyl.

Reprint: “Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.” Kurt Vonnegut


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

The Vonnegut passage you quote is from his 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine. Ain't no new thing. As an idealistic youth, I believed that Vonnegut, like George Carlin, exaggerated for humorous effect. I see now that they were just describing The Way Things Are.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

mistah charley - my favorite line from Rosewater is "Some Doctor, some cure."

And starting with Slaughterhouse Five I never thought it was humor...