Friday, May 2, 2014

SAR #14122

Santa, God, or NSA - who's really omniscient?

Proof/Pudding: The US government (obviously not over-inflating its data, this time) reports that the nation's real GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. Grew? And most of that was due to higher insurance premiums healthcare costs. Obviously the US austerity programs have not been severe enough, and the suffering will have to continue until morale improves. 
Volunteers: With an interesting view of sovereignty, his and theirs, Putin has told Ukraine to withdraw its troops from the eastern part of... Ukraine. He's reportedly quite willing to assume security operations in the area.

Footnotes: Don't go quoting the Constitution to me unless your copy is identical to the secret one kept hidden under a desk in the Supreme Court. Theirs says you can't complain about a law unless you are breaking it. Just being worried that, say, the government might imprison you indefinitely without cause, warrant or trial is not sufficient. If you are not being indefinitely detained, you have no "standing" to question the practice. Says so in their copy.

Echo: "The days when housing was the predominant force driving economic activity are gone…”

The Two-Step: Obama says that the roads - especially the interstate highways - need fixing, so let's put tolls on them. Then, unsaid, let's sell the right to put tolls on the interstates to the capitalists! Because nothing builds a nation as rapidly as selling of its patrimony to Wall Street. Hey! Money's cheap and unemployment, especially in the construction industry is high, so why not have the government issue some bonds (30 years/ 3.4%) and do the right thing?

Another Damned Thing: A new virus, related to the smallpox virus - which had a 30% fatality rate before it was eliminated in 1980 - has been identified in the Republic of Georgia. 
Payment In Kind: The WHO has made a big splash, stating the obvious: Evolution works. The more antibiotics we use and the more we use antibiotics, the more microbes change to carry on infecting us. We are rapidly heading to a "post-antibiotic era", where minor scrapes and injuries will once more carry the potential to routinely kill us. Our obsessive search for safety will, here as in other aspects of our lives, lead to greater insecurity. 
Shocker: China inflates its GDP statistics!

Little Fish/Bigger Fish: Now that investors seeking instant and large returns have bought up much of the housing real folks were forced out of by these very same investors, rents are rapidly rising. Sure, some impact is being felt by the dispossessed middle class who now have to rent what they previously pretended they were buying (from the same or similar 'investors'), but the real pinch is in the high-priced neighborhoods. The rich, having gotten richer, are being hit up for higher rents, too. 
Porn O'Graph: The lowdown on the slowdown.

The Parting Shot:

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