Despite the claims of religions and economists, suffering seldom leads to enlightenment.
We Shale Overcome: Saudis in Vienna for the OPEC meetings are suggesting that they see no need to cut production and are quite willing to let the market “stabilize itself”, by which they mean “let low prices kill the shale oil movement in the US.” If anyone should cut, perhaps it should be the US, they claim, they are a big producer too. But US shale is/was at most a threat to their production dominance for only a few more years. Now the petroleum left in the Bakken and other US shale plays will be there, a background threat, hovering.
Ham Sandwiches: In only 11 of the 162,000 federal cases presented to grand juries in 2010 were no indictments returned. That's 0.0007% of the time.
Selfie: "We pose no threat to anyone,” says Vladimir Putin after meeting with his military commanders just back from eastern Ukraine and Crimea, “and do not intend to get involved in any geopolitical games or intrigues, let alone conflicts, no matter who tries to draw us into them or how they do so."
By-Product: While digging up mass graves in a search for the 43 missing students, more than 20,000 corpses have been discovered in Mexico. They sure pay an awful price for living next door to the world's largest market for illegal drugs.
Assembly Line: An Egyptian court has sentenced 78 teenage boys to two to five years in prison for taking part in demonstrations calling for the return of Mohamed Morsi, the duly elected president deposed by the US backed military dictatorship.
Essay Prompt: If economies need to eliminate the dependence of demand on unsustainable credit, what policies should governments follow? How much production – at today's wage levels – can the society support? Who must do without what? If we save for retirement (10% we're told) and avoid 'unsustainable' levels of credit (which is most credit, but don't tell anyone), what happens to production? Then what happens to our income? Ah... I think I see the problem. I also see the vague outline of the solution, and it's scary.
Mum's The Word: Turkey, where the President has a brand new 3 million square foot, 1,000 plus room mansion, has banned all reporting on the corruption of ex-ministers.
Stuff: If you wrote a science fiction story about a culture where people would line up in the cold and wait for hours to fight each other for possession of things they do not need and most likely can't afford, you could title it “Late November, End of the Empire.”
Over-Subscribed: “If you added up all of the likely causes [of the drop in oil prices] and their likely percentage contribution to the outcome you would get a number way above 100%.”
Porn O'Graph: America, all consumption, no production.