Wednesday, December 31, 2014

SAR 14365

Plotline: Over a period of 20 or 30 years, not one but five groups of British MPs and high-ranking members of the Thatcher and Blair governments took part in sexually abusing minors, going so far as to occasionally kill their victims for sport and to kill witnesses who try to go to the police. The best part is that they keep it all quiet through the Official Secrets Act. Nah. No publisher would buy such an outrageous plot, even if it were true. Which it is.

Bread Crumbs: In the five years since the Great Recession reportedly ended, the US economy is still 5% below its potential and a full 10% below the level it would have reached if the housing bust had not have happened. Hmm, think this has anything to do with the slump in oil prices? 
Merry Christiemass: All it will take to permit public water systems in NJ to be privatized without a public vote is the governor's signature on a bill now on his desk. Best part of the bill is the section that lets the folks who win the right to the system to bill the customers for the price they had to pay. Then bump up prices to cover their salaries and bonuses and political contributions
Open Wide And Say Ah-ha! Genentech has a new and more expensive drug, costing $2,000 a dose, to replace an earlier version that iss equally effective but costs only $50 a dose. So why would a doctor prescribe the more expensive version? Can you spell 'bribes'?

Big Dog: The United Nations Security Council (Uncle Sam, prop.) has rejected a resolution denouncing Israeli occupation of Palestine. How many more decades will our collective shame over the Holocaust keep indemnifying Israel for obvious violations of international law?

Market Magic: The courts have cleared the way for a Florida for-profit charter school company to take over the entire York City School District in Pennsylvania. They promise to take all the state and federal school support money plus all the local school tax funds, pay themselves handsomely and teach the little brats on the cheap. It's becoming the American way, and depends on smoke and mirrors – like so much these days.

Credentials: Republicans really hate taxes and think they should be drasticly cut or even done away with, but outright tax evasion is frowned on – as former NY congressman Michael Grimm learned when Boehner invited him to resign.

Fire Up The Hot Tub: 2014 is the first year ever in which the temperature in Anchorage did not go below zero even once. The average has been 25 sub-zero days every year. 
Trust, But Verify: Americans by and large support their local police, but 86% of us would like them to wear always-on video cams and 87% think having an independent investigation into incidents in which unarmed individuals are killed by the police. Even the black ones.

One-Legged Stool: All that good news for the customer at the gas pump isn't going over so well in places like Alaska, where oil revenue is supposed to cover 90% of the budget, Texas, where the bloom is off the oil shale, and North Dakota. Fill 'er up.

Famous Lost Words: We’re looking at a Greece problem -- the euro crisis is over,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London.j


Blissex said...

«Republicans really hate taxes and think they should be drasticly cut or even done away with, but outright tax evasion is frowned on – as former NY congressman Michael Grimm learned when Boehner invited him to resign.»

No, they frown upon *getting caught* doing «outright tax evasion», it seems to me pure hypocrisy.

They always vote to cut down the IRS budget to make it easier for Republican voters to do «outright tax evasion» without getting caught. See the graph here:
The latest

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

the allegations of child abuse by members of parliament are given greater weight by the violent death of the those alleging the abuse - as krishna said, human beings have both divine and demonic tendencies

rev. ted nottingham runs a website "inner work for spiritual awakening" - in a 6 minute video he says, in part

This video is intended to offer you introductory teachings so that you may begin on this path through the methodologies that we are working with here in this group, methodologies based on the 4th way teachings which are rooted in Eastern Christian mysticism and other universal teachings of humanity.  

The first step to initiate you into what can be discovered here is what we call self-observation—and that is the discipline of will and attention to become aware of your inner activities.  That is to say, when you get impatient, or irritated—be AWARE of that occurring, don't just BE the negative emotion that you're feeling. So that you begin by this simple focus of attention to SEE what is going on within you more objectively. And in so doing you begin to create an inner space, an inner separation, where something within you, some higher quality of awareness which we name Observing I, as in 'I am', the Observing I is watching the habitual reactions that each of us has in life and has developed unconsciously, in the lower state of consciousness that we take for granted and which is called, in this system of thought, 'sleep'.   So—simply begin to become aware of yourself.

And in doing that you'll find that you have to divide your attention.  You have to be aware of the world outside of you, the people, the circumstances, AND be aware internally.  So, as you're listening to this video, you are aware of yourself sitting in a chair.  You're aware of your state of mind, of your mood, AND you are listening to these words.

We are able to split our attention. Imagine one arrow going out, and one arrow going in.

So you have self-observation, divided attention, inner separation.

These initial steps, these 'baby steps' actually have tremendous power, because they begin to make possible the awakening process, the expansion of consciousness into a higher state of consciousness, where the more authentic Self resides and ultimately where our connection with Spirit, with God, can be found.

Blissex said...

«Republicans really hate taxes and think they should be drasticly cut or even done away with,»

And I think that this statement is very wrong too: Republicans seem to love taxes that:

* Pay for property protection services like police and firemen.

* Pay for cost-plus contracts to corporations.

* Are paid by "parasitic" low income people more than by "productive" high income people.

Let's have a look at state tax rates in Republican "flagship" USA states:

In Texas local taxes are 12.6% on the lowest income 20% (a pretty high rate) and 3.2% on the top 1%.

Blissex said...

«not one but five groups of British MPs and high-ranking members of the Thatcher and Blair governments took part»

That's I suspect in part because outrageous sexual activities are considered an essential accessory in the lifestyle of UK "private sector" schoolboys and then for Oxbridge students and academics (see "Bloomsbury circle"), and getting away with nasty acts is the ultimate status symbol in aristocratic circles.

Sometimes this has comical (for spectators...) consequences where some people from those backgrounds engage for years in debauched homosexuality just to "fit in" with the fashionable people, or for the "thrill" of the forbidden, only to later be disappointed to realize that they are boringly heterosexual and just want a quiet family life with kids and a randy wife.