Saturday, February 28, 2015

SAR #15059

Bullying, like politics, is a way of forcing conformity on others.

Nutshelled: The idea behind net neutrality is simple: internet providers must treat all the traffic on their networks equally, no charging to let some data move faster, no slowing down or otherwise hampering content providers even if they compete with content providers owned by the internet providers. It is not an attempt to regulate free speech. Perhaps it is best understood in terms of those who oppose the idea: Republicans, ATT, Cox, Charter, Verizon and hordes of their lawyers.

Evidence: The Bundestag approved grinding Syriza and the Greeks even further into the dirt by a vote of 542 to 32, which pretty well settles the question of who got the better of the deal. Deflation in Greece is now galloping along at 1.2% per month. There is no way the Greeks can do anything but suffer or simply say 'no' in a way that even the Germans might understand.

Victory Parade Rescheduled: US GDP growth in 4Q/2014 slowed to 2.2% from the claimed 5% growth rate in 3Q/2014. The stock market did not react, because actual GDP – or an other aspect of reality – has no influence as long as the Fed keeps pumping out the money. 
I'm With Stupid: The New Mexico Museum of Natural History has caved in to pressure from two, count 'em, two folks who objected to a science museum mounting an exhibit honoring Charles Darwin because Darwin didn't believe in intelligent design. 
Behind The Curtain: Now that they've got all that PR for bumping their workers up to $9 an hour, Walmart feels free to keep hiding how drastic their gender pay gap is and they most certainly do not want to talk about how many hundreds of thousands of their employees can't get enough hours to make ends meet (because then they'd qualify for benefits, the dirty socialists). Let them eat cake, day old, from the dumpster apply for food stamps.

The Meaning Of ISIS Is: Rick Goodhair Perry says that “ISIS represents the worst threat to freedom since communism.” Newt warns that ISIS intends to take over America by supporting Hillary. And Scott Walker, taking time off from starving the Wisconsin university system while telling them they can cover up rape if they want to, says that if he can destroy teachers' unions he can easily defeat ISIS. 
Wet Water: Hedge funds are pretty much a con, always have been. As long as it is only the very rich they are fleecing, more power to 'em.

Misdirection: We hear lots of politicians (always a cautionary sign) claiming that the nation's weak job creation is due to the educational failings of the underclass. Evidence for this view is thin to non-existent. It is just another way of blaming the victim. If there were such a connection, why would the inflation-adjusted earnings of educated Americans have gone nowhere since the late 1990s?  Rising inequality isn’t about who has the knowledge; it’s about who has the power – the bankers and the guys (mostly white males) in the corner offices.

Porn O'Graph: Warm, Warmer.

Friday, February 27, 2015

SAR #15058

At least one side prepares for war well in advance.

Neutered: The FCC has classified broadband internet service a public utility in a move to preserve “net neutrality” and to prevent Balkanization of service by how rich you are. It must have been the right decision; all of the Republican commissioners voted against the new rules, claiming that the government should not get in the way of private profits, no matter how outrageous and unwarranted they are.

Salt Mines: If (if?) the Republicans don't get around to funding Homeland Security by Friday, the impact will be minor; over 80% of the 240,000 employees will be required to keep on working. Sure, they won't be getting paid, that's why Republican congresscritters have sworn to forego their pay in a display of cynicpathy. Not.

Second Helping: The EU, which 'saved' Ireland's banks by making the Irish taxpayer assume their debts, says that Ireland now has too much debt (no snickering) and their banks need even more money. Guess where it's going to come from. Right. And, the boys from Brussels note, there is too much unemployment in Ireland because the Irish peasantry has not responded properly to the massive suffering inflicted on them. In closing, they also note that all of the above applies nearly uniformly, everywhere and the world's only hope is to embrace even more austerity and even more money printing Quantitative Easing by central banks. Everywhere. Any questions?

Inquiring Mind: In what universe should Portugal be able to sell 10-year bonds with a 2% interest rate?

Crash & Burn: As we've all known, and pretended not to, China's GDP numbers (and most of the rest of China's economic statistics) are essentially fiction. Hyperinflation has taken root in Ukraine and the Greek banks are once again swirling around the drain. Yet Janet Yellen clings to her talking points: everything is hunky dory in the US except... “jobless claims surged unexpectedly” last week. And the CPI fell 0.7% - but that's all gas. She said. 
Quit Bugging Me: The CDC says that C. difficile, a bacteria usually found in hospital, can be contracted in your doctor or dentist's office and that about half a million Americans are so infected every year, with 15,000 of them dying. Add that to the 70,000 who die from crap they get infected with in hospitals, and not having health insurance starts to sound like a good thing.

Mushrooms: The secret torture chamber operated by the Chicago police for years is drawing a lot of interest in the media. Expect more stories to surface. Expect them to be ghastly. 
Big Wheel Keep On Turning: Anti-government protesters are back in the streets in Athens, now that their new and improved government has turned out to be as spineless and useless as the previous guys. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the protest was that the riot police simply stood by, even while the protesters smashed up a pastry shop.

Sticks & Stones: NY Governor Andy Cuomo is a little short on subtlety these days; he has ordered the mass deletion of government emails just as a federal investigation of public corruption in Albany is getting underway. Imagine, corruption in Albany...

Fifty Shaded Grey: Lies from the Fox's den of iniquity.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SAR #15057

Why do free markets require so much regulation?
Words Of A Feather: According to the Fed's Yellen, everything is rosy except “the labor force participation rate is lower than most estimates of its trend, and wage growth remains sluggish, suggesting that some cyclical weakness persists.” 
Say / Do: “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal.” US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki, 2/13/15, ignoring 70 years of evidence to the contrary.

Farceing Forward: The current (still current, actually) EU/IMF/ECB vs Greece plan remains hoping that something will happen in the next few months that will allow them to once more kick the can down the road. They should be working on drawing up a plan that would make a Greek default and exit from the eurozone as painless as possible. Instead all concerned will continue to pretend that Greece can pay back the massive debt and rescue the German, French and Italian banks, earning their way out of perpetual servitude. Ain't gonna happen.

All In Favor Say Huh?: Canada's Prime Minister wants fast passage of an anti-terror bill – no discussion, no disclosure of what the bill contains, just a quick 'yes' is all that's required. Or permitted. PM Harper said it was essential to pass the bill quickly in order to ensure that the government gets away with it “the security and safety of Canadians.”

Over There: Between 2009 and 2013, McDonald's ducked paying over €1 billion in European taxes. They're lovin' it; European authorities, not so much.

Friends & Leavers: Former US ally and president of Yemen Ali Saleh made off with at least $32 billion and maybe as much as $60 billion when he fled the country. Newly leaked documents show that the US's new best Egyptian Friends Forever ordered security forces to machine-gun down protesters in order to protect democracy for the generals.

Another Ally: In Recep Erdoğan's Turkey (and make no mistake, it is his) you can go to jail for two years for insulting Recep, you can be arrested for investigating any of his many crimes and misdemeanors, even if it is your job to do so. And don't even think about mentioning the genocide of Turkey's Armenian population a hundred years ago. 
Drumroll: The Pentagon is dispatching “a small number of troops” to Ukraine, supposedly to teach combat medicine. The UK is sending troops to teach Ukrainian forces to do something or other. France said it would not stand idly by and let the Russians attack the Ukrainian port of Mariupol. Cyprus has signed a military alliance with Russia, while a bunch of idiots in Estonia thought it was a good idea to parade newly arrived US military equipment a mere 300 yards from the Russian border. And on a serious note, a dozen A-10 Warthogs – designed to kill Soviet tanks back when there still were Soviets, have returned to Germany on their way to the Ukranian front
One More Shoe: After seven years, Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to finally “settle” investigations into the games it played with MBS back in the day. A year ago they paid $1.25 billion for selling 'faulty' (read fraudulent) MBS to Fanny and Freddie and another $275 million to the SEC for other crooked dealings. No members of Morgan Stanley have to admit any personal wrongdoing and most certainly no one is going to jail. This adds to the nearly $40 billion that has now been extracted from the fine folks on Wall Street for MBS shenanigans. Goldman Sachs is next up.

Enough Said: Michele Bachmann wants Americans to be terrified of mallsRepublicans propose declaring Idaho a ‘Christian state’... Kansas Republicans want to criminalize teaching about sex...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SAR #15056

Flashman: Is the next step for the Keystone XL pipeline an attempt by the Republicans to override Obama's veto, so they can blather, blather, or will they come up with something that has a chance of being relevant?. Note that Obama did not reject the pipeline outright, but gave himself a chance to play wishy-washy for a while before having to commit. A specialty. 
Just Wondering: Why do universities get to investigate (or not) rapes that occur on campus or in frat houses or are committed by college athletes? Are they little nation states? 
Dusky Desert? What if the Saudis are letting (or causing) oil prices to fall in order to undermine U.S. and Canadian oil production (fracking and tar sands) because Saudi oil field decline has peaked and will decline sharply within a decade and thus they need to get rid of the competition and drive the price way above $100 for as long as they can pump from their depleting reserves.

Phraseology: The US is investigating the possible rigging of precious-metal prices by the big banks. Possible.

Footnoted: Amid the roar of Wall Street singing 'Recovery and Growth Forever', a small voice, Robert Shiller's, notes that “The housing recovery is faltering. While prices and sales of existing homes are close to normal, construction and new home sales remain weak. Before the current business cycle, any time housing starts were at their current level of about one million at annual rates, the economy was in a recession.”

Protecting And Serving: After being adjudged mentally incompetent by a Florida court, the mentally ill woman was dragged through the courthouse by her schackled-together feet. 
Training Day: For years, Chicago cops have been operating a CIA-type 'black site' where prisoners were... interviewed.

Clown Car: Ron Paul accused the Congressional Black Caucus of opposing war – against ISIS in this instance – because its members want to use the money for food stamps. Nevada Republican state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore claims that cancer is a fungus you can flush out with salt water. Too bad you can't get rid of Republicans as easily. Christy Perry (Religiously Impaired, ID) says the government has no right to prevent parents from sending their kids to be with Jesus if they want to.

Spot Quiz: Remember those large, mysterious craters discovered in Siberia a while back, the ones that may have been caused by a huge release of methane gas? Well, several more – at least one of very recent origin – have been found. It would be a Good Idea to determine just what's going on.

Lawyer up! Australian scientists have concluded that at least two thirds of smokers die from smoking.

Pig In A Poke: The United States' top trade official, testifying with a hood over his head and using voice-disguising technology, urged Congress to give him and Obama the authority to cram new trade deals through Congress without letting them read the documents, much less change a single word. After being passed, senior officials will be permitted to read redacted a copy of the agreement. 
Below Zero: JPMorgan will begin charging its large institutional customers to hold their money – and we're talking about the legal stuff, not the drug money and all that. You'd think they were Swiss bankers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SAR #15055

Our most valuable company is Apple – a toy designer.

Round and Round: The US gives Israel over $125 billion a year to salve our conscience for letting Hitler kill 6 million Jews. Israel is giving $2.82 billion of it to Lockheed Martin for 14 F-35 stealth fighters. In essence we're buying them and giving them to Israel. They will be delivered as soon as Lockheed figures out how to make the damned things guns work. As far as exports go, it's a self-hoisting petard.

Training Day: The government expects at least 10 crude oil train derailments a year. Hundreds will be killed, billions in damages inflicted, oil profits will grow. 
Asked And Answered: Bloomberg asks “why is the world so bad at tracking dirty money?” Because the people who run the world and their bankers (as though the two are different) don't want it tracked. Next?

Gambling At Ricks: Secret intelligence cables show that Netanyahu knowingly lied when he claimed that Iran was producing nuclear weapons in 2012. Lots of other goodies, too. 
Spoiler Alert: The USGS acknowledges that "Deep injection of wastewater is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in detected earthquakes... in the central U.S. " Note that they carefully did not say “...of wastewater from fracking... was the culprit. But it is, even if they described it as “new technologies that enable the extraction of oil and gas from previously unproductive reservoirs."

Eurocurse: Yes, Germany has brought great poverty to Greece, but things at home are not all that great either; poverty in Germany is as high today as any time since reunification in 1990. But the German poor know their place and don't complain like those Greek crybabies.

Picture Op: A man standing on the tracks in Kalama, WA, taking a selfie, was run over and killed by an Amtrak train. 
First Half: A NY court has found the PLO and Palestinian Authority liable for the cost of the rockets, missiles and bullets Israel used to level Gaza $218 million in payments to victims of attacks in Israel. 
Loose Lips: The head of the NSA has declined to comment specifically on the recent hard-drive and SIM card hanky panky, but claimed the programs were awful lawful.

In Flagrante: Two former British foreign ministers maintain that recordings of them offering their “services” to foreigners did not prove they had actually received cash for their efforts and thus no wrongdoing had been proven. Soliciting a bribe is fine, being successful at it is the crime.

As We Knew All Along: A new report concludes that like 'clean coal', 'carbon sequestration – hiding CO2 deep in holes in the earth for ever and ever - doesn't work and isn't going to.

Yes, But... David Sirota notes that “: just taxing the 1% as much as we tax the poor would yield billions for cash-strapped states.” Which is another reason for not doing it.

You Don't Always Get What You Want: Obama says he knows that everyone wants secure mobile communications and is sorry he doesn't have that sort of influence over the NSA.

Knock Knock: Three students walk in a bar, each claiming that their 1550 SAT score makes them the best student. Which one actually got the highest score? Right, the Asian, who beat the white kid by 50 points and the black one by 280 points.

Exactly: The secret TTP trade deal is likely to add millions to the amount taxpayers will have to fork over for medicines. No, TPP does not stand for Terrifically Profitable Pharmaceuticals, but it should.

Monday, February 23, 2015

SAR #15054

Snort Form: Greece's bailout will be extended four months, less than the six Greece had initially requested. The catch: Greece has to submit a list of reforms by Monday, which must please the EC, EMU and IMF. Greece commits to "refrain from any rollback of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery, or financial stability, as assessed by [bailout monitors]." That's a huge betrayal of the voters by the new Greek government. In general the postponement is a win for the EU/Germany, but only a temporary patch. Changes are needed, because the European demand that Greece run a budget surplus for the next decade is simply impossible, and thus not going to happen. 
Fighting Dirty: Beheadings, burnings, mass executions are okay, but ISIS better not mess with our malls. 
Spreading Democracy: The Justice (sic) Department is going to change the rules and let US Judges issue search warrants covering the entire world. Like the President's use of Special Operations to kill people anywhere, this will not require Congressional approval because they don't have the power to do so. You can't violate the constitution where the constitution doesn't apply.

Our Gang: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants to legalize killing Palestinians for not loving Israel.

Academic Feedom: Wel-Hock Soon,of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Koch Brothers go-to climate change denial “expert” has raked in more than $1.2 million for his efforts to cook the rest of us.

Duh: Credit monitors have noticed that Americans are having more trouble paying off their student debt than their mortages because they can't get a mortgage if they can't get a job that pays enough to pay the one, much less the other.

Balance of Payments: America’s balance-of-trade salvation depends on our ability to sell a lot of killer drones to people overseas who promise not to use them on Mall of the Americas.

Kabuki Theater: An attempt by members of Turkey's parliament to investigate President Erdogan's monetary and military support of ISIS has been quashed by... President Erdogan.

Reader's Digest Version: Predicted climate change effects offer NYC little hope.

Clown Car: Rudi Giuliani has doubled down, said he stands by his observation that President Obama was not “brought up to love this country.” Scott Walker, fresh from redesigning the Wisconsin state university system so it would “meet the state's workforce need” with a lot less money, dodged the question by saying he ‘doesn’t know’ whether Obama is a Christian. Walker is also not sure if he believes in evolution. Rep Darrell Issa (Second String-CA): ‘We should thank’ Giuliani for making us safer...” Bill Bomb-Iraq Kristol claims that ‘Iraq was safe and peaceful’ when Bush left office. Bobby Jindal took time of from cutting state support to public universities by $300 million so he could give Exxon/Mobil a $263 million tax break and called Giuliani to congratulate him on being a total asshole. 
Do It Yourself: You can easily tell in the NSA has inserted spyware on your hard drive. Check to see if you have a hard drive. There you go.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

SAR #15052

What happens when another 30 million jobs get free-traded to Asia?

Variety Act: Germany says the adults have carried the day. Greece, after saying “the deal is dead and buried” has agreed to something or other – quite what isn't exactly clear – that will postpone Armageddon for four months. Certainly Varoufakis will have a far more difficult time than Schauble in selling the reported agreement, mainly because Germany still seems to be calling the shots, especially in making the new Greek government forget about moderating any of the austerity measures that have essentially ruined the country and the society to the benefit of Northern European banks. Everyone agreed to kick the can four months down the calendar, which is pretty much the MO for financial efforts in Europe. Hard to envision the Greek populace accepting these terms, and if the current leadership can't deliver on their promises, Golden Dawn will be the big winners, not Berlin.

Pulling A Fast One: If it seems like there are more ads on TV, it's because there are more ads on TV. Cable operators are ever so slighly speeding up programs and cutting down the credits, giving themselves an extra three or four minutes an hour to sell to people who want to sell things to you. For them, less is more.

House of Cards: Standard & Poor’s says that Greece leaving the euro would only be a minor inconvenience for the rest of the EU. This is the same group that thought all those mortgage derivatives were good investments. 
Another Veil: As the daily surveillance state strip-tease continues, today we learn that Lenovo (world's larges maker of computers and essential MS partner) has been installing software on all of its computers that tracks everything you do so that ads more tailored to you pop up everywhere you go. Oh, and they can sell the info, too. 
Wow, Really? “Presidential libraries are a costly scam”.

Here Or There: Some economists have just noticed that “US employment comoves negatively” with the accumulation of piles of cash by US corporations. Then they try to figure out what this means. Here, lemme help: Corporations see no demand for more or new products because the US consumer is flat broke and way too far in debt, so they see no point in hiring anyone and thus keep putting all that money under the mattress. And I don't think “comoves” is a real word, either.

Beauty Pageant: According to Michele Fiore, Republican assemblywoman from Las Vegas, getting raped only happens to “young, hot little girls” and it they were given guns, rapist would all be killed. Who gets to hand out the guns wasn't immediately clear.

Objective: "The essential … goal of the euro system [was] to create a situation where markets can 'pressurize governments into sound economic policies'... this requires limits on national sovereignty, which will be resisted by democratic governments; and... can only be overcome through the threat of a crisis..." As in Greece, and Ireland before that. Or to quote Beppe Grillo, “The Eurozone chess game enters its final stage: Germany wins in three moves”. Or four months. 
Lies, Damned Lies & Politics: In Kansas, where truth and facts are optional in both education and government, Secretary of State Kris Kobach was going around beating the drums to frighten the citizenry over voter fraud. He claims to have referred several cases to the US Attorney's office to no avail. The US Attorney, Barry Grissom, replied: “So we can avoid misstatements of facts for the future, for the record, we have received no voter fraud cases from [Kobach's] office in over four and a half years. And, I can assure you, I do know what I’m talking about." But facts don't matter much in Kansas any more, haven't in quite some time.

Porn O'Graph: The Subprime Also Rises

Friday, February 20, 2015

SAR #15051

America has bet its future on making bricks without straw.

Run, Don't Walk: What if Greece isn't being forced out of the Eurozone? What if it's playing Br'er Rabbit and really, really wants to be the first to leave the doomed ship? It is Germany, not Greece that controls the fate of the eurozone and quite possibly the fate of the European experiment. The more Germany tries to dictate policy to everyone else, the more the odds of a complete breakup rise. Few in Europe have much enthusiasm for being bossed around by Berlin. The IMF, which was an equal co-conspirator with Berlin in reducing Greece to ruin, has washed its hands of the entire mess, leaving it up to the US to come to the rescue. That'll play well at the far end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dietary Guidelines: Eating dirt is no longer required; panel finds actual foods - like eggs, liver, coffee and filet mignon – that once were banned are actually good for you. Okay, not the steak. And French fries are still out. 
This Just In: Guns kill. Just having them. Really.

Yet Another Shoe: On the heels of yesterdays news that the NSA had inserted spyware in nearly every hard-drive built in the last 10 years comes word that they and Great Britain's GCHQ has stolen the codes on pretty much all of the SIM cards in the world – those used by ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and Sprint in the US and similar coverage abroad. It lets them “secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.” The list never ends; I don't even trust my toaster anymore.

Accept No Imitators: Pinterest has shut down Hillary Clinton's account because it was being run by Rand Paul – nice of him to try to save Hil the trouble. She's got enough problems with the ethical questions surrounding foreign donations.

Tourist Season: Yellowstone's grizzlies are emerging from hibernation way early, sensing spring is doing the same.

Track Trend: Caterpillar keeps setting records. Bad ones. It's now 26 consecutive months of declining retail sales for the world's one-time construction equipment giant. January was the worst month for its sales since the Lehman crash. Global sales were down 14% y/y (when sales were then down 8% over the previous year).

Contest: Your local mall is looking for ideas for what to do with the anchor space that Sears will be vacating. 
Half A Loaf: Walmart ($16 billion profits last year) is increasing its minimum wage to $9 this spring and $10 next year, in line with the increase in minimum wages in several states. The move will cover the 500,000 part-time and full-time workers who now make less than that. The move will bring full time employees, if any can be found, to $20,000 a year, hardly a living wage. Despite all the media attention, the Bentonvill Beast is a latecomer, pretending to care about their employees while papering over the bad press they've gotten for telling their workers to go on welfare or to donate food to their co-workers for Christmas. A hike to $15 an hour and full healthcare benefits for all would be something to praise, but it might cut into those profits that Sam's struggling kids need. 
Asked & Obvious: Are the world's biggest banks moving money for terrorists? Is there profit in doing so? Well, then of course; no worse than drug lords and dictators are they?

More and Harder: The election will, once again, turn out to be at least fifty shades of grey. Guess who gets tied up and whipped.

Literary Biology: Ursula LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness got it right.

One If By Land: Paul Ryan is looking forward to giving international corporations the right to reverse annoying rules and regulations that he can't manage to kill thorough the electoral process. That's why he's pushing the Trade Promotion Authority legislation that would limit Congress' role in binding America to a treaty negotiated in secret by unelected corporate lackeys to a simple yea/nay vote. No discussion. No bother to read the contract. Just rubber stamp. It's all about freedom...

Little Read Book: Mistakes were made, very profitable mistakes.” Little brother, on Iraq. 
Porn O'Graph: It was different this time; still is.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

SAR #15050

Capital is another word for swag.

Red Rover, Red Rover: The US has condemned Egypt for using the jets we gave them to bomb ISIS in Libya without asking permission because “these sorts of things should be resolved politically and without outside interference.” That's why Egypt has asked the UN to send an international force to Libya.

Calling Home: The US is reportedly going to give 'friendly' Syrian rebels the ability to call in airstrikes. Relax, it won't be any worse than the ones we target ourselves.

Bunch'a Numbers: US factory production rose less than 0.2% in January as the nearly undetectable recovery creeps along. Residential construction fell 2% during the month, too. Mortgage applications decreased 13.2% last week, with refinancing down 16% and purchase applications down 7%. (Note: Americans with student loans are less likely to take out mortgages than young college graduates once did.) The producer price index (PPI) fell 0.8%. Beef prices were up 24%. None the less, “persistent employment gains and cheaper energy costs will help underpin domestic demand and keep manufacturing from faltering.” 
As Designed: All sorts of financial and economic dufusses have lately bemoaned the, to them, bewilderingly absent growth in US hourly wages, citing the increase in profits, dividends and stock prices as indicators of growth. The explanation is simple – it's floating off the California coast on those container ships. 
Snakes On A Plane, Oil On A Train: Don't think of them as accidents, derailments, or fiery infernos polluting rivers, burning towns and killing people. Nope, they are, officially, “unintentional releases” from railroad pipelines. There were more than 140 of them last year as 60 to 70% of North Dakota's shale oil is shipped to refineries by train. That's up from an average 25 a year only 3 years ago. Note that the tank cars in the WV crash were the new and improved safer design.

Personal Attention: Marco Rubio on the art of politics: "I can buy information on any single individual in this classroom. I can overlay it with your voter information and make a profile — but I’m not done. I can get you directly. . . . I’m going to send an ad to [your] computer or, increasingly, directly to [your] television set." 
Speak Up: For at least the five last years, British intelligence agencies have been eavesdropping on lawyer/client conversations. 
Peaceful Coexistence: If you are surprised that India is spending $17 billion on building 7 stealth frigates and 6 nuclear-powered subs, you haven't been following how their economy is growing while ours is shrinking.

Takes One To Know One: Google says increasing the FBI’s warrantless digital search and seizure authority would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”.

Climate Change: If the earth's getting warmer, what's with the cold and the snow? Well, most of the heat has gone into the seas, more water evaporates from the warmer seas, thus more snow (also larger rain storms in the summer) when the wet air meets the cold air from the Arctic that slips further south these days because the temperature difference between the high and mid latitudes has decreased, and thus the barrier keeping the cold where it belongs has weakened. That's the short version.

On The Up And Up: After a number of deaths, the deadliest route up Mt. Everest has been closed due to deterioration caused by global warming.

Vocabulary: The term 'human capital' confuses wage workers with capitalists. To pretend that the source of one's income is immaterial is mistaken – and often done for ideological reasons. The term 'human capital' should be reserved for economic systems which practice some form of slavery. Oh, it is.

. . . and Only Half of What You See: This year, 20% of the images submitted to the World Press photo competition were rejected for “significant addition or subtraction to the image content.”