Monday, April 13, 2015

SAR #15103

We speak of truth as though it were real and reality as though it were true.

Missing Inaction: While the Russian navy evacuated over 300 refugees from Yemen, including 18 Americans, two US aircraft carriers, an attack helicopter ship plus several destroyers and frigates stood by off shore and rescued exactly none of the 400 Americans who want out.

Short and Sour: We cannot afford the TPP
Trust, But Verify: JPMorgan Chase has racked up more than $36-billion in legal bills for lying, cheating and outright theft since helping bring down the economy and ruin millions of American families' finances, yet not a single executive has spent a day in jail or had to give up a penny of his ill-gotten bonuses. Why not?

Stopped Clock: Even New Mexico does something right once in a while: their Governor has signed a bill banning civil asset forteiture. Just 49 states and the Feds to go.

Holo About That: After the Spanish government made it a crime to assemble and protest the ongoing austerity programs outside government buildings, the protesters found a way to mount huge protests without running afoul of the riot police. They project three-dimensional holograms of protesters. Hard to arrest projected images. Neat.

Principle Principals: Republican conservatives want to impose a 21% pay cut in payments to Medicare doctors if the rest of us don't go along with $150 to $200 billion in cuts to social programs for the poor and middle class. Conservatives claim the US is too poor to pay doctors for treating the sick who have been ground into the dirt by the 1%, and this is another way to deprive the neediest of medical care.

'Nough Said: “The 1% are parasites.” And that ain't trickle-down, buster, y'er pissing on my leg.

Involuntary Servitude: The government insisted that Sprint install hardware connections and develop appropriate software to let the government wiretap Sprint customers at will. When Sprint sent the Feds a bill for the costs involved along with their billing for intercept services, the Feds not only didn't pay, they hit the company with a $15.5 million fine for sending the bill. Now the NSA wants rules put in place to require all electronic communications and interent providers to install (and bear the cost of installing) back-doors to all encrypted data.

Development Developments: A new bill will remove what few legal protections native Sonoran desert plants have and would let speculators bulldoze many of the remaining Saguaro cacti to make way for cheap housing, grab and runs, and fast food emporia. Progress, brought to you by AZ Republicans.

To Do List: First, squirrel away six month's living expenses – say $10,000 minimum. Never touch it, that's for an actual emergency. Set aside 20% of your after-tax income for your IRA every payday without fail. Pay back your student loan. Save up $30 or $40,000 as a down payment on your first (and probably last) house. Pay $600 a month for decent health insurance so those other funds don't get tapped (they will, anyway). Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and get some exercise.

Family Matters: EU officials say that they are not interested in anything other than getting their money back from Greece, on time and with interest. The do not understand Greek reticence when it comes to cutting retired civil servants' pensions and say that not being able to pay government salaries is “a domestic political issue” for Athens. All heart, these guys.

First Do No Harm: The US spent hundreds of millions of dollars deploying 3,000 troops to Liberia to build 11 centers to treat Ebola patients. So far only 28 patients have been treated. But the self-congratulatory PR was cheap at half the price.

1 comment:

Thom Foolery said...

"Why not?"

Because of that $36 billion in legal bills...