Monday, April 27, 2015

SAR #15117

We fear the arrival of immigrants that we have drawn here with the wealth we stole from them.” Patrick Boyle

We Get What They Pay For: Years of starving various government agencies' ability to inspect, regulate, and meaningfully enforce health and safety standards has led to things like the current Blue Bell listeria outbreak. Except it is 'current' only in the sense that it had been going on for five years and was only shut down by the company only for fear of lawsuits, not by any government food safety process. 
What He Said: “We are turning into an economy that 'needs' bubbles to achieve anything like full employment.” 
Fortress Europe: The head of Europe's border patrol agency says that saving migrants' lives is not to be a priority mission for Mediterranean patrols, say it “cannot be a search-and-rescue operation.” Presumably bodies floating in major shipping lanes will be disposed of. 
Passive Aggressive: Eight suburban Kansas City highschool boys have been suspended for receiving nude pictures of some of their female classmates. For receiving? 
Report Card: A thorough search by the FBI of the data provided by the NSA's warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program during its first five years failed to identify a single instance in which the information was useful to any investigation. The report also noted that review of John Yoo's legal brief justifying the program was, to put it mildly, “flawed.”

Busman's Holiday: A group of vacationing Swedish police officers broke up a vicious assault that took place on a NYC subway. Just part of the New York experience.

American Sniper II: They shot the Buffalo herd; all fifteen of them. The herd "escaped" from a farm in Rensselaer county, swam across the Hudson, made it across the New York State thruway, wandered through some neighborhoods and were eventually trapped in a small gully. A group of snipers were brought in and shot them all. The snipers lined up, and the bang bang bang of the guns and the whump, whump of heavy bodies falling and hooves trying to escape – was broadcast live.

In God We Trust: The administration insists the President must have the legal authority to have – and use – a “cellphone kill switch” to keep the citizenry from using their smartphones to coordinate protests.

On The Home Front: There is a scary new assault on personal freedom afoot of late, centered on abolishing paper money. Joining various economists and opinion makers, Chase has begun field testing the cashless banking society in Cleveland. There it will no longer accept cash in payment for credit card debts, mortgages and auto loans, and will not permit customers to store cash in safe deposit boxes. With little or no cash, the banks and the government (where they are meaningfully different) will know of and control your everytransaction. Sure, you have nothing to hide unless your are a criminal, right? Just like the rest of the surveillance, it isn't an inconvenience if you're not up to no good, right? Funny, my paper script still says “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” And it doesn't even have a footnote exempting Chase, yet.

The Deep: Below Yellowstone is a huge magma chamber, and beneath that is another – newly discovered – chamber 4.5 times larger. There's enough magma down there to fill the Grand Canyon 14 times over, when it erupts. But it only does the gigantic nuclear-winter-for-a-decade type eruption every 700,000 years. The last major eruption was 640,000 years ago and there is no sign that it is going to erupt anytime soon. Of course there's no sign it's not going to, either.

Takes One To Know One: Senator McCain is urging that US drones be transferred from CIA to Pentagon control, arguing that the military is far more experienced at killing non-combatants.

Location, Location, Relocation: Beginning this fall, the Carroll County, GA, school system will subject most of the student body of its five high schools to random drug testing. No probable cause needed. Time to put the house up for sale.


Anonymous said...

Carroll County will ban students who are not taking at least OTC or prescription drugs from at least two sponsoring corporations.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

That, anony937, is a thing of beauty.

kwark said...

re "On the Home Front": The primary excuse for banning cash seems to be "Only criminals use cash." Many small mom and pop stores prefer cash because it saves them money. Indeed, for almost all small, daily transaction like buying a cup of coffee or a meal, gassing-up the car, or the odd item at the hardware store I pay cash. Partly I use cash when I shop to keep to a budget! So despite all the blather from the talking heads and suit dweebs NO, average law abiding folks use cash. There's lots of posturing and chest beating but I've yet to see any facts to support the "Only criminals use cash" argument. I'd like to see how the talking heads implicate cash in the pandemic of identity theft and all the other forms of cyber crime. Seems to me criminals prefer cashless transactions too. But I repeat myself.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

kwark - You won't be surprised to learn that my wife's Starbucks habit dropped by nearly 60% once I started giving her a "monthly allowance" for latte in ones and fives.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The main motive for credit cards (and affinity debit cards like the Starbucks Gold card) is to make the process of separating you from your money as unnoticeable as possible.

I remember being young and newly married and having a series of envelopes with actual cash in them earmarked for specific things - and when the envelope was empty, that was it for that category until the next payday.

But then I'm old.