Monday, November 30, 2015

SAR #15334

Don't worry about electronic voting machines; your vote will be stolen long before election day.
Teaching Point: The man who exposed HSBC's laundering money for arms dealers and helping the very rich duck taxes has been rewardedwith 5 years in jail. HSBC is sorry for any inconvenience this sorry affair caused the various dictators, drug lords and idle rich whose privacy was violated. HSBC is shutting down its operations in India because of Falciani's leaks.
Das Capitol: Mirror, mirror on the wall, we's the most corrupt of all! Maybe ever. And it is not getting better; might get much worse. An epic rant.
Rebels With A Cause: Portugal’s anti-austerity Left has finally wrested power from the EU/ECB/IMF loving Right two months after winning elections that the President tried to negate administratively. An acrimonious discussion with Brussels on budgetary goals will now unfold, as the government tries to provide for the people while Brussels backs the banks, with the President still muttering in the background that he will dissolve the government if it does what it was elected to do.
Terror Is As Terror Does: Climate activists in Paris have been arrested and placed under house arrest under terms of the newly passed anti-terrorism laws. Protesting is no longer allowed, for fear of... protests.
A Day In The Life: Kleptocrats from the EU/ECB and Germany, Inc. have stolen four banks worth about $350 billion for just over $6 billion, costing the Greek public about $44 billion in the process. It was all done with smoke and mirrors by letting the new owners name their price.
Signs Of The Times: Every day on your way to work you can see the dismal future of the US oil industry reflected in the $1.74 a gallon signs at the gas stations. It is obvious that massive defaults and bankruptcies are on the way if prices do not rise soon, and that prices are not going to rise soon. The questions you should mull over as you drive on down the street are these: How soon, and how far will it spread into the rest of the economy?
Noted: Generic versions of the hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni, which cost about $90,000 in the US, are available in India for about $1,000. Got any vacation time saved up?
Profits Before People: The UK, which has become seriously unhinged of late, has passed the Deregulation Act, which makes all laws and regulations that might tend to limit corporate profits null and void. Wait to the Republicans get back to Washington!
Flattery: Saudi Arabia, which is planning on executing more than 50 people in a single day and will execute a famous poet for failing to comply with the wishes of the Wahabi terrorists who pass as religious leaders in the country, says it will sue any and all who compare their justice system to that of ISIS. And if that doesn't work they will execute you, kill your children and send your wives to marry ISIS fighters.
If / Then: If the UK can be prosecuted for war crimes over the missiles it sold to Saudi Arabia that were used to kill civilians in Yemen, then just imagine the number of charges the US will have to face...

Monday, November 23, 2015

SAR #15328

We're taking a few days off to brine a bird, visit family and pretend everything is normal. We expect to be back on Monday next.
But all in all, isn't there something wrong with a country that can survive on only one day a year of giving thanks and admitting advantage?

SAR #15327

Humans are really really smart, but very rarely do we just sit down and think about how the world might work and actually get it right. Noah Smith
Sturmabteilung: While The Donald repeatedly yelled "Get the hell out of here!" a group of his supporters threw a Black Live Matter protester to the ground and kicked him. Is there an echo in here? In Irving, TX armed "militiamen" marched in protest outside the local Islamic Center. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission sent letters to a number of prominent non-profit organizations telling them that if they didn't stop providing help to Syrian refugees as the Governor had decreed, they wold be"endangering the whole program that you have."
I Can't Hear You.... Once again research has shown that welfare programs do not make people lazy but rather help people who are in need. Sort of a neighborly thing to do for those who've been left out.
Take A Note: The massive electronic surveillance by NSA, GCHQ and the European Electronic snoops didn't stop the Paris attacks, even though most of the terrorists involved were well known to police and intelligence agencies. So of course we need more snooping, less privacy, because...
Fear Itself: 40% of 18 to 34 year-old Americans favor restrictions on speech that is, or might be, offensive to others. They also believe in "free speech". Southwest Airlines threw some Arabic speaking passengers off a flight because "a passenger" claimed he was scared to fly with them. Why they didn't throw him off and let the Arabic speaking Americans go on their way is a good question.
Dead & Buried: The church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) claim that baptism for the dead is a matter of free will and the dead can reject such baptism. How? They're as dead as Monty Python's parrot.
A Little Bit Of Sugar: Novartis Pharmaceuticals is paying $390 million "to settle charges" that it bribed pharmacies to push their customers to refill Novartis scripts. No one, of course, goes to jail.
Another Day: Turns out that the tragedies in Paris are being used to justify all sorts of police state encroachments, even though the perpetrators were not Syrian, were not refugees and did not use clever encryption in their communications. So naturally we need less secure encryption and to stop all Syrians from fleeing death and worse at the hands of Assad, ISIS, the US and Russian air forces and whatever Turkey gets up to.
Quoted: "How ironic is it that the path forward is clear? We need to establish the rule of law, founded upon equality (hasn't been done yet.) with brotherhood/sisterhood, based on equality and participation, for all. Something that won't happen as long as we allow even one to 'speak for God'." George Anderson (a SAR commenter).
Porn O'Graph: What's down, who's up?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SAR #15325

The wheel keeps on turning.
After Saudi-financed Saudi terrorists attacked the US on 9/11, the US immediately attacked Afghanistan, and when the mountains turned out to be useless targets for impressing the folks back home, the US visited its frustration on Iraq. In much the same manner, France, being attacked by European terrorists with European passports, has turned to bombing Syria.
Closer to home, in that the eight terror suspects named so far are not refugees and had EU passports from countries whose citizens do not need visas to enter the US, American politicians have decided that US resettlement procedures for refugees are far too lax.
Refugees go through a rigorous investigation process that takes at least 18 months. Since 2011 the US has admitted about 2,500 refugees, more than half women and children. The Republicans in the House passed a meaningless bill telling Obama to institute unspecified but more strict screening measures. It is not needed and will not become law. However, it may give the guys on the far right something to shut down the government over.
But fear sells, so our politicians have been stoking the fire:
Jeb Bush (R, Wannabe) insists we should only be taking Syrian refugees who “prove they are Christian.”
Trump (R, Wannabe) “absolutely no choice” but to close mosques where “bad things are happening.” Wants to compile a massive database of all Muslims and to make them carry security ID and to wear a Star of David green crescent on their clothing.
Marco Rubio (Sen, R-Fla., Wannabe) said that "we won't be able to take more refugees" in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, without feeling it necessary to explain why.
John Kaish (R, Gov OH, Wannabe) wants a new federal agency tasked with enforcing “core Judeo-Christian, Western values”.
Chris Christie (R, Gov. NJ. Wannabe) cannot believe the Paris attackers were not Syrian refugees, says that the United States should not admit any refugees from the Syrian civil war — not even "orphans under age 5."
Ted Cruz (R Sen, TX, Wannabe) says the attacks in Paris prove that Obama “does not wish to defend” the United States.
Mike Huckabee (R, Wannabe) claims that the terror attacks prove that Obama will make us all memorize the Koran.
Ben Carson (R, Wannabe) says that Syrian refugees are like “a rabid dog running around your neighborhood”.
Rick Snyder (R, Gov MI ) wants to ban refugees because... well, just because the current 18 to 24 month vetting period is too lax. Note that governors cannot tell the federal government what to do, not even about refugee resettlement.
Mike Pence (R, Gov. IN) could not articulate the reason(s) he rejected a Syrian refugee family that was quickly accepted by Connecticut.
Brian Babin (R-TX) sponsored a bill to defund the US resettlement program until Obama agrees to limit refuges to practicing Christians because Mary and Joseph didn't have suicide vests.
Glen Casada (TN GOP House Leader) wants the National Guard (or a group of concerned citizens, engaging in “civil disobedience”) to round up Syrian refugees and march them down a Trail of Tears to the ICE offices in New Orleans. Or put them in concentration camps.
Thus the republicans who have declared for this ride in the clown car are certifiably not competent to be The Occupant and hose making wanna-run noises for next time all need putting down, too.
Over on the Dem side:
Hillary Clinton (D, Wannabe) would give US troops “greater flexibility” to embed with Kurds and moderate Sunnis in Syria, establish no-fly zones in Syria, had hire more Arabic speakers. She seems intent on creating more refugees.
Bernie Sanders doesn't seem to have thought a handful of Syrian refugees, fully vetted and hand picked for settlement were going to burn down great public buildings right away. He has some idea about social equity, yada, yada... which doesn't sell aircraft nor aircraft carriers and is thus a non starter
Sisyphus: Obama's biggest terrorism struggle will be how, in the face of the above idiocy, to formulate a reasonable and effective strategy to deal with an eventual terrorist attack on the US that will not make fit the terrorists playbook and generate more recruits to carry out more terrorist attacks. If he is so inclined, and he may be.

Friday, November 20, 2015

SAR #15324

For some reason no one talks about Libya anymore.” Altrios
One More Time: The eight terrorists identified so far in the Paris attacks all have EU passports. They were not refugees. Could someone please get a memo to the GOP clown car?
Sound Bite: “And once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations as well as the schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path to radicalization.... Saudi financing is still a major source of revenue for terrorist groups inside Syria, inside Iraq, elsewhere.” Hillary Clinton So is indirectly funding extremists acceptable?
Possibly: The US has so many Middle Eastern enemies that the Pentagon may have to bomb Israel just to cover all the bases.
Drumroll Please: Republicans have pushed a bill through the House which requires “strict screening” for Syrian refugees, without specifying what that might mean on top of the 18 month-long process currently in place. Doesn't matter, Obama will veto it if it limps past the Senate. Then the GOPers will attach it to a spending bill and try to bring down the government. And fail. It's all theater.
In The Books: Global temperature rise in 2015 guarantees that 2015 will become the warmest year in recorded history. Until next year.
Self-Imposed Plague: Scientists are very concerned about the possibility of a world ravaged by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, after finding bacteria in humans and livestock in China that are resistant to colistin – the antibiotic of last resort. Bacteria becoming completely resistant to available treatments could plunge medicine back into the dark ages.
Calling Dr. Pauling: Researchers report that high doses of vitamin C kills cancer cells in mice.
Fact-Free Education: The Texas Board of Education says it does not want teachers fact-checking the textbooks creationist religious idiots have forced on the state.
Note: SAR is trying to steer clear of all of the claptrap coming from the Right concerning Syrian refugees. It is simply them feeding the crazies in their corner and – other than proving their complete incompetence to govern – means nothing. I might post a one-pager this weekend just running down the jokes...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SAR #15323

Moral Danger: When ISIS finally gets around to attacking Philadelphia, Houston, or – Heaven forbid – Orlando, what should the US do? Bombing sand hasn't worked. Crippling privacy and destroying the Constitution hasn't worked. Listening to all our phone calls and reading our emails hasn't worked. So (a) what should we do. And (b) what will we do? A: I've no idea. B: Kill people, mostly innocent, and expand the police state.
True, Unfortunately: Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson – the guy who made up the $700 billion TARP giveaway – says “We need incentives to save the climate.”
Party Line: State investigators looking into a Minneapolis police shooting have several “partial videos” of the incident, but will not release them until police and city officials get a story cooked up “at this time.” They should have checked with the Tuscaloosa PD, which released body cam video off arrests at UA, with the footage actually showing the arrests redacted. The Pennsylvania House passed a bill that prohibits officials from identifying cops being investigated for shooting or beating civilians. The bill also encourages cops to wear face masks while on duty.
Safe At Home: Barclays has paid $150 million to make NY's investigation into their manipulation of currency markets go away. No one goes to jail.
Protecting And Self-Serving: In NC a 1st grader is being charged with the attempted assault of his teacher. Customs agents at LAX confiscated hundreds of tamales and secured them in the break room.
Memo To Self:Blow jobs are expected to overtake smoking’ as the main cause of mouth cancer.”
Better Late Than... Federal prosecutors have finally gotten around to pursuing criminal cases against executives from RBS and JPMorgan Chase over fraudulent mortgage securities they palmed off on the unsuspecting eight years ago. With luck the statue of limitations will expire before any charges are actually brought.
Asked & Answered: Are successful CEOs just lucky? Pretty much.
Term Papered: As part of a settlement for various frauds and other violations, Education Management Corp, the nation's second largest for-profit education profiteers, will forgive over 80,000 student loans. No one, of course, goes to jail.
Takes One To Know One: At least 73 TSA employees are on the TSA's Terrorist Watch List.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SAR #15322

Inquiring Mind: If, under Roe Vs. Wade, abortion is a constitutional right, why can't HEW establish the definitive, universal rules concerning the facilities and providers and do away with all this subterfuge by Republican states to deny women their constitutional rights?
Let Them Eat Cake: A Hong Kong billionaire spent $48.5 million on a diamond for his seven year old daughter.
New Beginnings: Everyone should stop listening to Saudi Arabia and take a careful look at its role in the political/religious disaster that is the Middle East.
Game, Set, Match: “ ...humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. So let us work for peace ... and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments." Dalai Lama.
Mission Accomplished: US corporations have come full circle. First they exported US jobs to overseas locations where workers would accept smaller wages and worse working conditions. Now the same companies are bringing jobs back to rural America, where workers will accept even less in the way of wages and conditions while the companies get tax breaks and other taxpayer funding to come exploit them.
New And Improved: Much of new debt taken on by corporations is being “invested” in stock buybacks instead of building new equity in the business. It's a case of owning more or owing more.
No Comment: “Rising prosperity for the few means undue hardship for the many. That is the economy’s underlying problem and it won’t be solved until policymakers face up to it” Teresa Tritch, Editorial Page Editor, NYTimes.
The Good Doctor: Ben Carson became famous (or made himself famous... you pick) for separating the Binder twins; one of whom is dead, the other permanently brain damaged.
Diversion: Saudi Arabia has given the UN $110 million towards establishing an International Anti-Terrorism Center. It isn't clear how this pittance compares to Saudi Arabia's funding of al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Previews: The events in Paris are exactly the type of disaster that the power structure seizes on to gather even more power and resources under its control. Expect expansion of state surveillance, added military budgeting, increased demagoguery and less democracy.
Ooops: In London, charges against a Swedish man accused of supporting terrorism in Syria were dismissed when the Court learned that MI6 had been arming the same group of militants.
Correction: The FBI maintains that “The allegation that we paid CMU £660K to hack into Tor is inaccurate.” Quite so, they were paid in dollars. A million of 'em.
Porn O'Graph: Learning curve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

SAR #15321

Dogs bark, that's what they do.
Noted:A 242-ship Navy backed by an Air Force flying $2 billion a copy aircraft will not stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant.”
Quietly: Imports at the three busiest US seaports fell in both September and October for the first time in a decade. Don't panic: “the recent downturn in exports might be due to the strong dollar and weakness in China. “ Might not, too. Maybe it's connected to four consecutive months of declining business activity and weakening labor market conditions.
Home Front: Children of soldiers returning from multiple deployments to combat zones suffer more abuse than their peers.
God's Odds: Bristol Palin is pregnant out of wedlock again because God “is a God of second chances and third and fourth and fifth chances.”
Self-Hoisting Petards: The Kentucky counties with the highest numbers of people on Medicaid voted overwhelmingly for governor-elect Matt Bevin, who promised during his campaign to cut Medicaid. At least he won't have to dumb down the schools.
Food For The Thoughtless: “Only five companies matter for the direction of the market: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and General Electric.”
Smile For The Cameras: The Philippine government is rounding up homeless men,women and children and carting them off to detention centers so they will not clutter up the streets when the Important People gather for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting this week.
Profits As Policy: The US is selling $1.29 billion worth of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, the country that bankrolled al-Qaeda and the 9/11 bombers and continues to train and fund ISIS.
Perspective: Last week terrorists killed 129 in Paris and 43 in Beirut, but the death toll of US citizens killed by police passed the 1000 mark when the cops gunned down a man in California who had a harmless replica firearm, tased a man to death in a Virginia hospital, and shot a man for refusing to let them into his NC home without a warrant.
At Last: The US has finally taken a baby step to end the flow of millions in petroleum money to ISIS with an attack by A-10 Warthogs on a column of oil tankers waiting for fuel, destroying 116 of an estimate 1,000 that haul fuel from ISIS depots. No wells were injured in the production of this empty propaganda victory.
Safe At Home: The US government claims that China copied the plans for its new fifth-generation fighter from the F-35, so it won't work either.

Monday, November 16, 2015

SAR #15320

Hammer/Nails: The French are dispatching their only aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean and their warplanes are launching repeated strikes against ISIS in Syria. In essence they are making the same mistake that George Bush led the US into after 9/11. Some claim that the Paris attacks have opened a new stage in the conflict between Western civilization and the Islamic State, one of “war by terror” as though drone strikes and cruise missiles were not acts of terror and that the long bungling history of US adventurism in the Middle East were not key to today's violence.
Knee And Other Jerks: Ben Carson says he would ban all Syrian refugees because he has “big frontal lobes” and they don't. Jeb would have a religious test and allow only Christians to attain refugee status. Some other Republican candidates have blamed the Democrats in general and Obama specifically.
Violent Religion: We are not supposed to acknowledge this, but man is a bloodthirsty savage. Most of the time, when there is enough to go around without too much suffering and privation, the gloss of civilization restrains most of us from doing direct violence – although the depredations of free market capitalism walk very close to the line. But we were violent far long before we were pacifically religious and more often than not our religions have a violent undercurrent, a violent history, and very violent and bloody foundation myths. We've gone from scapegoating an individual to demonising an entire religious tradition. This is not progress. It ignores actual causes and promises only more violence on both sides.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

SAR #15318

Code Orange: Donald Trump once again surged to the head of the popularity contest being held here and there by the GOP. But then he began bad-mouthing Gentle Ben.
Bigger Fools: Americans owe over $8 trillion on their houses, a tad over $1 trillion for college educations that are not worth what they cost, and just under a trillion on their credit cards. That's $10 trillion in private IOUs. Do you really think they are good for it?
Noted: “Americans are pessimistic about the economy because, for many of them, the economy hasn’t gotten better... Millions of Americans left the labor force in the recession and haven’t returned. Millions more are stuck in low-wage jobs or are working part time because they can’t find full-time work.” It's the difference between numbers and lives.
My Bad: The Utah judge who ruled that a same-sex couple were, by definition, bad parents, has reversed himself. Temporarily.
The Bernake: “There’s a lot of savings in the world looking for a relatively small number of good-return investments, and so the equilibrium real interest rate in the economy is very, very low”. Which is another way of saying that the economy sucks and all that free money he pumped into Wall Street is keeping interest rates down.
Distant Early Warning? Foreclosure starts have recorded their sharpest increase in over four years, as the recovery recovers.
The Beginning of the End, Part 2 or 3: The president of the EU says that the EU's “open borders” system could be ended due to the migrant crisis. That was one of the dreams that the EU was built on – free movement of free people within the EU.
Left Hand/Right Hand: A federal court has ruled that warrentless tracking of web histories is a violation of the Wiretap Act and other privacy laws. The NSA told the court to mind its own business.
Après moi, le déluge: A second Greenland glacier, Zachariae, has joined Jakobshven in galloping to the sea, and its neighbor Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden seems to be joining the race. Together the three contain enough ice to raise sea levels over three feet globally. But not right away. Exactly when is not known, but the time horizon keeps getting shorter and shorter.
This Time Next Year: A grassroots movement will place a proposition on next year's Colorado ballot that would establish “Colorado Care”, a universal single payer health insurance system. It would be paid by a 10% payroll tax (7% from employers and 3% from workers, but let's face it it all comes out of the workers...) and would save the citizenry about $5 billion a year. Insurance companies are not delighted.
Travel Tip: Take Beattyville, KY off your bucket list.

Friday, November 13, 2015

SAR #15317

Economic torture doesn’t work either.
Outcomes Matter: Any major international agreement should be judged by how it will affect the lives of the people it impacts. On that basis, the TPP should be rejected. It is designed to improve the profits of corporations, not to better the lives of all parts of society, especially the poor and middle class. Helping the rich at the expense of the poor may be traditional, but is should not be publicly flaunted and approved by those whose responsibility is to represent the people.
Spade/Spade: The EU will now require Israeli products from the illegally occupied West Bank as having been made in the illegally occupied West Bank,, which for some reason upsets the occupiers.
Silence Is Golden: Two current polls of “likely voters” show Bernie Sanders defeating Donald Trump by 10 to 12 points, which would be a landslide. It seems that if American voters area asked, they hold what are considered by Republicans to be be leftist, populist positions. If the Democrats would reject Wall Street and return to the people, they could retain the White House and have decisive majorities in both Houses. Too bad they've forgotten who they were supposed to be. The generally perceptive Western Illinois University’s mock election agrees, showing a Sanders/O'Malley ticket easily sweeping the election.
Compassion: PM David Cameron says the UK will spend half a billion pounds in a five-year effort to keep refugees from reaching English shores.
Social Medicine: US women are twice as likely as Canadians to die from pregnancy and childbirth related causes. The US maternal mortality rate has been dropping since 1990 and now far worse than Iceland, Finland, Poland, Greece, Belarus... damned foreigners.
We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet: The UN estimates that over 50 million people will depart sub-Sahara Africa for North Africa and Europe in the next 5 years.
Lost In Translation: “If we can’t find ways to boost demand, then we can look for ways to reduce supply. Specifically, we can encourage people to work less. This would mean policies that promote shorter workweeks, paid time off for family leave and sick days, and more paid vacation. Reductions in the average number of hours worked per worker could lead employers to hire more employees. A tighter labor market would help to bring the upward pressure on wages and prices needed to combat secular stagnation”. I think I think this is a good idea, but I'm not sure.
Pros & Cons: The Greek government seems to be encouraging a general strike against the austerity policies of the Green government. Flights have been grounded, ships tied to their docks and public services shut down as bailout talks continue between the government and their EU overlords.
Magic Castles In The Air: Spain's top court has told Catalans seeking independence that they cannot do so. Well, not peacefully anyway.
Datapoint: States that require background checks for gun purchases have 64% fewer domestic violence shootings than Repubican controlled states that give in to the NRA do not. And it turns out that fewer mass shootings occur in states with more background checks, too.
You've Been Volkswagoned: Fuel oil companies in NY have been caught rigging the gauges on their deliver trucks to misstate how much product was delivered to customers. The owners say it was just a couple of zealous engineers...
Hospitality: Israeli special forces disguised as Palestinians – including one pretending to be a pregnant woman in a wheelchair – raided a Hebron hospital and killed a relative of a man they wanted to kidnap. This is the second time this year Israeli forces have raided a Palestinian hospital this year. Not as indiscriminate as calling in an airstrike, but a war crime nonetheless.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SAR #15316

Veterans Day: Thank you for your service. Right. If we really cared about our veterans, 22 of them would not kill themselves every day. Some 27,250 have committed suicide since June 2012. War may be hell, so is living after you've been through it.
The Shouting: All the noise at the GOP debates will be for naught if the economy doesn't tank between now and next November. A strong and rising economy traditionally eases the party in the White House back for another term. It seems likely that the Democratic nominee will inherit a decent if not splendiferous economy from Obama, and prevail at the polls.
Pronouns: Sarah Palin says that the noise over the Starbucks red cups is simply “a leftist plot to make us look ridiculous.” Nope, not even if we were clear on which “us” she was referring to, it does not take a leftist plot to make Sarah and fellow travelers look ridiculous.
Pot/Kettle: Ben Carson says that people are easily tricket into thinking that free college education is a good thing. It is not, he says, and will lead to “the destruction of the nation.” Just like it did in Germany and Finland. Besides, just how did a poor kid from Detroit manage to pay for undergrad at Yale and the med school at UofM? Didn't Dr. Ben get some handouts along the way? Oh, scholarships. A free education was okay for him, but not for your kid?
En Garde: Someone should tell both the Pentagon and DHS that more Americans get killed by dog bites in a year than from terrorist attacks.
Beneficiaries: As suspected, most corporate stock buy-backs are motivated either by CEOs trying to keep their jobs, or CEOs trying to make their bonus salary packages worth more. Few have anything to do with running the company at a profit. Take Macy's. Please. It spent three years and billions of dollars propping up its stock prices in the face of falling sales and evaporating profits. Today its stock is at lows not seen since the buybacks began in 2013. So now they have a dying corporation with a whole lot of debt that went to fattening the CEOs retirement accounts.
Interdependence: By 2017, four of the five voting regional Fed Bank presidents will have previously graduated from Goldman Sacs and will undoubtedly return there once their selfless service to the country ends.
Tomorrowland: Technology boosters and assorted soothsayers claim that the merger of robotics with Artificial Intelligence will end the need for most people to work. The report did not suggest how all these non-workers would buy the products of the machines. Sort of like today, only with flying cars zooming around.
Not Needed: Missouri Republican state senator Kurt Schaefer demands that a study of the effects of the GOP imposed 72-hour waiting period for abortion has on women be ended, because he fears the results would “help Planned Parenthood.”
Porn O'Graph: Life lesson.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SAR #15315

It is always important to know what happened before...
'Tis A Joy To Be Simple: Netanyahu, having approved 2,200 new settlement homes in the Occupied West Bank, has come to the White House seeking recognition of Israel's annexation of the Golan because they stole it fair and square and are never going to give it back. And they'd like the US to pony up another $2 billion a year to keep the Palestinians from living in Palestine.
Noted: The price of copper has now reached a six-year low as demand from China – the world's main buyer of industrial metals – continues to fade. Probably means something, quite possibly something not particularly good, eh?
Not As Dumb As We Look: Most Americans understand that they are in far more danger from domestic nuts with guns than they are from terrorists.
Practice Round: Russia is sending 4,000 ground troops to Syria in a bid to eliminate the Islamic State. Putin is too young to clearly remember the USSR adventure in Afghanistan, but he should have read some news stories about Mr. Bush's Iraq and the US adventure in Afghanistan.
Well, Duh: Seems that political polls that are not designed to include the lunatics do not accurately predict electoral results, and most political polls do not ferret out the flakes and nuts in true proportion nor accurately reflect their resolve. And few pollsters have formulas to predict the amount of fraud that will overlay the actual votes.
Any Port In A Storm: Portugal's ECB/IMF approved minority-led government has collapsed in the face continuing rejection of pointless austerity imposed by the President's chosen party. The President – who called the Socialilst alliance too dangerous to lead the government - will now be faced with a Socialist led leftist block with a commanding majority in the parliament that wants to begin undoing the banker-imposed austerity the country has suffered for half a decade, boosting family incomes and reversing the deep cuts previously made in government salaries. The President can bow to the will of the people, or try to put together another right-wing caretaker government and call for new elections in April. Like Greece, this is an embarrassment for the German-led bankers' cabal that currently runs Europe.
Multiple Answer Test: How many wars has the US won since 1945? a) define “won”, b) define “war”, c) none, or d) USA! USA! USA!
Down Is The New Up: In the last year oil companies have canceled 80 development projects and cut their investment budgets by $22 billion. Rather obviously, this will eventually result in a significant decrease in petroleum availability. Which, everybody hopes, will lead to being able to sell oil at a profit. One day.
There's An App For That: After a decade or two of endless wars fought by mercenaries it should come as no surprise that our displays of patriotism have also been outsourced for money.
Fight Your Own Wars: Whenever a batch of new employment or economic reports come out, I wonder what economy they are describing. It sure isn't the one in my town. Why do Our Betters not see the coming clash between China and the US, Russia and the US, damned near everybody and the US?
Street Level: The media and the masses in Egypt have fastened on the idea that the US is blaming the crash of the Russian plane on a bomb because the US wants to scare tourists away from Egypt because the US wants to destroy the country's economy because something, something, something to prevent the emergence of a strong Egypt.
Color Blind: The racial sensitivity training in Texas has been so effective that Texas DPS troopers routinely mislabel Hispanics and blacks as being white.
Classy: Journalists wanting to access the available Wi-Fi network at the Tuesday night Republican clambake were required to use the password “stophillary”.
Porn O'Graph: The great divide.