Thursday, June 30, 2016

SAR #16182

Suffering seldom leads to enlightenment.
The Death Of Winter: For the first time ever, the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream crossed the Equator and merged with the Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream. Scientists used decidedly unscientific terms like “weird” and “unprecedented” to describe this and said that “this would not happen in an normal world” and if it continues it would “threaten seasonal integrity.” Welcome to climate change.

Truth: The Brexit vote is not the biggest threat to the EU; the euro is, followed closely by the EU itself.
When He's Right, He's Right:Not only will the TPP undermine our economy, but it will undermine our independence. The TPP creates a new international commission that makes decisions the American people can’t veto. These commissions are great for Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street funders who can spend vast amounts of money to influence the outcomes.
It should be no surprise then that Hillary Clinton, according to Bloomberg, took a “leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership”. She praised or pushed the TPP on 45 separate occasions, and even called it the “gold standard”.
Hillary Clinton was totally for the TPP just a short while ago, but when she saw my stance [braggadocio!], which is totally against, she was shamed into saying she would be against it too – but have no doubt, she will immediately approve it if it is put before her, guaranteed.
She will do this just as she has betrayed American workers for Wall Street throughout her career. Here’s how it would go: she would make a small token change, declare the pact fixed, and ram it through. That’s why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with the TPP “in its current form,” – ensuring that she can rush to embrace it again at her earliest opportunity.
I have a challenge for you. Ask Hillary Clinton if she is willing to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form.” Donald Trump
Ins & Outs: Incomes increased 0.2% in May while our spending increased 0.4%. Pretty much the American Dream in a nutshell.
A Parting Shot:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SAR #16181

We're not getting any less greedy or stupid. Steven Hawking.
In Memoriam: "The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now – with somebody – and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy ... This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed." Hunter S. Thompson, September 12, 2001
Word For The Day: Agnotology
Numbers of Numbers: There are any number of polls regularly assessing the relative standing of Trump and Clinton among… well, that's the question. Who are the polled? Does the poll represent some theoretical cross-section of Americans? Does it reflect some sort of electoral college potential voting cross section? There are only a handful of states that actually matter this fall, and neither Montana nor Maine count. Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and a couple of others… yeah. Who's leading there and by how much? That's what will matter.
Big Shocker: Many of those backing Trump are racists. Wowser!
Sound and Fury: The Republicans, after eight Benghazi investigations and over $7 million poured down the rat hole, cannot find one concrete thing that Hillary or Obama or anyone else did wrong. An immense waste of time, money sand public misdirection. Oh, wait that was the point. Throw mud and see if any of it sticks. Let's give Representative Gowdy a hand, even though he himself admits it was all a big waste of time, he got himself an awful lot of publicity during and we can look forward to the next round of the eternal Benghazi investigation in years to come.
Skin In The Game: About 65 million US adults have nothing saved for an emergency, much less for retirement. Pizza and a beer on Saturday is as good as it gets.
A Parting Shot:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SAR 316180

You only have the inalienable rights your government grants you.
Sham Shamed: The Supremes told the Texas legislature that they weren't fooling anyone with their ridiculous “for the safety of the ladies” anti-abortion law. Now we get to see the Republicans in in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin try to find yet another way to deprive American women of their constitutional rights.
Practical Illusion: Technically the UK's vote to leave the European Union is not legally binding. Either the Prime Minister or the Parliament could chose to ignore the outcome and continue business as usual. But that would take more political guts than are on display in London these days. Anyway, the EU can't unilaterally kick them out, but must await notification under Article 50 of the EU charter. The vote and associated hemming and hawing in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland does not bode well for the stability of the continental EU. Europe is a depressed economy desperately in need of more demand. The problem is made much worse by the constant demand from Brussels and Berlin for smaller government budgets and “structural reform” - which is code-talk for cutting worker wages and pensions and healthcare and selling off the public's properties and services to the highest bidder. The Eurozone and the European Union were two marvelous but unworkable concepts at conception, and they still are.
The Show Must Go On: Seats for Hamilton! staring Hillary Clinton are on sale now. Tickets range fro $2,700 to $100,000, popcorn extra. Sorry, headliner Lin-Manuel Miranda will not be appearing.
Ambulance Chasers: In Texas a county or town can farm out collection of fines to lawyers on a contingency basis, which can and does lead to the lawyers dragging out the process to increase their fee recovery while seeking millions and even billions for such trivia as “illegal dumping” or code violations. It's more or less legal. Most of the things money-grubbing lawyers can think up are legal in Texas.
Try, Try Again: Michigan's pilot program of drug-testing welfare recipients has failed to identify a single positive result, so Governor Snyder is now undertaking a pilot program which enables cops to pull over and administer a road-side drug test to those suspected to be black or poor under the influence of a drug other than good old alcohol.
A Parting Shot:

Monday, June 27, 2016

SAR #16179

It's not a health care system, it's a profitable disease system.
Fading Fast: Now that Sanders has been neutered, the Clintonites have killed the Democratic Platform Plank opposing the TPP and TTIP. That's how deep Hilary's convictions went on the trade issue. Stay tuned.
Been There, Done That: Back in March BofA, in collaboration with Freddie Mac, began offering 3% down mortgages with no mortgage insurance required – because the US taxpayer was going to make good the losses. Now Quicken, in cooperation with Freddie Mac, is offering mortgages requiring only1% - once more putting the US taxpayer on the hook. With only 1% down, as soon as the housing market gets a mild chill, thousands of homeowners [sic] will be underwater. A few days later those with only 3% equity will be in the same fix. After which it quickly becomes 2007.
Hand, Slapped: Merrill Lynch got caught “misusing” its customers' cash and has to pay a $415 million fine, while acknowledging no wrongdoing. No one goes to jail, of course. If you do the same thing, it is embezzlement or 'conversion' or, more colloquially, 'playing fast and loose with other people's money' and is a felony. But not if you're a banker.
Purity: Behind closed doors last week, Republicans killed a portion of the annual VA budget bill that would have allowed the VA to prescribe medical marijuana to injured soldiers and those suffering from PTSD. Because maintaining their 'political integrity' (itself an oxymoron) is far more important than the health of veterans who can no longer be deployed to protect other parts of their political idiotology.
The Future Is Now: TransCanada, the folks behind the Keystone XL pipeline, are using the investor-state-dispute-settlement clause of NAFTA to seek $15billion from the US taxpayer to compensate them for the “costs and lost profits” they suffered when the US blocked their pipeline. Globalization does not let citizens to protect themselves or the environment from the greed of corporations.
Healthy Profits: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is going to stop selling health insurance to individuals and families, claiming significant losses when actual sick people have to be covered. Under slightly different names it will offer more expensive and far more profitable coverage to those who are most unlikely to use it..
Drip, Drip, Drip: A US district judge has ruled that Texas must stop giving its prisoners arsenic-laced drinking water, which means that Texas inmates will be getting better treatment than children in Detroit.
Who Is This Guy? Pope Francis says that the Roman Catholic Church and all Christians everywhere should seek forgiveness from gay people for the way they have been treated, to the poor, as well as to women for marginalizing them and to all the children who have been and are being exploited. He also offered apologies for “having blessed so many weapons.”

A Parting Shot: 

Friday, June 24, 2016

SAR #16176

Say No Evil: The computer tech who set up the Clinton email server has refused to answer over 125 questions posed during a deposition ordered by a federal judge. “… might tend to incriminate me.” Or someone else.
The Maine Thing: The Tea Party's favorite governor, Paul LePage of Maine, says he will ignore the federal government and his state legislature and impose a ban the purchase of foods he doesn't approve of by Maine's food stamp recipients. If he can't do that he'll simply stop the food stamp program all together. And hold his breath for a really, really long time.
Mistaken Identity: Turkey's Erdoğan claims that Europe doesn't want Turkey as a partner because turks are Muslims. Not true, Recip, Europe doesn't want Turkey because you are in charge there.
Tone Deaf: While Great Britain was voting on the Brexit question, the EU happily went ahead and authorized a a “common border police” to impose internal border checks in the Schengen free travel area if individual member states can't control their own borders. That'll reassure the Brits who think the undemocratic EU honchos are dictatorial.
Gimme Shelter: Over 25% of US renters pay more than half their income in rent. But it's just the poor, so never mind.
A Parting Shot:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

SAR #16175

Eating Their Young: Lawyers, smelling money in the water, are telling fossil fuel companies that Exxon will not be the only target of climate change damages lawsuits and that the damages will be immense. At the same time there are other lawyers soliciting for clients to populate the same lawsuits.
Uncooperative: Teens in Colorado have deliberately refrained from becoming pot heads following that state's legalization of marijuana, just to piss off the Republicans.
From Our Comments Section: “It is unrealistic to think that constant monitoring of civilian communication such as emails, U.S. Post, or telephone calls would uncover activities of "lone wolves," who, by definition, act alone and on impulse with little or no specific planning other than acquisition of an automatic weapon and some ammo, unless the moment an automatic weapon is purchased (along with additional large amounts of ammo) that info is immediately related to law enforcement and the suspect is immediately followed and/or apprehended -- action that is currently unconstitutional.”
Competitive Edge: The top EU court has fined Intel $1.2 billion for bribing European computer makers not to use AMD's chips. Intel is fighting the fine with a claim that the court did not analyze “all relevant circumstances” to see whether the bribery actually worked. If it didn't, no harm no foul, right?
Advice And Consent: Mark Zuckerberg tapes over the mike and camera on his laptop. Do you?
Gunz R US: Then next time the oaf next door claims that mass shooting wouldn't happen if a lot more people carried handguns, tell him that highly trained police officers miss their targets 82% of the time. Ask him how accurate a half-drunk civilian will be in a dark bar with people screaming and running back and forth and masses of adrenaline pumping into his system, and five or six other patrons brandishing guns and shooting wildly. And then ask him if he wants to be standing there with a gun in his hand when SWAT bursts through the door. Nearly 100 people are killed by guns in the US every day. Automatic weapons are a danger, but the real danger is a Congress controlled by the gun lobby.
Protect And Self-Serve: Every day in the US, three police officers are arrested. Mostly for simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, but a significant number of sexual crimes also make the list, along with stealing money in various ways. Nearly 40% of the crimes were committed while on duty.
Golden Rules: If you want to work at the Ark Encounter theme park, it is best if you are heterosexually married. Ken Ham, using $18 million of the Kentucky taxpayers' money to build his creationist wet-dream, insists prospective employees affirm they believe in creationism, disavow homosexuality and promise not to engage in premarital sex.
See No Evil: When House Democrats 'occupied' the well house and refused to disband until some effective gun legislation was passed, NRA sponsored Republicans shut down the cameras inside the US House of Representatives, depriving we the citizens (and voters) from watching
Rep. John Lewis embarrassing them.
A Parting Shot: 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SAR #16174

If either of them is the answer, we're asking the wrong questions.
Trace Evidence: A Honduran unit trained by US Special Forces was given the names and photographs of dozens of social and environmental activists and told to kill them. Some members of the elite squad refused to do so and deserted, but those on the kill list have been systematically killed by Honduran troops. The US continues to fund the junta and Honduran military with hundreds of millions of dollars. (If US fruit companies and such come to mind, so be it.)
Top Down: The European Project has always been a mostly unexamined dream by the elite piled onto the backs of uninformed and unasked citizens. The distantly grasped ideal was a Unified Europe of integrated nations, economically strong yet culturally distinct even as the member nation-states dissolved into the ether. Didn't happen. Isn't going to. And the euro itself is but the most easily identifiable bad idea, along with the substitution of technocrats for citizens. It will not – no matter which way the British vote – not last forever, or even all that much longer.
The Tide Rolls On: DA Jerry Jones says he is not going to prosecute a couple of Alabama football players because they are Alabama football players, “who have spent their adolescence and their teenage years working and sweating while we were all home in the air conditioning."
Watching, Waiting: The Pentagon, through DARPA, wants to develop “tools” to use on the Internet to combat unspecified enemies through various social media platforms and websites to identify and counteract 'lone wolf' individuals who may at some point take up arms against imaginary evils. Soon it will be difficult to know if you are being mislead by ISIS or manipulated by the Pentagon. Since 9-11, and the introduction of numerous pieces of draconian legislation ostensibly aimed at combating terrorism, the agencies charged with surveillance and law enforcement have not managed to prevent any attacks. One could reasonably ask what exactly legislation such as the PATRIOT Act is really intended to accomplish, as it has done nothing for our safety.
Weakness Is Strength: Just as Congress decided after Saudi-financed young men flew airplanes into the World Trade Center that in order to prevent a repeat of that tragedy Americans had to give up most of their personal liberties, don't be real surprised when the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy will be the loss of even more privacy to the police surveillance state… for our own good. Not to mention NRA contributions. It does not matter who or what becomes President next, the march to total police state will continue.
The Arbiters: The Supreme Court, absent a vocal Justice Sotomayor, has decreed that the Constitution is null and void if violating its provisions can lead to a conviction.
A Parting Shot:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SAR #16173

Consensus is generally reached by disagreeing.
Mystery Solved: Some seem puzzled that 10 years after the housing bubble burst so many Americans are struggling to pay their rent and not taking part in the real estate recovery. It is very simple: Vast numbers of one-time homeowners were financially gutted in Wall Street's housing trap and have not recovered. And will not, because rapacious investors swooped in, bought up the crushed housing on the cheap and have now raised rents so the former owners cannot afford to rent their old homes. And wages remain stagnant, so there is little hope for a flourishing middle class housing renaissance any time soon.
Sauce/Goose/Gander: The US commander in Europe, who has just overseen a joint NATO exercise involving the rapid deployment of troops to the Russian border in the Balkans, says we should fear Russia's ability to rapidly deploy large numbers of troops on their side of the same border.
Trending: Worldwide, May temperatures set another heat record. This make it 13 months in a row.
Blessing The Little Children: Bill Donohue, a Roman Catholic member of the New York state legislature, explains he led the effort to kill a bill that would have made it easier for victims of sexual abuse to bring suit against their abusers because it was an attempt to “rape” the Catholic church.
Gasping At Straws: Phytoplankton in the seas are responsible for producing about half of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Scientists predict that when the world's oceans warm by 6°C (10.8°F) plankton will stop producing oxygen. They also predict that this may happen by 2100. Take a deep breath and relax; most likely you'll die of something else before then.
The Spared Rod:There is a whole economics literature on the importance of being able to fire workers as a way of ensuring work discipline. Unfortunately this never seems to apply to the people at the top. And this is seen most clearly in the cases of those responsible for economic policy in the European Union.”
Populism: Surveys consistently show that Americans overwhelmingly want a single payer healthcare program – like that proposed by Mr. Sanders. So the Democrats have selected Mrs. Clinton, who adamantly refuses to consider any program that would hurt the profits of the medical, insurance, or pharmaceutical industries.
Repetitive Giving Disorder: The US, which has frittered away about $685 billion in Afghanistan so far, plans to send another $15 billion there to be stolen like most of the previous billions were. No new safeguards will be implemented to oversee the funds use.
A Parting Shot:

Monday, June 20, 2016

SAR #16172

To concentrate on one problem requires ignorance of the rest.
Analysis: “Democracy, national sovereignty and global economic integration are mutually incompatible: we can combine any two of the three, but never have all three simultaneously” Economist Dani Rodrik
Right To Wrong: Exxon, defending itself against lawsuits over its attempts to dismiss global warming for decades, claims its free speech rights include the right to lie to the public. You'd think they were politicians, but they've only bought a bunch of Republicans in the House to take over this investigation and wrest it from the less reliable hands at state level before someone finds Exxon guilty.
Entrails: Various financial institutions seem to be preparing us for an economic downturn. In the words or Richard Fisher, former head of the Dallas Fed, “There will be a correction. Suck it up. Deal with it. That's reality." The world's central bankers are doing all they can – through zero and negative interest rates – to get us to either (1) spend money to increase demand, or (2) buy stocks to increase capital. And we're not doing #1 and we don't seem too much inclined to do #2. What's behind door number three?
Punt: French President Hollande, faced with ever more recalcitrant laborers, has threatened to outlaw labor protests until his “labor reforms” have been accepted. Until morale improves, the French are forbidden to have any.
More Of The Same: May's housing numbers are out and it's another chorus of “Housing Starts Flat, Household Incomes Stagnant At 1995 levels.” Cribibing from the BLS jobs report.
Delusions: Turkey's president Erdoğan says he will build military barracks in Istanbul's Gezi Park, apparently feeling he now will be able to crush any opposition to the move and restructure the country's courts to suit his purposes. He also thinks Turkey is ready to build its own aircraft carriers – to confront which enemy is unclear, but Erdoğan seems capable of finding more than one if necessary. At home his chief advisor has proclaimed, "There is no need for anyone else to engage in politics. Our duty is to support the leader in this country."
Downward Spiral: Immediately following the carnage in Orlando, Republicans in Congress voted to continue the NRA sponsored 20 year prohibition against using federal funds to study gun violence in the US, despite the AMA's new push to get funding for such research. Obviously Americans have decided it is far easier to regularly bury the innocent with a great show of grief and contrition than to address the actual causes of this uniquely American disease. The problem is not “radical Islam”, the problem is ignorant, fearful, insecure Americans.
Porn O'Graph: Abnormal is the new normal.
A Parting Shot:

Friday, June 17, 2016

SAR 316169

A Passing Phase: US industrial production was down 1.1% in May, making it nine months in a row of consecutive declines. This has never before happened outside a recession. Never.
Run/Hide: The FBI has accumulated over 400 million photos in its face recognition files, the better to make you feel safe. Never mind that the Face Recognition process hasn't been proven yet, it will be by the time your trial comes around.
Record Record: Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over Antarctica have reached 400 PPM for the first time in 4 million years.
Two For One: Hidden inside that Intel x86 computer you bought is another computer that you cannot access nor monitor, which can take over your machine and loot all of your files. It's a safety feature.
Easy Steps: Those who think they may want to overthrow the government want the government to make sure they have easy access to the weapons they'll need to overthrow the government. Guys, if you want to do something illegal, don't be shy about using illegally obtained weapons to do so. There are no valid arguments for civilians to possess automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Hunters should be able to get the deer with a bolt action rifle and a three shot built-in clip. Personal protection should be limited to 5 shot revolvers. A pump shotgun will do for chasing away burglars.
Without Comment: Candidate Clinton has received more money from US pharmaceutical company employees than all entire stable of Republican candidates.
Factually: If you cannot stand being a loser, don't become a leftist. "The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins." I.F. Stone.
The Piecetakers: Israel, which has as a percentage of area, stolen more territory than Putin, is somehow blackmailing the US into providing $40 billion in military aid over the next ten years in order to “upgrade” its aircraft and missile defense systems and to defend against teenage Palestinian kids with rocks. Not a complete waste, because the money will be spent on various members of the US war machine – like those still making and profiting from cluster bombs.
Memo For Mr. Sanders: Nearly half of Democrats want Bernie Sanders to mount an independent campaign for the Presidency.
A Parting Shot:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

SAR #16168

Suspicion and fear are omnivores.
Oh So Sorry: Following the Orlando massacre, Congress held a “minute of silence” to give members time to remember the money and votes the NRA has given them to make these moments possible.
Be Even More Afraid: Hillary Clinton promises to “make sure our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have all the resources they need to get the job done.” Donald Trump wants to increase surveillance of mosques. A federal judge says it would be illegal to tell people which utility poles have cameras the FBI is using to watch us. Your friend Mark Ackerman has figured out a way to let Facebook advertisers keep track of which stores you shop in. And the US Director of National Intelligence wants to develop an interconnected network that would – apparently automatically – identify suspicious behavior in real time. Nothing new here, mass surveillance is nothing new.
Reasonable Doubt: The NY senate took a few moments off from enriching themselves and their patrons and passed a bill creating a terrorist registry modeled after the sex offender registries, except only suspicion, not conviction, would be required to harass someone for life.
Party Time: Now's a good time to lock in a good deal; Wells Fargo is offering 30 year mortgages at 3.75% with 30% down if you have excellent credit. If you have bad credit you can get the same 30/3.75 deal with only 3% down. Better yet, go over to BofA where they have a subprime loan program that offers an even better deal, but only if you have a below-average income. How can they do this? Well, short memories helps, but not as much as having Fannie Mae pick up the slack. Right, we the taxpayers will be on the hook for these bad loans. Again.
Privacy: While Russian government sponsored hackers have broken into the server at the DNC, as well as hacking the White House, State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they have never been able to get into the private email server in Mrs. Clinton's basement. Right?
Clarification: When law enforcement officials in Florida speak of plans to arrest alleged accomplices of the Orlando gunman, they are not talking about the NRA leadership.
Beating The Drum: The US Senate has approved a bill that would require women to register for the draft. PM Justin Trudeau is planing to deploy Canadian troops to Europe because Russia is “mobilizing for war.
A Parting Shot:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

SAR #16166

There seems to be no way to use the system to fix the system.
Macho Man: The American male's long standing and deep seated insecurity over his masculinity explains a great deal about the popularity of pickups, cowboy boots, tattoos, random mass shootings and the nation's gun problem.
Copy Editing: Which is correct: (1) “The White House Exaggerates the Benefits of the TPP to the Open Internet”, (2) “The White House Exaggerates the Benefits of the TPP to the Open Internet”, or (3) “The White House Exaggerates the Benefits of the TPP to the Open Internet
Free Doesn't Mean Free: A uniform basic income (UBI) – wherein the state provides a basic minimum income to every person – has something for everyone. For the left it would be a way of fighting poverty, for the Right it would be a way to streamline and simplify the social welfare state and stop its creep. And for those who really matter, the corporate giants who want all the money, it would be a way of providing their potential customers with money to buy stuff they are not needed to produce. And it would tend to keep slavery overseas.
Pot/Kettle: It is claimed Goldman Sachs hired prostitutes to win Libyan business. And apparently those whores hired women of ill repute to help them.
Just So: “There are good trade agreements to be made. And they can focus on things like protecting a free and open internet, and creating important safe harbors for communication and innovation. But the TPP is not that agreement.”
Bird In The Hand: Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26 billion in new debt, not touching the $92 billion in cash it has socked away overseas, hidden from the US taxman. Why are they paying $250 a head for every active LinkedIn customer? Captive sitting ducks for its push into cloud computing and professional services. Any other questions?
Tone Deaf: Trump is once again calling for an immigration ban, but the Orlando shooter was born in the US and is as American as Trump – who has four kids who were born to immigrant mothers. The problem is not immigration, nor being Muslim. This was a homophobic hate crime – and there is nothing more patriotic or “American” than taking an automatic weapon and killing people out of hate and misinformation. This was not terrorism, it was simply business as usual.
A Parting Shot:

Monday, June 13, 2016

SAR #16165

Instead of asking why he did it, ask how he could get that much firepower.
Bail Faster: In 1Q2016 it took a $10 increase in total debt to drive US GDP up $1.
Leaderslip: That the Brits get to choose whether to be voiceless serfs or to leave the EU makes them unique, for none of the rest of the Europeans seem to have had any say at all. Neither the European Commission nor the European Parliament pretends to be a democratic institution, or particularly interested in the opinions of its citizenry. There is nothing resembling a European Constitution that sets out the rights and powers of either the citizens or the superstate.
Not Interested: Among the major developed nations, only France has a positive yield on it's 10-year notes. Is it time for a new mattress?
Exhibit A: Poland's neoliberal government continues to set the standard for the rest of Europe, if not the world, to follow. Its new counter-terrorisim law exceeds even the excesses of the NSA and FBI, establishing rules that limit the freedom of assembly, permit (or encourage) arbitrary detention, and grant the state security apparatus the right to control internet traffic that is deemed a threat to national security. [This paragraph, for example.] It also gives the guardians of the state complete access to any and all data concerning Polish citizens, even if they're not Jews.
Water Is Wet: Scientists report, rather belatedly, that global warming will “trigger tropical evacuations” - which we used to call refugees. So will US military forays.
Outside The Box: Spain's Podemos, reaching out to the young adults, has designed a political and social manifesto that looks much like a catalogue from Ikea or LLBean... I certainly hope representatives of Podemos and Portugal's anti-austerity movement help the Bernistas organize and persevere.
Censorship: Under pressure from Israel (perhaps joined with unspoken threats from APIC and the Clinton machine), Facebook and Twitter have given in to Israeli demands that any positive comments or information about the Palestinian conflict be deleted from their websites.
Growth Industry: The FBI admits it is stepping up its efforts to manufacture terrorism arrests through sting operations and having paid undercover agents provoke the dim-witted into doing something that can be trumpeted as a triumph over terrorism. Be afraid, please, so their budgets can increase.
The State of the Surveillance State: The National Security Agency is seeking ways to get your FitBit and Smart Refrigerator to spy on you, while other organs of the national security state are trying to implement “real-time behavior monitoring” of each of us, while the DEA sifts through our prescription records to see if we need to go to prison.
Definition: What do the words 'respond' and “unexpected measures” mean in the following threat: “The Russian Foreign ministry said Moscow would respond to a U.S. naval ship's entry into the Black Sea with unspecified measures.”
Rear Guard Action: As part of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the President has order US forces to expand their role in combat actions in the country, including “battlefield operations with conventional Afghan forces.” And be home by Christmas.
Turnabout's Fair Play: Drug gangs in the Philippines have offered a bounty on president elect Rodrigo Duterte who has been offering a bounty for each drug dealer (or suspected drug dealer, proff not be rigidly required) killed on the local streetcorner.
Porn O'Graph: Been there done that?
A Parting Shot: