Saturday, August 30, 2014

SAR #14240

We die alone; we should not live that way.
Switcheroo: After years of hanging on ECB President Drahi's every word, eurozone leaders are now hanging up on him as he scrambles to pull the economy out of a tailspin, with inflation slipping past 'disinflation' into outright deflation. The collapse of the Espirito Santo banking empire in Portugal was dispiriting, too. Why is this not happening? There are two explanations: ignorance or greed. Or the deadly combination of ignorant greed. Why is this happening? Why are they letting Germany get away with forcing Europe to repeat the same errors that made the Great Depression so bad? Maybe France's collapse will spur some soul searching. 
Twinkle Twinkle: Ukraine wants to become a member of NATO. And I'd like Warren Buffet to adopt me.

Go To Sleep: Everything but Wall Street boosters see bond yields going even lower and staying there for even longer. Don't tell the inflationistas. 
Sounding Retreat: Shell is looking for a few adventurous folks to take over their Nigerian oil operations, for only $15 billion. Give 'em a call.

The Trillion Dollar Question: When do we start acknowledging that this is 'The Greater Depression?' Today? Yesterday?

Horror Story: Genetic studies of Ebola strains show that the virus is mutating fast and might be on its way to adapting to a human host. Sadly, five of the scientists who did these studies have died of the virus.

Not gonna Make War-mth No More: Russia has warned Europe to consider that gas deliveries for the winter might depend on their actions. Don't plan to spend New Year's in Kiev
Logistics: Some of the National Guard troops Rick Perry sent to the Texas/Mexico border are resorting to local food banks because they haven't been paid and the state is not providing meals. Guess Perry hadn't heard the one about the army moving on its belly.

Smoke/Fire: The FBI apparently ordered police departments across the nation to hide their use of Stingray cellphone intercept technology. Wonder why? Oh, right. Warrants.

and yes I said yes I will Yes: California has ruled that only “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity"will serve as consent. No may or may not mean 'no', but only 'Yes!' will mean yes. 
Goal Setting: Burger King will have to see a 6% drop in US sales before its Canadian tax dodgerie will be unprofitable. Ready, Set, Go elsewhere!

Because I Said So: A US District Judge in New York has ordered Microsoft to give US prosecutors customer emails stored in Ireland. Can the long arm of the law actually reach all the way to Éire?

Friday, August 29, 2014

SAR #14239

"The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked, and those who watch and track them, is the relationship between masters and slaves." - Chris Hedges

About Inflation: Interest rates on 30 Treasuries have fallen to 3.06%, which suggests that investors do not see any inflation on the horizon. In Europe rates have been creeping ever lower, with 10-year German notes below 0.9% and even Spain (Spain!) borrowing money for less than Uncle Sam. Must be something in the water. 
Another Point Of View: Responding to Obama's chest-beating, Angel Merkel noted that “American cannot solve all the world's problems anymore.” For extra credit, identify the last time it could. Or did.

Short Form: According to the UN's IPCC, global climate change is “severe, pervasive and irreversible.” (And it may well temporarily result in extreme snowfalls.)

Leaky Roof: The US housing market 'recovery' is beginning to stall as supply increases and sales stall. Simple supply/demand suggests that house prices will be heading lower. Again.

Counterattack: France's new economy minister (replacing the silly fellow who criticized austerity programs) wants to do away with the 35-hour work week because unemployment has hit new record highs. And somehow making those who have jobs work longer will create new jobs... 
Money For Nothing: The 2012 Ron Paul's presidential campaign secretly paid one of Michele Bachmann's campaign aides $73,000 to abandon her, join Paul and badmouth Michele's chances. In that she never had a chance, seems to reflect rather poorly on the Paul campaign's smarts. On the other hand, they did appeal to the same fringe group...

Missing Linkage: A Pew survey found that about 49% of Americans think the US messes with the world too much, 30% think it doesn't interfere enough, and about 30% can't find the world on a map.

Pot/Kettle: President Obama has blamed the violence in Ukraine on the Russians. The speech was then sent to Moscow, where Putin will read it to reporters tomorrow, blaming the Americans.

Adaptive Democracy: The Pakistani army says that it will be the ultimate mediator between the government (which holds office at the military's sufferance) and opposition groups (which is everybody else).

Mirror, Mirror: The UN Security Council has passed a resolution that threatens sanctions against anyone affecting the stability of Libya. Even citizens, especially if they are trying to make it more stable.

Chickens, Roosting: Nearly all of ISIS top leadership were imprisoned by US forces in Iraq in places like Abu Ghraib.

About Wages: Corporate profit margins are at new highs, feeding the stock market boom which enriches the 1%
Porn O'Graph: French Socialist Freeloaders.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

SAR #14238

Being a black man in the US is as much a death sentence today as it always has been.

Non-Discrimination Claws: The US has begun surveillance flights over Syria, a prelude to attacks on IS forces. But the White House insists that the US will “balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets.” Kill them all, God will know his own.

On the Western Front: France's Hollande has turned the French economy over to the Rothschilds while hoping that Germany will “soften” its hard line on austerity measures. It seems that even Bernanke now realizes the 2008 housing meltdown was worse than the Great Depression and unfortunately, nothing has been resolved since then. 
Bread Eaten In Secret... In a remake of the Romney private meeting audio tape leak, a recording of Mitch McConnell (Desperate-KY) promising in private to implement extensive austerity programs if the GOP regains control of Congress has surfaced.

Fox/Henhouse: The ECB has hired Blackrock, the world’s biggest private hedge fund which makes billions manipulating the market, to advise it on how to manipulate the market. 
Professional Qualifications: Christine Lagarde has been formally charged with fraud and political corruption. No, not as head of the IMF – fraud, corruption and lying are part of the job description there. This is about the qualifications for the IMF position she showed while France's finance minister. 
Language, Use Of: NATO is planing bases in Eastern Europe in order “to counter Russia,”

Acts Of War: In Georgia cops tasered a tired man 13 times to make him 'move along'. He died. In Ohio a man was shot and killed inside a Walmart toy department for holding a toy gun. Pay attention.

The Cowards Way: Ever wonder how many parents – mommies mostly – do not take their kids to be vaccinated simply because they don't want to hear the little brats cry?

Back And Forth: Australia's PM Tony Abbott is going to put religious chaplains in state schools, while keeping secular representatives out. But he has backed off supporting the dumping of mine wastes on the great Barrier Reef.
Fairly Unbalanced: Outdoing FOX, the Washington Post says it will continue to publish the incoherent ranting of global warming deniers on the op-ed pages, along with astrologists, homophobes, advocates for human/unicorn sex and supply side economists.

Asked And Obvious: Are the US markets rigged? Really, someone got paid to write an answer to that one. 
Full Frontal Nudity: Robert Litt, who represented to CIA officers involved in the rendition and torture programs, has been hired by the Senate to decide how much of the Intelligence Committee's investigation into those programs should be made public.

Porn O'Graph: Revisionist thinking.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SAR #14237

It is no longer possible … to believe in the original dogma of democracy,” WalterLippman

Whistling Past The Graveyard: President and Chief Cheerleader Barack Obama says that the cynics are wrong and envious of the United States because “Nobody else can do what we do.” Eavesdrop on everybody. Invade countries at will. Export financial disaster. Kill people anywhere at a moment's notice, by drone or professional thugs. He also thinks the US is indispensable; a lot of people would like to test that claim by dispensing with Washington and the Pentagon for a few years. In his defense, presiding over the end of empire is a bitch.

Selfie: “The recovery in the euro area remains uniformly weak.” ECB President Mario Draghi, publicly confessing what everybody already knew: Austerity has not worked. Following up, JPMorgan advises investors to curb their enthusiasm, suspecting difficulties (sic) ahead.

With Friends Like These... The Saudis are calling for all Arab nations to form closer ties with Israel and to abandon Hamas. Is this one of those Sunni/Shia things, or something important?

One and Done: A lot of attention has been paid to the suggestion from pediatricians that middle and high schools start later, at least after 8:30 am. Sorry, anything that messes with the school bus schedule simply isn't going to happen.

Following The Script: American hedge funds and a complicit federal judge are sending the Argentinean peso to record lows and forcing an economic crisis on the country. Qui bono?

Have It Our Way: Burger King is doing a Walgreen's and moving to Canada to dodge taxes. With luck the US customer response will be the same and they, like Walgreen's, will have second thoughts. Or at least ask for the fries.

Goose, Gander & Hubris: Obama has authorized the US military to conduct aerial surveillance over Syria in preparation for air strikes against ISIS. Syria is not amused. But the US responds with shock and amazement that the UAE and Egypt flew air strikes in Libya. Remember when invading or bombing another country was an act of war? Remember when starting a war was Congress' responsibility? Nah, you're not that old.

Now It Can Be Told: The National Bureau of Economic Research has finally done the math and shown that what we all knew was true all along has been true all along: the US has been losing jobs to China for a decade or more and US workers' pay has declined due to the direct competition from cheaper Chinese labor. Go global trade!

What Could Go Wrong? About 100 Indian nationals who may have been exposed to Ebola in Liberia are scheduled to arrive in Mumbai – the India's second largest city. Sounds like a plan.

Smoke, Fire? Reports claim that the LAPD is refusing to provide information concerning the deaths of two black men earlier this month. Fill in the blanks.

Math Minors: About half of US parents think they can begin saving for their offspring's college education when little Johnny is a freshman in high school. They also think little Johnny is going to be President one day, too. 
Matriculation: Hawaii is purportedly the best place for women, Wyoming the worst – after the average college campus.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SAR #14236

Tidy solutions to our problems are likely not democratic ones.

Revised Version: Remember when the US shared intelligence with Saddam? Back before we killed him? Now we've given up (temporarily) trying to unseat Assad and are supplying Syria with intelligence info. Remember when we armed the mujahadeen and they turned out to be al-Qadea ? How do you think giving arms to the 'moderate' Syrian rebels (who are trying to unseat Assad but promise not to use US weapons to do so) will turn out? Remember the Three Stooges, before they went to work for the state department?

G'way Kid, Y'Bother'n Me: French President Hollande has permanently grounded his latest prime minister, Manuel Valls, after Valls' economic minister pointed out that the emperor had no clothes austerity programs had not worked and should be abandoned. Instead, Vall was abandoned.
More Of The Same: In the last five years, the volume of ice lost annually to global warming has doubled.

More Of The Same, Too: Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $3.15 billion to get the FHFA investigation into their systematic mortgage securities fraud go away, making sure that no Goldman executives do.

Toil & Trouble: At more than 500 sites scattered along the edge of the continental shelf from North Carolina to Massachusetts, methane is happily bubbling up from the seafloor. Unexpectedly, of course, but don't worry. 
Self Serviced: If your gas pump tells you to take your credit card into the station (where the 50-cent candy bars are a dollar and the milk is $4.98 a half gallon), get in your car and drive away. It's called serving yourself, and not the credit card companies who think they can figure out whether or not it is you at the pump. They think they can figure out if it is really you out there at the pump based on something called the Transaction Advisor – which seems to know more about you than your ex-wife. And has decided that you are not you. Maybe you should decide to shop elsewhere.

Friend of A Friend: Whenever you are told that some large government program or initiative has 'failed', see who makes the most profit from that failure. And also look for the unintended and unanticipated adverse effects of either the program or its failure. Blowback. Like arming the 'rebels' in Afghanistan. Or Syria. Or see which side the Saudis, Kuwait and Qatar are financing to identify which side is against Western civilization in general. The "war on terror, has demonstrably failed”. Which may have been the plan all along; follow the money.
Quick Count: An unarmed teen in Kansas committed suicide by getting police to shoot him 16 times. In California you can get arrested for having bloodshot eyes. In a South Carolina Wally-world a man was tasered to the floor and then pummelled by two cops for resisting arrest. A man discovered hiding in a shed was tasered to death by Florida cops. All of which may begin to explain Ferguson. 
Buying The Bridge: Christie cost NJ taxpayers $3.8 billion when he shifted state pension funds to Wall Street in an effort to get Wall Street commuters to forgive him for the bridge thing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SAR #14235

Pattern Crimes: The second largest source of income for the city of Ferguson, MO is the $2.6 million it gathers from fines levied on its citizens for parking, speeding, jay walking and the like. Ferguson is, of course, a white-run black community where "86% of vehicle stops involved a black motorist, who is twice as likely to be searched as a white driver and also twice as likely to be arrested. The average black household in Ferguson is hit with three warrants a year, resulting in the loss of $300 to fines and fees. And if you can't pay the fine or cover the fees, you go to jail. Welcome to Ferguson, MO, where Michael Brown was stopped for jaywalking.

Echo: Israel's former national security advisor, General Giora Eiland advocates cutting off all food and water to Gaza and starving 1.8 million Palestinians into submission. That such a blockade would amount to a war crime is accademic, for the US is making sure the UN does not take official notice of Israel's ongoing crimes against humanity
Take A Load Off, Fannie : The Canadian Shield – geologically the northern part of North America – is still rebounding after miles of ice weighed it down during the last Ice Age. In a similar way, enough surface water has evaporated from California that some parts of California's mountains have been uplifted about half an inch in the past 18 months. That's a lot of weight to lose – even if it's just water. Hum along.

In The Wings: To some degree the housing 'recovery' is a mirage. A lot of delinquent homeowners – 22 million of them - got their mortgages modified under one program or another. Most of them had been delinquent and about 70% of them will be again. But the modifications temporarily took them out of the delinquency column. A significant part of the slowdown in foreclosures was due to the lenders and servicers getting caught fiddling with the foreclosure paperwork and had to pretty much stop cheating, which slowed the foreclosure rates significantly. Now they've worked out (or covered up) the problems. Look both ways before crossing.

"Illusory Promises": In Texas, if your boss tells you not to worry about your job, worry. The state Supreme Court has ruled that it is perfectly all right for employers to lie to their employees.

No Desert, Either: “Of all the self-interested scams perpetrated by school "reformers" against public education, the school voucher scam may be the most dishonest. In their undiluted form, these programs are a sop to right wingers and religious fanatics convinced that teaching children that the Founding Fathers were all upstanding Christian gentlemen and evolution should be doubted somehow prepares them for life in the 21st century. [The legislature] is seeking to push at-risk students...into nonpublic schools in order to avoid the cost of providing them a sound, basic education in public schools. - Judge Robert Hobgood, who found North Carolina's 'Opportunity Scholarship Program' to be "unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt." 
Relocation: Tony Abbot's troglodytic campaign of environmental rape has spread from the Great Barrier Reef to Peru, where new laws have been passed giving mining companies the right to despoil the land, the air and the water in any way that's profitable. To ensure their unimpeded assault on the country's environment the the government has granted wide powers to the police to quell any eco-protest. Amusingly, Peru will be the host of the UN Climate Change Conference.

Porn O'Graph: The Edge.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SAR #14233

Humans are very clever animals, but animals nonetheless.

First Causes: “...the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed. They left the body in the street. Dictators leave bodies in the street. Warlords leave bodies in the street. A police officer shot Michael Brown to death. And they left his body in the street. For four hours.”

Long Time Coming: Suddenly there's a spate of articles pointing out the austerity inspired recovery in the eurozone is actually a depression, possibly worse that the Great Depression, and that the leadership continues to do exactly the wrong things, guaranteeing things'll get a lot worse before the revolt arrives. 
Roots of Inequality: Inequality in America is greatly a result of the long term effects of race and slavery – and wealth is the least of the inequalities. 
Long/Short: Here's a long article on 'Why the Middle Class Doesn't buy the Recovery'. Save yourself some time: The middle class doesn't buy the recovery because it hasn't seen the recovery. Their incomes are lower now than before the recovery started, which is a neat trick, done with smoke and mirrors. In total, adjusted for inflation, Americans are worse off than they were 14 years ago. 
First Person, Plural: Think what this story would be like if you were black, young, unemployed.

Flim vs Flam: The BofA $17 billion 'settlement' follows the pattern set by previously pardoned miscreants. While $10 billion of it is cash, that will result in a $4 billion tax write-off for the bank, and the odds are that much of the $7 billion in 'consumer relief' will be in the form of tax-reducing write-offs also. And, as previously, no one goes to jail, no one loses any bonus money for “misleading investors about the quality of loans” it was selling. That is, for committing serial securities fraud for years. Beats robbing convenience stores. 
Easy One: Why are most economists more enthusiastic about 'free trade' than the general public? Because they have not lost their jobs or been forced to take a cut in pay. Besides, the theory conforms to their religion. 
Damper: One of the reasons that the number of new claims for unemployment is falling has nothing to do with a decline in the number of people losing jobs. For various reasons, a growing percentage of those who have lost their jobs simply do not go sign up for unemployment benefits. Either out of hope, or despair.

Porn O'Graph: Lackin' Traction.

Friday, August 22, 2014

SAR #14232

If we knew more about from, we'd know more about to.

On The Street Where You Live: How militarized are the cops in your town? Probably about the same as the ones in Ferguson who strut around wearing more elite killing gear than an average tactical squad on patrol in Kandahar. Equipped with Kevlar helmets, gas masks, combat gloves, knee pads, urban combat fatigues, tactical body armor, semiautos strapped to their thighs, M4 semi-automatic rifles with “close-quarter-battle receivers” and advanced combat optical gunsights, with at least 120 rounds of ammo, these guys are looking for a fight. And if they don't find one, they'll start one. Interesting, they can afford all this lethal gear but can't afford frills like education and food security for the citizens they are serving and protecting and arresting and killing.

Be Afraid: Australia's Tony Abbott took a break from screwing the environment to warn Aussies that he had to impose stricter security laws in order to prevent protests against his heavy handed policies terrorist beheadings.

Say No Evil: When an environmental scientists working for the Canadian government has startling new information concerning global warming, she has to get her boss' permission first. And her boss' boss' permission. And her boss' boss' boss' permission. Repeat for a total on nine times, until the departmental minister gets to say 'No!'. Meanwhile, Canadians rely on US science for their news... about Canada. Remember the good old days when Canada was more liberal than the US?

Comes the Dawn: A judge in North Carolina has figured out that the state's school voucher system is working as designed, benefiting religious schools teaching creationism with public money.

Because Competition: A GOP FCC commissioner wants to prohibit cities from providing broadband services to their citizens, because they can do it for a lot less than the commercial firms are used to stealing.

Parts Is Parts: The headlines, and the stories behind them, are claiming that 'the pause in global warming' could last another decade. Listen up: There has been no 'pause in global warming'. There has been a pause in the warming of the atmosphere as the deep oceans sop up most of the additional heat caused by the increase in atmospheric CO2. The waters warm far slower than the land and the air, but once they have the heat, they will hold it for centuries. This is not a good thing. And the oceans are the largest part of the globe. Don't panic, the heat'll get here.

Give Piece A Chance: In Ferguson, the right of the people to assemble is good for five seconds. Then the cops arrest them for loitering. There is a “free-speech” zone, but you can't get there from here. 
Suspicion Of Being Black: During Mayor Bloomberg's 12 years in office, NYPD cops stopped-and-frisked over 5 million people, 25% of them young black men – a demographic that makes up about 2% of the NYC population. The 5 million stops found illegal firearms 0.02% of the time. 
Reading, Righting and Rat-a-Tat: The school board in Compton, California will be equipping its school police officers with AR-15 rifles.

Nothing Up My Sleeve... Scientists report that 39 kilotons of carbon tetrachloride is being injected into the earth's atmosphere every year even though none of the ozone-depleting compound has been legally manufactured anywhere in the world since 2007. Profits outweigh progeny.

See No Evil: Scotland Yard has warned that “viewing, downloading, or disseminating” the video of James Foley's beheading “might constitute a criminal offence under terrorism legislation.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

SAR #14231

If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.

Perfection: The United States is now using billions of dollars in weaponry and munitions to blow up billions of dollars worth of weaponry and munitions that we left behind in Iraq. Certainly increases the profit margins
Snapped Shots: In Ferguson, a cop advises, “If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me.” Presumably it was a different cop who told a journalist to move along or “I'll bust your head”. Other boys in blue (or urban camouflage) arrested some German journalists and some other removed Amnesty Intentional and media representatives from the area. Yet another threatened protesters with an assault rifle and threatened to”F*king kill” them. Protecting and serving. 
So Much Explained: “Because money matters more than people.” And not just at Fukushima.

Summer Reruns: “Bombing Iraq” is back for another season, along with a revival of “Death by Drones” which is broadcasting episodes shot in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and several slices of Africa. Make some popcorn, it'll wait.

Lucy And The Football: Argentina has announced that it is tired of the vultures and isn't going to play the game any more. It will pay “a certain amount” to other investors, but is going to stiff the vulture funds that have been trying to bankrupt the country. Cue the Marines. 
Inevitable: Charter schools are generally located at the intersection of money and politics, which explains why the FBI is more and more frequently investigating them for corruption.

Back-Dated: Australian security laws are being 'corrected' to make illegally obtained evidence admissible in court. Seems the cops have been tracking Aussie's web browsing histories without bothering to get a warrant. 
Who Are These People? Israel justified targeting the home of a Hamas leader and killing his wife and baby son by comparing him to bin Laden and claiming “he deserves to die...” and his wife and seven-month old, just because they can?

Preview: The US Supreme Court has sustained a stay on Virginia's same-sex marriage rulings, which pretty well assures that the Nine will hear some sort of consolidated same-sex case next year. 
'Till Death Do Us Part: In the last decade over 300 SC women have been shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death by their loving spouses. The state is making no particular effort to prevent these deaths. Elsewhere in SC a student has been arrested for writing an essay about shooting a dinosaur – which get more protection in SC than women.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SAR #14230

Bombing people has not been as profitable as we were told it would be. Demetrius
Leaderslip: Missouri's Lt Gov. thinks that the situation in Ferguson calls for “Anglo-American justice,” not racial protests, while the state's GOP head thinks having a voter registration drive during the civil unrest is “disgusting”. Others see a similarity between the violence in Ferguson and the resistance to apartheid in South Africa and suggest the state should take some pointers from the way Egypt was able to enforce decorum in Cairo. The real story is not about race, it is about slavery and about inequality. No matter what the underlying dynamics, shoplifting is not supposed to carry the death penalty. 
Travel Planning: A volcano growing under an Icelandic glacier should be taken into consideration as you plan your fall shopping trip to the continent. 
Headline$: The US stock market rose on the prospect of reason prevailing in the Ukraine and Dollar General gobbling up the competition, while housing prices in London plunged sharply and Barclays predicted a modest 1% gain for the S&P this year. House prices fell throughout China as demand dissolved
Bonus Points: One of the best things about being white is that your child has a much smaller chance of being killed by a cop. 
From The Sideline: Yale's Robert Shiller says that the United States stock market looks very expensive right now,” and points to his home-made CAPE ratio. During the last century the ratio averaged about 15, and it now stands at 25 – a level that has only been reached three times in the last 130 years: 1929, 1999, and 2007. Which, according to Shiller, makes this “an unusual period.”

Wages of War: War is a huge money loser, at least war between nations. Civil wars in the preindustrial world can be profitable and most often resemble turf wars between competing criminal elements or are simply the byproduct of a couple of international giants competing for local resources, which is much the same thing. One reason the big boys keep playing at war is that the leadership – George in Iraq and Putin in Ukraine – simply can't or won't do the math. But more often wars result from the domestic needs of the politicians. Getting and keeping power trumps international peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SAR #14229

Inquiring Mind: What makes you think that the clash between the poor and the police in St. Louis is about race, rather than the continuing economic slavery the descendants of slaves have been kept in for 125 years? How long before the 50 million Americans who are poor realize that being poor gives them more in common than the shades of their skin divide them, that being poor is as big a crime as being black? That united they would be unstoppable? Maybe it starts in the #QuickTrip People's Park.

Repeat After Me: Suddenly we have a “skills gap” in the retail and restaurant sector. Job openings are up 14.6% but hires are down 0.7%. Seems that not just anyone can say “Want fries with that?” and press the little picture on the screen.

The Wages Of War Sin: Israel claims it has now destroyed the homes of the Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and killing the three teens that Netanyahu used as a pretext to kill thousands of Palestinians, maim tens of thousands more and make a quarter million innocents homeless. Chalk it up to collateral damage.

Fill In The Blanks: When drug companies weigh research projects, they direct their R&D departments to focus on maintenance drugs for conditions that a lot of middle class and affluent people in the developed world have (or can be convinced they have), that will be inexpensive to develop and can be marketed at huge profit margins over decades. They have no interest in curing a disease like Ebola that people quickly die from. Thus a a deadly virus has been killing poor rural Africans for 36 years. 
Explain This: Between 2010 and 2012, about 100,000 elephants were slaughtered in Africa by poachers who only took only their tusks. How many erections did that gain for elderly Chinese gentlemen? 
Perspective: This century's global warming will be determined by the fossil fuel industry, not by methane bubbling up here and there in the Arctic. It would take tens of millions of giant methane bubbles like those seen in Siberia recently to make a significant impact. We should keep our eyes on the smokestacks and exhaust pipes, that's what will do us in.

Keeping Score: During 2013, American police killed a black citizen every 28 hours. 
Austrangleia: Australian Head Troglodyte is trying to crush the use of renewables to hand coal and gas corporations an extra $10 billion, while he approves dumping dredge waste on the Great Barrier Reef after the dumper kicked a piddling $150,000 into Abbott's party's pocketbook. Abbott tells would-be immigrants "don't migrate to Australia unless you want to join Team Australia" by which he means sucking up to his administration. Australia's largest solar power project has bowed to the inevitable and abandoned its efforts in the face of the administration's hostility to anything not carbon-based. Yet Germany, that hotbed of socialist industrial power, got 31% of its electricity from renewable sources last month. 
Laundry Bill: The law firm that whitewashed Governor What Bridge? Christie is billing New Jersey taxpayers $6.5 million for that magnum opus. Good thing he didn't do anything else wrong. Right? 
Kinder, Gentler: Authorities in the Georgia county where cops threw a flash-bang grenade into a baby's crib are refusing to pay the child's medical bills. Do they think it'll cost them less to lose the civil suit?