Monday, October 24, 2016

SAR #16298

Unlike Christians, Muslim seem believe what they say they believe.
Out-Snowdening Snowden: An NSA contractor employed by the same firm that once employed Edward Snowden has stolen at least 50 terabytes of ultra secret material from the agency. A terabyte is a million million. Maybe the NSA ought to start contracting some security experts.
Growth Sputter: The NY Fed predicts that the US GDP will grow, if that's the word for it, a slender 1.4% in the fourth quarter.
Open Season: Federal election observers will monitor only the polls in five states in November. Because, the Supremes say, there's no racially based intimidation or harassment anywhere else anymore. Racially based districts, of course, but that's all legal. And the lack of reports because of the lack of monitors elsewhere will be used as proof that voter discrimination didn't happen.
Noted: “Finance is too important to leave to Larry Summers.”
17 To 1: William Binney, high-ranking NSA spook turned whistleblower, says that it is far more likely that a disgruntled NSA employee leaked the DNC files, not Russia. I've never understood why Congress and the FBI didn't just ask the NSA for Hillary's emails; they've got 'em all.
Feral Loathing: South Africa says it is pulling out of the international criminal court because they are afraid that they, too, may have to face the consequences of their actions. Henry Kissinger votes aye.
The Future Is Now: Finnish banker Björn Wahlroos says that as workers are replaced by robots the workers face the choice of poorly paid service jobs or living on the dole. He sees a basic universal income as the only viable solution. The so-called 'Sharing Economy' is not a solution; it is based on exploiting inefficiencies in various industries and finding ways around regulations so that the unemployed can be called contractors and exploited by working for low wages without benefits.
Once Around: When's the last time you heard a politician talk about global warming/climate change? Sure it's the most pressing problem we have, but no one knows how to save us, so why talk about it?
Another Brick In The Wall: Turkey's supreme leader and would be sultan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is converting the stunning Hagia Sophia (built as an Orthodox Christian church in 537, converted to a mosque in 1453 when the Ottoman Turks came to town, and made into a revered museum in 1931 under Mustafa Atatürk) back into a mosque with prayers 5 times a day. Because he can. There's no need to use the building as a mosque because the beautiful Blue Mosque is only a 100 paces away.
Trigger Treat: Police departments around the country would like to have stun-gun equipped drones. Because they've been good and you haven't.
A Parting Shot:

Friday, October 21, 2016

SAR #16295

Caution enriches passion.
Protecting The Serving: The PA Senate has passed a bill that would let cops prevent the public from seeing body cam video without a court order.
Manufactured Manufacturing: Yes, US manufacturing is in the tank, except for computer and electronics stuff. Cars, trucks, appliances... not so much. But the government numbers show improvement because they count “vast improvements in quality” as a manufacturing gain, regardless of how few workers those improvements require.
Not Really, But: The US Chamber of Commerce says that the scare headlines about TPP undermining national, state and local laws and regulations simply are not true. Nothing in the TPP agreement gives the ISDS arbitrators the power to overturn laws or regulations. They can, however, make governments pay huge settlements, billions and billions. But the law(s) will not be overturned by the ISDS process.
Food For Thought: Does the US really need all those oversas bases? Yes, if it is to retain its empire. Are they cost effective? Probably not,but boy do they swell the prideful chests of the unemployed.
Damn Democrats: Illegal immigration is harder than it looks. In 2014 about 200,000 Central Americans tried to sneak in to the US; hardly a flood, but significant. But Obama, since 2009, has deported more than 2.5 million people, nearly 25% more than Bush. Another case where the facts have Democrat bias.
His Master's Voice: Trump's dog whistle refusal to commit to accepting the will of the electorate was pure red meat for that half of his voters whose grip on reality is slight and whose anger is barely under control. Has Trump tried to stoke fear among his more loosely wrapped followers? Yes, but to what end? Never mind what he says, pay attention to what his followers are hearing.
The Third Branch: In John Kische's Ohio a judge has restored the right to vote to thousands who were targeted by Kasich's administration on the suspicion they would vote Democrat.
Look Carefully: White collar crime is not necessarily different from other forms of criminality except 1) The perpetraors tend to wear suits, thus the white collars, 2) While they are often “caught” by the press, they are relatively immune to actual arrest and trial. 3) Very rarely does a white collar offender – say the head of Wells Fargo or any number of senior Goldman Sachs officers – stand trial. 4) They rarely serve actual jail time.
The Downward Spiral: Spoiled and ignorant white students at Texas State University in San Marcos walked out of their anthropology class when the professor told them that we are all of African descent. Which we are. A teacher in a Norman, OK high school pointed out to his class that being born white conferred immense privileges that are part of the birthright racism of being white in America. The students were deeply offended to learn the truth. At the University of Florida the school is offering counseling for over-protected brats who claim to be offended by Halloween costumes.
Family Stress: Spokesmen for Philippine President Duterte have announced that the Philippines and the US are undergoing a trial “separation”. Until this matter is resolved the family would like be allowed to quietly work out their problems.