Oh, the people have no jobs…let them volunteer. Marie Antoinette
We’ve moved beyond John Locke as our social model to the attitude of Marie Antoinette. The White House acts as though there’s not a massive job problem.
The White House will not insist that an emerging budget deal include an extension of the unemployment benefits program set to expire at the end of the year, press secretary Jay Carney said on Friday. Roll Call Dec 6
The White House wants the unemployed to know that it feels their pain:
[White House Press Secretary] Carney said that it would be “terrible to tell more than a million families across the country just a few days after Christmas that they’re out of benefits,” but that the White House was agnostic on how the extension happened. Roll Call Dec 6
Terrible to tell millions “a few days after Christmas” that they’re totally screwed, forgotten, cast aside, left without help… Actually, Mr. Carney should consider this. If it’s “terrible” to tell people this, just imagine how terrible it is to live it. But Carney and the others inside the Beltway don’t need to worry. They are supported by the socialism for the Mandarin class…guaranteed income no matter how badly you behave.
“The vehicle that they use to do that is less important than the fact that they do it,” Carney said.Roll Call Dec 6
At The Agonist, we’ve been covering the attack on Syria for some time (Syrian Crisis). The considered move by the ‘good’ rebels, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), isn’t news. It’s history. In recent government victories at Qusayr and Homs, on the Turkish border, and in Latakia, FSA and other rebel groups have accepted negotiated surrenders to the Syrian Arab Army.
The FSA has struggled of late. A large group of FSA aligned fighters left that organization on September 25 to join the Islamic Alliance headed by a United States designated terrorist organization, Jabhat al-Nusra. The alliance comprises up to 75% of rebels attacking the government.
“The creation of the bloc nonetheless leaves Idriss’s [FSA] council directly responsible for just a handful of small units, calling into question the utility of extending aid to moderate rebels, according to Charles Lister of the London-based defense consultancy IHS Jane’s.” Guardian Sep 25
It’s always something, as Roseannadanna used to say. “Great news” about the “recovery” is a hot button for me. I’m always willing to accept signs of a recovery that will deliver real jobs for real people. In the absence of that, “fake recovery” news is welcomed, in a cynical way, since it indicates a lack of preparation for a big fall. So, ya know… 3.6% GDP growth for 3Q. That sounded great. Pulling back the curtain, Toto style, Robert Oak of Economic Populist explains why reflexive optimism, no matter how brief, is unwarranted.
Q3 2013 real GDP had a blow out revision and is now 3.6%. Originally GDP was reported to be 2.8% for the third quarter. As estimated, dramatically increasing inventory accumulation was the main cause of the large upward revision to GDP. Changes in inventories accounted for 46.5% of Q3 GDP. The increasing trade deficit shaved off 0.23 percentage points, as predicted. Actual economic demand is weaker in the third quarter in comparison to the 2nd. Additionally large inventory accumulation can imply a slowing economy.
The world has lost it’s greatest son of this past century. “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”
My favourite quote “The important thing is to give happiness to people.”
Leading climatologist James Hansen et al. just published an excellent article at the open source journal PLOS ONE. In an email, Hansen said: “The paper was written to provide the scientific basis for legal actions against federal and state governments, in the United States and other nations, for not doing their job of protecting the rights of young people. The legal actions being filed by Our Children’s Trust ask the courts to require the government to provide a plan for how they will reduce fossil fuel emissions consistent with stabilizing climate.”
In addition to evidence to sue government, the material is equally valid for suits against climate change deniers. Here’s an excerpt from the full article available at the link below.
“The fallacy of this logic (major problems begin with global warming of 2–3°C) emerged recently as numerous impacts of ongoing global warming emerged and as paleoclimate implications for climate sensitivity became apparent. Arctic sea ice end-of-summer minimum area, although variable from year to year, has plummeted by more than a third in the past few decades, at a faster rate than in most models , with the sea ice thickness declining a factor of four faster than simulated in IPCC climate models . The Greenland and Antarctic Continue reading James Hansen – The legal case against climate change inaction, denial
Dec 4 (Reuters) – Iran on Wednesday named seven Western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields if international sanctions are lifted and said it would outline investment terms in April next year.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh named the seven in order: Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s ENI, Norway’s Statoil, Britain’s BP and U.S. companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips .
Speaking to reporters at an OPEC meeting, Zanganeh said he was already talking with some companies, although so far not those from the United States.
“We had no limitations for U.S. companies. Twenty years ago there were limitations against them from their own administration. For doing projects in Iran, we have no limitations,” Zanganeh said.
What do you think Iran got for this opening? One can only imagine.
Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, “love is love.” And I love our modern family. Maybe, in the end, a modern family is just a more honest family.
The day will come when a celebrity will announce they’re gay, or lesbian, or bisexual…and the response will be “So??”. People will love who they love for their own reasons and nary an eyebrow will be raised. Clearly, we have a ways to go before we’re there, but as increasingly numbers of celebrities become more open about their sexuality, people find themselves thinking about their own sexuality and prejudices. There’s no reason why the sexuality of a celebrity is of any more import than yours or mine, but our culture is obsessed with celebrity, so when a well-known person comes out, it’s news. Perhaps some day soon such news will elicit a collective yawn.
Maria Bello’s disclosure that she’s in a lesbian relationship came in a piece she wrotefor the New York Times. She discusses her journey and how she finally came to find herself in a romantic relationship with her best friend. She writes about how she struggled with telling her son…only to find out that her son loves her for who she is and not who she loves. Sometimes, all a love one wants from you is honesty.
Any version of sexuality other than the majority’s “norm” can be, and often is, a source of great consternation and stress. Ultimately, though, the heart wants what it wants; we can accept it and grow or fight it and be miserable. In Bello’s case, she reached the conclusion that what was right for her wasn’t an issue to those around her who love her for who she is, not who shares her bed. I think we can all take a lesson from that. We are who we are, we love who we love, and if we can see our way clear to accept that for what it is, we might just find something resembling happiness…and Lord knows that can be in short supply these days. Continue reading It shouldn’t matter who, how, or why you love…only that you do love
The U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades, amid booming output from shale formations, the IEA said.Bloomberg Nov 12
Well, I guess that means every thing will be just fine. We’ll have plenty of cheap fuel to drive gas-guzzlers and lots of walking around money from out new status as oil suppliers to the world. We might even have enough money to fund health care, Social Security, and fix our collapsing infrastructure. There’s just one catch. But first, here’s some more good news.
Tim Johnson of McClatchy just wrote an excellent article outlining the geopolitical implications of our new energy wealth: “Rise of Saudi America will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role.” Nov. 28. Rather than a slow decline from superpower status, Johnson makes the case that the rise in domestic shale oil production plus sought after U.S. oil industry services and technology will sustain the U.S. as a dominant superpower.
Dependence on Middle East oil will soon be a thing of the past. Johnson suspects that will make disasters like the Iraq invasion, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria a thing of the past. The shale oil boom, according to Johnson, has us fat and happy, counting our dollars from energy exports rather than bringing democracy (aka military action) to oil producing countries.
The political climate in Canberra just got even hotter. Over the past weeks Australia has upset Indonesia, China and Timor Leste. East Timor has learnt that Australia basically used “insider trading” to negotiate the 2004 oil treaty. Alexander Downer the foreign minister back in the day muddles on. More background.
Thanksgiving night shopping looked like a new family tradition this year as stores opened earlier and consumers took advantage of the extra time to spread out their Black Friday shopping.
The Thursday-through-Sunday tally, though, was less buying overall, according to data from several firms.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined brought in an estimated $12.3 billion in sales, according to shopping analytics firm ShopperTrak. Thanksgiving Day traffic grew 27% as nearly one-third of shoppers headed to stores on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. Many retailers opened earlier than ever, some at 5 or 6 p.m. Kmart opened at 6 a.m.
“Probably the most interesting is the amount of energy the consumer put into Thursday shopping,” says Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “The retailers did a good job getting them up from the dinner table and into stores.”
This is quite an article. It’s almost droll in evaluating the shift in the global energy equation. The basic assumptions are correct but the conclusion about superpower status is wrong for a very important reason, which I’ll comment on later. In the mean time, enjoy this well written article.
Rise of Saudi America will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role
MEXICO CITY — For the past 40 years, U.S. presidents have launched distant wars, allied with autocratic sheikhs and dispatched naval fleets to protect sea lanes, all for the imperative of keeping foreign oil spigots flowing.