7 Keys to Understanding the Greek Elections

originaly posted Jan 23

Huffington Post, By Pavlos Tsimas, January 22

On Sunday at 7:00 p.m. in Greece when the ballots are closing and the first exit polls are released in Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, London, Frankfurt and New York, all the political and financial decision-makers — and people who assist in making such decisions — will be staring at their computer screens, ready to read and interpret those numbers.

The upcoming elections in Greece are undeniably a global event, whose importance transcends Greece’s borders. The importance lies in the fact that these elections are part of a series of critical elections in Europe, from the British elections in May to Spain’s elections in November.
Continue reading 7 Keys to Understanding the Greek Elections

Amazon Prime only $72 tomorrow only, new subscribers only

OK, I wouldn’t post this, but nymole wanted anything, so here goes…
Usually Amazon Prime is $99/year, but tomorrow they are having a special sale for new members only.  If you don’t already have it, now’s the time.
Even $72 for a year sounds expensive, but it works out to $6/month, $3/mo less than Netflix.  I think it is well worth it.  Not only do you get free instant video of commercial-free movies and tv shows, just like Netflix, but you also get free 2-day shipping on any Prime items you buy from Amazon, and Amazon usually sells stuff cheaper than just about anywhere else.
When you sign up, order a Roku streaming media player in order to watch those shows (and many others).  Once you start using it, you’ll wonder if you really need to pay that big cable bill every month.

Weekend Jukebox: Hearing or tuning out sounds and signals

C’mon just post anything…. I mean, is anybody out there?-)

To start:
political-
Talking Heads: Life during Wartime


 

more:
Rueben Blades: Desapariciones (the Disappeared)- sung here for the missing Mexican students

song trans here
__________________________________________________________________________________
personal:
Colin Meloy of the Decembrists: The Wrong Year
( “Eidolon” is/was a Canadian band”)
Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark
Man Man: Hold onto your Heart

Catblogging: NewsCats

Deflation (footballs, economies, congress…whatever)

Continue reading Catblogging: NewsCats

Doomsday Clock moves two minutes closer to midnight

CBS, January 23

The iconic Doomsday Clock, considered a metaphor for the dangers faced by the world, was pushed ahead by two minutes over concerns about worsening climate change and the world’s failure to reduce nuclear weapons, a trans-Atlantic group of prominent scientists announced.

Every year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists analyzes international threats, particularly nuclear arsenals and climate change, and decides where the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock should rest. The closer it is to midnight, the closer the world is to doom.

The last time the clock moved was in 2012 when the Board set the minute hand at 11:55 p.m. over concerns about the state of nuclear arsenals around the world. It also was concerned about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and the outbreak of H5N1 flu. It hasn’t moved this much since 2007, when the Board warned that “the world stands on the brink of a second nuclear age.” It also cited climate change which it called “a dire challenge to humanity.”

Those two issues again took center stage as the Board announced it would bump the clock two minutes ahead, to 11:57 p.m.

“Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity,” Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, told reporters. “And world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of leadership endanger every person on Earth.”

King Abdullah, Who Sought to Modernize Saudi Arabia, [has died] at 90

AP, January 22

Riyadh — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, has died, according to Saudi state TV. He was 90.

More than his guarded and hidebound predecessors, Abdullah assertively threw his oil-rich nation’s weight behind trying to shape the Middle East. His priority was to counter the influence of rival, mainly Shiite Iran wherever it tried to make advances. He and fellow Sunni Arab monarchs also staunchly opposed the Middle East’s wave of pro-democracy uprisings, seeing them as a threat to stability and their own rule.
Continue reading King Abdullah, Who Sought to Modernize Saudi Arabia, [has died] at 90

Deflation Swamps Switzerland

originally posted Jan 17

Shocking!  Unprecedented!  Unfair!  These were some of the politer adjectives used by financial experts to describe this week’s decision by the Swiss National Bank to abandon its currency peg to the euro.  As is often the case with major central bank decisions involving currencies, the public finds it very hard to understand what is happening or why it matters.  In Switzerland’s case, the situation was made even more confusing by the central bank lowering its overnight money rate to negative 0.75%.  This means you have to pay interest to the central bank for the privilege of lending them your money, an act that strikes many as contrary to the laws of nature.  Doesn’t the lender always earn interest, and the borrower always pay?  Not in the topsy-turvy world of deflation, which is the strange financial anti-matter world that Switzerland now inhabits.  The Swiss no doubt are asking themselves how they have found themselves in such a situation.  We would all do well to ask the same question, because deflation is the most important financial reality facing the world today. Continue reading Deflation Swamps Switzerland

Breathtakingly Cynical – Obama’s New Proposal

In a breathtaking display of Cynicism, the Obama administration has announced a program to provide tax cuts for the “middle class,” and to increase taxes on the rich.

This is just a cynical political ploy to polish his appalling legacy, characterized by “Look forward, not backward” in prosecuting torture, kidnapping and illegal imprisonment, coupled with his outstanding lack of effort to remove the US “middle class” from under the health insurance industry’s boot.

Continue reading Breathtakingly Cynical – Obama’s New Proposal

Anchor Leaves CNN After Paris Tweets


aletejahtv

NYT – The veteran CNN anchor Jim Clancy has left the network after a series of Twitter messages he wrote about the terrorist attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

In the tweets, which were sent on the day of the attack, Mr. Clancy wrote about the cartoons the paper had published depicting the Prophet Muhammad, but he then began criticizing supporters of Israel and sparring with other Twitter users. Mr. Clancy’s Twitter account has since been deleted, but the tweets were published on several websites, including Gawker, Twitchy and Mediaite.

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

Washington Post, By Lyndsey Layton, January 16

For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.
Continue reading Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

Weekend Jukebox: “Live Together or Perish”- Open Thread for M.L.King’s Birthday

Post away in this difficult year.
 
1. Sweet Honey in the Rock: “Ain’t Going to Let Nobody Turn Me Round”


 

– Bob Dylan – The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
– Phil Ochs – In the Heat of the Summer
– Nina Simone – I wish I would know how it feels to be free
– Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Shore -Down by the riverside

Continue reading Weekend Jukebox: “Live Together or Perish”- Open Thread for M.L.King’s Birthday

Catblogging: Fat Catz

Continue reading Catblogging: Fat Catz

Hillary and Jeb propose Marriage

In their attempt to become the next President of the United States, Hillary and Jeb have proposed to get married.
No, they are not divorcing their current spouses, they have decided under the equal protection for all part of the US constitution to enter into lawful bigamy.

Thus they will steal the entire Moron vote from Mitt Romney, because we all know Morons will instinctively support any bigamist over some weird monogamist, even with his dog strapped to the roof of his car.
Continue reading Hillary and Jeb propose Marriage

Obama assures Netanyahu on Iran nuke deal

AFP, January 13

Washington DC – U.S. President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America was committed to a “comprehensive” nuclear deal with Iran, and said that Palestinian ICC membership was not “constructive,” officials said.

“The United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program,” the White House said in a statement.

“The president underscored the United States’ enduring commitment to the security of Israel and the importance of continuing close cooperation with Israel on this issue.”

Massive Paris Unity Rally, Jan 11, 2015


–CNN
 
Coverage and many pictures of the rally in Paris at the usual news links.

Two million marched across France.
Update: At least 3.7 million marched in Paris alone.

Netanyahu, recognizing an opportunity, was in the line at the head of the march with Hollande,
Cameron, Merkel, and Mahmoud Abbas for the photo op.

Obama, not recognizing one, sent retiring Attorney General Eric Holder and Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Update- Holder was in Paris but did not attend the rally. So where was Joe Biden?
 
Continue reading Massive Paris Unity Rally, Jan 11, 2015

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