Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hello, everyone.  Let's see what is happening on the internet today.  

The first item is the coverage one of the local TV stations gave to Bank Transfer Day.  I don't know whether they wanted to blunt the news or if they wanted to appear 'fair and balanced' but they managed to give as much time to customers who weren't moving their money while generally muddling the message of the customers who were transferring their money.  They did manage to get in the statistics I was reading yesterday--some 650k people transferred their money in the last month.

Well, this is the fourth earthquake in Oklahoma in the last two days and, according to report, the strongest since they started keeping records.  Thankfully, no serious injuries.  Update:  broadcast news says they had another 4.7 after the 5.6.  That makes five.

The commentators were almost orgasmic over the 80k new jobs reported this last week.  However, I think this story gives a good balance to that enthusiasm.  I seem to remember a report a couple of months ago claiming that as many as 1.5 million long term unemployed would exhaust their benefits in the first two months of next year.  I also heard a report, not repeated since, that some 30k of those 80k new hires were people who got second jobs.

Just had a thought on the topic of contradictory information.  Last week CNBC had an interview with the CEO of Starbucks who was overjoyed by the fall in coffee prices.  That came just after we decided to buy two 34.5 oz cans of coffee on sale for $6.99 because all the other coffee was 33 oz for $13.99.  That last is becoming the norm.  Considering what I have read about the coffee harvest projection which were down thanks to weather extremes, I think our experience more accurately reflects reality.  But then confirming the stories with trustworthy sources is difficult and there was mention of speculators whose influence on the markets all the way down to the consumer has been debated with no resolution.  But the bottom line is, who do you trust on anything?  I have no idea.

Here is another entry in the 'we bailed them out and they shafted us' file.  We don't really have capitalism in any classic sense.  Adam Smith and John Locke are probably spinning in their graves.  We have predatory capitalism and we are the prey.  I agree with the sentiment one of the bloggers expressed: I will accept the personhood of corporations when Texas executes one.

David Dayen at Firedoglake posted this this morning which highlights a movement among Federal legislators to evade the automatic 10% cuts in the Federal spending that would come if the Supercommittee fails.  If you all remember, the Supercommittee was established in the legislation that expanded the debt limit--the nasty little stalemate that cost the U.S. its AAA rating with S&P.  It also caused a bit of a bobble on the world stock markets.  So now a couple of the Repthuglican powers in the Senate (McCain and Graham) are proposing to exempt the Defense part of the budget from the automatic cuts while unspecified Damnocrats are doing the same for "entitlements."  I don't know which his worse.  Greek politicians came up with a way to deny voters the right to pass judgement on their actions with regard to the bailout and the austerity demanded in return.  At the same time, elected officials in this country, claiming to act in accordance with the alleged mandates from their voters, refuse to act.  Either way, democracy is dying if not already dead.

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