Friday, January 3, 2014

More nasty weather. The dirty shirt economy. Who has NAFTA helped? Political bums and the voters who love to hate them.

Now that I have posted the pictures I will see what is on the 'net today.

In case you think I am feeling like the Lone Ranger with our brutal weather--here is a story about 30ft storm surge waves in southwest Britain.  I follow weather reports world wide and have for the last five or six years.  And the number of unusual weather phenomena seems to be increasing.  Going from ice to fire, there is a nasty heatwave in parts of Australia where temperatures are reaching the high 40sC.  For those who need a translation to fahrenheit (as I do), 50C is equivalent to 122F.  Last year the meteorologists had to add a color to their charts for the levels above 45C.

I also follow economic news and some of that over the last seven years has been increasingly odd--to put it mildly.  I often get the feeling that our political and economic leaders have been putting a happy face on some very deep and serious problems.  I have thought that anyone who thinks Europe or the U.S. economies are recovering are looking at things through very distorting lenses.  This account of a new IMF paper reinforces my assessment.  I don't know how many times I have heard the US economy being described as the "cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry" which explains why so much investment money has come in.  I would remind everyone that the cleanest dirty shirt is still--dirty.

An interesting essay on how well NAFTA has worked in Mexico.  A good argument against the TransPacific and TransAtlantic partnerships now being so secretly negotiated with the "assistance" of major global corporations and financial companies.

This is a twist on my observation that voters may want to throw out the bums except, of course, for their own bums.  Which is why the politicos don't feel the need to hammer out mutually satisfactory (or unsatisfactory) compromises.  If you don't like your bum, who do you vote for when the only choices are another ideologue from the same party with the same philosophy or someone from a party you despise even more?  Not much choice, is it?

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