Monday, January 13, 2014

A Likeable Guy

I'm really beginning to like this guy. A bald old geezer--just like me, except I have hair--who's just pissed off about things most of the time. His name is Charles Kingsley Michelson, III. And really irritated by the shallow "thinking" that underlies the lies most people in this land of the free believe.* I should say I liked this guy from the beginning, and now he's really growing on me.

To wit:
A Dollar Saved: How could the massive credit card security hacks like the recent Target debacle be stopped? With chip and pin cards. Never heard of them? They've been used in Europe since 1992 and have cut credit card fraud by over 80%. Why aren't they used in the US? a) It would cost the bankcard companies money. b) see a. c) Think about a and b. 
 
Preying The Odds: Senator Inhofe (Ignoramus – OK) claims that “fewer and fewer” senators believe in the climate change 'hoax', vs the 1 out of 10,000 scientists who doubt the reality of global climate change. 
 
Where The Money Goes: Just how much do we spend on welfare? $75 billion in food stamps, $55 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit, $43 billion in Supplemental Security income payments, $21 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and $18 billion in housing vouchers for the poor. That's a bit over $200 billion, less than we spend on killing Muslims our Middle Eastern oil wars.

Trend Spotting: In the last 500 years, every instance of mass spying on the populace led to the government crushing dissent. It was never, ever, done to protect anyone but the rulers.

Use It Or Lose It: In their blind hatred of Barak Obama, the far right has persuaded a compliant Supreme Court to hear their case for ending Presidential recess appointments - even though in his two terms he has made the fewest such appointments out of the last five Presidents. Have they given up all hope of ever getting one of their kind back in the White House?

Consequences: The cuts in services for seniors caused by the sequester's reduced funding are resulting in higher public costs for senior care because the programs that permitted many to continue healthy, independent living are being cut back. Sometimes a little public spending prevents both private suffering and increased public spending. It's called foresight. 
 
Asked & Answered: “Did Ariel Sharon get a pass on war crimes because he was white?” No, because he was an Israeli. 
 
A Quote: “Right now Republicans are doing all they can to hurt the poor, and they would have inflicted vast additional harm if they had won the 2012 election. Moreover, G.O.P. harshness toward the less fortunate isn’t just a matter of spite...; it’s deeply rooted in the party’s ideology...” Sure it's Krugmann; but he's right.

Bye, Buy, American Pie: Are subprime mortgages an endangered species? No, but they may become a rare thing, not because they can't be made under a reformed Wall Street, just that it'll be harder to palm them off on innocent investors as Good Investments and the banksters' fees will be limited, so there will be a lot fewer such loans. Whether this is a Good Thing depends, like so many things, on a lot of other things. Full disclosure and educated borrowers being just the beginning.
*Just as an aside: I found out that well over 100 people list their profession as "curmudgeon" on Blogger. You can find a list of them here.
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