Thursday, February 21, 2008

At the end of the day - February 20, 2008

Remember, when they say our economy is in the most vicious cycle ever, that includes 1929...The subprime crisis is far beyond what anyone has managed to get their heads around yet.

Bank of America delivered a report last night highlighting the current losses of the "credit crisis." According to the report, the meltdown in the U.S. subprime real estate market has led to a global loss of $7.7 trillion in stock market value since October.
It is affecting banks and economies world wide. We have taken a large chunk of the world along on our out-of-control handcart ride to hell.

Oh, this just makes all kinds of sense...The Philippines is a poor and struggling nation, surviving on the remittances of a migrant workforce already. So what kind of sense does it make for an impoverished country, already incapable of producing enough food to feed it's own population, to take what farmland it has and lease it to grow rice for EXPORT to China? Brilliant.

Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisher has a new book coming out next month - "So Wrong for So Long: How the The Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq." You can listen to a podcast preview of the book here.

Now the US Military is backing away from the story that two female suicide bombers had Down Syndrome. Now they are saying that the women had received psychiatric treatment, but were not mentally retarded. "Both had recently received psychiatric treatment for depression and/or schizophrenia. From what we know now there's no indication that they had Down syndrome," said a spokesman, citing records obtained by the military.

Is anyone really surprised? After FEMA screwed the pooch on deploying trailers for victims of Hurricane Katrina and then realized the trailers were poisoning the people in them, it’s hardly news that they misused the money they made from selling said, poisoned trailers.

Increased Hurricane Losses Due to More People, NOT Stronger Storms...(.pdf alert) A new paper from noted tropical researchers have concluded that damage from hurricanes and tropical cyclones have increased in the U.S.... but not from stronger storms.

Chris Landsea and others found that it was due to population growth, infrastructure and wealth along the coastline... not a spike in the number or intensity of hurricanes in the Atlantic basin.

"We found that although some decades were quieter and less damaging in the U.S. and others had more land-falling hurricanes and more damage, the economic costs of land-falling hurricanes have steadily increased over time," said Chris Landsea, one of the researchers as well as the science and operations officer at NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami. "There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts."

Interesting to see how the issue of rendition plays out in the U.K. where concern for civil liberties seems to be more important than fear-mongering (today's special: humble pie).

Dog and Pony Shows™ are going to get someone killed. I have been saying it for ages. I don't want a potentate to perish, but it's going to happen, and that is the only way the stupid, wasteful, tax-payer funded junkets are going to stop. They never get the real scoop anyway. For the second time in recent months, an aircraft in a war zone has been in peril with lawmakers aboard who are traipsing off to war zones for photo ops and to perhaps do a bit of shopping.

And that's it for Thursday - I hope when I wake up on Friday it isn't 1979 any more...

Tonights At the End of the Day has been brought to you with the help of Deb-TUD and Sniderman.