A friend who wishes to remain nameless sent me this:
Consider this some low calorie content substitute, as I’m still recovering from Armadillocon this past weekend…
A new trade agreement was struck at the World Trade Organization.
A new global trade agreement that eliminates tariffs on more than 200 kinds of IT products should result in lower prices to technology buyers around the world as it is implemented over the next three years.
The tentative deal, struck on Friday at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva, affects a wide variety of products ranging from smartphones, routers, and ink cartridges to video game consoles and telecommunications satellites. It covers US$1.3 trillion worth of global trade, about 7 percent of total trade today.
This is one of those pieces of Snooze Inducing News that could very well turn out to be A Great Big Hairy Deal. Free trade is a win-win for the nations involved, so this could potentially help alleviate the real nasty recession that’s careening down the pike at us.
A complete list of the products covered range from the excessively specific to the frustratingly general (“memories”). But a whole lot of them look related to semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, an industry that American and Japanese companies dominate. (Almost makes me wish I hadn’t sold all my Applied Materials stock. Almost.)
(Hat tip: Slashdot.)
“The past two years have been the most violent and repressive in Egypt’s contemporary history.” True, but by and large the Egyptians themselves don’t seem to mind. Why?
Yet despite this bleak security outlook, Egypt is more politically stable than it’s been in years. Unlike the divided regimes that collapsed in the face of mass protests in January 2011 and June 2013, the Sisi regime is internally unified. And the various state institutions and civil groups that constitute the regime will likely remain tightly aligned for one basic reason: they view the Muslim Brotherhood as a significant threat to their respective interests and thus see the regime’s crackdown on the organization as essential to their own survival.
Lucky for Egypt (and the world) that Morsi and his Muslim Brothers were such idiots. They could have gotten a lot further Islamicising Egypt had they followed Erdogan’s incrementalist model…
Via ZeroHedge comes renewed information of a point I’ve hit home again and again: Thogh Greece is an extreme outlier on unsustainable welfare state spending in Europe, it’s also the canary in the coal mine, as toxic debt continues to rise all across Europe, with several countries exceeding a debt-to-GDP ratios of over 100%, including “Greece (168.8%), Italy (135.1%) and Portugal (129.6%).” Post-bailout (and bail-in) Cyprus is still over 100% as well, as is Ireland, though Eurostat didn’t have Irish DGP numbers, though supposedly the ratio should be trending down. And Spain and France are hovering just under 100%.
To my mind the great mystery is how Belgium’s debt-to-GDP ratio now tops 111% with such a fat cushion of Brussels Eurocrats to sit on.
The problem is not Greece’s only. The problem is that the western liberal welfare state, as currently constituted, is economically and demographically unsustainable.
I’m sure I’ve driven this point home to regular readers of this blog, but I’ll continue driving it home until our leadership class is actually willing to do something about it…
That’s the headline I wanted The New York Post to put on this scandal. Since they have thus far declined to, I guess I’ll just have to do it myself…
“We don’t want to be accused of selling tissues.” Well then, why don’t you, oh, I don’t know, refrain from selling organs from aborted babies?
And this is a follow up to their first video:
Now, I don’t tend to report much on the abortion debate, save the occasional LinkSwarm piece or when Democrats break their pro-life promises. I don’t think the issue is resolvable via the political process, involving as it does two absolutes, and though I consider myself moderately pro-life, I imagine the majority of he pro-life movement would find me entirely too “squishy” on the subject.
But the most recent revelations are definitely hardening my position on Planned Parenthood. I was always in favor of defunding it, and neither abortions or birth control should receive any government subsidies at all, much less federal subsidies, as it’s not a constitutionally enumerated power. But now I think all government, at all levels, shop drop all official ties with Planned Parenthood, Democrats should constantly be questioned and attacked over their support of it, and those officials of Planned Parenthood breaking the law on human organ trafficking should be arrested, convicted and imprisoned.
Been a while since I took a look at the last region of Texas where Democrats still wield political power: the Rio Grande Valley. What’s going on down there these days?
Would you believe…corruption?
The Rio Grande Valley is considered the most corrupt area in the country, according to the latest statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Valley has the highest number of federal public corruption convictions. In 2013, 83 cases received guilty verdicts or pleas. The FBI since launched their anti-corruption task force.
Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?
They’re called politiqueras — a word unique to the border that means campaign worker. It’s a time-honored tradition down in the land of grapefruit orchards and Border Patrol checkpoints. If a local candidate needs dependable votes, he or she goes to a politiquera.
In recent years, losing candidates in local elections began to challenge vote harvesting by politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley, and they shared their investigations with authorities. After the 2012 election cycle, the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general’s office filed charges.
“Yes, there is a concern in which the politiqueras are being paid to then go and essentially round up voters and have them vote a certain way,” says James Sturgis, assistant U.S. attorney in McAllen.
In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.
Funny how much of that voter fraud Democrats claim doesn’t exist there is. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
These are only the stories that have caught my eye this year…
This is just a post to offer my hearty congratulations to Ace of Spades HQ for penning the headline of the year.
And yeah, it’s about Gawker.