June 15, 2011
The shit going down in Greece is incredibly important, as it will affect the global banking system and economy is a huge way. I thought I'd take a quick trot around the conservative blogosphere to see how many posts I could find on the subject.
As expected: Zero.
The conservative blogosphere has managed to somehow become even more useless than the MSM. Congratulations.
January 10, 2011
There is news today that India and Iran are trying to come to an agreement on using gold to settle oil trades. This comes on the heels of news that China and Russia are going to settle their energy trades in Yuan and Rubles for their new oil pipeline and other cooperative ventures. Accordingly, exchanges have begun trading the Yuan/Ruble pair.
The only thing keeping commodity inflation from going apeshit in the US is the international reserve status of the US Dollar. This drives a demand for Dollars, which has the effect of exporting our inflationary practices to other nations. Needless to say, other nations realize this and with the Fed in full retard mode, they are starting to devise strategies to avoid the US Dollar for commodity trade. To the extent that they succeed, it will force Dollar inflation back into the US.
An inflationary, weak dollar policy may seem like a good idea for exporting industries, but it comes with a host of unpleasant consequences. As other nations continue to lessen their reliance on the US Dollar for trade settlement, people are going to come to realize just how destructive the Fed's current policies are.
November 29, 2010
There have been a lot of developments in the world over the last week or so. I'm not in the mood to do full posts on any of it, so here are some quick thoughts:
Wikileaks: More please. The Federal Government is out of control -- anything that hurts them is ok in my book. This does nothing to harm the average American, while showing what a bunch of fucktards run State. As if that was any big secret.
Ireland: How does it feel to be slaves to the bankers? What are you going to do about it? Probably the same as everyone else in the western world -- bend over and ask for more.
North Korea: If we want to make a real difference in that situation, we should simply pull our troops out of South Korea and listen to the screaming from Japan et. al. Hey China, what are you going to do now? You want to be a regional power? Oh, not really? That's what I thought.
Holiday Sales: What's that sound? No, it's not Christmas Carols -- it's the sound of the dumb consuming American masses sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming 'la la la I can't hear you' to the nonstop economic warnings. It's ok, another iPOS on credit will make it all better.
TSA: Anyone who is flying who doesn't absolutely have to (death in the family is about the minimum requirement, and then only if it's over a day's drive) is a fucking cretin who deserves to live under the jackboot of government. The fastest way to take care of this situation is to immediately bankrupt the airlines by refusing to fly.
This coming New Year is going to be rather decisive for America. Do we, as a people, still desire to live freely and in a country where we are all equal under the law? I'm doubtful. It seems most would rather sell their freedom for a few shiny gadgets and a false sense of security. Europe, where governments are now seizing private pensions, is likely beyond the tipping point. America is on the edge. Prepare accordingly.
November 10, 2010
If the G20 bigwigs held a conference and nobody cared, did it even happen?
The sites that would normally be posting on the next round of the farce that is the G20 are largely silent on the matter. This is because the outcome of the summit in Seoul is already known and it's meaningless: There will be a lot of perfumed hot air blowing our way, while behind close doors, they'll be kicking each other in the shins. The US will be sitting at the kiddy table this time around, as punishment for Bernanke's highly unsocial policies, but it won't make a damn bit of difference.
Here's a Bloomberg article on the summit, if you'd like to waste a few minutes of your time.
November 09, 2010
The web is abuzz with news of the apparent launch of a ballistic missile off the US west coast. My initial thoughts:
- There is no chance in hell it was a jet contrail.
- There is no chance in hell it was an accidental launch by the US military.
- NORAD (and therefore the US military) knows exactly what happened.
- The silence of the US military and Washington is deafening.
- On the sites I've perused, there are an interesting number of people popping out of the woodwork to advance certain innocent theories. Almost all these people have either never posted before or rarely post.
- The most plausible explanation is that it was a scheduled test for which the usual notifications were improperly disseminated. I'm amazed that (as of this writing) the US military has not said as much.
- If it's not the last, it's time to get out the tin foil.
This is a truly incredible event, and the silence coming out of the military and our political 'leaders' is disturbing. Is this the 'black swan' that many market participants have been anticipating/dreading? We live in interesting times, indeed.
Update: As 24 hours have passed and this is being brushed off by the powers-that-be, I'm going to just assume it was a US launched missile and they're either trying to hide a mis-notification SNAFU or they simply don't care to say what they were doing. The jet contrail thing is simply not credible, but I don't expect to get any clarification on this event either. We now return you to our regularly scheduled Ben Bernanke bashing.
October 23, 2010
They need to rename the G20 financial summit to something more appropriate, like the "Coordinated Bullshit Symposium". The goal of these meetings isn't to actually accomplish anything, it's to put out a bunch of happy-crappy blather to sell to the dipshits back home. Sorry, but I'm not buying, maybe Krugman would like some.
The only nation to make a statement that was at all worthwhile was Brazil, who said 'Fuck You' to the whole process and skipped the meeting in protest. If your tolerance for bullshit is extraordinarily high, you can read this 'news' summary of the summit. I'd fisk the whole thing, but I have better things to do (like trim my toenails), so I'll just point and roll my eyes.
If I tried to interpret this degenerate international Kabuki theater, it would basically come down to: Geithner showed up and said that the rest of the world should be happy to let us print lots and lots of dollars and accept that their US Treasuries would become toilet paper. And while they were at it, they needed to stop trying to be productive and stop exporting so much to us. The rest of the world told Geithner to go fuck himself then gave him a swirly.
If anything of substance had come out of the G20, it would have been shocking, as the global economy is one huge clusterfuck and the last thing any of these finance ministers want to do is take an honest approach to the issues. Taking an honest approach would mean flushing the debt out of the system, which would shut down most of the world's major banks, which would mean less money for finance ministers to take cushy trips to meaningless conferences. And God forbid that should happen.
May 07, 2009
This article in the Independent provides a fascinating and troubling look into Dubai.
I've never been to Dubai, but having been an expat myself at one point, I feel qualified to comment on the typical attitude of wealthy western expats towards the working poor. This article, though extreme, is completely accurate from my experience. I found that the British were always the worst (in terms of their disdain for and abuse of the 'slave class'), followed by the continental Europeans, then the Americans. The Aussies were by far the best.
Dubai will most likely collapse, as it's a testament to the huge (and unsustainable) transfers of wealth from the world's working classes to its elite classes over the past 20 years. The only way in which it might survive is as a safe haven for the international kleptocrats, in the event that they are run out of their own countires due to a populace that is fed up with being robbed.
April 14, 2009
I defy ... DEFY! ... anyone to read this and still retain their sanity.
This news story could have been incrediby simple:
Headline: The U.N. is worthless.
Text: The U.N. has devolved into purely bureaucratic wrangling with zero accomplishments in ages. It might be amusing to catalogue the infighting among various bureaucracies, but then again, it might be amusing to cut yourself with a razor blade untill you bleed out. Why does the U.S. support this bunch of kleptocrats? Fuck only knows.
For Obama, this may be a distraction, but the piracy situation in the Gulf of Aden is not going to go away:
Defiant Somali pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at another U.S. cargo ship on Tuesday but failed to hijack it, officials said, just days after Navy SEALs rescued an American hostage after an earlier unsuccessful hijacking.
RPGs, eh? Doesn't that sound familiar?
"Our latest hijackings are meant to show that no one can deter us from protecting our waters from the enemy because we believe in dying for our land," Omar Dahir Idle told The Associated Press by telephone. "Our guns do not fire water. I am sure we will avenge."
This is an interesting take on the situation. Never mind that the majority of incidents happen in international waters. This sounds positively Islamic, if I may be so un-PC to say so.
The Egyptian boats were taken in the gulf off Somalia's northern coast. Said Mursi, Egypt's ambassador to Somalia who is based in Kenya, said the trawlers probably did not have licenses to fish Somali waters. "From my experience, I think that they were illegally fishing," he told The Associated Press.Ok, so some of this is two bunches of criminals fighting over territory. Piracy isn't exactly a civilized repsone to illegal fishing, but whatever. The thing that bugs me is the sentence in bold (my highlight). It only costs Somalia $300 million if that nation had the capability of fishing their own waters. Which they don't, because they're a bunch of savages.
Commercial fishing boats have been illegally harvesting Somalia's rich and varied sea life, including sought-after yellowfin tuna, since the country collapsed into lawlessness in the 1990s. The United Nations estimates the illegal fishing costs the Horn of Africa nation $300 million annually.
Hell, I estimate that it costs me $10 billion annually when Microsoft sells their operating system, because I could otherwise be selling an operating system. Never mind that I have no capability to do so. Maybe I should hold a few Microsoft software engineers hostage so that I can get my fair share of the operating system profits.
All right, this post has kind of spun off the rails from a "We should do something about this before it really gets out of hand" kind of thing into a "The UN is completely stupid" thing. The bottom line: Nobody is going to take this seriously until it's completely out of control. Which is kind of the stage where much of "Western Civilization" is at in regard to most issues right now. Good luck with all that.
April 12, 2009
Three scumbags dead and one in custody. The captain made it out alive. Nicely done Navy and big kudos to the captain who seemed to show courage and resolve throughout. I'm not going to nit-pick Obama's ROE on this part of the operation, as it got the job done.
So, what next? There had best be a 'next' as the current environment in the Gulf of Aden can not be allowed to remain as it is. American lives and cargo were in jeapordy, and the Navy and FBI just expended a major amount of resources dealing with the situation.
As it looks like the remaining pirate basically turned himself in prior to the shootout, I'm fine with a range of options other than hanging. I'd prefer that he not get an American trial, as that would just turn into a circus and cost us money keeping him behind bars the rest of his life. I'm not sure what the best option is in dealing with him. I doubt he wants to go back to piracy, as he'd likely be killed by other pirates at this point anyway.
However, the most important part of this saga is yet to come. Will Obama have the balls to order a serious anti-piracy military operation? I strongly doubt it ... I expect him to just breathe a sigh of relief that the captain is alive and get on with the business of spending the US into poverty. Clinton did exactly that with far more serious attacks on the US around the globe (although the business he got on to was a bit more .... personal). Come on Obama, surprise me and grow a pair.
April 11, 2009
In one of the single most appalling news articles I have ever read, the AP (via Fox) discusses the FBI's investigation into the pirates:
FBI agents planned to interview the crew of a U.S. cargo ship Saturday as the bureau began building a criminal case against Somali pirates who attacked the ship and took the captain hostage.
"If there were ever a U.S. victim of one of these attacks or a U.S. shipping line that were a victim, our Justice Department has said that it would favorably consider prosecuting such apprehended pirates," Stephen Mull, the acting undersecretary of state for international security and arms control, told Congress last month.
Hey FBI -- thanks for supporting the military with your crack hostage negotiation skills, now GTFO. And while I'm glad that the short-bus boys at Justice would at least consider prosecuting priates, why should they even be involved?
I sincerely hope that this is not the approach the administration is going to take. This is not fricking Bonnie and Clyde running around hitting up banks. If we don't take some serious military action, not only is the Somalia situation going to continue to degrade, the rest of the world is going to know it's open season on Uncle Sam.
April 10, 2009
The latest news report on the situation is here. My thoughts:
- The only reason to drag this out is to allow the armed forces to gather intel on the pirates' operations. Once they have sufficient intel to completely dismantle their operations, they should move to end the showdown.
- The pirates must not be allowed to move the captain to land, nor can they be allowed to transfer him to another vessel. The military knows exactly where he is right now and that advantage cannot be handed away.
- The pirates want $2 million? Our counter should be plain and simple: Turn him over immediately and we'll let you live ... for now. If you don't, we'll take no prisoners and you can either die fighting or be hung after capture.
- Once the immediate situation is resolved, which may unfortunately include the death of the captain, the forces built up in the area should give the warning that the shelling of pirate ports and vessels will commence after a reasonable time for people to leave the area.
The main complicating factor is that the pirates also hold hostages from other nations. One hopes the administration is doing some behind-the-scenes work with their nations regarding that situation. If the pirates attempt to bring those ships into play in the current standoff, it would create a huge set of additional problems, which makes prompt resolution of the standoff even more important.
America needs to send a very strong message that this activity will no longer be tolerated in any way, shape, or form. Will we? Probably not, as we've become so emotionally risk-averse as a nation, that securing the life of the captain will likely be our top priority, rather than doing our best to stop the pirates from committing more hijackings and hostage takings. I sincerely hope the guy comes out of this in one piece, but it simply can't be our top priority.
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