As we brained out with Robin Landry (and which was described for Peoplenomics subscribers) the market is at a critical juncture between now and a week hence.
Not only are there all kinds of astrologically significant events, but there will also be a flood of data, much of it delayed from earlier release times by the short government shutdown in which, as we recall, 83% of government workers couldn’t get the reports out on time, but that’d be sour grapes on my part.
This morning, you’ll want to drop by about 8:30 AM Central which is when the industrial capacity and utilization report is due out from the Fed.
And tomorrow we get retail, producer prices, and just to get you in the habit of coming back by around 8:30, the latest Case Shiller /S&P housing data will be in. Wed have to suffer until next Tuesday to get unemployment and personal incomes.
With all this (and I didn’t mention the GDP figures Wednesday along with CPI and a Fed rate decision [although don’t worry, they’ll print like crazy]) the markets this morning are putting on a good show of “timid.”
Futures had the Dow down about 14 earlier.
Beyond An Unhappy Dick
Former VP Dick Cheney is none too pleased with the state of affairs in ‘Merica. “Mideast allies no longer trust the US, Enemies “don’t fear us” headlines the CBS version of the story over here.
Our resident war-gamer has been sizing this up:
The nascent millennium’s master of ‘realpolitik’ – former VP Dick Cheney, gave a rather frank and pessimistic set of comments on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulous.
The trouble with leveling the playing field when dealing with rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran is something Cheney sagely hits upon, which is the irretrievable loss of the use of the element of fear.
“Realpolitik” is the philosophy of “peace through strength.” Simply stated, if you fervently believe your system of government is better than another, and the other is causing major problems, you rattle your sabers and parade your horses in order to send a very clear message. This tactic works very well in the Far East as well as the Fertile Crescent, where male dominated societies understand the power equation.
Cheney is not by any means advocating a first strike on Iran. He simply and elegantly states what, to him, is the obvious: “Our friends no longer count on us, trust us, our adversaries no longer fear us . . . We’ve turned our back on the region.”
Old schoolers such as Cheney and Henry Kissinger understand the differences between when you can hold out the carrot and when you demonstrate your strength with a big, heavy stick. New kids on the block, such as just about everyone in the Obama administration, actually believe that if they set the moral example and make various unilateral concessions, the problem children of the world will suddenly wake up, smell the roses, start hugging each other and singing Kumbaya.
Ya know what? It just ain’t gonna happen!
Ideologically driven nations such as “Red” China (remember, our principal importer and largest holder of U.S. nation debt is a King Kong-sized communist empire) and their regional puppet North Korea, plus theocratic nations such as Islamic Iran, are difficult to diplomatically reason with. Their ideology or theology override negotiation and reason. They will exploit any weakness an opponent (anyone but “them”) and shun more powerful but reluctant opponents.
Allowing Iran to join the nuclear club would be a tragic mistake of historic proportions. Unlike North Korea, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and shows strong intentions of unifying regional and eventually global Shi’ite Muslims under one rule . . . theirs. Iran uses Israel as their neighborhood punching bag in order to rally and occasionally unify disparate sets of militant fundamentalist groups which otherwise would be fighting against each other. As the old Middles Eastern saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Iran is a master at painting Israel off of the entire Middle East’s as “the enemy.”
Which is precisely why Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Once they acquire nukes, they become a different diplomatic animal with a far more dangerous bite. They can bully their neighbors with nuclear blackmail if they fail to comply with their directives and they can threaten regional conflagration if Israel does anything against anyone ‘not Jewish’ in the region.
So IMO Cheney simply stated what is clearly obvious. In the current domestic political climate he essentially delivered a manly “bitch slap” to the entire Obama administration. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu surely was smiling when he read Cheney’s remarks and lamented that Cheney was no longer actively serving on the global stage.
For now, perhaps, there are enough people in the military who “get it” that nice-nice is not how wars are won (or prevented). the sold “strength is deterrence” thinking seems another victim of political expediency.
More after this…
Spies Versus Spies
Apparently the ex-veep is catching reports like “World’s anger at Obama policies goes beyond Europe and the NSA. “ And, although we’ve referred the the US “government beyond governing” for years, particularly with our Directorate 153 speculations for Peoplenomics readers, it seems to mean more when stories like “Woodward: ‘Secret” government under Obama administration needs to be reviewed.”
Oh, and what about spying on 60-million Spanish phone calls in a month? Good going, guys! And in the typical DC butt-covering the NSA says “…the president doesn’t sign off on this stuff.” Look up plausible deniability sometime. It’s the DC inteligentry’s term meaning lying for the boss, near as I can figure.
(Oh, sure, let’s put inteligentry into the language…because that’s what government beyond review is….)
Missing, sadly, is mention that the same Secret Government (SG) folks also needed to be reviewed when Cheney was in office, too.
The fact that neither party has the gonads to challenge the SG, we can only conclude hints that they maintain their autonomy by building blackmail filled personal files on everything from sexual peccadillos to under the table campaign money.
I’ve always been shocked that the national press doesn’t seem to ask people like Elliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner if they feel as though they were “set up.” I’ve love to hear those questions answered, but the MSM, too,k knows that the SG is watching.
And in case they don’t, they ought to read the account under “Chilling: Reporter;s confidential notes seized in firearms raid by Feds.” This where we cross the line from none-too-subtle hints to outright jackboots.
And I’ll leave it to discern what they might have on the president and key congressional leaders to maintain their positions beyond supervision.
You might want to double up on your meds this morning. Especially when you read about how the next move is the “Federal government planning black box vehicle manage to track, tax, and even remote control all personal vehicles.”
Might want to check with Michael Hastings followers about how that works.
While there are reports that Kathleen Sebelius will testify ‘before she’s out the door” we do notice that Obamanistas who slip from grace (like Hillary) seem to come down with excusitis before talking…and we’ll be waiting for see what (if anything) Sibelius comes down with that would keep her out of the very public hot seat.
If it happens, remember where you heard it first and who the least surprised guy on the planet will be.
Iron Dome at Work
The rocket defense system was reported by the JPost this morning as picking off a rocket inbound from Gaza…
Tick-tock till the “Centrifuge War.”
Been a Year Already…
Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, comes out of jail today. But I’m not sure wanting to become a singer is such a good idea…
Look for another 7+ possible in the next week or so, as more energy is coming off the Sun:
NOAA active region 11875 produced an X1.0 flare peaking around 1:41 UT on October 28. This flare was accompanied by a halo CME which is currently being analyzed.
ACE observed an increase in the solar wind speed around 4:00 UT on October 28. Solar wind speed went to 350 km/s, while the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) showed a minor change and reached a maximum of 7 nT. Minor storm conditions are possible within the next 24 hours, due to the expected arrival of the CMEs of October 25.
Crackpot theory is that planets condense matter from solar energy, thus when more energy shows up, quake seem to follow shortly thereafter. We should know by this time a week from now, or so.
New Species vs. Planet Poisoning
Not to put a damper on the pure joy of science, but reports of scientists finding something of a ‘Lost World” in Australia seems to mean something more than some new lizards are a tad overblown, methinks.
We have some more urgent problems, like fighting the evolving disaster at Fukushima and the lack of international cooperation and demanding faster/more aggressive action in Japan is not happening.
And if you caught George Knapp interviewing Helen Caldicott on CoastToCoast last night, there’s an article over here from Reuters that seems to back up the idea of Japan’s notorious Yakuza doing some strong-arm recruiting of workers to be spent in the recovery effort.
As Fukushima bleeds, scientists – even above international groups like the UN – you’d think would have the brains to self-organize and kick it.
Peer-review land is just as corrupt as the rest of it, seems to me. Nice to work on minutia…but when the world is dying? FMTT…
Humans really may NOT be capable of self-management, after all. Our track record to date sucks.