Thai’ing One on: Now it’s a Coup

There’s a battle on for your mind, and you’re losing.

That’s OK.  If you’re married, in a relationship, or been there, done that, you’ve already lost your mind, anyway, but this morning’s headlines remind us of just how powerful little words are.

Take “coup” for example.

When the mobgov, with US and EU backing staged a coup in Ukraine it was called a “change of government.”

When the government went from democratic to taken over by the military in Thailand, well now we haul out the words military coup.

It isn’t funny how this stuff works.  It’s BS.

Meantime, if you’re following the Ukraine lingo-jingo, you’ll find headlines like “Ukraine rebels attack soldiers as Russia says troops withdrawing.”

Fine, except what’s not explicitly defined is that the “soldiers” being attacked are (themselves) rebels who seized power in the Western-backed coup.

I don’t mind people in Ukraine having a vote this weekend.  But what I do mind is when “computational statecraft” dictates that our tax dollars get committed to keeping the gas flowing to Ukraine. 

Big Trouble in China

How to you say “Regional insurrection in China?”

Well, you don’t.  If you’re western media, you paper this one over and chalk it up to terrorists because to do anything else would hint that the worker’s paradise ain’t such a happy place, after all..  Can’t have that.

The pot simmers, but none dare point it out because you know who buys our bonds and keeps us afloat.  Yep, thems must be terrorists, indeedy.

Happy Talk Rallies Markets

OK, so the Russians may not have left their border areas completely, just yet.  Still, the very prospect of such has buoyed markets.

Yesterdays bear-side fleecer-gasser was a 158 point gain in the Dow.  But today the markets are about flat, awaiting things like elections this weekend in Ukraine and the Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) which we chuckle about, knowing it’s an anagram.

The Reasonable Fed Guy

A serious economist, Stanley Fischer is about to sail into the Vice-Chair slot at the Fed after the requisite rigmarole in Washington.

The reason I call him the “reasonable Fed guy” is he’s one of the few who sees the xx trillion of excess liquidity that’s sloshing around the banking system and worries about it turning into ‘snap inflation’ when demand picks up.  Or if rates turn too fast.

He may have missed my notes on how robotics, 3D printing, and business process computers are likely to wreck any recovery before it really gets started.  Or the ones where I’ve explained how the impact of the LBGT movement is to seriously reduce housing demand by making “shared space” a lot broader than it used to be…

Still, he’s as reasonable a fellow as you’ll find in DC, here lately…

Commie or Context?

Here’s a fine puzzler for your second cup today:  What exactly did a democratic congressoid mean when he said “We’ve proved that communism works?”

NextWar: Electronic Pearl Harbor

Note from warhammer this morning is thought-provoking:

George,

Of late we’ve been privy to some information people ‘in the know’ have understood to be reality for quite some time – China is comprehensively engaged in industrial espionage against the U.S., among other nations.

What has been made very clear is the scope of China’s cyber sleuthing, and this is the information that should send a shiver down John and Jane Q. Sixpack’s chubby little spines.  The limited data released regarding key targets of Chinese cyber espionage, most of them aimed at U.S. nuclear power, heavy industry, solar, communications and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) dedicated companies.

The short of it is this:  China is deeply embedded in many of our critical national infrastructure supporting companies.  Most of the American public has no idea of the breadth of Chinese hacking.  We worry about the NSA having our personal information, yet the chances are very good that the Chinese military knows far more about any one particular U.S. citizen than Uncle Sam does.

Several news outlets nailed it, especially the Wall Street Journal, when they called the Chinese actions out for what they really are, “a state-sponsored act of aggression.”   

I call it “prepping the battlefield.”  The critical infrastructures and supporting corporations compromised by the Chinese are vital to keeping information and services flowing throughout the nation and among and between our top government, industry and military leadership.  In a time of war, compromising these data and services pipelines would give any opponent a serious edge, a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” if you will. 

For years, those who were warning of a cyber-Pearl Harbor were chided as modern day Chicken Littles, guilty of making self-fulfilling prophecies and turning China into the enemy that they did not really intend to be.  Regardless of the how and why, the China news is a calculated news release of what would surely be classified data, done to prep the public at large that the fox is in the hen house and nothing good can come of it.

This situation bears watching.  Indeed, the news could be a tactic strategically employed by the U.S. political leadership to defuse the damage caused by the Snowden leaks and justify a continued domestic cyber-vigilance on the part of the U.S. of A.  But several well placed independent organizations and other national governments have publicly reached the same conclusions in the past several years.  

My question is: “why did the U.S. suddenly decide to openly acknowledge the problem at this point in time?”

Cheers,

Yes, indeed:  We are, as suggested in Peoplenomics Wednesday, falling victim to “computational statecraft” and cyber warfare is its ugly twin. 

When we make up the whole list of items cited (power, banking, utilities, and more) and then add in the US government’s war on Americans holding more than miniscule amounts of cash, we have to wonder what the end game might be.

Especially given that Russia’s new gas deal with China leaves them in a major (although somewhat dysfunctional)  relationship that could “gang up on the west” by isolating us electronics and on the manufacturing front.

The notion of an Electronic Pearl Harbor is not that far-fetched.

Meantime, Homeland Security which has plans for a $4.5 billion new HQ keeps spending money and getting nothing for it.  With this kind of fiscal performance, who needs terrorists? 

Besides, we have congress…..which can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.  Got a runaway one of those, too, though, so I suppose it all makes sense.  Ibuprofen, please.

Big Mac Attack

Protests and demands for a $15-an-hour wage marked the McDonalds shareholder meeting Wednesday.

Look for the corp damage control types to try to keep this one from being super-sized.

He Who Owns the Web, Case Study

Yes, Sears has a big web site.

Is it as slick, to the point, and easy to use as Amazon?

Not to me, but maybe to you.

I’m suggesting that one reason Sears is posting a bigger loss this year is that they haven’t effectively started to transition to a different kind of e-tailing model. 

While they plan to close more stores, just a friendly remark (I’m a Craftsman Tool Club member) is to look at outfits like Amazon (and www.rockler.com) if you want to see how to sell tools. 

I really like Sears.  Their website leaves me cold, especially things like the “local availability” pop-up which belongs on a page where I’ve actually shown an interest.  But don’t mind me…seems like they are working on it….

The Pain of Football

Shows up as drug charges in a lawsuit by former players.   Third and oxy to go?

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