After-Christmess/Clicksmas Notes

Yes, the power is still off for a fair number of readers in Maine and Michigan.  Not that power going off during a winter storm is totally unusual:  It has been going on for over a hundred years on a semi-annual basis, but we still (being I suppose, infatuated with electricity, here on the toddler planet) manage to find the lack of electricity as somehow unthinkable.

Yes, it happens.  And it happens from weather.  And media has now gone completely over the top by naming every breeze a “named storm” but it makes sense, if you run weather sites, channels, or are looking to build the case for warming, cooling, or whatever.  Winter storm Gemini, indeed.  It’s winter, for crying out loud, and we made it through how many hundreds of thousands of years without putting marketing monikers to it?

Christmas delayed is Christmas well played, at least among the online retailers.  Which is why UPS and FedEx are both working off point and clicksmas leftovers.

About the only economic news around is that the world didn’t end, and that’s reason enough for the market futures to tack on another 40-points, or so, at the opening.

Perhaps one reason is all the people still on vacation.  Fearless Leader himself is out for 17-days, which means he won’t be back in Washington until well into the New Year.

With so many missing from Washington, the markets are in a “What could go wrong?” mode.  There are no Fed meetings, no hearings, no tax plans afoot.  And, so hard is it to find anything domestically to report on (other than the usual murder and mayhem) that the press has taken to just naming stories like “Hawaii Vacation: Day 5.”

Having ultimate confidence in the deeply insightful capabilities of the MSM, I’m expecting the bulletins to come breaking this afternoon:  “Hawaii Vacation: Day 6.”

Can I go back to bed now?

Wars on de Nile

The biggies that are in play this morning in the Middle East, although not entirely focused on Egypt, sure to have a lot of geographical emphasis on the word “Nile.”

For one, the biggest development in Egypt, which has been popping up in our word-frequency research for more than a week, is the announcement on Wednesday at the Muslim Brotherhood is now being called a “terrorist organization” and has banned it.

This gets to be an complex stew:  You’ve got the military government trying to run Egypt in a middle of the road way, you’ve got the Saudi’s off in the background, who are pumping something like $2-billion in aid into the place, yet at the same time, wasn’t it most Muslim extremists from Saudi Arabia, who were the purported perps in 9-11? 

And then you’ve got US foreign policy in play which is just incomprehensible, and has been since before Benghazi, but wait, I tripped, so I can’t testify.  *(I may sound just a wee might cynical on this stuff).  To deduce America doesn’t know you-know-what from Shinola would be a reasonable assessment.

Of course, Benghazi has nothing to do with Egypt, except as a symptom, and that works for us.

The other symptom (more recently and more importantly) is how the upper Nile district of Sudan is now in play.  From Wikipedia:

Upper Nile is one of the 10 states of South Sudan. The current governor of Upper Nile, and its first governor in the independence era of South Sudan, is Simon Kun Puoch. The White Nile flows through the state, giving it its name. The state also shares a similar name with the region of Greater Upper Nile, of which it is part along with the states of Unity and Jonglei. It has an area of 77,823 km². Malakal is the capital of the state. The town of Kodok, the location of the Fashoda incident that ended the “Scramble for Africa“, is located here. Upper Nile seceded from Sudan as part of the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July 2011.

Well, except that Sudan is not about to give up claim to an area with great mineral wealth, petroleum, and oh yes…water!

Despite what the governor of Upper Nile  (Simon Kun Puoch) thinks about rebels not being in control, the rebels have missed that email, and so fighting continues.

Other Fronts

In our Manufacturer’s Resource Wars framework include Iran where it’s been a bombing festival in Iraq. 

An d its musical government in Turkey where three cabinet ministers have quit charging corruption so it’s the old “Let’s do the shuffle” among the powersthatbe in charge there.

If you were thinking Santa would have brought the world some Prozac, we are pretty sure the whole of the Middle East was missed.

Hunger for Good News?

The tempering news is that according to a Gallup Poll, most families still routinely dine at home (sometimes even together) which is what may be holding the last bits of civilization in place.

Honor the Dead:  Wrong Dead

Yasukuni Shrine is not something you probably knew about until this morning.  Wikipedia says

It was founded by Emperor Meiji to commemorate individuals who had died in service of the Empire of Japan during the Meiji Restoration

And that Meiji period was what?

The Meiji Restoration (????, Meiji Ishin?), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Renovation, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under the Meiji Emperor. The goals of the restored government were expressed by the new emperor in the Charter Oath. The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure, and spanned both the late Edo period (often called Late Tokugawa shogunate) and the beginning of the Meiji period. The period spanned from 1868 to 1912 and was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early twentieth century.

And so why is it making headlines?  Well, the visit of prime minister Shinzo Abe to the shrine is seen as very, very suspect because it game rise to a period of Rising Sun and Japan’s ascendancy to militarism.

And since I’ve been telling you about the loggerhead with China over the (oil rich, worth fighting over) Senkaku Islands, we see China might be more than just a bit worries because a well-armed Japan is not what they want as they’re trying to wheedle their way back into the control and profit role over that area (south of Okinawa).

A key quote from Chinese state media puts it this way:

“(We) strongly protest and condemn the Japanese leader’s wrongdoing, which has deeply hurt the feelings of Asian war victims.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said immediately after Abe’s Thursday visit to the shrine, where 14 WWII class-A war criminals are honored.

Clearly, China doesn’t want Japan thinking about flexing its muscles, but given how the world needs to destroy production capacity in coming years (without with there will be no “economic growth:””) we could nominate China and Japan as fine proxies.

And it would make a fine war for the upcoming long wave cycle low to end on, just as World War I and Vietnam were significant cycle wars…

Oh, one other little oddity: Check out The Economist article on how China is going bonkers building museums. 

As our Hispanic friends would say por que?  Or we’d text WFT?

But, of course, we’d have to put that in the same category with the Obama administration banned the open press photographers and going to internally generated picture-talking.  Again, what’s that about?  Could it be that the conspiracy crowd video about the president being a shapeshifter alien…, no, tell me it ain’t so…

And yet, quietly, highly respected photojournalists are concerned about this latest Orwellian twist going on below the radar… Again, por que?

It sure feels like a Monday, don’t it?

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George Ure
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