The big story of the morning is that the US intel supporting a strike on Iran is on the weak side. So now, the WH is considering the option of going to plan B – War Show Lite. The devil is always in the details…so here we go:
What could pending hostilities do to the price of oil – and hence gasoline? The CNBC piece over here addresses some of that.
The RT story out Thursday about how Iran is pondering the possibility of suing the US for the CIA-backed violent overthrow of its democratic government in the country way back in 1953 is being considered. It’s no secret that the US was behind the regime change there, and what most people don’t know (we weren’t old enough, eh?) was that the Shah of Iran (installed into that position by the US/West) was also a poster-boy for the the nuclear power lobby in the USA. Check out the graphic over here.
Not only has the US decided that only “authorized/friendly” governments will get to move ahead on nuclear power projects, but now we’re on the verge of a lightning strike on Syria, which – in case you’d forgotten – would remove a major ground defense operator from Israel’s path to an air strike on Iran.
Clearly, the administration would not be pleased with such an open affront to the US but that is what courts are for and if would certainly give the US public an opportunity to see what’s going on. Ooops…that awful word transparency comes to mind.
Meantime, the speculation this morning over whether the perps of the alleged nerve gas attack were the rebel forces, backed by the US and West, or was it the Assad government? continues unabated and unresolved. Articles like this one may be taken seriously, or not…
Still, if you look at the 3D theater model, you can see that a lightning strike on Damascus would provide a convenient distraction and an open window for the Israelis to zip over to Iran for a surgical strike on Iranian nuclear installations.
Impossible!! Well, not quite: As an indicator that this may be in the wings, we noted with interest the article in The Aviationist that “U.S. WC-135C nuclear radiation sniffing plane spotted over Europe. En-route to Syria?”
All of which might be understandable, except the Syrians aren’t believed to have nuclear weapons. So what nearby country, which could be overflown by Israel enroute to, say, the Iranian Bushehr nuclear complex? Such a strike could result in after-effects where the use of a WC-135C sniffer plane would be useful in order to reassure downwinders (like Russia) that it was just a “clean” surgical strike and “No harm done…” They hope…
It strikes a lot of readers, like this fellow Bill up in Idaho, that the US is acting a lot like a schoolyard bully:
The United States reminds me more and more of the schoolyard bully, that desperately wants to be looked up to and have friends, but thinks the way to do it is to beat the shit out of everyone. Makes me think also of the reality that if you keep poking someone in the chest because you are bigger and tougher….someday the recipient is going to get a 2X4 and even the score. The horrors of war seem to keep creating more whores of war. When will we ever learn.
No worries, Bill. the 2 by 4 would be an attack on the US homeland and that would do marvels for police state trends and justify the further destruction of the Constitution. Why, being in Idaho, I would have thought you’d have seen this.
But, in the meantime, you’re onto one thing: Faced with declining revenues, all levels of government are facing crisis in coming months and years because of the damned unstoppable effects of compound interest. And we need a scapegoat and Syria/Iran would be fine right up to lighting off a regional war.
A Note About War Costs
Whether we (as a nation) can afford to lob off a fleet of cruise missiles is certainly an issue. Seeing as we’re broke and maxed out on borrowing to the point we have to borrow from ourselves with QE Infinitum. As Steve Chapman notes in an OpEd this morning in the Chicago Trib, “Missile strikes won’t accomplish a thing…”
Obviously, although this is speculative on my part, I bet Steve Chapman’s retirement funds are not concentrated in holdings of large defense contractors like Raytheon, as they make the Tomahawks. But let’s drill down a bit, shall we?
Raytheon is a fine example (as Pappy taught me) to “Use the News” for personal gain.
Knowing back in January (see yesterday’s post on false flag allegations, lawsuits and such) that a war in Syria was coming, a person could have gone out and bought up armloads of defense stocks.
Why, on February 1, a day or two after the false false flag email headline skirmish, you could have purchased Raytheon (^RTN) for $52.67 a share. As of its high when the “lets use up some of that company product” marketing was on high a couple of days back, RTN was up to $77.65 a share.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sure looks like a 48.,6% gain in 7-months, which, given the 10-year bond is paying less than 3% is pretty effing impressive.
It’s a little early to be doing regressions, but using 3% for a current bond return and using 46% we come up with something like 14-years of bond gains in seven months, which to my way of thinking ain’t a bad deal. (As long as you don’t have a lot of moral scruples about investing in certain kinds of stocks….but that reminds me…)
Here: Let’s take a quick quiz to see if you have the kind of personality that could make it on Wall St.
Answer the following: General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon, and so forth might be considered major players in what industry-sector?
A. The Defense Industry
B. The Death Industry
If you answered A. you have the potential to become fabulously wealthy and you’ll do just fine abusing poor hapless people who don’t see things clearly as you hide behind sayings like “Your money doesn’t know where it came from…” Send me a postcard from Long Island.
On the other hand, if you answered B, you are probably damned to suffer through life as a middle-income schmoe voter who’s disgusted at the lack of choice we really have ever since the military/pharma/lobbyists coup in Washington. We’re the 99ers. Foreclosed and broken, optimistic and inventive. And we own pitchforks.
Ure’s Ugly Historical Reminder
There are occasionally huge flashing signs in the headlines that reveal in great depth how ‘Merica has lost the moral high ground. And it’s simple enough that even an idiot can comprehend it, since Ure’s truly is explaining it.
Here’s the point: Read the story under the headline “MPs debate Syria as parliament recalled” over at the Andrew Sparrow Politics Live” blog on the UK Guardian website.
Do you see it? Right smack in-your-face? No?
Well, follow me here: The United States broke with Britain in 1776 because they were not democratic enough for our liking. And yet, here we be, 237-years later, and their Parliament is claiming at least one and maybe two votes on the pending outbreak of war.
Notice anything wrong?
Oh sure, being marginalized, of course, but they get a vote. Hint: Our congress has no say.
Oh, sure, I chide the Unemployed Kingdom for its massive surveillance nanny state and propensities to kneel and all. Except for the kneeling part, we’ve got that same disease.
But at least they have a semi-functioning democracy – a point underscored by getting a chance to vote in or out on the pending missile launches.
Seems to me our “democratic revolution” is failing (has failed) at the top, simple as that. So we ask (rhetorically) Did we eventually lose the Revolutionary War?
Enough! We cannot afford to have dissent at this critical hour for democracy! Just so happens, vee haff vays to fix diss….
War-Related? Attacks on Web
We are on high alert this morning following reports that a major theme supplier of internet appearance formats for WordPress has been subjected to a vicious malware attack. And while that’s not a big deal (for now) we would caution you that in event of an attack on UrbanSurvival, we will fall back to native HTML code here at UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics as well.
But web themes are not the only thing under attack: There’s a report in Digital Trends this morning of a new Facebook virus that has already infected 800,000 users, so with war in the wings and cyberspace alive with attacks from who-knows-where (but we have our suspicions –the Stuxnet crew), the best thing to do is update all your antivirus and firewall programs before you get hit.
Then, make a note to yourself to do this daily for the next week, or so. Especially now that the Internet has flexed its mass consciousness muscles enough to put off the immediate attack plans perhaps for another month.
If you wake up one morning and find the UrbanSurvival is down with cryptic notes about, it’ll mean an attack on the web and sites like mine in particular, have been judged a little too candid and honest about ‘Merica’s history and recalling the benchmark national performance metrics set in blood by patriots past.
The benchmarks are being reset in a most unpalatable way as even the UK is now demonstrably freer than us when it comes to war powers.
And some of the most popular pages on the net this week are bound to be those which reference Isaiah 17 in the King James Bible. But I have no idea why….
Meantime, watch China, without which we would fail as a country (buying bonds and making stuff for us). They’re saying no telling yet on the source of the purported nerve gas, and that’s bound to carry some weight in Washington which is why we’re moving to “slow-mo as we go fo show…”
Markets should rally accordingly.
More after this…,
Markets on “Turn-around Thursday”?
Although the markets posted a decent-sized gain on Wednesday with the Dow up 48 points plus a stick of gum, or so, the outlook for the next couple of weeks is decidedly negative around here. Best dart toss this morning would be for a rally through mid-day today (and as late as mid-day Friday) before turning down going into the long holiday weekend.
From a trader’s perspective, you’ve got the pre-holiday rally which is a traditional thing noted around all major holidays on the one hand, but this weekend we have a a quickly darkening moon (New Moon is on Sept. 5th, right when the Jewish holidays will be underway) and so we have plenty of war jitters about.
Given the hot emo’s around the topic, it would make sense to unload stocks going into a three day period of uncertainty, but it’s also month end and so a beat down in the metals and improvement in bonds…well, you have the picture. Trading it always like sticking you hand in a running blender.
Still, there’s some guidance (if you can call it that) as GDP figures and a weekly unemployment number are out this morning. GDP first since it’s the most gooked-up, self-referential report ever which always fails to start with “This month’s GDP is dollars is xxx trillion and here’s the change….” Instead, it’s a deliberately incomprehensive listing of percent of change that vergesd on meaningless. I’ll leave it to you to figure if this is readily comprehensible:
“Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.1 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.7 percent.
With this second estimate for the second quarter, the increase in exports was larger than previously estimated, and the increase in imports was smaller than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 3). The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending.
Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected upturns in exports and in nonresidential fixed investment and a smaller decrease in federal government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and decelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE.
Eventually, about halfway through the press release, they get around to the point:
Current-dollar GDP Current-dollar GDP — the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services — increased 3.2 percent, or $132.6 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $16,667.9 billion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 2.8 percent, or $115.0 billion.
And if that’s not enough, we have a weakly unemployment claims report to masticate as well:
“In the week ending August 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 331,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 337,000. The 4-week moving average was 331,250, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 330,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending August 17, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 17 was 2,989,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,003,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,996,250, an increase of 9,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,986,750.
As usual, our advice is to walk by the casino and pick up metals when gold is down under a thousand and that won’t happen until the bounce we’re in is complete. And the party is on with the Dow up 50 in the preopen now….
Still, the emerging market meltdown in the past week is, per this column over here, getting too big for the Fed to ignore. But trust me…nothing is too big for the Fed to ignore.
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Unless, you happen to be Kim Jong-un’s ex GF in which case, you pick up the phone and call dial-a-death-squad. Presto! All gone…
Fast = Slow
Walkouts of workers at dozens of fast food joints are expected nationally today. Workers want higher wages and can’t say as we can blame them.
Speaking of which, any tips on where I can find a good free lunch?
You Know Things Are Bad
The way I’ve got if figured, government screws us all so often and well that we no longer need Pahrump Rump..
New research report written up on Bloomberg suggests that forgetfulness with aging is related to a brain protein deficiency. And no, I haven’t found a source of RbAp48 yet.
So today’s new social concept is “selfies” which are kids who get pix of themselves doing insane things in front of somber landmarks. A whole introductory course and some websites where you can find children acting badly over here.
On to the Coping Section next…