Reader note: We will post the Case-Shiller housing data about 8:15 – so more to come today.
We are back into the pre-holiday mindset now, what with the start of the Labor Day weekend just ahead.
Yet the period is not without concerns: Taiwan will experience some of the better military invasion tides of the year this weekend.
Over on the Weather.com site, we see prevailing winds from the WNW at 25 knots – less than ideal – but dropping after that such that low winds from Monday on look like a useful window. If Elaine and I were still sailing, this would be a weather window we’d pick for adventuring “the dark ditch” between Formosa and the PRC Mainland.
Friday through Sunday, winds in the chips and industry-critical Kaohsiung City will be a bit high but settling down in the following week. Were this horse race handicapping, we’d be thinking in the 30 – and maybe 40 – percent chance on Xi holding a win ticket on this weekend. Far from likely but within bounds of possible.
Events may move a bit faster, though, since president Xi’s hand is being forced by the wild-eyed Spender in Chief (of money he doesn’t have) here. Slow Joe’s hand goes into the cookie jar again: US Readies $1.1 Billion Arms Sale of Missiles, Radar to Taiwan. Xi – and the mostly engineer class of the Central Committee – know if they wait long enough, the U.S. arms buildup in Taiwan will make for an uglier, more costly attack if decisive engagement is timed in a stumbling way. Swift action and done before the U.S. can insert more materiel.
Middle East Bubbles, Too
Been semi quiet – as things go in this part of the world – although a Shia Cleric stepping down has brough Iran and Iraq to the brink. With details in Militants fire rockets at Baghdad green zone as rival Shia groups clash.
None of which is lost on Israel – which no doubt sees Tehran playing the Biden administration for “tools and fools” for failing to remember their centrifuges are running 24/7. Which is why Israel is “on bended knee” looking for non-nuclear tools to slow Iranian work. U.S. Needs Threat Equal to ‘Bunker-Buster Bombs’ Against Iran: Israeli PM.
Absent American aid, the Israelis may be forced to “go it alone – small nuke(s)” if the U.S. doesn’t serious-up. Israel is far enough outside the American Media Bubble to clearly remember Biden is Obama’s third term. And that Obama sent pallets of cash to Iran during his pre-puppeteer days.
Then Ukraine Worries
Because the Russians have gobbled up a lot of territory, Ukraine is trying to prevent them from getting too comfortable in newly re-acquired lands. So, what’s the play? Ukraine Reports Heavy Fighting in Kherson Amid Southern Offensive.0 Some success, too.
The this is really “blocking and tackling” stuff of ground wars. The bigger dimension stuff – whether (or who) will be first to shell the nuclear power plant – is really more a concern.
Shading bets on this going off over the upcoming weekend are informed by two things. First is U.N. nuclear watchdog team heads to Ukraine. We assume they are not part of a foodie tour.
Again, looking at the weather backdrop, the Zaporizhzhya plant location is in the southeast part of the country. Where for the next two days, a westerly flow with surface winds (from 290-300 degrees) would favor dropping fallout on Russian-held areas which I’ve sprayed in as red in this view:
Since no one wants to be accused of “first use” nothing would surprise us less than the Ukrainians doing some shelling, claiming it was the Russians, and trusting the Western press to swallow anything force-fed by corporate media. Not pausing to think a few of us are smart enough to know Russia will likely NOT blow up anything that would drop fallout on its own forces in situ.
(We having fun, yet?)
FBI – Facebook: Collusion?
A couple of republican senators are going after Facebook. Over its handling of the Hunter Biden (laptop from hell) that was cleverly NOT pursued by the mainstream corporate media.
To us, the key part of the letter sent to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg demanding communications with the FBI be revealed, goes like this:
“Your revelation that Facebook took steps to censor information about Hunter Biden on its platform based on the FBI’s guidance raises even more questions about the FBI’s actions regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. As you may know, whistleblowers have recently alleged to Senator Grassley that in August 2020, FBI officials initiated a scheme to downplay derogatory information on Hunter Biden for the purpose of shutting down investigative activity relating tohis potential criminal exposure by labeling it “disinformation.”
There is additional detail and context in the NY Post – which is sometimes the only newspaper in Gotham able to report real news – GOP senators demand Facebook hand over FBI communication on Hunter Biden.
Of course, nothing will ever come of it – at least before the mid-term elections November 8th – in order to keep people from realizing what a shit-show we have in lieu of legit – honest – governance.
That there could be a cadre of senior bureaucrats within the FBI who have placed themselves above the law and are actively agendizing their own vision of the future is certain something that comes to mind. Though I’d caution you I’ve written fiction as well as non.
Oh, look! Another plot element! FBI agent resigns amid Hunter Biden probe scrutiny.
Put your thinking cap on. If you were BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) how would you “bring down the Anglo West” and their hard to compete with economic ways? Why, you’d start a movement, launch indoctrination camps. And even plant stories like Climate scientists call for civil disobedience.
Some of it makes sense. Like Activists Push the Democrats for Real Solutions on Climate Change. But democrats are in the business of turning left, giving people answers they want to hear, and then not doing anything about it. Republicans hold of free trade like Adam Smith knows about living lightly on the Earth. He doesn’t. All about max gains till it’s all gone. Like fishery stocks.
So here we are in a fake war (climate) in a world beset with depletion and too many people wondering WT (actual) F to do about it.
Popular (Digital) Delusions File
Bitcoin was back over the $20,300 level today. Just as I was reading Ripple CEO Discusses Potential Outcomes of SEC Lawsuit Over XRP.
“Say, professor Ure: Since the whore world flows with the mania, this means the stock market is up, right?”
Why, of course! Stock futures ahead of the Housing data showed the Dow gaining 200 points and the S&P futures up a shade under 30. But, we knew a bounce had to come at some point, right?
“Is this because the Dollar dropped a bit – so it takes a bit more dollars (which looks like stock prices going up) in order to “buy the markets?”
Yes, Grasshopper, it is so.
“But wouldn’t that mean gold should rise, too?”
Give it time, Grasshopper. Market linkages are sloppy – remember that “three on the floor” shifter I put in my Ford Falcon Futura as a kid? Sloppy linkage – like that. Arbitrage is an emotional mess. So are these markets since we’re still on the front end of the Second Depression.
Not only are we not underwater, yet, but 2022 Hurricane Season: No Atlantic Storms in August Would be First in 25 years.
Between the climate warriors, media that doesn’t know journalism, and political (and racial, gender, etc) hate speech, it’s hardly surprising to us that More than 40% of Americans think civil war likely within a decade | US politics. We expect it’s not a shocker for you, either.
Tripe and Trash Dept.
(Like this wasn’t already?)
Pimping the old guy: Biden to give prime-time speech about ‘soul of the nation’ as voters prepare to cast midterm ballots. Wait. You telling me Biden has SOUL?
Take out your cell phone battery if you want privacy reminder: Wireless carriers keep your location data for years and provide it to the police.
The weirdness of Texas does come up over afternoon toddies, now and then. Take, for example Texas school district rejects ‘In God We Trust’ signs featuring rainbows, Arabic.
Why are we not surprised? Nearly 70% of LA teachers have seriously considered quitting, study finds. Only 70 percent?
ATR: Adventures in CPAP Land
Elaine and I are now both playing the popular (but relatively under-covered) story called CPAP Roulette. This all goes back to the Philips Respironics recall. Which has been a real pain waiting for a replacement unit.
In the meantime, Philips’ Loss Has Indeed Been ResMed’s Gain. Elaine and I are waiting for ResMed AirSense 11’s to be shipped, but no telling when.
I’ve been using a Philips machine since diagnosis a couple of months back. Then my national durable medical equipment outfit tried to pull a fast-one on me last week – sending a different brand machine that didn’t have the feature set of the AirSense 11.
We think it will all be worth the wait for our machines. Because there was a story from the Sleep Foundation in April of this year. It reported that while sleep apnea was an increased risk factor for Covid-19, the use of a CPAP machine seems to help reduce risks:
“Fortunately, using CPAP therapy as directed by a doctor is associated with lower rates of COVID-19 in people with OSA. Adherence to CPAP therapy generally requires using the device for at least four hours per night5 no less than five nights per week, though even those who only use their CPAP device for a few hours per night may have a lower risk of infection than those who do not use CPAP therapy at all.”
As much as anything, we’re looking forward to the possible life-extension potential of our devices. Based on a 2019 summary, CPAP Brings Longer Life for Those With Sleep Apnea (webmd.com).
We figure it’s worth the wait. So, we’re awaiting both my replacement Philips unit AND a couple of AirSense 11’s for us.
Write when you get rich,