The Pause then Claus

Editor in Chief, Zeus the Cat, suggested “Paws then Claus” as our opening headline this morning instead of our obscure reference to the drop in markets in order to build a base for the “Santa Claus Rally” that often happens at this time of the year.

What the hell do PAWS have to do with the market” I asked.

Scratch profits, you idiot!” he meowed back. “What goes with PAWS is CLAWS in my world and that would be a nice play off the other fatso  – the one in the red suit.”

It’s comments like that had get him kicked out even on sub-freezing mornings.

Still, Katzenclaus is too strange a way to begin, so how about we start putting down some bets on the Fed meeting next week?  More than anything, the market is sending a message to the Fed about it’s deepest, darkest fears:  Namely that rational economics might return.  think of this decline as lobbying.

To be sure, the (bad) joke of a budget agreement isn’t gong to qualify, but. NBC’s got a handy guide to use how it will impact your life is on their site over here.  The main feature I can see if that if you’re planning to travel next year, buy the tickets ahead of time, although that may not insulate you from the financial thuggery.

Oh, and think about shorting airlines, hotels, rental car outfits, and anyone else who depends on people moving about the country for revenue.  But not till we maybe get one more pop into January…we’ll see.

Of course the budget deal would also reduce cost of living adjustments for military retirees under age 62, which when you think about it is breach of contract for someone who has served the country for 20-years under one “deal” and gets out, only to find the crap-hounds from hell are then going to rewrite “the deal.”

But such behavior (decline of honor and bond of a man’s word) don’t mean crap anymore, which is why ‘Mercia stands where America Great used to be perched.

You ever wonder how many other “Snowdens in the wings” are out there watching the nation’s ever-expanding tendency toward breach fealty to contract?

Out here in Texas, you can still shake a man’s hand and have it mean something.  You might be mightily disappointed to try that in Washington…know what I mean?

Retail Sales

imageFigure are just out this morning…

“The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal
variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $432.3 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent (±0.5%) from the
previous month, and 4.7 percent (±0.7%) above November 2012. Total sales for the September through November 2013 period were up 4.1
percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The September to October 2013 percent change was revised from +0.4 percent (±0.5%)* to
+0.6 percent (±0.3%).

Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from October 2013, and 4.6 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Auto and other motor vehicle
dealers were up 10.9 percent (±2.1%) from November of 2012 and nonstore retailers were up 9.4 percent (±2.1%) from last year.
The scheduled release dates for 2014 are as follows: January

The news out this morning didn’t breathe any fire into the markets which look to open flat to down, since the number was right at consensus. 

While this is for the month of   November   it still demonstrates a sense that people are out on a a ”get it while we can” spree.  The big towering gray bar on the chart up above is retail general merch and it was up strongly.  Cars are falling compared to past deal-slinging…

Speaking of which…

Warhammer Notes: That New Military Command

As if the world wasn’t a dangerous enough place with three new wars threatening in 2014 (We have Israel-Iran, China-Japan, and West versus Central African Republic) we now have another military player flexing muscles:

Nature abhors a vacuum. So too do certain Gulf states with similar economic interests. 

Note the “Gulf nations to create joint military command” report.

As the U.S. turns resources away from the Middle East, political dynamics mandate that a compensating action occur. A regional Gulf state alliance against the rising threat from a nearly nuclear Iran makes sound strategic sense as America turns a blind eye to the region.

My noggin wonders, if the Saudis work tactical military arrangements with Israel on a possible Iran strike, are their fellow Arab Gulf allies going to follow suit? On the Iranian side of the equation, we just learned U.S. liberated Afghanistan is cozying up to Iran. What could the next alliance moves be in this all-too-real game of Risk? Nations with similar interests are coalescing into large, powerful alliances. The forces of potential large-scale conflict are growing stronger, not weaker, with this recent spate of diplomatic moves.

Finally, it is not too far of a stretch to imagine a Middle Eastern conflict serving as the distraction China might use to move on the contested Islands with Japan in the oil rich S. China Sea. Once that strategic Genie is out of the bottle, Taiwan is open game and the Koreas bear watching for long overdue military confrontation as well!

Cheers,  wh  (Warhammer)

Another thing to toss into the mix is what has been popping up in our project of late: Egypt.  If you click over there you’ll see there’s a big flurry of language evolving which seems to draw attention to an evolution in the Iran-Egypt relationship and the Mubros.  Could there’s be a squeeze play on Israel in the offing?  And then, one wonders, would it be a first strike, or in reaction to an Israeli preemptive attack on on Iranian nukes which have weapon potential?  Big doings in Egypt in coming days?  Maybe, yes.

I note, along this line,  that what our seasoned ex-dot-mil war gamer didn’t remind you that the Saudis have at least one (and likely more) nukes on order from Pakistan.  He expects you to keep your head in the game and remember the little details sporting the suffix “kiloton” or “megaton” without us having to slow down the rest of the class. If you’re a new reader, stick around, you’ll catch on eventually

We don’t deal with paparazzi or sex around here, preferring strategic global thinking instead.  Except for occasional stories like this one…

Word du Jour:  Ausphobic

Depending on which side of the issue you’re on, Australia had either made the most heroic stand yet (globally) in defense of marriage.  Or, they have outed themselves as the most homophobic culture on earth.  Inspect your beliefs and choose accordingly.

This after the Australian’s courts have banned gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory.

Sex Sells?

As long as we’re delving into sex this morning (I prefer a toddy and a weekend afternoon, you understand), we have to note that the Obamanistas are bringing in “The sexiest man alive” to boost Obamacare enrollment.

To my way of thinking, this shows just how screwed up this administration is: They didn’t call me!  (roflol)

Your tax dollars at work, which unfortunately is no laughing matter.


I’m supposed to remind you (according to the voices in my head, lol) that earthquakes seem to hit around big holidays.  Good Friday Alaska, Boxing Day Tsunami, that kind of thing.

So out in Bossangles we notice that there’s a fair bit of media spiking around stories like “Imagine American without Los Angeles:  Expert warns southern California isn’t ready for a major quake.”  But, then who is?

And on topic of quakes, I had a nice note from researcher Patrick Geryl about a couple of astronomical line-ups that he figures have some quake potential:

No large quakes expected, but between 6.0 and 7.0

December 5 – 18, 2013: Triple Line Up Mercury – Neptune – Vesta

December 8 – 20, 2013: Triple Line Up: Mercury – Ceres – Chiron

December 9 – 28, 2013: Triple Line Up Neptune – Venus – Pallas

December 10, 2013: Conjunction Mercury – Saturn and the Sun

December 11 – 20, 2013: Triple Line Up Uranus – Venus – Ceres

December 13 – 26, 2013: Triple Line Up Jupiter –Mercury – Pluto

December 20 -23, 2013: Opposition Mercury – Venus and the Sun

December 21 – 29, 2013: Triple Line Up Uranus – Earth –Mars

December 22, 2013– January 1, 2014: Triple Line Up Uranus – Venus – Vesta

6.12.2013 21:57:39 8°38’24″Aqr Sextile Uranus

8.12.2013 14:15:48 2°45’17″Psc Conjunction Neptune

11.12.2013 5:44:28 8°36’28″Ari Conjunction Uranus

December 11: Quake potential

13.12.2013 3:02:22 2°49’27″Tau Sextile Neptune

15.12.2013 3:54:22 28°04’47″Tau Trine Venus

16.12.2013 0:36:42 8°35’27″Gem Sextile Uranus

16.12.2013 19:16:45 17°59’38″Gem Opposition Mercury

December 15 – 16: Quake potential

17.12.2013 10:28:03 25°36’07″Gem Opposition Sun

18.12.2013 1:07:24 2°54’43″Cnc Trine Neptune

19.12.2013 7:01:36 17°45’13″Cnc Conjunction Jupiter

20.12.2013 5:36:48 28°55’21″Cnc Opposition Venus

December 20: Quake potential

23.12.2013 2:20:28 3°00’53″Vir Opposition Neptune

23.12.2013 18:08:54 10°57’58″Vir Trine Pluto

December 23: Quake potential

24.12.2013 6:18:44 17°08’19″Vir Sextile Jupiter

25.12.2013 4:54:32 28°45’53″Vir Trine Venus

27.12.2013 20:31:39 3°07’22″Sco Trine Neptune

28.12.2013 2:25:37 6°27’44″Sco Sextile Sun

7.5 Plus quaking possible on January 1, 2014…

Just prior to January 1, we have several oppositions and a conjunction with Mercury. This excites Mercury, Pluto, Jupiter and the Earth… On January 1, all these planets are lined up with the moon… So expect a 7.5 plus quake on that day… This could be the precursor to something bigger on January 7 – 8 or a few weeks later… depending how strong the quake is on January 1…

December 28 – 29, 2013: Opposition Mercury – Earth across the Sun

December 30, 2013– January 3, 2014: Opposition Pluto – Earth across the Sun

December 30, 2013: Conjunction Mercury – Pluto across the Sun

December 30, 2013 – January 1, 2014: Triple line Up Mercury – Earth – Pluto

December 31 – January 1, 2013: Opposition Mercury – Jupiter across the Sun

There are other line ups with the moon that could induce a 6.5 plus quake on December 30…

December 22, 2013– January 1, 2014: Triple Line Up Uranus – Venus – Vesta

December 25, 2013– January 3, 2014: Opposition Mars – Neptune across the Sun

December 25 – January 2, 2014: Triple Line Up Mars – Chiron – Juno

30.12.2013 8:50:55 8°39’27″Sgr Trine Uranus

30.12.2013 12:36:08 10°57’58″Sgr Sextile Mars

But on January 1… we have 4 major ones, and 2 lesser ones….

1.01.2014 8:40:09 8°40’51″Cap Square Uranus

1.01.2014 12:14:09 10°57’25″Cap Conjunction Sun

1.01.2014 12:43:57 11°16’26″Cap Conjunction Pluto

1.01.2014 13:40:43 11°52’42″Cap Square Mars

1.01.2014 15:31:48 13°03’39″Cap Conjunction Mercury

1.01.2014 20:08:40 16°00’37″Cap Opposition Jupiter

Patrick’s got a FB page over here where you can follow more of what he’s been up to… But the bottom line seems to be that while a Christmasquake is possible, a biggie early in the New Year would work, too.  We shall see.

Keep the USGS map server handy as a bookmark.