The fear-mongering headlines are back: al Qaeda this (threats to bomb trained in Europe) and al Qaeda that (urges attacks on US diplomats) . And then we can toss in the dead of Egypt this weekend, worries that oil and gas routes could become “iffy”, and then there’s the matter of the 25 Egyptian police killed near the Sinai. But that’s NOT the story to be worried about.
The real story – and the one which the US can not afford to lose because of its economic implications is the one unfolding in slow-motion in Saudi Arabia. Yes, we’re talking the Saudis who recently gave $2-billion to the military government of Egypt.
But unless you watch the non-mainstream media, you may not have noticed the rest of the fancy footwork going on as the parties involved are really scrambling to make sure that US policy-lynchpin Saudi Arabia does not become a participant in the democratic revolutions which have done things like brought president Morsi to power in Egypt, where he wasn’t hard enough for the West, so he’s out and the military is in charge. For now.
What’s far more telling is the report on Russia Today (RT) last week that a Saudi prince – Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud – has defected to the West because of the suppression of democratic reforms in Saudi lands. This key development has not been missed by Iran’s government press which reports how a “Saudi prince slams Riyadh crackdown, corruption” and these are very hot keywords in the contexting being played on both sides.
And a second indication of the seriousness of the Saudi internals comes as we notice that as the weekend drew to a close “Saudi prince Alwaleed fires TV preacher for Brotherhood Links.”
A closer look at recent actions of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal reveals that he is trying to walk a very difficult balance here. On the one hand, he is trying to keep the MuBros from gaining a foot in Saudi homelands, any more than the Wahabi already have, and yet at the same time he’s already said that proposed oil and gas fracking for petroleum would cause a threat to the Kingdom.
When we look at other telltales around the Saudis, we notice that prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd has put up his high-end home on the UK’s Billionaire Row, which though it may only fetch $100-million, or so, looks to be another subtle move of Saudi royals departing from a strictly business-as-usual profile.
Still, agitation aside, there is still plenty of “break and circuses” to be had such as the Saudi-Prince Faisal Cup karate tournament which opened Sunday.
While most analysts might miss it, there’s a haunting echo off World War I and the future of the then Austro-Hungarian throne which might be drawn to present events in Saudi Arabia. This is made abundantly clear in a recent Peoplenomics report, where we noted the combinatorial effects of the four mini-Depressions prior to the final blow-off top which led to the Great Depression in America.
As we survey who could be the modern-era echo to Archduke Ferdinand, our attention is focused now, as back then, on where the lynchpin real estate is, and thus, where the highest regional risk to America’s security may be found.
And let’s not forget to toss in the report out this weekend that the CIA has admitted to masterminding the 1953 coup in Iran, which you know will be turned into anti-US propaganda in no time.
Time’s up: Here’s the Iranian report, which, when you think about it, sure has a rhyme with present-day events in Egypt.
You know you’re in trouble with John McCain says the US has no creds left in that part of the world. But stating the obvious is what people in office do a lot of…
Make or Break Week
After the decline of last week, the futures are painting about a flat open for the trading week, but we should have a clue before the week is out whether the decline will stop in the present range, or whether events will include a further decline to come.
In overnight action, we saw a modest decline in China but a decent-sized rally in Japan. Carrying on over into Europe this morning, a negative tone is coming in as France and Germany began to slide and that took the UK with it.
So even if the US markets seem like they may experience a bit of an opening bounce, the international market weighs.
Down slightly (about $4) gold seems likely to continue its recent strength to the $1,390 to $1,410 range, but as always, this is not trading advice.
More after this
Selling the Security State
So now chief Kelly of the NYPD says the “stop and frisk” ruling (unconstitutional) will risk more crime in Gotham. But wait a minute chief! Couldn’t we end all crime by locking everyone up? Gosh, then we could do away with courts, cops, attorneys….yeah, sounds like a fine plan!
Another Birth Certificate
In the great swing of the social pendulum (8-11 year cycle) we wryly observe that in 2008 it was the right-wing conservatives who were questioning Obama’s right to hold office. Now, we ought to find out if the shoe fits on the other foot now that Texas senator Ted Cruz has turned his birth certificate over to the Dallas Morning News. Shows he was born in Canada to an American mother which yes, makes it possible for him to be president.
Who will be the first liberal to argue he can’t run? Balance in Universe argues one (or more) will.
The Chicago Tribune is not exactly chump change when it comes to newspapers and especially when the guy in the White House has been a long-time windy city resident. But here it comes: The Trib has thrown its considerable weight behind delaying Obamacare. A reasonable quote:
Bottom line: Let’s delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people.
Amen…and I don’t even live in Chicago. And no, no one can tell me if my present insurance plan will qualify so I’ll just be signing up for Medicare in December….screw it.
Jobs? What Jobs?
Here’s a story out of Washington about how 28% of journalism grads say they wish they had started off on another career track.
Could be worse: Last time I heard (Sunday) law school placement rates were running 17-19%. No telling how many more people will be running for office since there’s not much real work out there.
The biggest flooding in 120 years has struck in the northeastern part of Russia where more rain is in the forecast.
Also we have 91 dead in flooding in China’s northeast and south.
Big volcano is going again in Japan: Sakurajima popped off this weekend. Yet another volcano, yet more suspended particulates in the air, yet more cooling to come. I assume you’ve stocked up on enough firewood for a record cold winter?
Local wisdom in Kentucky is that August fogs bring winter snows, says WLKY. Some of that winter folklore got to be folklore because it works….
None of the Above
Progress? Germany has become the first nation to have third gender birth certificates. So after how long with two choices, am I the only one to begin to wonder if there’s something really bad in the environment and whether the odd alien abduction isn’t really from a sexless future where we’ve chemicaled ourselves into sexual dysfunction? How will marketing survive? Of, is that what gives birth to the hive mind? Oh, my head hurts thinking about this stuff. Who would have though there’d be crossover from the sci-fi world into the news channels?
LBGT Marketing Battle
No, that’s not the Long Breach Grand Prix…it’s the marketing battle over lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender affiliation which, in case you haven’t noticed, has turned into a classic marketing showdown.
In the latest, New Joisey governor Christie seems likely to sign a bill which would bar licensed therapists from trying to talk teenagers, who are thinking of turning gay into being straights.
On the other side of things, Russia is in hot water because as the Washington Post headlines: “Russia’s anti-gay law brings controversy ahead of 2014 Sochi Olympics.”
While it may sound anti-gay, the Russian law actually bans distributing sex-preference marketing materials to those under 18. But if you have an eye for detail, you’ll recall the Olympics are supposed to be free of all belief-system marketing, so as one of the foreign TV news interviews I caught over the weekend asked “Are athletes coming to compete which is fine, or at they coming to make statements which is NOT what the Olympics are about.
Still, its more marketing, marketing, marketing, eh?
What happens when robbers hold up a couple of priests in front of a church? Nothing so far but they may wish to consider a very long-term air conditioning service contract.