Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Saviors"

House

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday



It is a noteworthy day.

The press and usual suspects are reacting to Obama's first hundred day speech and Q&A. The speculation is about how the next hundred will go, how the Republicans will save themselves from implosion, and how to keep the wars, recession, pandemics, bankruptcies, layoffs, violence, and a few other things rotating at the top of a pole like the juggler that used to pull that multi-dish balancing stunt years ago did on TV.

Speaking of Republicans, why all the pomp and ceremony on the liberal blogs about what some hate radio or TV guy says or does. Who cares. Right now they are out of power, so pay no attention. Will they get back into power? Of course they will.

Cripes, Chrysler goes bankrupt. No offense, but if there ever were cars that I would like to see pulled from America's highway spaghetti anxiety pit, its Chryslers. They are high on style and bulk and low on all things resembling our imaginary green car armada. I do like the stripped down Jeep.

And then, its a newly named influenza because we don't want the mouth breathing humanoids to go slaughtering swine. In a time of crisis, less than intelligent thinking takes over. The button has been pushed. Somewhere in America, some gun toting guy is sitting in his secluded cabin, ready to shoot anyone that comes close enough to give him the flu.

The Nikkei is up, and for the first time in a long time, is not reflecting the DOW which dropped a few ounces today.

Reuters: Nikkei edges up 0.3 pct, weak yen offsets deflation

Influenza A(H1N1)

257 lab confirmed cases, means not all cases have been examined by a lab. So we can presume the number is higher.

The flu is no longer swine flu, it is now referred to as Influenza A(H1N1).

CNN: Confirmed swine flu cases leap
- WHO reports 257 lab-confirmed cases, up from 148

- 109 cases reported in 11 U.S. states, CDC reports
WHO
30 April 2009 -- From today, WHO will refer to the new influenza virus as influenza A(H1N1).

30 April 2009 -- The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 97 confirmed human cases of infection, including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (19), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Swine Flu Update

There's speculation that the people who died from the swine flu in Mexico did not have proper medical attention. Again they may very well have become dehydrated and that is deadly.

Reuters: Will pandemic be mild, or kill millions?
Although it has been deadly in the disease epicenter, Mexico, and caused the death of one Mexican infant in the United States, in other countries people infected with swine flu have fared well, with diarrhea the biggest complaint.

Its (WHO) website's "frequently asked questions" about the virus tell people who have a high fever, cough or sore throat to rest and take plenty of fluids, wash hands frequently, and avoid work, school or crowds as much as possible. (www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/faq/en/index.html#q11)

CNN - Grading Obama

The usual suspects have an Obama blab fest. This is entertaining.

Mexico Closes - Flu Reported To Be Mild Strain

According to the World Health Organization, we are at the threshold of a world pandemic. That is scary.

Yet according to several officials, the flu strain itself is said to be mild. People I know in the medical profession say that children and the aged are at greatest risk. The primary risk is death due to dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea. Access to a hospital is a tremendous advantage where I.V. fluids can be given.

So the news is clearly mixed. The flu is on the way, yet the strain is said to be mild.

Reuters: Swine flu prompts Mexico to shut down economy
Mexican President Felipe Calderon told his people to stay home from Friday for a five-day partial shutdown of the economy, after the World Health Organization said a swine flu pandemic was imminent.

Twelve countries have reported cases of the H1N1 strain...

Almost all those infected outside Mexico have had mild symptoms, and only a handful of people have been hospitalized.

...it appeared the H1N1 strain was far less dangerous than avian flu.

The Market On Thursday

Chrysler is on the ropes. The privately owned company is close to bankruptcy. Obama mentioned Chrysler in his 100 day speech last night and expressed the interest in having a vibrant American car industry. Chrysler's specialty is large over-sized vehicles, think about those huge Dodge trucks. They definitely fulfill that rough and tumble American image of the manly man worker. When gas hit $4 per, my friends with those vehicles were looking into buying used cars because they couldn't afford to pay $300 a week for gas. Something tells me that a return to higher gas prices is a sure thing.

There will be a deluge of earnings reports today. Right now it seems like investors are giddy with future expectations of recessions past.

Hey if Wall Street sees the end of the tunnel, that's just great. We shall see indeed, but I'm sticking with bear rally.

Reuters: Stock futures point to higher Wall Street open

"I Miss You"

Blink 182

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TPMtv

100 Days Of Obama

Here's my notes on Obama's talk.

Dinner interrupted at abortion -

Challenges:

- swine flu: taking precautions, schools closed, $1.5 Billion for flu stuff

- passed budget resolution, no going back to building on the sand, new foundation for growth, new education investments, renewable energy, health care, change foreign policy direction.

- not content, millions lost jobs, more losses to come, all kinds of threats, health care reform, energy legislation, new Wall Street rules, protect credit card users, cut government waste.

- rebuild a better nation, thank American people.


Q&A

- close Mexican border? Not a time to panic, intelligent response based on science and health officials, no border closing recommendation, ramped up screening efforts. Treat this the same way as other flu outbreaks,

- Chrysler? Fiat merger. GM? Lot of good product, can emerge as a viable company.

- torture? Did Bush sanction torture? Obama put an end to waterboarding, torture corrodes the character of the country, it will make us safer to end waterboarding, ends a recruiting tool for terrorists, Obama - does not speak to Bush, Bush, a mistake.

- did you read the documents by Cheney, torture saved lives, could you use the techniques if threat was apparent? The public justifications - we got information - could we have gotten the information without the techniques and are we safer, decision is based on consult with national security team, "the best way is to not take shortcuts that undermine who we are."

- Pakistan? at war with the Taliban? confident that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal will get secured.

- Iraq? more work on the political side so we need a slow withdrawal. Ultimate transfer after the national elections. Serious work on how they divvy up oil revenues. Kurds? are they incorporating.

- Specter switch? Is this a big deal? 60 votes will run roughshod over the rule.
Obama thinks highly of Specter. Having Specter in the Democratic caucus will allow him to work on health care and such. Overall its a positive. Obama believes it will not be a rubber stamp Congress.

Abortion? Freedom of choice act? Obama' view on abortion - its a moral and ethical issue, its an issue that people have to wrestle with, women don't take it casually, Obama would like to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, reduce teen pregnancies,

Hump Day Check


The DOW and S&P closed up today, strongly up we might add, +168 and +18 respectively. Before the jubilation commences, recall that most wise one's believe we are in a bear market rally. Don't get too attached yet.

Today I purchased a replacement window for this old house. The present windows, like just about everything else in the house, are a disaster. I think in the past it wasn't a matter of keeping cold air out, it was a matter of letting cold air in. These things are like sieves. They got to go.

Here's the deal. I bought a krypton filled energy saving window that has an "st" designation. That "st" stands for stimulus. This window will be tax deductible next April 15th. When I learned that, that's when the jubilation began.

So if you are going to replace any windows this year, make sure they are approved under the stimulus guidelines.

Turner And Pickens

Fear Of Bush

Obama is in his glory right now. He's popular and he has the support of the vast majority of people, along with a decisive Democratic advantage in Congress and a soon to be realized filibuster proof Senate.

What can we say. If there was one dividend that Bush provided it was knocking the Republican party back to the stone age. Unfortunately he also knocked the country back to the stone age. This was Bush's legacy. We can't point out one single policy advance by Bush that benefited the average American. Hopefully Obama will pursue prosecution of the Bush crimes, there are too many to list.

Reuters: Obama leading U.S. ideological shift
"Because of the Bush administration's collapse at the end due to the financial situation, he's got a lot of leeway right now in terms of what he can propose. It remains to be seen what he's going to get out of this..."

The Market On Wednesday

I actually stepped on a yellow jacket on Monday. I only had socks on, the bee wasp was on my kitchen floor. The bugger got me right on my little toe, it feels like I stubbed my toe on an oil tanker.

We see that the first reported death from swine flu occurred in Texas. The victim was a child. I suspect dehydration was the cause. This is the problem with children, not enough body fluids to handle the severe loss from vomiting and diarrhea. The family must be heartbroken.

The media is attempting to downplay the fear right now by pointing out that the regular flu kills thousands of Americans each year. This is probably true but still this is an extra flu, an extra disease.

The economy is taking a back seat to the swine flu scare. On Wall Street, futures are up, actually strongly up. The idea here is that the leaked data on the GDP will show the economy "only" shrunk at a rate of 4.9% which is better than the 6.4% from the last quarter of '08. Its another case of finding good news in the bad, the GDP is shrinking but its shrinking less, this is allegedly good news.

Reuters: Futures nearly 1 pct higher as GDP data awaited
The release of advance first-quarter GDP data may indicate the slowdown was less brutal than initially thought. The economy is expected to have shrunk at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.9 percent in the first quarter, after contracting 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

J.S.Bach Keyboard Concerto No.7

Glenn Gould

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Denmark"

Three Sheets

Sen. Mitch McConnell On Specter's Switch

Did you hear McConnell talking about how Specter's defection was a threat to the country.

You know the threat, the Republicans had the same set-up with Bush 2 from '02 to '06. Where was McConnell then? I don't recall one little peep out of McConnell regarding an overwhelming Republican majority that allowed excesses so severe that we experience it now with recession, Iraq, torture, et al.

Death Camp Note Found

There is something especially poignant about this story.

Prisoners at Auschwitz left a message in a bottle, and its just been found.

BBC: Builders find Auschwitz message
The authors of the note "were young people who were trying to leave some trace of their existence behind them", said museum spokesman Jarek Mensfelt.

The authenticity of the message has been checked by the museum.

"All of them are between the ages of 18 and 20," the final sentence of the note reads.

Alive and well

Holy Shit !

In the midst of a recession and the swine flu, pigs can fly.

CNN: Sen. Arlen Specter to become Democrat
A Specter party switch would give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.

Mexico

Things are tightening up in Mexico. Mexico City is allegedly ground zero in the swine flu outbreak.

Meanwhile Republicans are blaming illegal immigrants for the flu, filibustering the confirmation of Sebellius to work as Health Secretary, and stripped funding for flu preparedness out of Obama's stimulus. God love 'em.

Unfortunately it looks like the cat may have gotten out of the bag.

Wash your hands regularly, and try not to touch your eyes and face.

Guardian UK: Swine flu: 'We are in God's hands. It feels like anything can happen'
With more than 150 dead, 2,000 sick and warnings that Mexico City could become the epicentre of a global pandemic, other passengers were not so sanguine. "I have a friend there who has a cold. The whole thing freaks me out. I'm going to sort out some things I need to do, two or three days, then I'm out of there," said Umberto Pineda, 50, a salesman.

Sneezing, Kissing, Shaking, And The Flu

Yahoo: Q&A: Swine Flu Myths and Mysteries
How is this flu transmitted?

The flu virus, including this one - a type A/H1N1 flu virus, is most commonly spread in liquid droplets made airborne by coughing or sneezing. This is a highly contagious respiratory illness. For this reason, sick or not, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash your hands frequently, especially after using a tissue. Don't touch your nose or mouth, or rub your eyes. Throw away tissues after use.

Is it OK to kiss someone on the cheek or lips?

There is mixed advice on this, but most authorities say that kissing and even hugging should be avoided, if you want to avoid getting the flu.

Is it safe to shake hands?

Again, mixed advice. Frequent hand-washing will take care of uncertainties.

CNN - Jump Roping Phenoms

Reuters News Clips

The Market On Tuesday

Bank of America and Citigroup are in tough shape. The banks are two likely candidates for a government takeover, restructuring, and resale to a private entity.

Futures are down, the bear is out of hibernation.

Reading through the futures article, we find a small note about a prostate cancer vaccine. Wow. That is huge. The company is Dendreon.

Dendreon on the NYSE

Reuters: Index futures point to sharply lower Wall St open
Dendreon's prostate cancer vaccine will be presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Chicago. Shares of the biotechnology company tripled earlier this month when it reported its Provenge vaccine improved survival in the Phase III trial.
Business Week: Dendreon Prostate Vaccine Boosts Survival
Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) jolted the cancer community, and the stock market, on Apr. 14 with an announcement that a medical trial has shown that its experimental Provenge vaccine for prostate cancer can keep men alive longer than standard treatments. "The results were unambiguous," Dendreon CEO Mitchell Gold told BusinessWeek. The news raised the possibility that Provenge might become the first cancer vaccine approved for use in the U.S.

If approved, analysts predict that Provenge could have initial annual sales of $200 million a year, and that sales could eventually exceed $1 billion. The drug, which is administered only once, is also likely to be costly, although the company has yet to release any pricing details.

Dendreon could also wind up being the first anticancer vaccine to win FDA approval. Provenge is one of a number of so-called immunotherapies in development that try to stimulate the body's immune system to attack cancer cells and prevent the disease from recurring.

"Bust A Move"

Young MC

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hunger In America

Check out the interactive map at this site -

Feeding America Across The Nation

You will find information on food insecurity, child poverty and such for all states.

I was very surprised to learn that my state New York has a food insecurity rate of 9.8%. Almost one in ten people are short on food. That is tragic.

Also in New York, the child poverty rate is 20.4%. This is very troubling.

A Word From The Wise - Hydrate You Ingrate


From a deep operative in the medical profession.

According to my well placed sources, swine flu will not kill the average person. What kills you is dehydration. If you were to get sick, its the vomiting, and diarrhea that causes you to loose fluids. Spike a fever with vomiting and diarrhea and get yourself to the hospital for a fluid I.V.

I need you around to read my dumb blog.

An older person will get confused and die from dehydration.

A young child is small, and if they loose fluids, they simply don't have a lot to spare.

The key is hydration. Got it.

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

There has to be a joke in here somewhere -

What do you get when you mix swine flu with the Nikkei index?

- stock shaped sushi to die for.

- a Toyota that runs on pork.

- a fever and a bad mortgage.

- financially strapped shiatsu.

Sorry about that, just a little punchy here. My apologies, I'll never do it again...

Reuters: Nikkei falls 0.6 pct after flu worry hurts Wall St

Wall St Reacts To The Flu

The DOW and S&P dropped a handful today.

The swine flu pandemic has everyone's attention including the investors. Let's hope everyone is washing their hands.

Things were not bad enough, a measure of misery is now added to existing misery. Travel, tourism, and oil are dropping as people refrain from travel while they ride out the flu scare.

Reuters: Flu fears spur Wall St sell-off
"The market looks for things to worry about, particularly when you are up nearly 30 percent from the bottom..."

4:25 PM

Listening to local radio today, its all about the swine flu. Everyone is worried.

There is helpful information available.

CDC - Swine Flu
There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Laboratory confirmed cases in the U.S.:

California 7 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 28 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 40 case

Swine Flu Fact Sheet

Note - since this article was published, there have been more suspected cases.

Gulf News: Fact file: Swine flu and safety measures
What is it? It is a virus that mutated from pigs and transmitted to some humans.

How many have been infected? Mexican authorities are investigating 1,614 suspected cases. The flu is spreading with 20 cases in the United States and four in Canada. New Zealand reported 15 new suspected cases.

Is there a cure? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states that there is no vaccine to specifically protect humans from swine flu, only to protect pigs. Although GlaxoSmithKline Plc's flu treatment Relenza and Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu appear effective against the strains of the virus the CDC has tested.

What are authorities doing to contain the virus? The World Health Organization went on high alert, dispatching top experts to the United States and Mexico. The CDC has also set up emergency operation centres.

Signs and symptoms

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting
Fever with a rash (among children)
Bluish skin color (among children)

Easy ways to protect against infection

Little can be done to prevent an outbreak of flu from spreading, health experts caution, but they say common sense measures can help individuals protect themselves. Practice the following:

- Wash your hands frequently

- Cover your cough or your sneeze

- Use alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers

- If you have flu-like symptoms, stay away from work or public transportation

- Social distancing. Stay away from people who might be infected

CNN - Swine Flu Travel Anxiety

The Market On Monday

The swine flu outbreak is affecting the market's background. Speaking of swine flu, two of the most important things you can do to protect yourself are to wash your hands frequently especially if someone nearby sneezes, and try to limit your contact with other people. In other words its a good time to become a recluse, temporarily.

It will be another week of economic data reports including the possible leaking of some bank stress test results. The results are officially due out on May 4.

I'm still thinking we will have at least one rally day this week, anything above that is a bonus.

Reuters: Stock futures fall on swine flu worries
...worries linked to a global swine flu outbreak added to U.S. bank stress-test jitters.

"Umbrella"

Rihanna

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CNN - Swine Flu

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

After 16 months and then some of this recession, battle fatigue is everywhere.

A few of the things Summers said on Fox News today:
"Six or eight weeks ago, there were no positive statistics to be found anywhere. The economy felt like it was falling vertically. Today, the picture is much more mixed..."

"I suspect the economy will continue to decline for some time to come..." source
The idea is that the economic free fall now has a tiny parachute.

There you have it, one year to go.

Reuters: Nikkei rises 0.9 pct on U.S. economy hope, Wall St

Nouriel Roubini On The Economy

I take this guy seriously, how can you not.

The most relieving part of his interview is that he now believes the recession is primarily U shaped and not L shaped. In other words we down bottom out and then remain on the bottom. Instead he sees a revival. The difference between Roubini and the MSM is that Roubini sees the bottom occurring in a year not in the fourth quarter.

Newsweek: 'I Am Dr. Realist'
...I believe that the rate of economic contraction is going to slow from minus 6 percent in the last two quarters to minus 2 percent by the fourth quarter. Next year, I believe that the growth rate is going to be 0.5 percent for the U.S. average. Even if we are technically out of a recession, we are going to feel like we are in a recession. The bottom of the economy is not going to be in three months, but rather toward the beginning or middle of next year.

...after the stress tests it is going to be obvious that even some of the largest banks are so fundamentally in trouble that you cannot buy their toxic assets. You need to take over these banks on a temporary basis, clean them up and then sell them back to the private sector.

...I would argue that even the latest market rally is a bear-market rally.

Bush Banality

Unfortunately the country still has to sort itself out from the horror of the Bush administration.

Frank Rich spells it out.

NY Times: The Banality of Bush White House Evil
Yet we still shrink from the hardest truths and the bigger picture: that torture was a premeditated policy approved at our government’s highest levels; that it was carried out in scenarios that had no resemblance to “24”; that psychologists and physicians were enlisted as collaborators in inflicting pain; and that, in the assessment of reliable sources like the F.B.I. director Robert Mueller, it did not help disrupt any terrorist attacks.

As soon as Bybee gave the green light, torture followed...

...the ticking time bomb was not another potential Qaeda attack on America but the Bush administration’s ticking timetable for selling a war in Iraq...

Stress

The results of the bank stress tests are due out May 4. This is a big deal as the health of the banking sector is fundamental to the economy and pulling out of the recession.

Are we not completely sick of this stuff yet?

Talk about stress tests, how about this swine flu pandemic. Its bad enough when the economically challenged are stressed by this great recession, now its a life or death health challenge. Hopefully the attention is more hype and fear and less actual threat to the masses. People do die from the flu, even the regular flu, and according to my medical establishment operatives, people who have compromised immune systems are at great risk. So, stay healthy, and if you are not healthy, work to become more healthy. I know, easier said than done, but still, try.

Back to the market - At some point this rally has to end. With all kinds of earnings and economic data coming out this week, the idea will once again be trying to interpret the bad news as not as bad as we thought news.

I'm thinking we will have at least one rally day, possibly more, but maybe not...

Reuters: Stocks face banks, Fed, earnings
...investors will deal with a raft of economic indicators this week. The data menu includes February home prices, April consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims and an advance report on first-quarter real Gross Domestic Product.

The advance reading of first-quarter GDP is expected to show the pace of economic contraction slowed to a 5 percent annual rate from 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Reuters poll of 69 economists.

"Safe Men"

"On Call"

Kings Of Leon

Saturday, April 25, 2009

American Violence 4-25-09

Solarsaturday


You guys have an excellent day.

Its going up into the - who cares it is sunny, warm, and blooming.

Consequently I am outside, walking, working in the garden, and going nuts.

You go nuts too.

Be back tonight.

From a deep operative, (used without permission), on the Hannity waterboard-gate.
News: o-tainment people I'd like to waterboard
1 Rick Sanchez ( on my call )
2 G Gordon Liddy (cause he likes it )
3 Nancy Grace (because women can be macho too )
4 All tv weathermen ( I'll show you precipitation)
5 Limbaugh (to help wash down his pills) ....

I think Sanchez has already put himself through the process. He needs another 182 to catch the record holder.

Lots of news people have done this already including Christopher Hitchens. Whats the point? I think this is childish posturing.

....Torture is obviously wrong and it's probably meant as a deterrent anyway. Its a basic, "If your bad we will hurt you," message....

The explosion of these methods is a sickness that should not be approached like Olbermann has approached it. This will only exacerbate matters...Keep the faith

Obama's Weekly Address

TPMtv - Waxman Smacks Down Gingrich

Outlook

The keyword for Wall Street at present is mostly optimism, again. There are still many analysts and financiers talking about the cycle that we have experienced over the past 16 months. That would be a bear rally followed by an even steeper loss. Need we mention that a 7 week rally is in progress and that could be followed by...

For the record, the DOW is slightly down from last week's Friday closing number.

In both cases the present optimism and the shadowy pessimism are based on economic indicators i.e. which companies are not doing as badly as expected, which banks are indicating they are adequately capitalized, durable goods sales, the price of oil and gold, the comments of essential economic managers, who is buying investments and what is their motivation for buying investments, and usually not unemployment.

Hey, I'm just like everyone else, if this recession is receding and we are at bottom, great. Following this thing closely makes me believe that this is not the case.

The bubble economy of the best Bush years, was not "real." Essentially it was based on selling unstable debt as a solid asset. It was based on running up debt. Clearly this is not something that we can return to. We are saying the DOW is down huge numbers. This is true but the high numbers were illusory and the background became fundamentally flawed. We cannot return to this.

I believe an essential shift is occurring. The economy will rebuild from this leveled playing field in a different direction. The end of the line for the Pontiac is a symptom of this shift - out with the muscle gas guzzler and in with the high tech hybrid, or electric car, or smart car, or scooter.

Obama is attempting to place alternative energy right into the thick of the economic fray. This is the future. Naturally, existing corporations and the entire massive economic structure continues, but it is birthing a new and prominent heir. The baby is strategically positioning itself as the new king in waiting.
"The earnings news last night, as well as this morning in general, appears to be relatively positive and, at the core, the durable goods orders this morning also provided further indication that the manufacturing sector is showing tentative signs of improvement..." source
The supply of unsold new U.S. homes plummeted in March in the biggest drop in more than 45 years, government data showed on Friday, offering hope the distressed housing market is stabilizing. source
"At the core, the durable goods orders this morning also provided further indication that the manufacturing sector is showing tentative signs of improvement..." source

"Wake Up"

David Bowie and Arcade Fire

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Slaughterhouse Five"

Art And Monstrosity


The watercolor image above is one of several painted by Hitler.

His work was recently auctioned for a large sum of money.

Discovery Channel: Hitler Watercolors Draw Big Bid at Auction

No More Pontiacs

New Torture Photos To Be Released

Here are the DoJ documents ordering the release. Screw Bush.

Click on the documents below to see them enlarged.


Iraq Violence 4-24-09

A second day of suicide attacks has caused the deaths of 60.

Gulf News: Suicide attacks kill dozens of people near Baghdad shrine

Independent Torture Panel

People in the know realize that a 9-11-like commission to investigate torture will lead nowhere.

We will end up with a list of recommendations, no prosecutions, and a lot of white washing.

Is it better than nothing? Maybe, but that is a very tepid maybe. The idea here is to feign outrage, wring the hands a bit, and then pat backs behind closed doors.

Obama loses major points if this thing slips out of our very short collective memory.

McClatchy: Pressure grows on Obama to call for interrogation panel
The political oxygen in the nation's capital is now being consumed by rancor over the interrogations. That's why several experts on Congress and previous high-profile investigations think that it's increasingly likely that Obama will call for an independent panel, outside Congress, similar to the 9/11 Commission that examined the 2001 attacks.

CNN - Obama's Job Rating

The Market On Friday

Remember when Ford stood for "fix or repair daily."

The company posted a $1.4 billion loss for the first quarter of 2009. This has spurred "optimism" once again because the loss is not as great as expected. Its the good news within the bad. source

The optimism is also based on future expectations and projections for the company. It would not appear that Ford is in jeopardy of bankruptcy, at least not in the immediate future, unlike Chrysler and GM.

I predicted two rally days and three stinkers for the week. Right now we are at two and two. I hope I'm wrong...

Reuters: Stock futures rise after Ford results
...Ford Motor Co's better-than-expected quarterly results spurred optimism about the broader economy.

"Ionisation"

Edgar Varese

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Ireland"

Three Sheets - for the vicarious drinker.

This show could portend the future - a country of unemployed workers spending countless hours in front of a bottle. Right, maybe that's the present...

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

Curious, its one of the few days when the Nikkei has not followed Wall Street, where the DOW and S&P gained a smidge today.

Everybody keeps repeating the new mantra which is, its about the banks. Gone is optimism and pessimism, now its banks, banks, banks.

Hey it only took 16 months for writers to hone in on the bank man behind the curtain as the explanation for misery.

Regardless, we are still in a massive pickle.

Reuters: Nikkei edges down, but Mizuho Financial rises

Rising Unemployment

Buried within this usual suspect article on why the market is basically treading underwater, is the statement about rising unemployment last week.

This is the biggest problem.

Reuters: Banks, Apple drive Wall St higher, AmEx up late
...weekly initial jobless claims rose slightly more than expected.

TPMtv - GOP, Is This A Banana Republic?

If Obama prosecutes the Bush torture regime, he, Obama, is acting like a hooligan in a banana republic. This is the new GOP talking point.

Now is the idea to leave the rest of us speechless and with mouths completely agape because we are stunned by such lunacy.

If you can't argue the point, be so outrageous that you render your opponent speechless.

Iraq Violence 4-23-09

Buying Less

Existing home sales were down in March. I suspect this will pick up in the Summer because that is the buying season.

Add UPS to the complete list of businesses affected by the recession, less buying means less things to deliver.

Reuters: Wall Street falters after home sales data
...existing home sales fell 3 percent in March...
Reuters: Global slump hurts UPS profit

Amy Goodman On Torturers

There needs to be a ground swell demand that the torturers are prosecuted.

They can't get off the hook.

Truthdig: Torturers Should Be Punished
These torture techniques were developed by two psychologists based in Spokane, Wash.: James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. Their company, Mitchell Jessen & Associates, provided specialized training to members of the U.S. military to deal with capture by enemy forces. The training is called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Mitchell and Jessen, both psychologists, were contracted by the U.S. government to train interrogators with techniques they claimed would break prisoners.

For years, people have felt they have been hitting their heads against walls (some suffered this literally, as the memos detail). On Election Day, it looked like that wall had become a door. But that door is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change. We need a universal standard of justice. Torturers should be punished.

CNN - Green Cars

The Market On Thursday

Obama is meeting with bankers today to discuss credit card fees and interest rates.

In this economy, people are defaulting on their credit card payments at a record level. Some believe that credit card defaults will rank with bad mortgage debt as the next banking foible. Banking is still at the center of the recession, so its more wood on the economic collapse fire.

Banks on the other hand have lost all modesty and are charging enormous fees even to responsible customers. The best move right now is to eliminate all credit card debt, if possible.

Futures are up based on an excellent earnings report from Apple. More earnings reports are due out today along with reports on home sales in March.

Unless futures are very low or very high, at this point they only indicate how the market probably will begin the day. As we have seen, the market is u-turning frequently. Yesterday for example, it opened down, spent most of the day up, and then closed down.

I predicted two rally days for this week and so far its been one rally and two stinkers.

Reuters: Stock index futures point to gains on Wall Street

"Orange Crush"

R.E.M.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nikkei Opens Lower On Thursday

My optimism is starting to show stress fractures concerning the markets.

With Wall St free falling down this great perilous chasm for well over a year and then some, financiers are seeing apparitions and mirages. Optimism is an illusion as well.

Everyone is looking for a sign, and when found, they dissipate like water on a hot pan.

Right now I'm thinking this thing is going to take on more water and do the Titanic.

I guess when the bloggers lose confidence, then who is left to pick up the confidence slack?

Reuters: Nikkei slips as trading houses, financials weigh

Bush The Torturer

The wretched pile keeps growing.

It would appear that the floodgate is open and the crap waters of the Bush regime are spilling out faster and faster.

The pace seems to be picking up and the demand for heads to roll on torture is growing louder.

Reuters: Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link
The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods (torture) on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

"Waking The Dead"

Feature film starring Jennifer Connelly and somebody else.

Serve

Obama has just signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
The new law will triple the size of the AmeriCorps volunteer program for teenagers and young adults.

And according to the Associated Press, kids in grades 6 through 12 will now be able to earn a $500 education award each summer - money for college - by volunteering in their neighborhoods. source

The White House: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
As the President explained, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act is about "connecting deeds to needs" – it will open tremendous new avenues of opportunity for Americans to help their country get back on the right track in those many areas where government cannot do it all.

CNN - Sec. Clinton On Cheney

Newest Exoplanet

I like this. Astronomers are finding planets in other solar systems more and more frequently or so it seems.

This time they found one about half the size of earth, as opposed to a giant like Jupiter.

Reuters: Smallest exoplanet found in search for Earth's twin
"We are not too far away from finding a planet like Earth..."

The City That Ended Hunger


From a deep operative -

We know Francis Moore Lappe, author of 'Diet For A Small Planet.'

Here she reports on Brazil's fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, which has effectively wiped out hunger for its citizens.

Lappe discovered that there is no food shortage, only a shortage of democratic will, that is at the source of hunger.

Is this a model for the rest of the world - only if a fundamental intent is changed and implemented.

Yes Magazine: The City that Ended Hunger by Frances Moore Lappé
The city (Brazil’s fourth largest...Belo Horizonte...population 2.5 million) agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers. It offered local family farmers dozens of choice spots of public space on which to sell to urban consumers, essentially redistributing retailer mark-ups on produce—which often reached 100 percent—to consumers and the farmers. Farmers’ profits grew, since there was no wholesaler taking a cut. And poor people got access to fresh, healthy food.

No one has to prove they’re poor to eat in a People’s Restaurant, although about 85 percent of the diners are. The mixed clientele erases stigma and allows “food with dignity,” say those involved.

Reuters News Clips

The Market On Wednesday

All kinds of corporations are reporting first quarter earnings today. Futures are down anticipating the primarily wretched news.

You might think those earnings would set the tone for the day. Not so, I suspect it will be Geithner's speech at 1300GMT that does the trick. 1300GMT is 9AM EST, I think.

So if Geithner is able to soothe, charm, and delight, the present position of futures is not relevant.

Do we trust this guy.

On the other hand, if he's judged to be fuzzy, too general, and simplistic, we could very well have a repeat of Monday.

This is the type of economy we are now dealing with. The market's performance (AKA your economic future) is based on one individual's homework grade.

Reuters: Wall Street futures down ahead Morgan Stanley, AT&T
Eyes also on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is due to speak at 1300 GMT on the Obama administration's efforts to address the recession.

China's central bank on Wednesday declared the economy to be on the road to recovery...

The Threshold HouseBoys Choir

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nikkei Opens Higher On Wednesday

Predictably the Nikkei is up after Wall Street has a plus side day.

The only thing this proves is that the Japanese market is equally as chaotic and volatile as Wall Street and that Japanese investors don't know what the hell they are doing either.

Seriously now, where is the coherence in the market? Somebody, say Buffet, takes the microphone and says the recession is going to last for the next three decades. Consequently the market falls and all kinds of value is wiped out. People are "pessimistic." The next day, the Secretary of the Treasury says banks are fully capitalized and its only some itty bitty bad mortgage debt that's "clogging the system." Consequently the market goes ape. People are "optimistic."

This is not an economic recovery. This is a bunch of people searching for something that is no longer in existence, in the black expanse of deep space with a three cent flashlight, no battery, and prehistoric cave maps.

Reuters: Nikkei rises 0.8 pct after Wall St rebound on banks

Adequate Capital

The DOW closed up 127 and the S&P up 17.

Is it wise to believe that Geithner's statements regarding the overall sufficient capitalization of banks is enough to change the markets direction? If you read the MSM finance articles, it is.

Allegedly it is only mood which is the driving force behind the market's direction. All that needs to be done is the proper management of "bad credit." Once this occurs. the recession can recede because the essentials for lending are already in place.

I'm sorry, I'm just not buying it. I think there are larger forces going on. Yesterday its Armageddon and today its roses. That is not a recovery, that is chaos.

Reuters: Geithner says most banks have adequate capital
...he said toxic assets were "congesting" the U.S. financial system and hindering efforts to get credit flowing normally.

"Indicators on interbank lending, corporate issuance and credit spreads generally suggest improvements in confidence in the stability of the system and some thawing in credit markets..."

Private Security On The City's Streets

Oakland is hiring private security to police its most violent streets.

When we first started to see the mercenary groups showing up in Iraq by the tens of thousands, a red flag went up. Those groups were paid significantly more than American troops.

In Oakland, city officials are reporting the opposite in that the private police are cheaper than hiring regular police. All of this occurs in the dim light of the recession which is straining city budgets all over. To city officials the move makes logical fiscal sense.

So, if private police are less expensive, and the recession lingers, we might suspect that this trend will grow and private police will be everywhere especially in cities. Juxtapose this with a rise in crime also due to the recession and the bizarre world of the future starts taking more shape.

Paint your own scenario.

WSJ: Cash-Strapped Cities Try Private Guards Over Police
Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards.

Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers.

"People want to go with armed guards because they believe it's cheaper, but they lack adequate training [and] background checks..."

Pirate In New York

How will a Somali pirate find a jury of peers in New York?

He is a teenager, but it does not state his age, i.e. under or over 18.

Gulf News: Somali pirate suspect arrives in New York to face charges
The sole surviving Somali pirate (Abduhl Wali-i-Musi) from the hostage-taking of an American ship captain has arrived in New York to face charges in the attack.

The teen’s arrival came on the day his mother appealed to US President Barack Obama for his release. She says her son was coaxed into piracy by "gangsters with money."

CNN - Returning Bailout Funds

The Market On Tuesday

Many corporations and banks are reporting earnings today including blue chip Caterpillar.

The results will be mixed, with the surprise being that a few will post profits.

Futures are up flying in face of yesterday's massive plunge. Go figure.

Chalk it up to ...

Reuters: Wall St futures point higher amid results flurry

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

The "Exchange Volatility Index" is spiking meaning that investors are essentially freaked out.

With the DOW dropping well over 250, its almost a done deal that the Nikkei will tank as well.

Its hard to imagine what will rally the market this week other than some miraculous and unexpected news. Short selling is still the rage.

Reuters: Nikkei falls nearly 3 pct, banks and techs hit

Fed Vice Chair Offers Optimism For Late 2009

In our search for any and all types of signs or statements regarding the dissolution of the recession, there's this brief article.

Fed Vice Chair Kohn made statements in a university speech today which were again pointing to the end of 2009 as a salient point in the slowdown of the recession.

It favorable news but at this point I don't really believe anyone.

Reuters: Fed's Kohn - signs economy may stabilize in 2009
"may be an early indication that conditions are falling into place for real GDP to decline at a slower rate in the second quarter and to stabilize later this year..."

Poof

The quick sickle sliced and cut the DOW down 289 while the S&P dropped a whopping 37.

We were indeed warned, and the warning came towards the end of last week when financiers expressed that banking is a mess.

The recession blew the door open and pushed its ugly face into the world living room.

Its back for more blood.

Reuters: Wall Street sinks as bank shares tumble
Adding to the negative tone, U.S. President Barack Obama said over the weekend the economy remains under strain and his top economic adviser tempered hopes for a speedy recovery.

Creep

When Republicans in fight, we sit back and relish it.

Rove - a creep - hm.

CNN: Meghan McCain: Karl Rove's a 'twitter creep'
"Karl Rove follows me on Twitter. That's creepy," she said

CNN - Afghanistan Law Allows A Man To Rape His Wife

Women's rights take 10 steps backwards in Afghanistan. Karzai says the law will be revised...

The Market On Monday

Eleven of thirty blue chip companies will be reporting earnings this week.

Financiers are indicating suspicion and skepticism surrounding positive banking results from last week.

Suspicion and skepticism are regarded as valuable commodities in the present harsh climate. Although many financiers express optimism over the six week rally period, no one is saying the recession is ending.

Futures are down as a result of the suspicion but the market has shown an ability to make gradual u-turns during the trading.

I still think its a bear market rally and nobody wishes it were not more than I.

Reuters: Stock futures extend losses after Bank of America results

Reuters: Earnings deluge may stall Wall Street rally
...the corporate outlook remains murky and investors worry that better-than-expected results from banks still don't prove the sector is stable.

Economic indicators will be relatively light in the coming week, keeping earnings on center stage.

"Let Me Pass"

Bo Didley - 1965

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

The word is "earnings."

Earnings reports will be pouring in all week. There will be hideous news, examined to see if it is as hideous as financiers had expected. There will be some neutral news as in, company x did just what we thought. And there will be a surprise bright spot in an endless expanse of utter blackness.

I predict two rally days this week, and conversely three stinkers. Overall by week's end, I predict we are lower in the DOW and S&P than today.

Right now the DOW is at 8,131 and the S&P is at 869.

Reuters: Nikkei edges up after earnings reassure Wall St

"Jamaica"

Three Sheets

"Three Little Pigs"

Fractured Fairy Tales - a genuine blast from the past. I know many of you know exactly what I am talking about...

Impeach Bybee, Prosecute Bush

Obama has to take it to these guys.

They must impeach Bybee, and they must go after Bush. Anything short of that is not justice.

NY Times: The Torturers’ Manifesto
Their language is the precise bureaucratese favored by dungeon masters throughout history. They detail how to fashion a collar for slamming a prisoner against a wall, exactly how many days he can be kept without sleep (11)....

...Mr. Bybee, (torture legal writer) who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.

Recession Affecting Farmers


Add farmers to the long list of people negatively affected by the recession's long a deep reach.

Similar to the way that many are unable to afford their mortgage, farmers are unable to pay on their equipment.

Reuters: Like a weed, downturn sinks roots into U.S. farms
...a spike in delinquencies on loans tied to farm equipment as well as layoffs and a restructuring at Deere & Co, have suggested farmers -- and the companies that supply them -- are feeling the pinch.

Axelrod On Teabaggers

A Day For Peace

Its just too nice out to update the blog.

Garden work here I come.

Hopefully the world will maintain its integrity for a few hours.

Peace.

Pakistan Dissolving Update

We read this same news posted earlier last week in an Australian paper.

Now McClatchy is posted a similar article. Pakistan is allegedly disintegrating into a group of warlord led fiefdoms, similar to Afghanistan. The article's title is misleading in that an Islamist State is a series of fiefdoms as opposed to a country composed of mostly Moslems.

We are aware of the problems especially considering Pakistan is a nuclear armed country. Who will control those weapons.

McClatchy: U.S. experts: Pakistan on course to become Islamist state
...there's little hope of preventing nuclear-armed Pakistan from disintegrating into fiefdoms controlled by Islamist warlords and terrorists...

CNN - Why Are Americans So Violent



How does a person who is unemployed and next to broke seek out professional help for mental health problems when that help costs anywhere from $100 per hour on up? And that is just for one session. Has anyone ever been relieved of their suffering with one session?

Earned


Starting Monday, Wall Street will start seeing a boat load of earnings reports from virtually all sectors.

Clearly no one is expecting to see growth, and its once again a matter of which degree of bad are we talking about. There's a great deal of suspicion surrounding the stability of the big banks and their recent positive earnings reports.

Financiers are expressing doubt about the market's ability to sustain the rally. The predictions range from trading sideways to dropping.

There's always room for a welcome earnings surprise, but I still believe this is a bear market rally.

Reuters: Earnings deluge may swamp stock rally
...11 of the 30 blue-chip companies that make up the Dow will report next week...

"8,300 on the Dow suggests to me we've had such a nice run, the market is going to, at minimum, trade sideways for a while, if not undergo a more pronounced pullback next week after the expirations run its course..."

...a pullback could be seen as a buying opportunity for investors on the sidelines who missed out on the current rally...

"Elle"

Mari Boine Persen - singing at the opening of the "global seed vault."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Violent America 4-18-09

MSNBC: Cops: Couple, 3 kids found dead in Md. home

In America we rarely have "suicide bombers" but we do have "suicide shooters." The former is a terrorist, while the latter is a confused or deranged individual.

We have different categories for murder and terrorism and they revolve around how the corporate or political interests of the country are or are not affected.

"Barcelona"

Three Sheets - Okay I admit it, I am hooked on a show that is about alcohol and, let's face it, alcoholism, and I don't drink.

PRS


What do you think? Its a one of a kind, PRS archtop guitar for a mere twenty grand.

Krugman On The Economy


Krugman lays out the economic problems that may still arise and the iffy news that suggests a recovery is occurring.

NY Times: Green Shoots and Glimmers
1. Things are still getting worse.
2. Some of the good news isn’t convincing.
3. There may be other shoes yet to drop.
4. Even when it’s over, it won’t be over.

Inflation Update

One concern about the near future is inflation.

We know that oil will not stay at $50 per barrel. When energy prices resume their upward drift, everything gets pricier.

Reuters: Kohn says Fed can prevent inflation surge
"The key to preventing inflation will be reversing the programs, reducing reserves, and raising interest rates in a timely fashion..."

State Department Mistake Or Wishful Thinking

Susan Boyle Update

Often Painless But Its A Heart Attack

According to a med. student relative, the 50s are a time when heart attacks can take a man's life.

Its called the "widowmaker" and it involves the left anterior ventricle. We lost a very dear friend a few months ago to this type of heart attack.

On a related note, according to this article there are silent heart attacks that may even be painless. Doctors are able to identify if one has occurred with an electrocardiogram test.

Yahoo: "Silent" heart attacks more common than thought
They studied 185 patients with coronary artery disease but no record of heart attacks who were scheduled to have a test to look for possible blockages in their heart arteries.

They found that 35 percent of the patients had evidence of a prior heart attack...

24/7

I found this site over at HuffPo.

Its 24/7 Wall St. They compile tons of data surrounding corporations and how they meet Wall St., who is upgraded, downgraded, who is going bankrupt, commentary, etc etc.

Here are a few of the holdings in Buffett's Bershire Hathaway (all of the holdings are listed on the site):
* Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) about 48 million shares, same as before but may actually be larger since the 12/31 reporting.
* Nalco Holding (NYSE: NLC) 8.730 million shares; NEW HOLDING from last quarter.
* Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) 7.641 million shares, same as last quarter.
* Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) 1.933 million shares, still same.
* NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) 7.2 million, up from 5 million last quarter.
* Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) 96.3 million, down from more than 105.8 million last quarter.

Obama's Weekly Address



Reuters: Obama says he'll cut dozens of wasteful programs
Obama said Cabinet officials already had begun cutting back unnecessary expenditures, including a consulting contract to create new seals and logos that cost Department of Homeland Security $3 million since 2003.

The president also commended Defense Secretary Robert Gates' project to reform defense contracting procedures to eliminate what he said were hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending and cost overruns.

"Hide And Seek"

UNC's Achordants perform Imogen Heap's salient work. Its extremely interesting to see this piece get performed by vocal groups all over the world.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Imogen Heap's vblog

Its strange to blog someone else's blog, but this is Imogen Heap's vblog. IMHO she is an exceptional song writer/performer of her generation.

"Moscow"

Three Sheets - A booze laden fermented potato and hops fest, you get drunk simply watching this show. Virtual drunkenness is here. Enjoy or rather "S ogromym privetom!"

Hang On A Minute

Everybody is getting all optimistic about the market.

I predicted 3 rally days this week and we got 2+1/2+1/2=3. We got three, two decent ones and two half-ish rally days. I think its the first right prediction I've had in a while.

Hey we will take it, but I still believe its a bear rally...

Reuters: Economic optimism, GE spur sixth week run-up
...the S&P 500's longest weekly winning streak since 2007...

...U.S. consumers have more confidence in the economy than they have had since the sudden collapse of Lehman Brothers...

More Data On Layoffs

This is one of the main reasons why I believe the recession is not subsiding. Hardly, the unemployment numbers are getting worse.

Michigan is really getting hit hard and we know why.

There is an upbeat consumer survey which is helping to propel today's market gains, at least as of 3pm. But what happens when the base of people without the money to purchase anything keeps increasing?

I was listening to the NPR story about the woman they are following in D.C. who is on a job hunt. She is now at the end of her benefits and is literally beside herself with panic about what to do. She is also weeks away from being homeless. We suspect this is the way it is for probably millions. The benefits do run out and the job scene is getting tighter.

Bloomberg: Joblessness Reaches 10% in Indiana; Jumps in Oregon
Indiana in March joined seven other U.S. states with a jobless rate of at least 10 percen...

Michigan, with 12.6 percent, remained the state with the highest unemployment rate, followed by Oregon at 12.1 percent. The rate in California rose to 11.2 percent from 10.6 percent.

American Gun Violence

From a deep operative -

What follows is a summation article responding to the continuing gun violence in America.

Bob Herbert links three of the recent multiple murders with some depth and personal observations.

NY Times: The American Way
For the most part, we pay no attention to this relentless carnage. The idea of doing something meaningful about the insane number of guns in circulation is a nonstarter. So what if eight kids are shot to death every day in America. So what if someone is killed by a gun every 17 minutes.

But all the expressions of horror at the violence and pity for the dead and those who loved them ring hollow in a society that is neither mature nor civilized enough to do anything about it.

Colbert On Gay Marriage

The Daily Show - Tax Day Tea

Changing Gulf Identitiy

There is a building and economic growth boom going on in Gulf countries like the U.A.E.

As a result, a large non-indigenous group of people have migrated into the area. Recall that the U.A.E. is also at the center of a slave trade which brings in foreigners for slave labor and sex slave labor, seriously.

This is changing the overall culture of the countries.

The quotes are by Kuwaiti scholar Dr Ali Asaad Watfa.

Gulf News: Scholars warn of increasing threats to Gulf identity
"Social diversity in Australia and the US was a blessing and helped these countries implement some of the most democratic practices. However, diversity in our Gulf countries is a curse because of the very nature of our societies and our inability to appreciate situations..."

"We live in a terrible paradox where we claim that we are Arabs and Muslims, but our consumption is fully Western. So under the onslaught of globalization which tends to promote micro-identities at the expense of national cultures, we are regressing instead of moving forward. Today, we are facing a critical crisis that threatens our identity..."
.

CNN - Torture Memos

The Bush cabal needs to be prosecuted for this. Liddy can go waterboard himself, idiot.

Reuters News Clips