Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wartime sucks

Because it means that sometimes even those you despise say things you agree with.

Latest case in point: [Resident Commissioner Pedro] Pierluisi said Gutiérrez “went too far” when he took to the House floor Wednesday urging members of Congress to eye what he called human and civil rights violations in the “U.S. colony of Puerto Rico.”
I can't believe he had the cojones to call it like it is for the record.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Saudis are getting restless

Thanks to Zero Hedge for this tip:  Saudis ramping up for a protest against the monarchy on March 20 2011.

And where better to get the word out than Facebook?  Riyadh expected to shut down access shortly.

Meanwhile, 50% Libya's oil production is offline.  Italy gets 425k barrels A DAY.  Italy is hosed.  And Libya exports the sweet crude - not the heavy sour that gets shipped out of the Middle East.

Brent hit $111.
WTI hit $100.
The moves in the last two trading days undid just about every penny of QE1 and QE2.  Bernanke, your plane is leaving.

America, meet your Arab Unrest moment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lots of players in this game

I think we're now at the point that it's time to move attention from the countries in open revolt (see LIBYA) and look for the ones about to break out.

Ivory Coast extended their ban on exports, roiling the cocoa markets further.
The country's first election in a decade descended into a bloody standoff after incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to winner Alassane Ouattara. Dealers now fear the country's cocoa industry may bear the brunt of the ongoing crisis as Mr. Ouattara has extended the ban until March 10, according to media reports citing his government's spokesman. Fresh clashes erupted between supporters of the rival presidents Monday, with army gunfire killing one civilian and injuring more than a dozen, as African leaders launched a new bid to break the impasse.
Zimbabwe arrests 54 for watching Al Jazeera coverage of Egypt and Tunisia to help inspire revolt.  Lawyers said at least 7 showed signs of torture.

Egypt granted permission on 18 February 2011 for Iran warships to pass through the Suez, and today they navigated the canal into the Meditrerranean.

Bolivian unions struck on Friday, 18 February 2011, over soaring food and transport costs.

Another country on the edge, Mexico could escalate from civil war to conflagerations crossing borders.  Actually, it already has but it is easy to marginalize Arizona and Texas' south border for now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Add Libya and Morocco to the list

Libyan protests are ramping up and the Gaddafis have taken a different set of lessons from the Tunisia and Egypt protests:  kill everyone as quickly as possible.  That, and drop the big threats early.  Saif Gaddafi, son of the Colonel, threatened civil war and destruction of the oil revenues.

Now Moroccans are marching, demanding the king cede powers to the newly elected government.  The king's response?  He will not kowtow to demagoguery.

So North Africa and the Middle East are up in flames.  Wisconsin's on the edge over public unions, Washington could be shut down over budget impasse March 4.  Chicago's mayoral election is February 22 and Ireland's general election is February 25.  The French and Greeks are protesting.  Where is the next weak link in the chain?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anyone who had Mozilo in the Scapegoat pool is now OUT

From the Daily Bell:
According to Los Angeles Times' sources, Angelo Mozilo has been the subject of a secret federal criminal investigation since 2008, and the 3-year investigation has now been officially closed with no indictments.
Good thing the press had the Wisconsin 14 for distraction.

Event Horizon in Libya & Bahrain?

It's been said many times over the past 2.5 years, but things are accelerating to an alarming degree.  Take, for instance, the past 96 hours.  Wednesday I have an outpatient procedure which took me out of the news loop effectively until today.

So today I had to get caught up on:
A)  The Wisconsin 14 hiding out in Illinois.  As if WE are the beacon in the darkness.
B) Ray McGovern gets roughed up while silently protesting a speech by Sec. Hillary Clinton.  Naturally, this occurred while she lauded the merits of peaceful protest.
C) Protesters in Bahrain and Libya mowed down by police state agents.  Zero Hedge links to a Libyan boy killed by a sniper.

Not to forget where the causes of this ramp-up in revolution is coming from (read:  hyperinflationary food prices that will be coming to the United States soon) the insolvent Irish banks are issuing Euro-denominated bonds to themselves.  Yes, they are printing money, Virginia.

Very quietly, the Icelanders are bouncing back and arresting the banksters.  Those facts are related.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Liberman is the Pied Piper of Congress

Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) bolted from the House of Representatives, shouting to Speaker Boehner as he ran past, "I quit!"

Why did Chris Lee leave so suddenly?  It seems he admits he sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman on Craigslist.  Really.  This could possibly be the LAMEST reason for resigning from Congress.

Over at the Senate, Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Jim Webb (D-VA) announce they won't seek reelection.  Did Lieberman cast some voodoo spell over them?  If you're keeping score, Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) also announced within the last month they're not going for the gold again either.

So the only way to get turnover in Congress is for those slack-jawed rats to retire?  Of course not.  It means that every election, nationwide, is fixed.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

And now the Suez is a front in the Egypt revolt

Business Insider picks up a story from Ahram Online:
According to Ahram Online (via NYT), the first worker strike at the uber-important Suez canal have gone on strike. 6,000 workers are sitting in. Specifically they are opposing weak pay and bad conditions.

So far there's been no disruptions. That doesn't mean there won't be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Note this, because they'll do it to you

A Whistler, BC resort's business slumped in the wake of the 2010 Vancover Olympics so they killed 100 of their employees. The Canadian National Post reports:
Reports surfaced Monday that an unidentified man involved in the dogsledding operation was granted workers’ compensation after developing post-traumatic stress disorder for allegedly being forced to kill the dogs.
Wait, there's more.
There are provisions in the SPCA act that allow for Criminal Code charges and Moriarty [BC SPCA] said this case warrants them: “Dogs crawling around in a mass grave; half of one’s face blown off — if those actions don’t constitute Criminal Code offence, I don’t know what does.
Mark this.  What people do to dogs they'll do to people, and they'll do it a lot faster with less guilt.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Never let a distraction go to waste

While everyone's looking at Egypt* Israel is massing troops along the Lebanon border.

*Pretty impressive Million Man March today though.