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Friday, September 13, 2013

Predicting Is Hard, Especially About the Future

I love the fall. I love moderating temperatures, the leaves turning color, and football. Especially football.

My mother has had a year long battle with cancer which she is winning. It requires a lot of maintenance  and vigilance but at some point, mom would just like her life to return to normal. She's been a good soldier, battle weary, but still doing the things that are important.

So this week, mom asked one of her doctors how many more visits she was going to have to make to the hospital. The doctor said anywhere from 5, to maybe 7 visits. He then patted her on the leg and said, "Predicting is hard, especially about the future." He turned and walked out of the room.

I giggled about that all day. I even looked that phrase up- it sounded so Yogi Berra. But I think the credit actually should go to an old time physicist, Niels Bohr.

Predicting, as it turns out, is really not that difficult at all. Doing it accurately, well that's a whole different story. Here then are some of my random, very random, thoughts and predictions this week.

10. Do not get in a head butting competition with John Kerry. Can you imagine Kerry stumbling out of some S. American jungle into a headhunter village? Kerry (first I hated war and now I love war) has been in the news all week. Obama's "airstrikes for peace" program has been averted by the inadvertent actions of his Secretary of War State. So that is good.

9. Boise St v. Air Force tonight. This is the story of two formerly good programs going mediocre. I see BSU winning by 21. If AF manages to stay closer, the fans in Boise are in for a long season.

8. Gold and silver. Absolute screaming buys at 1300 and 20 bucks. Buy some and lock it up.

7. Quantitative easing or QE will end. The FED will begin to taper this month. The wild card is the new chairman.

6. Obama will appoint Larry Summers as FED chairman although he is pretending not to have made his mind up. It's the good ol boys club, and Janet Yellen ain't in it.  

5. Bond yields will continue their ascent. Once the 10 year yield breaches 3.5%, things are going to get really interesting. Despite rising yields, banks will continue to screw depositors.

4. Congress will raise the debt ceiling this fall by an amount not likely to trigger another fight until after the 2016 elections.

3. Oil prices are going down. Big time. The world is decelerating and we are awash in supply. Would not be surprised to see oil sub 80 bucks a barrel before Christmas or a 30 dollar decline from here.

2. The only people signing up for Obamacare this fall will be the poor and uninsured. Premiums on the exchanges will rise by at least 20% in 2014.

1. I have this odd feeling, like some giant-leviathan sized event is about to take place. This would be a re-tracement or repeat of the period following the 1929 Great Depression and the economical nadir that took place from 1934 to 1939- about five years after the initial shock.

Gamblers love to make predictions. We will bet on anything. From football to horse racing, I am forever trying to predict the outcome of some event. I will never forget a t-shirt I saw once at a horse racing tournament in Las Vegas that read, "Often wrong, never in doubt." Gawd, if that ain't the truth.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The 90 Day, Same As Cash War- The Sunday Collage

Our 90 day war, financed as usual, without a credit app.

This morning I just finished reading an excellent piece of writing on the Syrian war effort. It wasn't written by some obedient media lackey. It was written by a real person with critical thinking skills and...

It was written by a patriot, Norma Brown. Norma Brown shares the sentiments of most of us on this Syrian war bullshit.  I am going to link that piece here via my good friend Jim's blog, Asylum Watch.

Oddly, Norma entitled it "Dying For Peace"

Norma's piece caused me to reflect on something I had witnessed long ago. It's a true story from my childhood which was well documented by hundreds of people and passed down to us as children and in turn accepted as fact. The facts support it.

Turn of the century (1900) Butte, Montana was a very rough and tumble mining town. It was dubbed the "Richest Hill On Earth." The rights to mine that "hill" were eventually sold by their respective claim  owners to three "Copper Kings." The copper kings made vast fortunes in Butte. Eventually as they died out, they sold their mining interests to the Anaconda Copper Mining Company or just the "Company" as everybody in Butte referred to it. The "Company" was the subject of at least one conversation per day, every day, that I ever lived in Butte. That's how I remember it. The "Company"was a very dominant part of our lives.

While we knew the "Company" controlled the mine and thus thousands of miners- what many people failed to understand is that the "Company" had become the original Montana media monopoly. They owned every newspaper in every major city in Montana at one time.

The Company's tentacles stretched everywhere. Television, radio, and print media outlets were bought or controlled by the Company. The Company clearly understood that if you owned and controlled the  means of communication, then not only could you advance your mining interests ad nauseum- but you also had the means of publicly ruining anybody who opposed your efforts.

If you can hijack and control the media- you can control the conversation and crush your enemies- and dumb down your regular readership by feeding them whatever fluff you choose. So media capture was not some impossible or unprecedented event. Capitalists have been doing it for centuries.

So the Anaconda Copper Mining Company was able to hijack the truth. The truth as I define it here, is the whole truth. Not convenient truths, or partial truths- but the whole, unvarnished truth. A good example of that occurred when miners died in the pit while working for the Company- their obituaries would often appear without a cause of death in the local newspapers. The Company was also very good at keeping miners unions at bay by never reporting on or writing anything inflammatory with respect to the Company's positions. Politicians were well aware of the statewide clout of the Anaconda Company's media empire. They could make or break a political career- often the politicians simply jumped in bed with the Company rather than confront them on wages, safety concerns, pollutants, or remediation. It is hard to resist an entity that holds all of the cards.

Traditionally, I think that many Americans believe that the press has some "watchdog or vigilant" function. This was never really true nor does the media have some honor code where they must investigate and deliver the whole truth. All they really want to do is turn a profit by generating the maximum amount of views which in turn will allow them to demand higher advertising pricing. They don't care about investigative journalism and even if they did- it would often not serve elite interests by finding the truth or reporting it. Instead they focus on some bimbo's dress at the Oscars. This type of story generates millions of hits and it fully exposes us for the superficial and unintelligent voyeurs that we truly are.

America is in the hands of the aristocracy, the oligarchy. The 1%. The oligarchy owns and controls corporate America, the media, the politicians. They have complete capture. You want absolute proof? The tax code. The tax code benefits the aristocracy. It is corporate welfare. Congress could change the tax structure in one day to a flat tax with no deductions- a system far simpler and much more fair to everyone. It will never happen. The rich would get fiscally slaughtered. The aristocracy worked very hard to buy the very best politicians and thus, the very best tax code. There are people out here who still cannot understand or accept the fact that politicians represent 1% of our population rather than the vast majority of us- despite mountains of evidence.

Think about the banker bailout, the trillions we lost. Who advanced that agenda? The oligarchy did by convincing all of us that the world would come to an end. How did they advance that agenda? With the media. Who benefitted? The aristocracy of course.

The current day aristocracy owns the media just like the Anaconda Company owned Montana media 60 years ago. Virtually everything you hear, read, or see is generated by one of these 6 companies.

They have a purpose, a business plan. It is simple. To enrich themselves and their fellow members of the oligarchy by advancing any agenda which gains more power and wealth. Politicians are part of the oligarchy. Which brings me back to Norma Brown's piece, a quote from her, and the big finish.

You will probably have noticed that, unlike the BBC, neither the USG nor the US media refer to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons asalleged, but instead follow Vladimir Lenin’s maxim that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Hence you will hear from every side that “Assad’s brutal use of chemical weapons against small children and old ladies” demands a military response. Well of course, if your objective is to get an excuse for bombing the hell out of Syria, you’re not going to admit that your claim is only an unproven allegation and not even a very convincing allegation at that. I’m going to give Meat-Head Hagel a break here and make an assumption of my own: he’s being fed the same disinformation from the same agencies as John Kerry (my face! my face! I can’t feel my face!). Neither of them has the native intelligence to sniff out cooked intel.

The oligarchy wants war. It is good for business. Corporate America sells armament, tanks, planes, munitions. War expands power and creates wealth for the aristocracy. Big oil likes war, bankers like war, media likes war, even soldiers like war. Politicians can bully people, award contracts to cronies, and get additional financial support from the oligarchy which for all practical purposes, are their real employers.  If we get rid of Assad, Qatar can finally build that giant natural gas pipeline through Syria and make Qatar's allies and business partners happy.

On Tuesday, President Five Iron is going to take time out from his busy golfing schedule to try and sell the 60 day war on television (with an option for 30 more days) using the media. We may have reached the absolute zenith of arrogance when we presume that we can control the amount of time and the outcome of any war.

Today with time running short and lives on the line, President Five Iron went golfing again.

Byron York @ByronYork

Facing sternest test of his presidency, struggling to persuade Congress to OK military intervention in Syria, President Obama...plays golf!

The 90 day, same as cash war. Financed by treasury bonds which we are hoping to sell to our enemies who are Syria's allies. Countries like Russia and China. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?