Archive for March, 2011

Twitter Birdie Gets Facebroke

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Maybe Moammar Kadafi will be taken out by a cruise missile by time you read this. But let the record show that he had defeated the rebellion before French, British, and American forces entered the fray. Kadafi had his tanks parked in downtown Benghazi, the rebel capital, when the first French warplanes came in.

The moral of the story is that if a dictator uses his petro-dollars to hire a mercenary to run you over with a T-72 tank, it make no difference how fervently you twitter away on your Facebook machine. Your ass is getting run over.

Note: A bazooka is an anti-tank weapon. An iPad is not. Just an FYI.

Wake up and Smell the Coffee Krugman!

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Paul Krugman asks plaintively:

We’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Why doesn’t Washington care?

Because the White House and Congress are bought and paid-for by the multinationals, and the multinationals don’t care about jobs in the USA!

Get it? Washington cares about what the multinationals care about, and the multinationals care about international labor arbitrage. And they care about it very, very deeply.

Wake up and smell the globalist coffee. It’s not about the USA any more. Like FedEx CEO Fred Smith likes to say, it’s about growing the global pie. If the USA’s slice shrinks a bit while the other slices grow, then that’s just fine from the globalist perspective.

The creation of the American middle class was a political decision. And so is its destruction. Labor arbitrage was implemented by acts of Congress, such as NAFTA, explicitly designed to export jobs.

It’s been a done-deal for over a decade now. Exporting as many jobs as possible is official economic policy. It is the law of the land.

If a company like IBM wants to adopt a “No Americans” hiring policy, nobody will say boo to them. If Walmart wants to outsource its entire, massive IT staff to India, then kiss it goodbye because it’s gone baby gone. If the auto industry wants to move plants to Mexico while Detroit goes to weeds, then weeds it will be.

The globalists have everybody hypnotized with their “exporting jobs will create even more jobs here” mantra. Maybe President Trump will be able to smash that preposterous myth in 2012. But as far as I can tell, unemployed Americans are content to meekly shuffle off to the Food Stamps office, and that makes our adoption of a Brazilian-style favela system the more likely outcome.

Where are the Back-Up Generators?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The Japanese are constructing an emergency generator at Fukushima.

Note to Japan: Really? You seriously don’t have any already constructed generators that could be brought in? WTF?

Here is a quote from this Wall Street Journal story:

Meanwhile, Tepco itself raced to complete construction of an emergency power supply for the crippled plant in a last-ditch effort to resume pumping of coolant onto dangerously overheated radioactive material throughout the site.

Everybody is carrying on about how well-prepared the Japanese are for disasters. And maybe they are, compared to stupid countries like Russia, but it’s clear now that emergency generators must be held in reserve, off site, so that they can be brought in after a disaster.

Every country that operates nuclear plants should have a warehouse full of diesels generators located in the safest part of the country. And they should be rigged for helicopter transport, ready to go at the drop of hat. If California doesn’t have this, the idjits out there need to get to work in it right now.

It turns out that operating nuclear reactors is serious business. Who knew?

The Great Pipeline Conspiracy

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Why, may I ask, must I be subjected to endless babbling about the Strait of Hormuz whenever something happens in Sandland? My life would be so much more peaceful if certain idiots would just BUILD SOME DAMN PIPELINES ALREADY!

Look at this map of North Africa (click to enlarge). See all those pipelines? They go right under the Mediterranean and up to Europe. Fancy that.

Map by Sémhur.

That’s how civilized people do business. Say what you want about Moammar Kadafi, but the green line on the map is the Italian Greenstream gas pipeline which transports Libyan natural gas to Sicily. Nice and neat. No fuss, no muss. No pirates hijacking tankers there.

The red line is the proposed 2,500 mile Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, which will go all the way down to Nigeria. Quite a project, no?

But apparently it is impossible to build pipelines to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz. Funny how that works.

A long time ago, L. Fletcher Prouty said that the Arab-Israeli wars were orchestrated to destroy pipelines, force oil onto ships, and through the Strait of Hormuz. The more precarious the delivery system, the easier it is to stage a crisis and get the price of oil up. Was he right? I don’t know, but you have to admit, the pipelines are rather conspicuous in their absence.

But that wasn’t always the case. Did you know that there was once a pipeline that took Saudi oil up to the Mediterranean coast? The Trans-Arabian Pipeline was the largest in the world at the time, but is now shut down.

When the Israelis captured the section of the pipeline that ran through the Golan Heights in 1967, they allowed it to continue operating. According to Wikipedia, the pipeline was closed down due to bickering between Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria.

What about pipelines across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea, or down to the Arabian Sea? Here is a story about a giant program to build no less than 5 such pipelines, and train up a Saudi army dedicated to protecting them. What became of it? I don’t know. I spent an hour googling around, but couldn’t find a single word on the subject beyond the original story which was published by DEBKAfile. Not only that, but I couldn’t find the original article on Debka’s site.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Google is hiding information.

With their nuclear reactors melting down, the Japanese need to buy even more oil from the Arabs, just when a Sunni/Shiite religious war is brewing. Pipelines, of course, aren’t invulnerable, but a few extra ones would come in handy right about now, would they not?

The Saudis Were Sweating

Monday, March 14th, 2011

On Friday, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said emphatically on CNBC that Saudi Arabian troops would not be needed in Bahrain. Three days later, 1,000 Saudi troops deployed to Bahrain. But my subscribers at The Daily Jobs Update were not surprised, because I had sent out the warning below at 4:30pm EST on Sunday.

Note: Al-Waleed mentions troops in Bahrain at 6:23 into the first video.

The Saudis Are Sweating

Friday’s “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia was considered to be a flop, with a very small turnout. But if that was the case, then why did Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal sound hysterical when he was interviewed by Maria Bartiromo of CNBC Friday night? Here is the interview:

Al-Waleed began calmly, saying the “Day of Rage” was a “tempest in a tea cup”, but then starts to sound panicky as the interview progresses.

In fact, his voice cracks twice at 3:30 and 4:18.

For comparison, here is his infamous “manger” interview from 2008 during the financial crisis. Al-Waleed talks about Citigroup and is very calm:

Notice that CNBC had a camera there for the 2008 interview, but not for the Friday interview. CNBC said that the Saudis had restricted press coverage of the demonstrations, so maybe we’re not getting the full story.

Also notice how much more deferential Bartiromo was at the beginning of the 2008 interview. She acted like she was addressing a deity, but on Friday, she was challenging him on women’s right to drive cars. Quite a change of attitude there.

It is possible that Saudi Arabia is stable enough, and Al-Waleed was actually fearing for events on the borders of his country in Bahrain and Yemen.

George Friedman has an excellent analysis of the geo-political situation here.

The market rallied on Friday on news of the “Day of Rage” flopping, but I’m worried that Prince Al-Waleed’s body language is indicating that things are far from settled.