Archive for February, 2012

Read it Here First: Steve Forbes’ Tanker War Story

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

On February 2, 2012 I posted “Iran Cannot Close the Straight of Hormuz, Unless…” where I talked about the Tanker War of the 1980s. At that time, nobody in the media was talking about that forgotten conflict. (See the screenshot below of a Google News search showing no results found.)

Three weeks later, Steve Forbes wrote “War With Iran Is Coming!” which contains a summary of what I wrote. However, as you can see by the exclamation point in Forbes’ title, he is a raging warmonger. So, of course, he had to conclude:

“Nevertheless, you may see a repeat of the Tanker War. In the heat of battle the ayatollahs may not be able to contain themselves.”

Forbes is implying that Iran would take action only after the war started, giving us a little glimpse of the matrix. An attack on Iran is clearly being planned right now.

But what “heat of battle” is Forbes talking about? Iran’s military is pathetic. Read journalist Eric Margolis’ report here. Excerpt:

“Iran has been unable to modernize most of its 1960’s/1970’s vintage military arsenal, much of which was supplied by the US and Britain to the Shah.”

I’m no fan of the Ayatollahs, but I can’t help but notice that the federal treasury is empty. And I can’t help but notice that warmongers like Steve Forbes are largely responsible.

Here is the Google News search that I mentioned above:

Note: I shouldn’t have described the “Tanker War” was “forgotten”. Of course, the mainstream media knows about it, but their job is to sell the war on Iran. So, of course, they have to harp on how dangerous Iran is – not on how we gave them a serious beating when they tried to close the Strait of Hormuz 25 years ago.

Note: I would have linked to Eric Margolis’ website directly, but it was off line when I was writing this. In any case, it is well worth adding to your reading list as you will learn things that are concealed by the mainstream media.

James Altucher’s House Conspiracy

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Why did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak have to start-up Apple Computer in the Jobs-family’s garage? Why don’t suburban American houses have workshops for that sort of thing?

Because of a conspiracy, that’s why.

Last year, James Altucher created controversy when he wrote: “Why I Am Never Going to Own a Home Again“. Said James:

“Lets spell out very clearly why the myth of home-ownership became religion in the United States. Its because corporations didn’t want their employees to have many job choices. So they encouraged them to own homes. So they can’t move away and get new jobs. Job salaries is a function of supply and demand. If you can’t move, then your supply of jobs is low.”

I don’t have any evidence for a labor-mobility conspiracy, however about 25 years ago, I read a very interesting article about the design of suburban houses. The author stated that mortgages guaranteed by the various agencies of the federal government would not be approved for houses that had workshops or pantries.

If you have a workshop, then maybe you can make yourself a nice chair instead of buying it from Sears. And if you have a pantry, maybe you can grow some food in the back yard and store it over the winter, saving on grocery bills.

American retailers frowned upon such activity, so they hired lobbyists and got rules installed to prevent the construction of houses that were too self-sufficient to their taste.

Sure, many people put workbenches in their garages, but in my suburb that was only a few feet of space. And when you consider how entrepreneurial the American people have been throughout their history, the lack of workshop space is very surprising.

In a second post, Altucher wrote:

“…it’s a fact that many early factories would often provide housing for their employees and then charge them for the ‘rent’ and deduct it from their salaries. This was a standard technique only 100 years ago.”

To this I would add that you don’t have to go back 100 years. Just last year, Hershey was housing workers in Pennsylvania. They docked the rent from paychecks such that some workers were taking ‘home’ only $1 per hour. See the post I wrote here. And only a few years ago, the garment industry housed thousands of Asian girls in squalid barracks in Saipan, which is American soil. See the post I wrote here.

Altucher’s larger point is dead-on: a good deal of our culture is shaped by the sneaky machinations of commercial interests.


Note: The world has changed since the American suburbs were built. Today, you can produce things like software, websites, and other virtual goods without a workshop filled with power-tools. So, that’s a change for the better – at least until we are all using tablets.

Note: My grandmother used to can tomatoes that my grandfather grew in their large backyard. The local supermarket lost out on a lot of Ragu sales.

Note: It was a long time ago, but I think I read that article in Chronicles Magazine.

Note: If anybody knows more about this subject, please let me know. I would ask the famous “housing historian”, Newt Gingrich, but I can’t afford the million-dollar fees that he was charging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


The Great Joe Weisenthal Rally of 2012

Friday, February 24th, 2012

On December 15th, I posted “S&P 500 Fractal End-of-Range Signal” where I wrote:

“The market has been range-bound for this long because half of investors are thinking: ‘the economy is improving, so I should be buying stocks’, and the other half are thinking: ‘the wheels are coming off of Europe, so I should be selling stocks.'”

I predicted that the market would break out of its range within the next few weeks. Three weeks later, that’s exactly what happened. However, I didn’t predict which way it would break; only that the range was long in the tooth.

However, the next day, Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider posted this:

“Want to see a CLEAR sign that funding stress has eased in Europe? …this has a lot to do with the ECB’s actions that will allow banks to borrow money super-cheaply for 3 years and buy sovereign debt that’s yielding a lot more. If that’s the case, it’s working. Major shift here in the last few days/weeks.”

He totally nailed it. So, I hereby christen this rally as “The Great Joe Weisenthal Rally of 2012.”

Moral of the story: Don’t fight the Fed, or the ECB!

Next week, we get another LTRO operation from the ECB. So that’s a very big deal.

Larry Kudlow, Patriotic Globican

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

What’s a globican? It’s a word I have coined to describe a globalist who lives in the USA. Calling such people Americans isn’t quite right because their loyalties lay with the multinational corporations that run the world.

A globican fights for policies that enrich the multinationals, even if it comes at the expense of the nation in which they reside.

In the video below (at the 2:40 mark), we see an example of a proud globican fighting for his people. Multinationals are people too, right? Shouts Kudlow:

“What’s up with this ‘foreign minimum tax’ business? This sounds like an attack against internationalism, the multinationals, and the business community hates it.”

The Obama administration has announced its intention to change the way multinationals are taxed. No details were given, so its hard to criticize a plan that hasn’t been fleshed out. But Kudlow is outraged at the very idea of US domiciled multinationals paying taxes to the US treasury.

Of course, the first thing a president Kudlow would do would be to spend $2 trillion on an invasion of Iran. Where would he get the money? Not from taxing multinationals, that’s for sure. He would borrow it and pile the debt on the US taxpayer. Once Joe Sixpack paid for the invasion, and got blown up by an IED, Kuldow’s multinationals would flood into the country to make fat profits on reconstruction, base-building, oil, etc. Then they would squirrel away the profits in the Cayman Islands.

Note: Multinationals and “business community” are not synonymous as Kudlow implies.

Note: I’m sure that Kudlow meant to say “globalization” instead of “internationalism”, but what he said is amusing since The Internationale is the communist anthem. Of course, globalism isn’t communist or capitalist, but rather plutocratic. White cat, black cat, who cares? As long as it advances plutocracy.

Finally, a CEO that Gets it: John Chambers

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

A crack has appeared in the collective thick skull of corporate CEOs. Look at what Cisco’s John Chambers said at Davos:

“It’s an embarrassment that US business has not found a way to combine its success with a growing middle class.”

And it only took two months since I wrote: My Kingdom for a Capitalist!

This is a very encouraging development.