Archive for April, 2012

Riddle Me This, Stephan Roach

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Stephan Roach has another piece out defending Beijing’s protectionist currency policy. He says that we shouldn’t “blame” the Chinese for our problems, and should rather be:

“…encouraging households to save income…”

But that just begs the question: If Stephan Roach wants Joe Sixpack to save more, why did economists like him design a trading system that sent Joe’s job to China in the first place?

Note to Stephan Roach: It’s hard to save money when you don’t have any income!

Instead of trying to level the playing field, Roach thinks that the US:

“…needs to refocus the US-China trade agenda toward expanded market access…”

And that begs another question: Why wasn’t access to Chinese markets designed into the trading system by economists like Stephan Roach?

Could it be because the multinationals and their lobbyists who wrote the legislation were only interested in getting their sweatshops set up as quickly as possible?

In a free market, the renminbi would strengthen. Chinese imports would become more expensive, multinational sweatshop profits would fall, production would shift back to the USA, and Joe Sixpack would finally be able to feed his children again.

Is that the correct policy to follow? Well we only need to ask two questions to discover the answer:

Do we have an unemployment problem?

Yes; indeed we do.

Do we have a corporate profits problem?

Not hardly. Not at all, in fact.

So, obviously the pendulum of trade policy should swing back in the direction which benefits the whole of the USA, rather than Beijing and the multinationals.

There is a lot more that I could say here, but it really isn’t necessary. Globalism is dying, and the American version of France’s Marine La Pen is on her way.

I don’t know who she is, but trust me…

She is coming.


See also: “What is Stephan Roach Smoking?


How to Update the Android GUI From a Timer

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

If you found this post via a Google search, chances are that your Android app just crashed after you added an innocent-looking timer. You probably got this error:

android.view.ViewRootImpl$CalledFromWrongThreadException: Only the original thread that created a view hierarchy can touch its views.

You may have also found people saying that you can’t use a timer to update the GUI. Seems odd, right? Why would Google make a timer and then not let you use it for hardly anything?

Well, those people are wrong. While you can’t update the GUI directly from your timer, you can do so with a few little tweaks.

The error above happens because Android doesn’t want other threads, such as your timer, messing with its GUI. So, what you need to do is politely ask Android to make the update for you. To do that, you need to add a handler and a runnable. Android will monitor the handler for a signal from your timer. When it gets the signal, it will run the code in the runnable. It sounds complicated, but it amounts to only a few lines of code.

First, move the code that updates the GUI out of your timer and into a runnable. A runnable is a mechanism where one thread can tell another thread to run a block of code. In this example, there is one line of code which sets the TextView tv to the value of the global variable i:

final Runnable myRunnable = new Runnable() {
   public void run() {
      tv.setText(String.valueOf(i));
   }
};

Creating a handler is very simple:

final Handler myHandler = new Handler();

And in the timer, we pass the runnable to the handler:

private void UpdateGUI() {
   i++;
   //tv.setText(String.valueOf(i)); //This causes a runtime error.
   myHandler.post(myRunnable);
}

As an example, I took the Android “Hello World” app, and modified it into a counter that updates once per second:

public class HelloActivity extends Activity {
   int i=0;
   TextView tv;
   final Handler myHandler = new Handler();

   @Override
   public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
      super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
      setContentView(R.layout.main);

      tv=(TextView) findViewById(R.id.tv1);

      Timer myTimer = new Timer();
      myTimer.schedule(new TimerTask() {
         @Override
         public void run() {UpdateGUI();}
      }, 0, 1000);

   }

   private void UpdateGUI() {
      i++;
      //tv.setText(String.valueOf(i));
      myHandler.post(myRunnable);
   }

   final Runnable myRunnable = new Runnable() {
      public void run() {
         tv.setText(String.valueOf(i));
      }
   };
}

Will Being on TV Boost Your Alexa Rank?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Seems like an easy question, right? Well, let’s take a look at a test case. In March 2012, Josh Brown of The Reformed Broker had his book “Backstage Wall Street” published, and it generated a lot of buzz in the financial media.

Suddenly, everywhere you looked, there was Josh on financial TV and radio, including CNBC’s “Fast Money” show. I imagine that Josh was promoting his book more than his website during these appearances, however I was surprised to see that his Alexa rank did not improve. Here is the chart from my Rank-O-Matic app:

This reminds me of Steve Martin’s comments about how TV appearances did nothing for him during his early career. Viewers just didn’t jump up and race to the record store to buy his comedy CD’s.

This is good news for anonymous bloggers who might be feeling like they are missing out on TV-generated web traffic.

What could one do to drive more traffic from a TV appearance? I don’t know, but maybe saying something wild like this would work: “I have a picture of a caged extraterrestrial on my website right now. Go look at it.”

Read it Here First: Crushing the Middle Class is Official Policy

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

As my readers know, I have been arguing that the American middle class has been deliberately targeted for liquidation via offshoring, mass immigration, union busting, etc. I have also said that American presidents don’t have any say in this policy; that they follow orders handed down by the multinationals. Why else would President Obama bring in one million legal immigrants per year when high unemployment is his biggest problem? Here’s a quote from me back on October 4, 2009:

“That, after all, is THE PLAN: outsource as many US jobs as possible, replace expensive American workers with cheap foreign workers, foreign lands boom while Corporate Amerika’s CEO’s buy private jets.”

Well, guess what? Geopolitical expert George Friedman just wrote the same thing in his latest book, “The Next Decade: Empire and Republic in a Changing World”:

“…the best US strategy is to appear to be doing everything possible to stop the movement of immigrants while making certain that these efforts fail. This has been the American strategy on illegal immigrants for many years. …Given the forces interested in maintaining the status quo, any president who took the steps needed to stop illegal immigration would rapidly lose power.”

Friedman can’t really spell out who “the forces” are because many of them are his clients at Stratfor.com, but we can read between lines, can we not?

Now that someone like Friedman has published the concept, the chattering classes may chatter about it openly. They couldn’t accept it from me, a mere blogger. That is just the way of intellectual sheep. Nevertheless, now that it is out in the open, perhaps progress can be made.

Speaking of the devil…

The Indian body-shop company Infosys is being investigated for visa fraud. I wonder if the Obama administration will follow Friedman’s Machiavellian prescription in this case: make a big show of doing something, but not actually do anything at all to change the larger policy.

Reading through the New York Times story, you have to wonder: how is Infosys any different than the Italian Mafia? The mafia smuggles Mexicans across the boarder in the back of trucks. Then they put them to work on badly-paid construction jobs, and don’t withhold taxes from their pay.

Infosys smuggles in Indians via visa-fraud, puts them to work on badly-paid IT jobs, pays them under the table, and issues death threats to whistle-blowers.

At its heart, globalization is a criminal operation, robbing not only the middle class of its income, but also the US Treasury of its tax revenue, both indirectly, and directly in the case of the Indian Mafia.

And lest you think that we need these workers, guess again. See Robert Oak’s piece here.

This quote from the Times article is very interesting:

“…the rules governing B-1 visas are so complex that skilled immigration lawyers can disagree on them.”

Is this what George Friedman was talking about? An example of our government appearing to do something about the problem, but in reality doing nothing at all? Making fungible laws to be shaped as needed? It will be interesting to see how the judge rules.

Here is a CBS News story on the case:

Continue reading on my Immigration Charts page.

Nailed It: Dow Plunges to My 12735 Target

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

On Sunday, I predicted that the March 6th low of 12,735 was in play. Here’s the chart that I posted:

The market didn’t waste any time fulfilling my vision, whooshing down on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s what the chart looks like now:

Not bad, huh?

What’s next? Well, if I told you the future every day, that would ruin the surprise for you. Right? But here are some things to think about:

The fact that the Dow plunged below its March 6th low is bearish factor. Some of the dip buyers who resided there a month go have gone AWOL. But the market reacted very well to Alcoa’s earnings report after the bell. As I write this, the Dow futures are up 50 points from their 4 o’clock close.

On the short-term time-frame, the market is oversold, and it appears that we have a bullish catalyst in the form of Alcoa. So, perhaps the market will advance on Wednesday. However, volume exploded on Tuesday, so bulls need to root, if not pray, for high-volume buying going forward. If a stampede of dip-buyers don’t rush in, then the buying might be the work of shorts covering up and taking profits. And that increases the odds that the bounce will be a mere retracement.