Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reading these days... VIII

Lets start with a TERRIBLE question (and an even worse answer):
Is Sugar Toxic?


It didn't get much attention here in Italy the fact that S&P delivered a blow for US debt by lowering the outlook of its debt for the first time in history. And while this could be helpful for Understanding the S&P report and Krugman insists that is not really important and Poor Standards are in play, it's worth nothing that Obama administration officials tried to keep S&P rating at ‘stable’. But why, anyway? Perhaps, as it is suggested, because US account are like Enron Writ Large? Or because, besides the official one, there is in the US The Other National Debt to consider? Or maybe because, quite amazingly, in the US now Government Handouts Top Tax Income?

Not like we in Europe are faring much better, as while Trichet says that ‘All’s Well’, we can see that a battle is going on, the one of Euro vs. Invasion of the Zombie Banks. Bad news for critically hit countries (Greece, Ireland, Portugal... soon others) and some of them might start considering A parable of two debtors. In any case, The ECB Have All the Means to Prevail? Perhaps it would it be worthwhile (or unavoidable) to embark in Europe’s long road of tears to fiscal union (for that matter, EU corporate tax reform: Weighing the pros and cons).

To be noted that US fiscal policies are a factor in Soaring Inflation Poses Risks Beyond China’s Borders. Even if China is doing its own part as, once again, Krugman easily explains in Inflation, Here and There (Wonkish) (I hate his politics, but have to admit when it sticks to his own field the guy knows how to explains things easily). Anyway, we are probably just seeing The great global rebalancing and its implications, but Don’t blame the (mostly) efficient markets hypothesis.

And while we are at it, Is Germany competitive? Is Norway?. If you consider the banking sector (which also gives a pretty good number of answer to many questions about the EU role in the financial crisis), one wouldn't think so: German Banking: visibility needed

It must be to take its collective mind off economic troubles that now the EU awaits UN approval for deployment of ground troops (and unfortunately, Italy went ahead adn already shipped military instructors...). All that while Riots break out in Muslim north Nigeria as Christian Jonathan wins by landslide. But you do not have to go that far to have more problems with islamics, after all as 'London Taliban' is targeting women and gays in bid to impose sharia law

Finally... how I love to be in the eight most taxed countries in the world (and receiving way less services for my tax money than in any of the other most taxed countries, I would bet)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reading these days... VII

First of all, surprising from Germany,
Breaking Ranks: How To Become an Accidental Conservative. Favourite line: "A person who lives a leftist life is living with the appealing awareness of being in the right, in fact, being right all the time." to which I would personally add "and being on a higher moral ground of anyone else, about anything, always". Which is actually good news for conservatives: many vote against the left , rather than for the conservatives, for their intolerant and intolerable obnoxiousness...

For the ones who haven't paid attention, with several euro country on the verge of bankrupcy, the ECB raised interest rates.. suppose that's Why People Say "Eeh!" When They Learn About the ECB . Things are looking really grim for the eurozone so much that we are to welcome to the great big fat Euro fiasco.

In the meanwhile, Banks Face $3.6 Trillion 'Wall' of Debt: IMF while the BRICS demand global monetary shake-up, greater influence (That wold be, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.... but I assume the latter will end up like Zibabwe within 10 years, so I wouldnt't worry about it)

And while the U.S. plans new push on Arab-Israeli peace, to the point os maybe, in September, not vetoing a UN resolution recognizing Palestine as a state, an Italian activist found dead in Gaza after abduction. To be noticed that the guy was part of the Turkish "Freedom" flottilla that challenged Israel's embargo of Gaza, was working in humanitarian projects in the strip and routinely denounced the oppressive Israeli regime (apparently never noticing teh plumes of the rockets being fired by the oppressed...). Way to go as a thank you... even if, perhaps in recognition for his merits, the guys did hang him, rather than beheading him.

Still in the arab world, US, Britain, France vow to push ahead in Libya, even if the U.S., allies see Libyan rebels in hopeless disarray and Nato appeals for more planes. Now, exactly why a No-Fly resolution by the UN which doesn't deal at all with the political scenario would require Gheddafi to leave power, hundreds of ground strikes in support of a side in essentially a civil war and more ground support and attack planes, that's beyond me. But then again In the Ivory Coast, France Does Regime Change, so why not Libya, I guess? Nevermind that 1,000 attack non-Muslim village in Nigeria... why christians, heere or in Sudan or other places, should be protected, after all?

And how to get more planes, anyway, when Obama Guts Defense, which leads Gates and Mullen vs. Obama (that'd be, the Secretary of Defence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). But, after all, Obama Is Just Plain Bad at Politics while being the Presidential Divider.

In the meanwhile, what was once an example of muslim moderation, Turkey, is in Turmoil: Obstruction in Libya, Interference in Syria, Discrimination at Home. In effect, only people who haven't looked at what is going on in Turkey since the beginning of this century can be surprised... it's not turmoil, it's the normal state of affairs of the last decade.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reading these days... VI

In the
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll Obama scores his lowest approvla rating ever. Might it be because Gas Prices Climbing Toward $5 Per Gallon (which, incidentally, if my math is correct, would be around 0.9 euro per liter, 2/3 of what we pay in Italy, at 1.6...)? Or maybe, as Bill Gross of Pimco notes, because the United States has a year or two to change course or face a debt crisis akin to what Greece, Portugal and Ireland have experienced? In any case, some good news for him as Gadhafi endorses Obama re-election!

Why do I care, anyway? Because anything happening in US has repercussion on my country and this president has been so utterly disastrous on all fronts I care about that the most catastrophic are his policies for him, th eleast probable thy will be proposed here...

Speaking of which, this article is US-center, but in effect it rings true for my country an dmost of Europe, I would say, where we find Big Government on the Brink

And in effect, economics are starting to be so dire here that Anger begins to infect Europe’s prosperous core. In the meanwhile, a bit on Monetary Policy, Deficit Reduction, and the Ryan Plan (the first page of teh article being more interesting than the rest)

Anyway, even if money is running short, We're All Interventionists Now! But what for, one wonders, if in the now going democratic and happy Egypt, Two Killed In Cairo After Night of Protests, while Egypt Sentences Blogger to 3 Years. Notlike the Muslim Brotherhood is stirring things up?

In the meanwhile, we are glad to see that South America isn't left out and finally we have Al Qaeda in Brazil... and it didn't take long before a Brazilian Muslim kills 11 children in shooting.
But after all, we are helping.. for example Why Is Germany's Angela Merkel Strengthening Enemies of Israel and the West?

And while China tells U.S. to quit as human rights judge, Tata chief warns of India unrest as India accuses companies in telecoms probe

For the Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica and just about any science fiction fans' dlight out there: Laser gun fired from US navy ship

One does wonder where we will get the power for it tho, as Nuclear Power Fears at New Heights Despite Safety, Viability (interesting, little known outside the people workin in the field, fact from the article: a coke plant emits 100 times the radiations than a nuclear plant) andit's proved that Wind power is even worse than you thought...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Reading these days... V

And after a few days off due a short vacation in Germany (where, btw,
Alles (not) in Ordnung) ... back to reading.

So I found out that While I was away there was the Obama Libya Speech: How the President's War Has Won Him Arab Respect. This while, apparently,we had Washington in Fierce Debate on Arming Libyan Rebels. That's interesting, as it was also revealed that Obama authorizes secret help for Libya rebels already. So, in practice, Intelligence on Libya rebels shows "flickers" of Qaeda, we will have Jihadis who killed Americans get U.S. support in Libya. And in effect, the Libyan rebels struggle to explain rift. That said, an interesting question: What If Gadhafi Had Gone Nuclear? If I were a dictator in the world now, I'd definitely do anything in my power to get a hold of nuclear weapons, since giving it up does not seem to help.

Ah, speaking of countries speeding to nuclear weapons: How the Obama Administration Can Get Serious About Iran Sanctions

Anyway, if we intervened in Libya, why not in Syria, where Syrian cabinet resigns amid unrest,
or in Yemen, where the Trends 'Not Good'? Or Ivory Coast (where actually the French army once again intervened by itself... truth to be told)?

Not to mention that is we are to defent human rights, what to do with China's Crackdown on Bloggers and Human Rights Activists and the Worsening Crackdown in China?

In effect, the overall situation is such a nonsense that Saudis ‘So Unhappy' With Obama They Sent Emissaries to China, Russia Seeking Enhanced Ties while Gates tries to soothe Saudis rattled by unrest. Oh, and speaking of censorship and crackdowns, Indian state bans controversial book on Gandhi... ah, those Censorius Souls.

Not to mention the effects of this in Israel. If you are not aware, in September an U.N. Vote on Palestinian State Could Force Israel's Hand and create major Shock Waves. What could it be
Bibi’s Choice?

Anyway, while Opec set for $1,000bn in export revenues, the western "green" biofuel mania is having Food Prices Stir Concern About Biofuels Mandates . In effect, i always tought that, i a world where hunger is a real problem, having food converted to fuel isn't exactly a smart idea, but what do I know? And besides, not like prices can get any worse, right? Except Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon expects inflation.

It wouldn't be all so complicated if not for Human Complexity: The Strategic Game of ? and ?.

Let's go to the movies to get some relax... this is another I'll try to watch once it gets out: ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Exit question: Is it time to outsource cities?