Friday, May 30, 2008

The Yon Memo

Michael Yon the milblogger who has been on countless embeds in Iraq & Afghanistan is in a little stink right now. Recently he published in toto a memo he got a hold of. The memo was circulated among the Pentagon and warned employees about being discreet about their line of work so as to avoid confrontations with anti-war types. Apparently such an incident occurred and some official wrote a memo about some basic precautions employees should take in order to prevent further incidents.

However, Michael Yon is being taken to task for publishing the memo because the memo uses incidents when follow up investigation (initiated by Yon himself) showed that there was no pattern of widespread harassment of Pentagon employees (uniformed and otherwise) just one. It seems some lefty writers are trying to cast him in the light of Dan Rather.

Michael notes a few things. The memo was from the DoD and there are people who can be contacted to confirm it was a genuine memo and passed around the DoD. Mr. Yon also states he was the one who instigated the deeper look into the memo.

What a bunch of fuss over very little. You can go to Michael's website and see the memo for yourself. Here is another memo you can see for yourself. I used to read similar ones on a regular basis. However, unlike the memo regarding US citizens in Islamabad of a read situation, most of the ones I read were vague, but there was a definite aura of badness with them. The memo Yon published was only about avoiding any incidents not details about incident or incidents.

The memo publicized by Michael Yon is no big deal, get over it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Uncle Obamawitz

Barak Obama makes a mistake on the stump while talking about his uncle helping to rescue the inmates of Auschwitz.

Is it a big deal? No, still it is infuriating and it is not Obama that has me upset. Apparently he is not much brighter than the current occupant of the Whitehouse. When will we start hearing the late night jokes?

Idle Threats

Susan Sarandon is threatening to leave the US if John McCain wins the presidency. Two thoughts idle theats and who cares?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Speculating on Oil

This morning the Doug Stephan radio show was on. In the past I have stated my firm belief Doug Stephan is nearly a total idiot, however on Saturdays he host a financial/economic adviser by name of George Yared. George I think is good antidote to Doug.

This morning they were talking about the oil situation. George made the contention that what we are seeing is a speculative boom in the price of oil. He noted there is supply enough to meet the demand and supply adequate profit at something under $100/barrel, I want to say at about $60-$70/barrel of oil but do not recall his exact thought. He noted speculative houses and hedge funds were bidding the price of oil up as a haven from...can you guess? I'll leave that open and see if you know or can guess.

Anyway, George's comments led me to one thought bubble. When prices of any commodity are driven up by rank speculation there is bound to be a day of reckoning for the speculators and someday the oil bubble will burst. Now, in recent years we have seen two similar bubbles a tech-stock market bubble and a housing market bubble. Bubbles pass, irrational exuberance turns into irrational FUD. In this case, I think many of us will be glad for the bubble to burst.

George then went onto to discuss how to lance the bubble. It is in strengthening the dollar. The dollar is weak against other currencies. There is no correct just trade offs between a strong and a weak dollar. Have a strong dollar the rest of the world's goods are cheap but our exports suffer, have a weak dollar the rest of the world's goods are expensive but exports soar. Count oil as one of those expensive goods.

George says the Federal Reserve and our nation will be in a position to start strengthening the dollar in the near future. He stated the Fed had some domestic situations to take care of first namely dealing with stabilizing interest rates and the housing bubble crisis.

I have heard other economists also state they felt the oil markets were being pushed by speculative forces more than supply and demand. So, get the dollar strong again and the hedgers and the speculators will stop running to oil and the price will come down. Let us hope.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

I Am Hungry

The Empress and I just came back from watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Nice movie but I suggest you can wait for it come out on DVD or video. I thought it all pretty much an amalgamation of the previous movies. From Raiders & Last Crusade swap commies for nazis, the car-fights were pretty much unsurprising, the Call of Cthullu mystique was somewhat too thick and substituted for a compelling story (I do admit the stories in the first three are not all that deep).

In the last movie there was an allusion to The Raiders of the Lost Ark and so too in this movie. In addition, there is an allusion to another movie(s) that Harrison Ford starred in, this allusion is one of the twists I thought fresh.

What was frustrating about this movie is at the start an interesting antagonism between Dr. Jones and another organization was being set up and that conflict just disappeared into nothingness. It really left me wanting more.

I was glad to hear Indiana Jones was coming out of retirement and returning the screen, on second thought I am thinking he perhaps should have stayed retired.

Oh well, that music is still as good as ever!

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