Week in review

Quote of the week

“President Obama announced [Tuesday] that he wants to use the oil spill to move America toward green energy. I have a crazy idea. Maybe he should use the oil spill crisis to fix the oil spill.” – Jay Leno

Chairman Greenspan: A Fiat Mind for a Fiat Age

by Frederick J. Sheehan

“Alan Greenspan was the right Federal Reserve chairman for his times. His reputation was a creation of inflation, and this was a century of inflation. His knowledge was superficial when America tended toward superficiality. He was a creation of publicity in an age that craved celebrities. He was inarticulate at a time when minds were growing more confused. He took short cuts to the top when Americans more readily took the easy route.” more… [Highly recommended.]

It’s Time to Ban Public Employee Unions.

by John Papola

“There’s nothing wrong with unions. But public-employee unions aren’t real unions. They’re collusive cartels that use campaign donations, organized get-out-the-vote onslaughts and sometimes physical threats to literally buy the acquiescence of those with whom they should be ‘negotiating’. The politicians are supposed to be working for we the taxpayer. But we the taxpayer have no seat at the table between the public employee unions and their political benefactors. Did I mention that public employees make more than the average private sector work that pays for their largesse?” more…

Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China in Bid to Become the Next Big Thing

by John Feffer

“As a quintessential rising middle power, Turkey no longer hesitates to put itself in the middle of major controversies. In the last month alone, Turkish mediation efforts nearly heralded a breakthrough in the Iran nuclear crisis, and Ankara supported the flotilla that recently tried to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. With these and other less high-profile interventions, Turkey has stepped out of the shadows and now threatens to settle into the prominent place on the world stage once held by its predecessor. In the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire was a force to be reckoned with, spreading through the Balkans to the gates of Vienna before devolving over the next 200 years into ‘the sick man of Europe.'” more… [If you’ve got the time this is a very interesting read. Thomas Friedman also wrote a somewhat interesting piece on Turkey and its changing relationship to the world.]

Obama’s Oil Spill Speech: What Was The Point?

by Jason Linkins

“[T]there was a huge oil spill, did you hear? And a team of ‘scientists and engineers’ were assembled. Somehow, by dint of this assemblage (‘As a result of these efforts,’ said Obama), BP has been ‘directed… to mobilize additional equipment and technology.’ And from there, somehow, ‘In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well.’ I don’t know how any of that works, at all, but that’s the story: up to 90% of the oil will soon be captured, with ‘equipment and technology’ because some dudes met in a room.” more… [So what you say? You’d be right to shrug if this was from National Review or some other Republican mouthpiece. But this is from the Huffington Post.]

Abiotic Oil and Gas: A Theory That Refuses To Vanish

by Vinod Dar

“In the West it is almost universally held that all oil and gas is derived from fossils. This is not the case elsewhere, particularly among Russian and Ukrainian scientists who have, over several generations, tenaciously propounded the notion that oil and gas are abiotic, can be found deep below the surface of the earth in most parts of the world and in very large amounts.” more… [I’m skeptical about this theory, but I had never heard it before and found it interesting.]

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • Vast mineral reserves (lithium, gold, cobalt, and others) found in Afghanistan.
  • Congressman assaults student on street in Washington D.C. (video 1:11).
  • Mexican drug cartels control a chunk of Arizona. (video 1:28, article is poorly written).
  • Public employee pension plans set to go broke by 2020.
  • Audit the Fed is dead. At least for now.
  • Fannie and Freddie to delist shares from New York Stock Exchange.
  • USDA recommends eating fewer fatty foods as it simultaneously buys up a bunch of fatty foods for school lunches.
  • Jon Stewart on Barack Obama (video 8:32). The wheels are coming off the bus methinks.
  • Obama to push for redirection of Mississippi River?
  • Coast Guard shuts down operable oil sucking barges along Gulf Coast.
  • Krygyzstan death toll nears 2,000.
  • Kruiser Control: The Day the Tingle Died & Ed Schultz’s Fascist Fantasies (Video 14:13. Humor and commentary.)

Miscellany

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,450.64 (+239.57/2.35%)
S&P 500 – 1,117.51 (+25.91/2.37%)
VIX – 23.95 (-4.84/-16.81%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,696.166 (-62.70/-2.27%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,980.49 (+153.03/2.24%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,367.71 (+31.62/2.37%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 64,437.578 (+832.199/1.31%)
RICI – 3,016.94 (+94.85/3.25%)
Gold/oz – 1,258.30 (+28.10/2.28%)
Silver/oz – 19.184 (+0.953/5.23%)
Copper/lb – 290.15 (-0.25/-0.09%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 78.22 (+3.87/5.21%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 477.75 (+20.75/4.54%)
Corn/bu – 380.50 (+9.50/2.56%)
EUR-USD – 1.2388 (+0.0276/2.28%)
USD-JPY – 90.707 (-0.941/-1.03%)
USD-BRL – 1.772 (-0.0386/-2.13%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.09 (+0.02/28.57%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.71 (-0.02/-2.74%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.22 (-0.01/-0.31%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.14 (-0.01/-0.24%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.54 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,038,877,263,966.80 (-2,528,080,006.60/-0.02%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,694.00 (-594.00/-18.07%)

Since I’m late getting this out I’ll keep it short. There were power surges like crazy here last night and I ended up just powering the computer down for the evening.

I’ve decided to keep a link to the amazon.com bestseller list. I think it’s very interesting that when Glenn Beck promotes a book that it becomes the instant #1. Anyway, the list seems like another way to keep my fingers on the pulse of the world around me.

And that’s it for now. Have a nice weekend!

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