Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Full Hindenburg Omen Tripped


A stock market Hindenburg Event occurred again on Friday August 20th, after appearing once before on Thursday August 12th.  Two Hindenburg Events in a single 36-day period is a full Hindenburg Omen, which portends a stock market "crash and burn".  The creator of the Hindenburg Omen, Jim Miekka, a blind mathematician, has exited the market.

I closed most of my long positions today.  Additionally, my large position in oil has become untenable due to events (and non-events) in the Mideast, and I reduced it last week.  I have now hedged it with additional equity shorts and an increased gold position (GLD).

Any rational leader of the free world would have bombed the Bushehr reactor.  By not bombing, we have confirmed to the world -- and the Iranians -- that we will do nothing to stop a nuclear-armed Caliphate from appearing.  In the near team this means peace, and a decline in oil prices.  (The only thing holding oil above $50 a barrel is world political/war uncertainty.)   In the 5-15 year time frame, this means a new Holocaust.  I wouldn't want to be a Sunni or a Wahhabi either.  The House of Saud is in trouble.

Our policy toward Iran reminds me of our policy toward Nazi Germany in the late 1930's.

I think WWII would have played out a little differently if Germany had had nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Barack Hussein Obama announces Middle East "Peace in Our Time"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bushehr Fuel Loading

A few interesting photos of the Russians loading up Iran's shiny new reactor:


Iranian UAV


Odd, it looks quite a bit like a Russian drone:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walt Disney in the Year 55 BC

"...it is not surprising that images should move, and agitate their arms and other members, with regularity; for it happens that many an image seems to do this in our sleep.  This is to be explained in the following way; that when the first image passes off, and a second is afterward produced in another position, the former then seems to have changed its gesture.  This, doubtless, we must conceive to be done by a very rapid process..."

-- Lucretius, The Nature of the Universe, (DE RERUM NATURA) Book IV, circa 55 BC, trans. Rev. John Selby Watson, M.A. 1851
The poet Titus Lucretius Carus was speaking of the images of things that form in the mind, but his insight would certainly be a starting point for the technology of cartoon animation, and indeed even of motion pictures and television.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where are the Carriers?

See main page for the latest update

USS Harry S Truman CVN-75 during rudder check in the Atlantic 14 March 2009
click for much larger image

According to STRATFOR, as of 18 August, we have only one carrier strike group in the Arabian Sea off the Iranian/Pakistani coast, led by the USS Harry S Truman CVN-75.

However, the big deck amphibious warfare ship, USS Peleliu LHA-5, probably with elements of its Expeditionary Strike Group, has moved in the past week from a position off Somalia (supporting anti-piracy operations), to just off the coast of Pakistan in order to support flood relief operations.  This places them very close to the southern coast of Iran.

USS Peleliu (LHA 5) conducts operations near the Southern California coast 30 October 2007
click for much larger image

The primary mission of the Harry S Truman is to provide support to Afghanistan operations. They are also well-positioned to ensure freedom of the seas for the Strait of Hormuz and to perform raids into Iran, if we ever decide to do that.

Last month, STRATFOR reported that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 and its strike group operating off Iran were relieved by the Harry S. Truman, but stayed in the area for some time, leading to speculation that a strike on Iran could be planned.  The Dwight D. Eisenhower has since returned to its home port in Norfolk Virginia.

Note that during the Bush administration, even as late as 2007 and 2008, we sometimes had as many as 3 carrier strike groups in the Arabian Sea.

We currently have five Atlantic carriers and six Pacific carriers.  One of each set are in extended maintenance and are undeployable (USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71 and USS John C. Stennis CVN-74).  Two of the deployed Atlantic Carriers, and two of the Pacific carriers are in their home ports.  The USS Enterprise CNV-65 is carrying out exercises off the US east coast in preparation for its upcoming deployment, which I am assuming will be in the Arabian Sea.

I recommend STRATFOR if you are interested in real information and analysis of world events.  Although the yearly cost is very high at $349 per year, if you sign up for a free trial they will send you an email offering a year for $129 -- and a free book.

The U.S. Navy Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75), with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3 (CVW-3), sails through the Atlantic Ocean on April 3, 2007, while conducting a Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) to evaluates its readiness for deployment.
click for much larger image

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Mosque at The World Trade Center


Yep, we have religious freedom in this country.  You can worship however you please.  The government should have no say over building your place of worship on private property.*

But tell me, what happens after a large mosque is built at the former site of the World Trade Center (which was destroyed by Islamists who were simply following the dictates of their holy book to the letter)?

What will we do when the following happens?

  • The Ground Zero Mosque, like all other mosques, is added to the list of the Most Holy Places in Islam -- and it ranks rather high on the list since martyrs died there.
  • The mosque holds an annual celebration that just so happens to occur on September 11th.
  • The mosque is used as a center for radical indoctrination against people of other faiths and against western civilization.  Freedom of speech, right?
  • A museum is established at the mosque describing the 1000 years of "continuing victories" of Islam against the infidels, culminating in the successful "Attack on the Jews in the US", and predicting the destruction of Israel.  Protected beliefs, correct?
  • The mosque becomes a center for Sharia law, punishing its members for infractions against Islam, and working with the court system to enshrine Sharia as an "alternative system of law for believers".  (This has already been done in the UK.)

Perhaps we should ask them to name it the Al-Barack-Hussein-Obama mosque.

By the way, I'd like to open a Christian church in Mecca.  Would that be OK?

 Road to Mecca

click for larger version

 The Black Stone.  The holiest relic in Islam, supposedly embedded
by Abraham in the wall of the Ka'ba

Crowds head to the "Stoning of Satan" ritual in Mina, near Mecca


*Actually, local governments routinely deny permits for churches based on land use/zoning, and sometimes based on just about any reason they can drum up.  I have personally had this happen to a church that a group of us were planning in the mid-1990's on a large piece of essentially rural private land in Riverside County, California.  This land was to be donated to us by the owner, if we would build a church on it.  We wanted to put up a steel-and-membrane arched temporary structure, identical to the types the military uses as mess halls and for sheltering aircraft  in places as diverse as the Arctic and the Mideast.  Even though other churches have used similar structures, and industrial companies in the county were already using them, the county initially stated that we could not do it due to wind, earthquake, and hail concerns.  We had the building company talk to them and explain that there was no legal argument that could be made against the building type.  So the county ratcheted up their campaign against us.  They told us the zoning of light industrial/retail would permit a church, but it was not "preferred", so could be denied.  We'd have to have a hearing.  Then they told us we would not be allowed to use the water main on the property  -- we had to use one a half a mile away and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring it across an interstate highway.  (I bet that a grocery store or a restaurant on the same site would be allowed to use the water main.)  Then we were told we were not allowed to have traffic access from our parking lot to the main road -- and then we were not allowed access to the side road either, ostensibly for traffic safety reasons.  We could have access a half mile up the side road, but then we would have to buy that property too and build a parking lot road from there to our property.  We could redesign the little two lane rural intersection instead, and install a traffic light and ramps, but it would cost millions.  Plus it wasn't in the county's plan, so we would have to get an amendment -- which would take 1-2 years.  And we would have to hire a traffic consultant from their list of consultants.  So we were basically denied a water source and motor vehicle access to the property.  Even if we were able to meet these demands (which we could not with our very limited funding), we were advised that there were dozens of other roadblocks to navigate.  We heard from other churches (with similar problems) that the guy in charge of county planning simply didn't want any more churches, period.  The rumor was that he was against Christianity in general.  We had maybe about $100k in our pot.  It was looking like the cheapest we could do it, if we could negotiate access through the other property, would likely approach a million dollars -- even though the land was donated and the fully-fixtured building would only cost $80k. We gave up. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John Bolton says Israel has 3 days to strike Bushehr


Russia will start to fuel the Bushehr reactor on 21 August. After that point, an attack would release a large radioactive dust cloud, endangering civilians who, oddly enough, are packed into residential districts surrounding the plant. The concept of "human shields" always seems to work well for the Islamists.
Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran's first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.

"What this does is give Iran a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium," Bolton said. "It's a very, very huge victory for Iran."

He noted that the reactor gives Iran something that both Iraq and Syria were never able to achieve because their facilities were destroyed [by Israel].

"Iran will have achieved something that no other opponent of Israel, no other enemy of the United States really in the Middle East has, and that is a functioning nuclear reactor," he said on Fox Business Network.

Note the two fishing villages in addition to the worker housing.  If Israel attacks, expect to see our wonderful media show pictures of children with limbs blown off, wailing mothers, buildings collapsed on top of people, etc.  Based on past experience there will probably be 42 weddings going on during the strike.

Iranian Phantom Crash Near Bushehr


This crash is near the major Iranian news event this week, vis. the fueling of the Bushehr reactor. I suspect that they are flying a pretty serious CAP around Bushehr.
"An Iranian F-4 Phantom fighter jet crashed today in Bushehr. The crew of two sustained injuries and were hospitalized. They are reported to be in fair condition. The crash occurred at 10:10 AM local time near Bushehr’s Industrial Complex. Iran’s first nuclear power plant will be fueled up later this week in Bushehr."
Here is another report:

An Iranian F-4 fighter jet has crashed near an island in the southern province of Bushehr, a provincial official says. According to Gholamreza Keshtkar, the fighter jet crashed near Shif island on Tuesday at 10:10 a.m. (0540 GMT). The official said that the pilots have survived the incident as they managed to eject safely. He further pointed out that they have been transferred to the hospital since they sustained slight injuries. Mohammad-Hassan Shanbadi, a provincial official, was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying that the crash was due to “technical faults.” He added that the two pilots were in “good condition.”

Iran says it has approximately 65 F-4 Phantoms in service, out of an original total of about 225 F-4Ds, RF-4Es and F-4Es delivered from the US during the 60s and 70s.

If you want to take a look at the Bushehr reactor (before it is destroyed...), plug in lat/long 28.829658, 50.885625 on Google Earth or maps.google.com.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Iran’s First Nuclear Plant to Start on 21 August

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
From Uskowi on Iran:
"Iran’s first nuclear power reactor will start up on 21 August when Russia begins loading nuclear fuel in the reactor built in the southern city of Bushehr on the Persian Gulf. In an agreement with Iran, the Russian atomic agency Rosatom will provide the fuel and will take the spent fuel back to Russia. Iran’s own enriched uranium will not be used for the operation of the Bushehr nuclear reactor..."
I guess Iran has other uses for their own highly enriched uranium.

The Hindenburg Omen as a Stock Market Crash Indicator


A certain concurrence of stock market technical measures called the Hindenburg Omen has often signaled that the market is ready to crash and burn.  The full "Omen" occurs when two Hindenburg Events are recorded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) within 36 days.  A Hindenburg Event is defined as follows:
  • The number of stocks achieving 52-week highs and the number achieving 52-week lows must each exceed 2.2% of the total number of companies listed on the NYSE. (The market is split with both strong bears and strong bulls.)
  •  The NYSE composite rolling average of the previous 10 weeks must be positive. 
  • The number of stocks achieving a 52-week high must not be more than twice the number achieving a 52-week low.
  •  The NYSE McClellan Oscillator (a momentum measure) must be negative.

The Hindenburg Omen has occurred prior to every major stock market crash since 1985.  There were actually 8 Hindenburg Omens in 2008 as the S&P 500 posted its biggest annual drop since the Great Depression.

The probability of a move greater than 5% to the downside after a confirmed Hindenburg Omen has been 77%. It usually takes place within 40 days of the first Hindenburg Event.  The probability of a panic sellout was 41% and the probability of a major stock market crash was 24%.

A Hindenburg Event occurred on Thursday last week, and came close to occurring the day before.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Global Warming to Cause Catastropic Hurricanes?

The following is from a speech by Al Gore at the National Sierra Club in San Francisco on September 12, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
There are scientific warnings now of another onrushing catastrophe. We were warned of an imminent attack by Al Qaeda; we didn't respond.  We were warned the levees would break in New Orleans; we didn't respond.  Now, the scientific community is warning us that the average hurricane will continue to get stronger because of global warming.  A scientist at MIT has published a study well before this tragedy showing that since the 1970s, hurricanes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific have increased in duration, and in intensity, by about 50 %.  The newscasters told us after Hurricane Katrina went over the southern tip of Florida that there was a particular danger for the Gulf Coast of the hurricanes becoming much stronger because it was passing over unusually warm waters in the gulf.  The waters in the gulf have been unusually warm. The oceans generally have been getting warmer.  And the pattern is exactly consistent with what scientists have predicted for twenty years.  Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming. [applause]  It is important to learn the lessons of what happens when scientific evidence and clear authoritative warnings are ignored in order to induce our leaders not to do it again and not to ignore the scientists again and not to leave us unprotected in the face of those threats that are facing us right now. [applause]  ...Ladies and gentlemen, the warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time.  We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.
Let's check out what has happened since his speech.  Here is the current Hurricane Energy chart:

click for larger image

Hmmm. Looks like we are now down to 1970's levels.  We are currently at a 30-year low.  The hurricane season so far this year has been almost non-existent.  There is no sign of any increase whatsoever from so-called global warming.

Al says that the oceans will warm.  Here is the current sea temperature anomaly chart almost 5 years after his speach:

click for larger image

The oceans are cooler than normal, not hotter.

And even the Arctic, which has been described as the "canary in the coal mine" of global warming, is building more ice.  According to the Danish Meteorological Institute, this has been the coldest summer in the Arctic above latitude 80 deg N since 1958:

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The north polar sea ice is recovering well from a low in 2007:

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Sea ice at the south end of the globe is well above normal and has been trending gradually upwards for many years.

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So, five years after Al Gore's speech, there is no evidence of any effects from global warming, certainly not stronger or more frequent hurricanes.  In fact, there is really no evidence for the existence of global warming itself, since according to Phil Jones of the Climate Research Institute, weather station temperatures show no statistically significant increase in the last 15 years.

And if you use only raw "uncorrected" rural measurements, temperatures actually appear to be declining.  Global warming is only evident after some really sketchy "corrections" are applied to the measured data.  These corrections almost universally make older data cooler and recent data warmer, for each station,  creating a warming slope where there is none in the raw data.

More on that later.

As H. L Mencken said in 1918:
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Cold, Cold, and More Cold

Look at this chart.  The long term trend is toward a colder climate.  Note the correspondence between warmth and great civilizations -- and between cold times and decline, fall, and dark ages.  The only way we have kept civilization going during the chill of the last 800 years is by technological advancement.

click for larger image

The following chart, from Vostok Antarctic ice cores, shows the last 400,000 years as mostly ice ages, punctuated by brief interglacial warm periods.  The start of the latest warm period about 11,000 years ago coincided with the birth of agriculture.

click for larger image

We should be lobbying Congress to produce more CO2, not less -- except for the fact that really and truly CO2 doesn't affect the climate much at all.  Modern global warming "science" doesn't have anything to do with climate.  It is all about political power and socialist utopianism.

I am not too concerned about the coming descent into the cold and dark.  As my friend Jim Mizera used to say, "I wouldn't mind an Ice Age.  Hunting was very good back then."  Except of course the present level of human population is completely unsupportable as hunter-gatherers.  Hunting of the "long pork" may become quite common.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ObamaCare on One Chart


Nancy Pelosi famously said about ObamaCare, "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it." Well here it is and it isn't pretty.

The following chart was developed by the Joint Economic Committee minority, led by U.S Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas.

click for a full-sized pdf

The following is from Rep. Kevin Brady's web site.  Be sure to read the last line:
"For Americans, as well as Congressional Democrats who didn’t bother to read the bill, this first look at the final health care law confirms what many fear, that reform morphed into a monstrosity of new bureaucracies, mandates, taxes and rationing that will drive up health care costs, hurt seniors and force our most intimate health care choices into the hands of Washington bureaucrats,"said Brady, the committee’s senior House Republican. "If this is what passes for health care reform in America, then God help us all."

Brownback, the committee’s ranking member, added, "This updated chart illustrates the overwhelming expansion of government control over health choices and the bewildering complexity facing everyone affected by this law. It doesn’t take long to see how the recently signed health care bill causes a hugely expensive and explosive expansion of federal control over health care. Personal choices that should be between a doctor and a patient will quickly be strangled in a never ending web of bureaucracy."

Senate Steering Committee Chairman Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) called Obamacare "a bureaucratic nightmare. The Democrats’ takeover of health care creates a byzantine network of 159 new federal programs and bureaucracies to make decisions that should be between just the patient and their doctor. It should concern everyone that at the center of this regulatory web is the new CMS chief, Donald Berwick, who has championed rationing and European socialized medicine. Americans were rightly outraged that this big government bill was rushed through Congress before anyone read or fully understood the bill’s consequences. Republicans will fight to repeal this reckless takeover and to ensure health care freedom to American families."

In addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays:
* $569 billion in higher taxes;
* $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
* swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
* 17 major insurance mandates; and
* the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.
Brady admits committee analysts could not fit the entire health care bill on one chart.
"This portrays only about one-third of the complexity of the final bill. It’s actually worse than this."


The Tropical Pacific Ocean is Cooling Dramatically

NOAA's latest El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Evolution, Status, and Prediction Presentation (issued yesterday) shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean has switched over from a very warm phase to a downright cold phase in the space of just a few months.

This generally means we could have a cooler than normal winter, but there are a lot of other factors and variations in play.

Map view of temperature anomalies.  North and South America are on the right.

Temperature changes in the Pacific along the equator over the last year

Cross-section of the Pacific along the equator showing temperatures at depth

The North Pole has been Cooler than Normal

This graph from the Danish Meteorological Institute shows average daily temperatures north of latitude 80 degrees N.  The blue horizontal line is the freezing point of water.  Summer up there is shutting down early this year.

For reference, here is their graph from the year 1958:


First Half of 2010 has been Cooler than Normal

This graph is from the NOAA High Plains Regional Climate Center, and shows data from January 1 through July 31, 2010.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Recession Unemployment Rates - Animated Map

Oddly, this animated map resembles the Obama election map I showed previously.  Votes for Obama and unemployment rates seem to be related.  Imagine my surprise.