.Merry Christmas to all. Been kinda busy lately, so the posting frequency has gone down quite a bit. Here is a short list of what is going on:
The Sun and the Weather
The sun is currently blank. Solar activity is at very low levels. This is consistent with the Livingston-Penn observations mentioned previously. It is looking more and more like a mini-Ice Age over the next few decades, but prediction is hard. Note that there has been no observed global warming since the mid-1990s -- and even then the warming of the 80's and early 90's was consistent with normal weather variation -- and the active sun of that time.
The blank sun today
England has had the coldest and snowiest December for something like 150 years. There is snow in Australia -- and note that it is summer there. Germany, Italy, Poland -- all of Europe -- have been posting record cold temperatures.
James Hansen of NASA GISS is a liar and a fraud. He is the Bernie Madoff of Climate Science.
The Obama administration removed one of the two aircraft carrier strike forces that we had near Iran just before the new six-party talks started in Geneva on 6 December. So we backed down militarily, and of course the talks were meaningless. Iran continues to develop nuclear capabilities, although the StuxNet virus actually seems to have caused some physical damage to their centrifuges, according to Stratfor. At this point I would be more surprised to see Obama attack Iran that I would be to see an Iranian nuke flying toward the US. Mr. O's policies are clearly a growing danger to our country (and in other ways too).
The Big Dustup Index Fund
The Big Dustup Index Fund is no longer invested in oil or short market positions -- although the gradual gains would not be too bad right now with oil drifting upward. You may want to check out Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which is a "hospitality" (i.e. gaming and hotels) company with significant holdings in Macau and Singapore, including the Marina Bay Sands, which opened this year and is doing astonishingly well. We put some of the BDUIF into it and have continued to add on dips as it goes up. The company seems strong, but I know that some people have concerns with investing in gambling. I kinda like the idea of people in Macau and Singapore freely giving money to LVS, which then funnels into a higher stock price for us. Money flowing from the Far East to the US is a good thing; we've seen too much of the opposite in recent years. The BDUIF investment in LVS is up more than 40 percent just since September. Do your research. I am not responsible for loss, etc.
Marina Bay Sands - Singapore
I don't have a lot of insight here except to say that the jostling for power in the north, and the associated posturing as Kim Jung Il heads toward decrepitude are probably what are driving the increase in violent attacks and rhetoric. It is causing a corresponding puffing and blowing in the south. It certainly could lead to a war, which would be a real mess with Seoul so close to the 38th parallel. The entire Far East economic zone would be heavily impacted. A big live-fire drill in the south is scheduled for Thursday (i.e. mid-Wednesday US time). Could be interesting.
I find it very interesting that Obama has greatly expanded the use of missile attacks from UAV's in Waziristan, Swat, and even the Punjab regions of N and NW Pakistan. We are blowing up houses right and left, killing hundred of people -- despite increasing Pakistani hatred of us. Our drones are apparently operating all along the top part of the Durand line, trying to sniff out the Taliban village by village. It is yet to be seen if this robot offensive will appreciably decimate their power prior to our Obama-mandated departure deadline. (US troop withdrawals start in July of next year.) My gut feeling is that the Taliban are just holing up and waiting for us to disappear. Our sacrifices will likely be for naught.
That's all for now.