Overnight a series of bombings in around Baghdad killed 51 and wounded hundreds. Yesterday a suicide car bomber in southern Afghanistan attacked a military convoy, killing four. Both incidents underscore a glaring truth about that niche of the world.
Their issues will linger in pools of blood and massive body counts while solutions seem as distant as the opposite ends of an ocean. America would like to tip the scales with limited effort even after massive efforts with boots on the ground have already failed.
This is the backdrop as we brace for military action against Syria that will stir the pot, creating more questions than answers and more turmoil than tranquility. In a perfect world the good guys in Syria would piggyback our actions to victory.
This isn't a perfect world.
This part of the planet continues to haunt the rest mostly because of exports. There are resources-oil and natural gas and terror-ideology and funding. Otherwise, it would be easy to turn our backs and let them fight.
In the end, God can sort out the sinners and saints. But, does stirring the pot make America a sinner or winner?
Word with Friends
It took a while, but the Spring Swoon that has, in fact, hit the economy is hitting the stock market. Sure, pundits and mavens point to Fed tapering, the looming wars in D.C., Syria, the weak domestic economy, higher interest rates, and Miley Cyrus for the current weakness in equities. Perhaps the real answer can be found in the dictionary. The folks over at Oxford Dictionaries Online has sifted through 1.8 billion new words and found about one thousand that should be official. It's not hard to see how these words give us an insight to how the west will be lost.
Twerking has been around a long time but finally cemented in the minds of everyone with an exclamation point at the VMA show where Miley Cyrus put on a show that continues to leave tongues wagging. It was all about raunchy exhibition and resisting self control. That probably works at the nightclubs late Saturday night but as a day to day philosophy it manifests in an otherwise unmotivated nation of young people.
Selfie isn't just for youthful indiscretion but aging television personalities and (former) political stars. The ability to propel one to stardom challenges Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame theory because now we can all be stars in our own little universe. Ancient societies around the world all shunned cameras fearing it would steal their soul ... how silly.
Bitcoin is being promoted as the new gold and that has the powers that be twerking in their thrones. The currency without a central bank or government backing could find itself the currency of choice for free people around the planet. It's still early but the idea is fascinating and the potential really dangerous to today's current power structure. There have been fits and false starts and volatile moves in the currency as well as official inquires, yet it's held its own and making a statement as the "new gold" as a hedge against tyranny.
It's time to calm, to review your portfolio and to make a list of names to buy on further weakness. The market has been due for a pullback for months and this appears to be that healthy correction. Blame it on any headline but it's overdue, and I'm glad it's happening even if it means I have to do more hand holding and give more history lessons.
(An important interview) Saving the Net from the surveillance state (And Crony Media): Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A) | Nick Sorrentino