|A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 41481 to 41536
|Post 41481 by oldCADuser OT: I was a Junior in Engineering school during th|
|Post 41482 by oldCADuser OT: AH, but there is...|
|Post 41483 by lkorrow OT: OCU, on an old topic, looks like our reinforce|
|Post 41484 by oldCADuser OT: Could this be the beginning of something large|
|Post 41485 by ferociousD OT: After Peoples Park, the Bay Area never|
|Post 41486 by ferociousD The return of voodoo economics|
Post 41487 by spirare Reply
Spot gold in New York settled higher at $318.40 an ounce, up $3.40 from yesterday?s close.
The talk of war in Iraq, the weak equities markets,
weaker U.S. dollar, and dismal economic data such as the high level of
unemployment all contributed to a rising price of gold.
December gold rose to $320.80, the highest since July 23, right after the open and at 0915
EDT before banks and funds sold off, only to return and buy back in.
Dealers said stop-loss buy orders to cancel out previous sales were
executed above $319 an ounce, accelerating the rally.
"It was all strong
fund buying," said a floor broker.
"We came in stronger due to anxiety
over next week's (Sept 11) anniversary as well as fears of the Iraq conflict
"I think (gold's) going to remain pretty well supported here,"
said a bullion dealer.
"The Dow is down, bonds are bid, the dollar is
weaker and there is still a lot of bad things going on in the world.
little reason why gold should be materially weaker."
The dealer said
precious metals players also saw recent producer hedge buybacks as
The price of gold improved on weak equities markets and a weaker U.S.
The dollar may also fall after U.S. President George W. Bush said
this week he will seek congressional approval to oust Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein, said Takashi Nakata, a manager of spot FX proprietary trading
at BNP Paribas SA. Investors will today look to productivity, jobless
claims and factory order reports today for further clues on the pace of
growth in the world's largest economy.
The deficit in the U.S. current
account, the broadest measure of international trade because it includes
investments, probably widened to a record $125 billion in the second
quarter, compared with $112.5 billion in the first, as investors shifted funds
out of U.S. assets, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The report is due Sept. 12.
Since returning Tuesday from the last long weekend of the summer, New
York gold traders have been weighing supportive factors like White House
saber rattling against Iraq.
The slowing US economy and continued reports
producer hedge unwinding, against negatives -- particularly sub-par
demand from top-consumer India due to an unusually dry monsoon.
"Frankly the investors in the gold market are few and far between, with
higher prices and poor monsoons in countries like India," said Ian
MacDonald, head of bullion dealing at Commerzbank.
"This is one of the
real reasons that gold is trapped in a trading range and won't break out."
MacDonald pegged the range at $311/312 an ounce on the bottom and
$318/$320 an ounce on the top.
"Everybody is just watching to see how
this Middle East situation will pan out and how it will rattle the financial
markets," he said. Still, gold buying could pick up as the Asian festival
season and fall marriage season begins and that could carry through into
the western holidays at year-end.
London gold was fixed this afternoon at $317.55 an ounce, up from
$316.20 an ounce at the morning fixing. Rhona O'Connell at the World
Gold Council said gold has steady physical support below $310/ounce
and safe haven buying is propping it up.
However, gold's gains were
underpinned by escalating expectations that US-led military action against
the US will commence in the near future.
"The specific trigger that caught
the market's attention yesterday was the intensification of the demeanour of
the senior elements of the US administration with respect to Iraq,"
O'Connell said. "As more news comes out about activity in Iraq, gold has
strengthened its position along with oil," one London bullion trader said,
adding that banks were main buyers in the market.
Gold prices moved higher as nervous investors piled into the gold market on Thursday as
Washington lined up a possible military strike against Iraq and the
September 11 anniversary loomed.
"One cannot underestimate the
importance of the anniversary of September 11, particularly in light of the
United States preparing for war against Iraq," said Peter Hillyard, head of
European metal sales at ANZ Investment Bank.
"Gold looks set to be
supported and to move higher as we approach the anniversary of the 9-11
attack on the U.S. and the expectations of an attack on Iraq intensifies,"
said John Reade, metals analyst at UBS Warburg.
Analysts at UBS Warburg said diminished liquidity in the market ahead of the anniversary of
the September 11 attacks could skew short-term risks to the upside.
"If nothing else the ratcheting up of security arrangements will probably lead
to an increase in the number of scare stories and this could see gold trend
higher over the next week," UBS said in a daily report.
Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise announcement that he will meet with U.S.
President George Bush this weekend at Camp David.
Earlier gold in Hong Kong was up $4.00 at $316.75.
Gold prices worked
higher in Asia on war talk. Nervous investors piled into gold on worries of
a repeat terrorist attack on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks against the U.S. and efforts by the U.S. to garner support for an
attack against Iraq, these traders said.
"With the Sept. 11 anniversary
coming, there's always fear there will be some terrorist activity to mark the
occasion, so that's at the back of traders' minds," said a Singapore-based
U.S. President George Bush's attempts to get other countries to
support, or at least not oppose, an attack on Iraq also helped gold, as the
efforts put the U.S. closer to striking Iraq, said traders.
"Everything's bullish for gold," said a Sydney-based trader. As well, a stronger euro
against the U.S. dollar adds to gold's shine, these traders said. With all
these bullish factors, "I don't think anybody will be too brave to sell," said
the Singapore-based trader.
"It has broken up through that downtrend line,
but not convincingly," said Jeff Penman, chief dealer at Westpac Banking
Corp in Sydney, referring to gold's break above US$315 during New
York trading on Wednesday.
"In our time zone, it was fairly quiet for most
of the day, but just before lunch time, there was some pressure from three
major banks that came out and purchased," Penman said.
Where to start? There is so much news that is supportive of a
higher gold price.
The obvious reasons of course are the talk of war in the
Middle East, continued terrorist activity around the world, and the first
anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
the threat to world oil supply at the outbreak of hostilities.
Even though there are assurances of increased output by Saudi and Mexico in the event
of war, the removal of Iraqi oil and any sympathy protests or threats by
other Middle East producers could result in higher oil prices raising the
prospect of inflationary pressures and damaging an already weakened
global economy that struggles with a severe recession.
Today the U.S. and
Germany reported weak unemployment data that suggests these
economies are still struggling despite some hope by a few that the long
awaited recovery might be underway.
Retailers report weaker sales in a
sign that consumer spending may have topped out.
consumer debt are at all time record levels as are corporate and personal
Investors are begging to look for safe havens amid all the
bad news and precious metals are beginning to shine bright.
U.S. President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he would ask
Congress to back possible military action against Iraq and would outline
the "serious threat" posed by Iraq's arms program in a September 12
speech at the U.N.
Prior to that he will be in consultations with the leaders
of Britain, Russia, China, France and Canada in an effort to drum up
Today U.S. warplanes attacked targets in a "no-fly" zone of
southern Iraq adding to concerns of skittish investors.
The result has been
a strengthening in gold and petroleum prices.
As a matter of perspective,
when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the price of gold gained over $40 to
well over $400 an ounce and oil reached over $40 a barrel, and when
Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1980 at the time of the Iranian Revolution and the ensuing ?hostage crisis?, the price of gold moved north
of $850 an ounce and petroleum prices approached new record highs.
Today we could be returning to higher gold and petroleum prices as the two are moving in lockstep, as the threat of war becomes reality.
In a side
note, there was an assassination attempt on Afghan president Karzai?s life
today though he was uninjured as his American security guards returned
fire and were last reported to be in pursuit of the would be assassins.
Another curious event is that U.S. military forces are on an ?intruder alert?
at the Tooele South Army Depot.
This is the U.S. Army?s western storage
facility for biological and chemical warfare supplies.
The search continues.
The Institute for Supply Management said its overall index of
non-manufacturing activity fell for the third consecutive month in August to
50.9 from 53.1 in July as the U.S. economy continues to weaken.
First time unemployment claims were reported to have declined by 8,000 from
last week, though the number is still at a recessionary level of over
The upward revision of 8,000 to last week?s data did not go
Tomorrow all eyes will be on the release of last month?s
cumulative unemployment data.
The realization that yesterday?s glowing
announcement of increased auto sales were due to a continuation of the
?zero-finance? program offered by manufacturers settled in as investors
also realized that dealers profit margins are being severely squeezed.
The global stock markets have been under pressure as well.
From Asia to Europe to North America, investors are sitting on the sidelines or selling
out of the stock markets.
Economic data in Asia and Europe looks dismal
with high unemployment (for example - 9.6% in Germany and 5.4% in
Continued corporate scandals, a developing currency crisis and a
failing banking system in Japan are all major concerns in that region.
Weakening profits and declining corporate profits in Europe are taking a
toll on those markets too.
In the U.S. the stock markets appear to have
resumed the overall decline toward what many are calling the dreaded
***Meanwhile, bullion dealers worldwide report a surge in buying activity for precious metals as investors and institutions seek a safe haven in these uncertain times.***
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(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Strong Buy; LT Rating- Strong Buy)
Post 41488 by edde Reply
SPOT GOLD @ $320.50
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Strong Buy)
Post 41489 by pacemakernj Reply
Linda, good news. Pace.
Post 41490 by pmcw Reply
PLB looks like it's been shorted to death. There was an announcement today that an insider purchased at the currently depressed prices. If tough times are in our future it is quite likely that pasta will be an increasing favorite. Very solid balance sheet and excellent management are pluses. Something to consider. Regards, pmcw
OT:FerociousD, I try very hard not to respond to y
Post 41492 by pmcw Reply
STAA, Remember last year when we traded STAA for a nice profit? Well, it looks like it's time to play again. This time, it might even be worth a hold, but I won't turn down quick profits either.
First STAAR Surgical Toric Implantable Contact Lens (TICL(TM)) Implanted in U.S. Clinical Trial
Twenty-four hour post check-up show outstanding results for only posterior phakic lens that reduces pre-existing astigmatisms while providing visual correction for nearsightedness
Friday September 6, 9:22 am ET
MONROVIA, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA - News) announced that John Vukich, M.D., of Davis Duehr Dean Medical Center in Madison, Wisconsin, implanted the first Toric Implantable Contact Lens (TICL(TM)) in the U.S. clinical study on Thursday, August 29th. The patient was severely nearsighted with significant astigmatism (-10.25 diopters +4.00 diopters), barely able to see his fingers to count them. At twenty- four hours post-operative, his vision improved to 20/30 -1 diopter, good enough to pass a driving test without glasses.
The procedure was done under a clinical investigation of the TICL in the United States with patients having myopia in the range of -3.0-to 20.0 diopters and astigmatism in the range of 1.0 to 4.0 diopters. The United States Food and Drug Administration issued conditional approval for an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for the ICL in January. The clinical study will include 125 patients with one-year follow-up.
The TICL is the only posterior phakic intraocular lens able to both reduce pre-existing astigmatism and provide patient with visual correction for myopia. According to industry sources, approximately 20 percent of the population suffer from astigmatism, a corneal irregularity causing impairment of sight, with the percentage much higher among severe myopic patients, the market the TICL serves.
The patient, Ron Nagel said, "I have worn glasses since the first grade. The best part of the procedure was waking up this morning and being able to see the clock for the first time in my life without my glasses."
John Vukich, M.D., who performed the surgery commented, "This is the next step in the evolution of the phakic Implantable contact lens (ICL). We are now able to offer correction through one lens for extremely wide range myopia and astigmatism to a group of patients who had little or no alternatives before this." He continued, "I believe that STAAR has reached a milestone with this lens and look forward to enrolling patients as quickly as possible."
"We have been expanding manufacturing in Switzerland to allow us to efficiently make the Toric ICL and have achieved much improvement in this area," stated David Bailey, President and CEO for STAAR. "This is another important milestone in our commitment to provide innovative breakthrough technology to the ophthalmic industry and it benefactors."
Bailey added, "We firmly believe the development of the phakic implant market will be accelerated with the introduction of the TICL. Doctors and patients want the convenience of being able to correct moderate to severe myopia and astigmatism in one procedure. This, combined with the excellent quality of post-operative vision, will help drive demand for the product. STAAR led the industry with the development of the ICL and we intend to build on this leadership position with the Toric ICL."
The company also reported that U.S. clinical trial on the Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is showing excellent results. Helene Lamielle, Vice President of Scientific Affairs said of the trials, "We are very pleased with the clinical data on the ICL. Having received over a third of the clinical data on the three years post operative visits, there has been no surprises in the outcome, and we are very satisfied with the results."
Founded in 1982, STAAR Surgical Company develops, manufactures and globally distributes medical devices for use in refractive, cataract and glaucoma surgery. The Company's five product lines include silicone and Collamer(TM) foldable intraocular lenses and the Sonic WAVE(TM) phacoemulsification system, all of which are used during cataract surgery, the ICL(TM) (implantable contact lens) which is a refractive lens for the treatment of near- and far-sightedness and the AquaFlow(TM) Collagen Glaucoma Drainage Device. Regulatory approvals vary from market to market with all products except the Toric ICL(TM) available in Europe and all except the ICL(TM) in the United States.
For additional information, about STAAR Surgical, visit the Company's web site at http://www.STAAR.com or www.irbyctc.com. You may wish to contact David Bailey, President, STAAR Surgical, or John Bily, Chief Financial Officer, STAAR Surgical, at (626) 303-7902. To contact Bill Roberts, President, CTC, Inc., or Wayne Buckhout, CTC Inc., please call (937) 434-2700
Post 41493 by lkorrow Reply
Good post, pace.
OT: pace, On one side of the coin, I strongly disa
Post 41496 by lkorrow Reply
Satellite is alive and well in the cable TV space. I haven't heard anything on satisfaction levels with Internet accounts. As far as "trimedia" goes, satellite with its inherent delay isn't all that desirable for voice.
Satellite TV Tops in JD Power Study
Satellite TV continues to outrank cable in
terms of customer satisfaction, according to
the latest statistics from J.D. Power and
DirecTV was on top in terms of rankings,
with a customer satisfaction index score of
113. EchoStar's DISH Network was a very
close second, with a score of 111.
"Customer satisfaction goes beyond just listening
to your customers; it involves knowing what's
important to them and identifying and meeting
their diverse needs," said Bob Meyers, executive
vice president of customer satisfaction at DirecTV.
"Combined with our ability to offer our customers
assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
we continue to distance ourselves from cable by
providing a superior product, service and
television viewing experience."
Cable overbuilder Wide Open West was third,
with a 102 score, while another overbuilder,
RCN, was fifth, with a score of 99. Cox was
ranked the top cable provider - and fourth
overall - in terms of customer service, with
a score of 101 on the customer satisfaction
Besides Cox, all other cable operators ranked at or
below the industry average of 98. Adelphia
scored a 98, Insight earned a 97, Time Warner
Cable ranked a 96, AT&T Broadband scored a
95 and Comcast scored a 91, according to
the J.D. Power study.
Satellite TV interests celebrated the J.D. Power
news. Said SBCA President Andy Wright, Independent
studies, like this years J.D. Power and Associates
Cable/Satellite TV Study, continue to show that
satellite continues to best cable in the areas
most important to consumers, including
performance and reliability, cost, customer
service and billing."
Post 41497 by pmcw Reply
lk, Reports indicate that the satellite industry is sitting on about $3B of cap/ex. Merge or don't merge, they will spend and HLIT will get a reasonable share. I think it may take until Q1 2003 to resolve the issue (totally due to politics), but when it is resolved, HLIT will be looking a lot better. Regards, pmcw
Post 41498 by pdowd Reply
The respondents to that survey must be blind. I was a subscriber to Dish Network till our local cable provider Charter Media made digital cable available in our area. I happen to live in South Louisiana and we happen to get alot of rain and cloudy days, the signal on my Dish network system would invairably go out during rainy or even just cloudy weather and I had a very stong signal indicated on my reciever. I do not miss my Dish in the least.
Post 41499 by lkorrow Reply
Thanks pmcw, I've got HLIT on my radar!
Post 41500 by jbennett53 Reply
Czechsinthemail, Excellent post! With your permission I would like to send your post to my congressman and senators. IMO we are being drawn down a path which will lead to consequences we will wish we did not have to see. This being done to us by a man who probably would be terminated by his local school board because he couldn't get his students to pass government mandated competency tests.
Post 41501 by lkorrow Reply
pdowd, good to know rain and clouds are a factor. I don't know which band these things operate in . . .
Post 41502 by lkorrow Reply
Speaking of mergers in the satellite tv space . . .
Murdoch and DirecTV: Ready for a Rematch?
His News Corp., in fighting trim, may try again for the satellite-TV system
Last October, after dropping what was to be the deal of a lifetime--a $22.5 billion bid to buy DirecTV and close the loop on a worldwide satellite system--Rupert Murdoch ended up in a mogul-sized funk. The 70-year-old News Corp. (NWS ) chairman had been in and out of talks with DirecTV's parent, General Motors Corp. (GM ), for 18 months. When it became clear that DirecTV had slipped his grasp, a burned-out Murdoch thanked his negotiating team with dinner at New York's Remi restaurant, then decamped with his wife, Wendy Deng, to his Carmel (Calif.) ranch. In the following months, Murdoch vented frustrations by stepping up boxing matches with his longtime Aussie trainer.
Today, Murdoch, looking more fit than ever, is back in the swing--and showing off a leaner News Corp., too. After nearly two years of cutting costs and consolidating operations, News Corp. is among the media industry's fastest-rising stocks. Cash flow is up, and debt, long a Murdoch nemesis, is being paid down. News Corp. President Peter Chernin says the company is simply positioning itself to weather what could be an extended advertising recession. That may be. But those who know him best say Murdoch is shaping up News Corp. for one last chance at The Deal. "Rupert is still obsessed with DirecTV," says one longtime associate. "He's itching to get back at that deal."
Murdoch may get the opportunity some time after October, when federal regulators are expected to wrap up their review of the $28 billion bid for DirecTV by rival Charles Ergen's EchoStar Communications (DISH). Ergen insists the deal will be approved. But others figure the Justice Dept. and Federal Communications Commission won't let the No. 1 and No. 2 satellite companies merge.
Murdoch himself is taking no chances. For months, his lobbyists have been working Washington, and he has hired former New York Attorney General Robert Abrams to help chat up state attorneys general, who are likely to oppose the deal. Murdoch has even enlisted the help of religious broadcasters, who came out swinging against the EchoStar deal after Murdoch assured them that he could provide better access for their programming. In June, Christian conservative leaders, with Murdoch's help, filed a 472,000-name petition with the Justice Dept. claiming the merger would curb religious broadcasting. Murdoch's troops deny he has stoked the evangelists, but critics charge Murdoch is trying to make the opposition look stronger than it is. "We don't have any problem with News Corp. opposing the merger," EchoStar lobbyist Karen Watson says. "But it would be more legitimate of him to speak out directly rather than using surrogates."
All the lobbying underscores Murdoch's persistent belief in satellite broadcasting, not cable, as the delivery system of the future. Indeed, Murdoch's bet is looking smart as two cable companies are currently under federal investigation and the entire industry struggles to sell new digital and data services to help pare down the ton of debt taken on to upgrade systems. U.S. households subscribing to satellite TV services are expected to grow from 19 million this year to 26 million by 2007. Cable homes will remain static at about 70 million during that time, estimates consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
As satellite TV continues to win market share from cable, DirecTV's 10.7 million subscribers would give News Corp. crucial U.S. distribution and close the link between its 36%-owned British Sky Broadcasting service in Europe and Star satellite system in Asia, forming a worldwide network. That would provide enormous leverage for News Corp.'s Fox franchise, for example, to deliver its growing stable of movies, sports, and TV shows in the U.S. It cost News Corp. $300 million in fees to cable operators to launch Murdoch's Fox News Channel in 1996, and Murdoch is still paying cable operators to be seen. Murdoch declined to comment about his chances for DirecTV, but told investors on Aug. 14: "We'll see how the chips fall."
To prep for another go at DirecTV, prolific dealmaker Murdoch has shown some discipline recently. He backed off a high-stakes bid for Germany's bankrupt Kirch Media and is enlisting partners to share the risk for a $1 billion bid for Italy's Telepiu pay channel. Meanwhile, News Corp. execs have been bolstering the balance sheet, slashing $200 million a year with moves like cutting the number of made-for-TV movies Fox Television Network makes, hiring less expensive local cameramen for sports events, and finding partners to help pay for Fox films.
And in Hollywood, hits such as Ice Age and DVD sales from Planet of the Apes helped lift News Corp. revenues by 10% this year. Ratings are up at the Fox News and FX cable channels. With $1.5 billion in free cash flow, Murdoch has paid down $2 billion in debt while building a $3 billion cash war chest. Even the Fox network, where ratings dropped 6.5% last year, is on the mend. Its summer hit, American Idol, is providing a showcase to promote Fox's fall lineup.
Wall Street is buying Murdoch's new act. Since July 31, News Corp.'s stock has risen 19%, more than any other media company. "We're encouraged by their attention to free cash flow, strengthening the balance sheet, and management's restraint on the deal front," says Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Jessica Reif Cohen.
Don't look for more restraint from Murdoch, though, if DirecTV suddenly becomes available. And unlike his proposal last year--which called for creating a separate company for his satellite and technology holdings to be able to raise public money--this time Murdoch could likely tap his own balance sheet. John C. Malone's Liberty Media (L ), which last time around pledged $1 billion to help Murdoch get DirecTV, says he'll be back. Sources say that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ), which was in for $3 billion, would likely still be interested. Since it's unlikely a rival bidder would emerge again, one scenario has Murdoch paying just $6 billion or so for GM's controlling 30% stake in DirecTV's holding company Hughes Electronics Corp. (GMH ) instead of bidding for the whole company, says a top Murdoch ally.
A lot could still change. Ergen isn't likely to give up without a fight and could still offer concessions to regulators that might cinch his deal. DirecTV's management, which doesn't like Murdoch, could offer its own buyout plan. But Murdoch is back in the hunt. The funk has definitely lifted.
Post 41503 by jbennett53 Reply
pacemakernj, Your argument is valid but also has been used for every one of our military misadventures, Vietnam is one that comes quickly to mind. By the way what about the 3000 Americans who die every day of cancer and heart disease? The government spends very little on research, about 1 1/2%, compared to our military budget but day after day after day 3000 Americans die. Guess it helps keep Social Security solvent for the time being.
OT: Berkeley Campus Reverses Decision Not to Dist
Post 41506 by spirare Reply
100 jets join attack on Iraq
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
About 100 American and British aircraft took part in an attack
on Iraq's major western air defence installation yesterday in
the biggest single operation over the country for four years.
The raid appeared to be a prelude to the type
of special forces operations that would have
to begin weeks before a possible
American-led war. It was launched two days
before a war summit between President
George W Bush and Tony Blair in America.
The Prime Minister promised that Britain would be alongside
the Americans "when the shooting starts".
The raid seemed designed to destroy air defences to allow
easy access for special forces helicopters to fly into Iraq via
Jordan or Saudi Arabia to hunt down Scud missiles before a
possible war within the next few months.
Although only 12 aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs on
to the H3 airfield, 240 miles west of Baghdad and close to
Jordan, many support aircraft took part.
The strikes were carried out by nine American F15 Strike
Eagles and three RAF Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft
flying from Kuwait.
At least seven types of aircraft took part. Fighter cover was
provided by US F-16 Fighting Falcons and RAF Tornado F3s
from Saudi Arabia. RAF VC10 tanker aircraft flying from
Bahrain were among the support aircraft.
These also included EA6b Prowlers, which send out signals
to confuse enemy radar, and E3a Awacs aircraft that
co-ordinate operations and carry out reconnaissance of any
RAF Tornados also took part in the reconnaissance.
American central command refused to go into detail about
the number of aircraft involved in the raid.
It said: "Coalition strikes in the no-fly zones are executed as a
self-defence measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats
and acts against coalition forces and their aircraft."
The Pentagon said that the raid was launched in "response
to recent Iraqi hostile acts against coalition aircraft
monitoring the southern no-fly zone".
Iraq had made 130 attempts to shoot down coalition aircraft
The Ministry of Defence in London refused to confirm that
RAF aircraft had taken part, but defence sources said that
Tornado ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft played a
key role. The attack on what the American central command
described as an "air defence command and control facility"
was the first time that a target in western Iraq had been
attacked during the patrols of the southern no-fly zone.
Until yesterday, all strikes had been against air defence sites
in the south, around Basra, Amara, Nassairya and Baghdad.
Central command said it was still assessing the damage
caused by the attack. If the air defence installation was not
destroyed, a second raid is expected.
As well as blinding Iraqi radar to any special forces
helicopters, the loss of the H3 installation would allow allied
aircraft mounting major raids on Iraq a trouble-free route into
In a further sign that America was preparing for war, a
Pentagon official confirmed that heavy armour, ammunition
and other equipment had been moved to Kuwait from huge
stores in Qatar.
Thomas White, the army secretary, said: "We have done a lot
with pre-positioned stocks in the Gulf, making sure that they
are in the right spot to support whatever the president wants
Any war on Iraq is likely to begin with a gradual intensification
of attacks on air defences. But yesterday's raid appears more
likely to be related to the special forces Scud hunts.
It was the SAS which specialised in the attempts to hunt
down the Scuds during the Gulf war. Although the raids were
largely unsuccessful, they spawned a series of rival books by
former members of the regiment.
Mr Bush, speaking in Louisville, Kentucky, said that, besides
having talks with Mr Blair, he would be meeting the leaders of
France, Russia, China and Canada over the next few days.
He would tell them that "history has called us into action" to
oust Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq.
He said he was looking forward to the talks, but suggested
that the US could do the job on its own if need be.
"I am a patient man," he said. "I've got tools; we've got tools at
our disposal. We cannot let the world's worst leaders
blackmail, threaten, hold freedom-loving nations hostage
with the world's worst weapons."
Post 41507 by ttalknet2 Reply
WHEN ACCOUNTANTS ATTACK PROFITS: THE GAAP ACCOUNTING EXODUS
Seventy-four percent of semiconductor companies use pro forma accounting
T. J. Rodgers
President & CEO
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
A transcribed, edited version of a speech given to the Stanford Directors College on June 3, 2002.
"Our GAAP-based report misrepresents the finances of our company to our investors, necessitating the second, pro forma report."
THE NEXT MISTAKE: EXPENSING STOCK OPTIONS
"The Levin-McCain proposal ... would force us to treat stock options as both an expense and a dilution."
ACCOUNTING THEOLOGY VS. BUSINESS REALITY
10 pages of text in PDF format.
Good stuff: http://www.cypress.com/pub/gaapaccounting.pdf
Post 41508 by spirare Reply
As a matter of perspective,
when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the price of gold gained
over $40 to well over $400 an ounce and oil reached over $40 a barrel,
and when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1980 at the
time of the Iranian Revolution and the ensuing ?hostage
crisis?, the price of gold moved north
of * * * * * $850 an ounce * * * * *
and petroleum prices approached new record highs.
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Strong Buy; LT Rating- Strong Buy)
Post 41509 by maniati Reply
pmcw: That was a very good wrap-up of the options discussion.
supreme-apg: It would appear that your grip on that hammer exceeds your grip on options. But, hey, can you help me fix my sister's back deck?
OT: Article on gold-
OT: PMCW, you are right. Well said. But given the
Post 41512 by oldCADuser Reply
"Our GAAP-based report misrepresents the finances of our company to our investors, necessitating the second, pro forma report."
...or just does not represent them the way you would like them to be represented?
While I'm no accountant (the only "business" classes that I ever took were a couple of Freshman classes, one on Macro and the other on Micro Economics, as well as a Senior level class in Engineering Economics) but I always got the feeling that "Pro-Forma" reporting was like keeping two sets of books, where the second set was always handy when someone needed to explain why the first set didn't come out quite the way they wanted them to, at least that's the way it always looked from where I was sitting.
The company I work for, EDS, switched from Pro-Forma to GAAP several quarters ago and while the analyst still seem to want to try and second guess the reported numbers, it appears that our executives have been better able to stand up and say, "what you see is what you get" and defend their decision to change as the only way to have a truly "transparent" operation (their only complaint is that they have to compete with people still using Pro-Forma and once in awhile you get the feeling that they think the competition is taking unfair advantage of this, at least with respect to what the analyst conclude when trying to compare apples and oranges).
OT: PDowd, you're missing a key element in this. I
OT: pace, Perfectly stated. I understand and appr
Post 41515 by pacemakernj Reply
jbennett, are you sure every one of our military adventures went wrong? As for this one we'll see. The jury is still out. But I see no alternative. Now, to your second topic. As someone who is keenly aware of these two dreaded diseases (my family has been riddled with cancer) I believe people are working hard to cure both of these. That said, I once read an article that if we cured cancer and heart disease we would live to 120! Can you imagine that? Middle age would be in the 90's! What would happen to social security then? But there are always opportunity costs of money. This money has to be spent on this war.We have no choice. Let's hope for the best. My confidence is high on a positive outcome. It will not be easy, but than again any great struggle of good over evil is never supposed to be easy. Pace.
Post 41516 by ttalknet2 Reply
OCU: If you read the whole document it just might change your mind. He makes a good case against the tinkering and 'fictions' within GAAP which analysts ignore anyway.
Yeah, I'm no accountant myself. But I think I'm pretty good at understanding good logic, though not always able to identify lying within logical arguments.
Post 41517 by pmcw Reply
OCU, TJ does have several point of valor to make. GAAP stinks, but like you say, pro forma leaves too much room for cheating. This system benefits those who know how to read and CONTRAST (can't emphasize this aspect enough) income, cash flow and balance sheets. Of course, I would prefer to see a change to where an "official" statement could make it easy for all to see the real operations of a company. This still wouldn't end the need to contrast the three statements, but it would make it much easier.
PS: I'm still waiting for someone to point out where TJ took some significant liberties in his essay.
Post 41518 by pacemakernj Reply
Linda, I am a Directv guy and it is the best thing going. It is so superior to cable it's not even funny. Plus I get the NFL Sunday ticket which is the best deal in the world. JMO. Pace.
Post 41519 by lkorrow Reply
Pace, I read many moons ago if the social security fund was allowed to earn a normal rate of return, the system would be more than solvent. But will we ever see that! A friend told me the Bible says we have the potential to live to 145. What changes that would reap!
There's only going to be a positive outcome in the Middle East, we've got the greatest management team on Earth running the show as well as the most inspired men and women on the side of good.
Post 41520 by lkorrow Reply
Pace, that's cool, have you considered trying Internet service over it?
Post 41521 by Briguy Reply
We're going to war
Posted: September 4, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
America is going to war in the next 60 days.
That's what my intelligence sources are telling me. That's the message coming from administration officials. That's what other sources seem to be telling other journalists.
Sometime, most likely in November, America will begin a strategic aerial bombardment of Iraq that will lead shortly thereafter to an invasion designed to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.
It's a necessary mission.
Saddam Hussein not only has weapons of mass destruction in development, he probably has some crude chemical, biological and nuclear bombs already in his arsenal. The threat this maniac poses is only going to get worse in the next 12 months as his mad scientists work overtime on plans to kill Americans, Jews, Europeans and Israelis.
But this is a mission fraught with risk.
This is the job that should have been finished during the first Persian Gulf War. It will be messier this time. We don't have the forces on the ground we had 10 years ago. Our full attention is diverted from Iraq as we still conduct military operations in Afghanistan. We don't have the support real or hypothetical of the rest of the Arab world as we did during the first campaign.
There are likely to be heavy casualties as U.S. troops are forced to engage in close-up combat, searching palaces and underground bunkers for the factories that produce Hussein's weapons and the fortified warehouses where he stores them.
This will not be a walk in the park.
There is an excellent chance the war may come home for Americans, too.
Some reports say Iraq and its terrorist allies have already made plans to detonate weapons of mass destruction in America and Europe as soon as the war begins.
It may seem like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. That is indeed the case. This is the tragic legacy left by indecision and multinational agreements a decade ago. But we must clean Iraq's clock now or the situation will get even worse in the next 12 to 24 months as Hussein develops deadlier weapons and the ability to deliver them more effectively and accurately.
I have more often than not opposed American military adventures over the last decade. I believe they usually lacked focus, lacked constitutionality, lacked coherence, lacked perspective and lacked clean goals and objectives.
I have explained over and over again how the U.S. has lost its very understanding of "defense" giving over to the idea that it means projecting military power overseas rather than protecting the American people at home.
I have specifically objected during the last decade to what seemed like pointless bombing missions in Iraq designed, it seemed to me, for political impact in America more than military impact in Iraq.
Despite all that, I believe America must attack Iraq. There is no choice. Saddam Hussein must go. We must finish the job, finally. There is no turning back. Time is not on our side.
Here are some words of advice to our president as he contemplates these sobering plans:
Don't worry about world opinion. It will come around if America is clear in its mission and resolute in carrying it out.
Do concern yourself with congressional opinion. Like it or not, the Constitution is clear about Congress' war-making authority. That should be respected. In addition, if this campaign turns ugly, you will need Congress behind you 100 percent. Success has many parents. Failure is an orphan.
Do not stop short of the objectives of destroying Saddam Hussein's regime, his war-making ability and his ability to produce weapons of mass destruction in the future.
Do not politicize the war. Let the military men on the ground do what is necessary to win. Period.
Call for a national day of prayer before the first shot is fired.
Post 41522 by Briguy Reply
Dow 5000 coming soon?
I don't know. No one knows. And while I think it is foolish to try and predict where the Dow will be, I do agree with this writer that the Dow will be much lower in the months ahead. There is NO DOUBT in my mind we are going to war, and when that happens, the markets are going to tank big.
Hedge your bets people! I would be buying lot's of energy stocks if I were you!
Post 41523 by pacemakernj Reply
Linda, I have the optimum online service which is equally as good. Pace.
OT: Germans Arrest Couple Plotting Attack on U.S.
Post 41525 by pdowd Reply
"What is wrong with "Big Oil" in the first place ? ", you ask. Boy are you naive. I don't know what state you are from , but I can tell you the oil companies have decimated the state of Louisiana and have no intention of fixing any of the damage they have caused.
Oil companies have dug thousands of canals on our barrier islands and in our precious marshland and estuaries to float their oil rigs to drill for black gold. This has caused wide spread salt water intrusion and death to thriving fresh water marshes on an alarming scale.
Oil companies have pumped drilling mud and other by- products directly into the Gulf of Mexico vastly polluting our sea bottoms and any thing that lives there. Bottom feeding crustaceons and fish such as red fish are so full of mercury and lead that they are harmful to humans.
Yes "Big Oil" has payed its fair share of taxes , but watch out , for it will be naive TAX PAYERS such as your self that will pay to remediate all the damage that "Big Oil" has caused , not them.
Interesting that you mention plastics ! We have tons of chemical plants along the Mississipi River and guess what else -----tons of pollution too. Clusters of rare child hood cancers like neuroblastoma abound ,why they even have a name for the chemical corridor -- "Cancer Ally ".
Needless to say your little disertation has not convinced me of anything other than you naivete'. If I were the Bush's I would not be too proud of my ties too "Big Oil".
Post 41526 by lkorrow Reply
briguy, It's a shame Congress didn't take today's opportunity of convening Congress in NY to vote on that issue.
Post 41527 by lkorrow Reply
briguy, if we're already bombing targets, the "start" is going to be hard to define. I thought the markets might tank on that news, but now I don't think so. Only a blip. jmho.
Post 41528 by lkorrow Reply
Pace, Sounds good to me. I haven't "met" anyone yet who's using a satellite ISP. Should be fine, I'm curious how it's working out. If rain and clouds are impacting video, it sure could clobber data . . .
Post 41529 by spirare Reply
September 6 2002, Spot gold in New York settled higher at $319.90 an ounce, up $1.50 from
The price of gold was pressured by a strengthening U.S. dollar
against the euro and other currencies in the wake of news that the U.S.
unemployment rate dropped to a five-month low in August of 5.7%.
The drop in
unemployment surprised many analysts.
The news was not without a few
Kathleen Stephansen of Credit Suisse Boston points out that
this is not inconsistent with a ?jobless recovery?.
The increase in the number of
jobs was in the service sector while manufacturing jobs disappeared.
The drop in
the unemployment rate encouraged stock investors and the U.S. equities indices
gained on the news. However, gold's subsequent downside momentum was
limited by the general nervousness and uncertainty that war with Iraq could break
out sooner rather than later and the ever present threat of terrorist activity ahead
of the Sept. 11 anniversary.
This general unease is expected to limit gold selling
interest while ensuring a steady amount of buying interest on any dips over the
coming days, dealers said. They said that gold's recent upside bias is likely to be
retained, with the $323-325 area targeted over the coming days.
The price of
gold is still supported by other factors beyond the advance of the stock market.
Crude oil was closing back in on $30 a barrel.
Strikes by U.S. and British
warplanes against an air-defense facility in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq on
Thursday increased speculation in financial markets that a conflict with Iraq was
"Gold is being helped out by the firmness in crude oil and the war talk
in Washington," said Michael Armbruster, an analyst at Altavest.com.
that gold's price action, despite a firmer stock market, is a sign that the market has
"turned its attention to the Middle East over financial market concerns."
London gold was fixed this afternoon at $319.25 an ounce, up from $317.90 an
ounce at the morning fixing.
London-based analysts and traders pinned the latest
gains on nervous buying as Washington stuck by its goal of "regime change" in
Iraq and as the first anniversary of last year's attack on landmarks in New York
and Washington loomed. Strikes by US and British warplanes against an air
defence facility in the southern "no-fly zone" of southern Iraq on Thursday also fed
into buying for safe-haven gold, traders said.
"So long as prices remain supported
at $318, New Yorkers could well attempt to break psychological resistance at
$320, with $325 objective looming ahead," said Standard Bank London in a
"The same factors remain in play as before," said Rhona
O'Connell, of the World Gold Council, in a note to clients.
"Political tension is
combining with concerns over the equity and currency markets to prompt a
degrees of safe haven buying in the professional market."
Gold closed at U.S. $318.05 an ounce on Friday in Hong Kong, up $1.30 from
Thursday's close of $316.75.
Gold rose higher in Asia on Friday on sporadic
buying by hedge funds and dealers said. In the end gold settled nearly unchanged.
Concerns over geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and deteriorating
economic fundamentals continue to buoy gold.
"We have seen pretty good fund
buying today," said Greg Fan, senior dealer at NM Rothschild Hong Kong. "I
think that we are going to go higher.
People just don't want to be short over the
weekend," Fan said, referring to European and U.S. gold market players.
It is true there isn't a powerful surge of buying, but there is a
firmness in the underlying tone of the market," said a dealer with a market maker
Most market participants were content to hold long positions after the U.S.
stepped up its war talk against Iraq, some of these participants preferred to take a
profit after gold rose on news of an air strike on Iraq, traders said.
sources told ABC News the Thursday strike was the biggest in months.
In the last
few weeks, the U.S. and U.K. have struck three Iraqi regional headquarters,
cutting deeply into Iraq's ability to track planes over the "no fly" zone in the South
of the country, according to the ABC report.
"People have been getting
predominantly long over the last couple of weeks with the Iraq war talk, so they
took a bit of profit (today)," said Martin Mayne, a bullion trader at NM
Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Ltd. A small amount of selling by Australian gold
producers, particularly early in the day when the Australian dollar was weaker
against the U.S. dollar, also pushed gold lower, the traders said.
more were willing to stand pat ahead of the weekend break in light of increased
There has been a shift out of American equities and the U.S. dollar as investors
seek the safe haven of bullion holdings.
Gold purchases continue to be strong as
investors accumulate precious metals ahead of any major military conflict in the
Meanwhile oil broke higher as it headed over $US29 a barrel.
Higher energy costs act as tax on business because it is a vital commodity with a
cost that cannot be avoided.
Higher energy costs drop straight to both the
consumer and corporate bottom line.
This means that there is less cash available
to purchase nonessential items and for corporations to make capital expenditures.
Yesterday?s ramp up in the price of gold was attributed to buying mainly by
Morgan Stanley and Refco Group Ltd that carried over when pre-placed stop
loss buy orders in the $319.00-319.50 region kicked in driving prices higher early
The gold price could more than treble to $1,000 per ounce if western stock
markets suffer from a 20 year bear market, says Hugh Hendry, the manager of
the top-performing Odey Continental European fund.
"I think there are some
circumstances where the gold price could go to $1,000. Logically you could
construct an argument where the gold price goes up by several times its current
value," Hendry said. Hendry, who has invested in several gold mining companies
through his hedge funds and the Odey Continental European fund says a 20 year
stock slump is not as strange as it sounds.
"I think the equities market will fall for
20 years. From 1929 it was 25 years before the market recovered and some
stocks didn't come back for 40 years.
When will we see 40,000 in Japan again?"
Hendry, a partner at Odey Asset Management, said it was 'ridiculous' that some
market commentators think shares will bounce back in the next year or so.
"We've seen the biggest bull market in history and history demonstrates that the
intensity of any bull market is more than matched by the intensity of a bear
The S&P is on 37 times earnings. Bear markets end when stocks are on
six to seven times."
The talk of war and the looming September 11 anniversary
overshadowed news of rising U.S. employment, the strengthening U.S. dollar, and
the rising stock markets.
Gold strengthened as a safe haven investment as there
are still economic concerns beyond war and terrorism.
The price of oil sits around
$30/bbl and is likely to move much higher when war breaks out.
unemployment data caught many off-guard as it was expected that the
unemployment rate would remain at 5.9% or maybe even rise to 6%.
The unemployment data helped the U.S. dollar strengthen against other currencies and
pressured gold in the early New York trading session.
Gold rebounded and
ended higher as concerns over war took center stage with the Congressional
session convened in New York and the arrival of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
for a strategy session with President George W. Bush at Camp David this
***Interest in gold remains very strong as fund buying was mentioned in several daily reports and
discussions with dealers and traders.***
London - The gold price could more than treble to US$1 000 per ounce if Western stock markets
suffer from a
20-year bear market, according to Hugh Hendry, manager of the Odey Continental European fund;
When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1980 at the
time of the Iranian Revolution and the ensuing hostage
crisis, the price of gold moved north
of ***** $850 an ounce *****
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Post 41530 by danking_70 Reply
Saving Islam from bin Laden
By Christopher Hitchens
September 5 2002
In Nigeria a young woman sits holding a baby and awaiting a sentence of death. The baby is the main, if not indeed the sole, evidence against her. The baby is proof positive that the young woman has engaged in sexual intercourse. The form that the appointed death sentence will take is death by stoning, death in public, death that will make a crowd of participants into killers and the baby into a motherless child.
Why is this happening? It is happening because the Islamic forces in the northern regions of Nigeria want to impose sharia law, the primitive Muslim code of mutilation and retribution. Do the religious authorities propose to inflict this code only on members of their own congregation, who share the supposed values and taboos? No they do not. They wish to have it imposed also on Christians and unbelievers. This they already do in the regions of Nigeria that have fallen under their control.
But they also want to extend sharia to the whole of Nigeria, where Islam is still a minority religion and where the society is emerging with some difficulty from a lousy period of military dictatorship. In the sanguinary sectarian rioting that has resulted, portraits of Osama bin Laden have been flourished by the Muslim militants.
Now perhaps somebody will tell me how this - the stoning, the disregard of pluralism, the stupidity and the viciousness - connects to the situation in Gaza, or would help alleviate the plight of the Palestinians. Quite obviously, the clerical bullies in Nigeria are doing this because they think they can. Their counterparts in Malaysia and Indonesia, who want to declare absolutist Islamic republics in countries celebrated for their confessional and ethnic diversity, are not reacting to any "grievance" or suffering from any oppression. They simply think it obvious that the true word of god is contained in one book, and that further reflection is not only unnecessary but profane.
Why should this be our business? Well, a year ago I would have said without expecting to be contradicted that the answer to that was self-evident. There is a civil war raging within the Muslim world, where many believers do not wish to live under sharia any more than I do. This war has been at an incandescent pitch in Algeria, for example, for more than a decade. It is smouldering but still toxic in Iran, in Egypt, among the Palestinians and now in some of the major cities of "the West".
But the extremist and fundamentalist side in that war has evolved a new tactic. By exporting the conflict and staging it in Europe and America, it hopes both to intimidate and impress those who are wavering. This simple point was made, you may remember, in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania about 12 months ago, and we can be entirely certain that it will be rammed home to us again.
The most notorious manifestation of the other side in this two-front war is of course al Qaeda, which combines all the worst features of a crime family, a corrupt multinational corporation and a fascist gangster operation. I personally think we owe its demented militants a favour: by doing what they did last year they alerted the whole world to something that was hitherto only dimly understood.
And by taking their own insane ideology seriously, they ruined the chance for some more cautious and tactical fanatics to take over the Pakistani state, including its thermonuclear capacity, from within. They also embarrassed and isolated the equivalent faction within the oligarchy of Saudi Arabia.
Paradoxically, I think the world is a less dangerous place as a consequence of September 11, 2001. Until that day, we had been suffering severely from "under-reaction" to the most lethal threat to our civilisation.
This does not mean that a danger of "over-reaction", or mistaken diagnosis, does not exist. We are on the "right" side of this civil war in one way, because we have no choice. It is impossible to compromise with the proponents of sacrificial killing of civilians, the disseminators of anti-Semitic filth, the violators of women and the cheerful murderers of children.
It is also impossible to compromise with the stone-faced propagandists for Bronze Age morality: morons and philistines who hate Darwin and Einstein and who managed, during their brief rule in Afghanistan, to ban and to erase music and art while cultivating the skills of germ warfare. If they would do that to Afghans, what might they not have in mind for us? In confronting such people, the crucial thing is to be willing and able, if not in fact eager, to kill them without pity before they can get started.
But can we be sure we are on the "right" side of the Islamic civil war in the second sense? The holy writ on public stoning for sexual "offences" actually occurs often in the Bible and nowhere in the Koran, and much of the Islamic world is now in the position that "Christian" society occupied a few centuries ago. It has been widely discovered that you cannot run anything but a primaeval and cruel and stupid society out of the precepts of one rather mediocre "revelation". Muslims want to travel, to engage with others, and to have access to information and enlightenment (to which they have already made quite majestic contributions).
I am sure many people make the assumption that the United States, which is actually the world's only truly secular state as well as in some ways the world's most religious one - is on the side of those Muslims who want to practise their religion but otherwise neither to impose it or to be stifled by it.
However, the two regimes that did most to incubate and protect al Qaeda and the Taliban - the Saudi feudalists and the Pakistani military - were and still are on the official "friends and allies" list of the American establishment. The obscurantists and fanatics were nurtured in the bosom of the same "national security" apparatus that so grotesquely, if not criminally, failed to protect our civil society a year ago. And this is to say nothing about the central question of Palestine, where our military and political elite cannot with any honesty state to this day whether it has cast itself in the role of a mediator or a partisan, and has come to be widely and rightly distrusted as a consequence.
I repeat what I said at the beginning: the objective of al Qaeda is not the emancipation of the Palestinians but the establishment of tyranny in the Muslim world by means of indiscriminate violence in the non-Muslim world, and those who confuse the two issues are idiots who don't always have the excuse of stupidity.
However, this does not absolve us as citizens from the responsibility of demanding that our leaders be on the side of justice and of international law, for our own sake as well as everybody else's. And we may often have to uphold this view in spite of the unfavourable conditions - of "fallout shelter" paranoia and obsessive secrecy - that are created by our "own" governments.
There is no argument about the foe, in other words, and no real argument with it: only a settled determination to outlive and defeat this latest barbarism. Discovering friends and allies, discarding false ones and making new ones, will test our cultural and political intelligence to a hitherto-unknown degree. But the very complexity and subtlety of the task is one of the things that makes this war worth fighting.
Post 41531 by danking_70 Reply
The European Dialogue
Victor Davis Hanson
Are we friends, allies, or neither?
Europeans: Your proposed "adventure" in Iraq not only poses all sorts of practical problems for us, your allies, but also challenges the very reason d'etre of international accords. All these protocols, to the chagrin of the world, you have, in essence, violated time and again whether at Durban, the ICC, or your rejection of an entire series of U.N. mandates.
Americans: We gave up the idea a long time ago that our sworn-treaty allies would remember Argonne, the Bulge, the Berlin Airlift, or the specter of the Warsaw Pact. And we cannot think of too many times the tragedy of people dying prompted real risks on your part or any of your other organizations. Instead, just look at the present nature of the U.N. There are few liberal republics on the Security Council. Libya is the proposed head of a Commission on Human Rights, and the body has a poor collective record of stopping atrocity from Bosnia to Rwanda all coupled with shrill denunciation of the only democracy in the Middle East.
Europeans: One might say that the U.N. is at times both impotent and hypocritical without undermining its very charter or condoning, as it were, unilateral action that destabilizes international equilibrium. There is a complexity here that seems to escape you or at least some of you.
Americans: So show us where and how we have destabilized anything unless you believe that Kuwait, Panama, Grenada, and Kosovo are better places before than after the use of American force. Please demonstrate to us how theoretically outlawing racism at Durban or keeping obsolete agreements with a defunct Soviet Union helps world peace and security. In reference to your own behavior, we wouldn't allow an ex-Communist thug in Cuba to butcher 200,000 with impunity for eight years, before asking you to come over here to stop the bloodletting, a few hours from Miami. Perhaps you would say that our differing ideas of right and wrong arising from our different histories and national characters explain our present estrangement.
Europeans: No doubt. But surely unilateralism and feelings of exceptionalism don't help the relationship. But the issue is not theatrics of the American kind, but how to resolve difference.
Americans: You could be more multi- and we less uni- if you chose to defend yourselves and our mutual interests. You have more people and capital than we do. Yet you spend less than a third of our own outlays on defense. Is it idealism or plain old weakness that has turned you into knee-jerk supporters of dubious international accords bandied about by some really awful states?
Europeans: That is currently a popular, but simplistic American slur against us. We are closer to problems over here and have seen firsthand the wages of nationalism and its incumbent terrors. If we arm, you say we are returning to the world of Napoleon and Hitler; if we don't, we are seen as weak or cowardly. And what you call self-centered social programs at the expense of defense we feel is an evolutionary process a European way that looks first to mediation rather than crude force. And our preference for dialogue requires an informed, humane, and educated citizenry as part of the equation. Navel rings and Big Macs don't produce the type of sophisticated citizen who looks askance at simpleminded brute force.
Americans: NATO seems pretty brutal to us. Or at least you preferred it should be that "way" in the past with your continent facing Russian tanks. Perhaps you will embrace those views again should al Qaeda as promised obliterate the Vatican and you find your planes and carriers inadequate to sustain extended operations abroad against the network of your enemies. Maybe the "European way" will guarantee the world a steady supply of oil, corral North Korea and Iran, convince the Russians to integrate with the West, ensure that European states don't go nuclear, or demonstrate to the Germans and Japanese that there is no reason to rearm.
Europeans: Again, we tend to avoid hypotheticals and simplistic answers, but strive to use our economic and cultural power in more subtle ways to influence but not to repel moderates and neutrals. It is a holistic process. And it must be careful, judicious, and nuanced. Could you accept that the new anti-Americanism quite a global phenomenon actually is more than just your fondness for imperial overreach, but reflects a worldwide worry that America also has a habit of spreading an intrusive and often-crass culture?
Americans: Can you people at least decide whether as Leftists you object to our military power or as rightists you find our democratic culture reflective of a mongrel nation one that subverts your ingrained hierarchy and accepted protocol? So what are you guys anyway, Marxists or reactionary snobs or both? In fact, we are a revolutionary society of precisely the type Europeans on the barricade once demonstrated for before returning in failure to their lounges.
Europeans: We have heard it all before. We need not bring up stereotypes of the past when our present differences can be bridged with more American understanding of our own predicaments and less cowboyism on your part.
Americans: We sort of like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Cowboy is an interesting choice of words. We hear such rhetoric often and it is instructive because it emphasizes our quite differing pasts. With the marshal a three-day-ride away on the frontier perhaps we do define justice by deeds rather than words Kosovo is a good example. As a castoff people, we were supposed to fail, rather than create this enormously successful country. In that sense, as you would agree, we are a complete repudiation of Europe's allegiance to ancestry, pedigree, inherited capital, and class.
Europeans: Manifest Destiny, E pluribus unum, "your tired and poor" we know it all well, the fons et origo of the world's blessings and so on. Recall that we are talking of tactics among friends in dealing rationally with common enemies, not philosophical issues of Locke versus Rousseau that have no relevance in the present crises other than to inflame and incite. What we need is joint consultation to tackle these growing problems in the Middle East and to pose a united front, along with the United Nations, in changing the behavior, albeit incrementally, of Iraq.
Americans: We wish it were only a matter of tactics or increments when 3,000 of our own were blown apart and a lunatic seems intent on acquiring gas and nukes. From your own past rhetoric it seems that you would prefer us to remove a democratically elected Sharon rather than a murderous tyrant like Hussein. And you seem less bothered by EU money in the hands of West Bank bombers than American aid supporting elected government.
Europeans: Don't put words in our mouths. You don't know what we will do in the end, although you seem to demand open-ended commitments in lieu of ongoing joint consultations. Beware of European public opinion that such mischaracterization and rhetoric incite. Have you looked lately at America's standing in our EU polls?
Americans: Yes, we are almost as disliked over there as you are over here but not quite. In fact, if your elites are way out in front of your own people, our own policy-makers have not caught up with American public opinion. Your real problem is not that you are angry with us, but that Americans are finally becoming very angry with you. One Le Monde or Guardian rant may escape our notice in Billings or El Paso but not a hundred each month. You talk to the wrong people in America the very few in our media, universities, and government who worry that Boston and New York are not quite Paris and London. Most of us others could care less that Kansas City and San Jose are not quite Boston and New York. So be careful of getting what you wish for.
Europeans: Is that a threat as it were? Or simply more of the veiled bullying that this administration seems so comfortable with? Our bases, moral support, and covert help are, in fact, essential for your projection of power in this war against terror though predictably underscored by both Washington and your popular press.
Americans: Maybe, but take note about the present "adventure." Should you chose to stay home and ridicule though, of course, enjoying the benefits of a scattered al Qaeda and the demise of a killer-regime in Iraq you will find your, not our, NATO an artifact, a nuanced organization that issues lectures and impotent mandates while innocents die under its nose, rather than sending out planes and divisions something, in other words, very much like the United Nations.
Europeans: So that is the choice? Or, as you say, "My way or the highway"? Is that the sort of justice and sophistication we are now to expect from hyperpuissance?
Americans: We seem not to be talking of justice, when the world seems to care little about the presence of a madman who has a preference for extermination or thinks blowing up women and children by intent in Israel is the same as hunting down their killers. It is high time to confess that alliances are not theoretical constructs anyway. We think you are more ready to express NATO support for a Spanish frigate on a barren Moroccan island than to invoke Article V after 9/11. But as we said earlier, our problem is not enduring the coffeehouse fillips of French intellectuals, but trying to convince skeptical families in Indiana and Arizona why we must defend your soil with our lives and money over a decade after the cold war, when you seem so obviously displeased with us.
Europeans: If you insist on such reductionist thinking, at least don't confuse deliberate choices with intrinsic inability. That we have decided not to put our teen-agers on carriers and to divert their tuition money to F-18s does not mean that we lack either the resources or ability to arm as you.
Americans: Well you may be right. After all, your own Napoleon said that will is three-to-one over the materiel when war starts. So if the diplomacy of the EU is ever ignored by your less mature enemies, perhaps in the future European courage, rather than carriers and jets, will still see you through.
Europeans: Eh? What do you mean by this "you" rather than "us"?
Post 41532 by pacemakernj Reply
pdowd, ok so I am naive. That said, I am sure these problems existed when your buddy BC was around why didn't he fix them? AG was such an environmentalist where was he?
Post 41534 by srudek Reply
Pace: re your Iraq scenario.
I believe you posted the Iraq war this fall; gold shoots to the moon; victory by Xmas; Dow goes to 12,000 scenario approximately a month ago (could have been your twin bro, roof ;-)
Anyway, I wanted to acknowledge the call on step one. It remains to be seen how it plays out, of course, but I'm impressed to see the US moving so decisively so soon.
I hope Bush's motivations are, in fact, grounded in some time-sensitive intelligence rather than a perceived need to boost his ratings going into this fall's election. The history of the U.S. is that war is, as often as not, primarily a matter of political expediency. That's one thing I don't like about our government.
OT: Hey Griz !!!!!!
Post 41536 by pdowd Reply
For your information I despise Bill Clinton. I think that he is the anti-christ. By your reference to AG are you referring to Alan Greenspan ? You must have been at "Happy Hour " when you composed this post .
I really look forward to YOUR tax dollars being spent to restore the Louisiana coastline when the time comes, that is assuming you pay taxes.
You have good weekend and sober up !!!!