I know, like me, you’ve been watching with some wonder as Israel gets called everything but a child of God for defending itself from hundreds of rockets being fired into its country and then having the unmitigated temerity to strike back. Now we have a member of NATO upping the tensions just a bit more:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described Israel on Monday as a “terrorist state” in carrying out its bombardment of Gaza, underlining hostility for Ankara’s former ally since relations between them collapsed in 2010.
His comments came after nearly a week of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. An Israeli missile killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians including four children in Gaza on Sunday.
“Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul.
I’d go through the litany of the whys and wherefores that detail why there are “civilian” casualties when Israel strikes back (hint: because that’s part of the plan when Hamas does these sorts of things as a means of swaying the ignorant and those who tend buy into the “poor, wronged victims” they love to portray themselves as), but you know them as well as I do.
We’ve talked about Turkey’s inexorable slide toward radical Islam for quite some time, so in reality, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Turkey, which once looked west has turned its view to the east and is eyeing regional power. Turkey knows that there’s one requirement to admission to power in that region, and that’s embracing and touting Islam. In fact, it is about embracing a radical form of Islam that refuses to recognize Israel or it’s right to exist. This is just another shot among many that Turkey has taken. The NATO reference just reminds us of the possible difficulties their membership could pose in a situation like this.
And speaking of the present situation, as soon as Israel strikes back we begin to hear the false arguments about “proportionality” begin to surface. No one mentions that 750 to 1,000 unanswered rockets and mortars have flown disproportionally into Israel, it’s always about those 100 air strikes the Israelis put into Gaza that are condemned as violating this new law of proportionality. Yes, proportionality is only a concern when Israel acts, not when the terrorists attack.
The real reason that it comes up at all is because Hamas surrounds its launchers with civilians and are lousy shots and Israel isn’t.
It’s just not fair.
Amazing, but not atypical of a lot of thinking in this country these days:
The union that brought the 85-year-old baker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread to its knees is holding out hope that a buyer will salvage chunks of the company and send the union’s members back to work, even as Hostess Brands Inc. gears up for a fire sale.
While Hostess has said the shutdown would result in the loss of more than 18,000 jobs and place the fate of more than 30 American brands in jeopardy, union President Frank Hurt said he believed there was “more than a good chance” that a buyer quickly would swoop in to buy the profitable parts of the company and give his union’s members their jobs back.
Give them “their” jobs back?
See, if I was a buyer, the last people I’d hire are those whose inability to think beyond what the union demanded they do that caused a company to liquidate and “their” jobs to go away. Because I’d not want to give them the chance to gum up the works at my company. So I’d ensure that they understood that “their” jobs went with Hostess.
By the way, Frank Hurt isn’t hurting. He’s still got his six-figure job with the union that “their” jobs, since gone, helped pay for.
Said Teamster Luigi Peruzzi, a Hostess driver in Detroit for 25 years:
“I think they [the Baker's union]made a terrible choice based solely on terrible information from their leadership.”
Not that their “leadership” will suffer for it or anything.
If you’re at all concerned about the economy, the answer is likely “not very well”:
U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.
Half of the nation’s 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.
Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined.
At the same time, exports are slowing or falling to such critical markets as China and the euro zone as the global economy downshifts, creating another drag on firms’ expansion plans.
Why are we seeing this happen? As it stands, most corporate spenders see no possibility of the hostility toward corporate America easing and also view whatever is to come in January concerning taxes and tax policy to likely be a lose-lose for them however it goes:
Corporate executives say they are slowing or delaying big projects to protect profits amid easing demand and rising uncertainty. Uncertainty around the U.S. elections and federal budget policies also appear among the factors driving the investment pullback since midyear. It is unclear whether Washington will avert the so-called fiscal cliff, tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin Jan. 2.
Companies fear that failure to resolve the fiscal cliff will tip the economy back into recession by sapping consumer spending, damaging investor confidence and eating into corporate profits. A deal to avert the cliff could include tax-code changes, such as revamping tax breaks or rates, that hurt specific sectors.
Or, as before the election, an unstable business climate persists which does not provide any incentive to expand, spend or hire. In fact, as indicated above, it is providing precisely the opposite incentives. It’s one reason the GDP forecast for the country has been downgraded again to 1.5% (Mexico, for heaven sake, has GDP growth of 3.2%).
But when you vote for the status quo, well, you get what you vote for — enjoy.
This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss Gen. Petraeus and Benghazi, Israel, and the Twinkie.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Employees at Los Angeles International Airport were considering plans Friday to walk off the job ahead on what is traditionally the busiest traveling day of the year.
A coalition of Southland labor and community leaders are calling for the protest of alleged violations by LAX contractor Aviation Safeguards (AVSG) after breaking their contract with the airport earlier this year.
Andrew Gross-Gaitan, the director of the Southern California Airports Division of SEIU, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that AVSG left more than 400 LAX workers without affordable family health care when it failed to comply with the city’s Living Wage Ordinance.
I’ve honestly never understood the mentality that says “if I can make your planned day as miserable as possible, maybe you’ll look upon my cause favorably”. Some Wal-Mart employees are considering the same sort of action and, I assume, think that those they inconvenience will then support them? Really?
Oh, and the bottom line here, which you’re likely not going to see included in many stories? The employees of AVSG voted to de-certify the SEIU. That’s right. This isn’t really about “living wages” or “affordable family health care”. This is another union, just like in the case of Hostess, throwing a collective tantrum because a company decided it didn’t want to play their silly and explensive games any more. It is another in a long line of examples of how unions have outlived their usefullness.
Company officials said their employees voted in December to reject or decertify their collective bargaining agreement with the SEIU before its expiration date. Since then, hourly wages have improved for the vast majority of employees, they said, and workers can choose the type of healthcare plan they want.
Goodness, higher wages (so much for the non compliance with the “living wage ordinance) and a choice of health care without having to pay union dues? Sounds like a win-win to me.
But the SEIU can’t imagine anyone rejecting them and they’re perfectly fine with trashing the holiday plans of others to throw their tantrum. Brilliant.
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
Industrial production fell -0.4% in October, while capacity utilization at the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 77.8%. Manufacturing was hit even harder, with production down -0.9%.
The net inflow of of long-term financial securities into the US fell sharply to $3.3 billion from last month’s $90.3 billion.
E-commerce sales in the 3rd Quarter rose 3.7%. E-commerce’s share of total retail sales rose from 5.1% to 5.2%.
In a case study of cutting your nose off despite your face, union members who walked out on strike at bankrupt Hostess Brands (makers of Twinkies and other well known products) and refused to return to work by yesterday have forced the company into liquidation. Of the 18,000 workers who will lose their jobs, about one-third were union members.
The company had offered a compensation package that had cuts (to include an 8% pay cut). These were necessary during bankruptcy reorganization to keep the company afloat. The union refused the package and walked out.
Apparently, 100% of nothing is much better than 92% of something … especially in this job market.
Congratulations Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco workers and the Grain Millers International Union, among others. You put the capital “S” in Stupid, Selfish and Shortsighted (a crown previously held by the former union members of Eastern Airlines).
But I’m sure this will somehow end up being blamed on “greedy Capitalists” and be declared a “market failure” by the usual suspects.
Obama has strained to make everyone believe he is open to “negotiations” on the tax rates in dispute that are leading us inexorably to this “fiscal cliff” everyone is talking about.
The word “negotiate” implies compromise. You give a little, he gives a little, you reach a deal neither really likes but both can live with.
He has no intention of giving anything. Why should he? He can’t run for a third term. He has nothing to lose if he stands his ground. Nope, the only one’s who have anything to lose in this one are the usual deer-in-the-headlights suspects. And, of course, Obama has someone else to blame:
By taking an absolutist line, he’s basically gambling that Republicans will be more reasonable than he is and will blink. But if they don’t blink and we go over the cliff, from his point of view so what? Mr. Obama then has an excuse to blame Republicans if there’s another recession. Meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on January 1 anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to make any tax concessions.
He pleases his left wing for which higher tax rates are a secular religion, while pinning one more defeat on Republicans. Lest you think this is a conservative fantasy, it’s more or less the tax cliff strategy that Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington advocated on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” and that labor leaders lobbied for at the White House on Tuesday.
So, as we wander toward Taxmageddon, fear not, either way it goes, Obama figures he wins. So why try?
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
Initial claims for unemployment rose a massive 78,000 last week, to 439,000. The 4-week moving average rose 11,750 to 383,750. Continuing claims rose 171,000 to 3.334 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index continues to rise, coming in at –33.1 versus –34.4 at last reading.
The consumer price index in October increased 0.1%, while the core rate,excluding food and energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI rose 2.2%, while the core rate rose 2.0%.
The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey for November plunged to –10.7 from 5.7 the prior month. The decline stems mainly from the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The Empire State manufacturing index in November rose to –5.22 from –6.16, showing little impact from Sandy, unlike the Philly Fed.