The Spies Next Door (jdargis)
Years ago, I remember, it was summer and a few of us were sitting around on the lawn trading stories. One neighbor told a tale about his days in the Coast Guard. I followed with the time I made three cross-country flights in a single day, one of them in a tanker accompanying a squadron of F-117 stealth fighters. It was 1990, the Gulf War was looming, and I was a wire-service photographer. For someone who hates to fly, it was a good day. Then an older neighbor spoke.
Jim Rogers: Investing during risky times (Herman J.)
When asked what the biggest risk is in the world today, Mr. Rogers said, “The Federal Reserve in the United States – they don’t have a clue what they’re doing. They’re running up staggering debts, Congress is running up staggering debts.”
On investing in Russia: “Russia is still an extremely cheap stock market and an extremely cheap nation with many fundamentals that are getting better.”
The West on the wrong path (Regina)
We interrupt our own train of thought: “History is not repeating itself!” But can we be so sure about that these days? In view of the war events in the Crimean and eastern Ukraine, the heads of states and governments of the West suddenly have no more questions and all the answers. The US Congress is openly discussing arming Ukraine. The former security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski recommends arming the citizens there for house-to-house and street combat. The German Chancellor, as it is her habit, is much less clear but no less ominous: “We are ready to take severe measures.“
German journalism has switched from level-headed to agitated in a matter of weeks. The spectrum of opinions has been narrowed to the field of vision of a sniper scope.
In my dad’s hometown of Rugao, a small city in Jiangsu province across the Yangtze River from Shanghai, state money transformed a dusty town into a metropolis of office towers, an uncountable number of 20-story apartment blocks, a stadium almost large enough for an NFL franchise, and wide boulevards densely lined with street lights… all in just five years.
“I don’t know where all the people will come from,” an elderly Rugao resident told my wife last year.
The Big One – 2014 Version – Maybe (GE Christenson)
A California 9.9 earthquake, Dow Index crash to sub-10,000, gold prices go parabolic, a possible Ebola outbreak in a major US or European city, derivative melt-down, another credit crisis, Ukraine becomes ground-zero for WW III, or maybe politicians “make nice,” paper currencies last forever, and there is fresh food and clean water for all.
So many possibilities, often so little clarity, but consider…”
Part of the problem is weak leadership by health ministries in the affected countries, which have never faced the disease and need help with hands-on management, Henckaerts said, calling for more WHO involvement.
“The WHO has a big responsibility to do more than just give technical advice,” he said.
Cashew Juice, the Apple of Pepsi’s Eye (jdargis)
The demanding demographic group known as millennials, as well as new consumers among the world’s emerging middle class, have a restless appetite that is driving food companies to experiment on a grand scale with flavors and ingredients whose appeal until recently were largely local.
While Tepco has been working to resolve this issue, it has also been expending what Mr. Tanaka deemed to be considerable resources on less important activity, such as continually monitoring radiation throughout the site regardless of levels of contamination and covered soil.
“It would be the best if you can keep all contamination from spreading. But what if another tsunami hits the plant and the highly contaminated water in the trench is discharged while you are trying to do everything?” Mr. Tanaka asked reporters.
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