Dec 212014
 December 21, 2014  Posted by at 10:56 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Edwin Rosskam Provincetown, Massachusetts 1937

Michael Moore once famously – though by no means famously enough yet, because he was so dead-on – said that ‘you can’t declare war on a noun’. If only Americans had paid better attention. That would have shone a whole different light on, if not outright prevented, insane, expensive and terribly deadly concepts such as the ‘war on drugs’ and the ‘war on terrorism’. Now it looks as if John McCain is fishing for a fresh noun to declare war on.

Talking about Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Franco’s ‘The Interview’ movie, and the hackers known as ‘Guardians of the Peace’ who made Sony Pictures pull the movie’s Christmas release, McCain told CNN’s State of the Union that “It’s more than vandalism. It’s a new form of warfare that we’re involved in and we need to react, and react vigorously.” President Obama earlier said the opposite, that it’s not war, but vandalism.

I’d say it’s neither, it’s a bunch of hackers who penetrated Sony’s digital systems quite deeply, encouraged by the apparent lack of true security used to protect the systems. In essence, I don’t understand what either Obama or McCain are doing talking about the issue in the first place. The FBI claims they are certain the hackers are North Korean, but they have provided no proof of that claim. We have to trust them on their beautiful blue eyes.

I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait. The year of ‘beautiful blue eyes’, in other words. Never no proof, you just have to believe what your government says.

But so, maybe they were/are North Korean hackers. And then? Is it such a bad thing that a group of people show us that the US is not the world’s sole master of technology, that there’s a certain degree of democracy, or of equality if you will, when it comes to computers and high tech? Doesn’t seem all that bad to me. It would seem much scarier if one party controls it all.

It might be worse of those same people hack the Pentagon, or the control of nuclear weapon systems, but I’m thinking it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to assume those systems are better secured than Sony’s movie-related files. If not, you can’t really blame the hackers for that.

And I know, maybe I should shut up about the whole thing, it’s not really my field, is it, but then, shutting up is not one of my strong points. You see, there are a few things about the whole ‘The Interview’ issue that I simply don’t understand.

I have no idea why the American President goes on TV to simultaneously protect and chide a Japanese company. It just seems weird. Or why, now that Vladimir Putin, and Russia as a whole, have been declared such awful people and such terrible enemies of the US that they need to take the place of Cuba as the worst possible adversaries of the American Dream and suffer blinding sanctions, Obama still reaches out to Russia for help against North Korea and its alleged team of hackers.

I’m trying to find the logic in all this, and I fail. I also don’t understand why the board at Sony pictures agree to spend who knows how many millions of dollars to produce a movie that evolves around the assassination of a head of state. I mean, I’ll be the first one to agree that the Kim Yung-Il and Kim Yong-Un dynasty looks strange to our western eyes and standards, but still, we’re talking about heads of state.

So me, I start wondering what other people’s ‘funny’ assassinations Sony would have agreed to finance a movie about, and whose deaths Rogen and Franco would have found sufficiently amusing to make that movie.

I’m guessing, albeit with with a certain degree of confidence, that attacks on the Japanese royal family would not have been on the list, given Sony’s origins. I also very much doubt the movie would have been made if the Pope had been the ‘comedic target’, though that would also have been redundant, since The Godfather 3 already features the murder of a Pope.

Perhaps my questions are better explained by using as potential victims of a CIA murder plot examples such as Queen Elizabeth, or her adorable little great-grandson prince George, William and Kate’s firstborn and future king of England if that is God’s will. I think in those potential cases, and I could name many more, Obama himself is an obvious one, the humor factor would be way less than now that Kim Jong-Un is the – fantasy – victim.

And if such a movie would have been made not by Rogen and Franco, but by people from North Korea, or perhaps, ISIS, or Venezuela, or Russia or East Ukraine, I’m thinking ‘WE’ would not be amused at all, and John McCain would be on Sunday morning talk shows spewing his convictions that said movie was an act of war against the US, and/or the free world as a whole, whichever comes first, and ‘we need to react vigorously.’

I sort of understand why Rogen/Franco figured it was a funny topic, but I don’t understand why they thought so for more than two seconds, and I certainly don’t see why Sony gave the project the go-ahead. It all doesn’t look terribly smart to me, none of it.

America creates its own enemies out of thin air, because that keeps the empire going and the people obediently following that empire, I get that. But don’t get started about -artistic – freedom of expression, because if you want to play that card, let’s all laugh our socks off about little baby Prince George or his great-grandmother being killed. Or Malala, not a bad example either. That would make Seth and James real men.

Now, they merely look pretty dumb. But I know, that’s just in my eyes, and for many other people it will be different. But people laugh to a large extent because their ideas have been shaped by the images, ideas and pictures the media feed them, whether it’s about Kim Jong-Un, Obama, Malala or little Prince George.

Murdering people is hardly ever a reason to laugh, and murdering heads of state, no matter what you, or your media, may think about them, is even a little bit less so. It has a lot to do with respect. So if you try anyway, don’t be surprised if there’s a bit of a backlash.

One last thought: if The Interview had not been about a head of state, but about an ‘ordinary citizen’, what do you think the odds would have been of the US head of state getting involved in the whole mess? Maybe there is some respect after all… And now we return to our regular scheduled programming…

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    Edwin Rosskam Provincetown, Massachusetts 1937 Michael Moore once famously – though by no means famously enough yet, because he was so dead-on – said
    [See the full post at: About That Interview]

    John Day

    Here are a couple of good articles about that Sony hack. The FBI was really late to the party with its secon-round-unfounded-accusations, sorta’ like Iraqi WMDs.
    American Everyman takes a good look at it with references and snippets, Ilargi-style.
    North Korea says it can PROVE it didn’t do the hack (a hard thing to do), and without resorting to CIA-style torture.

    V. Arnold

    America/Americans are firmly in the grip of lunatics…

    John Day

    Ellen Brown teases out that Trojan Horse to TBTF Bankers for their derivatives losses, in the CROmnibus bill, which is now law. It’s just this little 5% of derivatives exposure, nothing really, and all in the commodities arena, things like crude oil, mostly.
    There’s about $16 trillion in backing to banks on those price hedges they sold so many of to drillers and oil companies, which are fabulously out-of-the-money now.
    Whew! Just in time…

    Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

    Golden Oxen

    The entire Interview episode is “Imbeciles in Action”

    Much Ado About Nothing.

    Diogenes Shrugged

    The official, but discredited Benghazi narrative had something to do with Muslims being offended by a dumb YouTube video. The absence of an adequate rescue attempt suggested to some people that the whole affair was a CIA false-flag setup.

    The official Sony hack narrative has something to do with Communists being offended by a dumb movie. Drop the other shoe. Was a CIA false-flag setup waiting in the wings thwarted? It sure seems to me like Obama and McCain wanted that movie shown.

    Had the movie been shown, what would have happened? Maybe another 9/11 sort of thing. A small, CIA-planted nuke to vaporize a Japanese city, the talking heads immediately blaming Kim, speculation that he was scoring points with China, and a loud drumbeat for regime change.

    And then … regime change.

    Just a conspiracy theory. Never mind. Everything in the world is exactly as it appears on the surface.

    Diogenes Shrugged

    “I think if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. ”

    Exactly. Intentionally. By design. It’s all part of the plan.

    Dr. Diablo

    Not to be a killjoy, but nouns are the ONLY thing you can declare war on. Nouns such as “France”, “Russia” or “Nazi Germany.” You could even declare war (although less-successfully) on abstract nouns like “murder,” “poverty,” or “discontent.”

    What you CAN’T declare war on is a METHOD. “Terrorism” for example, is a method. So is the cavalry charge. But if someone is your enemy, it doesn’t do much to declare their method of attack illegal does it? You already vowed to murder them. Like, say, if Kentucky riflemen are shooting at the bright red “X” of your Regulars? If you’re already at war with them for other reasons, the method of combat used is really beside the point, nor if you stopped using that method would the war miraculously end, for the root difference of culture and outlook would remain. Gripes about method are just sour grapes for when you adolescently hoped your enemy would attack you where you are strong instead of where you were weak. Newsflash: in the adult world, that never happens.

    A noun is a person, place, or thing.


    Raul, firstly to say thank you for daily writing effort, I regard it as the most important read of the day and feel I have been educated no end with regard to some complex issues. Another writer I greatly admire is John Hussman for his fact based historical analysis of the market. In his latest weekly comment he makes a conclusion that the USD is roughly 10% overvalued at present. I felt his evidence for such a conclusion was uncharacteristically weak and unsubstantial.

    I know in the past you have had the view that the USD will tend to strengthen, would you care to agree/ dispute his conclusion?


    Rapala, all prices/valuations rise or fall not in continuous fashion but with adjustments along the way. The dollar appears to have finished a large upward wave, so a 10% correction (or more) is a reasonable call at this stage. After that the larger upward trend will resume.


    Good catch, Dr. Diablo. To refine it further, I think it would be more accurate to say that you can’t declare war on a thing (or place). War is on people. What do you think?


    Rapala, complex story with many factors playing in. I glances through John’s piece, and I’m for instance not sure I like his harking back to 2000 for a euro valuation, I think things have changed too much to still run with that. What I think will be important in boosting the USD is emerging markets, from which dollars will find their way home. I don’t think the US will like it, or at least not the full extent of it, but what can they do?


    “Emails Reveal US State Department Influenced Sony’s “The Interview” so as to Encourage Assassination and Regime Change in North Korea
    The emails also reveal that a RAND corporation senior defense analyst who consulted on the film went beyond “blessing” and outright influenced the end of the film, encouraging the CEO of Sony Entertainment to leave the assassination scene as it was (in spite of misgivings at Sony) for the sake of encouraging North Koreans to actually assassinate Kim Jong-Un and depose his regime when the movie eventually leaks into that country.”
    This quote is from which is referencing, this site is unavailble right now other wise I would give more details.

    Formerly T-Bear

    Memory may be amiss but the referred remark was to the effect:

    … you cannot declare war on a tactic

    sometimes recall in an era of amnesia – only for the brave. YMMV

    Dr. Diablo

    Not sure, when I wrote it I was surprised to discover you could declare war on an abstract, or maybe even a method if you’re crazy enough to try, the problem was that the effect was ever-less successful. So a people as an abstract is no better. All of them everywhere? The Race? The nation? Who owns passports? Those who are in the resistance? Who knows? The point is it’s all UNSUCCESSFUL, poor prosecutions of war.



    You nailed it. Have a Happy Holiday!



    Diversions, diversions,,,everywhere diversions.


    This is the best article I’ve found on the issue to date:

    Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea.


    The obvious comparison which I have not seen anywhere in the (British) media is with Hillary Mantel’s recent short story called “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” published in a collection of the same name. This was published after Thatcher was actually dead, and there was a huge outcry from the same people complaining about The Interview’s cancellation.


    I think the answer to the question why NK has to take the beating is in this :

    “Imagine if General Shoigu and Premier Li Keqiang were discussing North Korea. Background: Putin has been reaching out to Glorius Leader Kim’s regime, and we know the deal Putin would want to get done with Pyongyang’s regime: Give up the nukes, and the Double Helix will protect you. Give up the nukes and we’ll force the U.S. to leave the Korean peninsular. Give up the nukes and China and Russia will develop your infrastructure. Give up the nukes and begin integration with the South economically and that process will include Russia and China. Give up the nukes and you will never walk alone.

    North Korea could look at Iran and see that Russia and China have shielded Iran. And if Iran moves away from nukes, the Double Helix protects her. Syria has given up chemical weapons and Syria, for all the ISIS and NATO chaos, stands because of Russia and China.

    Let us take a look again at General Shoigu’s itinerary. Who did Shoigu go to after Beijing? Pakistan. Who aids North Korean nuke program? Pakistan. Shoigu was not traveling this route in this sequence by happenchance. (35) China is drawing Pakistan away from the U.S. and wants to coordinate anti-terror operations with Islamabad. There also is the withdrawal of NATO and the U.S. from Afghanistan. Russia, China and Pakistan will take on this burden in order to get development of the Eurasian Silk Road and Economic Belt established. Everything is changing in South Asia. China and Russia will fill the vacuum. (36)

    It is quite the nature of China to encourage Russia to send symbolic messages to those who might need another tap on the head. Iran and North Korea are regional and global threats that the Double Helix wants to turn into partners and markets.

    Tough Cop?

    Shoigu went forward with that “portfolio”. He represented ‘the base-paired one’. The Chinese know their limits and their weaknesses. They might bully the Southeast neighboring fishermen and even cut off an American naval ship. But they are not the tough cop Russia is. The Chinese are the soft interlocutor, the mollifier. The only time China gets tough is in business negotiations or if you insult the Party or the People.

    However, this nuclear disarming or chemical weapons disarming small regimes is the rough and tumble of the street and alleys, something Russia knows and China does not aspire to. It takes a 8th Dan martial arts President who destroys opponents with his armed forces in real world combat to get the focused attention of Pyongyang and Islamabad. He did in Syria and is doing it in Iran. He generally uses military protective shield with economic development deals.

    North Korea is desperately trying to weaponize their atomic devices. (37) Pakistan would be the bearer of this technology. It is conceivable Pakistan’s military assistance deal with Russia, signed by Shoigu, would have ‘rewards’ for staying out of North Korea’s nuclear program.

    The meeting in Beijing just may have been to assure Shoigu that all the financing needed to stabilize the Korean peninsula will be available if and when Putin gets Kim to join with the sovereignists and force the Hegemon off the Korean Peninsula.

    Putin invited Kim to Moscow for the 70th anniversary celebration of the Soviet victory over Germany. This follows Putin’s meeting with the special envoy of Kim, Choe Ryong-hae, who was invited by Putin one month ago, in November 2014. (38) Personal meetings and messages are going back and forth and it’s not about victory day next year.

    Regional Effect

    What this would mean for China and Russia beyond safety and security is a new market, more easily exploited mineral resources, a fast developing economy that can use what both nations have. North Korea can add additional military as regional reserve forces should the Hegemon linger in Asian Pacific. Nuclear disarmament automatically means South Korea is actively drawn into the Eurasian Economic Belt. It leaves the region with no threat against the Hegemon’s allies, Japan and Philippines. America’s Pacific Century ends when the nukes go away in North Korea.”

    Diogenes Shrugged

    LudwigVon60, please provide attribution for your lengthy quote. Was it one of the featured articles today? I objected to the author’s absurd misuse of the term “double helix,” but I also disagreed with the pseudo-erudite analysis. I’d just like to know who not to waste time reading in the future. Thanks.


    The leaked emails reveal concerns about the movies profitability, speculating it would be a commercial flop. The production company stated that the hacking is likely to have been an inside job, requiring familiarity with the email accounts.
    Because this movie is now perceived as important, controversial and exclusive, with limited availability, instead of remaining obscure, its commercial success is ensured, maybe tripling box office returns because of this much-publicised hacking incident.

    Hence there exists a motive, and also exclusive means and opportunity, for Sony to have hacked themselves as a marketing ploy to sell this movie. The US gov. could have collaborated in the narrative for an easy opportunity to demonise NK, or to create another mandate for tyrannical cybersecurity legislation. This account seems more likely than an actual political cyber attack by NK.

    Gravity is the Supreme Ultimate algorithm.

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