What We’re Watching

In no particular order and with no ranking of importance as we see it: Global seismic and geothermal activity. Are the events linked and if so will activity increase? Japanese monetary policy. Will Abenomics finally implode and take the Japanese bond market with it? The US presidential race. What happens with and around Trump may Continue reading »

Bits and Pieces – 20180415, Sunday

Commentary

Trump got to fire his missiles and save face: Trump Orders Military Strikes On Syria: 3 Waves Of Airstrikes Launched. The generals got to brag: “We Successfully Hit Every Target”: Highlights From Pentagon Press Briefing On Syria Airstrikes, minor possible technicalities aside: Syria Claims It Intercepted 71 Out Of 103 Cruise Missiles; Pentagon Denies.

Apparently the three targets were largely abandoned anyway so no Russians or Iranians were killed although the Israelis decided to take out a few Iranians on their own: 20 Dead After Israeli Warplanes Reportedly Attack Iranian Military Base In Syria. Inquiring minds might wonder if bombing a chemical weapon storage facility is wise unless no weapons are present.

As for the Donald, he’s a showman and a true politician judging by the number of times he reverses himself: “These ‘Freedom Fighters’ Fly Planes Into Our Buildings” – A List Of All The Times Trump Warned Against Attacking Syria.

Bits and Pieces – 20180413, Friday

Commentary

Our focus remains on Syria. While Trump has taken a step back, assets are still being assembled: A Second US Tomahawk-Capable Destroyer Enters The Mediterranean. As the article notes the US won’t have the USS Harry Truman carrier strike group in place until April 22, and the military would not want to launch an attack with such high risk without all their pieces on the board. We expect the rhetoric to continue.

The wild card is Trump. How can he back down? The longer he waits, the greater the risk that an independent investigation may be able to be conducted that might exonerate Assad.

Bits and Pieces – 20180411, Wednesday

Commentary

In a recent unreleased Bits and Pieces, I started to formulate a reorganization of the format to help focus my thinking in several areas. This post has the preliminary format.

Some years ago I formulated the position that the two great threats to civilization – our society, culture, politics and geopolitics – where socialism and Islamism. I would now add a third – globalization or globalism. Interestingly, Bits and Pieces has never had categories for these movements. While this fact invites more thought on my part as to why, the topics that have emerged are the ones that I see as having more direct impact on daily life. Right now, war is the dominant one, in all its manifestations. To this end, this inaugural post retains all the category and sub-category headings. Future posts will not show empty topics.

Ontario’s Debt: Down the Rabbit Hole

I have written in the past about the duplicity of the Ontario Liberal budgets in speaking only of net debt. The 2018-19 provincial budget was released on March 29 and I will comment briefly on how it handles the topics of debt and deficit. But first a discussion of net and total debt.

Bits and Pieces – 20180331, Saturday

Trade Wars: Martin Armstrong has some interesting perspectives on the US moves, in this very short blog post: Protectionism & Trade Wars. The next article looks at the role of vehicles in trade wars between the EU and the US: France And Germany Clash Over US Car Tariffs. But consider this graphic from the article:

Bits and Pieces – 20180325, Sunday

Commentary: This edition of Bits and Pieces is rather long in the tooth and perhspd less coherent than usual.

Tree Fruits – Plums

This document reviews the major plum cultivars recommended for Ontario in the Plum Cultivars – European and Japanese factsheet. In it, the term cultivar is any horticulturally recognized and named type or sort that can only be maintained through vegetative propagation or the use of selected breeding lines and seed sources.

Cultivars and requirements are described below.

Bush and Fruit Tree Nurseries in Ontario

The Ontario Government provides a list of fruit tree nurseries: Fruit Tree Nurseries in Ontario. Some of the entries do not have an on-line description. Some are wholesale only and some are highly specialized or limited in selection. The following is a list of the more diverse sources with appropriate comments.

Bits and Pieces – 20180314, Wednesday

Trade  Wars: We are at the early stage of a global trade war. Whether it escalates or can be ended without too much damage remains to be seen.

Today (Wednesday) the new US trade figures came out with the deficit at an all-time high. Trump will use this to entrench his position: Fuel For The Protectionist Fire: US Trade Deficit Surges, Ex-Petroleum At All Time High. The political basis for staging a trade war is presented in the following article: Barclays: Trade Wars Are Economically Costly But “Smart Politics”.

In the meantime there’s not a lot out of our government other than to say that they are not pleased: Trudeau calls Trump’s trade war ‘unacceptable’ as Canadian officials reach out to U.S. administration. Silence on Canada’s part may in fact be a wise strategy unless the silence indicates they have no clue on how to respond.

Bits and Pieces – 20180306, Tuesday

Commentary: If Trump continues, trade wars will be the start of the end ushering in the collapse of most markets and pricking the debt bubble. This is serious stuff. Be sure to see the 19 second video of our Rime Minister in the next section.

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