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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [International]

If you've been reading me for a while you know that you can count the number of times I've agreed with anything Obama has said or done on the fingers of one hand.

However, the latest Israel kerfluffle is one of those times.

Bibi has, for years, lied on the international stage about his "commitment" to an actual two-state solution with the Palestinians.  He never meant it, however, and in the closing days of his re-election campaign he said what he really meant and thought: Never, so long as I'm in charge.

Ok, fine and well enough.  Israel is an independent nation and is free to make a such a declaration and decision.

However, we and other nations are free to condition our political support for Israel in the international arena on their willingness to formally withdraw from and recognize the sovereignty of a nation and people that were supposed to have been established at the time of the Partition when Israel itself came to be as a formally-recognized state entity.

I fully recognize that a number of Arab nations turned around and declared war when that happened, and that they lost.  However, unless you wish to argue that might makes right in the general sense and toss the Camp David accords on the bonfire of history, along with everything that may (read: probably will) come from doing so then this unilateral declaration of Bibi's with regard to occupation and annexation of land is just as unsupportable as was the decision to attempt the same by the Arabs.

I "get it" that people argue that Israel is the "only friend" we have in the Middle East.  But what sort of "friend" are they?  Israel has made clear for quite some time that it is a Jewish state, not a secular republic.  In this regard it is little different than Saudi Arabia in taking an official government stand on the preference of one religion over another.  The difference between the two is one of degree rather than character, and I find that problematic.

While Israel is free to run their nation as they see fit just as I believe we should not be lending support to Saudi Arabia I cannot, as a matter of consistency and conscience, support Israel either for the same fundamental reason.

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A French prosecutor has apparently made the statement that the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed a few days ago had the descent initiated as a voluntary act and apparently locked the pilot out of the cockpit.

The cockpit voice recorder appears to have documented the event with enough clarity for that conclusion to be reached.

The motive for this act is still unclear; the prosecutor is not characterizing this as terrorism, but that statement seems to be more than a bit at odds with the statement that the co-pilot intentionally and manually initiated the descent and refused to open the cockpit door.

The debris field also appears to confirm controlled flight into the ground; it appears the plane was intact at the time of impact.

More as we learn it...... 

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It will soon be time for the sign again, I suspect...

(Bloomberg) -- Greece’s anti-austerity coalition is considering calling a referendum on government policy as euro-area finance ministers are set to withhold further aid payments at a meeting in Brussels tomorrow.

It has been separately reported that the "reforms" submitted by the Greek government have already been brushed off as ineffective and inadequate.  In other words, they were to stuff it, which is exactly the opposite of what everyone in the European system was saying a couple of weeks ago.

I've never understood why people buy this crap from the various so-called "ministers."  Further, I suspect the current Greek government knows that there is a very real risk of pitchforks, torches, boiled rope and lampposts in their futures, with good and justified cause, if they try to sell out to the ECB, IMF and Germany (aka "The Troika", no matter whatever they're calling it now.)

The only way such a government could remain legitimate, given the mandate that got them elected, would be to put to the people the proposed things that the Troika wants and have them separately approve it.  But the odds of such an approval hover somewhere near that of Christ's Second Coming within the next week, in my estimation.

Therefore, if you've bet on the markets and economy predicated on a Greek roll-over, well......

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