Making Up For Lost Time: US Drops ‘A Month Of Bombs’ On Syria In One Night

Never one to miss out on some heavy "shock and awe", Bloomberg reports that the U.S. dropped almost as many bombs and missiles on Islamic State positions in Syria in its first night of airstrikes there as it did in the first month of attacks on the extremist group in Iraq. It appears American foreign policy comes down to this, "it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission," as the offensive unleashed 200 precision-guided munitions including 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and also got to play with its new F-22 toy in its first combat mission. The first night of airstrikes was “only the beginning,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman, told reporters.

 

The "allied" airbases…

 

As Bloomberg reports, the U.S. dropped almost as many bombs and missiles on Islamic State positions in Syria in its first night of airstrikes there as it did in the first month of attacks on the extremist group in Iraq.

The offensive two nights ago, joined by five Arab nations, used about 200 munitions, most of them precision-guided, as well as some of 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles that were launched from two warships, according to U.S. Central Command. That rivals the 253 bombs and missiles aimed at the Sunni terrorist group’s positions in neighboring Iraq from Aug. 8 to Sept. 10.

 

 

The overnight attacks hit compounds, storage facilities and even a finance center of Islamic State, which has seized a swath of Iraq and Syria. The first night of airstrikes was “only the beginning,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman, told reporters.

 

 

The attacks also counted on the Tactical Tomahawk, the newest version of the cruise missile made by Raytheon Co., which can be redirected in mid-flight.

 

“You fly it, and it can receive changes in targeting, changes in direction,” the Navy’s chief of operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, told reporters last year. “It can go up and actually loiter.”

 

 

The barrage dwarfed the airstrikes in Iraq so far under President Barack Obama, some of which took out targets as small as a single Humvee or a roadside bomb.

“There’s an expectation that the U.S. needs to bolster defense spending because some of the challenges that we face are larger than” the Pentagon budget will provide, said Howard Rubel, a New York-based analyst with Jefferies LLC.

Mayville disclosed the F-22’s first combat mission by showing a photo depicting damage it inflicted on part of an Islamic State command-and-control center in Raqqa.

 

The fighter delivered munitions guided by Global Positioning System satellites against the facility, Mayville said. Designed as an air-to-air fighter with a secondary ground-attack mission, the F-22 is equipped to drop two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions made by Chicago-based Boeing Co.

 

It was vindication of sorts for a plane never before used in combat that Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said in 2011 “may very well become the most expensive, corroding hangar queen ever in the history of modern aviation.”

 

In 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, citing its limited utility, capped the F-22 program at 187 aircraft after $67.3 billion has been spent. Congress approved.

 

The Government Accountability Office said in March that the Air Force planned to spent $11.3 billion more to upgrade the jet and “address the aircraft’s reliability and structural problems.”

*  *  *

And the military assets involved agasinst Islamic State…

 

*  *  *

Of course, the potential blowback concerns have just begun – as we noted here.




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3 Reasons Apple Should Run

By: Chris Tell at http://ift.tt/146186R

It’s a massive waste of time. I told Mark so but he wouldn’t listen; he still sat down to watch the elections taking place in New Zealand, his new found homeland.

No matter where you’re located in the world, if you watch TV – which I don’t – then you’re likely to find it pretty tough staying away from the media circus that follows election campaigns like a swarm of magpies circling a fish and chip packet.

It’s the same story with every country I find myself in. Politicians convincing those who are listening, which is regrettably a lot, that they’re as necessary as penicillin, and further promising all manner of absurdities. That these absurdities, or promises have the life expectancy of a veal calf never seems to phase the hoi polloi, who keep coming back for more each election year. This time “my guy” is going to fix things. Right!

You can’t complain about this. Sure they make me want to exhale liquid, but criticizing politicians for failing to deliver on promises is like criticizing your underwear for not making very good french toast. Taking a look at the lineup of political candidates from all around this ball of dirt leaves you with a niche group of sociopaths sporting the collective intelligence of a box of nails.

This got me to thinking about Apple (AAPL:NASDAQ).

About 2 years ago I severed the PC umbilical cord, ditched Microsoft software and delved into the world of Apple, purchasing a trusty little Macbook Air. Along with my iPod which I use for running, it’s the only Apple product I’ve come into contact with.

I’ve been impressed and am now amongst “the converted”. I can now watch mindless politicians such as this guy try to explain that Guam will capsize, all without my system crashing. Excellent! Honestly, I haven’t had any issues with the product at all.

It got me to thinking. Why doesn’t Apple run for office?

They clearly know how to get things done. They promise and deliver and have brought products into the world which people willingly pay for and desire. They’ve employed entire suburbs of people, and the turnout for their product launches are spectacular.

iPhone 6 Launch Hong KongTaken in Hong Kong a couple days ago: customers queuing for the new iPhone.

Why not indeed?

Technology has advanced at an unbelievable speed since I was a wee tot wetting my pants, so I ask myself why has politics not advanced at all? We still continue to parade these podium donuts out with the inevitable disastrous results. No wonder sales of Tylenol and Xanax are going through the roof.

Let us for a minute consider 3 stereotypical political campaign promises, and deal with them one by one:

  1. Provide jobs
  2. Reduce taxes
  3. Provide better quality services and products

Provide jobs: Firstly, government doesn’t provide jobs, plain and simple. They can get out of the way to allow for job creation, as Peter Thiel tries to explain to this TV anchor, but they most certainly do NOT create jobs.

Secondly, the so called “jobs” they do create are “created” out of a monopoly position and/or are unnecessary and a net deficit to society. Every government job could likely be done by the private sector better and for a profit. Side thought: I know I’ve already made some readers irate so please do me a favour and send your hate mail to:wtf@itmakestoomuchsense.com.

Apple, on the other hand, employs nearly 600,000 people in the US alone, and has created countless more jobs on the periphery of their products.

Reduce Taxes: Taxes will go down. OK, for anyone capable of 5th grade math, which excludes a large swathe of the population, this is basically saying that the cost of government to the consumer will go down. Unless you’re based in one of the rapidly growing markets of the world take a look around you and see how this one is playing out.

Apple, of course, doesn’t tax customers. We can see that the cost of Apple goods has remained pretty consistent with inflation, so while it hasn’t reduced it’s cost to consumers it hasn’t increased them either.

Provide better quality services and products: Oh boy. Where to start? Healthcare, schools, infrastructure, police. Then there is the incredibly tedious, mindless waste of time paperwork in order to get anything done.

When was the last time you had to fill out government paperwork?

If it’s anything like that which I’ve experienced, it likely involved a stack of documents, in paper not digital format. Let’s compare this with anything which Apple puts out. Anytime you fill out something on your iPhone it uses witchcraft to correct your poor spelling, it syncs with your other devices seamlessly thus helping those of us who regularly leave things lying around… as we’re able to find documents, emails, websites, effortlessly… and it fits in your little pocket. Try that with a stack of government paperwork.

Better quality of products: The first iPhone out was 7 years ago and was reputedly an 8GB model for $599. At the time it was an amazing device. Today’s latest version is arguably twice as good, with 16GB to start, will launch a rocket if you could actually figure out how it all works, and costs less than 10% more at $649.

I think on those 3 campaign topics Apple beats any of the candidates I’ve seen anywhere. They deliver.

When last did your government deliver to you something that amazed you? No, drone strikesprivacy breachesvote rigging or smoking crack do not count.

Apple, on the other hand, deliver to people all over the world videos of Asian men falling off motorcycles, sports results, and women playing with themselves in Ohio. In short Apple, like Google and a hundred other private companies out there actually know and understand their market and clientele. Politicians, on the other hand, simply profess to be working for their clientele and market but clearly don’t have a clue.

Based on the above I feel pretty confident that if we put Apple
in charge they’d run a country for the better. For starters parliament or it’s equivalent wherever you are living would be replaced with a war room full of innovators, excited, energetic smart people looking to create not destroy.

A side benefit would be that those little men who currently screw so much up would be forced to go find a real job. Who’s with me?

– Chris

 

“We may have to force people to get together in terms of picking a particular type of technology and starting to build to that technology, as opposed to everybody exercising their right to buy their own system, you know, at will.” – Michael Chertoff,  2nd US Secretary of Homeland Security under George W Bush, and Co-author of the US Patriot Act, possibly the most destructive piece of legislation ever written




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Disconnected Deja Vu Double-Take

US equity markets ramped vertically this morning, catching up to USDJPY’s early exuberance… the trouble is – we’ve seen this before (yesterday) and as Europe closes maybe Bonds and Credit are on to something…

 

Deja vu all over again

 

But USDJPY is holding it together..

 

 

As it seems the market just wants to get The Dow green post-FOMC…

 

Charts: Bloomberg




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Top U.S. Consitutional Expert: Obama More Extreme Warmonger than Bush or Nixon

Jonathan Turley is perhaps the top constitutional law expert in the United States (and a liberal).

Turley told MSNBC that Obama is worse than Bush or Nixon in launching unilateral, unconstitutional wars:

Other constitutional experts agree.




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ISIS Splinter Group "Caliphate Soldiers" Beheads French Hostage In Algeria

A new armed group in Algeria calling itself the "Caliphate Soldiers"  – a re-splinter from Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS – has, according to AP, beheaded a Frenchman abducted in Algeria in a video posted online on Wednesday, after giving a 24-hour deadline to Paris. Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old hiker from the southern French city of Nice, was kidnapped on Sunday by Jund al-Khilifa, which demanded France stop its air strikes against IS in Iraq.

 

The initial threat video sent 24 hours ago…

Masked men seen in the new video give the French government 24 hours to stop its offensive against ISIL, otherwise Gourdel “will be beheaded”.

The French foreign ministry has confirmed the video’s authenticity.

 

“We confirm the authenticity of the video showing images of French hostage HervĂ© Gourdel, kidnapped in Algeria in the region of Tizi Ouzou on Sunday (September 21). The threats made by this terrorist group show once again the extreme cruelty of Daech (Islamic State/ISIL) and those who say they are affiliated to it,” the ministry said in a statement.

And now, as SITE reports…

Reuters has some color on this new terrorist group,

A breakaway of key Algerian commanders from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, would show deepening rivalry between al Qaeda's core command and the Islamic State over leadership of the transnational Islamist militancy.

 

The newly created "Caliphate Soldiers" or "Jound al Khilafa fi Ard al Jazayer" is the second group to break with AQIM, the first one being Mokhtar Belmokhtar's group "Those who sign in Blood" who observers say are likely based now in southern Libya.

 

"The new group will try hard to make some noise, but it will be very difficult to execute big terrorist actions as Algerian security forces have knocked out most of the armed groups in Algeria," local security analyst Anis Rahmani said.

*  *  *




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1xg6xJ8 Tyler Durden

ISIS Splinter Group “Caliphate Soldiers” Beheads French Hostage In Algeria

A new armed group in Algeria calling itself the "Caliphate Soldiers"  – a re-splinter from Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS – has, according to AP, beheaded a Frenchman abducted in Algeria in a video posted online on Wednesday, after giving a 24-hour deadline to Paris. Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old hiker from the southern French city of Nice, was kidnapped on Sunday by Jund al-Khilifa, which demanded France stop its air strikes against IS in Iraq.

 

The initial threat video sent 24 hours ago…

Masked men seen in the new video give the French government 24 hours to stop its offensive against ISIL, otherwise Gourdel “will be beheaded”.

The French foreign ministry has confirmed the video’s authenticity.

 

“We confirm the authenticity of the video showing images of French hostage HervĂ© Gourdel, kidnapped in Algeria in the region of Tizi Ouzou on Sunday (September 21). The threats made by this terrorist group show once again the extreme cruelty of Daech (Islamic State/ISIL) and those who say they are affiliated to it,” the ministry said in a statement.

And now, as SITE reports…

Reuters has some color on this new terrorist group,

A breakaway of key Algerian commanders from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, would show deepening rivalry between al Qaeda's core command and the Islamic State over leadership of the transnational Islamist militancy.

 

The newly created "Caliphate Soldiers" or "Jound al Khilafa fi Ard al Jazayer" is the second group to break with AQIM, the first one being Mokhtar Belmokhtar's group "Those who sign in Blood" who observers say are likely based now in southern Libya.

 

"The new group will try hard to make some noise, but it will be very difficult to execute big terrorist actions as Algerian security forces have knocked out most of the armed groups in Algeria," local security analyst Anis Rahmani said.

*  *  *




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1xg6xJ8 Tyler Durden

Citi Previews How It All Ends, In One Chart

It doesn’t get any simpler than this chart showing global monetary policy response to “secular stagnation”, i.e., the situation the world finds itself in right now.

A few notes. The reason there is secular stagnation is because the economy crashed after the last, housing, bubble (which itself was a response to the dot com bubble preceding it) reached epic proportions and burst.

So what is going on now is merely the global central bank cartel reflating the next bubble, and final, bubble.

Central banks may be doing so with good intentions, “to get back to full employment”, but the bottom line is the entire world is now gripped in what is without doubt the biggest asset bubble in history.

The good news: everyone will be able to top-tick the bubble and sell just before everyone else sells…

And yes, we admit the title was a little misleading: Citi shows us where we are, but it does not chart what happens after the final bubble bursts. We leave it to readers’ imaginations to fill in the blank.

Source: Citigroup




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vcsMeW Tyler Durden

3 Reasons Apple Should Run

By: Chris Tell at http://ift.tt/146186R

It’s a massive waste of time. I told Mark so but he wouldn’t listen; he still sat down to watch the elections taking place in New Zealand, his new found homeland.

No matter where you’re located in the world, if you watch TV – which I don’t – then you’re likely to find it pretty tough staying away from the media circus that follows election campaigns like a swarm of magpies circling a fish and chip packet.

It’s the same story with every country I find myself in. Politicians convincing those who are listening, which is regrettably a lot, that they’re as necessary as penicillin, and further promising all manner of absurdities. That these absurdities, or promises have the life expectancy of a veal calf never seems to phase the hoi polloi, who keep coming back for more each election year. This time “my guy” is going to fix things. Right!

You can’t complain about this. Sure they make me want to exhale liquid, but criticizing politicians for failing to deliver on promises is like criticizing your underwear for not making very good french toast. Taking a look at the lineup of political candidates from all around this ball of dirt leaves you with a niche group of sociopaths sporting the collective intelligence of a box of nails.

This got me to thinking about Apple (AAPL:NASDAQ).

About 2 years ago I severed the PC umbilical cord, ditched Microsoft software and delved into the world of Apple, purchasing a trusty little Macbook Air. Along with my iPod which I use for running, it’s the only Apple product I’ve come into contact with.

I’ve been impressed and am now amongst “the converted”. I can now watch mindless politicians such as this guy try to explain that Guam will capsize, all without my system crashing. Excellent! Honestly, I haven’t had any issues with the product at all.

It got me to thinking. Why doesn’t Apple run for office?

They clearly know how to get things done. They promise and deliver and have brought products into the world which people willingly pay for and desire. They’ve employed entire suburbs of people, and the turnout for their product launches are spectacular.

iPhone 6 Launch Hong KongTaken in Hong Kong a couple days ago: customers queuing for the new iPhone.

Why not indeed?

Technology has advanced at an unbelievable speed since I was a wee tot wetting my pants, so I ask myself why has politics not advanced at all? We still continue to parade these podium donuts out with the inevitable disastrous results. No wonder sales of Tylenol and Xanax are going through the roof.

Let us for a minute consider 3 stereotypical political campaign promises, and deal with them one by one:

  1. Provide jobs
  2. Reduce taxes
  3. Provide better quality services and products

Provide jobs: Firstly, government doesn’t provide jobs, plain and simple. They can get out of the way to allow for job creation, as Peter Thiel tries to explain to this TV anchor, but they most certainly do NOT create jobs.

Secondly, the so called “jobs” they do create are “created” out of a monopoly position and/or are unnecessary and a net deficit to society. Every government job could likely be done by the private sector better and for a profit. Side thought: I know I’ve already made some readers irate so please do me a favour and send your hate mail to: wtf@itmakestoomuchsense.com.

Apple, on the other hand, employs nearly 600,000 people in the US alone, and has created countless more jobs on the periphery of their products.

Reduce Taxes: Taxes will go down. OK, for anyone capable of 5th grade math, which excludes a large swathe of the population, this is basically saying that the cost of government to the consumer will go down. Unless you’re based in one of the rapidly growing markets of the world take a look around you and see how this one is playing out.

Apple, of course, doesn’t tax customers. We can see that the cost of Apple goods has remained pretty consistent with inflation, so while it hasn’t reduced it’s cost to consumers it hasn’t increased them either.

Provide better quality services and products: Oh boy. Where to start? Healthcare, schools, infrastructure, police. Then there is the incredibly tedious, mindless waste of time paperwork in order to get anything done.

When was the last time you had to fill out government paperwork?

If it’s anything like that which I’ve experienced, it likely involved a stack of documents, in paper not digital format. Let’s compare this with anything which Apple puts out. Anytime you fill out something on your iPhone it uses witchcraft to correct your poor spelling, it syncs with your other devices seamlessly thus helping those of us who regularly leave things lying around… as we’re able to find documents, emails, websites, effortlessly… and it fits in your little pocket. Try that with a stack of government paperwork.

Better quality of products: The first iPhone out was 7 years ago and was reputedly an 8GB model for $599. At the time it was an amazing device. Today’s latest version is arguably twice as good, with 16GB to start, will launch a rocket if you could actually figure out how it all works, and costs less than 10% more at $649.

I think on those 3 campaign topics Apple beats any of the candidates I’ve seen anywhere. They deliver.

When last did your government deliver to you something that amazed you? No, drone strikes, privacy breaches, vote rigging or smoking crack do not count.

Apple, on the other hand, deliver to people all over the world videos of Asian men falling off motorcycles, sports results, and women playing with themselves in Ohio. In short Apple, like Google and a hundred other private companies out there actually know and understand their market and clientele. Politicians, on the other hand, simply profess to be working for their clientele and market but clearly don’t have a clue.

Based on the above I feel pretty confident that if we put Apple in charge they’d run a country for the better. For starters parliament or it’s equivalent wherever you are living would be replaced with a war room full of innovators, excited, energetic smart people looking to create not destroy.

A side benefit would be that those little men who currently screw so much up would be forced to go find a real job.

Who’s with me?

– Chris

 

“We may have to force people to get together in terms of picking a particular type of technology and starting to build to that technology, as opposed to everybody exercising their right to buy their own system, you know, at will.” – Michael Chertoff,  2nd US Secretary of Homeland Security under George W Bush, and Co-author of the US Patriot Act, possibly the most destructive piece of legislation ever written




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1xg6rRI Capitalist Exploits