Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The horrific acts in Brussels today are mystifying.  That humans would act in this manner toward their own kind defies rational understanding.  But rather than focus on what cannot be explained it is also remarkable to note the reactions from leaders of the world and leaders of business to these events.  The Leader of the Free World goes to a baseball game with a murderous thug who with utter contempt rejects any thought of releasing his people from a totalitarian rule even in the face of a gentle nudge from his guest.

Had Il Duce cut off his visit and immediately returned to the U.S. it would have made no difference in the continuing events to be sure, but the absolute lack of understanding what his refusal to so do in an symbolic sense is quite mind-blowing.  A member of NATO had just been attacked by a group of madmen who call themselves a nation.  It would be altogether proper for Belgium to invoke Article 5 which it still might do, but the President is so unconcerned regarding the threat he goes to a ball game messaging the world that a fifth-rate nation run by thugs is more important than a NATO ally and significantly more important to his own self-absorption.   The timing of the attack might have been influenced by the recent successes of the Belgian security forces but the loci of the assaults were not.  These were attacks not just at Belgium but at the center of European governance and the NATO command.  In the Middle of Holy Week.  It is really quite brilliant.  Europe, being torn asunder by the refugee crisis created in great part by the same terrorist organization has everything now multiplied by this act of carnage.  Already are fears being raised that this is the final nail in the coffin of the EU.  And Obama is at a ball game...in Cuba...with Raul Castro.

Perhaps I am too critical of Obama because people who should know better reacted in much the same way; the markets did nothing.  The DOW was down a bit; NASDAQ was up a bit; commodities did little if anything and bonds were of little interest.  There was one movement that was noted: the Pound was crushed.  I would be willing to speculate that in the high street betting shops the odds for BREXIT just shortened considerably and will be shorter tomorrow.  If the vote is "yes," David Cameron is gone, heavens knows what happens then and the EU is effectively finished.  I am at a loss to explain any of this.  By the way, does anyone know how the game ended?

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