WHAT’S UP – This week a myriad of revelations on TORTURE have exploded. The eruption was centered on the release of a 2002 Bush administration “Torture” Memo.  We are wrestling with questions of greed, torture, an “unjust” war, and what used to be our moral leadership of the “free world.” What will the new tend(s) be?

AbuGhraibAbuse-standing-on-box

Abu Ghraib prison photo

We Don’t Torture

*John Stewart, as usual,  uses humor on a humorless subject to cut to the heart Video Link

* The 2002 Bush administration torture memo authored by Jay Bybee can be found here (its long)

*  Attorney General  Eric Holder in his confirmation hearing defined “water boarding” as torture. His opinion is the one that counts. Don’t remember what he said about other techniques described in memo.

* Does torture work? 3 points of view from – Editorial in Politico

  • Cheney – Yes Period.
  • Obama –  May work sometimes, but shouldn’t be used.
  • Hillary – No Period

* Ali Soufan the FBI supervisory agent, after 7 years, finally broke his silence over “the false claims magnifying the effectiveness of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques”  See editorial in NYT

* A Torture Timeline – From Foreign Policy (“a web exclusive”) 

 

Iran_couple_1

Photo – Iran torturing Gay’s –  Link - or worse Iraq - Link

Accountability

* Whose going to be held accountable?  Just the lowly flunkies at Abu Ghraib? Already the NYT has called for the impeachment of Jay Bybee.  In the comments section of the blog Popeye seems to want the heads of Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld on a pole. 

* So what do we do? Is Popeye right?  Obama is tip toeing on the top of a picket fence in avoiding a decision. If Obama falls onto the fence – ouch

  • A hyper political trial in the middle of a world wide economic meltdown
  • Just turn this page in history and forget about it?
  • Nail the lawyers (Bybee and others) and let the rest go?
  • Another solution?

Post YOUR comments at the bottom of the blog (preferable) or send them to me and I’ll post them under anonymous or under an alias.

STOCKS


Index Percentage % Volume
Dow +0.89% down
NASDQ +0.37% down
S&P500 +0.99% down
Russell2000 -0.87% -

 

Technicals & Fundamentals

Mantra -Forget all about the major indexes - What happens to the shadow banks (financials) absolutely dominates stock  trading.

Earning season continues - 

XLF - The ETF that tracks financials (mostly shadow banks) rose +4.70% in decreased volume.  Financials have lead this rally and if they  collapse so will almost all other sectors (see Positions section of blog on XLF) This leading index is the one to watch.

The XFL is consolidating between @ 9.4 & 11.3. XFL closed at 10.70.

The major fundamental is that the government is going to announce the results of a “Stress Test” on the 19 major shadow banks on May 4th. However, today the Banks start to get the preliminary info.

If all (or almost all) the banks pass the “stress test” it will be looked at as a phony.  If a bunch of banks fail then they will get toasted and others might rise.  This is all very vague and no one knows the criteria for the stress test.

Long Term Outlook = CAUTIOUSLY BEARISH

See Changes in STRATEGY, POSITIONS, & OVERVIEW sections of blog 

AS ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE INVESTING! 

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