Here Thar Be Monsters!

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15.4.11

Dateline - Singapore

One table, four people, five languages.

I love traveling.

"I noticed coming in to Singapore a lot of ships sitting out in the harbor.  Is business that good?"  I thought it was a reasonable assumption, given the 'busy' look of things.

"They're stacked," Azzam said.  He's Jordanian and has 75 ships, and a number of other big-money interests on the side.  Kind of a quiet Onasas.  "Business is way down now and there are more than 500 ships stacked off of Singapore.  It's the same everywhere."

Stacked means 'parked indefinitely,' in ship talk.

"Bulk dry is down more than 20%, petro tankers more than 30%, and container is down more than 40% from 2008.  The only reason dry bulk is holding up is because food prices keep going up, is all," Azzam said gravely.

It didn't sound encouraging, at all.  I sucked on my beer thoughtfully.  I looked over at another companion.  Tafiq is in the shoe business in Indonesia.  He is here trying to drum up some new buyers.

"How's the shoe business?" I asked, sucking beer-foam off my moustache.

"We're doing OK, but Japan hurt us and things were already slow.  America is not buying like it did a couple of years ago," he explained.

"But I was watching the news this morning.  News Channel Asia, I think it was.  One analyst was saying that America is coming back, Japan is not nearly as bad as everyone is saying, and everything will improve in the second half."

The entire table chuckles morosely, as if they just heard one of those jokes that is both repulsive and funny at the same time.

Mark is an analyst with a large accounting and audit firm.  "We're seeing a lot of M&A out of Japan.  I've got a pile of due diligence projects on my desk.  The Japs are bailing out and they're looking for just about anything to keep the supply line going.  Even the Japanese government is talking about moving out of Tokyo.  Problem is they can't think of anywhere they can go to get away from the clouds."

"Should I be worried here in Singapore?" I ask.

We all look up at the clear night sky reflexively.  No one answers that one.

I've been pondering the Fukushima thing.  Was it MIHOP, or a surprise, or did it go off too soon?  There's evidence on all sides, though arguably most of it is circumstantial.  Since HAARP's website has been down, there's no way of knowing whether it was cranked up before 3/11.  I do note the 11 in the date, as well as the 3.  Those PTW just love those number things.  I'm leaning towards the MIHOP theory.  Why?
Well, I suspect that a lot of the DU ammo the US has been dumping all over the Middle East is probably from the Japanese plant to keep the mess from being tracked back to Uncle.  But the amount that has been dumped on Iraq, and now on Libya, was starting to show up in all sorts of inconvenient places...like food.

By blowing up the Fukushima plant, it was a perfect means to cover tracks.  Now, there's plausible deniability.  Now, when someone says, "Hey, there's radiation in my soup," Uncle can just say, "Oh, don't worry.  It's Japanese.  Here, we'll just raise the safe limit.  All better?"

Of course, we'll probably never know the truth.  The truth has been so deeply buried that us regular grunts won't be able to dig it all out in a thousand years.

A guy yelling into his cell phone in Hindi at the table behind us shakes me from my thoughts.  I lay out the idea to the table.

"Coiuld be.  Who's to say," Azzam answers.  "Only Allah knows, and He keeps many things from us sometimes."

Tariq just shugs and Mark stares at his beer.  Perhaps he's trying to catch a little glow in it.

I fly home tomorrow with my spanking fresh work visa.  What do I care if the world goes to hell in a hand basket?  I'm eating and I have all my needs met.  Who cares if my children grandchildren and great-grandchildren won't have a plaent to live on?  I got mine, right?  No worries, mate.

We all part ways after a delicious roast duck dinner and a handful of ice cold Tiger beers.  We all had that look on our faces, like "I wonder if we'll all still be here tomorrow?"

But hey!  Green shoots!  Unemployment claims are down!  The federal budget was slashed $352 million.  The BRICS are calling for an end to the dollar.  And Libya will submit to World Bank control or BURN BABY!  I all part of The Plan.  It's been published for years.  You mean you never read The Plan?  You really should.

Sometimes I wish I coud be the Joker: "I don't have a plan.  I just do!"

A great way of life, if I could achieve it.  Right now, I have to follow My Plan and get back to Jakarta.  Being on the road is tiring for us old guys.

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