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Syriausly? - Scott Adams' Blog

Syriausly?

Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of unpleasantness or another. It is not intended to change anyone’s beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.

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Back in March I predicted a 20% correction in the stock market sometime in 2013. I based the prediction on my hypothesis that the financial markets are manipulated by a loose network of big players. I have no hard evidence for that hypothesis. All I know for sure are the following facts:

1.      Markets act in a way that is consistent with manipulation.

2.      The big players have the means and the motive to manipulate markets.

3.      Collusion is nearly impossible to detect if done right.

4.      Some of the most respected firms in the finance world have recently been caught doing unethical and illegal things.

That’s the backdrop.

This week, our so-called government announced it has secret evidence that a dictator in the Middle East used chemical weapons on his own citizens.

Pattern Recognition: ON

Here’s some more background to keep in mind: The President of the United States recently supported the closing of medical marijuana dispensaries in California and never offered a reason for his change of policy from hands-off to go-to-jail. The new policy wasn’t even popular with voters. An observer has to assume money was behind the flip-flop. Maybe it was the private jail industry that wants to keep weed illegal. Maybe it was the booze lobbyists. All we know for sure is that President Obama changed his views on the topic and didn’t offer a reason. So he has a credibility problem where money is involved.

Now we citizens of the United States are being told that we might need to lob some bombs at Syria because someone over there allegedly used chemical weapons. Everyone agrees that the limited military action being contemplated won’t fix anything. But it certainly will drive down the financial markets.

One entirely plausible explanation for the administration’s position on Syria is that it has information we citizens don’t have, and shouldn’t have, and the government is acting in our best interest. Or maybe they really want to send the world a message that chemical warfare is a red line that can’t be crossed. Maybe the whole thing is an excuse to poke Putin in the eye and make his people scurry for cover because we’re still tweaked about the Snowden thing.

Any of that is possible.

The problem with believing any of those scenarios is that an equally good explanation for what we observe is that the defense industry, the news industry, and the market manipulators are, once again, moving in lock-step to gin up a war, generate weapons sales, improve news industry profits, and create huge profits for market manipulators.

As a citizen, I am forced to form an opinion using nothing but the questionable “facts” emerging in the news, plus my own guesses and suspicions. How does one form an opinion in that environment?

In a situation with so much at stake and so little reliable information, I default to the following rule: If you don’t know which choice is right, pick the one that costs the least to implement. So I don’t support bombing Syria; it sounds expensive.

I want to be clear that I’m not recommending a course of action for the United States. I don’t have access to the information that the decision-makers have. All I’m saying is that the government has a credibility problem where money is involved, and lots of money is riding on the Syria decision. The whole thing smells like bullshit to me.