All posts by todeidei

21Aug/17
NAACP Boycott NFL Politics

NAACP Threatening to Boycott NFL Over Politics

It has taken decades, but America’s National Football League (NFL) has become the country’s most popular sport. It is also becoming a playground for politics on both the left and the right.

During the first two weeks of the preseason, which got underway the second week of August, a number of NFL players have decided to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem. Traditionally, NFL players will line up on the sidelines while players and fans pay tribute to the country. The fact many players are deciding to offer their protest by kneeling down is dividing both the league, teams and even the country.

Much of the recent controversy revolves around former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Last season, Kaepernick would kneel alone in his attempts to protest the treatment of black youths by police officers. His initial actions came after a number of incidences where black men were killed while interacting with law enforcement.

In line with recent news related to clashes between Black Lives Matter and White Supremacist activists, the nation is dividing along racial lines. The recent events in Charlotte, Carolina seem to have spurred opinion from every part of the United States. Now, a number of black athletes have decided its time to be heard. The message they are sending is racism will not be tolerated.

In an effort to draw focus on this growing issue, the NAACP has decided to get involved. A number of activists on the left believe Kaepernick is being black-balled from the NFL because of his politics. According to the Atlanta NAACP, they have no intention of standing by while one of their brothers is being deprived of the opportunity to play football. If Kaepernick doesn’t have an offer by September 17, the NAACP is threatening and NFL boycott. It’s strange, but the line between sports and politics is fading.

27Jul/17
grab tackles uber

Things are Moving as Grab Tackles Uber

As a beleaguered Uber deals with internal issues at its headquarters in the US, they find themselves facing a competition in many parts of Southeast Asia. Enters Grab.

Founded in 2012, Grab has quickly established itself as a viable opponent in the car/ride services industry. The company is currently operating in countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines.

In order to go after an opponent such as Uber, Grab’s executive has come to recognize that first and foremost, the company needs to offer more value for the customer. The company’s success is clear based upon the fact they occupy the spot as the region’s top-rated ride-sharing company.

With designs on continuing its dominance in Southeast Asia with and eye for reaching out into parts of the world, Grab chief executive officer Anthony Tan was thrilled to announce the firm has raised $2.5bn (£1.9bn) in fresh funds from two primary foreign investors.

China’s Didi Chuxing will reportedly be investing up to $2.0bn to top the list. The next largest investor will be Japan’s software giant Softbank, coming in with as much as $400 million, followed by a mixed group of investors that will be covering the other $500 million.

According to Tan, “With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ride-sharing, and build on this to make Grab-Pay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia.”

In other Grab news, Grab and Uber have both been under pressure from the Philippines’ LTFRB for not having its drivers properly registered. After reportedly threatening to shut down both operations in the Philippines as of July 26 if the proper paperwork wasn’t submitted, the LTFRB was forced to suspend such sanctions as both ride-sharing companies paid the required 5,000,000 PH Peso fine and subsequently applied for “reconsideration” of the LTFRB’s ruling.

21Jul/17
Volatility Bitcoin Captivates Investors

The Volatility of Bitcoin Captivates Investors

When a commodity or currency have no historical fundamentals for support in trading markets, the volatility of said commodities or currencies can be downright scary. Take the recent trading activity surrounding the world’s most popular crypto-currency, Bitcoin.

Since its introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has shown the ability to sustain explosive growth. It has also come under the kind of scrutiny that leads to periods of massive drops.

As recently as June 12 of this year, Bitcoin had cracked the $3,000 mark in valuation, settling near $3,100. It represented an increase of over 200% from where it sat in the earlier part of the year. Without the necessary fundamentals to support this kind of movement, an investor’s bubble was created.

That bubble popped in recent weeks with Bitcoin retreating as far down as $1,758 this past weekend. What bothered most analyst was the fact this crypto-current broke major support at about $1,860. The farther it falls below support, the more volatility there will be in the market within the next few weeks and months.

Fortunately for some investors, Bitcoin has had a bit of a rebound after reaching an oversold position. It has rallied back into the $2,200 range on strong volume as investors continue to set aside concerns over further weakness.

According to Sheba Jafari, the head of technical strategy at Goldman Sach: Bitcoin is “still in a corrective 4th wave.” That implies that a fifth wave of buying is on the horizon. Based on Jafari’s analysis, “There’s potential (for Bitcoin) to extend as far as 3,915 (if 1.618 times the length of wave I). It just might take time to get there.”

It’s worth noting that the investment world currently has access to trade up to 800 different crypto-currencies. This should be considered highly speculative trading with tremendous upside and an equally dangerous downside.

11Jul/17
President Trump G-20 Question Russian Meddling US Election

President Trump Uses G-20 to Question Russian Meddling in US Election

While questions are still left unanswered about Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election process, U.S. President Donald Trump finally got the opportunity to meet face to face with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

In an early morning tweet from the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump tweeted, ““I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion…..” In fact, Trump claims to have pressed Putin twice over these allegations.

Earlier in the week, Trumped stated that Russia could have interfered in the US election process during the 2016 Presidential election cycle. He also stated that other countries and special interest groups could have been just as involved. In his opinion, “nobody really knows for sure.”

At a separate briefing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he believed the US’ investigation into Russia’s alleged election interference was “strange and bizarre”, considering that thus far, “not a single fact has been presented” to support the allegations. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin, confirmed that the President had indeed pressed Putin on the subject.

Not everyone was satisfied with the cordial meeting between the world’s top two leaders. On this past weekend’s “Meet The Press,” former CIA Director John Brennan expressed his displeasure with how the meeting went down.

“He said it’s an honor to meet President Putin,” Brennan said. “An honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault against our election? To me, it was a dishonorable thing to say.”

Fortunately, President Trump and Putin had the opportunity to address more urgent matters. The two men were able to successfully negotiate the initial parts of a proposed cease fire in Syria. They also discussed the prospects of establishing a co-managed cyber security unit as a means of stopping hacking issues in the future.

03Jul/17
china maritime rights south china sea

China Continues to Wrongfully Claim Maritime Rights

Much of the world is familiar with China’s illegal claims to many of the islands in the South China Sea. These islands have long been a source of dispute between China and the Philippines with the United States States offering support for its Filipino allies.

While the dispute continues long after the international ruling bodies of the Hague disavowed China’s claim, tensions have been running high between the world’s two biggest military powers, China and the US.

This past week, a US Naval destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of the contested islands. After placing air navigation and weaponry on several of the islands, China has been increasingly more sensitive about intruders on territory they assert is theirs. With the US Navy running routine exercises in the area, tensions are on the rise again.

Triton Island was the target of the US Navy’s routine right of passage exercise. China, Vietnam and Taiwan have all laid claim to this particular island. According to a Navy representative, who asked to remain anonymous, these passage exercises are used to make clear that no one has the right to request prior notice before a ship of any kind is allowed to freely pass through the area.

In a written statement issue by China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, he stated, the U.S. action constituted “a serious political and military provocation.” He further asserted that such operations “violate China’s sovereignty and threaten China’s security. The Chinese side will continue to take all necessary means to defend national sovereignty and security.”

In the coming months, more of these types of confrontations should be expected. The Chinese government has made clear its decision to ignore the ruling set down by the Hague while the United States and other Asian countries have made clear their intention to continue using the South China Sea passage way as they see fit.

26Jun/17
US president trump concern democrat resistance

US President Trump Expresses Concern About Democrat Resistance

While admitting that he likes the call for resistance as an election battle cry, US President Donald Trump went on to say resistance is not a good thing after an election has been completed.

Speaking in an interview of Fox and Friends this past week, President Trump was asked what the biggest obstacle to his Presidency has been to date. In reference to the complete resistance being levied by House and Senate Democrats on issues like the new health care bill, he stated, “I think it’s a terrible theme for the people of this country – resist, obstruction. That’s not what they want.”

In hopes of trying to establish some form of bipartisan cooperation related to healthcare over the next 43 months, Trump stated, “It would be so great if the Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it, and come up with something that everybody’s happy with. It’s so easy, but we won’t get one Democrat vote – not one.”

As the Democrat party’s leader for 8 years and someone who still has a great deal of influence, former President Barack Obama was out front criticizing the “new” healthcare bill long before any details about the bill had been released. This is a level of organized resistance that seems more mean-spirited that it does constructive.

Across the world, there is a growing concern that the US and its government are going to remain in some type of stalemate. Anything that needs to get done has to be rammed through a GOP controlled Congress, which only serves to upset people sitting on the other side of the isle.

Trump was particularly critical of people like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who decries “resist” as a normal course of action. When asked about Warren’s opposition to the current healthcare bill, Trump said, “She’s a hopeless case. I call her ‘Pocahontas, and that’s an insult to Pocahontas.”

21Jun/17
civil war republicans democrats

Is a Civil War Coming to the US?

After the last weeks shooting of GOP Congressional members, there’s an air of urgency rising on the streets of America. Much of the prior politically motivated violence had been isolated to rallies and protests, but now things are becoming personal.

While preparing for the annual baseball game between Republicans and Democrats, shots rang out, striking six different individuals. Among those who sustained injuries were GOP Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Congressional staffer Zack Barth (works for Rep. Roger Williams of Texas) and GOP Representative Roger Williams of Texas. All of the victims are expected to survive.

The only fatality was the shooter, one James Hodgkinson, who died after the shootout at the hands of law enforcement. Prior to the shooting, witnesses stated that Hodgkinson was very agitated and spouting out angry opposition to GOP policies.

This is not the first time violence has been perpetrated against members or supporters of the Republican party. Throughout the election cycle in October of last year, there were many occasions when President Donald Trump supporters were confronted going in and out of political venues. Notable attacks were reported in San Jose, California in June of last year and in areas of Berkeley.

It was October of 2016 that the firebombing of Republican Party headquarters in Orange County was reported, promting North Carolina. Gov. Pat McCrory to comment that the attack was a pure “attack on our democracy.”

While differing sides have certainly had their issues throughout the years, it’s hard to recall when such a level of violence was used to deliver a message. As the popularity of President Trump continues to wane and violence continues between supporters of differing ideologies, one can only be concern that things will soon hit critical mass. For now, the recent shooting only served to bring all Congressional leaders together, at least for the time being.

13Jun/17
Bitcoin surging

Bitcoin is Surging

For anyone who is unaware of exactly what Bitcoin is and how it is traded, it might be a good time to seek a quick education into the nuances of the world’s top crypto-currency. Compared to bullish stock markets in the US, London and parts of Asia, nothing could possibly compare to the 200% increase Bitcoin has experienced in just the last five months.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at just over $3,000 per coin. The price continues rising to record levels on a daily basis. In the process of this meteoric rise, the valuations for other crypto-currencies are also experiencing substantial growth as investors seek to find the ones that will be able to compete with Bitcoin as a viable means for exchange.

According to Brian Kelly, CEO and founder of BKCM and a CNBC contributor, crypto-currency is “in the first years of what is likely to be a multi-year bull market. Of course there will be corrections and even crashes along the way, but bitcoin is here to stay.”

This shouldn’t come a surprise to investors that have seen Bitcoin increase in popularity throughout many portions of Asia. The primary reason for the currency’s increase in price over the past few months in because the Chinese government formally approved it as a form of legal tender for goods and services. This is further complimented by the fact Japanese lawmakers are looking to make similar moves.

Many folks are waiting to see how quickly financial markets and merchants in the US are going to begin accepting Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a legitimate form of currency. To date, the Federal Reserve and many banking organizations have Bitcoin under close examination. Should the US Federal reserve decide to recommend acceptance of any digital currencies, one can expect to see a massive explosion in the valuation of any digital currency deemed to be legitimate.