Ever suspect the government is putting
microchips in the flu shots?
Small Steps : A US federal judge in California has told the Navy to be more considerate of marine mammals, barring the use of 'active sonar' within 2,200 yards of marine mammals and requiring it to monitor the area for an hour before any test to ensure no marine life is in harm's way. How odd, legal protection for dumb animals. Maybe the poor will get some pretty soon.
Stunning : Taser International is marketing its signature stun gun through 'home parties' like Tupperware used to hold. Get a bunch of ladies together, tell them horror stories, let them shoot pink stun guns at a metallic target, and rake in the sales. Greed capitalizing on fear, the patriotic combination.
Part-Timers : The National Association of Realtors reports that a quarter of all real estate agents in California did not make a single sale in 2007. Now you know who's throwing all those Taser parties.
Privileged Communication : God told Pat Robertson who will win the 2008 presidential election. But Reverend Robertson is not telling because, "I’m not sure I heard from the Lord. And if I did, I hope I heard wrong." Seems likely; he's certainly misunderstood Him before.
The Old End Run : Sen. Dorgan put the brakes on DOT's pilot program allowing Mexican long-haul trucks free run of the US by passing an amendment blocking funds for it. DOT claims that since the amendment blocks funds for "the establishment" of such a program and DOT had already "established" it, the amendment was meaningless.
Choice : I wasn't sure about Time's choice of Putin as Man of the Year - I thought they were a year early. The folks at the American Dialect Society were more perceptive, naming "subprime" the 2007 word of the year.
Crystal Balls : Given BushCo's record of incompetence, from Iraq to New Orleans, Pakistan to Global Warming, there is no reason to suspect they can do anything to prevent the onrushing recession. Well, except for cutting taxes for the rich.
’08 Oil Outlook (Part 1) : Matt Simmons, investment banker to the oil industry, says that if oil demand rises more than 2% in 2008, global economic growth will stall because there is no spare production capacity. Simmons’s prediction is disturbingly similar to one issued by the U.S. government, which predicts gasoline will top $3.40 a gallon by spring, $4 or more later.
'08 Oil Outlook (Part 2) : Looking back to May 2005, Jeff Rubin, chief economist of CIBC World Markets, says we have peaked and the days of easy, plentiful oil are gone. "I just don't think we're going to see increases in conventional oil production any more," Rubin says. "Peak oil is here." The International Energy Agency predicts global demand would grow faster than previously expected. Peak Oil, like Lubbock, is best seen in the rear-view mirror.
'08 Oil Outlook (Part 3) : Ali Khataibi of the National Iranian Oil Company says that "even if there is a decision by OPEC to increase output, not all members would be able to increase their production." Most are pumping as much as they can now and have no way to meet increased demand. No one reads the memos.
'08 Oil Outlook (Part 4) : Al-Husseini, former Saudi Exploration Minster, "There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world. Producers are no longer inclined to exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a finite commodity. This sentiment prevails inside and outside of OPEC, but has yet to be appreciated among the major consuming countries.”