Monday, January 7, 2008

SAR #8008

"An intellectual is a person who has discovered
something more interesting than sex.
- Aldous Huxley

Roaming Empire : America's prominence in the world was based on immense deposits of crude oil. But the geologic basis for the American Century has been pumped and burnt. Since the 1970's our military and dollar based Empire has let us burn through the earth's remaining resources. Others have noticed.

Now You See Him... US analysts suspect that the suicide bombing following the shot that killed Bhutto was not aimed at her but at the assassin. Tidy, tidy.

Bogged Down : The West Siberia bog - a permafrost area bigger than France and Germany - has begun to melt significantly in the last three years. Permafrost releases methane as it melts. This bog contains 70 billion tons of methane. Methane is 30 times more efficient than CO2 at trapping heat, so that equals more than two trillion tons of CO2. That is two thirds the total amount already in the atmosphere. Anyone want seconds?

The Hits Keep Coming: Not mentioned much of late are those who didn't refinance but took out $500 billion in home-equity loans instead. How many of them are going to default?

Either/Or: Nothing we do about the environment will matter if world population continues to grow. There must be limits to emissions, thus there must be limits to economic growth, thus world population levels must decrease. But if there are limits to economic growth, the underpinnings of our capitalist world fall apart. Heads you win, tails you lose.

Coming Attractions: Commercial real estate woes are not front page news yet, credit card debts are not front page news yet, unemployment is not front page news yet. Not yet. Well, unemployment showed up yesterday while I was typing this. The others will be along soon.

Corn Maize : A global food catastrophe more crippling than anything the world has ever seen is on the horizon. The sharp rise in raw food prices in the past year will intensify. Wheat prices have risen 92%. Corn is up 44%. U.S. grain on hand is the lowest on record. Bush wants to turn 1/3 of US corn into ethanol. Fuel before foreigners, I always say.

Dike, Thumb: What happens if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are unable to meet their obligations? No one knows. Many believe they are backed by the Federal Reserve. Nope. Or that someone, somehow will save us in a crisis. Nope. No provision has been made for things that are not supposed to happen. Even this president has limited power to provide emergency aid, Politics will slow congressional action. Where's the Batmobile?

Foist Aid : The U.S. spends more on health care per person than any other country. Some 16% of GDP. More than we waste on the military. Yet over 47 million Americans lack health coverage - more in Texas than any other state. Seems fair.

Tab A Goes In Slot B Israel is set to brief President Bush on those nuclear weapons the CIA can't find, tell him how the Iranian nuclear program can be destroyed, and who to blame. I'm pretty sure it would take more than visiting Israel on Twelthnight for Bush to be mistake for a wise man.

Secret Sauce : Fellow in Tyler, Texas called the police to tell them he'd perfected his recipe for glazed girlfriend. Seems he killed, filleted and cooked her before calling and inviting them over.

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