Monday, April 1, 2013

SAR #13091

The euro has become an austerity suicide pact.”

Bare Cupboard: Egypt has run out of money and out of credit and is fast running out of oil and wheat and other stuff like that. The only bargaining chip Egypt has is its relative lack of animosity towards Israel, but with the Muslim brotherhood in charge, even that is not available as a bargaining chip. It's looking for $4.8 billion in aid, is hosting an IMF team this week, but is not – it says – seeking an emergency loan because it is not in a crisis. That the world's largest importer of wheat can't afford to buy any is not a problem – the government says the supply of bread “is safe”. That's good, because Egypt has few natural resources to loot and only the pyramids to privatize, so the IMF isn't anxious to get involved.

Perspective: While Egypt is looking for $4.8 billion to buy food, the US is planning to spend $5 billion removing military equipment from Afghanistan.

Not Necessarily News: Big Business believes in taxpayer subsidies, not "free markets", and what is being passed off as 'deregulation' is actually simply changing the terms of regulation to favor companies over consumers. No business and no one on Wall Street wants a free market; they want the rules bent to favor them. That's one of the few endearingly human aspects of those in who run the asylum – their childlike, self-centered greed.

The New Game of Nations: It used to be that national leaders would occasionally make moves on the international stage that seemed to harm their country in order to shore up support at home in order to remain in power. Now, at least in the Eurozone, national leaders do things that will harm their country in order to ingratiate themselves with Europe's leaders and secure a good paying sinecure once the people toss them out. This is the main motive behind accepting the Troika's austerity nonsense.

Shocker! Oil industry front groups are spending a lot of money fighting the EPA's proposed sulfur-content lowering rules by claiming a) it will increase the price of gasoline a little bit, b) sulfur is good for you or just a minor irritant that doesn't shorten your life much, and c) it will hurt their profits. Not necessarily in that order.

Contortionists: The Archbishop of Washington says that gays and lesbians must “make room” for Catholics who hate them because “The church is probably — with 20 centuries of experience — the most understanding of the human condition of any institution.” And the Archbishop of New York says the church's job is “to continue in a credible way to present the eternal concerns to people in a timeless attractive way.” Which is why, he says, “the Church has got to be out of touch.” Not to be left out, a former Republican National Committee chairman says Republicans have been cast in a negative light because they believe marriage must be between one man and one woman. And, he says, they deserve credit for not objecting to letting LGBT individuals visit their 'friends' in the hospital.

Too Much Of A Good Thing: Despite the untold wealth to be found in all the natural gas hidden here and there around the country in various shale deposits, the number of rigs drilling for gas in the US has fallen to a 14-year low. Either we've got too much gas or not enough fools.

Profits Before People: Canada - trying to rationalize its massive despoliation of the earth through its oil sands mining and the extreme damage to our future that burning that dirty oil will cause and to protect the profits of those involved - has decided to become the only nation in the world not to sign the UN convention aimed at limiting the droughts that will be visited on us through global warming.

Safe, Completely Harmless:Natural gas extraction in the Netherlands, which has doubled in the last decade, is causing a significant increase in earthquakes.

One Trick Tony: Tony Romo, who has led the Cowboys to exactly one post-season win in his 6 years with the team, has just gotten a $108 million six-year contract -beating Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco's pay. Think what he could have gotten had he been a winning quarterback leading a winning team.

Credulity: Is the United States Sitting on Trillions of Barrels of Oil? No.

Quoted: "Humanity is doubling down on its Faustian climate bargain by pumping up fossil fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution. The more the Faustian debt grows, the more unmanageable the eventual consequences will be. Yet there are plans to build more than 1000 coal-fired power plants and plans to develop some of the dirtiest oil sources on the planet. These plans should be vigorously resisted. We are already in a deep hole — it is time to stop digging." Dr. James Hansen

Porn O'Graph: WWJD?

The Parting Shot:


Spring, sprung.


HS said...

Credulity-Funny you should mention that. OPEC is calling an impending peak (slowing growth) in shale production in pg 3 of their current monthly report:

Profits Before People- Total, the French multinational is pulling the plug on its tar sands operations due to a lack of profitability.

kwark said...

Re "Perspective": I have a sickening feeling that, in this context, "removing military equipment" is just another method of shoveling yet more money to war profiteers. Oh, my mistake Honorable Homeland Security internet commissar, I meant our heroic military contractors.

kwark said...

And RE "Credulity": Apparently everyone has forgotten that "shale oil" was one of the Energy Independence" (C) band wagons back in the 1980's. In the late 1980s Unocal had an operational shale oil plant in Colorado. Even with the operations largely subsidized by Uncle Sam it still wasn't profitable. When the subsidies ended the plant closed. It took ONLY a ton of kerogene-rich shale to make 40 gallons of oil. The process involved making big holes in the ground to dig-up the stuff and, in the cooking process that creates oil from kerogen-rich rock, used enough water and energy to supply a small city. Hey, it takes a lot of resources to short-circuit a process that takes nature many millennia. I've never heard how much oil it took to get those 40 gallons. I'm betting 39-ish. But hey, I'm sure modern technology can overcome the laws of thermodynamics.

peter said...

Again a lovely photo.