Saturday, June 21, 2014

SAR #14171

It is not commitment I'm afraid of, it's performance.

Prophets and Loss: Under cover of air strikes, Shell is retreating from its Ukrainian shale oil misadventure, writing off its investment after exploratory drilling found that what gas there was would not be economically worth the effort – especially after it lost $2.4 billion on its adventures in US shale gas. The promise of a natural gas cornucopia from drilling purportedly immense shale deposits in Ukraine, like similar promises in Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Poland, have remained just that: promises. Total, Chevron and Eni have also fled from their shale projects in Eastern Europe.

O Happy Day! At the beginning of June, more than half of Germany's electrical power was supplied by solar installations.

Castor Oil: Google and Microsoft have agreed to put 'kill switches' in all new Android and Windows phones (Apple joined the Dark Side last September). The pretense is that it helps prevent theft of your cell phone. What it really does is give the government the ability to disable phones in the case of social protests and demonstrations. 
God, Moving Mysteriously: The Presbyterian assembly has voted, by an overwhelming majority, to correct the Bible and to accept same-sex marriage as a Christian sacrament. It's not quite the Council of Nicaea promoting Jesus to godhood and inflicting trinitarianism on the world, but it's close.

One From Column A and Two From... The main things to remember about your electronic health records are 1) they're not your records, 2) they're not about you 3) they are – like all computerized records – all about control. Control of costs, control of your doctor and control of you. Now, open wide. 
The Road Is Long... The problems at the VA are being enthusiastically embraced by those whose goal is to block nationwide health care reform and privatize the VA system. It is undeniable that US health care is far too expensive and delivers a shoddy product when compared to the French and British and Canadian systems. But the conservatives (backed by donations from insurance companies and for-profit hospital conglomerates) don't want a universal public health system that works – from their point of view the current American system generates profits quite nicely. Yes, the VA needs serious managerial house-cleaning. It also needs clear guidelines from Congress as to who is eligible, and enough money from Congress to serve those needs. But we shouldn’t let the greed for bonuses by a handful of VA administrators be used divert us from the goal of a single-payer universal health care system.

Sad But True: No one actually knows if all those damned annoying ads on the internet generate enough sales to be cost effective. But we have to endure them because they might.

The Whites of Their Eyes: Florida, where it is already legal to shoot girl scouts selling cookies if they knock on your door and it is still open season on black kids in hoodies, has now passed legislation suggesting that legalized firing a couple of warning shots before you kill 'em. 
Password: Israeli thugs have killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy for not being one of the three missing teenagers they were searching for. It's hard to tell which is worse, the way Israel treats the Palestinians or the way the US treats everyone else.

The Parting Shot:


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re German solar power:

i'd like to point again to my comment here earlier this month

and also mention that episodes of COSMOS can be watched on the web for free the next couple of weeks, and that dvd sets are already available for sale in the states, in september in great britain - read the episode summaries at Wikipedia if you want more details

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

the same presbyterians who think gay marriage can be a christian sacrament also made this decision:

DETROIT – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the United States to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories.

The General Assembly voted by a razor-thin margin -- 310-303 -- to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. Two years ago, the General Assembly rejected a similar divestment proposal by two votes.

The American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was "driven by hatred of Israel." But Heath Rada, moderator for the church meeting, said immediately after the vote that "in no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters."

Anonymous said...

Is there an rss feed for this blog? Thanks.

LJansen said...

I like this blog!

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 2.17 - The blog is posted between 8 & 9 AM Eastern, six days a week. There are no updates during the day.

Consider this you RSS feed.

TulsaTime said...

Gee, if the prophet has gone out of the eastern european gas play, then they don't need to fight that war, now do they? I wonder when Vlad will get the test results?

Vitus Capital said...

I actually like computerised health records. Docs do much less flailing and repetative tests when they can easily see what other docs have said/done. NSA isn't everywhere, as fun as it is to pretend they are.