Wednesday, May 7, 2008

SAR #8128

Never underestimate a politician's ability to pander.

Sherman: In the-surge-worked Baghdad, the US is using tanks, guided rockets, planes, helicopters and armed drones, attacking heavily populated urban areas, destroying buildings or even whole blocks. Civilians die. Children are buried in the ruble. Welcome to 'the next war', door-to-door in the massive slum-cities of the world.

Hope So: What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas! The Tropicana has filed for bankruptcy.

Seven Lean Years: Modern managers learned to hold very low inventory levels, depending on the global transportation networks instead of warehouse. But in times of scarce supply and great demand, just-in-time supply can become just-isn't-there.

Another Chapter: April's US business bankruptcy filings increased 49 percent from a year earlier.

Behind The Curtain: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway's profit fell 64%, following losses on credit derivatives - which in 2003 Buffet had called "financial weapons of mass destruction." Berkshire also has a $1.2 billion unrealized loss from bets on the S&P500. Some oracle.

98 Bottles of Beer on the Wall: Indonesia may quit OPEC because domestic oil production has dropped to the point that it is no longer an exporter.

Alone : The universe may well be teeming with intelligent life, isolated on scattered planets, unable to make wider contact because they either do not have or simply wasted their cheap, readily available energy before they became smart enough to know better. Energy drives technological civilization. When it's gone, it's gone.

The "R" Word: Goldman Sachs says oil may reach $200 within 6 to 24 months, due to "a lack of adequate supply growth... resulting in... demand rationing" in the United States.

The Emperor's Tailor: Research shows that “ethanol production using corn grain required 29 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced” and that alternative ethanol cellulosic sources “required 50 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced.” Dr. Pimentel explained, “It takes 1.29 gallons of petroleum or petroleum equivalents to produce one gallon of ethanol.”

Rains, Pours: UBS not only lost $17.3 billion in the first quarter, their clients withdrew a net $12.2 billion, poorer but wiser.

Constructive: D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, reports a $1.3 billion loss, with net sales falling 225%. Good news: their canceled sales order rate has improved. Instead of 48%, now only one-third of sales fall through.

Dear Diary: Fannie Mae records $4.4 billion in losses on mortgage derivatives, $3.2 billion in credit losses, hopes to meet a suitor with $6 billion.

Here's Your Hat: Ecuador has no intention of renewing the US lease for the airbase at Manta unless the US lets Equador lease a base in Florida. The US claims it flies drug surveillance from the base, while the Ecuadorans claim it flies surveillance missions.

Black/White: If a Taser causes or contributes to a death, and a medical examiner reports that the use of a Taser contributed to a death, the people who make the Taser will sue the medical examiner for telling the truth. A court in Ohio rulled that telling this particular truth is not allowed.

Being Bugged: By the end of the year combat troops will be using tiny electronic insects - robobugs- to spot the enemy and aid in combat. They will not be used to invade the privacy of citizens without secret warrants.

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