Monday, June 21, 2010

SAR #10172

Facts are amazingly resistant to opinions.

Enjoy the weekend?  Five women and two children were among 10 civilians killed by a US airstrike in Afghanistan, where untold wealth awaits the conquerors.  Doesn't this bother you, just a little bit?

Scheduling:  Senator Kerry says this is not the “right time” to repeal the tax breaks for big oil companies that contribute to his campaign fund.  He did not say when, if ever, would be a good time.

From Point A to Point B:  As global climate change increases, cold and snowy winters will become the rule – just as will violent thunderstorms and massive downpours.  The warming atmosphere sucks up more water – then puts it down in the form of more rain, more snow.  "The changes are irreversible."

Quoting Rand Paul:  “Whoever owns the property can do with the property as they wish, and if the coal company buys it from a private property owner and they want to do it [mountain top removal], fine. … I think a lot of the land apparently is quite desirable once it’s been flattened out. “... you’ve got quite a few hills. I don’t think anybody’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there.”

Possibilities:  Ever wonder why manufactures put those little clocks on everything, their LEDs glowing in the dark?  Because they can.  Ditto with the Pentagon spying on civilians.

The Long Tail:  The largest, most expensive, and most interconnected infrastructure in the world is our energy system, most specifically the petroleum industry.  It is so large, so inertial and so indispensable that change will come only on a glacial scale.  That's why we will be a petroleum-based economy/society for decades and the happy talk about energy independence and converting to green, renewable energy is just that: Happy talk.

War Machine:  CIA Station Chief John Stockwell explained:  “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.”  That's why the US goes around starting wars and supplying arms to both sides in regional conflicts.  It's not who wins that counts, just that the game goes on. War is a Racket.

Priorities:  Alaskan state officials say that the Federal government plan to set aside land for critical polar bear habitat will lead to huge, unnecessary costs for Alaska's oil industry, resulting in lower payments to the state coffers and thus less money for the politicians to play with.  The polar bears were not asked for their views.

Unhappy Truths:  The abundance we in the “developed world” take for granted is ours only because our economies, our nations, have burned through the Earth's store of fossil fuels without thought to what comes next. What comes next will be a giant tantrum by a generation of self-indulgent, spoiled children.

Elasticity:  While BP was telling the public that the leak was 5,000 barrels a day and Congress that it was perhaps 60,000 as a worst case, their internal documents were citing rates as high as 100,000 bpd.  Depends on how you define 'leak'.

Landlording It:  Fannie and Freddie (which is you and me, the taxpayers) – on their way to losing a trillion dollars – have become the largest landlords in the country.  Not only do we have to mow the lawns ($10 billion this summer), all of our tenants are behind in their rent and mostly not paying anything at all.  Over 160,000 and growing.  But don't worry, we're selling them off. At a loss.

Friends:  The US has suggested that Pakistan might want to consider the pluses and minuses of engaging in peaceful bilateral trade with Iran.  “Cautioned” was the word Ambassador Holbrooke used.


Eric Hacker said...

re: Weekend

Man, you really nailed that ethical predicament into my skull this morning. It is deeply disturbing how powerless I feel to do anything about the atrocities the US military is performing in Afpak.

If anyone has any rational actions that one could take then I'd love to hear them. Current politicians are all bought in my mind, so there is no use going there.

Protests are worthless these days. Things such as might work against private citizens, but will never work against the government itself as powerful as it is.

I despair.

Anonymous said...

War Machine:

I'm an ex-Marine. General Smedley is one of America's greatest heroes, a man who was able to see his wrongs and admit them. Too bad most Marines never even heard of him let alone read WAR IS A RACKET. True SEMPER FI!

Bill N said...

A to B: I live in San Francisco's East Bay. This year has been the coldest and wettest in my memory (except for the late 70's). And here I thought we were doing our bit to ease global warming.

Anonymous: No one's and "Ex" Marine. Even if they want to be.