Cure Worse Than Disease September 29, 2008
Now Bush is evoking the 72-hour, mushroom-cloud specter if Congress doesn’t immediately borrow seven hundred billion dollars to give free money to rich and craven bankers. According to Mister 27%, it’s the only action standing between economic catastrophe and a rosy American future.
Too Big To Fail September 23, 2008
… written just before the latest bailout plan was floated…A few days after sending Lehman Bros Investment Bank to the dustbin in order to uphold the concept of moral hazard the US government reversed itself and stepped up to the plate with $85 billion in public money for AIG, the country’s largest insurance company. Lehman with a mere $200 billion in assets wasn’t too big, but AIG with a trillion evidently was - possibly because it sold a lot of insurance on those down and dirty mortgage bonds that are now tanking big time.
Tobacco No - Ganja Yes.. September 20, 2008
A new law in The Netherlands banning tobacco smoking indoors means that cannabis smokers can no longer mix tobacco with their weed in the city’s cannabis cafes. Makes perfect sense to me. While everybody is aware of the long term danger of tobacco, most people are under the false impression, stoked by governmental misinformation campaigns, that cannabis involves similar negatives. On the contrary, when you go to the statistics you will not see a single death attributed to the smoking of ganja.
Democracy on the Line September 18, 2008
In Thailand and many other countries in the region and the world, democracy is either under threat or fighting an uphill battle against entrenched interests. The border problems Cambodia has been having with Thailand in regards to the ancient Preah Vihear Temple is strictly a sideshow to the crisis unfolding in Bangkok.
McCain Bounces September 11, 2008
What to make of the McCain bounce in the polls? Not much, it’s way too early to fret. Thoroughly frightening prospect, though, nonetheless.
Mass Transportation 7-3-2008
In the same way that electric motivation is far superior to combustion, trains operating on fixed rails are the most efficient means of mass transportation and further, electric trains are, far and away, the best way to go.
Some years ago I was treated to a theater-of-the-absurd example of the deficiency of relying on diesel power for commuter train service on a trip from downtown Chicago to the suburbs. Imagine boarding a train in a semi-enclosed space with several large diesel locomotives roaring away at ear deranging levels and spewing their noxious fumes. Once it got going every time the train started and stopped - obviously frequently since it was a commuter train - it was a long, slow, lumbering process.
When you contrast that with electric trains that are non-polluting at point of use and much cleaner overall, nearly silent, accelerate and decelerate very quickly and smoothly and cost a lot less to operate and maintain, there really is no long term sense whatever in diesel locomotion.
Electric Motivation 6-26-2008
General Motors recently announced that it was closing four plants currently producing dinosaurs, aka, SUV’s and trucks. As an aside it said it would have an electric car on the market, the Chevy Volt, by 2010.
The first part is another example of American industry digging its own grave. For years the big car companies, in tandem with the auto unions, have been fighting higher mileage standards for cars and for exemption of big vehicles. This helped them bring in the big bucks until recent oil price spikes. Now they can hardly give the monsters away.
Nudging the Limits Part 2 6-14-2008
Recent discovery of oil off Cambodia’s coast provides a stark and stunning example of the impact of peak oil on the ability of the world to sustain its thirst for the crude stuff.
The reserve is said to be 500 million barrels. However the field is broken up into many small reservoirs and difficult to extract so that as little as 10% may be recoverable. The five hundred million figure is part of the 30 year supply the world is said to have by those supposedly in the know; the US Department of Energy, the big oil companies and a few other big time deniers. It’s there all right, and for the most part will remain so for eternity.
Nudging the Limits to Growth 5-12-2007
There are several reasons cited for the recent worldwide spike in food costs which has seen the per ton price of rice nearly triple, with other grains amongst nearly all foodstuffs also seeing steep rises. However, one cause, which I consider the most important, is not mentioned very often, and especially not in the corporate media.
China is Making a Fool of Itself 4-21-2007
The Chinese leadership’s response to Tibetan grievances and protest is a testament to how out of touch they are. They think the same moronic rhetoric they feed to their own citizens should also work for the international community.
Fat Cat Bailout Time 3 - 20 - 2008
In the past week or so the Fed, America’s central bank, has twice committed large sums to bailout struggling greedy bankers. You know, lend a hand in time of need, help them through a difficult period; you know, corporate welfare.
Supply and Demand 2-28-2008
Oil recently hit $108 barrel (every additional day it takes me to write this the price goes up another notch). There are several good reasons why this is happening. The first is the most obvious: while demand continues to rise, production has peaked. For those of you who need a refresher, peak oil is that point at which half the total resource has been extracted. It’s also the high point on a bell curve: after the peak, production can only go down.
In the Tank January 26, 2008
American response to the likelihood of economic recession is a combination of pissing in the ocean to try to raise sea level with continuing to dig after you’re already deep in a pit. Taken together a lot like staying the course when you’re headed over a cliff or maybe thinking you can fight global warming by getting people to turn down the thermostats on their 10,000 square foot mcmansions.
Brainwashing at an Early Age January 3, 2008
A couple months back BBC reported on a fascinating study of the effects of marketing on young children. I doubt very much if it was carried by the American media since it’s so damning of the whole edifice of advertising.
Warmth Invisible December 26, 2007
A while back I caught the Bush at his Iran press conference. It was on a big screen at a local bar; I only saw him, not heard him. I watched for quite a while; him twitchy, nervous, wincing a bit in anticipation of the next inanity he would need to utter in defense of the defenseless… “Sixteen intelligence agencies say Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program four years ago?” “That doesn’t make them any less dangerous or me any less likely to bomb them.
Legality and Fairness November 17, 2007
Lately I’ve been putting together a compilation of 100 songs from my music library. It’s a wide ranging mix of sounds from around the world but mostly old favorite artists, though not necessarily their most popular songs.
It’s for myself, to play for visitors, as well as to give to others. It’s not a terribly important endeavor, but fun nonetheless, especially since I have close to 20,000 songs to choose from in my library.
Corruption? In Cambodia? November 7, 2007
A recent article in the Cambodia Daily, our local English newspaper, reported a drop in Cambodia’s rating in the Corruption Perceptions Index put out by a group called Transparency International. In fact, it stands at 162 out of 180 countries surveyed.
China Syndrome or Cannibal Capitalism... October 26, 2007Has Anybody Noticed... October 15, 2007
Surge of Nonsense... September 15, 2007
Wow... August 19, 2007
Lebanon is Poised for Free Fall February 12, 2007
Loopier and Loopier... January 10, 2007
Doomsday Express... October 15, 2006
The Definition of Insanity... August 3, 2006
What Happens When Israel Runs Out of Infrastructure to Destroy... July 15, 2006
The World is Flush With Excess Money... June 28, 2006
Bush Prepares for War June 3, 2006
Rupert Has Hillary... May 22, 2006
Hugo is My Kind of Guy... April 16, 2006
A Little Background on the Latest Insanity in Palestine… March 18, 2006
US, Israel Seek to Destabilize Hamas Regime… February 17, 2006
Big…. January 28,