I thought oil was supposed to be fungible, so I was curious as to why a barrel of Brent could be selling in the low $100s while WTI was around $85/barrel. That sixteen dollar spread is some sort of record.
The protest movement in Egypt has suddenly alerted many Westerners to the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood, a newish group who did not emerge in Egypt until almost the end of the Coolidge Administration. Furthermore, this fast-breaking development has alerted Western pundits, bloggers, and politicians to the urgent need to say something about the Muslim Brotherhood.
There's an old chestnut that says that two democracies have never gone to war. It's not quite true, or only true if you aggressively redefine "democracy" until you've fallen into the "no-true-Scotsman" fallacy. ("No true democracy ever goes to war with another ...." ) But it is an instructive half-truth: functional democracies very rarely go to war with one another.
Having watched events unfold in Egypt this past week, I must say I am impressed by the bravery and strength of will shown by the Egyptian people. They are standing tall against a dictatorial regime, and that is to be applauded.
My wife and I noticed several months ago that the food we chose to buy was getting much more expensive. I was probably more inspired by Michael Pollan and she by Mehmet Oz, but years ago we agreed that we would cut out the hydrogenated stuff and the high fructose stuff and the high sodium stuff.
Doomer James Kunstler is telling us, Gird Your Loins for Lower Living Standards. He says something like that every year right about now, so it must be time to put the Xmas tree back in the box. Still, he is entertaining.
I agree that hearing Julian Assange's lawyers outrage that leaked information pertaining to the rape charges against him should have never been made public is funny. I also agree with David Seaton that politics is politics and that anything that makes Assange look like a hypocrite is bad news for him. In the game he's playing image is important. You can't be for the release of all secrets except for your own. All absolutists find their petards hoisted sooner
One of my fondest memories was showing Fahrenheit 451 to my stepson. After Guy Montag finds the community of living books at the end (of the film), my stepson proclaimed them heroes with the sort of ardor most kids reserve for famous athletes. He's a librarian now.
The Post Carbon Institute posts this series of videos of a talk by Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of Feasta, an Irish think tank concerned with sustainable economics. He was speaking by phone and video to a group in Michigan, about a month before last year's Copenhagen Summit climate talks, so it is like watching Max Headroom do a slide show. The first four videos are about the problem, the last two are Feasta's proposal for a cap and share system and debt-free currency to keep the poorer folk going.
* Depending on which stats one looks at, between 67 percent and 90 percent of rapes against American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) are committed by non-natives. Sixty-three percent of AIAN women victims of assault identify the perpetrators as non-natives.
Boehner as the Tea Party star Ted Cruz nixes the parsimonious emergency Border Crisis Bill that the GOP leadership was pushing: "There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries"..and yes, Cruz is in the Senate, why he is interfering with House legislation is....to promote His Personal Self.
This past month a large crater was discovered in Yalmal Peninsula in Siberia. Scientist have been there to study it. They didn't come to any conclusions other then it was formed the same way a cork pops from a bottle. This is an area of tundra that is rich in methane gas. It is believed that the thawing of the permafrost cause the gas to escape blowing a hole. They have now found 2 other holes that are smaller. Methane is a more serious threat to global warming then CO2. This gives the scientist more sites to study and may lead to an explanation. The article includes interesting pictures.
They live in luxury villas in the Persian Gulf. They travel in private jets. They skim millions from the oppressed people of Gaza by taxing the tunnel trade with Egypt. They finance development in Qatar and other locations with their millions or billions. On US TV (Charlie Rose) Khaled Meshaal proclaims "I cannot live under this occupation". True. And of course they are not living under occupation. They are profiting like crime kingpins off of it.