Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
"But [Mexico's] proven oil reserves are shrinking, and it lacks refining capacity, particularly for low-sulfur diesel being phased in under the North American Free Trade Agreement. (This mysterious phrase enables the author to dance around the fact that Mexico oil production has peaked and is in rapid, irreversible decline.)
"So even while the nation still exports crude oil, it imports about 40 percent of its fuel"
"Pemex has been having difficulties. According to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration, Mexico's net oil exports dropped from 1.7 million barrels a day in 2006 to 1.46 million per day in 2007. A 28-year graph of proven reserves shows a sharp downslide." (Yeah, a 13% yearly decline in productions of one's largest oil field tends to produce a few "difficulties." And again with the proven reserves language. Did the author pick that up from some expert or what? Keep tapdancing...)
Concluding with some nods to the impact of higher oil prices on the poorer citizens of Mexico, the article ends on a slightly confused note, i.e., was the point the cheap Mexican gas, so attractive to American motorists close to the border, the declining production (although this word appears nowhere in the piece), the impact (and potential riots) on the poor, or something else?
Well. Chaos has many thoughts for such an article, most strikingly that it somehow left out some rather important facts about Mexico, one of the top 5 sources of oil for the US. How an article concerning itself with this subject could somehow fail to mention Cantarell, one of the largest oil fields in the world and source of a majority of Mexico's oil production. The field has peaked and entered a rapid decline such that Mexico is on track to move from an oil exporter to an oil importer in the next five years. New discoveries may slow the decline but will not affect the end result. Be assured, readers, that these facts are not unknown, or obscure in any way; a few seconds of "googling" will call them up. In Chaos' humble opinion, when the one of the top ten oil producers peaks and begins a catastrophic decline, it should in fact be a front page headline for pretty much the entire nation. The fact that it is not, and further, that this muffling by the so-called media "watchdogs" continues, serves to reinforce Chaos' view that, for whatever reason, the facts will not be faced in the US until they are so blatantly obvious that they can no longer be ignored, even by the most somnolent of the public. Want more proof? Check out this ridiculously irresponsible opinion (by a "business columnist") as to why $200 oil just won't happen. Really. It just won't. Look for the Faux News "kill the messenger" fallacies, the Las Vegas-style gambling that apparently constitutes the current corporate culture, the ad hominem attacks, and (get ready) even a reference to the viability of shale oil. Yikes! This columnist's solution for the public? "At a minimum, we'll buy a more fuel-efficient car or even go the extra step and car pool!" (Chaos cannot help but be stunned at this person's energy illiteracy, but then again, it's quite obvious that most folk in the Empire are equally delusional).
Monday, June 09, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
"The War on Drugs may be fading from memory north of the Rio Grande, but south of the river, bloody battles are threatening to overwhelm Mexico’s democratically elected government." (Seems like we've heard this story somewhere before...oh yeah, I remember now: Colombia....and I guess it's "fading from memory" because we have an actual war going on or something?)
"The timid assistance package proposed by the Bush administration and pared down by Congress suggests that Washington doesn’t grasp either the scale of the danger or its own responsibilities." (And what responsibilities would those be? Wait, it's coming...)
"The United States has a clear interest and a clear obligation to help. This country is the main market for the methamphetamine cooked in Mexican labs and the cocaine moving through Mexico from the Andes. It is also the source of the traffickers’ weapons. And no fence will stop the gun battles from moving across the border." (Hmmm...'help' with the Drug War....let's think about that one. Seems like the US has been having a 'drug war' for quite awhile, and what have we to show for it? More people imprisoned for consuming natural substances which are less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, but not much else, besides the enormous amounts of money being spent.)
"The Bush administration is right to acknowledge the shared threat and the common responsibility. But the three-year, $1.4 billion aid package it proposed doesn’t do the job. It is too small, notably so when compared with the billions the cartels earn in the United States. And far too much of the aid is military hardware when Mexico has other more urgent needs."(Well, how much would it take, you know, to actually win? Do we have a ballpark figure? No? Maybe because that would be money down a rathole, to use a colloquialism...)
"Above all, Mexico needs help rooting out corruption and creating a well-equipped, well-trained and respected civilian police force. The Mexican police need help improving their skills in forensic investigations, prison security and witness protection. And Mexico needs a transparent, fair and competent judiciary to prosecute traffickers as well as officials and members of the police who have been bought by the traffickers or are guilty of human rights abuses."(Mexico may indeed have problems with corruption, which may or may not be related to the drug trade, but offering to 'help' with those is kinda, oh, hypocritical, when you think about the corruption that seems to be endemic in the Empire these days. The monies spawned by the prohibition on drugs know no boundaries in inducing law enforcement corruption; witness the number of public officials in South Texas indicted for accepting bribes from drug traffickers. But let's let the patronizing attitude slide, and consider again what metrics this amazing editorial would like to use to consider this 'aid' a success.)"Washington’s role does not end there. Mexico has no hope of defeating the traffickers unless this country is also willing to do more to fight the drug war at home — starting with a clear commitment to stop the weapons smugglers and to do more to take on the narcotics networks on the American side of the border." (Actually, nobody should hope, after all this time, money and effort, that defeating drug traffickers has even the remotest possibility, short of legalization. The violence which so scares the Times is the direct result of the illegality, and hence the markup, of the substances. Let us say it one more time: the 'War On Drugs' is a stupid concept. It cannot be 'won'. Resistance to this concept, as they say in a memorable Star Trek film, is futile. It does, however, divert one's attention from more serious matters, which lurk on the edge of the Matrix, and for that, perhaps the piece has actually served its purpose. Sleep now, children.)
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
1. Stop building roads. Period. Existing roads will be maintained, but no new roads of any kind will ever be built again, save bicycle trails.
2. Existing roads will have at least one full lane devoted to bicycles, scooters, and small motorcycles. Said lane will be physically separated from the motor vehicle lane.
3. Any personal motor vehicle with mileage rating of less than 20 mpg highway will be taxed at a 35% rate. This tax is not deductible from federal income tax.
4. 55 mph speed limit for highways is mandatory. 35 mph speed limit for all other roadways.
5. .50/gallon gas tax imposed immediately, rises by .25/gallon every 6 months until it reaches the average of OECD nations. Proceeds of said tax will be devoted exclusively to building rail/light rail.
If the above solutions seem improbable to you, perhaps it's time to ask why that is...which, of course, leads us back to the issue of national character. What is it, in fact, of the US character which prevents even the discussion of rational response to inevitable depletion of finite resources?