Updated: Saturday September 18, 2004
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Draft in the Wings: Kerry on Bush's Call Up Plan
OK, so the war in Iraq is not going well - all George Bush needs to do is get himself re-elected and BINGO - the House and Senate are sitting on a DRAFT BILL that can be pulled out within weeks - ostensibly on an "emergency basis". The bill would send every male and female into some kind of mandatory two-year national service and would cover everyone 18-26. That's not news - that's been the plan all along,
House Resolution 163 and Senate Bill 89 have both been "parked" so the corporatists can put enough of their bought and paid for candidates back in office so the bills can be sprung on the American people. What you're expected to forget is that these things were introduced in January of 2003 before we went marching into Iraq. Now, the minute Bush is re-elected, he will pull the trigger on the draft.
OK, so what's going to cause that to happen? Go read the story about the FBI planning a huge counter-offensive to prevent a major terrorist attack in October. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/17/eveningnews/main644096.shtml Now you get the picture. It goes something like this: There's a big attack. The American public rallies around Bush. Bush gets re-elected. Right after the election, Congress goes back to work. A week later, we have a draft again - and the corporatists of the petrodollar faction who are in charge in the U.S. right now have all the manpower they need to take on the narco-faction.
Of course, what's critical is that Americans like you don't figure it all out. That's why so many of our patriotic men and women in uniform are so disappointed. The military is being used overseas for mostly political purposes.
The headline today is that Kerry is saying Bush has a Secret Troop Call-Up Plan. The fact of the matter is it has been there all along, it's just that most people have not given it more than a few minutes of thought months ago. Out of sight (parked in committee, ready to spring), out of mind. About the most encouraging part of Kerry's attack is that someone besides me knows how to read.
ROTC Call Up Rumored
We've received several yet-to-be-confirmed reports that the Bush administration has asked regional ROTC commands for lists of participants who are in community colleges, and universities. Apparently the plan is to issue the activation just as soon as the U.S. election if over. One of the major concerns is that Iran has another set of war games underway which you can find referenced under "Ashoura 5" in various places: http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=9/14/2004&Cat=2&Num=4 The "games" near the Iraqi border will be going on until September 20th.
Putin Assassination Attempt Foiled?
Two mined cars have been located in Moscow - apparently part of a plan to park them on the side of a road and remotely detonate them as Vlad Putin was driving by. Part of the story is at the Pravda Engoish language site, with other sources in Russian: http://english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/96/382/14254_cars.html
We find the story incredibly interesting because the web bots made reference to assassination attempt(s) in the last run.
Way to Give
If you have a few bucks to spare, click over to www.redcross.org and drop a few bucks in the kitty. The south is a mess from the hurriacanes.
2:10 PM CDT Friday
More O&G Damage Reported from Ivan
This afternoon's report from the government's Minerals Management Service:
*** This survey is reflective of 36 companies’ reports as of 11:30 a.m. Central Time.
Meantime, our Texas Bureau is checking unconfirmed reports that an El Paso gas pipeline that was reported damaged, but no fire yesterday has now been ignited. Apparently gas is percolating out around a rupture, but no further details at this time.
Ivan Energy Impact Update
More from our Houston Bureau on the Ivan energy impacts:
And from from Noble Energy word of three missing platforms and one damaged:
Ivan's Energy Toll
The federal Mineral Management Service has issued its first report on damage to oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Ivan:
*** This survey is reflective of 53 companies’ reports as of 11:30 a.m. Central Time Thursday
These evacuations are equivalent to 71.33% of 764 manned platforms and 58.97% of 117 rigs currently operating in the GOM.
This shut-in oil production is equivalent to 82.94% of daily production of oil in GOM which is approximately 1.7 million BOPD.
This shut-in gas production is equivalent to 52.97% of the daily production of gas in the GOM which is approximately 12.3 BCFPD.
The cumulative (9/13/04-9/16/04) shut-in oil production is 3,916,347 bbls which equivalent to .6473% of the yearly production of oil in the GOM which is approximately 605 million barrels.
The cumulative (9/13/04-9/16/04) shut-in gas production is 17.731 BCF which is equivalent to .3985% of the yearly production of gas in the GOM which is approximately 4.45 TCF.
These cumulative numbers reflect updated production numbers from all previous reports.
The Minerals Management Service is the federal agency in the U.S. Department of the Interior that manages the nation’s oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in Federal offshore waters. The agency also collects, accounts for, and disburses mineral revenues from Federal and American Indian lands. MMS disbursed more than $8 billion in FY 2003 and more than $135 billion since the agency was created in 1982. Nearly $1 billion from those revenues go into the Land and Water Conservation Fund annually for the acquisition and development of state and Federal park and recreation lands.
They promise an update at 1 PM CDT today.
You can find a BBC report summarizing land side damage at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3664436.stm plus the latest track on Hurricane Jeanee and upcoming Tropical Storm Karl at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
Interpretation of Economic Reports
Just a glance at www.drudgereport.com last night got us to wondering about our news aggregating colleague. The story Drudge linked about US household wealth "swelling" may have come from the same Fed stats I read and reported on (story below) but the folks who wrote the story are certainly not "liberal press" biased. The story at LINK pimps household "wealth" growing, a function of inflation as we all know around here. I somehow managed to point out that it's coming from debt creation which is a phony a measure of "wealth". You following this?
Iraq in Trouble
You won't see it in the US press so much, because it would be construed as anti-Bush - and US media have a way of totally over-compensating, but the more even-keeled British press doesn't have a problem outlining a secret report that says the US is in a heap-of-trouble in Iraq: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3664136.stm And, as if the make the point, there have been a couple of more big car bombs go off in Baghdad today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3665390.stm
Not to media bash, but if I read one more story about George and John's war records, I'm going puke. Isn't anyone besides me reading "The Family" by Kitty Kelly? Worse: The story that the outcome of Iraq is looking grim (not to mention the defeat yet to come predicted back in May in our web bot project) in today's International Herald Tribune is getting next to no play: http://www.iht.com/articles/539322.htm
Is the whole American voting public on drugs? We have a world torn between the petrodollars and the narcodollars, fighting a phony WOT based on what could be MIHOP or LIHOP [made it happen on purpose or let it happen on purpose] events of 9/11 plus huge twists of facts, we're running out of food & oil while facing potentially dramatic climate change and the best we can do is warmed over testosterone stories about my wank is bigger than yours kind of crap?. GMAFB* (* Give me a * break).
I must be deluded to think the campaign issues are:
Freedom Cherished in Russia
Here's a story that I never thought I would live to write. In the wake of their version of 9/11 - the Belsan school disaster - Vladimir Putin has been trying to steal way rights of Russian citizens on the same pretext as the Patriot Act stole many of our Constitutional rights. What's interesting as heck is that the Russians are not taking the theft of rights as quietly as we have: http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/09/17/liberals.shtml While the protest builds, Putin's recent attempts to seize power from regional governors of the country are also under attack: http://www.mosnews.com/interview/2004/09/14/ryzhkov.shtml
Columbine Grand Jury
Oh oh. A grand jury in Colorado says authorities withheld a document showing deputies knew in advance about aspects of the case: specifically about threats and didn't do anything about it: http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBNO2K48ZD.html Even worse: There are still missing documents.
Here's something for the conspiratorially minded to think about: If you were trying to enslave a country over time, wouldn't it make sense to begin with kids in high school - by getting them used to having fewer and fewer rights - and more warrantless searches, a fallout from the Columbine disaster - so that young people would be less inclined to fight for their freedoms as matured into adulthood? That's why the missing documents in the Columbine case are so troubling.
We hope Attorney General Ken Salazar takes the grand jury that one last painful step - to see if there was any outside influence behind the scenes that lead to the killing of 13 people. We don't think kids go bad without help.
I don't normally bother you with ads in the middle of content, but the folks at Elliottwave.com have a great freebie coming up Monday. If you want to learn a lot about Elliott Wave, click over to find out more about:
Also -be sure and follow the link on the left side of this page to get over to The Daily Reckoning - Bill Bonner's excellent market comments.
Friday Fun: Music for Triple Witching Day
MotM Day! It's on days like this - triple witching day - that I haul out my music analytics program which we simply call "Music of the Market". Taking the Dow 30, the relative volume of the Dow, the NASDAQ 100, and the S&P 500, I constructed an audio analog of the stock market for the year-to-date. I assigned grand piano to the Dow 30, the oboe, which leads is the declining volume of the Dow YTD, while English horns represent the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ 100 is played by a tuba. There are 177 notes YTD (This is current through Wednesday) and I used the NASDAQ to trigger soft steel drums.
To hear the music the market is making, point a recent copy of Windows Media Player, or something that will play back MIDI files and click over to http://urbansurvival.com/songofdeclingingvolume.mid and hear it yourself. Look at this chart while you are listening - different chart, but it'll give your brain something to chew on.:
Technically, this is child's play compared to Cliff's web bot project but the process is interesting. You begin by collecting the daily stock numbers you want to "musify" from someplace like Yahoo. Then you put them into Excel where you sort by date (Yahoo data plays backwards if you don't) and come up with normalizing multipliers. I chose to normalize to middle C on January 1st. From there, you copy and "past special as unformatted text into Word. In Word, you strip out the CR/LF (^p) character and replace it with a regular space character (^s). Now with a large paragraph of numbers separated only by spaces, you paste the results into MuSoft Builders "a Musical Generator" program using the data>numbers function. You save the result as a .MIDI file. To set the relative levels, I touch up the volume and musical assignments using MAGIX Midi Studio Generation 5 and then upload to the site.
9:00 AM CDT Update: A few people have asked so - more details: Acoustic Grand Piano (Dow) is panned left, OBOE (Dow vol.) is centered) English horn (SPC) panned left, NASDAQ 100 (steel drum and tuba) are panned right.
If you have RealPlayer fired up, you can listen to the interview I did recently on Feet-to-the-fire by clicking over to http://www.innersites.com/feet2fire/past-shows.htm and scoring down till you find it. Cliff was on Mysteries of the Mind a half hour later than scheduled last night - at least I think he was. I tried to listen but their servers were completely overwhelmed.
Special 11:30 PM CDT Update
No need to do anything but quote the eye-popping numbers in the Fed's new Flow of Funds of the United States report out within the hour:
Do you really believe that refinancings in the housing sector have paid down consumer debt? Guess again:
Bush Crew Eyes Iran Nuclear "Problem"
Good coverage in the British Financial Times of a story that really overshadows even the damage of Hurricane Ivan. It's about how the Bush administration is trying to come to terms with Iran and that involves hatching contingency plans for their next war. Saying they won't tolerate a nuclear Iran, the administration is reviewing military options, including presumably the one we've been watching most closely - having Israel carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as the election is in the bag: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/eed88be8-0741-11d9-9672-00000e2511c8.html If you're an armchair warrior, you can pick up some targeting information at http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/parchin-2.htm and related links off that page.
While nuclear proliferation is a problem, we're concerned that the Bush administration seems to be setting us up for another war. I understand why we allowed Israel and Pakistan to go nuclear. Israel made huge campaign contributions to US politicos and Pakistan has no oil, so they got a pass.
With Iran producing 4-million barrels per day of crude, and a US economy that we're not able to wean from the nipple of cheap oil due in part to a lack of political leadership, the Bush crew of energy highwaymen keep resorting to military options instead of engineering genuine solutions. Put more directly, thuggery is more their style than genius. And that's OK, but could we please de-spin things?
To learn more about underlying motives, let me recommend some reading. Catherine Austin Fitts, a once deeply involved in politics as assistant secretary of housing in the first Bush administration, has a wonderful series called "Narcodollars for Beginners" that is worth your time to read at http://www.drugwar.com/fittsnarco1.shtm. Once you take the time to read through that, you'll have a much clearer vision of why the Mexican border leaks (hint: drugs), why the U.S. is in Afghanistan (hint: drugs and energy pipelines) and how what's passed off to you as "terrorism" is more likely violent messaging from the petrodollar clan to the narcodollar clan and visa versa. Here's a stat for you from the article:
Fitts believes that the innocent bystanders (that'd be us) still have a chance to survive the petrodollar/narcodollar battle, which is what www.solari.com and the link "Solari" on the left menu is about. That said, your appreciation of global politics is enhanced, and the agendas crystallize, when you see some of the missing motivators.
Today's Narco-Petro Messaging
Suspected saboteur killed in central Russia gas pipeline blast: http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/09/16/pipeline.shtml
OPEC raises production quotas: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-09/16/content_1990879.htm
Oil higher as Ivan hits US: http://olympics.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=6253324
Cayman Island banks back in business after Ivan: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3659020.stm
Museum Links Drugs, Terrorism and Drug Users: LINK
Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists offering certifications in United Arab Emirates: http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=63251
Anthrax scare in South Africa: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?sf=2813&click_id=13&art_id=qw1095241502205B262&set_id=
Kofi Annan: Iraq War Illegal
We're putting this up as our "Duh!" of the Day. (DotD) The UN Secretary General says the war against Iraq, foisted on the American people by a pack of lies that just don't seem to end, was illegal. And our runner up for DotD is the response of the American allied countries who claim it was entirely valid. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3661736.stm. No, the Arab world is not surprised by Annan's conclusion: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/2AA1310F-798C-4666-AE76-DCB6370C75CC.htm
Will Bush Debate?
There's an interesting offered by the Drudge Report today at http://www.drudgereport.com/debate.pdf citing a letter from the Commission on Presidential Debates:
So will Bush simply run out the clock and hide from public debate of issues like the one above? We thoroughly expect some "emergency" to come up which will be used as an excuse not to debate John Kerry. But the real event not to be missed will be Dick "eff-you" Cheney versus John the trial lawyer Edwards. That'd be a shame to cancel.
53 foot waves continue hatching fears about what crews will find when they return to energy production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. NYT Coverage.
My daughter never did make it to the ranch. She and her friend Lisa (plus two cats) ended up in a motel north of Lafayette. They're both worried about being back at work on Friday. More coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3661040.stm
Next up is Hurricane Jeanne, which will make an approach up the east coast of Florida with landfall expected next Wednesday, somewhere from Florida up to North Carolina. Meantime, we continue hearing reports that Florida is having spotty gasoline shortages due to the previous two 'canes: http://www.local6.com/news/3731420/detail.html
I received an excellent letter from a reader this morning:
And it's why - if we were running an advertising campaign for personal preparedness - we'd propose some slogans like: "Food Storage - It's not just for Mormons anymore." or "Drink Canada Dry - and keep some bottled water". "Survival is Job One." "Generators - they bring good things to life"
www.halfpasthuman.com has launched a new round of web bots out collecting data for more analysis later this month... (OK, spiders, agents, and wanderers are just the front end data collection tools. But put on your calendar Cliff will be on Alex Merklinger's Mysteries of the Mind tonight. 8:15 or so CDT http://www.mysteriesofthemind.com/
Latest "Nigeria" Letter
It's always refreshing to see how the criminal mind adapts to the changing geopolitical situation. Take the famous "Nigeria Letter" scam. Used to be that I'd get an email or two a day from someone claiming to be the son or daughter of the late so-and-so in Nigeria who left $50-millon and if they could just use my bank account, they would give me $18 million for my trouble. So OK, that's the background. Now here is today's latest version - which is kind of clever and marginally more believable:
Forgive me if this sounds like Bat Man laying one of his preachy moments on Robin here, but "It's a shame to see such a good mind being wasted on criminal endeavors." Now if Mohamed could just spell conducive and spell his own name the same way consistently through the letter...but at least he's been watching the news and that's a start.
1:30 PM CDT Live Storm Data
As the Hurricane comes ashore, around midnight tonight, we've been watching the NOAA Ocean Data Buoy system. As of 1:30 P CDT the buoy to watch is Number 42040 with periodic data updated (several times hourly) at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42040
Additional data buoys on the NOAA page at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/WestGulf_inset.shtml. The 36.1 ft wave height over a 17 second period (Down to the trough and back up to a peak in 17 seconds) and gusts over 60 knots are a taste of what's coming.
Special 10:20 AM CDT Update
Jamaica Digs Out - Ivan Heads In
I talked to my daughter again - she and her friend are still only 75-80 miles from New Orleans and stuck in 5-6 mile an hour traffic on I-10 - they plan on heading north and west to get to high elevation before the storm comes ashore tonight or tomorrow.
I received a letter from a subscriber who lives in Jamaica - it puts the danger of the storm into perspective:
The latest from the National Hurricane Center shows the track holding, but any westing will increase the damage expected in the New Orleans area. For a summary of energy resources at risk, click here.
Escaping Big Easy: 10-Hours to go 65 Miles
I just got off the phone this morning talking to my eldest daughter Denise, who with her friend Lisa and two cats, are heading for the ranch. However as of 7 AM CDT, their 10-hours of driving had gotten them only from New Orleans to Baton Rouge - a trip that usually takes an hour.
I-10 is a parking lot from Baton Rouge west this morning where the cell phone report is that it's still 5-10 MPH and no sign of things getting faster. The girls are now taking shifts driving so they can keep up the pace and when I talked to them, they were at a rest stop watering the cats and dewatering themselves and looking for coffee.
If there's something to really learn about from all this it's probably the fact that what civil defense planners have often suggested: When a major disaster strikes a big U.S. city, many have highway choke points that would make escape for masses of people virtually impossible.
Make a note to yourself - although I will remind you of it many times in the future - if a real disaster scenario required evacuation from a major city, the effort might take many times longer than you expect.
We also noticed that when something really big is going on, the FEMA National Situation Reports fall waaayyyy behind: http://www.fema.com/emanagers/natsitup.shtm Wonder if this is some new way of lobbying for a bigger budget?
Bots on Radio Tomorrow Night
I was on Alex Merklinger's Mysteries of the Mind radio show last night http://www.mysteriesofthemind.com/ We spent about 3-hours going over the economic future of the country in general - and touching a bit on this week's Inside Report that suggests no matter who wins the White House, the economy may be in recession again or worse by early 2005. I'm out on the limb saying Dow under 6,000 by June 1 of next year, if not by Christmas.
Alex has Congressman Ron Paul on tonight - a true American Patriot who's willing to stand up to big pharmaceutical companies and actually knows what the Constitution & Bill of Rights is about. Then tomorrow night, my colleague Cliff will be on. Check the Mysteries of the Mind web site for info on how to listen live.
Look, Up in the Sky
That's about all air traffic controllers could do in the Southern California region yesterday as radio communications problems turned off air traffic control for 800 or so flights. http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=6237469 Some flights were were getting out of LAX after midnight, but the source of the problem is not yet reported.
Alternative to Hockey?
There's a new film - The Art of Killing a Cat - showing in Canada at the Toronto Film Festival about three artists who take it upon themselves to kill a cat. Animal rights activists are appalled, disgusted and fill in your own descriptors. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3657582.stm This is for sure not a movie that could display the "no animals were hurt making this movie" disclaimer. Ever since reading the story, we've been scratching our heads wondering if this is what comes after watching too much hockey.
Conflict of Interests
We have pointed out many times the difference in agendas bet6ween the U.S. and European countries in the Middle East, but now that the UN is debating what atomic energy future Iran will be allowed to have, it has come up again: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/74FF2AC4-8771-4C98-9687-A25375598305.htm Although it's a vast simplification, it always feels like the U.S. wants oil, and the European nations want a market to sell goods and services to. Thus, countries like Russia - and to a lesser extent Germany & France - don't mind selling whatever (up to centrifuges) while the U.S. backs Israel's 270 nuclear weapons being a monopoly in the region.
We seem to forget that we didn't go to war with Russia in 1947 when it became apparent that they were going down the nuclear highway, nor have we attacked North Korea yet, despite their open plans to build nuclear capabilities. A good backgrounder in the Christian Science Monitor this morning at http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0915/p01s01-wogi.html Extract: "The US wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set a November deadline for action. If Iran didn't comply, it would be hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. Europe has moved closer to the US view recently, though the US still wants a more automatic "trigger" for action than many of its allies."
While we look for the Israelis to attack Iran's facilities before the elections, the independent thinker has to ask would it happen if they didn't have oil? You'll note that Pakistan hasn't been attacked. The fact that Pakistan doesn't hold significant oil resources, and not being a major EU trading partner, spared them all the trumped up righteousness of the thinly disguised motives behind the UN debate. Iran won't be that lucky, because if the U.S. doesn't get its way, the air strikes will follow shortly thereafter.
OPEC Meets Today
Just as a major pipeline in northern Iraq was fixed this week, along came Iraqi insurgents who blew it up again: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A56F79CB-8AB1-412E-A022-46883C79AF78.htm Meantime, OPEC is meeting today in Vienna to talk about product quota increases (The Saudis will push for it) We expect OPEC will opt for a price-driven quota that will hold oil above $40 and below $55. We expect the OPEC discussions will be a balancing act: they'll do whatever necessary to keep the Western economies intact (so they can make out on their investments of oil money) while at the same time not encouraging wasteful consumption through artificially low prices. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7832F1C6-040C-4F5A-89A5-9E589A20B02E.htmm
From our Midnight CDT Update
Here's the midnight update from our Houston Bureau:
As of the overnight storm track update, it looks like Ivan has settled in on the New Orleans - Gulfport area - see our petroleum at risk analysis BELOW.
As we have mentioned since Monday, Hurricane Ivan's arrival in the Gulf of Mexico poses a significant risk to oil and gas production. Thanks to our Houston Bureau (and friends in the oil business) we're able to give you a very precise graphic showing what's at risk:
The above graphic demonstrates the threat to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas interests is accentuated as Ivan's track deviates westward from present estimates. The black dots represent one drilling rig or production platform each. The red, blue and green lines are oil, gas and condensate pipelines respectively. The map shows approximately the region from Intercoastal City, LA to Pensacola, FL..
The danger to platforms is obvious, however pipelines can be destroyed or damaged during strong storms by a number of factors, including: strong currents, ships dragging anchors and collapsed platforms.
(Hats off to BG in Houston for the help...)
Special 1:00 PM EDT Update
Leaving Louisiana Levee Lands
From our Gulf Coast sources:
Further reports as they come in from our Houston bureau. We understand that N.O. Mayor C. Ray Nagin will be holding a noon press conference with his department heads to talk about the batten down and button up plans... Oil up 62 cents on Gulf operations shutting down and Natural Gas is quoted up about 11 cents.
British Climate Change Jitters
We've got mixed feelings about the comments of British Prime Minister Tony Blair about climate change - in the wake of the hurricane nightmares of the Southeast U.S. STORY But what we find more curious is that the comments Blair is making would make more sense to us coming from an American government leader, don't you think?
As long as we're dealing with climate change and clouded thinking, we should point out to you that a good portion of the global climate change - better than 99 percent by some estimates - has nothing to do with how humans live and consume fossil fuels. Instead, it has to do with long period fluctuations in the heat from the sun - and you'll find with little research that NASA is hatching plans to study global warming of the planets more closely" http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/ That said, we've found some interesting "disappearing work" in the subject - LINK as an example - where we read this hypothesis as an area for study: "
Elsewhere, we read that "Data gathered by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft suggest that the Martian climate may have changed significantly in the past, and may be changing quickly even now. According to two papers published in the Dec. 7, 2001, issue of Science, these changes may happen over a much shorter time scale than scientists previously thought. " http://www.geotimes.org/feb02/NN_MarsCC.html
The European Space Agency reported in March of this year that looking at other planets suggests that the core issue of global warming is carbon dioxide production "On Earth, carbon dioxide makes up only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere. However, man-made emissions have caused carbon dioxide concentrations here to increase by about 30% since pre-industrial times." http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM6JHX5WRD_index_0.html
But back to the story today: Yes, the British should be nervous, because they are more northerly than basically the whole U.S. BUT: Do we really need Britain's leading promoter of the British participation in Iraq War 2 trying to change the subjects, if you will?
More Bombings in Baghdad
Although the official line from the White House is that elections will take place in January 2005 in Iraq, we don't see a ghost's chance in hell of it happening. Forgive our skepticism, but this morning we had dozens more killed in another big car bombing: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3654176.stm The big lie the administration has to keep up at least until election day is that the war is winnable - which we seriously doubt. That's not to be interpreted as a lapse of patriotism, mind you. I love our Constitution and Bill of Rights as much as any other red-blooded American. But what the web bots have been showing - and the headlines support - is that Iraq is headed for civil war and damn quickly at that.
Just today, Turkey is telling the US that it will stop cooperating with the US if we keep moving toward the northern Iraqi town of Talafar. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3653868.stm Turkey figures this is more like their territory than Iraq's.
All of these factors have combined to force Bush & company to divert reconstruction money to projects including security, oil output, and trying to get the elections to happen in January: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/6DCA1F2B-631A-474F-8841-9531D65BFD66.htm
Boarding up Bourbon Street
Looks like my daughter and a friend or two may be camping out at here at Casa de Urban also known as Uretopia Ranch. She and a million or so other New Orleanites are getting ready to exit or float as Ivan's arrivin' keeps edging closer: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040914/D85366N83.html Sometime today we expect national "me too" media to figure out that potential impacts on energy production if the New Orleans/Gulfport coast takes the direct hit. Say, how aerodynamic are cracking towers, anyway? Watch gold futures and black gold (oil) futures today.
More Weather Refugees
I won't go back 3-4 months to early web bot runs that kept referring to water-caused problems and weather refugees. But here we go in Bangladesh: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3654480.stm Unprecedented flooding - does that mean anything to you? It sure does to us: global famine in 2005 or it's first cousin, food shortages will be much larger than expected. Got any food stored yet?
No WMD's Likely - Powell
Well here's a good reason why we won't see Colin Powell in the second administration of Bush 2. Yes, we figure that Powell will be missing from two of 2 because he's saying in an outburst of honesty, that the prospect of finding WMD's is low: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=6223036
Uzbeks Lose Nukes
What? They had weapons grade uranium sitting around? And now Russia and the U.S. are doing something about it? http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/09/14/uranium.shtml Oh my - we have to wonder how much is missing - but then again, you and I will never be told. Hopefully the answer won't come to us as a blinding flash on American soil...
Russians are upping defense spending in a big way for 2005 +$3.5 billion in US dollars - $107 billion rubles. http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/09/14/defensespending.shtml Like the US, Russian officials are playing up terrorist fears to pump defense spending. Sound like a tune we've heard before.
Get Used to Slumming
A UN meeting on global life in urban areas is underway in Spain: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1312006.htm The headline numbers are wretched:
Of course, what the UN will not reveal is that the odds of ever hitting those numbers is closer to zero than 100 for the simple reason that thanks to depletions of everything in the food chain and running out of energy, the odds of making even 2013 are less than 50-50 in our view. Read up on what happens when energy production flattens and declines at http://www.dieoff.org/.
This weekend, Inside Report will look at why so many workers in America aren't happy: One item: it has to do with demand for job skills and the kind of education system we operate. Hint - there's a big mis-match.
It's only $30 to subscribe and it keeps the servers up for the 50,000+ page views per week seen on the free side here - plus Inside Reports - where we get into more depth - is very well regarded by subscribers. If you need help parting with $30, click here for subscription info
Special 5:50 PM Update
Buttoning Down Oil
Rolling Up Bourbon St. Next?
We note that the Houston Chronicle has caught up with us on the notion that Hurricane Ivan could be causing problems with Gulf coast oil and gas production, refining and shipping.
The latest Nation Hurricane Center track is available at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ftp/graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0904W5+GIF/132053W5.gif but the base of the track keeps westing (a sailing term, arghh) and out here in East Texas we just don't believe computer models that have the storm making a right hand turn so quickly. If we were living in Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, we'd be buying up 3/4 inch plywood - with the thought it could be turned into book cases later in the year.
My daughter just called from New Orleans where her mid city apartment is about eye level with the Gulf which means when the mayor of Naw'Leans says to evacuate tomorrow, looks like I will have campers here for a day or two...Yikes! If the storm gets that close, I will have to finish wiring the breakers from the diesel gen set into the house panel, a chore I've put off while I work on some exciting new projects with Cliff - news on these if/when appropriate.
Special 11 AM EDT Update
Hurricane Threat Real - Insider
We have gotten to know a couple of good sources in the O&G industry (not related to the fact that a big slant drilling rig is punching in a new well 3/4's of a mile from our ranch) here in in Texas. They confirmed this morning our worst fears about Ivan inducing an energy crisis for the Southeast:
In particular, we're watching oil - which is creeping back toward $45 this morning and natural gas up almost 50 cents. We've got our top off ordered from the local LP outfit. Some purchasing hints: They wanted $1.80 a gallon (we need 220 or so) but if I'm a senior citizen, it gets down to $1.77 - and you'll love this - pay cash and it's down to $1.72. So work all the angles you can when you stock up - and yes, we take our own advice about locking in early this week before Ivan's arrivin'.
Hurricane Induced Energy Crisis?
It's not a happy thought, but we have to start looking at the possibility this morning that along about Thursday, or so, we could have Hurricane Ivan pounding the Gulfport Mississippi area. It seems like over the weekend, the hurricane track at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ftp/graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0904W5+GIF/130858W5.gif is getting closer and closer to Gulfport. In the Gulfport area, we have a big natural gas plant. In Pascagoula Mississippi we have a Chevron-Texaco oil plant.35 miles east of Gulfport. The further west the storm tracks, the more critical infrastructure is exposed such as the extensive Louisiana petrochemical industries. There's a Shell operation at Baton Rouge, Chevron Bellchase, Good Hope Refinery at La Place, Louisiana, Cities Service at Lake Charles Shell New Orleans, Gulf Oil News Orleans, and Chevron/Texaco at Paradise.
Now I want you to grab a pencil and take the oil needed for the mid section of the country, including and especially natural gas, and estimate what the impact of a landfall in this area could be. I think you'll agree that serious damage to refining capability could be a problem. So what can you do about it? I'm topping off my winter stocks of LPG for the ranch today. Not that we ever use it all - and could maybe get by the winter without any additional fuel - it seems to me that investing in LPG is as good (or more likely a better) bet than anything available on the exchanges or from the financial products industry. I don't see energy getting cheaper, unless as Matthew Simmons told the Houston Chronicle last week in an interview, we have a "stunning depression." Either way, I want to be warm.
Possible Bot Hit
From reading the public side of this site, you have no doubt read the web bot predictions that there would be an assassination attempts around September 11th. So, it was with a great degree of interest that I read the following news article from http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,10743394%255E1702,00.html
The reason this article was so interesting is that the timing fit, as did a large number of attributes. For example:
What we will have to watch for next will be the economic impact, so we should be watching the Egyptian economy over the next few weeks. Thankfully, a high level U.S. personage was not involved, nor do we expect, the economic impact to be major globally.
A large number of readers wondered if the revelations about a huge nuclear explosion in North Korea near the Chinese border might have been the hit. Although I can see some fit there, it's likely not the "oh my God" kind of incident that percolates up. Although the incident in Egypt is small (and again thankfully it was not here) we have no idea what its emotive values are/will be in Egypt.
That leaves only events of September 23-25th to watch and the mystery of the twin earthquakes due for California.
Speaking of Quakes
What's the action in Indiana all about, anyway? http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/neic_nhad.html Precursors we think to the forecast of the California double-quake to come.
Does the President Matter?
It was an interesting Inside Report that condensed out of my fingers onto the Inside Report pages this weekend - because when I got to studying the situation, it became more and more apparent that whoever is President, early 2005 will be a mess. So when I read about Al Gore taking off after the GOP http://asia.news.yahoo.com/040912/ap/d8529ktg1.html or Kitty Kelly's new book "Family" coming out, I take it with a salt tablet or three as a lot of it won't matter.
End of the Web Foretold
Yeah, Intel and other are saying that the World Wide Web may have its end in sight due to traffic volumes. See the Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/execpicks/feeds/general/2004/09/10/generalcomtex_2004_09_10_ir_0000-5884-KEYWORD.Missing.html for more. Personally, I think it is only a precursor to www2 - which I expect will move toward licensure and regulation - something so the government can get control of what is obviously too much freedom to be tolerated forever here on the patriotic wild west web.
NK Blast Conventional
At least that's what Colin Powell's minions over at the State Department are trying to sell. And it seems they are having some success of it, too: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&e=1&u=/nm/20040912/ts_nm/korea_north_dc The problem for the White House is that if the blast was nuclear - and it's hard to get a 2-mile mushroom cloud from conventional explosives, don't you think? - then it would mean the Bush appeasement of North Korea was not working. Gee, what a surprise that would be. But North Korean says it was all part of construction getting underway for a new hydro project: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3650702.stm
Russia - More Like US Every Day
I'm continuing to fret and worry about why the Russians are being led down the same road as the U.S. when it comes to terrorists, the War on Terror, and using all of that to steal away constitutional rights of all citizens. Putin's latest power grab at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3650966.stm is just one example. The Russians planning to strike preemptively at locations outside of Russia is a big worry, too. What's not widely reported is that Putin is also using the terrorist attack to consolidate his personal power base in Russian asserting more control over regions and governors of those regions: http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/09/13/putin.shtml Let's call Putin "Oil Emperor Lite."
Not here, but then again, it's not November yet. I'm talking about municipal elections in Saudi Arabia have been postponed until at least February: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9F6EDB04-C9C7-4156-8154-E063C53AA5B3.htm Don't mention this to anyone - wouldn't want to give the U.S. Royal Family ideas from the Saudi Royal Family, would we?
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