Drumbeat: January 19, 2010

Christophe de Margerie: Big Oil's Straight Talker

A decade after it bought its French competitor Elf Aquitaine, Total has ballooned into the world's sixth largest publicly traded energy company, according to Energy Intelligence Research. By market capitalization, the company is worth around $150 billion and returned profits in 2008 of $21 billion. From its skyscraper headquarters on the edge of Paris, de Margerie oversees operations and 97,000 staff in more than 130 countries. But as the company has grown, so too have doubts about how Total, and other oil giants, will survive the coming decades. As oil becomes increasingly difficult to find and extract, and as governments embrace cleaner sources of energy, won't those most invested in finite resources become irrelevant?

Oil Prices May Stabilize in 2010, but Motorists Won't Get a Break

There are signs of price stabilization in the oil market. And, as is often the case with crude, if price stability occurs in the year ahead, it will be due to a confluence of factors including the fact there are fewer Americans getting into cars as a result of the recession.

Conoco, Total to expand oil sands project

ConocoPhillips COP-N and Total TOT-N have announced plans to expand the Surmont oil sands development southeast of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Phase II of the project will quadruple Surmont's capacity, to 110,000 barrels of bitumen per day from 27,000 barrels per day.

Chevron will restructure refining, cut jobs

Chevron Corp. plans to restructure its global refining business under a sweeping plan that will result in an unspecified number of job losses and that could see the U.S. oil giant exit some markets around the world.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company is reviewing its entire downstream portfolio, including its five U.S. refineries, with a goal of making the unit less complex and more profitable, company spokesman Lloyd Avram said.

Oil and gas exploration falls to lowest level in five years

North Sea oil and gas exploration dropped by 35 per cent last year, taking it back to levels last seen five years ago, according to figures published by Deloitte yesterday.

Only 78 new wells were drilled in 2009, compared with 121 in 2008. Exploration activity was down by almost half, appraisals by a quarter. Meanwhile, new drilling in the Norwegian North Sea shot up by 18 per cent last year thanks to a more generous tax regime.

Kazakhstan Is a ‘China Play,’ Stocks Are Cheap, Troika Says

(Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan is becoming a “pure China play,” supporting the country’s economic growth and bolstering the equity market as links increase with the world’s fastest growing major economy, according to Troika Dialog.

“Kazakhstan is building major new oil, gas, rail and road links to China, and has a pipeline in place that will be capable of sending a quarter of its oil exports to China,” Troika’s Chief Strategist Kingsmill Bond wrote in a report to investors today. Closer ties will lead to more Chinese investment in Kazakh companies and listings in Hong Kong as early as this year, encouraging higher valuations for the central Asian nation’s equity market.

Yemen’s Oil-Deadly Decline Rate

The failed Christmas plane bomber’s links to Yemen brought that country back under the geopolitical microscope. But a dark headline about Yemen the day before Christmas went virtually unnoticed. The below-the-radar message: “Yemen Reports Disastrous Drop in Oil Revenues.” Yemen’s oil production, and the national budget it has recently propped up, is cratering. And the plane bomber’s training on Yemeni soil will likely add a risk premium to the very investments needed to help slow down Yemen’s oil slide.

House Panel to Hold Exxon-XTO Merger Hearing Wed

A U.S. House panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday on Exxon Mobil Corp.'s planned purchase of natural-gas producer XTO Energy Inc., an event that could put a spotlight a controversial drilling technique that is allowing access to vast new domestic supplies.

Saudi ditches private sector for Jizan oil refinery

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday state-owned Aramco would build an oil refinery in an underdeveloped province bordering troubled Yemen, rather than private firms that had bid for the delayed project.

The Jizan refinery is far from Saudi Arabia's producing fields and is part of a wider development plan for the impoverished southern region. The kingdom had hoped the refinery would be built and owned entirely by the private sector, a first in the world's top exporter.

But the plan failed to generate interest from foreign investors, who were concerned the cost of supplying crude to the plant could make it unprofitable in the future.

Nigeria: We won’t resume fuel importation, say marketers

INDEPENDENT marketers said yesterday that they would not import fuel unless all the outstanding debts owed them are settled.

This is coming, even as queues at filling stations in Lagos and its environs lengthened yesterday, signaling that the situation had worsened.

Pilipinas Shell Warns Refinery May Shutdown Over Tax Dispute

MANILA -(Dow Jones)- Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. warned Tuesday that its oil refinery may shutdown if the Philippines' Bureau of Customs is allowed to seize its imported raw materials as payment for an alleged tax deficiency.

The Court of Tax Appeals stopped the customs bureau in December from seizing Pilipinas Shell's imported catalytic cracked gasoline, or CGC, and light CGC for a 60-day period. The customs bureau wants to confiscate the CGC to cover PHP7.3 billion ($159 million) in unpaid excise taxes for imports between 2004 and 2009.

Britain restates support for Nigeria's energy security

THE United Kingdom (UK) has restated its commitment to Nigeria's drive to attain energy security.

Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Peter West, yesterday disclosed the position of his country during a workshop aimed at improving operations of the oil and gas sector of the economy.

Oil and renewables will have to work together

Abu Dhabi: "Renewable energy is not an alternative to fossil fuels. There is not a stark choice between the one and the other," Abdullah Al Attiyah, Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, said yesterday as he appealed for more cooperation and less "them-and-us" dialogue.

He caught the mood of the room at the plenary session of the first day of the World Future Energy Summit, WFES, in Abu Dhabi. All delegates spoke of the urgency in increasing the use of renewable fuels and reducing the dependence on hydrocarbons, even if they differed on how to deal with the problem.

Kinder Morgan buys ethanol terminals

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP has acquired three ethanol terminals around the country from U.S. Development Group.

The $195 million deal is the latest move by the Houston-based pipeline company (NYSE: KMP) to bolster its network of ethanol handling facilities.

Centre tries to boost ethanol price, violates contracts with OMCs

NEW DELHI: Is the Central government willfully paving the way for high alcohol prices across the board in a crucial year when sugar output is at an acute low of only 16 m tonnes against an annual consumption of 23 m tonnes? The move could boost prices for your evening tipple and all other sectors using alcohol as an input/raw material.

Energy co-op offers green option

The Energy Cooperative offers a program called EcoChoice100, through which members can purchase electricity through renewable sources. Grunwald describes the Energy Cooperative as acting like a broker between consumers and companies and individuals producing wind, solar and low-impact hydro power. This is exciting, though she stresses that EcoChoice100 represents only a small portion of her organization’s business, and that they are not primarily a green energy company.

Grunwald is a committee member of her neighborhood’s food co-op and sees a strong connection between the renewable energy and food justice movements, particularly when it comes to valuing local sources. “I believe that sustainability has much to do with proximity. No matter what source power comes from, it's got to come from within the community,” she says.

Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes

Gordon Fleming is, by his own account, an environmentally sensitive guy.

He bikes 12 1/2 miles to and from his job at a software company outside Santa Barbara, Calif. He recycles as much as possible and takes reusable bags to the grocery store.

Still, his girlfriend, Shelly Cobb, feels he has not gone far enough.

Ms. Cobb chides him for running the water too long while he shaves or showers. And she finds it “depressing,” she tells him, that he continues to buy a steady stream of items online when her aim is for them to lead a less materialistic life.

America's 75 Worst Commutes

Congestion consumes billions of gallons of fuel, wastes hundreds of billion of dollars in productivity and causes billions of stress headaches. Yet over 100 million automobile commuters each day feel like they have little option. “We put so much of our national wealth and our identity into the whole motoring thing,” said James Howard Kunstler, author of Geography of Nowhere, “that we can’t imagine doing something different.”

The Pollyanna Handshake

The evolution of widespread trade and business led to a third partner being added to the arrangement. Now, powerbrokers, (governments), are allowed to continue in office for as long as they can deliver, among other things, a protective environment for business to operate. For its part, business provides jobs, spending power and goods for the rest of us to buy, buy, buy. In the western world, this state of affairs has developed over the last 500 years, intensifying over the last 200 years with the discovery of vast amounts of easily recoverable cheap energy in the form of fossil fuels. Over the last 50 years with the widespread use of oil, gas and advanced internal combustion engines, the pace has become positively frenetic. An unspoken ‘handshake’ between the three groups has become so much part of the way we live; we hardly acknowledge its existence. More and more, governments now have to be elected, businesses have become global and ‘workers’ have been transformed into ‘consumers’.

Why Alaska Isn’t Free of Exxon Valdez Crude

A study in 2004 estimated that perhaps 25,000 gallons of oil remained along the sound’s gravel beaches and was degrading very slowly. So that raised a question for researchers: Why, despite one of the largest environmental cleanups in history, has some oil persisted?

La. workers: Exxon hid radiation risk of cleaning job

Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. energy company, hid the risk of radiation from cleaning used oil-drilling pipe, 19 workers claim in a trial.

The trial began today in a case of 19 workers in state court in Gretna, Louisiana, near New Orleans. The workers say Exxon knew as early as 1981 that pipes might contain excessive amounts of radiation-tainted residue and warned no one for years.

If it suddenly ended tomorrow, could you somehow adjust to the fall?

We’ve all played the “what if” game, and specifically the one with a timeline. What if I had six months to live? Would I live differently? Would I see somebody, or some place? How would I “make my peace” with the world and those I love?

Let’s kick it up a notch. It’s not one of us with six months to live, it’s the industrial economy. Now whatcha gonna do?

Emissions from UK food industry far higher than believed

The food we eat accounts for 30% of the UK’s carbon footprint, according to a new report published today by WWF-UK and the Food Climate Research Network. Previous estimates put the figure closer to 20%, but this study is the first to incorporate land use change overseas, increasing the estimate of emissions attributed to food consumption in this country from 152MtCO2 to 253MtCO2.

Land use change, mainly deforestation, is a major source of climate changing emissions. Each year world-wide, an area of forest equivalent to half of England is lost. The expansion of the food system is the biggest driver behind this as land is cleared to grow crops and rear animals.

Copenhagen & Economic Growth - You Can't Have Both

Economic growth requires energy, and most of our energy comes from hydrocarbons - coal, oil, and natural gas. Burning those fuel sources releases carbon. Therefore, increasing economic activity will release more carbon. It is a very simple concept.

Nobody has yet articulated how it is that we will reconcile both economic growth and reduced use of hydrocarbon energy. And so the proposed actions coming out of Copenhagen are not grounded in reality, and they are set dead against trillions of dollars of spending.

Climate Terror: Global Warming, Failed States, and the Rise of Terrorism

It's hard for even the most optimistic to be hopeful. Copenhagen, understood by many as the world's last chance to stop global warming was, in the words of Sweden's Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, a "great failure." What the world needed was a legally binding commitment to bring the level of carbon dioxide down to 350 parts per million - a number NASA climatologist James Hansen determined to be the minimum to support human civilization. What the world got was a toothless, non-binding agreement which recognizes the seriousness of climate change, but does nothing to address it.

This means that, barring some international diplomatic miracle, every apocalyptic prediction of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will come true. More simply: it's coming. The biblical floods. The crippling famines. The mad chaos. But that's not all.

Dmitry Orlov: Real Communities are Self-organizing

John Michael Greer, Sharon Astyk and Rob Hopkins have made some interesting points on the topic of community, and I wish to join the fray. In all of my experience, communities — of people and animals — form instantaneously and rather effortlessly, based on a commonality of interests and needs. What takes a lot of work is not organizing communities, but preventing them from organizing — through the use of truncheons and tear gas, or evictions and mass imprisonment, or, more recently, more subtle and ultimately more successful techniques of the consumerist political economy.

CNPC Says Global Rivalry to Affect China Oil Imports

(Bloomberg) -- Rising global competition and volatile energy prices will affect Chinese oil imports, making it more difficult to guarantee domestic fuel supplies, China National Petroleum Corp. said.

Chinese companies should avoid competing with their domestic peers in the international market and instead form an alliance against foreign producers, the parent of PetroChina Co., the country’s largest oil and gas company, said in a commentary in its online newsletter today.

China in the new decade

Though the argument that peak oil — the time when new oil discoveries can no longer keep up with oil demand — is fast approaching is still controversial, the argument that we are entering a time of greater resource shortages is not. As long as the basic formula of growing demand and shrinking resources remains true, commodity prices have an impetus pushing them forward.

As one of the world's major consumers of resources — particularly in construction inputs — what happens in the commodity markets in a large part happens to China. Over the past year high coal, iron ore and gas prices have grabbed headlines across China, and led to prolonged and intense negotiations with the largest providers of those resources. As late as last November the Chinese media was reporting that electricity producers had decided to forgo group negotiation of coal prices in exchange for one-on-one contracts – in other words the problem is as of yet unresolved.

Crude Oil Trades Near Lowest This Year on Global Stockpiles

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil was little changed near its lowest this year in New York after declining on speculation global stockpiles remain more than adequate.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries won’t need to raise oil production this year as its output of natural gas liquids increases, the International Energy Agency’s deputy executive director said yesterday. Oil also slipped as Japan Airlines Corp., Asia’s largest carrier, filed for bankruptcy, raising concern its fuel hedges may be liquidated.

Goldman Calling for US$100 Oil by 2011

When Goldman Sachs makes a prediction about the price of an asset, you can never be sure if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy or a psychological investment operation exercised by an elite trading team. Is Goldman calling for US$100 oil by 2011 because it's already long oil? Or is it just early on the trade in predicting that oil demand will recover faster than oil supply will grow and that the result will be higher prices this year and next?


OPEC holds 2010 oil demand steady

CAIRO (AP) -- OPEC on Tuesday held its world oil demand growth forecast steady for 2010, noting indications of improvements in the global economy but voicing concerns that oil's price rally remains on shaky ground.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, supplier of about 35 percent of the world's crude, said the world economy was projected to grow by 3.1 percent, up from the bloc's forecast of 2.9 percent the previous month. China and India remain the "bright spots for the year's economic recovery," it said.

OPEC: Cold Weather May Trim Middle Distillate Glut

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Refiners may get some relief from cold winter weather, which will trim help to trim an oversupply of middle distillate oil products, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday.

"A cold snap along with increasing seasonal demand and stock draws have underpinned product market sentiment and lifted the crack spread and refining margins, especially in the U.S. and Europe," OPEC said in its monthly oil market report.

ANALYSIS - A China that says 'no' casts economic shadows

BEIJING (Reuters) - A deepening chill in the Chinese political atmosphere is as deadening as the harsh winter weather that has been gripping the capital. For global economic policy-making, that could magnify friction on everything from trade to exchange rates and global warming.

Ottawa considers more aid for Yemen

OTTAWA -Canada will consider increasing development funding to Yemen as a means of helping it counter a threat from the al-Qaeda terror network, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, pictured, said yesterday. Mr. Cannon met with his Yemeni counterpart, Abubakar Alqirbi , who made a pitch for increased foreign spending, saying that it is key to preventing impoverished citizens from being lured into "radicalization and terrorism."

Yemen ups security at oil and gas facilities

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen has boosted security at energy installations to guard against militant attacks, a government official said on Sunday, as Sanaa escalated its war against al Qaeda.

Yemen, a small oil producer with output of around 300,000 barrels per day, has come under pressure to act against al Qaeda since attacks on its two main allies, Saudi Arabia and the United States, by militants coming from Yemeni soil. "The security measures have been strengthened for some time. But we took additional measures around oil institutions and the gas project in Shabwa," the official told Reuters, adding the measures were put in place "in case of any terrorist attacks."

Security at oil facilities in Bihar tightened

PATNA (Reuters) – India has deployed additional forces to guard energy facilities including an oil refinery in Bihar after police found maps of such units with a suspected militant from Bangladesh.

"We are investigating how he managed to get maps of key oil installations," Nayyar Hasnain Khan, a senior police officer, said on Friday.

Russia sees Austria joining South Stream project

MOSCOW—Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said Tuesday it expects Austria to sign up to the South Stream pipeline, a project the Kremlin hopes will strengthen its grip on European energy markets.

Gazprom finds buyers for half of Nord Stream pipeline gas - official

BERLIN (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s natural gas concern Gazprom has already found buyers for half of the volumes of gas that will be supplied to Europe through the North European pipeline Nord Stream, Managing Director of the consortium of companies for the pipeline construction Matthias Warnig told the German economic magazine Euro in an interview.

According to him, contracts on the supply of over 21 billion cubic metres of gas a year have been concluded with consumers in Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain. Among the major gas consumers in Germany are the energy concern E.ON Ruhrgas and a daughter company of Gazprom and Germany’s concern Wintershall – Wingas. Warnig noted that these enterprises plan during the next 25 years to get, in addition to the currently supplies gas volumes, 9 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually.

Cleanup ends at damaged BP-operated pipeline: officials

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) -- After weeks of work, crews have finished cleaning up the oil and oil-laced produced water that leaked out of a ruptured pipeline in November at the BP Plc-operated Lisburne field, company and state officials said Thursday.

Shell Investors Seek Review of Oil-Sands Operations

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, faces shareholder scrutiny of the investment risks at its Canadian oil-sands projects as environmental groups object to development plans.

A coalition of 142 shareholders have requested a review of the risks, in a resolution to be addressed at Shell’s annual meeting in May, according to FairPensions, which is coordinating the investor campaign. A statement from FairPensions cited a likely increase in carbon costs and potential damage to Shell’s reputation from environmental degradation as some of the risks.

Toronto Hydro admits it has little control over stray voltage, tells parents to watch children

“What we are trying to tell customers is ... step around any electrical equipment. If you have children, make sure they know not to touch or play around electrical equipment,” said Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Tanya Bruckmueller.

“If you can, walk your dog before the streetlights come on. Because then there is no electricity,” said Ms. Bruckmueller, adding that dogs who contact hot spots should not be touched without proper equipment.

Japan Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

Months of speculation came to an end on Tuesday afternoon as Japan Airlines (JAL), the country's 59-year-old flagship carrier that once symbolized the strength of Japan Inc., filed for bankruptcy with two of its subsidiaries. Weighted by debts estimated at $25.6 billion (2.3 trillion yen), Japan Airlines Corp., Japan Airlines International and JAL Capital made history today as what is perhaps Japan's largest nonfinancial corporate failure. With a long record of unprofitable earnings, the airline has taken a hit from weak travel demand after SARS and H1N1, fuel surcharges and the global recession.

12 greenest cars of 2010

From a Honda Civic to a Smart For Two, the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy ranks these vehicles as best for the environment.

Unlocking finance for clean energy

As negotiators and policy makers look beyond the high-level politics of a global climate change deal, attention will focus on implementation, according to a paper from Chatham House published on 7 December 2009.

The paper looks at what policy needs to deliver in order to provide the conditions for scaled-up investment in renewable energy, drawing on work with leading mainstream financiers. ‘Investment grade' energy policy is a critical factor for unlocking significantly scaled-up capital flows into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

New Fusion Center capitalizes on free office space and common goals

You’ve heard of incubators, which provide space for numerous young companies under one roof, with shared copiers and communal coffee. But what about a “syncubator’’?

That’s the term coined by the founders of the new Clean Energy Fusion Center in Waltham: an incubator where synergies develop, since all the start-ups housed there are pursuing opportunities in related sectors, such as wind power, solar panels, or smart grid software. The center is managed by a group of executives who participated in last year’s Clean Energy Fellowship Program with the New England Clean Energy Council, including Lorraine Wheeler, Mike O’Neill, and Doug Levin. (The fellowship program aims to give executives from other industries an immersion course in the science and business of energy.) They set up shop last August, and are holding their official opening party later this month.

Sen. Lamar Alexander's vision for new nuclear plants faces obstacles

WASHINGTON — Since Sen. Lamar Alexander first began pushing the idea last spring of building 100 nuclear plants over the next 20 years, the proposal has increasingly become part of the national debate about the best way to generate electricity while lowering emissions that contribute to climate change.

But Alexander's push also has prompted a pushback from environmental groups and others who say that its apparent simplicity belies a host of obstacles ranging from financing to what to do with the waste leftover from nuclear power generation.

Here are some of the obstacles to Alexander's proposal and his response.

The organic base

In the same way that ‘peak oil’ tells us that we have been too reliant on an unsustainable supply of oil, ‘peak phosphorus’ tells us that we have relied for too long on industrial chemical farming.

Masdar CO2 plant lined up for 2012

Abu Dhabi state-owned Masdar said today its first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project would be cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2012.

Carbon Falls as Climate Failure Is Oil Polluter Boon

(Bloomberg) -- The inability of government leaders to agree on stricter pollution controls at meetings in Copenhagen last month is showing up in commodity markets, where it’s getting cheaper to emit greenhouse gasses.

The price of permits to emit a ton of carbon dioxide sank 10 percent in London, while oil gained 6 percent in New York since Dec. 7, when 8,000 delegates attended a summit in the Danish capital to prepare for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the climate treaty that expires in 2012. Not only did the summit fail to increase regulation on polluters, it also reduced incentives to invest in clean energy.

Silicon Valley Rocks Climate World With New Breed of Software

Only a few years ago, businesses wanting to track their greenhouse gas emissions had few choices. Their main option was a simple spreadsheet with pages and pages of numbers.

Now, companies and governments can turn to software that allows them to input emissions data, analyze it in fancy charts and receive recommendations on how to cut heat-trapping gases from operations large and small.

World leaders make new call for clean energy commitments

ABU DHABI (AFP) – World leaders raised a fresh alarm on global warming Monday, urging international action to increase use of clean energy at a four-day forum that opened in the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi.

"If we don't act now, our coral reefs and rainforests will die, desert countries will become unbearably hot and low lying countries like the Maldives, will slip beneath the rising seas," said the president of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed.

Indian minister slams UN body on glacier research

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India's environment minister slammed the UN's top climate body in comments published Tuesday, claiming its doomsday warning about Himalayan glaciers was not based on "scientific evidence."

Australia: Tony Abbott sinks forests on farms

TONY Abbott will rule out the use of prime agricultural land for carbon sinks when he announces a new policy on climate change in a move aimed at avoiding a damaging split with the Nationals.

Populate and pollute

AUSTRALIA would find it much easier to meet its climate change targets if it slashed the migrant intake, a Monash University report says.

The study said the Federal Government was in a difficult policy situation because record immigration was undermining its efforts to cut greenhouse gas levels.

Net immigration rose to 285,000 last year, almost triple the number five years ago.

Radical sea defence rethink urged

Rising sea levels and more storms could mean that parts of at-risk cities will need to be surrendered to protect homes and businesses, a report warns.

The authors say that "radical thinking" is needed to develop sea defences that can cope with the future threats.

Link up top: OPEC holds 2010 oil demand steady

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, supplier of about 35 percent of the world's crude, said the world economy was projected to grow by 3.1 percent,

This is simply wrong. OPEC supplies over 42 percent of the world's crude and over 40 percent of all liquids. And I do think that expected growth rate of 3.1 percent is a bit optimistic.

"Economic growth in 2010 will still depend on government support following the massive stimulus that has already been provided by the U.S administration over the course of 2009," OPEC said. "This raises the question of the sustainability of growth if the government lifeline is removed."

This is absurd! That government lifeline has already been removed. There will be no more stimulus packages in 2010. They have got all they are going to get. Do they actually believe that growth will be sustained by continuous handouts from the government? And next year there would be more handouts? Are these people truly connected to reality?

And I believe those "tenaciously high global crude inventories, which remain well above five-year averages" combined with an ever deepening recession, will keep the lid on prices. In fact I think there will be another price drop in the next few months dropping prices below $60 a barrel.

Right now world growth is driven by China and India. I believe the Chinese bubble is about to burst. That event alone will cause the Great Recession to become another Great Depression. OPEC will have to make more drastic cuts in production to keep oil above $60 a barrel.

Ron P.

"Economic growth in 2010 will still depend on government support following the massive stimulus that has already been provided by the U.S administration over the course of 2009,...

I don't see this as growth at all,
Just robbing Peter, to pay Paul...

Just robbing Peter, to pay Paul...

How I hate that particularly empty catch-phrase.
That's not how things work at all.
The economy should move like a shark thru the water, if it stops moving it dies. The real myth is that growth occurs spontaneously. The problem with the Obama stimulus is that it is too weak and poorly directed to revive anything for fear of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'.
Money is going to pay unemployment benefits and pay down colossal state and local gov't debt--certainly necessary but only enough stimulus to keep the economy in a coma.
You should fear being left in an endless coma more than death by bankruptcy.


The way I see it, what you describe would be robbing Peter to pay Peter. In my view, Paul is Wall Street, Peter is my kids, who I am trying to teach to not participate in Paul's massive rip-off. Pay as you go. Avoid credit. Keep your tax liability to a minimum. Avoid "stuff". Reduce consumption. Involve yourself in things that actually produce something tangible. Buy/sell locally whenever possible. By doing these things they can hope to live full lives without the fear of "an endless coma" or "death by bankruptcy". The system you defend is gasping for its last breath. We can't borrow our way out of this much longer.

The economy should move like a shark thru the water, if it stops moving it dies.

Interesting you should say that, first it most certainly isn't true of all sharks. The reason most sharks are constantly swimming is because cartilaginous fish lack swim bladders (bubbles) to keep them afloat. So your analogy is still somewhat appropriate. If you take any bony fish and burst its swim bladder it will sink like a stone if it should stop swimming too.

BTW I often find nurse sharks resting on the bottom on the reefs where I dive. They are still very much alive...

Hi Frank,

Well... You're half right. Ram ventilation is the name for fish like tuna and most sharks who breathe by swimming with mouths open, thus passing water over their gills for oxygen. Obligate ram ventilators must keep moving or they will die. Many fish, including most sharks, have a choice.

They can also employ buccal pumping, or breathing, where they close their gill plates and suck water into their mouths, then open their gills and push water thru, thus breathing w/o the need to swim. Independent of swim bladders.

I do think our economy is like an obligate ram ventilator though.

Energy cost will be the gill net that ensnares and kills it...

Yep, I actually knew that, which is why I said "It certainly isn't true of all sharks" at least in reference to the dieing for lack of O2. However I just thought it would be amusing to mention the fact that the shark like the economy has to keep moving or else it sinks without being kept afloat by a bubble ;-)

I think there may well be another stimulus, if it becomes clear the recession isn't over. One, there's an election looming. And two, a lot of states are going to be severely hurting next year. I think there may be more federal aid, to prevent bankruptcies and to ensure some semblance of essential services continue.

Never mind the possibility of more "too big to fail" corporations getting bailouts...

And if the Republican candidate wins the Senate seat in the Mass special election, I think you will see a heck of a lot more "stimulus spending' to try to revive support for Democratic candidates in the General Election later this year!?

Yes. A bad economy is bad for the incumbents, no matter their party. And it's the incumbents who get to vote on these things, not the challengers.

Doumerism du jour.

Haiti, the earthquake, will fade into the past. The average mind will drift back to their pundits, sports and TV shows. The compassion tax will have been spent and it will not have been enough. The U.S. military will police the streets for years and refugees will try to escape their hell on earth. I was thinking what if? Since we will soon reach a maximum of solar storm activity and it’s supposed to be much worse than past events, perhaps because we will pass through the galactic plane in 2012, is anyone here more prepared than the people of Haiti? What would you do in the event that every electronic component from Bangkok to New York was fried beyond useless. No heat, no gas pumps, no food. Don’t think it could happen? It happened in 1859.

Are heavy metal ions being sprayed into the atmosphere (chemtrails) to bolster our magnetosphere. How much time and money would it take to build Faraday cages around or ground all essential equipment. Do you have 2-3 years worth of survival rations Wonder why they wouldn’t warn you of the possibility of such an event Maybe because the world only has a couple of months worth of food stored and that would be hoarded in the wealthy countries, while the resultant increase in food prices guarantee starvation elsewhere.

Those that depend on a seamless functioning of the “system” are in for many unpleasant surprises going forward.

Or am I watching too much of Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory".

Probably watching too much conspiracy theory. However E.M. Forster is way ahead of you -- I'm surprised how infrequently this gem (from 1909) seems to be invoked:

by E.M. Forster (1909)


Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment that my meditation opens, this room is throbbing with melodious sounds. An armchair is in the centre, by its side a reading-desk-that is all the furniture. And in the armchair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh-a woman, about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus. It is to her that the little room belongs.

It was Forster's only foray into science fiction that I know of, and yet he managed to get the outlines, and some of the details of his imagined, and our real future remarkably accurately.

"What would you do in the event that every electronic component from Bangkok to New York was fried beyond useless."

Yes, every electronic component from Bangkok to New York was fried in 1859.

"Or am I watching too much of Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory".


Google "1859 Carrington Event" and you get all kinds of wild stuff -- some of which might be overheated but hey; while we're panicking over "the converging catastrophes of the 21st century", why not add one more to the list?

It is pretty easy to conclude that we've been living in a protected bubble and now we're starting to wake up and recognize our vulnerabilities. That can't be a bad thing.

Edit: ...actually, it could become a very bad thing if it leads us to institute a police state.

Is Jesse Ventura's show interesting enough to watch?

I enjoyed Ventura's show featuring the building of underground bunkers by private and government entities. If he were to find something definitive, I don't think it would find its way on to his show and be broadcast, so the audience is left to wonder.

Here is some more on solar storms from this site http://www.solarstorms.org/

"Electrical Power - The North American power grid continues to operate on declining margins, and with only modest infrastructure back up for its critical transformers. There have been three major blackouts in the last 10 years affecting 50 million people. Replacement parts for the largest transformers at 500 - 700 kiloVolts require long lead times of over 12 months, and are only supplied by foreign companies. The current stockpile for these critical items is fewer than the number of likely failures during the most severe space weather storms of the last 150 years. However, although there have been several near-blackouts of portions of the US electrical grid by space weather events since 1998, operators have been able to avoid these blackouts so far.

In the next 5 years, the construction of new power plants will continue to fall behind the domestic need for power, and margins will decline to between 1 and 5% in most areas. Space weather forecasting techniques are slowly being adopted, but the chief data resource, the NASA ACE satellite, is operating beyond its mission lifetime and will be decommissioned by 2007, leaving the US power grid without any advanced warning of impending space weather storms. This quantity (preElectrical Power - The North American power grid continues to operate on declining margins, and with only modest infrastructure back up for its critical transformers. There have been three major blackouts in the last 10 years affecting 50 million people. Replacement parts for the largest transformers at 500 - 700 kiloVolts require long lead times of over 12 months, and are only supplied by foreign companies. The current stockpile for these critical items is fewer than the number of likely failures during the most severe space weather storms of the last 150 years. However, although there have been several near-blackouts of portions of the US electrical grid by space weather events since 1998, operators have been able to avoid these blackouts so far. In the next 5 years, the construction of new power plants will continue to fall behind the domestic need for power, and margins will decline to between 1 and 5% in most areas.

Space weather forecasting techniques are slowly being adopted, but the chief data resource, the NASA ACE satellite, is operating beyond its mission lifetime and will be decommissioned by 2007, leaving the US power grid without any advanced warning of impending space weather storms. This quantity (preparedness) is assessed to be Poor.

Even though I agree with Ventura on 9-11, I don't believe our biggest problems are the result of conspiracy, but rather as a result of not yet having developed the global political will to confront the resource depletion and ecological disaster that has finally caught up with us, i.e. humanity. It was easy to see by looking at the population curve, and what must be a much more sharply increasing resource consumption curve that things could not continue much longer. It looks like we are now there.

I regard most else as side issues, meteors, the stuff you mention, and so on. The main issue gets hidden in a cloud of smoke. Even the climate issue, insofar as it is detached from resource depletion and the general ecological crisis, is to a certain extent a red herring.

Electric Bicycles Deadly on China's Streets

By some estimates there are 120 million e-bikes on China's roads—up from just 50,000 a decade ago, making it the fastest growing form of transportation in China. Cities at first embraced them as a quieter and cleaner alternative to gasoline-powered scooters.

Officials were caught off guard when that environmentally appealing solution turned out to be deadly on the streets. In 2007, there were 2,469 deaths from electric-bicycle accidents nationwide, up from just 34 in 2001, according to government statistics.

I'm sure that on balance they are great things, but there are some downsides apparently. . .

I don't think the situation in China is all that relevant. Sounds like the problem there is bikes that are too heavy or too powerful.

I think here, people who want speed or power will get a scooter or motorcycle instead. E-bikes here are for people who just want a little help on the hills.

Bike ownership has gone up by a factor of 2,400 - deaths have gone up by a factor of 73, so the rate of deaths per owner has REDUCED by a factor of 33 (OK so the dates don't quite match). Amazing to watch the media spin ...

Sure. Put those 120 million bikers in cars and see how many get killed. Especially as the (drinking) alcohol industry gears up to match the other elements of the consumer economy that seems to be building.

Especially deadly until the Chinese actually learn to drive all of those cars. It's like putting tens of millions of teenagers on the road every year. I'll bet that auto body shops would be a good investment there. "Uh-oh! better get Maaco!"

I can assure you the Chinese did not know how to drive before they got more cars !

Or more to the point did not believe in traffic laws unless forced. The only saving grace is generally traffic is heavy and moves slowly. Koreans however drive insane at high rates of speed. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia god help you.

The scariest place is still Korea simply because you have the cross of crazy Asian driving with high speeds. The worst is they love to split lanes esp on the highways. Lane markers are considered suggested routes. A taxi ride in Seoul from the airport can be a life and death experience.

Come to think of it by Asian standards the Chinese are actually not all that bad :)

Sounds a lot like driving in Boston.

Yeap -- driving in VietNam is an experience to remember. I remembered sitting in a van full of French tourists -- they were screaming every time the driver tried to pass the car/truck in front. It's only a 2 lanes "high-way" -- but we Vietnamese managed to squeeze three-four lanes out of that running at 100km/hr.

Thailand is a lot better.

My guess is that the death in China is not from more electric bikes but more cars -- in Asia, it's survival of the strongest -- car drivers just expect everyone else to get out of the way for them. Only the rich and the powerful have these toys and the rules are pretty much in their favors.

If it scared french drivers, I can guess how bad it was..

Driving in Palermo Sicily is fun too. One thing I noticed in Italy when I was there in the 90's was that as one goes further north, the more people obey the traffic laws. Bologna was fairly tame. In most Italian cities one must drive aggressively in order to survive and get anywhere. If you cut someone off in traffic, that's routine. In the US people get 'road rage' and take it very personally. While in Italy, a few gestures of choice and you get over it quickly.

I just read an article in 'Outside' mag. about skiing in Korea. They mentioned as an aside that for death rate by automobile, S. Korea is #1.

The skiers are crazy, too.

I lived in England fifty years ago. Aside from the motorways, the roads were narrow and twisty. My observation was, the English didn't actually drive on the left side of the road. They drove in the middle, and dodged left. Yank reflexes still had to be retrained.

One memorable afternoon, my step-father-in-law (my wife's mother had married three times) was zipping along a country lane in his Rover when we met a milk truck coming around a stone wall corner. My host took to the hedge, the milk truck driver gave a cheery wave, and we all went on.

We still have those roads, only now they are reverting to dirt tracks as the potholes expand.

I've done the Asia thing, with Thailand being quite sane.
Try El Salvador in the 1970s. It was demolition derby with AK47's thrown in just to keep your attention.

One of my most vivid memories of Beijing was the terrifying ballet of buses, cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians that took place on the street outside the hotel. The bicycles would swarm past on both sides as a bus came to the stop, all in incomprehensible cooperation. From what I saw, I'm rather surprised that the fatalities are so low.

US prepares for Haitian refugees in aftermath...

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. authorities are readying for a potential influx of Haitians seeking to escape their earthquake-wracked nation, even though the policy for migrants remains the same: with few exceptions, they will go back.

So far, fears of a mass migration have yet to materialize. However, conditions in Haiti grow more dire each day...

Will the U.S. open up the borders to Haitian refugees? With population growth rates becoming a hot topic, and the U.S. in the middle of a crippling recession will we feel quite so generous?

Population is driven by a number of factors such as births minus deaths. A factor less talked about is net migration rates.

According to Index Mundi the U.S. is #25 worldwide with a migration rate of +4.31/1000 which means that we have 1,344,700 legal immigrants entering the country annually.

Based on our current population of around 308 million the U.S. already has the largest number of legal immigrants and probably the highest number of illegal immigrants.

Haitians are young (half the population under 21) and highly reproductive with little or no education. There aren't any good options...


Let Haiti deal with their own issues, one of the nice things about higher energy prices will be the death of globalism.

The problem is , we never have. The USA has occupied Haiti for 21 years, saw it as a threat to slave holdings ever seance its origin in 1804, and has overthrown its current elected president.
Out trade polices forced urban flight, as the local agriculture was crushed by cheap subsidized imports, and sweat shops for export goods were set up by corporations.
80% of Haiti's budget was foreign aid.
But you may be right.

... one of the nice things about higher energy prices will be the death of globalism.

Or maybe not. Between the time that the world acknowledges PO and the time that we all huddle around a camp fire and gnaw on scraps of mystery meat, a lot of bad things could happen. We are likely to see "empire on steroids" before we withdraw from the world stage.

The article says refugees will be turned away. I don't see any reason to doubt that.

Leanan - I agree with that. People now feel threatened by illegal immigrants even doing menial work. The prospect of thousands of penniless refugees streaming into America will be met with stiff resistance.

Not only has globalization outsourced well paying jobs overseas, lax immigration policies in CA, AZ, TX and NV has reduced the standard of living for hundreds of thousands of hardworking people.

San Diego has been particularly hard hit with job losses since 2007. People who have always paid their bills are losing their homes and businesses. Thousands of people who work for themselves (and are never counted in the unemployment figures from Washington or Sacramento) are hurting and they see the current administration in a very bad light.

Where I live in N. County there are still a lot of farms. The pickers are still primarily illegal immigrants. Jobs have become so scarce, particularly in the construction industry, that individuals that never would have picked vegetables or worked in the culinary field are beginning to look for jobs in these less desirable occupations.

In my condo complex, the gardener let all of his undocumented workers go so now it is only himself and one other guy in place of 3 mexicans.

As things continue to unravel xenophobia is rising.


I've known several Haitians, both at Indiana University and in New York City. Smart and likable people all. And French-speaking, like my Franco-American husband. Too bad about their skin color.

Too bad about their skin color.

What the f@$k, Duck!?

I'll send you some white spray paint. Will that fix it?

I don't think their skin color has anything to do with it. When the economy's bad, the public opinion always turns against immigrants, whether they're black, white, brown, or purple polka-dotted.

I think peak oil will exacerbate this. There's a growing sense that the petri dish is full. It's a lot easier to ban immigration than to enact China-style one-child laws.

New York is full of Irish immigrants who pretty much blend in. There's no way to discriminate against them until they open their mouths. Haitians look like African-Americans, and so face the same prejudice to begin with, in addition to the further prejudice against immigrants. That's all I meant -- that the Haitians I have known would be ideal neighbors, were it not for the racism still active in the US. Leanan is probably right about a coming hardening of bias against those perceived as outsiders. (The gains made by homosexuals in the 1920s were lost in the Depression.) I was only talking about the present-day status of individuals.

You should check out Little Haiti in Miami, they've turned it into a war zone. The ones you know were self selected to be better behaved and more intelligent, that's why you know them. I have no desire to support third world masses, no one has any right to come here, they did not build this nation. We should revert to the National Origins Act of 1924 and let no one in. Meanwhile, post 1965 immigration has destroyed a sense of community and debased the culture that founded this country. Even people like Robert Putnam confirm this. Some true liberals like Kunstler recognize irredentism as a real thing and think economic issues from peak oil could have the situation turn ugly. Until people truly begin to reject out dated notions of immigration we will have serious issues; AGW, resource depletion, and overpopulation are all related. This is not 1890, the U.S. was not developed then, carbon dioxide was not being dumped into the atmosphere at the out of control rates it is today. Prior to about 1970 this was a nation of "Americans", only about 2.5% were foreign born. Today when you take into account the Immigration Act of 1965 and illegals it's probably closer to 20%. When you allow someone from Haiti or elsewhere to move to the U.S. they will consume more finite resources, eventually you will be competing with these people, not only for jobs, but perhaps for food and your families very survival.

Will the present neo-liberal system stop what it is doing? No - it is from the counter culture of the 60s, it is from a culture of excess, so perhaps the airlines going out of business will be a good thing, it will stop cultural suicide from taking place on a larger scale. The current generation making the laws is the most coddled in history, they are the children of those who fought WWII, there has been no real war since 1945. Perhaps the agony of peak oil will wake them up to the real world.

Whoa! Nice ++blinders,

Someone else was reading this exact script about Italians and Chinese and Pakistanis and Irish and Asians.. and before that someone else was on about all those French, English, Spaniards and Dutchmen..

Hey Floridian you have my support. The UK is following the same neo lib religion. There is no racism in saying "no, you can't squat in my backyard" .

I fear we will never see an end to globalisation. They will just have solar powered container ships if they need it. It is widely recognised that the cost of moving crapola from port to shop in the UK is more than the cost of shipping [per item] from asia to the UK..
There are advantages in warehouses on ships - vs - land.

Have you seen those CE marks on Europe goods? You realise those laws were lobbied and written by the large producers to hammer the small EU manufacturers? Just a snippet for proof [they have beeen arguing the complex yet vague EMC rules for over 20 years now..]:

The radio emmissions compliance [EMC] is from the manufacturer. The end retailer is not liable for failure so:

1] Company A sells Chinese stuff with "CE" marks [real or fake] at no liability.

2] Company B tries to make stuff in a UK workshop [creating real jobs]. Each product requires compliance testing file - about $10000 to test externally.

Prior to about 1970 this was a nation of "Americans", only about 2.5% were foreign born.

Prior to 1492 this was a continent of "Americans" and 0% foreign born. Then came waves of immigrants who wiped out an entire complex network of cultures.

I have no desire to support third world masses...they did not build this nation.

Interesting perspective. Building an empire takes input of resources (including slaves) from elsewhere, causing third world conditions.

It must be nice to live in a bubble.

The natives were living in the stone age, there was absolutely nothing here. Had everyone in the world agreed never to settle in the Americas the "natives" would still be running around in loin cloths eating Buffalo. They get the same garbage in Europe. In France and the UK they too are told "we came from else where and anyone is allowed to come". You fail to recognize that large scale migration can cause irredentism, this is not some world where there are no differences. You fail to recognize we did not share a contiguous border with Ireland or any other European country. At what point in time do the Chinese nationals entering the Far East Russian territory reach critical mass and are able to disregard the laws of Russia and follow China? The difference with modern immigration and the romanticized immigration of old is due to burgeoning human populations, immigration from the third world could literally never end. We already have the makings of a Quebec in the U.S., the situation will only become more dire as we reach limits. No one in my family was ever given a vote on the matter either, oligarch Ted Kennedy did what he wanted. This is not racial, this is simply reality, you may ignore it at your own peril. If you choose to ignore some of these factors then perhaps it is you who live in a bubble. I can assure you I am very well prepared for many possible contingencies and do not live in one.

...there was absolutely nothing here (in America)

You seem to forget the reason TOD exists: there was lots of oil. Plus lots of forests, buffalo, fresh water, virgin soil, ..... and no pollution.

Colonial-era criticisms of how First Nations people lived is a poor way to excuse past injustices. Do you really think the Europeans improved life for the original inhabitants?

...immigration from the third world could literally never end.

I'm sure that's how it must have felt to the First Nations people, who were living sustainably at an appropriate population density for the resources. With the exception that the newcomers had superior weapons that they were more than willing to use, and brought diseases that were even more devastating.

We already have the makings of a Quebec in the U.S...

That might be an improvement.

I certainly believe that immigration policies should consider all aspects in the context of the long-term well being of the country (and the level of need in the emigrating country). But please, let's avoid revisionist history (taken from the conquering perspective).

I do not care of "past injustices", they have been repeated time and time again throughout history. I have no moral desire to right what some think are past wrongs. Do the Japanese allow immigration to make up for the rape of Nanking? No, they do not. I do not care what the First Nations people felt, there is a reason China was never colonized to the extent the Americas were, that is because the Chinese developed the land. If any Seminole Indian descendant thinks his people built this land and demand my house, the only thing I will give him is a 5.56mm bullet traveling at 3200FPS to his chest out of the barrel of a Colt AR-15 rifle. Why must you attempt to use some form of white guilt for me to allow people to squat in my backyard that my forefathers built? You must admit overpopulation, finite resources, and immigration are all part of the same issue. We would not care about immigration if there were infinite resources, but alas, there are finite resources. We also live in a world where irredentism is a real thing, this is not some egalitarian world where every liberal ideal conjured up in the past 50 years is a reality.

You are ignorant beyond belief. You know absolutely nothing about the Native Americans who were here going back 20,000 years.

Get some education. You need it badly.

"Built your house?" An AR-15 bullet? Get real fella, your the one living in the stone age.

Airdale-part Cherokee

Airdale, you should be proud of your Cherokee ancestry. I am simply attempting to illustrate a point, there was essentially nothing by today's standards in the Americas until relatively recently.

From your rant, I presume you have "Pioneer's Disease". It's the same old story going back centuries. White citizens in the US can all trace their origin back to some immigrant or other. Just because the British or French may have been the largest fraction of the early immigrants does not change things. The Spanish colonized Florida long before the US Revolution, yet their descendant are likely to be considered as new arrivals if they were born outside the US. Even the American Indians were immigrants, since they arrived from Asia thousands of years ago.

I suggest you should study the history of the US, for example, the "Know Nothing" movement, later known as The American Party of the 1850's. Their basic protest was against WHITE immigrants from Ireland and Germany. It was only 4 years later that the political winds shifted and the election campaign between the Democratic Party and the new Republican Party produced the Civil War. The "Know Nothings" probably had something to do with that too, having helped destroy the Whig Party.

I think immigration should nearly stop because immigration represents about half of population growth, I also think it will be necessary to adopt measures to limit internal procreation because it is becoming apparent that the World no longer has the resources to support a growing population. I do not mean to discriminate based on race...

E. Swanson

"Even the American Indians were immigrants, since they arrived from Asia thousands of years ago."

Yes but I doubt they slaughtered off any who were already here. I believe from my history of late that it was pretty much barren at the time.

The Cherokee claim they came from an island off the coast of S. America. Their basketry is the same as some in S. America and their language is a far different kind of Iroquoian that the rest. The Cherokee are by far the most numerous of Native American Tribes.

They did try very hard to mingle and integrate with the whites but ...well the rest is history.
The "Trail of Tears" came right thru my part of the state. I study them intensely and visit the museums and attend their PowWows. I am 1/8 Cherokee and proud of it.

Of course the rest is European but the majority of my blood is indigenous native blood.

And I might add that many many many white settlers intermarried into the Native Americans. Especially the Cherokee. As did my two GGGrandmothers. In fact many around my area have some Native blood, diluted of course but their were many many half bloods alive here during my childhood.

It was the Government/Military who did the majority of the killing.

The main reason there is an Eastern Band of Cherokee was that some white settlers helped them buy land so they couldn't be moved and hide many of them out. Junaluska fought with Jackson in the some battles and saved his life when a Creek was ready to bash his skull in with a tomahawk. Later Junaluska traveled to DC to speak with then Jackson who was President and ordering the deportation of all Native Americans to the 'Indian Lands'. Jackson refused to even have an audience with Junaluska.

The perfidy of the US Government was beyond belief. It has never been forgotten and never will.
The Indian Wars it is said lasted 200 years in this country. The longest battle ever. The Native Americans lost. Only of late were they even allowed to practice their religion, in a country supposedly noted for 'Freedom of Religion'.


Some places must be more racist than here, or I must be bad at seeing it. I don't see it at all, and I'm on the lookout for it. Ideal neighbors are honest, hardworking, smart, and educated....doesn't much matter what color they are.

Of course I do hear shop-owners saying that young black men aren't willing to work, so they hire Mexicans. But that doesn't mean they're racist, just honest.

I do think racism will recur, and anti-immigrant sentiments as well, but I don't think it will be pronounced everywhere, nor without exceptions.

that doesn't mean they're racist, just honest.

Honest? ... No ... prejudiced!

I suppose it's possible, but usually black shopkeepers are not seen as being prejudiced against black people.

I had a white roofer say the same thing about white boys. And we've seen similar comments by farmers here. Many, if not most, of today's youth are unwilling or unable to work at manual labor.

The actual facts as I see them here and now is that if you need someone to do a hard tough jib in my part of the country , you have three choices. You can find an older black or white worker used to that kind of work.Success rate ninety percent plus, either race.

You can hire a young worker, black or white.Success rate maybe fifteen or twenty percent, meaning they will stick and not quit for an easier job that not only pays less but has less hope of advancement within a few months.They can't wait to put down a shovel or wrench and pick up a spatula inside where they are clean and warm -and even the kitchen area in a fast food restaurant is very comfortable compared to being out in the summer sun doing physically tough work.

You can hire an older Mexican and get a winner nearly every time.You can hire a younger Mexican and probably seventy or seventy five percent will perform superbly and stick.The remainder are already Americanized.Five or six few years ago a young Mexican would have been a ninety per cent plus bet. I guess in ten more years they will mostly be americanized .

My fiends who live around the city where there are lot of Asian immigrants say roughly the same thing I say here.

I personally hire one local Anglo helper regularly a few hours to keep him in food and more hours when there is more work. He's a good worker but not outstanding in any respect except one-he doesn't steal.

But the backbone of the local unskilled and semiskilled labor supply here is Mexican.They are quick tough cheerful workers and other than my one regular part timer, whom I see as a community responsibility, they are the workers of choice.It's a good thing they are good, because there is little in the way of choice.

Giving mudduck the benefit of the doubt, it's an unfortunate situation to have to ask: "if these were white people, would they be more welcome in a time of desperate need?".

Leanan, you have a point about folks becoming more territorial, even xenophobic, when significant social/economic change is inevitable. In my little world, I have often asked myself (since we are a little more prepared than most), will there come a time when I will have to turn friends/family away, because it becomes a (perceived) survival situation? Do our more basic instincts kick in?

Hi Joe,

I myself try to be pretty open minded, realizing that the "no Irish need apply" signs were common in some places within the memory of people only one generation removed from people I knew myself as a child.My great great grandfather couldn't read them but he knew what they said anyway, to take his worthless carcass elsewhere.

But the other side of the coin is that every single person I ever met who gets his panties in a bunch about zenophobia is insulated from the effects of lots of immigration-as a matter of fact most of them actually benefit (or did over the last few decades at least) from lots of cheap labor handy provided by people in a position where they couldn't really complain.My buddies who are teachers for instance are ready , willing, and able to pay some newly arrived Mexican kid or Daddy cash to cut thier grass -a lot less cash than local kids and Daddies would get except for the extra competition.

Some of them won't hire an Anglo unless he has insurance-no problem in thier eyes because the hpocritical axxhxxxs aren't worrying about getting sued by a Mexican kid.No Mexican immigrant, even one with a phd, can compete for THIER JOB because he lacks the proper credentials issued by a college or school of education here in the states.

I have personally heard the same holier than thou sentiments expressed by at least one programmer who is out of work recently because his work was either exported or taken by one of he people with a special visa because supposedly there aren't enough skilled workers.He is singing a different tune now, believe me.

There are many tens of millions of people in this county whose standard of living has been gut shot by a few million newcomers.When you are a personell manager and you need to hire unskilled or semiskilled labor, and in some cases skilled labor, you can depress a ten dollar an hour job down to a nine dollar an hour job over a little time if there are on the average say twenty qualified applicants for every fifteen openings.Even one or two more applicants than are needed can splell trouble over the long run.

Then the floor supervisor can gradually tighten the screws as to effort on everybody because the new hires can't complain at all-sometimes they are even shorted on the time clock as well as the hourly rate.

Now of course there is a certain type of conservative-not my type- who thinks this is all for the good, and there are a lot of liberal commentators who seem to think so too as it keeps the cost of living down for THIER kind of people.Working jerks don't read the NYT of course.These liberal types seem to somehow miss the evidence of the havoc wreaked on our working class in a manner that reminds me of the way that the peak oil naysayers manage to miss the evidence of oil depletion .

Of course this IS a dog eat dog world and this sort of thing is to be expected.Unfortunately it is also to be expected that the society in general , in pursuit of short term gain for the dominant groups ,will give no thought is given to the long term consequences.

Painting with a broad brush, the consequences are clear.

The local McDonalds operator gets cheaper help but his employees have to let thier teeth rot and live on food stamps in subsidized housing.People who find themselves in this sort of situation who normally are good lawabiding citizens originally but soon they learn how to work a little side job for cash and cheat on thier taxes.Then they realize that they can buy an ounce of pot , smoke a few joints, sell the rest in slightly short "quarters" and make fifty bucks-and thier
kids need shoes.

Have we ever heard the expression "Familiarity breeds contempt"?

I don't have time to write a novel, but the open minded and perceptive reader should be able to see the race to the bottom that is involved, including the growth of an ever larger and unproductive resource sucking non productive welfare state and embryonic police state.

We may find ourselves looking at a very large and very pissed group of people in this country soon who are not willing to play by "the rules" before too much longer.Most of them are not able to articulate just what these rules are , being poorly educated but some politician one day will articulate the rules for them in terms not too far different from these.

The rich bastards(meaning actually the middle class to a large extent ) say you should keep your nose to the grindstone and work and save and send your kids to college and see them move up in the world.

But you and I know that you can't save anything nowadays, you can't even get your kids teeth fixed, and your local schools are rotten to the core , and exist not to educate your kids but to take care of the teachers and the rest of the govt first.FThe cops spend all thier time busting your butt for a bad tail ligt or smoking a joint while they ignore the coke parties at the country club.

The deck is stacked against you, and against your kids, by the people who are comfortable or well off now (by the sxxs running things ). Nobody consulted you as to what the rules are,You didn't agree to these rules, and and by xxx you are not obligated to play by them.

I stand for change you can believe in.Vote for me and the xxxxx party.

This comment is written as best I can to get across the nature and complexity of the immigration debate from the side that is seldom told rather than to describe the actual situation-but I believe the flip side in the long term is not too far different from the picture I sketch here.

I believe the usual classical expression applicable is something to the effect that the center cannot hold.

I am not advocating closed borders necessarily but I am trying to get the reader to look at the other side of the coin.

I do favor the admission of relatively small numbers of people who are genuine refugees, etc.I don't mind if an MD wants to come here.

I am saying that we are idiots if we do not soberly consider every side of a serious issue and think the issue thru.

We need to think with our heads , not our sensibilities.

Oldfarmermac, you've made some excellent points. Immigration today really only hides inflation by depressing wages. What outsourcing does not do, Immigration and H1B visas finishes.

Slate has an interesting photo-slide show of abandon buildings in Detroit and Camden New Jersey today. It is is worth a look to see how a city decays and a possible future of our thriving cities of today. A little arson and let mother nature do the rest.

In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise

In Germany, having children out of wedlock is no big deal. But women working when they have kids is still controversial. Though that's changing fast.

The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany.

Now, in the face of economic necessity, it is crumbling: one of the lowest birthrates in the world, the specter of labor shortages and slipping education standards have prompted a rethink. Since 2003, nearly a fifth of Germany’s 40,000 schools have phased in afternoon programs, and more plan to follow suit.

Perhaps Germany would be interested in Haitian labor?

Come to think of it, they reportedly aren't fond of Turks, who aren't anywhere near as "foreign" as Haitians, so what is this "spectre of labor shortage"?

I guess they mean German labor shortage

I don't think labor shortage is the reason for the shift to longer school days. It is mainly a (in my view, positive) "modernization" of the role of women in society. There is no real labor shortage as unemployment is relatively high, ~9% overall, higher in the east, lower in the west. Germany can also easily draw from the entire labor pool of the EU.
...and few Haitians would have the skills to function in most jobs in Germany.

What I find most interesting is that, in spite of the short school days, Germans appear to be as, or better educated than their American peers. My hypothesis is that children mostly learn from their total environment, and that schools mainly serve as day care and to a lesser extent to transmit limited amounts of more esoteric knowledge that you would not normally pick up in everyday life, e.g. calculus.


“Yemen Reports Disastrous Drop in Oil Revenues.” Yemen’s oil production, and the national budget it has recently propped up, is cratering.

Yemen’s oil production, oil consumption, and exports: 2001 vs. 2008

Production b/day 2001 440,000 / 2008 300,000

Consumption 2001 102,000 / 2008 152,000

Exports 2001 338,000 / 2008 148,000

Yemen’s oil production hit a peak and then plateau from roughly 2000 through 2003. After reaching their peak, Yemen’s exports declined 56%, from 328,000 to 190,000 b/day.

Looks like the Export Land Model in action.

Time for a little Israel to Lebanon style demand destruction?

Max Keiser..............it just keeps getting more and more surreal.


Interesting article on epigentics from Time magazine.

Norrbotten is so isolated that in the 19th century, if the harvest was bad, people starved. The starving years were all the crueler for their unpredictability. For instance, 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 were years of total crop failure and extreme suffering. But in 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863, the land spilled forth such abundance that the same people who had gone hungry in previous winters were able to gorge themselves for months.

Hard to imagine that happening in Sweden today. I think this is something that's often overlooked: the "insurance" that grain surpluses and the means to ship them have given the world's population. Even with the best practices, you can have a bad year. Fire, flood, disease, plagues of locusts. Without easily stored and shipped surpluses, the result will be famine.

Some fascinating stuff in the article. It claims that just one winter of overeating in childhood can result in shorter lifespans for your children and grandchildren. Like, over thirty years shorter. And men who smoke at age 11 - when their sperm are forming - will have children more prone to obesity. Holy Lamarckism.

Very interesting. You make a key point about 'insurance' value of grain and other staple food storage for populations relying on local production. Bureaucracies, regional government, even larger Empires actually provided a function historically.

Sweden was a poor agricultural country; even the grass produces less and the trees grow more slowly than in lower latitudes. The growing towns (industrialization) were hellish in the 19thC with disease problems and child mortality. Sweden has a lot of documentation on public health issues and the history of mortality and morbidity rates. In 18thC they were regularly swept by smallpox epidemics coming in from Finland and beyond across the great plains of Russia until they deployed cowpox vaccination in early 1800s.
Epigenetics is becoming useful science - part of the background for cancers and mental health as well. Causal mechanisms putatively include toxic metals and organics
I have heard epigenetics quoted as a part explanation for the continuing bad health in Glasgow, an early British industrial mega-city with pollution problems. (e.g. Lead, Pb, in the water until mid 1970s, and much else.) Holy Lamarckism indeed!

I promised a while back to review Al Gore's book, "Our Choice." It is not a hard read. Much of it could be subtitled, "good ideas that even a skeptic could buy into. Chapters three through 13, plus chapter 17, are solution oriented. There are good summaries of the potential for wind and solar, plus a surprisingly optimistic appraisal of the potential for geothermal power development.
(more here) http://shastainquirer.blogspot.com/2010/01/our-choice-plan-to-solve-clim...
The biggest disappointment is chapter nine, on population. Gore claims that emancipating women and improving the standard of living in the third world will lead to population stabilization. I just don't think he has done the math.

Gore claims that emancipating women and improving the standard of living in the third world will lead to population stabilization. I just don't think he has done the math.

I think Gore's group has done the math but population is still the 3rd rail for the mainstream. With shrinking resources (Peak Everything Richard Heinberg) and rising populations we aren't going to have the resources to lift all boats ever again. In todays neo-liberal environment the only choice is to allow pestilence and starvation to take it's course. Enforced sterilization will never be tolerated.


Why is it the more educated classes typically had smaller families, while the illiterate classes had higher birth rates?

Why did some of the poorest nations have the highest population growth rates?

Population growth is not directly linked to prosperity in these cases.

I believe the standard answer to that is poor, rural people have no social security or medicare. In poor countries your children might be your only retirement. With high infant mortality it is necessary to have large families in order to ensure that enough males survive into adulthood to provide for the parents.


Almost universally (there have been some aberrations in Scandinavia recently) when women in a culture have equal economic and political rights, population stabilizes, and in some cases goes negative.
Of course, with religion, ignorance and superstition on the rise, I would not count on this for a solution.
Peak Oil may have also been Peak Women's Rights in the First World.

From brutal brooding to retrofit chic: a landmark of 60s brutalist style, 222 Jarvis Street in Toronto is touted as one of the largest retrofit projects in North America

The gov't of Ontario recently purchased a huge old office building and are reworking it with all the right stuff: green roof, PV panels, rainwater harvesting, etc. Sounds quite impressive.

Details in a Globe & Mail article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/from-brutal-brooding-to-retro...

here's some links to the earth's magnetic field.


yeah, the earth's magnetic field is weakening and maybe flipping. is there PD? that is peak doom? why is only PO a cause for concern? me?
i'm PO'ed about PO. well, because my lifestyle is being reduced. soon i wont be able to buy frozen pizzas unless i get a gold man sacks bonus. so i am looking at PP. that is peak pizza. and then the die off. let us not forget the die off. did i mention die off? yes, i did, die off.

i am about a 2 hour drive from camden. my town of 10,000 homes just
released details of a 70 MILLION DOLLAR budget!!!!!! how about PT. that is peak taxes. at least the haitians got their disaster all at once. ours in the usa is going to be one of attrition. we have to stand on the side lines while crooks in high places steal all the money.

"it's all good"

Make muffin pizzas: english muffins, pizza sauce, toppings and cook in oven.

well! i just have to make a second comment. it's on the nature of peak oil. absolutely nothing about titan, a moon of saturn and how it is covered in hydrocarbons.

i bought some apple juice in plastic jugs a few weeks back. i often do this. apple juice, from concentrate has always been one of the cheapest juices you can buy. however it has increased many times over the years.

this apple juice jug i just finished was sitting on the counter waiting to be recycled. there is printing directly on the plastic. and i quote, "concentrate of china".

so what's up with peak oil? where is it? BAU in the state of nj sez that it's cheaper to load up a huge container ship with apple juice concentrate from china, ship it across the pacific ocean and bottle it and distribute it across the usa than to produce it locally.

just a few miles north of me in ny there are apple orchards but i cant buy that apple juice. where does it go? and why isnt the price of apple juice from china much cheaper?

i know the answer. big crook capitalist pigs buy cheap juice from china and sell it at usa prices. and you can get seasonal apple juice locally for 5 bucks a gallon.

does this apple juice from china present health hazards the likes of poisoned dog food or baby formula or milk from china?

and what of peak oil? where is it? super markets are selling apple juice from china. and where does uhmerikan apple juice go? and the pacific north west up washington way is a big apple area. the usa cant make apple juice affordable? does everything need to cost the
amount of a gold man sacks bonus?

what i am getting at is, that it just aint peak oil. nope, it's more than that. and if it is then i tell you all that your most wildest doommer fantasies will come true, die off and all the frills.

About 1980, Eastern Washington: A farmer down the way had a beautiful orchard of apple trees and the fruit was to be picked in the next day or two. We had a severe wind. Fully a third of the apples fell into the orchard grass. There they layed unhurt in the grass. He invited us down to get what we wanted from the downed apples. We got a pickup load easily in less than a hundred feet, perhaps thirty boxes of beautiful apples.

He could not sell apples off the ground. I'll bet the concentrate you got from China had no such restrictions.

I don't think you'll see Peak Oil in direct retail effects. It's coming at us in a curve. I think the recession itself is largely energy-based, not that I can prove it.. but businesses and national economies are used to running sales off of loss-leaders, sacrificing body muscle directly into currency like a long-distance runner starts burning through their own tissue (so I've heard) when the real reserves are depleted.

We'll keep the Suits and starched shirts pressed long after we've passed the Points of No Return, and would be mortified to allow any hint of discoloration to be seen.

Lynford above has a very good reply. You have no idea of the crap you may or may not be consuming with foreign produce. All the US restrictions, which drive our costs up, are circumvented by the consumer in purchasing Chinese apple juice or Brazilian OJ. The irony is the regs were supposed to protect the consumer...

Then again, look at what your $5 juice entails, along with the regs. Somebody has to tend that orchard, and it's often no picnic. Contrary to popular belief, you can't just plant a tree and magically pick apples. The diseases and problems that beset apples are staggering, from the root hairs to the leaf bud. Then pay to pick it, pay to ship it. Depending on the variety or press, it'll take 2-3 bushels of apples to make your gallon jug. Then ship it again. And pay the retailer. Your $5 jug of juice is a steal, usually on the back of the orchardist.

Galling to me is that CA orchardist who sprayed liquid manure on the orchard, in the Central Valley heat, then used windfalls to make their juice. Presto, the new regs requiring all to pasteurize, when some common sense could have forestalled that. So now all you get is mass produced, pasteurized juice that tastes no better than concentrate. Quality costs a little more. The flip side of course is losing your orchard and shirt to a lawsuit.

Extreme weather in Mongolia:

Mongolia has experienced a sudden drop of temperature combined with continuous heavy snowfall since the end of December 2009.
The current situation has caused a loss of hundreds of thousands of livestock, leaving numerous herders without any source of livelihood.

Official figures indicate that approximately 90 percent of the country is suffering from zud conditions, with snowfall reaching between 20-120 centimeters. The average temperature in northern Mongolia has dropped to -35 degrees Celsius, with temperatures in the rest of country ranging between-17 to -22 degrees Celsius. So far, the coldest temperature of -47 degrees was recorded in Uvs Province. As of 16 January 2010, a total of 198 soums in 19 provinces are suffering from severe weather.

According to estimates by the Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), a total of 786,639 heads of livestock have perished, 89 percent of which belong to the ten worst affected provinces. The total loss of livestock is approximately 17 per cent of the estimated 43.6 million heads of livestock in the country. Some five people died during a recent snowstorm.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the number of affected herding families is estimated to be nearly 120,000. More snowfall is anticipated between January and March, with temperatures ranging between -28 and -45 degrees Celsius, as reported by the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.
The country has launched a national appeal to assist the herders who are suffering most due to their nomadic life-styles. In response to the appeal, a large scale campaign has been developing locally and internationally. For instance, employees from various public and private organizations have donated one-day from their salaries to herders in the most affected areas.


Here in Ulaanbaatar there haven't been any problems, but presumably the yurt districts, where people live in abject poverty, will grow considerably this year. Having lost their livestock, people often have nowhere else to go and therefore end up in the capital to eke out some sort of living.

Right now the temperature in Ulaanbaatar is -37 C.

In 1977 the Trans-Alaskan oil pipeline was completed from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska. In 1998 the North Slope reached peak production of 2 mmbod per day (2 million barrels of oil/day). The Prudhoe Bay field was the largest conventional oil field discovered in the United States and is 12 by 27 miles.

In April of 1977 President Jimmy Carter warned; the world was using 60 million barrels of oil per day and that oil production might reach a peak in the 1980's or soon thereafter.

In September of 2009 total Alaskan North Slope production was about 676,664 barrels of oil per day.
In the 11 years since peak North Slope oil production; oil flow fell to 33.8 % of peak oil production flow.

In 1977 the United States imported 44% of its oil and we were warned we were too dependent on foreign oil.
In 2009 the United States imported 63% of its oil and we are no less dependent on foreign oil.

Yeah, despite what you hear about squishy, out of touch liberals, it was old Jimmy the peanut farmer who said in public that our dependence on foreign oil was a growing problem, and that we should reduce, conserve, and invest in new technologies to better control our energy future. Of course, he was booted out of office in a landslide by a movie star who promised to build bigger sticks to smash the furriners squatting on "our" oil. I'd say that that may be one of the key post-WWII decisions of the US, one that hasn't been challenged by any of our subsequent presidents, R or D. So now we have escalating wars overseas and a labyrinthine domestic security apparatus. I sure feel safer.

Yeah, Jimmy wasn't all bad. However, he did declare the entire Middle East to be a US protectorate, and we continue to pay and pay and pay in money and blood for that, which I do hold against him.

Out of a sound dead sleep I just awoke to view the Massachusetts election results.I went to sleep early but some internal alarm clock went off.

Its been a victory for the people. They have spoken and I agree with their voice. It never was "Kennedy's Seat". As many said "it's the people's seat".

Obama is now in deep trouble as is the rest of the seated Democrats come November.

He has now had three major upsets. New Jersey, Virginia and now Massachusetts(52-47).

Surely he is getting the message.

Airdale-my health insurance costs me only $16/month as supplied by my ex-employer from where I retired after 30 yrs. I was of the opinion that Obama's Health Care plan would certainly SHRED it and I would have to start paying for others health care. I can breath a little easier now. Note: I am not a 'dyed in the wool' Republican. I am an old fashioned Conserative. Always been so but due to the local primaries here I have to vote Democrat(for local offices). Why? Because "Lincoln won the war", as John Prine states and Kentuckians have long memories. At least in the WKY part of my state.So technically I am a registered Democrat. Make sense? However most here voted nationally for Republican candidates for both houses of Congress and both our senators and representatives are Republican.

Wow, Brown did win. I guess those 47 million Americans with no healthcare will continue to have none. What a huge victory for the Republicans to know that so many Americans will die due to lack of adequete healthcare. Maybe they should march in the streets tomorrow singing victory songs.

Population reduction is good. If only Republicans would keep abortion legal and support rational family planning, then we could also improve the situation from the birth end of the population equation.

A back surgeon might earn $900,000 a year. A lawyer specializing in medical malpractice suits might earn $2,000,000 a year and the current administration wants Jack and Jill Taxpayer to pay for more health care as it is hard for health care people to collect that much money on their own. Obesity can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is a problem medicine has not been able to cure as obesity rates have increased in spite of medical technology. Doctors treated symptoms and people got fatter looking for others to pay their medical bills.

It is hard to collect medical bills from illegal immigrants using fake ID and fictitious addresses. If someone goes to the hospital for treatment without insurance, the hospital may sue to collect damages and take the property of the debtor for payments due.

Bill Clinton balanced the federal budget and created a government surplus. Bush rapidly grew the national debt spending more than he could pay for. Obama has spent more in a year than the Bush administration was spending annually and has only begun to spend. The Republicans did not complain about Bush's spending, but have complained about Obama. Obama is no Bill Clinton. Have the Republicans a chance to bring spending under control?

It's easy to balance the budget with $10 oil. Glass-Seagull retraction got the money flowing at warp-speed. But today we pay the piper.

Criss Dodd & Barney Frank: All ahead Flank Damn the torpedoes.

I was getting prepared to blame every problem, every frustration, every expense that I encountered with health care in the future on "Democrat Health Care". Now I can blame it all on "Republican Health Care" instead.

Too bad I don't live in a country with a functioning government that actually looks after the public interest.

I am not a 'dyed in the wool' Republican. I am an old fashioned Conservative.

Actually, in this particular post, you're sounding like an
"I got mine and don't care where you get yours" kind of guy.

As you say, you were lucky that "my health insurance costs me only $16/month as supplied by my ex-employer from where I retired after 30 yrs".

There are plenty of people out here who work, 10, 20, 30+ years for an employer and don't get left over peanuts for their retirement years.

You were just plain lucky. The game worked for you.
You got in and cashed out at the right times.
Lucky duck.

For more info, see for example this PDF

"You were just plain lucky. The game worked for you.
You got in and cashed out at the right times.
Lucky duck."

No thats not true. I worked hard and applied myself to gain that job.

I spent 5 years in the military with one year of that spent in school. I worked at McDonnell building jet aircraft and again much schooling. I worked in Aeroscience in Huntsville and again much schooling and then I taught.

I had to pass tests to get that last job. I had to pass a tough interview with management.

I did it and no one else handed it to me.

Later my company did away with many many benefits and lost much prestige and lost many many valuable people all due to the 'new paradigm' of company management and entities such as HR. I left before it got real bad. I invested in land. I learned more skills. I went to months and months of intensive training and schooling at IBM. One school was 6 months long.

I figure I had absorbed the equalivent of a PHD in schooling. I also attend Core Curricula which lasted for months.

I worked for what I got. Why can't others? Where does the fault lie with someone who used xtal meth and has rotten stumps for teeth and wonders why he can't get a good job? When all a kid has for background is years of playing computer 'twitch' games? Who dresses like a vampire?

Where does the problem and fault lie? With me? Because I was 'LUCKY'?

I didn't ask for the huge sea change in corporate mgmt methodology but when I started seeing offshoring I knew the end was starting.

After working for two years in Y2K patching and repairing on mainframes I saw how the employers treated us programmers! They outsourced it ALL and sent the rest overseas and hired those with visas for peanuts.

Not my fault.

Airdale-I got mine by hard work. Back when some companies did take very good care of their employees. The unions IMO ruined a lot of that as well as ignorant politicians.
To this day I find it very difficult to even try to communicate with todays youth. They seem to live in an alternate universe.

I am so angry at both parties. The only time I vote for a (D) or an (R) is if I am so pissed off at an incumbant that I'll vote for their challenger just to throw the bum out. Otherwise, when I can, I try to vote for a 3rd party (Green or Libertarian are usually our only choices here, sometimes not even those), or I'll write in somebody.

WNC Observer
Registered Independent

Last election I 'elected' to not vote for either presidential candidate.

Sometimes I vote other than Republican.

But where I live to this day many local elections are decided in the primaries since no candidate from the other party runs. So I am a registered Democrat and must be to vote in the primaries.

I did vote the first time for Bush. I did not like his second term.

In my middle years many companies and corporations were of a conserative bent. In fact I always thought that the WSJ was quite conserative.

But all that changed very markedly starting in the latter 80's and government changed markedly as well.

I go with what seems best but I will always be of that older brand of conservative.

Its my belief that government has destroyed out national fiber. The businesses has responded by shutting down our industries and made us into a land of 'paper shufflers' and chit exchangers.
We have nothing 'real' holding us up and what we do have we destroy the environment by bad management and processes. Witness Mountain Top Removal and in my areas the clear cutting of massive amounts of timber just to feed pulp mills.

It time for nature to take hold and jerk us up right smart. We deserve it and we need it. We will die like vermin in a leghold trap otherwise. Gnawing our legs off to get out.

Sounds extreme but I no longer think DC will react except in their own interest.


Another earthquake in HAITI REGION same place 5:03 CST 6.1

MAP 6.1 2010/01/20 11:03:44 18.428 -72.875 9.9 HAITI REGION


Technically this would be another aftershock, though a strong one. I got an email report from a doctor working on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. They felt nine aftershocks on Monday, including one that knocked medicines off the shelves of their makeshift clinic.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by this disaster.

PT in PA