“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?

Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico oil reserves are increasing, AFP reports

CARACAS (Bloomberg) --
Cuba’s oil reserves in its portion of the Gulf of Mexico “continue increasing,” Agence France- Presse reported, citing Yadira Garcia, the island nation’s minister for basic industries.

The Caribbean country’s future oil reserves are most likely to be found in its area of the gulf, which measures 112,000 square kilometers (43,000 square miles) and is divided into 59 oil blocks, AFP reported, citing Garcia, who spoke at a geological sciences conference in Cuba.

Cuba may have 21 billion barrels of probable oil reserves, including onshore and offshore discoveries, AFP said, citing conference participants.


  1. So our "first black President" becomes the first President in my lifetime to stoke a lynch mob mentality amongst the populace with lies and false outrage:

    We talked about it, we voted for it, but we didn't KNOW about it until now, and we're OUTRAGED!

    HotAir: Video: Congress, Geithner Knew About Bonuses on March 3rd - Ed Morrissey

    Watch the clip from a March 3rd hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in which Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) specifically mentions the upcoming payouts of over $162 million in bonuses to AIG execs, the very same number that inflamed Washington DC this week:

    Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY):

    But yesterday, Mr. Secretary, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve announced a new fourth plan to rescue troubled financial services giant AIG. I do agree that AIG’s sustainability is the lynchpin for some of our recovery efforts, and it’s important for the federal government to work to keep it afloat. However, I must demand that AIG increase the accountability and transparency, something that was not done during the previous administration.

    For example, just last month, AIG paid 343 employees of AIG FP — their Financial Products division that created the financial hole that AIG is in, and in turn a multibillion-dollar bill for American taxpayers — $56 million in bonuses and are slated to pay an additional $162 million in bonuses to 393 participants in the coming weeks. And there’s more. Further bonus payments totaling approximately 230 million (dollars) are due to 407 participants at AIG’s Financial Products division in March 2010. This makes no sense to my constituency.

    In other words, everyone knew about these bonuses. Congress even knew enough about it to question Geithner on it, with remarkable accuracy on the total amount due to be paid out, on March 3rd — nine days before Geithner initially claimed to know about it. (actually, they must have known sometime before this, this is presently the earliest public record)

    This whole episode has been a farce perpetrated by Congress and the administration to stoke artificial outrage over contractual compensation obligations.
    It’s a freak show put on by Democrats.
    They’re giving us populist circuses in order to build a mob mentality — but for what purpose?

    Update: The NY Times’ DealBlog has more,

    as does the Boss.

  2. Maybe we should take up a collection for a pitchfork and some Molotov Cocktail Makings for Mat, then pay his airfare to New England?

  3. NY Times:
    The Problem With Flogging A.I.G.
    The anger and drama over the bonuses at A.I.G. may be undermining efforts to shore up the economy.

    Obama Hesitant on Bonus Tax

    A.I.G. Revenge Isn’t Healthy

    LA Times:
    Bonus backlash hits high finance
    Congress may undo a decades-old system of compensation, alarming bankers but pleasing those who want payback.

  4. We could buy him a Tumbrel!

    Reader mail sent to The New York Times in response to articles about these executives’ formerly high-flying lives repeatedly mentioned the guillotine and suggested it was time to “bring back the tumbrel,” a crude two-wheeled cart that was used to publicly carry aristocrats toward public execution during the French Revolution.

  5. Good thing we have key west!
    ...Barry will probly deed it to Cuba.

    I don't get what that vertical green line is 'sposed to represent.

    Help the Helpless, please!

  6. Joe Maysonet, the fitness manager at the Printing House Fitness and Squash Club in Manhattan, said there has been a rush of new attendees at boxing classes. Punching a human-shaped rubber dummy is especially popular.

    While fists fly, trainers yell inspiration like, “You’re punching your money back into your pockets!” he said. “You’re punching that portfolio you used to have!”

    The dummy, Mr. Maysonet said, will not press charges. “He’s withstood it all,” he said. “Just like our country.”
    (now they need a dummy Teleprompter)

  7. "A Treasury spokesman, Isaac Baker, said in a statement on Thursday night, “Although Congressman Crowley raised the issue of the bonuses two weeks ago, Secretary Geithner was not aware of the timing or full extent of the contractual retention payments or the other bonus programs until his staff brought them to his attention on March 10.”

    Mr. Baker added that Mr. Geithner “takes full responsibility for not being aware of these programs before last week.”

    But Crowley gives the timing and the amounts when he is addressing Timmy!

  8. (also now on YouTube):

    What a creepy dude!
    (and he's backed up by a guy vigorously chewing gum!)

  9. WASHINGTON (AP) - Energy production of all types—wind, ethanol and mountaintop coal mining—is contributing to steep drops in bird populations, a new government report says.

    The first-of-its-kind report chronicles a four-decade decline in many of the country's bird populations and provides many reasons for it, from suburban sprawl to the spread of exotic species to global warming.

    It shows that birds in Hawaii are more in danger of becoming extinct than anywhere else in the United States. In the last 40 years, populations of birds living on prairies, deserts and at sea have declined between 30 percent and 40 percent.

    But in almost every case, energy production has also played a role.

    Environmentalists and scientists say the report should signal the Obama administration to act cautiously as it seeks to expand renewable energy production and the electricity grid on public lands and tries to harness wind energy along the nation's coastlines.

    "We need to go into these energies with our environmental eyes open," said John Fitzpatrick, the director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which helped draft the report along with nonprofit advocacy groups. "We need to attend to any form of energy development, not just oil and gas."

    Many of the bird groups with the most rapid declines in the last 40 years inhabit areas with the greatest potential for energy development.

  10. I feel like blowing up Mat's Windmill!

  11. Okay! So now what?

    TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barack Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

    Khamenei was responding to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, and expressed hopes for an improvement in nearly 30 years of strained relations.

  12. The change in US rhetoric was not enough, it seems, to sway the Iranian leadership. They may want to see positive action, say the lifting of economic and travel sanctions against individual Iranians that the US and the UN have already imposed.

    Hell, they may want US to censor wi"o".

    We're still between a rock and a hard place, more so than ever, since the US is in the midst of a whirled wide economic crisis.
    Cutting Iran off from the oil supply chain would not be an asset in resolving that crisis.

    It's goin' to take more than pleasentries from President Obama to move the Iranians away from their nuclear electrical generation dreams.
    They, and bob, know it is the low cost alternative to their "Peak Oil" production problems.

  13. While Obama was having fun at our, and the Special Olympic's expense, what was the
    "vulgar"(Noonan) Sarah Palin doing?
    YouTube - Governor Palin's Address To The 2009 Special Olympics In Boise, Idaho

    (and, as we might have known, those DVD's won't play in Ireland!)

  14. Ha!
    Rufus ain't got nuttin on nullification?:

    51. nullification?:

    We are watching Dancing with the Stars and they are all on the floor at once. The watching public will slowly reach for the remote as each ox is gored, 401 in ruin - click, layoff - click, inflation - click. The first Kenyon president will soon be in obscurity minding his garden. The revolution will be bottom up as they usually are, the current congress will be dispatched and become the control as instructed by the constitution. Leadership will come from an obscure source not known today, maybe even the “internet”. Wall street will enter a new world of simplicity, buying and selling certificates of ownership. The details have a way of finding a level of comfort. I await the first U.S. purple finger elections.

  15. Doug that is an amazing clip of our rulers and masters suffering from group amnesia.

  16. From an article dated May 29, 2006...

    "While Washington dithers over exploiting oil and gas reserves off the coast of Florida, China has seized the opportunity to gobble up these deposits, which run throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and along the U.S. Gulf coast.

    The Chinese have forged a deal with Cuban leader Fidel Castro to explore and tap into massive oil reserves almost within sight of Key West, Florida. At the same time, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who controls the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere, is making deals to sell his country�s oil to China, oil that is currently coming to the United States.

    Meanwhile, a new left-wing populist regime in Bolivia has nationalized the natural gas industry, threatening to cut off supplies to the United States.


    There are new reports out circulating that Chinese firms are planning to slant drill off the Cuban coast near the Florida Straits, tapping into U.S. oil reserves that are estimated at 4.6 billion to 9.3 billion barrels. This compares with 4 billion to 10 billion barrels believed to be beneath the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, where drilling is held up in Congress due to the objections of environmental groups which warn of endangering caribou. Permission to drill in the refuge, which experts are certain will not present any environmental hazard, has failed by just two votes in the Senate.

    As Chinese business increases its reach around the world, it is seeking oil, which it lacks domestically."
    American Free Press

  17. Wholesale gasoline has been steadily rising the last couple of weeks. If it doesn't crash pretty soon we're going to be looking at $2.25 gas, shortly.

    This is kind of interesting in that there are 40 VLCC (Very Large Crude Carriers - 2 Million Barrels, each) sitting full at anchor. That's approx. One Day's Global Supply of Oil.

  18. You want to know how deep the shit pit is that we are standing in?

    Let us assume we eat Cuba' breakfast and do our own slant drilling and suck up 12 billion barrels of crude at the rate of 2,000,000 barrels per day. At $50 a barrel over extraction costs that is $100 million per day or a paltry $36 billion per year.

    $36 billion at 3% interest would finance $1.2 trillion in bonds, which is about the marginal increase in federal debt.

  19. Ladies, and Germs, I have absolutely no feeling for what's going to happen next in Washington. All I know is that in Chaos like this me and thee will, in all likelihood, get screwed pretty good. However

    This is the Future. I'm sure of it. And, it's going in right down the road from me.

  20. Another Screen Shot with Rush

    Now that The Big O has pretty much ruined the Friday afternoon bowling league for everyone here, we're all heading over to the Old Ebbitt for Tim Terrific's surprise going-away party. Oops.

    But before I leave, I thought we'd close the week with another question from El Rushbo

    Are you paid with taxpayer money, and if so, did you have to fill out Obama's questionnaire before you were hired?
    Damn straight I am. And I earn every last yuan of it. What? You think Rahm, Ben and Timmah, don't see the writing on the wall?

    And as for the questionaire, let's put it this way: I've known Big Boy since he's been called Barry. I've hung with him at Columbia, drunk tea with him at Harvard, walked the lonely streets of Chicago, been there when he's refinanced his interest-only mortgage ... twice, and inserted earmarks to get Michelle her sweet gig back home. If My Man doesn't have to fill out a background questionare, I know I don't.
    Posted by Tele Prompter at 2:38 PM 52 comments

  21. Rufus,
    In Honolulu they use that waste that the Canucks say they'll use to burn, creating steam, thence electricity.
    What a concept!

    ...or I should say, what a REALITY!
    (the Canucks being the ones that are still in the concept stage)

  22. I bought a 3.5L Chevy Impala FlexFuel. I expect to get as good, or better, mileage on E20, and E30 (about 32mpg) as I do on E10. I'll let you know.

    When E85 gets 24% less than E30 I'll start filling up with it.

    If those terrorist-loving motherfuckers had to depend on me to keep their camels' assholes greased they'd be fucking a dry hole from now on. Damn, that feels good to say.

  23. "that waste that the Canucks say they're gonna use to make moonshine, to burn, instead,"

  24. Pisses me off that we're too dumbed down to recognize that Chevy as superior to the imports.

    ...and the Vette gets better mileage than many feriners, too.

  25. So what's gonna happen to GM, Rufus?
    If they'd gone bankrupt, they'd have a great company w/o the millions of pensioners around their necks.

  26. Sure, Doug; none of this is "New." Everything that's being done/talked about in the alt. energy field is "old" stuff warmed over. Enerkem is refining the technology a bit to extract some ethanol/methanol before burning (however, that basic technology is at least 60 yrs old.)

    Of course, the Entergies, and Duke Electrics of the world (not to mention the Exxons, and the Saudis) are spending Billions fighting behind the scenes against all this.

  27. Who the shit knows, Doug? They probably deserve to go bankrupt, but I doubt we'll let them.

    Personally, I hope they stay in business. They, and Ford are way ahead of the Imports/Transplants in flexfuel pipeline.

  28. So they burn it when they're done with it, and then get to sell the ethanol?
    I wonder what the total amount of energy extracted is out of straight burning, versus the ethanol addition?

  29. I hope they stay in business too.
    ...but until they get that UAW Monkey off their back...

  30. Meanwhile, Walmart is giving employees 2 Billion in bonuses, stock options, and employee discount prices.
    ...their 401's are in that picture somewhere.

  31. Doug, I'm not an engineer (most especially not a "chemical" engineer,) but I'd look at it like this. A piece of firewood, and a stick of dynamite have about the same number of btus. Obviously, all btus are not equal. Some are more convenient/better suited for the job at hand.

    The number of BTUS released is probably about the same; but the gassification technology allows us to produce some "Transportation" fuels which we sorely need.

  32. I don't get what that vertical green line is 'sposed to represent.

    Me neither. The blue line is the Exclusive Economic Zone.

  33. Yeah I got that, Ruf, when you said they'd burn it.
    My pea brain said:
    "But they can sell the Methanol for more."
    ...I just wondered about the energy thing.

    Speaking of my pea-brain:
    Nobody's told me what that vertical green line in Deuces Map represents.

  34. Pea brains of a feather,
    Like two birds in a pod!

  35. You better warn your buddy Mat to quit killin our birds, al-Bob!

  36. Ford made a good move a few years ago when they brought in a non-car guy (Mullowie sp?) He came in with "fresh eyes," and wasn't "invested" in certain cars, or ideas.

    I think GM needs to do the same thing. The "Old Team" needs to go. The UAW makes the point, rightly I believe, that if the assembly guys worked for FREE GM still wouldn't be profitable.

    Of course, what they Don't mention is that they bullied GM into Not modernizing their plants like the transplants did. Then again, the pussies in "management" took their millions and went along for the destruction.

  37. Speaking of Chemical Engineers:
    That's what I signed up to be when I went to Beserkley.

    The First time I walked into a giant lab, I knew I didn't want to spend my life there.

  38. "Of course, what they Don't mention is that they bullied GM into Not modernizing their plants like the transplants did."
    Or like that ford plant in Brazil.

  39. ...and, regarding the UAW, somewhere yesterday I saw the comparison of the number of GM employees, versus the number on pensions.

  40. It's hard for me to understand how it is that birds seem to fly into these windmills. They can flit through trees and land on branches, telephone wires, but they can't see a giant windmill? You got to be a real bird brain to do that.

  41. 54. twobyfour:
    @ 50. nullification?

    That, or something along these lines, is the outcome, no matter what is the pathway and it’s duration. But to get there may be a bit… unsettling and often seem hopeless.

    Mar 21, 2009 - 7:43 am

    55. twobyfour:
    Darn. *its*, not *it’s*.

    Mar 21, 2009 - 7:45 am
    56. Doug:

    But to get there may be a bit… unsettling and often seem hopeless.

    Yeah, like The Rapture.

    Mar 21, 2009 - 8:13 am

    57. Doug:

    I think we may be in Daniel’s 70th week.

  42. Did you see about the vacuum created by the mills collapses poor little bat's lungs, al-Bob?

    I always suspected Mat might be a Mass Bat Murderer.

  43. Vacuum? Bah.

    The ones I've seen, those blades aren't turning all that fast. A good steady eye can watch the individual blades going around. I'm not buying it.

    gotta run

    gtta fly, rather.

  44. The green line is where the US is permitted to drill.

  45. “The Obamanation of desolation”

  46. THAT great big thing?
    No wonder Barry made it economically unfeasible.
    All the Gulf States mighta collapsed into the sea if we'd pumped that dry.

  47. OK, I'll say it:
    How fuckin hard is it to divine that he IS the antichrist?

  48. 58. Gaffe Prices:

    We know what you knew, so just when did you know it?

    Despite the lay of the district, so to speak, and the remote prospects for “a real change, there” anytime soon, if you know what I mean: we are poised to deal with better than anybody else in this world.

    I love battin the boule right back at them with logic and argument, but when I start gettin nervous, and worryin, and wreeenging my hands, I say we bat that right back as well.

    the irony of this all, is that the dhimmis, in their superfatuous quest for ull control, lost control of the one thing they thought irrelevant anymore while they were stuffing to the gills that now warbling teleprompter with doublebubblespeak: the facts

    Oh yeah…. the facts, those relevant facts. those pesky…
    and I’m begining to see, looking back, that those things have been spiraling (for some time) out of control too.

    I’m starting to see things more my way: Like, at any moment, without any advance warning, in a bold counter move, the Administration, either Obama or a spokes person, will anounce the appointment of a special REFRESHMENTS CZAR, and convene a new council to deal with “the thirsty”

    And it will get even more lame: a press release will disclose, that President Obama has sprained his Urkel ankle (even though it didn’t even happen), and he’ll be hobblin around, using the crutches as props, to distract and garner sympathy for his waning numbers, while tv runs “news” stories with those medical diagrams showing us just where, and what the ankle looks like, while the administration gives the “go ahead” to quietly dump more and more of his proposals into the garden out back, for the white house staff to bury deep, late at night.

    And that overconfident advisor who joked, “We don’t kneed no stinking “fact’s” here! Ha! Ha! Ha! will never be seen from again, not for a good long time.

    and then, all those documents, things that show like, ooooh medical and birth records pop up, and just what nationality he applied to Harvard to get in with, as a foreign exchange student, (I ain’t sayin where yet) and what aid he recieved, etc, will all start showin up in time for the dems to hopefully get ready for 2010, but by then it will be just a little zu spat.

    Because the financial “crisis”, and more importantly the facts only the insiders knew until now, will get its own cable channel, and website, to deal with the auto fill for the many visitors whose portfolio histories, are being compiled into the biggest class action lawsuit in history, (and of course that won’t do any good, but it will give many lowerpaid workers a good laugh) but more importantly it will sure scare the bowlin balls out of those jerks, and in doing so revive their last resort ream scheme to bring back their old “Bowling for Dollars” tv show back to UHF, at least.

    I’m not buying into this hype anymore, and they sure ain’t all that. They think this is some kina one way street, (Yeah, Get You Kid!) but the street they been ridin on is the one Senator coldfish gat the ppropriations for, back when he was a lowly, up and coming bagman for the Chicago opertion

    Aha! you all thought the Lord Giveth, but its the government that taketh away, but it seems it was the government that was one on the recieving end of marked “downturn” of public and media support.

  49. Iran financed Syrian nuke plans

    "They, and bob, know it is the low cost alternative to their "Peak Oil" production problems."

    keep trying to tell everyone this is the reason. your attempts at sincerety are comical.