Friday, September 28, 2012
I will keep the commentary light today, as this article from Zero Hedge goes quite into detail and you should really check that out. I just wanted to include a few graphs that I found on Zero Hedge, which highlight the vast increase in state surveillance under the Obama administration. In the modern age, when we think of state surveillance, many of us think of Dubya and the Patriot Act, and for good reason. However, on this issue, Obama is even worse than Dubya could have hoped to have been, as state surveillance has skyrocketed under Obama.
But no one on the left or the moderate Democrat side will call Obama out on this. This is why, as ultimately meaningless as it is, that I'd prefer a Republican in office. At least then, people pay attention when things such as this, a dramatic escalation in state security, occur.
Also, Pen Register means the interception of outgoing data, and Trap and Trace is the interception of incoming data.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I had previously posted something about the drought in the midwest causing higher feed prices for cattle, and farmers having to make some hard choices. Now, it has spread to pigs as well. Pig feed is made using maize and soya plants, which are also failing due to droughts around the world. So, the price of pig feed is rising as well, and this could result in higher prices for pork-based products, such as bacon, if not shortages.
I have cut back on my bacon consumption, and when I make eggs, I usually use turkey bacon instead. It's a lot easier to clean afterwards, as turkey bacon doesn't leave behind the grease that regular bacon does, and I don't mind the taste. But there's still nothing like bacon though, and I don't think I can live without the occasional BLT sandwich. I do think we've gotten out of hand with our passion towards bacon, so a shortage may not be such a bad thing. People put the shit in everything nowadays, from cakes to ice cream sundaes.
Friday, September 21, 2012
As many of you probably know, there is a new television series on that deals with the ramifications and aftereffects of a fictional scenario in which the electricity goes out in the United States. It's called Revolution and it's on Mondays at 10 on NBC. You can get the pilot episode free off iTunes or off NBC's website.
Eh, I wasn't expecting to get my socks blown off, and they weren't. It was okay, but then again, post-apocalyptic is one of my favorite subgenres, so the show would have to be monumentally awful for me to stop watching. It has all the inconsistencies, plotholes and cliches you'd expect from a major production, so I won't bother to list most of them. Although, everyone does seem well fed; there are even still fat people. And there still seems to be plenty of Revlon and Cover Girl to go around. On the other hand, the production values were pretty top-notch, and I thought they did a good job with the decaying buildings and structures (like Wrigley Field). Kinda reminded me of that History Channel special from a few years back, "Life After People".
The one thing I really didn't care for, overall, is the jumping ahead 15 years into the future, after the power goes out. The show could have been more of an exhilarating mind-fuck if it dealt with the aftereffects of the power going out, like in the excellent novel One Second After. I'm sure there'll be flashbacks, but I imagine the tone of them will be pretty mild, it is network TV after all. From what I've read, a lot of people think that it will be cancelled, but I really don't think so. NBC is totally seizing the momentum of stuff like The Hunger Games, and it showed while I was watching the pilot. The teenagers seem like they're going to be a key part of the show, and while that's a bad thing from my perspective, it will probably draw in a lot of those viewers.
Maybe it'll become another Jericho, that was another doomer-type show from a few years ago. I remember that I had stopped watching that one four episodes in, it just didn't do anything for me, and then there was that huge effort from its fans to save the show, so I gave it another try, and I found that the show really picked up in quality after those first four or five episodes.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
In order to give my blog some distinction, and to hopefully get a few more visitors, I registered my blog with the website Technorati, which is an internet search engine for blogs. I was a little naive, and thought that by just having the blog, it'd pop up on Technorati just like it does with Google. But no, I had to put in what is called a claim in order for the blog to register on the site. There is a whole system under which my blog will hopefully gain what is called "authority", and will hopefully result in a higher flow of traffic to the site. This is, first and foremost, a project for me, I like to read on things that interest me and give my insights, and whoever else reads it is just gravy. But I always value feedback, and would really like to see a more active comments section.
Anyway, these things are for the near-future.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This is really bad for a lot of reasons. The Egyptian Islamic extremists were protesting over some film that is somewhere out there, that was supposedly produced in America, that lampoons and ridicules the Prophet Mohammed. Any depiction of Mohammed, whether good or bad, is considered a sacriliege by Muslims. Anyway, the timing was horrible, having taken place on the 9/11 anniversary. I'm sure a lot of Americans are seeing the footage and are thinking that the protesters are celebating the attack and spitting in America's eye. They even went so far as to take the American flag, which was flying at half-mast, down.
(To get off the track of what I was talking about for just a moment, something that always makes me laugh about when any religious group or "values"-based organization protests or boycotts something, usually some form of art or media, for something that they find objectionable, is that beforehand, most people did not even know the artform existed until the organization or group called attention to it. And afterwards, people will start to seek the movie or TV show out just to see what all the fuss was about. So, in that respect, these organizations are their own worst enemy.)
A consulate in Libya was also burned and an American diplomat was killed, also in protest of this film that I've never heard of (there are supposedly clips on Youtube). Although nowhere near the scale of the takeover of the Iran embassy in 1979, this is still a reflection of our waning power abroad. I thought that we had Marines guarding our embassies. What does it say that we can't even keep an embassy secure, when we insist on maintaining a global empire?
And finally, something more to piss me off. In light of those events, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released this statement, condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." So you have a roving band of these fanatical nutjobs who storm an American embassy, desecrate the American flag on September 11th, and kill a diplomat, all because of a stupid movie, and it's the people making this movie, who are to blame? Seriously, this is political correctness at its worst. And, BTW, offending believers of religions and hurting their precious feelings is a freedom protected by our First Amendment. Eh, gotta go work out some of this aggression at the gym. Hurting their "religious feelings", good grief.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Citigroup estimates that Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil in the world, will become a net oil importer by the year 2030. My simple question to Citigroup is, where does the largest oil exporter get their oil from when the time comes? They'll probably tell us that by then, the U.S. will be back to being the prime oil exporter due to our oil shale plays in North Dakota, New York and other places. I'm going to go out on a limb and call "bullshit", but I guess we'll see what happens.
The article also points out that Saudi Arabia's per capita oil consumption is higher than many other industrialized nations, including our own. Part of the reason for this is that the kingdom subsidizes its domestic supplies, meaning that their population pays far less than market value. I have pointed this out before, but read up on the export-land model, it will truly open your eyes on this facet of peak oil.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
When it comes to a story like this, words fail me, although they come by the bucketful. Hopefully, the bad press will force the hospital to back off and be a bit more reasonable, but I have my doubts. What an evil country to have to live in. To quote something that is said from time to time in Louis CK's show, "Louie", "what about Obama?" Indeed.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I'm sure I've talked about this at least once since I started this blog, but it always bears repeating: when the price of a barrel of oil reaches a certain point, such as $100, the economy begins to stagger and loses whatever momentum it had. The really bad news is that when the crash happened back in '08, the economy was overheating from the effects of the real estate bubble. But this time, the economy is already in a severely weakened state and people are already hurting. If oil keeps climbing until the economy as a whole faces a similar crisis to '08, I believe that it will dawn on more people that there will be no recovery, that the way things have been for the past 5 years will be, as they call it, the "new normal" with things only deteroiating over time. My theory, is that the economy will weaken due to high oil prices, and so, oil prices will go down for a time. But, as things improve and there is talk of an economic "recovery", oil will slowly shoot back up, until we find ourselves in the same situation, where we're struggling to maintain economic growth while the lifeblood of industrial society becomes more and more valuable. In the meantime, everyday living will become more tenuous and strained.
I have discussed this with people over the years, and have met my share of naysayers, but I still believe the economic crash back in 2008 had a lot to do with the rising costs of oil. Yes, the shenangians and the illegal activities on Wall Street played a key part as well, but the oil situation at that time does not seem to have been given its due in media or elsewhere.