Thursday, April 12, 2012

BP Redux?

Shell Oil; The best afloat in today's Gulf!                 (c) Telegraph

Click here for related story [The Telegraph]

We learn today that Royal Dutch Shell [just Shell in the US] discovered an "oil sheen" in the central Gulf of Mexico near one of its platforms.  The Canadian Press reports that the sheen extends for ten miles, so chances are, it's definitely a leak, and someone has some 'splainin to do."

Shell has advised that there is "no current indication" that the sheen originates from either of its wells in the Gulf.  Meanwhile, investors took a dim view of the situation and sold heavily, forcing the price of Shell down by four per cent.  [BP took a ricochet drop of 1.5%.]

These pipes are safe.  Ask a Nigerian farmer
(c) InFocus
Now Shell could probably dodge this bullet were it not for other spills it's had of late.

The Associated Press reports that the number of its operational oil spills doubled last year -- to 63.

Hmm, that's a lot.

Shell advises that a lot of those spills came from pipeline thefts in Nigeria, but it spilled only 5,300 tons of oil last year, as opposed to 14,000 tons two years ago. 

So, they seemed to be making progress, or at least they were until this ten mile slick appeared in the Gulf.  Chances are, ten miles of oil slick amounts to more than 5,000 tons of oil -- which is a lot in one spill.

115 miles of floating oil near Nigeria
Envisat ASAR image analyzed by SkyTruth
The problem lies in that the 14,000 tons spilled in 2011 created another sheen off the coast of Nigeria, which Shell announced was probably the worst in a a decade and impacted nearly 360 square miles of ocean.

So, about roughly 40,000 barrels of crude oil created that sheen.  That made Shell a bit nervous since its other spills in 2008 in Nigeria's Bodo region of the Delta were estimated to take roughly 30 years to clean up.

On the positive side, Shell spilled only 320 barrels of contaminated fluids in the Gulf of Mexico before it closed down its deep drilling rig there.

Deepwater Horizon (c) Wikipedia
In our very own Gulf, we recall BP's minor spill in 2010 from the Deepwater Horizon was limited to less than five million barrels, with an 80 square mile "kill zone" around the well.  And, only about 500 miles of Louisiana shore line and wetlands were affected.
BP alleviated much of the tar problem by pumping thousands of gallons of chemicals into the Gulf to dissipate the oil plumes that were ten miles long and three miles wide that snaked for several miles below the surface.

According to NOAA, roughly half the oil spilled by the Deepwater Horizon remains in the water in a dispersed form, or rests on the Gulf floor.  The bacteria which was touted as being capable of breaking down the oil turned out to be effective only on natural gas, leaving the oil fairly intact.

Although declared "safe" by BP and the federal government, the Gulf remains polluted and continues to spew out the dead dolphins, fish, and waterfowl.

So, we look forward to Shell's oil spill.  Can it compete with BP's spill? And can it cause the amount of devastation as the BP Spill?

We "Little People" are anxious to know!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tax Increases by another name

I'm for sale again; but this time,
it's going to cost you a lot more!

Click here for related article [Washington Post]

Today's editorial page in the Washington Post features Harold Meyerson -- their weekly columnist -- as he condemns Wall Street for opposing Obama in this election -- an odd posture since Wall Street did such a marvelous job of funding Mr Obama's campaign four years ago.

It was barely enough to cover AIG bonuses

We have no objection to the SEC rounding up the executives of Goldman Sachs and tossing them into those FEMA camps the Administration has been quietly constructing in remote parts of the country -- to house terrorists and dissidents.

In fact, we'd prefer it.

Meyerson, vice-chair of the National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America, inherited his Marxist philosophy from his parents who managed California's Socialist Party of America.

The price of GS support in 2008

Four years ago, Meyerson couldn't gush enough good things about Wall Street when it supported Obama.

He still supports Obama's Socialist agenda, but now claims it is Wall Street that is creating Mr Obama's "class warfare" program.

The Administration's mantra is that 1% is exploiting the other 99%; we've now experienced the Community Organized Occupy Wall Street Movement for nearly a year to highlight his "Class Warfare" movement.  With that emotionalism as a backdrop, Mr Meyerson will now join the MSM propaganda movement to "reform" the tax structure to make it more "equal".
In his column, Meyerson zeroes in on the tax rate investors pay on their income -- i.e., the capital gains tax [15%] vs the 35% paid by salaried workers.  

Those on salary don't experience that risk, except when the government causes the economy to falter and their companies fail.

Investment Risk = Profit/Loss
What Meyerson chooses not to disclose is that the Capital Gains tax is levied on people who earn money by risking their own capital for profit -- or loss.

High risk often means high gain; it also means a trader -- or his clients -- can be completely wiped out by a Market aberration, such as when Senator Schumer [D-NY] announced that Lehman Brothers was virtually insolvent -- causing a run on its assets and on the rest of Wall Street.

The result?  An investor panic sell-off that wiped out the retirement investment savings of  Middle Class Americans, plunging the US into financial collapse.

Note, we say "Middle Class Americans" since that is the group most inclined to invest in retirement accounts such as 401Ks, and they are taxed at 15% on the dividends and profits of those retirement accounts.  So, now we're talking about more than just a few greedy Goldman Sachs executives, we're talking Middle Class America.

Middle Class conversion to Poverty
But, Mr Meyerson doesn't mention Middle Class America as his target is "tax reform" [read Tax INCREASE for everyone] -- since the elimination of a tax incentive translates into a tax increase.

[The Democrats' agenda has been to systematically eliminate both tax incentives as well as deductions (e.g., the mortgage interest deduction) to fund social welfare programs.]

Of course, Meyerson's personal income and benefits likely fall into an entirely different tax structure, one in which he pays little or nothing, while he allows his trust accounts to furnish him with opulent lodging, a lucrative expense account, and luxury transport.  He is what we call a Limousine Liberal.  We won't see his tax structure altered since it does not entail "income" but rather his "expense account".

But, the main point of Meyerson's Socialist diatribe is to restructure the tax code to
1) increase taxes across the board, and
2) remove incentives for individual investors, thus undermining Capitalism in the process.
Ultimately, the carefully orchestrated and publicized Occupy Wall Street Movement and Mr Obama's Class Warfare agenda is designed to create a stage for Mr Obama to tout a Marxist/populist platform of "tax equalization" for this year's Presidential election.  The USSR was so successful, and it worked for Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, so why not here in the US.

George Orwell captured the essence of the concept when he coined the phrase in Animal Farm:
"All are equal; but some are more equal than others."

Mr Meyerson is indeed More Equal than others.
He influences how the rules are made as he promotes Socialism; but, when it displaces Capitalism, he won't be changing his lifestyle in the least because he will continue to be "More Equal."

Workers of the World unite!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Obama Threatens Supreme Court

"Supreme Court:  An Unelected Group of People who would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law."

Click here for related story [Washington Post]

Obama, a self-proclaimed Constitutional Scholar and Professor of Constitutional Law, according to his campaign rhetoric, apparently dismisses the role of the US Supreme Court in the structure of the US Government.

I will destroy the Constitution and the Supreme Court
He refers to the Supreme Court as "... an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law."

"I'm pretty confident this court will recognize that and not take that step."

Sounds like a threat to us.
And, he is beginning to frighten even his former supporters on the Left.

Buried in the Post Partisan portion of the Editorial Page is Ruth Marcus' column about Obama's less-than-veiled threat to the Supreme Court.

Ruth Marcus comments:
"And yet Obama's assault on 'an unelected group of people' stopped me cold.  As the Constitutional Law Professor certainly understands, it is the essence of our governmental system to vest in the Court the ultimate power to decide the meaning of the Constitution -- even if, as the President said, it means overturning 'a duly constituted and passed law'."

House initiates Impeachment; Senate Tries
Mr Obama may have been on the golf course the week or month that his mail-order course covered the role of the Supreme Court as defined by the Constitution.

Had he attended US schools K-12, he'd have learned in a Civics class the three functional parts of the US Government designed as a System of Checks and Balances to ensure the Separation of Power, i.e, no single Branch of Government would be more powerful than the other two -- the Founding Fathers especially did not want a king or a dictator.

1) The Legislative Branch -- creates the laws by which the Government manages
            the country
2) The Executive Branch -- manages the country according to legislation in place --
           and which occasionally sponsors legislation and sends it to Congress for approval.
3) The Judicial Branch -- reviews the legislation to determine if it complies with the
           Court's interpretation of the Constitution.

Mr Obama, having spent so little time in the US educational system, may be unaware that the Supreme Court is appointed [although he appointed two of the Justices (Sotomayor and Kagan)] rather than running for office in the electoral racket.  He apparently feels that the Supreme Court should 'answer to the people' -- but, the Founding Fathers created a Republic, not a Socialist State - to which Mr Obama seemingly aspires.  Thus, the Supreme Court is comprised of individuals selected, approved, and appointed through a painstaking process; once on the Supreme Court, they are no longer subject to political pressure from either of the other two Branches.

The only aberration in that process was when FDR, a Socialist Democrat, tried to expand the size of the Court and pack it with Leftists who would support his New Deal -- thus subjugating the Judicial Branch to the Executive Branch -- and violating the principle of the US Consttitution.
All of my opponents are Racists!

Then again, Mr 0bama has appointed 55 judges to the Federal Courts of Appeals -- ensuring that challenges to his Executive Orders or to ObamaCare would be rebuffed before they reached the Supreme Court.

The Left is correct in fearing President Obama.

The ObamaCare legislation includes clauses which give the President extraordinary and dictatorial powers --  to include manipulating the concept of Interstate Commerce to force citizens, under Criminal Penalty, to purchase healthcare.  [Those who do not have healthcare are now subject to heavy fines and criminal penalties.]

But, while the Supreme Court is getting ready to reject ObamaCare as unconstitutional, Mr Obama's Brown Shirts have been busy trying to take over state law enforcement programs [e.g., DOJ's attempt to dictate to Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona, as well as attempting to coerce law enforcement programs in Seattle, Portland (OR), East Haven (CN), Newark, and even in Puerto Rico].

You may recall that he announced in his campaign his intent to form his own paramilitary force -- separate from the Department of Defense.  The provisions for that lie in his ObamaCare legislation.
[ ]

We've previously commented on Mr Obama's attempts to control the Internet and Cell Phone communications as well as control access to personal and business cloud computing data storage.



Those who forget history
are doomed to repeat it
We are concerned that Mr Obama is attempting to create an authoritarian government, quietly, one step at a time.

1) Gun Control
2) National Paramilitary Police
3) Alliances with Narcotics Cartels
       [Fast & Furious]
3) Authoritarian legislation
4) Creation of a Police State
4) Supreme Court intimidation
5) Massive inflation [soon to come]

For those who feel we are blowing the indicators out of proportion, we refer you to a brief account of the Weimar Republic.  Wikipedia is a good place to start.

If Ruth Marcus reflects the discomfort of the Left with Mr Obama, it would appear the Left may finally be beginning to take notice of the "Slippery Slope" Mr Obama is preparing.

Today [14 FEB 2016] Supreme Court Justice Scalia was murdered in his bed while on a hunting trip in Texas.  His host, the owner of the ranch [John Poindexter] stated:
"We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head.  His bed clothes were unwrinkled."
US Marshals would not allow an autopsy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Santorum Exit?

Rick, The Pope just called you an idiot! Do you think he's from Pennsylvania?

Click here for related story [Washington Times]

Mr Santorum should pay careful attention to the results in Pennsylvania.

Although he was quite a hit with the Southern Evangelicals, Pennsylvania is, after all, his home state.

If the voters there reject him again, chances are he won't be garnering enough votes to win the nomination at the GOP convention -- much less a nod for the VP slot.  Mr Santorum is a fairly bright fellow, but hasn't quite grasped the concept of Separation of Church and State -- and makes even the Pope a little uneasy.

I almost didn't recognize you without your foot in your mouth!
Our original prediction was a Romney/Gingrich ticket, which could still work -- in spite of Newt's harsh words toward Romney.  Newt, unfortunately, suffers from terminal "foot in mouth" disease.

Gingrich did lead Congress in the Contract with America when he was Speaker, which is evidence he understands the US economy -- and how to make Congress function properly.  We're still reaping benefits from Newt's Contract:
Remember: I'm only one heartbeat away

Now, there are those who would say that there are irreconcilable differences between Romney and Gingrich, but,  keep in mind, Obama took Biden in as his VP in spite of all of Biden's accusations that Obama was a lying, cheating sleazebag bucket of corruption -- and now, they're pals and partners.

And Mr Biden will have Mr Obama's back all the way;
one heartbeat away.


We got some 'splainin to do

At this point though, the likely ticket will be Romney/Rubio.  Rubio is a pretty sharp guy; he's done well on Capitol Hill, has few, if any identifiable skeletons in his closet, and does not suffer from "foot in mouth" disease -- yet.  He is the Crown Prince of the Tea Party, so he will also attract those voters. Unfortunately, he has virtually no executive management experience; so, he's not the best back-up for Mitt.

The Latino vote will be critical in this election, but all Latinos don't necessarily identify with -- much less like Cubans.

Now, that may come as a shock to folks who think all Latinos are the same; after all, don't they all come from the same part of the world, and don't they all speak Spanish? 

Most do [some speak Portuguese], but the difference can be as great as that between a New York snob and an Appalachian hillbilly.  Many Latins don't care for Cubans because of a certain Cuban snobbishness they don't like.   So, there is that potential barrier.  Nonetheless, a Latin Vice President, no matter what his heritage, has a certain broad appeal to all Latins, be they of Mexican, Cuban, or Brazilian family.

No Quadroons allowed
Our Latin descendants have as many variations as do North Americans, and almost as many ethnic influences.  During Colonial days, many elites in Latin America even sported a framed Limpieza de Sangre certificate on their walls to prove they weren't of mixed blood. 

[Depending on one's social circle, those certificates can still be viewed in certain offices.]

At the other end the Latin caste system is Brazil, in which families pride themselves on the variety of racial diversity in a single family.

My state is full of both rednecks and intellectuals
Our preference would be to see Virginia's Governor McDonnell on the ticket since he has the executive experience of managing a dynamic state with a highly diverse population.

Southern Virginia, southeast of Richmond, leans to the redneck, while Richmond and Charlottesville are intellectual Cul-de-Sacs from which great minds and a number of US Presidents and notable leaders have emerged.

McDonnell is more in tune with Northern Virginia, home to Liberals in Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and Conservatives in the less urban counties.

He's the kind of guy who can appeal to all voters since he's smart, good looking, an excellent speaker, has managed the Commonwealth of Virginia extremely well by keeping unemployment down and business investment up. 

We don't know if politics or logic will prevail in Romney's final choice; basically, it will come down to which team can beat Obama.