Saturday, November 29, 2008

Way too early in the morning

Groggy thoughts having awoken way too early again ... 4 o'clock. I just give up now, make the coffee, crawl back under the covers with my warm MacBook on my lap and a rather large sleeping dog snorting occasionally in mild protest, and read the AP news flashes on Salon.

So ...

Curious how ludicrously low oil prices may have a green impact. Saudi Arabia is complaining that $54 per barrel is insufficient to guarantee new development efforts, and therefore supply might be inadequate sooner rather than later. Huzzah, I say. And, Iran and Venezuela could suffer political harm from the inability to deliver on fiscal promises made based on high oil prices. It is rational to have zero sympathy with the Iran regime, and it is unlikely that the bloodthirsty mullahs will be garbage-heaped without significant dislocation ... i.e., a revolution that does not seem to be in the offing. But something has to be a trigger.

As for Venezuela, the Chavez act is wearing thin for progressives who have largely held their breath about the man and the plan. The only thing that keeps him around, it seems, is that the right wing has been and again would be so much worse.

I have to confess that I am not entirely sure what the issues are in the Thai disturbances ... I haven't done the homework, alas ... but as usual I suspect that this is a disjunct between urban society yearning for something it cannot define or fashion and that special rural idiocy that loves a strong man who hands out gift baskets. Again ... pure speculation. That said, the country seems to be begging for a military coup in an era when those things are so passe.

Mumbai ... christ, it's Bombay in English. My cranky side cannot abide all this feel-good refashioning of perfectly good English place names. We don't say Moskva or Praha or al-Qahira. But we still know where Moscow and Prague and Cairo are, and we still feel awfully good about it. Why does it have to be Mumbai?

But that is hardly the issue now. I don't have much to add to the horror at these events that is sweeping the world. But not for one second should we forget that this is born of religion, and religion is the root of all evil.

Nice piece on Barack's independence in Salon. FDR was a benign despot, and we may benefit from one now. Reagan was not benign, but he was also not a despot. He was a cypher whose emptiness along with the scowl and the knowing laugh allowed a cabal of ideologues and kleptocrats to seize the country and drive it ruin. Like the author if the piece linked above, I hope Obama takes this unique opportunity to seize the country by the scruff of its neck and shake some sense into it.

What sort of place is it whose citizens step over a crushed body to get to cheap Chinese goods at Walmart? We are repulsed by it ... and we don't have a better idea, leastwise as a society. Daddy Obama, will you deliver both the spanking and the pudding? That's what we are hoping for.

This is not an elegant post ... but it has nothing to do with gay marriage, and so I have delivered on the promise of the last post ... unless this paragraph itself is about gay marriage.

Postscript: must-read piece by Michael Lewis of Liar's Poker fame.

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