Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday thoughts

It's Father's Day here in paradise and slowly spring is turning into summer, or at least showing signs of promise. But it is paradise and things can change as we're having a cooler and wetter than normal. Now if the Seattle Mariners, currently the worst team in baseball. Really, 24 wins and 44 loses, several games behind the second worst team. They had a lot of promise to be a contender for the division and it all went south early in the season.

We could go on and on, as any fan can, about their team, but it just doesn't make sense. All the good players and they play hard but... And that's it, it's not just bad luck, that only goes so far with blame, excuses and explanations. The players have to look at themselves and the team. Everyone has missed opportunities to win. Every pitcher blown games. Every player missed chances to drive in runs, especially the big players expected to do that.

But then if you're the worst team, things can't get worse? Well, forget that thought, they can and quickly too.

Oh well, such is baseball. And the news?

Want to be angry? Did you know at least $.50 and as much as $0.80-1.00 per gallon of the price of gas goes to commodity and future traders? These are people who buy and sell futures in oil prices. They never buy oil, nor sell it, but bet if the price will go up or down. They make money over the value of oil but not the oil itself.

And where are the regulators and Congress? It's called profiteering. They won't touch it because 80% of the futures' market is owned by big banks and hedge funds. Every time you buy gas, $.80-1.00 goes straight into someone's pocket which has nothing to do with oil, from the ground to your tank. Nothing.

We easily could have $3.00-$3.25 per gallon gas. It's that simple. Ban futures trading which is unregulated.

Onward about money. Remember it's all about money.

The three largest Internet service companies are considering, and likely will later this summer, starting charging for bandwidth. Your Internet usage. This includes Comcast, AT&T and Time-Warner. This sucks. It's the reality of the market today and the Internet, built and much of it paid for by the US government. And now the profiteers want their share.

It seems we're just adding to someone else's pocket and getting little in return?

The Department of Interior is planning to relax the rules for the oil companies exploring for oil in the artic with wildlife. They're playing a bait and switch with what they say with what they do. What?

The DOI is releasing new regulations which allow oil exploration companies to annoy, harm, even kill, polar bears, walruses, etc. who are bothering their operations. The Secretary of DOI is saying the the animals are protecting under the Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts which outlaws such actions against those animals.

See, they're saying they're not doing what they're actually doing. They want to get the new rules in effect soon so the oil companies can have "greater freedom" to be safe with the exploration. Gee, I wonder how far the companies will go out of their way to find bears, walruses, etc to harrass, shoot and kill and then claim it was the animal's fault.

The problem is that polar bears are curious, especially toward human environments (see many examples of life in northern Canadian towns), and many human activies upset their home and raising cubs (sounds, vibrations, etc.). But the politically appointed Chief of the Fish and Wildlife Service says it's not a big deal. But then his agency is the one rewriting the rules too.

So who do you believe? The bears and walruses can't speak for themselves.

Are the prisoners in Gitmo really a threat? Depends on who's report you read. And it depends on when and where they were captured and what, when and where they are suspected of doing against the US. And it varys on the seriousness of them, if they were simply a threat or actually did anything.

But in the end the studies seem to settle around 8% for the number who were (now gone) or are (now) actual terrorists with Al Qaeda against the US, and most of them were low level soldiers. And now we're faced with the reality we can't send them home, their home country has declined to accept them. We created our own nightmare. They're not really terrorists and we've made them into terrorists no one wants.

We're certainly talented at being paranoid and making imaginary enemies into our own reality.

Oh well, such is the world on Father's Day. No better or worse than any year. Oh well, back to watching the Mariners lose again.

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