Tuesday, December 23, 2008

in case anyone was paying attention

The whole point about Georgia and the failure of Europe to step up to the plate relative to Russia's unilateral border reordering (which I mentioned at the time) was gas. Obviously Europe has decided high gas prices are okay.

It now seems they'll be getting their wishes.

I am of course two minds about this, higher gas prices mean less carbon emissions if there is a cap and trade or carbon tax in place to prevent a reversion to coal.

But really what is this about - it's obvious to me that Russia is pushing for a mechanism to ensure that gas prices are not capped by the cost of LNG (lets call that $15) over the long run. The goal, quite obviously, is to avoid having an actual market.

The difference between an OPEC and a gas cartel would be that Russia would of course be willing to play very mean to ensure production targets were met. Not a cartel I'd want to be in, but the upside is pretty significant for smaller players.

The bigger issue is of course that even a large natural gas producer like Canada or the US, which may not want to participate in the cartel, would be price takers - this means no real opposition from a US policy making front.

Monday, December 22, 2008

OECD dropping the ball

Well, the Georgian mission/office of the OECD is shutting down at the end of the year.

Will someone give the Russians credit for getting pretty much everything they want out of Europe with regard to the Caucuses? I mean, I view the failure to renew the mission as a bad thing, but it's clearly exactly what Russia has wanted.

There's an undeniable failure on the part of western europe to stand up for any of the things they profess to care about when it comes to any area that drains into the black sea. I personally think this is short sighted, but I gather that colonialism seems safer to europe right now that all that crazy independence stuff the US was talking when it came to other corners of the world.

I have always valued OECD and it seems pretty obvious it, along with the member states, seems to have given up. Maybe I was wrong to assign as much value to it as I did in the 1990s.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dock Ellis RIP

You have to admit, pitching a no hitter on acid is pretty damned amazing. way more amazing that hitting a bunch of home runs on steroids.

Dock Ellis died yesterday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

deep throat - RIP

Santa Rosa's own Mark Felt died yesterday.

most of america knows him better as deep throat, the man that sunk fellow californiawashingtonian richard "I take pills and beat my wife" nixon, america's possibly tied for first place in worst president category primo asshole.

so tonight i will cheer to a man who had the conviction to principles like truth and no man is above the law enough to rat out a real goddamned fink.

felt was no saint (actually was a bitter bastard who would later be pardoned for some pretty evil domestic spying crap that he was rightly convicted of), but damnit, who cares the world owes him for this one.

Thank you Mark. oh and fuck richard milhaus nixon for soooooo many things.

Monday, December 15, 2008

recuerdos de everyday occurance

George Brecht passed.

One of the small group of Fluxus thinkers I pretty much wet my pants over.

And so I will tell the story of my trip to vegas, which was entirely unremarkable save for one small, perfect miracle:

A wind storm blew in (I had known it was coming but not what it would bring).

Sun reflected off the mirrored glass along the top floor of the building I was staying in.

It was cast in a strange crescent on the concrete facade of a nearby building.

As the wind blew, sometimes in rolling gusts along the length of the building, sometimes in uniform blasts across the entire building at once, the glass (remember it's a liquid) would focus and defocus the reflected sunlight on concrete in a soft almost repeating pattern over the shape of the crescent.

It's the most beautiful thing I've seen in years I think.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

RIP Betty Page

Somewhere, Russ Meyer is crying into a pair of giant breasts.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I got a venereal disease from the internets