Assuming

  • Oil is a finite resource, or at least it is being replenished at a rate that makes it EFFECTIVELY a finite resource.

Given

  • The global DEMAND for oil is growing.
  • Global SUPPLY of oil is shrinking because the usage rate exceeds the regeneration rate.
  • The United State is the world’s 3rd largest producer of oil.
  • The United States has the world’s 11th largest proven oil reserves.

Predicting

  • Supply and demand trends will continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Price of oil will increase because of growing demand and diminishing supply (econ 101)

Rhetorical Questions

  • Does the US want to import oil now or in the future when it is more expensive?
  • Does the US want to export oil now or in the future when it is more expensive?
  • Do we want unfriendly nations to have oil money now, or more oil money later?
  • What happens to our national security when we use up our own oil to use in a situation when other countries cut us off? (Hint: Our military needs a lot of oil to function.)

Conclusion

We should do our best to meet our domestic demand for oil using foreign sources and hold back our own oil reserves until the economics of the energy market signal that it is time to resume drilling here.

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For Shame, Best Buy

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Life, WTF
Tags: ,

Saw the following device at my local Best Buy store today.

It claims on the box that you can just plug it in your car’s cigarette lighter (also known in PC circles as the auxiliary power port) and it will:

  • Reduce Emissions
  • Increase Gas Mileage
  • Increase Power
  • Cure Cancer
  • Make girls like you despite the fact you live in a basement with your library of D&D literature.

Okay, I understand scammers are trying to make a buck off something that is so obviously snake oil, but by stocking such an item Best Buy is implicitly lending it some credibility that it absolutely doesn’t deserve. C’mon Best Buy purchasing guy, what where you thinking?

 

 

(sorry for the blurry photo)

PS: I love the warning on the bottom about not using it with electric cars or hybrids. This placebo device might interfere with the smug field generator for those cars and might also disrupt the reality distortion field that has you tricked into thinking that driving those cars will have even a negligible impact on the environment. Then you’d be left just sitting there in your oddly shaped car feeling stupid for over-paying for a trunk-load of batteries that will inevitably one day pollute a landfill with battery acid and heavy metals.

 

Black Ops and Underpants

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Life
Tags: , ,

According to Amazon.com’s recommendation engine, apparently Call of Duty:Black Ops and men’s underwear go together like milk and cookies. Is the game that scary that people playing it are desperately searching for clean underwear?

Perhaps that mystery will never be solved. But all this thinking about underwear and Black Ops gives me a great idea for a new Urban Dictionary entry….

Ooops, too late.

The Last Thread of Our Moral Tether

Posted: November 4, 2010 in WTF
Tags: , ,

Let me start off by explaining. I am not the typical bleeding heart type. I have no problem with eating meat, fur coats, and am strongly suspect the whole global warming thing is a combination of fatalism, unfounded hysteria, climatologists trying to justify their profession, and a general outgrowth of the liberal notion that humans are evil, especially if they use technology or work for a big corporation.

Carbon Debits - Get yours Today!

Carbon Debits - Get yours Today!

However, I saw a commercial on TV tonight that if I were not disturbed by it, I don’t think I could call myself a moral being. That product is Kitty Litter, specifically this completely narcissistic kitty litter.

Bumpus & John

Some of my best friends are cats!

No, I have nothing against cats (even the non LOL variety). I have several of them and generally consider myself a “cat person”, in fact. I have nothing against cat litter in general. I go through tons of the stuff at my house, although like most cat owners it irks me to no end when I let the cat in the house, it runs right to the litter box to drop a load, then runs back to the door expecting to be let out again.

It isn’t even the blatant green-washing going on to promote this stuff. If you are a hyper-sensitive enviro-nut who hasn’t been in a science class since grade 10 and don’t realize that nature won’t even flinch at the notion of scented clay, go ahead and pay a premium for your conceit. See if I care.

The problem is the WAY they are making it earth friendly. Observe exhibit A.

Soiled Green is FOOD!

Yes, they are making it out of “whole-kernel-corn.”  Let me diagram this for you, the way I’d might try to explain it to one of the thousands of children in the world who will die of starvation today.

In America we trap animals indoors against their will.
This prevents them from pooping in their natural habitat.
So we fill boxes with clay for them to poop in so it is sanitary.
We don’t like the smell of the boxes so we normally perfume it.
But we feel bad about this because scientists say CO2 makes the earth hotter.
And in 100 years it might get hot enough to melt icebergs and change the weather.
For example, it might cause it to rain more often in your drought plagued country.
Although scented clay doesn’t have contain CO2, it isn’t good for nature.
Even though it came out of the ground (aka “Nature”) .
So we started filling the boxes with food.
Yes, the same kind of food that might have kept you alive until tomorrow.
And yes, food that contains Carbon, that will become CO2 when it “biodegrades”.
Well, it only does that if we first put it in a bowl of clean water in your house,
You don’t have clean water piped into your house? I guess it’s an American thing.
Anyway …
So no, we can’t send you any food, because then what would our animals poop on?

Starving Children

"Can I haz some kiddy lidder? Nom Nom Nom!"

Something is seriously wrong with humanity.

Toyota’s New Spokesman, a Bully. Really?

Posted: November 2, 2010 in WTF
Tags: , , ,

Doesn’t anyone at Toyota read American newspapers anymore? Despite widespread hysteria about the problem of childhood bulllies, an issue that even the Government is throwing their hat into,  Toyota seems to be featuring a spokesman for their Highlander SUV that looks, dresses and talks an awful lot like the kid who probably dunked your head in the toilet in primary school.

Click image for video

Maybe I’m just projecting my own biases against leather jackets and curly mop-tops? Or perhaps I was just scarred by a similar looking kid in school. It’s just me. Right? It isn’t like the kid says anything in the commercial that overtly identifies him as an intolerant bully or anything…

"I don't tolerate dorkiness very well."

And there is no visible victim in the commercial that would be especially prone to bullying or anything…

Click Image for Video

 

 

I half expected, the commercial to end with the kid grimacing, punching his palm, and growling:

“It’s nerd bashing time!”

Just to be safe, I’m sending my lunch money to Toyota’s headquarters and avoiding their dealerships during recess.

I realized today that social media sites have dramatically changed the model under which my family and friends communicate useless information to me.

It happened so gradually that I really hadn’t noticed it until today, but the quantity of “friendly fire” spam in my mailbox has diminished considerably.I rarely get messages from people that I know with headlines like the following:

Top 10 Signs that your Cat is Pissed off At you

FW:FW:FW:FW: FUNNY OBAMA JOKES. MUST READ!!!!!!!!

Your 3rd Cousin’s Brother’s former girlfriend remarried, thought you would like to know.

FORWARD THIS MESSAGE IMMEDIATELY TO 25 FRIENDS OR AN ANVIL WILL FALL ON YOUR HEAD!

It is Veteran’s day today, be sure to full on mouth kiss the next armed services person you see.

Funny video of a dog barking at a television.

Can you believe that Reverend Falwell said that American Idol is God’s punishment for not watching ‘Davy and Goliath’?

Cool New ScreenSaver/Game that couldn’t possibly contain a virus (1 Attachment)

What I suspect is happening is that the rise in popularity for sites like MySpace and FaceBook have effectively changed the way this type of stuff is broadcast from a push model to a pull model. That is, instead of sending stuff to me directly via e-mail, they post it in a central location that they assume I fervently read hourly to see what their hamster is up to.

So as long as I can appear reasonably knowledgeable about their hamsters, ostensibly from following their tweets, my mailbox is safe. Cool beans!

So, I hear your hamster ate its babies and ran a few laps in the wheel…

So even if you hate social media sites like these and don’t participate in them, at least be thankful that it provides a medium for your loved/acknowledged ones  to pretend you are listening to them and care about the intricate details of their lives.


Facts about the state of health care, insurance, and social programs

  1. Those in the know predict that Medicare will run out of money by 2018
  2. Social Security could be upside down as soon as 2049
  3. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 21-31 Million Americans are uninsured, which means that roughly 90-94% of Americans are currently covered.
  4. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd, EMTALA) is a United States Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. As a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

Facts about the State of the Economy

  1. The national debt is just shy of $12 Trillion which should put it at reach 90% of GDP in FY2009, and 98% of GDP in 2010.
  2. Experts argue about how much debt is healthy, but 60% of GDP  is a number that I commonly hear thrown around as the tipping point where things get dangerous.
  3. The debt/GDP ratio has not crossed 90% since 1949 and peaked in 1946 at a staggering 121.2%
  4. National Unemployment rate is approaching 10%.

Facts about where the Money is going

  1. Ranked by average profit margins, the private  insurance industry currently ranked 86th at 3.3%
  2. The hospital industry ranked 77th in average profit margins at 3.6%.
  3. Healthcare REITs (Real Estate Investment trusts that own health care real-estate, but are legally prohibited from operating the facilities, ranked #3 in profitability at 24.6%
  4. Major drug manufacturers came in at #7 (16.5%)
  5. Just for fun, Beverage Brewers ranked #1 (25.9%), Cigarette Manufacturing at #6(17.4%), Wineries and distillers at #18 (11.8%).
  6. Predicted cost of current health-care proposals range from $800B to $1.5T over the first 10 years.

Now Some Questions

  1. I’ve yet to hear a cogent explanation of what problem the health-care proposals are attempting to solve exactly aside from an ambiguous “Healthcare is broken.”
  2. Assuming it is broken, given the current financial hardship of the country, is the current system so broken that it is worth an expensive overhaul right now? Could this wait a few years until we start to see some economic recovery and the money currently being spent on two wars is freed up?
  3. What exactly would “fixed” look like. That is, what numbers should we be looking at as the measure of how well any plan will have solved the problem?
  4. Should we be going after the REIT’s instead of insurers and doctors for overcharging?
  5. If we can’t fund our current entitlement programs, how will expanding or adding new ones possibly work, even if everyone agreed that the benefits of it are essential?
  6. There is a lot of talk about keeping the plans “Deficit neutral” with schemes that involve offsetting expenses with cost cutting measures. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to just do the cost cutting measures and not incur the expenditures?
  7. Won’t the plans that include forcing insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and prevent them from charging more for hazardous lifestyle choices like smoking drive insurance costs up and make it harder for people to get insurance?