Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feb. 22: Why are oil prices rising?

It's all them poor people whut's doin' it. All them iggerant savages in Africa and the Middle East. Y'see, it ain't yer local gas station. And it ain't yer refiners. So it's gotta be all them folks in crude oil producin' countries. Yep. And it's all them there taxes.

That (only in less elegant English) is the big story on the front page of today's TandT. So the next time you see Mr. Irving shivering on a street corner, flip him a dime - or at least buy an apple from him.

Whoops. That's odd. The story mentions gas stations and refiners. But it doesn't mention the oill business as a whole. (Maybe that's because the story seems to be drawn from a report by the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation which is typically very, very friendly to rich people.)

In fact, in most cases, them there iggerant savages don't own that crude oil, and they don't get much out of it. Most of it is owned by people like, well, Exxon, BP, and boys next door like Jim Irving. So, how are they doing as prices rise? It can be hard to find out because of the way their money is scattered.

Most of them own tanker fleets, for example, which are registered in poor countries so they can hire cheap crews, and don't have to pay taxes to their home countries. They also like to own wells in countries that don't charge them much - except for payoffs to local kings, emirs, etc.

For over thirty years, the British navy got all its oil for free from Iran. Can you imagine how much it costs to gas up a battleship? That's why Britain and the US overthrew the elected government of Iran in the 1950s. It was going to take back its own oilfields. That's why we bombed Libya. That's why there's now a possibility of war with Iran.

You ttaxpayers think programmes for OAS and medicare are expensive? You ought to check out the cost of the wars the West fights to keep oil companies happy.

Interesting picture on p. 3 of the Clayton suburban-style development in Riverview. Two things are prominent. One is the yellow bits that are the single family detached houses. Notice how they are the ones that face on green space?

The other is the road that runs like an umbilical cord to the great sweep  of a throughway. And no mention of commercial facilities.

Yep. Yep. Yep. That's the world of the future. Lots of low rise, single houses with no shops, all connected to the highway and dependent on the automobile. Well, it was the future. Sixty years ago.

I wonder whether Riverview has a development planning committee. And whether the committee has a plan.

Read the NewsToday story on C1. It's about rioting in Aghanistan over the burning of the Qu'ran by American soldiers. Curiously, most of the stoty is about what the American commander says. Read it. He was clearly speaking only for North Americans who are gullible enough to believe we are there because we love Afghanistan and want to help it. I expect that reports in other parts of the world may focus on quite different aspects of the story.

The TandT has no mention of what is a much bigger story in the rest of the world. Remember Khadr Anan? The Palestinian who was arrested and imprisoned by Israel without charge or trial? And who says he's innocent of anything? He's the one who protested non-violently by going on a hunger strike for sixty-six days.

Well, Israel has released him. Fearing he would die, they had moved the trial up. Then, an hour before it was to start, they released him. Why? Obviously, the hunger strike was doing heavy damage to Israel's reputation   (everywhere except in North America where it is seldom reported.) It also suggests they had to cancel the case because they really didn't have one in the first place.

The editorial is, as usual, pimping for a land developer. It says you have to be honest with develoment companies if  you want them to respect you. Right. Land developers are noted for their high moral values.

Cunningham has a story about Nepal where a woman was burned for being a witch. Yes, says Norbert, this is 2012! (and that's an incorrect use of an exlamation mark.) Funny how we see things differently, depending on who does them.

The US killed a quarter million people in Guatemala, a majority of them women, children and babies. And they weren't even witches. They killed at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq. They kill more every day with drones.
And, yes, this is 2012.

The two op ed pieces by staff writers are the usual trivia.

Alec Bruce's column is very funny. And very intelligent and insightful.

Oh, speaking of how differently people can see things, there's a movie review praising a film which, in turn, praises US Navy Seals. These ae special ops trained as, among other things, assassins. They are sent out, usually in small groups,  to kill people - very often people innocent of any crime, and people with whom we are not at war.  But they do it. They're hired killers. The film
title sets the tone - Act of Valor.  Okay,

How would the Times and Transcript cover the story if it were about the valor of Al Quaeda fighters who risk (and often give) their lives for what they believe in?

I guess that what you see depends on where you're standing.

(And this whole post classifies me as a terrorist under the new crime and spying bills.)

1 comment:

  1. It's all them terrorists that live over there in Iran that's making gas prices go up. That's why we have to send our troops in there an whup their asses...'cause I just bought me a new Chevy truck an I want to afford to drive it...