The World This Week By Wah : September 21, 2008

Videos should be coming shortly…like tonight.

UPDATE: Or maybe tomorrow.  Got everything updated (XP, Vista with Service Packs and video editing software, new version, and other patches, and a new monitor) and now we’re done with last week’s program.  I am hoping to get these done and uploaded by Sunday night, Monday at the latest, so far I haven’t made it.  My plan right now calls for 10 weeks of this stuff, which takes us right through the election.  Feel free to offer feedback.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


Here’s the outline (for all three parts):

  1. The Economy
    Welcome to the REALLY United States of America!!
    One Thing To Say About the Collapse of Wall Street
    The World’s Biggest Bailouts
    Sorry about that whole “U.S. economic collapse” thing (Straw and A Camel’s Back)
  2. McCain vs. Obama Tax Plan
    Biden’s Response to McCain Tax Lie Gets More Coverage Than the Lie
    Arguing About Obama’s Tax Policy
  3. Text Messages and the Tececom Scam
    Lookin at the Text Message Scam
  4. Russia, Georgia, Bush Doctrine and Palin
    Let’s Play: “Fun With Russia: Arms Deal Version”
    Straight From the Energy Expert’s Mouth To Your Ears
    [On] Palin Progaganda on Fox
    Palin Lying and Covering It Up (Email Hacked)
    Charles Krauthammer’s Lie (and read up on the “Bush Doctrine”)
    New Yorker : Funny : Two Things That Rarely Go Together
    Q: re: Rape Kits :: Can You Save Money If You Buy in Bulk
  5. NSA Lawsuit
    Fighting the NSA
  6. Science / General Interest
    Scientists Expose Mystery Behind Aurora Borealis Spectacle Of Light
    Now That’s Quality Construction
    Ninja Cat : Lessons in Stalking
  7. Sports / Culture
    How Do I Turn Off Tony Kornheiser?
    Jesus “Jack Bauer” Christ
    Kottke on Wallace
  8. Quick President 08 Update
    McCain: No Science For You!!!
    Obama’s 50 State Project Complete
  • Conclusion
  • When It Rain It Pours – Empirical Evidence

    Extra water, wind strain Northwest power grid –

    This is a nice example of the adage, which I’ve found repeatedly to be true, when it rains it pours.

    The Northwest is awash in electric power this spring.

    Rivers are swollen. Columbia River dams are running full bore. Wind farm blades are spinning.

    That should be good news for the Northwest, where hydropower is cheap and wind is a leader in renewable energy. And it should be good news for California, a huge electricity consumer that often sucks up Oregon’s springtime surplus.

    This is also the result of all those “tree-huggers” setting up a system to utilize natural resources in an efficient  manner.

    Oregon and Washington can’t use all the electricity that’s available. And southbound transmission lines that are at capacity can’t take the extra power California consumers otherwise would eagerly devour.

    In some cases, power producers are paying customers to take electricity off their hands.

    Operators of the Columbia-Snake River dams say there’s enough give-and-take in the system to handle large fluctuations in water flow and wind generation. But pressures have steadily increased, and they’ll intensify as more and more wind power comes into play

    So now the next step is to increase our internal capacity and infrastructure.  It is in these areas that the U.S. is most in need of maintenance and expansion.  Instead of blowing things up, we should be building to help achieve the next level of national independence, that of energy.

    It’s All About the Electrons (Flowing, Yo)

    The Coming Energy Wars | Newsweek International Edition |

    The lack of any spare capacity in the global pipeline makes it difficult to solve such situations with sanctions; taking any oil off the market would, at this point, merely ignite an already explosive situation. The megatrends fueling the global supply shortage tend to feed on one another. Higher prices fuel the growing tendency of oil states like Russia and Venezuela to re-nationalize fields. That often leads to lower output, due to the inefficiency of most state oil companies, notes Sanford Bernstein analyst Ben Dell. The publicly traded companies have to go where they can. As fields in peaceful places (Alaska, the North Sea) are tapped out, the hunt for new oil has moved into conflict zones (Nigeria and Angola) or geologically extreme territory (Siberia, the deep sea). And while higher prices are already driving down energy consumption in rich nations, that drop does not offset the booming demand in emerging markets.

    Some dry but good reading from Newsweek on the ramifications of everyone fighting over the same thing, i.e., everyone is going to fight over the same thing.

    This is also why Iran is having such a fun time being in the position they are.  That is, the world is both trying to cut them off to punish for the uranium enrichment and trying to open them up to exploit their oil, natty gas, and pipeline potential.