New Zealand is Actively Looking for new Petroleum Deposits while President Obama Remains in a State of Denial

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Petroleum fuels the modern world.  It’s what drives our trains (at least the diesel-electric ones).  It makes our airplanes fly.  Our cars drive (the vast majority of them).  And our trucks.  For the trains and cars that don’t use petroleum the electric generating plants do use it or another fossil fuel (like coal or natural gas) to make the electricity that moves the things petroleum doesn’t.  Life as we know it couldn’t exist without petroleum oil.  Sadly, though, the leader of the world’s largest economy doesn’t like petroleum.  And his administration is working aggressively against oil.  Wherever they can they have prevented new petroleum from coming to market.  Unlike they’re doing in New Zealand (see NZ puts 23 oil and gas exploration permits up for tender posted 6/8/2012 on Share Chat).

The government department is looking for companies to explore the onshore and offshore areas from 2013. The blocks cover over 40 kilometers of offshore seabed and 3 kilometers of land in the Waikato, Taranaki, Tasman, the West Coast and Southland. Tenders close on Oct. 15.

“The blocks cover a number of petroleum basins and a variety of environmental settings and resource types to attract a range of potential explorers with different expertise and interests,” David Binnie, general manager of New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals, said in a statement.

The New Zealand government understands that petroleum fuels the modern economy.  So they are inviting companies to come to their national lands and seas to explore for petroleum.  Meanwhile President Obama is shutting down oil exploration where he can.  (And if he could on private land he would do that, too.)  He said ‘no’ to the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada.  And he’s pouring hundreds of billions of tax dollars into green energy businesses that have a penchant for going bankrupt.  And yet the modern economy still runs on Petroleum.  What is wrong with this picture?

President Obama.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A lot of Teenagers are Making Bad Decisions such as Voting Democrat

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

The Democrats go after the youth vote.  In fact they would lower the voting age if they could.  The lower the better.  Because young people make so many bad decisions.  Which is why the Democrats can count on their vote (see One-third of U.S. teens report texting while driving: CDC by David Beasley posted 6/7/2012 on Reuters).

One in three high school students reported they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous 30 days, according to the centers’ 2011 youth risk behavior survey of 15,000 high school students…

In 2010, auto accidents killed 3,115 teens aged 13-19, the CDC said. That was down 44 percent over the past decade, but auto accidents remain the leading cause of teen deaths…

The risk behavior survey found that while cigarette smoking dropped slightly from 2009-2011, more teens smoked marijuana, with 23.1 percent of students saying they had used it one or more times during the previous 30 days. For the first time since the CDC began taking the survey in 1991, more teens said they smoked marijuana than cigarettes.

Nearly 40 percent of students said they had at least one alcoholic drink in the previous 30 days.

High school students are typically not older than 18.  And the legal drinking age is 21 in most places these days.  So these 40% are not great fans of the law.  The legal age to buy and smoke tobacco products in most states is 18.  So those smoking cigarettes are likely underage, too.  (Unless they were held back a few years in school.)  So those smoking cigarettes are also not great fans of the law.

More kids are smoking marijuana than cigarettes.  As marijuana is illegal this is yet another law these kids are breaking.  So these smoking and drinking kids are habitually breaking the law.  And every time they do so it is a bad decision.  Especially if they operate a motor vehicle afterward.  And being that auto deaths are still the leading cause of death for teenagers it is a good chance they’re doing these things while driving.  As well as texting while driving.

A lot of teenagers have a problem with authority.  And when they get a chance to vote they tend to vote against authority.  For someone who isn’t their parent.  So their bad behavior extends to the voting booth.  Where they don’t vote for what is best for their country.  But best for them in the moment.  More lenient drug laws.  Free birth control.  Access to abortion.  Things that are important in their young lives.  And that can facilitate more bad decision making.

That’s why Democrat candidates appear on shows that cater to these teenagers.  To show how unlike their parents they are.  Knowing these kids aren’t interested in monetary or fiscal policy.  Or responsible governing.  They just want to laugh at conservatives.  Party.  And vote for the cool people.  That are more like them than their parents.  So they go on the cool shows.  And shamelessly pander to these kids.  To get their votes.  And destroy their future with their policies.  But by the time these kids catch on to their game and start changing their vote there are more young people coming of age to take their place.  And the pandering continues.  Wooing the young vote before the young are young no more.  And they start making good decisions.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coca-Cola denies making People Obese and Objects to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 16 Ounce Limit

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Coca-Cola strikes back.  Attacking New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sizes of sugary drinks.  They say the facts don’t support the mayor’s claim.  That their fattening drinks are not making people obese.  And they have a point.  For I have seen a lot of thin-challenged people order diet drinks.  To justify their indulgence in things that are not diet (see Coke says obesity grew as sugary drink consumption fell by Bruce Horovitz posted 6/8/2012 on USA Today).

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft-drink maker, is pushing back against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s provocative proposal a week ago to limit to 16 ounces the size of sugary drinks that could be sold at city restaurants, theaters and street carts.

“There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity,” says Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s president of sparkling beverages in North America, in an exclusive interview.

In fact, Bayne says, during the period from 1999 through 2010, when obesity was rising, sugar intake from beverages was decreasing. During that period, she says, sugars from soda consumption fell 39% even as the percentage of obese kids jumped 13% and obese adults climbed 7%.

Mayor Bloomberg was unavailable, but his deputy press secretary, Samantha Levine, says Coke’s numbers have more fizz than fact.

I remember having dinner with some friends one night.  One lady in our group enjoyed a Long Island iced tea before the appetizer.  She had another one with the appetizer.  And another one with her meal.  Which was a large cut of steak and a baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream.  With a side of shrimp scampi.  She ordered a soft drink to go with her meal.  A Diet Coke.  But despite this Diet Coke which was the only soft drink she drank she was a little on the heavy side.  And by ‘a little’ I mean she probably could be included in the above statistics.

Remember the salad bar craze?  People were going to eat healthy salads instead of fattening meals.  How many of us were next to someone at the salad bar as they loaded their plate with ham, pepperoni, bacon, boiled egg, cheese, etc.  While passing over the fresh vegetables?  Then topped off their salad with two or three helpings of a creamy salad dressing?  And washing it all down with a diet beverage?  I’m sure we’ve all seen this.  Someone eating a ‘healthy meal’ that had three times the fat than in your typical fast food combo meal.

This 16 ounce limit on sugary drinks will probably not stop people from having their Long Island iced teas or eating large helpings of a delicious meal.  So the danger is that when this sugary drink ban doesn’t work they’ll expand the ban to include other fattening things.  And keep expanding it until they see a reduction in the obesity rates.  To the point where restaurants may one day become the calorie police.  Perhaps allowing you to buy a baked potato with butter or sour cream but not both. 

Don’t think that can happen?  Well, they’re trying to make restaurants, theaters and street carts the sugary drinks police.  Something no one would have believed possible a decade earlier.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Californians hate their Environmental Policies so much they buy Chevy Volts to Cheat the System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Buses are cheaper than trains.  Because all a bus needs is fuel in its tanks and firm ground to drive on.  A train on the other hand is very expensive.  Because wherever a train goes you need a dedicated road (i.e., railroad tracks).  A massive infrastructure wherever that road goes.  And an army of people to maintain and operate it.  Subways are even more expensive.  Because they are underground.  Which makes everything more costly.

California has spent a fortune on their trains in the greater Los Angeles area.  So let us compare a few statistics on both buses and trains.  Buses are more numerous.  They have 183 bus routes covering 1,433 square miles.  While they have 5 rail lines for a total of 79.1 rail miles in service.   Their buses have average weekday boardings of approximately 1,125,840.  While their trains have average weekday boardings of approximately 319,883.  (These numbers are approximate because one train line’s boardings are included in the Metro Bus ridership numbers for some reason). 

It is clear their trains are not moving anywhere near the number of people their buses are moving.  And for all that investment it hasn’t even helped to remove cars from the road or cut pollution.  Because the roads are still so congested that they have High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or car pool lanes on their expressways.  To encourage people to save the planet.  By jamming as many people into a car as possible for their commutes to work.  For if they do they can take the less congested HOV lanes and cut an hour or so off of their drive time.  Well, it turns out that not only do Californians hate taking the bus and train they also hate car pooling.  Enter the Chevy Volt.  The answer to all of their dreams (see Volt sales surge in California thanks to car-pool access by Peter Valdes-Dapena posted 6/7/2012 on CNN Money).

Sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt plug-in car, which had been dwindling in recent months, are enjoying a big resurgence in California, a state with some of the highest gas prices in the nation.

But the uptick in Volt sales isn’t about saving gas; it’s more about saving time.

Despite being incredibly fuel efficient, the Volt’s emissions when operating on gasoline weren’t clean enough to qualify it to drive in California’s car-pools lanes, relegating Volt owners to the whims of grueling California traffic.

But now, thanks to some new engineering tweaks to fix that issue, 2012 model year Volts sold in California can drive in those free-flowing HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes — even with only one person in the car…

California car buyers will jump at any opportunity to drive in HOV lanes.

Those lanes flow much more smoothly than other traffic-choked lanes on California highways, especially at rush hour, O’Dell said.

O’Dell owns a car with an HOV-lane sticker and says that when he’s driving that car, he gets to work in about an hour. When he’s driving a car without the sticker it takes him from two to two-and-a-half hours, he said.

In addition to HOV-lane access, the Volt is also eligible for a $1,500 state tax rebate in California on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit. Some local governments in California offer additional benefits for plug-in car buyers, as well.

The Chevy Volt allows these people do what they want to do.  Stay off the buses.  Stay off the trains.  And drive their cars.  Alone.  And it has nothing to do with saving the planet.  They just want to drive in the HOV lanes and save a couple of hours driving each day.  And they’re willing pay more to be able to do that.  For time is money.  And life.  Time lost sitting in traffic and waiting for a bus or a train is time that we can never get back.

California has the strictest environmental laws in the country.  But when it comes to living with the consequences of these laws the people will look to cheat.  As they are with the Chevy Volt.  Which will reverse all the progress the environmentalists have made in restricting people’s freedoms in California.  By placing such a high opportunity cost on driving a car alone.  Painfully long commutes.  But thanks to the Chevy Volt Californians can do what they’re always wanted to do.  Drive their gasoline-powered cars.  In the fast lane.  Hell, they may never plug in their hybrids.  And pretend they’re driving real cars in the fast lane.  Just to relish the knowledge that they’re putting one over on the environmentalists.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Some 2.15 Million won’t be Smart Enough to go to College in China this Year

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

There’s no diversity when it comes to going to college in China.  It is a pure meritocracy.  Only the smartest 6.85 million will go to college.  Which means 2.15 million will have to make other plans (see Pens down for 9 million students sitting China’s college entrance exams by AFP posted 6/7/2012 on The Australian).

MORE than 9 million students are sitting China’s notoriously tough college entrance exams, with “high-flyer” rooms, nannies and even intravenous drips among the tools being employed for success.

With just 6.85 million university spots on offer this year, competition for the top institutions is intense, and attempts to cheat are rife – more than 1,500 people have been arrested on suspicion of selling transmitters and hard-to-detect ear pieces.

Parents and students this year are also resorting to some outlandish but legal methods to ensure nothing goes wrong in the make-or-break two-day exam.

Students have reportedly been given pre-exam injections and intravenous drips designed to boost energy levels, while girls have resorted to hormone injections and birth control pills to delay menstruation.

“There are situations where girls take pills to delay their periods until after the exams,” a gynaecologist at Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital, who declined to give his name, told AFP…

The nation’s public security ministry said in a statement Monday that police had busted over 100 gangs suspected of selling cheating equipment, rounding up 1,500 people with the seizure of some 60,000 devices such as ear pieces.

Exam authorities said they would use wireless signal jammers and frequency detectors to prevent cheating, as well as fingerprint scanners to verify exam-takers’ identity.

It’s nice to see the Chinese women as competitive as the Chinese men.  What with all those sex-based abortions for unwanted daughters.  They may discriminate against women in the womb but when it comes to college entrance exams even that doesn’t count.  Everyone has an equal chance of going to college.  All they have to do to get into college is to be smarter than the bottom 2.15 million.

Talk about your overachievers.  I bet that once they do get into college they will take a lot of math and science.  And study.  Instead of taking courses like women’s studies, minority studies, family studies, American studies,   communications, film, psychology or philosophy.  Degrees that are less demanding.  A little more fun.  And leave a lot more free time to enjoy college.  Pursuing other past times.  Such as drinking.  Partying.  And intimate relations.  And by that I mean a lot of casual sex.  The way college should be.  If the education part of college isn’t that important to you.

The U.S. has lost much of its manufacturing to the Chinese.  But manufacturing makes up a smaller and smaller part of our economy.  America continues to dominate the smart, thinking part of the international economy.  Designing the high-tech world.  But thanks to these overachievers in China and the underachievers in some of our universities these days the future doesn’t look good for that smart, thinking part of the international economy.  If you’re an American, that is.  It looks great if you’re Chinese.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Daughter of the Dictator of the Oppressive Cuban Regime endorses President Obama for President in 2012

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

The 2012 election is still about 5 months away.  But President Obama has received another endorsement.  In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the daughter of Cuba’s communist dictator said President Obama is her kind of leader (see Obama wins endorsement from Raul Castro’s daughter by the CNN Wire Staff posted 6/4/2012 on CNN).

The daughter of Cuba’s president supports the re-election bid of U.S. President Barack Obama, but believes he could do more were it not for the pressures he is facing, she said in an interview broadcast Monday on “CNNi’s Amanpour.”

“As a citizen of the world, I would like him to win,” said Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Raul Castro, in the exclusive interview, which was conducted Friday in New York. “Given the choices, I prefer Obama…”

Amanpour pointed to a Human Rights Watch description of Cuba as “the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent.”

But Castro said the rights group “does not represent the opinion of the Cuban people. And their informants are mercenaries. They’re people who have been paid by a foreign government for media shows that do not represent Cuban positions directly…”

Castro offered no sympathy for Yoani Sanchez, the dissident blogger inside Cuba who has won multiple awards for her work, which is critical of the Castro government.

“She gives service to foreign powers who are interested in eliminating the Cuban experience,” Castro said. “She’s an official voice of the global dominant powers.

Castro disputed Sanchez’s assertion that she was not allowed to work. “She is allowed to work in Cuba,” Castro said. “But she makes much more money with the prizes, which are being sent to her from abroad, than for any work that she might do with the very low wages that we have in Cuba…”

Asked about Sen. Robert Menendez’s description of her as “a vocal advocate of the regime, an opponent of democracy, who has defended the brutal repression of democracy activists,” Castro called the Democrat from New Jersey “a person who really doesn’t have his feet down on the ground.”

Just in case you’re not sure Raul Castro is Fidel Castro’s brother.  When Fidel suffered some health issues he handed the dictatorship over to his brother.  Because he could.  Much like Kim Jong-Il handed his dictatorship off to his son, Kim Jong-un.  Because he could.  When you have absolute power over life and death of your people you can play by any set of rules you choose.  And Fidel Castro has chosen to continue their oppressive communist police state.  For those who didn’t escape across the water to Florida, that is.  This is Cuba.  Where the Cuban masses suffer under the Castro dictatorship.  Something Mariela Castro Espin apparently supports.  Saying the Castro will is the people’s will.  Those Cubans trying to make it to Florida on watercraft than can barely float, though, beg to differ.

And this champion of oppressive communist police states endorses President Obama in the 2012 election.  As I’m sure the Castro brothers do.  As well as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  And if he was still alive, Mao Zedong.  And the man that exported this oppressive Stalinism himself.  Joseph Stalin.  So it would appear that President Obama impresses the anti-capitalism bloc.  For they must feel that he hates capitalism as much as they do.  And they would love to see how much more he can hate it with 4 more years.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,