Awesome Tidbits from the News

By David L. Brown

Here is a brief synopsis of some news items that are relevant to recent postings on Star Phoenix Base.

Oil Prices Continue to Rise — Is No End in Sight?
We wrote a few days back that once oil punched through the $140 price there would be no keeping it back from reaching $150 a barrel.

One week ago today, June 27, we announced that that breakthrough had occurred.

Yesterday, July 2, it broke through $144 a barrel.

Today, July 3 it broke through $145 a barrel.

It was just on January 2 this year that oil surged past the $100 mark. Is there no end in sight? We shall see, but we obviously are not nearly to the point where supply satisfies demand at current prices, otherwise the cost of oil would not continue to be bid up.

It is curious that the Saudi Arabian oil thieves have announced the discovery of a huge new oil reserve that will just absolutely out produce anything we have seen before and solve the oil problem. Do we believe them? Do we believe Lyle the Lying Liar, winner of the International Twisted Tongue Award? Well, you never heard of Lyle because I just made him up, but with a name like that would you believe him? No? Well neither should you believe those lying sheiks.

If there is any place on earth where oil exploration has taken place in depth, and for many decades, it is on that sandy bit of wasteland where the Saudis live, and for them to claim an enormous new discovery now is just too much to accept, except as evidence of their desperate state of panic.

Wheels Continue to Fall Off the Bus in Detroit

Just yesterday I wrote about the mess Detroit finds itself in. Today there are a couple of items of interest, both concerning the No. 2 automaker, Ford.

First, the SUV has been declared “dead,” based on a statement from Ford Motor Company that they foresee the faux 4WD vehicles as continuing only in a “niche market.” Industry analysts interpreted that as the death knell of the SUV.

According to Ford’s lead sales analyst George Pipas, “Our view is that gas prices aren’t likely to go down and, more importantly, consumers have moved on. We believe that the [SUV] segment has merit for certain consumers, but is not likely to rebound at any point.”

As noted in an article titled “R.I.P. the SUV?”:

Apparently that’s Ford-speak for “the SUV is dead,” said Charlie Vogelheim, chief auto industry analyst with J.D. Power and Associates.

“The popularity of the SUV is done,” Vogelheim said. “The SUV is more of a four-letter word than the station wagon.”

Out of respect to the numerically challenged I won’t comment on whether “SUV” or “station wagon” are four letter words, but speaking of station wagons, which apparently are (thankfully) extinct automotive dinosaurs, Ford also this week announced its latest new vehicle, the Flex. Amazingly, this thing looks like … a station wagon! In fact, a boxy retro looking thing that could have come from the 1970s when station wagons were kings of the road. Here is a photo of this amazing new offering from Ford:


Well, what can you say? The Flex not only is saddled with a stupid name but looks to have all the qualities of a station wagon plus hints of an SUV, with striking similarities to the classic Chevy Suburban or those old Jeep Grand Wagoneers. It even has some of the lean-and-hungry demeanor of a Hummer, for crying out loud.

Obviously this is another example of Ford’s total inability to forecast the future and plan its product line accordingly. The announcement of this new monstrosity seems particularly strange in light of Fords admission that the SUV is essentially dead. As I asked in my posting yesterday, what is wrong with these people?

China Prepares for Olympics

As Confucius wrote, some pictures are worth a thousand words. For example, this one showing Chinese anti-terrorist troops demonstrating how they will handle anyone who gets out of line during the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games. Grrrr!


Wow, those athletes and fans better stay cool or we might see some serious, er, Segwaying and Shooting. Oh, perhaps that will be the latest Olympic “sport!” I can see it now, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded on the basis of the number of misbehaving athletes and fans that can be run down and dispatched in the shortest period of time.

I still can’t believe that the Chinese Olympics won’t turn into a true public relations disaster for the Middle Kingdom, and this picture does nothing to reassure me. The whole world is going to be watching China, and demonstrations and other anti-Chinese outbursts are sure to occur. Will this be China’s response? Wow, that will make some great footage for CNN, won’t it, as the black-clad killers roll over the bleeding bodies of their victims. It could make Tienanmen Square look like a Baptist Sunday school picnic.

Of course, chances are good that when these guys come Segwaying up with rifles at the ready, everyone will just break out laughing. I know I would. It would be like a scene from the Keystone Kops.

Meanwhile, China Daily (from which I lifted this hilarious picture) today reported on a survey of Chinese people on the question of whether the French president Nicolas Sarkozy should be allowed to attend the Olympics. Due to his criticism of China, the vast majority said he should not be invited to come. That’s the old international spirit of the Olympics, you bet! The only question I have is, why would Sarkozy want to come?

And while we’re on that subject, why in the name of Allah does our President plan to attend and by so doing lend “face” to this evil, criminal nation, operators of the largest slave labor camp in history? The best thing the West could do is to begin to close once again that door to Red China that Nixon and Kissinger opened, much to our nation’s harm.

That’s enough news for today. Have a good ‘un!

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