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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Short takes

Venezuela has halted delivery of oil to Exxon-Mobil after $12 billion of its assets were frozen. And in the same article which reports this, we're told:
Meanwhile, PDVSA also announced that it was selling a 20-million-barrel petroleum "tank farm," or storage facility, in the Bahamas to First Reserve Corp., an investment firm with offices in Greenwich, Conn., plus Houston and London. Terms were not disclosed, though news reports put the sale price at $900 million.

The sale of the storage terminal 80 miles off the coast of Florida seems likely to feed rumors that the Venezuelan oil giant is strapped for cash and is resorting to the sale of assets to meet its short-term operating obligations.
Really? Because I'd say that a lot more likely explanation is having $12 billion of your assets frozen, and figuring that's a darn good time to sell off assets you still have your hands on before some other court freezes them as well.

On the other side of the world, we ask "what is wrong with this news?":

The Pentagon is trying to assess whether a low-level flight by a Russian bomber over American warships in the Pacific Ocean last weekend was a sign that Moscow is returning to a worrisome "Cold War mind-set," a top Defense official told Congress Tuesday.

Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said officials want to know why a Tupolev Tu-95 "Bear" bomber flew over the aircraft carrier Nimitz and other U.S. vessels in international waters near Japan.
American aircraft carriers and their F-18 fighter-jets thousands of miles away from home? Business as usual. Russian planes a few hundred miles off their own coast? A "provocation" and a return to a "Cold War mind-set."

The Middle East isn't the only place that U.S. military forces need to get out of.

And finally, somewhere in the middle of those two events, fascist anti-Semities are rearing their ugly heads in Europe (Hungary in this instance). The left, almost entirely on the basis of its defense of the rights of the Palestinian people to their homeland, is routinely accused of "anti-Semitism," when the fact is that the left has been historically a major opponent of anti-Semitism, whereas pro-capitalist rightist forces like the Hungarian Guard described in this fascinating article are the major source of anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, back in the land of "free speech" and "democracy," a doctor is being fired for having the audacity to treat an unconscious antiwar protester, and then for the further audacity of filing a complaint against a policeman who threw her against a wall. Read the details and add your voice to the protest against her unbelievably unjust firing here.

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