NYT: Several thousand gallons of crude oil leaked from a Russian pipeline into a meadow over the weekend, briefly shutting down a major export route and causing prices to spike upward on panicky world oil markets.. Note: I'm also surprised a Russian "investor" hasn't stumbled upon this.
The NYTimes has a fantastic article on men that have dropped out of the workforce. I knew it was big (a sign of the times), but not this large:
About 13 percent of American men in this age group are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960’s. The difference represents 4 million men who would be working today if the employment rate had remained where it was in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Is it a sign that the rentier culture we are creating isn't working? It sure looks like it. It will get much worse if we hit a recession and the housing and sub-prime bubbles burst.
This weekend, another 23,000 barrels of Shell production was taken off-line due by Nigerian global guerrillas. This is on top of the 180,000 barrels lost last week and 477,000 barrels earlier this spring.
Cascading failures of diplomacy (NYT). Israel has opted to go with the ceasefire to lock in the loss. This "vision" of a plan simply reflects the Israeli wish list (which they don't seem to be helping along). I wonder what the Lebanese will say (it's implied that they participated in this, but that is doubtful):
Under the proposal, Israel and Lebanon presumably representing Hezbollah -- would agree to a ceasefire as part of a larger pact that would include installing international peacekeepers throughout southern Lebanon.
The Lebanese government would work to disarm Hezbollah, and the United States and other countries would funnel money and send military officials to help train the Lebanese army, so that it can work to prevent future attacks on Israel.
The package described by Ms. Rice calls for armed groups to be prohibited where the international force is deployed, and an international embargo against the delivery of weapons to anyone other than the government of Lebanon and the international force.
Further, even if this plan is forced through, who is going into Lebanon to serve as the target dummies? My gut: US troops (and they will serve as excellent trip wires for a wider conflict).
CST: Russia on Friday published a list of 17 groups it regards as terrorist organizations, but did not include the Palestinian militant movement Hamas or Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group, both regarded as terrorists in Washington. It seems that the move to make the G-9 (the G-8 plus China) or the UN security council an activist group that provides security to the global marketplace isn't going to work. The refrain, "don't make your problems our problems" is going to be heard again and again by both China and Russia. The competition between Bobbitt's market-states systems continues (the decline of the US entrepreneurial system's approach was set in motion by Iraq, since then mercantile and regional managerial approaches have gained ground).
AS Chirol notes, they are still operating under the old rules and working to subvert border states.
"Hassan [Nasrallah] ignited the fire like a child playing with matches, but found out that the IDF’s fire is much stronger than he had anticipated. Hassan continues to destroy Lebanon. Will he understand that he was wrong and end your suffering?"
Birmingham UK. It is believed burning tyres were thrown in to a duct at the sub-station... A police spokesman said: "What appears to have happened is that someone has made a very determined effort to set fire to the substation, which has taken out the power supply... Up to 27,000 homes and businesses initially had supplies cut after the fire started in the sub-station in Saltley just before midnight on Sunday.
This would explain, it seems to me, the apparently literal impossibility of explaining the fundamentally counterproductive nature of the United State's invasion of Iraq, or of what's currently going on in Lebanon, to those who disagree. Or, literally, vice versa. If you're behind the curve on the paradigm shift, if I'm reading Kuhn at all correctly, you're literally incapable of getting it. Or vice versa. "It is simply not possible, according to Kuhn, to construct an impartial language that can be used to perform a neutral comparison between conflicting paradigms, because the very terms used belong within the paradigm and are therefore different in different paradigms."
The bad news is that the policy-makers of the United States and Israel apparently (still) don't get the new paradigm, and the bad news is that Hezbollah (et al, and by their very nature) do. Though that's only bad (or double-plus-ungood) if you accept, as I do, that the new paradigm allows for a more effective understanding of reality. So if you still like to pause to appreciate the action of phlogiston when you strike a match, you may well be okay with current events. So many, God help us, evidently are.