Friday, February 8, 2008
Ms. Leatherback's message ... yes, we can!
OK, this is a nice sunny beach in Venezuela.
Today's temperature in coastal Caracas is a balmy 77-degrees.
I put it up front here because my previous winter photos may have caused frostbite.
I will get back to Venezuela in a minute, I promise.
But first ... Let's talk Turtles! Specifically ... Leatherback Turtles!
In the news today, we learn that scientists have tracked a Leatherback Turtle that swam from Indonesia to Oregon and back to Hawaii. It was an epic journey of 13,000-miles that took 647 days. During this time, the leatherback had to avoid many perils, including commercial fishing operations and ingesting human-generated debris like plastic. This particular tracked leatherback was a female whose satellite transmitter's battery ran out as she swam around Hawaii. So, she's probably still out there, a swimming master of the ocean!
Reading about Ms. Leatherback & thinking of all she endured in her epic journey (which still continues!) gives me hope that we, too, will survive the remaining 345-days of this current administration. CPAC-cheerleading speeches, phoney concern for recent tornado victims, gutting of social programs & talk of permanent states of war are all familiar tactics by now. We can get through this! Yes, we can...
Here is a photo of the intrepid turtle trackers outfitting Mr. Cheney with a satellite tracking device before he disappears to another of his undisclosed locations. As he launched himself into the ocean, Mr. Cheney was heard squealing about privacy violations. The trackers were amused & very glad that the custom system they attached to Cheney's shell would begin simulating a waterboarding experience after he cleared the first few waves. Plastic shark buoys had been strategically placed to enhance his experience. Click the pic to spot Lynne holding the flashlight.
Now, what does all this have to do with Venezuelan beaches or the price of oil, you ask? Well, in other news today, we find that Exxon-Mobil has won court orders freezing $12Billion (with a "B") in Venezuelan global assets. Somehow spotted on the lowly newscroll running constantly beneath the 24/7 yak-fest that serves as political analysis by our cable news, it is a reminder of our unstated but oft-enforced rule that nationalization of oil reserves will NEVER be tolerated. Just ask Iran, Iraq, or Russia. Venezuela is learning this valuable lesson now. Are you listening, Bolivia and Ecuador?
Nationalizing some of the obscene oil profits being handed to Big Oil by sky-high oil prices could fund social programs like universal healthcare, public college education, low-income housing, etc. This is what Venezuela is being "accused" of doing with their oil profits and is exactly what the Big Oil Men and Chevron Ships of State who are running our country go to war to prevent.
For more info ... Here is a Reuters overview article. Here is Bloomberg one that gets into the economic fallout. And here is a written hint of how Venzuelans feel about a giant US corporation freezing their assets.
***** UPDATE 2/13/08: Venezuela stops selling crude to Exxon Mobil! And Hugo Chavez has shaken oil markets this week with broader threats to cut off oil supplies to the United States in response to Exxon Mobil's drive to seize Venezuelan assets through U.S. and European courts in a dispute over Venezuela nationalizing its oil. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez calls the suspended relations with Exxon-Mobil "an act of reciprocity for their judicial-economic harrassment." Nice job, Mr. Danger. *****
Or, just for old-times' sake, you can enjoy Hugo addressing GWB:
Ms. Leatherback would be well advised to stay away from Exxon-Mobil. I don't think they are running a turtle-friendly operation.