sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BLOODY MEXICO - Guadalajara


For years, Guadalajara, capital of Jalisco State dodged the violence that gripped other parts of Mexico. That's over now and the beheadings and murders are back on track, with only a fraction being reported by the local press.


Fox News Reports: The head of Mexican state police department targeting car thieves has been slain by gunmen who attacked his vehicle. The attorney general's office of Jalisco state says Jesus Quirarte Ruvalcaba and his wife, Maria Guadalupe Aldrete Rosales, were killed Thursday morning in the city of Zapopan on the outskirts of Guadalajara. Authorities say Quirarte and Aldrete were apparently on their way to work in a state-owned Dodge Ram when gunmen fired on them. Investigators found about one hundred 9 mm and 7.62 mm casings at the scene.



Violence has spread in Jalisco recently as rival gangs battle for control of crime. On Feb. 12, armed men attacked a Guadalajara nightclub, killing six people and wounding dozens more. 

To put the problem into perspective, Jalisco State has been claimed by the Sinaloa Federation Narcotics Cartel. Another group calling itself "The Resistance is pushing back. The Resistance is comprised of a mixed group of former Mexican Special Forces and police gone rogue (Los Zetas) and members of other rival cartels that have drawn together to fight a common enemy.

To put it bluntly, it's no longer safe to be on the streets of Guadalajara after dark, and it's really a shame, because traditionally it's been a rather nice city. Reports from town directly to this blogger indicate that many are leaving the city because they expect the gang war and violence to increase. I think that's an accurate litmus test. As Fox news reported (further), "Armed men opened fire and hurled a grenade into a crowded nightclub early Saturday, killing six people and wounding at least 37 in a western city whose former tranquility has been shattered by escalating battles among drug cartels."


Is Gadhafi a Dead Duck?

h/t DALE

"A former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil told a Swedish newspaper he expected the increasingly isolated Libyan leader to commit suicide the way Adolf Hitler did at the end of World War Two rather than surrender or flee." (Reuters)

The reports conflict at the moment and the oil market is bouncing up and down like a basketball at the play-offs. Today the Saudis guaranteed to increase production to match Libyan shortfalls... and everyone wonders if the House of Saud will survive. They increased the pay of everyone in the kingdom by 15% to "pour oil on the water" with unhappy subjects.

Meanwhile, nobody knows whether Gadhafi is alive or dead. His troops surged today, slaughtering and attempting to beat back turf gains that the insurgents made in recent days.

And while all the drama unfolds throughout the Middle East, New Home Prices dropped 12.9%, Wisconsin Democratic Party Legislators are hiding from the police in other states so they won't have to do what the public hired them to do, and a full 26% of Americans believe that the US is "headed in the right direction".

The only shocking bit of news is that unlike Obama, Gadhafi is blaming Osama bin Laden for his internal problems. If it ("it" meaning anything) happens here, the administration would have laid all blame at the feet of George Bush.


Oil


I often suggest on this blog that President Barack Hussein Obama consistently works against the best interests of Americans. I have consistently preached here on Virtual Mirage that America's largest looming concern was our dependence on foreign oil. Imagine an America where our foreign policy decisions weren't guided in large measure by considerations placed on it by foreign oil suppliers.

George Bush (remember him?) lifted the ban on domestic drilling and it sent domestic crude prices downward. Barack Obama in his orgy of hope and change blocked domestic drilling. The very first thing that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar did was to cancel leases for energy exploration. 

There is oil in the US. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska has an estimated 16 billion barrels of recoverable crude and the Green River Formation (Utah, Wyoming & Colorado) have an estimated 800 million barrels of recoverable crude oil. The Congressional Research Service reported in 2009 that the US has a recoverable supply of oil  in excess of 160 billion barrels. (equal to 75 years of OPEC oil imports). One would hope that in 75 years we will find an alternative to petroleum as our primary energy source...but who knows?

Yes, I know that Al Gore opposes oil exploration and drilling, but frankly, I don't care what Gore likes/doesn't like. It would be nice if we weren't dependent on oil. I'd be thrilled if we had some sort of real solution to oil, but we don't.

If we opened ANWR to drilling today, we'd see oil at the pumps by the end of the decade. Other areas in the US are more likely to provide oil to market more quickly. It takes time to get things in place. It's time to open up oil leases and to get things moving NOW. 

I don't know what's going to happen in Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran - but do any of you trust the oil supply coming from THERE? Investor's Business Daily has a good article on the subject HERE.

The Saudis announced that they are pursuing a nuclear power program now that Iran is building a bomb. Russia backs the Iranian program, France supports the Saudis. Both claim to be pursuing peaceful research into energy generation. Kuwait is relying on British support for their peaceful nuclear program. Does any of this make any of you feel that the world's oil supply is safer? I don't predict a nuclear war in the Middle East in the near future, but the sad truth is that AMERICA needs to chart a course where our own oil needs are hedged. --- and guess what? President Obama opposes that. What a shock!