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Showing posts from May 5, 2006

Spooks

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"Old Friends"

Checkout Billmon's Whiskey Bar on Porter's resignation inCIA Confidential. And read why I think that Intelligence Services Are Not `Intelligent'. Finally, six recommended spy novels: Eric Ambler'sThe Mask of Dimitrios; Graham Greene's The Third Man: Alan Furst's Dark Star; Charles McCarry's The Tears of Autumn; John Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ; Len Deighton's Berlin Game. I would recommend reading everything by Ambler, Greene, Le Carre, and Furst (a relatively new author who has written great stuff using Nazi-occuppied Europe, epsecially Paris, during WWII as backdrop). As far as Deighton and McCarry, I would recommend their earlier novels. The more recent ones are not so good.

The phony "oil crisis"

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I'm not an oil/energy expert (although I'm interested in global political-economic apsects of the issue; and I do own a not-a-red-sport car). But Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute makes a lot of sense when it comes this topic and that is why I quote him in the following commentary (online access to the Business Times is restricted; so I'm pasting the entire piece here):

Business Times - 05 May 2006
Ending US 'oil crisis': consumers hold the key
By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
LET us get one thing straight: the United States is not going through an 'oil crisis'. But that certainly is the impression you will get watching American television and listening to yet another speech by a US lawmaker urging Washington to 'take action' to punish the greedy ExxonMobil executives and come to the help of the struggling American energy consumer filling the gasoline tank of his oversized SUVs.
(And notice that the owner of the SUV is not complaining that the p…