Going On The Account: Looking Further Out

Forgive the radio silence; too many late nights lately, including one that came close to being heart-wrenchingly fatal…

In the interim, word came out about two Americans seized by pirates off the coast of Nigeria.  The only real surprise here is that this action didn’t take place sooner.

 

You’d think that the world would have assembled a flotilla along the same lines of CTF-151 to sail off the west coast of Africa before now, but we’re not hearing much about actions to protect vessels out this way.  Whether it’s because unlike Somalia, there is an actual state ashore that’s (supposedly) providing order and can handle their own crises, or the fact that said state which may or may not be doing what it needs to happens to be a member of OPEC, and thus has a few friends we don’t want to piss of if push came to shove there, or if the appetite for foreign adventure has dimmed after being on station for four years already, there’s no apparent call for all hands on deck to address this side of the continent.

 

Maybe the push to frack the hell out of as much shale gas as possible here is what’s keeping Nigeria from turning into another international crisis.  Which is a great example of the Law of Unintended Consequences; we come up with a solution to a long-standing issue (dependence on energy from overseas) but find ourselves with problems we hand’t counted on (unprotected shipping).  Just as the only way you can ever truly be carbon neutral is to just be dead already, so we will never solve anything with a solution; all we’ll ever do is fix one issue and get ready for the next one that results out of our fix…

Speaking of resolving an issue, there’s an interactive piece over at nytimes.com, “A Game of Shark and Minnow” that looks at the stand off between China and the Philippines and their claims over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  Even if you don’t have a lot of interest in the issue itself, the coverage provided at the site is very innovative and worth scrolling through just to admire the software engineering used to relay it.

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