Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yo Siraj,

I don’t think O'Gara or I are going anywhere. Since the flow of Mid East oil stopped to the US, there’s been a huge decrease of all services. Bush says we can still meet about 30 to 40 percent of our oil needs from Canada and other non-OPEC sources, but it’s still pretty bad.

Oil burning power plants have been cut down to minimal capacity. Thankfully, coal and nuclear plants have been ordered to operate at maximum capacity, and we are getting some Canadian power through the grid. All of which means we can still use the microwave and get onto the Internet for a few minutes at time, but there's an energy curfew and the city goes black after sunset.

The fact is the feds have basically ordered all non-essential electrical use shut down. Bloomberg has put permanently pulled the plug on Times Square, and the cops will arrest anyone who flaunts the law with anything so much as neon sign in the window. I heard the stopped film production in LA, and I can only imagine what Las Vegas looks like after sunset. Well, can you even see it?

There are rolling black outs during the day, as well. I don't have a fireplace in my apartment and, geez, it sucks.

You know, we're all just so used to getting what we wanted whenever we wanted it. Now it's winter and it's cold. Ten million Americans, including yours truly, unemployed, and a record number of home foreclosures forecast for this month. It friggin' feels like the dark ages

Naturally, Bush has called for immediate, extensive drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And you’d be hard pressed to find one environmentalist who will publicly decry the act. Still, they say it would be at least a year before any meaningful drilling begins to provide some relief to the lower 48 states.

Domestic air travel is suspended starting December 28th, except for medical or military use. So, I have 72 hours to figure out if I'm really going to stay in the city, or if I'm going to try and find one last seat out of here. Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t do this sooner.

Of course, all non-essential vehicular traffic has been ordered off the roads until a petroleum rationing system is put in place. So, the streets aren’t quite as empty as Annika implies, if only because they’re bursting with double parked cars. The supermarkets, on the other hand, are quite bare. If I was serious about leaving I'm sure I'd have to put out for some camping gear and hike the hell out of Manhattan. But all the camping goods stores, like Patagonia, have already been looted. It's not like I'm the only one with the good ideas.

Even getting to the airport is a hassle. You've got to take the train or a bus. You've got to call for a cab, because none of the taxis are roaming the streets looking for a fare. Gasoline is just too precious. The LIRR is still running, but who knows for how long. Obviously I will not be surfing the South Shore for a while.

But to think we could all go back to our regularly scheduled programming if Uncle Sam just handed over Oliver Lowell. I don’t think anyone knows where he is. I doubt they'll ever find him unless he wants to be found. And honestly, I still believe certain truths to be evident, like 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty'. No real American can seriously consider allowing a third world country to extradite an American citizen.

All is not ill with the world. I must admit some gratitude to those attempting to make life difficult for Americans. In fact, it hasn’t been a completely terrible holiday season, –at least not for me and a few other lucky individuals:

You hear about the group of computer hackers that broke through the Bank of America’s firewalls? FBI says they wiped out over a hundred billion dollars in outstanding balances. As it happens, BOA was my credit card company. I couldn't log onto my account this morning. Gave 'em a call. They can’t even verify I was ever a customer, much less tell me what I owe them. From what the authorities are saying, any and all evidence of any and all personal debt that I and about 40 million other people may have owed to Bank of America, via use of one or more of their Credit Card Services has been totally wiped out.

As in:

COMPLETELY AND IRREVOCABLY UNRECOVERABLE.

Hahahaha! HELL YEAH!

I mean, I know it's breaking the laws, but this sort of thing is giving a lot of suffering Americans a much needed break.

Funny thing is the feds don't know who's responsible. The CIA's Cybersecurity Unit is casting suspicion on two groups. They say it's possibly a group that calls itself the Christian Crusader Cyber Attackers, and they're located right here in America. If it's the CCCA, then the attack was possibly intended as an anti-usury message. Or they think that maybe the 'intrusion' was a covert military operation executed by the State sponsored Anti-Terrorism Internet Unit of the Indian government.

Well, I don't care and I hope they NEVER catch the guys who did this.

'Cause, look people, overnight, it's like I just went from being on the verge of bankruptcy to actually having money in the bank. Of course, the problem is if they can break into BOA, they can break into any bank. How long will it be before you can't find an ATM that still works?

Not like the dollar is worth anything anymore, though. And even if it was, there’s nothing to buy.

Still, you can be sure a lot of people are really happy about not having to see another credit card bill, especially during the holidays, given these lean times.

If it was the Indians, or some Islamic group, they should take public credit for it. If they do, they may actually find they have quite a few American friend here when and if they show up.

Life is wonderful, isn't it, except when it ain’t–

Jasp