Wasted Treasure

There was a time, a couple decades ago, when South Africa not only generated sufficient electricity for its own needs, but sold its excess to the neighboring African countries (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique).

Well, times change and so do governments.  The much-maligned White supremacist government stepped down and handed the reins of power to the sainted Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress.  Since then, while the stupid ANC government was busy doing Leftwing bullshit and promoting incompetent people into the country’s infrastructure (a.k.a. affirmative action), somehow the maintenance of South Africa’s electricity distribution system was ummm ignored or mismanaged or defunded — because as we all know, this White Man’s Magic runs itself forever.  The result has been predictable.

So:  as of a couple of days ago, onetime electrical exporter South Africa has begun a domestic program of “load sharing” (i.e. rolling blackouts) because the electrical supply has ummm deteriorated to such an extent that South Africa is no longer even self-sufficient.  This never — never — occurred under the Evil White Government, but as with so much in Africa, irony abounds:  Black power has led to no power, electrically speaking;  or, Blacks in  [control] has led to black-outs.  The traditional Seffrican mordant sense of humor comes into play, here:

But that’s just the background to the story I really wanted to talk about.

One of the many reasons the old apartheid regime fell was because of the oil boycott foisted on the country by Western nations and the U.N.  Ironically, while South Africa had and has an abundance of mineral wealth (gold, platinum, bauxite, uranium, and coal, to name but some), there was not a single oil- or natural gas field either onshore nor offshore.  This meant that the country had to buy its oil and LNG on the spot market (i.e. from the occasional surpluses in global supply), and since the OPEC-induced shortages of the 1970s, the cost of gas has always been horrendous in South Africa.  (Ironically again, SASOL’s oil-from-coal plants probably saved the apartheid regime’s bacon on several occasions, but there were only a few such production facilities and these were inadequate to cope with any kind of economic growth.)  So that lack of local oil and gas supply has always been a problem, regardless of government.

Until now.

French oil and gas major Total’s South African offshore discovery could contain 1 billion barrels of total resources and is “probably quite big”, Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Thursday.
Total said it had made a significant gas condensate discovery after drilling its Brulpadda prospects on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin.
“It is gas condensate and light oil. Mainly gas. There are four other prospects on the license that we have to drill; it could be around 1 billion barrels of total resources of gas and condensate.”

Does this mean South Africa will reap the benefits and become oil- and gas independent at last?  Not so fast, Louis.  As Rick Blaine Moran points out:

There are several problems with exploiting this find.  Just because their country has made this discovery doesn’t mean it can be developed adequately.  The political situation in South Africa is deteriorating as the country’s far-left-wing government has begun an expropriation of white-owned land.  Such expropriations will force international players to think twice about investing the huge resources necessary to exploit the find. There might even be sanctions imposed on the country if the land grab goes as many observers expect:  badly.  While the bonanza is real, foreign investors may be skittish about participating in the oil rush.
Is the radical left government of South Africa smart enough to bend its economic principles to allow for the proper exploitation of this resource?

Short answer:  no.

Longer answer:  it’s not just the theft of White-owned land and far-Left socialism that would get in the way — for those policies, read: nationalization, à la Venezuela, and if anything causes investors to have cold feet, it’s that prospect — but there’s also the age-old African problem of rampant corruption.  As one South African expat put it, “Most of the investment dollars will disappear into government officials’ pockets long before the first well is drilled.”  (Actually, what he really  said was:  “Those fucking ANC assholes, including [newly-elected president]  Ramaphosa, will rob the thing blind before it even gets started.”)

‘Twas ever thus in Africa, and there is no reason to think that this occasion will be any different.

Ye Olde Buckette Shoppe is not taking any bets on this one.  It’s a dead-cert failure.  Africa Wins Again.

Time For A Little Assistance

…or, as some might call it, benign colonialism.  Looks like somebody’s about to get rich, real quickly:

On the coast of South America, just north of Brazil, lies the obscure and impoverished former British colony of Guyana, distantly remembered for a bizarre mass suicide four decades ago that begot the term “drinking the Kool-Aid.”
But today, the discovery of a massive trove of oil off its shores, including two finds just this week, put Guyana on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s wealthiest nations, in the league of petro-states like Qatar.

How big a trove?

Since 2016, Exxon has made a dozen discoveries in Guyana that now total more than 5 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. This is enormous — for perspective, the industry calls a 1-billion-barrel field a “supergiant.”

Needless to say, the Guyanese are totally unprepared for this:

Guyana has barely gotten organized for what, in other countries, has triggered a free-for-all of chaos, corruption and war.
The country has been in political turmoil since last year. In December, the Parliament ousted the government of President David Granger in a vote of no confidence. That set in motion new elections within 90 days, but the government is challenging the move in court.
No plan has been devised for how to begin to build and upgrade the country’s roads, communications and institutions. Neither is there a plan for building up the capital of Georgetown.
No one has determined how to both husband the wealth, and to share it.
Insanally said the reaction in Guyana runs the gamut: “There are people who are excited, people who are apprehensive, and people who think oil should be avoided as a curse altogether.”

Ordinarily, I’d suggest that as Exxon/Mobil is an American company, that they (or the U.S. or even British governments) should step in and lend a helping hand in the organization.  But that would lead to loud cries of “Colonialissssssss!” from the Usual Suspects.

My modest proposal, therefore, is a little different:  let Norway  step up to the plate and show Guyana what they did with, I should point out, a relatively much smaller income stream than the one under discussion.  After all, nobody associates Norway with eeeevil colonialism, and indeed, the “Scandinavian model” is applauded by all the neo- and actual socialists out there.  And let’s be honest, if nobody on the West gets involved, then the Venezuelans will.

It may fail, of course, because nobody can fuck up a Good Thing better than the socialists — except of course for the Third World, who could fuck up Paradise in an afternoon without any effort at all.

But it’s worth a try.  Come on, Norway:  uff da, or whatever.

Quote Of The Day

From Jim Wilson, talking (as we have been doing here for a week or so — and as has this article) about defensive chamberings:

The purpose of a firearm in the hands of a defensive shooter is not to kill an attacker. The purpose of the defensive handgun is to stop an attack and to stop it as soon as is humanly possible. What they seem to not understand is that these small calibers, while perfectly capable of causing death, may cause death hours, sometimes days, after the person has been shot.

And that’s it, right there.  In other words, “stopping power” is the sine qua non of defensive shooting.

Pass The Popcorn, Simon

I had to chuckle to myself when I saw this article about Amazon’s proposed new HQ in NYFC:

After months of haggling and wrangling to establish a deal involving major tax breaks and accommodations, Democrats in New York City are complaining that the deal isn’t good enough, the tax breaks are too dangerous, and Amazon’s arrival might be damaging to the social justice crowd because it could lead to further “gentrification” of the area. And that has Governor Andrew Cuomo seeing red and going to war with his own party.

It is, as the kids say nowadays, to LOL.  And needless to say, as the first sod has yet to be turned on the thing:

Online retail giant Amazon is reconsidering its plans to open a headquarters in Queens due to opposition from local lawmakers, according to a new report.
Executives at the company recently met to reassess setting up shop in Long Island City, as pols and activists continue to rail against the controversial new campus, the Washington Post reports, citing two people “familiar with the company’s thinking.”
“The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming,” one of the sources told the paper.

Down here in the Dallas area, our proposals to Amazon were tiny compared to all the others’ offers — mostly because Texas has such a business-friendly climate, we start with a built-in advantage and don’t have to carve out all sorts of exceptions.  And New York doesn’t have a lot of stuff to give away, either:

The deal New York cut with Amazon is far beyond generous, including $2.5 billion in tax credits and $500 million in state construction subsidies. That hollows out the benefits of the new HQ in terms of municipal and state tax revenue considerably.

And of course, where’s there’s idiocy afoot, can Our Little Leninist Darling AOC be far behind?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded news on Friday that Amazon is reportedly reconsidering its plans to build a second headquarters in New York City as it faces fierce opposition from some state and city officials.
“Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations?” she wrote in a tweet. “Yes, they can.”
The New York Democrat, who represents the 14th Congressional District, has been a fierce critic of the e-commerce giant’s proposed second headquarters in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens.

It makes you wonder why Amazon chose — or even considered investing in — New York at all, despite the bribes incentives.  All I can say is that they all deserve each other.

And if Amazon now comes a-calling on Dallas to re-pitch the area, we should offer them a great big Nada.  Fuck ’em.

Back From The Grave

It appears as though Jeep is going to relaunch their old Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models in the near future.

Now before anyone starts setting off the fireworks celebrations, let me say up front that the relaunched vehicle will not resemble this, in any way, shape or form.

More’s the pity.  And the odds are good that it will emerge from the wind tunnel looking just like the current Jeep SUV line, or else it will resemble its predecessor in the same way that the New VW Beetle resembled the Old VW Beetle (i.e. not much, and uglier).

I’m taking bets…

And for the record:  when Jeep announced back in the mid-80s that they were going to discontinue the Wagoneer, I came thisclose to getting one.

The Danish Solution

I’ve spoken before about how Denmark, surely the most tolerant of countries, has decided to reinforce their traditional Scandi-values on the immigrant population they’ve allowed into their country.  Chief among these, of course, is the little 17-acre island where they’re going to be dumping the ingrates (i.e. criminals) amongst said groups:

Remote, not easily reachable or escapable… sounds a little like Alcatraz, dunnit?  Which is indeed the title of the linked article.

As I was reading the piece, I couldn’t help thinking that the Danes are onto a good thing — which, inevitably, led me into thinking about a similar solution on this side of the Atlantic.

Granted, our little criminal-immigrant problem is somewhat larger than Denmark’s, but then again, we have Catalina Island — all 75 square miles  of it, which could surely be put to better use than it is now.

Considering that California is in large part responsible for a lot of our current immigration problem, I see no reason why the .fedgov shouldn’t ummmm appropriate this real estate, kick out the rich farts and hippies who currently infest the place (most of whom, I suspect, support untrammeled immigration), and dump all the malcontent immigrants (of whatever origin) onto its admittedly-pretty shores.

Then mine the waters around it.