2021 May 14 - Pipeline & Israel

This week some Russian hackers launched a cyberattack on a major US oil pipeline, demanding millions of dollars in the process. I can imagine that the idea came about when the Kremlin asked if they had any new ideas in the pipeline and a light bulb clicked above their head, possibly followed by a click behind their head as the FSB operative held up a pistol and told them to get on with it. Either way, motorists in the US South East are paying the sort of eye-watering petrol prices that haven’t been seen since, Britain about 20 years ago. $4/gallon, that’s still cheaper than orange juice, although the one positive to come out of it is the hilarious videos online of people dangerously trying to stockpile fuel by filling up carrier bags with petrol, presumably leaving their insurance company with lots of burning questions. One curious byproduct of the outage is that they finally caught and arrested that man who went crazy with a firearm in Times Square a few weeks back, after his car ran out of petrol in Florida. Say what you will about electric cars, if he’d been driving a Nissan Leaf then he’d only have gotten as far as New Jersey. Anyway, now that the pipeline company has paid the ransom in full, it pretty much means open season for this sort of thing, there’s a very good reason you’re not supposed to negotiate with terrorists. It did however make me think of the old joke about what was the difference between Amy Winehouse and Exxon Mobil? One like pipelines, the other likes pipes and lines.

The other story this week is about somewhere else in the world with no oil and that would be Israel, the one country in the Middle East to not have any massive oil or gas reserves, opting for being the land of milk and honey instead. Anyway, attacks by Hamas have kicked off a major retaliation, so far I’m reading 110 dead in Gaza, 7 dead in Israel. 100 for 7 then, you could also call it 24/7, round the clock fighting. There are some pictures online that look like instagram-worthy sunsets until you realise that it’s actually nighttime with a lot of fire and explosions on the horizon and we’re now at the stage where Hamas is calling for a ceasefire while Israel is instead opting to call up 9000 reservists to prepare for a possible ground invasion. I’d like to imagine that the recruitment posters for the army are like the old WW1 Kitchener one, but with with Benjamin Netanyahu pointing and saying saying he needs jew. Can anything be done, should anything be done? The usual idiots are out in force online, apparently peace will only come about when the British consumer starts boycotting Marks & Spencers for selling Israeli oranges or some such nonsense. I’m more along the line of both sides being as bad as each other but Israel has the right to defend itself and neither side want a 2 state solution anyway, they both openly advocate for a one state solution where they are the state. In the meantime, let’s close with a joke, what do you say when you meet someone in Jerusalem? “Israeli nice to meet you”
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