Once a popular musician or writer has been around the block a few times, he acquires the tag “national treasure.” It’s the kind of pat on the head that usually spells creative death. Not for Thomas Allen.
Guns, guns, guns. “Reamde,” the intercontinental terrorist techno-thriller from Neal Stephenson, has lots of guns. Kalashnikovs, of course, plus AR-15s, Makarovs, Glocks, Heckler & Kochs, Sig Sauers and even a Wild West five-shooter.
Good afternoon, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. The world wants to frack. Even as the U.S. debates tainted water and earthquakes linked to hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, companies from China, Europe and Japan are buying up North American stakes to gain the expertise and land rights to do it themselves. In the last two weeks alone, energy producers from China, France and Japan have committed $8.3 billion to U.S. and Canadian shale rock for drilling. Shale acquisitions helped push overseas offers for U.S. oil and gas fields to $51billion last year. Scott Hanold, a Minneapolis-based analyst for RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg News reporter Joe Carroll, "There's not a lot of fear of regulation right now."
An Iowa man was convicted of mailing menacing letters to securities firms and pipe bombs to mutual- fund managers Janus Capital Group Inc. and American Century Cos. in a bid to drive up the value of stocks he owned.