We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, August 2. 2007
Put this sticker on your car, and no eco-nazi will key your new Esplanade. Good protection.
I am going to buy one for the Barrister to put on his new Ford F-250.
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Annals of Russian Imperialism
If you thought that the country which already occupies more of the earth's surface than any other, even though it doesn't have a world-leading population size (in fact, it's shrinking dramatically), wouldn't be all that interested in grabbing even more territory, think again.
Russia, which already stretches across eleven time zones (nearly three times more than the continental U.S., one of the largest countries in the world) is now attempting to colonize the Arctic. Artur Chilingarov, a member of the Russian government, is leading the quest. It's scheduled to include a visit to the North Pole underwater, where a Russian flag will be dropped inside a capsule in a symbolic claim of ownership over the entire sea floor beneath the polar ice cap, which Russia feels it can claim as a natural part of its own continental shelf. Watch out, Iceland! Be careful, Canada! You may be next. As the Associated Press reports: "The Russians are not the only ones eyeing the Arctic seabed. Denmark hopes to prove the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the Danish territory of Greenland, not Russia. And Canada plans to spend $7 billion to build and operate up to eight Arctic patrol ships in a bid to help protect its sovereignty." It's a Soviet act, pure and simple. Nothing has changed in Russia except the faces.
If any other country were doing this, Russia would be screaming to high heaven about the need for "international cooperation" and "consultation" and "multipolarism." But these concerns, it's clear, don't apply to Russia -- just as even a vague conception of ethics, morality or simple logical consistency had no place in Soviet society. A feeble Kremlin doesn't dare to reach out its bony claw towards actual populated areas just yet, so it's practicing on the frozen wasteland. Isn't that special?
I told ya this is gonna be very interesting. The Soviets should know you don't mess with either Canada or Greenland!!!
It says Iceland also ...you report, let them retort.
U.S. Cannot Account for 190,000 Weapons in Iraq
The U.S. government cannot account for 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to an investigation carried out by the Government Accountability Office.
According to the July 31 report, the military “cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 items of body armor and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi forces.”
The weapons disappeared from records between June 2004 and September 2005, as the military struggled to rebuild the disbanded Iraqi forces from scratch amid increasing attacks from Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
Since 2004 the military “has not consistently collected supporting records confirming the dates the equipment was received, the quantities of equipment delivered, or the Iraqi units receiving the items,” the report said.
“Since 2006 the command has placed greater emphasis on collecting the supporting documents. However, GAO’s review of the January 2007 property books found continuing problems with missing and incomplete records.”
U.S. commanders often accuse foreign powers such as Iran of supplying arms to illegal militias fighting in Iraq, but the report shows they cannot fully account for the hundreds thousands of weapons they brought in themselves.
Last month, Turkey raised concerns over reports that separatist Kurdish guerrillas launching cross-border raids from northern Iraq had received U.S.-supplied guns supposedly destined for Iraqi security forces.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, spokesman for the U.S.-led military in Iraq, said the Americans were working hard with their Iraqi partners to improve accountability and increase the security of weapons.
“We are working very hard with the government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces at every level to increase the accountability and to increase the security of the weapons that are provided to the Iraqi forces,” he said.
The United States has spent $19.2 billion (14 billion euros) on Iraq’s security forces since the 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, with $2.8 billion (2 billion euros) devoted to equipping them.
The report comes as U.S. President George W. Bush is under intense pressure from a Democrat-led Congress and critics within his own Republican party to show progress on Iraq, with many in both parties calling for withdrawal.
But the ability of Iraqi forces to stabilize the country in the wake of a U.S. troop drawdown has been called into question, most recently by a mid-July progress report issued by the White House.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government “has made unsatisfactory progress toward increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently,” that report said.
The report also found “no momentum in the government of Iraq toward developing and implementing a comprehensive disarmament program for militia members” from Iraq’s divided communities.
Four years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion the country remains in the grip of several overlapping conflicts, and Iraqi security forces, particularly the police, are widely believed to be infiltrated by rival militias.
OK I'm all for the war but I hope this is just an accounting error. Otherwise it borders on criminal.
Denmark runs Greenland. Denmark/Greenland also has an underwater ridge running to the pole. So it's USSR vs Denmark. I'm on Denmark's side.
Onward brave Denmark.
Just wait til those Ruskies run into the Danish Roskilde Rangers or the famous Aalborg Assassins!!
yes, the Copenhagen Meter Maids will kick hell outta the Third Guards Tank Army.
The Real Reason Why Gasoline Costs More
If you want to know why gasoline and everything made from oil is going to cost more in the years ahead, I give you, ladies and gentlemen, Hugo Chavez.
Finding, extracting, transporting, and refining crude oil is a very expensive business. It is also a very risky one. There are no guarantees that one will find oil and, finding it, there are no guarantees that the investment and all the assets involved will not be stolen by the governments that invite oil companies to tap their natural resources.
If you want to know why gasoline and everything made from oil is going to cost more in the years ahead, I give you, ladies and gentlemen, Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela, and a number of other nations who have engaged in extortion.
On June 26, Hugo Chavez told the Big Oil companies that had invested in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt that they were going to have to sell their assets at a ridiculously low price to Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state oil company. They were instructed to hand over majority control as part of Chavez’s nationalization program.
In power since 1999, this disciple of Fidel Castro fired 75% of the managers of the state company after they staged a strike in 2003. Only the increased investment by foreign-owed companies kept Venezuela’s oil industry from total implosion. This year he showed his appreciation by forcing out British Petroleum, Chevron, Total, and Norway’s Statoil. ConocoPhilips and Exxon Mobil Corporation have since concluded they too could not continue their operations in Venezuela
The popular myth about Big Oil is that it wields such great power that nation-states cannot resist them. The reality is that, faced with dictators like Chavez, often the only alternative is to leave or cut the best deal they can. The other reality is that Venezuela’s oil production has declined 25% since Chavez, a committed Communist, crushed the strike. With the major oil companies departing, how much greater a decline lies ahead? That is just one reason gasoline will cost more.
Russia may no longer be officially Communist, but it continues to be run like a Communist state. As Business Week recently reported, in June Russia “forced BP to sell a controlling stake in a massive east Siberian gas field called Kovykta for around $700 million — a fraction of the project’s potential value. Last year, Moscow strong-armed Royal Dutch Shell PLC into giving up control of its big Sakhalin II gas project in the Far East, and it’s now battling Exxon Mobil over a similar field nearby
Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, won’t even allow foreign investment in its oil industry. Its nationalized oil company, Pemex, needs lots of capitol investment, but isn’t getting it. That may lead to a decline in production.
Add to this the situation in Iraq that has caused a decline in oil production. Who can say what events will occur in Iran if it continues its intention to build nuclear weapons? Then add in the worldwide oil industry’s need to grow by at least 3% annually to keep up with demand.
You’re looking at a world that needs new production estimated at four million barrels per day and it’s not going to happen. You don’t just create production or refining capacity overnight. It requires lots of money, something the free market Big Oil companies have been willing to risk up to now. That’s something Communists don’t do.
There are other options, but right now the Democrats that control the U.S. Congress, led by Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid, are howling like moon-besotted coyotes that the United States must become “energy independent.”
Congress is refusing to allow known, vast oil reserves in Alaska to be extracted, and will not facilitate exploration and extraction of other potentially vast reserves of oil and natural gas off the continental shelf of the United States. Indeed, they want to punish Big Oil for whatever profits they may have garnered from their investments in the Gulf of Mexico.
The vast matrix of insane “environmental” laws and regulations has made it impossible, i.e. unprofitable, to build a single new refinery in the United States since the 1970s The New York Times recently reported that mechanical breakdowns in U.S. refineries “have created a bottleneck in domestic energy supplies,” helping to drive up the cost of gasoline. Even if an oil company was to begin construction tomorrow, you’re still years away from it coming on line.
Instead, the Democrats are wailing about “global warming” and “climate change,” demanding the imposition of “cap and trade carbon credits” and, in general, racing toward the worst possible choices for a nation whose energy needs are being ignored in the name of fraudulent science and pure politics.
These are things you need to think about as the cost of a gallon of gasoline goes up at your local gas station or the price of heating oil rises as winter closes in on the northeast and elsewhere.
The mandated, increased production of ethanol from corn that Congress has imposed is already driving up food costs. Ethanol is so corrosive it cannot be sent through pipelines, so imagine what it is doing to the engine of your car? As for the trucking industry on which the nation depends for the delivery of practically everything, its increased costs will just add to the cost of practically everything.
It is a “perfect storm” of international criminality when Communist thugs and others decide to line their pockets and bully the rest of the world. This is the kind of thing that causes wars and economic woes.
By Alan Caruba in Intellectual Conservative July30th
Goodbye America, Hello North American Union
In a month, August 20 and 21, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico will sit down together in Montebello, Quebec to discuss making the borders between these three nations disappear. They will discuss progress on a vast highway project passing through America to link Mexico with Canada.
So far, no one has asked the citizens of these three nations whether they want to do this. It is not up for a vote in Congress and, indeed, Congress has no supervision over the gnomes in the U.S. Department of Commerce who are busily “harmonizing” the laws under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).
This, we’re told, is not a treaty so Congress has no constitutional oversight obligation. I guess it’s more like a nice big handshake between the presidents and prime minister of these three nations who, let’s face it, just know better than the rest of us. I mean, do Canadians really think they’re in charge of Canada? Americans should have a say about programs affecting America? Or has anyone asked Mexicans if they want to be part of some “harmonized” configuration not unlike the European Union
Last time I checked, the European Union lacked a constitution because some of its member states, notably France, had rejected the one that was offered. The Constitutions of the United States, Canada and Mexico are about three sovereign states determining their own regulations and laws. So far, fourteen U.S. States have passed resolutions in their respective and sovereign legislatures directing the federal government to abandon further activities involving SPP.
Part of the opposition is directed at what is generally called the NAFTA Superhighway; an exceptionally wide corridor that would include rail lines, freeways, and pipelines from Mexico to the Canadian border. The Texas legislature passed a law intended to slow down the highway project with a two-year moratorium. The vote in the Texas House was 137-2. The Texas Senate passed it with only four votes in opposition, but the Governor vetoed it in late June, thus opening the door to the seizure of the private property needed for the Trans Texas Corridor (TCC).
Turns out that Texas had already signed a 50-year lease with a private Spanish company named Cintra, one that permits for no competition by way of building new government roads or improving existing ones going in the same direction
Why are we not surprised to know that SPP was kicked off in 2005 by a meeting in Crawford, Texas of the then-presidents of the three nations hosted by President George W. Bush, a former Governor of Texas?
Bush has been a leading proponent of the “immigration reform” legislation that more than two-thirds of Americans polled say they do not want. Tucked into those “reforms” were provisions to advance SPP. A Teddy Kennedy amendment to S. 1348 asserts that, “It is the sense of the Congress that the United States and Mexico should accelerate the implementation of the Partnership for Prosperity to help generate economic growth and improve the standard of living in Mexico, which will lead to reduced immigration.” Oh, yeah? And here I thought the economic well-being of Mexico was the job of the Mexican government.
As this is written, the President and the Congress have the lowest popularity ratings ever. Perhaps it has something to do with a secretive process involving the highest levels of government and a consortium of multinational corporations who are eager for the nation-busting North American Union and the superhighway?
Indeed, “secretive” is the mode of operation for SPP from the beginning. Last year, from September 12 to 14, a gathering sponsored by something called the North American Forum brought together some very powerful people, but the media was not informed about it, nor has a list of attendees been available. One Canadian commentator has written that, “There is no better indication that these meetings and the SPP itself, constitute a parallel governing structure — unaccountable to any democratic institution or the public.”
This is not the way America, Canada, and presumably, Mexico, is supposed to be governed. The public outcry against the proposed immigration reform bill was enough to kill it in its present form.
In his book, The Late Great U.S.A. ($25.95, WND Books), Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D., warns that, “There are movements afoot in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, similar to those in Europe that led to the formation of the European Union that, if left unchecked, will erode U.S. sovereignty and lead to a North American Union.”
Perhaps when Congress begins to raise our taxes, authorize a superhighway, and offer yet another amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, the American people may take notice and want to do something about it. By then, however, it will be too late.
That’s what President Bush is counting on. Meanwhile, he has a big calendar counting down the days to January 20, 2008 when he can start cashing in on having sold out the rest of us.
The U.S. Govt's
Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains
lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world — more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. Three companies have been chosen to lead the way. Test drilling has already begun
Northwestern Colorado. August 2005.
The U.S. Energy Department announces the results of a land survey...
It was conducted to determine the official amount of oil a thousand feet deep in the Rocky Mountains...
They reported this stunning news:
We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth.
Here are the official estimates:
• 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
• 18-times as much oil as Iraq
• 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
• 22-times as much oil as Iran
• 500-times as much oil as Yemen
...And it's all right here in the Western United States.
James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says, "We've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East."
More than 2 TRILLION barrels. Untapped.
"That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today," reports The Denver Post.
When asked about America's least-publicized oil supply, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said:
"The amounts of oil are staggering. Who would have guessed that in just Colorado and Utah, there is more recoverable oil than in the Middle East?"
Here's the kicker...
The U.S. government already owns the land. It's been right there under our noses the whole time.
In fact, the government's appointed a small group of companies to lead the way to the oil.
Test drilling has already begun.
And the profit forecasts are ridiculous. According to the RAND Corporation (a public-policy think tank for the government), this small region could produce:
Three million barrels of oil per day... That translates into more than $20 BILLION a year.
These are the conservative estimates. The U.S. Energy Dept. estimates an eventual output of 10 million barrels of oil per day. At that rate, the money flow would be even greater.
Alan Caruba is an Idiot. Not only are his theories wrong, HIS "FACTS" ARE WRONG.
Petroleum pipelines have "Water" in them. Ethanol blends with water; as a result it needs to be kept away from it. I guess what he's trying to say is that Ethanol is a "CLEAN BURNING FUEL" and will not allow gunk to build up in your fuel system.
As a result 75% of ethanol is shipped by Rail (not truck,) and some more by barge.
A $1.00 increase in the price of corn has 1/3 the effect of a $1.00 increase in the price of gasoline. By the way, when corn went from $2.20/bu to $4.50/bu (it's back to $3.25/bu, now) it Raised the price of a 4 oz serving of Pork by ONE AND ONE HALF PENNIES!
It increased the price of the corn in a 14oz box of Corn Flakes from TWO POINT TWO CENTS to FOUR POINT FOUR CENTS! There is A PENNY'S worth of Corn Syrup in a can of coke.
Oh, World oil demand is about 85 million barrels/day. It's expected to rise to about 130 million barrels/day in the next couple of decades.
A lot of pretty smart oil men think that 86 - 87 million barrels/day might be just about all that we can do. No BIG oil fields have been found for quite awhile, and several big oil fields (Mexico, Kuwait, Venezuela) are actually losing production every year. Mexico and Kuwait's big oil fields both lost about 1/2 million barrels/day last year.
Yeah, that's a lot. Nite all
p.s. by the end of 09' the ethanol plants that are under construction Right Now will be supplying us with enough ethanol (13 Billion Gallons/yr) to replace almost 10% of our current Gasoline usage.
We have enough biomass Available (available if a very Important word) in the U.S. to supply Almost All of our transportation fuels.
It's going to work out very nicely, Thank you
Now, Really G'nite
Yep, that 85mm bpd may well be "peak" --new oil is tougher to recover, and old production is in decline in many parts of the world. from where do we meet the projected 3%/yr demand growth?
Anyhoo, check these quotes from the Russian press @
"Russian newspapers on Friday lauded the expedition, calling it a first step in what daily Vremya Novostei referred to as "the battle for Arctic oil".
"Government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta went further, saying the division of the Arctic "is the start of a new redistribution of the world".