Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for August 2005

Alberta, the New Saudi Arabia

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We really should have made them a state while we had the chance. Alberta is gearing up to produce an enormous amount of oil:

The National Energy Board estimates there are approximately 1.6 trillion barrels of crude bitumen saturating the ground in northern Alberta. Bitumen — a form of heavy, thick oil laden with sulphur and deficient in hydrogen — can be refined into synthetic crude oil to make everything from gasoline to plastics. It is the lifeblood of every industrialized economy. According to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, about 178 billion barrels of bitumen are economically recoverable using existing technology — enough to produce more than 150 billion barrels of crude.

If these estimates are accurate, Canada’s oil reserves rank second behind only Saudi Arabia’s 260 billion barrels. And there are many who believe the current oil sands assessments understate the true potential here. The AEUB has projected that rising prices and improved technology could ultimately push the oil sands yield close to 300 billion barrels, which would make it the richest petroleum field in the world. By 2015, the oil sands are expected to be producing roughly three million barrels of petroleum a day.

That will make Alberta a force to be reckoned with in Canada, and possibly out. Why should Albertans send all that money to Ottawa?

Written by martinipundit

August 29, 2005 at 10:40 am

Posted in General

Pat the Irrelevent

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Just for the record, Hugo Chavez, erstwhile dictator of Venezuela is an odious little twerp. His people should rise up and overthrow him, relegating him to the dustbin of history.

That having been said, Pat Robertson is an irrelevent loon who is given far too much attention from a media all too eager to paint him (and the equally irrelevent Jerry Falwell) as the premier influence in the Republican party. It simply isn’t so. Robertson was wrong to call for the assassination of a foreign leader – however despicable – on his show. That Nancy Pelosi seems to be the only major Democrat who has been flapping gums over this, however, indicates just how trivial Robertson truly is.

Written by martinipundit

August 25, 2005 at 9:24 am

Posted in Politics

What I Found at FDR’s Place

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It’s August, things are slow. I’ve been on the road for the past couple of days, and despite that, I find that Cindy Sheehan, Maureen Dowd, and other assorted moonbats continue to be their strange selves while I was tooling about the Hudson River Valley. It’s a beautiful part of the country which everyone should visit at least once. On this trip, I stopped at the Franklin Roosevelt home and presidential library.

Now, regular readers of this blog may not be surprised to learn I think very little of FDR’s economic policies – it’s fairly clear he lengthened the Great Depression unnecessarily, and that his credit for ending it really belongs to the war. That having been said, his wartime leadership was superb, and he deserves a place in the pantheon of great presidents for that if nothing else.

The museum cum library is a fascinating place. The house itself has been maintained in just the state it was when Roosevelt was alive, and it’s humbling to walk in hallways where he had to be wheeled, to look at chairs that Winston Churchill sat on, and rooms that have seen some dignitaries indeed. For all that, it has the feel of a home, and a place where people were happy. I noted with amusement given the current annual whining about Bush going to Crawford that Roosevelt went home to Hyde Park an average of once every three weeks while he was President. Bush is falling behind.

The library was equally fascinating. Roosevelt himself opened it, and even worked there while he was in office. His desk and study have been left just as they were when he last left in March 1945, never to return except for his funeral. He and Eleanor (along with two pet dogs) are buried in a lovely rose garden, and far from having the somber sense of a shrine, has the peaceful aspect of repose. It was a very enjoyable afternoon. (Oh, and the Everready Diner on Rte. 9 will fill you up but good.)

However, for all that, the thing that most amused me was the gift shop. Almost overlooked on my way out, I noticed several small busts of various presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Kennedy, and George W. Bush. (They had much larger ones of FDR.) Well, at $15.95 the Bush one was sold, and I took it up to the counter. The very polite store manager said he thought this was the last one, but he would look. Indeed, he came back a few minutes later with an empty box, and proceeded to wrap up the display model for me. While he was doing this, he mentioned he had quite a few of the other presidents left, but that of the several dozen Bush busts, this was the very last one.

Yep. At the Franklin Delano Roosevelt museum shop in the very Blue State of New York, they’ve sold out of the Bush statues. Here it is on my shelf:


Written by martinipundit

August 24, 2005 at 11:43 am

Posted in General, History

Distress in Gaza

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It is more than a little chilling to see images of Jews being pulled from their homes and synogogues. Especially by other Jews.

Israeli security forces on Thursday were dragging Jewish activists out of Gaza’s largest synagogue in Neve Dekalim after protestors refused to come out of the building.

A standoff with about 1,500 teenage extremists continued at the synagogue into a second day. Men inside were lying on the floor with arms linked to make it harder for troops to carry them out. Some were throwing water on the faces of the security forces and hitting the soldiers who were trying to remove the protestors with as little force as possible.

True, many were not even Gaza settlers, and quite a few Americans are there to protest. The policy of settling the occupied territories was always fraught with danger, as it was fairly clear even then that the Palestinians would have none of it. Peace needed to be achieved before coexistence. That Sharon – an architect of the settlements – has recognized this is a Nixon goes to China moment. Walling off Gaza and the West Bank and pulling out basically means that Israel is unilaterally imposing the Oslo Accords rejected by Arafat. Israel has always had the ability to move more decisively, but as a civilized people they have shown remarkable restraint. They finally realized that they simply can’t live cheek-by-jowl with savages. In the end, this pullout will save Israeli lives. Whether it saves Palestinian lives is up to the Palestinians. They can murder each other in an orgy of blood, or they can stop blaming the Jews for their own problems and set about the difficult business of governing. Perhaps one day becoming civilized themselves.

Either way, it’s not Israel’s problem any more. Or the settlers’.

Written by martinipundit

August 18, 2005 at 8:28 am

Posted in GWOT, Israel

Terrorist Bombings in Bangladesh

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While conducting terror attacks in the West, the savages want to make certain that no gets out of line in the Islamic world:

At least two people have been killed and 50 others injured in a series of small bomb blasts across Bangladesh.

Officials say more than 300 explosions took place simultaneously in 50 cities and towns across the country including the capital Dhaka.

An outlawed Islamic group, Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, says it carried out the attacks.

For the record, Bangladesh is an Islamic country, indeed it was once part of Pakistan. Why would the Islamofascists set off bombs there?

Leaflets from the Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh have appeared at the site of some of the blasts.

“It is time to implement Islamic law in Bangladesh” and “Bush and Blair be warned and get out of Muslim countries”, the leaflets say.

Of course, we’re not in Bangladesh, but that doesn’t stop them. Apparently, not living under the Sharia is enough for these madmen. It’s a Global War people.

Written by martinipundit

August 17, 2005 at 3:44 pm

Posted in GWOT

9/11 Commission Follies

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For those still wondering how the 9/11 Commission managed to lose Mohammed Atta under the rug, Mark Steyn connects the dots.

Written by martinipundit

August 15, 2005 at 9:13 am

Posted in GWOT

Let’s See if I’m Grasping This

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Your adult child exercised his free will and rights as a citizen and joins the army. He is activated and voluntarily goes to Iraq. He is tragically killed.

So this gives you a free pass to tell the rest of the nation what to do? As Drudge reports:

Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, is calling for Bush’s “impeachment,” and for Israel to get out of Palestine! “You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” Sheehan declares.

Sheehan, who is asking for a second meeting with President Bush, says defiantly: “My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don’t owe you a penny…you give my son back and I’ll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we’ll put this war on trial.”

“And now I’m going to use another ‘I’ word – impeachment – because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail.”

Now, she’s entitled to her protest, however seamy her ‘colleagues,’ but what’s this about Israel out of Palestine? What’s this about not paying taxes? And what does she propose to do with the Israelis? Put them in camps?

It’s August, so news is slow. Right now Sheehan has the spotlight, because there’s frankly not that much going on. But it won’t last, and sooner or later, something far more important than a grieving wingnut will occupy the news. (Let’s hope it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson.)

Meanwhile, here’s a notice to the grieving moonbat – I’m sorry you lost your son. Unlike you, I honor his sacrifice and am grateful. But your loss does not give you the right to dictate the policy of the United States. That’s what elections are for. Remember, this is a democracy, not group therapy. Your grief gives you no more rights as a citizen than the rest of us. If you want to dictate policy – run for office.

Oh, and the IRS doesn’t go after tax cheats publicly. But one is forced to wonder did you pay taxes in 2004 already? Most of us do that well before April 15th. So, what are you going to do – make it up by not paying taxes in 2005? 2006? On the other hand, it doesn’t look like you’re gainfully employed, so maybe you don’t owe taxes to pay. Just more empty rhetoric. Go away lady – you’re embarrassing yourself and dishonoring your son.

Update Meanwhile, Kathleen Parker explains why the President can’t come out and meet Sheehan:

He can’t because he’s the president of the United States, because we’re at war, and because every move he makes causes ripples around the world. Ripples that, depending on other circumstances, can get other sons and daughters killed before Joe Trippi can say, “That’s a wrap.”

He can’t because what Sheehan’s anti-war supporters want is neither a hug nor a few words of comfort. They want a confrontation — a wrenching, sobbing, high-noon showdown — soon to be a Democratic political ad and Al Jazeera headline for the foreseeable future.

Sheehan, who opposed the war before her son died, belongs to the movement now. And Bush, regardless of what he personally might wish to do, has responsibilities that far exceed the crowd gathering beyond his Prairie Chapel Ranch.

Once he allows himself to be captured in a video clip or a photograph, recoiling from the agony of a bereaved mother, the world is in greater danger. Democrats might be delighted to freeze that image in political time, but so would insurgents planning their next Baghdad ambush.

Whatever Sheehan hoped for in the beginning of her watch is irrelevant now. She and her cause have been usurped and distorted by the phenomenon of which she is the center. Her healing will have to wait until the next big story breaks and the media circus moves on.

Where is Jaws when you need him?

Written by martinipundit

August 14, 2005 at 11:56 am

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