Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's About Time!

The Bureau of Land Management seems to read my blog (well, probably not) as they have finally published proposed regulations regarding shale oil. (HT Instapundit)

I do not think shale oil is a panacea, and I remember as a kid that shale was kicked around as a cure to our energy woes. But while it is not a cure all, shale oil will provide time to transition to something else, and along the way, counter act the speculation that is driving oil prices up (a better way to counter act speculation than threats of government action).

More About Iraq

I guess I should point out that my old DC acquaintance Robert George (America's only Black, West Indian, Catholic, Republican stand up comedian) pointed out the GOP's problem with not declaring Iraq victory two weeks ago and again today.

Instead of saying "IT WORKED!" and noting that the Iraqi War is essentially over (and can be handed over to the Iraqi government now), Senator McCain has handed this issue over to Obama, regardless of whether Prime Minister Maliki was misquoted or not.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So, what about Iraq?

I have not been posting much about Iraq of late, mostly because I guess our news media seems to have tired of the issue. But Senator Obama is in Iraq and has met with the Iraqi government. I have been trying to figure out lately what Obama's view on Iraq is and after today, it seems he is firmly behind a 16 month timetable for withdrawal. Which makes sense, given that over the past few months, the situation in the country seems to have gotten better. Even Sunni dominated Anbar province, which was written off a few years ago, is soon to be handed over to the Iraqi government's security forces (the hand off was delayed due to sandstorms).

If Michael Yon is to be believed, the Iraqi War is essentially over. While Yon probably knows more about the situation in Iraq than 99% of non-Iraqis, I will wait a bit before agreeing with him (though I hope he is right).

For that reason, Senator Obama may have an opening. While a 16 month draw down may not go over well with his left wing base, it shows that he is able to adjust with changed circumstances. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was quoted in Der Spiegel as agreeing with Obama's plan, though CNN reported that Maliki claims he was misquoted so I am not sure what to believe. Translation errors do happen or it could have been a journalist reporting what he wanted to hear or maybe Maliki rethought what he said or who knows.

By rejecting a timetable, the Bush Administration and Senator McCain may be harming their cause. This was never supposed to be about annexing territory (and please leave your oil fueled conspiracy theories behind, while I do not doubt Iraq was important because of oil, I also believe there were other reasons for the invasion). While the Iraqi government has made great strides over the past year or two, they must be continuously pushed into the right direction -- i.e., taking over responsibility for their own country. If the US military has an open ended mission there, they may be happy to have the US fight their enemies.

And while the change in tactics seems to have worked, the real question needs to be asked -- what took so long?

In any event, a KFC has opened in Fallujah. It seems that means it should be over soon. The question of whether it was all worth it will take longer to determine. If past history is any guide, there will be an official story, followed by a conventional story, followed 40 years of revisionism.

Get Well Soon Abby Wambach!


I have mentioned Abby Wambach here on a few occasions. She is one of the best women's soccer players in the world and has been the main strike force of the US women's team, for the past several years. One problem is that she is so good, strong and powerful, that it probably hurt the US national team at the last Women's World Cup -- the strategy seemed to be kick the ball up at Abby and see if she can score.
Under new coach Pia Sundhage, the team seems to have moved away from kick the ball at Abby to going back to playing soccer. Well, they will now need it as Wambach broke her leg and will miss the Olympics.
Last year I posted a series of "Abby Wambach Facts". Thanks to that post, I have been getting hits from search engines, usually asking if Abby Wambach is married. Frankly I have no idea.
So Abby, if you are out there and looking to get married, there are a bunch of people who appear to be interested.
In any event., please get well soon.

The New Yorker Cover

A lot has been written by now about the infamous New Yorker cover and I do not plan to repeat it. But the irony is that the cover was meant as satire of supposed right wing slurs on Obama has turned into a cause celeb among the left. The New Yorker is not National Review, it is a fairly liberal magazine which has a world view that sees little outside the confines of Manhattan (and allied enclaves) except ignorant farmers and barbarians. To claim that the New Yorker was out to slime Obama is laughable.

Satire is an important tool in any free society -- we must be able to lampoon our leaders, in a way reminding them that they are no better than us. In this way, satire fills the role that the in Roman days was filled by the servant whispering into the ear of a general receiving a triumph "Remember, you are mortal."

Is Obama to be immune from satire? Is satirizing Obama somehow racist, and if it is, is that thought in and of itself racist?

Does anyone on the left has a sense of humor?

And finally, while I expect to see more of it closer to November coming from the right side, most of the anti-Obama nastiness came from his own party, in the context of a very long and bloody primary fight.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

300

Barrack Obama has 300 foreign policy advisers. They are organized into teams and seem to have already developed a diplomatic bureaucracy. (HT: Althouse) This number does not seem to include Samantha Power.

Here is video (not) released by the Obama campaign showing the advisers addressing the ongoing crisis with Iran.



Click here for a recent foreign policy debate between McCain and Obama

A reason to feel old

The film version of Mamma Mia has been released (the stage version was great). All the reviews I have read note a scene involving the ABBA song "Dancing Queen."

And then it hit me. The Dancing Queen is "only 17". That song was recorded in 1975 and was a big hit in 1976 (when I was 9). Which means that the Dancing Queen is now pushing 50.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Troops out Now! It's a Quagmire!

I am referring to Chicago of course.

Following a recent rash of violent crimes, Governor Blagojevich is considering sending state troopers and the National Guard into Chicago.

Everytime there is a violent crime, Mayor Daley calls for more gun control, though considering that Chicago has one of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, I am not sure what else he thinks he can do. A few weeks ago, following a number of gun deaths, a police spokesman called for a ban on "assault weapons" -- the problem was that none of the deaths were due to "assault weapons." At least we have avoided, so far, the "checkpoint" idea they are considering in DC.

I do believe that a lot of this can be traced down to our silly drug laws. But that is a longer discussion.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DRILL DRILL DRILL!!!

Frank J has a program to solve the oil crunch that is almost as well thought out as T. Boone Pickens.

A Slide Tackling Priest

It is not often that a news story combines my passions for soccer with Catholicism. So the news that New England Revolution defender Chase Hilgenbrinck has retired from Major League Soccer to join the seminary is welcome news. America may lose a defender, but the Church gains a priest.

You have to prayfully wish him well, he follows in great company. John Paul II was a goalkeeper, somewhat apt as his job was saving souls.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Bastille Day!



Death to King Louis!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

T. Boone Pickens has a Plan

Granted, Custer had a plan also, but I think T. Boone has thought his out better.



In short, it would use wind power to replace the current natural gas electric generating plants and use the natural gas to power automobiles. I have no clue if his numbers work out, but it is a start!

I am a big supporter of wind power so of course I think his plan is great. And best of all, it is nowhere near Teddy Kennedy's yacht, so I guess Teddy will be on board.

But this is not the only way. One reason I want government to stay out of the energy issue is that there needs to be multiple roads. Instead, all government has given us is an ethanol subsidy that does nothing but increase corn prices.

If I had my way, this is what would happen:

1. Allow more drilling in the Artic and offshore. This will ease uncertainty and speculation which is what is responsible for much of the recent run up. This is only meant to be a temporary measure however, to give time for other things to come online.

2. Pass the Zurbin plan requiring that all gasoline powered cars must be triple flex fueled within three years of passage. The technology is there already (and US car manufacturers have an advantage right now). The triple flex fuel portion is to drive some production into methanol, which does not use food crops, though it is less efficient then ethanol.

3. End the corn ethanol subsidy. It does nothing.

4. End tariffs on Brazilian ethanol. Brazilian ethanol is sugar based and has a much higher energy output/energy input than corn ethanol.

5. Pass regulations on shale oil production.

6. Throw up no barriers to the importation of Canadian tar sands oil.

7. Exploit the Bakken field.

8. Electric cars are great. The electricity has to come from somewhere. Reduce barriers for wind farms.

9. Build a new generation of nuclear plants.

10. Listen to T. Boone.

Did I leave anything out?

God wants Obama to be President

That is the only explanation I have.

I mean, Obama got his "Sister Souljah" Moment. And he did not even have to do anything, Jesse Jackson did it to himself!

This guy continuously steps in it. I know he is a smart guy, but still, he wins a State Senate race because his opponents can't figure out how to submit a petition. He then gets elected to the US Senate after TWO (not one but TWO) of his opponents have messy divorce skeletons in their closets, causing him to run against Alan Keyes (who is STILL not making sense).

And when he is trying to run toward the center (after running the primary far to the left), Jesse Jackson does his work for him. I surrender.

He is the Messiah and God's chosen one.

Or maybe he is the Kwisatz Haderach.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

George Washington and Zimbabwe

Reading on Independence Day the increasingly sad events from Zimbabwe, makes me, as an American, realize how lucky we are that our first president and leader of the revolution was named George Washington. Most revolutions start out with stirring rhetoric about liberty and freedom but turn into bloody caricatures.

The French Revolution started out with "The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen" which were followed by the Terror and increasingly autocratic government, until finishing up with Napoleon.

The Russian Revolution began with calls for parliamentary government and ended up with the Gulag and the Holodomor.

The Chinese Revolution began with call for land, but ended with the famine and the Cultural Revolution.

Our revolution avoided most of those horrors. True, many Tories lost their land and left for Canada, but we avoided the horrors that accompanied other earth shattering revolutions. There were no mass executions. A big reason for that lies in the character of George Washington. He could have grabbed for absolute power. He did no. Rather, after doing his duty, he laid down the honors of office and retired to his plow -- a modern day Cincinnatus. (When told Washington would return to his farm after the Revolution, George III remarked that if Washington did "he will be the greatest man in the world).

Looking at the sad spectacle of Robert Mugabe from afar, you wonder what George Washington would have done. Like Washington, Mugabe was a rebel general who did not so much win a war, but kept an army in the field long enough not to lose it. When he finally forced a settlement, he was the natural man to lead the country. But he could not give up power. And now his thirst for power has so poisoned his country that even if he manages to stay on, you have to wonder, why? There is nothing left of an economy that was once the breadbasket of Africa.

And one should compare Mugabe not just with Washington but with Nelson Mandela. Mandela is a true hero of human liberty. Yet unlike Mugabe, he did not turn South Africa into a one party state. And most important of all, Mandela did not view power as his personal birthright, but rather something entrusted him by the people of his country. And when his term ended, he gladly took that power, and handed it off.

If only Mugabe had half the character of Washington or Mandela.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Quote for Independence Day

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore." -- John Adams

Adams thought that July 2 would be the day celebrated, as that was the day independence was celebrated. But history has made the celebration of the Fourth, the day the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted. But the sentiment remains.

LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE!

How FARC got Tricked

It turns out that the Colombian military used a bit of trickery to rescue Ms. Betancourt and the rest of the hostages. The soldiers showed up wearing Che Guevara tee shirts (not bought from here I guess). The FARC members figured the soldiers were simply Barack Obama supporters and got into the helicopter.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Will the last FARC Members please turn out the lights

Members deserting, its leaders getting killed and it is in retreat on all fronts.

Now hostage (and former Colombian presidential candidate) Ingrid Betancourt and 14 others, including 3 Americans, were freed without a fight.

Hopefully, this will mark the end of FARC.