Smith called the developing world’s poverty “relative” and explained “you can’t really have poverty unless you have wealthy people on the scene.”
Portland’s City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to jump into negotiations over the future of Portland General Electric and to spend as much as $500,000 to analyze the city’s options. Among them: acquiring Oregon’s largest electric utility through condemnation.
An advocate of limited federal regulation and proponent of private sector solutions to environmental problems will carry out the Bush administration’s new “healthy forests” initiative, a signal the president’s strategy may hinge on the economic rather than the ecological value of western lands.
The Oregonian, of course, does not refer to them as “Lobbyists” since that is a dirty word associated with “Industry”, “Corporations” and Republicans. (Who need no scare quotes.)
“It tips their hand on their plans to use economics to drive it all, not ecological considerations,” said Pete Morton, a resource economist with The Wilderness Society referring to Fitzsimmon’s declaration that “the private sector can play a role”.
Based on that reasoning, I guess the Wilderness Society’s position is to promote management by faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats, preferably picked by his organization.
The World Trade Organization, the international arbiter in global trade disputes, ruled today that the European Union can impose $4 billion in penalties on the United States because an American tax break that promotes exports is illegal.
With California facing a year-end federal deadline to reduce its dependence on Colorado River water, the Interior Department has given its go-ahead to a $1 billion, 50-year plan to store and pump water from beneath private land in the Mojave Desert.
The Bush administration’s decision removes a major obstacle to the project, proposed by a private company, Cadiz Inc., to help the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California make up future water shortfalls. The plan still faces opposition, which has been led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, on environmental grounds. It has not yet been approved by the water district’s board.
This story is not particularly surprising. The Environmental Lobby never agrees to anything and they’re never satisfied with any program that involves using natural resources.
Nor is Di Fi’s endorsement of them surprising. She knows where her campaign money comes from and if California does not reduce it’s use of Colorado River water, the taxpayers will pay the fine, not multi-millionaire Feinstein.
Sister Cecilia Hanna was killed savagely in a disgusting crime where her head was severed from the rest of her body, not because this old and kind human being did something wrong, but because being a Christian in a land roaming with Muslim fanatics is becoming a dangerous venture and a provocative act to those who have twisted the teachings of their religion to that of being blood thirsty thugs.
Many people, including ones that I respect greatly like Glenn Reynolds, Moira Breen, and Ken Layne, have been questioning the reasoning behind attacking Iraq when the WTC attackers were Saudis and Al Queda was (is?) financed by Saudis.
I am certainly no expert in geo-political affairs and even though I am a retired Army sergeant, I am far from being an expert on military actions. Like Will Rogers said, “All I know is what I read in the papers.“
In order to answer the question “Why Iraq, not Saudi Arabia”, the first thing to do is to look at a map. I am on Blogspot, so I do not have the capability to post graphics. (Maybe I do, but I don’t know how.) so I’ll just post a link to CIA — The World Factbook — Iraq, go head, take a look, I’ll just wait here.
As you have seen from the map, Iraq is centrally located in the Middle East, it borders many countries that we have problems with, all of which have authoritarian if not downright despotic governments (I’m trying to be nice here.).This makes Iraq a wonderful place to control if you want to have an effect on the rest of the Middle East just for the geography if nothing else. But wait folks, there’s more.
This is the part that gets the lefties (and some righties) spinning in tight little circles.
Iraq has (I think) the second largest oil reserves in the area, right behind Saudi Arabia. According to BP-World Oil Production by Area 1991 to 2001, the Middle East provided 30% of the world’s oil and Saudi Arabia itself provided 11.8 %, which is equal to the entire production of the countries making up the former Soviet Union during 2001. Iraq provided 3.3%. Not a trivial amount, but in no way comparable to the output of the Saudis.
So, if you are going into the Middle East, you are going to have an effect on the world oil supply. If you invade Saudi Arabia, you are going to take out somewhere close to 11.8% of the worlds’ oil supply for an unknown time. This would have a disastrous effect on the U.S., as well as the worlds’ economy. No matter how you feel about it, the world runs on oil. TheU.S, Europe, Asia and even to some extent Africa (Which doesn’t run). It is not a case of greedy oil barons wanting to get richer nor is it spoiled soccer moms in SUVs. It is heat, light, power for factories, in fact, the workings of our entire economy. You may not like it, but that’s just too bad. Renewable energy is all well and good, but you’re not going to come up with it or make it economically feasible in the immediate future.
As the leader of the United States, George W. Bush has a responsibility to make sure that we, and the rest of the world, have access to the oil we need to keep thing running. He can’t just ignore that and listen to the bleatings of the NY Times and the Europeans. In this case, I think the price for not acting is almost sure to be several times higher than acting. Am I sure? Of course not. If you want guarantees, you’ll have to find some other species than humans to work with.
So we take over the country in the Middle East with the second largest oil reserves in the area. Oil reserves that have not been producing at anywhere near capacity since 1991. We, or the new government friendly to us, now have control of oil that can be used to replace Saudi oil if it should be taken out of production. Suddenly the Saudis are not so important to us. As we no longer care whether or not they produce oil, they are now expendable without causing massive disruption of the oil supply. This also breaks OPEC as they are no longer able to control production. (But that’s an entirely different posting)
So yeah, it’s all about oil. So what. It leaves the U.S. in the position of great influence if not total dominance of the Middle East, it takes care of the WMD problem, indirectly takes care of our Saudi “friends” and does it without too much pain to the economy. Of course, it would also finish the process started by the Gulf War and, I’m sure, be very satisfying to George H.W. Bush and the Republican party (Which would be intolerable for the Democrats.) but those are just gravy.
Imperialistic? Maybe. Effective? Yes. Guaranteed to work? No, nothing is, but it stands a pretty good chance and the pricetag for doing nothing is very high.
We have free will, they don’t. We think, they react. We make decisions, they are a preprogrammed bag of responses to our decisions. We bear ethical responsibility for what we decide to do; and we also bear ethical responsibility for what they do because it is wholly determined by what we decide to do.
Leave it to Stephen Den Beste to put into words exactly what I have been trying to articulate for a long time. This attitude is not confined to dealings with the Europeans, but is present in every facet of political discussion both in foreign and domestic policy. Liberals (I hate that term ) use this reasoning whether they are dealing with illegal immigrants, poverty, out-of wedlock births, in fact it is generally applied everywhere.
This is exactly the attitude that I noted yesterday regarding the protesters in Portland. They’re not responsible and cannot be held responsible because of just what Den Beste noted above.
But I am repeating myself and rambling. Back to your regularly scheduled blogging.