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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Syria, Iran, and Russia

During the last year the political landscape in the Middle East has shown some signs of change. Algeria, Libya, and Egypt were able to rid themselves of their despotic rulers. I would argue that the resistance groups waited, like a pack of wild dogs, for the leaders to be old, sick, and weak enough to take down. Conversely, Iran was able to quickly and not so quietly put down its own uprising with some people finding the government violence on social media. This is also being replayed in Syria. For six months now the Assad regime has been slaughtering its own citizens.

Since that started the world has seen the UN repeatedly call the slaughter an abominable and criminal act. The US and the EU have tried to have new sanctions levied against Assad only to be stymied by Russia and China on the UNSC.

Why has Russia stated that it will not support sanctions? Russia has invested billions of dollars in Syria, Russian investments in Syria in 2009 were valued at $19.4 billion, mainly in arms deals, infrastructure development, energy, and tourism. Russian exports to Syria in 2010 totaled $1.1 billion, Russia is also reported to have invested heavily in the strategic naval facility in Tartous; investments and work that could all be jeopardized if the Assad regime is overthrown or the country descends into violent chaos. As it is, Moscow, which has criticized the NATO-led intervention in Libya, is waiting to see if the new authorities in Tripoli will honor some $10 billion worth of business deals reached with the Qaddafi regime.

Let’s also recall the fact that Russia lost the Cold War. Moscow enjoyed wide authority in the region in the Soviet era and has watched with increasing alarm as Western pressure and a public frustration helped push veteran regional leaders from power as reported in Soviet newspapers.

Meanwhile, in trying to encourage the discourse and further talks, as required by Russia, the US diplomatic envoy is attacked, again, by regime loyalists (read as active supporters of terrorism attacking a legal and diplomatic representative of the United States).

The call for regime change is coming. This is the path which I described in earlier writings where the slaughter has to get to a level of visibility which requires the Arab League and/or OIC to say that something must be done. The UN will eventually be allowed to make that call and, when it does, you will all see Obama rushing in with boots on the ground. Such a good little lap dog for that mechanism, if only he would learn when not to bark, this would go much quieter for the OIC and Arab League. Until that call goes out, Obama gets to strategically and tactically avoid Iran, Russia, and the bad press that would inevitably come.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Palestinian Seeks Recognition They Already Have

Palestine is seeking recognition as a nation. I posted some thoughts and misconception son this the other day and, while some were incorrect, I stand by my assessment that Palestine will not get the UNSC votes it wants for international recognition.

First, let’s set a standard of definitions as they relate to Nation and State. A nation denotes a people who are believed to or deemed to share common customs, religion, language, origins, ancestry or history. However, the adjectives national and international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law. A state refers to the set of governing and supportive institutions that have sovereignty over a definite territory and population. I found these definitions on wiki.  

Under the above definitions there is a nation of Palestine, albeit in exile. A nation in exile is nothing new; the European Union has hosted the leadership of several governments in exile. Under international law this is recognition of a people as sovereign.

There are four easy ways under international law to recognize, but without going into painful detail and an argument over history we can agree to a few points.
First, Palestine did exist under the Mandate of Palestine and they were under British rule and protection. A civil war began in which Palestinians were throwing grenades into crowds, blowing things up, and using hit and run tactics to confuse, befuddle, and confound the Brits. Sounds familiar, huh? At this point in time those who were rich and powerful saw what was happening and left. By the time of the Israeli Declaration about 175,000, 25% according to UN estimates, Palestinians had left.
Of the remaining Palestinian populations, historians agree that some were forced out by Israeli military units but without higher command orders, some left, and others were militarized by Arab nations in order to stop Israel from further developing.

After this hullabaloo settled down the UN adopted Resolution 194. 35 of the then 58 members of the UN agreed to have the refugees returned to their homes and given a defined role at the UN. Of those who opposed the Resolution and were Arab we see that all six Arab states then opposed the Resolution. Those states being Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen

90 years ago, the Palestinians had a nation and a state. They had international recognition. Arab states were opposed to Palestine and Israel then and they are opposed to both states now. Arab nations fomented violence then and they foment violence now.

In 1967 the UN put together, painfully I might add, Resolution 242. Rather than summarizing a summary I will paste and link the following understanding of the resolution. Please pay close attention to the intent as recorded by the drafting parties in that “withdrawal” was not to include all the territories. In other words, Israel is to remain as a nation with land and be part of the Arab led peace process. Yes, folks, Resolution 242 put the onus for the peace process on the Arabs, not surprisingly, as we have seen, the Arab Street then as now refused and voted against it. Here is a very strong breakdown of Resolution 242 (I added the emphasis on certain points below):

The most controversial clause in Resolution 242 is the call for the "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." This is linked to the second unambiguous clause calling for "termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and the recognition that "every State in the area" has the "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. Moreover, it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up. The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from "all the" territories occupied after the Six-Day war. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant "that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands." The Arab states pushed for the word "all" to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word "all." The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: "It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear."

This literal interpretation was repeatedly declared to be the correct one by those involved in drafting the resolution. On October 29, 1969, for example, the British Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons the withdrawal envisaged by the resolution would not be from "all the territories." When asked to explain the British position later, Lord Caradon said: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

Similarly, Amb. Goldberg explained: "The notable omissions-which were not accidental-in regard to withdrawal are the words 'the' or 'all' and 'the June 5, 1967 lines'....the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal."
The resolutions clearly call on the Arab states to make peace with Israel. The principal condition is that Israel withdraw from "territories occupied" in 1967, which means that Israel must withdraw from some, all, or none of the territories still occupied. Since Israel withdrew from 91% of the territories when it gave up the Sinai, it has already partially, if not wholly, fulfilled its obligation under 242.

The Arab states also objected to the call for "secure and recognized boundaries" because they feared this implied negotiations with Israel. The Arab League explicitly ruled this out at Khartoum in August 1967, when it proclaimed the three "noes." Amb. Goldberg explained that this phrase was specifically included because the parties were expected to make "territorial adjustments in their peace settlement encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure."

The question, then, is whether Israel has to give up any additional territory. Now that peace agreements have been signed with Egypt and Jordan, the only remaining territorial disputes are with Lebanon and Syria. Israel's conflict with Lebanon is a result of fighting after 1967 and is therefore irrelevant to 242 (Israel has said it would withdraw to the international border if a treaty is signed and the central government takes control of northern border areas currently in the hands of terrorist groups).

The dispute with Syria is over the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin expressed a willingness to negotiate a compromise in exchange for peace; however, President Hafez Assad refused to consider even a limited peace treaty unless Israel first agreed to a complete withdrawal. Under 242, Israel has no obligation to withdraw from any part of the Golan in the absence of a peace accord with Syria.

It is also important to realize that other Arab states that continue to maintain a state of war with Israel, or have refused to grant Israel diplomatic recognition, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya have no territorial disputes with Israel. They have nevertheless conditioned their relations (at least rhetorically) on an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders.

Although ignored by most analysts, Resolution 242 does have other provisions. One requirement in that section is that freedom of navigation be guaranteed. It is important to remind people this clause was included because a principal cause of the 1967 war was Egypt's blockade of the Strait of Tiran.

Israel's Obligations to the Palestinians

The Palestinians are not mentioned anywhere in Resolution 242. They are only alluded to in the second clause of the second article of 242, which calls for "a just settlement of the refugee problem." Nowhere does it require that Palestinians be given any political rights or territory. In fact, the use of the generic term "refugee" was a deliberate acknowledgment that two refugee problems were products of the conflict-one Arab and another Jewish. In the case of the latter, almost as many Jews fled Arab countries as Palestinians left Israel. The Jews, however, were never compensated by the Arab states, nor were any UN organizations ever established to help them.

In a statement to the General Assembly October 15, 1968, the PLO, rejecting Resolution 242, said "the implementation of said resolution will lead to the loss of every hope for the establishment of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East region."

By contrast, Amb. Abba Eban expressed Israel's position to the Security Council on May 1, 1968: "My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace. I am also authorized to reaffirm that we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution."

It took nearly a quarter century, but the PLO finally agreed that Resolutions 242 and 338 should be the basis for negotiations with Israel when it signed the Declaration of Principles in September 1993.


Palestine wants to be recognized as a nation, they have that with 120 of the 193 member states of the UN recognizing them. Based on the definitions above and international law, as I understand it, the Palestinians are a nation. They are not a state as they do not have land other than UN Refugee camps; however, the denial of land and the refusal of recognition is coming from the Arab Street, not Israel; meanwhile, the Palestinians continue to align themselves with the more malignant personalities and forces in the region. There was a UN Resolution, the number I cannot recall, but it seems to me that the particular Resolution stated the requirement for a unanimous UNSC vote in favor of the Palestinians to have their state.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Appointed Bureaucracy

Today I will be looking over a few of Obama’s appointees and their positions. This is a last minute look that was motivated by a caller on The Morning Majority. This fellow apparently had received a letter from the EPA to update things in a building that he owned for his construction business. The letter informed him that he had 30 days to complete the updates, which I think he said were about $5,000, or face fines of up to $32,000 per day. From my perspective, here is a small business, a contracting company run by two gents, and is facing quite a financial hit. I understand the safety issues and such; however, anyone who has completed any home remodeling or other similar task knows the morass of paper work and filing fees as well as the not-so-benevolent bureaucracy that must be dealt with.

Bottom Line Up Front
There are a large number of governmental agencies which are run by presidential appointees. These appointees must be approved of by congress. What happens when the Congress and the President are all on the same party line is that the vast bureaucratic ship of state turns towards a direction that looks a lot like a centralization of power and a primary dominion. These are things which the founders of America sought to avoid.

Background
Those particular offices which come to mind at this early hour are the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships. An odd pair, I know, but it is early and I am only on my first pot of coffee and first something hour energy shot. I would include the FCC and the FTC, but those would make this a full book and I cannot devote that much time to writing in one day.

The directors or leading heads of these offices are presidential appointees and can wield, apparently, some broad powers.

The EPA was founded by Richard M. Nixon in 1970. This office is responsible for enforcing the nation’s environmental statutes. What has been done in that regard under this administration? The Gibson Guitar raid is the most recent and widely known action taken by the EPA, but there is more.

In Chino, CA the EPA is requiring that some 13 dairies prevent animal waste run-off. There is a fear that the cow manure and chemicals on the farms could wash into the rivers and streams in the winter rains. Concerns about cow crap in the water cloud California. Cow manure actually composts nicely into great fertile soil, but is a threat to the environment? I do not want to drink it, but it has been a LONG time since I have had to drink from a stream. Wait! What is going to happen when the EPA learns that fish poop in the water, too? How are they going to handle the herds of buffalo and wild horses that roam the plains and hills of the Midwest and daringly defecate without concern to the waterways?

Obama had to step in and pull back the current administrator of the EPA, Lisa Jackson. Just a few weeks ago, Jackson “tried” to implement standards that even Obama considered too stringent. Like that was the first time he saw the standards which Jackson was trying to implement! Come on, the Director of the EPA is virtually a Cabinet level position now. He sees Director Jackson quite regularly, I am sure. At any rate, Obama said that the standards were too strict and Jackson came back with lower standards, but which are still much stricter than those under which the US currently operates. These standards are strangling the US economy. Manufacturing plants are losing capital, getting fined, shutting down and laying off employees, while other businesses are moving operations overseas. These manufacturing plants are going to places with cheaper labor and looser environmental controls. Places like China. Earlier this year there were several press releases about thousands of children, not to mention the thousands and thousands of adults, who were diagnosed with lead poisoning in areas around battery plants in China. Some of those plants have been closed, but the environmental and human damage is done. These people are not going to be cured of a lifetime of lead exposure. If Director Jackson were to go to China and look at the environmental wrongs there she would either die of shock or, like the old cartoon characters, her eyes would jump out of her head with dollar signs for pupils.

So, the EPA standards are putting some businesses directly under, fining others out, and preventing many from starting. I suppose that those who had been or would have been working in those factories can now go to Washington and apply for positions with the EPA. They could jump squarely into someone’s …. Crap or go in and fiddle around with their wood. As a matter of fact, the new standards would require some 230,000 new employees in the EPA to track, investigate, and enforce those standards. Don’t ask or worry about how these jobs will be paid for, we can always tax the rich.

I see that EPA Director Jackson worked as the Environmental Protector of New Jersey. According to the NJ Star Ledger the State now has to come up with $8 billion dollars to fix the state’s sewer systems. Wow, she REALLY likes to get in peoples … business.

Since I, like the founders of America, like to thank God for my fortune of a great family and enough to pay the bills while putting a very little something aside I find the White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships an odd creation. Seriously, if there is such a call from some minor groups and loud mouths to remove the Ten Commandments from courthouses and to remove the name of God from our money and the Pledge of Allegiance, why no outcry over this office? What is this office supposed to do? According to the announcement from the White House, this organ (and I struggled to find a word to put here) is charged with thrusting the following upon us, the People

  • The Office’s top priority will be making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete.
  • It will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion.
  • The Office will strive to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood.
  • Finally, beyond American shores this Office will work with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world. 

The second point I cannot argue with, the man must be the father. Although, I can see how this concept will stick in the craw of gay groups, did he just lose the Pink Vote? Reaching out to foster dialogue … what a load of stuff the EPA wants to keep out of streams and rivers! Come on, that is what we have the State Department for! Let the existing agencies do their jobs! What are we paying diplomats for if not to reach out to scholars and leaders around the world?

The first two points above are what the Christian Church has done and is still doing today, in spite of multiple attempts to squash it and remove any vestiges of Christian religion from all books and institutions in America. Obama has created a religious affairs organ. There is a strange and odd collection of names attached to searches in the news and on the net for religious advisors to the Obama administration. Shaun Casey is one. Mr. Casey referred to Jesus as an illegal immigrant. Jim Wallis, anti-Gay, had an apparently short tenure on the Hill.

The one name which I found as a current and regularly appearing name in relation to both the White Hosue and religion is Dalia Mogahed. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have a strongly positive opinion about her. This must be the case as muslim outreach has increased to a robust level, according to rollcall.com. Dalia Mogahed cannot be all that bad, can she? I mean, really, she believes in sharia law! Aside from the fact that sharia law requires infidels to die, pay jizya, and be slaves to pure muslims. That is, according to ibm Rashid.
Why wage war? The Muslim jurists agree that the purpose of fighting the People of the Book, excluding the (Qurayshite) People of the Book and the Christian Arabs, is one of two things: it is either for the conversion to Islam or the payment of the jizya. The payment of the jizya is because of the words of the Exalted, “Fight against such as those
who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah or the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah and His Messenger hath forbidden, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily being brought low.

What is jizya? According to Islamic law, this is a tax imposed upon non-Arab people of the Book (non-Arab Christians) who are male, of puberty, and free. What might that look like? Well, I hardly think that, if the word jizya, were used that the US would not erupt in a firestorm of rebellion. But, if one does a search on “fined for bible study” one will find nearly 100 articles just for September 2011, posts, and blog entries about the family in Orange County California that was fined $300 for holding a Bible study as it violated zoning laws. One articles states that the weekly gatherings violated the area zoning laws. What about large family meals (like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthdays), graduation parties, and the like? Are those also going to be zoned and taxed out or is this an insidious way of instituting a jizya? I did not find anything under “fined for quran study”

Even though “separation of church and state” is not written in the Constitution, it is written that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

Well, I ramble, but, we see that there is a steady term for Dalia Mogahed, daughter of a Muslim Brotherhood member, working closely with Obama; however, the “Christian” choices of the administration have been found to be extremist, racist, and otherwise just loony. It sounds to me like someone is being restricted by the government!



Monday, September 26, 2011

UNSC Vote Predictions

Bottom Line Up Front
Russia, China, Nigeria, Lebanon are sure votes of Yes, while Bosnia, Gabon are likely a yes.

US, UK, France, Germany, India and Brazil are likely to vote No. India will also vote No.

Colombia sees more benefit in voting with the US, so they are a No. Portugal may say No, also.

I do not see the 9 vote majority for a state of Palestine; however, my experience in the Middle East and West Africa tells me that the vote, either way, is not going to pass without violence.


Background
I wanted to better understand what the statistics were in relation to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Sadly, the site which came up immediately are blatantly falsified. For instance, disturbingfacts.blogspot.com indicates that there is absolutely no, zero, aid to the Palestinians from the US. According to the US Congressional Research Service,
Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed over $4 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.

Israel is mentioned twice in the charter, Article 17 calls the establishment of Israel “illegal, null, and void” and Article 19 as Israel as the spearhead of Colonialism. Let’s think about this for a moment, colonialism was really noticed when those filthy colonialists in the new world felt they should not have to pay the Crown any taxes for tea. Colonialism and the modern state of Israel came one or two hundred years after islam, yet islam has been at war with colonialism and Israel. The last time I saw such a time/space differential was on Doctor Who.

Furthermore, since 2008 the US has given an average of $600 million per year to Abbas and Gaza Strip NGO’s. Which NGO’s operate freely and openly throughout Gaza, I have no idea; however, if the islamic powers there run aid like I have personally witnessed in Mogadishu in particular, and Somalia in general, there are only islamic aid organizations there. Again, if these organizations operate as in Somalia, then we can rest assured that aid is siphoned, skimmed, and sold before getting to the hands of anyone who is truly in need.

Aid and other details like who shot who and who stabbed who notwithstanding, let’s just consider the Charter of 1968 which established the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Yasser Arafat. In the Preamble, if you will, the Charter mentions the Palestinian homeland 4 times in 7 sentences. It also chastises the UN for supporting acts against the PA. Forgive me for my confusion, but I see the PA as now demanding and all but begging for entrance into the UN as a nation even though it denounces the UN and its founding principles. Another obvious point which I see in the charter is that these people are consistently using the term Palestinian Arab. Shouldn’t the Saudi ARABIANS offer up some of their land? It’s not like there is a shortage of sand to build on in Saudi Arabia.

Also in the Preamble is the statement that there is a right to a free and dignified life. Now, perhaps it is that I was raised in the West and understand that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness is guaranteed. To me this means that I have the right to pursue, to seek after , to attempt to attain happiness. The US Constitution does not guarantee or promise that I get to live my life happily ever after. In contrast, the Palestinian charter seems to say that they have suffered enough and that the world has to keep them happy.

The lands in which Palestine is alleged to be is an area that has been fought over and divided by the victors for centuries. In 1947 the British won the conflict that left them with te lands and people to care for. Not able to afford the care and feeding of all these new lands while rebuilding itself after the intense bombardment they suffered at the hands of the Germans, Tthe Brits apportioned the land to its allies, a normal custom for the victor in war. I believe that islamic law gives instruction for the apportioning of the spoils of war. We can look at the ninth century legal work of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani who authored The Islamic Law of Nations: Shaybani’s Siyar the instructions are to first invite infidels to become muslim. If they say no, then invite them to leave their lands. If they refuse to leave but become muslims, then they can partake in no spoils of war, like the Bedouin. The invited is also to be offered an opportunity to pay lizya, which is an ongoing ransom for their lives.

Clearly, the dividing up of the spoils of war is something which is understood and practiced by the muslim; yet, they take issue at it now because the Palestinians lost in the war ending in 1947.

At any rate, the UN Security Council is going to vote on the recognition of Palestinian Statehood. This is not very comforting, considering that the UN and the UNSC have not been able to come to a single definition of things like Terrorism, support of human rights, and slavery. Even though my blog has been hacked and some of the material is gone, much of the profiles I put together on the UNSC members is still there. Of interest, Brazil, Gabon, Bosnia, Lebanon, and Nigeria are all going to be off of the UNSC as of December 31st this year. Human trafficking and child prostitution are about the worst I can currently say comes to mind when I think about Bosnia and Brazil. Sadly, Gabon, Lebanon, and Nigeria are awash with violence, human rights violations, rape and torture in prisons, enforced disappearances still continue as do child soldiers and child prostitution. The next five are going to be India, Colombia, Germany, Portugal, and South Africa. India is fighting its own wars against islamic hordes and on many fronts. Colombia is also fighting drug cartels and renegade soldiers. Germany has been relatively kind to the world since that whole 1947 thing. Portugal is a wonderful spot for state instituted child prostitution and abuse of minors. Visit Portugal, it is lovely, just do not be an orphan there.

In short, a bunch of violent, paranoid, extreme governments, some being antithetical to openly hostile to the West and Israel, are going to vote on another state that aligns with their anti-West stance while we and our allies are liable to vote against it. In order to be recognized by the UN as a state the UNSC must vote in favor by nine for the Palestinians.

Iran wants to see this happen, although they are not on the UNSC I believe that the Iran/Syria alliance is going to be used to directly pressure Lebanon, already paying Syria to not wipe it off the map, into voting for Palestine.

Nigeria is facing near daily violence by muslims against Christians and its own governing bodies. Not want to light the short fuse to an already volatile situation, Nigeria is going to vote for Palestine.

Bosnia has not forgotten the violence, nor has its Croat/Bozhniak alliance weakened. If not abstaining, it will probably go to vote yes for Palestine.

China and Russia will most assuredly vote yes, as a Palestinian state would just be a pain and an expense to the US and the West. That makes five, right off the top for Palestine.

France, US, and the UK will vote no.

Even though Obama is no friend of Israel, he will vote against Palestine. Not for ideology, but for votes from the Jewish community in the US which has historically supported the Democratic Party. If it were not for the loss of NY District 9, I believe that Obama would have voted for recognition of Palestine.

I am loathe predicting the others, but may give it some consideration. My experience in the Middle East and West Africa tells me that the vote, either way, is not going to pass without violence.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Obama Rebuffed

Even though the State Department lists three Palestinian organizations as Terrorist Groups, the US Administration is still giving them the benefit of the doubt by saying that, in three months or so, we might be able to readress this statehood thing.

Those three groups are Palestine Liberation Front, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinians. Appeasement has gained nothing good. It has only earned open derision from states which Obama tries to woo but have always stood against us.

http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/09/al-assad-to-obama.html
http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm


The full article from Real Clear Politics (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2011/09/21/obama_rebuffed_as_palestinians_pursue_un_seat_263984.html)

Week In Review, September 23, 2011

Week In Review
Obama continues to quietly support states in the Middle East that have been no friend to the US. While avoiding ongoing slaughter in Syria he shows open disregard to disdain for Israel, the only true ally that the West has had along the Arab Street.

During the week Obama met with a very little announced (overlooked, underreported, ignored) counter terror task force. This Global Counterterrorism Task Force (GCTF) is to focus on critical civilian needs. It is to be sponsored by the US and run administratively by the US, at what cost I have no idea. I do know that it will operate along with the UN to further the UN’s global counter terror strategy. So far as I knew, one had to have a definition of terrorism and, to date, the UN does not have an agreed upon, set in stone, global definition for “terrorism”. I am so thrilled to see another avenue for more failed policies and way to waste US tax dollars. Seriously, we have all been witness to the unmitigated failure of the UNSC and its “strongest sanctions to date” against states like North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Who is on this strategic-level platform for policy making? The 30 founding members, benefitting from an Obama Jobs Initiative,  of the GCTF are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I do not feel comfortable giving these other governments more say in how we conduct our nation’s terrorism defense/offense and policies. I am going to do a profile sheet for each of the members of this panel and publish it in the next few weeks. Another toothless organization with empty promises is going to waste more time, money, and lives to accomplish nothing. My suggestion is to stand strong and respond to a bloody nose with a bloody nose and breaking of the knee.

The USFWS, under the astute direction of Obama appointee Daniel M. Ashe,  has impeded job growth, slowed the economy, restricted freedoms, restricted access to American lands by American people, is being used as a proxy arm of the government to black mail and beat into submission organizations like Gibson that are not supporters of the regime, and is being used, in a manner of speaking, to promote American reliance on terrorist supporters for oil.  Those supporters I am alluding to area primarily OPEC socialistic states who have openly and through their policies towards the West shown disdain to all out hate of the United States.

The TSA reared its ugly head again … no, not Napolitano, just the organization, I had not seen any pictures of her show up this week. TSA screeners and agents reportedly arrested for charges to include lewdness with a child, statutory rape, continued theft of thousands of dollars from passengers, to the benignly intrusive inspection and scalp probing of a black woman’s afro. The score board looks something like; terrorists identified, none … enlarged prostates identified, 1.356. An this only at a cost of some $43 billion dollars this year.

Oil is down to about $85 per barrel, but we continue to pay out the nose for it at the pump and for heating our houses.  The supply is good, but the demand is apparently better. I am going to do my best to boycott oil and gas by running my Prius on Amzoil (American Synthetic Oil, great stuff!!) and deriving the bulk of my house heat from a wood burning stove and extra sweaters.


Google+

Good morning, all!! I am now on Google+, so, please, look for me there so we can all link up and connect.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Been Hacked

Hey, folks! I am dismayed and excited to report that I have been hacked. Since there are some 46 of you following me and loads of people checking me out, I have to tell you taht someone has hacked my blogger and removed the Iran OPEC Oil posts as well as the Chinese UNSC profile report. Sadly, those pieces are not archived, but I can re-research them repost them again!

I want to thank you all for signing up and for coing back. You are the greatest! More to com ...

The Price of Oil Today

Oil is around $85.92 per barrel. This works out to $1.56 per gallon of oil. The general rule of thumb is to add one dollar to get into the neighborhood of what the cost of gas should be at the pump. Based on that logic, we should only be paying $2.56 per gallon. But, we are far from that, aren’t we? I am paying $3.60, roughly, per gallon. Let’s take this price and back track it with the Rule of Thumb math we just went over. First, subtract a dollar to get $2.60 now multiply this by 55 for the price of one barrel of oil. This gets us $143 for a barrel of oil. Why is it that, if this general rule holds, we are paying $143 per barrel prices when the market is $85.92 dollars per barrel? Shouldn’t we be paying $2.56 or so?

A number of factors go into breaking down the cost of each barrel, taxes being the big one for the government and feeding the industry beast is the other portion. I found an article at redstate.com which broke the costs down by percentages, and this seems to hold true on other sites.

68% is the cost of the oil
13% is refining
12% is taxes
7% is marketing and distribution

With the current price of $85.92 per barrel, the actual cost of the oil is $58.42. The cost of refining that is $11.17. The taxes, give to Caesar what is Caesars’, comes out to be $10.31. The marketing and distribution portion of this comes to $6.01 per barrel.

It seems that someone is getting a raw deal! Seriously, where is that extra one dollar per gallon going? –The Federal Trade Commission wants to know that, too. The FTC appears to feel that Price Gouging is afoot. The view that there is anti-competition activity or a plot to boost profits is one that, for now, is held mostly by democrats, according to www.oil-prices.net. The FTC is also going to look at refinery outputs and maintenance schedules. The International Energy Agency disagrees with pricing gouging, rather it feels that supply and demand is the answer for the cost of gas.

Won’t our oil fields keep us going for 60 to 100 years? That is what some emails would have us believe. That we could run ourselves completely on US oil and natural gas for several decades on our potential is not in question, what the realistic numbers are is the question. Snopes.com information shows there is enough oil available in the Bakken (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana) Area to answer the US demand for oil for one year. It did not, as I recall, cover the oil fields in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, our continental shelves, and so forth. We have roughly 112 billion barrels of untapped oil potential and 656 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This could keep us going for another 100 to 120 years; provided we do not refine our methods of using the fuel and develop other sources of driving our country.

The Snopes article leans towards a timeline of 20 years to have the technology available to extract all of the oil reserves we currently have. I believe that we should start extracting and refining now so that we can stay on top of or ahead of the technologic curve to which snopes refers.

We, as a nation, import just over 50% of the oil we use. The overall amount of petroleum used in America has gone down over the last five years. So, the demand is dropping and the market responds by increasing prices to offset the profit loss. This market opinion is what the IEA believes is going on. Based on that theory, I bought a 2005 Prius and have put more than 160,000 thousand miles on it.  Due to the market supply/demand factor I burn less fuel per mile, my demand has decreased while the supply remains the unchanged. More people are using less fuel for driving and home heating and industry. So, if the demand decreases in the system and supply remains unchanged, shouldn’t the price drop? It seems to me that the FTC is onto something.

I wish that I knew who was getting that missing one extra dollar per gallon. With 4,304.533 barrels imported into the US in 2010 that is a good amount of money I would like to get my fingers on.

The question, sadly, remains unanswered as to why we are paying $3.56 per gallon when, based on the actual cost, we should be paying $2.56 per gallon.
www.oil-prices.net
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/11/shocker-domestic-oil-production-down-foreign-imports-up/
http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=us&v=91
http://205.254.135.24/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MTTIMUS1&f=A
www.pdc.com/us/nes
http://205.254.135.24/oog/info/twip/twip.asp
http://www.redstate.com/

More Good News From the TSA

“And, here’s ANOTHER fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Napolli!!” is likely what the bloated government would say to its sidekick.

Another TSA agent has been arrested and accused of rape.

Clifton Lyles, who worked at the Nashville International Airport, was arrested earlier this week in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and charged with statutory rape. His bond was set at $10,000, according to NewsChannel 5 WTVF-TV in Nashville.

Earlier this month, a TSA employee was arrested in Nevada and charged with six counts of lewdness with a child.

In March of 2010, a TSA worker was arrested in Massachusetts and charged with statutory rape, enticement of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, a Boston news station reported.

The agency has weathered a number of criminal accusations since its inception in late 2001 following the September 11 attacks.

In February, the TSA admitted in federal court that a supervisor and two TSA agents were arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in cash from the luggage of travelers. Another employee was arrested and fired for assaulting a co-worker in a dispute over a parking space.

Several days before the TSA admission of guilt, a TSA security officer at Newark Liberty International Airport pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and kickbacks from a colleague who regularly stole money from passengers during security screenings, Reuters reported.

Passenger theft by TSA employees is a nationwide problem, writes Howard Portnoy. According to TSA records, press reports, and court documents, around 500 TSA officers have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage.

Airports in New York City harbor the most flagrant offenders, according to Portnoy, “but virtually no city in the nation is safe from the TSA’s sticky fingers.”

Violence is also a problem. In August, a former TSA employee was charged with a federal hate crime after he allegedly attacked an 83-year-old Somali man on May 4, 2010.

Another recent headline goes into how a black woman had to let TSA agents run their fingers through her hair. One gent I work with says that this is just part of the cost of living in a free society. This is an outrage! That we, the people, have to pay taxes in order to support an organization that is inept, has not found or foiled one actual threat, has repeatedly been found to not do adequate background checks, employs rapists, power-hungry abusers, pedophiles, molesters, thieves, and has even found some of its employees to be assisting drug couriers is a disgusting and absolute outrage! All this and more for a paltry 2011 proposed budget was $43.6 BILLION dollars. No terrorist acts caught at the gate for a price tag of $43.6 billion dollars just this year and our personal as well as national dignity is all it costs.

But, wait! There’s more! Call now and receive a signed picture of Michael Chertoff and Sam the Eagle titled Separated at Birth.

http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/the_black_diaspora_news/32673
http://www.infowars.com/another-tsa-employee-accused-of-rape/

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Iran, Obama, UN, and a Litany of Failed Policies


In March 2009 newly frocked President Obama offered Iran a ‘new beginning’. The world quickly learned that the policy change and new beginning required by Iran was for the West to fully embrace a nuclear Iran. When Iran did not unclench their fist, the US extended sanctions against Iran. Still, Iran moved forward on its nuclear ambitions. The message was that the West will stand here and say “Stop, or I’ll say ‘stop’ again” (thank you, Robin Williams for that line).

The new sanctions, which were followed by more sanctions, were to show Iran the strength of international resolve against a nuclear [People’s] Republic of Iran. Those sanctions, as all the others, were quickly and flagrantly violated. Obama leads the world to say stop and holds out his hand. Iran responds with an end run around Obama while laughing and spouting rhetoric to its allies. The message was “West, get bent.” March 9, 2010 Obama's Iran Policy Collapses to the Accompaniment of Mockery Around the Globe is the title of an article I reposted just weeks ago.

In spite of Western good will and the UNSC’s “strongest sanctions to date” against Iran, Iran was moving forward with intent towards its stated goals of nuclear power. The sanctions against Iran wer to make it harder for Iran to get refined petroleum; either they really do not need that much refined petroleum or Iranian leadership does not care about the needs of its own people. I look at the killing of Iranian protestors in Tehran and can only think that Iran doesn’t really care about its people. But, that’s just me, maybe it was tough love or something like that. This ‘goodwill’ in my terms amounts to ‘appeasement’ which has never worked with dictatorial regimes.

Fast forward to today and we see that Iranian president Mahmud Ahmedinijad is giving a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Michelle Bachmann wants Obama to block that speech. Bachmann points out that Ahmedinijad “… has proven he is in violation of the United Nations charter and of international law," Bachmann declared. "Since he is, in the most literal sense, an outlaw, he should not be allowed in the United States of America." I would push to take it further; the US should arrest Ahmedinijad and hold him for the International Criminal Courts. However, we have treaty obligations which require us to permit this mass murdering talking head come in and have his say.

The GOP has taken note, as have you the observant and inquiring readers, that Obama’s policies towards the Middle East are amateurish and have failed and many are blaming Obama for the most contentious of issues which are ongoing during this UN Assembly. Mitt Romney has pointedly said what I have been saying, that is by giving Palestine a state the entire Middle East Peace Process is being thrown under a bus with Israel.
Peaceful discourse, mutually supportive policies, economic growth, and the realization of certain inalienable rights to all peoples is one way of summarizing US goals and diplomatic efforts. Achieving these goals anywhere has proven difficult. Achieving these goals in the Middle East has proven impossible, at least for the past several decades. Dealing with Iran and Syria has been emblematic of this struggle faced by US policy makers.


In short, the Middle East is ruled by iron fisted dictators that visit their sadistic pleasures against their citizens, routinely and violently attack neighbors based on issues as seemingly trivial as what form of religion they practice, and smile too sweetly at the US with their hands extended either for a questionable handshake or for money. Unless the West drastically changes its political will and stands tall with testicular fortitude, the Middle East WILL devolve further from our vision of peace and further into chaos. The problem with deepening chaos is that the entire world will feel that pain. How much oil do we depend on these sanctimonious psychopaths for? How much of the worlds trade travels through their regions? How much are we going to have to pay in our own ransom before there is another knife at our global throat?

My suggestion is to stand strong and respond to a bloody nose with a bloody nose and breaking of the knee.