Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 7, 2008 - Paris in August

This is August, granted…the beginning of August, but still August…the dog days. Nothing much usually happens now. It’s way too hot and humid; too many people away on vacation in the U.S., and the European’s are all on holiday; the big troublemakers - politicians – are laying low, even those running for office are just coasting; and there’s not enough critical mass of anything to care about south of the Equator to make a difference, even if it’s cooler down there now.

Growing up in New York City, this was the time of year when people who didn’t have enough money to go away to the shore or the mountains, would come out of their apartments after it got a little dark, and the pavement started to cool off. Breath a little cooler fresh air, maybe get a cold drink at the candy store, and bs with some folks out on the stoop, on the corner, or maybe sitting on the rail fence around a park. You felt connected - there were others who were seeing the same things you were - maybe not the same way, but you knew you weren’t alone in understanding that there was an issue. After a bit, you’d head back to the apartment with no air-conditioning, go through your end of night routine, and maybe, after a while, get some sleep to the buzz of the fan (yeah, we were rich).

But, since we’re all living in oil-fueled, air-conditioned houses now, with wide-band internet connections, we’re part of the matrix. No need to leave the house to connect, just click. Here we go…….

A picture is worth a 1000 words, and in this case, it says it all about the current Presidential Election. Paris Hilton’s ad on energy makes more sense than either McCain or Obama’s position. If you haven’t seen it… here it is: Paris Hilton strips down to reveal "hot" energy plan

The unfortunate aspect of August, is that since nobody’s around to pay attention, some really significant information just gets lost in the stack. For instance:

Iraq casualty statistics
A new report for members of Congress from the Congressional Research Service provides some astounding statistics:
During the five-year period from March 19, 2003 to April 5, 2008, 4,005 members of our armed forces died in Operation Iraqi Freedom from all causes including illness and accident. This averages 801 deaths per year -- and every one a tragedy.

But the CRS also reports that in 2003, the total number of deaths among members of the active-duty US armed forces totaled 1,410 -- which means that Iraq accounted for a bit more than 50 percent of the total. The corresponding numbers for 2004 are 1,873, for 2005 up slightly to 1,941 and for 2006 down slightly to 1,875.

What's astonishing is that the corresponding number of active-duty deaths for 1982 -- President Reagan's first full year in office -- is 2,319. In 1989 - when President Reagan left office in January to be succeeded by President George H.W. Bush - total military deaths were 1,693.

In short, what the CRS study shows is that each year between 1,000 and 2,000 members of our active-duty armed forces die regardless of whether we're at war or peace.

In case you were wondering, back in 1980 -- President Jimmy Carter's last full year in office -- the total number of active-duty military deaths was 2,392 - higher than the number in any year of George W. Bush's presidency.

Here's another story that will get buried by the "Dog Days"

Getting back to NY’s Sen. Chuckie Schumer……
Jerry Bowyer had an interesting perspective on why a federal official with enormous power, would destroy an institution on which tens of thousands of depositors (not all of whom are insured) and employees depend. Why would a New York Senator attack a Pasadena bank, acting as some sort of amateur, self-appointed, long-distance bank examiner?

Perhaps this might help answer the question: Indymac has been under attack from the hard left. The Center for Responsible Lending issued an attack on Indymac within a few days of Schumer’s letter. CRL is part of a small army of left of center “research” groups, community organizers, and public interest law firms who make their living accusing home lenders of racial redlining and predatory lending. On June 20th the Center accused Indymac of unfair practices regarding minority borrowers.

A suspicious person might think that a network of lefty attack groups proficient in bank bashing and frequently funded by trial lawyers and short-sellers, coordinated their activities with a law firm on the hunt and a Senator who works closely with the network.

On the other hand, maybe it is a coincidence that CRL and Sen. Schumer attacked the same bank in the same week. Maybe he didn’t know about the CRL report, nor CRL about his letter. Maybe the community group didn’t know about the trial-lawyer class action lawsuit which was launched against Indy a couple of weeks before all of this started.
Yeah, right.

More on the Goracle..... (When I see him I think of Elmer Gantry, or Imus' Rev. Billy Sol Hargis. He must be the psychiatric equivalent to the instant pregnancy you believe him? yes?......your crazy!)

Al Gore’s massive new boat, “Bio-Solar One” (yes, that is appropriately, BS-1)

Steve Gill has the goods on Gore’s “Bio-Solar One”–which is supposed to be environmentally acceptable because it’s biodiesel-fueled and solar-powered.

Only, it didn’t have the solar panels until local whistleblowers called attention to it (his spokespeople now say the panels will be installed today) and has instead been plugged in, “sucking a lot of energy from the ‘evil’ energy companies,” as Gill points out:
How many conscience-easing carbon offsets do you think this behemoth will need? (check out the pictures)

Why is no one talking about Mexico troops invading the U.S.?

Here’s another story that get’s buried because it’s too inconvenient for both the Liberal press and our politicians to deal with.

Border patrol agent held at gunpoint

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was held at gunpoint Sunday night by members of the Mexican military who had crossed the border into Arizona, but the soldiers returned to Mexico without incident when backup agents responded to assist.

Agents assigned to the Border Patrol station at Ajo, Ariz., said the Mexican soldiers crossed the international border in an isolated area about 100 miles southwest of Tucson and pointed rifles at the agent, who was not identified.

It was unclear what the soldiers were doing in the United States, but U.S. law enforcement authorities have long said that current and former Mexican military personnel have been hired to protect drug and migrant smugglers.

"Unfortunately, this sort of behavior by Mexican military personnel has been going on for years," union Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) said on its Web page. "They are never held accountable, and the United States government will undoubtedly brush this off as another case of 'Oh well, they didn't know they were in the United States.'

Since 1996, there have been more than 200 confirmed incursions by the Mexican military into the United States. So much for our soveriegnty....

How General Petraeus Saved the U.S. Economy

Where would oil prices be today had we abandoned Iraq to civil war and al Qaeda? What if President Bush had announced on Jan. 10, 2007, that instead of surging U.S. troops under the command of General Patraeus, he was ordering their withdrawal?

Right now, Iraq is pumping out some 2.4 million barrels of petroleum a day. (That's about what the country was producing before the war and double the level of production at its post-liberation low point.) But given tight global oil markets, what would the price of oil be—and what would the state of the U.S. economy be—with perhaps all of those 2.4 million barrels off the market?

Hurricane Katrina took about 2.4 million barrels off the market (because of refining shutdown and a halt to foreign oil deliveries), and oil prices spiked. Had [Saddam] remained in power, we would likely still believe he had WMD. He would have been sitting on an oil bonanza priced at $140 a barrel. He would almost certainly have broken free from an already crumbling sanctions regime. The U.S. would be faced with not one, but two, major adversaries in the Persian Gulf. Iraqis would be living under a regime that, in an average year, was at least as murderous as the sectarian violence that followed its collapse. And the U.S. would have seemed powerless to shape events.

Here’s another general issue that needs to be highlighted, along with a couple of specific issues. It’s amazing that so many people in this country of amazing accomplishments, have such a defeatist attitude.

How many times did your hear that we had to accept the fact that all the illegal immigrants would have to be given amnesty, because there was no way that we could remove them? Those that said “just enforce the laws” were scoffed at….that was too simplistic. Well, obviously not……..

Tide of illegal immigrants now being reversed

Some 1.3 million illegal immigrants have left the United States since Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the summer of 2007. If the trend continues, according to a new study, the nation's illegal population will drop by half in the next five years.

Moreover, reports the Center for Immigration Studies, young Hispanic immigrants began heading south before the nation's economy did – a clue that what's driving the new outmigration is a stepped-up border and workplace enforcement, not a souring US job market.

The source of the report – a think tank with a record of opposing illegal and even some legal immigration – is controversial in immigrant communities. But its findings could help frame the debate in a new Congress and a new administration.

If you recognize that what was held by some to be impossible, in having the illegals self-deport in response to just a no-welcome sign, maybe - just maybe -we could also start seeing oil pumped from our coast areas, in two years, too.

Now for some lighter stuff......

Forget the Dark Knight, here's the original 1920s Batman vs. Joker

F-22 Supermanouverability

The anti-gravity card Trick

Randy Newman - Louisiana 1927

Video Of The Week

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