Monday, August 24, 2009
Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy -
In this issue:
2. MA Senate
3. VA Death
4. Missing Ship
1. Brazil. The Obama administration finally found an offshore location where they can support oil and natural gas exploration. Unfortunately it is the huge offshore discovery on the east coast of Brazil. The US-controlled Export-Important Bank announced last week they would be working toward making the Brazilian owned oil company Petrobras $2 billion to help fund new exploration. It also appears that George Soros knew this loan was going to happen, and that the Ex-Im Bank was going to be making the loans, as Soros Fund Management, LLC repositioned itself to make significant profits with the sales and purchase of differing types of Petrobras preferred stocks a few days before the loan was announced. Insider trading, anyone? It is bad enough that the environmentalists of the Religious Left that infest the Obama administration and congress won’t allow any American corporations to explore, drill and produce oil and natural gas in known locations off the east coast, west coast and Alaska. But the very same administration is actually loaning – loaning Brazil billions of dollars to develop their own resources. This is utterly insane, and with the Soros connection, appears to be a policy that only will enrich Obama supporters and their cronies. Gasoline prices here in Anchorage are over $3.10/gal and rising. Town Hall attendees might want to ask their congresscritters – at least those with the cojones to schedule and attend Town Hall meetings - what is going on here and why. Hot Air, Weds.
2. MA Senate. Ted Kennedy (D, MA) is dying of what some bloggers have referred to as the Mary Jo Kopechnie Memorial Brain Tumor. He will not be with us long. Good riddance. Last week a letter was sent in his name to the MA Governor, Deval Patrick, asking for the State of Massachusetts to change the succession law for empty US Senate seats for the second time in five years. The law was most recently changed in 2004, when it appeared that incumbent democrat John Kerry was going to get elected to the presidency. At the time, the sitting governor was Mitt Romney (R), and the democrats did not want a Republican appointed open senate seat to replace Kerry. The MA Assembly changed state law to require a special election be held within five months to do the replacement, taking it out of the hands of the sitting governor. That law was passed and signed into law. Now, with a sitting democrat governor and a dying democrat senator, MA no longer trusts the citizenry (assuming they ever did in the past), and is now looking at changing the law back to what it was in 2004. Hot Air, Thurs.
3. VA Death. With all the sound and fury over Sarah Palin’s description of ObamaCare as “death panels’, we find that Obama’s Veteran’s Administration has resurrected a 1997 publication entitled “Your Life, Your Choices.” The publication was produced during the Clinton administration by a “medical ethicist” named Perlman, who has advocated for physician - assisted suicide before the SCOTUS and supports health care rationing. As an aside, it has been my experience that every single “medical ethicist” invariably is a supporter of death, so be very careful when any of them get close to you or a loved one. Perlman’s book is 52 pages long, was published in 1997, and quickly became the living will model throughout the VA system. Once the Bush administration took office and found out how it was being used, it suspended the program and the publication. Obama’s VA Administration, former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, has reinstated the program. The publication, though not being actively used by the VA, was updated in 2007 – 2008 by a panel of “experts”, including a representative from the Hemlock Society. Here’s the problem: This program gives a government agency responsible for the care of seriously injured Americans – the single payer or universal insurer – a vehicle for providing a not so subtle push to opt out of living as a solution to long term care of the fundamentally disabled. The government should not have this power, which is why what the VA is doing along these lies is fundamentally evil. It is also why Death Panels are unnecessary in ObamaCare, as the entire thing becomes a Death Panel (borrowing from Dick Morris). WSJ, Tues.
4. Missing Ship. Ed Morrissey in Hot Air Thursday reported on the odd story of a hijacked Russian ship that has been missing for three weeks. The ship was hijacked off the coast of Sweden (or France, as the details are still in flux). Russian military announced Tuesday that the ship had been found and the hijackers arrested. There was no word regarding the crew, the cargo or the destination. However, a Russian opposition group charged that the ship had been significantly modified in the Russian port of Kalingrad, with a large internal bulkhead removed. The opposition group believes that this was an attempt to ship illicit nuclear materials to some nation that the Russian government under Putin wants to support. At this time, nobody is talking, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility for the hijackers to be military from another nation, the nuclear materials removed, and the ship returned to the Russians afterwards. I expect more of this story to come dribbling out over the course of the next several months.
5. Stealing. When the weather is nice here in Alaska as it has been this summer, we are treated to the activities of all manner of vermin – some small, some quite large, most with fur, and occasionally some without fur and standing on two feet. There is a firefighter’s camp in the Palmer – Wasilla area north of Anchorage. It is the staging camp for firefighters in state fighting our large summertime fires. These guys are all volunteers, mostly from the Lower 48, all young, and all very welcome by the locals. This particular team returned to camp after two weeks out fighting a large fire in the interior to find the facility has been ransacked while they were gone. Every single locker had been broken into; five vehicles were stolen; over 20 had been damaged; and the entire facility had been trashed. The call went out to law enforcement and the citizenry to hunt these guys down. As of Thursday, two of them were arrested four hours south of Palmer in Kenai in one of the stolen trucks. I do not expect these two to be the only ones involved and I do not expect their time in jail to be a pleasant one, as their life as they used to know it is now over.
6. KABTA. Now that we have a new Mayor in Anchorage and the AMATS Committee has a new pro-Knik Arm Bridge majority, we are seeing that new majority undo the damage done to the project by the leftists over the last six months. Last week, a lawsuit against a recent AMATS decision to remove the bridge from the short term project list and delay it until well after 2016 was withdrawn, as AMATS reversed itself and reinstated the project. The leftists had bypassed the formal process in their effort to derail the project before a new, conservative Anchorage Mayor was sworn in, and got sued by the Mayors of Wasilla and Houston (who would be on the far end of the bridge) for failure to adhere to the public process. This is very, very good news and a great outcome. Sometimes the Good Guys win.
7. Recession. Mark Steyn wrote a column that appeared in the Orange County Register Friday describing the utter failure of Obama’s recession fixes. He noted that we are 20 months into this recession, with unemployment continuing to climb at 9.4%, and the economy continuing to contract. On the other hand, the nations that did not decide to go the massive government stimulus route are starting to post positive economic growth. The three nations that chose to go the statist route – the US, Great Britain and Italy – are still mired in recession. Steyn also describes our impending debtor status as a nation:
Actually, when I say "to less effect," that's not strictly true: Due to Obama, one of the least-indebted developed nations is now one of the most indebted – and getting ever more so. We've become the third most debt-ridden country, after Japan and Italy. According to last month's IMF report, general government debt as a percentage of GDP will rise from 63 percent in 2007 to 88.8 percent this year and to 99.8 percent of GDP next year.
This needs to stop. Now.
More later -
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia
State House, August 1, 1776.
Note: Interesting Items can be found at the following locations:
The Alaska Standard http://thealaskasta
MatSuValley News http://www.matsuval
District 28 http://www.dist28.
subscriber and supporter Elbert Collins at http://thatselbert.
and the home page: http://home.
Rod Martin's The Vanguard site is also a long-time supporter of this column: http://www.thevangu