“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What Do Arabs Think as They Enjoy $110 Oil?

Not Scranton

Poll shows Arabs' dislike for US

By Kim Ghattas
BBC News, Washington

Most Arabs feel Iraqis would be able to bridge their differences if US troops left.

Eight out of 10 people in the Arab world have a negative view of the US, according to a new poll.

By extension, governments supported by the US are unpopular, found the survey, which was released in Washington.

A recent BBC World Service survey found views of the US had started to improve by 4% globally, although they remained negative in the Arab world.

Only 6% of Arabs believe the US troop surge in Iraq has worked, according to the latest poll.

It was carried out by the University of Maryland and Zogby International.

A majority of Arabs believe that if US troops withdraw from Iraq, Iraqis would be able to bridge their differences, the survey found.

In contrast, an ABC/BBC poll conducted in Iraq and released in March, appeared to show a 20% increase in the number of Iraqis who felt the surge was succeeding and described the security situation as good.

Nasrallah's popularity

While the Western-backed Lebanese government has reasonable appeal in its own country, the latest survey indicates it has barely any support in the Arab world.

Some 30% of Arabs sympathise with the Lebanese opposition, led by Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran.

Across the Arab world, Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is also the most popular leader, followed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The three leaders are seen as the only ones standing up against US influence in the region.

And while Sunni rulers in the region worry about Shia Iran's growing influence, ordinary Arabs don't seem to view Iran as a threat.

Almost half of Arabs believe that if Tehran acquires nuclear weapons the outcome for the region would be more positive than negative.


  1. Cause they're illiterate bitter left behind gun loving mosque going koran reading xenophobes. Really.

  2. The folks I reference are the majority, not the sheiks in the hotels, who are enjoying the $110 oil.

  3. You are correct about airline safety, Al-Bop:
    The last major one in this country was the Airbus that mysteriously lost it's tail and landed on Long Island where a lot of the Firefighters lived.
    Somebody figured they had not endured enough yet.
    ...definitely freaked me out.
    Unmatched record since then, G_d knows how many take-offs and landings.

    In the same period of time little Hawaii has lost 4 or 5 Helicopters, and a bunch of light planes, including, sadly, 2 Air Ambulances.

  4. I sleep with my Mini-14,
    does that mean I'm bitter?

  5. Turkey's Turning Point

    Over the past seven years, the Bush administration has made many mistakes. Bush was correct to recognize the importance of democratization; bungled implementation has turned a noble ideal into a dirty word. By equating democracy only with elections, the State Department and National Security Council fumbled U.S. interests in Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon. One man, one vote, once; parties that enforce discipline at the point of a gun; and politicians who seek to subvert the rule of law to an imam’s conception of God do little for U.S. national security. Never again should the United States abandon its ideological compatriots for the ephemeral promises of parties that use religion to subvert democracy and seek mob rather than constitutional rule.

    Turkey is nearing the cliff.
    Please, Secretary Rice, do not push it over the edge.

  6. Eight out of 10 people in the Arab world have a negative view of the US, according to a new poll.

    Ellsworth Toohey: "Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."

    Howard Roark: "But I don’t think of you."

  7. Meanwhile, today in Iraq car bombings kill another 44 people and injure dozens more.

  8. Eight out of 10 people in the Arab world have a negative view of the US, according to a new poll.

    "Mutual, I'm sure."

    (young people won't get it.)

  9. Re: Doug's Michael Rubin link.

    Litigation and legal challenge. Use the host nation's law and courts against them. And what could be wrong with that? We're finding out.

    A friend of mine recently received a phone call from a CAIR rep asking if the medical school classifies Arabs as minorities.

    Some of that "$110 oil" will certainly trickle down and find itself funding the "good work on the mission field."

    Turkey will be an interesting case to watch. Many of its people are rabidly secular and a growing number have recently become more devout.

    "Round and round she goes and where she stops nobody knows."

  10. Oh Happy Day!

    The Israelis are snubbing Jimmy Carter

    But, he hopes to "circumvent" them.

  11. My last post for a while.

    Speaking of the law, don't miss Andrew McCarthy's interview over at National Review Online

    Read the whole thing.

  12. I think the west needs to raise prices on all food, medicine, weapons & technology it exports to all arab countries.

    The arabs dont like us? to fuckin bad... we dont like them

    but they have oil they sell us and we buy it...

    and we have computers, weapons, medicine, food and they buy it!

    so let's raise the price!

    in the end the arab peoples, the jackass seed of ishmael never will like us and so what?

    being a jew i have learned that most of the west never liked me, i just draw a line at them KILLING me...

    the same mutual respect for allow the otherside to live is the issue..

    now if the arab world hates us (the west, the jews, the hindus etc) fine, if they seek to destroy us? then it's time to kick them in the ass...

  13. whit said

    "Eight out of 10 people in the Arab world have a negative view of the US, according to a new poll.

    "Mutual, I'm sure."

    (young people won't get it.)"

    I like this line from the same movie. I think it sums up the middle east.

    "When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left."

    whit said...
    "My last post for a while."

    How long a while?

  14. WiO: I think the west needs to raise prices on all food, medicine, weapons & technology it exports to all arab countries.

    That will happen automatically from basic supply and demand. There's a big supply of dollars in the Middle East and a high demand for goods.

  15. The "average" Arab sees little benefit from $110 USD per barrel oil.

    The money is not dribbling down, but being put back into the financial system or being spent on grand construction projects. Projects where the workers earn a pittance.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. The local Wal-Mart sells a nice bunch of flowers, from $4.00 to $15.00 per bouquet.

    Product of Zimbabwae

    Must be air shipped, from halfway around the world, to be sold the bitter rubes in the desert.

    With US airlines failing due to the price of aviation fuel, flowers are shipped from Zimbabwae to Phoenix, and retailed @ around $8 bucks per bouquet.

    Free Trade, gotta love it.

  18. WiO has hit on a nice absurdity. Why are there no export tariffs on products going to countries that are part of the OPEC cartel?

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Thaddeus McCotter:
    "Free Trade with Free People!"
    Heard the Dude on the Radio, was so hoping he was Black, 'cause he'd be the first Repub Black President.
    Unfortunately, he's just a partially bald white guy from Michigan, but boy, does he tell it straight on us and the Chi-coms.
    OUR Promotion of Chi-com trade means they now CROWD OUT trade from countries that otherwise would benefit other countries like Culombia, and help them crawl out of poverty.
    ...just think if Walmart dollars went to So America instead of the the Slave State and future Hegemon, Red China.
    Hadn't thought of the crowding out aspect.
    ...give me my injectable medication from the Chi-com Pig Farmer, please!
    "Free Trade with Free People!"

  21. Because there is no conflict between the US amd those Middle Eastern oil producers.

    The price of oil, as a comodity has tracked the gold price, for the past forty years. Thete has been no price increase, based on a gold standard.

    The value of the US fiat currency is in flux, not the value of the gold and oil.

    An effect being marketed as a cause. To obscure the realities.

  22. Reality is your wealth in dollars done been depreciated, dude.

  23. The US is reaping the benefits, from a consumer standpoint, of trade with despots and tyrants.

    Then calling the trade "free".

    Oh so true.
    Product of Zimbabwae.

    In Paradise Valley.

    The Boners are winning, no doubt about it, while those who protest loudest, deny the influences of the cabal. Even its' existence, as if JFKerry and GWBush are not joined at the hip, on every sobstantial issue of the day.

    Differences only in the margins and rhetorical stylings.

  24. Miss Trish knowin you are a CONSPIRICIST.
    Who do you believe, me, or your lyin eyes?

  25. That's right doug, by design.

    To alleviate the wealth disparities, in America.

    Vincente Fox talked about it with Larry King. Said he and Bush were in agreement. The policies are in place, across the board.

    Immigration, Trade, Financial.

    Centralize further authority in the Fed, a non-governmental organization, over the mortgage markets. Combined with open borders and trade with despots.

    Hallmarks of Russell Company tactics, in China.

  26. Mayor Tony Villar in LA has publicly announced his intention to harmonize his policies with Mexico's, by meeting w/their Govt and finding out what they want of us.

  27. Phoenix Mayor Gordon calls for FBI investigation of Arpaio
    Letter to feds questions tactics; sheriff calls him 'disconnected'

    Casey Newton and JJ Hensley - Apr. 13, 2008
    The Arizona Republic

    In the wake of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office crackdowns on illegal immigrants throughout the Valley, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is calling on the FBI to investigate whether Sheriff Joe Arpaio has violated any civil-rights laws.

    In an April 4 letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Gordon asked the Justice Department's civil-rights division and the FBI to probe what Gordon calls a "pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests."
    Gordon's four-page letter details Arpaio's recent sweeps through predominantly Latino neighborhoods in Phoenix and Guadalupe.

    "Over the past few weeks, Sheriff Arpaio's actions have infringed on the civil rights of our residents," Gordon wrote. "They have put our residents' well-being, and the well-being of law enforcement officers, at risk."

    In his letter, Gordon says he was moved to write after Arpaio pledged to bring his sweeps to other Valley cities on an ongoing basis. Gordon, who is an attorney, asks that Arpaio be investigated for possible violations of four laws, including the Civil Rights Act and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act.
    Arpaio said it was ironic that Gordon drafted the letter on the same day that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials from Washington observed his deputies arresting residents and illegal immigrants in Guadalupe and approved of the sheriff's work.

    "I think the mayor is disconnected from the people he represents and he doesn't get the point. Now he's going to Washington to confuse the issue and try to get the public against me," Arpaio said Saturday. "It's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong."

    During the past month, sheriff's deputies and posse members, about 200 strong, have gone into neighborhoods with high Hispanic populations, citing drivers for routine traffic violations and detaining suspected illegal immigrants when federally trained deputies encounter them.

    The actions have sparked an outcry from civil-rights and immigrant-rights advocates and emboldened Arpaio's supporters.

    ICE officials have said repeatedly that Arpaio is not violating the formal agreement he has with their office allowing sheriff's deputies to enforce immigration laws.

    No mention of the actual numbers of illegals rounded up

  28. China has drawn the ire of the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and
    Evictions by forcibly displacing a disputed 1.5 million people without notice or
    compensation to build facilities for the 2008 Olympic Games. 

    It has been reported
    (link) that 5.3 million
    Chinese will not only completely lose their backyards and homes, but will see
    1,490 towns and villages destroyed by the time the Three Gorges Dam on the
    Yangtze River is completed. Shockingly,

    CNN reported
    on a confrontation between city inspectors and NIMBYs in the
    town of Tianman who were trying to prevent trucks from dumping of waste near
    their homes.  Wei Wenhua, a blogger and construction company executive, was
    recording the event on his cell phone until 50 city inspectors turned on him and
    beat him to death. 

  29. (if that's Wu, no Wei Hees from the Peanut Gallery, please)

  30. Gannett Newspapers sees it this way

    This is the sort of appalling treatment of citizens and visitors alike that is guaranteed to multiply unless the feds take action now. Even one of Mayor Gordon's own staff - a Hispanic, needless to say - has been scrutinized by sheriff's deputies in one of the "sweeps."

    In this heated controversy, Gordon himself has much for which to answer. Had the mayor taken more decisive action - indeed, any action whatsoever - to protect the interests of Pruitt's Furniture store during that on-going circus of protesters on both sides squaring off, Arpaio at least may have been slower to fully assume the duties of federal immigration authorities.

    Now, we must endure the spectacle of sheriff's deputies and posse members using traffic stops and other barely concealed ruses to pretend they are not conducting racial-profiling. It is a demeaning and wholly unnecessary misuse of law enforcement.

    Unnecessary, that is, because the federal government has refused to do its job. It's time it started by responding to Gordon and investigating this brewing civil-rights catastrophe now engulfing Maricopa County.

  31. Mayor Tony has appealed to the Feds to NOT take any action against "responsible" long time illegal employers.
    ...should be spending more time on those who exploit illegals.
    (as if the whole thing is not based on exploitation)

  32. Iceland, in the New Yorker:
    Iceland’s Deep Freeze
    Insofar as Americans think about Iceland at all, it’s as a land whose remoteness belies a vibrant cultural scene featuring hipster titans, like Björk and Sigur Rós, and exceptional social conditions—it’s the top-rated country in the U.N.’s most recent human-development index. But in the financial world Iceland is now a hot topic of discussion for a different reason: many people suggest that it could become the “first national casualty” of the ongoing credit crunch. Until last year, Iceland’s economic track record in this decade had been phenomenal—its annual growth rate averaged close to four per cent over the past decade, and its per-capita gross national income is now higher than that of the U.S. This year, though, the country’s currency, the króna, has fallen twenty-two per cent against the euro; the economy has stagnated; and a global rating agency has put the nation’s three major banks on a credit watch. Now analysts are wondering whether the new Nordic Tiger will end up, instead, as “the Bear Stearns of the North Atlantic.”

    So how did Iceland get in so much trouble? That’s the odd part of the story: it isn’t because its banks gambled on the worthless subprime securities that helped undo Bear Stearns and so many others. Iceland’s banks prudently avoided the subprime market, even as they embarked on a lending boom at home and expanded abroad. What got Iceland in trouble was something more subtle: its banks got their money primarily from international investors, making the Icelandic miracle heavily dependent on foreign capital.

    In normal times, this might not have mattered, given the country’s solid economic fundamentals. But these aren’t normal times. The subprime crisis, in which investors realized that they had greatly underestimated the risks of lending to people with bad credit, has spawned a wider credit crunch: investors now suspect disaster behind every door, and even seemingly solid borrowers find credit much harder to come by. The subprime crisis was an earthquake that caused a tsunami: the quake has done plenty of damage on its own, but the tsunami looks set to do even more.

    Iceland has been swamped by that tsunami because it trusted in the availability of global credit in time for that credit to evaporate. And the fact that Iceland has been so dependent on foreign investors makes those investors even more skittish about investing there: in markets, weakness often begets weakness. Further, the country’s troubles have made it a potential target for speculators seeking to drive down the value of its currency and perhaps cause a run on the banks. In 1998, hedge funds purportedly worked together to attack Hong Kong’s currency and its stock market, an attack that was foiled only when the government bought up a sizable chunk of the stock market. It’s not clear that a similar cabal is gunning for Iceland—the governor of its central bank insists that one is—but the notion is certainly plausible: with a population the size of Pittsburgh and a central bank whose total reserves are less than five billion dollars, the country makes an easy target for hedge funds flush with cash.

  33. I sleep with my Mini-14,
    does that mean I'm bitter?

    Is it a forceful relationship, or do you say yes voluntarily?

  34. The price of oil, as a comodity has tracked the gold price, for the past forty years.

    Or, gold has tracked oil.

  35. Interesting (well, depressing) conversation with a former ICE agent in Texas who left because the corruption is endemic. Too many people on the take and everyone else has a bounty on his/her head.

    It's really sad that a hard business is also a rotten one.

  36. What was wrong with the Articles of Confederation anyways? Was the Constistution a conspiracy? (Rat, take notice)A conspiracy by the creditor classes? Has the Constitution taken away some our God-given liberties? Was there too much 'democracy' in the states at the time, and had to be dialed back a bit? The answers are advertised to be found in "Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constituion" by Woody Houlton, and I will keep you posted as I read on, read on.

  37. A Commodities Standard, then.

    Ten barrels of oil or an ounce of Gold, one and the same.
    Has been for most of my life.

    Oil reaching equivalency with gold, back when oil became vital to a thriving economy.

  38. Back in ancient times, I read, don't know if it is true, gold to silver was always about 35 to 1, for some reason, possibly having to do with the orbits of the planets, or somthin.

    habu has as much as admitted aenea is smarter than he is, based on racial considerations.

  39. What a bunch of sickening shit this is---

    Like most foreign dignitaries, Carter placed a wreath at the mausoleum of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

    U.S. President George W. Bush pointedly did not do so during his recent visit to Ramallah. The Bush administration had shunned Arafat, who died in 2004, accusing him of fomenting violence, an allegation he had denied.

    from an article

    peacemakers of the world unite

  40. I hope all is well with you and yours, whit.

  41. "How in the hell did you ever end up in a 90 min taxi drive? BWI to the District at a really bad time of day? Accident reducing lanes to one?"

    It was actually a bit stupider than that.

    The ride lasted 5 minutes. The argument/debate in the taxi while it was sitting next to the curb in front of my street lasted an hour and 25 minutes.

    He eventually threw in the towel.

  42. If you keep arguing with cabbies, you'll never get anything done.

  43. "Thaddeus McCotter":

    I saw this guy speak a few months ago concerning other stuff. Impressive enough I turned to the guy next to me and said I wished I could vote him for president.

  44. Damn, cutler. That's some tenacity.

  45. Hopefully free trade will lead to free people.

    Much cheaper than arms, pays for itself in fact.

  46. "If you keep arguing with cabbies, you'll never get anything done."

    Part of it was that I wasn't in a hurry to finish the first draft of my thesis which was due the next day...Allah willing, though, that's done for the time being.

    It was also a bit of a blast to the past. I wasted waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time when I was young arguing with people over internet forums. I remember once typing out the first 100 top scoring German fighter aces and where they got their kills to make a point.

    The guy had a Master's Degree in mathematics, so he wasn't stupid. First time I've ever heard anyone actually refer to CENTO, of all things, to make a point.

  47. desert rat said...

    ""The "average" Arab sees little benefit from $110 USD per barrel oil."

    The money is not dribbling down, but being put back into the financial system or being spent on grand construction projects. Projects where the workers earn a pittance"


    Isn't that the essence of Reganomics? The ole trickle down theory? It truly is a trickle.

    On your gold/oil price assertion. I did a quick google on it and it hardly seems cast in stone - the oil - gold price link. It seems much depends where you start your comparison. There is also little that is intrinsic in gold to make it a standard, other then it has been a standard. There is really not much these days in gold that is intrinsically good - it's a malleable metal true, but other then that... It's price is subject to manipulation as well. I found this article interesting though:

    "GOLD & OIL - Relative Values
    Co-authored by
    Frank Batten & Jack Weber
    To evaluate the cost of an item during a time of falling currency values, one must establish a beginning point -- hopefully in an objective way. To accomplish that, one must try to find a time when a condition of equilibrium existed, when all parties were satisfied with the price relationships between the products under consideration.

    We have picked 1933/34 as such a starting point, for the following reasons:

    1. The US dollar was gold backed and worth 100 cents.
    2. Gold was revalued to $35/ounce, and
    3. Oil was valued at approximately $1.50/barrel

    At that time, a state of equilibrium existed, and everyone was content with the relative values of these two commodities. Some who have written on this subject have chosen 1940 or 1950 as their beginning point, but these dates are flawed due to the fact that the US dollar was no longer worth 100 cents, having fallen drastically from the 1933/34 level. This was due to the US raising of the "official" gold price of $20.67 to $31.26 on 10/22/33 and the subsequent change from $31.26 to $35 on 1/30/34. By using the 1934-dollar value, one ounce of gold bought approximately 23 barrels of crude oil (and a higher quality crude, at that).

    In purchasing power, the 1933/34 US dollar is now worth about 3 cents and losing ground rapidly relative to commodities and other currencies. (Even the lowly 3-cent postage stamp of our youth now costs 39 cents - that's a 1300% increase!) Today's 3-cent dollar equates to oil at approximately $50/barrel, even with spot crude at $60. The current spot price of gold is about $525, which buys 8.5 barrels of oil. The salient point is: oil is no longer bought with gold (that may change sooner than most people think), but with paper, psuedo, or fiat "money." To equate today's oil price to gold, measured by a rubber yardstick (paper money) is a mistake. A return to a state of equilibrium regarding oil, gold and money, a rigid yardstick must be, and ultimately will be, used, to the exclusion of psuedo-money.

    To receive just 8.5 barrels of oil for an ounce of gold at $525/oz suggests something is considerably out of balance, historically. That "something" is the fact that heaven and hell has been moved to separate gold from the oil price."

  48. Apparently I'm going into a career of death-dealing, though.

  49. Shit, I just found out I passed my MA final exam "with distinction." (top 5%)

    Time to go get hammered!

  50. Part of it was that I wasn't in a hurry to finish the first draft of my thesis which was due the next day...Allah willing, though, that's done for the time being.

    Praise allah!

    But I think you had a lot more to do with it than he did:)

  51. Double Praise to allah!

    Congratulations, Cutler. You are a talented guy.

    Get a designated driver.

  52. Good for you, cutler. Good for you.

    Headline Story RSS ARCHIVE

    Source: U.S. Strike on Iran Nearing

    Monday, April 14, 2008 9:37 PM

    By: Jim Meyers

    Contrary to some claims that the Bush administration will allow diplomacy to handle Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a leading member of America’s Jewish community tells Newsmax that a military strike is not only on the table – but likely.

    “Israel is preparing for heavy casualties,” the source said, suggesting that although Israel will not take part in the strike, it is expecting to be the target of Iranian retribution.

    “Look at Dick Cheney’s recent trip through the Middle East as preparation for the U.S. attack,” the source said.

    Cheney’s hastily arranged 9-day visit to the region, which began on March 16, included stops in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, and the Palestinian territories.

    Tensions in the region have been rising.

    While Israel was conducting the largest homefront military exercises in its history last week, Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned Tehran about expected attacks on the Jewish state.

    “An Iranian attack will prompt a severe reaction from Israel, which will destroy the Iranian nation,” he said.

    He predicted that in a future war, “hundreds of missiles will rain on Israel,” but added that Iran “is definitely aware of our strength.”

    In addition to long-range missiles Iran has been developing to strike Israel, Israel’s military strategists see the Iranians using terror groups they back like Hamas operating from Palestine and Hezbollah from Lebanon to launch attacks.

    Iran has supplied Hezbollah with an arsenal that now contains “tens of thousands of missiles,” according to the Washington Post.

    IIsrael’s recent war exercises, including preparations for chemical and biological weapons attacks, drew a sharp response from Syria which held its own military drills. The Syrian government accused Israel of preparing for a war which Damascus predicted would be begin anytime between May 1 and the end of June.

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told foreign journalists that Israel needs to confront the threat posed by Iran. Privately he has been telling associates his number one priority is have the Israeli military strike Iran if the U.S. is unwilling.

    The Israeli newspaper Haaretz disclosed that Israel is concerned that North Korea has transferred technology and nuclear materials to Iran to aid Tehran’s secret nuclear weapons program.

    Iran remains intransigent to international pressure that it offer full transparency relating to its nuclear program. On Sunday the head of Iran’s nuclear program “abruptly canceled a meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, dealing a blow to the U.N. monitor's efforts to investigate allegations that Iran tried to make nuclear arms, an agency official said,” according to an AP report.

    “But a senior diplomat had told the AP that IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] head Mohamed ElBaradei likely planned to use the meeting with Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's nuclear program, to renew a request for more information on allegations Tehran had tried to make atomic arms.”

    A number of signs indicate that, contrary to the belief President Bush is a lame duck who will not act before he leaves office, the U.S. is poised to strike before Iran can acquire nuclear weapons and carry out the threat of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “wipe Israel off the map”:

    According to intelligence sources, the administration now rejects the National Intelligence Estimate report issued in December that asserted Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in late 2003.

    The French daily Le Monde reported in March that newly surfaced documents show that Iran has continued developing nuclear weapons. In late 2006, U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted a phone conversation in Iran’s Defense Ministry in which the nuclear weapons program was discussed.

    The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Admiral William Fallon, resigned in March amid media reports that he broke with President Bush’s strategy on Iran and did not want to be in the chain of command when the order comes down from the President to launch a strike on the Islamic Republic.

    Democrats suggested he had been forced out because of his candor in opposing Bush’s Iran plans, and Esquire magazine contended that Fallon’s departure signaled that the U.S. is preparing to attack Iran.

    According to a Tehran-based Iranian news network, Press TV, Saudi Arabia is taking emergency steps in preparing to counter any “radioactive hazards” that may result from an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    The Saudi newspaper Okaz disclosed that the Saudi government has approved nuclear fallout preparations, and the Iranian network reported that the approval came a day after Cheney met with the kingdom’s high-ranking officials, further stating that the U.S. “is now informing its Arab allies of a potential war.”

    The American commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has stepped up criticism of Iran, telling Congress last week that Iranian support for Shiite militias posed the most serious threat to Iraq’s stability. He told senators : “Iran has fueled the violence in a particularly damaging way.” Last week, the U.S. said Iran was providing insurgents with missiles that were killing Americans and hitting targets within the U.S. occupied Green Zone in Baghdad.

    MSNBC Commentator Pat Buchanan said Petraeus’ remarks to Congress lay the groundwork for a U.S. attack on Iran.

    President Bush said in a speech at the White House on April 10 that Iran, along with al-Qaida, are “two of the greatest threats to America.”

    He said Iran “can live in peace with its neighbors,” or “continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups which are terrorizing the Iraqi people … If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners.”

    He later told ABC News that if Iran continues to help militants in Iraq, “then we’ll deal with them.”

    Members of Congress are said to have been briefed by the administration about the rising Iran threat.

    Iran did little to cool tensions when it announced that it had begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

    Centrifuges can enrich uranium to a low level to produce nuclear fuel or a high level for use in weapons.

    The announcement of the new centrifuges by President Ahmadinejad came on April 8, Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology, which marked the second anniversary of Iran’s first enrichment of uranium.

    Iran already has about 3,000 centrifuges operating in Natanz, and the new announcement was widely seen as a show of defiance to international demands to halt a nuclear program that the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at building nuclear weapons.


    Maybe habu has it right.

  54. Tonight on Coast To Coast

    Former securities analyst and stock broker, William Guggenheim is now the world's foremost authority on After-Death communication. Through information from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Guggenheim began a thirty year journey into researching and documenting over 3,000 first hand accounts of communication with the dead.

    Don't laugh, there may be something to this.

  55. bobal wrote:

    "Maybe habu has it right."

    I certainly hope not but Mr. Bush has made some seriously bad decisions in the past.

  56. No one has ever been convicted, or even charged maybe, under the Logan Act, but I'd like to see Carter cools his heels for three years.:) Is Hamas a foreign government? Kinda.

    § 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
    Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
    1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).

  57. Thought maybe you'd been detained again by the Canadian thought police for posting here, Ash, good to have you back.

  58. The error, ash, is that in '34 oil was not as intergral a part of the economy.

    It was the 1960s when "plastics" made their impact.
    Just ask Dustin Hoffman.

    The essence is not picking a time when the dollar was worth 100 cents, but a time when oil became universal in the economy.
    The petrochemical revolution, not the dollar is what makes oil and gold attached.

    The rate is about 10 barrels per once, since the "Revolution".

  59. bobal,

    naw, I was poking about down in Rat country, playing some golf in the sun. Twas nice!


    I certainly won't argue that the falling US dollar has contributed to the increase in price per barrel of oil but I've always been suspect of gold being any kind of real standard.

  60. Sorry, I should have said last "comment" for a while or better, nothing at all. Everything is fine, no plans to go anywhere.

    Did anyone see this today?

    North American Union: Conspiracy or Cover-up? by Phyllis Schafly

  61. McCain has the right idea:

    To help people weather the downturn immediately, McCain urged Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. He also renewed his call for the United States to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus lessen to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.

    Combined, he said, the two proposals would reduce gas prices, which would have a trickle-down effect, and "help to spread relief across the American economy."

  62. bah whit, he's got it 180 degrees wrong.

  63. Saving a few cents a gallon on gas isn't going to do much to help with the financial problems faced by the nation nor will it help with the nations dependency on foreign oil - quite the opposite in fact. Folks need learn how to make do with expensive oil not further subsidize the use of it.

  64. That Ann Bancroft, wow, I was impressed back then, and wishing I was in Dustin's shoes. Reminded me of a music professor's wife, mother of my girl friend at the time.

  65. If you were as funny as Mel Brooks, you coulda had it all!

  66. (course you'd have to be as handsome, too.)

  67. Yes, whit, the Unionists are hiding in plain sight, no doubt of that.

    Many are not even hiding, at all.

  68. Well, 18.4 cents per gallon, that's about 5% of the current pump price.

    A good short term solution for consumers, while more ethanol capacity is brought on line.

    But as rufus noted, the subsidy limit of 15 billion gallons, about one days worth of oil imports, built an artifical limit to production capacity.

    That it is a corn-ethanol subsidy, limits other developmental efforts.
    Typical of Government management at work

  69. oil as a function of opec is a dominating monopoly

    thus if it was an american company or group it would be illegal

    the control of this commodity by opec is economic warfare, and thus exports to those opec concerns should be taxed at some rate that is based on cost of good and % of markup...

    so if oil is at $110 a barrel..

    and costs can be defined as:

    "Production cost" includes a world-wide average of US $7.35 per barrel in finding costs, $3.57 per barrel in lifting cost (what it takes to operate a producing well), and $1.00 in production taxes per barrel.

    One barrel of crude oil makes about 19½ gallons of gasoline, 9 gallons of fuel oil, 4 gallons of jet fuel, and 11 gallons of other products, including lubricants, kerosene, asphalt, and petrochemical feedstocks to make plastics............................

    then all products being sold INTO opec nation need to be marked up at a MINIMUM mark up at that same rate...