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Energy and Capital (images are beingblocked)


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OPEC and Russia’s Greatest 
Energy Fear
By Keith Kohl | Friday, March 4th, 2011
There’s an experiment taking place on U.S. soil as the 
entire world stage waits on bated breath for 
the outcome…
And it’s been going on for years.
Others may not be convinced that there’s a 
windfall of opportunity in the world’s natural 
gas markets right now, but perhaps they’re
 not looking in the right places.
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>A China-Russian Army of 200 Million – How Will America Defend?

>The following is by my good friend Randy Michaux

        I have many associates and friends on my contact list; but this e-mail goes strictly to my “A” List.  As a Citizen, a Patriot, Veteran, and Member of the LDS Church, involved in thousands of hours of research and study, I feel obligated to share the attached documents with you. 
        The three attached documents witness the fall of the greatest economic power ever devised in the history of mankind.  If you are a student of the Scriptures, the history of the rise and fall of nations/empires, of current economic, political, and military reality, then you must sense that we are witnessing “first hand” the demise of, and transfer of the reigns of power from the “First Great Dictatorship” to the final and Last Great Dictatorship.”
         No icon of America is more representative of its greatness/corruption then the New York Stock Exchange.  Shortly to follow the exchanges sale to Germany, will be the demise of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s Reserve Currency.   This reality will be catastrophic beyond anything I care to attempt to describe.  I can state with utmost confidence is that the Last Great Dictatorship will consist the a confederation between China and Russia.  Together, they will eventually be able to field an army numbering “two hundred million”.  Rev. 9:11-18
        So what is my bottom line?  Preparation .  .  . Spiritually, Temporally, and Emotionally.  All three are a combination in one; and if one element is found lacking, not only will the individual suffer but all those who depend upon the same.  “Normalcy Bias” is the all to common mental state that prohibits the human mind from corrective action: spiritually, temporally and emotionally. 
The information provided is but a capsulation of hundreds of authoritative research papers done by proven experts in their fields.  Much of this “hard truth” requires a paradigm shift in our thought processes.  None of the many seminal events that are taking place before our vary eyes, almost on a daily basis, are by accident.  Our political leaders of all parties are simply unwilling to take the necessary corrective action.  The Press is criminally negligent in its obligation to keep the public informed of not only of the symptoms; but even more critical, the causes.
If any of this information is too much for you, simply fire the messanger and I will remove you from my contact list. 
“It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope.  We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beast.  For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst and to provide for it.”        Thomas Paine
Randy Michaux
571-246-1187(C)

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 
“I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”

Thanks for coming. Please leave a comment. Your opinion is as valuable as mine or anyone’s. Let’s create an active dialog. Let’s stand up for what we want, what we think and believe America should be like. Fight for your rights – and I don’t mean take to the street with guns. Do your fighting with the pen and conversation – friendly persuasion. Remember, we’re Americans living in the greatest nation on earth. Act like it. Don White

>Iran Rules The World In Rhetoric

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This photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry, shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, second from left, applauding during a ceremony inaugAP – This photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry, shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, second …
TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday inaugurated the country’s first domestically built unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an “ambassador of death” to Iran’s enemies.
The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), according to a state TV report — not far enough to reach archenemy Israel.
“The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship,” said Ahmadinejad at the inauguration ceremony, which fell on the country’s national day for its defense industries.
The goal of the aircraft, named Karrar or striker, is to “keep the enemy paralyzed in its bases,” he said, adding that the aircraft is for deterrence and defensive purposes.
The president championed the country’s military self-sufficiency program, and said it will continue “until the enemies of humanity lose hope of ever attacking the Iranian nation.”
Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo and now produces its own tanks, armored personnel carries, missiles and even a fighter plane.
Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.
State TV later showed video footage of the plane taking off from a launching pad and reported that the craft traveled at speeds of 560 miles per hour (900 kilometers per hour) and could alternatively be armed with two 250-pound (113.4-kilogram) bombs or a 450-pound (204.12-kilogram) guided bomb.
Iran has been producing its own light, unmanned surveillance aircraft since the late 1980s.
The ceremony came a day after Iran began to fuel its first nuclear power reactor, with the help of Russia, amid international concerns over the possibility of a military dimension to its nuclear program.
Iran insists it is only interested in generating electricity.
Referring to Israel’s occasional threats against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad called any attack unlikely, but he said if Israel did, the reaction would be overwhelming.
“The scope of Iran’s reaction will include the entire the earth,” said Ahmadinejad. “We also tell you — the West — that all options are on the table.”
Ahmadinejad appeared to be consciously echoing the terminology used by the U.S. and Israel in their statements not ruling out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
On Friday, Iran also test-fired a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface missile, the Qiam-1, with advanced guidance systems.
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Iranian President Mahmoud AhmadinejadPhotos & Video

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>Russia Is A Bastion of Safety?

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Is Russia Becoming a Bastion of Safety in a Turbulent World?

By Frank Holmes|Apr 29, 2010, 2:52 AM|Author’s Website  
For the first time since it defaulted on its $40 billion domestic debt in 1998, Russia issued $5.5 billion worth of eurobonds last week. Investors embraced the five-year bond, purchasing $5.5 billion of Russian debt with The Wall Street Journal dubbing the offering Russia’s “triumphant return.”
Is Russia Becoming a Bastion of Safety in a Turbulent World?
Bloomberg published this interesting chart last week comparing Russia’s credit-default swaps to the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain). A credit default swap is the cost of insuring debt against default. The riskier the debt, the higher premium the market requires to insure it.
Despite carrying a lower credit rating, this chart shows that investors are valuing Russia’s debt as less risky then these countries. While this reflects the well-publicized debt problems these countries are having, it also shows how far Russia has worked to rebuild its credit the past 12 years.
With foreign exchange reserves of $400 billion, Russia remains a net creditor to the world but the five-year bond issuance is part of a grander strategy. Russia is looking to establish a benchmark yield so its corporations have access to cheaper credit and stimulate business growth.
Is Russia becoming a bastion of safety in a turbulent world? Bond investors seem to think so.

>Dubai Leads The Way In Futuristic Homes

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Luxury Real Estate of The Future

Our sister blog, Immo-Luxus, Germany picked up on an interesting proposed building in Paris, which prompted me to take a look at some planned luxury real estate around the world. Some of these, thank goodness, will never end up being built, but some of them are already under construction.

Le Projet Triangle by Hertzog & de Meuron

Le Projet Triangle, Paris

Le Projet Triangle, Paris

Oh deary me, I am not liking this one little bit. After the amount of negative reaction to the pyramid outside the Louvre, I am rather surprised H&M are proposing another glass triangle in the center of Paris. According to their proposal:

“Le Projet Triangle” is primarily perceived on the metropolitan scale of the city of Paris. Its elevated stature will lend major visibility to the Porte de Versailles and the Parc des Expositions site within the overall conurbation. It will also permit its integration in the system of axes and perspectives that constitute the urban fabric of Paris.

Major visibility about sums it up. They are also suggesting that the triangular shape will prevent it from casting shadows over the surrounding areas. Quite how they are proposing to bend the laws of physics to make this happen is beyond me. My favorite comment on this so far is, “As a Parisian I’m sick and tired of living in a city that looks like Disneyland.”

Unobtrusive - Not

Unobtrusive – Not

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Crystal Island, by Foster & Partners, Moscow

Crystal Island Moscow

Crystal Island Moscow

Glass Pyramids seem to be the way many forward looking designers see the luxury real estate of the future. This design by Foster and Partners was presented to the people of Moscow and the Architectural council back in 2007. Preliminary planning approval has already been given, although I do wonder if there will be any cash left in the kitty after the Russian government has finished bailing out the state-owned banks. And one of the main reasons I can see for permission being given, is that it is bigger than anything else. Although, at a paltry 450 meters in height, Dubai will have them beat for a long time. Many more after the jump.

Can we out-Dubai, Dubai?

Gentlemen – can we out-Dubai, Dubai?

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According to the architect, Norman Foster,

Crystal Island is one of the world’s most ambitious building projects and it represents a milestone in the 40 year history of the practice. It is the largest single building in the world, creating a year-round destination for Moscow and a sustainable, dynamic new urban quarter. It is a paradigm of compact, mixed-use, sustainable city planning, with an innovative energy strategy and ‘smart’ skin which buffers against climate extremes.

I have yet to ascertain the meaning of the word “sustainable,” and am immediately suspicious of any developer using the word. My best guess as to the meaning is – “It won’t fall over.” :-D

Many of these latest visions of the future are also mixed-use, which I rather think they have no choice but to do. Let’s face it – if you are on the 600th floor of the Burj Dubai, it is a long way down to the street for a tube of toothpaste. This one in Moscow has plans for 3,000 hotel rooms and 900 serviced apartments along with retail and entertainment spaces.

Russia Tower

Foster & Partners, “Russia Tower” is already under construction in Moscow, and according to the architects, “will be the tallest naturally ventilated tower in the world and one of the greenest new buildings in Europe.”

At 600 meters, it will be, for a short while at least, the second tallest building in the world, and the tallest in Europe. Although, I am beginning to wonder if Mr. Foster has some sort of monopoly arranged in Eastern Europe. 8-)

Russia Tower

Russia Tower

The Burj Dubai, by Skidmore, Owings & Merril, Dubai

Computer rendition of Burj Dubai

Computer rendition of Burj Dubai

One cannot really look at the future of luxury real estate without including the mega-projects in Dubai. Whilst I am not certain my definition of luxury real estate includes living in a glass box 800 meters off the ground with 50,000 other people, there is no denying this is an impressive engineering feat. Unlike the triangle and crystal island, this one is actually under construction and has already overtaken the record for the tallest building in the world. Other records surpassed along the way are the building with the most floors and the vertical concrete pumping record at 452 meters, and at over 688 meters, is also the tallest man-made structure ever built. Except perhaps for the tower of Babel – depending who you ask. Unlike many computer renditions, the Burj Dubai actually looks like it was intended to, and already dominates the Dubai skyline.

Burj Dubai at dawn

Burj Dubai at dawn

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Although the Burj Dubai is getting all the press attention, there are a number of other mega-tower projects such as the Dubai towers at The lagoons, a four tower project designed to emulate candlelight – construction has already begun.

Dubai Towers, The Lagoons

Dubai Towers, The Lagoons

Plus a number of “unusual” designs – This is the ep-07 tower by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. Whether it gets off the ground or not is as yet undecided.

ep-07 Tower

ep-07 Tower

Speaking of getting off the ground, it seems that building the tallest building in the world is not enough for the Dubai government. Plans are now afoot for a kilometer-high tower.Or at least it will be “more than a kilometer” tall – the proposed height is still a secret.

More than a kilometer tall tower

More than a kilometer tall tower in Dubai

Not to be outdone, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia also announced a “more than kilometer high” tower to be built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia just one week later, although his little model seems a little on the short side. The plans for a mile-high tower in Jeddah were announced back in March, so this one seems a bit redundant.

Mile High Tower in Jeddah

Mile High Tower in Jeddah

Kilometer Tall Tower in Jeddah

Kilometer Tall Tower in Jeddah

Of course, these pathetic attempts at building a tall building pale in comparison to the Dubai City Tower. 2.4 kilometers tall!

Dubai City Tower

Dubai City Tower

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Apparently, three designs have been drawn up for the Jumeirah City project, one of which is the Dubai City Tower. Six separate buildings twisting themselves into a one and a half mile high skyscraper. Now, I am no engineer but I would have thought there are some practical difficulties to overcome, and according to Alastair Collins, of the International Council on Tall Buildings, building to that height is the “easy” part – “The hardest part is the servicing of the height: the transportation, power, water and waste disposal.”

Transportation issues will apparently be solved by a vertical bullet train. I have trouble making myself enter a standard elevator sometimes. Imagine a one-and-a-half mile tall, 125 mph elevator. I can feel the panic attack starting already…………..

One of the discussion themes for this year’s World Architecture Festival in Barcelona is “possibility and responsibility,” with regard to tall buildings. Certainly some of these stretch the boundaries of both. Rather surprisingly, only one of these mega-talls is on the list for discussion. I am certainly looking forward to reading their conclusions. The festival takes place 22-24 October.

“Down to Earth,” Luxury Real Estate

Not all luxury real estate developers and architects see mile high glass edifices as their vision of the future and my feelings are that we will start to see a shift in styles away from enormous, wasteful spaces towards more environmentally-friendly building styles that attempt to blend the natural with the artificial. Whether the current financial situation is resolved or not,I am reasonably sure the McMansion has had its heyday.

Symbiotic Villa by Zaha Hadid

These images are taken of a house designed by Zaha Hadid for the up-coming Next-Gene 20 project in Taiwan.

Symbiotic Villa

Symbiotic Villa

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This is a small development in Switzerland, created by Peter Vetsch. And you don’t get more down to earth than these – nine houses on a 4,000 square meter plot all partially underground. Mr. Vetsch certainly has some interesting ideas and uses innovative building materials.

Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse

Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse

Mr. Vetsch has been building homes with these designs for some time now, an this is a selection of some of his other works. He has a large selection of “Earth Houses” on his website. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but interesting nonetheless.

Another continuing trend is the conversion of non-residential buildings into living spaces. Much of London’s and other city’s docklands were once warehouses and have now been converted to trendy apartments. If the credit squeeze continues we will se more of this type of building converted. An interesting renovation recently was the “Church of living,” by ZECC architects in Holland. A Dutch chapel was converted to a house, and the architects chose to retain may of the original features, including, bizarrely, the organ. A little too stark for my tastes, but the conversion is a finalist for a Dutch Design Award.

Church of the Living

Church of the Living

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It is certainly refreshing to know that not all future luxury real estate will be in an enormous glass tower :)

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>Obama Won Nothing In Russia

>The Russians Walked All Over Obama In Recent Trip

By Don White
When you go to a country soon after being elected, you don’t give away the store. But that’s what President Obama did. He got nothing, really, for eliminating 500 nuclear warheads from the U.S. arsenal. Russia was going to destroy some old nukes, anyway.

In the following story, in the small bold type I make jabs at our president for failing to watch out for America’s interests. He went to Russia like it would be another chance to shine personally, another holiday for Michelle and the kids, another cake walk to look good amongst the peasants. Well, it backfired and here’s how.____________________

Obama Puts Medvedev Ahead of Putin

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forget the nuke deal, forget the speech, forget even the Russians’ lack of interest in Michelle: The real surprise of President Obama’s trip to Moscow this week was that he spent most of his time talking to the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and took only a couple of hours to pay a courtesy call on the Russian prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

When you visit the home of a cute girl you hope to date and maybe eventually marry, you don’t spend all your time with the girl’s little brother watching demolition derby. Ignoring the girl on the other end of the sofa gets you nothing. That’s just a metaphor for what Obama did by pretty much ignoring the man who makes most of the big decisions in Russia, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister and President Dmitry Medvedev’s mentor and strong-arm protector.

This Story

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Almost anywhere else in the world, this sort of thing would be a matter of protocol. Generally speaking, the American head of state spends most of his time with other heads of state when traveling abroad. Exceptions are made for those countries whose heads of state are monarchs or some other figurehead, in which case our president pays a courtesy call and then hangs around with the chancellor or prime minister. If Obama were following that pattern in Russia, he would have spent most of his time with Putin.

Yes, Medvedev is the president and, yes, the Russian constitution gives the president the lion’s share of power. But ever since his profoundly undemocratic election last year (following his selection by Putin and an orchestrated parody of a campaign), it has been abundantly clear that the Russian president is not in charge. After the invasion of Georgia last August, it was Putin, not Medvedev, who appeared on television and negotiated behind the scenes. And during the Ukrainian gas crisis this winter it was Putin, not Medvedev, who spoke for Russia. Those who have watched the two men together generally come away impressed by Medvedev’s exceptional deference to the prime minister. Someone who took part in a meeting with them some months ago told me afterward that Putin did all the talking while Medvedev took notes.

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In recent months, Medvedev has chosen to play a kind of “good cop” to Putin’s “bad cop,” giving an interview to the last remaining opposition newspaper; saying nice things about democracy and electoral reform; even smiling, on occasion, in photographs with foreign leaders. But none of this has resulted in profound changes in foreign policy, economic policy or human rights, leaving most observers inside and outside the country to assume that Medvedev is playing his part in an elaborate public relations campaign.

Isn’t it interesting that Medvedev and Obama seem to be cut out of the same cloth — presidents who seek attention but who don’t really matter too much.

The decision to focus the American president’s visit on Medvedev instead of Putin could therefore be what British civil servants call “very brave,” not least because if you don’t talk to the person who’s really in charge, you can’t expect to get much done.

At last, someone who agrees with me and a score of conservative writers. He didn’t expect to get much done and he didn’t get much done, did he? PR was his aim, but it backfired in Russia when Putin and, I suppose, Medvedev did not allow national television to give him a huge audience and the Russian people were non-pulsed and were not at all excited to see the first black American president and his first lady. “So what, they were saying.”

As I understand it, this decision (to spend more time with Medvedev) was made at least partly on pragmatic grounds: Meetings with Putin nowadays tend to turn into extended rants about Russia’s grievances (this week’s breakfast between Putin and Obama apparently being no exception), which doesn’t leave much time to pursue productive conversation. Putin wasn’t going to get into the subject of Russia’s recent military maneuvering on the Georgian border (thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks began exercising there at the end of June), and Medvedev can’t do anything about it anyway, so the Obama administration seems to have figured that there wasn’t much point in dealing with the issue. Instead, it dealt with less controversial subjects — such as nuclear arms reductions (which were mostly going to happen anyway) and rights for U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan to fly over Russian areas (nice, apparently, but not crucial) — that Medvedev might actually be able to sort out.

But what a great opportunity lost. Obama should have pressed Putin about the joint maneuvers Russian naval vessels have been having with the Hugo Chavez regime just 90 miles off our shores. He wasn’t there sightseeing or to show Michelle and the girls a good time at government expense.

He should also have discussed in no uncertain terms with Putin the massing of troops on Georgia’s borders in June. Now Obama comes off looking weak. It would be easy for the Russian leaders to interpret the lack of special talks with Putin about these subjects must mean Obama doesn’t care if Russia takes over an almost defenseless Georgia — a country that has all along wanted to be member of NATO, a nation that needs America’s help, both physical and moral, to keep Russia at bay. George Bush and the EU including French President Sarkozy were very forceful about the Russian invasion into sovereign Georgian territory, but apparently Obama doesn’t care.

Communication, man! It isn’t always in what you say but in how you act and how forceful you become. And Obama is supposed to be the Democrat’s answer to the Great Communicater, meaning Ronald Reagan? Hardly.

Putin, the strong man of Russia, now has every right to interpret this to mean that he could wrap this slender and naive new president around his little finger any time he wanted and do what he pleased.

That is just the opposite reaction from the one that George Bush gave him. Of course, we must realize that Obama has given other signs of weakness to the Russians, the Chinese, to Iran, and to North Korea — and also to Hamas about his determination to keep the North Koreans out of the South, to retaliate if he hits our territory or a friendly nation’s and to stand by Israel in case of attack. Strong words and a show of determination is needed, and our president once again missed an excellent opportunity.

Instead, he’s paranoid. He wants to “mend fences,” even if he has to criticize our own country as he frequently does.

The upside of this policy is that it might make Medvedev more powerful, though this is a rather naive and forlorn hope. The downside is that Putin might take offense at being ignored. But given that Putin appears to be generally offended all the time, no matter how often or how sweetly U.S. presidents talk to him, this latter concern seems rather beside the point.

In any case, this sort of chilly calculation is preferable to the carefully staged walks in the woods, bear hugs and holiday outings that characterized the Clinton-Yeltsin and Bush-Putin relationships. It also beats the lame “let’s press the reset button with Russia” metaphor that the Obama administration was using in its first few months in office. It’s absolutely true that the worst problems were not resolved this week and that everything hard — from Georgia to missile defense to Iran — has been left aside until further notice. But at least no one is pretending otherwise.

The problem with leaving it ’till later is that often we only get one chance of making impressions.

applebaumletters@washpost.com

>Wake Up World — Pay Attention To Real Trouble!

>While President Obama daily dazzles us with his constant news releases, comings and goings on and off Airforce One, a new black and white English Water Dog, spectacular new designer clothes for Michelle Obama, more spending plans, more debt piled up, and still the job isn’t done, the world we once knew is crumbling around us.

Wake up you 62 million sleeping Democrats who voted for this maniac big spender. He’s spending this country into permanent bankruptcy and he doesn’t even seem to notice, and, sadly, neither do you!

Someone should investigate — does he want to do us in here in America then move to Kenja, the beloved country of his birth? I think so. At least all evidence would substantiate that premise. Bush spent $15 Billion to stop AIDS in Africa. Look for Obama to spend a like amount to build up countries like Kenja.

He will never retire in the “Arrogant” land of the free, because it won’t be there in four years the rate he is going with his fascist progressive programs. And I don’t mean “progressive” in a good way, either. Progressives are hoodlums in my mind. That includes Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Democrats like JFK, FDR, and especially my grandmother’s cousin Woodrow Wilson, who started us off (along with Teddy Roosevelt) along the “progressive” road to dismantling America’s rights and freedoms. We didn’t have an income tax until the twentieth century, neither did we have massive national debt and government takeover of businesses. To someone from Mars, we look no different than Communist Russia. I was a Democrat when I was young. Then I became a Republican. Now I’m a Conservative and a Patriot. That tells you a lot about the other parties.

Here are some of the forgotten pieces of business no one is solving or paying much attention to:

  • Outrageous! North Korea fires a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon deliberately on the day the President is giving a big speech on nuclear disarmament, and the civilized world wrings it hands and talks about legal conventions.
  • Dangerous! The Iranian dictatorship cheerfully announces that is has 7,300 centrifuges to make nuclear bombs and nothing happens.
  • Incindiary! Hamas fires a few more missiles into Israel and everyone ignores it.
  • Horrendous! Pakistan transfers power to the Taliban in its North West Frontier and the world stands idly by. This has already occurred, folks. Most of us — the 62 million who voted for Obama — have fallen asleep.
  • Nearby! There’s a Mexican drug war going on that barely makes the newspapers.
  • Disgraceful! And as Rich Galen points out, there are still approximately 260 hostages being held by Somali pirates. Two more ships were seized Tuesday. But you never hear about them because they’re not Americans.

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