Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rand Paul's Alien Love Call, The Pickup Truck Revolution

Aaron David Miller
Gail Collins

"If I didn't know any better, I'd think that Israelis and Palestinians watching the historic changes in the Arab World just can't stand not to be the center of attention." - Aaron Miller
"We are so focused on these individual countries, I think that we have lost sight of the extraordinary story that is going on in the Middle East. We are in dark territory." - Robert Gates
“You don’t care about the consumer, really. Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house and I blame you.” - Rand Paul

I wanted to begin expanding on the quote above from Rand Paul, spoken at an Energy Committee hearing, and how much fun for a person like myself if he became president. Because he will run for the office if his dad doesn't first. His daddy, Ron Paul is an interesting character in his own right, basically a conservative Republican with dashes of wild Libertarian thought running through like fat marbled in a good steak; that occasionally produces flashes of insight, but mostly is something you can chew on if cooked right. If he were elected, say goodbye to the Federal Reserve and other established sacred cows...

But Rand doesn't play well with others, and is often out there in his own version of planet Libertarian, muttering and whining incomprehensibly to himself. I would love to watch him melt down when confronted with a crisis such as what is going on in the Middle East, or even to see how he would rebel and botch simple ceremonies, but I certainly don't want him anywhere near enough where he could give the command to launch a nuclear missile. So, we should have a Fantasy League Presidency and Congress, where we can imagine to vote for candidates that would have no real bearing on the major leagues, just like fantasy sports does...

While the new coalition forces are trying to entice Moammar Qaddafi to set up his tent in the desert outside of Tripoli, I'm amused by the argument that now that there's a no-fly zone established, the rebel forces have a more equal chance of winning, like this is some kind of board game. My turn to roll the dice?.. And if Qaddafi's bunker just happens to be in range of our big guns floating offshore, will we paddle over some rustic rebel to light the official fuse?

The amusement over the weekend has been watching how people are scrambling to line up and label whether they support Obama's actions or condemn them, often making strange political bedfellows. For those who are unapologetic hawks, we have John Bolton, John McCain, and Bill O'Reilly applauding as we bomb the town Qaddafi was born in. I wonder how many of these guys, besides John McCain, who is working from a North Vietnamese brainwashing program, how many of them were misfits as kids, tore the wings off of flies and set their toy soldiers on fire? Even if supporting the smallest international coalition of the willing in the world, certain conservatives who cannot accept anything that Obama does is correct, even if it were there idea, are trying hard to come up with articles such as: Obama's Arrogant Plunge Into Libya - A Nuanced Call to Arms - and Is America Supporting Jihadis in Libya? Because there's nothing worse than supporting someone who later turns out not to love you...

If the Libyan rebels, who have yet to come up with a catchy name for fundraising purposes, actually win, it will be the first time that an army of small Japanese made pickup trucks won a war. It will take a politically correct amount of time before we see them in car commercials, perhaps during the next Superbowl... Don't tell me there isn't a single truck owner in the US, who has ever placed an actual rifle in the rack, hasn't hunkered down before CNN with a beer in his hand, rooting for the Libyan cowboys televised driving over the desert and roads, and began humming from the Bob Seger song Like a Rock...? Freedom, beer, and pick-up trucks, what could be a better marketing tactic or country song? Your turn Toby...

While an examination of the blowout preventer used in the BP oil spill found that the equipment worked as it was supposed to, BUT: "The finding that an off-center pipe blocked a blowout preventer from sealing BP's Macondo well tightly enough to stop last year's oil spill may prompt renewed calls for design changes in the devices intended as the last defense against disaster.
The government-backed forensic investigation found the blowout preventer's blind shear rams — a pair of blades designed to cut through pipe in the well and seal it off in an emergency — activated as they should have at the time of the accident.

The shears failed, however, to cut completely through a section of drill pipe that likely moved when the well went out of control, leaving the pipe partially opened and spilling crude in one the nation's most disastrous oil spills."

So, the Interior Department decided to take a second look at the design of the blowout preventers and see if they are adequate or what needs to be fixed in the design. A few days ago the Rachel Maddow show did a report on the fact that the Department of the Interior is still giving out drilling permits based on the old, flawed preventer design:

It looks like the government thinks that if nobody else hears about the report, then any controversy will go away. there hasn't been any coverage in the newspapers or on any other television show, and complaints have been made by the Interior to the Maddow program... I often find interesting articles in the NY Times that are later taken off of their website, which tells me that the government complaint has worked, and that I may be the only person in America who cared...

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