Open Thread February

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, but it does take intellectual honesty, to realize that all the “change” that is happening in the Middle East and the Arab world has its roots in George W. Bush’s 2003 “illegal” invasion of Iraq. Love this or hate this, Republican or Democrat, Valerie Plame or not – you really can’t trace this thing back to any particular point prior to Army and Marine Combat Teams penetrating Baghdad and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. You can debate the role of Twitter and da internetz in Egypt all you want. But it was April 2003 that lit this candle. As Ross Perot would say: ”You know it, I know it, and the American People know it.”

Hole In The Sky

I’m looking through a hole in the sky
I’m seeing nowhere through the eyes of a lie
I’m getting closer to the end of the line
I’m living easy where the sun doesn’t shine

I’m living in a room without any view
I’m living free because the rent’s never due
The synonyms of all the things that I’ve said
Are just the riddles that are built in my head

Hole in the sky, gateway to Heaven Window in time, through it I fly

I’m seeing the stars that disappear in the sun
The shooting’s easy if you’ve got the right gun
And even though I’m sitting waiting for miles
I don’t believe there’s any future in cars

Hole in the sky, gateway to Heaven
Window in time, through it I fly

I’ve watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
I’ve seen the western world go down in the east
The food of love became the greed of our time
But now we’re living on the profits of crime

After Cairo, Twitter Still Sucks

“Why would you willingly restrict communication to 140 characters unless you were playing a board game? Why would you want to broadcast your most diaristic, most diarrhetic thoughts to an uninterested world?”

Russia Embraces Risky Offshore Arctic Drilling

As its Siberian oil fields mature, daily output in Russia, without new development, could be reduced by nearly a million barrels by the year 2035, according to the International Energy Agency. With its economy dependent on oil and gas, which make up about 60 percent of all exports, Russia sees little choice but to go offshore — using foreign partners to provide expertise and share the billions of dollars in development costs.

And if anything, the gulf disaster encouraged Russia to push ahead with BP as its first partner. In the view of Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir V. Putin, BP is the safest company to hire for offshore work today, having learned its lesson in the gulf.

“One beaten man is worth two unbeaten men,” Mr. Putin said, citing a Russian proverb, after BP signed its Arctic deal with Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company. The joint venture calls for the companies to explore three sections in the Kara Sea, an icebound coastal backwater north of central Russia.

This entry was posted by JR.

39 thoughts on “Open Thread February

  1. i guess some of you folks are getting cabin fever about now. i know that when scientists decide to “winter over” in the antarctic, some of them lose it and go bonkers at being held in captivity for so long. but then there’s no live TV or at least there used to not be. now we have the internet, so “you’re never lost” (TM).

  2. Or as Putin would say… one dented plaster wall is worth more than two beaten men, especially if they play for Cleveland.

    Boy I’ll tell ya, resource extraction is nowhere near as much fun as it used to be. The good news is that one month in country and I only threw up once. It was enough to season me though.

    This Egypt stuff is all about “youth bubbles” they are saying. Freakin frustrated unemployed youth.

    Hey JR, I went native and was wearing a keffiyeh scarf like Rommel. I’m not shittin bro, you should have seen me. Oh man it was so tactical.

  3. “The good news is that one month in country and I only threw up once.”

    Hope it wasn’t dengue fever, Bif! Was just reading an article from a 12-2008 Smithsonian mag on how the once-thriving pygmies in Africa are being decimated by the Bantu. Same ole, same ole…

    In the same issue, the cover story on the Sufi movement was a testament to the better angels of the Muslim nature. I met my first Sufis–two all-American girls about my age–in December ’76 in Frederick, Colorado. They were friends of my hosts and came to belly dance at a party for one of the Hernandez Bros. who was retiring from running the local gas station after 35 years.

    The party was held at another brother’s business, a bar we all called the “Nedly” [the letters f, r, i, and e had burned out in the original neon sign for the “FRIENDLY Tavern”). It was a harmonic convergence of cultures and craziness. Hottest Mexican Salsa I’ve ever eaten. Diane on a drum and Tanya flying around the packed Nedly barefoot in her costume with lots of salivating old codgers and young potheads trying to stuff money into her. Boy, did I have a hangover the next day…

  4. EE, I’ve been in bars where money was stuffed into all kinds of dancer’s…..nevermind.

  5. Wish me luck. I’m off to go ice fishing today with my father and a slightly brain-addled fishing friend. Friend got so exited at the prospect of fishing he left ahead of us but doesn’t know the exact fishing spot, having never been there. I tried to give him directions beforehand but he is forgetful and gets confused with new routes and phrases like “south of” and stuff. He has a cell phone, but I don’t. WTF, onward and upward.

  6. No not dengue. Bad food. I was hungry and I ate a pigeon. It was off spec, I have to be more careful.

  7. How does one properly eat a pigeon? I read a post somewhere recently on how one might catch them with mouse traps, but what are the dangers? Can cooking them to very well done take care of most of the problems?

  8. I knew Bif would make it back OK. Just in case, though, I believe ZK did take out a small life insurance policy on him…he being a valuable editor and all.

    Hey dave, the fishing was not bad. 30 perch – my dad and I, friend caught 1 perch, but it was the biggest. Wish you were here.

  9. yeah doom, that pidgeon looks tasty.

    gb, if i wasn’t so gosh darn lazy i’d get up off my ass and go fishing. but you know how that goes.

  10. anyway, i’ve found a new passtime to take up my time, kettlebelling. so, between that, tango, judo, aikido and lusting after young women, all my time is accounted for. plus, i need about 10hrs of sleep everyday.

  11. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I do play one on TV….

    “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, but it does take intellectual honesty, to realize that all the “change” that is happening in the Middle East and the Arab world has its roots in George W. Bush’s 2003 “illegal” invasion of Iraq.”

    Well, I think it goes a bit farther back than that, like the beginning of the State of Israel, for a nice starter point. BTW, Iraq was an illegal invasion, JR, so no need to put quotes around it. Why, just the other day, someone was suggesting we try Dubya as a war criminal. Not that we exercise much in the way of justice these days, especially at those levels.

    You’ve been hanging around your neocon friends and relatives too long. You need some leftest liberal friends to show you the true power of The Force. Join us on the dark side, Luke, and together we can rule the Universe.

  12. Well, I think it goes a bit farther back than that, like the beginning of the State of Israel, for a nice starter point.

    fuck, there’s been slave revolts, in one form or another, since there were slaves.

  13. true, and one of my favorites was Spartacus versus the Romans, starring Kirk Douglas.

    ending along the Appian Way….

  14. dave,

    My husband is doing kettle bells. He has not dropped much weight, but he is getting ripped. If I do say so myself, his arms, shoulders, pecs, look real nice. And, the main point, he is getting quite strong. He is using a 70ish pounder for swings and farmer’s walk. He is using the 35 or 44 for Turkish getups. He’s also lifting weights.

  15. i never realized till now that bunn bunn worked for the USPO. no wonder he’s been so quiet lately.

  16. My husband is doing kettle bells. He has not dropped much weight, but he is getting ripped. If I do say so myself, his arms, shoulders, pecs, look real nice. And, the main point, he is getting quite strong. He is using a 70ish pounder for swings and farmer’s walk. He is using the 35 or 44 for Turkish getups. He’s also lifting weights.

    good for him. i had a lot of joint and ligament type issues that forced me away from any type of serious work with barbells and dumbbells, the pain just wasn’t worth it after awhile. the kettlebells seem fine in that regard. i’m just kinda beating the shit out the back of wrists while learing techniques for the snatch and clean. it feels good to throw some wieghts around again.

  17. Hey JR, did you see my main man Nikki Lauda today was saying F1 should cancel the season opener in Bahrain? It’s just a month away. But I guess the organizers are hoping the pro democracy movement can be crushed in time for the race festivities to go forward as planned.

  18. Formula One, Grand Cup, Int. Golf Tournaments cancelled as World decides to sort out future governments via revolutions. OCED prepares for new national health fitness via walking, bicycling and strict diet programs. Internets OK, for now…

  19. Probably some fine day all cell phone users will be eating grass and barking at the moon.

    vast improvement.

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