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Archive for the ‘econ’ Category

Fed cuts rates 3/4’s of a point

Here is some breaking news about the Fed cutting rates by 3/4’s of point, and urging Congress and President to cut taxes quickly to avoid a recession. It is short, so I have the entire article for you.

Fed Cuts Interest Rate as Treasury Secretary Urges Quick Action on Economic Stimulus Plan.

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that Congress and the administration need to agree quickly on a package of tax cuts as the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by three-fourths of a percentage point to reinvigorate the economy.

“Time is of the essence and the president stands ready to work on a bipartisan basis to enact economic growth legislation as soon as possible,” Paulson said in remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He spoke as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders in both parties prepared to meet with President Bush at the White House to discuss a stimulus bill.

Such legislation presumably would involve tax rebates, business tax cuts and funding for a Democratic-led call for additional food stamp and employment aid.

The Fed’s decision to slash the federal funds rate — the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans — apparently was the biggest one-day move by the central bank in recent memory. The Fed cut the rate to 3.5 percent from 4.25 percent.

Its action was the most dramatic signal that it can send of its concern about a recession.

Hat tip: Fox News.

You may not want my two-cents, but here it is anyway. I wish they would leave the daggone market alone. Really. The housing always gets into a bubble, and most of us were waiting were for the prices to come down before we bought our house. Thank you very much, now I cannot buy a house because you are falsely keeping the inflated prices high. This is NOT what a free-marketer does.

I understand the panic due to the other countries tanking in their stock markets, but may I remind you that China has an unsustainablely high (falsely high) rate of exchange on its money. What is it, the yen? They refuse to accurately disclose the actual trade-in value. I don’t give a damn if they tank! Doesn’t anyone remember that this is what they were trying to do to us?

Nor do I care that Mexico is having a problem with all the illegal aliens here are going home to Mexico. I have no sympathy for that government. They actually sent a delegation to Arizona’s STATE government to ask them not to follow Arizona’s laws! That takes testicles! Yes, they are feeling the pressure of having to deal with the high unemployment, health care, and whatever crap they robbed from us that they are no longer able to steal. But I am getting off track.

The facts are, the Fed is one that raised the rates in the first place. If there is any blame to go around, look to Bernacke. (sp?) The rest of the blame belongs not on the sharks who were able to get you to sign over your mortgages to them so that you could enjoy low payments. This really irks me. YOU are the one who knew you couldn’t afford the house. YOU are the one that enjoyed your house while I had to wait patiently for the bubble to burst. So why I have to pay for YOU to keep YOUR house? I SHOULD NOT, and that’s a fact. Good day.

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WORLD

M. Zuhdi Jasser was interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez over at NRO. This interview is posted in three sections at NRO. Here is the first one, A Muslim American, the second one, Dr. J CAIRs, A jihad against jihad, and the third one is yet to be released. This is fine article, and I recommend you read it.

The Vets for Freedom debated in England last night. Unfortunately, I just opened the email. There is an article, however, letting our elected officials know of the importance of funding our troops before they leave for another one of their vacations.

American troops are winning.
By Pete Hegseth
December 11, 2007

However, the more things change in Iraq, the more they stay the same on Capitol Hill. For the past month, with a few off-handed exceptions, Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill has largely refused to acknowledge success. They are stuck in the talking points of June, and stuck on a narrative of failure.

Despite the incredible progress made by our military — which has opened the door for real and sustainable political progress in Iraq — the Democratic leadership continues to insist that we de-fund the war and bring the troops home no matter what. Beholden to entrenched and noisy anti-war interest groups, the Democrat leadership in Washington seems willing to cut-off much needed funding, placing our brave troops in harms way. [Read the whole editorial.]

This editorial isn’t hard hitting, just factual. Maybe that’s why it isn’t getting the play that it should…

I don’t know about you, but this next article concerns deeply:

Saudis give big to U.S. colleges.
“There’s a possibility these campuses aren’t getting gifts, they’re getting investments,” said Clifford May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “Departments on Middle Eastern studies tend to be dominated by professors tuned to the concerns of Arab and Muslim rulers. It’s very difficult for scholars who don’t follow this line to get jobs and tenure on college campuses.

“The relationship between these departments and the money that pours in is hard to establish, but like campaign finance reform, sometimes money is a bribe. Sometimes it’s a tip.”

The $40 million gift from the Saudi donor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, was the latest in a tradition that started in the 1970s — Muslim donors pumping millions of dollars into American universities to fund Islamic studies, hire faculty specialists in Islam and fund books and seminars on the world’s second-largest religion. [Continue reading.]

What the h***?! Thanks for the tip, M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD.

For this next op-ed, here are words of one of the authors: “My sincere hope is that this op-ed will help serve as a sort of “political reconciliation” in our own country. It is time to put aside petty partisan differences, and rally behind the need for success in Iraq and in the Long War.” I couldn’t have said it better.

Getting Beyond Stalemate to Win a War.
By John Batiste and Pete Hegseth
Saturday, December 8, 2007; Page A17

Congress has been entangled in a war-funding debate that pits war “supporters” against antiwar “defeatists.” With all sides seemingly entrenched, a stalemate looms. The Pentagon, meanwhile, will soon begin stripping money from its training budget to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our military men and women deserve better than partisan politics; they deserve honest assessments of our nation’s performance in fighting the Long War. [Read the whole article.]

It is about time, too. Thank you, Vets for Freedom.

M. Zuhdi Jasser has written another article in The Middle East Quarterly about the Flying Imams. He exposes them in a way only another Muslim could.

Exposing the “Flying Imams”.
Creating intermediaries in order to claim false mandate remains the root of the imams’ strategy. Organizations such as the National American Imams Federation and the Assembly of American Muslim Jurists exist to impose hierarchy and, from that self-appointed hierarchy, to establish the mandate to speak on behalf of the entire Muslim community. The Islamic Society of North America, an un-indicted coconspirator in the United States of America vs. Holy Land Foundation et al. terrorism financing trial,[28] formed a Leadership Development Center to train and indoctrinate imams.[29] On March 7, 2007, it announced a leadership certifying program for imams in conjunction with the National American Imams Federation.[30] [Continue reading.]

No World News would be complete without an article from Michael Yon.

Infrastructure to MRAPs.
Al Qaeda, in particular, however, has made a point of destroying as much critical physical and human infrastructure as possible. Despite spending enormous energy trying to win their war in Iraq, it seems safe to say that al Qaeda has lost or will lose in Iraq. Yet even on the ropes, al Qaeda is still dangerous. They still blow up bridges and attack power stations. But so many groups have turned on al Qaeda that they are having a difficult time just breathing. They are still present and dangerous, but even Ansar al Sunhah has turned against them. When a group as crazy as Ansar al Sunnah turns against al Qaeda, AQ must be evil.

Even criminal gangs—like local mafias—who feed off the chaos al Qaeda drags around like a fetid shadow, are now feeding information about them to American forces. [Continue reading.]

This is a powerful read. Michael has been to Iraq and Afghanistan without the aide of any big press. He does it all by our contributions, so you may want to think of slipping him a small (or large) donation when you’re there if you enjoy his writing. Thank you. 🙂

NATIONAL

I believe this great group of bloggers belong in this category, because they certainly do their best to shed the light on one of the most incidious organizations operating in this county, the ACLU. Stop the ACLU has done extensive work, and they willingly share it with us so that we are able to alert our readers as well. Check out these latest posts:

ACLU Disappointed: FISA Court Denies Access to Wiretap Records.
Writing for the court, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates refused. Releasing the documents would reveal closely guarded secrets that enemies could used to evade detection or disrupt intelligence activities, he said. Sources could be outed, targets could be tipped off and diplomatic relations could be damaged.

“All these possible harms are real and significant and, quite frankly, beyond debate,” Bates wrote. [Read the whole article]

This one is hysterical. It also has the reaction from the ACLU.

Now for the next article:

ACLU Claims Religious Test ‘Proposed as a Necessary Qualification’ for President.
If you can’t win your issue by the strength of your argument… then lie. Apparently that is the tactic of the ACLU if a recent “ACLU’s Diary” entry on the DailyKos by T. Jeremy Gunn is any indication. With all the talk of religion surrounding the various candidates for the GOP nomination for president lately it has obviously been driving our ACLU Director of Freedom of Religion and Belief out of his gourd. (Though, one is excused for thinking that his title is a bit misleading for it should probably be a Freedom from Religion and Belief, but be that as it may…) Gunn goes off half cocked over the supposed forced imposition of religion on the campaign for president. [Read the entire article.]

This is scary. They are supposed some big time constitutional lawyers? They should read the constitution again. THERE IS NO RELIGIOUS TEST. Yikes!

The National Center for Public Policy Research has sent out a press release to make us aware of an injustices and intimidation happening in Ohio by the NAACP’s local chapter. Here is an exerpt:

Black Activists Renew Condemnation of Local Ohio NAACP Chapter for Interference in School Play.
Washington, D.C. – Members of the Project 21 black leadership network have renewed criticism of the Butler County (Ohio) chapter of the NAACP and its executive director over the group’s new call for federal intervention into a local school district. The NAACP is protesting a student presentation of the Agatha Christie play “And Then There Were None.”

Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie says the local NAACP chapter chairman, Gary Hines, deceived him when Hines told Massie that he is not trying to intimidate Lakota administrators or its school board. Hines repeatedly insisted to Massie that he was not attempting to have the play canceled. Massie considers Hines’ request for federal intervention a contradiction of this assertion. [Read the entire press release.]

Sounds rather uncouth to me, as if anyone cares.

OMG! You may believe this next article, but how did we get here?

Democrats Vote Yes to Ramadan, But No To Christmas.
War on Christmas? Bah!

    From the office of GOP Rep. Steve King:

    Congressman Steve King reacted this morning to the nine “NO” votes on his resolution to honor Christmas and the Christian faith. The vote shocked Capitol Hill observers because votes on similar resolutions honoring the holidays of Islam and Hinduism passed without any NO votes.

[Please read the entire article.]

There is also a video. Unbelievable.

LOCAL

Boy, is this one a doosey:

California Budget Deficit Reaches $14 Billion, Growing.
Friends:

Six weeks after the legislature passed, and the Governor signed a “balanced budget”—in September, 2007, the deficit ballooned to $6.1 billion.

Then a month ago, the Finance Department announced the deficit was $10 billion.

All along, the California Political News and Views believed the two year budget deficit would be $20 billion.

Last night the Department of Finance announced that the deficit is now $14 billion…and could grow. We still have six and a half more months before the end of the fiscal year. We still believe the deficit will reach $20 billion. [Read the entire article.]

This is serious, because the state of California’s economic well-being or recession effects the entire United States. If you want to know what it is like to live under total democrat control, look no further than California. I have an inclination to run for office, just to save our state! We’ll see…

What irony. I just looked at my email and found this: California Piglet Book for California! LOL. You can go to that link and read all the hard work Citizens Against Government Waste and The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation have put into collecting this data. Wow.

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Also, I’ve trackbacked to these sites: ACLU Disappointed: FISA Court Denies Access to Wiretap Records, ACLU Claims Religious Test ‘Proposed as a Necessary Qualification’ for President, Scrooges on the Hill: Saying no to Christmas resolution and Democrats Vote Yes to Ramadan, But No To Christmas.

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    So the Democrats say they want to see more visible effort on Iraqi government and her people before they will pay our men and women for the work we sent them there to do? Well, check this out:

    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – The number of Iraqi-led reconciliation efforts swelled over the past two weeks across Multi-National Division – Center as local Iraqi leaders seek to capitalize on an improved security situation by developing the institutions that will enable long-term stability.

    With Coalition Forces and Iraqi Concerned Local Citizens working increasingly in tandem with the Iraqi Police and Army to solidify security relationships, a window has opened for local leadership to push forward business development and infrastructure repair and forge political relationships across sects and neighborhoods.

    On Nov. 26, Khalif Haloos of the Sadr al Yusifiyah Nahia Governance Council hosted more than 500 sheiks from Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish tribes. Also in attendance were Coalition Forces from the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who were the invited guests of the Iraqis who organized the meeting. Security for this meeting, the largest of several important reconciliation gatherings in MND-C in recent days, was provided by the Iraqi Security Forces.

    “This meeting was an example of Sunnis and Shias working together,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div (AASLT). “The ISF took the lead in providing security for the meeting, and we had representation from all the key players in that area. That dynamic, coming from the local level, could be an example for the national government.”

    The sheiks discussed reconciliation issues, from the return of displaced families, to a pact that would allow Iraqis of all sects to travel freely through the sheiks’ territory without fear of sectarian reprisal. They also discussed restraining Iranian influence, suppressing the remaining insurgents in their territory, and ways to integrate their activities with Iraq’s central government.

    On Nov. 27 [2007] at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, leaders of the Iraqi Army and Police met with elected officials and Coalition commanders to discuss security cooperation and coordination in Babil province.

    Col. Michael Garret, commander of the outgoing 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, used the occasion to say goodbye to the Iraqi leaders with whom he had worked for more than a year. Working to build on those relationships now is Col. Thomas James, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

    Although it’s early in James’ deployment, his brigade has seen many examples of local leaders taking steps to improve their community through Sunni and Shia cooperation, specifically from the Sunni sheik and the police chief in Musayyib. Both will tell you that they are Iraqis first, not Sunni or Shia, and only want what’s good for their country and citizens, James said.

    Another meeting was held Dec. 1 on the other side of MND-C at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad. Iraqi civic and tribal leaders in attendance offered frank assessments of their needs and asked U.S. and Iraqi officials for continued support with stabilization efforts.

    Col. Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said after the meeting, “I’ve spent 35 months of my life in Iraq, and this is the best I’ve ever seen it.” He noted, however, that there remain opportunities to synchronize U.S. and Iraqi efforts.

    Part of that direction involves parlaying improved security and cooperation among the different parties to build a stepped-up reconstruction program. Similar to the reconciliation conferences that took place, the reconstruction effort is manifesting itself across MND-C as community development projects.

    On Nov. 28, the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. opened a new medical clinic in Narwhan after the project was approved by Iraq’s Ministry of Health. As a signal of its commitment to the initiative, the ministry hired three doctors to work at the facility, two of whom are female.

    The following day, the 1-10th FA conducted a school bag and bottled-water drop in Sabah Nisan. School children there received 180 school bags and 3,500 cases of water, distributed by the Concerned Local Citizens.

    On Nov. 26, the Al-Wehda Nahia council celebrated with Iraqi and Coalition Forces the completion of a well system in al Sadiq. The system includes water pumps, storage tanks, a generator and quarters for a caretaker. The project was a joint effort by local Iraqis and Coalition Forces.

    Finally, on Nov. 28, Iraqis celebrated the graduation of a class of small businessmen from an entrepreneur training program in the Mada’in Qada. The program helps develop business skills and planning among local business owners and then provides them with micro-grants to revitalize their businesses. As part of the program, U.S. military and civilian officials assess the proposals of the Iraqi graduates and award grants of up to $10,000 to eligible candidates.

    Now I want you to go to your phones and dial toll free at 1-866-340-9281, and tell the Democrats to PAY OUR MEN AND WOMEN! They wanted evidence? Here it is. To continue to ignore this fact, is to ignore any and all facts they with which they disagree politically. This is outrageous, and it should not be allowed to stand. Write about it, talk about it on the radio programs, do whatever you can. Our men and women did not ask to be deployed by the same people who are now refusing to pay them so that they can make political points back home. They really, REALLY, need to stop. Thank you.

    Source: CentCom News Release.

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    Crap. I have to wait until I reboot the computer…AGAIN. Arghh.

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    Simplified Mitt

    Gregg Jackson has written another wonderful article about some of the facts about Mitt Romney, candidate for president of the United States, in a very thoughtful and well researched manner. I shall attempt to simplify each of the 8 points into a single sentence. It is still better if you would go read the article in whole, since he lived in Taxachusetts and I did not.

    Romney: Secrets The Media Are Hiding From You.

    1. Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts on a pro-homosexual, pro-gun control and a pro-abortion agenda.

    2. Is he that liberal? He resided over the Big Dig which killed several people, yet he left it under democrat control, and he imposed a mandatory health care disaster only Hillary could love.

    3. What about pro-life? His health care plan covers abortions, and his record strongly supports his political leanings to pro-abortionists.

    *4. Well, family values are better? He not only signed into law the homosexual marriage law, but he went as far as to fire anyone whose religious beliefs contradicted with his ‘family values’ in the clerks office.

    **5. Okay. Maybe he’s a fiscal conservative? Health care premiums have doubled, and Taxachusetts now pays 75% of their income in taxes.

    6. What about judges? He passed over 27 of 36 conservative and/or GOP judges to place Democrats, independents and two homosexuals on the bench.

    7. But can we trust him? In a Pew Center Poll, only 12% of the people thought of Mitt Romney as being honest. Just ask Teddy Kennedy why…

    8. I will allow myself one quote from the article: ‘If pragmatic means “what works,” then what is it about Mitt that works? When most Americans wouldn’t vote for Mitt in spite of all the money he’s thrown out and all the media glorification, doesn’t that seem to be the opposite of pragmatism? Contrary to conservative talk radio common wisdom, Mitt is the un-pragmatic choice. If Mitt does to America what he did to the “Birthplace of American Democracy,” America will be in a nose-dive by 2012.’

    And we have run the gammit. Do you want to take a chance with someone who reminds me so much of Bill Clinton that it’s eerie? If not, you can help Duncan Hunter to rise to the top. It isn’t too late. All he needs is enough face time as they gave this loser.

    I’ll be honest with you. I do not like him. NO. It is not because of his religion, so shut up about that. He cannot use that to hide behind every time someone tries to show you the facts about his record. My God. We USE TO debate about issues. Do we need to walk on eggshells now because he chose to be a Mormon? I think not! What does everyone expect? Is it now just a beauty contest in these dangerous times we live?

    UPDATE: See what happens when you try to trim important news articles? I got it wrong.

    *”4. Romney never “signed” any same sex marriage bill. There is no law. That is the point. He ordered justices of the peace and town clerks to perform same sex marriage ceremonies or be fired, and also authorized changing the certificates from husband and wife to “partner A” and ‘partner B.” He actually broke the law by doing this since the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling in Goodridge was only an opinion that it was “unconstitutional to ban same sex marriage.” But since court decisions are just opinions and not LAW, Romney illegally ordered that same sex marriage ceremonies be performed.”

    **”5. I never said in my article that Mass. citizens pay 75% taxes. I only wrote that they will – in the future – as his socialist Health Care plan raises costs.”

    It’s good to have him help me when I make a mistake or a misquote. I do not want anyone to think I never make mistakes. I do. I rely on all of you to help me to correct them as soon as possible! That is why I have always suggested you go directly to the source. 😉

    Gregg has also offered a very good site of someone who has covered this in depth. His site is BizzyBlog, and he is our (well, mine anyway!) economic advisor. (By reading his blog. lol)

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    15 Aug 07
    Sgt. David E. Roscoe
    Task Force Pacemaker
    .

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE ORGUN-E, Afghanistan – U.S. Army engineers in Afghanistan are doing their part to restore security and the country’s economy by building roads, bridges and levees to connect Afghanistan’s people.

    Afghanistan’s rugged terrain and mountainous landscape isolates most of the population from the country’s major cities and industrial area. Lack of funding, harsh seasonal weather and flash floods have made it almost impossible to maintain a lasting road system within the country. Only about 35,000 kilometers of roads connect the country’s economic centers. This explains why one of the main goals for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other engineer units is to build and repair an efficient road system in Afghanistan.

    However, major concerns arise for soldiers constructing roads in a combat environment. Improvised explosive devices, car bombs and ambushes are a constant threat to soldiers working on roads. “Our company has been attacked by one IED and one (car bomb), found three IEDs, and been ambushed three times while conducting road-construction missions in Afghanistan,” Army Capt. Nicholas O. Melin, commander of Company B, 864th Engineer Combat Battalion, said. “The motivating thing about all this is that our soldiers are not allowing these obstacles to stop them, and they have maintained their good spirits in the face of danger.”

    Unpredictable rainfall in Afghanistan also has been a major threat for local homes and crops as local rivers flood. This was the case in Sira Qala, a community outside Forward Operating Base Sharana, where an aging levee suffered major flood damage threatening the village’s economy. Army 1st Lt. Robert Green, Equipment Platoon leader with Headquarters and Support Company, 864th Engineer Combat Battalion, was tasked to repair the levee. “I think it was an important construction mission with an immediate impact on the population,” he said. “While it may not be a permanent solution to the problem, it will at least continue to protect the village for another couple seasons.”

    Connecting Afghan civilians to cities with medical facilities also has been a major road construction goal for the battalion, dubbed Task Force Pacemaker for its Afghanistan deployment. In June, the battalion’s Company A completed a 15-kilometer road that connected the village of Khyur Khot to the town of Mest.

    “The Alpha Company road-construction mission was very important because it connected the locals in that area to the town of Mest, which has medical facilities,” Army Capt. Mona A. Tanner, TF Pacemaker plans officer, said. “The road also provided coalition forces with freedom of movement between the two areas. The Alpha Company soldiers were consistent, determined and didn’t let delays weaken their spirits.”

    Army Lt. Col. Mark J. Deschenes, the TF Pacemaker commander, added: “The primary purpose of Task Force Pacemaker’s road-construction mission is to maximize mobility for coalition forces and the Afghan people. The roads that we are constructing support economic growth and an efficient security presence in the country. Locals are able to travel from point A to point B easier than they were able to in the past.

    “They are able to reach medical services and job opportunities with less difficulty,” he added. “The roads also allow for an increased security capability for coalition forces, the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, providing a safer environment for everyone.”

    Photo – Army Staff Sgt. Troy L. Bohanon, a member of Company A, 864th Engineer Combat Battalion, surveys the Khyur Khot to Mest road. U.S. Army photo.

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    13 Aug 07
    By Grant Sattler
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division
    .

    AL BASRAH – The Gulf Region Division’s oil sector neared the finish line at the end of July with the final certification of work on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. The terminal, known as ABOT, is Iraq’s primary avenue for crude oil export.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invested $67.5 million to rehabilitate the export facility 50 km offshore in the Arabian Gulf. Currently, one and a half million barrels of crude oil a day leave Iraq via tankers on-loading at ABOT. That volume is roughly half of the terminal loading capacity of 3 million barrels per day achieved with the upgrade.

    Iraq’s economy is dominated by crude oil export accounting for 97 percent of the government’s revenue. The GRD has been working to improve the country’s ability to get its crude oil to world markets through renovation of key components of the oil infrastructure. The $1.7 billion effort has been funded by the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, but is only a fraction of the $8 billion needed, according to a Coalition Provisional Authority estimate.

    Prior to renovation ABOT illustrated the condition of the entire Iraqi oil infrastructure. Designed and commissioned by Brown and Root in 1974, the 30-year-old technology was in serious disrepair from decades of under funding, lack of preventive maintenance, and war damage from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.

    U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas Brovarone, GRD Oil & Water Sectors director, said the most important improvement at ABOT is the installation of 24 custody transfer meters and associated flow provers that measure how much crude oil is exported from the terminal.

    Supplied by a 48” undersea pipeline from the southernmost tip of the Al Faw Peninsula, the terminal has four berths capable of handling very large carrier type vessels and offloading 300,000-400,000 barrels per day on each berth. The terminal was identified in July 2003 as a key facility for immediate repairs by the Ministry of Oil and the Corp’s Task Force-Restore Iraqi Oil. Parsons Iraq Joint Venture was awarded a contract for the work in January 2004.

    David Anderson, the Corp’s Quality Assurance Representative on the 1.6 kilometer long terminal said, “Before the Corps came on site, Southern Oil Company was using accounting procedures on the tankers and that has a tendency to be less accurate than turbo meters. The turbo metering system is accurate within one hundredths of a percent.”

    Accurate metering is a requirement for confidence necessary in the world community if Iraq is to seek International Monetary Fund loans for remaining oil infrastructure improvements. The metering was installed in Phase 2 of the project.

    Anderson said, “The Corps came out with [construction contractor] AFI and [Parsons Iraq Joint Venture] on Phase 1 to do a refurbishment of the loading arms and the rigging. The functional part of the arms weren’t in real good shape.” In fact, an April 2003 assessment found the loading arms to be operating at only a quarter of their design rate and leaking excessively.

    As they reworked the loading arms for oil transfer, the Corps, PIJV and AFI also turned toward correcting major safety deficiencies on the terminal. Improvements include fusible loop fire detection, gas detection, emergency shut down systems, nitrogen generation and installation of life rafts, Anderson said.

    “Another problem that was discovered on coming to the terminal was that fire fighting capacity was nonexistent. What this project has done is refurbish all the foam systems and recondition the towers… fire fighting capacity will be 120 percent of what it was previously when new,” Anderson said.

    Workers also repaired four hydraulic transfer bridges, build control rooms meeting international standards for both platforms, and installed new power generation and electrical cabling throughout the terminal.

    Photo – Several workers replace cabling on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. Photo by Betsy Weiner.

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    This time I have a trio for you. This was supposed to be posted Wednesday, but I have been so busy. I apologize for that. This railroad is something else. If you want to increase commerce and bring a country together, build a railroad!

    “The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq,” stated Edison. [Continue reading.]

    Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the only fights you heard were the bartering over the prices? Yes, that day will come. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

    In this next article is about my kinda gal. She is the first one in her immediate family to serve, and she did not want to be just anybody. No, she wanted to go for the gusto!

    AL ASAD, Iraq – It is estimated that more than 12,000 Native Americans served in the United States military in World War I. There are more than 190,000 Native American military veterans; as the years continue to compile, so do the numbers of Native Americans in the military.
    […]
    Sixkiller began her journey with the Marine Corps when she enrolled in the delayed entry program Sept. 29, 2005.“I wanted to be one of the first in my immediate family to join one of the services,” said Sixkiller. “I picked the Marine Corps because I had to join the best.” [Continue reading.]

    She may not be from my tribe, but she’s representing. Yeah!

    This is an article about the visit that Admiral Fallon took to Iraq to check out the progress of the refineries and the insurgencies.

    BAYJI, Iraq – Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.Fallon expressed his concern with getting the Bayji Oil Refinery running at its maximum potential, which included proposed methods for the protection of the oil pipelines that run to other cities and neighboring countries. [Continue reading.]

    It may be so that many people are claiming that we went there for oil, but I’d like to see how they were getting around without that crude! BTW, we did not go there for oil, but that’s a given. If there happens to be oil in a place where we have to attack, we are obliged to make sure those fields are protected. Have a great day!
    Dig This Story

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    I know many people think the only thing Marines, Army persons, Navy personnel, the National Guard, the Air Force crew and the such are only capable of killing. Trash things and kill people. That’s all there is to it, right? Hold on! Not so fast here. Here are two articles that could at least pierce your hearts, if only you would read them.

    The first article is aboout changing the lives of these destitute people, one mission at a time.

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The C-130 is one of many different types of aircraft stationed here, but could easily be called one of the most versatile.The members of the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron put that versatility to the test every day. The three primary missions of the C-130s here are airdrop, air-land and aeromedical evacuation.

    “Our airdrop missions can be anything from dropping pamphlets to the locals to humanitarian drops such as water, blankets, food and firewood in the winter, ammunition and troop re-supplies,” said Senior Airman Patrick Keefe, 774th EAS loadmaster. “Air-land missions consist of troop movements or hauling cargo.” [Continue reading.]

    They are being modest. They also provide food to people who are so idolated that they cannot feed themselves. These people are just trying to stay alive after years and years of war.

    The next article is about the necessity of water and the huge impact dams and irrigation will have not only on their crops but also on their economy. Just take one paragraph:

    In a country held back by more than 30 years of war, ineffective water use has made life even more difficult in this already-barren country. Managing water is life or death for farmers like Haji Mazdigar Gul, 56, who explained that without a diversion dam, flooding often causes him to lose his fields, jeopardizing his family’s survival. His village of Koza Bokhana is one of 30 that will benefit from dams, which will redirect water from rivers to the fields of more than 80,000 farmers and families. [Continue reading.]

    This is a very good thing they are doing, and they are not doing it alone. The Afghan people are actually working side-by-side with them. They are all great and while we empower them, we also are helping ourselves here at home. Read and find out why. I am very proud of you guys and gals! 🙂

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    How is our economy–really?

    My Newz ‘n Ideas.

    That would depend on whom you asked. A Democrat might tell you it’s terrible-the worst since Herbert Hoover’s Depression! A Republican might say it’s the best we’ve ever had, with growth not seen since Ronald Reagan was President! Can they both be right? Can they both be wrong? These are questions the voters need to resolve during this heated political climate.

    The news moguls haven’t been discussing-in depth-the economy; however, they did when growth was slow, then it was said it was a jobless economy, and then…nothing. This would lead most to believe that jobs have finally started to surge, but hold on! Let us investigate. What has happened to this economy?

    The economy went through a recession starting in March 2000, the dot.com bubble busted, many people lost a lot of money and confidence, the stock market started to crash, we had a very nasty election for president in 2000, there were tax cuts that were backloaded in May 2001 (they wouldn’t come into effect until 2006-2010,) there was a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, thousands of people became widows/widowers with children, untold thousands of children became orphans, Wall Street was shut down for an entire week (amazingly quick return,) a war ensued in Afghanistan, scandalous corporation executives are being brought to account-but not before they (financially-electrically-and other products) hurt untold millions of people, we had another war-this time with Saddam Hussein in March 19, 2003, there was another (the third) tax cut in 2003 which finally included businesses, and with all of this-from August 2003 to May 2004-one million five hundred thousand jobs were created (across the board) by the free market. Unfortunately in a recovery, jobs are always the lagging indicator, the last to recover. However, people still have confidence and grit. We are going to make this economy work no matter what. That is the American spirit. We have not forgotten September 11, 2001, although many would like it if we did. No, we are the natural resource on which this country can always depend.

    Duncan Maldrum, President of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) has said “By almost any measure-output, employment, profit margins, capital expenditures-this economy is strong.” Many economists agree with him. So why haven’t we heard this? The President has done a poor job of speaking over the media and to the people, while the Democrats know how to call a press conference. Can it be bias in the conglomeration they call the news media? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they just don’t understand simple economics. Otherwise, the only other explanation is they believe anything the Democrats say as gospel. That is dangerous, for any supporter of a particular party. It makes it easier for people to exaggerate spin and be taken advantage of believe.

    Remember, politicians are trying to get you to vote for them. They can’t fool you if you are armed with the facts. Knowledge is power, use yours!

    This is an article which I used to write this article. (It won’t give me the link. Sorry about that.)

    US Government Data Sources.

    Economics and Statistics Administration.
    Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    US Census Bureau.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    US Department of Treasury.
    The Federal Reserve.

    Non-government Sources.

    Institute for Supply Management.
    National Association for Business Economics.
    International Monetary Fund.
    Statistical Office of the European Communities.
    Economic History Service, (Miami and Wake Forrest Universities).

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