TMLutas' blog posts can now be found at Flit(tm)

July 18, 2003

Europe's population implosion

Posted by TMLutas

On the 14th, I tangentially mentioned the european problem of a population implosion and did 'research by Google', quickly searching the first few google links to get a high fact content backup to the allegation. I should have dug deeper. Here's a better article that makes the same point that comes for a more reputable source.

Can European pride withstand being a long-term shrinking influence in the world? Which way are the straight line projections going to be wrong?

Reagan the craven, Bush the cowardly?

Posted by TMLutas

I normally like Victor Davis Hanson but his effort today has got to be one of his weaker ones. How often do you find Reagan being criticized as an appeaser in an US mainstream right wing publication? Yet there it is.

But foreign policy is not the only area of US policy that is seriously out of whack and by applying Hanson's analysis, any politician who compromises to form a winning coalition in other areas can later be called a coward or an appeaser. This certainly includes the present occupant of the White House.

When the history of racial preferences is finally written after they are killed off, should GWB's timid brief in the Michigan case be called craven? When US public pension funds explode in an unsustainable sea of red ink is it fair to strongly condemn GWB for not solving the problem as promised?

This road leads to a destination of no heroes to emulate, no good men in politics because none hold firm all the time. The US system forces compromise. To ignore the greater good enabled by a compromise is not proper historical analysis because it ignores context. Reagan did cut and run in Beirut but his larger military record is one of reversing the Carter era perception of US weakness both in the US and without.

Well we coulda impeached him but...

Posted by TMLutas

Bob Graham has launched the next trial balloon in the campaign to dirty up President Bush for next year's election. I can see the next step of the campaign already. "If we only had more Democrat House members, we would have presented all our evidence but now you, the voter, have the job of fixing that".

Good news for Asia's economy

Posted by TMLutas

OPEC, and especially Saudi Arabia, have worked the asian oil market hard, creating an "Asia premium" on oil prices that has ranged as high as $3/bl. This has meant extra billions in OPEC coffers with oil consuming businesses in Asia paying the price. Stratfor in their e-mailed intelligence brief has noted that Israel's TIPLine oil pipeline has recently finished some modifications that spell the end of the Asia premium. Russia is constrained by Turkey's (possibly illegal according to the WW I settlements) Bosphorus tanker regulations to shipping oil in small tankers that simply are uneconomic to use beyond local transport. Israel falls within the practical Russian tanker zone so now oil can be unloaded on Israel's Meditteranean coast in smaller Russian tankers, transshipped via the TIPLine and reloaded into conventional long-haul supertankers in the Red Sea at the port of Eilat for further shipment to Asia.

Stratfor's story seems to be for subscribers only but a cut and paste of the article is available, unfortunately without attribution. Naughty Evgeny.

Canadian/Iranian journalist beaten to death?

Posted by TMLutas

Thanks to James Taranto's Best of the Web for giving a wider audience to the arrest and possible beating death of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist. Her son wishes an independent autopsy performed but Iranian officials are not permitting it.

Mrs. Kazemi's crime seems to have been photographing a prison. What is Iran so ashamed about regarding its penal system?

A sole product of BruceR and Jantar Mantar Communications, and affiliated contributors. Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's half-informed viewpoint on the world.