Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jesus Built My Hot Rod but Muhammad Pumps the Gas

"There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, 3/27/03

Oh, Paul, has it really been four years? 'Cause there have been some problems with that line of thinking.

In honor of this anniversary, I thought I'd pair up my general paranoia and curiosity about Chavez and Ahmadinejad and Putin and dig into exactly how much of our petrol product we import, and from whom do we import it? While pretty, the USA Today graphics aren't exactly concise, and vaguely referenced numbers proliferate the news media as a whole. I wanted it from the horse's mouth, and I wanted to make sure the right numbers were being added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided.

The CIA's Factbook was horribly outdated, estimating consumption and production at 2004 and 2005 estimated respectively.

The horse's mouth:Official Energy Information Administration of the United States US Petroleum Imports

I gathered the numbers in the EIA Report (This is the December 2006 report, released February), and made calculations based on the total petroleum product import from each country.

And what is Mr. Ed saying?

Iraq is still providing us with 3.29% of our petroleum imports. Somehow. Of course, we're paying out the ass for it.

The Persian Gulf countries are supplying 16.36% of our oil imports.

What if OPEC cut us off? 41.16% of our imports are gone.

This one's fun: If we add Amanadinajad to Putin to Chavez and throw in Kim Jong Il and push some regional influence, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Russia, and Vietnam provide 37.45% of our Petroleum products. Throw in Mexico, just to twist the knife, and we could conceivably lose 47.92% of our oil imports.

How could we even wage war against that? We couldn't fuel our machines of destruction. We couldn't lube the gears of Shiva.

I'm not saying this is a likely scenario. But it's nice to have the numbers at a time when war with Iran is looking imminent, King Abdullah just canceled dinner with the president (and called our occupation of Iraq illegal), our list of enemies is growing and their cry is becoming louder. How long before the Lilliputians number so many that they look at each other and say "We could take this fucker." I don't think we're waiting on numbers, just realization.

Our country is talking about alternative energy in the form of ethanol, wind power, and biomass, but it's still in the starts and giggles phase. It's exactly like Darfur: much decrying the situation, but no action to back up the supposed convictions. And without the convictions and without the change, we're the dog tethered to the tanker. It goes down? We drown.

Based on the EIA's numbers, we're a superpower pushing buttons against a world that could shut us down. We might want to pay attention to that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hannity Shenanigans/Christ on a Bun Crossover: TMNT

I haven't actually started the Christ on a Bun segment, but what better way to introduce it?

This is from Tuesday, March 28th's show. Curtis Sliwa was in for Sean Hannity (who apparently had diarrhea of some sort). Curtis started the show by raging against California for a bill that would allow men to change their name as easily as women after marriage. He said the men had balls like cocktail onions. He was perfectly consistent with "Barack Hussein Obama" and knocked out some real 5th grade zingers like "Kim Jong Mentally Il" and "beyond the rice curtain." Brilliant!

But sometimes the caller can trump the awe one can have for the idiocy of the host:
CURTIS: Let's go to Tim who's calling from Arizona. Welcome to the Sean Hannity show, Tim.

TIM: Hey. Um, I just wanna say I'm, I kinda, somewhat agree with your wife on the Ninja Turtles thing, but just for the record, it's not for the violence. It's with some of my personal spiritual beliefs that Ninja Turtles is wrong.

CURTIS: No no no, wait a second, hold your horses here guy. Wait a sec. You mean to tell me Raphael, who's now apparently become a metal-plated street vigilante dubbed the Night Watcher, and the party dude Michaelangelo - raise the roof let's party hardy, let's go to the rave music fest - that this violates your spiritual well being? You gotta be pullin' my chain and chewin' my shorts.

TIM: No, it's the fact that they mutated into turtles. I'm not allowed to watch the X-Men either. Bu- it's not because of the violence, it's because of the mutant factor. My mom thinks that's demonic and I happen to agree with that.

CURTIS: Woah, woah, wait a sec. What about the brainy Donatello? It encourages kids to read, to apply themself.

TIM: It also encourages kids to become Ninja Turtles and fight demonic warlords, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. When I was five or six, I used to watch Barney a lot, and I've always been very - my mom, parents have always been very open to make sure that I get to have the experience other kids do, as long as they're not, you know, demonic or anti-law, Christian beliefs. But, the, uh [CURTIS: Tim, Tim, Tim.] I remember crying, I remember crying one episode because Barney made BJ dress up like a girl to make Baby Bop, so that he'd be more sensitive to Baby Bop.

CURTIS: ...First of all, I hate Barney. If I had a gun, I'd shoot Barney. That's right.... So your reaction to Barney had to do because you think it's feminizing young males?

TIM: Yes.

CURTIS: And yet you have a problem with Leonardo because he went into that self-imposed exile after being sent off by Yoda, what was that, Splinter, the sensei? You have a problem with that because it affects your spiritual beliefs.

TIM: No, I have a problem with the fact that they're mutants. I mean, the fact that they're like turtle boys and stuff.

CURTIS:Excuse me, excuse me. Greg, here at the board, flip the script on this guy. I'm losin' it. I mean being opposed to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is like being opposed to Mom, apple pie, and the flag. This is what we want our kids to know: how to defend themselves, to know good values, to be out there to defend, the women, the children, the elderly, the infirm, those who can least defend themselves. This guy was freaky-deaky. Are you sure he wasn't on some kind of psychotropic drugs? He wasn't eating shrooms out there in the desert? Or eating some peyote, claiming it part of a Native American experience?
I don't even know where to start. Let's hit three main points.
  • Curtis somehow managed to name each of the four Ninja Turtles and their sensei Splinter exactly once. Spooky.
  • "Stop chewin' my shorts and let's go to the rave music fest" will now replace "Damn kids, get off my lawn!"
  • Home-schooled, socially retarded kids like Tim should be locked up in a special jail with his parents and sterilized to live long lives of Kodiak chawin' and Mickey's widemouths.

And that's probably enough.

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now?

If I go there will be trouble
An if I stay it will be double

- The Clash

Last week, the house voted that we should get out of Iraq by March 2008.

Yesterday, the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called our presence in Iraq "illegal." And then he canceled on dinner. Seriously. Whatever X-BFF.

Now I'm not saying it was all my doing, but I pushed a little Yoda at the Senate on Tuesday and, well, they narrowly preserved the deadline of March 2008.

All of congress, the American people, and the Saudi King, don't think we should be fighting a protracted war, are saying "enough." Poland and Denmark are leaving. England's heavily reducing its presence.

When will it click for George Bush? But all the president can do is smile, dark, gooey veto dripping from his hands and face.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Faulty Faculty on All Things Democrat

Been working on a post for All Things Democrat about Time's issuance of an edict for Bible worship.