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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Six Days Across Nebraska-or Siberia?

Monday, January 16, 2012

How many times have you heard, "Great weather, but we're gonna pay for it," this winter? South of Des Moines we have had record January highs, into the 60's. That's good. Our maple trees have started to bud. That's bad. "Spring" came to a screeching halt last week, though, but regardless of what comes next it will be a short winter. Don't ya just love it when the snow-birds miss an easy winter?


The number of Americans who now consider themselves Republicans increased in December, while the number of Democrats fell by two points. Rasmussen Reports that 35.4% are now Republicans, no-party voters now number 32.0%, and just 32.7% of adults said they were Democrats. Most of the latter are from the east coast, the left coast, and the staff at the University of Iowa. Uh, I made that last sentence up.

One lost (take that either way) Republican, "The Donald" Trump has changed his party affiliation to "unaffiliated." "Mr. Trump has done that in order to preserve his right to run as an independent after the finale of his television show, "The Apprentice," at the end of May," said Michael Cohen, a special counsel to Mr. Trump. If Trump is not satisfied with the Republican candidate, and he, and/or Ron Paul run as an independent, President Obama will be re-elected.


I don't believe in governing with, "A finger in the air and an eye on the polls," (unless they agree with my thinking). However, American voters are losing patience with obstructionists in both political parties. There comes a point when compromise is essential even if those (Republicans, nationally) with the least bargaining power don't get everything they want.


A majority of voters continue to favor the building of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, including that controversial Keystone XL segment in Nebraska. Republicans see the pipeline as a job creator and a step toward reducing our dependence on foreign oil, while Democrats view it as an environmental risk. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, 53% of likely U.S. voters at least somewhat favor building the pipeline.

The following isn't apples-for-apples, but speaks to an inconsistent doctrine. The same guy who is single handedly blocking the development of that "shovel-ready" crude oil pipeline through Nebraska has warned Iran not to, "choke off traffic through the Strait of Hormuz," which could restrict the flow of Iranian oil. That guy would be our President Obama, who also has blocked, delayed, or seriously limited, exploration and drilling in the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and off-shore.

U.S. News Weekly quoted Pentagon press secretary George Little as saying, "Interference with the transit or passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated." Tough, warlike talk, but "it takes money to buy whiskey."

A 2011 Gallup poll found that 60% of Americans favor increasing offshore drilling for oil and gas in U.S. coastal areas, up from 50% in May 2010.


Nobody lives in the 19,000,000 acre ANWR, but it is oil rich. Russia sold us Alaska in 1867 (Seward's Folly) for 7.2 million dollars, just 2.5 cents per acre, and the purchase was ratified by the U.S. Senate by only one vote. Proving long ago that they are nobody's fool, Russia kept Siberia.

Secretary of State William Seward was a prominent Republican and an outspoken opponent of slavery. Unfortunately he did not live to see the three major benefits of his purchase, the discovery of gold and oil, both occurring in the 1890's. Sarah Palin wasn't "discovered" until much later.


Siberia, like Nebraska, gets a bum rap when it comes to tourism. It is not all frozen tundra, swamps and mountains. Siberia has one important rail line, the Trans-Siberian Railway (a trip from Moscow to Vladivostok crosses eight time zones and takes six days). It takes slightly less time to cross Nebraska (two time zones) on I-80, its one road. Both are rich in natural resources. Covering nearly 10% of Earth's land surface, Siberia has some of the world's largest deposits of nickel, gold, lead, coal, diamonds, and silver. Nebraska has beef, on the ranch as well as in the offensive line.

ANWR is estimated to have the capacity to produce 1,000,000 barrels per day. Currently, around 1.5 million barrels per day are produced in the Gulf of Mexico; if the Obama administration would stop blocking permits and allow that production to increase by only 20 percent that would be 300,000 barrels per day. Then there is the Keystone pipeline which would let 900,000 barrels per day flow from Canada. We use about 19,150,000 barrels every day.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That

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