and Why Ships No Longer Go To Sea
June 15, 2008 by StrategyPage
Navies are facing a crises because of rising fuel costs. Last year, these costs went up fifty percent, and another 25 percent jump is expected this year. Oil prices have been growing steadily over the past decade, as the huge economies of India and China both experienced strong growth. Global GDP has grown from $29 trillion to $48 trillion (a 65 percent jump) in the last decade, but oil production has not kept up (increasing 10 percent, while natural gas went up 29 percent and coal 40 percent). Defense spending was up 45 percent in that period, meaning that most navies (and air forces) are responding to the skyrocketing fuel prices by spending fewer days at sea. Fuel oil for ships is now approaching $600 a ton. A destroyer, moving at high speed, can burn over 100 tons a day. A large aircraft carrier is, at current fuel prices, much cheaper to run on nuclear power, than fuel oil. Even smaller ships burn a lot more fuel in aggregate.
All this means crews get less training, and naval chores get less attention. This is great news for smugglers, pirates and terrorists, who can expect to see fewer warships out on patrol, as the price of fuel keeps rising.
Putin is in da House (acting like a pimp)
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s former president and current prime minister, has been accused of using donated art to decorate the St. Petersburg palace he used as a private residence, the Daily Telegraph reports. Oligarch Alisher Usmanov recently gave the Russian state 400 works of art that he bought for $50 million last September, but instead of being displayed in galleries, the paintings have been hung in Konstantin Palace, built by Peter the Great and rebuilt in 2000 on Putin’s orders at a cost of $117 million. According to the Telegraph, while Putin has little right to use the palace since stepping down as president, Kremlin officials indicated that President Dmitry Medvedev would not stand in Putin’s way if he wanted to turn the palace into an unofficial residence.
America’s Extreme Makeover by GB
Earlier this week, I reported that the ACLU is planning to raise over $300 million in order to expand its assault on our values in the American heartland. But to get a glimpse of the “extreme makeover” the ACLU and its radical left allies have in store for us, just look to our northern neighbor. Today’s New York Times carries a chilling story about the lack of free speech and political censorship that exists in “progressive” Canada and many European countries thanks to the “tyrants of tolerance” on the Left. You may be familiar with the story – I’ve written about it before. A Canadian magazine is on trial for publishing “hate speech.” Muslim students objected to the magazine excerpting parts of Mark Steyn’s recent book, “America Alone,” which documents how demographic changes in the Western world could result in the “Islamization” of our European allies, thereby leaving America to stand alone against Islamofascism.
For proof of how nefarious these “hate crimes” laws are and how entrenched Islam has become in Europe, consider the case of French film star Brigitte Bardot. She was recently convicted of provoking racial hatred for writing a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy in 2006, saying she was “tired of being led by the nose by this population [Muslims] that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.” For expressing her opinion, she was fined $23,000. And consider this case in Canada: Pastor Stephen Boissoin was recently convicted by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for writing a letter to the editor criticizing the homosexual indoctrination that is taking place in Canadian classrooms. He has been ordered to pay $7,000 in fines, issue a public apology and “cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.”
The assault on free speech and religious liberty in Canada is being carried out in the name of tolerance and has sadly been legitimized in law. Here is an excerpt of a 1990 Canadian Supreme Court decision limiting free speech: “…the international commitment to eradicate hate propaganda and, most importantly, the special role given equality and multiculturalism in the Canadian Constitution necessitate a departure from the view, reasonably prevalent in America at present, that the suppression of hate propaganda is incompatible with the guarantee of free expression.” Did you catch the liberal buzz words, my friends: “equality,” “multiculturalism”? And, of course, it’s government bureaucrats who define what constitutes “hate propaganda.”
Here in America, the Left has used “tolerance,” “equality” and “multiculturalism” as clubs to browbeat its political opposition and silence debate. It is the Left that has sought to shut down conservative and Christian talk radio with the Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine.” It is the Left that last year tried to ban “grassroots communications” in order to gag pro-family organizations. And it’s the Left that has imposed speech codes throughout our institutions of higher learning, where, ironically, academic freedom and tolerance are extolled as the highest of virtues.
I’ve said it before, but let me repeat it again: the normalization of the homosexual lifestyle – especially the legalization of same-sex “marriage” – will threaten religious liberty and free speech in America. It is happening already. A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6,000 for refusing to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.” A black woman lost her job in Ohio recently for writing a letter to the editor rejecting the notion that today’s homosexual rights movement is equivalent to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Just this week, I received a message telling me that an employee at a major insurance company had been fired for expressing his opposition to the company’s sponsorship of a “gay pride day.” Is this the culture you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren? Our values and our freedoms are at stake. Fight for them!