Long before the full frenzy of the boom, you could see its harbingers at the Mountrail County courthouse in Stanley, N.D. Geologists had pored over core samples and log signatures and had made their educated guesses, and now it was the hour of the “landmen,” the men and women whose job was to dig through courthouse books for the often-tangled history of mineral title and surface rights. (Snip)… around seven years ago — driven by technological refinements that have made North Dakota a premier laboratory for coaxing oil from stingy rocks — the state’s Bakken boom began....
Comments: Long, but highly informative. The usual NYT condescension and snark are, unfortunately, seeded throughout.
I was annoyed throughout the article with the snobbishness of the writer who saw nothing of the beauty of this area of America, and bemoaned its ´lack of culture´. Well, those people who call the Great Plains ´flyover country´ will never, ever, get it.
Although Obama bragged that oil production is up in the USA, he neglected to mention that it is only UP on private land, because the gov´t can´t get their hands on it to shut it down. The entire country could be booming if Obama would get out of the way.
FTA: Even a well-publicized investigation by the news Web site ProPublica that reported that there were more than “1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater and other fluids” in North Dakota in 2011 passed without much fuss.
The authors should ask themselves, how many accidental releases of heating oil got reported in NY? How many spills are reported in NY putting gasoline into filling stations? How many septic tank draining companies improperly disposed of the water they removed? When you are drilling 100 wells a month, you get into a groove where you do it right the first and every time. It costs too much money to do otherwise.
That has a positive side. People love to explore the Badlands and rock formations in the western Dakotas. They love to hunt, fish and photograph the bounty the grassland and waterways have to offer. If New York Times folk see such activities as beneath them, that means they´ll never venture to this part of the country and ruin it.
On a frosty morning spent hunting for deer and moose, there´s no place to put one´s latte and French pastries. There´s no room for them in an ice fishing hut, either. Got to save space for your beer.
Actually, I´ve always considered "big city culture" to be rather shallow. Much of it is so very self-centered. OK for a cursory visit but very lacking in long term satisfaction. About like going to a strip club.
In Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, the eponymous Auric Goldfinger observes: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action. That may be overly generous. A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited. Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.
Under the agreement reached in Geneva over the weekend, Iran is permitted to keep one-half of the uranium it has enriched to the 20% level, and is required to dilute the remaining one-half to 5% U-235. It is allowed to continue enriching uranium, but agrees not to take that process beyond 5% U-235 during the next six months. No doubt many people who hear about those terms will be reassured, thinking that 5% enrichment, and even 20%, represents only a small percentage of the total effort (snip) for a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
It isn’t surprising that the US and the other five powers signed a deal with Iran on Saturday. Over the past few weeks, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear that they were committed to signing a deal with Iran as quickly as possible. (snip) Iran will achieve nuclear capability while enriching itself through the deal because the deal gives Iran sanctions relief without requiring Iran to make any irreversible concessions. Indeed, Iran just received the international community’s permission to continue to enrich uranium, keep all its nuclear installations open and build new centrifuges.
Negotiations for an “interim” arrangement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program finally succeeded this past weekend, as Security Council foreign ministers (plus Germany) flew to Geneva to meet their Iranian counterpart. After raising expectations of a deal by first convening on November 8-10, it would have been beyond humiliating to gather again without result. So agreement was struck despite solemn incantations earlier that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” (snip) This is abject surrender by the United States.
As we go to press, the Obama administration seems to be hurtling towards a bad deal with Iran. The administration will claim the agreement freezes and indeed sets back the Iranian nuclear program. But even the New York Times acknowledges that “only some elements are frozen, and rollbacks in the initial agreement are relatively minor” and can be easily reversed. Furthermore, the “deal” would mean the United States would retreat from its previous clear red line—one embodied in repeated U.N. Security Council resolutions—of requiring that Iran stop enrichment.
On November 22, 1963, two other notable men died, and got relegated to the foot of page 37 — the British authors C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley. Lewis endures because of the Narnia books (and films), but there’s a lot more in the back of his wardrobe. In his book The Abolition of Man, he writes of “men without chests” — the chest being “the indispensable liaison” between the head and the gut, between “cerebral man” and “visceral man.” In the chest beat what Lewis calls “the trained emotions.” Without them there is no honor or virtue, but only
I’m not going to insult your intelligence by pretending there’s a right and a wrong side in the just-concluded battle over the filibuster. At this point, arguments about the justice of the filibuster are entirely instrumental: To know what someone is going to write, you need only know which party they supported in the last election. Let us just note that this has been a long time coming, and at this point it was probably inevitable from one side or another; the grievances are long and deep, and both sides have joyously fed the wild tide of ill will
Poor countries pulled out of the United Nations climate talks during a fight over transferring wealth from richer countries to fight global warming. The G77 and China bloc led 132 poor countries in a walk out during talks about “loss and damage” compensation for the consequences of global warming that countries cannot adapt to, like Typhoon Haiyan. The countries that left claim to have the support of other coalitions of poor nations, (snip) Developed countries have also banded together to block attempts to create a whole new bureaucracy to handle climate “reparations” to poor countries.
New York City police authorities are investigating a series of unprovoked physical attacks in public places on people who are Jewish, in the form of what is called "the knockout game." The way the game is played, one of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by. Often some other member of the group records the event, so that a video of that "achievement" is put on the Internet, to be celebrated.
More than a year after three Marines were shot to death on their base in an insider attack by an Afghan police chief’s “tea boy,” there is still no official explanation for why a warning that could well have prevented the tragedy seems to have gone unheeded. There is also no explanation for why the police chief was allegedly allowed to sexually assault children with apparent impunity on an American military facility. But authorities have taken action against one person they should be praising, the 32-year-old Marine Reserve officer who issued the warning about the police chief
Oprah Winfrey figures that old people marinated in racism should just die. I´m not exaggerating. She said it the other day in an interview with the BBC to promote her film "Lee Daniels´ The Butler." “There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die,” Oprah said. And she condemned criticism of President Barack Obama by saying that much of it is steeped in racism. “Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs
As I´ve written here before, there are two Americas: One that works, produces value, and overcomes problems, and one that for the most part doesn´t work, consumes wealth, and produces more problems than it solves. The America that doesn´t work was very much in evidence this past week, (snip) [T]he America that works was doing considerably better. Although "energy independence" has been an official government policy for four decades, we´re on the way to achieve that more in spite of, than because of, the federal government.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” Wednesday that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, “he didn’t charge food stamps.” “When Jesus had those five loaves and two fishes, he didn´t charge food stamps. He didn´t ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry, and that´s really where we ought to be,” McDermott said in response to Republican critics of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In September, the House approved a plan by Republicans to cut $39 billion in food stamps over the next
The nation’s view of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, colored by the horrific Benghazi assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya on her watch, has suddenly turned upside down, with more now holding an unfavorable opinion of the likely 2016 presidential candidate. A new YouGov/Economist poll found Clinton, whose approval ratings have typically been sky high, with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent, more than the 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of her. The YouGov pollsters said that the change in American attitudes toward Clinton "suggests that negative press surrounding the tragic
MIDDLETOWN, Del.- Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson´s fifth-grade classroom. Today´s students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend? "It´s hard. But you can handle this," Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in kindergarten through high school. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, Lawson and and other teachers are starting to use the standards
Bill Clinton, the cliché goes, was the first black president, no matter his skin color. That being the case, Barack Obama is not the first black president, or the first African-American president, if you prefer, but the first hippie president. Clinton’s southern background and lifestyle were indeed more typically black, just as Obama’s was more typically hippie. And we’re not just talking about the “Choom gang” here, scarfing “Maui Wowie” on the sands of Oahu. We’re talking about all of it, the whole multi-culti-missing-white-mother-vanished-Kenyan-father-anti-imperialist-America-is-always-the-enemy-and-don’t-you-forget-it-nine-yards. And like most hippie culture as I knew and experienced it, it wasn’t about “peace and love.” Not
Senior officials in the White House have said that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is desperate and weak,” in reaction to Netanyahu´s remonstrations against the deal struck with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Israeli television Channel 10 quoted the officials as saying “His pronouncements show a lack of self-confidence,” in an unusually harsh personal attack on Netanyahu. “We are not perturbed by his vocal opposition.”
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post. “Christie already has a problem with many Republicans refusing to forgive him because of his embrace of [President] Obama and his socially liberal policies,’’ said a nationally prominent GOP operative. “But this bizarre behavior in suggesting he won’t help a Republican defeat a Democratic governor, and a Cuomo no less, could finish off his chances of becoming his party’s nominee for president in 2016,’’ the
During a presentation at the White House in which President Barack Obama touted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the president declared that his signature health care reform law was not going to be repealed. This assertion led his administration members, his staff, and audience members to rise from their seats and give the president a standing ovation. Obama said that ACA opponents’ alternative to the health care reform law is to champion repeal and going back to the health care delivery system status quo ante. He specifically cited Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who he said was asked directly for
A woman has revealed how difficult it is to eat healthily and stay full when living off an average food stamp budget. Melinda Moulton, from Huntington, Vermont, was one of 200 people to take part in the 3Squares Challenge, which saw her living for a week on just $36 worth of food, or around $1.71 a meal. Opting to try and eat as healthily as possible, Ms Moulton resorted to cheap foods like yogurt for breakfast, two handfuls of peanuts for lunch and lentil stew for dinner, all of which left her unsatisfied.´I don´t know how people do it,´ said
President Obama will cast growing income inequality and a decline in economic mobility as a “fundamental threat to the American dream” during a speech Wednesday in Washington. The speech will serve as an early preview for next year’s State of the Union address, according to a White House official, who said Obama would focus much of his energy over the next three years on the issue. “The decisions we make over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where, if you work hard, you can get ahead,” the official said.
A push by activists to ease the 30-year-old blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men faces a key test this week as a federal panel hears results of the latest research. The findings will be released amid growing pressure from politicians and advocates, including college students, to change the policy. Critics say the ban is a hangover from the early, fear-filled days of AIDS, stigmatizing gay men and ignoring advances in treatment and detection in the decades since. Supporters of the policy say politics, not science, is driving the proposed change, which would heighten the risk of
Barack Obama is a man with only one core conviction. He has, as the basic foundation of his otherwise disorganized and uncertain belief system, the irrefutable tenet that the United States, because of its European roots, has been the epitome of oppression and arrogance throughout its history. Therefore, he is able to rationalize the need to say or do anything as the transformation of American society and the end of the pre-eminent status of the United States are his sole objectives. He has, thus, adopted a pre-meditated schizophrenic personality wherein he comports himself as an apologist and appeaser on the
Despite first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy living push, American eating habits deteriorated in the first 10 months of 2013, compared with 2012, according to a recent survey. According to a Gallup survey released over the Thanksgiving holiday, the percentage of adults reporting that they ate healthy all day “yesterday” has been consistently lower all 2013 compared to 2012.