Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Readership Climbs

A Nice Comment Makes the Elephant's Day

Well dear readers, slowly but surely our readership grows. This week is seeing some of the highest traffic on the Elephant ever. Granted that means the average daily hits have climbed from four to about 13, but still that's progress. I found this really nice comment about the blog today.
Yet another interesting blog, this one authored by a "former Congressional Chief of Staff and an attorney." From the web address, you know already that this guy is a Republican. I figured that this guy, who is very well spoken and gently opinionated (I say gently because he states his opinion and doesn't try to shove it down your throat, just simply states what he thinks about something and why),

He's right. I've chosen to work in a profession where everyone's opinion is valid, even if it is way crazy. My goal has been to try to share my thoughts about DC happenings through the eyes of someone who deals with it on a daily basis rather than the talking head blather that fills the news channels. It's nice to know at some level others can see that. Thanks

Hi Mr. Elephant,
I've just started into this Blogging stuff. Most of it is crap, but enough of it is interesting enough to keep me coming back. I was just reading your post about oil prices and such.
I work in the oil patch in Calgary and we're just loving it now. Prices have necer been so high and I don't think it's going to back off anytime soon.
A couple of thoughts:
1. I think you missed an important driver for oil prices: China. I had to laugh a few months back when I read a report (rumour?) of how Mr. Bush had made a deal with the Saudis whereby they would increase production to reduce the price of oil to coincide with the U.S. election in order to make Bush look good. Well, those days when Saudi could control the world oil price are long gone. World demand far outstrips anything the Saudis could produce (and get to market).
2. There's still a lot of speculation (after all these years) of why Bush invaded Iraq. A lot of people say it was for the oil. To me, that makes little or no sense. Considering the cost (money, lives, etc) does it make sense? How much oil is the U.S. getting from Iraq? Has it stabilized anything in the Middle East? By far the better way to spend that money would have been to develop the Tar Sands in northern Alberta where there are reserves greater than in the Midde East (but a lot harder to extract). But it would have been politically, economically and environmentally safe. Not to mention the tragic loss in lives on all sides.
3. Invest in Resource Trusts! With the current world situation these things are going to make nothing but money. Check out for more info.

That's it for today. Keep up the great work!


Don't get me wrong, I recognize that China's exploding markets are driving the cost up for oil and a lot of other commodities. I do think that we are paying a risk premium for oil based on the instability in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. I'm sanguine about the long term prospects in Iraq, but I am deeply dissappointed in the lack of forsight and leadership by my goverment in anticipating the current state of affairs.

It's refreshing to see that you realize that this war wasn't about oil. Frankly, I'm not sure why we are there. Containment would have been a better use of our resources. (Unfortunate for the people of Iraq, but then I don't see the U.S. running to help the poor people of Sudan or Rwanda) I just hope that we fufill our responsibilities to the Iraqi people now that we've gone in. I think there is a lot of untapped animosity in the American public who think we were sold a bill of goods on WMD.

Speaking of Tar Sands, I just read a fascinating article about the massive reserves up in Canada. Don't know much about the cost of processing that into useable enegery, but I imagine it is quite high.

Keep reading and commenting, in fact, I invite you to consider writing a brief submission for Elephant on the Edge.

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