Peter C. Maffitt

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Understanding Ukraine and Crimea Issues

Understanding Ukraine and Crimea Issues

Events in Ukraine and Crimea are difficult for Americans to understand. There are three books which help explain some of the historical and contemporary issues. Begin with Orlando Figes’sThe Crimean War, A History. One of the consequences of the Russian

Europe Energy Independent? The Coming Shale Basin Economic Boom

Europe is going through an extended disruptive economic period. Many people and institutions are greatly harmed in disruptive periods, but this is when nations are forced to develop new, efficient technologies to pull themselves out of this malaise. Europe has

'Heart Of A Soldier': An Opera Worth Seeing

David Gockley, general director of the San Francisco Opera, has commissioned an opera, “Heart of a Soldier,” on the life of the hero Rick Rescorla, the man who predicted the NY World Trade Center 9/11 attack. The director is Francesca

Texas Drought And Fires: The Real Cause Is Not Global Warming

In Texas there is a 100 year drought. Over 3.5 million acres of Texas have burnt, which is larger than the State of Conn. There have been massive fires in Bastrop, Grimes, Waller, and Montgomery Counties. Over 2,00 homes in

Mexican Oil Production: The Coming Crisis

Crude oil production and revenue are essential elements to a stable Mexico. The Rice University James A Baker Institute for Public Policy Energy Forum has just presented a compressive study on “The Future of Oil in Mexico.” It was financed

America's Southwest Border Is A 'Threat'

Congressman Michael T. McCaul of Texas There is growing concern regarding the security of our US-Mexican border. In 2006 our Homeland Security Committee did a report on the issue. It is available on the web site of Congressman Michael T.

The Great 2011 Floods

There is a potential natural disaster developing with the water deluge creating flood conditions along the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Black River, etc. Will the Mississippi River peak around May 14th and will the levies hold? In 1927 the levies

Gubser's Posthumously Published Book on Saladin is Compelling

Peter Gubser has written an extraordinary book on Saladin (depicted below), the 12th century warrior-king Middle East leader who was the great Muslim opponent in the Third Crusade. Gubser died just before his exceptional book was published in late 2011.

U.S. Mexican Border Is A War Zone

In early April (PIT/TIP) Policia International Transfonteriza and The Transborder International Police had their 5th annual Training Conference in Houston, Texas. Few Americans have a full appreciation for the degree of Drug violence along the US Mexican border. The mission

Oil Company CEO: $140 a Barrel Not an Aberration, but a Warning

John Hess, CEO of Hess Petroleum, sees a major future Energy Crisis. “The $140 per barrel oil price three years ago was not an aberration- it was a warning.” His talk was broken in eight parts covering: introduction, oil, natural

Obama Making Us More Dependent on Foreign Oil

Is the Middle East the only reason gasoline prices are rising and how much damage will they do to our economy? Gasoline and diesel prices are going up. That is a certain. The issue is how high is high and

North Africa and the Middle East In Chaos: A Failure of Socialism

Great events are occurring in the Muslim North African and Middle East World. There are many factors to understand what is happening and what will happen in these nations. Over the centuries regimes have risen and fallen. Change is the

Iran Primer: Take a Look

Land borders: Afghanistan – 585 miles Armenia – 22 miles Azerbaijan-Nakhchivan exclave – 112 miles Azerbaijan – 270 miles Iraq – 911 miles Pakistan – 568 miles Turkmenistan – 620 miles Turkey – 312 miles 2010 population: 74.5 million Ethnic

Energy Costs – They Will 'Skyrocket' Thanks to Obama

The debate for 2011 is what will happen with crude oil, heating, oil, gasoline, and natural gas prices? Will they increase or decrease? Google “Crude Oil and Natural Gas Spot Prices NYMEX” and you will get a mass of detail

Obama's Energy Policies Will Cost U.S. – Dearly

On December 23, 2010, WTI crude oil moved over $90 a barrel. The 2011 question is will crude oil price increase over $100 barrel or fall back into the$70 $80 barrel range? The fact is every $1 increase in crude

Spain's Debt Crisis Bodes Ill for Our Own

Events in Spain need to be watched closely. Spain is in the midst of a credit crisis, a major debt crisis. The reality is Spain has tapped the financial markets through borrowing treasury bills. Spain is paying more than a

India Nuclear Power Development

India just announced a $9 billion nuclear power deal with France. India’s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) currently has 17 atomic plants which only produce 3% of India’s power. That will change. AREVA, the French national nuclear power company, just closed

Mexican Demographics and the Coming Crisis

What is not understood in Washington, and by most US citizens, is that Mexico, our closest neighbor, is our most important strategic foreign policy and economic trade nation. Mexican demographics both in Mexico and of Mexican-Americans in the US are

'Chosin' DVD

US Marine Corps Capt Brian IGLESIAS, director, and Anton Sattler, co writer, have produced an outstanding DVD on the Nov/Dec, 1950, Chosin Reservoir battle in North Korea. Iglesias enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was promoted to Captain. He

US Population 2050

The United States is experiencing a major population revolution, largely unrecognized by our voting public. For several years I have followed US population projections, which really are quite interesting. For example in 1987 the US Census Bureau projected that the

Global Staph and Germ Infection Prevention

With all the international advances in modern medicine international staph infections and germs are still a major problem, including potential germ warfare. I was discussing the staph infection and germ problem with a friend and he said ” remember Dr.

The Forgotten Highlander

Re: The Forgotten Highlander, My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East, by Alistair Urquhart, Little Brown, 2010, library # D805 .J3 U77 2010 I just finished an extraordinary book written by a surviving former private

A Lesson from WWII The Bombing of Berlin

In early 1942 a group of Texas petroleum geologists were invited to Washington an assigned a classified study- “How to Shut Down the Nazi Industrial War Machine.” Before their deaths, three Houstonians give me a first hand view of the

China is Changing: Dilligence Key to Future Sino-American Relations

October 15-18th the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, a 300 member Committee, met to prepare for the Oct/Nov, 2012 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress and the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). We

Effective Counterterrorism: The Rick Rescorla Factor

Not a trace of 9/11 World Trade Tower hero Rick Rescorla was recovered. Homeland Security needs to analyze his special DNA for that missing link in our anti-terror attack strategy. Men with the uncanny ability – personified by Rescorla –

Armageddon or Peace?

The Iranian Ahmadinejad regime repeated announced goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. The goal of the State of Israel is survival. Israel feels it has the absolute right to defend itself against a potential nuclear attack. Iran