Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hugo Chavez has made himself dictator of Venezuela, as I predicted several years ago in an email to his admirer, former Senator Chafee. (Chafee, who had expressed his admiration for Chavez in commments in the Senate, did not respond. Chafee was another one of the trust fund babies who bought his way into the Senate, but was not a deep thinker.) Chavez is another example of how democratic election of a communist is the last real election that will be held. Hugo has other admirers in the US. Joseph Kennedy II seems to like him, and of course Noam Chomsky loves him as he loves Castro. It is curious to me that rich liberals like the Kennedy's and former President Carter like communist dictators. Movie Stars no doubt like Chavez, as the like Castro. (I wonder if there has ever been a communist regime that was not a totalatarian regime?)

I expect that many Venezueleans will be leaving the country now. I have heard that many of their brightest have already left.

Here is an articla from American Thinker about the issue of Global Warming. This article covers ground I've written about before, such as how warmer is better for people on Earth.


Ive also been reading about Global Warming on Mars; I'll try to find a good article on that. (Mars has a mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere, but no people, so the warming could not be caused by humans.)

From the blog "Strategy Page" here are ten myths about the iraq war that Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, and other Hollywood heavyweight intellectuals wouldn't agree with.

Myths of the Iraq War

January 28, 2007: Top 10 Myths of the Iraq War. In no particular order. There are more, but ten is a manageable number.

1-No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Several hundred chemical weapons were found, and Saddam had all his WMD scientists and technicians ready. Just end the sanctions and add money, and the weapons would be back in production within a year. At the time of the invasion, all intelligence agencies, world-wide, believed Saddam still had a functioning WMD program. Saddam had shut them down because of the cost, but created the illusion that the program was still operating in order to fool the Iranians. The Iranians wanted revenge on Saddam because of the Iraq invasion of Iran in 1980, and the eight year war that followed.

2-The 2003 Invasion was Illegal. Only according to some in the UN. By that standard, the invasion of Kosovo and bombing of Serbia in 1999 was also illegal. Saddam was already at war with the U.S. and Britain, because Iraq had not carried out the terms of the 1991 ceasefire, and was trying to shoot down coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone.

3-Sanctions were working. The sanctions worked for Saddam, not for Iraq. Saddam used the sanctions as an excuse to punish the Shia majority for their 1991 uprising, and help prevent a new one. The "Oil For Food" program was corrupted with the help of bribed UN officials, and mass media outlets that believed Iraqi propaganda. Saddam was waiting out the sanctions, and bribing France, Russia and China, with promises of oil contracts and debt repayments, to convince the UN to lift the sanctions.

4-Overthrowing Saddam Only Helped Iran. Of course, and this was supposed to make Iran more approachable and open to negotiations. With the Iraqi "threat" gone, it was believed that Iran might lose its radical ways and behave. Iran got worse as a supporter of terrorism and developer of WMD. Irans clerical dictatorship did not want a democracy next door. The ancient struggle between the Iranians and Arabs was brought to the surface, and the UN became more active in dealing with problems caused by pro-terrorist government of Iran. As a result of this, the Iranian police state has faced more internal dissent. From inside Iran, Iraq does not look like an Iranian victory.

5-The Invasion Was a Failure. Saddam's police state was overthrown and a democracy established, which was the objective of the operation. Peace did not ensue because Saddam's supporters, the Sunni Arab minority, were not willing to deal with majority rule, and war crimes trials. A terror campaign followed. Few expected the Sunni Arabs to be so stupid. There's a lesson to be learned there.

6-The Invasion Helped Al Qaeda. Compared to what? Al Qaeda was a growing movement before 2003, and before 2001. But after the Iraq invasion, and especially the Sunni Arab terrorism, al Qaeda fell in popularity throughout the Moslem world. Arab countries cracked down on al Qaeda operations more than ever before. Without the Iraq invasion, al Qaeda would still have safe havens all over the Arab world.

7-Iraq Is In A State of Civil War. Then so was Britain when the IRA was active, and so is Spain today because ETA is still active. Both IRA and ETA are terrorist organizations based on ethnic identity. India also has tribal separatist rebels who are quite active. That's not considered a civil war. This is all about partisans playing with labels for political ends, not accurately describing a terror campaign.

8-Iraqis Were Better Off Under Saddam. Most Iraqis disagree. Check election results and opinion polls. Reporters tend to ask Iraqi Sunni Arabs this question, but they were the only ones who benefited from Saddams rule.

9-The Iraq War Caused Islamic Terrorism to Increase in Europe. The Moslem unrest in Europe was there before 2001, and 2003. Interviews of Islamic radicals in Europe reveals that the hatred is not motivated by Iraq, but by daily encounters with hostile natives. Blaming Islamic terrorism on Iraq is another attempt to avoid dealing with a homegrown problem.

10- The War in Iraq is Lost. By what measure? Saddam and his Baath party are out of power. There is a democratically elected government. Part of the Sunni Arab minority continues to support terror attacks, in an attempt to restore the Sunni Arab dictatorship. In response, extremist Shia Arabs formed vigilante death squads to expel all Sunni Arabs. Given the history of democracy in the Middle East, Iraq is working through its problems. Otherwise, one is to believe that the Arabs are incapable of democracy and only a tyrant like Saddam can make Iraqi "work." If democracy were easy, the Arab states would all have it. There are problems, and solutions have to be found and implemented. That takes time, but Americans have, since the 18th century, grown weary of wars after three years. If the war goes on longer, the politicians have to scramble to survive the bad press and opinion polls. Opposition politicians take advantage of the situation, but this has nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with local politics in the United States.

Regarding the WMD situation, I found it interesting that Libya stopped their nuclear program when Saddam fell. It was widely reported that Iraq's nuclear scientists were working in Libya. I think that when Saddam fell the funding for the Libya nuclear program was lost, so the program died.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I have puzzled over why the Liberals in Europe and America align themselves with radical Islam. They all have in common a hatred of President Bush. That will end in two years because Bush will be retired, and his successor will be doing things the radical Islamists don't like, or will be fending off impeachment. There is another area where they have common ground though. The Liberals want rights for special groups and the radical Islamists also want special rights. They start off asking for Sharia laws applied to them rather than the common laws of the country. They want to have the right to beat their wives and abuse their servants, rape women who don't wear veils, broadcast calls to prayer, not allow alcohol or dogs in public transportation; all or one of these have been requested in Canada, Australia, Sweden, and the US. Originally Liberals in America like George Washington were in favor of individual rights. Today's Liberals in America are for group rights as opposed to individual rights. They promote special rights for members of favored groups, which by now include everyone but Anglo-American males and unborn babies.

Senator Kerry went overseas and dishonored himself again with his support of his country's enemies, as he had done back in the the early 70's. He seems to think of himself as an Aristocrat, far above the common people like President Bush. He does seem to have a talent for marrying rich women. Perhaps they are impressed by his huge ego, disdain for the "little people," and Aristocratic bearing.

Monday, January 29, 2007

This past week some Iranians dressed in American uniforms killed some American soldiers in Karbala, captured and kidnapped some others, and then killed them. Iranian backed Hezbollah fighters did the same thing in Israel this past summer to start the war in Lebanon. Near the end of World War II Germans in American uniforms attempted to assassinate General Eisenhower. They were captured, summarily tried, convicted, and executed, as allowed by the Geneva Convention. Should we have the good fortune to capture Iranians in American uniforms in Iraq, then it would be legal under the Geneva convention for us to execute them. I'm not sure that a trial is required. But, if that were to happen, I would expect a hue and cry from Liberals and Democrats about denial of "Constitutional Rights."

In thinking about this, I expect the Iranians to attempt to kill General Petraeus. In World War II the German infiltrators, who spoke American English, were caught because they couldn't correctly answer questions about baseball. I wonder what questions our troops could use to identify real Americans now. I might not be able to answer them myself. Maybe it would be something good Muslims wouldn't be permitted to view, like Britney Spears' or Lindsey Lohan's underwear. Or Britney's scar, or Lindsey's rash.

The MSM likes to call the present strife in Iraq a civil war. That is not correct; it is a religious war. The Shia and the Sunni have been fighting each other for centuries, and are fighting each other in places other than Iraq now. They are willing to work together from time to time to attack Jews and Christians, again in a religious war. Somehow we need to persuade the Muslims to stop attacking people of other religions. That is a tall order since a fundamental tenet of Isalm is that non-believers must be subjugated or destroyed. Talking to them as proposed by Senator Kerry and the Democrats is not going to work. Ignoring them worked in the past, but is dangerous in the age of nuclear bombs; they like setting off bombs, and don't mind killing themselves if they can kill a lot of non-believers. Massive force will ultimately be necessary. The Europeans have been consumed by "diversity" and political correctness, and no longer have the will to resist. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats, after they gain complete control in 2008 will resist. We know that Edwards, Obama, and Pelosi do not have the will. Hopefully Hillary does.

I saw Eleanor Clift on Fox this morning saying that the Katrina Hurricane was going to defeat the Republicans in 2008. It amazes me how the Democrats and the MSM managed to vilify the Republicans over this. There were hundreds of thousands of people foolishly living below sea level in a city by the sea in a hurricane prone area, and who didn't leave when told they should go. The US military and government pulled 50,000 of those people out of the flooded area in a few days, ignoring some folks experiencing mild discomfort on high ground. The MSM and the Democrats turned it into a race issue, distorted what was happening, and blamed the government for not keeping foolish people from discomfort, even though the federal government responded faster than they had in similar events in the past. (I lived through two severe hurricanes and never saw anyone from the federal government.) I think history will show that the recovery effort was an unprecedented success; if the event had happened in any other country tens of thousands of people would have perished.

Here are comments on Global warming by one of my favorite economists, Walter Williams.

“The environmental extremists’ true agenda has little or nothing to do with climate change. Their true agenda is to find a means to control our lives. The kind of repressive human control, not to mention government-sanctioned mass murder, seen under communism has lost any measure of intellectual respectability. So people who want that kind of control must come up with a new name, and that new name is environmentalism. Last year, 60 prominent scientists signed a letter saying, ‘Observational evidence does not support today’s computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future... Significant [scientific] advances have been made since the [Kyoto] protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.’ They added, ‘It was only 30 years ago that many of today’s global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.’ These scientists have probably won The Weather Channel’s ire and might be headed toward a Nuremberg-type trial.” —Walter Williams

Walter Williams is a black conservative, so is anathema to Liberals.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dr. Heidi Cullen of the weather channel has made a movie about Global Warming in which she asserts that the US government is guilty of "Criminal Neglect" for not limiting carbon dioxide generation. She says she is non-political; but she wants Congress to stop Exxon-Mobil to stop funding researchers who don't agree with "the scientific consensus."

In the meantime global warming is wreaking havoc in Australia. Recently Melbourne had a January day with a high temperature of 66 F. New York, which is about as far North as Melbourne is South, had a similar high temperature in January. The wintertime New York temperature was an indication that Global Warming is real. What is the low daily high temperature during Australian summer a sign of? I guess global warming is just perverse.

When you first here Hillary say she's "in it to win," it seems sort of silly. But, on reflection, you have to wonder, "Why is Dennis Kucinich in it?" There must be some other reason because Dennis has no chance at all.

Here is an interesting story about blocks of ice falling from the sky.

TAMPA — It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... a refrigerator-sized chunk of ice?

A Hillsborough County resident's Ford Mustang was destroyed by just that Sunday, when a large slab of ice fell from the clear Florida sky directly onto the automobile, WTVT reports.

Click here to read the full story.

An anonymous neighbor of the resident who's now down a car told the local FOX affiliate that there was whooshing sound around 9 a.m. EST. Just moments later, the car was crushed by ice.

No injuries were reported, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating.

Federal Aviation Administration and local airport officials told WTVT they are unsure if a plane can be faulted for the incident.

This latest incident comes less than two weeks ago something similar happened in Philadelphia.
A chunk of ice believed to have come from a passing airliner fell through the roof of home in the Pennsylvania suburb. No one was injured, but a mother and her 4-year-old daughter were home at the time. The FAA is currently investigating that incident.

This didn't happen before George Bush became President. Surely it is Bush's fault for not approving the Kyoto Treaty and ending "Global Warming."

I just saw a clip on TV of Hillary Clinton saying that if she knew then what she knows now, she would not have voted to go to war in Iraq. I don't know what that is supposed to prove. If I knew five years ago what I know now, I'd be rich. The problem with her comment is that there is no way to know what would have happened if we had not gone to war in Iraq. Saddam would still be in command. The sanctions against Iraq would have collapsed. There is no way to know what Saddam would have done, but the record suggests it would not have been good.

Hillary also took issue with President Bush because he said his successor would have to deal witht he situation in Iraq. She said Bush gt us into it, and it is his responsibility to get us out. She does not seem to be aware of recent history. We still have troops in Kosovo in a war her husband started. We have had troops in Germany, Japan, and North Korea since the end of World War II. Islam wants war with us, and we have to either fight or surrender; does she advocate surrender?

Democrat's keep saying that the government has copies of all of the documents that Sandy Berger may have stolen. Others say this is not true; I just saw Liz Trotter say that in an interview on Fox News. She said not all items were even logged-in. Which is correct. There is so much spin we do not know what the truth is.

It seems to me that the country needs a Preident with a new name. We have had enough Bush's, Clinton's, Kennedy's and Gore's. Or maybe even Romney, whose Dad was a Governor, nor Nancy Pelosi, whose Dad was boss of the Democratic Party machine in Baltimore for many years, and served in Congress. On the other hand, I'm not prepared to support Barrack Obama whose Dad was a Muslim; and may well be the Manchurian Candidate. (At least he is advocating surrender to Islam; after all, that is the Religion of Peace and he is all for peace.)

Hillary Clinton says she is in the race for President, and she is "in it to win." I wonder if any of the potential candidates will announce that they are in to lose? Her comment is too subtle for me. I don't understand it.

Hillary also says she is going to "listen" to people. During the recent confirmation hearings for General Petraeus she spoke for her entire allotted time, and didn't ask even one question. I guess that, like Joe Biden, she likes to listen to herself.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Here is an email I sent to Republican Senators who are supporting the Hagel and the Democrats resolution that effectively calls for our surrender in Iraq.

Islam has been at war with the rest of the world since its inception in the seventh century. The United States has been at war with Islam on and off since the nation was founded. The latest war dates from the Shia-dominated Iran’s seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The Iranians are conducting warfare against us, though we have not responded while the Iranians have aggressively expanded their military forces, and repeatedly threaten the US and Israel with extinction. The Sunni al-Queda group led by Usama bin Laden declared war on the US in 1996. The US ignored them. After the 911 attack the US responded, and is currently engaged in battle with both al-Queda and Iran in Iraq. The Shia and Sunni Muslims are also killing each other in Iraq. (Iranian surrogates Hamas and Hezbollah are starting similar civil wars in Palestine and Lebanon.)

After too long, the US has changed the approach in Iraq to the take-and-hold counter-insurgency tactics that were successful in Vietnam, leading to US military withdrawal. The South Vietnamese military continued to be successful until the US Congress, lead by Senator Kennedy, dishonorably cut off funding to the South Vietnamese. The North then overwhelmed the South, and in the aftermath about two million people were killed.

Now we have the Congress going into the dishonorable mode again. Senator Clinton wants to cut off funding to our Iraqi allies. Congress wants to prevent the US from changing tactics to stabilize Iraq. It appears that Democrats and some Republicans are intent on insuring that the US withdraws from Iraq. There seems to be a thought that if the US withdraws that fighting in Iraq will end. This is foolish; the fighting would probably intensify as Sunni nations enter the fray to prevent an Iranian takeover of Iraq.

Islam is at war with us. It is not our choice. We have to fight or surrender. My impression is that most Democrats and some Republicans are prepared to surrender in Iraq in the hope that the Islamists will then leave us alone. This is a foolish hope; surrender in Iraq would encourage them to attack us more vigorously.

I realize that most Democrats want us to lose what they call “Bush’s War” to improve their domestic political situation. I am disappointed in Republicans that want to surrender to gain votes rather convincing people that it is imperative that we defeat the Islamists. Lee Iaccoca famously said, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way. “ It seems to me that you have no ideas on leading, don’t want to follow, and so should get out of the way.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

For the last six years Nancy Pelosi's appraoch to Republican initiatives has been "just say no." I don't understand why the Republicans don't take the same approach. But they won't.

After the Democrats gain control of the White House, maybe we will be able to make some progress in the war with Islam, since Republicans won't deliberately sabotage whatever strategy the Democrats adopt. (And the Democrats will have to eventually face the enemy because the Muslims aren't going to quit attacking us, and the polls will eventually say that the people demand action.) I still think that if we don't succeed in Iraq that millions of people are going to be killed.

For the last six years Nancy Pelosi's appraoch to Republican initiatives has been "just say no." I don't understand why the Republicans don't take the same approach. But they won't.

After the Democrats gain control of the White House, maybe we will be able to make some progress in the war with Islam, since Republicans won't deliberately sabotage whatever strategy the Democrats adopt. (And the Democrats will have to eventually face the enemy because the Muslims aren't going to quit attacking us, and the polls will eventually say that the people demand action.) I still think that if we don't succeed in Iraq that millions of people are going to be killed.

I have never thought of President Bush as a conservative. I totally disagree with him on the issue of illegal immigration. I think it is quite likely that he has killed the Republican Party. After most of the people of Mexico have become citizens the Democrats will win all elections with the block votes of Blacks, Mexicans (not Hispanics in general), and Jews they will always win. The Republicans will have to change in some way to be competitive. The future doesn't look bright for the people descended from Europeans.

I also disagree with President Bush on his assessment of Islam. Islam is not the religion of peace except under their definition of peace as being the state where they have killed or enslaved all non-Muslims.

Finally I will be surprised if President Bush does not make some sort of deal with Democrats that increases middle class taxes.

Today I saw two Congressmen interviewed on Fox about a dispute on the floor of the House. Apparently the Democrats were changing a proposed law as it was being debated on the floor, despite an agreement that Republicans would be given the wording 48 hours in advance (Republicans were not be allowed to propose changes even though the Democrats had said they would be during the recent election campaign). THe Democrat congressman wwouldn't answer the specific question of whether or not this happened. Instead he went into a riff about how badly Republicans had treated Democrats badly for the last six years, Bush was ignoring Democrats by sending more troops to Iraq, etc. I wonder why the newscasters don't demand that Politicians answer the question instead of recting thier parties talking points. I think we could speed up the discussion by doing what the English do in Parliment. We could number responses, like 1) Democrats are good, 2) Republicans are bad, 3) Bush has ignored us, etc. Then the Democrat who was interviewed today could have saved a lot of time by just responding 1) 2), and 3) without wasting everyones time.

What will Democrats do if the US begins to succeed in Iraq? My guess is that they would do as they always do; lie. Actually, with Democrats now in control and likely to take the White House in 2008, there is no chance for success: we will fail in Iraq by definition. It won't matter what eventually happens, the Democrats and the MSM will continue to refer to it as Bush's failure.

I read in Steve Sailer's blog today about some articles Charles Murray has written for the WSJ. (Murray wrote the book "The Bell Curve" which is denounced by most Liberals who generally don't like to acknowledge that there is such a thing as the g-factor.) Murray takes the position that programs such as "no child left behind" are unlikely to succeed because teachers cannot increase the native intelligence of their students. That seems obvious to me. Some interesting opinions by Murray are that the high school curricula is challenging for a person with an IQ of 100. (About half of the population has an IQ of less than 100.) It takes an IQ of 115 to be successful in college. Only about one-third of the population has an IQ above that level, yet about half of people are going to college. It takes an IQ of 120 or so to succeed in fields such as Engineering, Physics, or Natural Sciences. Murray points out that too many people who are capable of succeeding in the sciences are taking law. Murray also points out the need for the elite to acquire wisdom.

I often think about my own life spent in Engineering. Those of us working in Engineering in large companies are somewhat divorced from the real world since we spend our time in an environment of people who all have higher than average intelligence. It is sometimes a shock to deal with people in the real world. But, one observation I have made is that many of those people in the real world have considerable wisdom. I don't think there is a strong correlation between IQ and wisdom.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We seem to have a serious problem now with out-of-control prosecutors who abuse the Grand Jury system. They seem to be intent on putting white people or Republicans in jail for anything they can think of. Most of them are Democrats like Mike Nifong and Ronnie Earle; I don't know which party, if any, that Fitzgerald supports. For some reason Fitzgerald is participating in a Democratic Party dirty trick from the 2004 Presidential election. Fitzgerald claims Libby is lying for inexplicable reasons based on testimony of some reporters who themselves don't seem to be able to recall who said what to whom and when. When announcing that he was indicting Libby, Fitzgerald lied in his press conference when he said that Libby was the first person to reveal that Valerie Plame Wilson was an undercover CIA operative even though Fitzgerald knew at the time that Libby certainly wasn't first. Fitzgerald also implied that revealing Plame's status was a crime when in fact it wasn't. Since Fitzgerald knew from the start that no crime was committed why did he contiue his witch hunt? Was his motivation that he wanted to harm Bush. Or, is it as some have suggested, that there is animosity between Fitzgerald and Libby from their earlier battles in court. Wrongly charging people is a serious affair; it can cost people a fortune, and ruins their lives. I think Nifong, Earle, and Fitzgerald should be disbarred, and perhaps put on trial themselves.

I see that corporate leaders are now calling for reduction in generation of carbon dioxide. ON MSMBC I saw Jim Rogers from Duke Energy and someone from GE requesting government action (I own stock in both of those companies.) I'm certain that they are seeking some kind of advantage from the government. I think the situation is pretty sad. The year 1936 (the year I was born) was the hottest year on record in the US despite the hype from the government that 2006 was the hottest. The world as a whole has been cooling since 1998. I think it is likely that the Earth is about to enter a cooling period. Al Gore and the enviro-nazi's are running out of time to get their socialist agenda in place before people realize that the Earth is not warming as computer models predicted. Sunspot activity is declining, which has signaled cooling in the past. The current intergalactic has lasted about as long as the average period between ice ages in the past. The poles have been much colder than average in recent years, despite the fact that greenhose gas warming would show up more at the poles than at mid-latitudes. The media like to talk about record high temperatures, but intrepret record low temperatures as further proof of carbon dioxide induced global warming.

It appears to me that the people advancing the global warming hype are funded by governments or by liberal foundations. In contrast, those who argue against the idea of cataclysmic climate change seem to be mostly retired people. Al Gore claims they are funded by large corporations, but that appears to be untrue. In fact, it appears to mee that large corporations are on borad with Al Gore, as evidenced by the statements of the leaders of Duke, GE, British Petroleum, and others. They see propfit potential in the new regulations that government can impose. Large corporations and wealthy people like government regulation. Those regulations can impede competitors, and generally keep the rabble in their place.

Here is an interesting article by a guy that at least some environmentalists would like to jail for crimes against humanity.


One thing I have mentioned before, which is discussed in this article, is that extreme weather is associated with global cooling rather than global warming. The book "The Little Ica Age" discusses the incredible weather events that happened as the little ice age was entered. For example, back then there was a thunderstorm in Europe covering hundreds of square kilometers in which huge hailstones fell for hours, and destroyed crops, killed cattle in fields, and destroyed houses.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I hear a lot of liberal politicians talk about seeking "social Justice." As far as I can tell this means the politician wants reditribution of income. They think that "basic human needs" should be met by the government. Sometimes "social justice" is a call for special treatment of some group to compensate for past "injustice." People have different ideas about what it is, but you can be sure that the politician seeking "social justice" wants more of your money.

Here is an interesting perspective on comparison of health care in the US compared to Canada.


The US spends more on healthcare than any other nation. Canada is second. Socialized medicene will result in more expense and rationing. A Mexican illegal alien can get something like an MRI in Dallas faster than a Canadian can in Canada.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary Clinton says things have been terrible for Americans for the last six years under the rule of the incompetent George Bush. Dr. Sanity points out some of the things that have happened with the corrupt Republicans in power.

Let’s see, last time I checked,
1. The stock market is at an all-time high, thus
2. Retirement accounts are at last recovering.
3. Unemployment is at a 25-year low,
4. Taxes are at 20-year lows,
5. Federal revenues are at all-time highs,
6. The Federal deficit is down almost 50%,
7. Real estate values have soared,
8. Inflation is at a 20-year low,
9. There have been no successful attacks since 9/11,
10. Al Queda is being taken apart, one body at a time.
11. U.S. and British Intelligence have thwarted a number of attacks.
12. The terrorists are flocking to Iraq to be killed, instead of boarding planes for this country.

Hillary says that the middle class has suffered under Bush, but if she is elected people who work hard and follow the rules are going to do well. I recall when Bill Clinton ran saying he was going to reduce taxes on the middle class. But, he didn't do it, and instead raised taxes. My impression, after watching Democrats for a long time, is that Democrats don't like the middle class, and in fact under their scheme the middle class people who save their money for the future are suckers. People should not plan for the future, but instead shoild live it up while they are young and rely on the benevolent Democrats to take care of them in their old age. It is really unfair, for example, for middle class folks to save their money to pass it along to their children, and the Democrats will try to stop that practice. They talk about penalizing the rich, but the rich can afford to lobby or hire lawyers to blunt politicians efforts to loot their wealth, so they loot the middle class. (Both political parties do this, of course, but the Republicans are somewhat less into looting since they get most of their votes from the middle class.)

According to the WSJ a Danish newspaper tried to set up a debate on Global Warming between Bjorn Lomborg and Al Gore. At the last minute Gore demanded that Lomborg not be allowed to question him because Lomborg had been critical of Gore's movie on global warming. Finally Gore backed outentirely. This is what I would expect, since I suspect that even Gore realizes his movie is so ridiculous that no one could defend it against a person with any scientific knowledge.

I think the environmental activists are telling a great lie through what is basically a "bait and switch." They start out saying that most scientists believe that man is having an effect on climate, something that is probably true. They do not say that while most scientists believe that, most are not certain about it, and many have doubts. They imply that most scientists believe that draconian measures are necessary to prevent cataclysmic climate change, something that is much less certain, and is probaly not true.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Foxnews poll released today id really discouraging to me. According to the poll only 63% of Americans hope the US wins in Iraq. For Democrats it is only 51%; barely a majority. At the same time, people believe that a US loss will result in more attacks on us. We have a serious problem and I think the problem is not all George Bush. It appears to me that Democrats and their fellow travelers in the MSM are willing to sacrifice some of our security to gain advantage in domestic politics.

The charging of three Duke Lacrosse players for rape in this case seems odd to me. I watch shows like CSI where the investigators don’t worry much about what witnesses say. The investigator’s say, “Just follow the evidence.” The alleged victim in the Duke case said she had not had sex for a week before being attacked. DNA from several men was found inside her. The DNA didn’t match any of the Duke Lacrosse players. The alleged victim apparently had a common problem in that all white men looked alike to her so her visual identifications were suspect. Why didn’t DA Nifong try to find the men whose DNA was in the alleged victim, since if she was telling the truth the men whose DNA was in her were the rapists? Why charge persons whose DNA did not match? The question I’m asking seems logical to me. Why hasn’t anyone been asking it? I think the answer is that everyone knows the whole thing was a hoax

People who favor Socialized medicene in the United States use life expectancy as an indicator of how good a countries health care is. I saw an article in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram making this allegation this week. Data cited show that life expectancy in the US is 20th or 30th in the world. (The difference in average life is not great; maybe a year or two.)It is asserted that Cuba has better health care than the US because of lower infant mortality. It seems to me that life expectancy could be influenced by a lot of factors other than health care. Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercize could be more important. Genetic factors may also be involved, although the politically correct crowd doesn't like to admit that there are any genetic differences. But it seems that some diseases such as sugar diabetes are more prevalent in some races than others (though again, other factors may explain that). Then there is some question about the reliability of the data. I think that raw life expectancy data are a poor indicator of the quality of a country's health care system.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The price of oil is down a lot, to $51 per barrel. Venezuela wants an emergency meeting to agree to reduce output to stop the slide in the oil price, and send it back up. Saudi Arabia says there is no need to have a meeting. Could it be that Saudi Arabia is using their production capability to reduce the price of oil, thus severely harming the economy of Iran? I think it is quite likely. Iran needs the money to continue their strategy of gaining hegemony over the ME, and Saudi Arabia is obviously opposed to the Persian ambitions. Saudi Arabia also wants to slow the development of alternative energy sources. President Bush may be partially responsible for the Saudi action too, but no one would give him any credit. My guess is that Democrats are sad to see the price of oil falling.

What is happening with oil prices now illustrates how sensitive the price is to small changes in supply or demand. Democrats always say that more exploitation of oil sources in Alaska, or the artic or off the coasts will have little effect since it will only increase the supply be a few million barrels a day, small compared to the 18 million barrels per day that the United States uses. But that argument doesn't make any sense. Increasing the US production by two million barrels per day would significantly reduce the US balance of trade, and would also reduce the income of countries that don't like us, like Iran and Venezuela. It is difficult to tell what motivates the Democrats in this regard. They seem to want to reduce oil consumption for environmental reasons, and talk about some expensive alternatives that would severely harm the economy, while opposing economically attractive energy approaches like nuclear power from safe peeble bed reactors. One thing that is clear is that Democrats do not want a free market solution to providing energy in the future. Democrats always claim they are not socialists, but their actions indicate they want total government control of production and distribution, which is a form of socialism.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I just saw Barack Obama make one of the stupidist statements I've heard a politician make. He said there can't be a military solution to the civil war between the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq. There can always be a military solution; one side can defeat the other. That is what happened in the war between the North and South in the US (which wasn't really a civil war, but that is what the winners called it, so that is what it now is).

I have never thought that President Bush was a far right-winger as he is often portrayed as in the MSM. I have never liked his approach on illegal immigrants from Mexico. He seems to favor policies that encourage more illegal immigration rather than less. I am afraid that he and the Democrats in Congress will now pass legislation that effectively grants amnesty to the illegal aliens. Related to this is Bush's social security "totalization" plan that would grant social security benefits to illegal aliens who have only worked in the US for 18 months. (It takes 40 months for an American to qualify for benefits.) Bush's plan will pose an enormous financial penalty of American workers, and will encourage even more illegal immigration from Mexico. I think that illegal aliens are clearly stealing from Americans. And our politicians are helping them because it clearly gets votes for them from the earlier illegal aliens who have been given citizenship. Of course, the primary activity of politicians is re-distributing money so I guess this is to be expected. Here is an interesting article on Bush's Totalization plan.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Here is an interesting article from the Aaia Times that is more optimistic about the position of the United States than what is usually published. I like the title, which is a question Democrats should ask President Bush, "If you so dumb, why ain't you poor?"


One thing that has bothered me for a long time is the demand of Democrats and their MSM fellow travelers that President Bush lay out his plan for the war on terror. It should be obvious to anyone that it would be unwise to broadcast plans to the enemy. Democrats know that, but like to make political points by charging that Bush has no plan, or that his plan is failing. I can understand why the President would not share his plans with Democrats, since many of the Democrats would reveal the plans. That is a sad state of affairs, but I think it is the situation we are in.

Today I watched a program on the Military Channel about the run-up to WWII. It appeared that Roosevelt didn't let anyone in on his plans, assuming he actually had any. One consequence of Roosevelt's overall war plan, as opposed to Churchill's, was that Roosevelt "gave" Eastern Europe to the Russian Communists after the war. It may be that Roosevelt still believed, as many politicians at that time did, that communism was the wave of the future, and that he didn't realize how evil the Russian Communists were. The media and our Ambassadors did not give an accurate report of events in Russia at that time.

What are the fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals? In America the conservatives are usually identified as favoring individualism while liberals favor collectivism. The conservatives are also stronger in supporting property rights than are the liberals. The Republican Party is generally more closely associated with the conservatives and the Democratic Party is more closely associated with liberals. Given these approximate differences, there is an interesting question as to why there are more rich Democrats in Congress than Republicans (and why more rich people run for office as Democrats than as Republicans). One reason could be that rich people want regulations that favor the status quo, and Democrats are more likely to support enacting government regulations than Republicans. (Over one hundred years ago the German industrialist Krupp was asked what he wanted from government; his one-word answer, "Regulation.") Many rich Americans like Senators Kennedy and Kerry seem to favor a European-style socialism in which people are stratified by class; the rich remain rich and no rivals to their riches can develop. No up-starts like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates can upset the applecart for IBM and other prominent companies. This is the current situation in France. Economic progress is slow, but the right people remain in control and the peasants are pacified. Another answer may be that the rich people want to co-opt the far-left by securing a leadership position with the would-be socialists, from where they can do a better job of preventing government from damaging them than they could in the opposition Republican Party. I think some of those on the far left think the latter reason is the most likely answer. They don't particularly like the rich, but they can't bring themselves to forego the money from the likes of Soros and movie stars.

A lot has beeen made of the Democrat's attempt to exempt American Somoa from the increase in minimum wage just voted by the House. The Republicans point to the Democrat's hypocricy, and perhaps that is what it was. Personally I think that if we want to have a minimum wage, it should not be the same over all US territory. Economic conditions are far different in New York City than in Omaha or Abilene, Texas. Certainly conditions in American Somoa are far different than in New York. An increase in minimum wage in American Somoa will result in thousands of people becoming unemployed, not becasue Del Monte is a cruel employer, but because Del Monte will no loner be competitive with foreign canned tuna suppliers. Many states have minimum wage laws that are higher than the Federal Law. There are even problems with that approach since economic conditions often are enough different across a given state that a common state-wide minimum wage is impractical. A minimum wage law is not a good idea economically, but if politicians want to pass such a feel-good law, they should probably recognize that it shouldn't be the same everywhere. I wonder if Democrat's will approach this problem for American Somoa but imposing a tariff on foreign tuna suppliers. More laws and regulation is the Democrat's solution to all problems.

Senator Boxer's comments to Secretary of State Rice about Rice being unqualified to conduct foreign relations because she is childless are childish; maybe junior high level. Boxer appears to have embraced Maureen Dowd's idea of Cindy Sheean's "moral authority." Boxer has explained that she was "Speaking truth to power." It seems to me that she is speaking non sequiters. Senators from both parties often come across as really stupid people when they question the Administration in hearings.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

It is curious to me that left wingers, and particularly socialists, refer to those they do not like, particularly Republicans, as Nazi's or Fascists. The Nazi's and Fascists were bad people, so apparently left wingers believe that it is reasonable to call those they don't like a bad name. Nazi's were the German National Socialist Party. They, and Hitler, were indeed socialists. Their beliefs were nothing like those of American right wingers or Republicans. They believed in collective rights as opposed to individual rights. They were secularists who were opposed to Christianity as well as being anti-Semites. They believed in central control of the economy, and were opposed to free trade, and did not permit freedom of expression. In short, they were philosophically the opposite of American Conservatives on almost all issues. The Fascists were the party of Mussolini in Italy. Mussolini started as a communist, but disagreed with the Russian and French communists in that he thought it best to co-opt the leaders of industry to take control of the economy rather than destroying them. Basically Fascists were communists who disagreed with the approach of Lenin and Stalin. They definitely were collectivists opposed to individual rights and philosophically had little in common with Conservatives or Republicans. The one thing that Republicans and Conservatives have in common with Nazi's and Fascists is Nationalism. The left does not like Nationalism, so that may be the characteristc that leads them to refer to the right as Fascists or Nazi's. I think we all need to refuse to continue to debate liberals who refer to Consevatives or Republicans as Nazi's or Fascists until they explain their analogy in detail. On the other hand Liberals have a lot in common with Nazi's. They are collectivists who are in opposition to individual rights and are seculaists. They are opposed to freedom of speech, as indicated by their refusal to let those with whom they disagree speak. In fact they pride themselves on this point. They are racists in that they believe in giving certain individuals special advantage strictly because of their race. They differ from Nazi's and Fascists primarily by being anti-nationalists.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wars often are resolved as a matter of will to fight. Vietnam is often cited as an example where the US, while winning militarily, lost the will to continue, and left the field. Another example would be the American Civil War. In that case the only chance the South had to win was to inflict severe losses on the North to the point that the North would quit the fight. As it happened in the Spring of 1864 the people and the politicians in the North, particularly the Democrats, were ready to quit. Grant had launched an offensive into the South and had pushed ahead despite heavy losses. Grant had twice as many men as Lee and the Northerners were equipped with new Spenser repeating rifles, not the old muzzle loaders being used by the Southerners. Grant launched a poorly planned attack against Lee's brilliantly conceived defense at Cold Harbor and lost 7000 men in what amounted to a suicide attack on 1 June 1864. In all the North lost 13,000 men in a week. Politicians and the people in the North were distraught, and ready to quit. But, in reality Lee was finished. Even though he had lost far fewer men than the North, he could not replace those lost while the North could. We can only speculate at what the history of the US would have been if Lincoln and Grant had lost their nerve and followed the will of the people of the North, most of whom were ready to quit.

The Democrats are opposed to changing our tactics in Iraq, even though they were recently advocating increasing troop levels and changing the rules of engagement, something similar to what President Bush is doing. The Democrats, and some RINO's, find themselves agreeing with Iran and al-Sadr That the plan is bad, and in opposition to the view of Sunni nations in the ME. One would think that agreeing with our enemies would give them pause, but apparently it doesn't. It is impossible to not conclude that Democrats would prefer to have Bush lose in Iraq rather than have the US win. Surely they know that the only hope for the radical Islamists is for the US to lose the will to continue, and their domestic opposition to the war is what keeps the enemies hopes of success alive. If Democrats stood solidly behind the Administration the Islamists would have no logical reason to continue their indiscriminate killing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I watched President Bush's speech tonight. He was less inspiring than usual. He looks tired. I also watched the Democratic response given by Senator Durbin, the guy who recently likened American soldiers to Nazi's. He was more enthusiastic, but he didn't have anything to say. He more or less gave the standard Democratic message, which is "whatever Bush is doing is wrong." I'm really disappointed in Democrats because they don't offer any approaches to winning; they just want to surrender. They want to force us to lose in Iraq to improve their political power here at home. The only way we can "lose" in Iraq is if we lose our national will. There is no way we can lose militarily. Guerilla wars are always long and discouraging. The Democrats won't even clearly say they want to surrender. They talk about a "symbolic' vote showing that they do not support Bush's plan. There again, they don't seem to have any alternative except surrender. This is a no cost exercize since no one remembers it or calls them to account if they are wrong. And they have been wrong a lot. Recently they were wrong about how difficult it would be in Afghanistan, particularly in the terrible winter. Senator Kennedy was totally wrong about what would happen after the Democrats cut off aid to the South Vietnamese back in 1975. He said not many people would die after a communist victory, but millions died. He is still proud of his actions. (A lot of Americans do not know what actually happened in Vietnam after the US military left in 1973. They don't know that the South decisively beat back an invasion from the North in 1974. But the Russians then rearmed the North while Democrats cut off military aid to the South, sealing the fate of the South in 1975.) It appears to me that the Democrats would like to do the same thing in Iraq. One big difference in the two situations is that the Vietnamese communists pressed the attack against other countries on their borders rather than us, until the Chinese forced them to stop in 1979; the Islamists want to attack us, and there is no big brother to stop them.

The Bush Administration suddenly wants to protect polar bears who are "endangered by global warming." Apparently te move is purely political, since there are a lot more polar bears than there were 50 years ago. This is discussed in an articla from Edmonton, Canada. Canadians probably know more about polar bears than the Bush Administration does.


I wonder if there has ever been an Administration in the history of the United Staes that has had the government bureacracy actively working against it as the Bush Administration has. It is clear that the CIA, the State Dept. and the DOJ have many people who actively undermine the Bush Administration. There seems to be an unprecedented amount of information that harms Bush that is leaked to the Press. The entire Plame fiasco involved people in all three of those agencies in a conspiracy to defeat the President in the 2004 election. Are these people just partisan Democrats, or do they honestly think Bush is incompetent (or maybe both)? When Roosevelt was President there were many communists in government but they were working against the country, not just against the Republicans (who weren't in control anyway). President Truman purged the Communists (quietly, since they were nominally Democrats). It is impossible for me to believe that the current disloyal government employees are Islamists, so they must be partisan Democrats. Will the next Democrat President purge the disloyal government employees, or will they be rewarded?

It looks like I'm not the only one thinking about this. See this article in Powerline:


The Sandy Berger theft story is interesting. I have always thought that the 9/11 Commission was naive if they believed that they got the information that Berger destroyed. Berger is a smart man. He would not have taken the risk of destroying documents unless there was something damming in the documents, and he knew there were no other copies. Perhaps in the future we will learn what was in the documents. That probably won't happen until the Clinton's are no longer involved in politics. Too bad that I won't live that long, so I won't have my curiousity satisfied.

Nancy Pelosi and her merry band say they want to raise taxes on people who make over $500,000 per year. The purpose of the proposed tax increase appears not to be not so much to raise government revenue, but to restore "fairness." (There is nothing fair about taxes, but that is beside the point.) It is interesting that the proposed tax increase would affect few Republicans in Congress, but would affect a lot of Democrats since there are a lot more rich Democrats than Republicans. I have thought about the impact of such a tax increase. It seems unlikely that many rich people would be affected by the tax since these guys are by nature effective "artful dodgers." I doubt such a scheme would increase goverment revenues. But it would help one class that Democrats are beholden to: Lawyers and other schemers who set up tax shelters. The tax would probably affect some rich athletes who are not very knowlegable about finances. Consider this; Senator Kerry's wife has a fortune estimated at $800 million to $1 billion, yet she paid taxes on an income of $2 million, as revealed in the recent Presidential election. Does anyone think that her total gain from her fortune was merely $2 million? And then there is Senator Kennedy. HIs wealth is reported to be in a trust fund in Fiji. I think it is clear that those folks who make a lot of money can do a lot to avoid taxes if the rate becomes onerous. So a tax increase on "the rich" is eyewash, and won't raise much rvenue, and may actually result in a reduction of revenue. But then, as some Democrats admit, the real intent of the tax increae on the rich is not to raise revenue.

Wesley Clark is on TV demanding that the Bush Administration open discussions with the Iranians. Clark seems to think that he could persuade the Iranians to stop their nuclear weapon development program and their support of both Sunni and Shia insurgents in Iraq. Apparently Clark thinks that he could persuade the Iranians. He appears to have great faith in his negotiating skills. I would like to know how he would proceed to convince a religious fanatic to give up his faith. The President of Iran has frequently stated that he is intent on preparing the world for the return of the "hidden Imam," preparations that involve the destruction of the West even if Iran is also destroyed in the process. I'm reminded of the Hezbollah leader who was quoted as saying "We want nothing from you, we just want to kill you." I wonder how much good a discussion with a guy who is willing to commit suicide to kill you will do. We are in a "kill or be killed" situation, and so it appears to me that talking is a waste of time that is to advantage of the guy who wants to kill us.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Here is an iinteresting site referenced by deadreckoningfubar.blogspot.


Take a look at the temperature of the world for the last 400,000 years. It appears we are reaching the point where the temperature takes a steep decline. Maybe we need some more greenhouse gas effect to keep from descending into another ice age. The chart shows the last 4 ice ages. I've read before, as I recall in the book "The Little Ice Age," there have been 21 ice ages in all.

According to blogs the hanging of Saddam has resulting in Sunni's attacking Shia's in Detroit. I think it is time to start sending the Muslims back to wherever they came from.

I wonder if anyone has asked Congressman Ellison which he is, Shia or Sunni? Is so I haven't read the answer. Ellison might also explain how he can swear to uphold the constitution of the United States since the Koran clearly requires him to support Sharia law. I wonder where the congressman stands on the question of the girl in Iran who killed a man who was trying to rape her. The Iranians sentenced her to death. She was in a Catch-22 situation since her family would have had to kill her to peserve their honor if she had been raped.

My Granddad didn’t like FDR, as he regarded him as a socialist. He always told me that Roosevelt made the Great Depression worse. Somehow the Democrats convinced people that Roosevelt had saved the country. Southern Democrats forced Roosevelt to delay his socialist ambitions until after the second World War when they agreed to support him in his run for an unprecedented third term as President. Roosevelt died before the war ended, and after the war the Republican controlled 80th Congress defeated the socialist agenda. President Truman called the 80th the “do-nothing” congress, but they saved the world from the failed socialist “utopia.” I suspect Roosevelt didn't have any strong political opinions, except to get power. During his time most people thought socialism was the wave of the future. Old Joe Kennedy thought that, which is why he was sympathetic to the fascists (who were socialists, contrary to what Democrats seem to think today when they refer to consevatives as Fascists).





Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gasoline prices are high now, spurring interest in cars that get better gas mileage. Ford Motor Company has sagging sales. So they debut their new car that is supposed to save the company; the Interceptor with a 400 horsepower V-8 engine. That doesn't seem like the right car at the right time. But, I don't know anything about marketing. It will be interesting to see how the Interceptor works out. (It is no secret that, despite the fact that I buy American autos, I've thought for over 50 years that Detroit has two management styles: dumb and dumber.)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The city of Fort Worth and its suburbs are situated 6000 to 8000 feet above the Barnett Shale, a 1000-foot thick continuous tight-gas field. Technology, supported by income tax credits, has advanced so that the natural gas can now be extracted from the field. DFW airport recently sold rights for drilling under it for $10,000 per acre for a total of $181 million. Arlingon sold the rights to drill under Lake Arlington and the Lake Arlington golf course for $30 million. Fort Worth is now collecting royalties of $400,000 per month from the seven wells drilled so far. What will the cities in North Central Texas do with the "found" wealth? Will the money be spent on capital improvements, invested in a permanent fund to provide a perpetual stream of money, or poured into "social" programs. The debate is beginning.

Nancy Pelosi in her speech to the House said the election showed that Americans will not support a long war. That may be true, but if so is a bad sign for the United States. That is because a war lasts until one side gives up. If she is correct we can be defeated if the other side won't quit. That happened in Vietnam, where the communists "won" because we went home and then stopped providing material support to our Allies in the South. Mrs. Pelosi needs to consider the comments of the Communist Trotsky, who said, "You may have no interest in war, but war has an interest in you."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lot's of people are upset about the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Most of them come from the left of the political spectrum. I understand that many of them are opposed to the death penalty for anyone. I can't help but wonder where they were when Saddam was summarily murdering people he didn't like. Often he had women and small children shot. The left didn't make much noise about what Saddam did. One explanation for why the Iraqi's were in a rush to hand Saddam is that his 70th birthday is in April, and it is against Iraqi law to carry out a death sentence against anyone over 70. That makes more sense than other reasons I've heard, such as Bush didn't want him around to testify when Bush is tried for war crimes. That one is a liberal dream I suppose.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I read some information today that claims that fewer American servicemen are dying per year now than died per year while Clinton was President. That could be true because a lot of military people die in accidents during peacetime. Part of this statistical anomaly could be due to the relative size of the military force. There were far more people in the military during Clinton's Presidency than now. Clinton worked at downsizing the force, which is part of the reason why we couldn't put more troops into the Iraq theater. We have to keep a substantial force available in case trouble breaks out somewhere else.

There was a similar phenomena during the Vietnam War that I used to irritate my liberal friends with. That was murder rate statistics that clearly showed that the murder rate in the US declined during the Vietnam War. The obvious explanation is that a large portion of the age group responsible for most murders was out of the country. The same trend in US murder rate may not apply now because the force in Iraq is smaller, and is comprised of volunteers rather than draftees. (There are some non-politically correct observations that could be made to explain this further.) As I recall deaths from traffic accidents also declined during the Vietnam War, for the same reasons. The marginal death rate of Americans hardly changed during that period, despite the loss of over 50,000 people over eight years in Vietnam.

The advent of the blogosphere has revealed that in the MSM "fake but accurate" stories are commonplace. Almost fifty years ago I saw the President of the student body interviewed for local TV. In response to a question about a very liberal proposal he said, "It sounds like a good idea, but here are the problems with it, ..." On TV he was shown saying, "It sounds like a good idea." So I think the MSM has done this sort of editorializing for years, but it wasn't widely recognized. I also note that the bias of the MSM is definitely towards the left. The recent criticism of AP for using ficticious sources for stories from Iraq that are damaging to the US are a case in point.

Here is an interesting article from the WSJ by former CIA Director James Woolsey. He discusses alternate fuel development, but does not discuss the US Air Force plans to get halve of the jet fuel from natural gas. The reason that cellulusive ethanol fuel doesn't add much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is the reason people don't (even thought they emit about 2.2 lb of CO2 per day). It is because the plants they derive energy from took the carbon out of the atmosphere recently. Of course, the ethanol has to be used in E85 (which is 15% gasoline). The article talks a lot about the benefits of hybrid autos. I still think that it could wind up that most families would have two auto's, one with an electric powerplant and one with a flex IC engine. People with only one auto might opt for a hybrid.

Gentlemen, Start Your Plug-Ins

How does 500 miles a gallon sound to you?

Monday, January 1, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

An oil and security task force of the Council on Foreign Relations recently opined that "the voices that espouse 'energy independence' are doing the nation a disservice by focusing on a goal that is unachievable over the foreseeable future." Others have also said, essentially, that other nations will control our transportation fuel--get used to it. Yet House Democrats have announced a push for "energy independence in 10 years," and in November General Motors joined Toyota and perhaps other auto makers in a race to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles, hugely reducing the demand for oil. Who's right--those who drive toward independence or those who shrug?

Bet on major progress toward independence, spurred by market forces and a portfolio of rapidly developing oil-replacing technologies.

In recent years a number of alternatives to conventional oil have come to the fore--oil sands, oil shale, coal-to-diesel and coal-to-methanol technologies. But their acceptability to a new Congress, quite possibly the next president, and a public increasingly concerned about global warming will depend on their demonstrating affordable and effective methods of sequestering the carbon they produce or otherwise avoiding carbon emissions.

Ethanol's appeal rose a few years ago when it became clear that genetically modified biocatalysts could break down the cellulose in biomass and thus enable ethanol's production from a wide range of plant life. This means that, compared with corn, little fossil fuel is needed during biomass cultivation and land use presents much less of a problem. Indeed two years ago the National Energy Policy Commission (NEPC), making reasonable assumptions about improved vehicle efficiency and biomass yields over the next 20 years, estimated that just 7% of U.S. farmland (the amount now in the Soil Bank) could produce enough biomass to provide half the fuel needed by U.S. passenger vehicles, and that production costs for cellulosic ethanol were headed downward toward around 70 cents per gallon. Further, conversion of only a portion of industrial, municipal and animal wastes--using thermal processes now coming into commercial operation--appears to be able to yield an additional several million barrels a day of diesel or, with some processes, methanol.

But in spite of the technological promise of alternative liquid fuels, skeptics rightly point out that it will take time to build production facilities and learn the practicalities of operating biorefineries and shifting industry from hydrocarbons to carbohydrates. Most of all there is a sense of investor caution, driven by memories of the mid-'80s and the late '90s when sharp drops in oil prices, driven in part by increased production from Saudi reserves, bankrupted such undertakings as the Synfuels Corporation. Also, industry support for moving away from oil dependence has long been weak outside agribusiness, and consumers see little immediate savings from using alternative liquid fuels.

All this is likely to change decisively, because electricity is about to become a major partner with alternative liquid fuels in replacing oil.
The change is being driven by innovations in the batteries that now power modern electronics. If hybrid gasoline-electric cars are provided with advanced batteries (GM's announcement said its choice would be lithium-ion) having improved energy and power density--variants of the ones in our computers and cell phones--dozens of vehicle prototypes are now demonstrating that these "plug-in hybrids" can more than double hybrids' overall (gasoline) mileage. With a plug-in, charging your car overnight from an ordinary 110-volt socket in your garage lets you drive 20 miles or more on the electricity stored in the topped-up battery before the car lapses into its normal hybrid mode. If you forget to charge or exceed 20 miles, no problem, you then just have a regular hybrid with the insurance of liquid fuel in the tank. And during those 20 all-electric miles you will be driving at a cost of between a penny and three cents a mile instead of the current 10-cent-a-mile cost of gasoline.

Utilities are rapidly becoming quite interested in plug-ins because of the substantial benefit to them of being able to sell off-peak power at night. Because off-peak nighttime charging uses unutilized capacity, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimates that adopting plug-ins will not create a need for new base load electricity generation plants until plug-ins constitute over 84% of the country's 220 million passenger vehicles. Further, those plug-ins that are left connected to an electrical socket after being fully charged (most U.S. cars are parked over 20 hours a day) can substitute for expensive natural gas by providing electricity from their batteries back to the grid: "spinning" reserves to help deal with power outages and regulation of the grid's voltage and amperage.

Once plug-ins start appearing in showrooms it is not only consumers and utility shareholders who will be smiling. If cheap off-peak electricity supplies a portion of our transportation needs, this will help insulate alternative liquid fuels from OPEC market manipulation designed to cripple oil's competitors. Indian and Chinese demand and peaking oil production may make it much harder for OPEC today to use any excess production capacity to drive prices down and destroy competitive technology. But as plug-ins come into the fleet low electricity costs will stand as a substantial further barrier to such market manipulation. Since OPEC cannot drive oil prices low enough to undermine our use of off-peak electricity, it is unlikely to embark on a course of radical price cuts at all because such cuts are painful for its oil-exporter members. Plug-ins thus may well give investors enough confidence to back alternative liquid fuels without any need for new taxes on oil or subsidies to protect them.

Environmentalists should join this march with enthusiasm. Replacing hydrocarbons with fuels derived from biomass and waste reduces vehicles' carbon emissions very substantially. And replacing gasoline with electricity further brightens the environmental picture. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute has shown that, with today's electricity grid, there would be a national average reduction in carbon emissions by about 60% per vehicle when a plug-in hybrid with 20-mile all-electric range replaces a conventional car.

Subsidizing expensive substitutes for petroleum, ignoring the massive infrastructure costs needed to fuel family cars with hydrogen, searching for a single elegant solution--none of this has worked, nor will it. Instead we should encourage a portfolio of inexpensive fuels, including electricity, that requires very little infrastructure change and let its components work together: A 50 mpg hybrid, once it becomes a plug-in, will likely get solidly over 100 mpg of gasoline (call it "mpgg"); if it is also a flexible fuel vehicle using 85% ethanol, E-85, its mpgg rises to around 500.
The market will likely operate to expand sharply the use of these technologies that are already in pilot plants and prototypes and heavily reduce oil use in the foreseeable future. And given the array of Wahhabis, terrorists and Ahmadinejad-like fanatics who sit atop the Persian Gulf's two-thirds of the world's conventional oil, such reduction will not be a disservice to the nation.

Mr. Woolsey, co-chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger, was director of central intelligence from 1993 to 1995.