Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Saturday, August 30, 2008

One thing I like about Sarah Palin is that she has done it on her own. Her husband is not a wimp, but he is also not rich and was not involved in advancing her career. Contrast that with the current liberal women politicians. Hillary Clinton would be unknown without Bill. Feinstein has a rich husband (whose company got more no-bid contract work in Iraq than Halliburton, not that the media cared), Pelosi's Dad was the boss of the Democrat machine in Baltimore and her husband is rich, as is Boxer's husband. (In fairness John Kerry and John McCain owe some of their success to marrying rich women, and even Obama did well to marry a woman connected to the Daley political machine in Chicago.) It is clear that Palin did it on her own, while being married and having a lot of children. Her is someone else's view on this topic:

Harry Stein
The Anti-Barbara Boxer
Plain-spoken, gun-toting Sarah Palin is the antithesis of the liberal woman politician
30 August 2008
My initial reaction to the news that Sarah Palin was John McCain’s choice for number two on the ticket was incredulity. What the blazes was he thinking? The experience versus novice/celebrity/empty suit angle was scoring so well that going into the conventions he’d pulled even, maybe even slightly ahead. All he had to do was stay the course and he’d be home free. The obvious choice was Mitt Romney—smooth, experienced, with all that executive experience and financial expertise. Romney on the ticket would keep the experience issue front and center, and he’d massacre Joe Biden in debates for good measure.

Yet now, inexplicably, McCain was ditching that winning strategy. And for whom? Some novice governor from Alaska, chosen for no other reason tha n her gender, in the misplaced hope she could pick up spurned female Hillary voters? This was worse than just a campaign strategy destined to fail miserably, it was a betrayal of core conservative principle! Liberals are the ones who pander that way, in the name of “diversity”—seeing people not as individuals but as members of this or that group. Conservatives recognize it as the scam it almost always is.

Then, at noon, I tuned in to see Palin in Dayton. I suppose I’d half expected a female Dan Quayle, the unknown sprung upon us as George H.W. Bush’s unexpected choice (presumably to appeal to younger voters) in 1988. But the moment she strode on stage, accompanied by her fisherman/oil worker husband and a gaggle of kids with strange names, it was apparent that she was different. No deer in the headlights, this was obviously a confident woman.

More to the point, there’s what she is confident—and forceful—about: fighting for energy independence and against earmarks; cutting property taxes and otherwise taking on even those special interests which generally have a hold on her own party. Then there was the personal stuff: the son in the army, en route to Iraq; the Down’s Syndrome child who has so clearly enriched her family’s life; her history as a high school basketball star, including, (as we later learned) the time she played in a championship game, Kerri Strug-like, with a fractured ankle.

If, as one commentator observed, McCain’s pick was a classic fighter pilot’s move, as risky as it was daring, the plain-spoken, gun-toting Palin is the kind of strong and independent woman who, a few short generations back, helped conquer the West. Lots of liberal women politicians call themselves strong and independent—and spend their careers relentlessly working for programs that increase people’s dependence on government. Palin could hardly be more different. She is the anti-Barbara Boxer.

Indeed, this choice could have immense long-term implications. Only yesterday there was every reason to believe that, even if McCain were to win the election, the party faced a highly uncertain future. Not only was it all-but bereft of future stars, but, more importantly, it seemed ideologically adrift. Literally overnight, those concerns appear to have vanished. Already, somewhere, there are surely relieved Republicans happily contemplating a brand new thought: Palin-Jindal in ’12.

Personally I am tired of all of the politicians in both parties who are children or grandchildren or wives of earlier successful politicians. That goes as much for Bush's and Romney's as for Kennedy's and Clintons and Sebelius, etc. I hope we have a new order with politicans like Palin and Jindal who are not rich or relatives of past politicians.

There are several reasons why I'm glad that McCain picked Sarah Palin for his running mate. One is that it is probably the best chance McCain has to defeat the socialist Obama. But, one of the main reasons is that her candidacy will force the feminists to reveal that they are not about promoting women, but are rather for advancing the socialist agenda. I'm not surprised that others see the same thing, including the insightful Englishman Peter Hitchens.
Here are his comments:

Why the sisters will be gunning for Palin
Watch as the ultra-feminist sisterhood back away in horror from Sarah Palin, John McCain's new running mate.

Mrs Palin is technically female, but she's enthusiastically married, hates abortion and thinks criminals should not be the only people allowed to own guns. She's everything Hillary Clinton isn't. In short, she's the wrong kind of woman.

(I couln't copy the photo; it shows Palin with an M-16)
Gun-ho: Governor Sarah Palin gets on the range in Kuwait in 2007

Which just goes to show that ultra-feminists are not actually interested in promoting women because they're women. They pretend they are, but really their agenda is a campaign against marriage, in favour of abortion and for every other disastrous liberal and socialist cause that ever existed. In which case, they really can't go on pretending that their opponents are women-hating bigots.

Not least because they are the bigots - merciless when it comes to a choice between their own convenience and the life of an unborn baby.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama made an acceptance speech in which he seems to embrace some sort of individualism, but he has always been a collectivist and I doubt he has changed. America is still the one nation left in the world in which the majority of the people embrace individualism over collectivism (Great Britain used to to have a slim majority who favored individualism, but I think it has changed). Despite that majority, it is possible to fool most of the people some of the time, so Obama could well win election as President if he can mask his past and true beliefs. Here is a critique of Obama's speech:


Here are some of Sarah Palin's thoughts on energy policy, from an interview with Investor's Business Daily:


The Anthropogenic Global Warming cult is beginning to go into a serious spin mode. Most people are unaware that the temperature of the world has only increased by 0.2C since 1940, despite a 35% increase in the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. And, in the US, the temperature has actually declined over that period. The media has failed to inform people of these facts, and instead publishes a lot of stories about how the world is being adversely affected by AGW on a local level. The AGW supporters now tell us that, even though they now expect temperature to fall for the next 10 or 20 years, there is a lot of underlying heating going on that is not reflected in the temperature. I haven't yet figured out what the theory is, except that somehow heat is being absorbed without the being reflected in temperature. One theory apparently is that heat is being stored deep in the oceans even though sea surface temperatures are falling. It is not clear to me how that can happen, but AGW believers seem to think it is happening. I can believe it is being predicted by their Global Circulation Models, given the unreliability of those computer models.

John McCain went for my personal choice for VP. Sarah Palin knows a lot more about energy than McCain, Obama or Biden. Actually that is not much of a compliment since those three are abysmally ignorant about technology in general and energy in particular. Regarding National Security, energy is a key factor. We need a lot of it, and we need a secure supply, and we can't afford to pay more for it than the prevailing world market price. Back in the 1980's I carried on a long correspondence on this subject with Senator Bentsen, and concluded that Democrats did not want the US to have energy independence. Here are some comments from Palin about energy and security made in the past:


The Democrats and their media allies (which includes ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, AP, Reuters, etc.) have been talking down the US economy for a few years now in hopes of the Democrats capturing the White House in 2008. But, the economy has not cooperated. The 2nd quarter results have been revised upwards, as reported in this article from Patriot Post:

Revised economic picture“Better than expected” was the buzz once again for the economy in the second quarter after the Commerce Department released revised numbers this week. The new numbers indicate that “gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter,” reports the Associated Press. The government had originally reported growth of only 1.9 percent, short of its forecast of 2.7 percent. Of course, the good news is not good enough to impress the army of economic-expert editorialists, er, reporters at the AP. They warn, “Still, the growth pickup is not likely to be seen as a lasting sign that the fragile economy is back on solid ground.” It should go without saying that current growth is no predictor of future economic activity, but the AP simply cannot leave readers feeling optimistic. AP continues, “A growing number of analysts fear that the country will hit another economic pothole in the fourth quarter.” These analysts who have been wrong all year—not only was there no recession, but we had “better than expected growth” —will continue with their depressing drumbeat despite every report to the contrary.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama is a socialist of the fascist variety. His supporters may not realize that since for some inexplicable reason they don't know what a fascist is, thinking it is just an expression of nationalism so in their view an internationalist like OBama couldn't possibly be a fascist. They do not realize that Franklin Roosevelt was a fascist, though he was careful to keep a friendly press from mentioning that. Why do I think Barack is a fascist? Well, he wants central control of the economy, particularly through energy policy. He is opposed to free trade. He wants to impose compulsory service on the people of the country, as described in the article below:


He got this idea from his buddy, the domestic terrorist and now Education Professor William Ayers.

He is opposed to free speech. Like most Democrats he wants to re-impose the so-called "fairness doctrine" to put right-wing commentators off of the radio and TV. He threatens retaliation against media that do not support him (much as John Kerry did in 2004). And he has "brown-shirt" like supporters who attack those who, for example, report on Obama's misrepresentation of his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.

Here is a discussion of this from the blog "Flopping Aces:"

Obama sends minions to beseige Kurtz/WGN Radio on Ayers connection
Posted by: MataHarley @ 10:34 am in Barack Obama, Politics

Visited 241 times, 241 so far today
For two hours last night, Obama minions beseiged retired conservative U of IL professor, Milt Rosenberg’s WGN radio show during his interview with Stanley Kurtz about the Obama-Ayers connections during the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Reminiscent of Obama’s first IL Senate run… where his legal team systematically eliminated all primary competitors by challenging all petition signatures… Obama has sent the lawyers in to attempt to quash the McCain Obama-Ayers ad, criticizing McCain’s suggestion that Obama had a relationship with Ayers beyond that of another guy in the ‘hood.

Barack Obama’s supporters insist that an ad from a conservative group attacking his ties to unrepentant 1970s radical William Ayers is irrelevant to the campaign. Cass Sunstein, a University of Chicago law professor and close friend of Mr. Obama, says that while he is “very disturbed by [Mr. Ayers'] past and by his refusal to disavow what the did . . . the implications of this for Obama are zero.”

You wouldn’t know that from the reaction of the Obama campaign. Yesterday, it took the extraordinary step of airing a response to the Ayers ad, which links Mr. Obama to the former Weather Underground organizer who took credit for a series of non-fatal bombings at the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon during the Vietnam War era. “With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the 60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers?” the Obama ad asks. “McCain knows Obama denounced Ayers’ crimes, committed when Obama was just 8 years old.”

Obama lawyers have also sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project, the conservative group behind the ad, for potentially violating campaign finance laws.

The Obama campaign ignored host’s offer to have an Obama representative present to offer counterpoints.

According to a a post on today’s Chicago Tribune blog, The Swamp:

Zack Christenson, executive producer of “Extension 720 with Milt Rosenburg,” said the response was strong.

“I would say this is the biggest response we’ve ever got from a campaign or a candidate,” he said. “This is really unprecedented with the show, the way that people are flooding the calls and our email boxes.”

Christenson said the Obama campaign was asked to have someone appear on the show and declined the request.

“He got into the files just yesterday, so we wanted to have him on to find out what he found. And, if at all possible, we wanted to get the Obama campaign, to get their side of the story,” Christenson said. “That’s why the uproar is kind of amazing, because we wanted the Obama campaign’s take as well.”

Instead of stepping up to the plate for the debate and accepting the opportunity to appear with Kurtz, the Obama campaign conveniently omitted the invitation in an email sent out as a call to action for the Obamatrons to assail the show. Obviously, they didn’t want the sheeple to know that the Obama team no more wants to confront the Ayers issue anymore than they want to debate McCain in townhall settings.

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He’s currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse…

Kurtz has been using his absurd TV appearances in an awkward and dishonest attempt to play the terrorism card. His current ploy is to embellish the relationship between Barack and Ayers.

Just last night on Fox News, Kurtz drastically exaggerated Barack’s connection with Ayers by claiming Ayers had recruited Barack to the board of the Annenberg Challenge. That is completely false and has been disproved in numerous press accounts.

It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves. At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz’s lies.

NRO’s Stanley Kurtz is only second on this story. The lead sleuth is California Attorney, Steve Diamond, Global Labor and Politics blog, who is far from conservative. Diamond described the onslaught of the Obama faithful as a “wave of hostile attacks” in his late yesterday.

Caller after caller to WGN read off talking points provided them by the Obama campaign alleging that Dr. Kurtz, and by implication and sometimes directly, Milt Rosenberg, was “smearing” Barack Obama and finding Obama “guilty by association.” They also accused Kurtz of lying.

Yet, when pressed for specifics, these callers had none.

Perhaps we should not be surprised by the tactics of the Obama campaign - attempting to squash a legitimate discussion on the respected Rosenberg show of these sensitive issues.

This is not the only media that has been confronted by the Obama faithful when they run ads that the campaign doesn’t like.

Frankly, I’m not surprised at all by the Chicago style political tactics. From his first IL Senate run with the legal hit job, or Obama’s personal physical confrontation with the smaller stature Lieberman on the Senate floor, and culminating with a cut off roll call vote at the DNC Convention (decided in last minute negotiations with the Clinton team), Obama has demonstrated a consistency in eliminating debate and negativity with full front legal, physical and media assaults.

The campaign is turning flip flops, trying to redefine the Obama-Ayers relationship and distance themselves from Ayers days of active terrorism by suggesting an 8 year old Obama was no member of the Weather Underground. They redefine Ayers as “a respected member of the Chicago intelligentsia”.

However Ayers was, and remains, a radical advocate of teaching “social justice” and socialism to America’s youth. As the CAC documents will show, and have already revealed, Obama and Ayers controlled $160 million in funds, much of which was funneled for political advocates that implemented Obama and Ayers’ shared belief in youth indoctrination throughout the Chicago school districts. An experiment that was a bust for improving scholastic achievement.

The Obama/Ayers CAC adventure is damning on many fronts. It shows Obama deliberately lies about his relationship with Ayers for political expediency, that he shares a socialist agenda to be implemented thru American schools, and that he sure knows how to blow tons of cash on a losing proposition.

UPDATE: Read my friend, Bob Park’s (Black & Right) take on this in the Canada Free Press… classic line:

Who needs the Fairness Doctrine when you have a thin-skinned, no credible response, Obama Administration that will use its power to punish his critics.

What First Amendment?

Democrats recently passed a law whcih will fund ACORN, the organization famous for signing up dead people to vote for Democrats. President Bush signed the bill into law I guess becasue, like Chief Joseph, he has decicded that "from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." Now, in Cleveland, a democrat stronghold where there are 200,000 more registered voters than living adults, ACORN has signed up another 75,000 voters. ACORN has been convicted of voter fraud in several places, and it is unclear to me why the organization is not banned instead of being rewarded with public money to support their voter fraud activities. Here is an article about this farce:


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

White people have been leaving California and moving to Arizona and Nevada for some time now because of high taxes and expensive home prices. I think the California income tax is flat at 9.5% for income over $45,000 and 10.5% over $1,000,000. This is enough to drive professional golfers like Tiger Woods to Florida, which has no state income tax. Here is a tax proposal that should drive even more people out of California in the unlikely event that it is approved by the voters. The exit tax is particularly interesting. The Clinton Administration tried to figure out how to impose such a tax on people fleeing the US to escape the higher taxes that were being contemplated. After Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994 these considerations became moot, since higher taxes were politically impossible. If Obama is elected President, such taxes will once more be considered to prevent the capital flight that will inevitably occur if Democrats are able to impose their desired policies. Here is the story on the currently proposed California tax law.

California Ballot Initiative to Impose 45% Income Tax, 55% Wealth Tax & 36%-54% Exit Tax
A California activist is trying to gather the 694,354 signatures needed to place a tax initiative on the ballot that would:

Impose a new 35% income surtax (in addition to federal taxes and the existing 10.3% top state rate) -- 17.5% (on all of the taxpayer's income) when income exceeds $150,000 (single)/$250,000 (joint), and an additional 17.5% (again, on all of the taxpayer's income) when income exceeds $350,000 (single)/$500,000 (joint).
Impose a one-time 55% wealth tax on assets exceeding $20 million held by a California resident or held in California by nonresident.
Impose an exit tax of between 36.5% to 54.3% on both income and unrealized appreciation in asset values over $5 million when a resident dies or leaves California.
See Roth & Co., Tax Foundation, and Taxable Talk.

The Press in America tends to be in the "blame America first" school of thought. Most recently they accepted the Russian version of what happened in Georgia without much critical examination. Here is a view of what happened by a blogger who went there and investigated. Actually, one does not have to be very smart to realize that Russia orchestrated the affair, since there army had already assembled on the border before the conflict broke out. And, of course, it started the day before the Press says it started. Apparently US intelligence did not notice the Russian troop movements in advance of the start of the shooting war.


People who support aggressive environmentalists usually deny that the philosophical underpinning of the movement has a goal of reducing economic activity and the standard of living of humans. The movement favors coercion to achieve its goals using central planning. Here is an article about the Bill Rees, guy who invented the "ecological footprint" (EF); someone who thinks we should all be living a 19th century lifestyle. It amazes me that the liberals who talk about being "progressive" actually want to go back to an earlier economy and lifestyle. (Occasionally one of them is honest enough to admit that the world has several times too many people for that economical model. Few address how the world should go about reducing population to the proper level.) At the end of this article, note the comments about CO2 absorption in North America. Liberals and environmentalists don't like to talk about that since it undermines their message. (For those that don't know, as air sweeps across North America from West to East, the CO2 concentration in the air actually falls, thus North America is a net CO2 sink rather than a source as the environmentalists like to
pretend.) Here is the article about Bill Rees and his EF concept:


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democrats who oppose having the US develop domestic energy sources like to say that "big oil" has 68 million acres under lease that they are not drilling on, so why let any more territory for them to not drill on? One question that I have based on the Democrats position is, why not lease more acreage and put the money in the bank, a win-win for everyone, since the oil companies do not appear inclined to drill anyway. The reality regarding the 68 million acres is something else, as the Democrats are well aware. Much of the land was explored, and doesn't have any oil under it. Then there is the matter of the government preventing oil production from the leases, as indicated by this recent court case(from the blog YidwithLid):

Court Awards US Oil Drillers 1 BILLION Dollars

Democrats such as my congressman Steve Israel like to talk about how the oil companies have not drilled on the land leases they already have. Well maybe this is the reason. As reported in the Financial Times, a US federal appeals court awarded 11 different oil companies a total of more than ONE BILLION DOLLARS. It seems that the government kept changing the rules effectively preventing the companies from developing their land leases:

US drillers to get $1bn court award
By Sheila McNulty in Houston\

A US federal appeals court ruled yesterday that 11 oil and gas companies should receive more than $1bn awarded to them in 2006 after the government effectively changed the terms of leases to drill off the California coast.

The US Court of Appeals was upholding a 2006 ruling that the government had breached the leases when changes in federal law materially interfered with the companies' efforts to develop the oil and gas reserves off California.

The case points to the difficulties US oil and gas companies have developing oil and gas resources in the US.

Even when acreage is legally open to production, restrictive regulations about how properties can be developed have made it impossible for companies to follow through.

The US government had estimated the area contained more than 1bn barrels of oil equivalent.

Politicians have been critical of the industry for pushing for Senator John McCain's proposal to open up protected areas off the coast of Florida, saying they have yet to develop all the property currently open to production.

The industry can point to this case as a good example of why not all leased properties in the US are under development.

"We're very pleased and we believe it is the right result," said Lyndon Taylor, senior vice president and general council for Devon Energy.

"This illustrates the importance of the government honouring its contractual obligations."

The nearly three dozen leases in this case were sold in the 1980s by the US Department of Interior to the 11 companies, which included Devon Energy, the biggest US oil and gas company solely focused on exploration and production. The bigger companies, such as ExxonMobil, the world's biggest publicly listed oil company, also do refining and marketing.

"When any person, company or organisation enters into a contractual agreement in this country, they must fulfil the terms or pay damages, even if that entity is the US government,'' said Steven Rosenbaum, partner at Covington & Burling, which represented the 11 companies.

Obama and the Democrats say that America is in terrible economic times, as bad as the Great Depression during the 1930's. (I remember those days, and can tell you that those claims are ridiculous.) I see Democrats on TV talking about how the income of the middle class hasn't gone up in recent years even though gasoline and electricity costs more and home prices are down. (To the extent that this is true, the blame is arguably more the fault of Democrats than Republicans since they are the ones who have prevented development of energy and they caused lenders to make bad home loans.) People in America need to look at what is happening in Great Britain. Everything that is supposedly bad here is many times worse in Great Britain. What is interesting to me is that the policies that the socialistic Democrats in America are proposing are the same energy and regulatory policies that the socialistic Labor party has pursued in Great Britain, and which have not worked out less well than what has happened in America recently. The country in Europe that is doing well economically is Ireland, the country that has aggressively reduced taxes.

Barack Obama says he is going to cut income taxes for 95% of people. That seems to me to be a curious statement since the George Bush tax cuts took almost half the the workers of America off of the income tax rolls. So, how do you cut income taxes for people who do not pay income tax? Apparently by making a payment to people who do not make enough money to be required to pay income tax. That appears to me to be a type of welfare payment rather than a tax cut. Obama says he will get the money for this enterprise by increasing taxes on the wealthy. This sounds like a Robin Hood "rob the rich to pay the poor" plan rather than a tax plan.

I have written before about how the anthropogenic global warming activists are not interested in developing technologies that would scrub CO2 from the atmosphere. They only want to stop using fossil fuel even at the cost to the world's economy of scrapping much of our energy infrastructure while there is no feasible alternative. One interesting question is how did the AGW group determine what the optimum atmospheric CO2 concentration is. The US supreme Court has decided that CO2 is a pollutant, apparently not realizing that it takes a CO2 concentration of about 160 ppm(v) to sustain life as e know it. Some studies have shown that, in terms of plant growth, the optimum CO2 level is 2 or 3 times the current level of 380 ppm(v). I think the reaction of AGW activists to studies of CO2 removal from the atmosphere reveal their true agenda, which is toward an international socialistic government rather than true concern about the environment. Here is another view on this subject:


The Nanny state is gaining ground all over the world. In Australia local governments have banned helium-filled balloons. I wonder why they did that? The kind of liberla people who comprise the Nanny state don't need rational reasons for their actions.


Here is an article that discusses what the leaders of the liberal "left" actually are trying to achieve. I suspect that many of the people who support Obama do not believe in the same things he does. For anyone paying attention, it is clear that Obama is an internationalist even though he insists he is a patriot. But actions speak louder than words. Obama supports the global warming agenda that is intended to establish international control over nations, he wants the US to hand over 0.7% of the nation's GPD to the UN to distribute to the poor of the world, he favors unlimited immigration, etc. Here is the article about what modern liberals want:

he favors unlimited immigration, etc. Here is the article about what

Monday, August 25, 2008

T. Boone Pickens is suddenly popular with Democrats (Nancy Pelosi who is investing with Pickens) and Environmentalists (at least some of them) because of his wind power plans. Some people question his motivations for going green. He has some clever schemes for getting the government to help him make a few more billion dollars. In the following article by Steve Milloy, note Pickens' private municipal water district. This type of scheme has been used by promoters in Texas in the past, but never on such a grand scale.

Pickens Gives New Meaning to 'Self-Government'
By Steven Milloy
July 31, 2008

The more you learn about T. Boone Pickens’ plan to switch America to wind power, the more you realize that he seems willing to say and do just about anything to make another billion or two.

This column previously discussed the plan’s technical and economic shortcomings and marketing ruses. Today, we’ll look into the diabolical machinations behind it.

Simply put, Pickens’ pitch is “embrace wind power to help break our ‘addiction’ to foreign oil.” There is, however, another intriguing component to Pickens’ plan that goes unmentioned in his TV commercials, media interviews and web site -- water rights, which he owns more of than any other American.

Pickens hopes that his recent $100 million investment in 200,000 acres worth of groundwater rights in Roberts County, Texas, located over the Ogallala Aquifer, will earn him $1 billion. But there’s more to earning such a profit than simply acquiring the water. Rights-of-way must be purchased to install pipelines, and opposition from anti-development environmental groups must be overcome. Here’s where it gets interesting, according to information compiled by the Water Research Group, a small grassroots group focusing on local water issues in Texas.

Purchasing rights-of-way is often expensive and time-consuming -- and what if landowners won’t sell? While private entities may be frustrated, governments can exercise eminent domain to compel sales. This is Pickens’ route of choice. But wait, you say, Pickens is not a government entity. How can he use eminent domain? Are you sitting down?

At Pickens’ behest, the Texas legislature changed state law to allow the two residents of an 8-acre parcel of land in Roberts County to vote to create a municipal water district, a government agency with eminent domain powers. Who were the voters? They were Pickens’ wife and the manager of Pickens’ nearby ranch. And who sits on the board of directors of this water district? They are the parcel’s three other non-resident landowners, all Pickens’ employees.

A member of a local water conservation board told Bloomberg News that, “[Pickens has] obtained the right of eminent domain like he was a big city. It’s supposed to be for the public good, not a private company.”

What’s this got to do with Pickens’ wind-power plan? Just as he needs pipelines to sell his water, he also needs transmission lines to sell his wind-generated power. Rights of way for transmission lines are also acquired through eminent domain -- and, once again, the Texas legislature has come to Pickens’ aid.

Earlier this year, Texas changed its law to allow renewable energy projects (like Pickens’ wind farm) to obtain rights-of-way by piggybacking on a water district’s eminent domain power. So Pickens can now use his water district’s authority to also condemn land for his future wind farm’s transmission lines.

Who will pay for the rights-of-way and the transmission lines and pipelines? Thanks to another gift from Texas politicians, Pickens’ water district can sell tax-free, taxpayer-guaranteed municipal bonds to finance the $2.2 billion cost of the water pipeline. And then earlier this month, the Texas legislature voted to spend $4.93 billion for wind farm transmission lines. While Pickens has denied that this money is earmarked for him, he nevertheless is building the largest wind farm in the world.

Despite this legislative largesse, a fly in the ointment remains.

Although Pickens hopes to sell as much as $165 million worth of water annually to Dallas alone, no city in Texas has signed up yet -- partly because they don’t yet need the water and partly because of resentment against water profiteering.

Enter the Sierra Club.

While Green groups support wind power, “the privatization of water is an entirely different thing,” says the Sierra Club. Moreover, the activist group has long opposed further exploitation of the very groundwater Pickens wants to use -- the Ogallala Aquifer.

“The source of drinking water and irrigation for Plains residents from Nebraska to Texas, the Ogallala Aquifer is one of the world's largest -- as well as one of the most rapidly dissipating… If current irrigation practices continue, agribusiness will deplete the Ogallala Aquifer in the next century,” says the Sierra Club.

In March 2002, the Sierra Club opposed the construction of a slaughterhouse in Pampa, Texas, because it would require a mere 275 million gallons per year from the Ogallala Aquifer. Yet Pickens wants to sell 65 billion gallons of water per year -- to Dallas alone. In a 2004 lamentation about local government facilitation of Pickens’ plan for the Ogallala, the Sierra Club slammed Pickens as a “junk bond dealer” who wanted to make “Blue Gold” from the Ogallala.

But while the Sierra Club can’t seem to do anything about Pickens’ influence with state legislators, they do have enough influence to make his water politically unpotable. This opposition may soon abate, however, now that Pickens has buddied up with Sierra Club president Carl Pope.

As noted last week, Pope now flies in Pickens’ private jet and publicly lauds him. The two are newly-minted “friends,” since Pope needs the famous Republican oilman to lend propaganda value to the Sierra Club’s anti-oil agenda and Pickens needs Pope to ease up on the Ogallala water opposition.

This alliance isn’t sitting well with everyone on the Left.

A TreeHugger.com writer recently observed, “… I am left asking myself why the green media have neglected [the water] aspect of Pickens’ wind-farm plans? Have we been so distracted by the prospect of Texas’ renewable energy portfolio growing by 4000 megawatts that we are willing to overlook some potentially dodgy aspects to the project?”

It shouldn’t sit well with the rest of us either. Pickens has gamed Texas for his own ends, and now he’s trying to game the rest of us, too. Worse, his gamesmanship includes lending his billionaire resources, prominent stature and feudal powers bestowed upon him by the Texas legislature to help the Greens gain control over the U.S. energy supply.

Here is more about Democrats and natural gas. Nancy Pelosi thinks natural gas is a good alternative to fossil fuel. Does she really not know that natural gas is a fossil fuel? Her ignorance seems boundless. She is the leader of the Democrats. Surely they are not al as uninformed as she is.

Today in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram there is an article about how the drilling with new technology has dramatically increased the supply of natural gas in the USA. The increased supply has recently reduced the price of natural gas from $12 per thousand cubic feet a few months ago to less than $8 today. (In terms of energy cost, natural gas is now $8 per million BTU compared to $24 per million BTU for oil.) The Democrats must wonder how this can be, since they believe, or at least pretend to believe, that increasing supply will not reduce price. And, the Star Telegram says it will be two or three years before the really big increase in natural gas supply will reach the market. How can this be? The Democrats claim it will take at least 10 years for more drilling to increase supply. Democrats have claimed that the prospect of more drilling in the future will not reduce the price of oil today. But, in the case of natural gas that is what has happened. I doubt that Democrats will acknowledge what is happening with natural gas; they have no problem denying reality.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One observation I have frequently made is how many more lawyers there are active in the Democratic Party as opposed to the Republican Party. Lawyers also contribute far more money to Democrats. Keith Burgess-Jackson, the philosophy prof at UTA and himself a lawyer has noticed this also, and has done some research into this:

Law and Politics
I've been doing some research, which I would like to present to you. Since 1980 (inclusive), there have been eight presidential candidates and eight vice-presidential candidates in each major party (Republican and Democrat). How many of them were lawyers or had legal training? It may surprise you to learn that only three of the 15 Republicans (we don't yet know John McCain's running mate) had legal training. That's 20%. By contrast, 15 of the 16 Democrats had legal training. That's 93.7%.

On the Republican side, only Dan Quayle (twice a vice-presidential candidate) and Robert Dole had legal training, Quayle at Indiana University and Dole at Washburn University. Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Jack Kemp, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain did not. On the Democrat side, all of the following had legal training: Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, Michael Dukakis, Lloyd Bentsen, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Joseph Lieberman, John Kerry, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden. I should point out that while Gore studied law at Vanderbilt University for two years, he did not receive a degree. The only Democrat without legal training during this time has been Jimmy Carter.

What do you make of this, if anything? Is it that Republicans are averse to lawyers or that Democrats are partial to lawyers (or both)?

Addendum: It might be said that the results are skewed by the fact that George H. W. Bush, for example, appears on the Republican side four times (twice as a vice-presidential candidate and twice as a presidential candidate), while Al Gore appears on the Democrat side three times (twice as a vice-presidential candidate and once as a presidential candidate). Then let me talk about different individuals rather than total candidates. There have been eight different Republican candidates since 1980. Only two of them (Quayle and Dole) had legal training. That's 25%. There have been 12 different Democrat candidates since 1980. Eleven of them (all but Carter) had legal training. That's 91.6%. There's still a serious disparity. Is it a coincidence? If not, what's the causal connection?

For some reason, it had never registered with me that Bob Dole was a lawyer. He seemed like a good guy, but was not exciting as a presidential candidate. I try to not vote for lawyers for important elective office. I would like to see Supreme Court Justices who are not lawyers.

Environmentalists have succeeded in getting many states (and countries) to mandate that some significant portion of energy consumption come from "sustainable" sources. That would be wind, solar and tides. As I have noted previously much of the land suitable for generating the "sustainable" energy is far from population centers where the energy is needed. Now the environmentalists are acting to prevent the construction of high voltage transmission lines to transport electricity to population centers. Environmentalists as a group seem unwilling to sanction any sort of trade studies to determine an optimal solution for protection of both nature and people. Here is an opionion piece from the WSJ exploring this issue.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The United Nations is fundamentally a corrupt organization that is now primarily a debating society for third world dictators. Bashing the United States is the favorite passtime of the members. Maurice Strong, the mysterious Canadian billionaire socialist and UN mover and shaker, had the goal of destroying modern civilization, at least that is what he said when he started the IPCC back in1992. The goal of the IPCC was not to study climate change, something that has always happened throughout the history of the world, but rather to prove that mankind was causing climate change. The IPCC adopted procedures that were in no way scientific, and managed to get the message out to governments that man, primarily through CO2 emissions, was about to destroy the world. Their only possible solution was to stop use of fossil fuels, no other solution was acceptable or was even worthy of consideration. At first, when the claim was made that CO2 was causing the average temperature of the earth to go up, other scientists didn't pay much attention. After all, they knew that CO2 was a greenhouse gas, so it could cause air tempoerature to rise. And, they were fortunate in that there was a natural temperature increase underway. Now that natural temperature increase has ended, and cooling is happening, and scientists are suddenly realizing the extent to which the IPCC is trying to impose destructive policies on the west (the east is pretty much ignoring the situation, except to encourage the west to proceed full speed ahead). Now scientists are beginning to look at the IPCC process, and many of them are appalled. THe IPCC conducts ad hominem attacks on all who disagree with them, but the IPCC itself is rife with cronyism. Here is an article on some of the problemms with the IPCC.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

A lot is being written about John McCain's story about his prison guard who drew a cross in the sand. Here is Ann Althouse's comment about the story.

"...I have a theory about why McCain shifted from not talking about the cross to talking about it.

McCain was initially an Episcopalian, and only fairly recently identified himself as a Baptist. My Christian upbringing was Episcopalian, and Bob Wright was raised as a Southern Baptist. Bob thought of Christianity as something to witness at every opportunity, and I thought Jesus's admonition to keep one's religion private (which comes in Matthew 6, just before he gives the words for the Lord's Prayer):

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Could it be that McCain, as an Episcopalian, thought more like I did, and then later, after becoming a Baptist, saw the matter more the way Bob did?"

I thought this was an interesting interpretation. I'm a Southern Baptist, but I am definitely in the private camp. My philosophy is more or less live as a good example, but don't be demonstrative about it. Ann's comments caused me to think about why I am like I am. I am pretty much like my Dad and my Mother's Dad. Both of them were Southern Baptists, but my Dad's Mother was originally Catholic and he attended Catholic school, which may have influenced him. My Mother's Dad was just not emotional, which is the way a Texas cattleman like him is supposed to be.

Obama likes projecting his image as a "rock star" or "celebrity," but he doesn't like it when McCain points it out. Now Obama has clearly established that he is a rock star. He is charging $1000 per person to hear his acceptance speech at the Democrat Party Convention. I never heard of a Presidential Candidate doing that before.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I did some back of the envelope calculation on the amount of water vapor that would be geneerated in North Texas if all of the cars were burning hydrogen in internal combustion engines. I assumed DFW was an area measuring 30 miles by 50 miles containing six million people and four million cars. Each car drives about 30 miles per day, and hydrogen contains about three times as much energy by weight as gasoline.

The people would generate about 0.2 lb per hour of water vapor, or a total of about 30 million lbs of water per day. (Some of this water is taken out of the air with air conditioners, but I'm ignoring that.) The cars would produce about 100 to 110 million lbs of water vapor per day. Now consider how much water vapor is in the air during the Summer. If I consider the air above the DFW region up to 5000 ft, and assume that the air contains an average of 50 grains per lb of air, then the air contains about 150 to 200 billion lbs of water vapor. So, in the Summer the hydrogen fueled fleet of cars would only produce about three or four times as much water vapor as the people do, and about 0.07% of the naturally occuring water vapor. So the water vapor generated by the hydrogen fueled cars wouldn't appear to have much effect. Rainfall would increase slightly, all other things being equal. But, it could be that the water vapor builds up in the atmosphere, whcih would cause global warming. This would be difficult to figure out, even with complex computer models. Determining what happens to water vapor is the weak point of the GCM's that predict global warming. THe reason Hansen, Trenberth and others project run-away temperature increases due to increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to the assumption that water vapor in the atmosphere goes up because of the slight temperature increase due to slightly increased CO2 level. Even though the amount of water vapor generated by hydrogen fueled cars per day is small compared to the amount of water vapor naturally in the air, it is not clear what the long term effect on climate would be. This is a complex issue, and it will be difficult to accurately determine what the effect of fueling the entire fleet of cars in the world with hydrogen.

Here is a view of the relationship between "greens" and alternative energy.


I keep seeing estimates that Al Gore has made over $100 million since he left the office of Vice-President from his activities in the carbon trading business. No doubt he also made a lot from just giving his doomsday speech.

There are some interesting things related to greens and energy in California. California has a law that 20% of electricity has to be produced by "renewable" sources by 2010. Large photovoltaic solar cell plants are being built to help provide the "renewable" electricity. But, high voltage power lines are required to get the electricity from the desert to cities where it is needed. At present environmeentalists are blocking the construction of those high voltage power lines. The power lines are ugly, etc. And the solar cell facilities require a huge footprint so they also take up a lot of space. THe result is that California will have a difficult time getting to the 29% renewable goal. Will the state force the electric utilities to cut back on power output until it is only five times the amount that is produced by "renewables? If they threaten to punish the utilities if they produce too much non-renewable energy, then they will just have brownouts or blackouts. California's demand for electricity goes up faster than would normally be expected becasue of the migration of Mexicans into California, increasing the demand for utility services.

The media appears to be suffering from "cognitive Dissonance" regarding global warming according to this opinion piece:


The earth has had a significant temperature drop over the last year or so, but I haven't seen that reported in any MSM publication. There must be some reason for this omission. I guess the MSM decides what is news and waht isn't.

I've been reading up on hydrogen powered cars. The people who write about hydrogen powered vehicles talk a lot about eliminating "greenhouse gas" in the exhaust. These people are, of course, convinced that CO2 is causing global warming that threatens the world. They seem unaware that water vapor is a more significant greenhouse gas than CO2. It is not clear to me that a world-wide fleet of hydrogen fueled vehicles would be less disruptive to the atmosphere than the current gasoline fueled vehicles. It seems to me that someone needs do some analysis on what the effect of so much water vapor would be. Maybe it would not be a problem, but that is not obvious. Some of the people writing about hydrogen powered vehicles seem unaware that hydrogen is a "carrier" rather than a fuel. Energy has to be applied somewhere to convert water to hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen also has to be compressed or liquefied in order to be conveniently used to power an auto.

It appears to me, without doing any analysis, that use of nuclear power to generate electricity to charge battery powered vehicles would be the best approach for reducing emissions into the atmosphere. There is a need for better batteries if internal combustion vehicles, or fuel cell powered vehicles, are to be made obsolete. THe current state of the art for batteries limits electric cars to short range so that they are only practical for traveling around town, commuting to work, etc. The near-term (next 20 or 30 years) outlook may be for two-car families to have one electric car for commuting and one conventional IC engine car for longer trips. Or, maybe people will just rent a car for out-of-town trips. The timing on this will depend on whether or not the next few years show that CO2 emissions are actually causing the earth to heat excessively. At present that appears to not be happening, but politicians are acting like it is, and once they get started on a path are not much influenced by reality, so may use some incentives to promote the use of electric cars while discouraging development of petroleum sources. There is potentially enough petroleum to fuel cars for centuries, particularly if we would use nuclear power to generate electricity. Lobbyists and special interests influence these things in ways that we in the public are not warae of, and cause politicians to implement policies that are not necessarily the most logical or best.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here is an article by one of the smartest guys around, Thomas Sowell, about amateurs out-performing professionals.


The subprime mortgage situation has caused a lot of trouble for the US. A lot of people blames President Bush. I suppose the Bush Administration deserves some of the blame for not recognizing the mischief Bill Clinton had wrought, and taking some sort of action. But the root of the problem is clearly the action of Clinton in demanding that home loans be given to people without checking on their ability to repay the loan. Here is a comment made by someone named Ed from Illinois to Walter Williams's column today that sums up what happened.

Perhaps you are unaware of the roots of our current predicament. I was around when Sandy Weill(Citigroup CEO at the time) stood hand in hand with Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson on a stage in New York proclaiming a new world order with the advent of the new Community Reinvestment Act regulations prohibiting redlining of neighborhoods for purposes of mortgage financing. All people would be entitled to receive mortgages and home equity loans regardless of where they lived or their dubious credit standing. The federal government would make sure these loans were provided promptly and universally lest the lenders be harassed for racial/socioeconomic discrimination. Lenders tried to find a way to protect themselves by securitizing these loans and creating Collateralized Mortgage Obligations, Asset Backed Securities, Collateralized Debt Obligations, etc. They followed the principle of diversification to avoid the wrath of the federal government. Well, it worked for a while. But as with all government sponsored Camelot schemes, reality returned with a vengeance. Oh, and let's not forget Bill Clintons virtually unilateral decision to cease new domestic oil and natural gas development in 1995. That could not possibly have had an impact on the future supply (read price) of crude oil. Some people will never get it. You can't repeal the laws of economics. But, as with Bill Clinton and the Democrats, you can ignore and flaunt them with impunity until the next election cycle. Learn the rules of an open market economy or be condemned to live with the consequences.

(I was dumb enough to not sell my shares in Citigroup. When my broker told me that Citigroup had no subprime loan exposure I assumed he knew what he was talking about. That was a bad mistake.)

My wife is a retired school teacher, from the Arlington, Texas school district. She got some information about the upcoming school year from the school district. One item of interest was the demographics of the 61,000 students. About 31 % are non-Hispanic white. Hispanics make up 34%, blacks 25% and Asians 9%. So the white "majority" is actually in the minority. When I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area 45 years ago, there were few Mexicans here. Now Mexicans are over 30% of the population. Within the next 50 years Mexicans are on the path to be, if not the majority in America, at least the largest ethnic group. Some think this is fine, but I don't. Mexico is about the lowest achievement nation in the West. The lack of human capital in Mexico is astonishing, and the immigrants don't seem to do much better than the ones who remain in Mexico. Here is an article from VDARE that discusses the problem. One item of interest in the article that I did not know is that Mexican women who come to the US have more children than the ones who remain in Mexico. It appears to me that the Mexicans will turn the US into a third world country, and our politicians are OK with that. I understand the Democrats position, since the poverty stricken Mexicans will keep them in power, but I don't understand President Bush and Senator McCain. Apparently they think that being in the US will increase the Mexicans interest in getting an education. I see no reason to believe that. Certainly there is no evidence of it in what is happening in the school district, given the high drop-out rate of Mexican students.


There was a volcanic eruption in the Aleutian Islands early in August. I didn't see anything about this volcano in the newspaper. Apparently this volcano put one or two million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This is about 1/10th of the amount put into the atmosphere by Mount Pinatubo back in 1992. That event resulted in temporary reduction of the temperature of the earth. There was a lot less sulfur dioxide in this latest volcanic eruption, so it will be interesting to see how it affects atmospheric temperature over the next few months. Here is a site that has more about the volcano and effects of sulfur dioxide on the atmosphere.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Francis Fukuyama famously proclaimed "the end of history" when the cold war ended. Recent events with the Russians show that he was wrong. Here is an article by Robert Kagan that says it is up to the US to step up again, hopefully with support from the EU.


It is interesting how movies like "High Noon" reflect the real world. Gary Cooper is like the US, trying to get support from people who are afraid. But, he has to protect them, even if they are unwilling to help themselves. Batman has a similar problem in "Dark Knight." It is interesting that the government shines up a light with a bat that looks a lot like a "W" on it. George W. Bush has a similar problem to Batman. The people he has to protect object to his methods after they are at least more safe.

People today seem worried about the world running out of energy. Here is an article about how much uranium there is available from sea water. There is a lot, enough to fuel the world for over one hundred thousand years. Here is a discussion.


Note that the cost of the uranium fuel from sea water is just over one penny per million BTU's. That compares to $8 per million BTU's for natural gas, and $16 per million BTU's for oil.

Then there is the possible use of thorium fuel in nuclear reactors, something that has been demonstrated around the world. There is more than one billion tons of thorium in the world. There are designs for breeder reactor electric generation plants using thorium as the fuel. The thorium fuel systems can be designed so as weapons grade material is not produced.

This all means that there is the potential for generating all of the electricity the world needs without having to get a workable fusion power system, or resorting to inefficient "sustainable" systems such as wind and solar power. Fusion would be nice if it can ever be developed, and the sustainables are cost-efficient in some instances, but are not practical to provide all of the power the people of the world need.

Nuclear reactors could be used to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen during off-peak hours, and the hydrogen could be used as a transportation fuel.

The solution to satisfying the world's energy demands seems easy to me. It would take some time to make the transition to mostly thorium based nuclear power, but the world has time. Why can't political leaders grasp a rather straight-forward strategy instead of messing around with carbon credits and other non-productive concepts.

One thing I have wondered about is the impact of having hundreds of millions of automobiles running around spewing a lot of water vapor. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but that may not be the main issue. I suspect that if millions of cars were putting tons of water vapor into the air it would have an impact, particularly around cities. There might be a lot more rain. This needs some serious study. But, we could and should start building nuclear reactors now.

There is a lot of talk about drilling for oil these days. Basically Democrats do not want to drill in the US for reasons that are not clear. The only logical reason would be that they believe that CO2 emissions are destroying the world, but most of them don't say that. They also seem to be willing to have the US power diminished to reduce oil consumption. They have organized to prevent drilling in the US or off of the coast of the US using regulations and lawsuits that mostly have a bogus basis. Here is an opinion piece on this subject by Roy Innis and Newt Gingrich.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

There are two books out about why Obama shouldn't be elected President. The one by Jerome Corsi seems to be getting the most attention from Obama. Corsi wrote the book about John Kerry in the last election that some think is the reason Kerry lost. Actually, I knew about most of what was in the book from my own recollection of events during the Vietnam war, and I think Kerry was beaten by his own words and actions. He lied to Congress and was involved in activities that could reasonably be called traitorous. Corsi is a bit of a nut in my opinion. He has blamed Bush for the 911 attacks, thinks the government brought down the twin towers, and has called for Bush's impeachment. No one should waste time on his book. The other book by David Freddoso is a different matter. Here is a review of Freddoso's book from Amazon:

764 of 911 people found the following review helpful:
Keep an eye on the Charmer, August 4, 2008
By Andrew J. Rodriguez

After reading the book I realized it is the kind of writing that people either ferociously agree with its message or hate the author for undermining someone whose qualifications make him worthy of being elected president of the most powerful nation on Earth.
I am not going to agree with either side. All I wish to express as a former Cuban exile, is that Barack Obama and Fidel Castro share many personality traits, ie:
Both were abandoned by their fathers at an early age.
Both are charming, eloquent lawyers that say exactly what people want to hear at the right time and place.
One never led the nation to suspect he was a communist at heart, the other doesn't mention the word socialism when in reality this is exactly what his agenda stands for.
Neither Obama nor Fidel ever held a real job either in government or in private enterprise for they think of themselves as demigods unworthy of soiling their hands when their destiny is much larger than their own realities.
Both were virtually unknown until they began to use the word "change" as their main political motto.
Both have egos as tall as the twin towers, yet they manage to present themselves humbly, one in soiled military fatigues and the other sweating and with an undone tie.
Both have the unique ability to distort truth and lies as if they were the same.
Both have the ability to hypnotize the ignorant and fool the wishful thinker and to divide a nation in classes, (divide and you shall win) In Fidel's case he divided the rich against the poor, the illiterate against the educated and the black against the white.
In Obama's case even if by omission, he's de-facto dividing the races already.
Another resemblance between Obama and Fidel and one that shall never be forgotten is that the American media supported the "Twentieth Century Latin American Liberator" (Time Magazine) with the same degree of irresponsibility devoted to Barack Obama today.
And lastly I'll use the words of Jorge Santayana to finish my case in point: "Those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
And in the words of Sir Winston Churchill: "The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal distribution of blessings, the inherent vice of Socialism is the equal distribution of misery.
Signed: Andrew J. Rodriguez, Author of "Adios, Havana," a memoir.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I wonder how much Russia's actions are influenced by the assumption that Barack Obama is going to become President of the US next year and the conservative George Bush will be gone. Why would Russians think that Obama will let them do as they wish without interference? Maybe they saw the video that can be seen on video at Powerline (and has been around for a while) in which Obama spells out his approach to national defense as follows:

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems...

...I will not weaponize space...

...I will slow development of future combat systems...

...and I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending...

...I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons...

...and to seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons...

...I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material...

...and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert...

...and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals...

I wonder if the unproven missile defense system is the one we are deploying in Poland? If so, the Russians will no doubt want Obama to be elected President. I suppose the ban on fissile material would mean that nuclear power plants would have to be taken out of service. That might be tough since France and Japan get most of their electricity from nuclear power, and the US gets 20%. It is clear that President Obama would disarm the US. He won't get my vote, but he may win since we have a lot of citizens who seem to favor national suicide.

Some local politicians are waking up to the reality that global warming is not happening as predicted by the IPCC computer models, and maybe it would be wise to not base public policy on the IPCC's future temperature projections.


Stephen Moore has an article in the WSJ about the threat that the environmental movement poses to modern civilization.


Liberals stereotype conservatives as really miserable people. From PatriotPost here is a report on a book that concludes the liberal stereotype is more projection than reality.

Are conservatives harder workers that feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less and even hug their children more than liberals? According to research by Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, the answer is a resounding yes.

In his new book Makers and Takers, Schweizer demonstrates through new data and research that the common liberal stereotype painting conservatives as self-centered, angry, cheating, money-grubbing authoritarians are myth. In fact, Schweizer claims that these negative traits more often apply to liberals, and that his book exposes how: “Liberals are more self-centered than conservatives. Conservatives are more generous and charitable than liberals. Liberals are more envious and less hardworking than conservatives. Conservatives value truth more than liberals, and are less prone to cheating and lying. Liberals are more angry than conservatives. Conservatives are actually more knowledgeable than liberals. Liberals are more dissatisfied and unhappy than conservatives.” Certainly, Schweizer has discovered nothing we didn’t already know, but this is one book we will be adding to our summer reading list.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pamela at Atlas Shrugs has done some research into illegal contributions to the Obama campaign. The MSM is not interested. NO news there; Democrats always have a lot of illegal campaign contributions, particularly from foreigners. Usually, from the time of McGovern to Clinton the Chinese communists gave to the Democrats. Obama has a new source, Muslims. I wonder if the Chinese are giving to Obama? Here is Pamela's article:


Here is something Obama wrote that I agree with

"...most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives -- professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems."
- Barack Obama; The Audacity of Hope; p. 48

The problem for Obama is that he is a lawyer, and he is better at making speeches than he is at solving problems. Actually, in the Senate he hasn't addressed many problems. He has been too busy running for President. For example, he says we are losing in Afghanistan. He is chairman of the Senate committee on Afghanistan, and he hasn't held a single committee meeting. If we are losing, why isn't he doing something since he is in charge of the Senate committee?

THere is an article on Obama's tax plan in the WSJ today. Here is a report on the WSJ article from the NY Sun. The article was written by Austan Goolsby who appears to be Obama's main financial adviser. Goolsby is one of those who thinks tax increases are a good idea, and are good for the economy of the country. Obama's plan would impact heavily on married couples. (Many prominent Democrats seem to want to get rid of the institution of marriage since they support policies that discourage it, or that trivialize it as by permitting "gay" marriage.)


I got this from Ace of Spades. In the video a Georgian girl reporter is shot by a sniper while broadcasting, and after a minute, she continues. Why shoot a reporter? Maybe Russians don't want the truth to come out.


Obama claims that the terrorist William Ayers is just some guy from his neighborhood that he barely knows. I have read that William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn used to baby-sit for the Obams's but I have seen no proof of that. (Michelle Obama and Dohrn worked at the same law firm in Chicago.) And, Obama and Ayers worked for together for many years on education reform. (I think that they viewed their efforts as attempts to improve education though to me their goal appeared to be to destroy it.) Ayers and Obama's supporter Linda Darling-Hammond want repayment of education deficit to people of color, otherwise known as reparations. It is not clear where Obama stands on that, though he seems to favor it. But, it is clear that he has had a close relationship with Ayers and Dohrn. Here is an article discussing the work of Ayers and Obama:


On TV today it is being breathlessly reported that Julia Child was a spy for the US during WWII. This has been know for as long as I can remember, but TV people do not appear to be well informed. Baseball catcher Moe Berg is also being discussed. There was a book written about him which Megan Kelly said she was reading, so I guess she wasn't surprised at this "revelation." (Her law Prof. recommended the book.) So she is beautiful and smart. I like that. Moe Berg is really interesting. He was sent to assassinate Heisenberg, the head of the German atomic bomb program. He went to a scientific conference and got into a discussion with Heisenberg about nuclear physics that was interesting enough that Heisenberg invited Berg to eat with him. Berg decided not to kill Heisenberg. He noticed that there was no security around Heisenberg indicating that he wasn't considered to be very important, so he reasoned that Germany was not close to having an atomic bomb. He was correct.

There is a lot of misinformation about energy development in the US. For reasons that are unclear to me, the Democrats and some Republicans are intent on preventing the development of US energy resources. Energy is the major factor in the economy of the country, and to the secutity of the nation. The interesting thing abou energy to me is that the US has plenty of resources, but our politics will not allow them to be developed. That it takes 10 years to drill for oil and get it into production is an example. Brazil plans to get 100,000 barrels of oil from the Tupi field in a year from now: the field was discovered in 2007. We can't do that in the US, not for technical reasons, but for political reasons. Our laws allow litigation to stop development for nonsensical reasons. Other nations like China are developing coal powered and nuclear powered electrical generation stations at an unprecedented rate. But we remain frozen due to a sort of death-wish on the part of environmentalists and Demcrats. Here is an article about the energy situation:


Here, from Greenie Watch, is more about the complicated nature of Arctic ice melting:


One of the biggest problems I have with the global warming theory of Hansen and others is that it requires that the temperature increase monotonically at both poles. Hansen predicted in the 1980's that the temperature at both poles would have increased by 10 F by now. This simply has not happened, and in fact, the South Pole has continually cooled. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but Hansen's theory of global warming is just wrong.

Al Gore and his friends had to change the name of their scare program from Global Warming to Climate Change. This was necessary since the Earth stopped warming as predicted by all of the IPCC's climate model computer programs as shown in the chart by John Christy in this article:


Climate Change is a stroke of genius, since any unusal weather event can be said to prove that climate change is happening. If Arctic ice melts, that proves that CO2 is causing climate change. If the Arctic re-freezes quicker and to a greater extent than expecte, that also proves that CO2 is causing climate change.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The IPCC is a political rather than a scientific body, and is as corrupt as its parent, the UN.

Here is a discussion of how the IPCC operates, and publishes data that it knows are not correct. The IPCC gets away with its fakery because they do not provide data to reviewers and in many cases never publish much of the data so it is not available for review. This is not the way science is done; science requires that information be shared so others can validate results. The following is a good review of the deception that was involved with the Mann Hockeystick curve that the UN used to purportedly show that CO2 is causing a dramatic increase in the earth’s temperature without a lot of the math involved in statistical analysis.


Take time to read about the corruption of the IPCC. You may be uninterested; like the politicians say, the deception is water under the bridge, and it is time to move on. But it is worth the time to read about the decpetion that is the IPCC. But then, by the time the public figures out that there is no scientific basis for the catastrophic global warming hypothesis the current politicians will have retired and the mischief that they have caused will be water under the bridge.

Here is a summary of what is happening in Washington on the oil drilling issue from the blog Powerline:

Nancy Pelosi now says that she is "open to drilling," but It's probably more accurate to say that she is open to not being crushed in November. She can read the polls, and an overwhelming majority of Americans support the Republicans' position, that it is important to develop our own energy resources. Pelosi says she could support drilling (or a vote, anyway) if drilling is part of a broader strategy. But of course the Republicans in Congress are pushing the "all of the above" approach, so that isn't really the issue.

The Republicans have gotten traction with their ongoing protest in the House chamber. More Republicans have returned to Washington during the recess to man the effort. One of those is my friend and Congressman, John Kline, who led today's effort. He did a series of interviews through the day, including one with bloggers, and live-blogged the proceedings on his official site. Now that voters are becoming aware that the Republicans are the ones who want to employ Americans to develop our own resources rather than continuing to outsource our energy production by shipping $700 billion a year abroad--there's a tough decision!--the Democrats have no choice but to pretend, at least, to be in the mainstream on the energy issue.

Which doesn't mean that a meaningful energy package will be enacted. The Republicans want a vote on their American Energy Act, but I don't think there is any way they can force it, except perhaps through public pressure. The Democrats' strategy will be to put together a package that includes a token amount of drilling, but does nothing to clear away the thicket of regulations and litigation that surrounds any actual attempt to extract petroleum from the ground. They will then count on their allies in the plaintiffs' bar to tie up any oil production for years, if not decades, to come. This is the strategy they have employed successfully with respect to the NPR-A region of Alaska.

One of the Democrats' problems is that Congress's ban on offshore drilling and shale oil development will expire in 49 days. The Democrats would like to extend the ban, thereby damaging our economy further, but it's hard to see how they can.

So that's the maneuvering that will take place over the coming weeks: the Republicans will be trying to unleash our economy, create great jobs, and keep some, at least, of that $700 billion at home. The Democrats will be trying to cripple our economy further by imposing "windfall profits" taxes to disable our own oil companies, which are puny by international standards, and otherwise pretend to help solve our energy problems by subsidizing a random selection of their friends and political supporters.

The one thing you can be sure of is that the accounts you read in your daily newspaper over the next three months will bear no resemblance to what is actually going on in Washington.

The Democrats can read the polls, so they will have to do something that makes it appear that they support drilling. Recent events with Russia and Georgia clearly show that the US needs to have domestic supplies of energy sufficient to satisfy most of the country's needs. If drilling is approved, Democrats will rely on their liberal lawyer friends to bring lawsuits to prevent any drilling from occurring. They will claim that fossil fuels threaten the lovable Polar Bears.

In Michelle Malkin's column today there are some interesting items about Nancy Pelosi. It turns out that, according to Malkin, Pelosi has a substantial financial interest in T. Boone Picken's company Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (ticker CLNE). This company will do better if the price of oil remains high.

Regarding T. Boone Pickens, he is trying to get the government to take over one of his previous great ideas. He bought right of way for a proposed pipeline to bring water from the Texas Panhandle to the densely populated Dallas-Ft. Worth region. That plan fizzled, but the right of way could still be profitable if used for high voltage power lines bringing electricity from windfarms in the Texas Panhandle to Dallas-Ft. Worth. A classic example of turning a lemon into lemonade.

I have been trying to find out more about the 68 million acres that Democrats claim oil companies have leases on, but are not drilling on. One curious thing is that there is actually significant oil production from some of the leases, like 100,000 barrels per day, but because of arcane rules the leases are not considered to be producing. In other cases drilling has been blocked by lawsuits. Then, from what I can determine, most of the leases in question went for $2 or $3 per acre for 10 years. That low price indicates that it is unlikely that there is any oil on most of those leases. For example, in areas where there is potential the lease prices are much higher. Recently in Tarrant County, Texas leases have gone for $30,000 per acre for 3 years, and in less developed areas in Louisiana leases are going for $5000 per acre for 3 years. It seems clear to me that companies are more likely to drill where they have paid such significant sums than where they paid trivial amounts such as $2 or $3 per acre.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tonight on Bloomberg News I heard that the major stock markets of the world are down more this year than the NYSE. And the economies of the rest of the world are actually in recession, whereas in the US there has only been a economic slowdown so far. The experts on the TV are saying that the US remains the safest place to invest. These economic problems around the world are no doubt George Bush's fault. Obama would never allow those other countries to slide into economic recession, so we won't have to worry about this sort of thing in the future.

I also heard on TV that Russia invading Georgia is also the fault of George Bush. He failed to jawbone with Putin and our allies to prevent this Russian action. (Our incompetent intelligence services once again failed to realize what Russia was doing, and apparently failed to notice the Russian military build-up on the border with Georgia. Obama would never allow our intelligence agencies to fail like that.) And, when Obama is President he will meet with Putin and dazzle him with his brilliance, and the Russians will abandon their agenda of reclaiming their lost empire. (Obama may find it necessary to let Russia have Eastern Europe, but this will secure peace in out time.) The light eminating from Obama will so impress Ahmadinejad (who frequently sees heavenly lights) that the Iranians will give up their nuclear weapon ambitions (Obama may have to give up Israel, but some sacrifice is necessary to secure peace). The US will disarm because Obama's brilliant diplomacy will make all of the world love America, and all the world will sing in harmony to the music of the coke commercial.

Here is a good round up of the Anthropogenic Global Warming situation.


Al Gore and his friends like to use the analogy of the flat earth believers in the time of Galileo, with those scientists who do not believe in catastrophic AGW in the role of the supporters of a flat earth hypothesis. I think the analogy is good, except that Al Gore and his friends in the IPCC are in the role of the Catholic Church in resisting the notion that the earth is the center of the universe. If one reads history one finds that there were few scientists not controlled by the Catholic Church who believed the earth was flat. In fact non-scientists like Columbus knew that the earth was round. The IPCC uses political and economic power to squelch dissent similar to what the Catholic Church did, and demonizes those who disagree with them as kooks or crooks in the pay of oil companies.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Global Warming hysteria started in 1988 with testimony of James Hansen to Congress at the behest of his buddy Al Gore. The program to destroy the economy of the West really got rolling when the UN IPCC was formed in 1992 under leadership of the Canadian socialist billionaire Maurice Strong. Here is a discussion of the beginning from the blog Anti-Green:

The Origins of it all

Going back to the beginning of this giant scare story, the leader of the United Nation Environmental Program stated in 1992 "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- Maurice Strong, (Strong was head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations).

Strong's statement was quite clear in its intent, ominous in significance, and an integral part of UN policy. His statement is fundamental in helping us understand the essence of the global warming agenda at the state and federal levels as well. But it is not science, even though it may look and sound like it.

Secondly, the entire climate undertaking by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not to push research toward a greater understanding of the very complex climate systems. The stated purpose of the IPCC with regard to climate change was to show man-made effects only. The effects of the significantly larger natural forces were to be ignored---vastly different from the purpose of understanding the complex climate-changing forces.

For example, the United Nation's Framework on Climate Change states in its Article 1 defines "Climate Change" as "a change of climate which is attributed directly and indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to the natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods". (Green Delusions, by Vincent Gray, p. 11).

Once we understand the IPCC's original guidance to limit studies solely to human impacts on climate and ignoring the rest, the entire discussion changes. Given man's small impacts the entire global climate, this effort seems to be more political activity than science. (See the Maurice Strong quote above).

Many in the media, Hollywood, educators, state and federal governments, (including the funding agencies providing $5 billion in climate research per year), nevertheless have failed to notice such limiting distinctions.

One result of the global warming hypothesis and the IPCC political body masquerading as a scientific body has been a deterioration of scientific integrity. This is discussed in the following article:


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here is a blurb from the blog Powerline about the development of shale oil. The development is in Jordan since the political establishment of the US is opposed to exploitation of our non-renewable energy resources. The 40 billion metric tonne figure is not well defined, but if it is the amount of shale oil that can be produced, it would amount to 320 billion barrels. That is more than the conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. I haven't seen any data on it, but it probably costs $60 or $70 per barrel to produce the shale oil, considerably more than the $2 or $3 per barrel it costs Saudi Arabia to lift the conventional oil. Here is the article:

We've written about the fact that the United States has by far the largest known oil shale deposits in the world. In fact our Rocky Mountain oil shale is believed to amount to as much as two trillion barrels, far more than the entire world has consumed since oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in the 19th century. This chart, from the Institute for Energy Research, shows how our oil shale reserves dwarf the petroleum controlled by other countries:

[The chart shows the US potentially of 2 trillion barrels of shale oil compared to 266 barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia, 158 billion in Iran, 60 billion in Russia, and 80 billion in Venezuela.]

Unfortunately, the Democrats have been able to place these vast reserves off-limits. Now, one country has announced plans to develop its shale oil resources, but it isn't the United States, it's Jordan:

Energy-poor Jordan said on Sunday it was in talks with Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell on an agreement to extract oil from the desert kingdom's 40-billion-tonne oil shale reserves.

"Negotiations with Shell to sign a deal to process oil shale in Jordan are nearing an end," said Maher Hjazin, head of the state-run Natural Resources Authority. "If our plans succeed, it would be one of the country's largest projects to help the Jordan become energy self-sufficient, with a possibility to export oil in the future." ...

JEA president Wael Saqqa said exploiting the 40-billion-tonne oil shale reserves in 26 areas of Jordan "would provide the kingdom with oil for the coming 700 years."

Under the leadership of the Democratic Party, the United States continues to be the only country in the world that is deliberately devastating its own economy by refusing to develop its energy resources.

UPDATE: A commenter at the Forum points out that I used the term "reserves" incorrectly. Oil in the ground is not counted toward "reserves" unless it is 1) evaluated as profitably recoverable under current economic conditions, and 2) accessible under current regulatory schemes. Our oil shale is "oil in the ground," since the Democrats have blocked it from development. This is a key point: you often hear liberals say that the United States only has 3% of the world's petroleum reserves, therefore it is hopeless to try to develop our own resources. That is, obviously, a non sequitur at best, but it is doubly deceptive given that the only reason our "reserves" are so low is that the Democrats have placed the vast majority of our oil resources off limits through regulation and legislation.

The far left is eager to gain control of the government so they can criminalize those who disagree with them on policy matters. They oppose free speech and want to imprison those who disagree with them, just as assorted socialists and communists have done in other countries such as Russia, Cuba and China. So far the media have not dwelled on this phenomena though they have reported on plans of Congressman Dingle among others. Here is a report on what Obama's advisers are saying about their desires are in this regard.


The Democrats would have to have a filibuster proof majority to prosecute those they disagree with, and I think it is unlikely that they will get that this year, particularly since some of the "blue dog" Democrats probably wouldn't go along with the plan for persecution of political enemies. I would like to see more about the plans of these enemies of liberty. How would they neutralize the army, for example? What if Texas refused to hand over Bush for trial?

There is a lot of discussion today about alternative energy sources as the price of oil and gas has risen at a high rate recently, and liberal politicians are attempting to stop use of fossil fuels. One of the alternative sources that could be used on an individual level is photovoltaic cells. If the price of the solar cells were low enough the the cells could be installed on rooftops and used to produce power when the sun is shining. It would also be possible to install batteries that would store energy for use while the sun is not shining, though this would add a lot to the costs. The solar cells generate low voltage direct current so the power must be put through an inverter to convert it to alternating current, and through a transformer to increase the voltage level to 110 or 220 volts. Solid state electronics make these steps relatively easy to accomplish, but there is still considerable expense involved. Such a system would need over 10,000 watt capacity for a typical house in Ft. Worth. (The solar cells produce 5 or 6 Watt per square foot, so about 2000 square foot of roof area would be required.) If the solar cells cost $2/watt, the solar cells would cost $20,000. The total installation might cost $35,000. Conventional fuel will have to be a lot more expensive to make this economically attractive. There is a lot of work being done on low-cost solar cell production. Here is a paper discussing some of the work being done in the quest to get solar cell cost down to $1 per watt.


Most, but not all movie stars are liberals. Here is a piece by Jon Voight, who realizes he was duped by the Marxists during the Vietnam War, the same people who are trying to bring socialism to America now.


The Democrats have been trying to bring socialism to America since FDR attempted to implement his fascist agenda (modeled after that of Mussolini in Italy). Obama may finally get them to their goal.

Barack Obama is a lawyer and, since Nixon, I don't vote for lawyers, so there is no way I would vote for him. And he is clearly anti-business, and based on his record and his books he appears to be a socialist of the fascist type. I think that there are a lot of people in America who find his postions attractive. But, I have a hard time undertsanding why so may support him after he makes statements such as the following:

"... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany ... and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama" - Barack Obama Lebanon, New Hampshire.
January 7, 2008.

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Barack Obama

Some people must think he is kidding, but in the TV clips he appears to be serious.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Here is a WSJ article about the effects of an EMP attack on the US. A lot of liberals say that the US doesn't need a ballistic missile defense because a terrorist could just slip in a nuclear weapon in a shipping container. But a single EMP device could do far more damage to America than multiple small nuclear devices. The EMP device has to be exploded high above the atmosphere, so a ballistic missile is needed to make it effective. Here is the article:


Perhaps the most important thing for the defense of the US is deployment of the missile defense system. Barack Obama seems to not understand that. (Wonder what Obama would do if the Russians test him by putting missiles into Cuba in the way Krushchev tested the inexperienced JFK? We know JFK reacted theay he did because his advisers told him he would be impeached if he didn't take strong action. I suspect Obama's advisers would recommend surrender.) Here is an article about BMD from American Thinker:


There is a lot of talk now about the Bakken Shale. It is claimed to contain 400 to 500 billion barrels of oil. Some experts claim that less than 1% of that oil is recoverable. Actually this sort of estimate should say recoverable at current prices and with current technology. For example, 20 years ago the amount of recoverable natural gas in the Barnett Shale and the Haynesville shale was trivial. Now the amount is estimated at over 300 trillion cubic feet. The techniques that made the natural gas production from the Barnett Shale, such as horizontal drilling, 3D seismograph, slick water frac, and multi-zone frac also make the Bakken Shale attractive. The wells that are now being drilled in the Bakken using these techniques are pretty good with initial production of around 2000 barrels per day with EUR of over 1 million barrels. The price of oil definitely affects the amount of oil that can be produced. The 1% recoverable estimate is probably based on an oil price of about $40 per barrel. A well with an EUR of 1 million barrels that costs $6 million to drill would produce an income of $40 million, making it economical. A $6 million well with an EUR of 100,000 barrels would only generate $4 million at this same $40 per barrel, so would not be economical. But, at $200 per barrel, it would be. I don't have any data, but I suspect that at an oil price of $200 per barrel it might be that the Bakken would be in the range of 30% recoverable. That might also be the price at which many of the potential alternative energy sources would be
economical. At $120 per barrel, the Bakken could easily yield about 2 million barrels per day for many years. No one will drill those wells until it is certain that the price of oil will stay in the $120/barrel price range.