Saturday, March 11, 2006

MILOSEVIC DEAD

Would you guys please hurry up with the Saddam trial? If you don't the world will be deprived of witnessing him hang!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

ETHANOL AND OPEC


I have displayed often my open enthusiasm for the possibility that bio-fuel technology will eventually replace our country's dependency on imported crude. If you will look in the archives of this blog for the month of February, there are six posts on the topic.

Actually, I believe only one thing could stand in the way of this happening: THE RETURN OF PERSISTENTLY CHEAP OIL. Altogether not a bad predicament to be in, huh?

To itemize my reasons why ethanol combined soon with methanol have the potential to eliminate our use of petroleum:

1-The technology to produce the vehicles which run on bio-fuels is already there, and drivers will not have to sacrifice power OR vehicle size. It also costs no more to buy a new vehicle so equipped.

2- Ethanol is much more environmentally friendly than gasoline. It is bio-degradable and water-soluble, and most of us have IMBIBED quite a bit of it. It's combustion emits far less greenhouse gases than that of gasoline. Environmentalists who never saw an energy they couldn't oppose will have a difficult time attacking this one. Anything they use to attack ethanol will have to simultaneously be used to attack every winery and brewery in the country.

3-The delivery infrastructure is already there. Admittedly, at this time ethanol cannot be shipped via pipeline, it would have to be trucked, shipped, or sent by rail, but it can be stored at current petroleum distribution centers, and can be dispensed from existing retailer assets by simply cleaning out the tanks.

4-At $60 per barrel of crude, ethanol is price competitive, even considering the MPG deficit of approximately 15%.

5-It feels GOOD. A Chevrolet Tahoe with the 5.3 liter V-8 engine, burning E85 ethanol (85% ethanol-15% regular gas) will go 93 miles on every gallon of GAS it burns, again even taking into account the MPG deficit. In other words, compared to the smallest Toyota or Honda hybrid, (approx 60 MPG) its owner will be helping reduce our dependency on oil by ONE-THIRD MORE. America will be able to DRIVE WHAT IT HAS ALWAYS WANTED instead of having to give up size and power.

6-The demand for ethanol will triple in three years, (there are about 3 million flex-fuel vehicles already out there) without government intervention, because Ford, GM, and Chrysler have flex-fuel vehicles not only available, but available in their most popular vehicles and engines. THE VEHICLES ARE BEING DELIVERED IN QUANTITY AS WE SPEAK. Most of the people buying them don't know they are flex-fuel capable, and don't care, they are buying them for the same reasons they always do. The reason the manufacturers are building them is because each one gains them an exemption from CAFE fuel-economy standards, and thus helps the bottom line.

7-The creation of demand for bio-fuels will spark the profit motive to ignite exponential advances in production processes and alternate feedstocks, something which has been happening in recent times even without much demand. There are 91 plants producing ethanol in this country at this time, with a whopping 31 under construction. There is money to be made.

The arguments against ethanol's viability are two:

1-It takes more energy to produce ethanol than it puts out during combustion.

2-We don't have enough land.

The first one I'll take on by asking the question "Which ENERGY to produce ethanol is NOT already priced into the tank full I purchased in Statesville, North Carolina last Saturday for $2.11 per gallon? Did the farmer DONATE the diesel to plow and harvest the corn? Did the REFINERY (Oops! That's oil, ethanol is FERMENTED), er, ah, did the PRODUCTION FACILITY DONATE the fuel used to generate heat, or simply not charge for the labor involved in producing the ethanol? Did the trucker who trucked it to Statesville not charge anyone to deliver the ethanol? Now, I'm being a bit cute for a reason because this argument has been the favorite of nay-sayers for years, it is only recently that it could be refuted.

Yes, I am aware that there is a 51 cents per gallon federal subsidy for every gallon of ethanol produced. I am also aware that there may be other subsidies to the farm industry which may tend to reduce the price at the pump, but even after adding the 51 cents and an estimate of other government help, ethanol is already COMPETITIVE with gasoline, and as I shall show momentarily, all it has to be is competitive for Americans to choose to buy it. First I ask your indulgence to examine the HIDDEN COSTS of gasoline.

The price of gasoline you see at the pump doesn't BEGIN to express the costs to GET IT TO THE PUMP in order for you to put it in your tank. How much could America LOWER ITS MILITARY BUDGET if Middle Eastern countries didn't have the market cornered? What if we didn't have to protect Middle Eastern sea-lanes against terrorists? How might our foreign policies change if we were conducting diplomacy with countries who COULD NO LONGER TURN OFF THE OIL SPIGOT? What if we could no longer be confronted with this threat?
How much could you add to the price you see for gasoline to account for the BILLIONS in foreign aid we provide to countries who get it only because they threaten to turn off that spigot, or have friends who can? And the most important question....

What if OPEC could be BUSTED by competition from another liquid fuel?

The second contention of the nay-sayers is that there isn't enough land in America to both produce ethanol AND feed ourselves. Doesn't this sound a bit like Paul Samuelson?

What those in this particular negative camp have been hanging their hat on is that ethanol will continue to be made from kernel corn, as it mostly now is. Advances in feedstock technology now enable us to make ethanol from things we can't even ingest, like corn stalks, rice stalks, and switch grass. Biological genetic engineering has just begun to take on the task, on both the feedstock and production/fermentation ends of the equation. No, we have enough land, we have enough smarts, we have enough motivation, and pretty soon we'll have enough DEMAND to set it all into motion.



I believe Americans INSTINCTIVELY know that there is a tremendous HIDDEN COST to gasoline, and when they see an alternative fuel, they will, out of concern for our country and our environment, factor it in when they make a purchase decision. We have proof of this in the fact that consumers have paid $3500 to $6000 more for a tiny hybrid car, with no hope of ever getting their investment back through gas savings. Americans WILL BUY ETHANOL when they are convinced of the stakes involved, and they will be willing to pay more for it.

Which brings us to my opening contention that bio-fuels HAVE THE POTENTIAL to completely eliminate our need for oil, and that the only thing which could stand in its way is THE RETURN OF PERSISTENTLY CHEAP OIL.

I believe that cheap oil WILL RETURN, and soon. It will prevent bio-fuels from dominating the liquid-fuels market for many years. Notice I didn't say that cheap oil would PERSIST, because it won't. Petroleum price VOLATILITY will be with us for some time because of the political considerations not related to the supply and demand of oil.

Ethanol in a few years will help bring down the cost of gasoline, but it won't eliminate its use. Bio-fuels will one day BREAK OPEC, there will be a building for sale in Vienna, but for at least a couple of generations, ethanol and gasoline from crude petroleum will probably be sold side-by-side at America's refueling stations. The flex-fuel vehicle will allow us to choose which liquid fuel we will buy; some can afford to do so and will be patriotic and pay more, and some will not have the ability to do so. When gasoline prices spike up, flex-fuelers will LIVE to go to a social gathering so they can brag about what they paid for E85. Rest assured that when ethanol becomes CHEAPER than gasoline, we will see the price of gasoline go DOWN, and down, and down, until first they sell the building, then the Arabs begin to cut expenses, invest in cost-saving capital improvements, and in general, JOIN THE WORLD OF PEACEFUL NATIONS.

Ethanol, being sold side-by-side with gasoline, made possible by the inevitable proliferation of flex-fuel vehicles, will do all these things. It will put the Middle Eastern and South American oil producers in a prison cell of their own making. It will change not only the economic dynamic of globalization in America's favor, but the political one as well. One does not have to be a genius to see the implications that bio-fuels portend for the SECURITY of our country; our national security situation will change when the day comes that those who supply our crude realize that a rubicon has been crossed, and they have to COMPETE to sell us their oil.

When Americans become informed, they will act on this information, and we can all sit back and watch the inevitable unfold, and it will be a good thing, a VERY good thing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

WHITES ARE ALL RACIST?

We usually have our garbage picked up by the city, but we had so much to throw away last Saturday the stickchick and I made a run to the city landfill. We loaded the trusty Chevy pick-up and headed out about mid-morning. Saturday is apparently a good day for this type of activity, there were several ahead of us at the entrance. The facility has five huge garbage bins, which on this particular morning already had five trucks backed up to them, in various stages of unloading. We had to wait a little while, so nothing else to do but people watch.

One of the bins was blocked by two trucks, one an older Ford, and the other a newer Chevy. It became apparent after a while that the Ford had failed to start, and the owner of the Chevy was helping out with jumper cables. The Ford was owned by a middle-aged black couple, very appreciatively watching in anticipation as the young white male helped them out. The youngster was dressed in what I would call western attire, except he was wearing a baseball cap bearing the emblem of a Nascar racer. His truck had a gun-rack with no guns, and, you guessed it, a confederate flag emblazoned on the tailgate.

The stickchick and I exchanged a long, silent glance, in agreement that THIS was interesting.

The young man had obviously been raised to be cordial when interacting with others, he smiled at the black couple he was aiding, and audibly indicated it was no problem, he was happy to help. Light small talk was exchanged between the three of them, one could sense the couple was very appreciative. The Ford fired up, the young man removed the jumpers, put them back in his truck, and went back to make sure the couple would get under way without trouble. As they left the black couple thanked him profusely, and went on their way. A spot came open for us at that moment and the young fellow finished unloading his truck as we commenced unloading ours.

What we had witnessed was something I personally have seen quite often; that is, white people being cordial and nice to blacks. The reverse I have also seen, but my point here is that this young man was one of those who, on the surface, at least, is judged by his appearance and his accoutrements, in some circles, to be a bigot of the first degree. What we had just witnessed did not surprise us, we know a lot of people who happen to hunt, happen to revere the confederate flag, and also happen not to harbor racism in their hearts.

We had both watched all that we could stand of Tavis Smiley's Houston hatefest on C-Span the previous evening, complete with rants from Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte. What we were witnessing on this crisp Saturday morning at the city landfill was refuting the necessity of such a vitriolic tone we had heard the night before. We wondered what this black couple might tell their children about WHO helped them start their truck at the landfill. We wondered how they could buy into the "whites are our problem" theme the black "leadership" persists in selling them. We both would bet quite a bit that episodes such as what we witnessed at the landfill are actually the norm in relations between blacks and whites at this point in time, instead of an exception to the rule.

The black leadership is truly harming blacks. I often wonder how difficult it would be to be a black parent attempting to raise my kid to be responsible and to be a winner, (no excuses for failure), with this racist excuse being handed to him daily by this so-called leadership.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

AIDS CURE FOUND?

This isn't something which simply retards the spread of the AIDS virus, it attacks it, and kills it. Check it out here.

Let me see, AIDS gets cured DURING Bush administration, and WITHOUT government grant!
This could be bad for liberals, but good for an awful lot of people.

Check out Ceragenix stock here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

SOROS BAILS OUT AIR AMERICA

It seems that the listener-deprived, and therefore financially troubled Air America is going to get a bailout. George Soros, among others, thinks that having a liberal presence in radio is essential, at least for now as we approach the 2006 elections.

I have had XM radio for some years now, and although I abhor the liberal point of view, perhaps in the name of "opposition research", or simply from morbid curiosity, I find myself listening to Air America quite often. Listening to liberals for any length of time was very difficult at first, but soon curiosity won the day. How could they believe the things they believe? Do they really use emotion instead of logic? What are the differences between the way liberal talk radio is done and that of conservatives?

So I listened in an attempt to figure these people out.

After a few months of Janeane Garofalo, Mark Maron, Al Franken and Randi Rhoads, I had come to some conclusions which for me shed some light on the liberal mind, liberal tenets, and the liberal predicament. First, in comparison to the more serious right-wing radio talk shows, liberal talk's principal descriptive component has to be its SARCASM. For this reason, the producers apparently decided early on that HUMOR was going to be a requirement to counterweight not only the pervasive sarcasm but the dark, angry mood which seems to dominate any topic the libs attempt to discuss. It is apparent that no one felt liberal talk could be successful without comedy, which is why all the aforementioned hosts have foils, or sidekicks on the show, whose only apparent contribution is to add a more mirthful tone. The sidekick also aids in taking the listener from serious discussions to attempts at humor, such that one can become quite confused as to whether what is said is really serious or not. I suppose liberal tenets require such a muddle of intent, as emotions are their friends and logic the apparent enemy.

Secondly, over time I began to notice a certain common quality to the tone of voice I would hear on liberal radio, in the extreme epitomized by that of Robert Kennedy Jr, who appears from time to time as a guest. What came to me happened when I had just finished listening to him, and I walked into the house to hear my seven-year-old using a similar tone to plea her case to her mommy.

It occurred to me at that moment.....it's the whine.

The liberal whine is a sarcastic whine, but also one in which one can detect a pervasive lachrymose quality; a tinge of anger, a modicum of spite, but more saliently their voices emit a plaintive plea to be picked up and loved by a symbolic mommy in the audience of listeners. This could be why parents raising young children have more difficulty than most listening to liberals, especially on the radio. Even if one is of the liberal persuasion, listening to someone whining can remind of you of something you abhor in your children, and probably, that which you simply won't tolerate. It being no mystery to anyone why conservatives will not listen to liberal talk radio, this one episode helped clear up for me why many liberals apparently cannot bring themselves to listen either.

Liberal talk radio is a roller-coaster of emotions. Whenever it appears a Republican has stumbled, the event gets built way out of proportion. The glee and derision reach a fever pitch in anticipation that EVERYONE will see it the way they see it. Then the event itself will be found to rest on overwrought or faulty information, the public will yawn, and the liberal mood will become morose and angry. This is a cycle which is repeated on a weekly basis, and can be quite predictable.

Another difference between liberal and conservative talk radio lies in the use of profanity. Conservatives simply refuse to use it. Conservatives have thus learned to communicate without it. Air America has been obviously told not to use profanity, but the hosts aren't prepared to communicate without it, and it is simply hilarious to listen to them when they get angry and can't use profanity. Sometimes they succumb, of course, because it's not illegal on XM, but it is funny to hear them struggle so.

Since liberal tenets are being refuted by events on a daily basis, I suppose liberal talk radio serves the purpose of propping up these tenets through pretzel logic, revisionist history and outright lies. Their listeners need what they have to serve up for ideological survival, but have to put up with a negative and derisive tone which no one can withstand for very long. They have to have it, but it brings them down. This is the predicament liberal talk finds itself in, from the standpoints of both those behind the mike and their listeners. Not a formula for financial success, I would bet, thus the need for infusions of cash will no doubt continue.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

THIS BUSHO NOT RELATED TO DUBYA


Mohacs is a little town on the Danube in southern Hungary. Their citizens provide us annually with an example of how NOT to deal with the problem of Islamic expansionism. The Busho Festival there each year celebrates the end of winter and the temporary ousting of Ottoman Turks from the region. History tells us however, that the Turks came back to seize not only Hungary, but were threatening all of Europe until they were routed at the gates of Vienna by a combination of Austrians and Poles led by Jan Sobieski. From the Busho Festival website:


"The legend about the borne (birth) of the event takes us back to the time of Turkish domination. It is said that the young men of Mohács, being tired of hiding in fear in the swampy islands of the Danube, close to the city, decided to take back their homes occupied by Turkish soldiers. They dressed in scary furs, put on masks and crossed the river on their boats on a stormy night. Scared by the devil looking like monsters and the terrible noise they made with their self-prepared tools, the enemy ran away. And the land was free again."

There is a strange symmetry, is there not, about how the citizens of Mohacs attempted to fight off the invaders, and how the Democratic Party wishes us to battle their progeny today? The Democrats seem to think they can scare them away, and this time the West won't even get a temporary reprieve, because the Islamists learned their lesson once before.

Friday, February 24, 2006

BOMBINGS POINT TO IRAN


So, first we have the bombing of a Shia mosque in Sammara on Wednesday, then the unsuccessful attempt to car bomb Saudi Arabia's largest oil extraction facility.

Almost everyone is blaming the Samarra mosque destruction on Zarqawi, it seems so obvious....but is it? For me, it is pretty obvious that Zarqawi's optimum time to pull something like this was just prior to each of the last two votes, when the Iraqi insurgency still had some potential. No, the timing of this would tend to point to someone like Iran. The Iranians probably now see that an attack on their nukes by the American military is inevitable, and the hit on the symbolic shia shrine is to send a message that they too can play the preemption game.

The attempt on the oil field in Saudi Arabia also points to Iran because either the planners were utterly delusional to think they could get through three security fences with bomb-laden cars, or.....someone simply wanted to send a message.

The two events point to Iran, not al-Qaida. Iran is facing security council votes soon, and has heard clearly the sabre rattling from the US, Israel, even France and Germany.

The message is "if you attack us, we will kill your little democratic baby in Iraq, AND we will disrupt the world's oil supply.

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