Friday, June 10, 2005

Man Bites Dog

A casual observer can't help but notice that three apparently unrelated news fronts -- the military war on terror, the EU project and the United Nations -- have risen and fallen together as if they were held together by some invisible current. It's possible that the defeat of the Iraqi insurgency (the subject of an excellent roundup by Bill Roggio at Winds of Change), the shocking setbacks dealt to the EU draft constitution and the continuing investigation into criminal activity at the United Nations are only coincidentally linked. Any seeming pattern is simply the result of the "wish being father to the thought" afflicting who want see meaning in them.

The alternative hypothesis, of course, is that these phenomena are positively correlated. How would we know? One possible approach is to make predictions on the assumption that they would rise and fall together and revise our initial belief in the value of their relational coefficient a posteriori; which is a fancy way of saying one could see if that assertion was borne out by events. I was on the point of dismissing this line of thinking as speculative before realizing how widespread was the tacit argument that they were negatively correlated. For example, one of the most frequent claims following 9/11 was that a stronger UN and EU would result in a weaker terrorism. What was needed were alliances, international cooperation and multilateralism. The more of these we had, the less traction international terrorism would get. Kofi Annan forcefully repeated this argument in his proposed enlargement of the United Nations called "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all (PDF)". Make the UN larger and more capable, and you will be safer. When former President Jimmy Carter argued in 2002 that the US should close the prison at Guantanamo Naval Base and leave Saddam to the United Nations, he was proceeding from the same implicit assumption of a negative correlation. In a signed article in the Washington Post  Carter wrote:

Formerly admired almost universally as the preeminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life. We have ignored or condoned abuses in nations that support our anti-terrorism effort, while detaining American citizens as "enemy combatants," incarcerating them secretly and indefinitely without their being charged with any crime or having the right to legal counsel. This policy has been condemned by the federal courts, but the Justice Department seems adamant, and the issue is still in doubt. Several hundred captured Taliban soldiers remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay under the same circumstances, with the defense secretary declaring that they would not be released even if they were someday tried and found to be innocent. These actions are similar to those of abusive regimes that historically have been condemned by American presidents. ...

We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspections in Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we alienate our necessary allies. Apparently disagreeing with the president and secretary of state, in fact, the vice president has now discounted this goal as a desirable option.

We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords. Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism.

In predicting that acting against terrorism without the UN, France and Germany and in opposition to "respected international organizations" would lead to catastrophe Carter was asserting not only a relationship between elements but also its direction. But if the existence of the relationship is admitted, the difficulty of identifying the mechanism through which it works makes it hard to reach any definite conclusion about the direction of correlation. Many Liberals, when confronted by the 'successes' of the War on Terror might argue that America would have met with even greater success had former President Carter's strategy been adopted. Another point of view holds that the dramatic weakening of the United Nations and the European project are tragic consequences of the 'failed' Bush strategy against terrorism, where "captured Taliban soldiers", the UN and multilateral institutions are alike victims of an America gone berserk. Curiously, the unexamined foundation of that belief is that the three elements must somehow share the same fate in a way not at all manifest in Carter's assertion, for why should the UN or the EU be collaterally damaged by the War on Terror? 

What one would have expected, if Jimmy Carter were right, is that persons like Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan would have grown in stature as George W. Bush diminished. What one would have expected is the confinement of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to beleaguered garrisons. What would have been natural is exaltation of the sole remaining Ba'athist state in the region, Syria. Instead of an American President waiting out his last, ignominious days in the Oval Office we have a deathwatch on the leadership in Turtle Bay, Paris, Berlin and Damascus. Why? This is a question that will engage historians in the years to come.

117 Comments:

Blogger sam said...

Definitely interconnected. Without the war we wouldn't have discovered the OFF disaster. What a bunch of corrupt people running that program. It's beyond belief why the UN didn't disintegrate over that.

To the EU project, what the war shows is that every nation desires to be free and sovreign. Not gobbled up, de-culturized, and governed by Paris.

Indeed, all 3 related.

6/10/2005 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

There has been a change in the Zeitgeist,the remorseless march of the left has been halted and sections of the old guard are becoming hysterical,there is a rout in the offing.
The new paradigm has taken root, it is no longer on offence against morality to say that what was once regarded as an article of faith,set in stone and inevitable, was wrong.
In my view 9/11 and the response to it broke the mould,no longer do we have to self abnigate ourselves and apologise to our murderers.

6/10/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

persons like Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan

They all are like greedy gamblers who continued to bet on red-they painted themselves into their own corners and they tied their own hands and I can think of nothing else that motivated them except for their own lust for perceived power and that all persuasive Jezebel-GREED.

Do we really have to wait for history?

Given that the media is in bed with these "wise kings" the answer is yes-we will not know the answer because the truth will have to wait for history's judgement.

6/10/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

La Garde Recule!!!

Hmm, where did I hear that last? Waterloo!!!

6/10/2005 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

OT

Powerline has an interesting comment about major Chinese military developments missed by U.S. intelligence in the past decade.

My "surprise"? The deployment of a new warship equipped with a stolen Chinese version of the U.S. Aegis battle management technology. That can't be good news.

6/10/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Sam: "It's beyond belief why the UN didn't disintegrate over that."

The UN has disintegrated. Have you seen them manage to do anything since the war? They announce this and that, but nobody with any power is listening. The UN is dead in the water until Kofi Annan goes, and GWB isn't even in a hurry to push him out.

6/10/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Toss global warming into the mix. If only Al Gore were president. He would tell the UN where to stick it. Heh.

6/10/2005 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We don't break moulds here, Peter, the French had SOME things right.

6/10/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but 'Rat may well be into self-abnegation.
Who Knows?

6/10/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

It has to do with results. If someone takes action and gets results, the talkers and squawkers . . . talk and squawk! After a while, they and their would-be historian eulogists fade away into the background.

6/10/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I can figure out how Bill Clinton looks at, and then, "explains" the world, and his place in it.
---
Can anyone here really say that about Carter?
...one of the most Ailien Beings on Earth, IMO.

6/10/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

brian h,
...a little bit of show,
a little bit of tell,
a little bit of horse,
a little bit of smell.
---
Hugh Hewitt

6/10/2005 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"What one would have expected, if Jimmy Carter were right..."

....the major airlines would have no financial problems.
They would be flying new, highly efficient pigs.

The man has ever been right about just what?
Can't think of a thing.
And that is the correlation between those three aspects.
As usual, Wretchard nailed it.

6/10/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Instead of an American President waiting out his last, ignominious days in the Oval Office we have a deathwatch on the leadership in Turtle Bay, Paris, Berlin and Damascus. Why? This is a question that will engage historians in the years to come.
/////////////////////
A similiar question would be why was it that ronald reagan didn't get credit from the msm for defeating communism in the soviet union and eastern europe. the defeat of the communists was the goal of US foreign policy since the containment policy was enunciated after WWII. The defeat of communism was even part of the reason for much of the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's.

And yet when the communists were defeated there was silence from the msm. It was an effect without a cause.

Why? Why did the msm even actively try to bury his legacy. answer to this question is similiar to the one above.

6/10/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

In fact, it might have something to do with clinton's "third way" and his current efforts to be head of the UN. That said I never did under stand what the "third way" was about. Nor did I quite understand what the dems were inferring as "way number 1" and "way number 2"

6/10/2005 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

charles:
The reason RR did not get credit is simple: By the 1980's the MSM had become so leftist that they had accepted the left's standard viewpoint of the Cold War: There wasn't any such thing as a Cold War. There was the clash of two separate but more or less equal cultures - a clash elevated to "War" status by the McCarthyite Right.
When RR went to meet with Gorbachev the MSM spoke of two exhausted fighters, leaning in each other in the ring to keep from falling over.
When the lie became obvious they decided that if you could not say anything good about yourself, you had best not say anything at all.
One of the CNN guys summed it up as they all watched the remarkable outpouring of grief, love, respect, and especially, pride for RR at the time of his death: "Bernie, did we miss something here?"
Oh boy, did you ever....

6/10/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

Perhaps all this represents the end of history as it was written by the Left.

6/10/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

Dr.Sanity

well aren't you well named.

Finally! A positve way to look at it.

6/10/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

doug-

.but 'Rat may well be into self-abnegation.
Who Knows?


is he into it himself or does he like to watch others self-abnegate?

Who are the self-abnegaters?

Hopefully we are talking about Kofi and Kompany...

6/10/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Good Captain said...

The man never changes. During his presidency, then President Carter, assessed the troubles of his day included both historically high oil prices and historically high interest rates compounding existing lackluster economic growth. He then determined to gently lead the country down the path of inevitable economic and military decline. The Reagan administration succeeded Carter's failed administration. Faced with similar problems, the new team saw opportunity where the prior team saw none. Thankfully, the new admnistration successfully reversed Carter's inevitable slide and solidified the US' position in the world - as an economic and military powerhouse.

The Carter excerpt strongly suggests that the former President remains as clueless as ever to the the potential of the country to whom he once served as "leader". We should all be thankful President Carter never got the opportunity to fully implement that which passed as his vision for the country.

6/10/2005 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

How do you spell Jimmy Carter?

R-u-s-s-i-a-n-s in Afghanistan.

I-s-l-a-m-o-f-a-s-c-i-s-t-s in Iran.

S-a-n-d-a-n-i-s-t-a-s in Nicaragua.

C-u-b-a-n-s in Angola.

M-i-c-h-a-e-l-M-o-o-r-e in America.

6/10/2005 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Here's a proposition: Jimmy Carter's greatest weakness as a statesman was/is "moral vanity," with said condition being a state of mind where one is overwhelmingly concerned about being perceived as a "good person" than actually "doing good." Just a thought . . .

6/10/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Unfortunately I think he is deluded enough to think he is actually doing good things, rather than merely catering to flattery. He's a useful idiot.

6/10/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ffe,
Thanks for that, that makes "understanding" (see my post of 9:30 AM) (or at least positing an explanation for) the J.C. entity, easier.

Bill can be understood by referencing a rather extreme form of garden variety vanity/narcissism.

Jimmy does indeed start to make some sense through a moral vanity perversion correcting lens.

IMO, when one needs to employ such a device to understand any individual, all attributions of anything other than evil about said person are invalid.

6/10/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutler,
In my book he's an Evil Entity.

6/10/2005 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why should Saddam be labeled Evil, and Jimmy not, when the end result of their actions produces the same pain, torture, death, and destruction of innocents?

6/10/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Like the mechanic that lets his own car go, Dr. Sanity has confined herself to political speculations, rather than weighing in on the mind of J.C.
...but we can hope.

6/10/2005 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Another deep, deep post, W.

If you believe in the perfectibility of human behaviour, you'll go for UN, EU, prescriptive constitutions, communism, indeed - even Islam. Positive discrimination, multiculturism, diversity training, the rot in academia are additional manifestations of this belief in perfectibility, and worse - perfectibility NOW. Its slogan is "They should do something about it." Its method is coercion.

If you believe in human fraility as an element of the human condition, you will go for pragmatism, individual action, separation and balancing of powers. In a word, it's freedom. In two words, Original Sin. Its slogan is "We'll trust you for a while, and then review it". Its method is democracy.

The West is rolling across the world. Of all the empires the world has seen, the American empire must be the only one where the subjects could not buy it fast enough - just check out the baseball caps on the Iraqi kids.

But when you buy the West, you buy its great dilemma - you are free, but free to do the right thing.

When free people see clowns such as Annan, Chirac, Schroeder attempting a King Canute on the tide of freedom, they will assign them to very cramped enclaves patching up collapsing dikes.

ADE

6/10/2005 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Copying this from "The Sound of Silence."
...as I recall, Chirac's antics broke some agreement the Euros had not to do just what he DID do:
---
Pyrthroes said...
Less than a year ago, in a fit of proto-fascist pique, President Jacques Chirac invited Mugabe to Paris and sat with him aboard a motorcade up the Champs Elysee on Bastille Day.
Did this desecration elicit even one comment from French sources?

If so, it was not well-publicized. But then, Saloth Sar (aka Pol Pot) was resident in la belle France for years, imbibing the post-WWII nihilism of Sartre et.al. before returning to Cambodia to fulfill his destiny.

6/10/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think Jimmy Carter is who gave the Croesus-Left its legs. Something about buying bonds with double-digit coupons, for the legions of lunchboxes to pay off later.

6/10/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ho Chi Minh and the Ayatollah are two others who marinated their politics in the City of lights.

6/10/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Hi Doug -

Long time no anything!

I think your last point on Carter = Saddam on the Evil Scale has some truth to it. What Saddam did, he did most ruthlessly within the country's borders with the country's military. What Carter did, he did by refusing to oppose the ruthlessness of others outside our borders with our military.

Which is worse, I wonder... the two-bit thug who brutalizes everyone within reach? Or the sweater-wearing pseudo-mental-ninja-heavyweight who refuses to use his superior assets to step in and throttle the two-bit thug?

There's little moral difference between the two in my book.

6/10/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Sometimes overlooked in the analyses post-9/11 is that May 23, 2001, just months prior to 9/11, there was a historic gathering of representatives of EVERY tribe and race of humankind, in peace but without multi-culti trappings; revering JUSTICE and living examples of a new way of dealing with reality.

Their gathering was on Mt Carmel, in the Holy Land, and its significance is becoming more apparent with each passing day!

Events in Iraq and Iran today, are keyed off July 9, 1850 and May 23, 2001/May 23, 1844.

6/10/2005 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Dr. Sanity said...
Perhaps all this represents the end of history as it was written by the Left.

12:01 PM
/////////////////////
my vote of course goes for President Bush to make the speech from the white house that says that the cornerstones of a successful 21st century are cheap energy--say from hydrogen -- and cheap water. Toward this end the goal of US research energy research will be not only to kill the cost of hydrogen production/storage/transport/fuel cells but also to kill the cost of water desalination and water transport. So that in the next age of men people will drive hydrogen powered cars whose exhaust is water and all the deserts of the world will be turned green.

If Bush did that all the bs in the middle east would come to a dead stop and no Mexicans would come over the US southern border.

We would win because we changed the bad guys expectations about the future.

This is exactly how reagan did it.

only he did with star wars.

this is a battle about the future of the earth.

6/10/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Triton'sPolarTiger said...
Hi Doug -
Long time no anything
!
---
Has your newfound Nihilism left you so devoid of purpose that you did not even bother to inform us?
...any hope that you may once again find faith?

6/10/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The reason RR did not get credit is simple: By the 1980's the MSM had become so leftist that they had accepted the left's standard viewpoint of the Cold War: There wasn't any such thing as a Cold War. There was the clash of two separate but more or less equal cultures - a clash elevated to "War" status by the McCarthyite Right.
////////////////////
McCarthyite Right

what happened to this caricature of the left?

first there was the fall of the soviet union. Second the KGB and the NSA opened their files on the McCarthy era--proving McCarthy to be essentially--correct.

6/10/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Then all that remained was to bury the facts in those files and the necessary conclusions that were drawn, and it was back to business:

There wasn't any such thing as a Cold War.
There was the clash of two separate but more or less equal cultures - a clash elevated to "War" status by the McCarthyite Right.
...which really meant the cultures were not equal, since it was the Right that was responsible for the (unnecessary)war.

6/11/2005 02:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

madawaskan said...
Who are the self-abnegaters?
Hopefully we are talking about Kofi and Kompany...

That is correct:
Due to the change in the Zeitgeist, we no longer have to, but they do.

Thus, they are Neo Self-Abnegaters, or more accurately, New Age Self Abnegators.

6/11/2005 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Amnesty International USA and the American Immigration Lawyers Association .

Democrats asked for the hearing, the 11th the committee has held on the act since April, saying past hearings had been too slanted toward witnesses who supported the law.
The four witnesses were from groups, including Amnesty International USA and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, that have questioned the constitutionality of some aspects of the Patriot Act, which allows law enforcement greater authority to investigate suspected terrorists.

Tempers flared when Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., accused Amnesty International of endangering the lives of Americans in uniform by referring to the prison at Guantanamo Bay as a "gulag." Sensenbrenner didn't allow the Amnesty representative, Chip Pitts, to respond until Nadler raised a "point of decency."

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, speaking immediately after Sensenbrenner left, voiced dismay over the proceedings. "I'm troubled about what kind of lesson this gives" to the rest of the world, he told the Democrats remaining in the room.

6/11/2005 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Carter is not clueless in the ordinary way.

Carter is a communist.

Accepting that as fact makes all his behavior explicable.

6/11/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

I prefer "alpha male" to "original sin".

--------

Charles suppose the answer is methanol not hydrogen. We will then be stuck with a less than optimum system.

From my perspective the methanol fuel cell looks like a long term better bet.

However at this time the hydrogen stuff gets better publicity.

In the next year or two the methanol cell will be going into production. No hydrogen cell is that advanced.

In addition there is research going on to develop a methanol cell that uses no membrane. Greatly increasing efficiency and output.

It is way to early to decree a system and then go charging ahead. Evolution takes time.

As to cheap water. Very difficult. More difficult than fuel cells.

6/11/2005 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

Doug-

Thus, they are Neo Self-Abnegaters, or more accurately, New Age Self Abnegators.[why am I sooo thrilled with this term?]

But this doesn't answer the question about Rat...I love Rat's can do attitude.

m.simon-

Is it much of a stretch?

Carter the Clueless Commie?

[he was good at bashing rabbits though-he's not totally useless...]

Was he a submariner? -that'll produce some strange fellows....

6/11/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug wrote:

"What one would have expected, if Jimmy Carter were right..."

....the major airlines would have no financial problems.
They would be flying new, highly efficient pigs.

The man has ever been right about just what?


He was right about energy, and precious little else.  Have you noticed how many Carter-era programs would have been perfect for our situation today, if we'd only continued them?  The same is true for Clinton's PNGV.

Both sides have their blind spots, and refuse to allow thesis and antithesis to yield synthesis.

6/11/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

I have no idea why that comment came through as "anonymous"; it's me.

6/11/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard wrote: "Instead of an American President waiting out his last, ignominious days in the Oval Office we have a deathwatch on the leadership in Turtle Bay, Paris, Berlin and Damascus."

No comment necessary. Just re-posting a little good news.

6/11/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

M. Simon said...


Charles suppose the answer is methanol not hydrogen. We will then be stuck with a less than optimum system.
................
Well actually the cheapest way currently -- to get hydrogen is to mix methanol with superheated steam under pressure with a catalyst. That cracks out the H from methanol and then a semipermiable membrane is used to to purify the hydrogen.

//////////////
From my perspective the methanol fuel cell looks like a long term better bet.
//////////////
I agree. Methanol looks like its going to be the first hydrogen provider that comes in on price points equivalent to that of gasoline.
/////////////////
However at this time the hydrogen stuff gets better publicity.

Here's bush at a hydrogen pump in Washington DC.
///////////////////

In the next year or two the methanol cell will be going into production. No hydrogen cell is that advanced.
/////////
agreed. Here's a pretty good Google search on methanol fuel cells
//////////////
In addition there is research going on to develop a methanol cell that uses no membrane. Greatly increasing efficiency and output.
...........
There's also some interesting work being done in hydrogen storage

//////////////////
It is way to early to decree a system and then go charging ahead. Evolution takes time.
.........
No one is talking about settling down to one method of production/storage/delivery/fuel cell
///////////////////////
As to cheap water. Very difficult. More difficult than fuel cells.

The interesting thing about desalination and water transport is that the problems are very similiar to that of hydrogen seperations and transport. the big difference is scale. ie seperating the H2 from the O in H20 is a much finer detailed work (on the order of say 1000) than seperating H20 from NaCl. The tools therefor--for research are very similiar. ie Computer modeling and nanotech. That is they do a zillion computer simulations until they get the catalyst or semipermiable membrane that does the job for next to nothing and then they use nanotech to shake and bake it.

GM announced a year ago or so that they were going to reduce the cost of energy from a working fuel cell from $500@ kilowat to $50
@kilowat in five years. That's a factor of 10. The best RO desalinized water comes in at +-650@acre foot. Reduce that by a factor of 10 in five years and you have the makings of a much greener planet. In fact, within the last six months I have seen reports of early experimental work that model ways to cut the cost of both fuel cells and RO costs -- in half.

And there one other thing Senator Domeneci (R-NM)is folding desalination research into the dept of energy so as to unify desalination and hydrogen research.

If the saudis or the kuwaitis put up a billion dollar prize for every $100 dollars cut off the cost of water desalination-I think everyone in the world would get the big picture--and also the quid pro quo.


7:33 AM

6/11/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

Charles: Re your comment--"And yet when the communists were defeated there was silence from the msm. It was an effect without a cause."
The reason was that the disintegration of the USSR was a mere bump in the road for the Left. They proceeded right along with their socialist push in establishing the EU, propping up the UN, and generally deconstructing nation states, viz. Kyoto, the Law of the Seas treaty, the International Criminal Court, etc.. The US has ALWAYS been the big obstacle to their horrible venture. After 9/11 the US was awakened from the delusional slumber of the Clinton years to defend itself and its individualist ideals. The ascendency of the US demonstrated by the success thus far has disrupted the collectivist procession toward ascendency of the Leftist elite. Therein lies the causal link that Wretched has pointed out.

6/11/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Charles,
Based on what you posted re the relationship between desalinization and hydrogen cells, do you think the Saudis and Kuwaitis are interested in researching something that will have a spinoff to decreasing oil use?

6/11/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

I'm a hydrogen cynic; I suspect that the hoopla over hydrogen (which cannot be a major player in less than 20 years) is to divert attention from measures we can take today.

Why would anyone want to do that?  Bunch of reasons:

1.  The administration's (and much of Congress's) investments are in petroleum, and many of their political allies get their money from oil.  If demand for petroleum falls, those investments lose money and the political power flows to people who don't owe their allegiance to the current administration and legislators.

If you don't believe Bush could do something like this, look at what he's done for stem-cell research.  He also cancelled the PNGV, which would have been set to deliver 80-MPG hybrid cars from Detroit right about now; the long-horizon hydrogen program is its "replacement".  Looked good during the late-90's oil price slump, but anyone who cut off that option after 9/11 had to have an agenda.

2.  The belief that the whole house of cards is going to collapse if we admit that we can't rely on oil, because we cannot make a smooth transition to anything else; the administration talks down the problem to maintain confidence and power as long as possible.  This is merely defeatist.

3.  Refusal to believe that anything needs to be done.  This is simply idiotic.

My personal take on this is that anyone doing anything for any of the reasons 1-3 above should be removed from the levers of power; unfortunately, the inmates are running the asylum.

6/11/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I agree that our economy being intertwined with petroleum makes it politically difficult to take real actions. But you need to multiply that difficulty by about a 1000 to see what it would be like for a nation like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, whose economy has nothing else, to advocate decreased oil dependency.

6/11/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

In other words, anyone with political or economic connections to Middle East oil interests should be considered unfit for public office, and perhaps forced to register as foreign agents.

6/11/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I don't see how you could get that interpretation. I was making the specific point that I don't see the Saudis or Kuwaitis providing major financial support for anything that will decrease oil dependency.

6/11/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

I don't see anyone whose financial or political fortunes are connected to them providing any kind of support (financial, political, technical) to those efforts either.

Have you heard about the dreck in the energy bill?  Piles of subsidies for entrenched interests, and next to zero for measures which will actually do something about the problem.  Ye gods, Daimler-Chrysler had a research car that got 72 MPG and would have cost a mere $3500 more than models of the day to build... in 2001!  The bill doesn't even bring those efforts back to front-burner status!

This is good evidence that the mentality in Washington is either "take the money and run", or "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."  Neither is acceptable.

6/11/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

If this is true and accurate, it means that Washington has no clue what to do:

"Another Bilderberger asked about hydrogen alternative to the oil supply. The US government official agreed gloomily that hydrogen salvation to the world´s eminent energy crisis is a fantasy."

It's time to get some engineering brainpower into Washington; if not as legislators, as staffers.

6/11/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

... it also means that either:

a.  Bush is deliberately pushing measures he knows will not work, or

b.  Bush's staffers know that these measures will not work, but Bush isn't listening and doesn't want to know.

Either way, Bush is building a huge PR and policy initiative around a fantasy.

Oy.

6/11/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Charles,

Nice stuff.

But it is still pie in the sky. GM needs another factor of ten after the first factor of ten to get fuel cells economical for automotive use.

That second factor of ten might take ten years. It might take twenty.

Then there is the cayalyst problem. There is not enough platinum in the world for all the automotive power required.

Here is a bit I wrote on the no membrane Fuel Cell. Look Ma - No 'branes

The transition out of fossil fuels is going to take 100 years. There is no easy way out of this war.

The reason fuel cells for laptops make sense is the price of energy from lithium batteries and the run time available from them.

Autos are a whole order of magnitude or two different.

We are privlidged to see the R&D and a vision of what it could be like. Doubtful many of us will be around to see the end of the transition.

In any case it is a long way from results in the lab to a product you can buy.

So in the mean time there is a war on. A war we have to win.

6/11/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

The other possibility is that Bush is a politician and not an engineer.

Since America is clamoring for results Bush has to show he is doing something.

Now there are no methanol cells out there with the capacity to run a car. Hydrogen cells with that capacity are available in R&D quantities now.

So of course you have a hydrogen initiative.

Hydrogen is not going to cut it for a number of reasons. It leaks out of storage vessels. It is probably more danger in an accident when stored in pressure vessels. Storing it as a hydride adds a lot of weight. In any case hydride technology good for several thousand fueling cycles is not well established etc. etc.

But you can do a one of and get it on the road.

The road ahead is clear. There is no obvious way to speed things along. Why? Every one knows the demand is there (think profits). No one has yet figured out how to deliver the whole package. Hybrids, the end of fan belts for energy transmission and drive by wire are good first steps along the path. They will develop infrastructure needed for the time when the all electric vehicle will become feasible.

=================

You know its funny. I didn't hate Clinton. I don't hate Bush.

The people who go around spouting that stuff look just plain crazy to me.

Carter? Well let me just say I'm Naval Nuke Qualified and I still have less than zero respect for the man.

6/11/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

Engineers will never be popular in Washington.

They will tell you it can't be done, or it will cost too much, or it will take too long to tool up.

In any case if politicians would stay out of business companies are more than adequate to carry us forward as long as the politicians do not gum up the market.

But you know how it is with guys like you clamoring for action and everyone having a different action the pol has to show he is doing something. These demo projects are less harmful than passing laws.

6/11/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

Why does Chrysler need anything from the government to sell its car?

If the technology was any good it would be on the market now.

My guess is that there are problems that make such a vehicle non-roadworthy for America. i.e. it is an Iseta type two passenger vehicle, or acceleration is abysmal, or some other unannounced flaw.

MPG is not hard. What is hard is getting MPG in a vehicle consumers will buy.

6/11/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

Maybe the best thing the government could do is nothing.

Of course with all the clamor out there it is hard for those political types to resist. And of course those with the currently entrenched interests will get the best deal. This is politics after all. Nothing new.

So let me see are you part of the clamor?

So what exactly was your complaint again?

Perhaps you problem is expecting more out of politics than it can deliver.

6/11/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

There is nothing that can be done for 20 years. The technology base, let alone the industrial base, isn't there.

If you must do something now buy a hybrid.

6/11/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

There is no point in wasting any more mone on PNGV. Hybrids are already on the market. Their #1 selling point is MPG. The market will sort it out.

Toyota with no access to PNGV funds beat the American car companies to market by 3 or 4 years.

So if you are asking that government "do something" you are asking for a speed reduction in deployment.

Great.

6/11/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

M. Simon said...
engineer-poet,

Why does Chrysler need anything from the government to sell its car?

/////////////
actually the the problems with what's left of the US auto industry is their retired benefit plans. GM can't fund those benefits and remain a solvent company unless a miracle happens. that would be some radical breakthroughs in new technologies that would give GM a competitive edge.

Nor is this something that the US government ie our tax dollars at work can simply ignore. Because if GM goes broke--our tax dollars the federal government is on the hook to pay those benefits. We're talking 15-20 billion for GM alone.

The wiser course is to make sure every US lab is working overtime to crush the cost structure of the hydrogen economy. Its better to spend 5 billion on R&D than 15 billion on retirement benefits.

The clock is ticking. GM bonds have now gone to junk bond status.

6/11/2005 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ARRIVING AT THE MOULDY CASTLE FOR THE SELF-ABNEGATOR'S BALL .


House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, in a statement, said the hearing was an example of (TALKING POINT ALERT!) - "Republican abuse of power" and she would ask House Speaker Dennis Hastert toorder an apology from Sensenbrenner .

6/11/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Setting America Free

6/11/2005 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I went to a BBQ party last night and talked to an Army Sergeant who just got back from Iraq.

I asked him how the troop morale is going. He said it was pretty good. Active Army guys had the least complaints, but the reservists liked to whine. He was involved in some of the cleanup work - he didn't offer any stories - but he appeared to have seen some combat.

From my understanding, he looked at it as a job he needed to get done.

6/11/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Body Ispired by a Fish Will Save the World .
DaimlerChrysler on Tuesday showed off a diesel-powered prototype car with a body based on a 4-inch-long fish and said the vehicle would help cut fuel use and pollutant emissions.
The car can go 70 miles on a gallon of fuel, 20% more than the current best diesel cars, and is designed to meet tougher U.S. emissions rules that take effect in 2007

6/11/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

annonymous said...
"Both sides have their blind spots, and refuse to allow thesis and antithesis to yield synthesis."
---
Sorry annonymous:
The Zeitgeist has changed:
The left must practice
Self-Abnegation for 40 years.

6/11/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

POV Means Freedom .

. For the MiniVan Crowd, The Daimler-Chrysler Boxer

6/11/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Charles,

If the labs started working overtime today they might have a solution that could go into production in 10 to 15 years. Not going to save GM.

And suppose the answer is methanol not hydrogen? Wasted $$$, time and effort.

GM bought labor peace with promises it couldn't keep. I blame the unions as much as GM.

6/11/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

M. Simon sez:
"Why does Chrysler need anything from the government to sell its car?"

Because our government's accounting rules for publicly-traded corporations require profit and loss to be justified on a quarterly basis, and allows e\x\t\o\r\t\i\o\n\ lawsuits by \b\a\n\d\i\t\s\ attorneys if the company makes anything that looks like a mis-step.  (You should know this, or haven't you read the ass-covering language in a prospectus lately?)  Our government also has a policy of cheap fuel, and even subsidized gas-guzzling vehicles with tax breaks not available for more economical transport.

In short, keeping a high-MPG hybrid program going in a period of record low fuel prices and contrary government polcies was nearly impossible for a US company.  What the government has taken away, government has to give back.

And any way you slice it, 7 responses in a row is excessive.  You might try organizing your thoughts better.

6/11/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Doug,

I went to the iags site and looked at what they proposed.

They are dead wrong about the price of fuel cells in the near term. Mass production will not lower the cost to the levels suggested.

In addition as they suggest hydrogen cells are the most advanced but methanol cells hold the most promise. Any big move at this time would be premature. We need to wait until the methanol cells have been on the market before making a decision. 2010 at the very earliest. Probably 1015 better.

In any case the auto companies know the demand is there. What is not there is the technology and production capacity to deliver it to the auto companies. There is no conspiracy.

BTW there is currently no low cost (energy/$$) source for "American" fuel in sufficient quantities.

Those folks are not conversant with what is required. One thing they have right is the idea that it is going to take several decades minimum for the roll out once the technology issues are settled. The technology issues will not be settled for at minimum ten years. More like twenty.

6/11/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Here is a bit I did on Logistics.

It will give you an idea of what is required to roll out a new technology.

It takes time and $$$.

6/11/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

engineer-poet,

What you are saying is that the vehicles you want are not profitable to make at a price people will pay.

Exactly how the government can fix that is beyond me. Well subsidies I suppose. How much per vehicle? Will the subsidies fix the problem or just raise the selling price? Hmmmmm.

What it says is that the technology is not ready for market.

Hybrids are doing well. As technolgy advances and production experience is gained they will do better.

But I will go you one better. I have a way to start a car company for about $20 million, delivering an advanced plugable hybrid. Any takers? Any one want to help me get it off the ground?

Every time I have posed this question to the complainers I get zero response. Nada. Bupkiss.

The complainers suddenly go silent. Why is that?

I'd say lack of skill (engineering, marketing, sales, legal, etc.) Complaints are easy. Doing something is hard.

Are you different?

====================

I sometimes answer posts as I read them. The reason I got 7 in a row is that no one else was posting.

However if you don't like my style don't read my stuff. "Page Down" works pretty well.

6/11/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No Problem, M Simon,
And here I am to interject a little variety:

Even Hermaphrodites don't have to practice Self Abnegation, or even Self Fertilization: Self-Abnegation Not Practiced Here.

"opportunistic" behavior among nudibranchs .
As opposed to humans in Zimbabwe, here is an example showing that even Sea Slugs can practice life sustaining behavior when they put their mind to it.

. Another close view of as seen during a night dive at Batangas.

6/11/2005 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Returning to Wretchard question, "...we have a deathwatch on the leadership in Turtle Bay, Paris, Berlin and Damascus. Why?"

More people have articulated the situation better than I. Those posters include:

Sam said, "...Without the war we wouldn't have discovered the OFF disaster. To the EU project, what the war shows is that every nation desires to be free and sovreign. Not gobbled up, de-culturized, and governed by Paris.

Indeed, all 3 related."

Peter UK said, "There has been a change in the Zeitgeist,the remorseless march of the left has been halted and sections of the old guard are becoming hysterical,there is a rout in the offing."

madawaskan said, "...persons like Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan ...They all are like greedy gamblers... I can think of nothing else that motivated them except for their own lust for perceived power and that all persuasive Jezebel-GREED."

Brian H said, "It has to do with results. If someone takes action and gets results... After a while, they [the talkers and squawkers] and their would-be historian eulogists fade away into the background."

RWE said, "...The man [Jimmy Carter] has ever been right about just what? Can't think of a thing. And that is the correlation between those three aspects. As usual, Wretchard nailed it."

[and]

charles:
"The reason RR did not get credit is simple: By the 1980's the MSM had become so leftist that they had accepted the left's standard viewpoint of the Cold War: There wasn't any such thing as a Cold War.

"One of the CNN guys summed it up as they all watched the remarkable outpouring of grief, love, respect, and especially, pride for RR at the time of his death: "Bernie, did we miss something here?"

Good Captian said, "..He then determined to gently lead the country down the path of inevitable economic and military decline. The Reagan administration succeeded Carter's failed administration. Faced with similar problems, the new team saw opportunity where the prior team saw none. Thankfully, the new admnistration successfully reversed Carter's inevitable slide..."

Doug said, "Why should Saddam be labeled Evil, and Jimmy not, when the end result of their actions produces the same pain, torture, death, and destruction of innocents?"

Triton'sPolarTiger said, "I think your last point on Carter = Saddam on the Evil Scale has some truth to it... There's little moral difference between the two in my book."

FFE said, "...Jimmy Carter's greatest weakness as a statesman was/is "moral vanity," with said condition being a state of mind where one is overwhelmingly concerned about being perceived as a "good person" than actually "doing good." Just a thought."

ADE said, "...When free people see clowns such as Annan, Chirac, Schroeder attempting a King Canute on the tide of freedom, they will assign them to very cramped enclaves patching up collapsing dikes."

In summary, in the high stakes game of geopolitical moves, it was foolish on the part of liberal American politicians to assume the above countries and entities (like the UN) would have goals aligned with American's goals. In fact, said countries and entities may have opposite goals. To put it bluntly they are not our friends. The first rule of warfare is to determine who is friend and who is foe - and take the necessary action.

Jimmy Carter was so wrapped in moral vanity that not only did he failed to determine who was friend and who was foe - he actual aided our foes. Between giving away the Panama Canal and holding candle light vigils for hostages he displayed gross weakness when he should have displayed strength.

I believe history turned when RR raided Libyan leader, Col. Moammar Kadaffi's compound in retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a disco where US soldiers were killed (1986). When those 2000 lb. bombs exploded Kadaffi learned that the American Military can reach out and touch him at any time. The rules of the game changed for ever. That raid was akin to the Doolittle Raid where a demonstration of power boosted American moral and sent chills through the enemy. Let's call it the "RR doctrine." It set the tone for handling tin plated dictators and terrorists for the future. Bush 1 continued with RR doctrine. He firmly ejected Saddam from Kuwait. Clinton dropped the ball by halfheartedly using RR doctrine during his administration. Of course Bush 2 has reinstated it with full force. Give the circumstances, he improved it by adding "You are either with us or against us" clause. And, it maybe necessary for Bush to use it on Syria. That could be why there is a deathwatch for known terrorists and aiders of terrorists - from Damascus to Paris.

6/11/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Ledger,

Well done for refocusing the debate. A very good summary.

A W pointed out, there is clearly something underway here. Bush, Blair, Howard all re-elected. The troika of Annan, Chirac, Schroeder on their last legs. Eastern Europe, middle East transformed.

I think we know where we have been. Has anybody got any views where we are headed? To mix my Yeats poems, "A Terrible Beauty is born", but what is it? "What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born."

It would be nice to identify the new-born. That way we can identify its new enemies. (We've beaten the old enemies - the Left, MSM, Islam).

Any views?

Is it Africa? China?

ADE

6/11/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For anyone interested, ex-helo diverted the ZIM THREAD to Universal Service, which I found interesting. Haven't seriously re thought the matter in a long time. Surprised by how differently I look at it now.

6/11/2005 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I agree with the many clear-thinking posters here who assert that there is no currently-visible alternative to our over-dependence on hydrocarbons and the nations that produce them (wahhabist-Saudi).

I assert, however, that it was only a FEW years ago that most informed, intelligent, engineering types and others believed that only a Columbia atop a Saturn could get people safely into space and safely back.

Then entrepreneurs, energetically working on meager budgets, brought together visible composites and visible new engine designs into previously invisible constructs which took humans into space and brought them back, SAFELY!

Gist: believe in humankind's righteous creativity! We CAN solve RO and transport and plastics problems, without pollution! We're winning the war on terrorism, and supplanting its twisted beliefs with attitudes on the equality of men/women, the oneness of humankind, the primacy of Justice for ALL!

6/11/2005 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/11/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jake Odell said...

Anointiata Delenda Est:

Beautiful statement at the top. Just perfect...I mean, fallible! :)

6/11/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

ledger:

When I was a lad, right at the beginning of RR 1st term I accompanied the old man on a trip across western Nebraska (he was a LtC asigned to Selective Service at the time).

On one of the stops at a local recruiting station, I distinctly remember two recruiting officers telling pops when he walked in about how they had heard on the radio about two F-14s engaging and destroying two Libyan MiGs over the Gulf of Sidra.

I will forever remember grown, uniformed men dancing like eight-year-olds around yelling "We're back!"

This will always be the beginning of the reversal of Carter's administration in my mind.

Carridine:

I've always thought that an "Energy X-Project" is the way to go. Given a governement or large corporate bureaucracy to contend with, the private entrepreneur will always win.

$100 million and retention of the rights to franchise the patent. We'd have new fuel technology in 10 years.

6/11/2005 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Carridine and Husker:
Indeed! Something less revolutionary than Burt Rutan's creations,SCALED COMPOSITES would probably be sufficient to get us over present energy hurdles.

. No Fear

6/12/2005 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Jake,

You know I like falliblity, humility, uncertainty.

Incompetence, even, which is why I formulated my last question incorrectly. I'm not perfect, but hopefully forgiven. So here is a second go:

Question: What is the New World Order after the spectacular success of the Angloshpere's intervention in world affairs since 9/11? Is it the G8? Is it the WTO? Why has Blair signed up GWB for debt relief in Africa? What is the game here? An outflanking movement to wrest "compassion" from the loony left, or something much more serious (eg, get China out of Africa?)

Wretchard's question is beyond me.

Any suggestions?

ADE

6/12/2005 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Anglosphere's

6/12/2005 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

husker_met said, "...When I was a lad, right at the beginning of RR 1st term I accompanied the old man on a trip across western Nebraska ... I distinctly remember two recruiting officers telling pops when he walked in about how they had heard on the radio about two F-14s engaging and destroying two Libyan MiGs over the Gulf of Sidra. I will forever remember grown, uniformed men dancing like eight-year-olds..."

You have witnessed history in the making. Many of us would have liked to have been in your shoes on that occasion.


ADE said, "...It would be nice to identify the new-born. That way we can identify its new enemies. (We've beaten the old enemies - the Left, MSM, Islam). Any views? Is it Africa? China?"

Both are ones to watch.

Many parts of Africa are potential terrorist sponging areas. Al qaeda is probably setting up camps there. As for China, it's navy has rapidly advanced. The are selling a lot of weapons to a number on countries which may not be friendly to America. And, China's national wealth is on the rise. Their practice of pegging their currency to ours puts us at a trade disadvantage. In years to come there may be a trade war - which could possibly lead to some military action - maybe not directly against us - but say one of our friends like Taiwan (which has a lot of American high tech investments - Intel's chip fabs and such).

6/12/2005 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another man who made and watched history:
X-15 pilot Scott Crossfield at Edwards with Rutan - 2004 .
Albert Scott Crossfield
1921 -
On December 10, 1960, Crossfield became the first man to travel three times the speed of sound, over 2,000 miles per hour.
Crossfield grew up in California and Washington. He served with the U.S. Navy as a flight instructor and fighter pilot during World War II.
From 1946-50, he worked in the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel while earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in aeronautical engineering.

Over the next five years, he flew nearly all of the experimental aircraft under test at Edwards, including the X-1, XF-92, X-4, X-5, D-558-I and the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. He also flight tested the F-100 and the F-102 supersonic fighters.

On Nov. 20, 1953, he became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound as he piloted the Skyrocket to a speed of 1,291 mph (Mach 2.005). With 99 flights in the rocket-powered X-1 and D-558-II, he had — by a wide margin — more experience with rocketplanes than any other pilot in the world by the time he left Edwards to join North American Aviation in 1955.

As North American's chief engineering test pilot, he played a major role in the design and development of the X-15 and its systems. Once it was ready to fly, it was his job to demonstrate its airworthiness at speeds ranging up to Mach 3.
...It only blew up twice on him!

6/12/2005 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thinking of Tony's Excellent Post of 1:58 PM, I realized we left out one "great" moment in history:
When they gave Carter the damned Nobel Prize for Trashing Bush.

What a GOOD, kind, and classy ex President he is!

Evil Scum.

6/12/2005 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

what I noticed in the hydrogen economy/water desalination counter point discussion was that nobody said "if" it was always a matter of "when."

And "When" generally came to +-20
years. (Instead of the 5 years that I proposed.)That was the prudent judgement.

Now consider that Reagan effectively ended the cold war by beginning work on star wars. The reason this work ended star wars is because it changed the bad guy's future expectations. (The Russians realized that the old MAD policy wouldn't work indefinitely and they didn't have the money to play at star wars. So they gave up.)

Now its 20 years later and some of the pieces for star wars are in place up in alaska--but most aren't.

So if the president said that the USA is going to do the research that will kill the cost of water desalination/transport -- so that fresh water 1000 miles from any desert coast is cheap as water in green irland pennslvania, poland or tokyo--wouldn't that change fundamental expectations in Mexico and the middle east about the future such that the mullah's would be hushed from making trouble and mexicans would be discouraged from coming over the border.

So what if the creating the hydrogen economy or killing the cost of water desalination and tranport takes 20 or even 30 years---conditions on the ground now will have been changed just as conditions on the ground were changed when "now" was back in the 80's and 90's by reagan's star wars R&D.

In this I'm making the opposite proposition that Wretched makes. Wretched proposes that he who controls the past, controls the present. And he who controls the present controls the future.

I'm proposing that Reagan accomplished the defeat of the soviet empire by doing just the opposite. And further, that controlling the future--as in future expectations of green deserts all over the world--a simliar thing can be done to solve the problems in the middle east and on the Mexican border.

The way this is the opposite of Wretched's thesis is that it proposes that he who controls the future controls the present. And he who controls the present controls the past.

And in the end this is a better way. Because its best not to have the tail wag the dog.

6/12/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,

Thanks for the mention, it's clear as a bell what happened in the world when Carter was POTUS.

Another poster mentioned that it's not a matter of "hating" certain individuals who happened to be POTUS. It's not, that's correct, it's a matter of being disturbed at what their actions led to, not just in the US, but all around the world, especially among our enemies.

Where did the image of America as a "Paper Tiger" originate? Our inexplicable 'loss' in Vietnam? Yes, that and more, as we stumbled around in shock for years, especially under the leadership of Carter when we all but surrendered in many fields.

Then came Clinton, who's response to acts of war and even open declaration of war against us:
Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans, Published in Al-Quds al-'Arabi on Febuary 23, 1998
was treated as something in the domestic political mix, rather than a mortal threat to the nation.

If anyone doubts this characterization of the Clinton Administration, I would suggest you breeze through a copy of "The 9/11 Commission Report" National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States .

America does not do the world any favors by being weak and indecisive. Quite the opposite - when the Yang grows weak, the Yin dominates, it's the way of the world.

6/12/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

carradine,

It is not a space transport system. It is a prototype of a space tansport system.

i.e. not too different from the hydrogen cars widely touted.

==========

Charles,

The value of the anti-missile defence re: the USSR was that the program details were secret. You could fake the "fact" that deployment would begin in 5 years.

The energy stuff is way more out in the open.

Now I will admit that the "new fuel economy" may have shaken the Saudis. Former Oil Minister Yamani believed (around 1998) that fuel cells would begin displacing oil by 2005.

Such belief may be the reason for the current war.

So here we are with the future 20 more years away with a war on.

Evidently the Saudis were not as scared as the Soviets. i.e. they did a 7 Dec. on us instead of quietly folding.

I'm not saying this is bad. Obviously the Wahabi bit needs to be settled. It just may have come sooner than we might have liked in a very unfortunate way.

Any way I think it is too late for faking it further.

6/12/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Former Oil Minister Yamani believed (around 1998) that fuel cells would begin displacing oil by 2005"
---
M Simon,
Popular Science Magazine believed it would be sometime in the 70's I think!

6/12/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reagan did put a few bucks into hardware on the ground, also.
Then there was that unfortunate mistargeting of the tents in Libya, the straight talk to the one with the spotted head, the DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE (missing in W.) of who he was dealing with, his early Alzheimer problems with people like Sir Ollie of the North, etc...
on, and on, and on.
...and then there was that connection with all the weirdos that loved this country.

6/12/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Left out that he turned Carter's New Age and Forever Malaise into the New Economy.

6/12/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

RR did miss out on looking into Gorby's Soul, tho, either through his eyes, or that ever growing map of the USA on his forehead.
(Every time Gorby lied, it increased in size.)
...goes on doesn't it?
I left out Nancy's Smackdown of the Missus.

6/12/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Then there were the Opening Acts:
Bill's was gays in the military, or somewhere.
RR fired all the Air Controllers.

6/12/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Unfortunately, I find it hard to be so upbeat. I see the French, German, and majority of the world's populations still as clueless as ever, even if their present leadership is shakey. Meanwhile, we just barely avoided possibly the worst candidate in American history.

6/12/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

*shaky

Bah, sorry for being a wetblanket, but I think the international left is as strong as it has ever been in the West and United States.

6/12/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutler,
Agreed.
Don't declare victory when the damned thing is still squirming and screaming.
...that ain't DEAD!

6/12/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

My Old Dad always cautioned me to watch what people do, not what they say.

Unless there's a boot on our necks, we generally prefer more freedom, and prosperity to less freedom and prosperity.

Whoever can deliver wins in the long run.

6/12/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Meanwhile, we just barely avoided possibly the worst candidate in American history.
"
---
If a lying blowhard loser gigilo/traitor can almost throwout an incumbent President, THAT ain't good.

6/12/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

Cutler,

I think you're right. An animal is most dangerous when it's hurt or cornered or both. The best solution is to administer a few grams of lead between the eyes.

6/12/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/12/2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

THATS definitive!

6/12/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Frank Rich can dream in today's NYT:

"Only once during the Deep Throat rollout did I see a palpable, if perhaps unconscious, effort to link the White House of 1972 with that of 2005. It occurred at the start, when ABC News, with the first comprehensive report on Vanity Fair's scoop, interrupted President Bush's post-Memorial Day Rose Garden news conference to break the story. Suddenly the image of the current president blathering on about how hunky-dory everything is in Iraq was usurped by repeated showings of the scene in which the newly resigned Nixon walked across the adjacent White House lawn to the helicopter that would carry him into exile."

6/12/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

re:
That's Rich:
They figure they make a living rewriting history.
...might as well try to rewrite the present.

6/12/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Cutler,

Sometimes "just barely" is good enough.

I'm not yet ready to count Europe out.

A significant minority 30 - 40% gets it. In addition the leftist monolith is beginning to crumble. Feminists are moving to the right because of the misogony of the Muslims in Europe. And Schroder's anti-Americanism is not winning him any more elections.

And Doug,

Your recent posts are political poetry. However, if you are trying to make a point it slipped past me.

6/12/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Point? What's the Point?
Poetry is not enough?
Jeez. Tough Crowd.
Carter Sucked.
RR was Great.
Gorby Sucked.
Fuel Cells are Great.
Their Cost Sucks.
The Left is not Great, but not Dead.
The Left Sucks.
PC sounds Great.
PC Sucks.
The New Tone is Sweet.
The New Tone Sucks.
etc.

6/12/2005 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger vividu said...

It's possible that the defeat of the Iraqi insurgency...

Meanwhile...

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The military announced the killing of four more U.S. soldiers on Sunday, pushing the American death toll past 1,700, and police found the bullet-riddled bodies of 28 people — many thought to be Sunni Arabs — buried in shallow graves or dumped streetside in Baghdad."

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050612/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

6/12/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

m Simon said,
"However if you don't like my style don't read my stuff. "Page Down" works pretty well."

6/12/2005 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

vividu,

There is a difference between murder which can happen in any country in Europe and defeat.

Defeat is when the forces of democracy and self government give up.

I understand that the murder rate in Washington DC is about 80 per 100,000 per year. The murder rate for soldiers in Iraq is 60 per 100,000 per year.

Perhaps the Americans don't know that defeat is staring them in the face in their own capital. Perhaps you could send a note.

Doug,

Being an engineer my poetry tends towards the more concrete:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Saddam stinks
Osama too

6/13/2005 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Back On Topic:

The reason for the connection is that the fantasies are intertwined.

The war is lost
The UN is good
The EU is the wave of the future

Are all built on the same unreasoned assumptions.

EU - Socialism
UN - Corruption
WAR - Lack of touch with reality

In other words wishful thinking. The hope that reality will match fantasy. That because I want it to be true it will be true.

6/13/2005 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger newsflasher said...

a little humorous song about gitmo
at http://bloggersrow.com
/johnnymanlinks.html

6/13/2005 04:32:00 PM  
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