Friday, June 06, 2008

Business as usual

Change. It's what you've got left after filling up the tank at the gas station. But not something that is forthcoming in Washington, where the more thing change, the more they remain the same. George Will writes about energy supply and demand, and why it is objectively important but subjectively unimportant to anyone that matters.

Rising in the Senate on May 13, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, explained: "I rise to discuss rising energy prices." The president was heading to Saudi Arabia to seek an increase in its oil production, and Schumer's gorge was rising. ...

Can a senator, with so many things on his mind, know so precisely how the price of gasoline would respond to that increase in the oil supply? Schumer does know that if you increase the supply of something, the price of it probably will fall. That is why he and 96 other senators recently voted to increase the supply of oil on the market by stopping the flow of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which protects against major physical interruptions. Seventy-one of the 97 senators who voted to stop filling the reserve also oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today's senators -- including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain -- have voted to keep ANWR's estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.

The political class responds to organized pressure much faster than it does to inchoate sentiment. The environmental lobby may not represent a great many persons, but their small numbers understate the power of their influence. They're in the process, sitting on corporate boards, drafting legislation through networks of friends, setting the public relations agenda. And they are purposefully following a plan. Whenever they are checked, they simply wait, lie dormant and try again at the next opportunity.

Even as gas prices soar, the Senate was considering the 500 page Global Warming bill. But, after considering the public mood, the Senators shelved it. Not for reasons of principle, but probably for reasons of tactical timing. The Politico writes:

Apparently three days of debate was enough for what many senators called "the most important issue facing the planet."

With little chance of winning passage of a sweeping 500-page global warming bill, the Senate Democratic leadership is planning to yank the legislation after failing to achieve the 60-vote threshold needed to move the bill to the next stage. After a 48-36 vote on the climate change bill, the Senate is likely to move on to a separate energy debate next week.

The legislation collapsed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the poor timing of debating a bill predicted to increase energy costs while much of the country is focused on $4-a-gallon gas. On top of that, a number of industrial-state Democrats such as Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio were uncomfortable with the strong emissions caps that would have created a new regime of regulations for coal, auto and other manufacturing industries. Republicans, for the most part, held firm against a bill they said would cost billions in regulations while pushing the cost of gas higher. Seven Republicans, mostly moderates, voted for the procedural motion on the legislation while four Democrats voted against it.

The debate in many ways was about setting the stage for a more serious climate change effort under the next president. While President Bush would have vetoed any cap-and-trade bill this year, both McCain and Obama back some form of mandatory emissions reduction, so this debate will gain serious traction again next year.

"We're getting ready for the next president of the United States, who we know ... will be hospitable to this bill," Boxer said.

Whoever wins.

The hard fact is that environmental regulation has actual or opportunity costs. And any solution to so-called Global Warming costs, too. We all understand the principle. If you want that doggie in the window, pay for it. You may hanker for that lunch down at the corner and are entitled to it, if you shell out the price. Why is it so hard to accept that Environmental Good must be paid for? Probably because most people are just getting by. Not everyone can attend what Ann Schroeder calls Woodstock for Rich People. There is a world where you can both have your cake and eat it. All you need is enough money to do it.

But the rest of the world has to make do with politics. Politics is the art of promising something for nothing. Or at least hiding the cost so that voters think they're getting a deal. Free health care, the goodwill of Ahmedinajad, a reduction in Greenhouse Gases, the approval of the United Nations, Change -- all of it -- has a price tag. None of it will come for free.

Only two things are inevitable in life. Death and taxes. And with advances in biological science we might even solve the first. But not the second.




The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.

103 Comments:

Blogger randian said...

Global warming is a sham, so paying for it can't be good. Even if it weren't, a degree or two of warming and a few inches rise in sea level are hardly catastrophes worth paying $45 trillion to fix.

6/06/2008 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

I've started to wonder whether the $45 trillion, or whatever they're going to spend to "fix" it, isn't the point of the whole exercise. That will pay for a lot of catered meals, conferences in Bali, television advertising, contracts and whatnot.

6/07/2008 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Yes that's probably it, Wretchard, but what happens if NYC gets nuked? Or gas goes to $10 a gallon?

At that point, the populist revolt ala Prop 13, only much larger, national, and damn ANGRY gets going and sweeps away incumbents like a great tidal wave, forcing a huge change in politics.

We saw that in the 1830's with Jackson, and those after him being Jacksonian. We saw it in the 1930's with FDR.

American politics have been in a "waiting period" trying to avoid rational discussions of priorities, whose slice of the pie will be smaller. Unfortunately other men will not wait, and "some damn fool thing in the Balkans" will guarantee a series of shattering events.

At the very least a global recession means there will be no $45 billion to pay for all of that. There may not be any money at all.

6/07/2008 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger mouse said...

There is no global warming. The sun is going out. The ice sheets are moving south. In thirty years Duluth will disappear, the Great Lakes in Oregon will be frozen solid, and we'll have Mastodons in St. Paul. That's good. I like Mastodons.

I'll believe congress is serious about Global Warming when they vote to produce twenty new nuclear reactors. Or maybe just bomb China. That would cut down on demand.

It's hard to be real serious about this silly stuff.

I should correct some of my science. While it is true that the sun will soon dim, in fact Mastodons won't be in St. Paul, that would be Mammoths; Mastodons have smaller ears and like Florida. That's okay too. I like Florida.

6/07/2008 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Finally we have a political movement with dietary laws. It will tell you how much Carbon you can consume and where, when, and in what manner you can consume it. And how much. It will come complete with bulimic celebrities. If you want to see the future read, what's the name of that book? Leviticus.

26:3: "If you conform to my statutes... I will give you rain at the proper time."

There's the answer, folks. And if you don't get the right rain it will be your own damn fault.

6/07/2008 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger talnik said...

Has anyone investigated where the environmentalists get their money? Sure, some of it comes from my brother-in-law, but what about the Saudis and Chavez? They give money to the enviros, the enviros give it to the US politicians, and presto! No more US production! More money for them. A sound investment indeed.

6/07/2008 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Lilith said...

Yes that's probably it, Wretchard, but what happens if NYC gets nuked? Or gas goes to $10 a gallon? At that point, the populist revolt ala Prop 13, only much larger, national, and damn ANGRY gets going and sweeps away incumbents like a great tidal wave, forcing a huge change in politics.

That may be true if NYC gets nuked, but gas at $10 a gallon is only a little more than double what we pay now. And we are paying double now what we paid in 2006, but there has been no revolt. If you heat the caldron up slowly enough, the frog never jumps out.

6/07/2008 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Lilith said...

[Leviticus] 26:3: "If you conform to my statutes... I will give you rain at the proper time." There's the answer, folks. And if you don't get the right rain it will be your own damn fault.

I'll see your Leviticus and raise one Gospel According To Matthew 5:45 "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

6/07/2008 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

I raise you both with a rain dance. I hear the toms-toms beating.

6/07/2008 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Lilith you are not properly taking REAL costs into account. Gas prices while high are now hitting record highs both in actual and REAL costs.

The real cost of energy can not continue to increase without impacting our way of life.

Without cheap energy our society will have to change. I expect it will revert to something like it was in the 1800s. Extended families living together with the older people staying at home and the younger ones out in the fields working the soil

6/07/2008 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Climate-Change Collapse

Senators also criticized Warner-Lieberman's failure to clearly specify what would happen with the vast revenues the climate bill would generate – some $1 trillion over the first decade, which environmental groups wanted as a slush fund to finance "green technologies." Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire insisted the proceeds be used for other tax cuts, like the elimination of the corporate income tax. The Natural Resources Defense Council desperately tried to persuade Congress in the 11th hour that the expensive price tag is a bargain because "the cost of inaction" would reach $1.8 trillion by 2100 due to increased hurricanes and rising oceans – an argument without a shred of scientific or fiscal credibility.

Republicans in the Senate this week did such a masterful job of picking the cap-and-trade bill apart with objections, yesterday Barbara Boxer of California was "pulling her hair out with frustration, " as one Republican leadership staffer put it.

Environmentalists have always eyed 2009 as the real target year for enactment. But there was no show of strength this week and cap-and-trade may have reached its political high water mark.

6/07/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

On Recovering Without PTSD

6/07/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"I've started to wonder whether the $45 trillion, or whatever they're going to spend to "fix" it, isn't the point of the whole exercise.

OH...COME...ON, W! You went to the big time school across the Charles and write with such erudition and you never heard the saying "If they say it's not about the money, it's about the money." and you cannot extrapolate a 21st Century governmental/bureaucratic corollary thereto when pondering $45T (that is T there) on the table.

Back in the early '70s, when I was at the school on the West bank of the Charles, once a week I used to distribute a libertarian weekly on campus. Th people who printed it also printed "Welfare is Theft" stickers for application to lightpoles. They got it wrong. Government is theft. Then again, it is government from which welfare emanates.

6/07/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

And we are paying double now what we paid in 2006, but there has been no revolt.

Yesterday riding up the elevator, three suits were discussing gas prices and how high they are, that it's "outrageous". If lawyers in downtown LA are concerned about gas prices, then it seems to me that a street-level revolt has *got* to be brewing on the ground floor of middle class America. There just needs to be a spark of an incident before ordinary Americans decide how to manifest their displeasure.

Personally, every time I fill up any more, my disgust grows over how much money we're pouring into Iraq trying to get *them* up and running and pumping oil so they can be self-sufficient ... when what we need to stabilize the American economy is oil ... like Iraq has ... which they're too damned dumb and/or lazy to use ... which WE have earned the right to ... so where's the payback for our blood, effort and treasure?

Stories in the news yesterday about car manufacturers closing down Hummer (and other) lines and car sales of SUV's being down 65%.

One of the arguments about the War on Terror has been that the American public has never had to face up to the fact that we *are* at war, because nothing really changed after 9/11 (except for increasing hassles trying to fly). I don't know if the high price of oil and the ensuing out-of-control prices of gasoline are directly War on Terror related, but I do know that it's now affecting American life and our economy. And people are pissed off.

Gas prices have now replaced immigration as my number one political priority, and I will vote for whatever candidate can present a viable plan to bring them down or at least to stabilize them. If that involves invading Saudi Arabia, then good. If it involves nationalizing the gas companies, I'm also willing to listen to that -- just as long as the airlines are nationalized at the very same time.

6/07/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Steeple said...

I have some perspective coming from the energy industry. Our political leadership has neglected energy policy far too long, and now we are all whining about the effects of allowing global energy growth to overwhelm supply. Over the past 20 years, the energy industry has had to reinvest a significant portion of its available capital into Federal and State mandates on emissions reduction, cleaner versions of gasoline and diesel fuels (arguable well past the point of diminishing returns on a cost/benefit basis) to the point where it is clear that many of government simply wanted to see this industry pushed offshore as much as possible.

We had an opportunity to have a small group discussion with a Senior Republican Senator in the summer of 2005 (just before the Katrina outages). It was clear that he seemed to be an intelligent, articulate and curious individual who wanted to understand energy issues better. But it was also clear that his understanding of the issues where based on the last 30 seconds of knowledge that had been given to him. I came away convinced (as well as depressed) that his understanding of the many issues that he deals with must be about an inch deep as well.

I'm not trying to shill for our industry. I think that one would get consensus agreement that these prices are not good for our country. Given that so many people in this business see first hand what is happening in places like Saudi, Venezuela, Iran and all of the other countries that are creating problems for us directly or indirectly, we understand the huge price that the US is paying. Not only are we exporting substantial amounts of our wealth to these regimes, but so much of it is being turned around to be used against us, whether it be in the form of IEDs, car bombs or the development of nuclear weapons.

So we expect the people who can't understand basic supply/demand balances and macroeconomics to be able to objectively challenge the arguments behind something as complex as global climate change? Please. Given the many challenges that we face, we could afford a few more people in Congress with scientific backgrounds to replace a few of the many lawyers running around there.

So a few things to consider. 1) We all by now realize the sham that ethanol has become, both in lack of economic sense and the second order effects that it is having on the price of foodstuffs and inputs, such as fertilizer. 2) Maybe someone could get the courage up to push Detroit on fuel economy; looks like Mr. Market is beating Congress to the punch here (Mr. Market generally does a pretty effective job of smacking people around when they make poor strategic decisions). But given the public safety issues of mixing Ford F 250s on the same roads that Prius' travel, we still need Congress to sit up in their chairs and do something productive here. 3) Perhaps we could have a more visible public debate on the sources of non-hydrocarbon based energy. Nuclear stands out as the clear winner, no offense to wind (about the only other alternative now that could make it without the thought of long-term subsidies). 4) We are going to have to address the lack of quality science education and emphasis in our high schools. My daughter just finished her junior year at one of the best public high schools here in Houston, and it is sad to see how much these schools struggle to keep the type of people who can motivate our young people to pursue an interest in the sciences. I can't imagine how bad in must be in many other schools.

The foundation, that was laid by the people who did the really hard and unglamourous work that have led to the quality of life we enjoy, is rotting beneath us, and it seems like so many even in our leadership don't have any other answer than to cast blame.

Thank you all for allowing my rant and thanks to the many who make this blog such a rich place for thought.

6/07/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Nancee, is Maxine Waters your congress person? You may owe her a vote:

“And guess what this liberal will be all about. This liberal will be about socializing, uh, um…will be about basically taking over, and the government running all of your companies”–Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) during a House of Representatives hearing with oil executives.

Where government is concerned I often prefer the adage "Don't just do something, stand there." When I was young I worked in the old "integrated" Steel Mills (integrated refers to making steel from Iron Ore, not scrap). The World Market changed and they were closing down. Lots of folks wanted the government to take the plants over to save those jobs. Of course the rest of the economy would have paid much -- and would still be paying much -- if that had happened. Ultimately more jobs would have been lost than saved.

In fact the most important member of OPEC is the Democrats in Congress. They have kept a minimum 2 million barrel's of US oil off the market every day. If the environmentalist had accepted a "more production" for "more conservation" compromise we could have weaned ourselves off the SUV economy starting a decade ago. But they would rather demonize the energy companies. Do you normally demonize people whose cooperation you are going to need?

Lilith, quoting Matthew is just so New Testament of you. I'm talking about The Law -- and politicians to lead us into The Law. The reason I chose Leviticus 26:3 is because it is the exact same wording as Gaea 69:99. Only the Graven image in Gaea is nuclear power "Verily if I wanted man to play with nuclear fire I would have made him radioactive." I quote from memory.

As for the bulimic celebrities I referenced earlier: they consume tankers full of jet fuel and vomit up carbon credits.

6/07/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Steeple said:

"Mr. Market generally does a pretty effective job of smacking people around when they make poor strategic decisions."

The people running South Africa are the African National Congress (ANC). They're basically watered down socialist/communists and have no clue how to manage a modern industrial state. Through mismanagement, they've allowed the South African electrical power grid to go to ruin. Major cities like Johannesburg now go through daily blackout as a result. South Africa's economy has taken a major hit because many of their gold mines have shutdown due to lack of electrical power. What we're seeing in South Africa maybe our own future.

6/07/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The problem for the rather degenerate, degraded, and decadent aristocracy that runs America and most Western Nations post 1945, is that we are running out of money to smooth things over.

That during an election cycle, Dems were unable to get a global warming bill passed, even though all the environmentalist organizations were behind it and as Wretchard notes, 45 Trillion (sorry I misread billion) were at stake, giving officeholders even more wealth by allowing them to control every aspect of economic and individual life, is suggestive.

It suggests that the revolt is already here. High energy prices have already pushed us into recession. It's bad.

Very likely the election will tip to whoever can mount the most populist effort to give things to the middle/working classes. Particularly higher wages and lower energy costs.

Obama cannot do that, structurally, since his alliance of rich white yuppies (save the polar bears), Blacks, and college kids hate the working/middle class with a passion, and don't want money cut from THEM to give to the vast middle. McCain structurally has an electoral coalition that can do that, though it must contend with his own desire to win approval from the corrupt and decadent press wing of the degenerate aristocracy.

At this point, if McCain proposed to invade Saudi and pump them dry, with gas at $1 a gallon, he win in a landslide. Cheap energy makes the wealth go round, it's what our economy is built on, globally. Raise energy prices and keep them high and the whole global system (including btw, trans-Pacific trade) grinds to a halt in economic isolationism and global depression.

Global Warming is a dead issue, no one can afford in a depression. The elites will do well just to keep their seats in power, if that. There just won't be enough money.

Reality is intruding on the 50 year fantasy the West has been living, and it's going to get exceedingly ugly. Expect even more fantasy elements to fight out with reality in ugly terms.

Heck Obama is nothing more than a gigantic fantasy.

6/07/2008 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

But I did remember hearing, in that big school along the Charles, the immortal adage "a billion here and a billion there. Pretty soon you're talking real money."

6/07/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lilith said...

Wretchard: But I did remember hearing, in that big school along the Charles, the immortal adage "a billion here and a billion there. Pretty soon you're talking real money."

The total receipts by the US government for the entire sixty years from 1789 to 1849 was $ 1.16 billion dollars, and outlays were $1.09 billion dollars, for a surplus of $70 million dollars. Obama will probably raise and spend that much just for his campaign.

6/07/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger TmjUtah said...

Our future?

Collapse.

Social and economic.

I am as depressed as I have ever, ever been.

I'm sitting here at my desk with the McCain campaign's latest missive open in front of me:

"Make no mistake: If the Democrats succeed in gaining toal control fo Washington in November, they will instantly move to raise your taxes, expand the federal government, socialize medicine, appoint liberal judges and retreat from Iraq." *break* "As someone who has done so much in the past for our Party, we need your financial support at this crucial time to strengthen our Republican Party's efforts to regain control of Congress and win the White house in November."

Well, hell, Senator; just what have you done for my country?

Thanks for serving in Vietnam, and upholding the highest standards of the U.S. Navy. But as an elected politician, you've authored legislation that strikes a deep and bloody blow at freedom of speech. Your "Republican" credentials are at best asterisked. You are lined up solidly with the Democrats on the most important issue of our time - the AGW scam.

It won't matter how many Iraqis and other brown people die after November; our collapsed economy will probably not leave much room to report on stuff like that.

Mr. McCain, I say now that I will vote against Barak Obama, for the good of the nation.

But every time you open your gob about "cap and trade" I am forced to reexamine what exactly it is that makes you any less harmful than Obama will be.

Good day to you sir.

A. R. Jones
Orem, Utah

P.S. The impact of fuel and other petrochemical products' costs are moving into areas that will start impacting the economy in direct and catastrophic fashion very soon.

All that federal pork in highway bills is going to look pretty silly when it comes time to pay for all the asphalt they've scheduled to place this year. The cost will be DOUBLE if not more than was budgeted.

Gas at $4.00 a gallon today in central Utah; possibly .30 higher in a week.

Watch the markets. It's going to be one of the three stooges (regarding Clinton's "suspension" of her campaign - I saw no stake; she's waiting for a stumble and will be on the floor in Denver, make no mistake about it) in November and the ONLY certainty is that the federal government is measuring corporations, the middle class, and investors for castration.

I can't be expected to vote for the Republicans when their actions are indistinguishable from the Democrats.

Just damn.

Have a fine weekend. I'm unplugging from the grid.

6/07/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

As long as I'm having to pay $5 a gallon for gas, I'm really not interested in South Africa's black-outs nor Nigeria's kidnappings or Africa's famine du jour and global hunger. Although I will miss the polar bears, if they are, indeed, in danger.

It's hard to feel magnanimous and generous towards the down and out when your very own wallet is feeling the crunch and it's getting personal.

Then on top of gas prices, we were having brownouts and blackouts in California last summer AND Arnold says we're officially in a drought and don't have enough water.

So here in Los Angeles we're looking at exploding gas prices, no air conditioning this summer and no swimming pools. THIS kind of life is what we went into Iraq and are staying here for?

6/07/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Wretchard, that was Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, Republican of Illinois, who said that back during the launch of "The Great Society" of LBJ. That was in 1964 when Metro DC first started helping Metro "my home town" in a big way (we was a model city, you understand). Looking at their relative rankings in 1964 and now tells me that DC is far better at taking your money and keeping it than they are at taking someone else's money and giving it to you.

I meant to leave this link earlier, (via Instapundit): Is Obama an enlightened being? You know, after reading this I am ready to vote for him. That's if I can get a satisfactory answer to one question: When I move to that higher spiritual evolutionary plane, will I still be alive? Or am I one of the people who will have to die to make it happen? Just wondering.

And Nanchee, stop worrying about the price of fuel and read that article. Get in touch with all that positive energy and you will not need anymore gas.

6/07/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

From Olympian Washington, the price of gas is a parochial. For example, Obama, Hagel, and Cantwell have sponsored a Bill to Fight Global Poverty. This, from Barack Obama's Senate Website:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced the Global Poverty Act (S.2433), which requires the President to develop and implement a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief, and coordination with the international community, businesses and NGOs. Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL) sponsored the House version of the bill (H.R. 1302), which passed the House in September.

“Eliminating global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges we face, with billions of people around the world forced to live on just dollars a day,” said Senator Obama. “We can – and must – make it a priority of our foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water. As we strive to rebuild America’s standing in the world, this legislation will not only commit to reducing global poverty, but will also demonstrate our promise and support to those in the developing world. Our commitment to the global economy has to extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere.”


It will officially become the next President's job -- if the bill passes -- to make sure America is respected around the world by giving away stuff. Not just "trade agreements", which we are told "are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere", but aid, trade, debt relief and giveaways to NGOs.

This is the change which Obama envisions. On his own website. In his own bill. There are probably a lot of people in DC, not just Democrats either, who "share this vision". Now everyone is entitled to his vision, but like I say, it's going to cost. And nobody really wants to talk about where the money is going to come from.

6/07/2008 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ch-ch-changes
Monica Crowley

Today's New York Times features a story about the conviction of Tony Rezko, the longtime Obama fundraiser and rainmaker, on 16 counts of bribery, fraud, and money laundering.

Swell guy.

In the piece, a statement from Obama was quoted. (What's this with a "statement?" I thought Obama never met a camera he didn't like. Oh, right: that only applies to when things are going well for him. The bad stuff gets a "statement.")

Obama said he was "saddened" by the verdict. (There goes the gravy train!)

And then this: "That's not the Tony Rezko I knew."

Sound familiar? After the Reverend Wright controversy blew up, Obama said that the man seen ranting and raving, full of anti-American vitriol, was "not the man he knew."

Father Michael Pfleger? When his racist sermons came to light, Obama said the exact same thing about him: not the guy I knew!

Bill Ayers? Hardly knew him. Bernadine Dorhn? Ditto.

How is it that all of these people, to whom he was close (most for 20+ years) have all changed? Suddenly, all of them are different people. Now that Obama is a national figure, suddenly, miraculously, they've all changed. For the worse.

Are you buying this?

Obama can dress up his radicalism in a pretty package, and he does it well. But fraud is fraud (ask Mr. Rezko.)

Obama is inflicting a fraud on us:
inviting us to believe he's one thing, when his past and his associations indicate he's someone else entirely.

Maybe someday we'll say: "That's not the Barack Obama we knew."

That's assuming we ever do get to "know him."

6/07/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Actually, this Bill to Fight Global Poverty helps answer a question I've had about the War in Iraq. Because I never thought that the Democrats wanted the defeat of the United States in Iraq; they wanted the defeat of American Hubris in Iraq, which just happened to be the same thing.

But it looks like Hubris may well win, facing down not just the Jihadist and the Fascist but the most powerful NGO's, the EU and the UN as well. This is Hubris triumphant. And we all know what Hubris is like when it is Triumphant. I mean, fuel to the flames and all that.

So we kind of missed our chance when we didn't lose the war. That would be the sure cure for Hubris.

So maybe the left thinks: if your arrogant behavior winds you up in court, the judge will often sentence you to community service. With an eye to taking you down a peg. And maybe working on empathy for others. Which is fine if Hubris were actually the problem. Besides, that won't be enough to take care of our Hubris problem (I mean if we had one). So there has got to be more to come.

What the world really needs is more Adam Smith, Scotland, The Wealth of Nations and less Adam Smith, Democrat, WA and a Global Great Society.

6/07/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

America doesn't produce many decent leaders. And our political process doesn't elect many of the few we do produce.

Our Senate is embarrassingly stupid and Shumer is a member of the "La Dumbas" - cronies adept at staying in office by pandering to stupid people.

I was shocked by the news that Ted Kennedy had brain cancer. It was like Hillary having prostate trouble.

The only hope in our Republic is that occasionally the common folks rise up and flush the toilet - so to speak. It is full of turds right now.

Obama is talking stupid right now, but fortunately for him his followers are in a trance.

If I remember correctly, America hasn't had an energy policy since Jimmy Carter, but that's another subject.

Oh by the way, Bush will gain support for increased drilling (ANWR, etc.) by being quiet and allowing the "La Dumbas" talk about energy prices" - another brilliant ploy by GWB.

6/07/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger mouse said...

The price of gas may be a parochial concern to those in Washington, but it's the ace-in-hand for those who argue for a more scientific understanding of such a thing as Global Warming. It's all economic theory.

The cheaper a thing is, the more of it will be purchased; the more expensive, the less it will sell. The cheapest idea out there now is that Global Warming is a crisis, and that it's caused by our carbon footprint. It's cheap because it's so easily fixed: just put in a florescent light bulb. That will save the planet, save the polar bear, and make one feel good. But what if saving the polar bear costs six bucks a gallon at the pump? Who then would care about the polar bear?

Actually, a lot of people would still care about the polar bear, but they would try to find a way to save his fuzzy furry hide that wasn't so darn expensive. The easiest way would be to buy into a new idea. If carbon emissions do not cause Global Warming, then there is no crisis; no crisis, then there can be more exploration, nuclear power, cheap gas, --and the polar bear can continue to pad around prolific and unmolested as he has done for millennia, as unaware of politics as he has been since back in the stone age. He will have been saved by good sense, and by an idea almost certainly scientifically sound, never mind just why it happened to become popular.

This is the fortunate chink in the armammentorium of Green gas propaganda: if carbon causes warming, it in fact will cost money to fix. When a populace has to pay money out of pocket at the pump, rather than merely surrender freedom, they will resist.

God bless America!

Of course, the price of gas just at the moment probably has more to do with the byzantine complexities of the oil market than it has to do with any Global Warming legislation so far passed, but it is interconnected, and it's public irritation at the price of gas that limited our current debate on a "comprehensive" Global warming measure to just three days. It's cost that's finally going to defeat the silliness of the green movement.

6/07/2008 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

THIS kind of life is what we went into Iraq and are staying [t]here for?

At the risk of you wrath...in a word, yes. When Iraq falls, things will be much worse. Strategic reality is that not too awfully long after Iraq falls, Saudi Arabia falls. Then, everything is completely F'd.

6/07/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

What nobody wants to say is that the Carbon Reduction, taken to its ultimate conclusion, implies high gas prices. Only high prices will dampen demand and hence, carbon emissions.

If the world really is running out of cheap oil then the price mechanism will eventually make it lucrative not only to bring other forms of hydrocarbon online but also to provide the incentive to develop technological alternatives.

That's presupposing the price of oil isn't subject to manipulation like cartel fix fixing or environmental add ons. A lot of the price of gas at the pump is tax, etc. If supply and demand were allowed to work, oil would eventually price itself out of the market and be replaced by shale, tar sand, nuclear power, fusion, zero point energy or whatever else human ingenuity can create.

But energy policy has been politicized. It's full of patent, fabricated nonsense. Like Big Oil. The biggest American oil company comes in at around number 18 in the world. It's a midget compared to the the giant, state owned oil companies that control the supply. Like the myth that we "went to war in Iraq for Oil". Yeah, well how come Iraqi oil is being sold on the world market for exactly the going rate? If America were the "conqueror" of Iraq, we'd just seize their production. Thus energy policy is driven by nonsense and politics as much as it is by supply and demand. But we have reached the stage, where like in 1984, it is possible for some people to believe two contradictory things at once.

6/07/2008 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Mouse said:

"Of course, the price of gas just at the moment probably has more to do with the byzantine complexities of the oil market than it has to do with any Global Warming legislation..."

I personally think the high price of petroleum and gasoline are a consequence of "peak oil". I'm skeptical of the science behind "Global Warming". However even if Global Warming were a consequence of burning fossil fuels, in the end it won't matter because we're running out of economically accessible fossil fuels (note: there is plenty of economically inaccessible fuel out there but so what). We should have been shifting over to nuclear energy about 30 years ago but didn't because of moonbats in high places. Now we're screwed and will have to deal with the economic consequences.

6/07/2008 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

US energy policy, based on a bi-partisan consensus, is to sell the rest of the country down the river to a bunch of corn farmers. Foriegn sources of ethanol are kept out by tariffs. Consumers are prohbitied from burning methanol, which is available from a number of potential domestic sources. The gas stations of America are surrounded by a "corn" curtain. Mr Obama, Mr McCain, if you are serious about refomring energy markets "tear down this wall!"

6/07/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Medvedev Raises Specter of Depression, Faults U.S. (Update2)

During Putin's eight-year presidency, which ended last month, Russia's economy grew nearly five-fold, from about 7 trillion rubles in 2000 to almost 33 trillion rubles by the end of last year.

The country is basking in a boom fuelled by high oil and natural gas prices, making the forum a major draw for the world's business leaders.

6/07/2008 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Error Theory
Ocean oscillations are not masking global warming
the cooling is real


HT Rufus

6/07/2008 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

During times of rapid change survival and prosperity depends on being able to adapt. What I've got against the "Change" being offered by the left is that it is really a misleading name for its direct opposite, stasis.

Political correctness creates a de facto dogma in which things are done simply because they are scheduled to be done. If "Global Warming" is a sham then the next few decades will be spent curbing industrial output, imposing a morass of restrictions, creating regulatory roadblocks by the mountain; all costing billions for no apparent reason than to feed a fraud imagined under the name of the "precautionary principle". I daresay that most people know it's a fraud, we're all just unable to collectively articulate it.

In the meantime we exempt China and the Third world from all of those restrictions, despite the fact that this is where carbon demand, pollution and environmental degradation are growing the fastest. We've forgotten the marginal principles. I'm tempted to say that we've forgotten to put on our pants.

I fear a lot public policy decisions decisions today have no connection whatsoever with reality. We live in a society where YouTube refuses to pull al-Qaeda videos and Congress passes legislation to punish the US military from making an utterance which may make its way back to a US audience under the "ban on propaganda". We've got Human Rights Tribunals prosecuting Mark Steyn on behalf of a man representing one of the most retrograde ideologies on the planet. As the movie tagline goes, "This is madness! No. This is POLITICS!!!". And the pit set to swallow us up may be even deeper than the one which consumed the emissaries of the Persian King.

6/07/2008 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Change means no arguments allowed:

An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming is a concise and interesting contribution to the debate about the significance of global warming. According to its author, Nigel Lawson, the former British chancellor of the exchequer in the Thatcher years, it was a major struggle to find a publisher willing to publish something that ‘flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy’. Nevertheless, since finding a publisher, Lawson has done a reasonable job of attracting coverage for his arguments about the exaggerated, unnecessarily fearful stance that many are adopting with regard to the issue of global warming.

6/07/2008 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

nahncee wrote:

"Gas prices have now replaced immigration as my number one political priority, and I will vote for whatever candidate can present a viable plan to bring them down or at least to stabilize them. If that involves invading Saudi Arabia, then good. If it involves nationalizing the gas companies, I'm also willing to listen to that -- just as long as the airlines are nationalized at the very same time."

my, my , what a greedy little girl. Screw her principles and give her some cheap gas. Maybe a short skirt will make your life even easier.

6/07/2008 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Aslam said...

Guys,
There seems an unusual level of despair and helpless anger on the blog tonight.

Some thoughts to cheer you up --
1. Al Qaeda and the Muslim world are f*d. Even if they win against the U.S. they will lose. Why? Because without the sobering influence of Western society, Russia and China (and to a certain extent India) will rip the 'nads off the Muslims in short order. Seriously.

2. High and rising oil prices are a very good thing. They are necessary if we are to find ourselves to/in a new energy landscape. I'm not smart enough to know what this is or how it comes about. But there's simply too much money at stake now and so, in the near future (less than 3 years), you will see the emergence of more than two, perhaps even all, of the following:
(A) Demand for oil falling off meaningfully (more than 5% to 10%)as developed economies structurally and systemically reduce oil/gas consumption.
(B) More supply begins to come online -- this includes synthetic fuels
(C) Alternative energy cranks up. Yeah, I know all the limitations as well as the next guy. But, consider: we sent a man to the moon using slides rules and little else --- discovering entirely new materials and systems and technologies in less than a decade.
(D) Oil will be less than $30 per bbl

Imagine the upside boost to a global economy that simply begins to move away from oil. The world does not have to drop oil as a fuel source; all that's needed in the short term is that oil/gas begin to lose importance and a path to displacing them becomes more visible and credible.

That will be plenty to crater oil prices.

The market is sending crazy price signals. It feels like pain but nothing could be better for the development of new technologies and other ways and systems.

The market is doing us a favor and more than a few brave and smart folks stand to make a lot of money.

The bonus? Some hateful Arab economies will come unglued when that happens.

Now is the time to get excited about the future.

6/07/2008 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I have a question for Ash.

What happens when oil gets so expensive that trans-Pacific trade with China grinds to a halt with only a fraction of the current volume, and people out of work in China? What then? When people who were "rich" are now desperately poor?

Are the Chinese going to simply hug the earth and sing kumbayah while they starve? I doubt it. Good old fashioned Lebensraum/imperialist resource grabs will be the order of the day. Poor Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, etc. And wow, what a coinky-dink (as Curly would say). It solves their women problem too (selective sex abortion has left most Chinese men with no chance of sex let alone getting married -- and they're not going gay).

Out here, in the real world, cheap energy fuels the global economy. Which is coming to a grinding halt. At some point, some major power (my bet, China) will simply seize the ME and pump it dry. Why not? They have the men and the arms. That's the way Human History has always run.

Wretchard -- Obama is dreaming. He won't have the money to pay for this, and the move is monumentally stupid. He's telling Joe Sixpack "Stupid bitter clinger! Go off and die somewhere, we need money to save the Polar Bear and Robert Mugabe!"

Obama wants for example to slash the military budget to a shadow. This has the dual benefit of making America weak and helpless and humiliated (a beguiling prospect for a man of his background, essentially foreign, steeped in anti-Americanism, and disdainful of the country and it's traditions) and using that to throw (mostly white) middle and working class engineers, scientists, and skilled labor out of a job.

For a man like Obama, that last is like catnip. He wants to cancel the submarine building program, closing down the Groton CT shipyards. Putting the whole state in a downward spiral. Stupid.

Obama lives in fantasy land. His backers do as well [Obama is a "Lightworker" or enlighted, new-Age Jesus or somesuch.] He's not even serious about winning, he thinks his same BS skills can take him to the Presidency. He's arguing in a recession/depression with rising gas prices, Joe Sixpack does not deserve a break on gas taxes.

McCain at least can find his behind with either hand using a map and a flashlight, and offers a pander. Gas Tax holiday. Don't think it's not massively effective.

No one cares about foreigners, regardless if they are starving kids in Africa or needy dictator buddies of Obama like Mugabe or Castro. Down to their last billion or so. Because times are hard.

6/07/2008 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

If it involves nationalizing the gas companies, I'm also willing to listen to that --

Call Maxine Waters right now, she's your gal. She knows all about drilling, oil fields, discovery, recovery, how to allocate resources in the industry, how to lay a pipeline, where to place your bets to maximise profit, that sort of stuff. She's your gal.

6/07/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OPEC to Offer New, More Affordable ‘Demi-Barrel’

by Scott Ott

(2008-06-07) — With the price of crude oil near $140 per barrel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today introduced a new product to meet the growing demand for more affordable oil.

The new demi-barrel goes on sale Monday for only $90, yet it contains “the same high-quality petroleum in OPEC’s regular, 42-gallon barrel.”

An unnamed Saudi OPEC member said the demi-barrel contains “nearly 20-gallons of light, sweet crude, and is perfect for those occasions when a full barrel seems excessive or ostentatious.”

The inspiration for the demi-barrel apparently came from the coffee industry, which learned years ago that the size of the can bears no correlation with the weight of its contents, and thus allows for price flexibility that enhances marketing opportunities.

Sheik al-Bob
---
---
Lilith said...
Democrats are not being blamed for causing the price of gasoline to reach $4 a gallon, at least by the public and at least for now. Where Democrats have stumbled embarrassingly is in their campaign to persuade the public that the American oil industry is the chief culprit.

A Gallup national poll in May found only 20 percent blame the oil companies for gouging, down from 34 percent a year ago.

Where Republicans have succeeded is in selling their solution to soaring gas prices: drilling for oil offshore and on federal lands, areas now off limits. In the Gallup survey, support for drilling in precisely these areas jumped from 41 percent in 2007 to 57 percent in May.

6/07/2008 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

So here in Los Angeles we're looking at exploding gas prices, no air conditioning this summer and no swimming pools.

Life is tough! But there's always Idaho, where the men are equal to the mountains, and the women are true. Where we travel by horseback, use 'Idaho air conditioning' and bathe in the lakes and rivers.

6/07/2008 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Aslam said:

"High and rising oil prices are a very good thing. They are necessary if we are to find ourselves to/in a new energy landscape. I'm not smart enough to know what this is or how it comes about..."

I'm also not smart enough to figure out
how we'll find ourselves in a new energy
landscape. The problem with cheap
fossil fuels is it drives the whole economic machine. With the exception of nuclear energy, all of the alternatives are orders-of-magnitude more expensive than energy based upon fossil fuel. Ultimately the price of everything scales with the price of energy.

Aslam also said:

"Demand for oil falling off meaningfully (more than 5% to 10%)as developed economies structurally and systemically reduce oil/gas consumption."

This will probably be due to "demand destruction", i.e. because fuel becomes so expensive, more people will telecommute or walk to work (the economy will slow down). The cost of food also scales with the cost of energy due to the use of artificial fertilizers requiring large amounts of energy to produce. Thirty years ago, massive famines were predicted for the developing world. Those famines did not occur due to the "Green Revolution". The Green Revolution was a consequence of the large scale use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides in the developing world. We will soon observe a Green Counter-revolution where these artificial fertilizers go away. The massive famines that follow will represent another form of "demand destruction".

Aslam said:

"Alternative energy cranks up. Yeah, I know all the limitations as well as the next guy. But, consider: we sent a man to the moon using slides rules and little else --- discovering entirely new materials and systems and technologies in less than a decade."

"Alternative energy" as in nuclear energy will eventually save the day. However it takes years and billions of dollars to build a large nuclear reactor. For a smooth transition from fossil fuels to nuclear, we should have started this process thirty years ago but didn't because of the moonbats. Now we're screwed. Also the "we put man on the moon argument" does not follow. In current dollars, the American moon program cost about $200 billion dollars, required about 6 years to implement (1962-1968) and was built upon an active ballistic missile program that was already in place. To fully transition from fossil fuels to nuclear power will require trillions of dollars and at least two decades of building reactors as a crash program. Just to make things even more depressing: Is it reasonable to assume that B. Hussein if elected President would be interested in starting an Apollo Program style project of converting from fossil fuels to nuclear? To appease his moonbat political base, he would spend the first four years fiddling around with wind mills, photovolataics and other "green" energy solutions. We won't get serious about this problem until after hundreds of millions of people die from starvation and the world's economy is a mess.

6/07/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

We here in Idaho are in the process of - or going through the process of approval(it'll end up being approved)--building a nuke plant. It should power all of Idaho and some left over. Also, some of the waste heat is to be used in some sort of biofuel process.

I think all others states should be doing the same, and more, and like eggplant is saying, will sooner or later.

It's hard for me to cry about the Californians, when I think how they screwed their own pooch all these years, and not just on energy, pick nearly any topic you want. And Vegas? Hope they are getting exactly what they deserve.

6/07/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Ash,

That comment about the short skirt was uncalled for.

6/07/2008 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

It was also revealing Wretchard.

The mindset of "selfish middle class Americans" that are "ruining the planet" aka Obama's "White Man's greed creates a planet in need" is the problem.

First, it is not responsive to the global economic collapse under high energy prices. Alternative energy takes too long and won't fuel cheap freighters taking cheap Nikes to LA for fat profits and China's labor force gainfully employed. All those people around the Pearl River will become one Giant Chinese Hooverville, marching on Beijing in the replay of the Bonus Army.

But, for people like the Left "history" began this afternoon. So no worries.

Secondly, that argument (short skirt) is typical of what the Left/Dems and especially Obama offer ordinary Americans. "Lump it" is about the best it gets. That does not win votes and guarantees a populist explosion.

Let's review: cheap energy underpins the global economic expansion 1948-2000. Nearly sixty years of global peace and prosperity, give or take the odd recession or war here and there. Which allowed elites to stay entrenched and running things since the times were globally good and getting better.

Now expensive energy threatens the global economic system, by making emerging industrial nations like China and India DIRT POOR AGAIN!!! and Western nations a lot poorer. Obama and the Left believe "Lightworker" new age idiot rhetoric will convince Americans they are better off being materially poorer "to save the planet!" and because they are "greedy."

Best case: China or some other power seizes the ME and pumps it dry to buy time for the global economic system to find newer cheap energy to run freighters and planes. Atomic plants don't run either.

Worst case: global economic system simply collapses, China suffers chaos and simply seizes resources (including women) from it's neighbors, the world falls into the 1930's again. Only with nukes available to the least players.

6/07/2008 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Wiki:

Described as a Jeremiah by The Washington Post, Kunstler has been an outspoken critic of suburbia and urban development trends throughout the United States, and has been a leading proponent of the New Urbanism movement. According to Scott Carlson, reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kunstler's books on the subject have become "standard reading in architecture and urban planning courses".[3] He has summed up his attitude towards the current American landscape by describing it as follows:

“The tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work [is] … a land full of places that are not worth caring about [and] will soon be a nation and a way of life that is not worth defending.”

— James Kunstler

He has also written that:
“…[the] physical arrangement of life in our nation, in particular suburban sprawl, [is] the most destructive development pattern the world has ever seen, and perhaps the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known.”

— James Kunstler

He predicts the coming oil peak will have a catastrophic effect on society in his 2005 book The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes. He appeared in the documentary film The End of Suburbia (2004).

6/07/2008 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Whiskey_199 said...

"Best case: China or some other power seizes the ME and pumps it dry to buy time for the global economic system to find newer cheap energy to run freighters and planes. Atomic plants don't run either."

Whiskey_199 is correct in saying that nuclear power can not be used in freighters and planes. The solution to our current dilemma is two part, i.e. nuclear power and synthetic petroleum from coal. Coal and water are used as feed stocks with nuclear power providing the necessry energy for Fischer-Tropsch process (Sasol) synthetic petroleum production. We need to stop burning coal as an immediate fuel and conserve it for later use as a feed stock for synthetic petroleum. After the coal runs out, we will have to produce synthetic petroleum from biological sources.

6/07/2008 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Bobal - you prolly gots less Messicans in Idaho, too, huh?

You got room for how-ever million pissed-off Californians decide to immigrate to be your next-door neighbor this summer? And freeways?

Although with gas prices so high, maybe the freeways will get less nuts, which would be a Very Very Good Thing, Indeed.

6/07/2008 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Personally, I think $10/gallon is a good thing. It opens the door to many needed structural reforms, and hopefully closes the door on many harmful and debilitating conditions.

6/07/2008 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

PS - Bobal - not asking for sympathy for Californians. Just pointing out the wave of the future for the rest of America in flyover country vis-a-vis gas / water / power. The *immediate* future in the next few months for California, and I would think very soon after that for everyone else.

6/07/2008 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Methuselah - you one of them folks that think that riding in a car is harmful and debilitating, whereas walking is both healthier and environmentally greener? Not to mention making it easier for the polar bear's cousins to get to you for an quick afternoon snack.

I do *NOT* want to live like I'm in downtown Baghdad with no gasoline, no electricity, no water, marauding gangs from other countries stealing copper wiring and manhole covers, only rice for dinner, and with a camel parked in the spare room for transportation.

6/07/2008 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

NahnCee, I love you, but you're wrong. You're wrong because I think you're largely unaware of the things which I'm aware of. I dropped James Howard Kunstler's name here, for a reason. I hope I peaked your curiosity. :)

6/08/2008 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

Prolly do got less, but the ones we got all came from your way, across your open border. I'd be happy to send them back to you.

You all stay there. It's too damn boring here, no fast lanes. We got a saying here, welcome, now go home. Besides, there ain't no jobs, cept pickin'.

We got another sayin'. Don't Californicate.

And another. Clean up your own mess.

6/08/2008 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


You have been warned


Today, a prominent member of the Israeli government noticeably escalated a warning about the Iranian nuclear threat. This report from Reuters explains:

"If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

"Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable," said the former army chief who has also been defense minister.

Iranian-born Mofaz has been a main party rival of the Israeli prime minister, particularly following the 2006 elections when Olmert was forced to hand the defense portfolio to Labour, his main coalition partner, at Mofaz's expense.

6/08/2008 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Whiskey_199 is correct in saying that nuclear power can not be used in freighters and planes."
---
Eggplant:
Crazy idea struck me a few days ago.
(stimulated by carriers serving as mobile power stations for disaster areas)
--->
Floating Nuke Plants to power fleets of electric freighters connected by cable!
(freighters would have auxiliary Diesel generation capacity for port duty, storms, emergencies, etc)

6/08/2008 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The problem is not "peak oil" but trough government.

There is actually a lot of oil around at $45 bbl. That is where the market would trend if -- and this is a very big "if" -- we are allowed to produce it.

The places where most of this oil is found do not respect property rights and contracts. Venezuela nationalized oil companies twice: A half century ago and a couple months ago. Yet 12 years ago it would have seemed the perfect place to invest.

So after you risk billions of dollars and do all the work, you will be bought out, probably with some form of worthless coupon. And while you are finding the oil your workers will be kidnapped and equipment stolen or held ransom to sabotage. And they can't expect much sympathy in a world that veiws "Pemex" as the slotution, rather than an astoundingly corrupt sink hole for the dreams of a nation. The very model of "Trough government."

In the US, where maybe property rights might be respected (maybe) but the Pemex model may be the future, we know exactly where to find twenty billion barrels of oil but most of that is off limits. There is almost certainly another 80 billion barrels around that no one bothers to look for because when you find it you will not be allowed to produce it so why bother looking? You will not find the next mega field, you will discover the next wilderness area.

Trough government is the problem, folks, not peak oil.

As for alternative energy, some of those options become viable at $50 a bbl. I am not talking corn ethanol which, minus trough government, would not be in the running. But producing diesel from algae (Franken-algae!) is possible.

Also, there is a design for a "pebble bed reactor" for cargo ships. The reactor heats nitrogen to turn a turbine. Nitrogen is an inert gas and does not become radio active. Pebble bed reactors can also be used to produce hydrogen. At $100 bbl a lot of options are available -- not just your bicycle. And we are at 140 bucks. So why does the long term price of gas need to go to 5 bucks a gallon? Trough government.

And there are four or five "Fusion breakthroughs" that could occur in four or five years. I wouldn't bet on it but -- could happen.

6/08/2008 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I am surprised that no one has mentioned what a piece of work Schumer is. This is the guy who each year in the fall calls for oil to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to lower the costs of home heating oil. Of course, it will do no such thing, but it gives him cover for his refusal to vote for more drilling and aid the soon-to-be-freezing constituents in New York State.

Now, he is stopping the adding of oil to that Strategic Reserve. Wonder how he is going to explain that come October? I am sure he will think of something. Probably blame it on Iraq.

Has the Bush Admin moved out on an effective energy policy? No, not really but then Clinton did even less – after all, all that Oil For Food Money was pouring into Certain People’s pockets – including the fugitive briber Mark Rich, who duly paid his debt to Clinton from his share. But note that when Pres Bush tried to get a comprehensive energy policy through a few years back the Democrats yelled “Hey! This includes oil! We got no problem with oil! The problem is with electricity in California! That is what we should handle right now!”

The fact that he could do this, and that the Democrats could try to push through this ridiculous Cap and Trade bill, at this time of all times, shows just how desperately loony they have become.

And an “Energy Moonrace” would be a horrible idea. It ruined our space program, probably permanently and irrevocably. Govt can, on occasion, do things for ITSELF with a degree of competence and even success. It can do nothing for anyone else.

6/08/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

piqued - to stir up interest

peaked - attaining the top of Mt. Everest

piqued can also mean annoying - which is what people are doing when they are being coy and don't tell you what they're linking to or recommending

6/08/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

The future looks fairly gloomy from where I sit. If it were just one thing I could brush the gloom aside. But everything is falling apart, the center can't hold.

The worst is that I see no leadership anywhere. All of our leaders are just treading water.

This global warming scam is instructive. It is as if the Powers-that-Be are telling us the world's problems cannot be fixed so we will create an imaginary global problem to distract attention from what ails us.

Obamamania is pure flight of fancy, a unicorn to take us away to a magic place where the real problems in the real world can't harm us.

But the butcher's bill is coming.

6/08/2008 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Piqued it is. As in Peak Oil. :)

6/08/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

logger Wretchard said...

Ash,

That comment about the short skirt was uncalled for.

Would you rather I call it what it is? What do you call it when a crackhead abandons all principles, does what ever it takes, to keep on getting the prized substance? Theft, murder, prostitution. Nahncee's willing to invade, occupy, kill thousands, do whatever it takes, to get the oil and you are offending by the prospect of her wearing a short skirt. Weird ethical priorities for sure.

6/08/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

talnik wrote:

Has anyone investigated where the environmentalists get their money? Sure, some of it comes from my brother-in-law, but what about the Saudis and Chavez? They give money to the enviros, the enviros give it to the US politicians, and presto! No more US production! More money for them. A sound investment indeed."

That's a very astute comment. Grants, from foreign or domestic sources, are remarkalbly effective in leveraging NGO-higher education opinion and mission. You regularly see non-profits make a dramatic departure from mission to get a grant that will, if nothing else, keep the payroll going. Ïf you want to effect change, run a major foundation, call the tune, and watch the non-profits dance. Wasn't it Archimedes who said, "Give me a foundation and I'll make grants that will leverage the world"? Or some words to that effect.

Putting more government dollars in energy research, via NSF for example, would at least leverage the universities in an energy-producing direction. Researchers would be lining up to apply for the grants and we'd get some new knowledge transfers in return for our small investments.

TmjUtah makes the point that McCain isn't doing much to inspire the base. That's for sure. Maybe we can hope that his campaign managers are tuning in to this thread.

6/08/2008 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

There are viable technological solutions to the current problems -- but solutions like using nuclear power to "mine" oil from coal are not politically correct in certain circles. No matter -- the genie is out of the bottle. There are about 50 nations with nuclear power plants. Someone somewhere will take the step -- and thereby gain a giant advantage over those who refuse to move forward.

This has all happened before. China was the world's technological leader for centuries, until consciously freezing its own development in the 1400s. Europeans continued to progress, and ended up controlling China. It took 500 years for the Chinese to get back in the game.

Looks like western elites would like nothing better than to play the China role in the remake. Will western populations accept the role their betters have selected for them, or will there be French revolution-style elite blood in the gutters? Interesting times!

6/08/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"Nahncee's willing to invade, occupy, kill thousands, do whatever it takes, to get the oil.."

NahnCee is willing to do whatever it takes to survive.

Rights are not given, they are taken. Blacks don't have an inherit right to Africa. Whites don't have an inherit right to America. And Arabs certainly don't have an inherit right to oil.

6/08/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Steeple said...

lugh lampfhota said...

"This global warming scam is instructive. It is as if the Powers-that-Be are telling us the world's problems cannot be fixed so we will create an imaginary global problem to distract attention from what ails us."

How true; very nice synopsis.

My son just returned from a trip to Chicago, and mentioned that there are an estimated 100,000 gang members vs. 13,000 on the Chicago Police force. Maybe Sen. Obama could work on both the symptoms as well as the root causes of this before tackling global warming.

Separate, but related. I would love to see how this group comes down on the idea of some form of legalization of drugs. Don't jump down my throat too quickly; I abhor the thought of illegal drug use. But when one counts the cost of funding the drug dealers and what they are doing to our cities as well as countries like Mexico, we really ought to debate the merits of the path that we have been on for many, many years.

6/08/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Doug said:

"Floating Nuke Plants to power fleets of electric freighters connected by cable!
(freighters would have auxiliary Diesel generation capacity for port duty, storms, emergencies, etc)"

You can power ships directly with nuclear power. Years ago there was a prototype ship called the N.S. Savannah. The Soviets also made some prototype freighters. These ships were not commercially successful due to being almost unique and requiring special crews and tooling. If nuclear powered ships became more common then this economic constraint would go away. There is an important gotcha with the nuclear reactors used in American submarines and aircraft carriers, i.e. the nuclear fuel is bomb grade. The use of bomb grade uranium in a nuclear reactor makes it very small and light weight (an important feature for an attack submarine). Commerical reactors normally use uranium fuel of limited enrichment that is unusable in a nuclear weapon. There is the obvious proliferation problem in using bomb grade uranium in commercial ships.

However I do like the idea of placing nuclear reactors on floating platforms. Australia has some of the world's richest uranium deposits. I can see Australia getting into the nuclear reactor business in a big way. The Australians could manufacture the unfueled reactors in economically distressed places like Newcastle, NSW. Then tow the unfueled reactor structure to the customer city, build an artificial atoll around it, install a core and plug it into the local grid. As cores expired, they would be stored on the floating platform in a storage swimming pool. After the reactor reached the end of its useful life, it could be shutdown and towed to one of the semi-abandoned harbor towns in Northern Queensland, e.g. Normanton. There the reactor would have its depleted cores removed and transported to reprocessing facilities in uninhabited regions of central Australia. The structure itself would be low level radioactive waste. The structure could be transported inland on the Normanton River and hauled up onto land for permanent storage. There are also unihabited regions in Australia that are geologically dead Precambrian rock and ideal for permanent storage of radioactive waste. If they chose to, the Australians could position themselves to be the new Saudi Arabians based upon nuclear technology. The sweet part of this is they could do this in almost perfect safety by making use of near-worthless real estate in Northern Australia that is far from their populated areas. By following this path the Australians could remain prosperous long after their rich iron ore, coal and bauxite deposits have been mined out (this will happen in about 20 years).

6/08/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Lilith said...

Six posts for Nahncee, so much for Wretchard's request to keep the comments to three or four per thread.

Steeple: I would love to see how this group comes down on the idea of some form of legalization of drugs.

Why not, since we're only a few months away from the legalization of 12 million immigrants. In for a penny, in for a pound I always say.

Metuselah: Rights are not given, they are taken. Blacks don't have an inherit right to Africa. Whites don't have an inherit right to America. And Arabs certainly don't have an inherit right to oil.

None of the above. Rights are endowed by God, and protected by law. The rights of Arabs to their oil is enshrined in the principles of private property.

Hdgreene: Also, there is a design for a "pebble bed reactor" for cargo ships.

Lovely. And when these nuclear cargo ships transit the Malacca Strait or the Horn of Africa, they get hit by Islamoid pirates, who make some kids offload the uranium fuel for sale as dirty bomb material (not caring that the kids later die of radiation sickness, of course).

lugh lamphota: Obamamania is pure flight of fancy, a unicorn to take us away to a magic place where the real problems in the real world can't harm us. But the butcher's bill is coming.

The butcher's bill for Bushomania is 4000 US dead, 29,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi human beings dead, and millions uprooted.

6/08/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

Wretchard said, in a comment above:

Political correctness creates a de facto dogma in which things are done simply because they are scheduled to be done... I fear a lot public policy decisions decisions today have no connection whatsoever with reality."


It occurred to me on reading this that we may be seeing something happen to our political parties which started earlier and is already much further along in the case of the mainstream media.

After talk radio and blogging opened up the established practices of the mainstream media to popular scrutiny, it was easy to predict that the media would have to react rationally over time by moving towards the center politically and adopting a lower cost model before their loss of credibility trashed the value of their brands completely. Instead the big surprise has been to discover that most of them basically prefer extinction over adaptation, are well on the way to destroying their businesses and their jobs, and mostly just seem to get more determined to continue and move even further to the left as the process advances.

Similarly, as talk radio and blogging opened up the established practices of our political parties to scrutiny, it's easy to project that they will compete to renounce earmarking, to survive and adapt in the new environment. But perhaps, like the mainstream media, they won't adapt. Perhaps they, individually or as a structure firmly in place, cannot. Maybe they are going to hang on like some giant battleship holed below the waterline, settling evenly and firing away for some time, indulging as they are now in even more earmarking than ever before, until they just turn over and sink.

It doesn't seem that likely, but then it never seemed likely the mainstream media would react in the way they have. Nor does this mean we will in the end be left without either big media businesses or major political parties. They may just be different from the ones we have now.

6/08/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Nomenklatura said:

"After talk radio and blogging opened up the established practices of the mainstream media to popular scrutiny, it was easy to predict that the media would have to react rationally over time by moving towards the center politically and adopting a lower cost model before their loss of credibility trashed the value of their brands completely. Instead the big surprise has been to discover that most of them basically prefer extinction over adaptation, are well on the way to destroying their businesses and their jobs, and mostly just seem to get more determined to continue and move even further to the left as the process advances."

If the MSM was mainly driven by market forces then they should have moved towards the political center rather than face extinction. However it is my understanding that much of the MSM is/was owned by people with political agendas, i.e. Ted Turner. The commercial destruction of the "New York Times" is unimportant if the people controlling the NYT consider its value in dollars to be chump change. After the NYT folds, its former owners will buy the "Wall Street Journal" or some other respected publication and begin the process anew.

It's all about transforming money into political power.

6/08/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"Rights are endowed by God, and protected by law. The rights of Arabs to their oil is enshrined in the principles of private property."

1) There is no God. 2) When there is no protection afforded by the law, there is no law. 3) When I see a bill of sale presented by these Arabs for that oil, then maybe, we'll talk about the principles of private property, if I'm in the mood.

6/08/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Geez, I hate to have to footnote my rants. That will slow things down.

Peak oil is the theory that Oil Production has or will shortly peak and then decline. Demand for the stuff will will continue to grow, Leading to, you guessed it, rapid price rises for your fill up.

I was arguing that the risk premiums imposed by governments and some of our more litigious NGO's (as well as the violent ones)were the greater obstacle to oil exploration and production. If you risk billions developing a field (which may or may not produce a lot of oil) you don't want some government seizing it -- and in fact that is a risk even in the US (where they might forbid you to take out the oil or to build the pipelines and roads required).

Lilith, it will probably be China that builds these "nuclear powered" ships (if anyone) and the Chi-coms might turn nasty if their ships are messed with.

Now, I won't claim to be an expert on pebble bed reactors but here goes. The "pebbles" are actually tennis ball sized and made of ceramic around a hard graphite shell, and each one contains only a little low grade uranium in the center. The kids could actually carry them safely off the ship. You need about 300,000 packed together to get a good chain reaction going, which would happen mainly toward the center of the reactor.

I don't think most dirty bomb recipes call for uranium because it doesn't travel well. It is the contaminated material associated with most nuclear rectors (or medical waste) that can travel as soot and ash that would be preferred. The pebble bed rector actually produces little of that sort of stuff because the uranium is isolated in the graphite shell.

I'll work on the footnotes later.

6/08/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

lillith said: The butcher's bill for Bushomania is 4000 US dead, 29,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi human beings dead, and millions uprooted.

So lillith, you're ok with letting thugs ignore treaties, shoot at our aircraft, attempt to kill our leaders, commit genocide, pay suicide bombers while subverting Western business. Gee, I guess anything goes in your world.

Where the hell were we supposed to fight Al Qaeda? Mountainous landlocked Afghanistan where we can barely supply 50,000 troops?

We had to demonstrate that we could fight, bleed and finish the fight. Otherwise Americans would have been fair game everywhere. The thugs get it even though you and every democrat/marxist in this suicidal nation doesn't.

Our dead and wounded didn't make the sacrifice for Bush or his supporters. They do it for America.

And don't ask me to give one shit about any dead Iraqi. They don't respect their lives, so why the hell should I.

And how the hell do you uproot a bedouin?

6/08/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is Lilith related to Teresita?

6/08/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I should not say the children could safely carry the "pebbles" off the ship since there would obviously be health risk -- especially if they slept on top of them. The health risks of being associated with pirates is perhaps greater. These kids should be in school. When Sen. Obama is President -- wait, he probably said it better than I can. Let me see. I think it is filed under healing the planet and rolling back the tides...

6/08/2008 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

``it was easy to predict that the media would have to react rationally over time by moving towards the center politically.''

Indeed, what is the conservative excuse for failing to produce a news media it likes?

America is one of the world's freest countries and by some measures, the world's richest. Yet conservatives -- which can win elections at every level and have no problem dominating corporate boards -- can't produce a news media they're satisfied with.

Of course, the reality is that conservatives can and do produce plenty of news media -- from Fox, to the WSJ to rigidl conservative columnists at every major newspaper. The constant whining about a "liberal media'' is more a figment of their strident subjectivism.

Instead of complaining about the "liberal media" you'd think conservatives would be ashamed of their failure.

6/08/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I suppose Ash that India or China will take your words under advisement when they simply seize the oil.

Nations that have oil are relatively disorganized, tribal, low population, with ineffective militaries. Raise oil high enough and someone will come in and seize it. If it's not the US it will be India or China. Since they don't want to be poor again. This is reality.

As for Kunstler, good luck telling people they have to move from the suburbs where they are safe, in low crime areas, with their own backyards, in good schools, to an urban, crime-ridden hell-hole where mass transit = daily risk of assault or worse, by politically protected minorities. It is no accident that the death of Jim Crow coincided with the birth of suburbia, where whites could be isolated from Blacks and thus escape the predictable consequences of the death of Jim Crow.

Kunstler might even be right, but good luck telling millions of Middle Class Americans they are simply not "cool enough" to continue living in suburbs and must go back to say, Newark or Detroit and live in a hell-hole. Living in an environment of pollution, crime, filth and squalor.

The political price of high oil prices won't force people back into cities -- it will force armed intervention to simply seize oil and preserve suburbia. This is political reality.

But watch Democrats march like lemmings off the cliffs following the dream of being hipper and cooler than thou.

6/08/2008 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

McDaddyO said:

"what is the conservative excuse for failing to produce a news media it likes?"


You need to take a step back and gain some perspective. We are getting news media we can like, quite quickly. The traditional mainstream media are all collapsing inexorably. Meanwhile the independent voices of bloggers are gaining share at a rate which is, historical terms, very rapid.

Project these firmly established trends forward 20 years and you will see a mainstream media which chose extinction over adaptation. It's an odd choice, but it seems to be their choice.

I have seen it before though (e.g. nationalized industries in Western Europe, and Communist political parties in Eastern Europe).

6/08/2008 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Ash,

You can express your moral outrage without resorting to that kind of innuendo. I hope you don't think it would be alright for me to disparage your physical features in order to make a point. At any rate, by referring to the short skirt, you've described yourself just as well.

6/08/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Slate, Salon, and (esp) Huffington are far outstripping National Review, Weekly Standard, and etc in page views.
Only talk radio is dominated by conservatives.

6/08/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

ok. wretchard, if she whored herself for the oil it would be better than if she killed for it. Obviously she's willing to kill for it in order to get her hands on it but it is an open question as to whether or not she'd do other stuff as well.

6/08/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Rights are not given, they are taken. Blacks don't have an inherit right to Africa. Whites don't have an inherit right to America. And Arabs certainly don't have an inherit right to oil.

And by that logic Jews don't have any right to Israel, espcecially considering they took it from the Canaanites in the beginning. And the Germans were perfectly logical in thinking the whole world should belong to them. So I think this needs more thought.

6/08/2008 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I hate to get all prissy and school-marmish when Ash has whipped himself up into a lascivious lather over short skirts and sexist name-calling, but just for the record the word is "inherent", not "inherit".

6/08/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bob,

Israel wasn't given to Jews. What they have, they fought and died for. And they fought for longer and harder than any other group of people on this planet. And they are still fighting for it.

(NahnCee, Ash is a she. As is Ashley. I think W @ 03:51:00 PM picked up on that).

6/08/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

NahnCee,

On "inherent" vs "inherit". Granted, my ESL skills are just that, but I think 'inherit' was more towards my line of thinking and what I was trying to convey. See 05:23:00 PM.

6/08/2008 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Israel wasn't given to Jews

Right, they originally took it from the Canaanites,etc. and made up a fancy story about it all being God's will they do so. Anyone can make up such a story. The Germans did, many others have. The point is we were hoping to get away from that kind of logic, establish a law of nations, however imperfect, and put an end to this might makes right stuff. Grotius was one of the first to think it possible. Under the law of the fish outlook, Israel has a right, until someone mightier comes along, regardless of all the history, and sweat blood and tears, and the fact they have a sane society. I think Israel has a right now, based on all that, but not to, say, Jordan. The EU has finally come to Grotius' way of thinking, thankfully, thus it's unlikey that Germany will try to gobble up anyone again, or that France will annex Belgium. I think this is progress.

6/08/2008 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"The point is we were hoping to get away from that kind of logic, establish a law of nations.."

No, the point was an attempt to freeze time. Yesterday's fat cats want to be today's fat cats be tomorrows fat cats. But that's not how it works. The musical chair game will continue, whether you like it or not, or whether Jordan likes it or not, or Syria, or Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudia, etc.

There are no inherit rights.

6/08/2008 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

No, the point was an attempt to freeze time.

No, the point was to enshrine negotiation, voting and consent. And mutual benefit.

6/08/2008 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

So when Texas votes out, then what happens?

6/08/2008 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Let me guess. You stick them with bill they can't afford to pay, and then come to collect.

6/08/2008 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

:)

There's a good question, which was already decided once. Here's another. Why should the United States support Israel, which has no oil, when supporting Israel tends to tick the arabs off, who do have oil? If the benefit to one's own group is the only consideration, why not throw Israel under the bus, as Obama may do? Which I hope we never do.

As to Texas or some other state wanting out, the transcending slavery question being settled, one would think it might be discussed. However, it is unlikey to happen, as our country to so intertwined now, in all sorts of ways, that the question is of academic interest, and isn't likely to be seriously considered, by the Texans or anyone else. What if the folk of northern Israel want to split the sheets from the people of southern Israel, what then? If they can pull it off militarily, well, it's their 'right'. But they are unlikely to want to do so.

I've always been in favor of amicable divorces, if the parties wish. Or if one of the parties wishes.

6/08/2008 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

If we keep letting Mexicans wander into Texas, California, Arizona, then they may well want a divorce one of these days. A most shortsighted policy on our part.

6/08/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"If the benefit to one's own group is the only consideration, why not throw Israel under the bus, as Obama may do?"

Support for Israel was predicated on an anti Soviet alliance. But that was then.

As for throwing Israel under the bus, I think we can be much more creative than that. Now, before you protest, let me force you to accept a pack of serial killers living in the bedroom next door to yours and which have complete immunity, are subsidized and maintained there by me, and are sharpening their knifes waiting for you to doze off, which inevitably you know you're bound to do. How's that for an academic exercise?

6/08/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

It's not a situation I would want to be in, but would you rather many of the arab countries were being supported by Russia, and China? They may be in the future. The United States has been more even handed that they might be, I would argue. We have been upholding the idea Israel has a right to exist, that might does not make right.

Texas is my academic exercise. For now, anyway.

6/08/2008 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

There are certain commenters here casting nasty references to other commenters as violators of Wretchard's request to self-govern...

A mean-spirited person might opine that some of those casting the aspersions are highly suspicious types themselves. There is one in particular that appears to be a CGI construct. If we start demanding proof of personhood, the whole thing falls apart.

I am less concerned about the number or length of posts than the ideational content of those posts.

Some posts say much with a few ascii characters, other ramble at great length and leave me more confused than enlightened.

6/08/2008 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"..would you rather.."

That's a false choice. Only a candidate for an insane asylum would accept it. For me, the only rational choice is to burn down the insane asylum and everyone in it.

6/08/2008 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

I certainly agree the arab world is nuts.

6/08/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Then it's time to strike the match.

6/08/2008 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

mad fiddler wrote:

"I am less concerned about the number or length of posts than the ideational content of those posts."

oh yes, lets promote group think - no dissention please.

6/09/2008 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

NahnCee, Ash is a she. As is Ashley.

Damn, but I hate it a lot when a female posts stuff even stupider than the males do.

6/09/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

If you haven't noticed Mats lives in a fantasy world. I find it remarkable, and misogynist, when asserting someone is female is considered an insult. Gives an indicationo of intellectual capacity as well.

6/09/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

bobal: As to Texas or some other state wanting out, the transcending slavery question being settled, one would think it might be discussed. However, it is unlikey to happen, as our country to so intertwined now, in all sorts of ways, that the question is of academic interest, and isn't likely to be seriously considered, by the Texans or anyone else.

Indeed, the entire globe is rapidly becoming that way. As I've pointed out before, even if we could effectively seal our borders tomorrow it wouldn't make a dime's worth of difference in stopping the slow disintegration of American culture in the face of globalized tribalism. To have a prayer of doing that, we'd also have to shut down the Internet and other global-reach media as well, and that's just not going to happen, with or without a nasty fight.

6/09/2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"..as our country to so intertwined now, in all sorts of ways.."

Only in one way. OIL. And when that's over, so the project of Globalism and Empire, as everything is dependent on cheap and abundant 710.

6/10/2008 10:25:00 AM  

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