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3701  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A really great photo thanks.eom on: May 25, 2008, 10:22:59 AM
eom
3702  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This is wishful thinking on the part of the NYT on: May 25, 2008, 10:11:47 AM
McCain was interviewed by Shawn Hannity and he answered all questions brilliantly.   If he keeps this up the difference between BO and him will be plain for all to see.  The undecideds will pick him in November.
3703  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: May 24, 2008, 04:01:24 PM
****Jessica Back in Country on Multiple Levels

05/23/2008 5:58 PM, E! Online
Jessica Simpson hopped off her flight from Mexico and jumped right back to work.
The pop star, who returned to Los Angeles yesterday after spending a few days unwinding (from what, we wonder) with her family south of the border, apparently isn't in the mood for more R&R.
She was on the move today, making a quick stop at a Marriott hotel in Sherman Oaks and then holing up in a West Hollywood recording studio.
A source close to the songstress told E! News that Simpson planned to spend six to eight hours at the studio working on material for a "country crossover" album.
Sounds about right for a little lady who's been suspiciously without her Cowboy for awhile.****

My guess.  A group of crooks stole her the "material" got her up to the studio ASAP to record it in secret before someone else can steal it.  I just hope the lyrics are not Katherine's.  And Simpson the dope she appears to be gets the singing credits.  Somehow her and her poppa have an "in" in the "business".  It ain't because he's a genius and obviously not she.
3704  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Woops I forgot the link - here it is - my apologies on: May 24, 2008, 06:38:48 AM
http://www.presidential-candidate-videos.com/watch/?vid=30802
3705  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A tale of two Alans - Keyes and Dershowitz on: May 24, 2008, 06:35:03 AM
By the way.  With regards to Keyes and Dershowitz I recall a debate between these two some years back.

I haven't actually tried this link but hopefully it works if you have the time and the interest.

I thought Dershowitz won hands down.  He shot Alan's arguments full of holes, and ran circles around him.  I would be the first to say he was superb!

On the other hand I know someone who was a law student at Harvard and I recall asking him what it was like to study with some of the world's great minds.  I specifically asked about Dershowitz.  The response took me by surprise:

"What a pompous jerk".
3706  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 24, 2008, 06:15:40 AM
Hi Rachel

Thanks for the good points.

That the Iraq invasion was risky was the opinion of some people - true.  Just look at Pat Buchanan.  He was against it from day 1.

Yet Israel still factored in the equation to invade.  Neocons some of whom are Jewish certainly thought that toppling Iraq would give the US a bulkhead against Iran and Syria.  So the intent was certainly there though the result so far, has not gone as planned.  Unless we shrink from it now which BO certainly wants to do IMO.   BO is trying to back track now but there is absolutely no similarity to MCCain iron resolve to win this.  Some people do think accepting our losses, and retreating now may be our best option.  Americans will have to decide which direction to take and the lines are drawn.

As for Dershowitz I saw this quote too the other day. I was surprised.  I would say it is the first time in decades I have ever heard him say anything positive about a Republican.

Your points are valid but as matter of opinion I still stand on mine.   
3707  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 22, 2008, 10:50:30 PM
 ***Did Bush risk American lives and his political life to save Jews?***

Yes, I think that was part of the calculation in invading Iraq.  Obviously it hasn't worked as well as thought, but he certainly is risking American lives right now.   And I think if he had more political backing he would bomb the shit out of Iran's nuclear facilities, but America has turned weak.

******Would McCain?***   

In my mind I believe he would, absolutely.

As for Alan Dershowitz he can't see without his Democrat/liberal colored glasses.  So of course he will back the Democrat - he *always* does.  I have never heard him say a kind word for any Republican.  He could be an editorialist for the NYT.

Is/was Bush terrible for the country?  All I can say is the whole Republican party has been a disgrace the last 5 years - since 911 IMO.  I am a truly disappointed Republican. 
3708  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IMO dont' believe BO cares about Jews. on: May 22, 2008, 09:51:39 AM
Rachel,

It is great to have another opinion on this board.  Thanks for you ideas. Smiley

"And so he has"

Or, so he and his Jewish supporters are trying to claim.  And this may be true!  But it remains to be seen.

Personally, I don't trust this guy.  He has a long history of being a very liberal guy trying to move to the center.  He also has a long history of associating with those who are, lets say it gently, not fond of Jews, or Israel.

A person's historical actions, beliefs, and the way that they have lived are far far more characteristic of their true beliefs than any expedient things they say for political purposes.  Could he truly have altered his beliefs?  I doubt it.  Will he truly strive to work towards protecting Israel once elected? Maybe.  Will he negotiate with Israel's enemies?  Almost certainly he will.  Will this be good for Israel?  That is the great question.  It ain't his life in danger if Iran unleashes nuclear weapons on Israel.  It ain't his life on the line by *trusting* Iran whose total history is hell bent on driving Jews out of Israel - dead or alive.

Do you think he will really risk American lives and his political life to save Jews?  I am to say the least, very, very skeptical.  I feel Israel was far safer with Bush/Cheney then the left.  Just my opinion.  But as we speak Iran is closing in on nucs.  And all the talking has done nothing to stop that - nor will it.  Only a political collapse from within Iran or war will stop this IMO. 
3709  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "End of cheap Oil" - Part 2 on: May 22, 2008, 09:27:24 AM
We have used other methods to estimate the ultimate recovery of conventional oil for each country [see box on next two pages], and we calculate that the oil industry will be able to recover only about another 1,000 billion barrels of conventional oil. This number, though great, is little more than the 800 billion barrels that have already been extracted.

It is important to realize that spending more money on oil exploration will not change this situation. After the price of crude hit all-time highs in the early 1980s, explorers developed new technology for finding and recovering oil, and they scoured the world for new fields. They found few: the discovery rate continued its decline uninterrupted. There is only so much crude oil in the world, and the industry has found about 90 percent of it.

Predicting when oil production will stop rising is relatively straightforward once one has a good estimate of how much oil there is left to produce. We simply apply a refinement of a technique first published in 1956 by M. King Hubbert. Hubbert observed that in any large region, unrestrained extraction of a finite resource rises along a bellshaped curve that peaks when about half the resource is gone. To demonstrate his theory, Hubbert fitted a bell curve to production statistics and projected that crude oil production in the lower 48 U.S. states would rise for 13 more years, then crest in 1969, give or take a year. He was right: production peaked in 1970 and has continued to follow Hubbert curves with only minor deviations. The flow of oil from several other regions, such as the former Soviet Union and the collection of all oil producers outside the Middle East, also follows Hubbert curves quite faithfully.

The global picture is more complicated, because the Middle East members of OPEC deliberately reined back their oil exports in the 1970s, while other nations continued producing at full capacity. Our analysis reveals that a number of the largest producers, including Norway and the U.K., will reach their peaks around the turn of the millennium unless they sharply curtail production. By 2002 or so the world will rely on Middle East nations, particularly five near the Persian Gulf (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), to fill in the gap between dwindling supply and growing demand. But once approximately 900 Gbo have been consumed, production must soon begin to fall. Barring a global recession, it seems most likely that world production of conventional oil will peak during the first decade of the 21st century.

Perhaps surprisingly, that prediction does not shift much even if our estimates are a few hundred billion barrels high or low. Craig Bond Hatfield of the University of Toledo, for example, has conducted his own analysis based on a 1991 estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey of 1,550 Gbo remaining—55 percent higher than our figure. Yet he similarly concludes that the world will hit maximum oil production within the next 15 years. John D. Edwards of the University of Colorado published last August one of the most optimistic recent estimates of oil remaining: 2,036 Gbo. (Edwards concedes that the industry has only a 5 percent chance of attaining that very high goal.) Even so, his calculations suggest that conventional oil will top out in 2020.

Factors other than major economic changes could speed or delay the point at which oil production begins to decline. Three in particular have often led economists and academic geologists to dismiss concerns about future oil production with naive optimism.

First, some argue, huge deposits of oil may lie undetected in far-off corners of the globe. In fact, that is very unlikely. Exploration has pushed the frontiers back so far that only extremely deep water and polar regions remain to be fully tested, and even their prospects are now reasonably well understood. Theoretical advances in geochemistry and geophysics have made it possible to map productive and prospective fields with impressive accuracy. As a result, large tracts can be condemned as barren. Much of the deepwater realm, for example, has been shown to be absolutely nonprospective for geologic reasons.

What about the much touted Caspian Sea deposits? Our models project that oil production from that region will grow until around 2010. We agree with analysts at the USGS World Oil Assessment program and elsewhere who rank the total resources there as roughly equivalent to those of the North Sea that is, perhaps 50 Gbo but certainly not several hundreds of billions as sometimes reported in the media.

A second common rejoinder is that new technologies have steadily increased the fraction of oil that can be recovered from fields in a basin—the so-called recovery factor. In the 1960s oil companies assumed as a rule of thumb that only 30 percent of the oil in a field was typically recoverable; now they bank on an average of 40 or 50 percent. That progress will continue and will extend global reserves for many years to come, the argument runs.

Of course, advanced technologies will buy a bit more time before production starts to fall [see "Oil Production in the 21st Century," by Roger N. Anderson, on page 86]. But most of the apparent improvement in recovery factors is an artifact of reporting. As oil fields grow old, their owners often deploy newer technology to slow their decline. The falloff also allows engineers to gauge the size of the field more accurately and to correct previous underestimation—in particular P90 estimates that by definition were 90 percent likely to be exceeded.

Another reason not to pin too much hope on better recovery is that oil companies routinely count on technological progress when they compute their reserve estimates. In truth, advanced technologies can offer little help in draining the largest basins of oil, those onshore in the Middle East where the oil needs no assistance to gush from the ground.

Last, economists like to point out that the world contains enormous caches of unconventional oil that can substitute for crude oil as soon as the price rises high enough to make them profitable. There is no question that the resources are ample: the Orinoco oil belt in Venezuela has been assessed to contain a staggering 1.2 trillion barrels of the sludge known as heavy oil. Tar sands and shale deposits in Canada and the former Soviet Union may contain the equivalent of more than 300 billion barrels of oil [see "Mining for Oil," by Richard L. George, on page 84]. Theoretically, these unconventional oil reserves could quench the world’s thirst for liquid fuels as conventional oil passes its prime. But the industry will be hard-pressed for the time and money needed to ramp up production of unconventional oil quickly enough

Such substitutes for crude oil might also exact a high environmental price. Tar sands typically emerge from strip mines. Extracting oil from these sands and shales creates air pollution. The Orinoco sludge contains heavy metals and sulfur that must be removed. So governments may restrict these industries from growing as fast as they could. In view of these potential obstacles, our skeptical estimate is that only 700 Gbo will be produced from unconventional reserves over the next 60 years.

Meanwhile global demand for oil is currently rising at more than 2 percent a year. Since 1985, energy use is up about 30 percent in Latin America, 40 percent in Africa and 50 percent in Asia. The Energy Information Administration forecasts that worldwide demand for oil will increase 60 percent (to about 40 Gbo a year) by 2020.

The switch from growth to decline in oil production will thus almost certainly create economic and political tension. Unless alternatives to crude oil quickly prove themselves, the market share of the OPEC states in the Middle East will rise rapidly. Within two years, these nations’ share of the global oil business will pass 30 percent, nearing the level reached during the oil-price shocks of the 1970s. By 2010 their share will quite probably hit 50 percent.

The world could thus see radical increases in oil prices. That alone might be sufficient to curb demand, flattening production for perhaps 10 years. (Demand fell more than 10 percent after the 1979 shock and took 17 years to recover.) But by 2010 or so, many Middle Eastern nations will themselves be past the midpoint. World production will then have to fall.

With sufficient preparation, however, the transition to the post-oil economy need not be traumatic. If advanced methods of producing liquid fuels from natural gas can be made profitable and scaled up quickly, gas could become the next source of transportation fuel [see "Liquid Fuels from Natural Gas," by Safaa A. Fouda, on page 92]. Safer nuclear power, cheaper renewable energy, and oil conservation programs could all help postpone the inevitable decline of conventional oil.

Countries should begin planning and investing now. In November a panel of energy experts appointed by President Bill Clinton strongly urged the administration to increase funding for energy research by $1 billion over the next five years. That is a small step in the right direction, one that must be followed by giant leaps from the private sector.

The world is not running out of oil—at least not yet. What our society does face, and soon, is the end of the abundant and cheap oil on which all industrial nations depend.
How Much Oil is Left to Find?

We combined several techniques to conclude that about 1,000 billion barrels of conventional oil remain to be produced. First, we extrapolated published production figures for older oil fields that have begun to decline. The Thistle field off the coast of Britain, for example, will yield about 420 million barrels (a). Second, we plotted the amount of oil discovered so far in some regions against the cumulative number of exploratory wells drilled there. Because larger fields tend to be found first-they are simply too large to miss-the curve rises rapidly and then flattens, eventually reaching a theoretical maximum: for Africa, 192 Gbo. But the time and cost of exploration impose a more practical limit of perhaps 165 Gbo (b). Third, we analyzed the distribution of oil-field sizes in the Gulf of Mexico and other provinces. Ranked according to size and then graphed on a logarithmic scale, the fields tend to fall along a parabola that grows predictably over time (c). (Interestingly, galaxies, urban populations and other natural agglomerations also seem to fall along such parabolas.) Finally, we checked our estimates by matching our projections for oil production in large areas, such as the world outside the Persian Gulf region, to the rise and fall of oil discovery in those places decades earlier (d).
-C.J.C. and J.H.L
The Authors

COLIN J. CAMPBELL and JEAN H. LAHERRÈRE have each worked in the oil industry for more than 40 years. After completing his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Oxford, Campbell worked for Texaco as an exploration geologist and then at Amoco as chief geologist for Ecuador. His decade-long study of global oil-production trends has led to two books and numerous papers. Laherrère’s early work on seismic refraction surveys contributed to the discovery of Africa’s largest oil field. At Total, a French oil company, he supervised exploration techniques worldwide. Both Campbell and Laherrère are currently associated with Petroconsultants in Geneva.

3710  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Foretelling-"end of Cheap Oil" Scietific American 1998/part1 on: May 22, 2008, 09:26:27 AM
I recall reading this 10 years ago.  In fact I may have posted it on the old Gilder board as an "OT" thread   Mr. Campbell predicted we were going to start having big problems before 2010 which, at the time, was sooner then most were thinking.
I think the cyclical nature of the availibility of oil is still in play but that we are in the top of the cycle until we start extracting more from the oil sands in Canada and other places like from the very deep ocean deposits being discovered off of Brazil, and the Arctic circle. 

This Scientific article in its foretelling is like the Scientific American article that foretold that a Hurricane in New Orleans has the potential to be the biggest natural US disaster.  Scientific A was right on again! 

THE END OF CHEAP OIL

by Colin J. Campbell and Jean H. Laherrère,
Scientific American, March 1998
(This article is available in a PDF format almost identical to the original)
wpe1.jpg (34570 bytes)
Derricks bristling above the Los Angeles basin.

In 1973 and 1979 a pair of sudden price increases rudely awakened the industrial world to its dependence on cheap crude oil. Prices first tripled in response to an Arab embargo and then nearly doubled again when Iran dethroned its Shah, sending the major economies sputtering into recession. Many analysts warned that these crises proved that the world would soon run out of oil. Yet they were wrong.

Their dire predictions were emotional and political reactions; even at the time, oil experts knew that they had no scientific basis. Just a few years earlier oil explorers had discovered enormous new oil provinces on the north slope of Alaska and below the North Sea off the coast of Europe. By 1973 the world had consumed, according to many experts’ best estimates, only about one eighth of its endowment of readily accessible crude oil (so-called conventional oil). The five Middle Eastern members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were able to hike prices not because oil was growing scarce but because they had managed to corner 36 percent of the market. Later, when demand sagged, and the flow of fresh Alaskan and North Sea oil weakened OPEC’s economic stranglehold, prices collapsed.

The next oil crunch will not be so temporary. Our analysis of the discovery and production of oil fields around the world suggests that within the next decade, the supply of conventional oil will be unable to keep up with demand. This conclusion contradicts the picture one gets from oil industry reports, which boasted of 1,020 billion barrels of oil (Gbo) in "Proved" reserves at the start of 1998. Dividing that figure by the current production rate of about 23.6 Gbo a year might suggest that crude oil could remain plentiful and cheap for 43 more years—probably longer, because official charts show reserves growing.

Unfortunately, this appraisal makes three critical errors. First, it relies on distorted estimates of reserves. A second mistake is to pretend that production will remain constant. Third and most important, conventional wisdom erroneously assumes that the last bucket of oil can be pumped from the ground just as quickly as the barrels of oil gushing from wells today. In fact, the rate at which any well—or any country—can produce oil always rises to a maximum and then, when about half the oil is gone, begins falling gradually back to zero.

From an economic perspective, when the world runs completely out of oil is thus not directly relevant: what matters is when production begins to taper off. Beyond that point, prices will rise unless demand declines commensurately.

Using several different techniques to estimate the current reserves of conventional oil and the amount still left to be discovered, we conclude that the decline will begin before 2010.
wpe2.jpg (24866 bytes)

    FLOW OF OIL starts to fall from any large region when about half the crude is gone. Adding the output of fields of various sizes and ages (green curves above) usually yields a bell-shaped production curve for the region as a whole. M. King Hubbert, a geologist with Shell Oil, exploited this fact in 1956 to predict correctly that oil from the lower 48 American states would peak around 1969.

We have spent most of our careers exploring for oil, studying reserve figures and estimating the amount of oil left to discover, first while employed at major oil companies and later as independent consultants. Over the years, we have come to appreciate that the relevant statistics are far more complicated than they first appear.

Consider, for example, three vital numbers needed to project future oil production. The first is the tally of how much oil has been extracted to date, a figure known as cumulative production. The second is an estimate of reserves, the amount that companies can pump out of known oil fields before having to abandon them. Finally, one must have an educated guess at the quantity of conventional oil that remains to be discovered and exploited. Together they add up to ultimate recovery, the total number of barrels that will have been extracted when production ceases many decades from now.

The obvious way to gather these numbers is to look them up in any of several publications. That approach works well enough for cumulative production statistics because companies meter the oil as it flows from their wells. The record of production is not perfect (for example, the two billion barrels of Kuwaiti oil wastefully burned by Iraq in 1991 is usually not included in official statistics), but errors are relatively easy to spot and rectify. Most experts agree that the industry had removed just over 800 Gbo from the earth at the end of 1997.

Getting good estimates of reserves is much harder, however. Almost all the publicly available statistics are taken from surveys conducted by the Oil and Gas Journal and World Oil. Each year these two trade journals query oil firms and governments around the world. They then publish whatever production and reserve numbers they receive but are not able to verify them.

The results, which are often accepted uncritically, contain systematic errors. For one, many of the reported figures are unrealistic. Estimating reserves is an inexact science to begin with, so petroleum engineers assign a probability to their assessments. For example, if, as geologists estimate, there is a 90 percent chance that the Oseberg field in Norway contains 700 million barrels of recoverable oil but only a 10 percent chance that it will yield 2,500 million more barrels, then the lower figure should be cited as the so-called P90 estimate (P90 for "probability 90 percent") and the higher as the P10 reserves.

In practice, companies and countries are often deliberately vague about the likelihood of the reserves they report, preferring instead to publicize whichever figure, within a P10 to P90 range, best suits them. Exaggerated estimates can, for instance, raise the price of an oil company’s stock.
wpe5.jpg (20529 bytes)

        SUSPICIOUS JUMP in reserves reported by six OPEC members added 300 billion barrels of oil to official reserve tallies yet followed no major discovery of new fields.

The members of OPEC have faced an even greater temptation to inflate their reports because the higher their reserves, the more oil they are allowed to export. National companies, which have exclusive oil rights in the main OPEC countries, need not (and do not) release detailed statistics on each field that could be used to verify the country’s total reserves. There is thus good reason to suspect that when, during the late 1980s, six of the 11 OPEC nations increased their reserve figures by colossal amounts, ranging from 42 to 197 percent, they did so only to boost their export quotas.

Previous OPEC estimates, inherited from private companies before governments took them over, had probably been conservative, P90 numbers. So some upward revision was warranted. But no major new discoveries or technological breakthroughs justified the addition of a staggering 287 Gbo. That increase is more than all the oil ever discovered in the U.S.—plus 40 percent. Non-OPEC countries, of course, are not above fudging their numbers either: 59 nations stated in 1997 that their reserves were unchanged from 1996. Because reserves naturally drop as old fields are drained and jump when new fields are discovered, perfectly stable numbers year after year are implausible.
wpe3.jpg (53494 bytes)

    GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF OIL both conventional and unconventional (red), recovered after falling in 1973 and 11979. But a more permanent decline is less than 10 years away, according to the authors’ model, based in part on multiple Hubbert curves (lighter lines). U.S. and Canadian oil (brown) topped out in 1972; production in the former Soviet Union (yellow) has fallen 45 percent since 1987. A crest in the oil produced outside the Persian Gulf region (purple) now appears imminent.

Another source of systematic error in the commonly accepted statistics is that the definition of reserves varies widely from region to region. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission allows companies to call reserves "proved" only if the oil lies near a producing well and there is "reasonable certainty" that it can be recovered profitably at current oil prices, using existing technology. So a proved reserve estimate in the U.S. is roughly equal to a P90 estimate.

Regulators in most other countries do not enforce particular oil-reserve definitions. For many years, the former Soviet countries have routinely released wildly optimistic figures—essentially P10 reserves. Yet analysts have often misinterpreted these as estimates of "proved" reserves. World Oil reckoned reserves in the former Soviet Union amounted to 190 Gbo in 1996, whereas the Oil and Gas Journal put the number at 57 Gbo. This large discrepancy shows just how elastic these numbers can be.

Using only P90 estimates is not the answer, because adding what is 90 percent likely for each field, as is done in the U.S., does not in fact yield what is 90 percent likely for a country or the entire planet. On the contrary, summing many P90 reserve estimates always understates the amount of proved oil in a region. The only correct way to total up reserve numbers is to add the mean, or average, estimates of oil in each field. In practice, the median estimate, often called "proved and probable," or P50 reserves, is more widely used and is good enough. The P50 value is the number of barrels of oil that are as likely as not to come out of a well during its lifetime, assuming prices remain within a limited range. Errors in P50 estimates tend to cancel one another out.

We were able to work around many of the problems plaguing estimates of conventional reserves by using a large body of statistics maintained by Petroconsultants in Geneva. This information, assembled over 40 years from myriad sources, covers some 18,000 oil fields worldwide. It, too, contains some dubious reports, but we did our best to correct these sporadic errors.

According to our calculations, the world had at the end of 1996 approximately 850 Gbo of conventional oil in P50 reserves—substantially less than the 1,019 Gbo reported in the Oil and Gas Journal and the 1,160 Gbo estimated by World Oil. The difference is actually greater than it appears because our value represents the amount most likely to come out of known oil fields, whereas the larger number is supposedly a cautious estimate of proved reserves.

For the purposes of calculating when oil production will crest, even more critical than the size of the world’s reserves is the size of ultimate recovery—all the cheap oil there is to be had. In order to estimate that, we need to know whether, and how fast, reserves are moving up or down. It is here that the official statistics become dangerously misleading.
wpe4.jpg (23180 bytes)

    GROWTH IN OIL RESERVES since 1980 is an illusion caused by belated corrections to oil-field estimates. Backdating the revisions to the year in which the fields were discovered reveals that reserves have been failing because of a steady decline in newfound oil (blue).

According to most accounts, world oil reserves have marched steadily upward over the past 20 years. Extending that apparent trend into the future, one could easily conclude, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration has, that oil production will continue to rise unhindered for decades to come, increasing almost two thirds by 2020.

Such growth is an illusion. About 80 percent of the oil produced today flows from fields that were found before 1973, and the great majority of them are declining. In the 1990s oil companies have discovered an average of seven Gbo a year; last year they drained more than three times as much. Yet official figures indicated that proved reserves did not fall by 16 Gbo, as one would expect rather they expanded by 11 Gbo. One reason is that several dozen governments opted not to report declines in their reserves, perhaps to enhance their political cachet and their ability to obtain loans. A more important cause of the expansion lies in revisions: oil companies replaced earlier estimates of the reserves left in many fields with higher numbers. For most purposes, such amendments are harmless, but they seriously distort forecasts extrapolated from published reports.

To judge accurately how much oil explorers will uncover in the future, one has to backdate every revision to the year in which the field was first discovered—not to the year in which a company or country corrected an earlier estimate. Doing so reveals that global discovery peaked in the early 1960s and has been falling steadily ever since. By extending the trend to zero, we can make a good guess at how much oil the industry will ultimately find.

3711  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 20, 2008, 10:34:33 PM
**explaining why he doesn’t think we need to worry about “tiny” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran**

BO doesn't say it, but he also thinking Israel in the same sentence.

A nuclear Iran will likely spur a regional arms race:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668683868&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
3712  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New Contract with America on: May 18, 2008, 09:08:06 AM
Doug,

I like your list better than Newt's!  I have changed my mind and agree with those who are calling for a new contract with America if the Republicans could even have *any* hope of convincing voters to vote for them again.  This seems at this time to be the best hope to stave off a complete election disaster in November.

The Republicans led by that crook Tom Delay who as far as I am concerned should be in jail have really let me down.

Problem is is what good is a Republican contract if they will no longer have any power to get any of it done.  Or worse Democrats will pass some of it and claim it was their idea like Clinton does with Welfare reform.   Some Blacks love him for welfare reform yet he was the biggest obstacle to it early on until he saw the national polls favored reform.  Then and only then did the poll driven President jump on the bandwagon.
3713  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BO and sworn to the death enemies of Israel on: May 18, 2008, 08:59:17 AM
****So why is he meeting with one of Hezbollah's most important imams and agents in America, Imam Hassan Qazwini?****

At *best* its because he thinks some "genius argument" is going to convince our enemies they have been wrong all along.
At *worst* it is because he agrees with the Farrakan/Hymietown anti-Jewish wing of the Black "community" who he obviously adores, and that he also hates Jews.

At this point I am leaning closer to the *worst* hypothesis than I am the *best* hypothesis.  He is just not that dumb.  And he is a superior manipulator.
3714  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 18, 2008, 08:43:12 AM
Rachel,
Thanks for your thoughts.
I agree with you and doubt abortion is a major or significant factor in Jewish demographics.  Sometimes I am not sure of Buchanan's motives vis a vis the Jews.  Surely he is at odds with leftist Democrat Jews on issues of abortion, conservative vs. Liberal, etc.  I recall there was some rumors of his being antisemetic years ago.  But he generally has been a friend of Jews when it comes to their right to the State of Israel.  And I appreciate that.  And I agree with him on many issues of politics.
I still feel that many Jews love for the Democratic party and pure hatred of Republicans (more than ther hatred for Naziism IMO) is misplaced or outdated.
As for attrition, or assimilation I have a relative who is rumoured to be more or less a Jew for Jesus.  This seems nuts to me but what can I say.   




3715  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / seizure in elderly on: May 18, 2008, 08:28:51 AM
While listening to the cable news this am, I notice two well know causes of seizures in older folks where conveniently left off the list; what should be included are cancers, primary and metastatic, and either intoxication or withdrawal from alcohol use.
Even sleep deprivation can in certain circumstances trigger one.
3716  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer ON Israel's 60th on: May 16, 2008, 07:15:27 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/15/AR2008051503577.html
3717  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BO and Jews on: May 16, 2008, 07:03:46 PM
I am not sure really.  But I sense BO has run with the "Hymietown" crowd.  That is enough for me to be suspicious yet nothing here is ironclad:


May 10, 2008
Jews can’t vote for Obama and be pro-Israel at the same time

By Ted Belman

ted-4.jpgIn the poll of Jewish voters (conducted April 1-30), it showed Obama getting 61% of the Jewish vote against John McCain (32%). Yet in the same poll Hillary Clinton beat Obama among Jewish voters 62% - 38%. So obviously Jews are lifelong democrats who will vote for Obama, whom they rejected in the primaries, rather than vote for McCain. Thus, for them, party loyalty is preferable to Israel loyalty.

Recently I posted two articles by Yarom Ettinger, former Israeli Ambassador to the US, The Prospects of a Palestinian State and National Interests of the United States and It’s American interests, stupid, both of which clearly demonstrate that keeping Israel strong is to keep America strong. Thus to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America.

Now some would argue that most Jewish Americans are not one issue voters but they must realize that to favour a basket of issues or the Democratic Party above favouring Israel, makes them less pro-Israel and thus less pro-American. This I am sure will get howls of protest from the J-Street Lobby which represents progressive Jewry, who would have you believe that by forcing Israel to capitulate, they are acting in the best interests of Israel and the US. I hope you don’t buy their thinking. These articles fly in the face of such thinking. Consider them carefully it is important.

While most Jews favour Obama in a run off with McCain because he is a Democrat, they ignore how pro-Palestinian and anti-American he is.

Let me list the ways.

      - Obama said “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people,”

      - Obama said “If there is an Arab American family [in the US] being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, those are my civil liberties!”

      - Everyone on Obama’s foreign policy team, McPeak, Hamilton, Kurtzer, Brezezinski, are anti- Israel and The Israel Lobby. Their policies are closely aligned with Carter’s and Baker’s.

      - Obama has been in bed with Jew haters and Islamic jihad for years. Farrakhan and his dear friend Reverend Wright, Obama’s spiritual guru, is a vile Jew hater.

      - Obama is the first Presidential candidate endorsed by Hamas. He is the toast of the Islamic world. Obama’s church posted a Hamas manifesto.

      - Obama has been endorsed by William Ayers (Weatherman Underground bomber, unrepentant domestic terrorist) (Member Communist Party USA, Early mentor to Obama) Jeremiah Wright (Black Liberation militant, racist, and Pastor) Tony Rezko (Corrupt Financier, ties to Terror Financing) Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam Leader, racist, anti-American) Hamas Terrorist Organization (Islamic Terrorist Organization) Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Islamic Terror Irganization) Raila Odinga (Fundamental Islamic Candidate, Kenya, Obama’s Cousin) Daniel Ortega (Marxist Sandinista Leader. Nicaragua Raul Castro (Hard-line Communist Leader, Communist Party Illinois (US Communist Political Party) Socialist Party USA (Marxist Socialist Political Party) The New Black Panther Party (Black Militant Organization, anti-American and racist Mosques are preaching for Obama (muslims vote inshallah!)

      - We know from this blog entry by the pro-Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah at The Electronic Intifadah, that Obama has moved to a move pro-Israel position as his national aspirations developed. “The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood,” Abunimah writes. “He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing. “As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.’ He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, ‘Keep up the good work!”

      - Ralph Nader agrees.“(Obama) has run a brilliant tactical campaign. But his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself….He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran–during the state Senate.”

      - Obama served as a paid director on the board of a nonprofit organization that granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe.” (Obama has also reportedly spoken at fundraisers for Palestinians living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps.). The co-founder of that Arab group, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, is a harsh critic of Israel who reportedly worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization when it was labeled a terror group by the State Department. Khalidi held a fundraiser in 2000 for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

      - Ten years ago Obama went to a pro-Palestinian dinner at which Edward Said was the guest speaker and they sat at the same table.

      - Obama employed and continues to employ several Farrakhan acolytes in high positions on his Illinois and U.S. Senate campaign and office staffs.

      - Obama very recently and previously referred to the “cycle of violence” in the Middle East. He thereby equates Arab criminal violence with legitimate Israeli self-defence.

      - Obama’s Church reprinted the outrageous claim that Israel planned an “ethnic bomb” to kill blacks and Arabs.

All items listed above cannot be characterized as a smear as they are all true.

How can Jews ignore all this or dismiss it as inconsequential? I don’t get it.

ADDENDUM ( found this article after writing mine.)

A Curious Kind of Friendship; Barack Obama’s dubious record on Israel

MARK HEMINGWAY, NRO

On April 21, Barack Obama found himself at a diner in Scranton, Pa. The Illinois senator hadn’t been available to the press in ten days, so a reporter approached him.

Perhaps Obama was in a bad mood because he foresaw a drubbing — the next day, Pennsylvanian primary voters went for Hillary. Or maybe he just didn’t like the reporter’s question: “Senator, did you hear about Jimmy Carter’s trip? He said he could get Hamas to negotiate.”

Looking down at his breakfast, the senator snapped back, “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”

The week before, two important things had happened. One, Obama had declined to condemn Carter’s meeting with Hamas, though Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had opposed the trip. Two, the Palestinian terrorist group took the unusual step of endorsing him. When asked about the endorsement, Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was flattered that Hamas compared his candidate to JFK: “We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”

Republican nominee John McCain quickly took note. “We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas,” he said.

The day following Wafflegate, Obama told the press it was a “bad idea” for Carter to meet with Hamas, as it gave the group “a legitimacy that was unnecessary.”

It’s understandable that Obama would rather do just about anything than talk about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Questions about Obama’s support for Israel have percolated in Jewish publications and elsewhere for more than a year, and now they threaten to spill over into the mainstream media. In March, speaking to reporters in Texas, Obama defended his record: “Nobody has ever been able to point to statements that I made or positions that I’ve taken that are contrary to the long-term security interests in Israel and in any way diminish the special relationship we have with that country.” Trouble is, this claim is simply not true.

Obama has been battling the perception that he is insufficiently supportive of Israel since last year, when he told the Des Moines Register, “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” An Iowa Democrat and member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), David Adelman, called Obama’s comments “deeply troubling.” Obama claimed the remark was taken out of context, but the Politico noted that talk of Obama’s comment was one of many reasons that a “real, if kind of inchoate, skepticism” dominated discussions of Obama at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in March of last year.

Whatever the context of that specific remark, many subsequent revelations have given ample reason for skepticism: Obama has repeatedly claimed to support Israel, but his record doesn’t jibe with his rhetoric. Last year, he announced he would vote against an amendment in the Senate declaring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — which has long supported Hezbollah terrorists and otherwise abetted the murder of Israelis — a terrorist group. The resolution passed 76–22, with the support of Hillary Clinton, Illinois senator Dick Durbin, and a host of other reliable liberals. Obama missed the vote while campaigning in New Hampshire, but he attacked Clinton on the issue, saying the non-binding amendment might exacerbate tensions with Iran.

What’s more, his life is marked by ties to anti-Israeli causes. A recent report in the Los Angeles Times detailed Obama’s close relationship with Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University. In the late 1970s Khalidi worked with WAFA, the official news agency of the Palestinian Liberation Organization; during this period, the PLO and its factions
engaged in acts of terrorism. In 2005 Khalidi gained national attention when he argued that, under international law, Palestinians have a right to violently resist Israeli occupation.

While teaching at the University of Chicago, Khalidi co-founded the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), an organization with a history of churning out anti-Israeli propaganda. AAAN’s current projects include “The Arab American Oral History Project.” The group’s website asks, “Do you have photos, letters or other memories you could share about Al-Nakba-1948?” “Al Nakba” translates as “the catastrophe,” and 1948 is the year in which Israel became a
state.

Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama’s failed congressional bid in 2000, while Obama was a state senator representing the liberal Hyde Park area of Chicago. In 2003, Obama attended a tribute dinner for Khalidi where, according to the Los Angeles Times, a speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden.

The largess flowed in both directions. From 1999 to 2002 Obama served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund, a grant-making foundation with assets of $68 million whose nominal goal is “to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the [Chicago] metropolitan area.” According to tax forms and annual reports, in 2001 and 2002 the Woods Fund gave AAAN a total of $75,000 in grants. Bill Ayers, a former (and unrepentant) member of the left-wing terrorist group the Weather Underground, sat on the board with
Obama.

The aforementioned Politico article also noted “[anti-Israeli] sentiment . .. circulating largely on private email lists and in chatter about a posting on the pro-Palestinian blog Electronic Intifada, which claimed (with little evidence) that Obama was once on the Palestinian side.” For some time Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah has been saying that, in private
conversations, Obama expressed unequivocal pro-Palestinian views. Abunimah is an activist in Chicago’s Palestinian community, and is on the board of AAAN, with which he has a long history of involvement. Given Obama’s own involvement with Khalidi and AAAN, Abunimah’s claim to have had such conversations with Obama seems plausible.

There have also been flaps over campaign advisers. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, has recently endorsed and campaigned with Obama. Brzezinski was singled out recently for defending The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a book arguing that “the United States has been willing to set aside its own security in order to advance the interests of another state [Israel].” After a campaign press release described Robert Malley, an adviser to the Clinton administration on the Arab-Israeli conflict, as an Obama adviser, the campaign sought to distance itself from Malley — whom New Republic editor-in-chief Marty Peretz has called “a rabid hater of Israel.”

When it comes to Israel, perhaps the most controversial member of Obama’s campaign is his chief military adviser and national-campaign co-chairman, Gen. Merrill McPeak. In 1976, McPeak wrote an article for Foreign Affairs criticizing Israel for not returning to its 1967 borders and handing the Golan Heights back to Syria. McPeak accused Jewish and evangelical voters of placing their interest in Israel above U.S. interests in a 2003 interview with the
Oregonian. When asked what was holding back world peace, McPeak responded, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote . . . here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.” Obama disavowed McPeak’s stance on Israel, but stands behind the campaign’s relationship with the general.

Then there’s Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. . . . [We need to] wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.” Last year, the bulletin at Wright ’s church reprinted an article by a Hamas official.

Given Obama’s past and current relationships, the Jewish community is taking his rhetoric with hefty portions of sodium chloride. One well-known Jewish Democratic strategist says that with Obama running, McCain could equal or even surpass the 39 percent of the Jewish vote that Ronald Reagan captured against Jimmy Carter in 1980. This could be a major factor in swing states with significant Jewish populations, notably Florida and Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania-primary exit polls, Jews went for Hillary, 62 to 38 percent.

There are two ways of looking at all this. Perhaps Obama is privately hostile to Israel. Or perhaps he comes from a Hyde Park milieu so leftist that he saw these relationships as normal political connections. In a sense it doesn’t matter: Regardless of why Obama tolerates terrorist sympathizers, the fact that he has a history of doing so could destroy his candidacy. On the national stage, and particularly in the Democratic party, Jews play a prominent role.

“A normal liberal politician wouldn’t get near this — the political instinct would be, ‘I don’t want to touch this’ — but none of it offended his sensibilities,” the Jewish Democratic strategist said. “He sat there in rooms where Israel was likened to Osama bin Laden. He didn’t walk out.”
Posted by Ted Belman @ 12:07 pm |

3718  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan: Time is not on the Jews side on: May 16, 2008, 06:39:58 PM
From Pat Buchanan,

"President Bush celebrates Israel's 60th birthday, and is celebrated in turn as Israel's best friend ever"

Does any Jew seriously think BO is a friend of the Jews?  And Clinton?  Clinton would sell out the Jews just as quickly as she sold out the Blacks if becomes in her self interest.  Not true for Bush.

His article is food for thought:

***As Israel enters its 61st year, Israelis may look back with pride. Yet, the realists among them must also look forward with foreboding.

Israel is a modern democracy with the highest standard of living in the Middle East. In the high-tech industries of the future, she is in the first rank. From a nation of fewer than a million in 1948, Israel's population has grown to 7 million. In seven wars -- the 1948 War of Independence, the Sinai invasion of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and the Lebanon wars of 1982 and 2006 -- Israel has prevailed, though some of these wars were, as Wellington said of Waterloo, "a damn near-run thing."

Israel has revived Hebrew, created a new currency, immersed her children in the history, ancient and modern, of her people, and established a homeland for Jews from all over the world, millions of whom have migrated there to settle. Israel is now home to the largest concentration of Jews anywhere on earth.

Israel became home to the largest Jewish population on earth in part because American Jews in the 1990s fell in number from 5.5 million to 5.2 million, a loss of 300,000, or 6 percent of the U.S. Jewish population.

According to Charles Krauthammer, by 2050, the U.S. Jewish population will have shrunk another 50 percent to 2.5 million. American Jews are slowly vanishing. How and why is this happening?

It is the collective decision of American Jews themselves, who have led the battles for birth control and a woman's right to choose.

As Jews were roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population from Roe v. Wade to today, perhaps 2 percent of the 50 million legal abortions since Roe were likely performed on Jewish girls or women, resulting in 1 million lost members of the Jewish community in 35 years.

And if demography is destiny, Israel's future, too, appears grim.

As former Ambassador Zalman Shoval writes, Israel's population of 7 million is 80 percent Jewish. But the Palestinian population of Israel has risen to 20 percent and is growing much faster.

One Israel blogger, using Shoval's totals, writes that among the Israeli population between 1 and 4 years old, roughly 30 percent is Arab. The future of Israel is thus increasingly Arab and less Jewish.

According to the United Nations, by 2050, Israel will have 10 million people.

By then, the Arab population, at present birth rates, is likely to be close to 30 percent of the Israeli population. On the West Bank and Gaza, today's 4 million Arabs are to explode to 10 million, far outstripping the growth in Israel. Jordan's population of 5 million, 60 percent Palestinian, will also double to 10 million.

Thus, not even counting Palestinians in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Gulf states, Israel's 7 million to 8 million Jews in 2050 will be living with 13 million Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. If Israel is to survive as a Jewish state, a separate and independent Palestinian state would seem an imperative.

Yet, as Israelis continue to build outposts and expand and add settlements, the possibility of a Palestinian state recedes. Indeed, many Israelis, seeing what an end to the occupation produced in Gaza, refuse to consider any pullout at all from the West Bank.

Such a policy of holding on and digging in is sometimes the best one -- but only if time is on one's side. Is time on Israel's side?

According to the world population statistics from the National Policy Institute, the worldwide Arabic population in 1950 was only 94 million, less than 4 percent of the world population. But by 2050, it will be 700 million, 7 percent of a world population of almost 10 billion.

According to U.N. population experts, Lebanon's population will grow to 5 million in 2050, but Syria's will almost double from today's 20 million to 34 million. The population of Saudi Arabia will rise from 24 million to 45 million. Egypt will grow by more than 50 million to 121 million Egyptians by 2050. The Islamic Republic of Iran, 71 million today, is expected to reach 100 million at mid-century.

And, demography aside, the Islamic faith of Israel's neighbors is becoming militant. Hamas now controls Gaza. Hezbollah now controls Southern Lebanon and is becoming the power in Beirut. While Egypt is headed by a pro-American autocrat, the principal rival for power is the widely popular Muslim Brotherhood.

Those who do not like the Saudi monarchy should consider what is likely to rise in its place, should the House of Saud fall. The same is true of the Jordanian and Moroccan monarchies, and the sheikdoms, emirates and sultanates of the Persian Gulf.

In any struggle of generations, the critical question is often: Whose side is time on? As President Bush celebrates Israel's 60th birthday, and is celebrated in turn as Israel's best friend ever, it is a fair question to ask.***

3719  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dolly is humiliated on: May 15, 2008, 01:34:41 PM
I haven't heard or do I care much about it or that Dolly is "humilialted".  I alledge Parton has for years sung and claimed to have written songs she never wrote.  Blue Ridge Mountain Boy it was known in Nashville was said to be written by Kathy Mateo not Parton as she claimed.

Of course she also seems to be singing and claiming songs that are exactly like my wife has written.  She also claims to have 3000 copywritten songs and writes exactly  the way my wife writes.  Ideas pop into her head and she just keeps notes on her all day long later finishing the song.   Wow!  Years ago she said that to wirte lyrics she would have to go off to a cabin in the woods where there was total piece and quiet to be able to concentrate and not be distracted to be able to come up with anything.  Now her story is changed.   It is amazing how all these Country stars claim they have hundreds or even thousands of songs written.  Well where are they?  So why is Shania Twain delaying her album from January to March and now November?
Whatever excuse they will use, and they can make up anything, who will know otherwise, I know the real reason.  Look up a song she claims called shoes.  Why isn't it released here in the US?  They must not have finished the "clean up".

So Dolly, as far as I am concerned you a phoney full of crap mannequin:



Parton "shocked" at Howard Stern radio segment
Wed May 14, 2008 3:51pm EDT
 
08 May 2008
 
By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Country music star Dolly Parton has hit back against Howard Stern's satellite radio show, which last week manipulated recordings from one of her audio books into seemingly racist and sexually graphic sound bites.

"I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life," Parton said in a statement on Wednesday. "I cannot believe what Howard Stern has done to me. In a blue million years, I would never have such vulgar things come out of my mouth. They have done editing or some sort of trickery to make this horrible, horrible thing. Please accept my apology for them and certainly know I had nothing to do with this."

She concluded: "If there was ever going to be a lawsuit, it's going to be over this. Just wanted you to know that I am completely devastated by this."

"The Howard Stern Show" frequently utilizes audio book recordings in this fashion; altered clips from "Star Trek" actor George Takei became a staple of the program in recent years.

Reuters/Billboard

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved
 
3720  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Windfall profits - for politicians on: May 11, 2008, 09:27:50 AM
Do other people besides me think it obscene that ourp politicans go out into the private sector and turn around to make millions off their having done "public service".  Like the Clintons giving speeches for hundreds of thousands a pop, getting their daughter a hedge fund job, John Edwards ties to a hedge fund, the Bushes getting millions as early investors of Global Doublecrossing, presidential libraries being used by the Clintons to funnel themselves more money and on and on.

I think they should all be taxed a 100% windfall profits tax!  Isn't that what all this crap is anyway?  They are cashing in on their connections made while *serving* the citizens of our country in *public* service?

The hypocrisy is just soooo tiring.  From Jonah Goldberg on the hot air windfall profits tax on oil coming out of Washington DC the other place in the US where prostitution is legal.

May 9, 2008 4:00 AM

Take That, Big Oil!
The windfall profits tax slap.

By Jonah Goldberg

Imagine this. You’ve built the better mousetrap. (Because lasers and pneumatic tubes are cool, let’s imagine it uses them.) You’ve persevered through years of trial and error in your garage, enduring sleepless nights, the mockery of friends, the eye-rolling of family, and the non-lethal laser wounds to the family cat. But it was all worth it. You take your invention and, with your last few pennies, manage to bring it to market. It’s a smash hit. It starts flying off shelves. You earn back the investment in raw materials and maybe something close to compensation for your time. Now you’re ready for the big payoff. There’s just one thing left to do: make an appointment with the regional Reasonable Profits Board to find out how much of your windfall is reasonable for you to keep.

Picked by Congress nominally for their expertise in analyzing the mousetrap industry but actually for their vampiric lust for entrepreneurial blood, members of the Reasonable Profits Board will determine how much of your already-taxed profits cross the “rational threshold.”

Now that’s the American dream!
What this would mean for Mousetrap 2.0 may not be a big concern for members of the board, but odds are you’ll start to feel like you’re working for them.

Replace “Mousetrap” with “oil,” and you have a good idea of how some in Congress want to bring the oil industry to heel. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa, is offering his “Consumer Reasonable Energy Price Protection Act,” which would make oil companies supplicants of a Reasonable Profits Board. Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, proposed their 25 percent windfall profits tax this week, while Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Alpha Centauri, has been calling for a 100 percent windfall profits tax rate for some time. Hillary Clinton is barnstorming the country talking about a windfall profits tax that will not only stick it to the corporate fat cats but will “pay” for a gas tax holiday.

“Windfall,” of course, is just another word for “undeserved,” which is why windfall profits are defined as the profits earned by someone other than you. If we were honest with the people having their profits yanked away, we’d call it the “well-earned and richly deserved profits tax.”

Now hold on a second, cry the unreasonable-profit confiscators. That analogy is bogus. ExxonMobil isn’t some garage-workshop Horatio Alger. ExxonMobil is a cold and impersonal multinational corporation!

To which I say: Exactly!

So why are Democrats keen on treating oil companies like they’re comic-book villains and the windfall profits tax is just a well-deserved enema that will teach Big Oil to pay its fair share?

In 1977, when Jimmy Carter proposed the first windfall profits tax, he said through those enormous teeth, we “will ask private companies to sacrifice just as private citizens do.” But corporations aren’t normal citizens.

If you tell oil companies that they won’t be able to keep their profits past a certain point, you know what they’ll do? They’ll make money right up until that point and then they’ll stop. Unlike the guy building the better mousetrap, oil companies aren’t in it for the glory, they’re in it for the money. No oilman will go home hungry and wake up like Scrooge on Christmas morning, having repented because of a windfall profits tax.

Now, there will be plenty of punishment doled out, more than at a Belgian S&M club during recess at the European Parliament. But the crack of the windfall whip will land in unintended places. “Corporate sacrifice” means sacrificing share value, jobs and, most of all, reinvestment.

So people dependent on pension funds — union workers, government employees and the like — will be asked to sacrifice some of their retirement income. Jobs dependent on oil and gas extraction would be cut. And, as Schumer explains, money that would otherwise be invested in exploration and improved efficiency will instead be diverted to “alternative” energies that politicians (like Schumer) think are better investments.

No wonder Schumer’s so cocky, given the boffo success of Washington’s “investment” in ethanol, which creates more greenhouse gases than oil does, contributes to deforestation, and is fueling the starvation of millions around the globe.

Meanwhile, less investment in exploration and efficiency will cause pump prices to rise (less supply = higher prices) and, as in the 1980s, cause us to rely on more foreign oil.

But, by all means, let’s do it, because Big Oil is bad and someone — or everyone — has to pay for it.

Now hold on a second, cry the unreasonable-profit confiscators. That analogy is bogus. ExxonMobil isn’t some garage-workshop Horatio Alger. ExxonMobil is a cold and impersonal multinational corporation!

To which I say: Exactly!

So why are Democrats keen on treating oil companies like they’re comic-book villains and the windfall profits tax is just a well-deserved enema that will teach Big Oil to pay its fair share?

In 1977, when Jimmy Carter proposed the first windfall profits tax, he said through those enormous teeth, we “will ask private companies to sacrifice just as private citizens do.” But corporations aren’t normal citizens.

If you tell oil companies that they won’t be able to keep their profits past a certain point, you know what they’ll do? They’ll make money right up until that point and then they’ll stop. Unlike the guy building the better mousetrap, oil companies aren’t in it for the glory, they’re in it for the money. No oilman will go home hungry and wake up like Scrooge on Christmas morning, having repented because of a windfall profits tax.

Now, there will be plenty of punishment doled out, more than at a Belgian S&M club during recess at the European Parliament. But the crack of the windfall whip will land in unintended places. “Corporate sacrifice” means sacrificing share value, jobs and, most of all, reinvestment.

So people dependent on pension funds — union workers, government employees and the like — will be asked to sacrifice some of their retirement income. Jobs dependent on oil and gas extraction would be cut. And, as Schumer explains, money that would otherwise be invested in exploration and improved efficiency will instead be diverted to “alternative” energies that politicians (like Schumer) think are better investments.

No wonder Schumer’s so cocky, given the boffo success of Washington’s “investment” in ethanol, which creates more greenhouse gases than oil does, contributes to deforestation, and is fueling the starvation of millions around the globe.

Meanwhile, less investment in exploration and efficiency will cause pump prices to rise (less supply = higher prices) and, as in the 1980s, cause us to rely on more foreign oil.

But, by all means, let’s do it, because Big Oil is bad and someone — or everyone — has to pay for it.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

 (C) 2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
   
   
© National Review Online 2008. All Rights Reserved.



3721  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Chantix is a great drug; don't let the anti-pharma *business* tell yo otherwise on: May 11, 2008, 08:50:45 AM
I really can't believe I am reading this stuff about chantix.  I can't tell you the miracle this drug has been for some patients.  I am telling you some of these anti-pharma people are total crack pots.  They are making lots of money with their anti-pharma agenda.
The truth is in my practice that people who complain of side effects from this drug are almost without exception people who really didn't want to quit to start with.  They are using any excuse, consciously or unconsciously, to say they "can't" quit.  The people who tell me before starting the drug they *really want* to  quit and want to try the drug or anything else that works, do very well with it.   I am saying without any uncertain terms that this guy sidney wolfe, and his like, are doing far more harm then good.  Now I get people who have smoked for decades who are now reluctant to use chantix because of all the negative publicity from these self important big mouth jerks.
Someone should start investigating these prima donnas like Wolfe, like Nissan, like Topol from the Cleveland Clinic.  I guarantee they are getting rich.

http://body.aol.com/condition-center/smoking-cessation/news/article/_a/drug-recommended-to-help-quit-smoking/20080508123709990001
3722  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Israel at 60 on: May 08, 2008, 12:37:33 PM
An email from Human Events.

By the way it is my opinion that BO is no friend of Israel.  I suspect he and Michelle feel like many "Muslim" Blacks and have no love whatsever for Jews let alone Israel.  If he wins in November Israel is on their own IMO.


Israel at 60
by Nile Gardiner
Posted: 05/08/2008
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Few countries in modern times could claim the title “warrior nation”. The United States and Great Britain definitely can, and Israel certainly qualifies for this distinction too. Today is the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding and a reminder of the heroism of the Israeli people. This tiny nation of just 7 million has fought seven wars and survived in the face of insurmountable odds, international hostility and massive intimidation, a tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the willingness of Israelis to fight to defend their freedom.

Six decades on from its establishment, Israel continues to fight for its very existence, and remains the most persecuted nation in the history of the United Nations. The UN has left no stone unturned in its hounding of Israel, a relentless display of hatred and prejudice that shames the world body. Despite being the freest, most democratic country in the Middle East, Israel is the whipping boy for the UN’s Human Rights Council, a discredited basket case of an organization that boasts some of the world’s worst human rights offenders as members, including China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Russia and Egypt. Roughly three quarters of the HRC’s resolutions in its first year were aimed at Israel, while brutal dictatorships such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Burma and Sudan barely merited a mention.

Needless to say, the United Nations has remained silent in the face of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats to wipe Israel “off the map”, much as the League of Nations dithered in the shadow of Nazi Germany just two generations ago. Iran’s dictator doesn’t mince his words when referring to Israel, calling it a “filthy entity” that “will sooner or later fall” in a speech this January, as well as “a dirty microbe” and “a savage animal” at a rally in February.
Continued
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There are distinct echoes of the heated discussions in Europe and the United States over the intentions of Adolf Hitler in the mid to late 1930s in today’s debate over Iran. Then as now, there was a constant barrage of calls from political elites on both sides of the Atlantic for direct talks with a totalitarian regime and illusory hopes of reaching out to “moderates” within the government, a general downplaying of the threat level, widespread inaction and hand-wringing, and staggering complacency over levels of defense spending.

The brutal lessons of 20th Century history taught that there can be no negotiation with this sort of brutal dictatorship, and it would be a huge strategic error for the West to do so. There will be endless debate in international policy circles over Tehran’s nuclear intentions, but the essential fact remains that the free world is faced with a fundamentally evil and barbaric regime with a track record of backing international terrorism, repressing its own people, issuing genocidal threats against its neighbors, and of enabling the killing of Allied forces in Iraq.

It is imperative that the United States and Great Britain, Tel Aviv’s two main allies, remain united in defending Israel in the face of Iranian aggression. Iran poses the most significant threat to Israel’s security since its founding, as well as the biggest state-based threat to the West of our generation. As Israeli President Shimon Peres warned earlier this year, “a nuclear armed Iran will be a nightmare for the world.”

As the world’s largest sponsor of international terror, and a dangerous rogue regime hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons capability, Iran must be stopped. The Jerusalem Post reported just yesterday that the latest Israeli intelligence assessment is that “the Islamic Republic will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium on a military scale this year. According to the new timeline, Iran could have a nuclear weapon by the middle of next year.” This is several years ahead of the flawed assessment of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), and gives added urgency to the debate over the Iranian nuclear issue.

Every effort must be made to increase the pressure on Tehran through Security Council and European economic, military and political sanctions, including a ban on investment in Iranian liquefied natural gas operations. In particular, extensive pressure must be applied on Switzerland to halt a $30 billion contract between Zurich-based contractor EGL and the National Iranian Gas Export Company.

At the same time, Washington and London must make preparations for the possible use of force against Iran’s nuclear facilities if the sanctions route fails. In addition, the U.S. and UK must be prepared to retaliate against Iranian aggression in Iraq, with Tehran continuing to wage a proxy war against Coalition and Iraqi forces. As General Petraeus made clear in his recent testimony before Congress, Iran is actively supplying mortars, rockets and explosives to Shiite militia groups in Iraq. It has also been revealed by Coalition spokesmen in the last few days that the elite Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been using Hizbollah guerillas to train Iraqi militias at a training camp at Jalil Azad near Tehran. 

As tensions with Iran escalate, and as the stakes are dramatically raised, Britain and the United States should support the admission of Israel into NATO, offering a collective security guarantee in the face of Tehran’s saber-rattling. Israel, which spends nearly 10 percent of its GDP on defense (in contrast to the NATO average of 2.1 percent), would be a major net asset to the Alliance, possessing a first rate army, air force and navy, as well as outstanding intelligence and special forces capability. There is likely to be strong initial opposition to the move by some European countries, including France and Belgium, but it is a debate that NATO should have sooner rather than later. 

The next few years will be a critical time for Israel, as it faces the prospect of the rise of a nuclear Iran that has pledged its destruction. If Israel is to survive another 60 years it is imperative that the West confronts the gathering storm and stands up to the biggest threat to international security since the end of the Cold War.

The United States, Great Britain and their allies must reject the illusory promise of “peace in our time” conjured by advocates of an appeasement approach towards the Mullahs of Iran, and ensure the world does not face a totalitarian Islamist regime armed with nuclear weapons. The freedom that Israel currently enjoys was secured through the sacrifice of her soldiers through several wars in the Middle East, as well as the earlier sacrifice of American and British troops in World War Two. It is the same liberty that we cherish today in the West, freedom that must be fought for and defended.


Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. is the Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, and a Margaret Thatcher Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
 
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Report Abusive PostTo whom is the support of Great Britain and the USA critical too? It seems that there is a consistent one-sided call for support from Israel with very little reciprocation. Modern Israel has played the "Christians must support 'God's Chosen People'" card to the hilt, meanwhile blocking the free-speech rights of Christians in that country. It seems to me that Israel is speaking out of both sides of their mouth on the "God front". They like the support of their "Christian brothers" so long as they don't behave as Christians in their country (and make disciples). I don't see why Christians should be supporting one Godless little Middle Eastern nation over another despite what Pastor Hagee says.
I Art Laughing, The Last Frontier
May 08, 2008 @ 03:24 AM
Report Abusive PostBTW does anyone know exactly when "this generation" has passed? Seems like all of the people from the Golda Meir generation have been dead for at least a decade.
I Art Laughing, The Last Frontier
May 08, 2008 @ 03:27 AM
Report Abusive Postwhy must we support israel? They spy on the U.S.; they blockade our arms shipment to the Palistinans; they ignore the U.N. (unless they want something). They should be classified as part of the axis of evil, as sonny george would say.We are a friend of israel, but they ain't our friend.
Wes, McLean VA
May 08, 2008 @ 04:06 AM
Report Abusive PostArms shipments to the Palestinians? What have you been smoking Wes?
I Art Laughing, The Last Frontier
May 08, 2008 @ 04:10 AM
Report Abusive PostWe should support Israel because the jews are the chosen people and it's a spiritual mandate from God. "He who watches over never lumbers nor sleeps" "he" is God. Do you really want to be on the wrong side of God? I know I'm gonna get heat from the religious haters, but Matthew 5:10. And as far as why we support them politically. It's because they are the only stable democracy in the Middle East. Happy b-day Israel!

3723  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary lost because of what she is not because of any campaign on: May 08, 2008, 11:39:09 AM
this whole concept that Hillary could and should win if only she runs the right campaign is wrong.  Hillary lost because of the nature of who she is.  She is a chornic bullshit artist, dishones, selfish to the core as her "skinny" Santa husband.  She lost because she has very high negatives because of who she is and her flawed character - period.

This whole  concept that no matter who she is the American electorate can forever be manipulated to like her is flawed. You can fool some of the people some of the time...

Look - to all Clinton lovers - feminist chicks included - your candidate is dishonest, fraudulent, selfish, narcissistic, and hated by 45% of all Americans forvever.  They have to stop ruining forever American politics.  We have to get back to at least some semblence of character.  Some semblence of honesty and forthrightness.  Bo is trying to come across this way (although I don't believe him either) but he is absolutely right that Americans are craving good, decent honest leaders.  The Clintons are not, have never been, and will never be that.

***By KAREN TUMULTY 50 minutes ago

For all her talk about "full speed on to the White House," there was an unmistakably elegiac tone to Hillary Clinton's primary-night speech in Indianapolis. And if one needed further confirmation that the undaunted, never-say-die Clintons realize their bid might be at an end, all it took was a look at the wistful faces of the husband and the daughter who stood behind the candidate as she talked of all the people she has met in a journey "that has been a blessing for me."
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It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:

1. She misjudged the mood
That was probably her biggest blunder. In a cycle that has been all about change, Clinton chose an incumbent's strategy, running on experience, preparedness, inevitability - and the power of the strongest brand name in Democratic politics. It made sense, given who she is and the additional doubts that some voters might have about making a woman Commander in Chief. But in putting her focus on positioning herself to win the general election in November, Clinton completely misread the mood of Democratic-primary voters, who were desperate to turn the page. "Being the consummate Washington insider is not where you want to be in a year when people want change," says Barack Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod. Clinton's "initial strategic positioning was wrong and kind of played into our hands." But other miscalculations made it worse:

2. She didn't master the rules
Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified - and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories. Even now, it can seem as if they don't get it. Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign now acknowledges privately:

3. She underestimated the caucus states
While Clinton based her strategy on the big contests, she seemed to virtually overlook states like Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas, which choose their delegates through caucuses. She had a reason: the Clintons decided, says an adviser, that "caucus states were not really their thing." Her core supporters - women, the elderly, those with blue-collar jobs - were less likely to be able to commit an evening of the week, as the process requires. But it was a little like unilateral disarmament in states worth 12% of the pledged delegates. Indeed, it was in the caucus states that Obama piled up his lead among pledged delegates. "For all the talent and the money they had over there," says Axelrod, "they - bewilderingly - seemed to have little understanding for the caucuses and how important they would become."

By the time Clinton's lieutenants realized the grave nature of their error, they lacked the resources to do anything about it - in part because:

4. She relied on old money
For a decade or more, the Clintons set the standard for political fund-raising in the Democratic Party, and nearly all Bill's old donors had re-upped for Hillary's bid. Her 2006 Senate campaign had raised an astonishing $51.6 million against token opposition, in what everyone assumed was merely a dry run for a far bigger contest. But something had happened to fund-raising that Team Clinton didn't fully grasp: the Internet. Though Clinton's totals from working the shrimp-cocktail circuit remained impressive by every historic measure, her donors were typically big-check writers. And once they had ponied up the $2,300 allowed by law, they were forbidden to give more. The once bottomless Clinton well was drying up.

Obama relied instead on a different model: the 800,000-plus people who had signed up on his website and could continue sending money his way $5, $10 and $50 at a time. (The campaign has raised more than $100 million online, better than half its total.) Meanwhile, the Clintons were forced to tap the $100 million - plus fortune they had acquired since he left the White House - first for $5 million in January to make it to Super Tuesday and then $6.4 million to get her through Indiana and North Carolina. And that reflects one final mistake:

5. She never counted on a long haul
Clinton's strategy had been premised on delivering a knockout blow early. If she could win Iowa, she believed, the race would be over. Clinton spent lavishly there yet finished a disappointing third. What surprised the Obama forces was how long it took her campaign to retool. She fought him to a tie in the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests but didn't have any troops in place for the states that followed. Obama, on the other hand, was a train running hard on two or three tracks. Whatever the Chicago headquarters was unveiling to win immediate contests, it always had a separate operation setting up organizations in the states that were next. As far back as Feb. 21, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was spotted in Raleigh, N.C. He told the News & Observer that the state's primary, then more than 10 weeks away, "could end up being very important in the nomination fight." At the time, the idea seemed laughable.

Now, of course, the question seems not whether Clinton will exit the race but when. She continues to load her schedule with campaign stops, even as calls for her to concede grow louder. But the voice she is listening to now is the one inside her head, explains a longtime aide. Clinton's calculation is as much about history as it is about politics. As the first woman to have come this far, Clinton has told those close to her, she wants people who invested their hopes in her to see that she has given it her best. And then? As she said in Indianapolis, "No matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November." When the task at hand is healing divisions in the Democratic Party, the loser can have as much influence as the winner. View this article on Time.com***
3724  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Superdelegate for sale on: May 08, 2008, 11:25:38 AM
Well it is no surprise.  "People do it all the time".

How can anyone not be disgusted with our politicians (including corrupt Republicans) when the American people can all be sold down the river?  I guess it was always this way.  Perhaps it is just more obvious now with the dissemination of news and the gross pandering, polls, say anything to anybody that we see on a national scale but it really makes me question why I should think this country is so "great".  I watch a cable program on John Adams, and than, I look at most of the policticians of today and all I can do is get disgusted. 

I don't always agree with his policies but I would step up and say I feel McCain is a hero and more admirable than most.  So he is a "loose cannon" and sometimes speaks in anger.  I do admire him far more than most policticians I can think of.  I guess as the campaign progresses we will learn more about the candidates and if my impression will still hold.  BO ain't no ABe Lincoln that's for sure.  And we all know about the Clintons.  She is no Abigail Adams.  What a laugh - she says her "dream date" would be with Abe Lincoln!  One of the world's most honest human beings to have ever lived with one of the world's biggest damn liars to have ever lived.  Talk about contrast (not likeness) as she would like to have us think.

I get disgusted when she tries to manipulate public opinion with her wardrobe that reminisces of the clothes we see the distinguished fathers/mopthers of our country are wearing as we see it in the old oil paintings.  Like she has one one hundreth the character of any of them.  Am I the only one who is disgusted by this?


***DNC Superdelegate Puts His Vote Up For Sale
Steven Ybarra Wants $20 Million For His Vote
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13) ― In this tight battle for the democratic nomination we've heard a lot about the candidates courting super-delegates.

But, one superdelegate is courting the candidates. He says he'll sell his vote for a price. A very high price: $20 million.

Sacramento superdelegate Steven Ybarra says that eight-figure price is peanuts for the presidency.

When asked whether it was right to offer what is clearly a quid pro quo?

"Yeah, absolutely. People do it all the time," answered Ybarra.

But, not like this. Not in public, and not for such big bucks.

It begs the question. Is he crazy?

"Nobody's said I'm crazy," said Ybarra.

Ybarra wants every cent of the $20 million to go toward registering and educating eligible Mexican-American voters, who he calls the key to the white house.

"And I keep asking the question of the DNC, 'why won't you earmark money for these voters?' And their answer is, 'oh, we can't do that' which is a lie," said Ybarra.

With the Democratic National Committee saying 'no,' Ybarra waits for a 'yes' from already cash-strapped Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Would he accept less? How about $5 million?

"No, $5 million is nothing," said Ybarra.

It might be a moot point as neither campaign has come calling.

"No, I think most people right now are looking at this as some crazy guy in California because after all I'm from California," said Ybarra.

He thinks his own party is crazy for not aggressively pursuing the Mexican-American vote especially with such a large Mexican-American population in the southwest.

"We should kick John McCain's a** in his own hometown," said Ybarra.

This superdelegate thinks his vote would be the best 20 million a candidate could ever spend. After all he says, in 2004 John Kerry spent a billion dollars to lose.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.***
3725  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Don't listen to "watch dog" Sidney Wolf; Chantix is a great and safe drug on: May 08, 2008, 10:51:50 AM
Sidney Wolf is a shameless self promoter.  Don't pay any attention to him.  chantix is one of the greatest medicines that has come out in years.  I can't tell you how many patients I have who have been able to quit smoking because of this revolutionary drug.  No it is not perfect but the risks are so overblown.  Don't for one minute think that the holier than thou anti-pharma crowd doesn't make money off their side of the equation.  And this includes some of the narcissistic self promoters at the Cleveland clinic:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080508/ap_on_he_me/smoking_advice;_ylt=AtHFokMug6NoMmLVPfsPJ9us0NUE

Chantix recommended to quit smoking despite safety concerns

By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Wed May 7, 11:32 PM ET

CHICAGO - The federal government's new advice to doctors for helping smokers quit recommends the drug Chantix, which has recently been linked with depression and suicidal behavior. The new guidelines mention the psychiatric risks but also say the popular Pfizer Inc. drug is the most effective at helping people get off cigarettes.
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The guidelines mention other options, too, and highly recommend combining counseling and medication. But doctors are encouraged to talk to all smokers who want to quit about trying medication.

Consumer advocates cautioned that the safety picture on Chantix is incomplete because it's a relatively new drug, on the market just since 2006.

"It is somewhat better than other therapies; on the other hand, it appears to have more risk," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the watchdog group Public Citizen. "That part of the risk-benefit equation is missing, and it's changing rapidly."

Another issue with the quit-smoking guidelines, released this week by the U.S. Public Health Service, is the lead author's past connections with Pfizer. Dr. Michael Fiore, an expert on smoking and health issues, was a consultant to the maker of Chantix. But he said he cut those ties in 2005.

Fiore's views are shaped by his past ties to the drug industry, and those ties still pose a conflict, at least one consumer advocate said. John Polito, a smoking cessation educator who runs the WhyQuit.com site advocating quitting "cold turkey," called the revised guidelines "a sales pitch" for the drug industry.

The task force overlooked research showing that quitting cold turkey works, Polito said, and studies showing Chantix is superior don't reflect how it's used "in the real world."

"People are quitting smoking to save their lives," Polito said. If Chantix's risks outweigh its benefits, "then it's insane for people to risk their lives" by using it, he said.

The guidelines are based on an extensive review of scientific evidence, were reviewed by 90 independent experts and were endorsed by 60 public health entities, Fiore said, adding that his past financial ties to the drug industry had no influence.

"Independent reviewers of it came to the conclusion that this is a document that reflects the science, and that's what we were charged to do," Fiore said.

The guideline authors analyzed 83 studies and found that Chantix helped 33 percent stay off tobacco for six months after quitting, compared with a nearly 14 percent abstinence rate for dummy pills.

The guidelines recommend combining counseling and medication as the most effective way to kick the tobacco habit, stating "both counseling and medication should be provided to patients trying to quit smoking."

Medications have not been shown to be effective in certain groups, the guidelines say. Those groups include pregnant women, smokeless tobacco users, light smokers and adolescents.

The guidelines say doctors should consider asking about their patients' psychiatric history before prescribing Chantix. Doctors also should monitor patients for changes in mood and behavior while on the drug.

3726  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rove is incredible IMHO on: May 08, 2008, 10:25:13 AM
***The Democrats' refusal to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at their convention is an unresolved problem. If they insist on not seating these delegations, Democrats risk alienating voters in states with 44 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. And here Mr. Obama is at greater risk than Mrs. Clinton, especially in Florida. He trails John McCain badly in Sunshine State polls today, while Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. McCain there***

Obviously Rove is a master at political tactics but I still find statements like this hard to believe.  I agree more with John Fund that in the end most Dems will vote and will vote the party line and will not be alienated enough to not vote or switch.

IMO forget about "alienating".  It ain't gonna happen in the end.

***Mr. McCain is very competitive. He is the best candidate Republicans could have picked in this environment. With the GOP brand low, his appeal to moderates and independents becomes even more crucial.

My analysis of individual state polls shows that today Mr. McCain would win 241 Electoral College votes to Mr. Obama's 217, with 80 votes in toss-up states where neither candidate has more than a 3% lead. Ironically, Mrs. Clinton now leads Mr. McCain with 251 electoral votes to his 203 with 84 in toss-up states. This is the first time she's led Mr. McCain since I began tracking state-by-state results in early March***

Wow. This is ironic.  But that is why I didn't like Rush & Hannity & et al supporting Clinton in all this.  I guess they figured she couldn't really win anyway and strategy would fuel the Democrat party turmoil but I still have concluded that whenever you can knock Clinton out you should.  Never underestimate their ability to keep caying whatever it takes to win over some votes and change the political picture.  Always beat them  every chance you get.

I think she is still the much stornger candidate against McCain than BO.  Why do you think Billary came out and tried to promote a McCain Hillary match up? 
3727  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt: Republicans need to act now lest they be back into the minority for 50 yea on: May 06, 2008, 08:49:37 PM
Newt is the Paul Revere of the republican party.  Problem who in Republican leadership is ready able and willing to take up the call to arms?   It seems that besides him and McCain there is a total vacuum out there.

I have signed up for his emails and I got this one today:

   
 ****  Subject:   My Plea to Republicans
Newt Gingrich    

May 6, 2008
Vol. 3, No. 19
My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster
By Newt Gingrich


The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana's Sixth Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake up call for Republicans: Either Congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November.

The facts are clear and compelling.

Saturday's loss was in a district that President Bush carried by 19 percentage points in 2004 and that the Republicans have held since 1975.

This defeat follows on the loss of Speaker Hastert's seat in Illinois. That seat had been held by a Republican for 76 years with the single exception of the 1974 Watergate election when the Democrats held it for one term. That same seat had been carried by President Bush 55-44% in 2004.
Two GOP Losses That Validate a National Pattern

These two special elections validate a national polling pattern that is bad news for Republicans. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, Americans disapprove of the President's job performance by 63 to 28 (and he has been below 40% job approval since December 2006, the longest such period for any president in the history of polling).

A separate New York Times/CBS Poll shows that a full 81 percent of Americans believe the economy is on the wrong track.

The current generic ballot for Congress according to the NY Times/CBS poll is 50 to 32 in favor of the Democrats. That is an 18-point margin, reminiscent of the depths of the Watergate disaster.
Congressional Republicans Can't Take Comfort in McCain's Poll Numbers

Senator McCain is currently running ahead of the Republican congressional ballot by about 16 percentage points. But there are two reasons that this extraordinary personal achievement should not comfort congressional Republicans.

First, McCain's lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of independence and the GOP brand. No regular Republican would be tying or slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is sustaining his personal popularity despite his party's collapse.

Second, there is a grave danger for the McCain campaign that if the generic ballot stays at only 32 % for the GOP it will ultimately outweigh McCain's personal appeal and drag his candidacy into defeat.
The Anti-Obama, Anti-Wright, and Anti-Clinton GOP Model Has Been Tested -- And It Failed

The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.

This model has already been tested with disastrous results.

In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful consultants.

But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: "Not you." No matter what the GOP Senators attacked their opponents with, the voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, "Not you."

The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters will say, "Not the Republicans."
Republicans Have Lost the Advantage on Every Single-Issue Poll

A February Washington Post poll shows that Republicans have lost the advantage to the Democrats on which party can handle an issue better -- on every single topic.

Americans now believe that Democrats can handle the deficit better (52 to 31), taxes better (48 to 40) and even terrorism better (44 to 37).

This is a catastrophic collapse of trust in Republicans built up over three generations on the deficit, two generations on taxes, and two generations on national security.
House Republicans Should Call an Emergency, Members-Only Conference

Faced with these election results, the House Republicans should hold an emergency members-only meeting. At the meeting, they should pose this stark choice: Real change or certain defeat.

If a majority of the House Republicans vote for real change, they should instruct Republican Leader John Boehner and his team to come back with a new plan by the Wednesday before the Memorial Day recess. This plan should involve real change in legislative, communications, and campaign strategy and involve immediate, real action, including a complete overhaul of the Congressional Campaign Committee. The House Republican Conference would then vote for the plan or insist on its revision.

If a majority of the House Republicans are opposed to acting then the minority who are activists should establish a parallel organization dedicated to real change. This group should focus its energies on creating the changes necessary to survive despite a conference with a minority mindset that accepts defeat rather than fights for real change (which is what we had when I entered Congress in 1978).
Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand

Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if they had the will to do so.

   1. Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by cutting domestic discretionary spending so that the transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a time when, according to The Hill newspaper, Senator Clinton is asking for $2.3billion in earmarks, it should be possible for Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could rally behind.

   2. Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the deficit.

   3. Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill which is coming to the floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security, pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

   4. Establish an earmark moratorium for one year and pledge to uphold the presidential veto of bills with earmarks through the end of 2009. The American people are fed up with politicians spending their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad. This is a real opportunity to show the difference.

   5. Overhaul the census and cut its budget radically. The recent announcement that the Census Bureau could not build an effective hand-held computer for $1.3 billion and is turning instead to 600,000 temporary workers to do a paper and pencil census in 2010 is an opportunity to slash its budget, shrink its bureaucracy, and turn to entrepreneurial internet-based companies to build an information-age census. This is an absurdity that cries out for bold, decisive reform (see my YouTube video "FedEx versus federal bureaucracy" for an example of what I mean).

   6. Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system. The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster.

   7. Declare English the official language of government. This real change is supported by 87% of the American people including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Latinos. It is an issue of national unity that brings Americans together in a red, white, and blue majority.

   8. Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot. The vast majority (around 81%) of Americans believe that American workers have a right to have a secret ballot election before they are forced to join a union. Last year the House Democrats passed a bill that would strip American workers of the secret ballot. A new bill should be introduced reaffirming that right, and it should be brought up again and again until marginal Democrats are forced to vote with the American people against the union power structure.

   9. Remind Americans that judges matter. Senate Republicans should mount an ongoing fight (including a filibuster of other activities if necessary) to get the American people to realize that liberals want to block all current judicial appointments in order to maximize the number of left wing radical judges they can appoint if they win the White House. This issue has three advantages. It reminds people that judges matter and that a leftwing radical Supreme Court would be bad for the values of most (70 to 90 percent, depending on the issue) Americans. It shows the Democrats are not engaged in fair play. It arouses the activism of those who have been disappointed by Republicans and have forgotten how bad a liberal Democratic Presidency would be.

What Is at Stake

No Republicans should kid themselves. It's time to face up to a stark choice. Without change we could face a catastrophic election this fall. 
Without change the Republican Party in the House could revert to the permanent minority status it had from 1930 to 1994.  Without change, the majorities of Americans who support the Republican principle of smaller, more efficient, smarter and fairer government will be in for a rude awakening.

It's time for real change to avoid a real disaster.

The "May Day Massacre": Can Liberals Govern in a Global Economy?

Despite the poor outlook for conservatives in our elections this November, there is encouraging news from across the Atlantic. The conservative wave sweeping Europe hit England last week when the liberal Labor Party suffered its worst local election results in 40 years.

Boris Johnson became the first Conservative Party member elected mayor of London when he defeated Labour candidate "Red" Ken Livingstone. In contests for more than 4,000 local seats across England, Conservatives captured 44 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for the Liberal Democrats and just 24 percent for Labour.

This Conservative victory in England comes on the heels of a history-making rout of the Communists and the Greens in parliamentary elections Italy two weeks ago. And the Italian results follow center-right victories in France (Sarkozy) and Germany (Merkel). The countries of so-called "old" Europe are turning away from the liberal high tax, big government policies that have crippled their economies and are turning toward pro-growth, pro-competitive center-right solutions.

All of which raises the question: Can the Left successfully govern in a modern, global economy? The voters of Europe seem to be saying no.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich *****
3728  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / consipiracy theory on: May 02, 2008, 11:45:50 AM
I'm not usually a big fan of conspiracy theories but I still have some doubt that the DC madam commited suicide.  Reminds me of Vince Foster.

 
White House Iraq er former employee: A woman caught up in an illegal world of sex and money, and for whom the pressure ultimately became too much to bear.

Eerie Flashback: DC Madam said 'I'd never want my life to end in suicide'
POSTED May 1, 9:09 PM
Palfrey rejected suicide in May 2007 interview


L to R: Montgomery Blair Sibley, Deborah Jeane Palfrey and Carol Joynt hold a lunchtime discussion in May 2007 at Nathans of Georgetown.

When Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka the "DC Madam," who was found hanged in Tarpon Springs, Florida on Thursday) sat down in May 2007 for an interview with Carol Joynt, host of the Q&A Cafe interview series, most everything was up in the air: Palfrey faced a criminal indictment on prostitution charges and was fighting courts over how to handle thirteen years of phone records which contained the phone numbers of many clients of her escort service.

But, for Palfrey, one thing was crystal clear during that interview: She would never end her life by hanging herself.

Joynt brought up the subject of Brandy Britton, a Baltimore prostitute whom had occasionally worked for Palfrey and whom had hanged herself in January 2007, only days away from facing prostitution charges.

Palfrey told Joynt in no uncertain terms: "I don't want to be like her. I don't want to end up like her."

In the months following the interview with Joynt, Palfrey's fortunes took a turn for the worse. In April, a federal jury convicted Palfrey of running a prostitution ring and she awaited her sentencing on July 24, where she faced up to six years in prison.

In the end, Palfrey's proud and defiant statements about Britton's tragic end couldn't stop her own sad conclusion, and it all too closely tracked the final days of her former employee: A woman caught up in an illegal world of sex and money, and for whom the pressure ultimately became too much to bear.
3729  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / EZCH on: May 02, 2008, 10:44:06 AM
Cisco and EZchip earnings out soon.  I don't own the stock but wish those who do good luck - Marc and Rick.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ezch

I've been doing  a bit more value investing and looking at alternative energy.
3730  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gingrich answers ten questions in TIME mag on: May 02, 2008, 10:31:41 AM
I harpooned the idea of another "contract with America" awhile back on this board.  Hannity is now proposing that the Cans need to do this now to grab front and center stage.  Maybe he is right and I was wrong.   Maybe that would work.  Are there any other Republican leaders on the horizon?  Newt points out that the Republicans need to reach out to the independent voters. 

***"I probably would have created a very intensive training program [on] how to be a majoritarian Republican solving problems. That was a huge mistake, and it led to the collapse of 2006 because you had the party over the past six years reverting to a Republican Party which is incapable of being in the majority."***

Touche.  They blew it.  Absolutely blew it.  Tom Daschle left in disgrace and it became every man for himself.  Increase spending.  Greed.  Pitiful.  The crats are going to sweep in and we will have massive increased government spending, government expansion in breadth and reach and scope, and wealth redistribution.

I asked my sister, a teacher, why so many teachers are such ardent Crats and her response, "it's the union mentality".  Increasing government increased the dole mentality.  I recently read thatthe number of local and county government jobs is expanding.  Just no end in sight.   I hope McCain can do something to halt this endless cancerour trend.  I just don't know about him though.  I don't see any big thinker other than Newt out there.  But I doubt very much he could ever be popular enough with independents to win.  And I suspect that is why he didn't run.  He knows he could not win - at least for now.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1734839,00.html


Friday, May 02, 2008
Time Issue

****He's been Speaker of the House, a professor and a best-selling author. His World War II novel, Days of Infamy, hits bookstores on April 29. Newt Gingrich will now take your questions
Upcoming: DNC Chair Howard Dean

His 2004 presidential bid ended after his infamous yell but he'd harnessed the web's fundraising power far before most. Now as Democratic National Committee chair he plays a crucial role in the party's choice for nominee. Submit questions for Howard Dean
10 Questions for Rachael Ray

The perky Food Network host's empire includes a magazine, a talk show and a nonprofit group. Her latest book, Yum-O! The Family Cookbook, comes out April 29. Rachael Ray will now take your questions
More 10 Questions

Is there anything you feel you could have done while you were in Congress but didn't? —Abe Weiss, Monsey, N.Y.
In retrospect, I probably would have created a very intensive training program [on] how to be a majoritarian Republican solving problems. That was a huge mistake, and it led to the collapse of 2006 because you had the party over the past six years reverting to a Republican Party which is incapable of being in the majority.

Are the Republicans headed for another decades-long stretch as the minority party? —J. De May, Kew Gardens, N.Y.
Until there is a resurgence of a Republicanism that meets the demand of independent voters to be a reform party, to care about the environment, to deal with a national energy strategy and to deal with education, I think that there is a real danger that the Republicans will be at a disadvantage.

How do you feel about Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's proposal to expand the powers of the Fed? —Josh Lyman, Seattle
I'm very cautious because it represents the former head of a very large Wall Street firm, acting as Secretary of the Treasury, explaining how we could regulate the economy further to the advantage of Wall Street and the disadvantage of the rest of the country.

What will the next six months bring for the American dollar? —Diana West, Memphis, Tenn.
My guess is, the dollar will stabilize, to the huge disadvantage of the euro. The only zone where the dollar's value matters to us is the purchase of oil. If we weren' buying foreign oil, we wouldn't care about the value of the dollar.

You have criticized the partisanship of Washington, but your time as Speaker of the House was known for extreme division. How do you explain this? —Dan Kane, Durham, N.H.
I helped pass NAFTA on behalf of President Bill Clinton. And in 1996 [when] we passed welfare reform, about half the Democrats in the House voted with us. I don't think either party can force a narrowly partisan set of solutions.

When do you think elected leaders will gain the political will to tackle climate change? —Kurt Wilms, San Francisco
If you really care about the environment, you want to develop green technologies that are so inexpensive that it is profitable to be environmentally sensitive. It's not a question of political will. Can you develop solutions with broad enough support so that it is relatively easy for politicians to do them?

In light of Bill Buckley's passing, who are the remaining intellectual giants in modern American conservatism? —Orlando Gutierrez, Boston
There are a lot of very, very smart conservative intellectuals like Thomas Sowell, Michael Novak [and] George Weigal. There are a lot of very thoughtful advocates of what I would call a serious conservatism, by which I mean the preservation of the traditions of freedom and the understanding of the realities within which you have to make decisions.

As a military historian, do you see a clear path for a resolution to the Iraq occupation? —Halston Howard Torrance, Calif.
Well, I said in December 2003, "We've gone off a cliff." I think [special envoy to Iraq L. Paul] Bremer's decisions in June of 2003 were an absolute, total strategic fiasco. When political leaders decide they can violate all the rules of war, they get beat.

Give me your breakdown of general-election matchups. Who is John McCain stronger against? —Danny Collins, Chantilly, VA.
I think Senator Hillary Clinton has a lower ceiling and a higher floor. She probably can't get much above 53% or 54% [of the vote], and she probably can't drop much below 47%. Senator Barack Obama is a bigger gamble for the Democrats. He could be a unifying national leader. He could collapse as well.

Why did you decide not to run for President? —Brian Lemieux, Los Angeles
The scale of solutions we need for the next 20 years is so enormous that I could not both do what I'm doing and run for President. I may someday run, but I think my primary contribution is to go to the root of problems, to try to understand the scale of change we need.

Copyright © 2008 Time Inc. All rights reserved.****
3731  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The natural gas alternative on: April 25, 2008, 10:21:16 AM
Sounds like natural gas is an alternative to oil gas for automobiles. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080425/ap_on_bi_ge/utah_natural_gas_vehicles;_ylt=AnfMaitxqVQ4Eisy.hVSvgms0NUE

*** Natural-gas vehicles hot in Utah, where the fuel is cheap

By PAUL FOY, AP Business Writer Fri Apr 25, 3:06 AM ET

SALT LAKE CITY - Troy Anderson was at the gas pump and couldn't have been happier, filling up at a rate of $5 per tank.
ADVERTISEMENT

Anderson was paying 63.8 cents per gallon equivalent for compressed natural gas, making Utah a hot market for vehicles that run on the fuel.

It's the country's cheapest rate for compressed gas, according to the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, and far less than the $3.56 national average price for a gallon of gasoline.

"I'm totally celebrating," crowed Anderson, a 44-year-old social worker, who picked up a used Honda Civic GX two months ago. "This is the greatest thing. I can't believe more people aren't talking about it. This is practically free."

Personal ownership of natural gas-fueled vehicles in Utah soared from practically nothing a few years ago to an estimated 5,000 vehicles today, overwhelming a growing refueling network, where compressors sometimes can't maintain enough pressure to fill tanks completely for every customer.

"Nobody expected this kind of growth. We got caught by the demand," said Gordon Larsen, a supervisor at Utah utility Questar Gas.

Utah has 91 stations, including 20 open to the public, mostly in the Salt Lake City area. The others are reserved for commercial drivers, such as school districts, bus fleets and big businesses such as a Coca-Cola distributor.

It's possible to drive the interstates between Rock Springs, Wyo., and St. George, Utah — a distance of 477 miles — and find 22 places to pull off and fill up.

California has more stations but prices are much higher there, the equivalent of $2.50 a gallon for gasoline.

"Utah has the cheapest prices by a big margin," said Richard Kolodziej, president of the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, whose members include utilities, Honda Motor Co., environmental groups and transit agencies.

Among major utilities outside of Alaska, Questar is the country's cheapest provider of natural gas for home use. It can offer compressed natural gas for cars even cheaper because of a federal tax credit.

The incentives don't stop there. Buyers of new and some used and converted vehicles can claim their own federal and state tax credits totaling up to $7,000 — nearly the extra cost of a CNG-fueled vehicle.

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican, paid $12,000 of his own money to modify a state-owned Chevrolet Suburban last June.

"Converting to CNG gives us an opportunity to promote energy security and support a clean-burning alternative," Huntsman said in an e-mail Thursday. "Plus, who can beat running a Suburban on 63 cents a gallon?"

Mike Gaffa, a 39-year-old Continental Airlines reservation clerk, bought a used Ford F-150 pickup for $10,500. The vehicle came with a bonus: a previous owner added three extra tanks that fill the bed of his pickup.

"I don't even keep track of gasoline prices anymore," Gaffa boasted. "You'd be hard-pressed to find another vehicle that can go 600 miles on a fill-up."

And when he runs out of natural gas, he can switch over to a regular gasoline tank for a total range of more than 850 miles.

Utah has caught the attention of Honda, which can't make CNG-equipped Civic GXs fast enough at an Ohio plant. For now, it makes the compact available for sale to individuals only in California and New York, but executives say Utah could be next on their list.

Aside from fleet sales, no other automaker offers a CNG-powered car in the U.S.

Most Utah buyers must turn to the used-car market. They are tracking down vehicles on the Internet, some made earlier by the Detroit automakers. Some dealers here are hauling used CNG vehicles to Utah by the truckload.

"The demand in Utah is huge," Kolodziej said. "It's sucking all the used vehicles from around the country."

   
3732  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 24, 2008, 10:56:23 AM

I would agree that Nunn probably feels like other Democrats.

There are probably many democrats who would like to rid the world of the Clintons and until now there was no alternative.
I would also agree more with Rove than Dick Morris in that this "race" is not over.   One just never knows.
The character issue keeps coming up for BO.

To me it is now clear.  BO is a liberal way left of Dukakis wearing "post partisan" clothes.

Naive young voters 18 to 24 will fall for this.  Older voters will not.  Listening to talk radio for the first time in a long time yesterday while driving around to hospitals gave me a glimpse into the rights present strategy to handle BO.  The are biggining a nuclear war with this while TV and cable news is still using sticks and stones.
3733  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: April 23, 2008, 02:26:13 PM
I was for the first time in a long time listening to Rush Limbaugh today and he is hystericaly lughingl at the likes of Dowd who are running around asking "why can't *he* put *her* away?"

This when he was asking why can't Hillary put BO away.  Why she *was* the front runner who could put him away till recently.

He believes her campaign (which of course listens to his program) simply had her get up after the Pa. election and ask the question turning it around on BO.  And thus, planted it into the minds of the press who of course picked it up hook line and sinker and are all running around like chickens asking the same question.

And of course Dowd, the feminazi she is, has to make this into some sort of castration issue, and he is not masculine enough to fight back, and billary is a much better fighter able to lead this nation and on and on and on.  What psycho babble!

Feminazi = penis envy angry broad.



3734  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interesting Stratfor.com Read on: April 21, 2008, 09:40:18 PM
***. U.S. carrier deployment: The deployment of U.S. carrier battle groups is becoming interesting. There are currently three deployed off the Chinese coast. One has paid a port call in Hong Kong, so we would assume that this is all being viewed as benign by the Chinese. Nevertheless, the deployment is interesting and we should try to find out if there is any political message being sent. Certainly we need to know how Beijing is reading this situation. It may be nothing, but worry about it anyway.***

Gertz on the reason for the three carrier groups:


http://www.gertzfile.com/gertzfile/InsidetheRing.html
3735  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's interpretation of the role of Supreme Court justices on: April 20, 2008, 09:01:19 AM
According to Jonah BO opinion:

"The Democratic front-runner and former lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago has explained his thinking toward judicial appointments thus: “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges.”

What?HuhHuh?  How about justice?  How about victim's rights?  How about a nation of laws?
BO my friends, is *radical* left.  In my view he is nuts.  This talk about we have to get past the rhetoric falls in line with his own proclaimed learned way of dealing with white folks.  Hold their hand, talk sweet and deflect their "innermost fears".  We are being conned.  Another version of BS the likes of HC and BC.

This guy is worse than Dukakis.

Just we wait till shrillary is out of the picture.  The right is going to (rightly in my view) have a field day with this guy.

   
   

April 18, 2008 12:00 AM

Courting Disaster
In a very real sense, this election year we face the question: Do we want to live in a monarchy or a nation of laws?

By Jonah Goldberg

 

Every four years, we’re told that this is the most important election since a caveman asked for a show of hands. So some skepticism seems warranted when we hear the same refrain this year.

But then there’s the question of the Supreme Court. And here, at least for me, skepticism melts away into real anxiety, even panic.

Consider the stunning decision handed down from the Supreme Court this week.
The court ruled that the state of Kentucky may continue to use lethal injections when administering the death penalty. But that’s not what’s shocking. Nor was it surprising that for the first time Justice John Paul Stevens admitted he thinks the death penalty is unconstitutional.

What is staggering, or at least should be, is that Stevens freely admits that he no longer considers “objective evidence” or even the plain text of the Constitution determinative of what is or isn’t constitutional: “I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty” is unconstitutional.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a blistering response, justifiably exclaimed that, “Purer expression cannot be found of the principle of rule by judicial fiat.”

I say “justifiably” rather than “accurately” because I think we hear purer expressions of the principle that “good” judges are those who make it up as they go along all the time. Consider Barack Obama. The Democratic front-runner and former lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago has explained his thinking toward judicial appointments thus: “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges.”

When defending his vote against Justice John Roberts’ confirmation, Obama explained that the standard for a justice must be “one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.”

Now that  is a pure expression of the principle of judicial fiat.

Indeed, by Obama’s own words the best justices are those who will most shamelessly violate their own oath of office.

Supreme Court justices must “solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God.”

Note the bit about doing right to poor and rich alike. Feeling sorry for the poor guy who violates the Constitution or the law has no role in how a Supreme Court justice is supposed to make a decision. Legislators can write laws based on empathy. They can invoke their pet theories about “how the world works.” They can even, as Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are fond of doing, consult foreign laws and court decisions in their efforts to make a more perfect union. But Supreme Court justices are supposed to decide what the written law requires, not pick winners and losers based upon some sense of noblesse oblige. That’s why all of those statues of Lady Justice show her standing blindfolded, not bent over kissing the boo-boos of the unfortunate and the downtrodden.

In a very real sense, this election year we face the question: Do we want to live in a monarchy or a nation of laws? Is this to be a country where justices serve as a reliable backstop against encroachments upon the constitutional order, or is this to be a country where the most undemocratic branch of government serves as the tip of the spear for such intrusions?

Five of the last seven presidents have been Republicans at least nominally committed to appointing conservative justices. Some have fallen short in that department (though not President George W. Bush), which is why the Supreme Court today hangs in the balance. John McCain could conceivably make the mistake of appointing a Souter or a Stevens or some other justice who sees the Constitution as an ink blot. But the key difference between McCain and his Democratic rivals is that he promises not to appoint such justices. Clinton and Obama consider it among their top priorities. That’s at least one reason for saying this is one of the most important elections in a very long time.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

(C) 2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

© National Review Online 2008. All Rights Reserved.


3736  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Does BO hate America? on: April 19, 2008, 08:05:19 AM
George Will:

Obama is American liberalism's evolutionary end result.   Blame America first because it is a downright mean country.  So now we must all come together to make it into something that would Michelle could be proud of:

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041508.php3

If one believes this, and I am becoming convinced that it is true then in my view this guy cannot be allowed to run this country.
He is bluffing us. Let's all work together, compromise, we are one nation etc etc.  But what we are working for is his vision of America.   And that vision is extraordinarily liberal.

Can BO prove to me otherwise?
3737  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / McCain wants to simplify the tax code on: April 17, 2008, 11:02:27 PM
JM has if for some real change.  I'm impressed and pleasantly surprised.

I would like to hear Doug's thoughts on this since he is astute on tax policy: 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/15/mccain.economy/index.html?eref=rss_politics&iref=polticker
3738  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: April 14, 2008, 09:48:31 PM
John Fund is one of the most astute journalists in my view.

As for Obama I feel he is fooling a lot of people most of the time.

I suspect his public persona is a fraud and the real BO is an angry guy who really is an American despising liberal.
I for one no longer trust him as far as I can say "Clinton".
3739  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: April 11, 2008, 06:56:04 PM
Interesting.  I would rather have McCain negotiating this with a position of strength than Obama giving away the store with weakness.

"“Iraq is the convergence point for two of the greatest threats to America in this new century — al Qaeda and Iran.”

China is clearly the biggest threat we face.
3740  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Alicia Keys on: April 11, 2008, 06:50:11 PM
I still allege this chick couldn't write lyrics or come up with a melody to save her life.  Why No One has sold can only be testiment to finanically storng backers because 'no one' can tell me this is a good song.  The melody is obviously so strained.  So much a melody from someone who can't come up with a decent melody so goes up and down octaves trying to make it sound different. 

I say there is something going here with this turn around about her shifting gears to policitics.  Even her mother is shocked at this stuff.  The reason I believe she is pouting this stuff is because she can't get anymore material other than this.  If she really could write she could and would be writing about whatever she chooses.  So now she has to play the game.  Make up stories about versatility.  That her interest has shifted focus and that explains this total change.  But I believe the truth is - that this is all the material that was stolen so this is what she has to use.   Anyway, that is the fraud behind the music "industry".

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080411/D8VVUAHG0.html
3741  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 10, 2008, 09:38:22 PM
I'm incredulous to hear BO tell us we are less safe now than beofre 911.

I guess that is supported by the fact we have not had a single recureence since undecided

I spoke with a phsyician colleauge who is from Paskitan.  He felt the violence will never end there.

His from the eastern portion but the western Paskitani terrorists have been taking their Jihad accross the country and are now hitting targets all over.

He says you can't negotiate with them, you can't fight them, you can't do anything about it.  In part, because you don't even know who most of them are.  You don't know who sympathizes with them and who are your enemy. People are afraid to fight back.  They or their families might be next.  It is sheer terror.

Yet BO thinks we are worse off here.

I'll take McCain anyday.   
3742  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Boyfriend to girlfriend on: April 10, 2008, 09:20:24 PM
What a joke.  These bozos friends don't only steal the songs from Katherine they then steal them from each other.
http://news.aol.com/entertainment/music/music-news-story/ar/_a/daughtry-caught-in-plagiarism-scandal/20080410124709990002?icid=100214839x1159312959x1080115074
3743  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Internet is blazingly slow compared to new technology on: April 06, 2008, 11:51:43 AM
I wonder what Gilder says.  I wonder if my hugely disastrous holding level three (which is going the way of another one of "gg's" great picks globalstar) has a place with this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3689881.ece
3744  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Barack more like J. Wright then he lets on? Coulter on BO's own book on: April 06, 2008, 10:25:14 AM
I am not such a Coulter fan anymore since her remarks on Donny Deutsh about Jews, but she does raise my eyebrows with these excerpts from a book I didn't know BO wrote:

http://www.anncoulter.com/

This part does make me a little uncomfortable.  Are whites just being conned by BO and is he really another angry Black man more akin to Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright.  For me I would have to hear more proof this guy has risen above this anger and as far as I am concerned reverse bigotry to even consider him as my President.  If anyone thinks Hillary's attacks on BO are severe then I would agree with those who say "we ain't seen nothing yet" and wait till "the Republicans go at him".  This piece is just for openers (I guess):

***When his mother expresses concern about Obama's high school friend being busted for drugs, Obama says he patted his mother's hand and told her not to worry.

This, too, prompted Obama to share with his readers a life lesson on how to handle white people: "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time."***

***OBAMA'S DIMESTORE 'MEIN KAMPF'
April 2, 2008


If characters from "The Hills" were to emote about race, I imagine it would sound like B. Hussein Obama's autobiography, "Dreams From My Father."

Has anybody read this book? Inasmuch as the book reveals Obama to be a flabbergasting lunatic, I gather the answer is no. Obama is about to be our next president: You might want to take a peek. If only people had read "Mein Kampf" ...

Nearly every page -- save the ones dedicated to cataloguing the mundane details of his life -- is bristling with anger at some imputed racist incident. The last time I heard this much race-baiting invective I was ... in my usual front-row pew, as I am every Sunday morning, at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Obama tells a story about taking two white friends from the high school basketball team to a "black party." Despite their deep-seated, unconscious hatred of blacks, the friends readily accepted. At the party, they managed not to scream the N-word, but instead "made some small talk, took a couple of the girls out on the dance floor."

But with his racial hair-trigger, Obama sensed the whites were not comfortable because "they kept smiling a lot." And then, in an incident reminiscent of the darkest days of the Jim Crow South ... they asked to leave after spending only about an hour at the party! It was practically an etiquette lynching!

So either they hated black people with the hot, hot hate of a thousand suns, or they were athletes who had come to a party late, after a Saturday night basketball game.

In the car on the way home, one of the friends empathizes with Obama, saying: "You know, man, that really taught me something. I mean, I can see how it must be tough for you and Ray sometimes, at school parties ... being the only black guys and all."

And thus Obama felt the cruel lash of racism! He actually writes that his response to his friend's perfectly lovely remark was: "A part of me wanted to punch him right there."

Listen, I don't want anybody telling Obama about Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" line.

Wanting to punch his white friend in the stomach was the introductory anecdote to a full-page psychotic rant about living by "the white man's rules." (One rule he missed was: "Never punch out your empathetic white friend after dragging him to a crappy all-black party.")

Obama's gaseous disquisition on the "white man's rules" leads to this charming crescendo: "Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger."

For those of you in the "When is Obama gonna play the 'N-word' card?" pool, the winner is ... Page 85! Congratulations!

When his mother expresses concern about Obama's high school friend being busted for drugs, Obama says he patted his mother's hand and told her not to worry.

This, too, prompted Obama to share with his readers a life lesson on how to handle white people: "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time."

First of all, I note that this technique seems to be the basis of Obama's entire presidential campaign. But moreover -- he was talking about his own mother! As Obama says: "Any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning." Say, do you think a white person who said that about blacks would be a leading presidential candidate?

The man is stark bonkersville.

He says the reason black people keep to themselves is that it's "easier than spending all your time mad or trying to guess whatever it was that white folks were thinking about you."

Here's a little inside scoop about white people: We're not thinking about you. Especially WASPs. We think everybody is inferior, and we are perfectly charming about it.

In college, Obama explains to a girl why he was reading Joseph Conrad's 1902 classic, "Heart of Darkness": "I read the book to help me understand just what it is that makes white people so afraid. Their demons. The way ideas get twisted around. I helps me understand how people learn to hate."

By contrast, Malcolm X's autobiography "spoke" to Obama. One line in particular "stayed with me," he says. "He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged."

Forget Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- Wright is Booker T. Washington compared to this guy.

COPYRIGHT 2008 ANN COULTER
DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111


3745  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science on: April 04, 2008, 08:23:43 AM
Thanks GM

Interesting stuff.

My understanding from a career military person is the US military sees China as our number *one enemy*.  The remains of the former Soviet Union is no longer considered a serious threat.

My general undestanding is military electronic hardware is protected by three layers of defense.  If one layer is penetrated without authorization the other two automatically change configuration.  Assuming this is even remotely the case this still may not protect against a succesful intrusion by the patient, well placed spy who is on the "inside".

Who amongst us is our enemy pretending to be our friend?  Apparantly many more than we think. 

It is what my wife and I deal with on a daily basis with regards to her music lyrics that get stolen over and  over again.  There is simply no limit to who money can buy.  This is a fact I have learned the hard way.

How about celebrities who keep having their medical records stolen right out of the hospital only to show up in the National Enquirer?  As a doctor I could get fined or go to jail for such a breach.  Yet nothing happens to the Enquirer.  Why are not these people sent to jail for such an invasion to privacy.  So should the hospital employees for such unistakably deliberate acts IMO.  Not just lose their jobs.  Anyway I digress.
3746  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Clinton financial incentive to not quit on: April 03, 2008, 10:10:48 AM
WHY HILLARY WON’T QUIT
Apr 2 2008
Dick's Articles

***Hillary Clinton’s campaign currently owes vendors $8 million, exclusive of the $5 million she owes herself. She cannot use general election money to pay for this debt. If she begins to be anything less than certain that she will stay in up to the convention, she won’t raise any money and will be stuck with the debt. She also realizes that it is only by projecting an almost manic air of certainty that she has any chance at all of hanging onto super delegates. The first whiff they get of a withdrawal, they will all run screaming to Obama to get on the late train. Don’t think that Hillary is delusional. She knows she’s lost but she has no choice but to play the rest of the game. To fold now would leave her in an untenable situation.***

They need cash.  Not only to pay off their debts but to rake it in for future plans of inflicting themselves on the Democrats and this nation.

What a joke that Bill Clinton is outraged that Richardson told him "five" times he wouldn't do what he did [come out for Obama]
He and his accomplice are the world's biggest G..M liars and are ruining this country by making it respectable to lie incessantly.

Our children grow up being taught that this behavior is ok.  They are pigs as far as I am concerned

Hopefully after she loses their power with the Dems will forever dimisnish and they will just fade out over the years.




   
3747  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From Gertz GPS/military on: April 01, 2008, 07:13:55 PM
From Gertz,

Shut down GPS and the US military is stymied.

http://www.gertzfile.com/gertzfile/InsidetheRing.html

Article:

***
Return to
The Gertz File

March 28, 2008
Notes from the Pentagon


Denial and deception
China's military is using "denial" and "deception" to mislead the United States and other governments about its military strategy and buildup, according to Pentagon officials.

The topic is discussed in the latest Pentagon report on China's military power, which defines Chinese disinformation as "[luring] the other side into developing misperceptions ... and [establishing for oneself] a strategically advantageous position by producing various kinds of false phenomena in an organized and planned manner with the smallest cost in manpower and materials."

A Pentagon official, elaborating on the report, said "denial" by the Chinese is excessive secrecy "surrounding almost every part of the PLA," or People's Liberation Army, as the military is known.

Evidence of denial is difficult to pinpoint because, the official said, "we don't know what we don't know."

Deception often is discussed in Chinese military writings, including those based on ancient writings that discuss its use in helping weaker powers defeat stronger ones. The analogy is used by China to discuss how it would defeat the United States in a conflict.

Strategic deception is "producing or portraying something that is false as being true in an effort to confuse the adversary or set the conditions for surprise," the official said.

"Denial and secrecy is used to prevent outside observers from gaining real insights into investment priorities, capabilities and intentions which can serve to hide either weakness or strength," the official said.

China's tactical denial and deception include using electronic decoys, infrared decoys, false-target generators and angle reflectors during electronic warfare. They also include the use of traditional concealment, camouflage and deception by military forces.

Some senior U.S. intelligence officials dispute the Pentagon's assertion that China employs strategic and tactical denial and deception, arguing that Chinese communist-style disinformation is no different from what non-communist governments use. The issue is being debated internally.

GPS threat
U.S. military and intelligence officials say one reason China's anti-satellite missile test of January 2007 was so alarming is that it highlighted a major strategic vulnerability: the reliance of the U.S. military on Global Position System satellites.

If China used its ground-based mobile ASAT missiles to destroy GPS satellites, it would cripple the ability of the U.S. military to use some of its most important weapons, like satellite-guided precision missiles. Additionally, navigation of ground-, air- and sea-based forces would be almost completely halted.

"Shut down GPS and we're basically left with throwing rocks," said one U.S. military official.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, told reporters earlier this month that GPS also is vulnerable to electronic jamming.

"The Global Positioning System is literally ubiquitous," Gen. Hamel said. "I would argue that precise positioning and timing is the fundamental enabler of the information age. Being able to synchronize everything around the globe from timing and positioning is absolutely critical. Yet the only way that really functions is for user receivers to be able to collect the signal. Well, it is a very, very weak signal and it's very, it's relatively easy for commercial kind of devices and uses to be able to get disrupted."

Gen. Hamel said the military is considering how to protect GPS users. "We both want to improve the signals from the satellite, but you also have to improve the user equipment to be less susceptible and vulnerable," he said.

"Literally Radio Shack parts, together with a modicum of electrical engineering education, you can actually generate jamming and disruptive wave forms to particular types of GPS signals and user equipment," Gen. Hamel said.

Gen. Hamel said his command is building equipment for military users "that has greater protection and anti-jam capability to be able to deal with some of those kinds of threats," noting that it is not only satellites that need protection but user equipment as well.

Correction
A February 29 item entitled "Fight Over China" erroneously reported that Lonnie Henley, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, indirectly supported the unauthorized disclosure of intelligence to China by writing a letter to the sentencing judge in the criminal case of former DIA analyst Ron Montaperto. Mr. Henley sent a letter to the court attesting to Mr. Montaperto's character during the sentencing phase of the proceeding, a common procedure in criminal cases that does not suggest support for the underlying crime. Additionally, Mr. Montaperto pleaded guilty to a charge of mishandling classified documents -- not espionage.

# Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202-636-3274, or at InsidetheRing@washingtontimes.com.
3748  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / US military GPS on: March 31, 2008, 09:40:01 PM
From Gertz,

Shut down GPS and the US military is stymied.

http://www.gertzfile.com/gertzfile/InsidetheRing.html

Article:

***
Return to
The Gertz File

March 28, 2008
Notes from the Pentagon


Denial and deception
China's military is using "denial" and "deception" to mislead the United States and other governments about its military strategy and buildup, according to Pentagon officials.

The topic is discussed in the latest Pentagon report on China's military power, which defines Chinese disinformation as "[luring] the other side into developing misperceptions ... and [establishing for oneself] a strategically advantageous position by producing various kinds of false phenomena in an organized and planned manner with the smallest cost in manpower and materials."

A Pentagon official, elaborating on the report, said "denial" by the Chinese is excessive secrecy "surrounding almost every part of the PLA," or People's Liberation Army, as the military is known.

Evidence of denial is difficult to pinpoint because, the official said, "we don't know what we don't know."

Deception often is discussed in Chinese military writings, including those based on ancient writings that discuss its use in helping weaker powers defeat stronger ones. The analogy is used by China to discuss how it would defeat the United States in a conflict.

Strategic deception is "producing or portraying something that is false as being true in an effort to confuse the adversary or set the conditions for surprise," the official said.

"Denial and secrecy is used to prevent outside observers from gaining real insights into investment priorities, capabilities and intentions which can serve to hide either weakness or strength," the official said.

China's tactical denial and deception include using electronic decoys, infrared decoys, false-target generators and angle reflectors during electronic warfare. They also include the use of traditional concealment, camouflage and deception by military forces.

Some senior U.S. intelligence officials dispute the Pentagon's assertion that China employs strategic and tactical denial and deception, arguing that Chinese communist-style disinformation is no different from what non-communist governments use. The issue is being debated internally.

GPS threat
U.S. military and intelligence officials say one reason China's anti-satellite missile test of January 2007 was so alarming is that it highlighted a major strategic vulnerability: the reliance of the U.S. military on Global Position System satellites.

If China used its ground-based mobile ASAT missiles to destroy GPS satellites, it would cripple the ability of the U.S. military to use some of its most important weapons, like satellite-guided precision missiles. Additionally, navigation of ground-, air- and sea-based forces would be almost completely halted.

"Shut down GPS and we're basically left with throwing rocks," said one U.S. military official.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, told reporters earlier this month that GPS also is vulnerable to electronic jamming.

"The Global Positioning System is literally ubiquitous," Gen. Hamel said. "I would argue that precise positioning and timing is the fundamental enabler of the information age. Being able to synchronize everything around the globe from timing and positioning is absolutely critical. Yet the only way that really functions is for user receivers to be able to collect the signal. Well, it is a very, very weak signal and it's very, it's relatively easy for commercial kind of devices and uses to be able to get disrupted."

Gen. Hamel said the military is considering how to protect GPS users. "We both want to improve the signals from the satellite, but you also have to improve the user equipment to be less susceptible and vulnerable," he said.

"Literally Radio Shack parts, together with a modicum of electrical engineering education, you can actually generate jamming and disruptive wave forms to particular types of GPS signals and user equipment," Gen. Hamel said.

Gen. Hamel said his command is building equipment for military users "that has greater protection and anti-jam capability to be able to deal with some of those kinds of threats," noting that it is not only satellites that need protection but user equipment as well.

Correction
A February 29 item entitled "Fight Over China" erroneously reported that Lonnie Henley, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, indirectly supported the unauthorized disclosure of intelligence to China by writing a letter to the sentencing judge in the criminal case of former DIA analyst Ron Montaperto. Mr. Henley sent a letter to the court attesting to Mr. Montaperto's character during the sentencing phase of the proceeding, a common procedure in criminal cases that does not suggest support for the underlying crime. Additionally, Mr. Montaperto pleaded guilty to a charge of mishandling classified documents -- not espionage.

# Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202-636-3274, or at InsidetheRing@washingtontimes.com.
3749  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / David Brooks on: March 28, 2008, 09:54:57 AM
Limbaugh's strategy is working for now.  Leave Clinton in the race and this is continuing to hurt the Crats.  But this will be all resolved by the time of election.  And the polls that show some crats would not vote for either BO or Clinton mean nothing.  Come november they will all vote for whoever the crat candidate is.  Remember Republicans are worse than Nazis in the eyes of most crats.

With that said I still disagree with Rush.  Anytime anyone has a chance to get rid of the Clintons, do so.  This country has to get them off the stage.   They are damaging this country.  Knock them out once and for all.  Get rid of them.  Go away.  Stop torturing us with their sick personalities. 

An excerpt from David Brooks says it all:

"For nearly 20 years, she has been encased in the apparatus of political celebrity. Look at her schedule as first lady and ever since. Think of the thousands of staged events, the tens of thousands of times she has pretended to be delighted to see someone she doesn’t know, the hundreds of thousands times she has recited empty clichés and exhortatory banalities, the millions of photos she has posed for in which she is supposed to appear empathetic or tough, the billions of politically opportune half-truths that have bounced around her head."

The full piece:


****The Long Defeat

By DAVID BROOKS
Published: March 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton may not realize it yet, but she’s just endured one of the worst weeks of her campaign.
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First, Barack Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects. Obama still holds a tiny lead among Democrats nationally in the Gallup tracking poll, just as he did before this whole affair blew up.

Second, Obama’s lawyers successfully prevented re-votes in Florida and Michigan. That means it would be virtually impossible for Clinton to take a lead in either elected delegates or total primary votes.

Third, as Noam Scheiber of The New Republic has reported, most superdelegates have accepted Nancy Pelosi’s judgment that the winner of the elected delegates should get the nomination. Instead of lining up behind Clinton, they’re drifting away. Her lead among them has shrunk by about 60 in the past month, according to Avi Zenilman of Politico.com.

In short, Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects continue to dim. The door is closing. Night is coming. The end, however, is not near.

Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

Five percent.

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound.

For the sake of that 5 percent, this will be the sourest spring. About a fifth of Clinton and Obama supporters now say they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate in the general election. Meanwhile, on the other side, voters get an unobstructed view of the Republican nominee. John McCain’s approval ratings have soared 11 points. He is now viewed positively by 67 percent of Americans. A month ago, McCain was losing to Obama among independents by double digits in a general election matchup. Now McCain has a lead among this group.

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

Why does she go on like this? Does Clinton privately believe that Obama is so incompetent that only she can deliver the policies they both support? Is she simply selfish, and willing to put her party through agony for the sake of her slender chance? Are leading Democrats so narcissistic that they would create bitter stagnation even if they were granted one-party rule?

The better answer is that Clinton’s long rear-guard action is the logical extension of her relentlessly political life.

For nearly 20 years, she has been encased in the apparatus of political celebrity. Look at her schedule as first lady and ever since. Think of the thousands of staged events, the tens of thousands of times she has pretended to be delighted to see someone she doesn’t know, the hundreds of thousands times she has recited empty clichés and exhortatory banalities, the millions of photos she has posed for in which she is supposed to appear empathetic or tough, the billions of politically opportune half-truths that have bounced around her head.

No wonder the Clinton campaign feels impersonal. It’s like a machine for the production of politics. It plows ahead from event to event following its own iron logic. The only question is whether Clinton herself can step outside the apparatus long enough to turn it off and withdraw voluntarily or whether she will force the rest of her party to intervene and jam the gears.

If she does the former, she would surprise everybody with a display of self-sacrifice. Her campaign would cruise along at a lower register until North Carolina, then use that as an occasion to withdraw. If she does not, she would soldier on doggedly, taking down as many allies as necessary.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company****
3750  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / one last word on ferraro on: March 12, 2008, 11:33:45 PM
She states Obama would not be where he is if he were not *black*.

Well she would never have been chosen as a vice-presidential candidate if she were not a *woman*.

It certainly wasn't for her political skills, name power, or accomplishments that she was chosen.

Talk about chuzpuh!

Just another nag.
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