Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Don't Blame Oil Companies Says LA Times Editorial

Did you read this surprising Los Angeles Times May 25, 2007 EDITORIAL
Don't blame oil companies This summer, it's time to lay blame for high gas prices on ... us.

"despite the fact that dozens of probes over the last 20 years have turned up no clear evidence of market manipulation by oil companies"

"Moreover, government efforts to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and cut greenhouse-gas emissions, both highly desirable goals, are probably contributing to the problem. Gas supplies are tight because the U.S. lacks refining capacity, and every time a refinery shuts down for maintenance or because of an accident, prices rise. Consumer advocates claim refiners are artificially restricting supply by refusing to expand. Actually, they're just making logical business decisions. President Bush has called for the production of 35 billion gallons a year of alternative fuels, mostly ethanol, by 2017, and Congress is considering even more ambitious bills. With alternatives replacing gasoline, it would be crazy to spend hundreds of millions building a new gasoline refinery that might not be needed by the time it's finished."

Monday, May 28, 2007

New York City Homicides


New York City homicides
1990 – 2,262
2005 - 527

Anybody notice the Republican Mayors?
Republican Rudy Giuliani was Mayor from January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001 and was succeeded by Republican Michael Bloomberg.

I probably visited New York City in 1990 and thought nothing of it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Segregationists All Democrats

Many liberal friends of mine seem to think that the racist Democrats in the South just became today’s racist Republicans. From my reading of history, the racist Democrats died, retired or were defeated. There was only one notable exception; one Democrat segregationist did become a Republican, Dixiecrat Senator Strom Thurman of South Carolina. Based on signing the 1956 Southern Manifesto and voting against the 1964 Civil Rights Act basically all the segregationists were Democrats.

The 1956 Southern Manifesto, ninety-one years after the Confederacy had lost the Civil War, was signed by nineteen United States Senators and seventy-seven members of the House of Representatives opposed to racial integration in public places. Of the ninety-six members of Congress who signed the Southern Manifesto, two were Virginia Republican Congressman [three Southern Republican Congressmen refused to sign]. The Southern Manifesto included "This unwarranted exercise of power by the Court, contrary to the Constitution, is creating chaos and confusion in the States principally affected. It is destroying the amicable relations between the white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding." My, My.

Most Democratic segregationists died, retired or were defeated, for example:
Senator Richard Russell, Democrat of Georgia, co-authored the 1956 Southern Manifesto strongly defended white supremacy and voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He died in 1971; civil rights supporting Democrat Sam Nunn was elected in 1972. In 1996 Nunn retired and civil rights supporting Democrat Max Cleland was elected who was defeated in 2002 by civil rights supporting Republican Saxby Chambliss.

Senator Albert Gore Sr., Democrat of Tennessee, voted against 1964 Civil Rights Act was defeated in 1970 by civil rights supporting Republican William E. Brock III.

Senator Sam Ervin, Democrat of North Carolina (the Senator who chaired the Watergate Investigating Committee), signed the 1956 Sothern Manifesto and voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act was succeeded by moderate Democrat Robert Morgan who was then defeated in 1980 by civil rights supporting Republican John Porter East.

Senator James O. Eastland, Democrat of Mississippi was a staunch segregationist and avowed racist who signed the 1956 Southern Manifesto and voted against 1964 Civil Rights Act. Did national Democrats ostracize Eastland? Heck no; he served in the Senate until 1978 under President Jimmy Carter in the prestigious positions of Judiciary Committee Chairman and the Senate office In line to assume the Presidency, President Pro Tempore. However, in 1978, Eastland retired and the voters elected civil rights supporting Republican Thad Cochran.

Senator J. William Fulbright, Democrat of Arkansas (mentor of President Bill Clinton), signed the 1956 Sothern Manifesto and voted against 1964 Civil Rights Act as well as voting against the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Did he become a Republican? No, he was defeated in the Democratic primary by civil rights supporting then-Governor Democrat Dale Bumpers. Civil rights supporting Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln stills holds this seat for the Democratic Party.

What about Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, wasn’t he a segregationist? No, consistent with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he and most Republicans are against race based affirmative action. Helms was elected in 1972 replacing segregationist Democrat B. Everett Jordan appointed to the Senate in 1958 who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin: in voting, employment, and public services, such as transportation.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed in the United States Senate:
Democratic Party: 46-22 (68%-32%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

The 1964 Civil Rights Act passed in the House of Representatives:
Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vietnam – Blood on Our Hands

Vietnam – Blood on Our Hands

January 1973 – Peace Agreement ends war
March 29, 1973 – Last US combat troops left Vietnam
March 1975 – Democrats cut off military funding to South Vietnam
April 30, 1975 – Fall of Saigon

Estimate 850,000 South Vietnamese killed

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Global Warming – A Joke in Five Years

See Sunday, 20 May 2007 article Global warming debunked

■ “Water vapour was responsible for 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect, an effect which was vital to keep the world warm”

■ “The other greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and various others including CFCs, contributed only five per cent of the effect”

■ “Carbon dioxide as a result of man's activities was only 3.2 per cent” of all carbon dioxide emitted

■ "We couldn't do it (change the climate) even if we wanted to because water vapour dominates."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

US April's Temperatures Were Below Average


Climate Summary
April 2007

The average temperature in April 2007 was 51.7 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 47th coolest April in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

2.09 inches of precipitation fell in April. This was -0.34 inches less than the 1901-2000 average, the 30th driest such month on record. The precipitation trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.01 inches per decade.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bush Tax Rate Cuts Raises Taxes

See Revenue Collections Hit Record in April Thursday May 10, 2007 by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer, the sub-headline “Revenue Collections Hit Record High in April, Improve Budget Deficit”. Included in the article:

■ “Releasing its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Thursday that through the first seven months of this budget year, the deficit totals $80.8 billion, significantly below the $184.1 billion imbalance run up during the first seven months of the 2006 budget year.”

■ “The Congressional Budget Office said that it now expects the deficit for all of 2007 to total between $150 billion and $200 billion. That would be a significant improvement from last year's deficit of $248.2 billion, which had been the lowest imbalance in four years.”

■ “The administration's budget sent to Congress in February projects that the deficit will be eliminated by 2012 even if the president achieves his goal of getting his tax cuts made permanent.”

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Contain Mercury Required Special Disposal

A lady in Maine broke a compact fluorescent bulb and was given a $2,000 quote to properly dispose of it.

See Broken light bulb sparks debate from Saturday, March 17, 2007 Bangor Daily News.

■ “a Prospect [Maine] woman was told recently that it could cost $2,000 to clean up the mess left by a single shattered [compact fluorescent] bulb”
■ “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that replacing a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent can save a homeowner at least $30 in energy costs over the life of that one bulb”
■ “But these special bulbs require proper disposal”
■ “Unlike incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights contain a small amount of mercury”
■ “She called The Home Depot, where she bought the bulb, and was referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which eventually referred her to the DEP’s [Maine Department of Environmental Protection] environmental response team. A specialist who responded found mercury readings more than six times the state’s acceptable level at the spot of the broken bulb.”
■ “The specialist referred Bridges to an environmental cleanup company. The estimated cost, according to Bridges, was about $2,000”
■ “DEP officials, meanwhile, said homeowners can safely clean up broken bulbs on their own by following careful instructions and wearing gloves, safety glasses, coveralls and respiratory protection… both the DEP and federal EPA recommend removing larger pieces and placing them in a secure container. Smaller pieces and dust particles can be removed using two stiff pieces of paper, a disposable broom and dustpan, duct tape or a mercury spill kit. All items should then be placed in the secured container and brought to a local recycling facility for universal waste.”

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Congressional Leaders are Illiterate on Iraq

"As to why some of Capitol Hill's would-be war managers can't name more than a single Iraqi province, officers and journalists offer all kinds of theories.... But, then, expertise may be beside the point. Obliviousness, after all, has its uses.... Where all this leads is clear. Piece together a string of demonstrably false 'facts on the ground' from a suitably safe remove, and you're left with a scenario where we can walk away from Iraq without condition and regardless of consequence. You don't need to watch terrified Iraqis pleading for American forces to stay put in their neighborhoods. You don't need to read the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which anticipates that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal will end in catastrophe. Why, in the serene conviction that things are the other way around, you don't even need to read at all. Chances are, your congressman doesn't either" -- Lawrence Kaplan, writing in the New Republic, on the basic ignorance about Iraq displayed by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Murtha and other Democratic leaders.

See The National Review Congressional leaders are illiterate on Iraq by Lawrence F. Kaplan May 1, 2007

■ “More than that, congressional leaders often seem loath even to hear about events on the ground. During General Petraeus's visit to Washington last week, for example, House Democrats at first denied the Iraq commander an opportunity to brief them, citing "scheduling conflicts." And, when he finally did brief Congress, the evidence of progress that Petraeus was expected to present was dismissed before he even offered it. "He's the commander," Senator Carl Levin reasoned. "We always know that commanders are optimistic about their policies." The joke here, of course, is that Levin and his colleagues were not so long ago denouncing the Bush administration--and rightly so--for the sin of disparaging military expertise. True, civilians have no obligation to heed that expertise. They do, however, have an obligation to be informed or, at a minimum, to listen.”

■ “Still, the idea dovetails neatly with Reid's insistence that it is "the specter of U.S. occupation [that] gives fuel to the insurgency"--and that, absent this specter, the violence will magically subside. But just the reverse has been true. Falluja and Tal Afar in 2004, Ramadi in 2005, Western Baghdad in 2006--these places became charnel [suggestive of death or a tomb] houses when U.S. forces pulled back.” The

■ “ignores the lessons of the past four years, and purposefully slights the testimony of Petraeus and his fellow experts. Living among the population and sorting "friend from foe" is precisely how the military generates intelligence tips, which, in turn, provide the key to "targeted counter-terror operations." It can't be done from Kuwait, and it can't be done from Okinawa.”

■ “David Broder has pointed out, ‘Instead of reinforcing the important proposition ... that a military strategy for Iraq is necessary but not sufficient to solve the myriad political problems of that country, Reid has mistakenly argued that the military effort is lost but a diplomatic-political strategy can succeed’."

■ “one brand of diplomacy that truly matters in Iraq--the U.S. Army's tribal diplomacy, which accounts for the recent turn-around in Anbar Province--is precisely the mission that Reid's demand for a skeleton force would shut down.”

■ “latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which anticipates that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal will end in catastrophe.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Environmentalists Mandate MTBE Gasoline Additive Then Ban

See New York Times July 27, 1999 article by Matthew L. Wald Agency Will Ask Congress To Drop Gasoline Additive

■ “The Environmental Protection Agency will propose that Congress no longer require oil companies to add an ingredient to gasoline that is meant to make the air cleaner, because it pollutes water.”
■ [EPA Administrator] “Ms. Browner, whose [EPA] agency in the past has defended M.T.B.E. mandates to critics who said it posed health problems, said she would urge Congress to change rules passed in 1990 requiring oil companies to put an ''oxygenate'' in gasoline. Oxygenates, chemicals that incorporate an oxygen atom, promote more thorough burning in engines. Most oil companies chose the oxygenate known as M.T.B.E., for methyl tertiary butyl ether.”
■ “the panel report estimates that in places where oxygenates are used, 5 to 10 percent of drinking-water supplies show detectable amounts of M.T.B.E.”
■ “The environmental agency considers M.T.B.E. to be a possible carcinogen because it has been shown to cause cancer in animals.”
■ “When oxygenates were first required, in 1990, proponents said that putting oxygen into the liquid fuel would insure that engines produced more carbon dioxide, less carbon monoxide.”