Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kill the Enemy – Good News from Afghanistan

See Associated Press September 27, 2007 article Clashes and Airstrikes Kill 165 Taliban by Alisa Tang, Associated Press Writer:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – “U.S.-led forces used artillery and airstrikes to kill more than 165 insurgents and repel massed assaults on coalition troops in two strongholds of Taliban militants and Afghanistan's rampant drug trade, officials said Wednesday”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

China vs US Gross Domestic Product

The World Bank, using 2005 data, lists the Gross Domestic Product of China as $2.2 trillion and the United States as $2.6 trillion in 2006.

The World Bank 2005 data lists the US GDP as $12.4 trillion. The US GDP in 2000 was $9.8 trillion so has increased $2.6 trillion from 2000. So during a portion of the presidency of George W. Bush, in five years, the United States economy has grown as much as the entire Chinese economy.

I do like China growing economically. I think one of the most wonderful things in my lifetime has been the hundreds of millions of people brought up out of dire poverty thanks to globalization. I do hope they grow more and we do more trade with them and other developing countries. I believe it is our moral imperative.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is Laguna Beach City Council Pandering on Global Warming

At the beginning of this year, the City Council adopted the United States Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement and is dedicated to reduce Laguna Beach greenhouse gas emissions by 7% from the 1990 levels by 2012. I was the only person addressing the City Council arguing against signing on to the Agreement. I noted that I could not reconcile the Council building a large automobile parking structure while committing Laguna Beach to the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

It would be upsetting if the unanimous vote was just posturing and that it was not a serious vote. If serious, a couple things that the City Council could do immediately would be 1) disseminate information on how far currently we are from the 1990 level, 2) prohibit the burning of wood in Laguna Beach, and 3) require that City facilities air conditioning be set no lower than 82 degrees.

Of course one cannot reduce Laguna Beach greenhouse gas emissions by 7% from the 1990 level unless we know what were the City’s emissions in 1990. I have asked that the question be answered: what were the City’s emissions in 1990?

Regarding the City Council acting now to outlaw the burning of wood in Laguna Beach, former Vice-President Albert Gore Jr.’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” tells us that 30% of CO2 emissions come the from the burning of wood. While this is primarily poor people burning wood to heat their homes and cook their food, the burning of wood in Laguna Beach is basically just for amusement and should be prohibited.

During this summer, the three largest banks in Japan saved energy on air conditioning by mandating that the lowest temperature for air conditioning be 82 degrees. The City Council can very quickly set a positive example by mandating the same for all City of Laguna Beach facilities.

I think concerns about global warming are hyperbole, but I would support these efforts since many of my friends are seriously concerned.

Friday, September 14, 2007

China and Greenhouse Gases - China to be World Top Generator of Greenhouse Gases

Folks who have supported the Kyoto Treaty do a very poor job explaining why developing countries such as China and India are excluded from reducing Greenhouse gases. Opponents of the Treaty stated clearly that it made no sense for United States reductions to just be replaced with emissions from other countries. While increasing the power of government, the Kyoto Treaty would do no good for the environment.

Proponents of the Kyoto Treaty pretend to be serious while ignoring articles like “China to be World Top Generator of Greenhouse Gases” see published some time ago in the San Francisco Chronicle by Robert Collier on March 5, 2007. The article includes:

■ “China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases”
■ “China's greenhouse gas emissions have recently been growing by a total amount much greater than that of all industrialized nations put together”
■ “China's consumption of fossil fuels rose in 2006 by 9.3 percent … about eight times higher than the U.S. increase of 1.2 percent”
■ “While China's total greenhouse gas emissions were only 42 percent of the U.S. level in 2001, they had soared to an estimated 97 percent of the American level by 2006”
■ “The Bush administration refused to join the Kyoto Protocol in part because the pact committed only industrialized nations, but not fast-growing poorer nations like China, to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases”
■ “China's energy consumption per unit of production is 40 percent higher than the world's average, and about 70 percent of its energy comes from coal, usually burned in highly inefficient power plants”

If serious about Greenhouse emissions, one should support helping China, India, and Brazil to use electricity generated from zero Greenhouse gas emitting nuclear and hydroelectric plants (the world's leading form of renewable energy). As viewers of the Al Gore movie “An Inconvenient Truth” may recall that the movie claims that 30% of CO2 emissions come from the burning of wood. Let’s help developing countries move from coal and wood to nuclear and hydroelectric and get serious.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

How's Al Qaeda Doing Since War in Iraq?

Did President George W. Bush’s “bring ‘em on” cause a quagmire in Iraq? All the whining of al Qaeda #2 man Al-Zawahiri might make one think its al Qaeda that’s stuck in the quagmire. See Al-Zawahiri’s July 4, 2007 video at

Al-Zawahiri’s laments include:
■ Short of men and supplies
■ Iraqi Sunnis working with US
■ Moderate Muslims won’t praise al Qaeda
■ al Qaeda is losing international support

President Bush’s strategy is that if we take the fight to the terrorists, they will find it much more difficult to take the fight to the West and the United States. See listing of Al Qaeda terrorist attacks at Of those Al Qaeda terrorist attacks outside of Iraq, the first five were directly against United States interests, four during the Clinton administration and then the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon September 11, 2001.

So how’s al Qaeda doing since?

There have been twenty-one Al Qaeda terrorist attacks since 9/11 of which most were in Arab countries. Including Muslim countries like Indonesia and Turkey, eighteen attacks of the twenty-one were in Muslim countries during the six years since 9/11. There was also an attack in Kenya, and two in Western Europe [Madrid and London]. None in the United States.

In 2002, while President Bush pursued diplomacy at the United Nations and military authorization from Congress, Al Qaeda had six successful terrorist attacks in Kenya and five Muslim countries killing 266 people. In 2003, the year the US engaged in militarily action in Iraq, Al Qaeda had six successful attacks in four Muslim countries killing 147 people.

Since the War in Iraq: in 2004 Al Qaeda had five successful terrorist attacks [Madrid, Spain and two Muslim countries] killing 338 people. In 2005, Al Qaeda had three successful terrorist attacks [London, England and two Muslim countries] killing 131 people. In 2006, Al Qaeda had no successful terrorist attack. In 2007, Al Qaeda has had one successful terrorist attack in Algeria killing 35 people.

$100 Million Americans Coming Together 2004 Illegal Campaign Spending

FEC Finds Americas Coming Together $100 Million Illegal 2004 Campaigning

Hat tip Wall Street Journal Political Diary and John Fund

The Federal Election Commission has just found that Americans Coming Together, a pro-Democratic 527 group run by Harold Ickes and funded by unions and George Soros, spent $100 million illegally the 2004 presidential election to defeat President George W. Bush. The fine a measly $775,000.

See Wednesday, August 29, 2007 FEC Action Taken on Complaint Filed Against ACT, a 527 Group, for Violating Campaign Finance Laws

“On August 23, 2007, the FEC entered into a settlement with America Coming Together (ACT), a pro-Democratic 527 group that raised approximately $137 million during the 2004 presidential campaign. Under the settlement, ACT agreed to pay a $775,000 civil penalty and to cease and desist from violating the campaign finance laws by using soft money to pay for federal campaign activities.”

“The settlement arose out of two FEC complaints filed by Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics against ACT on January 15, 2004 and June 21, 2004 for illegally spending soft money to influence the 2004 presidential campaign.”