Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jimmy Carter the Worst President

Clean Gene on Jimmy Carter
■ "Mr. Carter … quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was the worst president we ever had."
■ Senator Eugene McCarthy, Democrat of Minnesota, voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980

Corn Ethanol Turns Out To Be Environmentally Disastrous

I have been advocating $5 per gallon gasoline for twenty years based on the idea of taxing things you’d like to discourage. I coupled this with free and expanded bus service, but since I am for limited government, my support for a gasoline or energy tax would only be if taxes were simultaneously reduced on income or sales tax, etc.

Many folks who pretend to be environmentalists talk about the desirability of alternative fuels while also decrying the high cost of gasoline. My explanation is that their true goal is to increase the power and scope of the government, and they only pretend to be concerned about the environment. Their concerns are not believable saying the earth is on the tipping point while owning multiple homes and enjoying international travel.

There was a time where some countries, such as the United Kingdom, embraced socialism with the means of production owned by the state. It was not unusual for the government to own: the major airline, electrical company, gas company, mines, telephone company, transit system, railroad, etc. I am sure this sounds great to many “progressives”, but it has been tried and the government turned out not to be the font of wisdom, but rather inefficient providing poor service at high cost.

The US government mandated methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) as an oxygen-boosting additive in gasoline. How’d that work out? It managed to contaminate drinking water supplies. So now ethanol is the oxygen additive. How’s corn ethanol working out?

If the federal mandate of corn ethanol is viewed as a vote getting scheme by politicians, it is doing great. If it is viewed as an alternative fuel, corn ethanol a wasteful boondoggle. How’s the biofuels ideas working out?

See,9171,1725975-2,00.html Time Magazine May 27, 2008 article “The Clean Energy Scam” by Michael Grunwald which says “Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass … looks less green than oil-derived gasoline”.

It also says:
• “Brazil just announced that deforestation is on track to double this year.”
• “Brazil now ranks fourth in the world in carbon emissions, and most of its emissions come from deforestation.”
• The Amazon “land rush is being accelerated by an unlikely source: biofuels. An explosion in demand for farm-grown fuels has raised global crop prices to record highs, which is spurring a dramatic expansion of Brazilian agriculture, which is invading the Amazon at an increasingly alarming rate.”
• “But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it.”
• “Indonesia has bulldozed and burned so much wilderness to grow palm oil trees for biodiesel that its ranking among the world's top carbon emitters has surged from 21st to third”.
• “new study in Science concluded that when this deforestation effect is taken into account, corn ethanol and soy biodiesel produce about twice the emissions of gasoline.”
• “the forces that biofuels have unleashed--political, economic, social--may now be too powerful to constrain.” “Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled an eye-popping plan that would require all stations to offer ethanol by 2017 while mandating 60 billion gallons by 2030. … Barack Obama immediately criticized her--not for proposing such an expansive plan but for failing to support ethanol before she started trolling for votes in Iowa's caucuses.”

Elitists intent on telling other people what to do have a long record of not avoiding the law of unintended consequences. I am sure that the self esteem of “progressive environmentalists’” is high. It must be nice to be sure that they are inherently superior to others and deserve the power to coerce others. They also posses the convenient trait to ignore evidence to the contrary.

Friday, June 20, 2008

President Bush a Success According to New Yorker and New Republic Magazines

I was chatting with a progressive Democrat friend of mine who maintained that President George W. Bush should put a gun to his head and kill himself, that he has made a mess of the War on Terror and that all he was successful in doing was to get more Muslims to join the terrorists.

I get most of my information from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News and so am well informed. My friend obtains information primarily from the NBC Today show. You would think that my friend would read liberal publications like the New Republic Magazine and the New Yorker Magazine and similarly be aware of President Bush’s remarkable success.

See June 2, 2008 New Yorker Magazine
“The Rebellion Within, An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism” by Lawrence Wright
Which includes “Dr. Fadl had laid the intellectual foundation for Al Qaeda’s murderous acts. His defection posed a terrible threat.”

See June 11, 2008 The New Republic “The Unraveling, The jihadist revolt against bin Laden” by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank It includes: “These new critics, in concert with mainstream Muslim leaders, have created a powerful coalition countering Al Qaeda's ideology. According to Pew polls, support for Al Qaeda has been dropping around the Muslim world in recent years. The numbers supporting suicide bombings in Indonesia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh, for instance, have dropped by half or more in the last five years. In Saudi Arabia, only 10 percent now have a favorable view of Al Qaeda, according to a December poll by Terror Free Tomorrow, a Washington-based think tank. Following a wave of suicide attacks in Pakistan in the past year, support for suicide operations amongst Pakistanis has dropped to 9 percent (it was 33 percent five years ago), while favorable views of bin Laden in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, around where he is believed to be hiding, have plummeted to 4 percent from 70 percent since August 2007.”

Of course, facts are a funny thing. My friend thinks Eisenhower and Reagan were dopes and that the Nuclear Freeze movement was on the correct side of history.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

George Bush’s Home vs Al Gore’s

Check out for accuracy

“Al Gore’s Nashville [1 of 3 homes] mansion is something of energy-gobbler while President’s Bush’s Crawford ranch is more the model of responsible resource. The Gore’s 10,000 square foot residence consumes electricity at the rate about 12 times the average for a typical house in Nashville…this is still a surprising number, given that the residence is four times the size of the average new American home”


Friday, June 13, 2008

Great Orator for President – An Idea Tried Before

Would the Democratic Party nominate for President of the Unites States a young candidate with great oratorical skills, but only four years of congressional experience? The Democrats have done it before. In 1896, William Jennings Bryan was thirty-five years old and electrified the Democratic nominating convention with his “Cross of Gold Speech”.

For Republicans, Bryan was the gift that kept on giving as the Democrats were so enamored with him that they nominated William Jennings Bryan three times 1896, 1900, and 1908. Each time, the Republican (McKinley twice and Taft) basically carried the entire country with the exception of the Democratic controlled “solid south”.

According to the author of the biography “A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan” Michael Kazin: “the [1896] platform officially declared that Democrats were in favor of beginning to redistribute wealth and power in America. In rhetoric at least, the party has never gone back”. From page 40, although recognized as a great orator, Bryan would be dogged throughout his career by the perception that he was “a man in love with his words, but heedless of rigorous argument”

Although the Republican Party had tried to enact Federal civil rights legislation to protect the rights of all citizens most importantly the freed slaves and their descendents, a Democrat Presidential candidate can not offend the party’s special interests and Bryan would not support anti-lynching legislation.

Reviewer Shannon Jones writes: “Black tenant farmers were left totally at the mercy of a Democratic Party that terrorized and disenfranchised them. Beginning in the 1890s, laws mandating racial segregation and imposing poll taxes and literacy tests designed to exclude blacks from voting were imposed by Democratic-controlled state legislatures across the South….the Democratic Party sought to institutionalize a divide-and-rule strategy to maintain the system of class oppression. The reign of terror against blacks intensified. Lynchings, tolerated and even encouraged by state authorities, were common occurrences.”

At the time, the Republicans were trying to enact anti-lynching legislative to counteract the intimidation and fear that “Jim Crow” supporters used to kept minorities in their place.

However, lynching was an effective tool. From the 1927 musical “Showboat”, the song “Ol Man River” included the lyrics “Don't look up, An' don't look down, You don' dast make, De white boss frown. Bend your knees, An'bow your head, An' pull date rope, Until you' dead”.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Montage Resort & Spa a Great Tax Collector

Due to the great tax revenue stream from the Montage Resort and Spa, there are many in town who take the position to just let the Athens Group do whatever they want to in redeveloping the Aliso Creek Inn. Letters to the editor and comments before city council thank the Athens Group for all the taxes they pay. They should not be thanking the Athens Group, they should be thanking me. Well, not me exactly, but those who insisted that a hotel be built.

Wasn’t the initial proposal for the former Treasure Island mobile home park to be converted entirely into residential lots? Laguna Beach taxpayers and the Chamber of Commerce should be pleased that the developer plans were rejected and shaped to better effect the City finances.

My understanding is that City taxes paid by a new residential subdivision is basically a wash with the cost of providing services about equal to the City’s share of property taxes paid. This is because the City receives only about 25% of the property taxes paid with the school district getting a chuck and the bulk going to the State of California.

Property tax is the main tax that the Montage pays. They receive services such as the Laguna Beach Police responding to guests allegedly brandishing guns which resulted in the police shooting and killing two Montage guests. When this matter is finally resolved, it may well consume all the property taxes paid to the City by the Montage.

What about sales taxes and transient occupancy taxes (bed tax)? There is a big difference in being a taxpayer and being a tax collector. These taxes are paid by others which the Montage collects.

Those, like me who have followed the city budget, insisted that a large hotel should be built as it offered the opportunity for an annual revenue increase equal to about 10% of the City’s general fund. Best is that the revenue is discretionary, and can be spent as the City Council chooses.

That the Montage collects the sales tax paid by others is icing on the cake. Of the 8.25% tax, most goes to the State, County, and the Orange County Transit Authority

Guests of the Montage pay 12% bed tax with the City imposed tax being 10%. This adds up to significant revenue to the City about $ 9 million this coming year with the Montage collecting about half that amount from their guests.

Those whose position was to let the developer do what he wants were wrong, and those you fought to have a large hotel built were right.