Monday, October 31, 2005

Fill 'er Up With Oil Sands!

by Michael Fumento - 10/31/2005 - Tech Central Station

It was a tenet of the late great economist Julian Simon that we'll never run out of any commodity. That's because before we do the increasing scarcity of that resource will drive up the price and force us to adopt alternatives. For example, as firewood grew scarce people turned to coal, and as the whale oil supply dwindled 'twas petroleum that saved the whales.

Now we're told we're running out of petroleum. The "proof" is the high prices at the pump. In fact, oil cost about 50% more per barrel in 1979-80 than now when adjusted for inflation. Yet it's also true that industrializing nations like China and India are making serious demands on the world's ability to provide oil and are driving prices up. So is this the beginning of the end?

Nope. The Julian Simon effect is already occurring.

I have long argued to those who claim that we need to stop using oil (you know, the chicken little extremists who insist that we are running out of it) that cheap energy will expand the availability of oil for hundreds of years. The enviro-extremists who insist that we have to destroy our economy so that the world can "survive", never can explain how it is that the best environments are the developed countries, and not the impoverished countries that they wish us to emulate.

This article gives us the newest numbers on the cost of using the vastly greater supplies of oil sands. It has long been known that oil sands can be converted to oil at a costs of less than $75 a barrell. This article claims that number has dropped to less than $15 a barrell. At that price, we should start to see the price of oil drop, as more and more of the countries with huge oil sand reserves start to utilize their great suppplies to compete directly wtih oil.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Golden Days

By Jonah Goldberg - October 27, 2005 - National Review Online

Standing with Buckley & co. & at 50 years young

Conservatism in America begins in the 1950s with National Review. If you hear someone talking about the Old Right of the 1930s, and how that's what defines “real conservatism,” you’ve either met a very grumpy agrarian poet, a cape-wearing anarchist with oddly pro-Belgian tendencies, an angry Prussian socialist of some kind, a fusty Whig — or, most likely, someone who simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

There are times when Jonah Goldberg gets a little hard to follow. On many of those occassions it is because he is covering a lot of ground fast. This article attempts to laud William F. Buckley, give a history lesson on the foundings of modern conservative thought, and expose the reader to some of the intellectual rationale for the ongoing conservative discussions about what conservatism means. It is a tall order. This article is worthwhile if for nothing else because of its usefullness in explaining the breadth of issues that are impacting conservative thought.

Whether you follow it all or not, this is an important article, as it outlines the reasons that conservatism is still so stimulating intellectually after all this time. A point several people made earlier this year supports this thesis. The major intellectual discussion on governing that is currently happening in America is the debate between two camps in the Republican Party, conservatives and neo-conservatives. Liberals (or progressives if you prefer) have nothing useful to add to the discussion and simply ridicule both.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rosa Parks And History

by Thomas Sowell - Oct 27, 2005 -
The death of Rosa Parks has reminded us of her place in history, as the black woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, in accordance with the Jim Crow laws of Alabama, became the spark that ignited the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Most people do not know the rest of the story, however. Why was there racially segregated seating on public transportation in the first place? "Racism" some will say -- and there was certainly plenty of racism in the South, going back for centuries. But racially segregated seating on streetcars and buses in the South did not go back for centuries.

The most important point made in this article is that racist practices were not instituted by a majority of whites, but by a political plurality. Few people are aware that private bus systems in the South remained integrated long after the laws for segregation were passed. The political dialog about race that has resulted in African-Americans being so virulently anti-Republican are in many cases based on a lack of information about the true history of who passed the Jim Crow laws.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

One Good Leak Deserves Another

How the CIA got the ball rolling on the Plame investigation.

by Stephen F. Hayes - 10/31/2005 - The Weekly Standard
FOR FOUR YEARS, A slow-motion war between the CIA and the Bush administration has been unfolding over America's airwaves and on its front pages. A principal weapon in this war has been the deliberate leaking of information to the media.

When the history of this damaging episode is written, two leaks will stand out as having been most consequential. One of them is famous: the alleged leak to columnist Robert Novak that led to the compromising of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

But there was another big leak that no one seems to care about: the leak of the CIA's referral to the Justice Department concerning the Plame matter. That second disclosure, perhaps even more than the initial leak, set off the chain of events that resulted in the naming of a special prosecutor and finds us now anticipating indictments of senior White House officials.

There are going to be a great number of people who will not accept the premise of this article. The very idea that rogue elements in the CIA are trying to bring down a President and his administration seems almost bizarre. However the evidence seems pretty compelling.

Valerie Plame was a member of one department in the CIA that got the intelligence about the lead up to 9/11 and the war completely wrong. To assure they were not held accountable, they attempted to destroy the credibility of anyone who was in a position to call them on their preformance.

When they needed to stir up the controversy, they sent Joe Wilson to Africa to denounce the evidence that the British had obtained proving their intelligence before the war was wrong. Their efforts in this case are merely one action in a pattern of actions intended to damage our elected administration and avoid anyone looking at their failed efforts. When will the CIA be held accountable?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Activist: Exterminate White People

By Jon Sanders - October 21, 2005 - Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — A Raleigh activist and bookstore owner told a panel at Howard University Law School on Oct. 14 that the solution to many of the problems faced by black people is the extermination of “white people off the face of the planet.” Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught Africana Studies 241 in the Spring 2005 semester at North Carolina State University, also said this needs to be done “because white people want to kill us.”

Addressing a panel on “Hurricane Katrina Media Coverage,” broadcast in its entirety on C-SPAN, Kambon told the audience that white people “have retina scans, they have what they call racial profiling, DNA banks, and they’re monitoring our people to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea. And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.”

There is a growing disconnect with many of the groups that have been long time democrat supporters. They are becoming more and more extremist in their views. However I must say I was not expecting someone to publicy advocate what amounts to a declaration of a race war by blacks against whites. Here in Eastern Carolina, blacks who dare to vote Republican face public condemnation and ridicule. No solution to poverty that is not based on socialism and welfare is acceptable to black leadership. These are damaging enough to the black community. What I cannot understand is the lack of outrage at these comments by Dr. Kamau Kambon. Can this be a serious consideration in the black community? Is there really an expectation that 12% of the American population can exterminate the majority?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Final Straw

Bruce Bartlett - October 18th, 2005 -
The truth that is now dawning on many movement conservatives is that George W. Bush is not one of them and never has been. They were allies for a long time, to be sure, and conservatives used Bush just as he used them. But it now appears that they are headed for divorce. And as with all divorces, the ultimate cause was not the final incident, but the buildup of grievances over a long period that one day could no longer be overlooked, contained or smoothed over.

I have long been amused by the hatred from the left directed at George W. Bush. Their adamant refusal to acknowledge "W"s very left of center governance on all issues other than defense is simply mind bogling. Like Bruce Bartlett, I have believed for some time that "W" is not a conservative.

I am not sure he knows what he is. "W" really doesn't have a political philosophy nearly so much as a management philosophy. He likes bright people who will discuss the issues and come up with some program that can succeed, and then he backs them. Well ..... he backs them as long as they show loyalty to him.

The importance of this article is that it lists the long record of anti-conservative programs that "W" has promulgated. Every now and again we need to be reminded of these things. A definite "must read".

Monday, October 17, 2005

Criminalizing Conservatives

by William Kristol - October 24, 2005 - The Weekly Standard
The most effective conservative legislator of--oh--the last century or so, Congressman Tom DeLay, was indicted last month for allegedly violating Texas campaign finance laws, and has vacated his position as House majority leader. The Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, is under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for his sale of stock in the medical company his family started.

White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby have been under investigation by a special federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, for more than two years. When appointed in 2003 by the Bush Justice Department, Fitzgerald's mandate was to find out if the leaking to reporters of the identity of a CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was a violation of a 1982 statute known as the Philip Agee law, and if so, who violated it. It now seems clear that Rove and Libby are the main targets of the prosecutor, and that both are in imminent danger of indictment.

What do these four men have in common, other than their status as prosecutorial targets? Since 2001, they have been among the most prominent promoters of the conservative agenda of the Bush administration.

Criminalizing Republicans is not new. Democrats never stopped trying to find something that they could impeach Ronald Reagan over. They even invented a crime that never existed to try and criminalize some of his leading officials.

Democrats have been totally defensive of any accusations about democrats though. Abuse of power by Clinton (and credible charges of rape) was excused since he "was such a good President". That did not stop him from having his law license taken after he was out of office because he was in fact guilty of the crimes for which he was impeached. Stopping his conviction did not make him innocent. It just proved that the democratic party did not care what crimes he committed as long as he was a democrat.

The democratic party is becoming more and more vicious with their comments and accusations. Republicans "never worked a day in their lives". "Evil". "Brain dead". "Culture of corruption". Accusations with no basis in fact are hurled around constantly. The example of Tom Delay is typical. The democrats have been calling him a criminal for over a year. It now turns out that two grand juries "no billed" some of the charges but the democrat district attorney just went back and got a democrat judge controlled grand jury to indict. And it turns out Ronnie Earle, the D.A., does not have a copy of the alleged memo which forms the basis for his charges. He has a similar memo that he contends "implies" that the one on which he based the charges must surely have existed.

When did innocent until proven guilty cease being the American way? Probably about the time that democrats decided to criminalize being Republican.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Forest Service, Bowing To Court, Embraces Scrooge

By Audrey Hudson - October 11, 2005 - The Washington Times

A Forest Service regulation that allowed projects determined as having minimal environmental impact to be exempt from environmental studies and reviews was challenged by the Earth Island Institute.

Judge James K. Singleton of the Eastern District Court of California ruled in July against a project to remove charred and damaged trees, which could kindle a future fire, in the Sequoia National Forest.

The court said last month in a follow-up ruling that its decision in Earth Island Institute v. Ruthenbeck applies nationwide, rather than just to the local dispute.

Do the environmentalists really care about anything but their own desires? Do our courts not care that granting them their power to dictate to society what our rules are supposed to be will ultimately destroy representative democracy? The environmental movement has long been disposed to extreme measures to get what it wants. Judges who agree with the goals have long allowed the movement to subvert the desires of the democratically elected officials and dictate rulings that support their environmentalist agenda. Each is pushing down this path because of the passion for issues to which they are dedicated.

However each is ignoring the implications for their actions. Representative democracy, the form of government we have lived under for over two centuries, has a proven track record of arranging pretty good compromises that serve the people and the concept of freedom. Neither the environmentalists nor the court campaingers for a "living Constitution" seem to concern themselves with the fact that our legislatures must adopt compromises to be effective. The extremists in the environmental movement and the extremists among the court activists don't like compromise.

As a result we get the kind of stupid ruling we see here. For at best trivial issues, this judge has made rulings that damage society.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Oil Bubble

Seventy dollars a barrel? Relax, it'll come down.

By Staff - Saturday, October 8, 2005 - The Wall Street Journal (
We keep hearing the word "bubble" to describe industries with rapid and unsustainable rising prices. Hence, the Internet bubble, the telecom bubble, stock market bubble, and now, some analysts believe, a housing bubble. Yet for some mysterious reason no one speaks of the oil bubble--though prices have tripled in two years to as high as $70 a barrel.

Reviewing the history of oil-market boom and bust confirms that we are in the midst of a classic oil bubble and that prices will eventually fall, perhaps dramatically. Despite apocalyptic warnings, the world is not running out of oil and the pumps are not going to run dry in our lifetimes--or ever.

Those who are opposed to "oil" are never willing to concede that the environmental impact of oil, both in exploration and in use, are manageable problems. They insist that we must find some other alternative to gasoline for cars. However the reality is that all other options are significantly more expensive. Any attempt to move away from gasoling is going to damage society.

They keep passing laws that make the economic damage of oil worse, not better. A perfect example is the idiocy by which the EPA and the states have destroyed the concept of gasoline as a commodity product that can be used anywhere. They have forumlated numerous special blends that can only be used in specific states. That means that oil prices go up erratically. Refiners have less flexibility in where they can sell their product. Any problems result in shortages that cause price spikes that are artificial and in no way the desire of the oil companies.

Prices will drop soon, but not as much as people hope. Probably not the "dramatically" better prices hoped for in the article above. However no matter what the prices will be, they are cheaper than any of the alternatives.

Remember when you hear people who advocate passing more laws to "reduce" costs and "improve" the environment; the laws will do neither.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Illegals: The Crime Rampage

By Tammy Bruce - October 7, 2005 -

When illegal immigrants are discussed in the media, the picture painted is of a hard working family man or woman, the sort of person President Bush refers to when he pitches his "guest worker" program. "Hard working people who want a better way of life," is how he casts them.

While many fit that bill, the dirty little secret is the fact that illegal aliens are not only destroying our infrastructure by stealing valuable services such as health care and schooling, they're also committing horrific crimes throughout our great nation.

The fact that police departments in virtually every major city (and not so major ones) spend their time responding to crime by illegal aliens, looking for the illegal alien culprits, arresting illegal aliens (when their local laws allow them to), processing them through the system, means more officers, more departments, are stretched to the limit, by people who shouldn't be here in the first place.

We are ruled today by two parties that use anecdotal evidence to support their policy goals. Because of this it is almost impossible to have an intelligent policy discussion. Neither is capable of understanding the other, since the facts they each look at are totally different. On no issue is this more clear than illegal immigration. However this issue does not split on party lines alone. Both parties have people on both sides of the issue. On this issue, most Republicans are determined that illegal immigration must end. But that is not the position of George W. Bush, and he is singlehandedly stopping the party from acting in unity.

George W. Bush sees hard working people. George W. Bush DOES NOT SEE thousands of dead people killed by these illegal aliens. George W. Bush DOES NOT SEE rampant disrespect for the law from his failure to enforce the laws of our nation about immigration. George W. Bush DOES NOT SEE 11 to 14 million illegals demanding that we change our culture to accomodate them.

This is the reason that George W. Bush calls anyone who disagrees with him on this issue a vigilante. Because of his inability to see what is happening, George W. Bush and the Republican Party are risking a great deal in the 2006 elections.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ex-FBI Chief On Clinton's Scandals

By Staff - Oct. 6, 2005 - CBS News

When President Bill Clinton appointed Louis Freeh director of the FBI, he called Freeh “a law enforcement legend.”

And Freeh spent a controversial eight years as director before he left in June, 2001. But the 9/11 plot was hatched on his watch and he has been criticized by the 9/11 commission for not having his agents more focused on counterterrorism.

But it also turns out that no FBI director had a more strained relationship with the president who had appointed him, than did Louis Freeh with Clinton.

It is amazing that 60 minutes allowed Sandy Berger to try and refute the accusations by Louis Freeh about our former President, Bill Clinton.

Berger is the man who stuffed top secret docuements into his underpants and socks to cover up Cliton administration incompetence, sneaking them out of government offices and taking them home. He destroyed some of the documents in his home. When caught he protested that it was an accident. These documents were accidentally stuffed into his underpants while he was in the bathroom, and he just didn't notice. And he accidentally destroyed some of them at his home as he didn't know what they were or where they came from.

With this foundation for his integrity and veracity, Berger was sent out to be the front man to destroy Louis Freeh and salvage Clinton's reputation. How can anyone believe anything that Berger says?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Foolish Factor

by Alan Reynolds - Oct 6, 2005 -

Bill O'Reilly, host of the popular Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor," has been preaching to his flock to buy no gas on Sundays. "Let's send a message to these energy people who operate in the shadows," he says. That suggestion should have been saved for a different section of the show, "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

No matter how many times America proves that a reasonably unfettered economic system based on competition delivers products at a lower cost than any other system, there is always someone who buys into the concept that we are being gouged if the price we are charged is not what we want it to be, right now this minute.

Bill O'Reilly is one of the most appalling examples of "populism" this country has ever produced. I am amused by the people on the left who accuse O'Reilly, who proudly proclaims his support for socialized medicine, of being a conservative. Do you really think that socialized medicine is compatible with conservative principles? How far left on the political spectrum do you think someone must be to see a socialist as a conservative?

The most interesting comment in the article is the following: "Since prices of oil and gasoline have gone down at least as often as they've gone up, over the years, O'Reilly's novel theory of changing prices implies that greed is highly variable, causing oil prices to drop whenever five CEOs are feeling charitable and rise when they're in a cruel mood." The reality that prices have fallen would seem to any intelligent person to completely refute O'Reilly's premise, but he can't see that. I wonder what he would say if you pointed out that during most of the last 20 years the "five CEOs" have been charitable more often than greedy?

The reality is that they are neither charitable nor greedy. Even though the oil industry in America is heavily regulated to the detriment of lowest prices possible, it still has enough elements of free enterprise contained in it that prices here are lower than anywhere else in the world. However if you say that, I am sure O'Reilly will explain the conspiracy under which the "five CEOs" somehow make more money by holding prices down. It is all a conspiracy you know.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 Embraces Nazi Defender

by Joel Mowbray - October 5, 2005 -
In its e-mail endorsing the antiwar rally held in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, took the unusual step of notifying its 3.5 million members that though it wanted people to attend the event, it had “disagreements on a range of issues” with the organizers.

What the e-mail left curiously unanswered was what exactly constitutes the “range of issues” with which they disagree.

Could it be spearheading the cause of Nazi war criminals? Or playing defense for the likes of other war criminals, including Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein? Or serving as defense attorney for one of bin Laden’s top deputies?

Or was it something trivial, like the color of the background for the 9/11 conspiracy theory signs?

MoveOn.Org will not express what it is they are in disagreement with, since it would alienate so many of their supporters. How can there be that much they disagree with since they are funded by the same people, keep showing up at each other's events, and never publicly criticize each other.

It is clear that the democratic left has aligned itself with these anti-American globalists so their minor protestations of “disagreements on a range of issues” cannot separate them from the company they keep.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Crime: The Open Borders Lobby's Dirty Little Secret

By FrontPage Magazine - October 4, 2005 - Front Page Magazine
Now, there seems to be a taboo on talking about the contribution that illegal aliens make to criminal activity in this country. When I first started writing about this I would ask people in the LAPD, and I felt like I was violating some nicety of social convention. It was something that polite company is not supposed to address.

And the press, of course, also picks up on this. How many stories have you read of some egregious crime or gang violence, and you wonder, ‘I wonder if that person is here illegally?’ You will almost never find out. Reporters just don’t bother to ask.

Those of you who live in LA may have been following the recent debacle to hit the poor, hapless LAPD; the shooting of Jose Raul Pena on July 10th. This was the guy who started on a barrage of gunfire at the LAPD, trying to kill as many officers as he could, and used for his shield his own 19-month-old daughter.

He was eventually killed, and his daughter was, as well, by an LAPD Swat Team. And, of course, this has turned into yet another crisis for the LAPD, with accompanying protests of “police brutality.” Nobody talks about Pena’s role in this.

There are 11 - 13 million illegal aliens in America. They are always portrayed as doing work that Americans will not do. I guess that includes killing, raping and robbing at a rate that is unacceptable and unprecedented. 4% of the population within our borders, they commit nearly 40% of the crime in the states where they are found.

Why is it that everyone keeps saying, "There is nothing that we can do?"

Monday, October 03, 2005

Schumer's Plumbers

By Staff - October 3, 2005 - Investor's Business Daily
Staff members for a champion of the right to privacy and a leading critic of identity theft fraudulently obtained the credit report of a rising black political star. Your turn for tough questions, Sen. Schumer.

While the media focus on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's alleged skirting of campaign laws to get Republicans elected, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett's alleged racially insensitive hypothetical regarding blacks, crime and abortion, and Sen. Bill Frist's recent sale of stock, a real crime against a black politician has been committed in virtual silence.

If anyone thinks that the double standard in the press is not real, just consider the final paragraph of this article and answer honestly, "Can you imagine the media firestorm if staffers for, say, Frist, had used Barack Obama's Social Security number to fraudulently obtain his credit report looking for stuff to derail his Senate campaign?"

Don't forget the sanctimony of this. Schumer is the person who has claimed the mantle of "legislative leader against identity theft crimes", the very action that his staff took.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Faith Under Siege

By Linda Chavez - October 1, 2005 - The Washington Times
Extremists at the grandiosely named Americans United for Separation of Church and State are at it again. The group, best known for trying to drive religion from the public square, now wants to make sure no faith-based organizations are reimbursed for rescuing and caring for thousands of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Great article. The work these Christians did will stand for a long time as a symbol of how to help the needy. With the local and state governments dawdling, and FEMA not set up as a first responder, for many of the victims Christian charity is what helped them make it through a tough time. The charities did not do it to be reimbursed but their ability to continue to help will be aided by a fair recognition of what they did and a fair dispersal of the funds. These funds should not go exclusively to secular and god hating groups like "Americans United for Separation of Church and State".