Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tale of Two Houses

Energy Use Hypocrisy


HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

Democrats leave Troops in Lurch

See also Troop Funding in Limbo

Friday, March 30, 2007

Environmentalist Hyperbole

My school-age son asserted that 17 species were going extinct per hour, claiming it was true because he read it in a magazine. He has a lot to learn; unless it is in The American Spectator, I'm as cautious with media reporting as when a cold caller announces I've won a sweepstakes. I found the number unbelievable and was sure it was debunked in "The Skeptical Environmentalist" among other places. Sure enough, it is false:

In 1990, the World Conservation Union commissioned a report to investigate rates of extinction, the findings of which can be seen in Tropical Deforestation and Species Extinction by T Whitmore and A Sayers. The report found that the recorded rates for extinction remain 'very small', believing it to be about 2300 species, or 0.8 percent, per decade. Bjørn Lomborg, after studying a number of reports and extinction estimates - including the UN Global Diversity Report - reckons an extinction rate for all species of about 0.7 percent per 50 years is pretty accurate.

But wait, the environmentalists say Lomborg is wrong and it's higher:"Estimates for current species extinction rates range from 100 to 10,000 times that, but most hover close to 1,000 times prehuman levels (0.1 percent per year)." Yet when you peel the data back you find numbers consistent with Lomborg's estimates, for example - "anywhere from one to several bird species go extinct annually ... 0.01-0.03 percent of living bird species are extinguished per year." Even the 'pro-environmentalist' numbers show that the "17 per hour" extinction claims are off by a factor of 100 or 1,000.

Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore questions the extinction numbers that are based on models not measurements:

This gives rise to the obvious concern that if the trees are cut down the habitats or homes will be lost and the species that live in them will die. Indeed, in 1996 the World Wildlife Fund, at a media conference in Geneva, announced that 50,000 species are going extinct each year due to human activity. And the main cause of these 50,000 extinctions, they said, is commercial logging. The story was carried around the world by Associated Press and other media and hundreds of millions of people came to believe that forestry is the main cause of species extinction.

During the past three years I have asked the World Wildlife Fund on many occasions to please provide me with a list of some of the species that have supposedly become extinct due to logging. They have not offered up a single example as evidence. In fact, to the best of our scientific knowledge, no species has become extinct in North America due to forestry.

Where are these 50,000 species that are said to be going extinct each year? They are in a computer model in Edward O. Wilson's laboratory at Harvard University. They are electrons on a hard drive, they have no Latin names, and they are in no way related to any direct field observations in any forest.

Why is such hyperbole tolerated in environmental reporting, and how is it that the loud proponents of such hyperbole claim the mantle of "science"?
Even some environmentalists ask of their own movement's irrationality, "How Sick is That?"

Travis County

Be prepared of shifting political positions come to the forefront when the legislature is completed with their duties of imposing more laws. Two options may come about.
First option maybe a School Board Member who has been groomed by the Dems to replace State Representative Mark Strama, who will run for the State Senate to replace State Senator Kirk Watson who will vacate to run against Congressman Michael McCaul in the 2008 Election year.
Second option maybe a School Board Member who has been groomed by the Dems to replace State Representative Mark Strama, who will run against Congressman Michael McCaul and State Senator Kirk Watson will be grooming for the race to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
With the up coming US Census 2010, all central Texas Judges districts will be redesigned so that the Dems will obtain total control of the courts for years to come. They have made tremendous strides to meet their goals in central Texas.
The Dems are working from bottom up to swallow all the political positions into their hands.

The Gnat

Democrats protest firing of incompetents

As hearings reveal the real reasons behind firing of US Attorneys, Democrats defend incompetent Government employees, as emails reveal that DOJ had real performance problems among the fired US attorneys:

"That Carol Lam can't meet a deadline," Mercer wrote, "or that you'll need to interact with her in the coming weeks or that she won't just say, 'O.K. You got me. You're right, I've ignored national priorities and obvious local needs. Shoot, my production is more hideous than I realized.'"

... Justice Department officials have cited her record on immigration and gun prosecutions as a reason for letting her go.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Democrat's conflict-of-interest exposed

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee: "As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Congress' New Low

IBD editorializes:

"That Democrats want the U.S. to go down to defeat in Iraq can no longer be questioned. The bill they narrowly passed would, in effect, ensure such an outcome by giving both al-Qaida terrorists and Baath Party dead-enders confidence they'll soon be able to rule Iraq through terror."

Defeatism and wasted Government spending, what a combo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Texas Democrats Vote Against Limiting Spending

RPT reports: "43 Democrats Vote Against Limiting Spending
and Giving Money Back to the Taxpayers of Texas." They voted against the fiscally consrvative rule that disallows any new spending initiatives outside the proposed budget as passed out of the House Appropriations committee without cutting a program somewhere else. While the rule passed by a large majority, it was too constaining for the tax-and-spend crowd.

Door prizes to the first one to tell which of our illustrious Travis Democrat mis-representatives stiff-armed the taxpayer. All of them? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, March 26, 2007

House pushes back on HPV Vaccine

The House passed a bill to overturn the Governor's mandate ordering HPV vaccines for girls. Good for them!

Property Taxes

The Texas Task Force on Appraisal Reform is not being taken seriously by the Texas Legislature. The recommendations made by the panel are a start, but the bill introduced into the committee may not come out of the committee to be voted on by the house. It may be postponed for the next session. Therefore, expect your property taxes to be going up.

-Jerry Mikus

Sunday, March 25, 2007


is more important to our current journalistic condition and current events that Watergate. Yet the oblivious media dwells on Watergate (the Statesmen had two Watergate stories in the past few weeks) and ignores the irony of Dan Rather keynoting SWSX Interactive.

Dan Rather was exposed by Free Republic and internet bloggers as being a biased and dreadfully wrong (to the point of slander and forgery) on an anti-Bush story in 2004. Dan Rather and his crew used forged documents to attempt to affect the outcome of an election - and got caught in a lie. This is more relevent to the dinosaur, falling revenue media today than a 30 year old coverup. keeps the flames of media watching alive.

A Call to Action

Enquire with The Management.

Islam: Setting the United States up for the fall (using US law to distroy our freedom)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Federal Prosecutor firings by by AG Gonzales

Hillary knows all about firing U.S. Attorneys:

Democrats Trail of Destruction

Friday night comment line:

In two short months, the Democrats have voted for economic insecurity (higher energy taxes, plan to let a $1 trillion tax hike occur by not making Bush tax cuts permanent), defeat (replacing troop support with "Earmarxist" pork and forcing their defeatism on the DoD in the middle of a battle), Unconstitutional power grabs (DC voting), and partisan witch hunts (the pseudo-scandal over replacing U.S. attorneys). Their own moonbat extremists have taken to occupying the Speaker's office as a 'protest' that they are not doing enough to lose in Iraq pronto. These Democrats are well on their way to creating the Worst. Congress. Ever.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tale of two AGs

Royal Masset has tales of US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy relevent to the current AG and his issues. Alberto Gonzalez is no Bobby Kennedy ... and maybe that's a good thing.

Sam Adams on our duty as citizens

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

- Samuel Adams

Kennedy, author of our immigration crisis

Kennedy threatens to bring liberal immigration bill to the U.S. Senate.

Senator Ted Kennedy is more responsible for our screwed up immigration crisis than any other man in Washington. He create the flawed immigration policies we have today, that encourage 3rd world immigration and discourage European immigration - he did that in 1965. Then in 1986 bill he put in the poison pills that made employer verification impossible. He has since continued his efforts to drag America down the wrong path on immigration in every possible way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

CNBC's Jim Cramer in Austin

CNBC Jim Cramer and his "Mad Money" show came to Austin today, with a live show with the UT Austin School of Business. The MBAs there have a fund and gave Cramer some of their fund picks - Schlumberger, Broadcom, Walmart.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What the President Needs to Say

US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, so the latest pseudo-scandal about the shocking news that the President chose to exercise his authority in ways that offends the partisan Democrats is almost post-modern, no, Dada-ist, in its absurdity. In 1993, Clinton summarily fired 93 US attorneys, with nary a blink from the media. Hillary Clinton knows all about sacking Attorneys. Now, we have the legal and appropriate replacement of eight US attorneys, most for real performance-problem reasons, and the Democrats in Congress are shocked - shocked! - that the President dare use his powers as President to decide who works for him. The Democrats are livid that they were fired over Democrat voter fraud inaction:

The dismissals took place after President Bush told Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud investigations, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The gall! Didn't they know that the Democrats are in Congress and are ready to be 'co-President' until Hillary becomes Supreme Leader? How dare the White House insist on upon looking into voter fraud cases! Our Democracy (or at least the Democrats' hold on power) is in danger from this behavior!

It's the biggest fake-job since Michael Jackson's marriage. Here’s how Bush should handle it. Tell the press he may fire Gonzalez and announce something important, then say:

"I have spoken with AG Gonzales. I am not happy with his answers to Congress, and with what administration officials have said to the Congress and public. Although prior statements were true, but have been misinterepreted by members of Congress for political partisan reasons, they are not the bottom-line that needs to be made clear … What we should have been saying all along is that the Attorneys serve as a part of the Justice Dept and that these positions are determined through internal hiring processes. Attempts are made to obtain Senate approval for positions but we have the legal right to fill positions as needed to execute the laws and carry out Federal policies. The decisions we made in these processes were appropriate, ethical, legal, and fully within the proper scope of the executive branch. There is no need for Congress to investigate these internal decisions because they are wholly executive branch matters, and to engage in political witch hunt over our internal decisions is to fray our Constitutional separation of powers. I will resist the Democrat Congresses’ assault on the Constitution should they continue in this unwarranted attack, and I will keep Mr Gonzalez to help in defending our Constitution and laws."

But if they looking for a replacement, try this one - bring back John Ashcroft!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

America is still conservative

According to polls, including the Battleground polls, America is still conservative at heart:

The Battleground Poll released in late January 2007 showed that fifty-nine percent of the American people considered themselves either “conservative” or “very conservative,” while only thirty-four percent of Americans considered themselves either “liberal” or “very liberal.”

Our leaders need to adopt conservative programs voters want.

A Gathering of Eagles

A Gathering of Eagles was a patriotic gathering of veterans and others to support the tropps and the mission and protect veteran memorials from desecration by the leftist anti-war protesters. The WashPost reported the Gathering numbered in the thousands, unusual for a 'support the troops' rally:

"As war protesters marched toward Arlington Memorial Bridge en route to the Pentagon yesterday, they were flanked by long lines of military veterans and others who stood in solidarity with U.S. troops and the Bush administration's cause in Iraq."

It was a Miracle in Washington. Here are pictures from the Gathering of Eagles caravan, and report and pics of the rally.

The real scandal behind the US attorney firings

Capitol Hill Democrats are aghast that the Bush administration is still in charge of personnel policies in the Justice Dept. But despite the attemt to gin up a scandal, "there is no 'there' there".

The real Federal prosecutor scandal is the "coordinated effort on the part of Democrats and their media allies to prevent investigation of voter fraud by US attorneys.".

In the future, and federal prosecutor who brings charges against Democrats who commit voter fraud will now be accused of committing a political hit job under orders from the Bush administration.
That is the real outrage and it is happening right in the open.

Plame Out

Plame affair commentary: Why and How Joe Wilson Outed Valerie Plame. Richard Armitage first revealed Valerie Plame's identity to reporter Bob Woodward in June 2003, and special prosecutor Fitzgerald knew this by the end of 2003.

Yet the media conveniently ignores this central fact when reporting on the Libby case. In the Libby case, two jurors that convicted Libby want him pardoned:

Asked about the possibility of a pardon, juror Ann Redington said, "I would like him to get one," and added, "I don't want him to go to jail."

Valerie Plame dissembled to Congress when she said "she played no part in deciding to send her husband" on the Niger fact-finding trip, despite memos and testimony that show that Valerie Plame recommended her husband for the trip.

Six reasons the scandal is a farce.
A key underlying scandal is left untouched - the CIA's continued poor track record then and now on intelligence: "the CIA hadn't a clue".

Federal Court Recognizes Second Amendment

Important Victory for Gun Rights: A Federal appeals court has struck down a DC gun ban as an unconstitutional violation of our Second Amendment rights. Gun control is not crime control, and it is good to see a Federal court actually recognize the Second Amendment's individual RKBA right. This recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms will present a fundamental challenge to the gun-grabbers and could be a shot in the arm for the GOP if this ruling bring gun rights to the front-burner in 2008. The Supreme Court may weigh on this ruling on appeal in the next year.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Update on 2008

Rob Morrow happily sent along this Dick Morris campaign update - Hillary blunders.

On the GOP side, the leading contenders are the least conservative ones, Rudy gaining while McCain is fading, and the base is restless - looking for "Mr Right". Third in most polling is former Gov Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and Sam Brownback in the fray but getting less traction. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich plays Hamlet and may possibly jump in later. Giving new meaning to the term "Law and Order" Conservative, it may well be former Senator Fred Thompson who jumps in to shake up the race.

Seton Motley at "News of the Day" makes the conservative case for Rudy, but I'm not buying the many excuses for Rudy's deviations from conservative views. We have other options. For example, a conservative case for Romney can be made, based on his positions and business and executive leadership experience. Romney is wooing the conservative base, as his announcement speech shows. Rudy is selling himself via celebrity - no debates, no negotiation, and McCain has been arguing with the base for so long, both he and his act are getting too old.

The bottom line: The Republican Presidential nomination race is wide open; no candidate has really 'made the sale', nor can they until we've gone through the rigors of debates and more campaigning. The widest race will also be the earliest, as big state primaries have moved up to February 2008.

KSM - Terrorist Tells All

Experts: Mohammed Arrest Slowed al-Qaida:

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's capture four years ago didn't shut down al-Qaida or bring the Americans to Osama bin Laden. But if his mega-confession is to be believed, his arrest was a crushing blow to bin Laden's plans for even more deadly attacks in the wake of 9/11.

His expertise was never replaced and his absence has contributed to the group's transition from a fear-inspiring attack force to a hate-filled voice on the Internet, urging others to wage terror against the West.

"In terms of competence for managing, planning and executing terrorist attacks, KSM was the best in al-Qaida," said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert and author of a book on al-Qaida. "That's why Osama bin Laden and other important al-Qaida leaders entrusted him with so many operations."

... Experts agree the arrest was a major setback for bin Laden's terror network, and one from which the group has never quite recovered.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed has admitted involvement in most of the major Al Qaeda attacks on Western soil. Khalid Sheik Mohammed's testimony(PDF, his admissions starting on page 17) of his terrorist actions, includes "organizing, planning, followup and execution of the 9/11 Operation" and also "Cell for the production of Biological Weapons" (Anthrax) and "Dirty Bomb Operations on American Soil." The danger posed by KSM was huge when you consider multiple plots KSM was involved in after 2001, many that fortunately did not succeed, some that unfortunately did: Scoping out the NYSE stock exchange, Sears tower, and other U.S. cities; multiple plane attack attempts, including the Richard Reid shoe bombing; attacks in Bali, Thailand, Phillipines; supporting and financing attacks in Turkey, Britain, and elsewhere.

KSM is the man who murdered journalist Daniel Pearl by cutting off his head. We know why and how Danny Pearl was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002:

It was at this meeting that an idea cropped up in Omar Sheikh’s twisted mind. He would kidnap Pearl to pressure the US Government to change its policies on Guantanamo Bay.

... Then in May 2002 we arrested someone named Fazal Karim, a militant activist. When we interrogated him we discovered that he was involved in Pearl’s slaughter. He also told us that he knew where Pearl was buried.

He was asked how he knew. Chillingly, he said he knew because he had actually participated in the slaughter by holding one of Pearl’s legs. But he didn’t know the name of the person who had actually slit Pearl’s throat. All he could say is that this person was “Arab-looking”.

He led us to the small house in a neighbourhood in Karachi where Daniel Pearl had been held captive. He then took us to a plot of land near by and told us where he was buried. We exhumed the body and found it in ten badly decomposed pieces. Our doctors stitched the pieces back together as best as they could.

The man who may have actually killed Pearl or at least participated in his butchery, we eventually discovered, was none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, al-Qaeda’s No 3. When we later arrested and interrogated him, he admitted his participation.

Yet strangely, many of the media reports are not focussed on the details of his confessions and what they tell us about Al Qaeda operations. Rather than focus on this, idiots like Rosie are offended by the label 'terrorist', and there are calls to investigate KSM's claims of mistreatment. To add to their other hyper-partisan and useless anti-admistration hearings,
Senators Urge Inquiry After Mohammed Alleges Abuse.

Why is the media and Democrats going out of their way to discount Khalid Sheik Mohammed's terrorist confessions? Maybe it's the Iraq connection: "Of particular interest is the revelation about Mohammed's involvement in the '93 bombing. It shows a linkage not only between the '93 WTC attack and 9/11, but also between Iraq and al-Qaida." It wasn't always this way - Gore in 1992 said the Bush administration was ignoring Saddam's terrorist ties.

Jihadists Against the Troop Surge

From The People's Cube comes...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

How To Solve Global Warming

Two words: Nuclear Energy.

The more complete answer: The global warming hypothesis is that man-made CO2, mostly created by burning fossil fuels, is increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and those increases are impacting the climate. Before the industrial age, CO2 was at 270ppm (parts-per-million) and is now at 380ppm and rising by about 1.5 ppm per year. The scarmongering scenarios in the media assume this trend will not only continue, but accelerate to the point where CO2 concentrations double. There are many assumptions in climate change models (some of which may be questionable), but they all are driven by a main assumption that man-made CO2 generation leads to a warmer climate, with IPCC estimates of 2 degress C increase expected by 2100 under a 'baseline' scenario.

Since fossil fuel burning is the main 'culprit' in this drama, the clear and obvious solution is to find substitutes for fossil fuels that do not add CO2 to the air. There are two options: Less energy use total or non-fossil-fuel energy. The environmentalists tout renewables and energy conservation, but all such solution run into a wall of economic reality - their solutions are not more widely used because they are not economical; it take subsidies and massive Government programs, regulations and interference to force the economy to use these solution. Even modest reductions (a la Kyoto Treaty) would be hugely expensive and ruinous to the economy.

None of that is strictly required to solve global warming, because the most cost-effective non-fossil-fuel alternative is avaialable: Nuclear power. Nuclear energy today is the most used and most cost-effective non-fossil-fuel source of electricity in the world - 20% of the US and 16% of the world electricity generation is based on nuclear power. Nuclear energy accounted for about 73 percent of U.S. emission-free generation in 2005. Nuclear power's operating costs are below every other alternative, including coal.

Marvin Fertel, NEI's vice president noted: "Nuclear energy has been the dominant factor in avoiding greenhouse gases for more than 20 years. It is responsible for 89 percent of all CO2 emission reductions realized in the electric utility sector since 1973."

So why aren't we simply agreeing to go nuclear and calming down from the global warming hysteria?
Because even with the 'threat' of gobal warming uppermost in their minds, many of the same environmentalists who act like global warming means the end of the planet continue to
spurn nuclear power:

Two implicit but flawed assumptions underlie most claims about the significance of nuclear energy for the climate-change issue. The first is that climate change can be tackled without confronting and changing Western, especially American, patterns of energy consumption – the primary causes and continuing drivers for unsustainable increases in carbon emissions and global warming. This is plain impossible; there is simply no way global warming can be stopped without significant reductions in the current energy consumption levels of Western/developed countries.

Plainly speaking, to say something is "plain impossible" when it has already happened is not convincing. Is it impossible to have Western-style energy consumption without massive CO2 generation? Definitely. In France today over 70% of electricity generation is nuclear-based. As a result, France has one of the lowest CO2 generation/Kwh and CO2 generation/GDP ratios of any country. If the US followed suit, our current 5 billion tons of CO2 generation would be reduced by 50%. If the world followed suit, and raised the world's generation of electricity from 16% to over 70%, the world's generation of CO2 would be cut in half. The result? The lower rate of CO2 generation would avert most worst-case situations touted as a reason for panic.

The environmentalist assertion is that somehow nuclear energy translates into other use of energy:

The best case study is Japan, a strongly pro-nuclear energy country. As Japanese nuclear chemist and winner of the 1997 Right Livelihood Award, Jinzaburo Takagi pointed out, from 1965 to 1995 Japan’s nuclear plant capacity went from zero to over 40,000 MW. During the same period, carbon dioxide emissions went up from about 400 million tonnes to about 1200 million tonnes.

The illogic of this is manifest. Japan was the fastest growing OECD economy for much of that 30 year period from 1965 to 1995. As this chart shows, Japan used nuclear energy for about 12% of its total energy supply and 35% of Japan's electric power. Japan is third in the world following the United States and France in nuclear power generation. As Japan's economy grew, the other parts of Japan's energy mix grew as well. The real question to be asked is how much CO2 was reduced due to the current contribution of nuclear energy, and also how much CO2 could be further reduced if nuclear power was applied more extensively. The answer is significant on both - Japan needs Nuclear Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions.

The anti-nuclear environmentalists point out that nuclear energy addresses only electricity generation and not the massive CO2 generation from transportation: "Other sectors of the economy where carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are emitted, such as transportation, cannot be operated using electricity from nuclear reactors. This situation is unlikely to change anytime in the near future."

That assumption misses opportunities for change. First, cars could be migrated to 'plug-in' hybrids that get their electricity from nuclear generation, using new battery technology. Second, many industrial processes, including biofuels production, require the kind of heat that nuclear power plants produce as a byproduct of electrical generation. If transport energy inputs are shifted to nuclear-based electricity and biofuels, then the 'carbon footprint' of transportation would be dramatically reduced, by at least 75% over the long term.

What would the nuclear solution look like? In the United States, about 40% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions can be attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels for the generation of electricity (source EIA). Replace 80% of that with nuclear energy and we can reduced CO2 emissions in this esctor commensurately. Transportation (in particular, oil in gasoline and jet fuel) accounts for another 40% of CO2 emissions. This can be further reduced (i.e., by 75%) by moving to plug-in hybrids, use of electric for trains, and replacing crude oil-based gasoline with biofuels and alternatives such as natural gas. The rest is heat generation, and if much of that was migrated to nuclear or non-fossil alternatives (e.g. biomass) the net result is commensurate CO2 reduction. Over all sectors, this reduction adds up to a 2/3rds reduction in total U.S. CO2 emissions. We would require 1000GW in capacity, 10 times our current nuclear rated capacity; this would cost about $1.2 trillion in capital costs over 40 years, or $30 billion per year. This very manageable cost would be borne mostly by the private utilities, with the only Government cost being sufficient subsidies and support to get plants built, which could be nothing more than tax breaks to ensure that nuclear maintain cost-leader status. This could be done for much less than our current ethanol subsidy costs, for example.

With a phased build-out of added capacity, this solution would require no draconian impositions on the economy while dramatically reducing CO2 emissions long-term. US CO2 emissions were 7,074 million metric tons in 2004, and the 98GWe rate capacity nuclear reduced emissions by 700 million metric tons. This added capacity would reduce emissions equivalent to our full current level of CO2 emissions of 7 Gigatonnes. Intead of seeing emissions increase to over 10 Giga-tonnes, they would be reduced by 2/3rds to around 3 Gigatonnes by 2050.

This solution, if applied globally in the U.S. and the other large CO2 emissions countries, would completely and dramatically make obsolete CO2 emissions scenarios that lead to drastic climate change. It would become a non-threat and it can be done without CO2 trading credits or dramatic changes in energy consumption. You don't even need to ride your bicycle to work.

Game Over. Go nuclear.

pro-Castro propaganda in the Statesman

A March 11 Statesman article by Mike Williams titled "Venezuelan oil helps fuel Cuba's eye care program" is a pro-communist puff piece in the propagandistic style of William Duranty (the now disgraced Pulitzer Prize winner who misled people in the 1930s about Stalin and the USSR). Williams, writing from Havana, gives us a story of the Cuban Government teaming with Chavez, the leftist oil despot, to provide an eye care program for kids called the "Miracle Mission", an example of "showcasing Cuban medical expertise".

Cuba is a land where human rights dissidents get 25 year jail sentences. As UN's Human Rights Watch says:

"Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces, aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners.

Repression is increasing in Cuba as Raoul Castro takes over from Fidel Castro.

Cuba has a failed socialist economic model that has moved their standard of living from the top in Latin America to the bottom after 40 years of Castro. Before Castro, Cuba fed itself; today it imports food like rice that it once was self-sufficient in; Sugar production is below levels of 40 years ago. Cuba in 2002 was mired in economic despair. Cuba's economy is living in the past and not even living up to it - by 2004, the Cuban economy remained 12 to 15 percent below 1989 GDP levels.

What keeps Cuba afloat? For a long-time the USSR subidized Castro's failed Communist experiment. Now, it's Hugo Chavez, whose support of the Cuban Government is keeping afloat an otherwise failed system. Notes the Cuba commission: "The economic lifelines of the Castro regime are tourism; access to subsidized Venezuelan oil; commodities; and revenues and other support generated by those with family on the island." Felix Antonio Bonne Carcasses, one of the Cuban dissidents organizing the Assembly to Promote Civil Society, said in 2005:

"If it weren't for the 53,000 barrels of oil that Hugo Chávez sends every day to Cuba, it would be over." (Reported by Oscar Corral,Miami Herald.)

Yet the journalists continue to let themselves become channels of propaganda, and trumpet bogus PR campaign like this one as something 'newsworthy'. Castro's accomplishments are a hoax; his statistics have been fudged or fabricated:

Anecdotes abound of the government cooking the books to prove the glories of the Revolution to the world, with many academics distrusting the official government figures. A demographer from the National Academies of Sciences found that the Cuban government's own data was at odds with official overall statistics for child mortality: If anything, it indicated a growing, not a falling, infant mortality rate, a suspicion supported by other statistics from the Cuban Ministry of Health which showed high rates of several childhood diseases that generally correlate with high infant mortality. Other scientists doubt the claims made over HIV, noting the many Cubans who had served in African wars, the many African students in Cuba, the rampant sex trade in Cuba, and the high rate of HIV among Cubans who escaped from the island. A secret 1987 Cuban Communist Party survey of 10,756 respondents showed 88% of the public in one province to be disappointed with their health-care system. When the Cuban suicide rate skyrocketed -- it's now twice the typical rate in Latin American countries -- the Cuban government stopped reporting suicide statistics in a way that allowed international comparisons.

To the extent that the Cuban government's health claims are credible, the results often came at a price no civilized society could countenance. Patients with AIDS were forcibly removed from society and isolated in sanitaria. Expectant mothers with AIDS were coerced into aborting their babies. Abortions were similarly used to improve infant mortality statistics in general -- Cuba has twice the abortion rate of most countries -- by terminating high-risk pregnancies. To obtain co-operation from doctors, their compensation was tied to their patients' infant mortality rate. Many Cuban mothers claim that their doctors killed their baby at childbirth -- babies who die at birth do not show up in Cuba's infant mortality data.

At the same time that some of Castro's admirers deny claims that the medical system is failing Cubans, other admirers admit to the disastrous health outcomes, but blame them on food, drug and other shortages caused by the Cuban embargo. One such study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, lamented "several public health catastrophes [including] more than 50,000 cases of optic and peripheral neuropathy ... A 1994 outbreak of the Guillain-Barré syndrome in Havana was caused by water that had been contaminated with Campylobacter species because chlorination chemicals were not available for purification."

We are left with one true accomplishment of the Castro-led Communist Government of Cuba - propaganda:
Castro has claimed many achievements. Perhaps his greatest is convincing world leaders and journalists the claims are true.
Lawrence Solomon, National Post, February 01, 2003

Journalists who tell the truth are told to leave by the repressive Castro Government:

The Chicago Tribune said correspondent Gary Marx, based in the country since 2002, was told Wednesday that his stories were too negative. His press credentials were not renewed during an annual process, and he and his family were given 90 days to leave Cuba, the newspaper said.

The Mexican newspaper El Universal said Cesar Gonzalez Calero, its Havana reporter since 2003, was told this week his credentials would not be renewed. Authorities told him his reporting was "not the most convenient for the Cuban government," the reporter said, adding he would be allowed to remain in Cuba as the husband of a Spanish journalist.

Mike Williams is one journalist the Castro Government let stay. And why not, his article had no mention of Cuba's repression, abuse of journalists and statistics, and no mention that the facade of Cuban health care is phony. Is he a dupe or a willing accomplice to propaganda? Does he not notice the "Miracle Mission" story about eyecare (for kids!) is a tailor-made and timed for propaganda effect, about as 'newsworthy' and balanced as a corporate ad campaign? In either case, he needs better eyesight and better insight into the reality of Cuba. Someone please get him some spectacles.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Local Democrats say no to Jessica's Law

Representatives Howard, Dukes, and Naishtat vote against Jessica's Law, a bill that gets tough on child sexual predators. The bill passed overwhelmingly, but 25 Representatives, all Democrats, voted against it.

In 2005, 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was abducted from her Florida home, sexually assaulted, and murdered by a convicted sex offender. States across the nation have been enacting stricter penalties for sex crimes against children. House Bill 8 authored by Debbie Riddle (R-Houston) and supported in a bipartisan manner would enact very strict penalties when dealing with persons who are convicted of sexually violent offenses against children. (Source: NFRW.)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Perspectives on School Choice

Perspectives on School Choice (Submitted to Austin American Statesman but not published)

There as been an ongoing debate over school choice for decades. Proponents argue that vouchers help students who are shackled to poor schools escape into better ones and, at the same time, provide competition that forces betterment of the public school system. Opponents claim this would take money away from the education system where it is needed to improve low-performing schools.

However, both sides agree that our public schools are in need of substantial improvement.

Examples of a variety of approaches exist from which the education establishment could profit to help it thoroughly change the “system.” However, over the decades, it stayed the course with minor tweaks producing insignificent changes in performance and drop-out rates, sadly short-changing our children.

Our positions reflect our experiences. Mine have led me to support school choice.

First of all, my experience with other education approaches includes the Swiss education system, into which I was immersed when my father was transferred to Switzerland.

This system is multi-track. Two tracks lead to trade schools or apprenticeships. The third track is academically oriented and lasts through 12th grade. I was admitted to the latter.

This college preparatory track is very demanding. There were a full 36 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction per week, and college type midterms and final exams. The teachers had doctorates in the subjects they taught.

When I returned to this country and entered college, I found this preparatory education to be much broader than ours, equivalent in several subjects to Junior College and many more subjects taught.

This experience led me to two conclusions: First, it is impossible to compare student performance of our single track system with this complex European system. Secondly, while I do not advocate duplicating the European systems for several reasons, we should expect our education establishment to benefit from them by creatively incorporating modifications to our own system for a seamless transition from high school to college or trade schools.

Then there is the interesting home schooling paradigm.

I did not understand how children can be educated without trained teachers until our son embarked on this approach with his five children.

It is really very simple. They first had to learn to read and subsequently got their learning from the excellent home school textbooks. At the earliest age they were taught to develop the discipline for daily study of a chapter in each book of several subjects, as well as doing the problems. No teacher was needed, only an adult for supervision and encouragement.

In my example, our grandchildren never sat on a school bench before going to college, where they excelled as “A” students. A high school age grandchild recently achieved 98 percentile in the PSAT.

These children are not geniuses but are advantaged by the discipline of independent study, a proficiency which carries over into life-long learning. It is by far the lowest cost and demonstrably the most effective education paradigm.

I conclude that this paradigm contains elements that ought to be creatively applied to public schools.

In my experience, our education bureaucracy strenuously resists any incisive solutions for genuine improvement, while teachers tended to be helpful and open-minded. I encountered this problem when I was on the Mayor Todd’s task force on Apprenticeships and Career Pathways some years ago.

Specifically, we addressed the fact that a large number of careers do not require college and that many high school students are not willing or equipped to go to college. Statistics showed us that only one in eight beginning high school students eventually graduated from college. Sadly, many high school students are thus short-changed and either drop out or graduate without marketable skills.

A Swiss expert in career development was hired to help out. We developed a pilot apprenticeship program with Koblenz, Austin’s sister city in Germany. The program enjoyed great success. Some seven high school students participated. However, the education establishment was unresponsive and the Swiss expert left after two years, admitting that changes to our entrenched education system could only occur when forced upon it by legislation.

In summary, legislation and public pressure are needed in order to free up education from the shackles of a flawed, yet unresponsive system. Mindlessly pouring in money does not help. Public education needs to be fundamentally improved, drawing on other laboratories of progress which need to be part of our educational landscape. To accomplish this, I firmly believe that education money must follow the child and the family needs to be given the informed freedom of choice.



- Texas Policy Foundation:

- CONFíA National Hispanic Organization supporting school choice:

- CREO Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options;

- Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation


- Texas Freedom Network


- Fordham Foundation studies:

- Government statistics:


- Washington Times article:

Support for my conclusion: FAULTY COMPARISON WITH EUROPE


Saturday, March 3, 2007


Austin seems like just the place to hang this letter out for consumption.
-Tim Bradberry


Due to the thunderous applause that I received from the far-left over the "I Am Tired" letter written by one of our troops in Iraq, I thought it prudent to follow up with one last attempt to be very specific about what I have observed and actually personally encountered during my 36 years of service to this Great Country. This will be a one time attempt to reach some of those who are confused by the far-left and their ilk's unethical rantings and give some insight through my personal experience as a professional military officer over the years. These examples are but a few. In real life there were many more which space and time will not allow.

As a young fighter pilot, flying F-4s in Vietnam, I was stopped in my tracks by the decisions made by Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. I was young and naive, but even then I knew their daily interference was wrong and would not allow us to win this thing and go home. Decisions like not allowing us to strike enemy aircraft while still on the ground, keeping real targets off the target list, and allowing us to strike only rusted-out trucks made us basically a toothpick factory. However, the big one for me came the day I saw the President Lyndon Johnson on television, forcefully lying to the American people. I'll never forget the language, "I want to assure the American people that the United States of America has never, and will never, bomb or use force inside the borders of Cambodia". On and on he disavowed the reports that this was happening. I was amazed. Guess where I had put several F-4 loads of 750 pound general purpose bombs every day for the past five days. You guessed it, Cambodia!!! So much for Mr. Johnson. The only question in my mind was simply, "Was it just Johnson or was it the methodology of a particular political party?" I decided to delay answering that question until more experience was gained.

Years passed, and I ignored politics as much as possible, as a good military man should. Then came Jimmy Carter. Our young people don't remember 18% interest rates and 18% inflation, but I'll bet someone in your family does. That is one really bad thing Carter did for our country, but it is not the worst. During this period, I was an F-15 Squadron Commander, located at Langley AFB, VA. Jimmy Carter and his democratic party stopped spare parts procurement for almost every weapon system in our military, and diverted the funds to social programs. The F-15 was brand new at the time with leading edge technology designed to provide air superiority anywhere in the world on a moments notice. That was my job. I loved it, but guess what? In a two year period from 1979 to 1981, there was not one day when more that one-third of my assigned aircraft were flyable. It is amazing the lengths we went to in those days, cannibalizing parts, expending twice the time and energy to fix every little item, and still two-thirds of the birds were always broken because of no spare parts. Had this country faced a really serious military threat during that time frame, only Montana Hunters could have saved us. The military had some equipment, but it was all broken. Do you want to know the really bad part for me and the young fighter pilots working for me? Our flying sortie rate was so low that pilot proficiency dropped to dangerous levels. The accident rate tripled. That obviously was totally unacceptable, as we were losing expensive airplanes and highly trained young pilots at a rate comparable to losses seen in actual combat. All of a sudden, even a Texas Aggie like me began to see a trend.

Forward a few years to 1986. I am an F-16 Wing Commander at MacDill AFB, Florida, and Ronald Reagan is president. His change in attitude and policy toward the military had time to fix the spare parts problem. We were flying 26,000 flying sorties per year out of MacDill AFB, my aircraft fully mission capable rate (FMC) was above 90%, the aircraft accident rate was below 1.75 per hundred thousand flying hours, fighter pilots were flying and proficiency levels were at an all time high. The United States Air Force was ready to defend this Wonderful Country. Proof of the pudding is simple. Look what the USAF, and the military in general, accomplished in Iraq during Desert Storm. And, they did it in less than 100 hours. Yeah, at this point I was starting to realize there was a difference in mentality between Democrats and Republicans, or should I say, the Right and the Left.

Then, came everyone's favorite---Bill Clinton. If there ever was an individual 180 degrees out of sync with the ideals and the values of the US military, it was Clinton. He was a known draft dodger, military hating, self absorbed, unspeakingly shameless and immoral individual, who the Left managed to elect President of the United States of America. Clinton's antics in the White House would have brought court martial, conviction, and Dishonorable Discharge had he been a military member. We still suffer oral sex on school buses, because the President told the world it wasn't real sex, and some of our children believed him. It took a lot of years, but now I became certain. There is a big difference in the right and the left on all fronts, and for the first time I started feeling angry and shamed that the majority of the American people were actually willing to vote for such an individual.

Sometimes, an abstract such as the following tells the story in very simple terms: Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, George Soros, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Boxer, John Kerry, Benedict Arnold, and the list goes on. America, wake up. In my opinion, giving in to the likes of these people could allow Abraham Lincoln's prediction of destruction from within to come true. There is not a country in the world that can be considered a conventional military threat to the United States today. However, this country faces a new kind of threat---one that will not go away. It is a threat even more serious that WWII, because money, industry and technology will not defeat it. It is a threat of defeat from within. It is a threat of a faltering economy because of a lack of resources, or the even the simple threat of such a loss brought on by terrorism. It is a threat created by the American people trusting the inept. It is a threat created by the people wanting change, and perilously believing that the left can successfully deliver that change. Have you seen anything from the left that remotely resembles an answer to the Iraq situation? Have you seen anything more than continued Bush-Bashing? Is that an answer? If there was ever a need for a strong, well trained military, it is now. THE LEFT HAS HISTORICALLY DISMANTLED OUR MILITARY IN THE NAME OF REDISTRUBITION OF WEALTH FAVORING SOCIAL PROGRAMS. We just cannot afford to let that happen now. If we do, the entire country may be bowing to the east several times a day within the next 50 years, maybe sooner.

Now a final thought meant to upset as many as possible on the far-left. As you might guess, I don't believe in political correctness. So, let's look at the facts, not far-left rhetoric attempting to empower the democratic party. Initially, I was not a George Bush fan. I am not even a Republican. I normally vote Republican, because of my total despise of Communism, Socialism and the far-left in this country. I am a Conservative. However, during his watch, I feel President Bush just happened to stumble upon the leading edge of the greatest threat this country has ever faced. Mistakes have been made, because of the newness of the threat. Overall, the President has done a superb job dealing the threat, and at the same time held off the constant ranting, raving, deceitful and malicious escapades of the far-left attempting to regain political power. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO COME TOGETHER AND BACK OUR PRESIDENT, IT IS RIGHT NOW. WITHOUT CONCENSUS WE ARE EMPOWERING THE TERRORIST!!!! I feel the far-left is totally absorbed with a power struggle and regaining control of congress. They could care less about defeating the threat. It literally disgusts me to hear the constant disagreement with everything the President tries to do, all in the name of trying to make him look bad to the voters. Unfortunately, by the time the American people really appreciate how bad the far-left really is, it may too late.

What are the real facts? On the home front this country's economy is the strongest that it has been in my lifetime. Interest rates are as low as they were when I was in high school forty years ago. Inflation does not exist for all practical purposes. For you youngster's, please remember the Jimmy Carter comments? The Dow is approaching 13,000. Unemployment is nonexistent. Wages are at an all time high. Home ownership is at an all time high. Taxes have been lowered to an almost acceptable level. Because of the surging economy the deficient is under control and projected to go away far ahead of schedule. The far-left is rich beyond its wildest dreams, so Mr. President when are you going to "fix" all these domestic problems? Give me a break!!!!

On the war front this country has not been touched since 2001. I remember being part of a seminar at the USAF War College in 1983 discussing the terrorist threat. There were some good minds at that table and a lot of disagreement. However, one common thought was that the US would be hit within the next five years. Answers to the terrorist threat were just as hard to come by then as they are now. Well, it took a little longer than the projection, but the attack occurred. For an old military guy like me, the main point here is that it has not happened again. We have suckered the bad guys into entering the fight somewhere other than in our country. To hell with political correctness. The President can't say this, but I sure can. I smile every morning when I get up and realize that one of our great cities has not been blown away. And, there is zero doubt in my mind that if we pull out of Iraq prematurely, that will happen within a short period of time after our departure. I don't care what you might think of President Bush personally. He has done the best he can with what he has, and this country is not smoking because of it. So, the anti-American, Bush hating far-left should back off. They honestly don't have a clue about what they are talking about, and they are doing irreparable damage to our country.

I realize there are different points of view on war, and I do not believe the meek will inherit the earth, at least not in the next few hundred years. To those of the far-left, who will undoubtedly respond to this letter, let me say, "This is a strong country!!!" It has survived the uneducated thinking of the far-left before, and I'll just bet it will again. Regardless of who is President, the people will not tolerate mass explosions on a daily basis, as our good friends in Israel have been forced to do. To protect that position of power, even Hillary will be forced to become a true hawk. To guarantee a few more votes Ted Kennedy may be forced to begin supporting a strong military. One more attack on America might even wipe the giddy, 'I-am-finally-somebody' grin from Nancy Pelosi's face, and make her realize that is not about votes and personal power. IT IS ABOUT PROTECTING THIS GREAT COUNTRY FROM ALL ENEMIES, BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.

Jimmy L. Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Reasons for Republicans to smile

Bill Kristol on
Why Republicans are smiling. He missed out the "Nowhere to go but up" factor.