Friday, July 29, 2005

Building big energy plants, that we can do. 

Ethanol plants...think they're built by Halliburton?

Why else would we switch to a fuel that burns 30% energy more in making it than it provides in its use?

A cynical attempt to court the rural vote? Of course, and it continues--with the normal proportions--the sending of $1.30 to the red states for every $1.00 they produce.

They say ethanol increases the cost of corn, which in turn means livestock owners pay an average of $3,500 more a year for feed. They also contend that while E85, the gasoline-ethanol mix sold at 400 stations nationwide, costs an average of 30 cents a gallon less than regular gasoline, it is also less fuel efficient.

Recent research by a Cornell University professor says ethanol uses about 30 percent more energy to produce than it puts out. "It's an absolute waste," said Dr. David Pimentel, a professor of agricultural sciences. "The only reason we're doing this is because of politics and big money."

Get a clue, folks. Genetically-modifying the crops to GROW the oil is the only energy-viable means to use crops. Ethanol is a scandal.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

While you were sleeping... 

The Detroit News puts the tab on the Afghanistan+Iraq conflicts at as much as $700 billion.


Not million. Billion. That's $2400 for every person in the US, almost $10,000 for a family of four. Just think of getting $2000/year extra in Bush's tax breaks for five years.

Just don't count on it. You, as a family of four, have just thrown away a compact car's worth of money for these wars. Now ask yourself, was it worth it?

How many jobs could that money have created? How many higher-paying jobs could it have prevented from "trickling down" into lower middle class?

If you really are better off than five years ago, fine. But I doubt it.

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, has estimated that the Korean War cost about $430 billion and the Vietnam War cost about $600 billion, in current dollars. According to the latest estimates, the cost of the war in Iraq could exceed $700 billion. Put simply, critics say, the war is not making the United States safer and is harming U.S. taxpayers by saddling them with an enormous debt burden, since the war is being financed with deficit spending. One of the most vocal Republican critics has been Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who said the costs of the war -- many multiples greater than what the White House had estimated in 2003 -- are throwing U.S. fiscal priorities out of balance.

"It's dangerously irresponsible," Hagel said in February of the war spending. Democrats have also raised concerns about the apparent lack of an exit strategy and the fast-rising costs, particularly since President Bush has chosen to pay for the war with special supplemental appropriations outside the normal budget process.

1800 US military personnel dead when the medics reached them, another 2,000-8,000 not in the official count. Many more mercenaries, not to mention tens of thounsands of Iraqi civilians. Those are some other numbers starting to look frighteningly like the Korean and Vietnam Wars, too.

Mission accomplished. If you run Oceania, that is.


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