Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Obama Star

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Great Obama Satire from the UK

From The Times, July 25, 2008, by Gerald Baker

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow. (link)

Comment: This is a great piece of writing. It is very clever and captures the messianic adoration being bestowed upon Obama.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The seven dwarfs always left to go work in the mine early each morning.
As always, Snow White stayed home doing her domestic chores.

As lunchtime approached, she would prepare their lunch and carry it to the mine.

One day as she arrived at the mine with the lunch, she saw that there had been a terrible cave-in.

Tearfully, and fearing the worst, Snow White began calling out, hoping against hope that the dwarfs had somehow survived.

'Hello!...Hello!' she shouted. 'Can anyone hear me? Hello!'

For a long while, there was no answer.
Losing hope, Snow White again shouted, 'Hello! Is anyone down there?'

Just as she was about to give up all hope, she heard a faint voice from deep within the mine, singing . . ...

'Vote for Barack Obama! - Vote for Barack Obama!'

Snow White fell to her knees, crossed herself and prayed, 'Oh, thank you, God! At least Dopey is still alive...

This was plucked from a chat group where it was posted without attribution. Author unknown. For you people who may not realize this is a humor, there is no use searching Snopes to see if it is really true. It is not. It really didn't happen. IT IS A JOKE.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is Nuclear Energy Our Best Hope?

by Gwyneth Cravens, Discover

Despite its negative image, nuclear energy may be the most efficient and realistic means of meeting the rapidly-growing demand for power in the United States. by Gwyneth Cravens

Four years ago this month, James Lovelock upset a lot of his fans. Lovelock was revered in the green movement for developing the Gaia hypothesis, which links everything on earth to a dynamic, organic whole. Writing in the British newspaper The Independent, Lovelock stated in an op-ed: “We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilisation is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear, the one safe, available energy source—now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet.”

Lovelock explained that his decision to endorse nuclear power was motivated by his fear of the consequences of global warming and by reports of increasing fossil-fuel emissions that drive the warming. Jesse Ausubel, head of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, recently echoed Lovelock’s sentiment. “As a green, I care intensely about land-sparing, about leaving land for nature,” he wrote. To reach the scale at which they would contribute importantly to meeting global energy demand, renewable sources of energy such as wind, water, and biomass cause serious environmental harm. Measuring renewables in watts per square meter, nuclear has astronomical advantages over its competitors.”

All of this has led several other prominent environmentalists to publicly favor new nuclear plants. I had a similar change of heart. For years I opposed nuclear power, but while I was researching my book Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy, my views completely turned around. (link)


If one accepts the scientific consensus, as I do, that global warming is a very serious problem and must be addressed and be addressed soon, there is little to be encouraged about. Kyoto has been a dismal failure. The world's output of greenhouse gases continues to increase rather than decrease. The carbon trading and carbon off-set mechanisms are scandal-ridden and are ineffective. In 2007 the US passed new CAFE standards, which will take years to have any impact and then, only minimal. In 2008 the US Congress considered, and wisely rejected, a seriously flawed Cap and Trade bill. If the next Congress should revive and pass the bill, it will enrich some, at the expense of others. It may also very well destroy the economy, while having minimal impact on our carbon output. The G-8 summit passed a very weak declaration to do something about global warming, someday and even that was rejected by India and China. The promise of ethanol turned out to be false. Ethanol has led to higher food prices, increased starvation in the undeveloped world, and has done little to curtail greenhouse gases.

Looking for bright spots in a gloomy picture, gas prices have increased, which for the first time ever has resulted in Americans reducing the amount of driving they do. The bad news is that politicians of both parties are pandering to a public which wants lower gas prices. Another piece of good news is that, thanks to the efforts of oilman T. Bone Pickens, there is a major push to promote wind power. This renewable resource looks like a viable, alternative energy source. Wind power alone, however, can not meet our energy needs.

Nuclear energy may be our best hope. Nuclear energy may be able to curtail global warming in time to avoid a calamity. This energy source would definitely have to be coupled with other alternative sources of clean energy; policies that curb carbon consumption, and futher investment in some promising new technological developments in carbon sequestration. Nuclear is not without its problems, but not using nuclear energy is more threatening than using it. In the above article, the author makes this argument. Unfortunately, many of the people who are most passionate and proactive about global warming are also the same people most passionate about stopping nuclear energy development.

James Lovestock, one of the world's most prominent environmentalist, has gone from being an opponent of nuclear energy to a proponent. This article explains why Lovestock and other rational environmentalist are now supporting nuclear energy as an important part of the strategy for stopping global warming.

Nuclear energy supplies only 20% of America's energy needs. That percentage is constantly slipping, and no new nuclear plants have been built in America in 30 years. America's energy demand continues to increase, and the US is the world's greatest contributor to global warming. If we are serious about combating global warming, we need to embrace nuclear energy.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Can Al Gore be Taken Seriously?

Al Gore's "A Generational Challenge to Repower America" Speech

Al Gore made a major speech recently and about the economic, environmental and national security crisis that we face as a result of global warming.

He could not have painted a bleaker picture. “The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk”, says Gore. “And even more - if more should be required - the future of human civilization is at stake.”

He says the climate crisis is getting worse quicker than predicted. He says that within five years there is a 75% chance that the North polar ice cap will disappear during the summer months.

He advocates a program of producing 100% of our electricity from solar, wind and geothermal power within ten years, and he is convinced that we have only ten years to act. “The leading experts predict that we have less than 10 years to make dramatic changes in our global warming pollution, lest we lose our ability to ever recover from this environmental crisis.”

I respect Gore for his tenacity and sincerity. I have no clue as to whether we have only ten years to act or not. Gore had me nodding in agreement when he said we should speed up the transition to clean energy by "insisting that the price of carbon-based energy include the costs of the environmental damage it causes.” I agreed wholeheartedly with Mr. Gore when he said, “I have long supported a sharp reduction in payroll taxes with the difference made up in CO2 taxes. We should tax what we burn, not what we earn. This is the single most important policy change we can make.”

I am very skeptical, however, that even with a complete replacement of the income tax with a carbon tax and a massive government development program, that we can achieve a transition to unproven technologies and a replacement of an infrastructure based on coal and oil in such a short period of time. The expense is incomprehensible.

I also think he downplays the sacrifice that would be required and paints a rosy picture of the economic benefit of the transition. He might also just be outright saying something that he does not really believe when he says, “The way to bring gas prices down is to end our dependence on oil and use the renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline”.

I think he lost all credibility with the “$1 per gallon gasoline” argument. Also, I think Mr. Gore would be more believable if he recognized a role for nuclear energy in his proposal for addressing the global warming crisis. How can one totally ignore the role of clean nuclear energy in addressing the energy needs of the world? In France, nuclear supplies 70% of their energy needs. In contrast, nuclear currently supplies only 20% of America’s energy needs. Gore seems to pretend it does not even exist.

While I hope this speech leads to serious discussions about this important issue, Mr. Gore’s speech struck me as something more like Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward” rather than a serious, practical proposal.

To go to the Gore website where you can view the video and read the text of his speech, click here: link.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Japanese Music

For all you beer drinking county music fans who are never going to consume another Bud because they are owned a Belgium company: Stop consuming country music.

One of the biggest players in the music industry in Nashville is Sony Music. Sony owns Columbia, RCA, and Epic. Sony owns the copyrights to a lot of music including the former Tree music catalogue, which was one of the biggest county music publishers. They also own the Acuff-Rose music catalogue which includes all of the Hank Williams penned tunes. Your favorite county song is probably owned by Sony.

Do you know who owns Sony? The Japanese.

Think of all the great songs written by Willie Nelson and all the great songs written by Hank Williams. Think of He Stopped Loving Her Today, Crazy, I Saw the Light, and I Walk the Line. Are these songs any less American because they are owned a Japanese company?

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