Friday, July 27, 2007

Renewable Energy Realities

A great article debunking the "green" energy nonsense. Not only is it not economical, it ISN'T "green"!

Large-scale power generation from biomass would require that “vast areas be shaved or harvested annually,” Ausubel says. It would take 2,500 square kilometers of prime Iowa farmland to produce as much electricity from biomass as from a single nuclear power plant.

“Increased use of biomass fuel in any form is criminal,” Ausubel stated in a media release. “Every automobile would require a pasture of 1-2 hectares.” He added.

Wind power? While it’s much less land intensive than biomass, that’s not saying much. A 770-square-kilometer area would only produce as much electricity as a single 1,000 Megawatt nuclear plant.

A wind farm the size of Texas would be required to extract, store and transport annual U.S. energy needs. “Every square meter of Connecticut” would have to be turned into a wind farm to provide all of New York City’s electricity demands.

Solar power is also quite a land hog. As photovoltaic cells are only 10 percent efficient and have seen no breakthroughs in 30 years, U.S. electric consumption would require a 150,000-square kilometer area of photovoltaics, plus additional land for electricity storage and retrieval.
The photovoltaic industry would have to step up its production by 600,000 times to produce the same amount of power as that generated by single 1,000 Megawatt nuclear plant.

Aside from land misuse, Ausubel also raises the other undesirable consequences of renewables: wind power produces low-frequency noise and thumps, blights landscapes, interferes with TV reception, and chops birds and bats....and solar power would require that large areas of land be essentially “painted black” with photovoltaic cells.

In terms of resource use, the infrastructure of a wind farm takes five to 10 times the steel and concrete used in a 1970-vintage nuclear power plant.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Monica Lewinsky

Today we celebrate a special birthday. Monica Lewinsky turns 34. Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around the White House on her hands and knees. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What are you going to do--throw them all out?

Such is the snarky rhetoric of bogus "comprehensive immigration reform" (in reality, illegal alien amnesty) advocates.

And for a while, I actually believed such rhetoric myself. I focused upon walling and fencing off the southern border, because the efforts to round up and deport illegal aliens would be much more costly in comparison.

Moreover, the efforts at employer enforcement would prove fruitless, given the massive size of the for cash "underground" economy, in which millions of US citizens, let alone illegal aliens are involved, or so I reasoned.

And there is an even bigger problem with employer sanctions: Employers are to be punished for not detecting and excluding illegal immigrants, when the government itself is derelict in doing so.

Employers not only lack expertise in law enforcement, they can be sued for "discrimination" by any of the armies of lawyers who make such lawsuits their lucrative specialty.

But no penalties are likely to be enforced against state and local politicians who openly declare "sanctuary" for illegal immigrants. Officials sworn to uphold the law instead forbid the police to report the illegal status of immigrants to federal officials when these illegals are arrested for other crimes.

Like most pro-alien nation rhetoric, the "we can't throw them out" argument is disingenuous.

First, there is the reality of deterrence. Just as we don't need to solve every crime and catch every criminal, in order to have deterrents to crime, neither do we have to ferret out and deport every one of the 12 million illegal aliens in this country in order to deter a flood of new illegal aliens.

Second, this argument masks the reality that in many cases, we have never even tried. All across this country, illegal aliens are being caught by the police for all sorts of violations of American laws, from traffic laws to laws against murder. Yet in many, if not most, places the police are under orders not to report these illegal aliens to the federal government.

Third, the obvious fact is that imprisoning known and apprehended lawbreakers for the crime of illegally entering this country, in addition to whatever other punishment they receive for other laws that they have broken -- and then sending them back where they came from after their sentences have been served -- would be something that would not be lost on others who are here illegally or who are thinking of coming here illegally.

Just as people can do many things better for themselves than the government can do those things for them, illegal aliens could begin deporting themselves if they found that their crime of coming here illegally was being punished as a serious crime, and that they themselves were no longer being treated as guests of the taxpayers when it comes to their medical care, the education of their children, and other welfare state benefits.

Mark Steyn cleverly tears apart the phony argument as well:

Everyone wants to sound reasonable and be the chap who charts the middle course between the Scylla of open borders and the Charybdis of mass deportation. But these are not equivalent dangers. The Charybdis of mass deportation is a mythical monster: It does not exist. It will never exist. No politician is arguing for it, and no U.S. agency is capable of accomplishing it. Indeed, even non-mass deportation does not exist. Go on, try it. Go to your local immigration office and say: Hello, boys. Here I am. I'm an illegal immigrant, got no right to be here, been breaking the law for 20 years, but I've seen the light and I want you to deport me back to Mexico, Yemen, you name it. The immigration guys will say: Leave your name and address and we'll get back to you in a decade or three.

But the Scylla of open borders does exist. It's the reality of the situation. What else would you call it when a population the size of Belgium's (the lowball estimate) or Australia's (the upper end) moves onto your land? And with the connivance of multiple state agencies, not to mention those municipalities that proudly declare themselves to be "sanctuary cities?"

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner", are we?

So says New York Times putz Clark Hoyt.

He starts off apologizing to the lamestream media Party cadres about how the New York Slimes has "slipped" in its coverage:

But these are stories you haven’t been reading in The Times in recent weeks as the newspaper has slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda’s role in Iraq — and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution.

And in using the language of the administration, the newspaper has also failed at times to distinguish between Al Qaeda, the group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, and Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an Iraqi group that didn’t even exist until after the American invasion.
But then, in a news story a few days later, the New York Times reporters MICHAEL R. GORDON and JIM RUTENBERG note all the foreign (i.e., Al Qaeda) influence in the "homegrown" Iraq insurgency. They try to pass this off by explaining that:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who became the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, came to Iraq in 2002 when Saddam Hussein was still in power, but there is no evidence that Mr. Hussein’s government provided support for Mr. Zarqawi and his followers.
Uh, sorry, but events unapproved by Saddam unhappened in his Iraq. Moreover, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a personal guest of the Saddam regime. He DIDN'T come to the Kurdish rebel zone, or any zone where Shi'ite militias held sway.

The NYT reporters go on to admit that:

Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, questioned Mr. Zarqawi’s strategy of organizing attacks against Shiites, according to captured materials. But Mr. Zarqawi clung to his strategy of mounting sectarian attacks in an effort to foment a civil war and make the American occupation untenable.

The precise size of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is not known. Estimates are that it may have from a few thousand to 5,000 fighters and perhaps twice as many supporters. While the membership of the group is mostly Iraqi, the role that foreigners play is crucial.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri is an Egyptian militant who emerged as the successor of Mr. Zarqawi, who was killed near Baquba in an American airstrike last year. American military officials say that 60 to 80 foreign fighters come to Iraq each month to fight for the group, and that 80 to 90 percent of suicide attacks in Iraq have been conducted by foreign-born operatives of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
The report concludes with this:

The broader issue is whether Iraq is a central front in the war against Al Qaeda, as Mr. Bush maintains, or a distraction that has diverted the United States from focusing on the Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan while providing Qaeda leaders with a cause for rallying support.
Oh, puhleeze. A pullout from Iraq would allow Al Qaeda to claim victory, period. There are many fronts in this war, whether or not the New York Slimes wants to admit it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Supreme Court: Never mind the Demunists, Here's the RINOs

A narrow victory was squeezed out of the Supreme Court today! Another nail in the coffin of Affirmative Racism and social engineering!

The Forces Of Good:
Kennedy (if barely)

The Forces Of Evil:

Note that Justice Kennedy is just barely hanging on here and is somewhat of a wuss:

Justice Kennedy agreed that the Court has jurisdiction to decide these cases and that respondents' student assignment plans are not narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling goal of diversity properly defined, but concluded that some parts of the plurality opinion imply an unyielding insistence that race cannot be a factor in instances when it may be taken into account.
One can only hope this leads to a reconsideration of the convoluted reasoning of Grutter v. Bollinger, where "diversity" was upheld to be a compelling state interest.

And in court decision after court decision, the trouble has more often than not come not from the Clinton Democrat appointees, but from the RINO Republican appointees (Souter, Stevens, to say nothing of the former Justice O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy comes dangerously close)

Justice Thomas just kicks ass:

Lacking a cognizable interest in remediation, neither of these plans can survive strict scrutiny because neither plan serves a genuinely compelling state interest. The dissent avoids reaching that conclusion by unquestioningly accepting the assertions of selected social scientists while completely ignoring the fact that those assertions are the subject of fervent debate. Ultimately, the dissent's entire analysis is corrupted by the considerations that lead it initially to question whether strict scrutiny should apply at all. What emerges is a version of "strict scrutiny" that combines hollow assurances of harmlessness with reflexive acceptance of conventional wisdom. When it comes to government race-based decisionmaking, the Constitution demands more.
Most of the dissent's criticisms of today's result can be traced to its rejection of the color-blind Constitution. See post, at 29. The dissent attempts to marginalize the notion of a color-blind Constitution by consigning it to me and Members of today's plurality.19 See ibid.; see also post, at 61. But I am quite comfortable in the company I keep. My view of the Constitution is Justice Harlan's view in Plessy: "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 559 (1896) (dissenting opinion). And my view was the rallying cry for the lawyers who litigated Brown. See, e.g., Brief for Appellants in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1953, Nos. 1, 2, and 4 p. 65 ("That the Constitution is color blind is our dedicated belief"); Brief for Appellants in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1952, No. 1, p. 5 ("The Fourteenth Amendment precludes a state from imposing distinctions or classifications based upon race and color alone");20 see also In Memoriam: Honorable Thurgood Marshall, Proceedings of the Bar and Officers of the Supreme Court of the United States, X (1993) (remarks of Judge Motley) ("Marshall had a 'Bible' to which he turned during his most depressed moments. The 'Bible' would be known in the legal community as the first Mr. Justice Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 552 (1896). I do not know of any opinion which buoyed Marshall more in his pre-Brown days ...").

The dissent appears to pin its interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause to current societal practice and expectations, deference to local officials, likely practical consequences, and reliance on previous statements from this and other courts. Such a view was ascendant in this Court's jurisprudence for several decades. It first appeared in Plessy, where the Court asked whether a state law providing for segregated railway cars was "a reasonable regulation." 163 U. S., at 550. The Court deferred to local authorities in making its determination, noting that in inquiring into reasonableness "there must necessarily be a large discretion on the part of the legislature." Ibid. The Court likewise paid heed to societal practices, local expectations, and practical consequences by looking to "the established usages, customs and traditions of the people, and with a view to the promotion of their comfort, and the preservation of the public peace and good order." Ibid. Guided by these principles, the Court concluded: "[W]e cannot say that a law which authorizes or even requires the separation of the two races in public conveyances is unreasonable, or more obnoxious to the Fourteenth Amendment than the acts of Congress requiring separate schools for colored children in the District of Columbia." Id., at 550-551.

The segregationists in Brown embraced the arguments the Court endorsed in Plessy. Though Brown decisively rejected those arguments, today's dissent replicates them to a distressing extent. Thus, the dissent argues that "[e]ach plan embodies the results of local experience and community consultation." Post, at 47. Similarly, the segregationists made repeated appeals to societal practice and expectation. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Briggs v. Elliott, O. T. 1953, No. 2, p. 76 ("[A] State has power to establish a school system which is capable of efficient administration, taking into account local problems and conditions").21 The dissent argues that "weight [must be given] to a local school board's knowledge, expertise, and concerns," post, at 48, and with equal vigor, the segregationists argued for deference to local authorities. See, e.g., Brief for Kansas on Reargument in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1953, No. 1, p. 14 ("We advocate only a concept of constitutional law that permits determinations of state and local policy to be made on state and local levels. We defend only the validity of the statute that enables the Topeka Board of Education to determine its own course").22 The dissent argues that today's decision "threatens to substitute for present calm a disruptive round of race-related litigation," post, at 2, and claims that today's decision "risks serious harm to the law and for the Nation," post, at 65. The segregationists also relied upon the likely practical consequences of ending the state-imposed system of racial separation. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Davis v. County School Board, O. T. 1953, No. 3, p. 37 ("Yet a holding that school segregation by race violates the Constitution will result in upheaval in all of those places not now subject to Federal judicial scrutiny. This Court has made many decisions of widespread effect; none would affect more people more directly in more fundamental interests and, in fact, cause more chaos in local government than a reversal of the decision in this case").23 And foreshadowing today's dissent, the segregationists most heavily relied upon judicial precedent. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Briggs v. Elliott, O. T. 1953, No. 2, p. 59 ("[I]t would be difficult indeed to find a case so favored by precedent as is the case for South Carolina here").24

The similarities between the dissent's arguments and the segregationists' arguments do not stop there. Like the dissent, the segregationists repeatedly cautioned the Court to consider practicalities and not to embrace too theoretical a view of the Fourteenth Amendment.25 And just as the dissent argues that the need for these programs will lessen over time, the segregationists claimed that reliance on segregation was lessening and might eventually end.26
To which Justice Stevens replies with truly pathetic vaporing:

There is a cruel irony in The Chief Justice's reliance on our decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U. S. 294 (1955). The first sentence in the concluding paragraph of his opinion states: "Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin." Ante, at 40. This sentence reminds me of Anatole France's observation: "[T]he majestic equality of the la[w], forbid[s] rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."1 The Chief Justice fails to note that it was only black schoolchildren who were so ordered; indeed, the history books do not tell stories of white children struggling to attend black schools.2 In this and other ways, The Chief Justice rewrites the history of one of this Court's most important decisions. Compare ante, at 39 ("history will be heard"), with Brewer v. Quarterman, 550 U. S. ___, ___ (2007) (slip op., at 11) (Roberts, C. J., dissenting) ("It is a familiar adage that history is written by the victors").
Oh up yours. The schools in these cases were trying to assign students to places solely on the basis of race, not financial need or economic circumstance.

But it gets worse: Justice Stevens prattles on:

The Chief Justice rejects the conclusion that the racial classifications at issue here should be viewed differently than others, because they do not impose burdens on one race alone and do not stigmatize or exclude.3 The only justification for refusing to acknowledge the obvious importance of that difference is the citation of a few recent opinions--none of which even approached unanimity--grandly proclaiming that all racial classifications must be analyzed under "strict scrutiny." See, e.g., Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peńa, 515 U. S. 200, 227 (1995). Even today, two of our wisest federal judges have rejected such a wooden reading of the Equal Protection Clause in the context of school integration. See 426 F. 3d 1162, 1193-1196 (CA9 2005) (Kozinski, J., concurring); Comfort v. Lynn School Comm., 418 F. 3d 1, 27-29 (CA1 2005) (Boudin, C. J., concurring). The Court's misuse of the three-tiered approach to Equal Protection analysis merely reconfirms my own view that there is only one such Clause in the Constitution. See Craig v. Boren, 429 U. S. 190, 211 (1976) (concurring opinion).4
Which is precisely the problem. Justice Stevens still pushes the "living breathing document" crap vs. a true rule of law, which is like a yardstick. Dare I say it, a "wooden" yardstick!

Justice Stevens concludes with this monumental statement:

It is my firm conviction that no Member of the Court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision.
Sorry, Justice Stevens, but "The Lone Ranger", were he still alive, would certainly have agreed with it.

Butg even if that is true with respect to the other justices besides Rhenquist, then perhaps it's time for Justice Stevens to just retire or die, then?