Wednesday, April 26, 2006

IRAQ War Begins Wind Down As Predicted Here

In my post of March 16 I predicted that we will be moving rapidly out of Iraq within 90 days. That would mean June 16 (for the math challenged among you.)

ABC is reporting:

As the top U.S. commander in Iraq suggested today that the United States would soon reduce the number of troops in Iraq, Pentagon planners said to ABC News that they hoped to pull more than 30,000 troops out by the end of the year, and possibly by as early as November.

I think there will be more announcements before June 16. Read this blog for accurate prognostication.

P.S. AAA says gas prices will relax before end of May. I agree. Not widely reported.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Global Warming Histeria Hits Its Apex

Al Gore and his friends have moved heaven and earth (as it were) to bring global warming to a fever pitch. The public isn't very moved. Recent polling shows that while 80% or so believe there is global warming, only 15% are concerned about it to any degree.

But the politicos, science pundits, elite university profs, and main stream media talking heads are bound and determined to get us all riled up about this horrible problem. As posted elsewhere at this blog, I personally don't think the case has been made that we have global warming, that man is contributing to it, or that it would necessarily be bad on balance.

Now come some serious students, scientists, and prognosticators who are throwing cold water on this hot subject. Guess how much press and screen time they will get?

From Fox News and "Junk Science" comes this

Since this small variation in global temperature is well within the historical climate record, panic hardly seems warranted.

So where does all the fuss about manmade CO2 and global warming come from? Not from actual temperature measurements and greenhouse physics – rather it comes from manmade computer models relying on myriad assumptions and guesswork. Many models incorporate hypothesized “positive feedbacks” in the climate system, which tend to amplify model predictions. But no model has been validated against the historical temperature record. So they don’t “radiate” much confidence when it comes to forecasting temperatures.

And from a recent University Study, there's this

Global warming may not be as dramatic as some scientists have predicted.
Using temperature readings from the past 100 years, 1,000 computer simulations and the evidence left in ancient tree rings, Duke University scientists announced yesterday that "the magnitude of future global warming will likely fall well short of current highest predictions."

Both articles contain far more interesting science for those who wish to look deeper. Let get more worried about Iran and less about the weather.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Teaching Preschoolers To Read by Five

We have started a new business. If you know someone who has a child who is 2 years-old to 4 1/2 years-old, please send them a quick e-mail to suggest they visit our website at We have a method to help parents teach their preschoolers to read at the third grade level before they enter kindergarten.

We are also looking for affiliates to sell this program in person or on their websites. If you are interested in this, e-mail me at

Monday, April 10, 2006

Republicans Are Going to Pay for Their Stand on Undocumented Workers for Decades

You saw it here in this column, long before it was in the news. The Republicans are out to lunch on this one. Kennedy is wrong to call this the new civil rights issue. It is not much like it ... except in this way: The Republicans were on the wrong side of history in the Civil Rights period. They were perceived to be even worse than they were. The same thing is happening again. The President and many smart Republicans are on the right side of this, but their is a bunch of very negative things being said that will be hard to live down later. It is hard to stand by and watch this train wreck and not be able to do anything to stop it.

Scientist says: Global Warming Ended in 1998

This article should be the debate ender on global warming. It won't be, because too many people have too much at stake. But according to a leading climate center that is used by the folks who claim that we are all going to drown next week in salt water, there hasn't been any change up or down in eight long years. Not enough time to draw any conclusions? That would be a good argument I suppose, until you start looking at the data being relied upon by the sky-is-falling crowd.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

I would also suggest that while 80% of the population believes there is global warming, and a similar number think man is contributing, no one is taking action to avert its effect on themselves, personally. No one is moving inland. No one is stocking up on supplies that might be scarce were the temperature to go up. No one is even giving suggested great plays on stocks that will benefit from the actual global warming, only those who will benefit from the threat.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fantastic Balanced Article on Immigration (The Illegal kind)

The LA Times might ask me to take this down. I have taken the entire editorial from today's edition, because the link won't help you. The commentary is way to important to end its life with today's edition. You won't find a more balanced take on the issue.

The love left behind

What will it take to keep mothers and their children from crossing the border?
By Sonia Nazario, Times staff writer Sonia Nazario's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, "Enrique's Journey," was published as a book by Random House in February.
April 2, 2006

IT STARTED AS AN OFF-THE-CUFF question to María del Carmen Ferrez, who came to clean my house twice a month. Did she plan to have more children? Carmen, always chatty, suddenly went silent. She started sobbing. She told me about four children she had left behind in Guatemala. Her husband had left her, and Carmen simply couldn't feed them more than once or twice a day. They would ask for food. She didn't have it. So she left them in Guatemala with their grandmother and came to work in El Norte. She hadn't seen them in 12 years. Her youngest daughter was 1 year old when she left.

Carmen's answer stunned me and sent me on a journey of my own. How could a mother leave her children and travel 2,000 miles away, not knowing when or if she would see them again? After nearly two years of research in the U.S. and in Latin America, I found some answers — and many more Carmens. Regardless of the law, regardless of the danger and pain, millions of women, often single mothers, come to the United States from Mexico and Central America and send dollars to the children they leave behind. And after years apart, their children, desperate to be with their mothers, often make their own harrowing journey through Mexico to find them.

These mothers and children offer up almost certain proof that the legislative "solutions" that Congress is debating — and that brought thousands out into the streets in protest — can't and won't make a difference in the nation's illegal immigration problem.

First, some facts. Clearly, illegal immigration is out of control. The U.S. is experiencing the largest wave of immigration in its history. An estimated 850,000 people enter the U.S. illegally each year — more than double the number in the 1980s and early 1990s. Today, there are an estimated 12 million illegals here. In addition, nearly 1 million people come to this country legally or become residents each year — more than twice the number in the 1970s. In Los Angeles, four in 10 people are from another country.

Certainly there are undeniable benefits to all this. Most people agree that U.S.-born workers won't do at least some of the backbreaking jobs that illegal immigrants take, especially for rock-bottom wages. Picking lettuce. Cutting sugar cane. Or, in the case of one woman I interviewed, cleaning houses where there had been a suicide or violent crime.

Immigrants' low wages keep some businesses from closing or going abroad in order to compete. A 1997 study by the National Research Council, still considered the most objective and authoritative on the effects of immigration, found that immigrant labor also lowers the cost of food and clothing for all of us, and it puts such things as child-care services within the reach of far more Americans than before. Immigrants bring new blood, ideas and ways of looking at things that drive creativity and spur advances.

And yet the downside is real too. Because they have lower incomes, immigrants and their U.S.-born children qualify for and use more government services — including welfare — than the native-born. They have more children, and therefore more youngsters in public schools. Compared to native households, the NRC found that immigrants and their native-born children pay one-third less taxes per capita than others in the U.S. And according to a Harvard University study, immigrant pay scales have lowered wages for the least educated — and the neediest — among the native-born, mostly African Americans and previous waves of Latino immigrants.

The cost-benefit calculation is just as troubling when it comes to the immigrants themselves. The mothers I talked to were able to send money to their children in their home countries so the kids could eat better and go to school past the third grade. But after spending years apart from their mothers, these children often felt abandoned, and they resented — even hated — their mothers for leaving them. Many mothers ultimately lose what is most important to them: the love of their child. Many children who found their way here later sought the love they hoped to find with their mothers elsewhere — in gangs, for example.

Will the proposals roiling Congress end the problems of illegal immigration? It's not likely.

"Get tough" sums up one side in the debate, but it's a policy that has had little success to date. Starting in 1993, the number of agents patrolling the border and the amount of money spent on enforcement tripled, according to a 2002 Public Policy Institute of California study. Yet the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. only grew more quickly. Why? More immigrants came and more stayed for good, knowing that entry and reentry would be more difficult and costly in the future. As for criminalizing illegals and their employers, in the past, such sanctions have been skirted and ultimately ignored.

The other, less draconian approach is to "control" immigration via temporary guest-worker programs and promises of future green cards — perhaps even citizenship.

Unfortunately, a past guest-worker program, in which Mexican braceros filled agricultural jobs between 1942 to 1964, laid the groundwork for the massive illegal migration of workers from Mexico that followed. And the last time the United States offered illegal immigrants a path to a green card, in 1986, it resulted in about 2.7 million immigrants becoming legal, but it didn't stem the tide of newcomers. Who knows how many of them crossed the border believing that there would eventually be another amnesty?

So what should the U.S. do? If you travel the routes that feed Latin Americans into the U.S., you'll come to believe that there is only one way to stem illegal immigration — at its source, in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and wherever people are desperately poor. That's because desperate people find ways around obstacles such as walls and temporary guest-worker rules.

One woman I met at a migrant shelter in southern Mexico was Leti Isabela Mejía Yanes. She had left Honduras, where 42% of the population is unemployed or underemployed, where newspaper ads tell women older than 28 they need not apply. Mejía Yanes, a single mother, left three children in Honduras because she could only feed each of them two pieces of bread a day. The youngest, a 1-year-old boy, got breast milk and one piece of bread. Sometimes she quieted their cries of hunger with a dollop of tortilla dough mixed into a big glass of water. She had lost both legs trying to board a moving freight train that would take her north through Mexico. Months later, she would return to Honduras defeated.

I met a Honduran teenager who had been assaulted by bandits, held at knifepoint, stripped and robbed. A girl in his party had been gang-raped by the bandits. He had made 27 attempts to get through Mexico. Mexican authorities were about to deport him again. He vowed to make attempt No. 28, to not give up until he reached his mother in the United States.

Time and again, I met migrants willing to endure months of danger and misery to reach the U.S. As long as they had any hope of success, they refused to go home.

Instead of arguing about green card rules and wall heights, the U.S. should be formulating a new foreign policy. It should be aiming resources and diplomacy at improving conditions in Mexico and the few Central American countries whose migrants make up more than two-thirds of those in the U.S. illegally. Trade policies could give preference to goods from immigrant-sending countries to spur job growth. More aid could be invested there for the same purpose.

What I found out is that most immigrants would rather stay in their home countries with their extended families, with everything they know, than take the enormous risks required to cross the border and to make a new life here. Many women say it wouldn't take radical changes in their countries to keep them at home, by their children's sides. They say that if they had food to feed their children and clothes to put on their backs, if they could send them to school, or even if they had just the hope of doing so, they would never walk away, leaving behind their homes, their lives, the children themselves.

Will Biofuels be George Bush's #1 Legacy Item

During the last State of the Union address, and on several earlier occassions, President Bush has been pushing hard on oil from corn or ethonal. I thought this was the least likely of the potential approaches to make any dent in our dependence on fossil fuels. Until now.

If you can find a way to listen to the John Batchelor show on the radio, I would highly recommend it. One way is streaming audio here. Of all the talk shows on the radio, I learn more from this show than any other. He doesn't just hit the topic of the day. He goes where others don't. Tonight, he was talking about the fact that Brazil has now largely converted its cars to flexfuels. They run on 85% sugar based ethonal. 77% of new cars are sold ready to run full flex.

In the US, all new cars run on 10% ethonal, but you can buy cars that will run on E85 flex fuel, or you can buy a conversion kit to turn your car into a flex fuel user. E85 gas isn't available everywhere yet, but it is widely coming available.

Here are some other links for your interest. I figured my next car would be a hybrid, but now I'm wondering about changing the current one to E85.


Many detailed studies and trial runs at the site:

A Comparative Cost Analysis of Biodiesel, Compressed Natural Gas, Methanol, and Diesel for Transit Bus System is here

Biodiesel vs. Other Alternative Fuels:

See the reports database for MANY more:

Darwin WAS Right!!!!!

This is what we have all been waiting for. Darwin said that he didn't have a missing link. He needed an actual living breathing, or at least a fossil, of a species in the middle of changing. Oh, he had bunches of finches with beaks changing over time. He could even show that humans and other species adapt physically to environmental changes and challenges. But he needed that missing link. Here, at last, we have one.

Ice Age Upon Us - Scientists Claim

Thanks to George Will for researching the following:

Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age." The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers "have begun to advance," "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter" and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool." Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that the New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age." The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" now that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

Time Magazine tells us in the March 26 issue to be very worried about global warming. I think we should be very worried about hysteria caused by scientists and journilists who make a living off of our fears.