Sunday, May 28, 2006

If They Built It . . . Will They Come, uh, Anyway

The question: Can we stop illegal crossings by Mexican immigrants?

I admit to being a skeptic, a contrarian, and even a curmudgeon. So I love it when conventional wisdom is turned on its head. I even love it when new wisdom turns out to be dead wrong, and old wive's tales proven accurate.

When it comes to building a wall between the US and Mexico, I've been leading the pack in favor. I have repeatedly backed Bush on his comprehensive approach, but agree with the need for a strong border defense.

Add to my personal view the fact that I started my professional career selling security hardware, and actually becoming a nationally recognized expert in small security devices (padlocks), and bicycle security. The stated goal was called the "good neighbor policy" ... secure your property better than your neighbors, and the thief will steal the neighbor's stuff first.

In other words, I believe in the ability of security devices to create a deterent to even sophisticated thieves. Thus, I would believe that walls, fences, barriers, drones, sonic devices, lasers, heat sensors, and other such approaches should be able to significantly deter folks from trying to cross our Southern border.

Now comes an editorial in Sunday's LA Times that gives me cause to question. Here it is, in its entirety:

You can't wall off immigrants
Fortified borders won't withstand the forces of supply and demand.
By Wayne A. Cornelius, WAYNE A. CORNELIUS is director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego and coauthor of "Impacts of U.S. Immigration Control Policies on Mexican Migration: The View from Sendi
May 28, 2006

BOTH THE SENATE and House versions of an immigration bill to keep unauthorized migrants out of the United States rely on the construction of hundreds of miles of new physical barriers, high-tech gadgetry and more manpower along the Southwestern border. But from Western Europe to the Far East, the evidence shows that anything short of complete militarization of borders will not deter illegal entry by determined, economically motivated migrants. Partial militarization only rechannels illegal migration, it doesn't reduce it overall. If the probability of apprehension isn't uniformly high, migrants will continue to cross in areas where risk of detection remains relatively low.

The latest case is Spain. Since the mid-1980s, the country has become a major destination and transit country for Third World migrants, especially from Africa and Latin America. But illegal immigration only became a crisis last fall, when waves of sub-Saharan Africans began jumping the fences that separate Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's small territorial enclaves on the North African coast, from Morocco.

In response, the Spanish government doubled the height of the fences and installed high-tech monitoring equipment to create the world's most elaborate electronic border-surveillance system. It also diplomatically pressured the Moroccan government to mobilize its police forces to stop migrants from using the country as an exit point.

The assaults on the border fortifications in Ceuta and Melilla followed Spain's installation of advanced radar-detection equipment and stepped-up maritime patrols in the Strait of Gibraltar. African migrants were crossing the nine-mile strait in small, grossly overloaded rubber rafts that often capsized in the rough waters, drowning their passengers. Spanish officials boasted that the new technology and added patrols made the country's southern borders "watertight."

But almost immediately, prospective migrants and the smugglers who assist them shifted their efforts toward the Atlantic. Spain's Canary Islands became their new destination. This was a much longer and more dangerous passage — a voyage of 100 miles from the Moroccan coast in often heavy seas. When the Moroccan government moved to shut down this route, migrant departure points shifted south to Mauritania, a journey of 600 miles to the Canary Islands. After another flurry of Spanish diplomatic activity, Mauritanian authorities began cracking down, which pushed embarkations farther south, to Senegal, a 900-mile voyage.

Despite the perilous, eight- to 10-day ocean crossing in flimsy wooden boats, sub-Saharan migrants continue to sail for the Canary Islands in record numbers. About 8,000 migrants have been apprehended so far this year, nearly double the total in 2005. Humanitarian organizations estimate 2,000 more have perished at sea.

In the face of the African exodus, the Spanish government continues to focus on intercepting migrants before they arrive or making their journey as difficult as possible. Spain does not have a guest worker program big enough to allow for an orderly, legal flow of African workers into its economy. Although the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last year legalized about 600,000 migrants who had been working in the country without authorization, there has been no systematic crackdown on employers who hire illegals, thus assuring that this workforce will grow again.

Spain is losing the battle for immigration control for two reasons. First, the real-income gap between Spain and sub-Saharan Africa is huge and growing, not so much because the migrant-sending countries are economically stagnant but because Spain's economy continues to outperform all other European Union countries. Unemployment has dropped dramatically since 1996, and native-born Spaniards overwhelmingly spurn the jobs done by foreign workers. Second, Spain is aging so rapidly that by 2030 its population will be the second oldest in the world, after Japan's, and replacement workers are urgently needed.

Spain's experience should be a cautionary tale for immigration reformers in the United States. Hardly anyone questions the efficacy of pouring ever more resources into border enforcement, which we have been doing since 1993, even as the population of illegal immigrants has nearly tripled.

The problem with fortifying borders is that it doesn't reduce the forces of supply and demand that drive illegal immigration. The Senate last week approved 370 miles of new double- and triple-layered fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers. In December, the House voted for 700 miles of new fortifications. If built, these new layers of protection will have no discernible effect on reducing the flow of illegal migrants from Mexico.

But these enhancements will enable smugglers to charge more for their services; divert crossings to more remote and dangerous areas, increasing migrant fatalities; induce more migrants and their family members to settle permanently here; and cause more crossings through legal ports of entry using false or borrowed documents.

The outcome might be different if we were prepared to accept the huge economic and diplomatic costs of militarizing 100% of our land borders with Mexico and Canada, as well as the Pacific and Gulf coasts, and the long-term expense of monitoring the fortifications. But polls say most Americans are leery of this approach. Even as part of a "comprehensive" immigration reform package, anything less than a full-blown Fortress America makes no sense, except as a symbolic reward to xenophobes.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

My First Newspaper Review - Houston Chronical

In case you don't get the Houston Chronical, I thought you might like to check out what they thought of my new book, Running A 21st Century Small Business. I promise. I didn't pay this guy to say this.

Complex topics, digested easily

For The Chronicle

IN recent years it has become startlingly clear that while many of the biggest companies are constantly paring payrolls, the number of small companies is rising significantly.

But this statistic hides a lot of painful setbacks. Unfortunately, statistics on businesses with 10 or fewer workers show that 65 percent of them fail within the first five years.

With that in mind, Randy Kirk has revised his 13-year-old book to more reflect how the business world has changed. In 1993, he wrote "When Friday Isn't Payday". With this new guide, he has revised and updated the book to better reflect new information, tax laws and the growing importance of electronic commerce.

Kirk seemingly covers every aspect of operating a small business. The 300-plus pages are packed with lots of charts, lists and anecdotes about establishing and running a small business.

The book is divided into five stages of small business development, from the beginning to the process of growing and on into the future. The stages are titled: Before You Begin, Opening the Doors, The First Three Years, Managing Yourself and

Others and Managing Your Assets.

Each of these sections has subtopics that cover crucial aspects of successfully running a small business.

In section two, a subsection offers a comprehensive look at preparing a business plan.

It's obvious that Kirk has done his homework and has experience with running a business.

This book could serve as a textbook for how to run a small business.

Motley Fool

Tom and David Gardner are co-founders of the Motley Fool, which since 1993 has grown from a personal finance Web site into a media company with a syndicated newspaper column, radio shows and books.

"The Motley Fool's Money After 40" is their latest foray. This book addresses the 75 million Americans between 40 and 65 who are contemplating how they'll fare during retirement.

The authors have divided the topic into three sections: Having Enough, Having More Than Enough and Having It All.

Having Enough addresses the subject of organizing finances in order to preserve what one already has and how to calculate what is needed.

Having More Than Enough goes deeper, tackling Social Security and touching on estate planning, caring for elderly parents and teaching a child to be financially independent.

In Having It All, the authors take the whole concept a step further, showing the reader how to live a healthy, productive life, one with hobbies, adventures and another career.

The authors cover many subjects but never dwell on any of them at mind-numbing length. They hit the highlights and quickly move on, making it easy to comprehend.


"Running a 21st Century Small Business"

By Randy W. Kirk Warner Business Books, $14.95.

Window Cleaning Tips

We added a new sunroom a few months ago. Best investment ever. It looks great, and we are just loving sitting in this indoor/outdoor room.

Of course, all that we do that is good comes with some work. In this case, the sunroom comes with 27 windows and three glass french doors. Today was cleaning day. I learned a tip about cleaning windows 40 years ago, and have used it for the house, the cars, and mirrors ever since. Today, I tried a more traditional approach of a squeegy and a super absorbent cloth. Nope. Not as fast, not as good.

The best way to clean glass is with Windex or water and NEWSPAPER. Yep, there is something about the ink in newsprint that does a great job of cleaning, and it leaves no streaks or dust. Just wad up a section of today's LA Times and get to work.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hugh Hewitt Helps Me See The Light About the Mainsteam Media

I'm going to first do a simple paraphrase of Hugh Hewitt's comment. Then for the SC fans, I will add my own reaction.

The reason center-right folks are turning off the MSM or get so mad reading the LA Times is not that they have a point of view. It is the total disregard they have for our point of view. To the extent that the contrary opinion about such issues as global warming, tax policy, or health care are even presented, the presentation is done in a way that it is clearly dismissive or even derisive. (My apologies to Hugh for this broad interpretation.)

I compare it to the way we, as individuals, deal with our spouses or teen children. We tend to treat their opinions, to the extent that they are different than ours, as being rediculous or at least easily countered. Respect starts with acknowledging the others point of view as credible and reasonable, even if we see it totally differently.

Conclusion: The MSM disrespects me. Fox is gaining market share because it respects all points of view.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Republicans Acting Like Democrats in Immigration Fight

The Republicans have lost their collective minds. The party of reason and logic has retreated into rediculous hyperbole, scare mongering, and histrionics. I listen to the politicians and talk show hosts who usually think these things through, and I feel like I'm listening to Sharpton, who never does.

The latest absurdity is the 100,000,000 immigrants in 20 years story. If the Senate bill passes as is, so the story goes, we will have 100,000,000 of the children, parents, aunts, uncles, etc., of the current 12,000,000 coming across to join them.

#1. There are only 100,000,000 Mexican left in Mexico.

#2. This is like the Dems argument about taxation. They never consider the downstream effect, only the immediate effect. We only have 13,000,000 now instead of 100,000,000, because that is what the demand is. Even if we completely opened our borders to the world, there would not be unlimited swarms of people coming. Oh, there would be a major influx, but eventually, the word would go out that there are no more jobs.

On the other hand, if there were 100,000,000 jobs that needed doing, it could happen. But that is why we do need control.

#3. We already have about 1,000,000 per year, so 20,000,000 over 20 years is to be expected. If it went to 30 or 40 mil, it might begin to seem excessive. But the point is, it won't be anything like 100,000,000.

So, my fellow Republicans, could we get back to reality. Forget the stupid butting in line analogy. We don't punish folks who cut in line by sending them to jail. In fact, if they have already reached the front of the line, and received the product or service they were waiting in line for, we don't punish them at all.

Forget the "breaking the law" line. You probably broke the law yesterday by driving over the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign, or cheating on your taxes. I'm not condoning those behaviors, but rather suggesting that you are a hypocrite to get all upset with folks who "broke our laws" with the intent of bettering their lives or the lives of their children. The law you broke yesterday was to save 30 seconds on your commute time!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Adaptation - Natural Response to Change Like Global Warming

All environments are constantly in flux. Sometimes the changes are minor; a tree grows a bit more, and its shade stops the sun from reaching some plants that had thrived in a patch of land for decades. Sometimes the changes are major; an earthquake changes the course of a stream, completely altering life downstream.

It isn't necessary to believe in Darwinism to agree that all living things respond to these changes by adaptation. Some die, some change their habits, some change their physical attributes. Those groups that don't adapt become extinct, whether this happens because many trees grow so densely as to cut off all light to a large area of forest floor, or because an major earthquake alters a major water resource.

Due to literally millions of changes in our ecosystem, the earth has gone through millions of climatic changes, minor and major, localized and planet-wide. The plant and animal life has adapted to these temperature swings. Some have died. Some have changed.

Now we find our planet in the midst of another climate change. As we have become more adept at measuring changes in the oceans, earth's surface, and the atmosphere, we are able to say with some certainty that the earth is warming. Consensus puts that change at 1 degree F over the past 100 years. Thus far the change has not resulted in very substantial challenges for man or other living things. But it would be less than prudent to not contemplate the potential risks and rewards associated with further potential increases. Then, upon determining what those risks and rewards might be, to take steps to adapt to and such changes.

In no case, however, should we resort to panic over this issue. Time magazine declaring on its cover that we should be "very worried" or Al Gore producing a movie showing apocaplytic results from this warming do nothing to help the situation. Rather they engender unnecessary fear, anxiety, and depression in folks who have much more pressing things to deal with. When one takes a long view on this subject, such talk by scientists, pundits, and politicians can only be seen as blatant scare mongering. The intent would appear to be selling magazines, increasing personal power, and/or raising research funding. If those who hold that substantial warming is coming were truly concerned only with raising awareness and creating action, then the tone would reflect that. Right now, the tone reflects something far less attractive.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Ted Dekker - Showdown

Have you started reading Dekker yet? What's keeping you. This guy writes really well. His concepts are unique. There are good underlying messages. You should start with any of his books and just keep going. Now comes SHOWDOWN.

This has to be the weirdest book yet from Ted Dekker. You see there's this monestary hidden in the cliffs somewhere in the desert. There are two levels, and the lower levels are filled with tunnels occupied by these . . . OK! As Stephen King say: the hardest part of writing science fiction is opening the door. I'll keep the door closed and let Dekker open it for you.

Meanwhile there's this wild and crazy guy named Marsuvees Black who seems to have one foot on each floor, and yet another footprint in the town of Paradise. How he manages to be three places at once provides a good part of the tension in this work. Good and evil collide in the minds and hearts of the good people of Paradise and the some orphans who populate the monestary. By now you should be going: "Huh!" That is commonly the thing you say to yourself in all of Dekker's products, but certainly in Showdown.

The Environmental Wars: The Science Behind the Politics

My son, Brian, and I are about to go on a mini adventure. If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you know that I am a science skeptic, and that I am especially skeptical about the claims of the global warming scaremongers. To that end Brian and I are attending a conference put on by my old friend, Dr. Michael Shermer, and his Skeptic Society. I have maintained to Michael in our debates over the years that his organization is misnamed in that they are only skeptical about thing spiritual, and buy outright all things of science. However, to his credit, he has assembled a group of experts for his June 3 conference that spans the universe of opinion on this hot topic.

To make the adventure even more interesting, Brian and I will go see the Gore movie (as in Al Gore) on global warming, read a couple of current books on the subject, and scan a number of websites in preparation for our trip to Pasadena. I'm sure we will add to our list of questions before that meeting, but for now I have these:

Can we extrapolate from the agreed upon 1 degree F increase in average global temperatures any continuation of warming?

Is the 1 degree increase over the last century outside of normal variation for that long of a period?

What is the likelihood of the next century seeing a reversal of this warming trend as opposed to the likelihood of a continuation?

If man is contributing to this trend, by what percent? How does this compare to say termites, cow flatulence, volcanic activity, Sun activity, and such?

What do the majority of scientists currently say about the self-healing nature of the atmosphere?

Every article on this subject cries out that the sky is falling. Why are scientists who believe in global warming universally apocalyptic? It adds to the feeling that they are selling fear. Isn't it possible that another 2-4 degrees of warming might create more benefits than catastrophes? Aren't there any upsides?

Where is the overt evidence of belief in this future, even on the part of scientists who are leading the pack? Is anyone hedging against this future? Who is buying or selling property, or moving investments in or out of assets that will be gaining or harmed by global warming?

Has anyone done studies to anticipate the results of human activity to stop global warming if we are completely wrong? In other words, if man does actively attempt to cool the atmosphere, and natural conditions were going to produce cooling anyway (much to the shock of scientists in 2040), might not man's intentional intervention create a greater apocalypse than the current (alleged) accidental one?

If you're interested in more information about the conference, you can get it at

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Baby Grant

Who Are the POOR, and Why Do We Want to Eliminate Them?

We humans are such a sanctimonious bunch. We look around us, find folks that don't look or act like us, and conclude that the world would be a better place if there were less of them. In every such thought or claim or screed, there is the implication that "we" are in some way better, and "they" are in some way worse.

Islamofacists would like to see fewer Jews and Westerners, Communists and socialists would prefer fewer rich folks and those who would like to be rich (proletariats). Northern Sudanese are working overtime to eliminate Southern Sudanese, much like "Christian" Yugoslavians tried to rid their country of Muslims a decade ago.

There seem to be an abundance of reasons for these feelings that lead to a desire to reduce various population groups, and it seems clear that almost every group with such feelings can point to understandable reasons for such an effort. In the US we have honestly believed (and not without some reason) that we are the most moral nation on earth in both intent and action when it comes to allowing everyone of every persuasion to live and prosper. We work overtime to protect every group who can claim to have a grievance with regard to possible discrimination, much less annihilation.

Now that we have ended slavery, and assimilated huge numbers of virtually ever race, color, creed, and sexual orientation into our body-politic, we have become the world's policeperson hoping to convince or force the rest of the world's cultures into acceptance of this great American virtue.

Oh sure, we still have plenty of hate and distrust among groups in America, but we're working on it. Right? Well, there is much written about the new bigotry against Christians, especially those who actually believe the Bible is true. Sure, the white, heterosexual male feels put upon, especially if he is competing for an acceptance letter to an elite college. But we're making progress.

I would propose the following. The group Americans most want to go away is the poor. We spend billions trying to get rid of them, not just in America, but in other countries, as well. Really nice people take up an entire career with the intent of eradicating poor people (they call it eradicating poverty, but it is just a euphemism.) These really nice people and the country as a whole would argue that there motives are pure. Their desire is to see that the poor move up in the world. If we spend enough money, time, and energy surely we can give every poor person appropriate food, shelter, health care, and the other trappings of the good life. We feel bad for these poor people, and want to give them a leg up.

Granting the good intentions and even some of the core reasons, it is also about our selfish interests. We don't want to be panhandled. We don't like to feel guilty about our own disproportionate wealth. We don't like to see the filth, the rundown homes, the unscrubbed kids and unwashed adults. We cringe at the statistics regarding poverty and literacy levels, longevity, and crime, and our comparatively poor national scores on these issues. Our shortfalls point right to the poor among us.

So, we have programs: Aid to Dependent Children, Section 8 Housing, Food Stamps, and the list is very long of all the programs. We have counselors at Federal, State, County, and City levels. We have churches and community groups offering all kinds of assistance, counsel, education, and guidance.

But do we ever ask the question: Are we doing the poor a big favor with all this aid? Jesus said we should feed the poor, but He also said the poor would always be with us. There are many interpretations of the beatitudes, but the literal translation suggests that poor, meek folks might be positioned better for the hereafter. There seems to be clear guidance in the New Testament that money and material accumulation are pathways to sinful behavior.

Enter science on the issue. We are a generation that believes that if we apply science to any complex issue, we can come up with great solutions. But science suggests evolutionary principles that would not in any way encourage assistance to the poor. Surely if we want the human race to be strong, we need to keep poor and sick folks from breeding more poor and sick kids. But most scientists don't say this out loud anymore. It sounds to much like eugenics, Hitler, or Ayn Rand. But every once in a while you get a sneak peak into the real thinking of the elites. Reproduced in its entirety is this recent, chilling article in WorldNetDaily.Com

Roe attorney: Use abortion to 'eliminate poor'
In unearthed letter urged President-elect Clinton to 'reform' country
Posted: May 13, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006

Ron Weddington
A letter to Bill Clinton written by the co-counsel who successfully argued the Roe v. Wade decision urged the then-president-elect to "eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country" by liberalizing abortion laws.

Ron Weddington, who with his wife Sarah Weddington represented "Jane Roe," sent the four-page letter to President Clinton's transition team before Clinton took office in January 1993.

The missive turned up in an exhibit put together by the watchdog legal group Judicial Watch, which has been researching the Clinton administration's policy on the abortion drug RU-486, notes James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web.

Weddington told the president-elect: "I don't think you are going to go very far in reforming the country until we have a better educated, healthier, wealthier population."

He said the new leader can "start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country."

Weddington qualified his statement, saying, "No, I'm not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can't afford to have babies.

"There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged differently as discriminatory, mean-spirited and ... well ... so Republican."

Weddington explained he was "not proposing that you send federal agents armed with Depo-Provera dart guns to the ghetto. You should use persuasion rather than coercion."

He points to President Clinton and his soon-to-be first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as the "perfect example."

"Could either of you have gone to law school and achieved anything close to what you have if you had three or four or more children before you were 20?" he asked. "No! You waited until you were established and in your 30's to have one child. That is what sensible people do."

Later, Weddington took a shot at the "religious right."

"Having convinced the poor that they can't get out of poverty when they have all those extra mouths to feed, you will have to provide the means to prevent the extra mouths, because abstinence doesn't work. The religious right has had 12 years to preach its message. It's time to officially recognize that people are going to have sex and what we need to do as a nation is prevent as much disease and as many poor babies as possible."

Weddington then argued that with 30 million abortions up to that point since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, America is a much better place.

"Think of all the poverty, crime and misery ... and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario," he said. "We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don't have a lot of time left."

The lawyer also delved into biblical theology.

"The biblical exhortation to 'be fruitful and multiply' was directed toward a small tribe, surrounded by enemies," he argued. "We are long past that. Our survival depends upon our developing a population where everyone contributes. We don't need more cannon fodder. We don't need more parishioners. We don't need more cheap labor. We don't need more poor babies."

In his postscript, Weddington said: "I was co-counsel in Roe v. Wade, [and] have sired zero children and one fetus, the abortion of which was recently recounted by my ex-wife in her book, "A Question of Choice" (Grosset/Putnam, 1992) I had a vasectomy in 1969 and have never had one moment of regret."

The Weddingtons divorced in 1974.

Their client in the 1973 case, Norma McCorvey, recently attempted to challenge the ruling that struck down all state laws restricting abortion, arguing changes in law and new scientific research make the prior decision "no longer just."

Commenting on a 2004 court ruling dismissing the challenge, Sarah Weddington said those who filed it "got publicity but the publicity actually has been very helpful for those of us who believe the government should not be involved."

After announcement of McCorvey's challenge, Weddington received about two dozen offers to help defend the Roe decision.

Please note that the elimination of 30,000,000 people through abortion is seen as a good thing, not a monumental tragedy to those who lost their lives, those who took those lives, and to a nation who allowed the most innocent among us to be killed without apparent remorse. No. Here we have exultation. If only we could do more. Kill more babies. We could potentially, finally, solve the problems of having these poor, unhealthy, uneducated folks around us.

Solutions? I don't propose to know what to do, exactly. I believe we have to stop killing millions of babies each year. We certainly need to be certain that babies don't get killed because of misguided ideas about population control or to eugenically control certain population groups. Both of those ideas are barbaric in the extreme.

It might seem far-fetched, but we could return to a time when the greatest expression of love between a man and a woman would be a lifetime commitment called marriage, and that the commitment would mean something. And that sex would be reserved for those who have made such a commitment.

We might stop looking down our noses at the poor. Those who have succeeded financially or in their careers are not better than those who have not. In fact, in many cases those who have merely humbly served others are much, much more loving and lovable than those who are using Tums, aspirin, and other stronger substances to get through their busy, successful days.

We would probably do well to stop glorifying wealth, celebrity, power, influence, and sexuality. Surely this nation of 87% Christians would agree that nothing in their Bible suggests that the pursuit of these things is the pathway to joy.

And, maybe, just maybe, the next time you encounter a poor person, and you are inclined to help them become more like you, ask them first: "Are you joyful and content?" If they say yes, and you can't say that, see if THEY would be willing to help YOU.

liberal politics
population control

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Science is FAIR! Working to Thwart God and Evolution

If we have global warming, it might be natural. If it is natural it will result in species adaptation. That is natural, whether God does it or Darwin does it. So instead of fighting it, shouldn't we be busy adapting to it?

If certain activities of one species of animal or plant (including humans) encroaches on another species and damages their habitat, shouldn't the others adapt naturally to those encroachments? If they don't adapt, shouldn't they die? Become extint? Isn't that the way its supposed to work?

So aren't the dogooders the ones we need to fear about altering the natural way of things. Maybe mindless evolution or God intended for Condors to become extinct. Their reintroduction is clearly having an effect on some other groups. Maybe God is not happy with this. It might have the butterfly effect and dramatically effect evolution in 50 or 100 years.

Maybe the Condor and some of the other species that we have saved should have died out, and their survival has knocked out the natural rhythem of the weather system, resulting in a warming that is causing those hurricanes. HMMMM.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker Team Up for "House"

Frank Peretti introduced the genre. Christian fiction as Stephen King would write it. Peretti is incredible when he's on, but his overall output has been uneven. I'm still a huge fan because of what he represents and his contributions as a speaker, short story writer and childrens' book author.

Enter Ted Dekker who is not uneven. Everything he writes keeps me glued to the pages, and commonly up all night for the final 100. Now they team up for House. And as you might have guessed, the main creature that has to be dealt with in this thriller is the House. And for those who have lived in a house with a basement, the real ride begins when the door slams behind them in the basement.

You can't review this work without the key line. The rules of the house and the deranged killer who controls the house are: "One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn."

This book gets major points for inventiveness. I have read all of Stephen King and read the entire originals of Dracula and Frankenstein before I was 17. It is hard to find new ways to keep folks up at night, but "House" should do the deed.

Donald Rumsfeld Interview with Hugh Hewitt - 21st Century Warfare

I have only this one tiny voice trying to point out the things I see that make real sense, but that might not have wide distribution. Today, I heard an interview which will get decent distribution, because Hugh Hewitts radio talk show has a big audience, and his blog has a very large following. I just want to add however many more I can to this important point.

Donald Rumsfeld pointed out that the terrorists have a media arm that gets up every morning trying to think of ways to win through media what they will never win through arms (this is a very loose paraphrase.) Then he goes on to admit that the US is not nearly as effective in this regard. That our information campaigns are slow to respond and sometimes very defensive.

As a nation, we certainly know how to effectively produce messages for mass consumption. I would recommend that Bill Clinton be given the job. His political war room was second to none in quickly and effectively countering any attacks by his opponants. It was the most impressive part of his entire presidency to this political observer. Who will put in the call?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Flexfuels - Ethanol from Corn - The Other Side

Go here if you'd like to see a well reasoned article on why ethanol from corn is not efficient as a way to fuel automobiles. Numerous other articles are now popping up on this subject. I plan to dig in a bit deeper before reporting back, but here are the major subjects to consider:

1. Amount and cost of fuel to grow and harvest the corn
2. Soil erosion.
3. Corns effect on underlying water table
4. Cost to create ethanol from corn
5. Water use to create ethanol from corn
6. Transportation of corn to ethanol plant
7. Transportation of ethanol to market
8. Increased cost of corn or other agricultural products as corn for ethanol competes for available land, etc.

So, there you have it. Fair and balanced. Other approaches to ethanol such as switch grass or biomass seem to be better long range solutions, if ethanol is going to be one of the winners of the fuel derby. Of course, breakthroughs in methods could substantially reduce the energy needed and costs to produce ethanol from corn.

Lots to consider.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

GAS PRICES - Get Over It - Check These Stats

The average cost of a barrel of oil over the past 50 years hasn't changed much in inflation adjusted cost:

______REAL__Inflation adjusted

Note in 1998, the real cost of a barrel was only $12. Note in 1981, the inflation adjusted price was higher than now. We will see $25 a barrel again. The market will fix things. Not congress. Not the President. Not the cartel. The market!

When the market makes the correction, many producers of alternative sources of energy will be put out of business. Not because the oil companies did it to them. Because that's how markets work.

Undocumenteds Take the Day

May day will have new meaning after yesterday. It will be the Mexican in America freedom day. Some say this is like the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, and others argue that it is not at all the same. Sure, the difference is that the slaves of today are coming hear on purpose in order to escape abject poverty, and feed their families a bit better. Sure, the slaves of today can leave and return to those poor conditions. Nobody will stop them. But like the slaves of yesterday, we enjoy the fruits of their labor while asking them to live a not quite equal status. No voting. No driving. No public services (if some would have their way.)

My small voice is unlikely to sway the Republican base of which I am a part and parcel. I worked precincts for Goldwater, and think George Bush is the 3rd greatest president in 100 years. We had a chance to follow his lead on this and be heroes to this vast new population who will be voting in this country in 10 years, like it or not. Instead we have treated them like a monolithic blot, and they heard it loud and clear. The left has been making sure they know who understands them and who merely can'tstandthem.

Some on the right claim to understand realpolitic. This is a great example. These hard working folks aren't going home. Deal with it. Then be part of the solution instead of riling up the haters, and the legalists. Maybe this future voting block will help us end abortion on demand.