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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Friday
Apr172009

How the Government Manages Alternative Fuels

Regular readers may think this is another rant about one of my favorite subjects, ethanol. The fuel that has a net BTU loss and drives up corn prices and provides billions of your tax dollars to support ethanol producers. Well, it is, and, it isn't. I thought it was impossible for my government to make a bigger mess than they have made with ethanol. Hard to believe, but they have.

In 2005 Congress(for you, Chris Johnson, that means the House and the Senate) passed the highway bill. That bill provided a 50 cent a gallon subsidy for blending alternative fuels with fossil fuels. Paid for by your tax dollars. They amended the bill in 2007 to include off road blending. 

Not much thought went into that bill. The paper industry now gets subsidy for a process they have always used that is call the Kraft process. That process produces a by product called black liquor. Black liquor, which has been produced for years is considered a renewable fuel. But, to get the 50 cents a gallon subsidy the product must be mixed with a fossil fuel. So, the paper producers now blend it with diesel fuel just to qualify. Remember, the scare supply of diesel fuel last year?

In 2007 congress estimated that this would cost an additional $333 million. This is now estimated by Wall Street to be as much as $6 billion. Plus, environmentalists are up in arms over the use of diesel fuel. And, foreign paper producers say this gives domestic producers a huge advantage paid for by we taxpayers. Nice. No one is happy except the people in government who represent big paper producing interests and the paper producers who have found a windfall. 

Not mad enough yet? There is bill being introduced in congress to mandate the ethanol blends go from 10% to 15%. This is the power of Archer Daniels Midland. I have written repeatedly in this blog that ADM has government in their pocket. Politicians favoring this bill say it is necessary to maintain corn prices. The car manufacturers say it might violate the warranty. So, in addition to the projected $3-6 billion in your tax dollars(government's estimate and Wall Street's estimates), you may get to pay another $2-3 billion in tax money to the ethanol producers and corn growers. 

If you still buy the idea that Obama can make renewable energy work, just ponder how well these efforts have worked. 

Whenever the government has gotten involved in the energy business, the results have been disastrous. Jimmy Carter's energy programs created artificial shortages, high prices, and unscrupulous people daisy chaining allocations to profit. When Reagan stopped it, all of this went away. Lines at retail outlets, high prices, and profiteering.

Now, we have the paper industry, the corn growers, and the ethanol producers picking our pockets to the tune of billions of dollars. 

And you wonder why there were Tea Parties.   

Thursday
Apr162009

Phoenix Tea Party Recap

On 4-15-09 my wife and I attended the Phoenix Tea Party. It is estimated that the crowd was in excess of 5,000. It was a peaceful energetic crowd. The signage was brilliant and creative. The signs told the story. It wasn't about taxes. Sure, taxes were a big part, but it was far deeper than that. 

In front of us were a middle aged couple speaking Russian. Their sign said: Left Russia because of Socialism, Came to America to get away from Socialism, Socialism has followed us to America, Where do we go now?

The crowd was particularly hard on Janet Napolitano. She was the former governor. She left behind a deficit of $3 billion and the state is struggling to find ways to cut expenses. The State Treasurer spoke and he said the bank account went red today, over $200 million. The state is out of money and time. Yesterday Napolitano's office issued a bulletin that suggested that everyone at the Tea Party was a potential terrorist. This was played up by all the speakers.

The essence of the mood based on the signs I saw was too much government. Too much spending. Too much regulation. Too much distrust. Vote them all out and term limits were big with the crowd. Taxes were issue one. But, in all forms. Local, state, and Federal.

People came out because they are frustrated that their voices are muted. They write letters that get form letter responses or no responses. There is anger, but so far it's controlled anger. There is no representation from elected officials. The new president was elected by New York, California, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Washington, and Oregon. New England. Arizona does not want to be like any of these states, broke. Following the recipe cooked up by democratic leaders in these states is the formula they see Obama baking. The results are very obvious in these states. The Tea Party attendees see it. Even in California they see it.

This isn't going to go away. The groundswell will grow even if the mainstream media sweep it under the rug. Even if Obama and his minions call the people who went unkind names. The people who attended in Phoenix were young and old, white and non-white, working folks and white collars, and everything in between. People you felt comfortable being with in a big group  and people you could count as friends. No kooks, hairballs, or nuts. None that I saw. 

Mainstream America. Not mainstream Chicago, mainstream Detroit, or Mainstream Maine. Not Washington state or Oregon. Not California, not Minnesota, the state that sent the guy from Saturday Night Live to the senate. Your neighbors, your golf partners, your old classmates, and your relatives. Good people looking for real change.

Today Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the West, went on record saying" this was not a grass roots gathering. It was an AstroTurf gathering funded by the very richest people in America." I never say any evidence of any funding by anyone,let alone the ultra rich. This statement is central to one of the reasons for the Tea Parties. Lying. America is tired of lying politicians. Pelosi rates very high on that list and she validated the reasons. No one is challenging Pelosi to come up with any facts to support her claims.

Obama chooses not to acknowledge there were Tea Parties. President Obama you gag us, but you won't silence us. 

Obama, the mainstream media, and much of the administration can say it was a non event. But, my guess would be that every Representative up for election in 2010 did not ignore the events. They are in the sights of the attendees who want to vote all the bums out of office, Democrat and Republican. This is far from over.  

Wednesday
Apr152009

Janet Napolitano Insults America's Heroes

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement regarding the potential threat from Right Wing Militant groups. The statement pointed out that one area for concern is veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Since they are trained in combat, the Department feels they make recruitment target for these groups. This document went to every police department in the U.S. with a notation that they were not to leak it to the media.

This is an example of earlier comments in this blog stating Ms. Napolitano is not qualified to protect us from evil threats. She is not qualified to carry the bags for any heroic military personnel returning from either front.

This is idiotic and insulting to our military. There is no evidence that this claim should have been made and our war heroes demeaned. She should be asked to tender her resignation over this. Veterans across the country are incensed. How better can you prove your allegiance to this country than to put your life on the line for America.

This reeks of the Vietnam crap. Go serve your time, sacrifice so much, and come back and be insulted by an incompetent politician. 

The document goes even further. This blog will make me a target of Homeland Security. It says that people who oppose the stimulus bill, openly oppose the administration, express disagreement with foreign policy, and state right wing thoughts are to be watched. Couple this with the emergency powers granted the Bush administration to fight terrorism, and the government can tap your phone if you are a right wing supporter. Most of the comments in the bulletin are illegal and unconstitutional. 

First, control the media. That's done. Then, control those who disagree with the party in power. That's what this proposes. Homeland Security is becomming the Gestapo. What is happening to America? 

President Obama has been silent on this. Good luck getting new recruits to serve for you, Mr. Commander and Chief.

Tuesday
Apr142009

Tea Party Day 4-15-09

Got the poster boards, got the paint, got the sticks to make the signs. My wife and I will be at the Phoenix Tea Party at the State House at 5:30 PM.

So why do this?

The list of things my wife and I are opposed to from the current administration would take far too long to list. So, I condense. 

First the taxes. It has been proven already in California and New York that the top 25% can't support the spending needs of the rest of the population. Ratcheting up the taxes on this group just stifles initiative and reduces the total tax collected. Small business people who are having a hard time now will just lay off more people, shrink operations, or fold. Raising capital gains taxes when investment values are down 40% will just drive them lower. This is not a new idea. Raising spending at the same time, increasing entitlements, and increasing government debt will create a national disaster. We will have California and New York all across America. 

Next the spending. Bailouts for all failures. There is not enough money available to this country to bail out all the losers. Then there is the government involvement in everything. Energy, Health care, and education to name the top three. Last, and more onerous, there is the pending cap and tax proposal. This could increase taxes on all American regardless of their income. It could scrap any impact form the government spending bills.

The intrusion of government into every aspect of my life is unacceptable. Government's role is to protect me. It is not to run my life.

Turning America into a failed socialist state is not in my best interest, my children's best interest, and for sure my grand kid's best interest. By the time we get to the grand kid's the American Dream will be nightmare. 

The train is going off the tracks. The engineer is too inexperienced and too ambitious. And too liberal. 

We, the silent population who either work or have been trusting of our government to do the right thing, are now no longer trusting or silent.

We will have our voice despite the media.

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media covers this event on Wednesday. Remember the Million Man March? Extensive coverage except when it came to counting. Remember how upset the organizers got when some media reported there were only 200,000 marchers?

I have no idea what the turnout will be. I have no idea what the mood and level of organization will be at these events. I do believe  the turnouts will surprise everyone. Hopefully,  even some who have a paid job to report truthfully on events that make news.   

We can only hope some change will come from this. Representatives who are up for election in less than two years should certainly take note. 

It should be interesting.  

Monday
Apr132009

Short Memories

The economy is creating another round of refinery closings. Flying J filed for bankruptcy in December. It closed it's refinery in Bakersfield, Calif., and hasn't said when or if it will restart production. Sunoco says if it can't sell a refinery in Tulsa, Okla by the end of the year, it will shut it down. At the same time it looks  like GM will file for bankruptcy soon. It will take another $80 billion in taxpayer money to do this. 

Wasn't it just months ago that the oil industry was in the woodshed in Washington to answer for $4 gasoline? Why is there no concern for another round of refinery closings? The government wants refinery closings, they just don't want $4 gasoline. If the economy turns around ,and gasoline demand comes back, how will we avoid $4 gasoline?

First, the government's version. The void will be filled by bio fuels, more efficient autos, hybrids, and consumer buying patterns that will permanently lessen demand by fewer miles driven. The bio fuels are to come from perennial grasses and municipal waste.

In China and other parts of the develping world, it's different. Exxon is starting up a new refinery in China that will feed a network of 750 retail outlets. They forecast China's gasoline demand to triple by 2030 as the number of cars per capita grows with the economy.  

One country going forward, another going in reverse. One doing everything they can do to foster progress and grow the economy. The other doing everything it can to support Global Warming. Who wins in this game? 

You can pick your choice. 

One thing I know for sure. Whatever gains we make in carbon emissions will be grossly offset by the new emissions China puts in the atmosphere. Whatever taxes we put on carbon to make those gains will be passed on to the consumer. China will be become more competitive for goods and services in the global market and we will be disadvantaged.

The grandiose plans for renewable fuels will be significantly less than promised and far more expensive. Most will be heavily subsidized by tax dollars like ethanol. We will be very dependent on gasoline and diesel for years to come.

As our population grows those missing refineries will be missed more than AIG or GM would be missed.

There will be no one from the government coming forth to save the refineries. When it hits the fan down the road there will be no Exxon to bring to the woodshed. That company will have divested of it's U.S. assets and they will be busy in China and Brazil producing fossil fuels from crude discoveries and by refining that crude. 

We may be starving to death since corn will be too expensive to eat.

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