“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Groveling For Oil and Dollars

Is that it? Has the lack of a US policy on reducing dependence on foreign oil brought us to these immortal words by George Bush,

"Oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."

These are the words that will be left in the ears of our Saudi friends? Combine this with US bankers looking for capital in all the wrong capitols and the world sees a very pathetic reduction in US power and prestige.

Common sense should have warned us that a policy that gutted US manufacturing and disregarded the worldwide trends in energy supply and demand would be trouble. Add an unsustainable investment in housing and we now have the results, the US begging and borrowing for oil and capital. Not pretty.
Cutting up.

Saudis tightlipped on Bush oil appeal
By Daniel Dombey in Riyadh and Javier Blas in London Financial Times
January 16 2008

Ali Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, yesterday said that US president George W. Bush had "every right" to call for increased oil production to damp the effect of $100-a-barrel prices on the US economy. But Mr Naimi would not be drawn on whether his country or the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries would favour such a step.

Opec, the oil cartel, will discuss its production policy on February 1 in Vienna after leaving unchanged its output ceiling in December in spite of record oil prices.

Responding to remarks by Mr Bush, who is staying with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, Mr Naimi said: "Presidents and kings have every right, every privilege, to comment or ask or say whatever they want." He added: "The concern for the US economy is valid but what affects the US economy is more than the price of oil." Venezuela and Iran have already said the cartel should not increase its output. Mr Naimi was tightlipped about its preference ahead of the Opec meeting, only saying: "We will raise production when the market justifies it."

He warned oil demand could rise this year as little as 900,000 barrels a day, below the US government estimate of a 1.6m b/d rise, suggesting a cautious approach. Brent IPE oil yesterday fell nearly $2 to $90.98 a barrel on renewed fears that the US economy is heading into recession.

Earlier yesterday, Mr Bush told a meeting of Saudi entrepreneurs that he was planning to raise the issue with King Abdullah last night. He added: "Oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."

White House officials said the previous day they did not know whether Mr Bush would address the topic with King Abdullah. But the high oil price is a sensitive political topic ahead of the presidential elections.

The Bush White House has been far less vocal than the Clinton administration in asking Opec to increase its production, partly as it acknowledged that the cartel, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, is pumping at full capacity.

Riyadh has often ignored US calls for more oil supply, although it lobbied other Opec members to raise production in September.

Mr Naimi blamed speculators for adding an extra $20-$30 a barrel to the price of oil.

Chakib Khelil, Opec president and Algeria's oil minister, warned that Opec would have to be careful before raising its output. "The spectre of a recession in the world economy is still looming over the oil market," Mr Khelil was quoted as saying by the Algerian news agency.


  1. Groveler in Chief
    No Balls, no Vision.
    One of Newt's good ideas:
    Anyone wearing a mask would be shot.
    Too simple for long-war advocate Bush.
    Better to prosecute US Soldiers for picking off people on top of buildings with cell phones while troops are rolling through town.
    Ben Nelson, Barack and a Disregard of Principle

    Ben Nelson’s rationale for endorsing the most radically left-wing candidate ever to seek the presidency is that Obama can “unite the country” and “end the poisonous partisan atmosphere” in Washington. Well. I almost don’t know how to respond to that.

    Yes, I do.

    A few years ago, having failed to pass a partial birth abortion ban that would not be struck down by the courts, state and federal government was wrestling with the issue of at least protecting babies who were born alive during an abortion. In 2002, the United States Senate passed legislation providing such protection. The vote was 98-0.

    Barack Obama was serving in the Illinois State Senate at the time. When similar legislation came before that body, Obama opposed it. This great uniter of the country, this paragon of virtue who Ben Nelson believes will end the poisonous partisan atmosphere in Washington, could not even find it in his hardened heart to offer protection to a baby who somehow manages to survive an abortionist’s attempt to end his or her life.

    Do you realize the ramifications of such a position? Barack Obama, candidate for president of the United States, favors allowing abortionists to kill babies after they have been born alive!

  2. doug, I fitted your linked photo into the post.

  3. Thanks!
    In Peking, English is being learned by the hundreds of thousands, meanwhile, in Dhimmi Nation, corrupt politicians and teachers Unions forego excellence in education to better merge with, and "gain the approval of" (har har) the turd World "Nation" on our southern border.
    Grovel on, boys!

  4. But we are still ahead of Mexico and Turkey in Education.
    Hang on to what we've got,
    Don't let go girl, we've got a lot,
    Got a lot of love between us,
    Hang on hang on, hang on To what we've got ...

  5. Mr Naimi blamed speculators for adding an extra $20-$30 a barrel to the price of oil.

    Yep, because at $100 per barrel, that's the premium over $81.
    $81 per barrel price equals the Jan 2000 of $27, on the Gold Standard.

    That $19 per barrel premium, that's the War Premium, the turmoil premium, the speculative premium. You betcha.

    Like rufus said, just yesterday, it's not the debt.

    It's the rampent, out of control inflation. That in real terms has had the United States in the grips of a recession for the entire Bush43 term, Seven years of negative growth, Right around -5% "growth" per year.

    No amount of adjusting and readjusting the "CORE" inflation numbers can hide it from the public much longer. The value of the Federal Reserve's fiat currency dropping like a rock.

    The core cause of the real estate "melt down", the paper money manipulations.

    The dollar being worth 1/3 today what it was when Team43 took office.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. With a new Stimulous Package on the way. Pumping more money into the market, more liquidity.

    Meanwhile Mr Gates, US Sec of Def says:

    It's not because of US!!!
    It's them, it's their fault!!

    WASHINGTON -- In an unusual public criticism, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he believes NATO forces currently deployed in southern Afghanistan do not know how to combat a guerrilla insurgency, a deficiency that could be contributing to the rising violence in the fight against the Taliban.

    "I'm worried we're deploying [military advisors] that are not properly trained and I'm worried we have some military forces that don't know how to do counterinsurgency operations," Gates said in an interview.

    Gates' criticism comes as the Bush administration has decided to send 3,200 U.S. Marines to southern Afghanistan on a temporary mission to help quell the rising number of attacks. It also comes amid growing friction among allied commanders over the Afghan security situation.

    But coming from an administration castigated for its conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, such U.S. criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is controversial. Many NATO officials blame inadequate U.S. troop numbers earlier in the war in part for a Taliban resurgence.

    "It's been very, very difficult to apply the classic counterinsurgency doctrine because you've had to stabilize the situation sufficiently to start even applying it," said one European NATO official, who discussed the issue on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the alliance. "Even in the classic counterinsurgency doctrine, you've still got to get the fighting down to a level where you can apply the rest of the doctrine."

    Gates' views, however, reflect those expressed recently by senior U.S. military officials with responsibility for Afghanistan. Some have said that an overreliance on heavy weaponry, including airstrikes, by NATO forces in the south may unwittingly be contributing to rising violence there.

    "Execution of tasks, in my view, has not been appropriate," said one top U.S. officer directly involved in the Afghan campaign who discussed internal assessments on condition of anonymity. "It's not the way to do business, in my opinion. We've got to wean them of this. If they won't change then we're going to have another solution."

    It's not because there are no helicopters available to enhance troop mobility, it's because of the airstrikes.

    The NATO forces trying to use heavy weapons to kill the Taliban, that's not the proper way, killing the enemy.
    Gotta win their hearts & minds, not kill 'em with superior fire power.

    With the US dropping 40,000 pounds in Iraq, on one target, just last week.
    Is the pot callng the kettle black?

    Or did our Wahabbist allies in the Gulf give Mr Bush some shit over killing the Taliban, not chasing them to Pakistan?

  8. Currently serving American officers, however, have singled out non-U.S. NATO forces for the bulk of their criticism. Among the concerns is that NATO forces do not actively include Afghan troops in military operations.

    As a result, local forces in the south are now less capable than those in the east, which operate very closely with their American counterparts.

    "Every time you see our guys in the field, you don't have to look very far and you'll see them," said the senior U.S. officer involved in the Afghan campaign. "Getting the Brits to do this and the others is a little more of a problem."

    In addition, U.S. military officials said NATO forces in the south are too quick to rely on high-caliber firepower, such as airstrikes, a practice which alienates the local population.

    "The wide view there, which I hear from Americans, is that the NATO military forces are taking on a Soviet mentality," said one senior U.S. military veteran of Afghanistan. "They're staying in their bases in the south, they're doing very little patrolling, they're trying to avoid casualties, and they're using air power as a substitute for ground infantry operations, because they have so little ground infantry."

    The European NATO official said, however, that alliance data show that all countries, including the U.S., use air power in similar amounts when their troops come in contact with enemy forces.

    "Everyone is grateful for the Americans . . . but this kind of constant denigration of what other people are doing isn't helpful," the official said. "It also makes the situation look worse than it is."

  9. The answer, of course, a surge of US troops into the south, as NATO troops go home.

    Afghan Population:
    31,889,923 (July 2007 est.)

    Coalition troops = Currently, there are 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan, most of them under the 40,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
    Afghan Army = 70,000 troops

    Iraq Population:
    27,499,638 (July 2007 est.)

    US troops 160,000
    Non US Coalition 14,000
    Iraqi Army 425,000 (to include
    Awakening militias)

    Both Iraq and Afghanistan started their Armies at o troops, after the US invaded and started the rebuilding process.

  10. 425,000 compared to 70,000
    Perhaps that is why the NATO troops do not have many indigs with them, they are not around.

    Never been recruited, never been trained.

    Don't stop the poppies!

  11. Free Trade is like Free Love, 'Rat.
    Just go w/the flow and enjoy it.
    There's always the chance that you won't get AIDS.

  12. I am, doug, goin' with the flow.

    Surf's up!

    But some folk, they do not have that option.

    I think that's why they put those credit card readers on the gas pumps, don't have to "see" the money go into the tank. Just swipe and go, out of sight, out of mind.

  13. Aldous Huxley would understand.

  14. Love your Servitude!
    Defend the Wuss.

  15. Like it was part of a plan.

    But that very idea,
    outside the lines of seriousness

    Dots that cannot be connected

    Ignore the man behind the curtain!
    Whomever he is.

  16. When a conspiracy hides in plain sight, is it really a conspiracy?

    When it is public, but unreported, is it a secret?

    When the caucus in Wyoming, which has more GOP delegates than New Hampshire, is ignored by the MSM. Not mentioned once on the morning news, not even on FOX.

    Is it part of a conspiracy of silence?
    What are the motives that ignores Wyoming's 27 delegates, but gives such importance to New Hampshire's 24 delegates, out of proportion to any type of political reality?

  17. The history of Russell & Company is no secret, it's importance to the political elites of the United States, not hidden, just unreported.

    That the most successful opium smuggling operation in history is connected to FDR, JFKerry, Bush41 & Bush43. That they are amongst just some of the illustrious descendents and beneficiaries of Russell & Company, the Russell Trust Association and the connections to China and the Opium Wars.
    History that goes unreported.

  18. Wyoming does not exist.
    That's the only way it makes sense.
    How did we ever conjure a state that is not real?

  19. high oil prices?

    China and Arabia got lots of cash?

    both wonderful...

    I know that some think the end of the world is coming...

    but let's kick back and look at the brightside...

    As the world shifts from a UNI-polar world where the USA is king to a multi-polar world where regional players are all empowered things get a tad bit more interesting...

    the good side?

    if the USA, 4% of the world's population, is no longer the "sole" supporter of the world, then the WORLD will have to setup and PAY some bills...

    Even now as we speak, oil is up to 100 a barrel, thus causing 1 billion NON-americans to struggle to buy fuel, this can cause several fun reactions from outright wars to social unrest.

    The good news? The Chinese, Russians, Iranians and Arabs are all buying billions in WEAPONS!

    And they are all, for the 1st time, not ALL aimed at the USA.

    The shits (shitties) verses the suns (sunnis) verses the kurds verses the turks, the chinese verses the chinese, the indians verses the pakis, the pakis verses everyone!

    Yep lots of lovely bombs and destruction all set to be used, and after the scalding, those depressed american construction companies will swing back in to get reconstruction contracts....

    but dont let my sunny tale sadden you...

    war is also brewing in europe.... yep I said it here 1st...

    its going to be a samuel huntington's clash!

    Cant really call the black rockers "civil", nor really the euro either... but no matter, it's the gates of vienna all over again....

    Just think of the BILLONS that the governments of the world now have to spend on protection against suicide bombers et al! Too fucking funny...

    This is all a direct result of the world's support for those fuzzy black rockers called the "palios"..

    Yep the russians, euros, chinese, indians, and arabs all supported this retarded idea about the RIGHT to resist "occupation"... lol too fuckin funny....

    now all these MAJOR occupiers now face the very same threat that they infact created, grew & supported (kinda like the USA supported iraq or supported the taliban against ussr)

    Yep... petro dollars what a joke....

    oh where are the arabians and chinese going to PUT thier cash if not the usa?

    Spain? Japan? Singapore? lol

    the dollar's weakness in the long run will be our strength, exports will rise, our economy will rebound and our petro dollar enemies?

    They will still have sand....

    if we are lucky? regional wars will reign in pakistan, iran, iraq, russia, india, china...

  20. A conspiracy to ignore Dick Cheney, that must explain it.

    The reality of the Primaries is that Rudy's plan is coming together. The winner in Florida takes the lead in delegate count, now that Mitt won Michigan.

    The GOP penalizing Michigan's moving of the primary by docking half their delegates. So it is only worth 30.5 delegates, not their normal 61. Marginalizing the results for Mitt.

    Either the Huckster, McCain or Thompson will carry South Carolina.

    If Rudy carries Florida and it's 115 delegates, he'll be in the lead, as well as the talk of the networks. How he is suddenly such a genius, with his Strategy and Steadfastness. His unflinching resolve to "Stay the Course".

  21. That is part of the Plan, wi"o"

    The global-zone of percolating violence, all part of the grander Plan.

    Glad you finally are seeing the light. mat still denies turmoil in the Levant just part of a greater plan. One the US has been working on since well before FDR was President. Same plan the Brits ruled the world with, just another part of the "Great Game".

    War & Prosperity
    Cashing in on the blood of the Plebs.

  22. yes dr, all part of the plan...

    that is why middle eastern oil will not be an issue within 20 years...

    because it will be radioactive.....


    There will be no arab world, 1/2 of israel might take it in the neck, but as long as I can get an erection and "be moist" ISRAEL shall live....

    The world will look interesting in 20 years if the world allows the black rockers the freedom to use or threaten to use nukes, bio weapons or chems on my fair homeland, Israel...

    but dont fret, the target rich world is filled with wonderful targets BESIDES the .4/650th of the middle east called israel...

    But mark my words...

    Russia will slit the throats of it's black rockers

    China will bomb without mercy the Violent Tibetians who chang peace hymns

    The africans? they will gut and eat the entrails of their cousins like a little jew child eats fried matzo...

    The other asians? as bad as nazi germany! Just ask 100,000 korean women about the japs....

    The civilized Euros? Dont make me wet myself... the most efficient mass murderers ever to walk the planet....

    The arabs? shits verses suns like never before...

    nationalism be dammed, shits and suns hate each other BECAUSE of old MO and his illiterate, child molesting ways....

    where else will these battles rage? who knows...

    remember watts? So i am with you DR, I am heading for the DICK's looking at that all metal LOUD Repeating SHOTGUN, but I live in a very well financed and protected community, we have lots of well armed cops on our payroll so i dont really feel fear where I am at...

    If i lived,as a Jew, in any other NATION? i would have bought the gun, rifle, knife, generator years ago...

  23. The Russians had the right idea all along. Stomp the Jihadis into dust. Why we always had to get in their way, I'll never understand.

  24. That is the real story of Russell & Company.

    Cashing in on the blood of the Chinese.

    The importation of Opium into China began in 1816, for the benefit the Queen of England and the elites of the "West". This trade publicly continued in various forms until 1948 and Mao taking control of the mainland.

    1842 - The First Opium War ends. China, unable to withstand modern arms, was defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) and the British Supplementary Treaty of the Bogue (1843). These provided that the ports of Guangzhou, Jinmen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai should be open to British trade and residence; in addition Hong Kong was ceded to the British. Within a few years other Western powers signed similar treaties with China and received commercial and residential privileges, and the Western domination of China's treaty ports began.

    This military victory provided the Opium dealers another 60 years of domination of Chinese society, culminating in 30% of the Chinese population using.

    At the end of the 19th century, of a population of 300 million Chinese, 90 million were addicted to opium; the old Chinese empire was threatened by fragmentation, and the foreign powers were poised to divide it into economic zones of influence.

    The "West" continued its' economic exploitaton of China, augmented by force of arms until the Japanese intervened in 1915 with even greater military force. The "West" ceding control of large swaths or China in exchange for Japanese naval actions against Russia in 1917.

    Japanese domination of China eventually leading to Pearl Harbour and WWII.

  25. The objective is not victory, mat.
    The objective is perpetual violence.

    We succeed in that.

    The oil will not be radioactive, wi"o". No more so than Nagasaki or Hiroshima were, a year after the nuclear strikes.

    Why you deny history and cling to the propaganda storyline, is beyond me. But that's fine, there will not be many Arabs left there, after the MAD exchange with the Israelis.

    The oil still will be in the ground, safe and secure.

  26. "The objective is not victory, mat."

    The US is bleeding money and heading towards bankruptcy. Whether the objective is victory or not, this current strategy is a political and economic loser.

  27. Page 92 describes the fact that within 1 to 3 months the majority of the survivors were returning to Hiroshima. Some did wait up to two years, but some folk that survived the blast, never even left the city. Were not adversely effected by the radioactivity. Though some that were close to the blast site were

    Believe the myths, if you wish.

    Ask bob about the nuclear power plant myths. Nuclear myths, they permeate US culture.

  28. Depends upon when the culmination of the policy is reached.

    When the timeline schedules the endgame? When both sides of the local fight reach final parity. On the Plains of Armegeddon

    2012 is often mentioned, in a wide variety of the different scenarios.

    We'll be fine until then, at least.

  29. The cherry blossums bloomed, in Hiroshima, that next spring after the blast.

  30. Speaking of cherry blossoms..

    Swedish girls
    British girls

    Best be working on an exit strategy!

  31. Quite the difference, aye

    Had a laugh

  32. ya! fergit the England trip, it'll be Sweden instead!

  33. How a guy can belittle the radioactivity in Hiroshima and at the same time worry about nuclear plants is kinda beyond me!:)

  34. Bob,

    How many nuclear plants does Sweden have? How many in the UK?

    Now see above!


  35. Gotta give you some soft ball pitches to hit, once in a while.

    Bush's Big Boo-Boo
    Steve Forbes (Rudy's economic advisor)

    The dumbest, most destructive economic policy of the Bush Administration has been its weak-dollar position--letting the dollar slide in value against the euro, the yen, the pound and gold. The repeatedly disproved theory in operation here is that cheapening your currency will improve your trade balance and that an improved trade balance makes your economy stronger and wealthier. Put aside the meaninglessness of the trade balance as a measure of economic health or sickness--the U.S., after all, has had a trade deficit with the rest of the world for 350 years out of the last 400. A weak-currency policy has disastrous economic and political consequences--most immediately, our tumultuous equity markets.

    Look at what's happened since the Federal Reserve began creating excess money in 2004. The already booming housing market was, in effect, shot up with steroids as lending standards were lowered to put all the excess liquidity to work. We are still feeling the effects of the subprime mortgage crisis, as banks tighten up on lending (they don't even want to lend to each other, which tells you something), which in turn has sharply slowed the economy.

  36. President Bush should promptly reverse the government's destructive course by boldly declaring that the U.S. will now actively support the integrity of its currency ( see Current Events). Bush aides might say that the President is no economist and must therefore rely on advice from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, even if it is manifestly misguided.

    John Kennedy was no economist either, yet he didn't hesitate to declare that the dollar should be as good as gold. Bill Clinton was no economist, but he understood that a weak dollar and the ensuing inflation it begets destroyed Jimmy Carter's (nyse: CRI - news - people ) presidency. Ronald Reagan actually did study economics, and he was willing to pay a severe but, thankfully, short-term political price to break the inflation fever gripping the country in the early 1980s.

    If President Bush is too befuddled or fearful to act now to shore up the dollar, the markets will force him to do so fairly soon. It would be better to act ahead of events than to be seen responding to them defensively and belatedly.


    Our national legislators are banning traditional incandescent light bulbs, which were invented by Thomas Edison more than 120 years ago. By 2014 these bulbs will be illegal. Instead, we'll be coerced into paying six to eight times the price of incandescents for supposedly more "efficient" compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that last longer and consume less electricity ... Each CFL bulb contains about 5 milligrams of mercury, a highly toxic and indestructible substance. It's like bulbs with asbestos. Billions of these bulbs will be everywhere. If one drops and breaks, you've got a problem, especially if you have small kids or pets roaming around.

    Here's a harbinger of the crisis to come from an item in Investor's Business Daily: "According to an article in the Apr. 12, 2007 issue of the Ellsworth [Me.] American, [Brandy] Bridges was installing one in her daughter's bedroom when it dropped on the floor and shattered. Luckily, Brandy knew CFLs contained mercury and called the store where she bought hers for advice. She was advised to call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. DEP showed up and found that mercury levels in her daughter's room were six times the state's 'safe' level. The DEP specialist gave her a 'low-ball' estimate of $2,000 to clean up the room."

    Think about the challenge of disposing of all this mercury when the bulbs ultimately burn out.

    Too bad Edison isn't around to invent a suitable punishment for the dim bulbs who passed this legislation

  37. Mat has finally come up with a cogent reason to be against nuclear power. And those English babes are gonna look like that for 10,000 years. Get used to it.

  38. We were struggling around for some numbers, a couple of days ago; this answers a lot of our questions.

    Georgia Power buys 50 MW of Biomass Power.

    Substitute Switch Grass for forest waste, and you're there.

  39. Rufus, out here in nowhere land, the University of Idaho has been Heating with wood chips for years. Puts a lot of chip trucks on the road though.

  40. To the right of the smokestack in the second picture you will see a church spire, which is Emmanual Lutheran Church where I am a nominal member. Behind that is some farm land of mine. The Emmanuel site was way out of the city when grand dad bought it back in the 30's.

  41. ...and in Iceland they are as good as Sweden plus, if you like blondes. The Ticas still get my vote.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. That was an Incredibly Interesting link, Bob. I wonder how much more efficient the "New" fluidized bed boilers would be?

    I was watching the History Channel the other night (last night?) and was amazed that Iceland gets something like 97% of it's TOTAL Energy from Renewable Sources.

    I think "Big Oil" and "Big Coal" are in for a long, hard slog in the next couple of decades.

  44. Sure, they would, rufus, if we all lived on a volcano.

    But as Roy Spencer tells US in National Review about electricity, bio fuels and "Reality Deniers"

    The energy demand by humanity is simply too large � and it is growing rapidly in developing countries like India and China. Electricity in the United States is supplied by the equivalent of 1,000 one-gigawatt power plants. It would be a major feat, both politically and monetarily, to replace 50 of those 1,000 power plants with solar and wind generation facilities.

    Then, once we have patted ourselves on the back over that accomplishment, we could start working on replacing the other 95 percent of our electricity needs.
    The truth is, if you want to get away from petroleum and coal, we need radically new energy technologies. A massive and immediate program to start building nuclear reactors would help some, but this is unlikely to occur without a major change in public opinion.
    The bottom line is that, when it comes to energy, you can�t get something for nothing. Solar and wind would seem to be �free,� except that the amount of real estate you must cover with windmills and solar collectors to make much of a difference is staggering. They certainly work well in some limited applications, but are nowhere near a large-scale replacement for fossil fuels.

    Which we have shown amongst ourselves to be true. Sure, a million or even, maybe, two million barrels per day could be produced. 10 to 20% of today's or tomorrow's liquid fuel needs.

    A single gigawatt is 1,000 megawatts
    1,000 one giga-watt generators, or
    300 Palo Verde equivilents, the largest nuclear plant in the US.

    100 mega-watts from alternative fuels is well and good, an improvement over nothing, to be sure. We only need 10,000 of them. The first should be operational soon.

  45. Aw, the guy's just trying to sell Nuclear Power Plants, Rat. He's playing on the tendency of all of us to be overwhelmed by "Big" Numbers.

    Just look at it this way: Could, virtually, every county in the U.S. provide for it's own energy using "Renewables?" Of course they could. You've just got to break it down into "bite-sized" bits.

  46. dRat,

    According to figures from the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), 18,685 plants with a capacity of 20,622 megawatts were in operation at the end of 2006.

    Given the size and geography of the US, I think the US can easily best that figure by a factor of 10.

  47. "the amount of mercury in a CFL is so small – less than one-fifth of the mercury found in a wristwatch battery – that it does not pose a significant threat to human health or the environment"

  48. rufus,

    Why hasn't the market (that grand decider) settled on the efficacy of these renewable energies you speak? Do we really want a top down government led rejigging of our energy supplies?

  49. Two things, Ash:

    1) Price, Price, Price - This is a "Capitalist" Country, and no technology will be accepted before it's Price Point.

    2) The energy market is "Ate Up" with Monopolies, Oligopolies, Cartels, Gov't Regulation/Rationing, etc. It takes a while (and, usually, some gov't help) to break free of such circumstances.

    Hint: Politics usually follows "Price."

  50. 20,000 megawatts is equal to
    20 gigawatts
    Times 10, 200 gigawatts

    800 more to go.

    The Cape Cod off-shore facility is held up in permitting.

    The Palm Springs Wind Farm (Picutres) This wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San Bernadino Mountains contains more than 4000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.

    To put that into the proper perspective, mat

    In the year 2004, wind energy in California produced 4,258 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, about 1.5 percent of the state's total electricity. That's more than enough to light a city the size of San Francisco.
    More than 13,000 of California's wind turbines, or 95 percent of all of California's wind generating capacity and output, are located in three primary regions: Altamont Pass (east of San Francisco - a portion of which is shown on the right in this photo from NREL), Tehachapi (south east of Bakersfield) and San Gorgonio (near Palm Springs, east of Los Angeles).

    The 4,500 turbines at Palm Springs produce .5% of California electical production needs.

    90,000 wind turbines for the entire State. That would be something to see.

    But wait.. there's more problems

    Utility-scale wind farms are generally located in areas with average annual wind speeds of at least 13 miles per hour. Wind power is more available during certain seasons because climatic conditions affect wind speed. In California, wind speeds are highest in the hot summer months, and approximately three-fourths of all annual wind power output is produced during the spring and summer.

    Wind power is seasonal, and definately not "on demand"

    Wind power for utility-scale applications is considered to be commercially available under most conditions. The technology is considered to be mature, and there are several system suppliers.
    While the power produced by many of California's older wind turbines is not cost-competitive with other forms of electricity generation, some of the newest wind turbine designs may be able to match or beat the power prices from many coal and nuclear plants.
    Use of large tracts of land. (The average windfarm requires 17 acres of land to produce one megawatt of electricity. However, simultaneous land uses such as agriculture and cattle grazing occur often.)

    No cattle at Palm Springs.
    17 acres per MW.
    A one Gigawatt facility would need 17,000 acres.
    20 gigawatts 340,000 acres
    Where the wind blow consistently, year round.

  51. 200 gigawatts would require 3,400,000 acres, where the wind blows, year round.

  52. Granted that in the desert southwest there is a seasonal peak of electircal use that match up with production, but in other areas of the Americas, that peak demand would not be as extreme.

  53. To replace Palo Verde's 3.5 gigawatts would require 59,500 acres of land.

    It would not provide year round electrical generation and would still require some type of supplemental generating capacity.

  54. Yeah, Rat, but you augment this with Solar, Waste, Wave, Geothermal, and Biomass.

    Look, the Big Companies have conditioned us to think in terms of "Big Solutions;" to paraphrase a past President, "We've got to think in terms of a Thousand Points of Light."

  55. I think you need to build an economic model for these 'renewables' to work. Upping the cost of oil (taxes) and increasing the cost of coal (clean burning requirements) could help to make the 'renewables' feasible. If there were profit to be had by farming and refining switchgrass well...

  56. With 1.9 BILLION ACRES in the Lower 48 we've got Plenty of land.

  57. Augment 93 square miles of wind generators? Why bother with the wind farm generators. Build a coal fired or nuclear plant.

    But sure, if society wants, have at it.

    I have a home that is off grid, now. Have had a couple previously. Cattle ranches that were "back of beyond".

    Barely get you by. No laundry without firing up the generator.
    The best outfit we had, cost well over $25,000. We could watch tv, but still had to fire the generator to do laundry for the hands. Had six to ten people there. Lighting was no problem, but other "modern" conviences certainly were.

    Batteries out the ass, system failures in the convertors and the batteries were not uncommon. Nor cheap to fix.

    It is all doable, but not economic, if any other option is available.
    Maybe some day, but not today. If it was, I'd convert the city house.

    We are not going to maintain 5% growth, or even 5% shrinkage and change over to bio sources, or the wind. Perhaps the sun, in some locales, but not all, and not 100% of demand.

    Solar requires chargeable batteries which are a major hassle and expense, short life spans as compared to buildings and other infrastructure. No batteries, no light when you need it, with solar.

  58. But not steady state wind, rufus

    Here is the map for AZ.
    White eaquals no good for investing in wind powered generation. 95% or more of the State is white. There are places where the wind really blows, where I have a small wind generator, up in Ash Fork. But not enough to invest in a commercial outfit or to depend upon without backup.

    Here is the US Pick the State of interest. Lot's of white, in most States the land is titled, not Government owned. Even with Kelso v New London, have to pay market value for it.

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. This is the right link for the US map, sorry for any inconvience

  61. All in good time, Ash. For instance, as regards oil, the Saudis have already done it for us.

    As for switch grass, there's a little chicken/egg problem. You've got to get someone to build the refinery while you're trying to get someone to quit raising the money crop on which they've been supporting their family, and take a flyer on raising Grass for a Refinery that hasn't been built, yet; or, vice versa.

    It'll get done, but it'll probably start off on a fairly small scale.

  62. Missouri, the northwest corner, around Maryvale, of the State is marginal, at best.

    What does 93 sections of land cost around that area?

    The eastern 2/3 of Missouri, not even worth the effort.

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. As a renewable resource, wind is classified according to wind power classes, which are based on typical wind speeds. These classes range from Class 1 (the lowest) to Class 7 (the highest). In general, at 50 meters, wind power Class 4 or higher can be useful for generating wind power with large turbines. Class 4 and above are considered good resources. Particular locations in the Class 3 areas could have higher wind power class values at 80 meters than shown on the 50 meter map because of possible high wind shear. Given the advances in technology, a number of locations in the Class 3 areas may suitable for utility-scale wind development.

    Look at Missouri, there is little Class 3 land in the whole of the State, no Class 4, at all.

  65. Here is an interesting article on Monetary Policy and BenBernanke

  66. From that above article, a little snippet, regarding Rat's lamenting the falling dollar:

    "As the crisis unfolded last summer and fall, Bernanke repeatedly faced a devil’s choice. He could cut interest rates and risk inflation and a run on the dollar and, at the same time, be seen as bailing out people and institutions who made bad bets on subprime mortgages. Or he could do nothing and run the risk that the troubles in housing would leach into the general economy, causing people to lose jobs and possibly a recession."

  67. Rat, I don't get your point. Take that area of Mo. They could be completely self-sufficient on biomass, alone. You might throw in a little solar for peak, and waste to energy for good measure, and Voila.

  68. Also, some of the surrounding states could import some electricity from North, and South Dakota. Look at THOSE MAPS.

  69. We were talking about wind generation, not bio-mass.

    But sure if you start switchgrass distillery facility and the required farmlands there could be some marginal effect.

    We could get to 10% of oil imports, or 1.2 million barrels per day, 50.4 million gallons, in a decade. If a "crash program" were implemented, maybe. But there is not a "crash program" being implemented on the near horizon.

    Based upon existing distilleries and current pending permiting rates, what would be required for just 10% indendence, 50.4 million gallons per day of bio-mass fuel production, in a couple of decades, at best.

    That is the point. The economics of it is such that it is not happening. Quickly.

  70. The Dakotas, where there are no people, have fabulous possibilities.

    There is no economic advantage to wind generation, per the California modeling, so why not build electrical plants where they are needed, or build new network of transmission lines to the Dakotas.

    That could be a solution, turn the Dakotas into a giant wind farm.

  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. 37 Megawatts per Section of land
    30 sections per gigawatt +-
    3,000 square miles gets US a windfarm for the 21st century
    100 gigawatts, supplying 10% of US consumption per Roy Spensers piece in the National Review

    100 gigawatts would be a good start
    Equivilent to 30 PaloVerde nuclear plants. 50 Hoover Dams operating a peak generating capacity of 2 Gigawatts.

    Applying the California model of cost equivilence

    The plant (Palo Verde) was fully operational by 1988, taking twelve years to build and costing $5.9 billion. for 3.2 gigawatts

    $180 Billion USD, plus transmission line network, another 20 Billion, give or take.

    A $200 Billion USD project. But spread out over a decade's worth of construction timeline.

    Let's get crackin'

  73. For Bobal:

    " January 16, 2008, 9:32 am
    In Larry Craig’s Corner, the A.C.L.U.

    By Mike Nizza

    The man who drew the attention of Minnesota airport police with his “wide stance” was the victim of a law that is “unconstitutionally overbroad,” the American Civil Liberties Union says.

    As Senator Larry Craig, Republican of Idaho, pushes to withdraw his guilty plea following his arrest in a public restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the rights group has strongly backed him in a brief filed with Minnesota Court of Appeals.

    According to The Associated Press’s reading of the 12-page document, the A.C.L.U. argues that the police cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the senator was soliciting sex in the airport bathroom without violating privacy rights articulated in a 1970 Minnesota Supreme Court opinion.

    To prove its privacy point, the brief even tries to turn the government’s sword on itself. “When it charged the defendant with interference with privacy,” — the offense to which the senator pleaded guilty — “it alleged that he had looked into a ‘place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy.’ ”

    The A.C.L.U. goes as far as to argue that no laws would have been broken even if Senator Craig had been caught having sex in the stall. That didn’t happen, of course, and Mr. Craig has denied that he made any of the sexual advances alleged in the police report.

    You can read the entire brief by downloading a pdf file, but this paragraph serves as an excellent summation of the ACLU’s logic:

    Sex is a constitutionally protected liberty interest. Thus, the government may make sex a crime only where it has a constitutionally sufficient justification for doing so. The government does not have a constitutionally sufficient justification for making private sex a crime. It follows that an invitation to have private sex is constitutionally protected and may not be made a crime. This is so even where the proposition occurs in a public place, whether in a bar or in a restroom.

    Conservative Republicans like Mr. Craig make a habit of deriding and demonizing the civil-liberties union, but the A.C.L.U. has been as quick to defend the rights of people who hate the group as those who love it: it also filed a brief with the court last September, supporting Mr. Craig’s initial efforts to withdraw his guilty plea, and in recent years it has taken stands in support of Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell and other opponents.

    The group’s voice is far from the only one raised in Larry Craig’s defense. Back in August, when the story first broke, many bloggers were quick to disagree with the Minnesota police, with one wondering, “What Exactly Is the Crime?”"

  74. Rat, we're producing about 21 Million gallons/day, now. When the refineries that ARE NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION are finished in the next two years we'll be close to 40 MILLION GALLONS/DAY. We will, also, at that point, be importing about 3 Million Gallons.

    This, without doing Any cellulosic, or sugar cane.

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. But all of that is already in use, isn't it?

    Current production does not move to decrease imports from today's levels. Just stabilizes it.

    We need 50 million gallons a day of "NEW" production.
    To offset/decrease 10% of imports

  78. That is if the market for energy does not grow, but remained static.

    Which seems doubtful given 5% annual GDP growth on the dollar standard

  79. Don't worry, Rat; with $3.00 gasoline, and the new engines coming on-line, there's a whole lotta ethanol comin.

  80. 20 million in two years, is ten million per year

    50 million gallons in five years at the current rate.

    12 million barrels of daily use, growing at 5% in demand in sync with the economy is 600,000 barrels per day increase in demand, annually

    Demand growth can be projected to be 25 million gallons per day, annualized.

    Increased ethanol production is 10 million gallons per day, annualized.

    At current rates of growth, we are falling behind. We'd need another 150% increase from current levels of projected production increases, just to stay even.

    Let alone cut into import needs.

  81. Muslim ex-GOP Congressman indicted in terror probe. Siljander Never trust a muslim, republican or democrat makes no difference.

  82. Rat, our Demand for Gasoline/diesel has been, essentially, flat for the last few years. We might grow demand one, or one, and a half percent annually in the near future. And, maybe not. We're going to have some pretty interesting drivetrains coming online right shortly.

  83. Ford is making the gas cap a thing of the past.

    The automaker's capless refueling system is already on the 2008 Explorer sport utility vehicle.

    It's also on the 2009 F-150 pickup truck that Ford introduced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

    Ridding Vehicles of Gas Caps

  84. Oregon has had--still has, I think--this idiotic rule that you can't pump your own gas. Only an attendant can do that for only he knows how not to damage the environment. For a fellow like me, that brings back remembrance of things past. You'd even get your windshield washed, and if lucky, your carpet vacuumed. This new Ford invention if widely adopted by other car makers, and it will be, will probably throw some station attendants out of work. The price of progress. By the way, Oregon is a great place to turn in cans, and bottles.

  85. HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama says he won't just be a president for the American people, but the animals too.
    "What about animal rights?" a woman shouted out during the candidate's town hall meeting outside Las Vegas Wednesday after he discussed issues that relate more to humans, like war, health care and the economy.

    Obama responded that he cares about animal rights very much, "not only because I have a 9-year-old and 6-year-old who want a dog." He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society.

    "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."
    I think Obama is right in this, though to my knowledge it's the first time animal rights has made it to the political bigtime. Maybe because it's a non issue, most places.

    The man who his ox to wrath doth move,
    Shall never be by woman loved.

    William Blake

    That's to say, in an ideal world, if you beat your animals or your ox, no woman would give you the time of day.

  86. One Man's View on the ACLU's brief filed for Larry Craig. DON'T PLEAD GUILTY BEFORE YOU TALK TO A LAWYER

  87. President Bush’s appeal to the Saudis to increase oil production is more pitiful than understandable. At $100 a barrel, the United States bleeds over a billion dollars per day in order to finance its petroleum import needs. The result: ballooning trade deficits, growing unemployment, a weakened dollar and crumbling financial institutions like Citigroup and Merrill Lynch now forced to beg Persian Gulf monarchies for cash infusions. At current oil prices, the U.S. economy is melting faster than the ice caps.

    But despite the president’s sweet-talk, his ridiculous appearance in a traditional Arab robe, his hand-holding with the Saudi monarchs, and even his gift of 900 precision-guided bombs, the Saudis were quick to respond with a slap in the face. Within one hour, the kingdom’s oil minister announced that oil prices would remain tied to market forces and the Saudis would not open the spigot.

    This is hardly a surprise to me. The Saudis—despite their claims that oil high prices are the doing of Wall Street speculators and American SUV-driving soccer moms—are the first to blame for the current oil crisis. Their reluctance to invest in new production, their lack of transparency on reserve data and their anti-market practices, which prevent international oil companies from operating in their midst in any meaningful way, are the real reason for the quadrupling of prices in the past six years.

    The Saudis are also the prime reason for the failure of the Iraqi oil industry to take off. Exactly four years ago I warned that the United States was turning a blind eye to the Saudi failure to seal its border with Iraq. This led to a migration of thousands of Saudi jihadists into Iraq, a fact that contributed to the terror campaign against Iraq’s oil industry. If not for the attacks, Iraq today could have been producing at least five million barrels per day. Instead it does less than three. Of course no one has ever held the Saudis accountable for the loss of two million barrels per day—an amount of oil that, were it in the market today, would have dropped prices by at least $30 a barrel. We’d rather beg than blame.

    The truth is that the Saudis feel quite cozy at $100 oil. The world economy hasn’t come down (yet), the American public is docile, and oil-exporting countries—the recipients of a transfer on a scale the world has never known—are having a jolly time. Furthermore, the Saudis feel they have already met their obligation to the American economy by standing steadfast against other OPEC members like Iran and Venezuela, which are pushing for an OPEC decision to dump the dollar as the currency used for oil trades. Such a step could send the dollar down like a rocket.

    So much of this is our own doing. Two years ago President Bush committed a major blunder, allowing Saudi Arabia’s admission to the World Trade Organization. By dint of its leadership of the OPEC cartel, no other country is more responsible for violating free trade than Saudi Arabia. Yet, its admission was not contingent on any behavioral change. Thus the Saudis enjoy the benefits of free trade while continuing to manipulate the price of the world’s most important traded commodity.

    Furthermore, the United States has its own mechanisms to bring down oil prices. It owns 770 million barrels in strategic reserves. OECD countries have between them 4 billion barrels in stock. Yet, not a drop of oil has been released. Now that the Iowa caucuses are over, the United States could remove the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol and bring billions of gallons of alternative fuel into the country almost overnight. This alone could drive down gasoline prices by at least 50 cents per gallon. And there are more strategic solutions which could remove the yoke of our oil dependence, like providing fuel choice and electrifying our transportation system. (We no longer produce electricity from oil.)

    The spectacle of American presidents kowtowing to the Saudis is as old as U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Six decades ago FDR had to steal a cigarette in a stairwell of the USS Quincy in order not to smoke in King Abdulaziz’s presence. (Winston Churchill, on the other hand, had a smoke and a drink!) With growing dependence on the Saudis, our sovereignty and freedom of action have been steadily eroded. Barring some serious action, no matter who the next president is, he or she will have to ride a lot of camels and wear a lot of robes to keep the oil barrels rolling.

    Posted in Gal Luft, Saudi Arabia, Oil

  88. Bob,

    The Oregon gas attendant rule has nothing to do with the environment. It is the product of the commie state. A law intended to create employment. A law to create jobs for no other reason than 'just because'. An un-needed law. And Oregonians pay higher gas prices because of it.

  89. "200 gigawatts would require 3,400,000 acres, where the wind blows, year round."

    There's plenty of space in the ocean, where the wind blows, year round.

  90. Wretchard said...
    Where do they get the money?
    The short answer is Middle Eastern sympathizers, Islamic charities, drugs and extortion. Maybe even a little Islamic banking on the side.
    Shit keeps getting deeper in Talibanistan.

  91. Big John stuck it to us again at Blogger's event:
    Equate miniscule drilling in frozen tundra w/drilling Grand Canyon, neither of which would His Globally Warmed Conscience allow.

  92. 'Rat, or anyone:
    Medved was prattling on about how pure big john is, never asked for ONE earmark, blah blah, blah.

    ...Reminded me that in runup to 2000 my online friends here and I discussed a bunch of Indian money he handled, but now I've forgotten all the details.
    Anybody know about that?

  93. Sounds like the Idaho Fish and Game Department, Sam. Makework. Except here, they provide everybody with a pickup truck. In fact, more pickup trucks than employees, in the department.

  94. The Huckster won't use the "C" word,by Arkansas political Standards at least.

    Huck's Non-Conspiracy Conspiracy
    --Duane R. Patterson
    From this morning's Morning Joe on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski.I'm not going to use the word conspiracy, but I think there's a conspiracy out to get me.I'm calling this press conference to say I'm not going to run any negative ads, but if I were to run negative ads, this is what they would look like.
    I wonder if South Carolinians are going to see a pattern here with Governor Huckabee.
    And by the way, conspiracies are usually done in secret.
    The attacks are not on Governor Huckabee himself but on his non-conservative record as governor in Arkansas, and his very disturbing views on foreign policy.
    And the attacks are very public. There's no conspiracy about it, and it frankly makes Huckabee look a little thin-skinned in seeing criticisms as conspiracies.

  95. Doug said...
    Conspiriscist Nutjob!

    Wed Jan 16, 08:58:00 AM EST

    desert rat said...
    When a conspiracy hides in plain sight, is it really a conspiracy?

    When it is public, but unreported, is it a secret?

  96. From this morning's Morning Joe on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski

    Is MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski a conspiracy?

  97. Why should anyone but the Afghans be expected to shoulder the load in Afghanistan?

    Why is it that in Iraq have 425,000 troops, to include the Awakened militias have been "stood up", but only 70,000 in Afghanistan, when the US has been in Afghanistan longer?

    Why is aQ Iraq always in the US news, while Doc Z, Osama and the aQ Headquarters section get a propaganda pass?

    Why has civilian security in Iraq become the primary motivator, but in Afghanistan it is ignored?

    The Brits are trying to let the locals lead:

    The mysterious Afghan warlord trusted to spread peace in a divided province

    Britain�s last chance of securing this treacherous corner of Afghanistan lies in the hands of a piratical, black-turbaned figure with long beard, white cloak and silver-sequinned slippers with curled toes.

    Mullah Abdul Salaam may not look much like a white knight. He served as a commander in the Taleban and even today his true loyalties remain suspect. The 45-year-old former Mujahidin guerrilla could, however, decide the fate of the British mission to stabilise the lawless province of Helmand, where this week he was put in charge of the key district of Musa Qala.

    �He�s not just the best show in town,� one British officer remarked. �He�s the only show in town.�

    Interesting story, from a perspective not shared by Mr Gates.