Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Dinar Stops Here

President Bush will no doubt write a book when he leaves office. I have a suggestion for the title,

The Dinar Stops Here

Over-Populated. Are We There Yet?

Should we wait until all the US is this crowded?On the U.S. Census Bureau web site there is a paper written in 2000 that attempts to project the population of the United States through the year 2100. As you can imagine, this is a difficult task, but they do it in a well described, scientific manner. They have to make a large number of estimates about birth rates, mortality rates and migration rates. They ended up with three series of projections based on these estimates using a low, medium (middle) and high rate of population growth (see paper here).

The lowest projection has the population of the U.S. rising to about 313 million by 2050 and then falling to about 282 million by 2100. The middle series projects the population of the United States to continue to grow and reach about 571 million by 2100. The highest series (which I believe is based on a high immigration rate) has the population reaching about 1.18 BILLION by 2100.

Who knows what the actual population of the United States will be in 2100, but what these projections do show is that given the right (or wrong) circumstances, the population of the United States could increase dramatically over the coming decades.

What do you think would be the affects of a population roughly four times the current population of about 302 million people? Would a U.S. population of 1.18 billion be better than a population of 282 million people?

While few of us will see the year 2100, our actions will help determine the future population of the United States. Shouldn't we review the facts and determine what we believe would be the ideal population of the United States and then work to achieve that goal?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Does Newt Have Lazy Eyes?

I watched former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Fox News Sunday this morning. Is it just me or does he have a serious problem making eye contact? I noticed this the last time I saw him on Fox News Sunday. He looks like he is making eye contact with Chris Wallace occasionally, but most of the time he is starting off to the right or his eyes are just wandering.

In fairness, a television interviewer is often looking down at notes preparing for the next question, so the interviewee has to look at a person who is not looking at them, but the audience doesn't see this.

Newt needs to work on this. The impression he gives is a politician who has problem looking people straight in the eye.

Fox Views

Having watched Fox News Sunday again today, I suggest the program's name be changed to Fox Views Sunday.

Actually, I like Fox Views for the network name also and have a suggestion for a new slogan. Clearly "Fair and Balanced" is just part of a ruse. How about (with apologies to Admiral Farragut)

"Damn the facts! Full speed to the right!".

Monday, July 23, 2007

Joe Biden Can Do it

As you think about which candidate is best qualified to be our next president, ask yourself this question.

If you could choose one of the candidates to walk into the Oval Office tomorrow and start getting us out of Iraq in a way that protects our interests and our troops, who would you choose?

In my opinion, there is no question. Joe Biden.

CNN Democratic Debate

The CNN Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate tonight was another chance for Democrats to get pumped about the 2008 election. This strong field keeps looking better. Senator Clinton gave another strong, polished, controlled performance that confirms her front runner status, but for solid, straight-forward, no nonsense, reasoned ideas, you can't beat Senator Joe Biden. It amazes me that he is still a second tier candidate.

I'm not sure what it will take for him to receive the attention he deserves. My hope is that he can hang on until he gets his break.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Democrats, Compromise and Move Forward

OK, the Democrats with their all night session have paid their political dues to the far left. They've tried to force a rapid withdrawal from Iraq on the far left's terms. Now it is time to cut the political crap and work with Republicans to move us forward.

On the talk shows today it was suggested that the Democrats were more interested in making Republicans pay than trying to figure out ways, with Republican help, to start getting us out of Iraq. I don't want to hear that some Democrats are afraid any compromise will give Republicans political cover. Americans are dieing in Iraq for a failed policy and as far as I'm concerned nobody has political cover until we have a plan and we don't have a hundred bodies coming home every month. Republicans lost power because they put partisan politics ahead of the national interest. You would have thought the Democrats would understand they will be held to the same standard.

We should have some goals we can agree on.

  • The national interest of the United States should guide all solutions.
  • We need to change course so American casualties are significantly reduced, ASARP.
  • We should try to move as many troops as possible either out of Iraq or to the sidelines in a reasonable time frame.
  • We should maximize our ability to take out al Quida.
  • We should do what we reasonably can to help Iraq move politically to a situation that minimizes the violence when we leave.
If sixty or more Senators can agree on the Baker/Hamilton plan, I believe that is Senator Salazar's plan, let's have a vote. If we can't get that to pass, try the Warner/Lugar proposal. It is clear that President Bush will not change course until he has no options. With Republican support, Democrats can keep passing bills. Each time President Bush refuses to listen to bi-partisan suggestions it will make it easier to pass a tougher bill until the Senate has the backbone to pass a bill the President cannot ignore.

I heard an estimate this morning that as many as 250,000 Iraqis might be killed in the turmoil after we leave. We should do what we can to minimize that number. Maybe it is time to STRONGLY suggest our own political solution. For example, we could suggest that Iraq be divided, as Senator Joe Biden and others have suggested. We would draw the lines, since the Iraqis could never do it, and then give people whatever protection we can for three months to relocate before we withdraw. That idea may be ridiculous, but is it any worse than the current plan which seems to be surge until next April when either we have an Iraq that can take care of itself or our military breaks? As far as I can tell the track we are on now ends at the edge of a cliff next April and no one has a plan to stop the train or switch to another track.

It is now time for the Democrats to lead. No more partisan politics. The discussions should no longer include references to Democrats or Republicans. Senators and Representative need to work together as patriots to develop a plan that replaces the current failing policies in Iraq.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Force Them All To Leave

When the comprehensive immigration proposal was debated, the question was always asked, what are you going to do with the 12-20 million illegals who are here already? To most people, the thought of rounding up and deporting that many people was nonsense. Most are productive members of society. Many have been here for over a decade.

I heard the end of an NPR interview the other day that confirmed what many of us suspected, but I had not heard articulated.

The plan is to seal the borders, ratchet up enforcement of existing laws and, over time, force the 12-20 million people to go home. Some will be caught and deported. The rest will be harassed and prevented from working. Eventually, everyone here illegally will be forced out. The speaker, I didn't catch who it was, admitted that this may take 10, 20 or 30 years.

Maybe this was being said and I didn't hear it. Maybe they were using codes I just didn't understand.

I don't support allowing a lot of new immigrants, especially unskilled labor, for reasons I've previously stated. But at what point does strict enforcement of the law just become mean-spirited vindictiveness?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Selfish, Selfish, Selfish, ...

I saw part of a show about the Duggar family the other day. While the show tried to portray the parents as loving, sharing, family people, the word that best seems to describe them is selfish.

Each of those kids deserve better than being just one of a litter. They deserve to be raised by parents, not siblings.

Each additional child devalues the others. They are being told that you kids weren't enough to fill our lives, we need to try again.

Selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Claim the Fame, Pass the Blame

President Harry Truman is famous for the motto on his desk that said

"The Buck Stops Here."

Compare him to politicians today who seem to prefer the motto,

"Claim the Fame, Pass the Blame."

A sign with a arrow pointing left and right with the words, The Buck Stops Over There, Way Over There

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chertoff! Call Boehner, Immediately!

Exclamation Point!
Someone needs to set up a conference call between Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff and Representative John Boehner immediately. Secretary Chertoff said yesterday that the country faces a heightened chance of a terrorist attack this summer.

Representative John Boehner has been telling us for several years that we are fighting al-Qaida in Iraq so that we don't have to fight them here. How can we be threatened here if we are keeping al-Qaida busy fighting us in Iraq?

I'd feel better if someone would get these two together and straighten this out

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Global Resource Bubble

Picture of Earth from NASAEveryone has heard of an economic bubble. One of the causes, as described in Wikipedia is,

The cause of bubbles is often disputed although some experts believe that the cause of bubbles can be explained by the "greater fool's theory." The greater fool's theory explains the behavior of a perennially optimistic market participant (the fool) who buys an overvalued asset in anticipation of selling it to another rapacious speculator (the greater fool) at a much higher price. The bubbles continue as long as the fool can find another (greater) fool to pay up for the overvalued asset. The bubbles will end only when the greater fool becomes the greatest fool who pays the top price for the overvalued asset and can no longer find another buyer to pay for it at a higher price.

There is another kind of bubble, a "psychological bubble" or "reality bubble" where people isolate themselves from other people or situations that they do not want to deal with. This is not a neurosis. We all do it. We construct our own reality that explains who we are, why we are here and our position in the world around us. It is a method of coping.

Sometimes the reality bubbles are physical, such as countries. Sometimes they are emotional, like religion. Reality bubbles can be burst, just like economic bubbles, but this is rare because it is human nature to bend reality to fit our preconceptions.

These two bubbles, the economic and the reality bubbles are at the heart of another bubble, the global resource bubble. We humans like the way the world is developing and we don't want it to stop. The fact that the kind of growth we have experienced up to this point is not sustainable is not a reality we can face or accept. That is why so many people for so long have denied that we are running out of oil or global warming is a reality. That is why people fail to see that the world is already over-populated. If we are satisfied with our standard of living, we want to maintain it. If we are not satisfied, we want to raise it. In both cases, that means ever increasing economic growth, ever increasing population and ever increasing destruction of the environment.

Unfortunately, just like the Dot.COM bubble or the housing bubble, the global resource bubble will eventually burst. Theoretically the human race could manage the situation and evolve our economies to provide an acceptable standard of living for everyone using resources in a sustainable manner, but that is not going to happen.

We are guilty of the "greater fools theory" on a global scale. In this case it is not an overvalued asset we are buying, but an undervalued asset, the very world we live in, and the fools are people not yet born.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Paris 23, Scooter 0

It's worse than bull shit, it's Republican elephant shit.OK, I didn't get it quite right
(Paris 45, Scooter 0).

Paris got out of jail early when her sentence was cut by 22 days for good behavior and on July 2, Scooter got his cut by two and a half years for keeping his mouth shut.

And if he just keeps it shut for another year and a half, he'll have his full pardon. When that happens, does he get his $250,000 fine back?

Monday, July 02, 2007


If you can't do the time,

don't do the crime.

Unless you've got friends in the White House.

Or should I say co-conspirators in the White House?