Green Piece

The simple musings of a man who thought he knew everything . . .

Monday, October 31, 2005

Now This is More Like It

Well, it's not Janice Rogers Brown, but hey, I'm excited. President Bush appointed Judge Samuel Alito. This is an excellent choice and we as conservatives need to back him.

The guys over at What Now have posted a great way to support Justice Alito. Please visit them and check out their post entitled "Thank God!". Harry Reid is doing his normal passive-aggressive-just-before-becoming-really-nasty-aggressive thing by asking whether or not Alito is "too radical for the American people".

I am really looking forward to this fight. Not because I like fights, mind you. That was certainly true of me a few years ago, but now fights are not something I go around looking for. However, in this case the fight that is going to happen during the Alito confirmation process will bring to light many important issues. I'm not talking Roe vs. Wade either. I'm talking Constitutional authority, state's rights, and judicial activism. Were these three things properly understood (or more correctly properly cared about) then abortion would not be legal today and we would be a far freer society.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Back to Work

OK, Rove wasn't indicted and the Miers fiasco is out of the way. It is time to get back to what we hired George Bush to do. Get a conservative (i.e. strict constructionist, originalist, non-activist) judge on the bench.

I would love to hear from some of you who you think it should be. I am currently partial to Janice Rogers Brown. Part of it may be because she is a black woman, but most of it is because of what I have read her say. Let me know what you think.

P.S. - you will find some great suggestions at What Now.

Harriet Miers: A Class Act

I never really felt good about the Miers nomination. My thoughts are that she was probably going to be a pretty good judge, but the only thing I was basing that on was the fact that, pretty much I do trust President Bush. That trust was not enought to make me feel comfortable about putting her on the Supreme Court.

Today Miers announced that she was withdrawing her nomination. This appears to be a selfless act. I believe that she is acting in the best interests 0f the nation. So, my hat is tipped to you Ms. Miers.

Now, let's get Janice Rogers Brown on the Supreme Court - is that too much to ask? I think not.

Check out K-Block and What Now for some good analysis as well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Biodiesel Commercial

I live in Arkansas and there is a commercial on the radio that features a lady, who I think works at a truck stop (?), and is talking about how wonderful biodiesel is. I'm doing this from memory, but her points are that it burns cleaner, it makes us less dependant on foreign oil, and because of government subsidies it is cheaper. I can neither confirm nor deny point #1. It may burn cleaner, it may not - I don't know. I am sure that if you look hard enough you can find an excellent article proving both sides.

I do have a problem with points 2 and 3. Let me first say that I am all about becoming less dependant on foreign oil. I think that one of the best things that could happen to Americans (at least economically) is that we find some really good way to heat our homes, light our rooms and move our cars that does not involve importing something that we need from a bunch of people who hate us. However, I am not sure that biodiesel is the answer (yet).

The problem with points 2 and 3 lies in the government subsidies. At first, it seems like a really good idea - have people buy more biodiesel by artificially making it cheaper. For the actual trucker that is pumping fuel into his* truck biodiesel might make sense economically. Most people would look at the fact that the government is picking up some of the tab and say that they are making it cost less.

This is wrong. It still costs more than buying regular diesel, it's just that someone else is paying for it. If you just said to yourself "sure, but that person is the government" then you can feel good knowing that you are in the majority when it comes to understanding economics. Let's not forget who the government is - you. You are paying people to buy more expensive fuel. So, when the truck stop lady in the commercial says that it's good for Arkansas what she means is that it is good for some Arkansas residents at the expense of others. You see right now biodiesel costs more than regular diesel. The government cannot make it cost less. They can change who pays for it, but the physical reality is that it costs more per mile.

It's not cheaper, but hey, at least we are less dependant on foreign oil. Well, not exactly. For one thing, as long as it is subsidized it will not lower our need for oil. Why? Because we still need the fuel from good old black gold in order to harvest the crops needed for biodiesel. Add this with the fact that the biodiesel is simply an additive (most of it is still regular) and we are really still needing crude.

A physical reality is that oil has more potential energy inside of it than anything else on the earth that we can get to in such great quantities. The best way for us to reduce our need for foreign oil is to increase the domestic oil that we are drilling. Go north, young man. Drill in Alaska. We have the resources we just need to go get them.

* -- Truckers can also be women but it is easier for me to just type "his" than type "his/her" or type "his or her" or to simply type "her", which might remind too many people of "Large Marge" from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". Of course after taking the time to write this stupid side note it probably would have been better to just type "his or her". I love political correctness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The MSMs are Partying Like it's 1,999

The latest news story puts the death toll in Iraq at 1,999. Journalists everywhere are waiting with anxious expectation for the big number 2,000. Who knows, if they are lucky it will happen today. You can just see a slobbery Maureen Dowd watching the AP newsline waiting for the news that another brave soldier has died. Then let the Bush Bash Ball begin. Think of the excitement!! Calls for an exit strategy, Cindy Sheehan standing in front of the White House begging to be carted off by two husky men, pictures of the soldier who was number 2,000. It will be a glorious day for the media wing of the Democratic party.

Where are the news reports of the number of insurgents we have killed? What about giving some reports of the progress we have made? Where is the perspective? Not once have I seen a report on a major offensive that went off really well. Why is that? Is it that it isn't happening? Not according to the soldiers that are there. With few exceptions our soldiers are proud and optimistic about what is going on in Iraq.

So, to our MSM friends I say put away the party hats and get to some real journalism.

Rosa Parks: Cindy, This is How it is Supposed to be Done

Sadly, Rosa Parks has passed away. Rosa Parks is a true hero of the Civil Rights movement. Because of her the culture has changed for the better. Her courage inspired the grass roots movements of the day, inspired the leadership of the Civil Rights movements and inspired change. To be sure, I don't agree with everything that Rosa Parks has said - but you have to admire her convictions and any right-thinking person would have to agree with her overall message. It saddens me to think that some people think of Cindy Sheehan as a "modern day Rosa Parks".

Thank you Mrs. Parks.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Anne Rice: Interview with the Savior?

Anne Rice, the writer of many blood-filled novels about vampires such as "Interview with a Vampire", claims that she has recently accepted Christ as savior. I find this very exciting for three main reasons. The first reason is that, hallelujah, someone else has gotten saved. Secondly, as far as I can tell she won't be writing the garbage she used to write. I have read excerpts from some of her vampire books and they are almost pornographic and under a pseudonym she has written softcore smut. Thirdly, she is going to be doing some interesting things with her talents.

Rice is currently writing a book about Jesus when he was 7 years old. I have often wondered about this time of Jesus' life and it will be impossible for us to know whether what she is writing is anything close to what his life was actually like, but it it might be some interesting reading. I think it will be very important for her to be careful while writing this book. The holiness of Christ should not be tread on for sure, and it should not be tread around very lightly.

Praise God for one more in His Kingdom!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lottery: A Tax On People For Being Bad At Math

Lotteries are one of those little things that, for the most part, are harmless but still drive me crazy. For one reason, just as the title of this Blog implies, lotteries are little more than another way for the government to take money from the people, i.e. a tax. Here are some of my criticisms.

1. You are not going to win. Some people think "hey, I will buy 9 or 10 tickets so my chances of winning are greater". This is actually a fallacy. While it is true that your chances are technically 10 times higher they are still not that much different (i.e. 1 in 35 million isn't much different from 100 in 35 million).

2. If you win it won't make you happy. Relationships get strained, your friends treat you differently, people are trying to leech money from you. This is very different than if you had earned the money yourself. Lottery winners commit suicide, divorce their spouses, get robbed, get arrested, go broke, become recluses, and in many other ways become miserable.

3. The lottery helps to spread the idea that it is a good thing to get something for nothing. We don't need any more of this in America. If hurricane Katrina helped us to learn anything about this it should be that doing anything to make people more dependent on the government is a really bad thing.

4. It takes money from poor people. Most of the people I work with/hang around with aren't hurt by the 1 or 2 dollars they may spend every now and then on the lottery. However, there are people in this world who, because they think it is their only shot in life, will spend $20 or $30 a week when the lottery gets big. A study showed that 20% of all lottery players comprise roughly 82% of lottery revenue and that the 20% was made up disproportionately of lower income people. The lottery truly is a way for the government to prey on the desperation of poorer people and it is despicable.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Deep Breath Time

Dear Mr. President,
I am not completely happy with your choice of Harriet Miers as a nominee for the Supreme Court. There are a lot of conservatives who are with me on this. However, I would like to thank you for working so hard to keep Americans everywhere safe from this man:

Thanks to Lucianne for helping me to remember this.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Chewbacca Becomes an American

I know I said in my last post that I would get straight back to politics, but this is really funny. The actor who played Chewie is becoming an American citizen today.

When asked why he wanted to change citizenship he answered:


Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Space Elevator

OK, to take a small break from politics (which I don't like to do very often) I wanted to share with you guys something that I find to be very exciting that will make space travel easier and will show you all how much of a geek I really am. It is called a space elevator.

A space elevator is, in essence, a geosynchronous satellite that has a ribbon (probably about 1/2 mile wide) reaching from the satellite to the ground. This would allow us to travel up and down the ribbon to get into space.

Why is this helpful? Because the expensive (and most dangerous) part of space travel is getting outside of our atmosphere and back into it. Being able to traverse up a nanotube ribbon would make this much cheaper and less dangerous.

Furthermore, I had an idea about a different possibility. Since the actual station will be 62,000 miles away from earth why wouldn't we put a giant nuclear reactor at the end of the tether? This would give us an energy producing factory reducing our dependance on foreign oil. Furthermore, there would be nobody complaining about a reactor in their backyard. We could transport the energy via hydrogen fuel cells and the reactor could be what powers the elevator itself.

Anyway you can read more about a space elevator here, at Wikipedia.

OK, my next post will be back to politics - thanks for indulging me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Al Gore: I Am Speechless (but I'll try)

Once again let me just give my thoughts on what former Vice President had to say during his speech in Stockholm.

"I have absolutely no plans and no expectations of ever being a candidate again"

Translation: I may, or may not, run.

"We would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us,"

True enough, but then again you probably wouldn't have gone to war against Afhganistan either. My money says that after 9/11 you would have been groveling at the feet of the Taliban asking their forgiveness for the fact that we have polluted their world.

"We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families."

I assume that you are referring to the tax cuts. Point of clarification: the tax cuts stopped the act of taking from one person and giving to another, they did not facilitate it.

"We would not be routinely torturing people"
You, sir, are ridiculous. When will the liberals stop denigrating the fine men and women of our military in order to take cheap political shots a George Bush?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Al Gore's Speech: Diatribe or Commercial?

Al Gore went on (another) rant the other day. He called it "The Threat to American Democracy". His main point in this article is that ever since the MSM lost control of what you get to hear about, free speech has been in peril. This is very convenient for him to say because he has just put together a new TV station. Of course Mr. Gore takes the time to verbally jab the President. The following are some quotes from his rant with my comments

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered " an alternate universe"?

I have not heard one person say that. The only reason you are hearing this is because you do live in an alternate universe known as liberal elitism.

Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice?
Mr. Gore, please get this straight - nobody is as nice to their enemies as we are. Give it up.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was - at least for a short time - a quality of vividness and clarity of focus in our public discourse that reminded some Americans
I cannot believe that you used the coverage of Hurricane Katrina as an example of how things should be done. There is one reason for your assessment. In your mind Bush Bashing = good journalism. During Hurricane Katrina there were news reports of cannibalism, "bands of rapists, going block to block", gunfire, killed policemen, ten thousand dead. None of this turned out to be true. But, hey, if there is anything bad about Bush, then it's some goooooood reportin'.

The internet is a formidable new medium of communication, but it is important to note that it still doesn't hold a candle to television.
In other words, you still need my TV station.

And here is my point:

it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.
Your reasoning is so backwards from reality that it is almost funny. There was a time - a golden age for liberals - when a very few sources controlled all of what was presented to the world as news. How is that a marketplace of ideas?

safeguards were enacted in the U.S. -- including the Public Interest Standard, the Equal Time Provision, and the Fairness Doctrine
Again, your logic is flawed. You are literally arguing that restraints on free speech helped the marketplace of ideas.

though a half century later, in 1987, they were effectively repealed. And then immediately afterwards, Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.
If you really believed in a marketplace of ideas, Mr. Gore, you wouldn't be so frightened of the ideas that are winning. There is a reason that your network, along with Air America, is failing. Nobody thinks they are worth listening to.

Dan Rather - who was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House
What he said may have angered the White House, but you left off that he used forged documents to accuse the President of something that never happened. The very thing you claim to be espousing, i.e. free speech, is what brought Dan Rather down. there was a time when he could have gotten away with his underhanded pratices, that time is gone.

Later he basically goes on to say that his new station is what America needs, blah blah blah.

Read this speech, but don't be fooled by it.

Bill Bennet Wants Black People to Die

Here is some of what Bill Bennett said:

if "you wanted to reduce crime ... abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."
Obviously Bill Bennett is a racist who wants to see us kill all black people. There is no other possible explanation for why he would express a desire to see black people die. This is why Mr. Bennett is such a strong supporter of the president. Any man who can send a hurricane to kill blacks is a friend of Bennett's. I am appalled at the insensitivity that Bennett has shown during this time of racial tension. Never before have blacks been so discriminated against as they are now and this guy is saying that we should kill black babies, er uh fetuses (feti?, no it's fetuses).

Well, that was fun. I can see why everybody in the media is doing this. It's so cool to take a guy's words out of context, make them mean the complete opposite of what they were intended to mean by leaving off the beginning, the end and, with the help of three magical dots (...), even the middle.

Here is a direct quote from Al Gore's recent speech Democracy Itself is in Grave Danger:

"I am convinced that ... we must ... support ... Osama bin Laden ... and ... 9/11 ... was ... patriotic"

So, it is obvious from this quote that Al Gore is supporting OBL - I am apalled.

Hey, it's like journalistic Mad Libs, here's another one from Al Gore:

"I ... like ... men"

The simple fact is that anyone criticizing Bill Bennett's words are obviously trying to misquote and malign the man. Bill Bennett was explaining to one of his callers that you can't use the consequences of abortion to argue that it is evil. Here is the full transcript:

CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at
BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?
CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue.
BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.
CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.
BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both -- you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well --
CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.
BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

Please notice Bill's words that this would be "ridiculous, and morally reprehensible". If Bill Bennett had his way there would be no black babies aborted.

The following is the best I have read on this subject:
The Bennett libel divides decent Left from indecent Left

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Interesting Article on Harriet Miers

I don't have a lot of time, but I did read an interesting article about Harriet Miers.

Let me know what you think:

In Midcareer, a Turn to Faith to Fill a Void - The New York Times

Monday, October 03, 2005

Questions Abound in Miers Appointment

Well, here it is. President Bush has made his pick. People are asking me what I think of Harriet Miers. The answer is a resounding "I don't know". I have to admit that at first I was really disappointed. There are plenty of people to whom Bush could have given the nod (ahem, Janice Rogers Brown) and yet he went with someone from his staff.

My fear is that this appointment was made because of his fear of a fight. I wanted President Bush to tell the Democrats that he doesn't care what they want, he is going to pick the right person for the job. It's not that I think Miers is bad, it's that I don't know. I wanted certainty, not more back and forth like with Roberts. Of course it is possible that President Bush would simply tell me that he doesn't care what I think, he is going to pick the right person for the job.

I was definitely encouraged by what I read at the American Center for Law and Justice and at World Magazine's Blog. Yet, there are questions. She gave money to Gore. I can't get that out of my head. She gave money to Gore! Everyone has lapses in judgment but good grief she GAVE MONEY TO GORE!!

OK, I have counted to 10 and am ready to go on. Here is the problem - this whole confirmation process will be an attempt to keep every conservative leaning that Miers has on the down low. It's going to be impossible to know what kind of justice she will be until she is actually doing the job.

Mr. President I hope that you have not let us down.

Here are some links that will help you make your own decisions:

Dobson Endorses Miers - this is a big one
American Center for Law and Justice - these guys are awesome. Anyone they endorse can't be too bad.
Miers Led Bid to Revisit Abortion Stance
World Magazine's Blog

William Kristol is Not Happpy
Harry Reid is Happy
Rush called it a "pick made from weakness"
Plus, she gave money to - oh, never mind.