Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Your Democratic Presidential Nominees

Caucus Meeting

I went to my caucus meeting last night, and it was actually quite...frustrating. First, they posted the wrong address on the website, so I and about a dozen other caucus-goers stood outside a locked pre-school until we were able to track down someone who knew the real location. By the time I arrived, the meeting had already started. So that pretty much dashed any hopes I had of being nominated or elected to anything. Besides, my city's mayor and two of its councilmen are in my precinct, so they and their sphere of influence dominated the elections. I am not criticizing that specifically, but since I'm a new arrival to my city and neighborhood, no one knows me yet. It will take more time and political activity before I am able to have much influence in my area. I had heard of other precincts having only a handful of people show up, so a small part of me had hoped to be able to jump right in and be involved. But fortunately, my little neighborhood has a good pool of community minded residents already involved at the caucus level.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm Number 20!

I have arrived. I have been deemed worthy of a #20 ranking for Utah political blogs. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is The Democratic Party Responsible For 9/11?

No, not Bill Clinton. The Democratic party of Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

The party that said it was okay to "meddle" in the affairs of other countries. The party that said,
The fact of the matter is that we, this generation of Americans, are the first generation of our country ever to be involved in affairs around the globe. From the beginning of this country, from the days of Washington, until the Second World War, this country lived an isolated existence. Through most of our history we were an unaligned country, an uncommitted nation, a neutralist nation. We were by statute as well as by desire. We had believed that we could live behind our two oceans in safety and prosperity in a comfortable distance from the rest of the world...

...We find ourselves entangled with apparently unanswerable problems in unpronounceable places. We discover that our enemy in one decade is our ally the next. We find ourselves committed to governments whose actions we cannot often approve, assisting societies with principles very different from our own...

...We cannot return to the day of the sailing schooner or the covered wagon, even if we wished. And if this Nation is to survive and succeed in the real world of today, we must acknowledge the realities of the world.
Today, Democrats, and others like Ron Paul, Osama bin Laden, and Jeremiah Wright, say that the terrorists attack us because we have meddled in their affairs. We have bases in their countries, we support Israel too much, etc. Basically, it's our own fault that they don't like us, and if we would just stop all the meddling then they would leave us alone.

That meddling started with Democrats half a century ago.

Biofuels Letter in Deseret News

I sent in a shortened version of my latest biofuels post as a letter to the editor in the Deseret News and it was published last Saturday. Here's the link, and here's the text:

Last November, Jean Ziegler — the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food — called for a five-year ban on biofuel production, stating that diverting corn, wheat and sugar crops to the biofuel industry would cause huge price increases in foods that are staples of the world diet. He even went so far as calling it a crime against humanity. What did the United States do in the face of these warnings? It mandated huge increases in biofuels, of course.

We can already see the consequences of that action. According to the World Food Program, biofuel production is largely to blame for "newly hungry" people in Latin America, Africa and Asia and for food riots in Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Morocco.

Corn is so widely used that higher corn prices mean higher prices for just about everything else from meat, eggs and dairy products to hops, malting barley and vegetables.

A child dies from hunger every five seconds. Our country's politicians and environmental activists just made it harder and more expensive to save them.

There were also some interesting comments to the letter, so I'll post them here as well:

Non food stock | 6:06 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Research at USU under a USTAR grant is underway that will derive biofuel from aglae rather than traditional food stock. This is the direction that biofuels should take.

Casey | 6:14 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Cameron - children are acceptable collateral damage in the environmental movement. How many have died of malaria since the ban on ddt? True to their character, they will accept NO responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Biofuels are the latest "feel good" solution our problems. Don't expect anything to change soon. Unfortunately

michaelh | 6:19 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
I agree we must stop this bio-fuel madness! This was tried during the Carter administration. It failed then and it is failing now. There is plenty of oil we are not running out we just need to get the madcap insane global warming nut jobs out of the way. They are going to cause a famine and the deaths of millions of people. When a person is insane to the point of being dangerous to himself and society they need to be locked up in a mental hospital. We need to stop being silent and resist the legislation being suggested by the enviro-insane.
Comments continue below

Timj | 6:21 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Environmental activists? Excuse me?
Don't blame the biofuel problem on environmentalists. Blame it on politicians, farmers, and gullibles.
None of the environmentalists I know think that turning corn into fuel is a good idea. In fact, many are very vocal about it being a bad idea.
Schweitzer | 7:19 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008

Exactly so. The problem with biofuels is, it takes fuel for the body, and turns it into fuel to drag Main Street with. There may be a few exceptions, where the agricultural source of the biofuel is currently inedible and going to waste, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule.

liberal larry | 7:34 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
The writer is correct that the production of befouls is distorting the price of global food commodities. In fact, almost all commodities are increasing in price because of the increasing consumption of nations like China and India. This is a natural out growth of the planets over population, there will continue to be a competition for the worlds scarce resourses, you better get used to it because there are limited amounts of the earth's oil, water, precious metals, wilderness etc. and no glimpse of population control in sight.

Lionheart | 8:07 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Unintended consequences. Why couldn't this have been predicted. Biofuels take land, water and the net result is not a savings in fuel. The government has been paying the agribusiness to grow these crops and now we are going to have to pay them not to grow them. There are better solutions to the fuel problem.

Dave | 8:50 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
It seems every time politicians make change, things get worse.

Spanish Fark | 9:16 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Dont need to use carn. My truck runs on beer from the Walmarts. At last somebody spells rapporteur right! About time.

bushbot | 10:37 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
This was a really good letter.... see this is the kind of thing that happens when you start going against the laws of nature and trying to make same sex marriage acceptable... everything gets turned upside down: food as fuel, equal rights for animals... where does it all end ?
@liberal larry:no glimpse of population control in sight? You liberals are truly scary.... and you accuse conservatives of being Nazis.

Casey | 10:45 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Larry - I thought that increased consumption in China and India was because of increased economic freedom. People now can afford food instead of starving, and they are choosing to eat. If the government in China would let them they might even choose to have more than 1 child (how can they be contributing to overpopulation with a policy like that?) Economic freedom therefore is not a good thing in the context you seem to be coming from. It means people have more and therefore can conume more. I could be wrong, but that's the way it looks from here.

TeddyR | 10:49 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
You guys are poorly informed; as stated above, every environmentalist I know is AGAINST food to fuel biofuels projects. Apparently, any old stick is suitable to bash and "environazi" with, whether it's accurate or not.

BBKing | 10:50 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Casey is right on the money. Literally tens of millions of people have died from Malaria primarily based on what is now considered faulty research. In any case, we placed a greater premium on birds than people. Period.

Timj, this movement for biofuels was 100% started by the environmentalist crowd. To say otherwise is to ask us to believe the sun doesn't rise in the morning. I remember friends in Utah country trying to get rid of the fuel additive. All but impossible and founght tooth and nail by EPA and their environmental buddies.

You mention the farmers and politicians, you are correct. What is beginning to happen is big business is learning they can make trillions off of all this global warming junk. Literally, we just outlawed the light bulb. How freaking stupid is that?! No more incandecent lightbulbs by 2014 or something. Holy freaking cow!

The UN estimates that in order to stop "Global Warming" it will cost at least $20 trillion. So yes, farmers are buying politicians so they can get a cut of the $20 trillion.

If you folks would use real science we could begin to solve this. No more junk science please.

John | 11:19 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Corn is not a source of energy. It requires energy to turn it into a biofuel. How stupid are we going to get?

Crude IS a source of energy. Natural gas is a source of energy. There is really nothing else on this planet that is a viable alternative for our transportation. Every other solution that people offer, requires another source of energy, to create.

Turn out the lights, the party is over.

Lionheart | 11:51 a.m. Mar. 15, 2008
To John: The party is not over, pressure, such as the situation in fuel and world distribution is what brings about immense change. Expect something new and wonderful to solve the problem. Have more trust in human consciousness.

liberal larry | 12:27 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
It's common knowledge that biofuels are not working well yet, but they may be more realistic when other organic wastes like grasses and wood chips are used to produce fuel. To blame "radical environmentalists" for this is silly. President Bush is one of the leading proponents of ethanol, and he is hardly an environmentalist.

As third world nations become more consumptive, like us Americans, food, and all other commodities will become more expensive. The pie is only so big, the more people we have, the smaller each piece will be.

Did I call conservatives Nazis? I don't think so, at least not recently

RayCharles | 1:40 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Perhaps you can list what environmentalist organizations (whose websites we can consult) are pushing biofuels? Your bald assertions aren't making it.
Your comments about DDT are a red flag to any knowledgeable person; it's bunk generated by rightwing radio. DDT laws have always had an "out" clause allowing usage to control mosquitos. Mexico has never stopped using DDT, and has a growing malaria problem. Cite the "faulty research" about DDT; the whole DDT issue alerted people to how chickens come home to roost, if you'll pardon an avian pun. The long-lived toxins that enter the food chain don't only affect pelicans, they wind up in other species at the top of the food chain, including humans.
At any rate, your comments show that you are merely a medium of long-debunked, completely unscientific ravings.

bushbot | 3:05 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
@LL : just wondering what you have in mind when you write about "population control" Sounds pretty ominous

Paul | 4:32 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
I guess, in my view, higher prices are just too bad. People in the US are freezing, from lack of heating oil. We have to get free handouts from Venzuela. What is wrong with converting food grown in the US into fuel for US consumption (assuming there is an advantage to do so)? Starvation in Latin America, Asia, and Africa is something that will always occur, given human's rate of reproduction, so we can only do what we can. I would probably get a bit ticked off if the US Government (or the UN) decided it could and should dictate how I use food I grew (again, assuming I was a farmer). Then again, given the amount of subsidies farmers get, maybe the Government should have a say...

liberal larry | 4:33 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
A lot of factors reduce reproduction rates, I was thinking in terms of availability to free birth control, general resources education for women and girls, monetary incentives to have fewer children. There are lots of ways to have people voluntarily limit the number of kids they have.

bushbot | 5:16 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
From what I have read about demographic trends the world's population is expected to peak between 2050- 2080 (I can't remember exactly) I do know that even in many historically high reproductive areas the trend is to smaller families.
I believe that lower reproductive rates are more of a threat to stability than higher reproduction .... obviously someone has to pay the overhead costs of Government and infrastructure. I have yet to see a Government spending program ever go away. Once they are instituted they are nearly impossible to end ( e.g. social security)
I know one thing... the people having lots of children will be the ones determining where Society heads in the future.

Lew Jeppson | 6:54 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
If the United States government had not funded the interstates in the 1950s, the private networks of electric interurban railways (I bet nobody here knows what I'm talking about) would have survived, thrived and expanded. We would have compact housing and compact communities along them. We would have no global warming and no need for biofuels. A look backward can clue us for the route ahead.

Lionheart | 8:58 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Dear Lew:

Lots of us don't want to live in human coops and will find a way to escape that grim possibility, therefore, freedom to roam the planet and beyond has led to many advances in human history.

2penniesandchange | 9:53 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
I'm from Los Angeles, and know EXACTLY what your talking about! Red Car? Yes, we had that once. But the freeways got built by car company subsidies, and the transport of choice switched to cars and not electric trains. Now the Angeleno's are paying the price, while the smart ones move to Utah

Stewart | 10:00 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
Grow corn for food, get those nuclear power plants built, and let's get on with plug-in series hybrid cars that in most cases will out perform some of the present models. It will take at least a decade to transition.

Sorry, Lew, you're wrong | 11:40 p.m. Mar. 15, 2008
The decline in private interurban rail began long before before the interstate highways came along.

The Pacific Electric "Red Cars" were being taken out of service in the 1930s, and the Rio Grande Southern had taken their trains off the tracks, replaced by the "Galloping Goose" motor railcars. When the US got into WWII, logistics experts discovered that passenger rail miles were only HALF of what they had been at the end of WWI. 40 percent of the country's passenger railway cars had been burned and their iron parts cut up for scrap.

It was significantly less expensive to switch to buses (using public roadways between cities) than to continue maintaining (and paying taxes on) sole-use rail right-of-ways. It's also more versatile and rapidly modifiable.

In fact, it was this decline in rail capacity which prompted the interstate highways in the first place!

The only interurban commuter rail lines which thrived were those with high numbers of "fixed" commuters on the East Coast, and only those with overhead catenary wires to power the trains (no self-motive interurban commuter train or trolley was operating in the US between 1965 and 1989).

Hope the Front Runner is a success!

Barack Obama: Race in America

Here's the transcript.

Here's a vid:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Being a Mormon Blogger is Cool

In my two years of blogging I've written about some fairly controversial things like abortion, Iraq, and global warming. But by far the reason most people wind up here is because I'm a Mormon. Even old posts will attract new visitors.

For instance, I just got a comment on a post from last September,
you mormon folks sure are funny! by the way, you're missing out... coffee is soooo good...
I still get hits to my post on Senator Larry Craig, all brought here by Google searches of "Larry Craig Mormon", "Is Larry Craig Mormon", "Sen Craig Mormon" or some other derivation. (He's not.)

I get hits for people googling "nancy pelosi mormon" and "rosi o'donnell mormon" too.(Not that I'm aware of.)

But by far the biggest post I've written to date has been the American Idolist David Archuleta singing Imagine. I've had literally thousands of visits to that post, mostly from people wondering if he's Mormon. (He's from Utah, so that's probably why people are wondering. The answer: I don't know. I did get this comment to the post though, "this kid is mormon he must hate black people". Nice.)

So, here's a big welcome to all you Mormon googlers. Enjoy your visit.

Glenn Beck, Think Progress, Barack Obama & the Antichrist

Last week Glenn Beck started talking about something he said on his TV show that was picked up and criticized by the Think Progress blog. He's spent the last few days of his radio show poking fun at the blogging media "news" circle. Here's the breakdown:

Think Progress posted a video of Glenn Beck asking Pastor John Hagee, "Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?" Here's the rest of the story, according to Beck,
Well, here's the best part, because what picked this up originally was, I don't even know, Think Progress. Think Progress, yes. Let's Think Progress. Do you know Progressive has "Progress" in it? It must be good. Think Progress is the first that picked this up on the blog. They're like, Glenn Beck thinks that maybe Media Matters then picked up the story and put a Glenn Beck think maybe and then they cut and pasted and put it in the TelePrompTer for Keith Olbermann: Glenn Beck thinks maybe he's the worst person in the world! Then Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported the story that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann should report. So if they could just now get Media Matters to alert Think Progress and so Think Progress could report that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported what Media Matters reported that Think Progress reported originally, it would be a feedback loop that would never end and everything would be perfect in the world.
This is actually my biggest complaint with "New Media" like blogging. Beck calling it a "feedback loop" is quite right in many cases. For all our talk of the "liberal media" or "corporate media" brainwashing the public and writing ill-sourced, bogus news stories, that's often exactly what happens on blogs. Then we all eat it up and let it feed our already existing prejudices. For example, look at these comments on the Think Progress "story":
• Glenn Beck and John Hagee need to be disappeared. They are a plague to rational thinkers everywhere.
Comment by jdogg333 — March 4, 2008 @ 9:41 pm
Recommend (2) | Report Abuse

• We know from hard evidence that George W. Bush is the anti-christ
Comment by nofltwlt — March 4, 2008 @ 9:42 pm
Recommend (3) | Report Abuse

• You’ve gotta be kidding me. We need to write more letters to CNNHN about this guy.
Comment by tnrc75 — March 4, 2008 @ 9:45 pm
Recommend (4) | Report Abuse

• As opposed to the grinning , braying , stupid @$#! that has fouled the Oval Office and our reputation throughout the world , Glenn Speck(of @$#!) ?
@$#! friggin’ @$#! ; what exactly is it that these morons actually see in Chimpy the Wonder Monkey that all others are insignificant at best , and make them laughably and hysterically view a moronic , colossal absolute FAILURE as the 2nd Coming ?
Comment by MCMetal
None of these people even watch Glenn Beck. They just read the little blog post and watched Keith Olbermann's rant and furiously typed their scathing insults in the comment box. But did any one of them actually stop and think for even a half second before damaging their keyboards with their unbridled ferocity? It doesn't appear so. Although there was one comment, the very last of 100+ comments to the post, that injected an opposing view,
The same thing could be said for every single one of you hypocritical numbnuts every time you call George Bush “Satan, the Anti-Christ” or whatever else you can come up with to insult someone. Am I really the only person who noticed that Glenn was LAUGHING as he asked the question? Am I the only person here with the intellectual honesty to admit that Beck WAS NOT BEING SERIOUS when he asked it? AM I THE ONLY PERSON HERE WHO SAW IT IN CONTEXT AND HEARD HIM JOKE ABOUT IT IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS, HEARD HIM PREDICT THAT IDIOTS LIKE THE PEOPLE HERE WOULD TAKE IT OUT OF CONTEXT AND POST IT AS IF HE WAS BEING SERIOUS!
Comment by ISSHunter
So what was Glenn Beck doing asking this kind of question? Listeners to the show will remember a segment a few days previous where Beck talked about some recent statements from George Clooney and Angelina Jolie that he thought showed a lot of integrity and open mindedness. At the end of the segment he summed it up by saying,
"But everybody on both sides have either deified their candidates and made it absolutely right on everything and it's that way or it's nothing, or they've taken the other side and they've looked at the other candidate and said they must be the antichrist. "Oh, George Bush is the most evil guy ever to be in the presidency." And now people are doing exactly what they did to Bill Clinton. I mean, I'm getting the mail that, you know, Barack Obama is the antichrist. Come on.

When we strike the reasonable balance and say, okay, I can completely disagree with this guy's policies but you know what, this part over here is pretty decent or this part over here, we may actually have a chance to be able to make some real progress."
Beck's getting letters and emails from people warning him that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and he thinks that's stupid. Then a few days later he's got this right wing Pastor on his show so he jokingly asks what he characterized as "a light hearted question belittling those who believe every new politician on the scene that doesn’t agree with them is the antichrist." He's making fun of the nutjobs people! Ironically, it's the same nutjobs that the Think Progress/Media Matters/Keith Olbermann's of the world make fun of.

But these groups are so enraged, so ideologically hateful, that they can't even see that.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Biofuels Kill Children

Last November I wrote about Congress's bill which pushed new mandates for biofuel production. I called it an "Environmental Kneejerk Disaster". Why did I call it that? Because politicians and activists, in a "we've got to do something!" response to global warming's dire predictions, decided that biofuels was the way to go. But back in October 2007 Jean Ziegler called for a 5 year ban on biofuel production, stating that diverting corn, wheat, and sugar crops to the biofuel industry would cause huge price increases in foods that are staples in the world diet. He said,
“It is a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil which produces food stuff that will be burned into biofuel.”
What did the US do in the face of these warnings? Why, they mandated huge increases in biofuels of course.

We can already see the consequences of that action. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program was reported to have said recently that there are "newly hungry people" in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and that there have been food riots in Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Morocco. And why are they hungry and rioting? Because food prices are skyrocketing. According to Iowa State University's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development,
"Although we are coming off a record corn harvest, the 2008 new-crop corn harvest is more than $5.00 per bushel. The new-crop soybean futures price is more than $12.50 per bushel. In contrast to the 1995/96 high price period, the markets today are not indicating that these record prices are temporary. Farmers can sell their 2009 and 2010 crops for about the same price...

Crop prices at these levels dramatically increase the cost of raising hogs, finishing cattle, and producing milk and eggs. These costs will have to be passed on to consumers through higher retail prices for meat, eggs, and dairy products to keep livestock producers in business. Competition for land between specialty crops, oilseeds, and food and feed grains will also increase the prices of other products such as hops, malting barley, beans, and vegetables. Consequently, we should expect to see increased food prices over the next year or two as these cost increases are passed on to consumers."
These higher prices especially affect the poor, both here and abroad. They already spend a significant portion of their income on food, and have less flexibility to respond to higher costs. People are starving, and will continue to starve, largely because this country's politicians and environmental activists ignored reality, ignored economics, and pushed for this "solution" to global warming.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jesus the Christ

One of my favorite books is "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage. I recently discovered that the LDS Church has a downloadable audio file of it on their website, so I put it on cd and have been listening to it on my commute each day. The website can be found here, and you can download the entire book at once, or individual chapters. (Two additional notes of interest, has mountains of audio files on its website, including scriptures, the Ensign magazine, General Conference talks, and even hymns. Also, "Jesus the Christ" is in the widget on my sidebar called "random books from my library". Click on the link to see the actual book. I also highly recommend two other books by James Talmage, "Articles of Faith" and "The Great Apostasy".)

I'd been meaning to write this post about my audio file discovery for about a week now, and in the meantime the Church has started a new website called that has some great content. Also, the March edition of the Church's monthly magazine, "The Ensign", is dedicated to articles on the Savior.