|To: tsigprofit who wrote (20700)||8/4/2006 10:09:06 PM|
|Ron Paul on Gas Prices|
Ron Paul, Texas straight talk in “What Congress Can Do About Higher Gas Prices”:
“Gasoline prices are soaring and the American people are angry. They want something done about it -- now!
“$100 rebate checks to American motorists won’t cut it, nor will mandatory mileage requirements for new vehicles. Taxing oil profits will only force prices higher. But there are some very important things we can do immediately to help.
“First: We must reassess our foreign policy and announce some changes. One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to secure oil. Before the Iraq war, oil was less than $30 per barrel; today, it is over $70. The sooner we get out of Iraq and allow the Iraqis to solve their own problems, the better. Since 2002, oil production in Iraq has dropped 50%. Pipeline sabotage and fires are routine; we have been unable to prevent them. Soaring gasoline prices are a giant unintended consequence of our invasion, pure and simple.
“Second: We must end our obsession for a military confrontation with Iran. Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, and, according to our own CIA, is nowhere near getting one. Yet the drumbeat grows louder for attacking certain sites in Iran, either by conventional or even nuclear means. An attack on Iran, coupled with our continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon here at home. By contrast, a sensible approach toward Iran could quickly lower oil prices by $20 per barrel.
“Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation. Inflation by definition is an increase in the money supply. The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, and responds to the deficits Congress creates. When deficits are excessive, as they are today, the Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy Treasury bills and keep interest rates artificially low. But when new money is created out of nothing, the money already in circulation loses value. Once this is recognized, prices rise -- some more rapidly than others. That’s what we see today with the cost of energy.
“Exploding deficits, due to runaway entitlement spending and the cost of overseas engagements, create pressure for the Fed to inflate the money supply. This contributes greatly to the higher prices we’re all paying at the pump.
“If we want to do something about gas prices, Congress should greatly reduce federal spending, balance the budget, and eliminate regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels. All subsidies and special benefits to energy companies should be ended. And in the meantime, let’s eliminate federal gas taxes at the pump.
“Oil prices are at a level where consumers reduce consumption voluntarily. The market will work if we let it. But as great as the market economy is, it cannot overcome a foreign policy that is destined to disrupt oil supplies and threaten the world with an expanded and dangerous conflict in the Middle East.”
He makes some very good points - and Murtha in Mass. agrees with Paul - the ubber Libertarian.
If they both agree - might there not be something for Bush and the Repubs to consider?
More on Murtha and analysis...
Following is a letter from John Murtha, ranking member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, to the president:
“Dear Mr. President:
“While the world has been focused on the crisis in the Middle East, Iraq has exploded in violence. Some 6,000 Iraqis were killed in May and June, and sectarian and insurgent violence continues to claim American and Iraqi lives at an alarming rate. In the face of this onslaught, one can only conclude that the Baghdad security plan you announced five weeks ago is in great jeopardy.
“Despite the latest evidence that your administration lacks a coherent strategy to stabilize Iraq and achieve victory, there has been virtually no diplomatic effort to resolve sectarian differences, no regional effort to establish a broader security framework, and no attempt to revive a struggling reconstruction effort. Instead, we learned of your plans to redeploy an additional 5,000 U.S. troops into an urban war zone in Baghdad. Far from implementing a comprehensive ‘Strategy for Victory,’ as you promised months ago, your administration's strategy appears to be one of trying to avoid defeat.
“Meanwhile, U.S. troops and taxpayers continue to pay a high price as your administration searches for a policy. Over 2,500 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice, and over 18,000 others have been wounded. The Iraq war has also strained our military and constrained our ability to deal with other challenges. Readiness levels for the Army are at lows not seen since Vietnam, as virtually no active Army nondeployed combat brigade is prepared to perform its wartime missions. American taxpayers have already contributed over $300 billion, and each week we stay in Iraq adds nearly $3 billion more to our record budget deficit.
“In the interests of American national security, our troops, and our taxpayers, the open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained.
“Rather, we continue to believe that it is time for Iraqis to step forward and take the lead for securing and governing their own country. This is the principle enshrined in the ‘United States Policy in Iraq Act,’ enacted last year. This law declares 2006 to be a year of ‘significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq.’ Regrettably, your policy seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
“This legislation made clear that Iraqi political leaders must be informed that American patience, blood, and treasure are not unlimited. We were disappointed that you did not convey this message to Prime Minister Maliki during his recent visit. Reducing the U.S. footprint in Iraq will not only give the Iraqis a greater incentive to take the lead for the security of their own nation, but will also allow U.S. forces to be able to respond to contingencies affecting the security of the United States elsewhere in the world.
“We believe that a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq should begin before the end of 2006. U.S. forces in Iraq should transition to a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, training and logistical support of Iraqi security forces, and force protection of U.S. personnel.
“Additionally, every effort should be made to urge the Iraqis to take the steps necessary to achieve a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources. It is also essential to disarm the militias and ensure forces loyal to the national government. Finally, an international conference should be convened to persuade other governments to be more involved, and to secure the resources necessary to finance Iraq's reconstruction and rebuild its economy.
“Mr. President, simply staying the course in Iraq is not working. We need to take a new direction. We believe these recommendations comprise an effective alternative to the current open-ended commitment, which is not producing the progress in Iraq we would all like to see. Thank you for your careful consideration of these suggestions.”
It is time for the U.S. people to demand our troops come home. The quicker we admit we are the problem and not the solution, the quicker a solution will be found.
Ron Paul has it right. If we invade Iran, we might see gas prices as high as $6, or even $10, overnight. Yet this administration that has not done a single important thing right in six years somehow wants to rattle the cage in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.
“If we want to do something about gas prices, Congress should greatly reduce federal spending, balance the budget, and eliminate regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels.”
That last sentence says it all. Brazil even offered to sell ethanol to the U.S. at prices 35 cents a gallon cheaper than current U.S. prices. We foolishly turned them down. Instead, our policy involves corn subsidies, although corn is one of the least efficient ways to produce ethanol.
It is time for government to get out of the way and stop wasting trillions of dollars we do not have in places like Iraq. It is also time to stop wasting countless billions of dollars building bridges to nowhere in Alaska, and on failed programs like "affordable housing." The ownership society is a complete failure as implemented. The best way to promote ownership is to get out of the way and let the market do the work.
Government can get away with these things only because the voting public allows it.
It's long overdue that we take back America from the warmongers, big spenders, and bureaucrats who only know how to do two things: waste taxpayer money and wreak havoc on the world. Write your congressmen and let them know exactly how you feel (even if you feel differently than I do).
Mike Shedlock ~ “Mish”
from today's Whiskey and Gunpowder - Agora...
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|From: tsigprofit||8/10/2006 9:40:42 AM|
|O/T - I find the timing very suspicious, as it has been for the last 2-3 events reported. I know there are real threats all the time. We had them in 2000 with the Millenium threats - just as serious as now.|
This will never stop.
Treating it as a war does not work, IMO- as has been demonstrated so well since 2003 - as we went after the wrong bad actors.
There will always be things like this - just as we need police for crime, we will need responses to terrorism - but calling it a war doesn't make it a war.
I'm glad the authorities in the UK caught this. I have much more confidence in them than in the US officials. If the announcements came from US officials only - 2 days after major primary elections in the US - I would be very, very suspicious.
That's my 2 cents - let the experts do their work - but let's not scare everyone that we must hunker down and certainly don't question anyone in government - since we are "AT WAR" - I think this is a crock.
(I reposted here in this thread - in case there is further discussion)
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|From: xcr600||8/13/2006 2:02:04 PM|
|Al Gore YouTube Spoof Not So Amateurish|
Republican PR Firm Said to Be Behind 'Inconvenient Truth' Spoof
By JAKE TAPPER and MAX CULHANE
Aug. 4, 2006 — - A tiny little movie making fun of Al Gore, supposedly made by an amateur filmmaker, recently appeared on the popular Web site YouTube.com.
At first blush, the spoof seemed like a scrappy little homemade film poking fun at Gore and his anti-global warming crusade.
In the movie, Gore is seen boring an army of penguins with his lecture and blaming global warming for everything, including Lindsay Lohan's thinness.
But when the Wall Street Journal tried to find the guy who posted the film "Al Gore's Penguin Army" -- listed on YouTube as a 29-year-old -- they found the movie didn't come from an amateur working out of his basement.
The film actually came from a slick Republican public relations firm called DCI, which just happens to have oil giant Exxon as a client.
Exxon denies knowing anything about the film, and DCI says, "We do not disclose the names of our clients, nor do we discuss the work we do on behalf of our clients."
Distrust of Mainstream Media
Media ethicists say that if DCI is behind the spoof, they should fess up.
"Without the disclosure, it's really ethically questionable," said Diane Farsetta, a senior researcher at the Center for Media and Democracy.
Another question is why would this movie be done in a seemingly unprofessional way, to be shown alongside YouTube's mostly amateur videos, which feature lip-synching, odd performances and funny satires?
"They want it to look like this came from someone who really believes this, who is really critical of Al Gore and global warming," Farsetta said.
Ana Marie Cox, the Washington editor of Time.com, said Americans have come to distrust the mainstream media.
"They're more likely to believe something that comes straight from the horse's mouth," Cox said.
Public relations firms have long used computer technology to create bogus grassroots campaigns, which are called "Astroturf."
Now these firms are being hired to push illusions on the Internet to create the false impression of real people blogging, e-mailing and making films.
"People will become more savvy, and then the people who are making the fake videos will become more savvy about how to cover it up," Cox said.
So next time you're reading something on the Internet from a "real person" pushing a movie or defending an actor's alcohol-fueled rant -- be wary. That real person might actually be a hired gun, selling you an idea through deception.
Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures
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|From: tsigprofit||9/1/2006 12:25:45 AM|
|Heard another interesting piece on the radio today - NPR.|
About the American dream - or how well someone with zero assets can do today in America 2006 versus in other countries.
Advancement by merit for a person of merit born with zero assets, versus a person with few skills born with wealth in the US.
Previously, the idea had been that the person would have the best chance in America - but statistics don't bear that out anymore.
Canada, France, Denmark, and I believe Australia - all have a higher "dream score" now than the US in 2006. The US is near the bottom of industrialized countries on that list - the UK is 2nd. If we get rid of estate taxes, we can pass the UK, and end up on the bottom of the opportunity list.
They remarked that the "French Dream" doesn't have the same ring as the American dream used to though lol.
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