GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs) was just used for the first time in combat. This is our largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal (a 21,000lb bomb). Thank you ISIS for being the prime “real world” test platform for the MOAB. God’s speed to hell. (See more at the WASHINGTON TIMES)
✦ Nicknamed the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ ✦ The world’s largest non-nuclear weapon ✦ Each bomb costs around $16 million (£12.8 million) ✦ Its explosion is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT and the blast radius is a mile wide ✦ First tested by US forces in 2003 ✦ It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area ✦ 30 feet (9 metres) long and 40 inches (1 metre) wide ✦ Weighs 21,000lbs (9,500kg) – heavier than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb ✦ Blast radius stretches a mile in each direction ✦ Leaves no lasting radiation effect
HOW IT IS DEPLOYED
✦ The bomb has ‘grid’ fins that fold into the body during carriage ✦ It can only be deployed out of the back of large cargo plane due to its size ✦ The bomb rides on a pallet – a parachute pulls the pallet and bomb out of the plane ✦ The pallet then separates so that the bomb can fall to its target ✦ The bomb’s grid fins extend to help control the bomb’s descent ✦ It accelerates rapidly to its terminal velocity and is partially guided to its target via satellite ✦ It explodes six feet (1.8 metres) above the ground ✦ The idea behind this ‘airburst’ mechanism is to spread its destructive range
…..“The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Davis’s statement continued. “Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”
A U.S. military official told USNI News that Russian forces in the country were given a “heads up” ahead of the launch of the missiles. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. did not seek Moscow’s permission for the strike.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves on the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that “I don’t believe this is a message; I believe this is actually a tactical action that furthers an objective, which is important. My guess is, and I think you’ll see confirmation of it shortly, al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from with fixed-wing aircraft a couple days ago, is going to be the target, and that is the airfield from which the chemical attacks were launched. It’s also a critical point in a part of the country where they’re battling rebels, non-ISIS rebels, in the northern part of Syria. So as I said, it’s an important and decisive step that was taken. It is not a message; it is an actual degrading of the capability of Syrian regime to carry out further chemical attacks against innocent civilians. This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air, and I think it was an important step and hopefully it’s part of a comprehensive strategy moving forward to bring to a close this chaos that’s happening in Syria.”
Asked about the significance of this first attack in the bigger context of the ongoing situation in Syria, Rubio told Cooper, “I’m not saying this accomplishes everything, but I am telling you that this is the area from which those chemical attacks were launched and where we were going to see future attacks come from, particularly targeting innocent civilians in an area where the regime felt it was losing territory after making significant gains.”….
…Washington has NO DOUBT that the Syrian SU-22 bomber which Tuesday dropped a sarin gas bomb on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, killing up to 100 people, was a joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian gambit to divert the Trump administration from a comprehensive plan for Syria. As US President and commander-in-chief he could not ignore this provocation.
Our sources report that the new US administration’s plans for Syria center on an offensive to evict the Islamic State from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, a mission for which US military preparations have been going forward for the past two weeks at five centers. To this operation Moscow, Tehran and Damascus were not averse. But that operation was also designed to rid Syria of Iranian and Hizballah forces – to which they were.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite previous agreements, Syria had not surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile, and accused Russia of “failing in its responsibility to deliver on its commitment” to supervise the surrender of those chemical weapons. “Either Russia has been complicit or simply incompetent in its ability to deliver,” Tillerson continued.
The question now is whether Vladimir Putin will decide to hit back at the US operation. Russia did not retaliate for the Israel air strike on March 17 over the northern Syrian T4 air base. If Putin chooses to sit on his hands once again, the same question may be addressed to Iran and Hizballah.
Very possibly, Trump and Putin reached accord on the limits of the US punitive attack in Syrian in long hours of debate during the day between the US State and Defense Departments and the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries, which were first reported by DEBKAfile 24 hours ago. Pentagon sources report that Washington gave Moscow advance warning of the coming US attack on the Syrian Shayrat base where Russian air force units are also deployed.
Follow-up US military action may yet come after the US president asserted that for him, “many, many lines were crossed” by Assad’s chemical attack and his attitude towards Syria had changed….
(THE BLAZE) During her concert Friday, Miranda Lambert began to sing her emotional ballad, “The House That Built Me.” Then something the country star noticed near the Hartford, Connecticut, stage made her stop the song and begin to cry. No doubt Lambert has eyed plenty of signs at her shows over the years, but this one she just had to share with her audience. It was from a soldier…..
This post is not to diminish a horrible and tragic act of suicide, it is just bringing some sober thoughts to the all too commonly used 22-vets a day commit suicide. If you want the skinny now without the long post to follow, here it is:
A more recent study, which surveyed 1.3 million veterans who were discharged between 2001 and 2007, found that “Between 2001 and 2009, there were 1650 deployed veterans and 7703 non-deployed veteran deaths. Of those, 351 were suicides among deployed veterans and 1517 were suicides among non-deployed veterans. That means over nine years, there was not quite one veteran suicide a day,” according to the Washington Post.
This stat is spread to merely to promote politicians at the expense of truth… would be my guess.
The things to pull from the above 2011 video are:
Its not deployment (PTSD);
Its not financial reasons;
It is the same age group in the general population that commit suicide.
This post is a combination of a newer report from FOX News (above) and an older post from my old blog in May of 2009. First however, I will deal with the 22-vets commit suicide every day number: The L.A. Times notes the following:
That number comes from a study published in early 2013 by researchers at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. But the recent wars were not the study’s primary focus. In fact, they play a minor role in veteran suicides overall.
The VA researchers used death records from 21 states to come up with a 2010 national estimate for veterans of all ages. As a group, veterans are old. Military service being far rarer than it was in the days of the draft, more than 91% of the nation’s 22 million veterans are at least 35 years old, and the overwhelming majority did not serve in the post-9/11 era.
About 72% of veterans are at least 50. It is not surprising, then, that the VA found that people in this age group account for 69% of veteran suicides — or more than 15 of the 22 per day.
Many experts believe that the farther a veteran is from military service, the less likely it is that his or her suicide has anything to do with his or her time in uniform. In other words, many older veterans are killing themselves for the same reasons that other civilians in the same age group kill themselves: depression and other mental health problems coupled with difficult life circumstances.
The VA analysis does not attempt to determine rates of veteran suicide or how they compare with rates for people who never served.
One more step was required to make the comparisons relevant. California veterans under 35 are about 80% male, and nearly half are over 29. A straight comparison to the general population in that age group would be less than ideal, since suicide and accident rates vary significantly by gender and age.
The Times adjusted the non-veteran death rates so they reflected the age and gender mix of the veteran population.
As the story explained, suicide and accident rates were substantially higher for veterans. Over the six years examined by The Times, 329 California veterans under 35 took their own lives. That amounts to an average annual rate of 27 suicides per 100,000 veterans.
If that rate were to hold true across the country, about 530 young veterans are committing suicide each year — roughly 1.5 each day…
In a very recent conversation that has expanded my thinking a bit on this topic… is that… people hear 22-vets commit suicide and then rush to pass political bills that help with:
physical pain not managed by meds,
and difficult reintegration,
But ~ this mainly deals with the suicides of young vets returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [which AGAIN, are not 22-a-day!].
Since the bulk of the suicides are in the 50-year old range, those “fix-its” are missing most of the veterans that need something else.
What was just pointed out to me as well that fighting cancer or other serious illnesses increase the probability of suicide. For instance:
The researchers found that, in all countries combined, the number of suicides observed among the breast cancer patients was 37% higher than expected, on the basis of general population rates. That figure translates into four extra suicides per 100,000 person-years, according to the study’s lead author, Catherine Schairer, Ph.D., of NCI’s division of cancer epidemiology and genetics. In the United States, 245 breast cancer survivors committed suicide, making the risk 50% greater than would be normally expected, she said.
Just to be clear –veterans– who could be retired for decades, get cancer treatments [even if successful], and for whatever variable of reasons, commits suicide due to depression caused by this serious illness… this is wrapped up in the suicide statistics.
…Although any illness can trigger depressed feelings, the risk of chronic illness and depression gets higher with the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes. The risk of depression is generally 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men. However, people with a chronic illness face a much higher risk — between 25-33%. Risk is especially high in someone who has a history of depression.
Depression caused by chronic disease often makes the condition worse, especially if the illness causes pain and fatigue or it limits a person’s ability to interact with others. Depression can intensify pain, as well as fatigue and sluggishness. The combination of chronic illness and depression might lead you to isolate yourself, which is likely to make the depression even worse…
So the older members of the veteran community have these same maladies, and these statistics from serious illnesses SURELY play a roll VERSUS merely “being in the military.”
WHAT we can do orHOWwe can help the vets is something I cannot answer.
But if all you have is the VA to help in your fight against cancer or heart disease, PTSD, or prompt medical responses to any number of things — getting a more private response versus “government care” is the answer that I think would help the most.
When all the factors of gender, race, age, etc. are plugged into the suicide rate in the military: if your son or daughter join the military their chances of commiting suicide lessen slightly. You combine this with other healthy activities such as marriage, regular church attendance, etc… and the rate drops even lower. There are many factors at play in this post, a person’s predisposition, religiousity, serious illness, etc. — it isn’t “cut’n’dry” in other words. ALLthat being said, my main purpose of this post however is to deal with media myths and bad media headlines.
I have recently come across this wonderful blogger/retired physician. Her name is Nancy Reyes, her catalogued articles can be found at the Blogger News Network, and her blog is not typically about political affairs at all: FinestKind Clinic and Fish Market. (She mainly writes on health issues or food.) How, you may ask did I come across this blogger/physician? Well, I overheard in a conversation someone mention the high suicide rates of our military are higher than the rest of the country. I remember hearing Michael Medved (if memory serves) going through the stats and correcting a caller on this subject. But very similar to other stats used by politicians in the past few elections (just as examples) these stats are easily shown to be misstated or misused. When I hear people make these claims – suicide rates of our military, unequal pay between genders, anthropogenic global warming, and the like — I often think how these people can make decisions and assumptions on statements made by media that has been proven to be biased time-and-time again.
There have been many studies done on where NPR for instance comes down on the side of the abortion controversy with how many stories and experts who give their input on the matter; the amount of “experts” brought in to support the Palestinian view of things versus how many people they bring in to support the Israeli view of the conflict; the amount of pro-2nd Amendment versus how many stories it lines up with “experts” who are for more gun regulation. The graph below is an example of NPR’s use of conservative versus liberal think tanks in the presentation of their stories (see graph below):
Heck, there are whole sites committed to following and exposing NPR’s biased reporting, one is NPR Sucks, for example. Another small article shows why this seems to be the case, a liberal slant to reporting that is, is one entitled, “Few Reporters Describe Themselves as Conservatives.” This isn’t a “big conspiracy,” rather, it is a culture born in the universities about 40 years ago. All this being said, I think the below articles are a must read. The reader should see my already mentioned link to ad to his or her understanding of how stats are misused. While keeping those examples in mind, the crux of the misuse of the below stats is this:
By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Suicide attempts are more common in the female population, but the men who try it succeed at a higher rate. Taking this higher rate in men (which the military is primarily composed of) and then comparing this to the population as a whole (men and women in other words) is skewing the results.
Last week, it was CBS jiggling the numbers to bash the war in Iraq by stating Veterans had a suicide rate of 18, much higher than the civilian population’s rate of 11 (ignoring that it was only slightly higher than the suicide rate for men, which was 17, and a heck of a lot lower than the rate for doctors, which is 30/100 000 per year).
The problem? the number “80%” implies a huge increase. But in statistics, if you start with a small number, it doesn’t take a large number to get a huge increase.
So the actual numbers are an increase from 0.7 % to 0.9%. For those of you who are numerically challenged, both those numbers are less than one percent:
According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier.
Many of the desertions are soldiers who don’t want to go back to a war, but many are about soldiers with family problems. Many wives and families are severely stressed by their husband or wife going overseas, and sometimes soldiers just disappear because their families need them more than the Army. Often they report in later, and get an administrative discharge. The article implies the majority are war protesters and says that Canada no longer welcomes them, but the article does not give hard data on this.
Many just don’t like the Army, and it has nothing to do with the war. This NYTimes article notes that the number who actually deserted the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan was 109 (out of the 1 million military who served in these areas since 2003). The real worry is that some of the deserters are not anti war as much as suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and cannot face staying in the military. Others have family problems, such as spouses theatening child custody or divorce. The military is sensitive to these problems, and tries to work out helping the soldier rather than punishing him or her.
As a comparison, the article admits that during Viet Nam, the desertion rate was 5%, and many were for being against that war.
Finally, if you go down to the end of the article, you find the desertion rates for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force are either stable or have gone down.
Nope, can’t publish good news, folks, let’s just move along…
Yup….just ignore the headline.
The war in Iraq is going well, so we have to find bad news to report…..
But just wait a week. Christmas is coming and the MSM will start their annual deluge of articles explaining why Christ was just a myth and Christians are delusional.
During World War II, PTSD was an even more serious problem. In the European Theater, 25 percent of all casualties were serious PTSD cases, compared to about 20 percent today. In the Pacific Theater, the rate varied widely, depending on the campaign. In some of the most intense fighting, like Okinawa in 1945, PTSD accounted for over a third of all wounded. In Iraq, less than ten percent of the wounded are PTSD, but the more troops serve in a combat zone, in combat jobs, the more likely they are to develop PTSD. This has been known for over a century.
One of the results of this is, alas, suicide.
The annual suicide statistics of the military/VA have been released.
The good news? The suicide rate remains low.
The bad news? The press is spinning the numbers to fit into the “Evil Iraq war is killing soldiers” and “the Military doesn’t care about the soldiers” meme (to fit the ultimate meme: Evil Bush’s war and evil Republicans don’t care).
Well, never mind the politics. I’m a doctor. Suicide is a major public health problem in the US (and in many countries). But there are a lot of myths out there.
The story is not half bad, but you have to dig into the actual statistics to find the details.
As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.
Well, one would expect a higher rate of returning veterans, who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.
Problem: By not placing it into the context of total number of those who served in the Army, we cannot do a comparison.
But the third paragraph is the real problem:
Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.
That, my friends, is spin.
You see, suicide rates vary by age and by sex.
Although women have a higher rate of attempted suicide, men die of suicide at a much higher rate than the general population.
The rate of suicide of the general population is 19.5
The rate of suicide in men from the ages of 20 to 35 in 1980 was 24.
The rate of suicide in women from the ages of 20 to 35 was 5.
By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Certain groups: older men, alcoholics, minorities, and those with mental health problems, have a higher rate also.
So CNN assures us:
According to the VA, about 46 of 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 29 utilizing VA services committed suicide in 2006, compared with about 27 the year before.
A very high rate. Except this is not the general population: this is the rate of those using the VA services, including those with mental health problems. By eliminating the healthy from the statistics, it makes the rate look higher than if the numbers included the entire population of military personnel.
The rest of the article goes on to say the VA is going to improve care for those with PTSS and depression.
So it’s not like nothing is being done: they are just trying to improve the care of the veterans.
For example, unmentioned in the article is that a pre 2001 program in the AirForce was credited with lowering it’s suicide rate from 16.4 yo 9.4 per 100 000 in two years.
Ironically, the article citing the Air Force is not about military suicides, but about suicides in physicians.
Eva Schernhammer and Graham Colditz examined the results of 25 studies of physician suicides and concluded that male doctors killed themselves at a rate 41 percent higher than that of other men and women. The more startling finding was that female doctors take their lives at a rate more than twice (2.27 times) that of the general public.
The following is just a couple reasons I am not a fan of Dr. Benjamin Carson in the 2016 Republican primaries. Now, this is of a different tone than my rejection of Ron Paul in years past. At worst Ron Paul is an anti-Semite, even going as far as thinking we were behind 9/11. At best he surrounds his professional career with anti-Semites and 9/11 conspiracy types. A “guilt by proxy” idea, which is more powerful than “guilt by association.”
This post is different however. I like Dr. Ben Carson. I think he would do great in a position like the head of NIH (National Institute of Health), or as head of HHS (Health and Human Services). He would be very effective in an area like that to be front and center in explaining how the implementation of Obama-care is devastating the health industry as well as the patient/doctor relationship.
This post is merely me saying that Dr. Ben Carson is not Presidential material. And the reasons are economics, environment, foreign policy, and being able to respond well to cultural issues.
Let’s start with economics:
Here is a recent CATO article responding to a Robert Reich video about raising the minimum wage:
…Perhaps the most remarkable flaw in this video is Reich’s manner of addressing the bedrock economic objection to the minimum wage – namely, that minimum wage prices some low-skilled workers out of jobs. Ignoring supply-and-demand analysis (which depicts the correct common-sense understanding that the higher the minimum wage, the lower is the quantity of unskilled workers that firms can profitably employ), Reich asserts that a higher minimum wage enables workers to spend more money on consumer goods which, in turn, prompts employers to hire more workers. Reich apparently believes that his ability to describe and draw such a “virtuous circle” of increased spending and hiring is reason enough to dismiss the concerns of “scare-mongers” (his term) who worry that raising the price of unskilled labor makes such labor less attractive to employers.
Ignore (as Reich does) that any additional amounts paid in total to workers mean lower profits for firms or higher prices paid by consumers – and, thus, less spending elsewhere in the economy by people other than the higher-paid workers.
Ignore (as Reich does) the extraordinarily low probability that workers who are paid a higher minimum wage will spend all of their additional earnings on goods and services produced by minimum-wage workers.
Ignore (as Reich does) the impossibility of making people richer simply by having them circulate amongst themselves a larger quantity of money. (If Reich is correct that raising the minimum wage by $7.75 per hour will do nothing but enrich all low-wage workers to the tune of $7.75 per hour because workers will spend all of their additional earnings in ways that make it profitable for their employers to pay them an additional $7.75 per hour, then it can legitimately be asked: Why not raise the minimum wage to $150 per hour? If higher minimum wages are fully returned to employers in the form of higher spending by workers as Reich theorizes, then there is no obvious limit to the amount by which government can hike the minimum wage before risking an increase in unemployment.)
Focus instead on Reich’s apparent complete ignorance of the important concept of the elasticity of demand for labor. This concept refers to the responsiveness of employers to changes in wage rates. It’s true that if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “inelastic,” then a higher minimum wage would indeed put more money into the pockets of unskilled workers as a group. The increased pay of workers who keep their jobs more than offsets the lower pay of worker who lose their jobs. Workers as a group could then spend more in total. But if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “elastic,” then raising the minimum wage reduces, rather than increases, the amount of money in the pockets of unskilled workers as a group. When the demand for labor is elastic, the higher pay of those workers fortunate enough to keep their jobs is more than offset by the lower pay of workers who lose their jobs. So total spending by minimum-wage workers would likely fall, not rise.
By completely ignoring elasticity, Reich assumes his conclusion. That is, he simply assumes that raising the minimum wage raises the total pay of unskilled workers (and, thereby, raises the total spending of such workers). Yet whether or not raising the minimum wage has this effect is among the core issues in the debate over the merits of minimum-wage legislation. Even if (contrary to fact) increased spending by unskilled workers were sufficient to bootstrap up the employment of such workers, raising the minimum wage might well reduce the total amount of money paid to unskilled workers and, thus, lower their spending….
Dr. Carson’s positions and responses to key issues facing our Republic are lacking depth. As a medical professional he should have had a better answer when asked about homosexuality other than:
“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
That was a bad answer, and most people would recognize that. And a person of decency and intelligence might respond to his statement by refuting it with logic and reason, by pointing out the myriad flaws in his analogy…
That is weak! And this non-professional conservative-Evangelical blogger can supply a better response than that one without throwing fellow conservatives [or conservatarians] who happen to be gay, under the bus in such a low-level response.
And this next section is merely an interview between Dr. Ben Carson and Hugh Hewitt (the transcript is here). And having a son in the military and knowing his peers that serve alongside him I want someone who is serious about the Middle-East.
As an update to this post, I think HotAir does a great job in showing how Dr. Carson says one things about supporting the free market… and then in the next sentence refuting completely the previous position:
Carson, in his first speech in the state as a candidate, was asked by a voter about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their gasoline and diesel supplies.
“I don’t particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market,” Carson said, according to The Des Moines Register.
Not bad. Subsidies in general are detrimental. If he’d only stopped there. But sadly, he didn’t.
“Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.
How much wrong can you package into just one sentence? First of all… thirty percent blends? We’re fighting like mad to hold the line against E-15 as it is. I don’t even need to go back over all the reasons why yet again in this article. But let’s move on to the other half of that pitch.
He’s suggesting cutting subsidies for domestic energy companies in the oil and gas industry. Not for everyone, mind you. Just them. And then reallocating that money away from fossil fuels and into ethanol processing. Just five seconds before that Carson had been claiming that he didn’t want anyone interfering with the free market, but now he’s saying to cherry pick one specific set of companies in the energy sector, remove a subsidy from them, and then redirect it to benefit the ethanol industry? It’s difficult to imagine a more egregious example of the government picking winners and losers, with the winners just happening to be in the first caucus state.
Second, calling out the “subsidies for Big Oil” is the language of the Left, and as usual it’s complete horse hockey. As anyone who follows this topic knows, the subsidies received by oil and gas companies are not specific to them. They are precisely the same as subsidies given to almost anyone who sells anything, including Apple and Microsoft among so many others. In fact, you couldn’t just cancel the subsidies to the fossil fuel segment of the energy industry without rewriting the rules entirely just to exclude them. That’s a left wing, anti-energy talking point and Carson should be embarrassed to be saying it in front of an ostensibly conservative crowd.
On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that “air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year … We need to get a sense of priority.” That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.
Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like “renewable” energy.
“The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world,” says Lomborg, “they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”
That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists — and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water….
Liberalism = Death
Ethanol is killing children around the world… Democrats! It takes 450lbs of Corn to fill one SUV tank… that is a years worth of food for multiple children, not to mention the rise of corn-based food for the poor worldwide.
And while Gateway mentions is, this is actually old news. For instance, I quoted economist Walter Williams back in March of 2008 saying,
…Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank. That’s enough corn to feed one person for a year. Plus, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel — oil and natural gas — to produce one gallon of ethanol. After all, corn must be grown, fertilized, harvested and trucked to ethanol producers — all of which are fuel-using activities. And, it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. On top of all this, if our total annual corn output were put to ethanol production, it would reduce gasoline consumption by 10 or 12 percent.
Ethanol is so costly that it wouldn’t make it in a free market. That’s why Congress has enacted major ethanol subsidies, about $1.05 to $1.38 a gallon, which is no less than a tax on consumers. In fact, there’s a double tax — one in the form of ethanol subsidies and another in the form of handouts to corn farmers to the tune of $9.5 billion in 2005 alone.
There’s something else wrong with this picture. If Congress and President Bush say we need less reliance on oil and greater use of renewable fuels, then why would Congress impose a stiff tariff, 54 cents a gallon, on ethanol from Brazil? Brazilian ethanol, by the way, is produced from sugar cane and is far more energy efficient, cleaner and cheaper to produce.
Ethanol production has driven up the prices of corn-fed livestock, such as beef, chicken and dairy products, and products made from corn, such as cereals. As a result of higher demand for corn, other grain prices, such as soybean and wheat, have risen dramatically. The fact that the U.S. is the world’s largest grain producer and exporter means that the ethanol-induced higher grain prices will have a worldwide impact on food prices….
The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule — which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Jan Morgan is the first in my updated reasons for Ben Carson not getting my enthusiasm:
Dr. Ben Carson, on Fox News tonight said he and Al Sharpton have the same goal.
Carson on Fox: “Mr. Sharpton and I have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten. ” (end quote)
Only an idiot would truly believe that Al Sharpton has the goal to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten..
Al Sharpton is about himself.. period..
He has exploited black people and race for the advancement of his own personal exposure at a great expense to our country and race relations.
Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Reverend Wright are 3 people NO ONE seeking the office of President, should have ANY association with in any fashion.
All three are enemies of our Constitutional Republic… [BAM!]
This is one that bothers me, it is when politicians speak about the Second Amendment and “semi-automtic” weapons. If Carson thinks the “life” in the Declaration is immutable, why not the 2nd Amendment as an immutable right?
Answer, because Carson does not think the Constitution provides rights, but the government does. And so the government can defines these rights… “well a baby isn’t human u-n-t-i-l-l…” ~or~ “the Constitution only meant you to have a 7-round clip…” etc.
When Government see’s itself in the place of God, slippery slopes happen often. In this case, God given rights are only applicable if you live in the suburbs:
Appearing on Glenn Beck‘s radio show this past week, Dr. Benjamin Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.
Carson became a newfound conservative herolast month when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and laid out a series of criticisms of ObamaCare, political correctness, and tax policy right in front of the president himself. Many called the speech “inappropriate” given the apolitical nature of the event, but many conservatives lauded Carson for his “bold” and “sensible” suggestions for policy reform.
Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: “There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.”
But when asked whether people should be allowed to own “semi-automatic weapons,” the doctor replied: “It depends on where you live.”…