Envirowhackos, Socialists and the Left Wing Crackup

Democrats in Congress spar with their own supporters over whether to stop supporting the mission in Iraq today or next year. Envirowhackos stall a $12 billion mine development in Australia to save a 4 millimeter bug. Leftist poster boy Fidel Castro is opposing biofuels because they’ll take food out of the mouths of people in developing countries. The inevitable crackup of trying to run things through the politics of pull?

In Australia, a mine project has been stalled because “new” species of a 4-millimeter long relative of spiders that only dwells deep underground has been found on the site. Apparently the bureaucrats haven’t considered that perhaps this critter, whose value eludes me anyway, is only “new” because we don’t see most of what goes on deep underground.

It’s not necessarily that it’s the only spot that they’re found, it’s that it’s the first time anybody’s looked.

We’re going to hold up probably every major mining project as we identify new species of underground, troglobite fauna … nearly every project is at risk….

There’s a very high probability that they’ll find more of the species in surrounding regions. You might find in a 1000 square kilometre these things are prolific.

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro comes off his deathbed to pen a missive denouncing the US plans to increase use of ethanol as fuel, which he calls “the sinister idea of converting food into fuel.” I think what he really finds sinister is that, as long as he’s in power, the US won’t be using Cuban sugar to make that fuel and the idea that it might reduce demand for the oil wealth that Cuba is starting to develop. (Never mind that they’re developing it in international waters off the coast of Cuba where US companies are prohibited from drilling due to environmental policies supported by both Republicans and Democrats from Florida.). On the other hand, at least Castro is recognizing the basic reality of scarce resources, something few US socialists and almost no environmentalists recognize.

environment,ethanol,Cuba,oil

Spider-like troglobite stops $12 billion mine

Castro ends 8-month silence to slam US ethanol plans (2nd Roundup)

Castro’s revenge: The Cuban oil rush

Sen. Bill Nelson wants to block exploration and drilling less than 50 miles from Key West

Coals to Newcastle: Pet Food, Rat Poison and National Security

Apparently one of the biggest consumer recalls in history is the result of importing Chinese wheat to Kansas. Wheat from China, as in “there are kids starving in China,” being imported to “breadbasket of the world” Kansas. Talk about potential negative fallout…

  • For free trade. The “Fair Trade” lobby will be asking the obvious question – why was wheat being imported to Kansas? (And probably finding the obvious answer – Chinese government subsidies.)
  • For agriculture subsidy reform. The farm lobby will go nuts with this one. “This proves that the American family farmer needs your support.” (And just when the Bush administration is trying to do something about capping subsidies to millionaire farmers.)
  • For trade with China specifically. Minor contamination is one thing, but contamination in sufficient quantities to turn 60 million servings of food into a lethal poison? There’s something seriously wrong there. It makes one mad cow look like nothing and we know how countries respond to reports of one mad cow.

As for that thing that is seriously wrong here…does this look to anyone else like a dry run at using the food supply for terrorism? Even worse, could it be a real attack by terrorists who didn’t realize the wheat they were poisoning was destined for pets? Even if it was neither, the poisoning certainly points to a gaping hole in our national security when literally tons of contaminated food can make it to store shelves before poison is found. Seven people were poisoned by cyanide in Tylenol in 1982 and we’ve had to deal with trying to pry foil caps and plastic seals off painkillers, adding figurative to literal headache ever since. What’s the plastic seal for a multi-ton shipment of food commodities?

pet food,rat poison,terrorism,food supply

Rat poison found in deadly pet food

Menu plans brief shutdown of Emporia Plant

Carry Coals to Newcastle

Halloween poisonings and Tylenol Urban Legends Page

Memo to Patrick Fitzgerald: Indict Valerie Plame

Politicians lie and, despite her claims to the contrary Valerie Plame (or Plame-Wilson as she’s now styling herself), is and was a politician and a bureaucrat, not a “covert operative. But, like everyone else politicians are expected not to lie under oath.

A policy of advocating regime change in Iraq was not merely the policy of the Bush administration, it was the law of the United States enacted by Congress in 1998. Plame conspired to send her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to manufacture evidence to undermine a minor detail of the Bush administration’s case for forcing that regime change. Then last week, she lied to Congress about doing so:

REP. LYNCH: Now, I want to ask you, the suggestion that you were involved in sending your husband seemed to drive the leaks in an effort to discount his credibility. I want to ask you now under oath: Did you make the decision to send Ambassador Wilson to Niger?

MS. PLAME WILSON: No. I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved — I didn’t have the authority.

Of course, had she answered Lynch’s question “Did you make the decision…” she would have been truthful, but she went much further. She certainly did recommend and suggest him. There’s testimony and a paper trail showing she did.

It may not be a crime for an unelected bureaucrat in the spook factory with a political agenda to actively attempt to undermine the foreign policy of the United States, but it undeniably is a crime for that bureaucrat to lie under oath to a Congressional committee. Her perjury is even more pernicious than Scooter Libby’s, where his criminal action was covering up something that was not illegal and, hence, probably not illegal to keep quiet. Her perjury is a continuation of the bigger, if unwritten, crime of an unelected spy attempting to carry off a foreign policy coup.

Plame, is primarily responsible, along with her husband, for opening the whole can of worms in the first place, for setting in place a series of actions culminating in a prison sentence for Mr. Libby and these Congressional hearings. If she did not want to testify truthfully when, inevitably, called to testify, it was in the Wilson’s power to shut down the whole fiasco by not creating the situation in the first place. Scooter Libby had no such power and was an almost unwitting bit actor in the Wilson’s play. If it’s just for Libby to be convicted of perjury, justice cries out for an indictment against Valerie Plame for her material lies under oath.

Libby,Plame,Wilson,coup

So now biofuel is bad?

More from the damned if you do, damned if you don’t world of professional Bush-bashing and with the usual dose of outright ignorance included. Bush is in Latin America, promoting better housing, health care and education for the region’s poor. This is part and parcel of the Bush administration policy of focusing on Latin America and Asia, instead of the decaying countries of Western Europe. The overall policy runs back to the earliest days of the administration and the first Bush campaign and its quiet, continued implementation is one of the great success stories of the administration. But the Bush-bashers are painting his trip promoting what could best be described as a liberal, progressive agenda as nothing more than an attempt to erode the power base of the left’s newest favorite Marxist popinjay, Hugo Chavez. But I digress…

Today Bush is promoting another leftist plank – biofuels. Specifically he’s announcing an agreement with Brazil to share and promote new ethanol production techniques. This should be cause for some celebration at places like CNN, right? Perhaps even a grudging admission that Bush is doing something right is in order? Nah! He’s just trying to start an “OPEC-like cartel on ethanol.” Here’s Bush doing something that liberals ought to be praising and instead they come up with a completely nutty assessment of what he’s up to. An OPEC-like cartel on ethanol? Where to begin…

Okay, how about with the easy part. For a cartel to work there have to be barriers to entry, conditions which prevent new competitors from entering the market. A cartel on oil production is relatively easy since oil production has to happen where the oil is and there are at most a couple of dozen countries with enough excess oil to export it after meeting their own needs. Ethanol on the other hand? It takes a source of sugar or, with a bit more work involved, starch, water and yeast. Is there a country that produces beer, wine or vodka? That country is already making ethanol. If wine can be made in a bathtub by a college student, ethanol for fuel isn’t enough of a challenge to allow for a “cartel.”

Aside from the ridiculous notion that a “cartel on ethanol” is even possible, if Bush were starting one, I doubt it would be “OPEC-like”. What are the two main characteristics of the OPEC cartel?

  1. Nationalizing the oil industry
  2. Production quotas set by an international organization

Do Bush’s professional detractors really imagine a Republican President elected by “red state” farmers implementing a program of nationalizing farms and surrendering regulation of farm output to a supranational “government”? Even if the concepts didn’t run against the philosophy of the Bush team, the farmers would likely show the liberals pretty quickly that there are good alternatives to impeachment when you don’t like a President.

And they haven’t even started the contortions to explain why Bush would do this when they claim (ludicrously if they actually read his bio) that he’s got a financial interest in “Big Oil”. This conspiracy theory is going to be a tough sell, but if the left is successful, it will prove what H.L. Mencken said about democracy – the people know what they want and deserve to get it, good and hard.

OPEC,ethanol,Brazil,Bush

U.S. signs controversial biofuels pact with Brazil