Tom Rants Default Rantlets: Professional media, ethanol, the value of Rice and pointless elections

Rantlets: Professional media, ethanol, the value of Rice and pointless elections



  • Another shining example of the superiority of the “professional media.” The Washington Post quotes and let’s slide this misrepresentation (or error) by Jennifer Hoelzer, a spokesperson for Oregon Senator Ron Wyden:

    The Geneva Convention in most cases is the only shield that Americans have when they are captured overseas,

    Sorry, Jennifer and WaPo, you fail. Retake the class. The only shield Americans have in most cases is the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The last time an American was captured as a POW by a Geneva Convention signatory may have been during the first Gulf War. I’m not aware of any recent capture of a US civilian during time of war (where the 4th Geneva Convention would apply). US citizens are arrested in foreign countries signatory to the Vienna Convention on a fairly regular basis, I’d guess at least several thousand times more often than the other cases. (I’m not taking a position on the treatment of prisoners by the CIA here – Republican primary voters have spoken, we don’t believe in waterboarding anymore and President Bush needs to coordinate with President-elect McCain on this. I’m just pointing out a serious error by the media-government complex.)
    Administration Says Particulars May Trump Geneva Protections

  • Turns out John McCain was right on ethanol back when the issue was losing him the Iowa caucus. Corn, used to produce ethanol in the US, has hit record prices. Rice, a close substitute, has hit record prices and experienced supply disruptions and hoarding. And it turns out that making ethanol from corn (at least with current methods of growing the corn, hauling the corn and making the ethanol) probably uses more oil than it saves and produces more greenhouse gases than using gasoline. It also turns out that ethanol and biodiesel are the least water efficient energy sources on a gallons per BTU basis. Natural gas and coal gasification (aka “clean coal”) are the most water efficient.

    The issue here isn’t that alternative sources of energy are a bad idea, or even that government shouldn’t have any role in promoting R & D, but that decisions made by centralized bureaucracies hostile to markets and the individual creativity they unleash are a bad idea. I’ve written before and I’m sure I’ll write again that other than freeing up markets to produce more the only energy policy we need is a tax credit (or, if the income tax were to disappear, a direct subsidy) on domestic production that applies equally to conventional and alternative sources.

  • And on the issue of Rice, ABC News is asking this question about a past President and the next Vice President:

    Who is telling the truth, Jimmy Carter or Condoleezza Rice?

    I’m not sure the question really matters. Unless the State Department asked Carter to go to the Middle East, he didn’t have any business negotiating with Hamas. He’s not President anymore. The American people tossed him out of office 28 years ago. The State Department didn’t need to explicitly tell him not to act as if he was any more authorized than any other private citizen. When all the State Department has to say is “We didn’t authorize it” and they say “We counseled against it,” I’m going with the State Department telling the truth and Carter, at best, misunderstanding.

  • For those who may not read comments, Colin Williams of shared this yesterday:

    ‘We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.
    On one side, you have a lawyer who is married to a lawyer, and a lawyer who is married to a lawyer.
    On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a blonde with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.
    Is there a contest here?’

    And one of the lawyers was even disbarred.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: