Law. Not War.

by Steve, May 31st, 2006

politics entryHere ya go, Wacky Mommy, my first entry in a while. The execution of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha by apparently rampaging marines last November has left me rattled. But ethically, how are their deaths any worse than the tens of thousands of civilians killed in this conflict? The responsibility for these 24 and all the other thousands must ultimately be layed at the feet of those who instigated this awful conflagration.

This incident should serve to point out that the whole bloody adventure is a crime, in fact “the supreme crime”, to quote Nuremberg prosecuter Robert H. Jackson. “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of whole,” wrote Jackson.

How can it be that in 1945 the we accepted Jackson’s premise that “It is high time that we act on the juridical principle that aggressive war-making is illegal and criminal,” but in 2006 it is up for debate?

You can read more about Jackson and the concept of replacing war with the rule of law on fellow Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz’s site.

The dirty little secret about bio fuel

by Steve, May 12th, 2006

politicsSo while I’m on a rant roll about enviro-yuppies and their Prius fetishes, hows about biodiesel? More and more you see (at least in Portland) old beater VWs and Mercedes diesels with “powered by biodiesel” bumper stickers. The good news: When your stuck behind them on the freeway, they stink like over-cooked french fries, not a belching diesel truck.

The bad news (and this is really, seriously bad news for the enviro-weenies who drive them): producing liquid fuel from biomass is horrendously inefficient. It takes 27% more energy to produce biodiesel from soybeans than you get back in terms of usable fuel. It takes 118% more to produce it from sunflowers. That’s right, you evil do-gooders, you’re wasting more fossil fuel by switching to biodiesel.

Ethanol’s no good, either. The best source, corn, requires 29% more energy to produce than you get back.

Check out this brief story about a study by Cornell professor David Pimentel. It would appear that the gubmint push for biofuel (amounting to some $3 billion in tax-payer funded subsidies to ethanol refiners) is nothting but pork for agribusiness (my conclusion, not Pimentel’s) .


by Steve, May 10th, 2006

What? Himself dishing? Sure, what the hell.

Our neighbors really like to think of themselves as environmentalists. When it came time to buy a new vehicle, they were really conflicted because there aren’t any hybrid mini-vans out there. So they got a mini-mini-van, the Mazda 5 (or is it 6?). It’s a cool vehicle, really. I think it’s the smallest car you can get with three rows of seating (seats 6). But (now get this) they got it in a 5-speed because “mileage is really important to us.” Uh. Okay. So I’m thinking, with modern technology, a 5-speed automatic is proably just about as efficient as a 5-speed manual. Sure enough, the EPA ratings are 1 MPG less for the auto. And if the environment is that important to them, why are they buying a vehicle that seats 6 for their family of 3?

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Todos somos inmigrantes

by Steve, May 2nd, 2006

Todos somos inmigrantes - We are all immigrantsIt’s true: We are all immigrants. The history of human development is a history of human migration.

I told my friend Anthony in Minneopolis that I wanted to make a bumper sticker and he suggested one that says “I’m tired of paying cheaper prices for food and services and I want there to be delays, inconveniences, and losses at the stores I shop in.”

He also went on to say, apropos the anemic counter-demonstrations, “It is amazing to see… people who also would have enthusiastically attended the Nuremberg Rallies.”

I noticed the trash can in my cubicle wasn’t emptied last night.