Saturday, May 31, 2008

Blame Congress for High Oil Prices
May 29, 2008; Page A17

Gasoline prices are through the roof and Americans are angry. Someone must be to blame and the obvious villain is "Big Oil" with its alleged ability to gouge consumers and achieve unconscionable, "windfall" profits. Congress is in a vile mood, and has dragged oil industry executives before its committees for show trials, issuing predictable threats of punishment, e.g. a "windfall profits tax."

But if there is a villain in all of this, it is Congress itself. That venerable body has made it impossible for U.S. producers of crude oil to tap significant domestic reserves of oil and gas, and it has foreclosed economically viable alternative sources of energy in favor of unfeasible alternatives such as wind and solar. In addition, Congress has slapped substantial taxes on gasoline. Indeed, as oil industry executives reiterated in their appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, 15% of the cost of gasoline at the pump goes for taxes, while only 4% represents oil company profits.

To understand the depth of congressional complicity in the high price of gasoline, one must understand that crude oil prices explain 97% of the variation in the pretax price of gasoline. That price, which has risen to record levels, is set by the intersection of supply and demand. On the one hand, world-wide demand has accelerated mainly due to the rapid growth of China and India.

On the other hand, supply has been curtailed by the cartel-like behavior of foreign national oil companies, which control nearly 80% of world petroleum reserves. Faced with little competition in the production of crude oil, the members of this cartel benefit from keeping the commodity in the ground, confident that increasing demand will make it more valuable in the future. Despite its pious denunciations of the behavior of U.S. investor-owned oil companies (IOCs), Congress by its actions over the years has ensured the economic viability of the national oil company cartel.

It has done so by preventing the exploitation by IOCs of reserves available in nonpark federal lands in the West, Alaska and under the waters off our coasts. These areas hold an estimated 635 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas – enough to meet the needs of the 60 million American homes fueled by natural gas for over a century. They also hold an estimated 112 billion barrels of recoverable oil – enough to produce gasoline for 60 million cars and fuel oil for 25 million homes for 60 years.

This doesn't even include substantial oil shale resources economically recoverable at oil prices substantially lower than those prevailing today. In an exchange between Sen. Orin Hatch (R., Utah) and John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company during the May 21 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the point was made that anywhere from 800 million to two trillion barrels of oil are available from oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

If Congress really cared about the economic well-being of American citizens, it would stop fulminating against IOCs and reverse current policies that discourage, indeed prohibit, the production of domestic oil and natural gas. Even the announcement that Congress was opening the way for domestic production would lead to downward pressure on oil prices.

There is an historical precedent for such a step: Ronald Reagan's deregulation of domestic crude oil prices at the beginning of his first term. At the time, thanks to the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to curtail output, the price of oil was at a level that in real terms is only now being matched. Domestic price controls ensured that the OPEC cartel would face little or no competition in the production of oil.

Price controls were exacerbated by other wrongheaded policies stimulated by the two "energy crises" of the 1970s. One of the most egregious was the infamous "windfall profits" tax, designed to punish oil companies for alleged profiteering. But since it applied to even newly discovered oil, its main impact was to discourage the exploration and drilling that would have increased oil supplies.
Although the energy problems of the 1970s were traceable to government policies, Reagan's decision to deregulate oil prices was ridiculed by policy makers, especially those who had served in the previous administration. For instance, Frank Zarb, who had been Jimmy Carter's "energy czar," predicted that decontrolling the price of crude oil would lead to gasoline prices of $10 a gallon. Instead, the world price of oil plummeted, helping to fuel the extraordinary economic growth of the 1980s.

Reagan's deregulation of crude oil prices created incentives for domestic producers to invest in exploration and to increase production. The threat of increased output by non-OPEC producers destroyed the discipline among OPEC members necessary to restrict production to maintain high prices. Facing the likelihood that an increase in supply would lead to lower future prices, OPEC producers increased output in the hopes of maximizing profits before prices fell. The cascading effect caused oil prices to tumble.

As in the 1970s, U.S. energy policies have essentially restricted the exploitation of domestic sources of energy. Curtailed supplies have combined with rapid, world-wide energy demand to increase the price of oil and other sources of energy. This provides leverage to foreign producers and threatens U.S. energy security. Freeing up domestic energy resources will do today what President Reagan's decision to deregulate oil prices in 1981 did then: cause oil prices to fall, thereby enhancing U.S. energy security.

Mr. Owens is a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and editor of Orbis, the journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.
The only way to stop gas prices from skyrocketing the way they have is to go back in time about 20 years, start drilling for oil in ANWAR and to build more refineries. I know people don't want to hear it, but we have to do something now to stop this madness.
The "greenies" have brainwashed too many people that drilling in ANWAR will destroy a huge, pristine wild life refuge. Sorry, but that's just not true. The area set aside for drilling is a miserable, nasty area devoid of wildlife. As for the amount of land, the drilling area is a small area in the refuge. I have seen photos of the area. I thought I had posted pictures of this area, but I can't find them. They may have been lost in my recent move to a new computer. I will continue to look for them.

It's probably true that drilling today and building refineries won't produce any benefit for years, but that makes it all the more imperative that we start drilling today to benefit our future. Can we afford to wait any longer?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

*Number Crunching With Past Five Elections as a Guide*

by Jeralyn
May 26, 2008


There are FIVE "BELLWETHER STATES". These are states who have voted for the WINNER in ALL FIVE of the most recent Presidential elections. They are: Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Number of these states that HRC has won? FOUR (80%)

HRC's Average Margin? 13.2%

There are THREE "VERY SWINGY STATES". These are states who have voted Democratic in either 2 or 3 of 5 of the most recent Presidential elections. They are: Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Number of these states that HRC has won? THREE (100%)

HRC's Average Margin? 21.3%

Read the rest of this at:


Take the above as you will. I thought it interesting.

Experience with windfall taxes has not been positive, say H. Sterling Burnett and Christa Bieker of the National Center for Policy Analysis. In April 1980, Jimmy Carter signed the "Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax" to replace failed oil price controls. This was the largest tax ever imposed on an American industry and was designed to recover a portion of money politicians believed was unfairly received by oil companies. The money was earmarked to develop renewable energy, thus reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and to fund low-income energy assistance programs. But the tax failed to deliver either and the Reagan administration led its repeal in 1988.

According to the Congressional Research Service:

*The windfall profits tax raised a total of $40 billion, instead of the $227 billion initially projected, and generated no revenue after 1986, because oil prices fell and domestic production was lower than expected.

*The tax reduced domestic oil production 3 percent to 6 percent because it increased investment risk.

*Imports increased 8 percent to 16 percent because of the competitive advantage the tax gave to foreign oil companies.

It is not surprising that a windfall profits tax fails to either increase domestic production or reduce prices. When profits are penalized, there are fewer incentives to increase capacity. Oil production is risky and requires heavy initial investment in infrastructure. Meanwhile, oil prices can fluctuate. New oil may or may not be discovered. Because of these uncertainties, investment in oil production requires the ability to forecast likely outcomes. A windfall tax complicates this task. When a company is unsure what the price of oil will be at a certain point in the future and consequently unsure whether it will be penalized by the government for making a profit that year, investment risk increases, explain Burnett and Bieker.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett and Christa Bieker, "Taxing Profits, Draining Energy," National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 549, March 30, 2006.

For text:

For more on Energy Issues:

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Another "original" Liberal idea. It didn't work under Carter, what makes Hillary think it will work now? It won't. Her idea to create a windfall profit tax to impose on big business has a drawback not mentioned above:

Businesses and corporation do not pay taxes. The taxes are passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

It's a simple as that. Congress imposes a windfall profit tax on Big Oil, and you and I end up paying the tax.

A stupid idea who's time not only hasn't come, but who's time never was.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cancer Awareness from Johns Hopkins

After years of telling people chemotherapy is the only way to try and eliminate cancer, Johns Hopkins is finally starting to tell you there is an alternative way.

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.


a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful etc., are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water - best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from, or eating less meat, it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, resentment, and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.


1. No plastic containers in microwave.

2. No water bottles in freezer.

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well.

Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.

This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.

Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.


I am not a doctor or scientist, nor do I play one on television. Okay, enough of the levity, let's get serious here. As I said, I'm not a doctor or scientist, I did find out from my favorite urban legend check-point,, that this did not originate from Johns Hopkins and in fact, Johns Hopkins regards the information to be of the "quack variety".

I've always had the feeling that our bodies contain cancer cells. It's lifestyle, environment, and heriditary factors that cause the cancer cells to mutate sufficiently to make us sick and possibly kill us. There may be other factors from which we can contract cancer. I don't know enough science to know. But, at least some of the information in this email does make sense to me. I've wondered how safe microwaves are, and should we use plastics when microwaving.

In the area of diet, I drink a lot of green tea. Iced, rather than hot, as the hot green tea I've had tasted and smelled like mown grass to me. I've begun to add more fruit and vegetables serving to my daily menu even before I read this. I don't drink much milk as I once read that adults shouldn't drink cows milk. Calcium can be obtained from other sources. I use artificial sweeteners only sparingly, most usually when they're already added to a product I normally buy like iced tea mix. I've had a lot of reservations about Aspartame since it came on the market.

Coffee, tea, and chocolate are indeed high in caffeine, but also contain high levels of anti-oxidants which fight cancer. I'm not sure I want to go to decaffeinated beverages as I'm wary of the techniques for removing the caffeine.

I've tried juicing. It's somewhat time consuming, although if you like juices, it may be well worth the time for you. I don't particulary care for vegetable juices so it's not for me. Yes, juices may be healthier, but if I'm not enjoying it, I won't be drinking it.

Each person has to decide what is best for ourselves, taking into account lifestyle, genetics, and environment. If you have a family history of any disease, you are best served to do what needs to be done to avoid that disease.

Some of the tips given make sense from a "green" point of view. Less plastic in the landfills is a good thing.

And, like anything else I post here, take this information with a grain of salt until you have checked it out for yourself. If you think some of these tips are useful, you may want to put them to pratice for your own reasons.

Small Town Bitterness

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest... it’s not surprising they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” - Senator Barak Obama

Now, granted, the above is taken out of context of the entire speech, but this comment strikes home with me. I live in a smallish town near Tampa, Florida, but I was born in a small Pennsylvania town, and my family history is small towns in NW Missouri by way of Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia. While various members of my family, current and ancestral, have lived in the Big City, we're historically small town town folk. I'm just mentioning this to show that I qualify as being a small town girl (more about my historical qualifications later).

Small Town America understands that it's not always convenient to live in a small town. Small Towners are used to driving to the next town to shop and even work. Sometimes the kids go to school in the next town or even two towns over.

Living in Small Town America has it's frustrations. Until Walmart, McDonald's, and Pizza Hut stared building stores in towns of 75 or more (I think they might have counted livestock in some cases), Small Towners had to drive to a larger town to shop and get fast food. Sometimes, a call to your best friend in the next town is a long distance call. Cell phone and cable service is only a dream to some Small Towners. Trying to find a job in Small Town America is sometimes laughable. So high school graduates go off to college and usually don't return home except for vacations, weddings, and funerals.

High school graduates leaving Small Town America and not returning has been happening since before my own father left his home town (population 2000) in 1939 for Kansas City to study for the ministry. While living there, he enlisted in the Missouri National Guard and in 1941 became part of the Army. He met and married my mom at Camp Butner, NC (another small town), and after WWII, moved to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA (a not so small town). During their married life, they lived in small towns outside of Pittsburgh, Miami, and Tampa. I was only five when we moved to Miami. For a few months, we lived on an island in the middle of the Miami River in downtown Miami. In 1959 (I'm giving away my age now), Miami was a nice city to live in, but my parents wanted a home in the suburbs where we kids could play with other kids in a more wholesome atmosphere. South Miami Heights may not have been Small Town America exactly, but it wasn't the Big City, either. I digress, and the suburbs isn't the point of this post.

Since the quote is taken out of context, I'm not sure why Obama thinks that Small Town Americans are bitter. Could it be because Big Government has it's fingers in nearly every aspect of their lives? Could it be because Big Government is taxing us to death? Could it be because it's becoming more dangerous to believe in and pray to the God we want to worship? Could it be because Small Town American sees it's Constitutional rights slowly being eroded away, day by day? Court decision by Court decision? Could it be because we see corruption in the banking and mortgage industry that has been taking family farms for generations? Could it be because the life we remember from our own childhood and want to give to our own kids is fast becoming a dream? Could it be because we see our values being sneered at on a daily basis?

I'm painting with a broad brush right now, but Liberals tend to be Big City people. Small Towners lean more toward the conservative. We (and I'm talking those who are Small Towners at heart no matter where they live) see our rights and values and opinions and dreams being ignored. It's no longer acceptable for us to disagree with opinions expressed by Liberals. Remember the Dixie Chicks debacle? The Chicks made remarks that angered conservatives and Small Towners. We gave our opinion and were castigated because we chose to speak up and react to what the Chicks said. We hear Hillary and Obama make remarks in speeches and we're told that we're not patriotic because we disagree. During the election cycle we're suddenly important, but condescendingly so. We know the politicians come and ask for our votes, but do so while laughing at the rubes behind our backs. They think we don't get it, but we do.

While Small Town America is sometimes suspicious of change, we can change. We don't like change for change sake, but we accept change as a fact of life. What we don't like is to have it shoved down our throats. We don't like to be told that we're small minded or behind the times. A lot of Small Towners were practicing being "green" when (and long before) Al Gore was in diapers.

We believe in the Constitution and think that the Founding Fathers pretty much got it right to begin with. But life changes and is a lot different than it was in 1775 so we understand that the Constitution needs to be reviewed periodically. Not all of us are lawyers, but we don't see the need to change the Constitution on a whim. Some of us don't want guns, but we don't want you to tell us we can't have a weapon to protect our homes and family. We respect your right to say want you think, and expect you to respect our right to do the same. We also understand that we each have the right to disagree with the other.

We don't like being told that we must accept criminals (aka illegal aliens) into our mist and welcome them with open arms. We realize a illegal alien and a mass murderer are entirely different beings, but they are both criminals and don't want either in our communities.

We don't like trade agreements that take jobs away from America, much less Small Town America. We want to be able to work where we live so we can raise our kids, our future generations, in the place we consider to be the best place to raise kids. In Small Town America.

We don't want to work to pay taxes. We want to work to have a nice life for ourselves and our families. We don't mind paying taxes for necessary services, but we'd like to know that we're not paying for someone who doesn't want to work, has never contributed to the tax base, or for illegal aliens to live their American dream.

Don't tell us our faith in God is misplaced. Let us worship how we want and we'll let you worship in your way. You don't want kids to pray in school? Then don't give tests. That'll stop the school prayers entirely. But since Liberals don't like grading systems except pass or fail, you might want to take tests out of the school.

That reminds me, our schools are falling below those of other countries, but you want us to compete globally? Then set higher standards in the schools, not lower them so some students won't feel bad because they don't do as well in school as other kids do. Maybe these kids are the ones who would do better in a trade school and become the plumbers and electricians of tomorrow. Every parent dreams of their kid being the next Dr. Salk or Supreme Court Justice, or even President of the United States, but not every kid is destined to be a doctor, lawyer or scientist. Aren't you giving false hope to these kids by playing to their "self-esteem" and letting them think they will have a chance at a successful college or university career? They might, but would they be successful? Would they be happy?

We don't like the values we see coming out of the Big City. Mostly those telling us how to live or that we are to be laughed at or ignored because we choose to live where and the way we do. We don't like Big City Liberals sneering at our values and our way of life. If we wanted to live in the Big City, that's where we'd live. We choose to live in Small Town America. And if we embrace the values that come with that, then that's our right too.

If interested, you can find the t-shirt here