Friday, May 2, 2008

Starving Children

None of the answers given by the presidential candidates to the problem of high gas prices really addresses the problem. Simply put, the problem is that there's not enough supply to meet the global demand. As long as this imbalance exists, prices at the pump will continue to rise and the cost of food will rise with it, and reducing the federal tax on gas and other palliatives will only help temporarily.

Moreover, as long as corn and other grains are in demand as a source of ethanol the cost of those grains, including what is grown in poor countries, will also rise. While people starve, grain raised in their own country will be exported rather than used locally because the growers will get far more money for it if they export it than if they sell it domestically.

Unless we're prepared to see starvation on a large scale in the world's poorest countries we need to use grain for food, not fuel, and we need to increase the supply of oil and gasoline. No medium term solution that omits these will avoid the looming disaster.


Truth Hurts

Paul Shaheen criticizes Hollywood for presenting too many stereotypical images of Arabs and Muslims. He has praise for the movie Babel, which is much deserved, but he criticizes The Kingdom for making Arabs out to be bad guys. This makes me wonder whether he even saw the movie. The film is about terrorists in an Arab country. Mr. Shaheen may not have read any newspapers lately, so someone might tell him that this actually happens. Some very bad people are Arab Muslims, and it's to Hollywood's credit that they didn't shrink from portraying this reality. Moreover, one of the heroes of the film is an Arab.

Nevertheless, Mr. Shaheen seems miffed that every now and then Hollywood goes against its instincts and actually portrays things as they happen to be.

It is, no doubt, people who think as Mr. Shaheen does who have declared use of the words jihadist, mujahedeen, and Islamo-fascism to be henceforth unacceptable language in the U.S. State Department. There's a fear among the experts at Foggy Bottom, you see, that using words correctly and accurately will offend the delicate sensibilities of Muslim moderates.

See Andy McCarthy at NRO for more on this peculiar development.

You might also listen to what Robert Spencer has to say about the, ah, you-know-who who are waging world-wide you-know-what against Western civilization:


Galaxies in Collision

NASA has released some pics of galaxies interacting with each other taken with the Hubble space telescope. Amazing photos.

Bear in mind that each of these galaxies is roughly similar to our Milky Way and that if our sun were in the picture it would be so tiny it probably wouldn't be visible. The earth would most definitely not be visible.