Friday, June 13, 2008

Black Gold

Gary Varvel shows us why we're paying $4.00 a gallon at the pump:


Gas Prices

Four dollars a gallon got you down? Pity our poor congresspersons heavy-laden with the burden of finding a solution to this intractable and economically distressing problem, a problem which is doing real harm to millions of people. Surely with all their resources congress will come up with a creative, innovative, and wise solution:

On the other hand, perhaps some problems just have no solution. If Nancy Pelosi's best and brightest can't find one maybe a solution just doesn't exist ...

HT: Ramirez

Newt Gingrich suggests three things we can and should do to reduce the price of oil and in so doing demonstrates the intellectual fertility of conservatism. One measure would have an immediate effect, one would have an effect in the mid-term, and one is a long-term solution:

Now if only we could persuade the Democrats that windfall profits taxes are simply a feel-good measure designed to punish oil companies and which won't produce a single drop more oil, nor lower the price of oil a single cent.

Gingrich suggested on television last night that Sen. McCain ought to invite Sen. Obama to join with him in pushing Congress to enact these measures with all deliberate speed, and if Obama declines, which he probably would, to point out that Obama's energy policies are actually punishing the working poor. The problem is that on energy in general, and drilling for domestic oil in particular, McCain's not much better than Obama.

HT: Hot Air.


Darwinian Slip

Eric Smith in The Scientist commits a gaffe (i.e. he utters an uncomfortable truth):

This theory of evolution is really a framework for thinking about change in the living world. It provides no specific guesses for the kinds of traits that may exist, no strong requirements or prohibitions on how they may interact to make a complex organism or ecosystem, and no commitments to how innovation can occur. Even the problem of how a differentiated population ultimately divides into two distinct species (posed in the title of Darwin's seminal work) remains a major technical problem in evolutionary biology (Emphasis mine).

Darwinians cannot explain the origin of life. Nor can they offer anything but fanciful conjectures for the origin of insect metamorphosis, echo-location, flight, and sexual reproduction. The theory is at a loss to explain the emergence of specified complexity, consciousness, or our relatively short human life spans (there should, after all, be tremendous selection pressure for long lives). They know that evolution has to do with genetic mutation, but they've never been able to figure out how cumulative mutations can produce evolutionary "progress." They're no longer confident that natural selection plays as important a role in evolutionary change as had been thought for the last 150 years, or even much of a role at all. And now, on top of all this, Smith tells us that biologists don't even know how species split off from each other.

Well, one thing many evolutionists know is that it happened, it didn't take God to make it happen, and anyone who doubts it happened "is either ignorant, stupid or malicious" (Richard Dawkins). Of this they're absolutely certain.

HT: Robert Crowther at Evolution News and Views.


Fill the Vacancies

Jason sends a long a troubling article from The Economist:

For more than a year, two seats on the Fed's seven-member board of governors have been empty, because the Senate has been unwilling to confirm George Bush's nominees to the job. It has also refused a new term for the Bush-appointed Randall Kroszner, who is hanging on in limbo. On May 28th Rick Mishkin, another governor, said he would depart in August. If the Senate continues to delay, the Fed's board will have only four members--fewer than at any time since at least the 1930s.

No one doubts Mr Bush's candidates are qualified. The hold-up is ideological. Democrats want to wait until after November's election so that a new president can, as one senator put it, "remake the Fed" by appointing a clutch of new people at once. That is reckless on several counts.

The rest of the article explains several reasons why failure to confirm Bush's appointees is irresponsible. The most serious reason is this:

Mr Bernanke's term as Fed chairman expires in 2010. With lots of governors to appoint at once, and the prospect of a new chairman within two years, the next president will have unprecedented power to reshape the Fed. Governors are appointed for overlapping 14-year terms precisely to avoid this concentration of power.

By waiting until the Democrats have the White House they can pack the Board with politically sympathetic members and thereby turn the Fed from an independent institution into an instrument of their political will. It's a similar tactic to that employed by FDR when in 1937 he tried to have the number of Supreme Court Justices increased by six so that he could pack the Court with his own appointees.

The Democrats have dragged their feet in appointing the President's selections for the federal judiciary and they're doing likewise with his nominations to the Federal Reserve Board. The political gamesmanship and jockeying for power is unconscionable when the welfare of the country is at stake. The Democrats' demurrals virtually invite the Republicans to engage in the same behavior as soon as they're in a position to do so, and the whole childish business portends a government that will at some point cease to function.

Of course, those responsible for this calamity will still have their taxpayer subsidized pensions and health care so why should they be concerned?


Re: Do Messiahs Forget?

Byron alertly calls my attention to the fact that my source for the Do Messiahs Forget? post the other day made an error in the chronology which makes a big difference in the way Senator Obama's claims to have never called for a troop pullout from Iraq should be viewed.

I apologize for the mistake.

The updated piece at Hot Air can be accessed here.