Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Water on their Plains

What explains the difference? Why are public attitudes following the current Midwest Flooding so different from those arising after Hurricane Katrina? Is there a basic difference between the people of New Orleans and the people of the flooded Plains States?

Who's to blame for the Midwest Flooding? George Bush? Apparently not. No media chorus blaming him for this act of Nature has developed. But that could change. Is it possible some of the 11 million people affected by the floods will move to New Orleans? Probably not.

Most likely, the Midwesterners will get to the task of cleaning up the mess and returning to their homes. A year from now the region will look as good as it ever has and life will have gotten back to normal. Meanwhile, few people living in the Plains states will blame Bush, FEMA or any other government for the floods. What a difference!

Midwest floodwaters could linger for weeks

June 23, 2008

The worst of the flooding that has ravaged the midwestern United States is nearly over, but it will be weeks before the murky water recedes in many areas, the National Weather service warned Monday.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana due to the heavy rains and deadly storms which swept through the region in recent weeks.

Early estimates place the damage in the billions as roads were washed out, rail and barge traffic shut down and millions of acres of crops were swamped.

Scores of levees collapsed or were overtopped by the rushing waters which swallowed entire towns.

The extreme weather which began May 25 and included a series of deadly tornadoes claimed the lives of 22 people, 17 of whom were in Iowa.

More than 11 million people in nine midwestern states were affected by the flooding and extreme weather, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

"The worst of it is likely over ... for the bulk of the people," said Steve Buan, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

All the tributary rivers of the Mississippi above St. Louis, Missouri have now crested, Buan said, but it will take three more days before the towns down river know whether their levies will hold.

The river is expected to rise by about another six inches (15 centimeters) in areas up to 150 miles (240 kilometers) downstream.

"A lot of these rivers won't go back below flood stage until mid-July," Buan told AFP. "It's going to take a long time to dry out."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Christie Brinkley and her Porn Lover

What's happening here? Christie Brinkley is divorcing her husband for his adulterous activities. Okay. No problem there. But she's also raging about his interest in surfing Internet porn sites. That changes everything. If visiting porn sites is grounds for divorce, well, marriage in America is doomed.

Old joke about men and masturbation: There are only two kinds of liars in the world: those who say they've never done it, and those who say they've quit.

Update 2008: There are only two kinds of liars in the world: those who say they've never visited a porn site, and those who claim they've stopped looking at women having sex.

Update 2010: There's only two kinds of liars in the world: those who say they've never posted a video of themselves having sex on YouPorn.com, and those who claim they've quit.

Christie Brinkley is a beautiful woman whose looks have excited at least two hundred million male libidos for three decades. Unfortunately, no sex video. Plenty of still photos in bathing suits, but no sex video.

What's behind her belief that public scorn, humiliation and opprobrium are ahead for a man who visits porn sites? She has good reason for anger over his sexual adventures with other women. The public revelations of his infidelities embarrassed her and left her feeling humiliated and wounded. She trusted a man who betrayed her, a man who broke the covenant she believed he honored. That hurts. But how does that connect to porn?

Does Christie believe visiting porn sites is adultery? Does she believe it is evidence of deep flaws in the men who watch? Is she hurt by the thought that she herself is incapable of satisfying every element and aspect of her husband's sexual desire?

It seems she would answer "yes" to every question. Has she always been a loyal, honest and true wife? Based on her image? Yes. She's had three marriages in which to demonstrate her personal integrity. She's had children with three men, giving hope to millions of others who would rise to the occasion if it were offered.

Does it disturb other women that a man married to Christie Brinkley would seek sex from other women AND view pornography? It seems that Christie Brinkley thinks so. Undoubtedly she's accustomed to people telling her she's beautiful. She is beautiful. She's also experienced with men who've grown tired of her beauty and sexual nature. What's she like in the sack? She's probably got some good moves. Maybe a trick or two that no one forgets.

Does it matter? Christie, like all women, lives among men, and men are imperfect. Hence, even if Christie were the perfect woman, she would bestow her perfection upon an imperfect man, and that man would behave as all her men have, imperfectly. Because they are men. Then there is the porn.

Whacking off to YouPorn.com may not match getting laid, but when the woman in your life is unavailable, it will do. Clearly this is big business. Video, toys, equipment, all aimed at enhancing the moment, whether experienced solo or with a partner. The notable aspect of video on YouPorn is the staggering abundance of women with extraordinary bodies, and their willingness to enjoy any form of sexual adventure.

Some people might claim the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination is the most watched home-movie in history. That might have been true for a number of years. But today, there is undoubtedly a video of some anonymous but beautiful woman moaning in orgasmic ecstacy as her unknown partner fucks her in the ass that has been viewed more times than the Zapruder film. More accurately, there are probably dozens of porn videos that have been viewed more times than the Zapruder film. Maybe hundreds. Perhaps thousands.

Maybe that's it. Maybe she drew the line at anal sex. In one of literature's funniest segments, Philip Roth, in The Human Stain, offered his view. His narrator overhears two anonymous men discussing Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. One is ranting about Clinton's stupidity for getting nothing more than a blowjob from her. Clinton was a fool, said the nameless speaker. Clinton should have fucked in the ass, he said. That would have shut her up. She'd never go public with that story, he said. That anonymous character is probably right.

Christie Brinkley Wants Public Divorce

Former supermodel Christie Brinkley visited New York Supreme Court this morning in an attempt to make her divorce trial public.

In 2006, Brinkley filed for divorce from architect Peter Cook after a decade of marriage. She accused him of having an affair with his then 18-year-old assistant.

If made public, allegations that Cook surfs Internet porn sites are expected to surface. Sources told Access Hollywood that Brinkley wants the case to be made public because she is still upset at her ex.

According to the source: “She’s still spitting mad at Cook."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pump More Oil for Lower Prices

Critics of the oil industry and have developed their own brand of economics. They think it's possible to tax oil companies into lowering prices. However, before hitting them with punitive taxes, the master plan included barring oil companies from drilling vast tracts of US territories that contain proven reserves of over 100 billion barrels. They've been barred from exploiting those territories, and now prices are rising. Global oil consumption continues to rise, but domestic production is not permitted to expand. Foreign sources are moving too slowly to increase their production. Why should they? Many oil companies are simply the governments of the oil producing countries. Why would they take steps that aimed at reducing oil prices when the only outcome is a decline in national income? All the oil-rich middle east nations obtain almost every penny flowing into their countries from international oil sales. There is no internal competition among oil producers. Hence, they will maximize their revenue by limiting supply. The US should force the playing field onto a different level -- a level in which American oil production is the "swing factor" that drives prices. Instead, we send billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to middle east countries with a professed hate for the US, the West and Israel. We do this even though we have extensive, untapped reserves to exploit. Bringing that oil to market would employ Americans working in the US earning high pay while fighting an economic war that middle-east and other unfriendly nations are waging against us.

The U.S. energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, said Saturday that insufficient oil production, not financial speculation, was driving soaring crude prices.

The U.S. and many other Western nations have put increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, to increase production. Saudi officials have been hesitant to do so, arguing that soaring prices have not been caused by a shortage of supply.

Bodman disputed that assertion Saturday, saying oil production has not kept pace with growing demand, especially from developing countries like China and India.

"Market fundamentals show us that production has not kept pace with growing demand for oil, resulting in increasing prices and increasingly volatile prices," Bodman told reporters. "There is no evidence that we can find that speculators are driving futures prices" for oil.

He said commodities markets have experienced a huge influx of money from financial investors in recent years, but they have been following the market upward rather than driving the increase in the price of oil.

Saudi Arabia called the unusual meeting in Jiddah between oil producing and consuming nations as a way to show that it was not deaf to international cries that high oil prices have caused social and economic turmoil.

While Saudi Arabia has been reluctant to drastically increase production, it has announced several small increases recently that it says were made to satisfy increased customer demand. The country has consistently said that it will produce enough oil to ensure the market is supplied.

The kingdom increased oil production by 300,000 barrels a day in May, and a Saudi official confirmed Saturday that the country would add another 200,000 barrels a day in July. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi also confirmed the increase ahead of the conference. But neither announcement has done much to stem the run-up in the price of oil, which closed near $135 on Friday.

Saudi assistant oil minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that Saudi Arabia has been working with several international organizations to put together a background paper to focus Sunday's discussions and reiterated that the kingdom was ready to meet demand from its customers and foster stable prices.

He said it would be "wrong" to judge the success of the meeting by oil prices the day after it ends.

Many countries around the world have experienced social unrest by populations angry that rising fuel prices have driven significant increases in the cost of food and other basic goods.

Bodman said that every 1 percent increase in the demand for oil requires a 20 percent rise in price to balance the market. Demand in China, India and the Middle East has been soaring in recent years as the countries consume more energy to fuel economic growth.

Rising demand in the developing world has coincided with historically low levels of spare oil production capacity, which fell below two million barrels per day among OPEC countries in May for the first time since the third quarter of 2006, according to the International Energy Agency.

Bodman made clear that the responsibility for reducing oil prices did not simply fall on the shoulders of producing nations, saying consuming countries must increase energy efficiency and invest in the development of alternative fuels. But he saved his strongest words for oil producers like Saudi Arabia, who he said must step up long-term investment in production and spare capacity.

Saudi Arabia is completing a $50 billion plan to increase capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day but has signaled it would not go beyond that.

CNBC said Saturday that Saudi Arabia's current capacity is 11.3 million barrels per day, quoting al-Naimi's adviser, Ibrahim al-Muhanna. Previous estimates by the International Energy Agency put current Saudi capacity at about 10.7 million barrels per day. The kingdom currently produces about 9.5 million barrels per day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's Up in the Investment World

Hedge While You Play, Profit From Porn, Sex Toys

Peter Lynch, the famed investor and vice chairman of Fidelity Investments, often advised to ``invest in what you know.''

Maybe that's why Francis Koenig thinks Wall Street is ready to come around to putting big money into the adult-entertainment business.

Koenig is chief executive officer and founder of AdultVest Inc., ``the world's first and only investment community designed specifically for the adult industry,'' according to the company's Web site.

AdultVest matches buyers with sellers of strip clubs and other businesses; offers a forum for ``talent'' to be bought and sold in the adult industry; and seeks out investors to pony up money for hedge funds that invest in clubs, adult-toy companies, porn-movie producers and other legal players in the sex business. It is the latter -- the hedge funds -- that is the ``primary focus'' of AdultVest, Koenig said in a telephone interview.

Primary, perhaps, but not quantifiable for anyone trying to determine how much cash has come AdultVest's way. Koenig won't say how much money is under management, allowing only that it's a ``small group'' of institutional investors -- fewer than 20 -- in his Bacchus Investment Fund (minimum ante: $1 million) including one pension fund that he declined to name.

His second fund, the Priapus Investment Fund, has lured enough smaller investors expending a $100,000 minimum that Priapus was able to purchase the domain name iPorn.com, which Koenig calls ``the crown jewel of the portfolio.'' Priapus also owns shares of strip-club operator VCG Holding Corp.

Comparable Deals

Koenig won't say what the price was for iPorn.com, which consisted of the domain name only and no content. But he does hint that a similar domain name -- porn.com -- fetched $9.5 million in March 2007.

His investors may all be anonymous; his business may be sordid and the amount of actual money he's managing may be a mystery. None of that will keep Koenig from being among the luminaries honored at New York's Cipriani Wall Street on June 25, where Michael Steinhardt and other hedge-fund icons will gather for the black-tie Sixth Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards sponsored by Total Alternatives (formerly Alternative Investment News). AdultVest is among four nominees for the ``Hedge Fund Launch of the Year'' award.

Last year, the award went to KKR & Co., formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Koenig says he thinks that investors ``have gotten over the moral issues'' related to adult investing.

VCG Owners

There may be something to that. The New York State Common Retirement Fund, the California Public Employees Retirement System, or Calpers, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public Schools all disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that they owned VCG shares. That should go over big with the kindergarten teachers and school social workers in the Keystone State.

Money managers JLF Asset Management LLC, Burlingame Asset Management and Slater Capital Management LLC also held stakes in VCG as well as strip-club operator Rick's Cabaret International Inc., according to SEC filings.

Rick's is a particular favorite of the Wall Street crowd, catering to multitasking financial types who stop in for a quick lap dance by making sure there's always a TV screen tuned in to CNBC.

Little Fetish Fairy

Still, considering the company AdultVest keeps, it should come as no surprise that Koenig's is a venture that gives many investors the creeps. When AdultVest appeared at the Erotica LA trade show June 6-8, its co-exhibitors included Little Fetish Fairy, a seller of provocative women's clothing; Desire Resort & Spa, a nudist resort; and, proving that this is the ultimate open-minded crowd, Escorts for the Disabled. Visitors to the show could attend seminars such as ``Sex Toys for Beginners'' and ``Pole Dancing for Fun and Fitness.''

Paul Fishbein, publisher of AVN Media Network, which runs adult trade shows and publishes magazines about porn and other adult businesses, said that for AdultVest to succeed, it will need ``big-name acquisitions,'' including a content producer, an Internet outlet, and a big player in the sex-toy business. AdultVest is an AVN client.

At AdultVest, Koenig is feeling good -- that's the idea, after all -- about his crown jewel, iPorn. He's offering free membership for customers who sign up for a ``pre-launch'' test before he unveils the Web site later this year.

``Twenty percent of our traffic is from iPhones,'' he gushes of the initial response, adding that iPhone users can download the iPorn icon ``right on the phone so that you can access your iPorn any time you're on the go.'' Porn watchers can even ``carry it with them and watch on an airplane.''

A Black Panther mauls Obama

Larry Pinkney, writer of the following criticism of Obama, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker , by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book).

History does not repeat itself. Rather, it is people who repeat history, especially when we do not learn from the lessons of history.

The U.S. mass media of disinformation (and its allies in the corporate, military, and prison apparatus) is busily going about the business of successfully infecting many, including even heretofore apparently critically thinking people in this nation, with an ultimately fatal disease whose symptoms include denial, arrogance, and mindless blissfulness. The U.S. Empire in the year 2008, going into 2009, is about what it has always been about: deceit, hypocrisy, and domination. The U.S. mass media of disinformation seeks to ensure that we do not learn from the lessons of history.

Now, there is a man who would be the colored Emperor of the de facto U.S. Empire; Barack Obama, the most singularly dangerous threat to Black America, and the planet as a whole. Masquerading as a man of peace when in fact he is a corporate / military representative of war. The same man who has thrown Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his entire church, and the Palestinian peoples under the crushing wheels of the proverbial bus of political expediency and opportunism. No critically thinking person of good will, be they Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, or White should be surprised when this man sets out to sacrifice us on his alter of political opportunism and hypocrisy.

Nevertheless, this Wall Street-backed, pro-apartheid Zionist Barack Obama could not do successfully carry out his aims without the complicity of neo fascist 21st Century white so-called liberals / progressives such as media personality Amy Goodman and company, who have for over a year now have been among his active cheer leaders. These are people, who like certain French collaborators with the Nazis in occupied Paris of the 1940s, think they can eat their cake and have it too. These are people who always stop short of clearly and concisely calling for what is really needed in the U.S.; and that is total and complete systemic change: a people’s revolution. These are people who clack on and on about certain select injustices in the U.S. and elsewhere while reveling in their own color and class privilege and simultaneously being undeservedly revered by some as politically “progressive figures.”

In describing these kinds of persons the author, Dr. Eric Larsen, correctly describes them by writing: “Progressives like Amy Goodman hide behind the good they do in order to escape censure for the bad…They can dodge issues, twist issues, simplify issues, and ignore issues…” which of course is precisely what they do. [Reference the essays titled, Notes From A Dying Nation and Amy Goodman A Mind Prostituted by Eric Larsen]. Accompanying these above mentioned collaborators with the Empire are unfortunately a group of so-called people of color, who are in fact gate keepers for the U.S. Empire whose job it is to ensure the continuation of the corporate, cynically racist, capitalist system under the guise of being progressive or even leftist. This is what I refer to as ‘The Spook Who Sat Beside The Door’ in reverse.

Not only is it a contradiction in terms to support the pro-apartheid Zionist, corporate and militarily backed Barack Obama (or any other Democratic or Republican Party candidate) while simultaneously claiming to be of all things a leftist; it is the height of hypocrisy and dishonesty. One cannot simultaneously support both the empire and those that the empire oppresses and represses. One is either in support of the U.S. Empire or in opposition to it - -plain and simple. In this there is no middle passage, no middle ground, no nonsense.

I find myself in agreement with Mumia Abu-Jamal, when he concluded his June 5, 2008, column titled, ‘Is Obama’s Victory Ours?,’ by stating, “’Real change that you could believe in’ would be an end to Empire, and an end to wars for corporate greed, not just the change of the shade of the political managers…” This of course is obvious, but is nonetheless being studiously ignored by those so-called progressives and leftists who have opportunistically chosen to collaborate with the Empire while at the same time asserting that they somehow oppose its despicable practices against oppressed peoples both in inside of the United States and around the world. What rubbish!

Former U.S. Senator and author James G. Abourezk makes it chilling clear in his recent article titled, ‘Deadly Fallout From Obama’s Groveling Before Israel Lobby,’ how dangerous kowtowing to apartheid Zionism is to the entire planet. Nevertheless, this is precisely what the Republicrats [i.e. the Democrats and Republicans] are doing at the expense of the U.S. population and the whole world. Thinking people must utterly and completely reject the Republicrats and all of their dangerous baggage.

It is apparent that an increasing amount of people are beginning to wake up as also demonstrated by the recent article titled, ‘Obama and McCain: Two Sides of the Same Coin’ by Timothy V. Gatto. Nonetheless, is it too few and too late? The struggle against the Empire is after all a protracted one. So we must persevere.

Those so-called progressives and or leftists who support Barack Obama or John McCain can hardly be trusted when they complain of racism, police brutality, economic and social inequality, unending war, and subterfuge of every kind; for these two men represent the continuation of the Empire - which is of course the continuation of all of the aforementioned horrors. It’s time to be honest with ourselves and each other.

The belligerent saber rattling by both Barack Obama and John McCain against Iran, Cuba, the Palestinians, Venezuela, and a virtually endless list of other nations is the same old recipe for endless war abroad and economic misery and inequality for people inside the U.S. Neither of these candidates stand for or represent peace or justice at home or abroad.

There is a real, viable, and incredible alternative to this madness - in the person of Cynthia McKinney and the “Power To The People” Campaign. But of course it means hard work. It means organizing for systemic change outside of the Democratic and Republican Parties. It means struggling for a nation and world devoid of corporate and military domination. It means saying no to those who continually pimp the hopes and dreams of the majority of people in the United States and throughout the world. The masses of Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples truly deserve this kind of a world but we will have to seriously and collectively struggle to obtain it.

Onward then, now and in the future…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama -- Osama's Man in D.C.

More than one person has said Obama is a smart guy. But there's a growing amount of evidence to the contrary. In his determination to argue that muslim terrorists should receive the same treatment as domestic criminals, he uses the example of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center to build his position.

He tells listeners that the muslim terrorists who detonated a truck bomb in a parking lot below the World Trade Center were captured, prosecuted, convicted and sent to prison. Based on this example he thinks civilian criminal justice is the best way to go.

Two points. First, civilian crime is often committed for financial gain. But sometimes it is driven by passion. However, it is not driven by political/religious ideology. Second civilian criminal justice is aimed at rehabilitation of the malefactors, even if they are sentenced to life in prison.

How can the US apply civilian criminal justice standards to muslim terrorists who die in the commission of their terrorist crimes? Obama seems oblivious to the fact that the 19 September 11 hijackers died with their victims.

Whom do we prosecute? Incarcerate? Rehabilitate? In general, the goal of military action is to KILL the opponents. Capture and rehabilitation is not the goal. Meanwhile, with the exception of Osama bin Laden, most of the al Qaeda leaders have been killed. A few have been captured.

The muslim terrorists are not Americans, which means there is no reason to treat them as criminally minded citizens. By fighting against US military personnel, they have declared themselves enemies of the state, which means they warrant military treatment that reflects their status as enemy combatants. Thus, if they do not die in combat and they are captured, it is appropriate to prosecute them in a military tribunal.

But Obama wants them to benefit from the more lenient goals of civilian criminal prosecution, which includes the possibility of paroling seemingly rehabilitated convicts. Is anyone willing to consider parole for Osama bin Laden? Apparently Barack Hussein Obama is.

Obama: Bin Laden still free because of GOP tactics

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama says he'll take no lectures from Republicans on who will keep America safer. GOP rival John McCain's campaign criticized Obama Tuesday for speaking approvingly of the successful prosecution of terrorists.

A McCain aide said, "Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set" and does not understand the dangers posed by U.S. adversaries.

Obama told reporters that the Republicans have no "standing to suggest that they've learned a lot of lessons from 9-11."

He said they "helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9-11." He said Osama bin Laden is still at large in part because of their failed strategies.

In a conference call with reporters, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann said Tuesday: "Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set. ... He does not understand the nature of the enemies we face." Former CIA director James Woolsey said Obama has "an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism ... and toward dealing with prisoners captured overseas who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States."

The Obama campaign quickly responded with its own conference call in which Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official in Republican and Democratic administrations, argued the McCain campaign was emulating Karl Rove, President Bush's former political adviser.

At issue were Obama's comments Monday in an interview with ABC News. Obama was asked how he could be sure the Bush administration's anti- terrorism policies are not crucial to protecting U.S. citizens.

Obama said the government can crack down on terrorists "within the constraints of our Constitution." He mentioned the indefinite detention of Guantanamo Bay detainees, contrasting their treatment with the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

"And, you know, let's take the example of Guantanamo," Obama said. "What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks—for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center—we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.

"And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims. ...
"We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws," Obama said.

Obama agreed with the Supreme Court ruling last week that detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in U.S. civilian courts. McCain derided the ruling as "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

Kerry, who as the 2004 Democratic nominee faced Republican claims that he was soft on terror, accused McCain of "defending a policy that is indefensible" by siding with Bush's policies—particularly with respect to the Iraq war.

"The U.S. is less safe, less respected and less able to lead in the world, and that is the record John McCain has chosen to embrace," Kerry said.

The Real Candidate for Change -- John McCain

John McCain has embraced the basic facts of economics and geo-politics. If supplies of a commodity are barely meeting demand, the price will rise. But rising prices -- in a functioning market -- will, if allowed, lead to the delivery of greater supply. Better still, the sources of these new supplies of oil are domestic. Hence, Americans will earn high pay getting the valuable commodity of oil into the hands and gas tanks of Americans. An increase in oil drilling will generate more sales tax revenue, more income tax revenue, more corporate taxes and further stimulate all aspects of our domestic energy industry. Good news all the way around.

Domestic oil drilling also sends a clear message to middle east oil sheiks. Saudi Arabia announced plans to increase daily oil production to almost 10 million barrels, an increase of about 500,000 barrels a day. The Saudis understand who butters their bread. Meanwhile, it's an overlooked fact that US oil production is almost 8 million barrels a day. An end to the Federal moratorium on off-shore drilling would open the door to a speedy increase in domestic production.

It would take a couple of years to start oil flowing from some off-shore reserves. But others can begin producing in a hurry. The Saudis are sensible enough to realize that any additional oil extracted from US reserves is oil that cuts into their revenue. If the US raises production 1 million barrels a day, the Saudis feel the pain twice -- first because they will see their sales volumes decrease, and second they will see revenue decreases as prices fall.

It may seem hard to believe, but oil prices fell to $10 a barrel TWICE in the 1990s, when supply exceeded demand by a remarkably small degree.

It boils down to this: McCain for Change. John McCain has seen the light and now realizes that it is foolish to punish the entire world with soaring oil prices. Nobody except the middle-east tyrants win when oil sells for stratospheric prices.

But Obama does not understand or accept economic and technical realities. He and his cult believe solar power and other alternatives can replace oil at a revolutionary pace. THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. Science and technology does not advance on political timetables.

Obama, in his desire to oppose change, believes in turning back the clock. He wants to recreate the days of Jimmy Carter, who believed that confiscating corporate profits was the path to lower energy costs. But it was free-market forces that dropped oil to $10 a barrel several times in the years AFTER voters tossed him out of the White House.

McCain hits Obama on windfall profits tax

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Republican Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama's call for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry on Tuesday, despite leaving the door open to the same idea last month.

The presumed GOP nominee leveled his attack in prepared remarks in which he said the next president must be willing to break with policies of both the Bush and Clinton administrations to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

"This was a troubling situation 35 years ago. It was an alarming situation 20 years ago. It is a dangerous situation today," the Republican presidential contender said.

While McCain was speaking in Texas, the energy-producing state that is home to President Bush, he is attempting to chart his own course on energy issues. He parts company at times with the Bush administration as he courts independent voters, opposing drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, for example. Yet he announced on Monday he favors lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling to allow states to decide whether to explore coastal waters, an approach backed by Bush that drew quick criticism from some environmentalists.

McCain criticized Obama, his Democratic rival, repeatedly in excerpts of a speech planned for delivery Tuesday evening. He cited Obama's advocacy of a tax on excess oil industry profits as well as the Democrat's vote for President Bush's energy legislation in 2005.

McCain reserved his sharpest words for the windfall profits tax.

"If that plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Carter's big idea, too. ... I'm all for recycling, but it's better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the past," McCain said in the excerpts.

McCain said United States' dependence on foreign oil has grown markedly worse since the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s.

He said he favors lifting the existing moratorium on offshore oil drilling and leaving it up to the states to decide whether to explore for energy sources in coastal waters.

That amounted to a reversal from his position in his first presidential campaign in 2000, when he said he favored the existing ban.

He also called for greater use of nuclear power as well as for alternative energy sources and greater conservation measures.

"Over time, we must shift our entire energy economy toward a sustainable mix of new and cleaner power sources. This will include some we use already, such as wind, solar, biofuels, and other sources yet to be invented.

"It will include a variety of new automotive and fuel technologies—clean-burning coal and nuclear energy to put the power of the market on the side of environmental protection," he said.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Global Warming Indoctrination -- The New Stupidity

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas

You may want to give credit where credit is due the next time you fill your car with gasoline. There is a direct connection between Global Warming and $4-a- gallon gas. It is shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil fuels, particularly gasoline. Thank you Al Gore. Keep up the good work and soon we'll pay $6 a gallon.

This big time science, international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats for the future boils down to their claim that the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate of planet Earth. What an amazing fraud! What a scam!

The future of our civilization lies in the balance -- says the chief crackpot.

That’s the battle cry of the High Priest of Global Warming Al Gore and his disciples as they predict a calamitous outcome from anthropogenic global warming. According to Mr. Gore the polar ice caps will collapse and melt and sea levels will rise 20 feet inundating the coastal cities making 100 million of us refugees.

Vice President Gore tells us numerous Pacific islands will be totally submerged and uninhabitable. He tells us global warming will disrupt the circulation of the ocean waters, dramatically changing climates, throwing the world food supply into chaos. He tells us global warming will turn hurricanes into super storms, produce droughts, wipe out the polar bears and result in bleaching of coral reefs. He tells us tropical diseases will spread to mid latitudes and heat waves will kill tens of thousands. He preaches to us that we must change our lives and eliminate fossil fuels or face the dire consequences. The future of our civilization is in the balance.

With a preacher’s zeal warning of the approaching Biblical Apocalypse, Mr. Gore talks of terror and tells hapless, scientifically illiterate people that we are all complicit in the destruction of the planet and the end of the life we know.

It's time for a rebuttal.

There is no significant man-made global warming. There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future. The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.

Since its creation, paleoclimatologists say Earth has shifted between two basic climate extremes: ice ages and “Interglacial Periods”.

For the past 10,000 years the Earth has been in an Interglacial Period. Nature, not man, is warming the Earth. In those periods glaciers melt and life flourishes. Clearly, from our point of view, an interglacial period beats the deadly rigors of an ice age. But Al Gore and his crowd would have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed Nature during this interglacial period and are producing unprecedented, out-of-control warming.

Nonsense. There was a significant worldwide natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a Solar Cycle, with lots of sunspots and solar flares, peaked. That ended in 1998. Since then the Sun has gone quiet, emitting fewer and fewer Sun spots, and global temperatures have gone into decline. Earth has cooled for almost ten straight years. Al, where’s the global warming?

The cooling trend is so strong that recently the head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had to acknowledge it. He speculated that nature has temporarily overwhelmed mankind’s warming and it may be ten years or so before the warming returns. Really?

Al wants to create panic about man-made global warming. But analysis shows the purportedly apocalyptic trend is taking a ten-year break due to a lack of Solar activity, a lack of Sun Spots. If this weren’t so serious, it would be laughable.

What about the science behind the global warming frenzy? Thousands of pages of research papers, including huge documents published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, complicated math and complex theories all point to ONE culprit. Carbon Dioxide. An increase in Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.

Hello Al Gore; Hello UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The science is flawed; the hypothesis is wrong; the data is manipulated. And the scare tactics are deplorable. The Earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.

The focus on atmospheric carbon dioxide grew out a study by Roger Revelle who was an esteemed scientist at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. He moved to Harvard and allowed his students to help him process the data for his paper. One of those students was Al Gore. That is where Gore got caught up in this global warming frenzy. Revelle’s paper linked the increases in carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere with warming. It labeled CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

Charles Keeling, another researcher at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute, set up a system to make continuous CO2 measurements. His graph of these increases has now become known as the Keeling Curve. When Charles Keeling died in 2005, his son David, also at Scripps, took over the measurements.

Here is what the Keeling curve shows: an increase in CO2 from 315 parts per million in 1958 to 385 parts per million today, an increase of 70 parts per million or about 20 percent.

All the computer models, all of the other findings, all of the other angles of study, all come back to and are based on CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas. It is not.

Here is the deal about CO2, carbon dioxide. It is a natural component of our atmosphere. It has been there since time began. It is absorbed and emitted by the oceans. It is used by every living plant to trigger photosynthesis. Nothing would be green without it. And we humans; we create it. Every time we breathe out, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is not a pollutant. It is not smog. It is a naturally occurring invisible gas.

The UN IPCC has attracted billions of dollars for the research that argues CO2 is the culprit of run-away, man-made global warming. Scientists have developed complex, creative theories requiring elaborate calculations performed by massive computer models that -- surprise, surprise -- agree with the original apocalyptic hypotheses that attracted the billions of research dollars. This passes as proof.

Global Warming Scientists present us with a concept they call radiative forcing. Research organizations and scientists who are building careers on this theory crank out the research papers. Then the IPCC holds big conferences at exotic places, such as the recent conference in Bali. Scientists endorse each other’s papers, which are summarized and voted on and -- surprise, surprise -- the self-serving, log-rolling voters assert that global warming is going to kill us all unless we stop burning fossil fuels.

A few historical facts. The internal combustion engine and gasoline were big polluters at first. Gasoline engines continued to produce smog through the 1960’s. Then science and engineering came to the environmental rescue. Better exhaust and ignition systems, catalytic converters, fuel injectors, better engineering throughout the engine and reformulated gasoline have all contributed to a huge reduction in the exhaust emissions from today’s cars.

At first, gasoline engines exhausted carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and water vapor without restraint, leading to a pall of smog hanging over most US cities. It's different now; most city air is clean by all health measures as a result of the improvements made to internal combustion engines and to pollution control. The environmentalists -- in their battle against fossil fuels and automobiles -- were aimed at a good target forty years ago. No longer. Now they have targeted carbon dioxide. That is the rub. Carbon dioxide is not an environmental problem; they just want you now to think it is.

Many independent research projects have shown that CO2 is NOT creating a major greenhouse effects and is NOT causing an increase in temperatures. Nevertheless, environmentalists have subjected us to an intense campaign claiming that burning of fossil fuels dooms the planet to run-away global warming. A myth. The new Flat-Earth proposition.

Why has the global warming fraud, with all its predictions of dire consequences, become so widely believed, accepted and regarded as a real threat to planet Earth? That is the most amazing part of the story.

First, Global Warming has the backing of the United Nations, a major world force. Second, it has the backing of a former Vice President. Third, it has the endorsement of Hollywood. Fourth, environmentalists realize it's a money-maker. Thus, due to the persuasive power of environmentalists, the UN, Al Gore, Hollywood and some profit-seekers predicting the arrival of Doomsday if we ignore their warnings, the naive and credulous media has opened itself to this new religion.

The media loves a crisis. From YK2 to killer bees, our media thrives and excels when the opportunity to magnify fear arises. In addition to gullibility, naivete and credulity, add the liberal bias of our media into reporting and every snowstorm becomes the start of a new Ice Age. With Al Gore, the UN, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press all baying in unison about the Global Warming peril, how can people think straight? It's tough.

Who stands against that flood of babble? Not politicians. Almost every Governor, most Senators and most Congress people, both candidates for President, and most other elected officials on all levels of government are all riding the Al Gore Global Warming express. That is one crowded bus.

On the other hand, on May 20th, a list of over 31,000 scientists who refute global warming was released. Thirty-one thousand of which 9,000 are Ph.ds. Thirty-one thousand. That dwarfs the supposed 2,500 scientists on the UN panel. In the past year, 500 scientists have issued public statements challenging global warming. A few more join the opposition every week. There are about 100 defectors from the UN IPCC. There was an International Conference of Climate Change Skeptics in New York in March of this year. One hundred gave presentations. Attendance was limited to 600 people. Every seat was taken. There are a half dozen excellent internet sites that debunk global warming.

The battle against fossil fuels has controlled policy in this country for decades. Because of it tapping known oil reserves and building new refineries has been blocked. Where did that get us? To where we are today -- with gas at $4 a gallon. Self-induced tight supplies have reminded Americans of the link between supply and demand. Gasoline prices have soared because global demand for oil is high -- and rising.

Then there is the bungling of ethanol. The ethanol folly is creating a food crisis throughput the world – it is behind the food price rises for all the grains, for cereals, bread, everything that relies on corn or soy or wheat, including animals that are fed corn, most processed foods that use corn oil or soybean oil or corn syrup. Food shortages or high costs have led to food riots in some third world countries and made the cost of eating out or at home budget-busting for many.

The global warming myth has led to surges in both energy and food prices. We pay for it every time we fill our gas tanks. We pay again at the supermarket. Not only is it running up gasoline prices, it has changed government policy impacting our taxes, our utility bills and the entire focus of government funding. Worse still, Congress is considering a cap-and-trade carbon credits policy. Citizens will pay needlessly for that, too. The cap-and-trade plan will do one thing: add more costs. It is impossible to lower aggregate energy needs. Thus, a cap-and-trade program will collect more fees from those who must have more energy. Thus, everyone will feel the pinch in taxes and the price of goods and services. But AGGREGATE energy use will NEVER decrease. NEVER.

Thus, the Global Warming hysteria is, indeed, threatening our civilization. Not because global warming is real; it is not. But because people are easily duped into believing the cartoonish Doomsday predictions amplified thorugh a bi-polar media that alternates between fear and smug superiority. Chicken Littles and Al "God" Gore. Is it possible for humans to act any sillier? Yes. But the current silliness is enough for now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spend $70,000. Save $500 a year -- Bad Car Math

The suckers are lining up. Sales of hybrid vehicles are running high. But it takes a consumer who flunked math to come out of the showroom with a smile and a new environmentally-correct vehicle.

Technical advances in manufacturing will undoubtedly lead to lower battery prices for electric and hybrid vehicles. But battery prices, and hence, the prices of environmentally-correct vehicles will always reflect the price of oil. In other words, high oil prices means high prices for these vehicles.

Thus, owners of these new vehicles getting 100 miles per gallon will have to drive at least 1,000,000 repair-free miles before they save a dime compared with their loutish friends getting 25 miles per gallon in their gasoline-powered vehicles that sell for a quarter of the price of these new sucker-mobiles.

Critics of gasoline-powered vehicles should begin to wonder about airplanes. There are NO battery-powered or hybrid airplanes coming. There is NO alternative for jet fuel. The entire aircraft industry depends on abundant and affordable oil for its existence.

The same is true for ships, trains and trucks. Long-distance haulers must have oil for fuel or they will fail. Of course simple-minded Obamians have other ideas, like re-writing the laws of physics, chemistry and economics to suit their mad political agenda. Fortunately, that won't work.

Lab drives car to 100 mpg

NREL makes tailpipe dream a reality with battery-boosted Prius

Monday, June 9, 2008

If a car that gets 100 miles per gallon of gasoline sounds like a driver's futile fantasy, think again.

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden are testing a spruced-up Toyota Prius, a plug-in hybrid sedan complete with a solar panel attached to its oval roof and a bigger battery in the trunk to supply power in lieu of the gasoline-fueled engine.

The result: A spunky Prius that runs the initial 60 miles mostly on battery, adding up to a fuel mileage of 100 miles per gallon.

"The stored power in the battery does a great job of displacing petroleum," said Tony Markel, a senior engineer at NREL who has been working on the 2006 model Prius for the past two years. "For most people, their daily commute is about 30 miles, so this car would run virtually on battery and only need to be recharged at night."

Displacing petroleum is a desirable virtue today, as the nation battles global warming and skyrocketing fuel prices.

On Monday, Colorado's average price for regular, unleaded gasoline hit a record high at $3.943 a gallon, nearly 70 cents higher than the $3.258 a year earlier.

But the spruced-up Prius doesn't come cheap.

The lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged using a standard electrical outlet at home or even at the workplace, has a price tag of $40,000. And the solar panel on the roof cost $2,500.

All told, the car adds up to almost $70,000 - but as NREL says, it's only a unique research model at this point.

And if the car runs at more than 35 miles per hour, the gas engine comes to life to supply more power and consumption goes up.

Detroit automakers are interested in NREL's research, Markel said, adding that the goal is to bring down cost. Xcel Energy, Colorado's biggest utility, also is keen about vehicle-to-grid technology, which would have car batteries supply excess electricity during hours of peak demand.

Although NREL has yet to determine the experimental Prius' payoff time, it could improve with biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.

NREL says that light, plug-in hybrid vehicles could cut in half the demand for fuel, making it practical to use E-85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Also, the fuel cost savings could amount to more than $500 per vehicle a year.

"I think high energy prices are here to stay, and to go even higher," said Bryant Gimlin, energy risk manager of Gray Oil & Gas, a diesel and gasoline wholesaler. "It will not only encourage new technologies such as plug-in hybrids but make them more price effective."

"But it will take a number of years to do that and make a serious dent on oil consumption," Gimlin added.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes on Oil

There's nothing like repeating a mistake to give an entertaining show of stupidity. Or at least a demonstration of being a slow learner. Does Obama qualify for Special Ed when it comes to economics, especially when the subject is the economics of oil? Yes. He needs help. A lot of help.

Like most Americans, he's oblivious to the fact that Exxon paid $106 billion in taxes in 2007. That huge figure was taken from the $404 billion Exxon collected from its global base of customers buying its products. Out of that $106 billion in taxes, $30 billion went to the US government. Its profits of $40 billion were reinvested in the business and returned to investors as dividends. Those dividends were collected by everyone with a pension account and millions of others who invest in oil stocks.

It's hard to understand how nailing Exxon with punitive taxes will increase oil supplies or reduce gasoline prices. It's hard to understand because hitting Exxon with punitive taxes will lead to a reduction of oil supplies and an increase in gasoline prices, which will probably cause Obama to raise rates further as he attempts to choke to life out of economic reality. Clearly Obama has already lost his mind. Actually, he is performing for the choir. His audience is simply demanding that he follow their script, no matter how economically damaging it becomes. If high taxes on oil companies cause more misery at the pumps, then they'll claim it will take even higher rates to discipline the bastards.

Jimmy Carter learned that threats of harrassing oil companies with Windfall Profits Taxes is a good way to lose an election. Of course "talking" with Iranian screwballs is another way to lose an election.

Obama says he would impose oil windfall profits tax

Mon Jun 9, 2008

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday he would impose a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies as he sought political gain from Americans' pain over high gasoline prices.

Launching a two-week focus on the economy after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama drew a sharp contrast between his economic policies and those of John McCain, his Republican rival in the November election.

"I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills," the Illinois senator said.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fetal Lynching

The Audacity of Death

According to Barack Obama, Gianna Jessen shouldn't exist.

Miss Jessen is an exquisite example of what antiabortion advocates call a "survivor." Well into her third trimester of pregnancy, Gianna's biological mother was injected with a saline solution intended to induce a chemical abortion at a Los Angeles County abortion center. Eighteen hours later, and precious minutes before the abortionist's arrival, Gianna emerged. Premature and with severe injuries that resulted in cerebral palsy. But alive.

Had the abortionist been present at her birth, Gianna would have been killed, perhaps by suffocation. As it was, a startled nurse called an ambulance, and Gianna was rushed to a nearby hospital, where, weighing just two pounds, she was placed in an incubator, then, months later, in foster care.

Gianna survived then, and thrives now, because, as she told me recently with a laugh, "I guess I don't die easy." Which is what the abortionist might have thought as he signed his victim's birth certificate. Gianna's medical records state that she was "born during saline abortion."

* * *

As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama twice opposed legislation to define as "persons" babies who survive late-term abortions. Babies like Gianna. Mr. Obama said in a speech on the Illinois Senate floor that he could not accept that babies wholly emerged from their mother's wombs are "persons," and thus deserving of equal protection under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

A federal version on the same legislation passed the Senate unanimously and with the support of all but 15 members of the House. Gianna was present when President Bush signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002.

When I asked Gianna to reflect on Mr. Obama's candidacy, she paused, then said, "I really hope the American people will have their eyes wide open and choose to be discerning. . . . He is extreme, extreme, extreme."

"Extreme" may not be the impression the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have bought Mr. Obama's autobiography have been left with. In "The Audacity of Hope," Mr. Obama's presidential manifesto, he calls abortion "undeniably difficult," "a very difficult issue," "never a good thing" and "a wrenching moral issue."

He laments his party's "litmus test" for "orthodoxy" on abortion and other issues, and even admits, "I do not presume to know the answer to that question." That question being the moral status of the fetus, who he nonetheless concedes has "moral weight."

Those statements are seriously made but, alas, cannot be taken at all seriously. Mr. Obama has compiled a 100% lifetime "pro-choice" voting record, including votes against any and all restrictions on late-term abortions and parental involvement in teenagers' abortions.

To Mr. Obama, abortion, or "reproductive justice," is "one of the most fundamental rights we possess." And he promises, "the first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," which would overturn hundreds of federal and state laws limiting abortion, including the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and bans on public funding of abortion.

Then there's Mr. Obama's aforementioned opposition to laws that protect babies born-alive during botched abortions. If partial-birth abortion is, as Democratic icon Daniel Patrick Moynihan labeled it, "too close to infanticide," then what is killing fully-birthed babies?

* * *

On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama seldom speaks about abortion and its related issues. But his few moments of candor are illuminative. When speaking extemporaneously, Mr. Obama will admit things like "I don't want [my daughters] punished with a baby." Or he'll say that voting for legislation allowing Terri Schiavo's family to take its case from state courts to federal courts in an effort to stop her euthanasia was his "biggest mistake" in the Senate. Biggest mistake?

Worst of all are Mr. Obama's accusations against antiabortion advocates. He recently compared his relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, a member of a group responsible for bombing government buildings, to his friendship with stalwart pro-life physician and senator Tom Coburn.

In his campaign book, Mr. Obama accuses "most anti-abortion activists" of secretly desiring more partial-birth abortions "because the image the procedure evokes in the mind of the public has helped them win converts to their position."

All this explains why the National Abortion Rights Action League voted unanimously to endorse Mr. Obama over Hillary Clinton, as did abortion activist Frances Kissling, who called Mrs. Clinton "not radical enough on abortion."

It's surprising that 18- to 30-year-olds, the most pro-life demographic in a generation, are the same voting bloc from which Barack Obama, the most antilife presidential candidate ever, draws his most ardent supporters.

What's not surprising is that Gianna Jessen, who turned 31 last month, plans not to support Obama.

In "The Audacity of Hope," Mr. Obama denounces abortion absolutism on both ends of the ideological spectrum. That is audacious indeed considering Obama's record, which epitomizes the very radicalism and extremism he denounces.

Rocky BalObama

It's Time for Another Obama Race Speech

Now what? How does Barack Obama, fresh from claiming the Democratic nomination, put Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger behind him, before they ignite yet again and blow up his general election campaign?

How does he pre-empt advertising images, sure to be circulated by his opponents, that link him to outrageous racial rhetoric and fears that he is open to the most radical left-wing ideas – including using the power of the White House to exact racial vengeance?

There is no doubt that Rev. Wright's inflammatory racial rants hurt Sen. Obama badly during the primaries. His once-ascendant popularity with white men faded in a flash after Rev. Wright emerged as a walking contradiction to the candidate's claim to be above the old racial divides. Even this week, at Mr. Obama's moment of historic triumph, a quarter of voters in Montana and a third of voters in South Dakota said the senator's 20 years of membership at Trinity United Church – the scene of racial rants by Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger – was an important issue for them. In both states, more than half of these voters voted against him.

Since Rev. Wright became an issue in March, the senator's favorability rating, according to a Pew poll last week, has dropped eight percentage points. The sharpest slippage was among white women who explained that their problem with Mr. Obama has to do with "personal attributes," more so than his race. The major personal attribute unveiled during that time was the senator's close relationship to Rev. Wright and the likes of Father Pfleger. Now, with the general election contest beginning, there will be more white voters, including the all-important swing voters.

They'll have to decide whether they are willing to see beyond race and invest their trust in the young, biracial senator who seeks to be their president.

Mr. Obama's strategies for dealing with the racial demagogues in his past have failed. The first strategy for dealing with Rev. Wright's proclamations – including damning America and offering baseless charges that the government was spreading AIDS among black people – was to say he was absent from church. Then Mr. Obama equated Rev. Wright with a crazy uncle to be found in every family. Then he asked for a pass, saying that everyone has heard their pastor, priest or rabbi make statements they don't agree with.

When this didn't work, the senator made a major political speech on race relations – a subject he'd avoided, to prevent being boxed in as the "black" candidate. The Philadelphia speech in March was most notable for what it did not do. Mr. Obama did not condemn Rev. Wright as a racial provocateur. Instead, he made it a point of virtue to stand by his minister of 20 years. He said Rev. Wright was a member of an older generation of black people still stung by their years of humiliation under segregation.

Incredibly, the speech was celebrated by supporters and most of the press. Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, said it would "go down as one of the great, magnificent and moving speeches in the American political tradition." The New York Times editorialized that "Mr. Obama's eloquent speech should end the debate over his ties to Mr. Wright since there is nothing to suggest that he would carry religion into government."

Well, that speech didn't end the controversy, either – because Mr. Obama never spoke honestly about Rev. Wright's sermons as destructive and racist. Instead he offered soaring talk about the nation, as a matter of faith in God and one another, needing to "move beyond old racial wounds." His only criticism of Rev. Wright was to chide him for a "profound mistake," of speaking "as if no progress had been made" on race.

And his poor judgment in remaining a member of Rev. Wright's church? Mr. Obama skated by with appeals for other people to have serious conversations about race. Instead of turning his fire on racial pandering in his own church, he criticized those who would "make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with [Rev. Wright's] most offensive words."

Allies rallied to the senator's side, arguing that the controversy was really all the fault of TV news programs that played the reverend's bellicose "sound bites" too often and out of context. But in a matter of weeks, Rev. Wright went on another rant, this time at the National Press Club in Washington. Only then did Mr. Obama condemn him for racially offensive jeremiads. And last week, Father Pfleger – with his mocking of Sen. Clinton and claims that whites all over America are crying because they feel a black man has stolen the nomination – has renewed the bitterness. His rant has also called a new round of attention to Mr. Obama's long ties to unsavory racial characters both inside and outside the church. In response, the senator has resigned from the church.

He has to do more.

The heart of Mr. Obama's problem is that he risks being defined by Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger. Most American voters know him only as a fresh face with an Ivy League education, an outstanding credential – editor of the Harvard Law Review – an exciting speaker, and a man who stands for much-desired change. Beyond that he is a political mystery with a thin legislative record. But when voters look at his past for clues to the core of his character, they find religious leaders calling for God to damn America and concluding that America is the greatest sin against God.

To deal with this controversy effectively, Mr. Obama needs to give another speech. This time he has to admit to sins of using race for political expediency – by knowingly buying into divisive, mean messages being delivered from the pulpit. He has to say that, as a biracial young man with no community roots, attaching himself to Rev. Wright and the Trinity congregation was a shortcut to move up the ladder in the Chicago political scene. He has to call race-baiting what it is, whether it comes from a pulpit or calls itself progressive politics. And he has to challenge his supporters, especially his black base, to be honest about real problems at the heart of today's racial divide – including out-of-wedlock births, crime, drugs and a culture that devalues education while glorifying the gangster life.

Mr. Obama also has to raise the bar for how political criticism is handled in his camp. Step one is to acknowledge that not every critic is a racist. His very liberal record and his limited experience, like his association with Rev. Wright, is a fact, not the work of white racists. Just as he calls for the GOP not to engage in the politics of fear over terrorism, Mr. Obama needs to declare that he will refrain from playing the racial victim, because he understands such tactics will paralyze political debate and damage race relations.

Only by admitting to his own sins can Mr. Obama credibly claim that he has seen the promise of our country, in which Americans of all colors work together. Only then can he convince dubious white voters that he is ready to move beyond racial antagonism and be their president.