Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Falling Dollar

The falling dollar is increasing costs everywhere. We first saw its effect as the price of oil increased. The question is how do we restore our economy? First, we need to look at what caused this problem to begin with. The root cause is that we send more dollars abroad than we bring back in. There are several sources of dollars leaving the country;

Budget Deficits – Our elected representatives have spent more money they we paid in general revenue taxes since 1959. Last year the deficit was over $700 billion. Where did our Elected Representatives get the money, they borrowed it from abroad. Now many will disagree with the $700 billion. The problem is our Elected Representatives like to use the Unified Budget accounting gimmick. This combines the Medicare and Social Security budgets and dedicated revenues in with the General Budget and General Revenue streams which reduces the reported deficit.

Trade Deficits – We the people buy more from overseas then they buy from us. This has been going on for decades. Most favored trade status to China did not help at all.

Illegal Immigrants – This group takes jobs from Americans and in turn sends US Dollars out of the country to help their families.

Oil Importation – At $125 barrel, we send nearly $700 Billion out of the country. This is the primary reason behind our Trade Deficit.

How do we restore the value of the US Dollar?

We limit our importation of oil by replacing those things that consume oil with other energy options and by drilling here at home. By bringing US oil on line we reduce the dollar going out by $125 for each barrel. We will not be able to eliminate importing oil, but we can greatly reduce the trade deficit. We replace those energy conversion systems that currently use oil with alternative conversion methods. T. Bone Pickens has a great plant to use Wind Power to replace those utilities that currently use natural gas to make electricity. We free up natural gas to power our cars and trucks.

We close our boarders to illegal’s and begin sending those who are in our country illegally back from which they came. This will reduce the number of dollars being sent out of the country.

We elect an entire new congress. Those who now represent us have not focused on the problems and in many cases made the situation worse.

On November 4, 2008 we can begin the needed change in Congress.

McCain ; build 45 new nuclear power plants

Senator McCain was quoted as saying he support building 45 nuclear power plants. He even states the French can build one in five years. The French have basically one design. This makes construction easier. In the US, we have General Electric, Westinghouse and Babcock and Wilcox who were the major designers. Did the US have a basic design, no? Are the people who designed the US reactors still doing nuclear design work, no? These people have been dispersed, sought other positions or retired.

I worked for Babcock and Wilcox in both the Naval Nuclear Fuel division as well as the commercial side. The commercial side had no nuclear designers, but had many fuel designers. The companies are doing reloads only.

I supported nuclear power for a long time. I no longer support it for commercial purposes. The DOE was supposed to remove the spent fuel from the commercial sites starting years ago, but they have breached their contract to do so. YUCCA Mountain is not anywhere near complete so there is no repository for the spent fuel.

I worked for a couple of years in a High Radioactive Waste group. The problem is not that we do not know how to store the waste, but the cost of storing the waste above ground. Not only does a power company need real-estate, but the time it takes to move spent fuel from the spent fuel pool, to the storage container, evacuate and dry the container, draw a vacuum, seal the container, move the container and then monitor the container is immense. Of course this does not include the cost of the container. The one I worked on was called CONSTAR. It weighed about 100 tons.

What is a more viable, cheaper option? T. Bone Pickens has a plan that I support. His plan is better then my plan, but both use wind power. Pickens has put his money where his mouth is and I think that is just fantastic. He has invested $2 billion in wind power. His $2 billion will buy 4,000 megawatts. This is equal to two nuclear power plants, produces no waste, is environmentally friendly, is a cheaper source to produce electricity and does not tie up 700,000 people building and running nuclear power plants. Best of all, it won’t take five years to build, erect and bring on line as would a nuclear power plant. If McCain thinks he can get a nuclear power plant designed, permits obtained, built and on line in five years, he is greatly mistaken.

Indiana's Surplus; Where did it come from?

Governor Mitch Daniel’s is proud Indiana has a balanced budget. I think it is great as well, but we need some truth in government here. We have all seen the dramatic increase in the price of gas. Two years ago it was under $2 a gallon. Today it is hovering at $4 per gallon. The increase in the sales tax has aided the surplus dramatically. The sales tax going from 6% to 7% increased revenues from gasoline by 16% alone even if the price of gas had stayed below $2. But with the increase to $4 the state of Indiana has a huge windfall.

Just how much of an increase is the sate receiving? Assuming $2 a gallon gas in 2006 and $4 today the increase in gas tax revenues is 133%. The average driver with a 25 gpm is paying $76.80 more per year in just gas tax. With millions of cars on the road in Indiana, it is no wonder the state has a surplus.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bail out of Home Mortgages

Our elected representatives have voted to bail out up to $300 billion in subprime mortgages. I am not sure of all the details, but it involves tax credits to those who buy foreclosed homes. This is just plain stupid. Those who made the loans were responsible for doing their due diligence. If they wanted to make a loan to a person who was economically unable to make payments, then those who made the loans should be the ones who lose, not the taxpayers. These lenders raised their rates, collected extravagant interest and forced many into foreclosure. You make a bad loan; you eat it and take the loss, end of story.

This bailout will result in higher deficits, depress the dollar more, resulting in higher oil prices and hurt our economy. These representatives need to be voted out of office. I would never vote yes on a bill like this.

I want to restore the American dream, where in a land of opportunity a person can work hard and prosper. I will be as frugal with your money as I am with my own.

1937 and 2008

In 1937, the maximum base social security was applied to was the first $3,000 of wages. No worker or employer paid social security taxes on any wages greater than $3,000. The wage base or cap as some refer to it was set at about 110% of the average wage. It was done so that social security would not appear to be supported by the wealthy for the benefit of lower wage workers.

The social security benefit was not and never was based on the dollars paid into social security, but was/is based on the wages subjected to the social security tax. Based on benefit formula, even if the tax rate was zero, the social security benefit would be unchanged.

The tax rate in 1937 was 1% each for employer and employee.

This means a worker would pay a maximum of $30 into social security for the year.

Let us fast forward to 2008. The social security OASI tax is not 1% anymore, but 5.6%. The base is no longer 110% of the average wage, but is over 270% of the average wage and is now $102,000. The maximum tax paid by a worker per year is no longer $30, but $5,712. But since 1937 programs have expanded. The Social Security Disability program took zero dollars, but now takes $918. Medicare did not exist and now takes $1,479.

In summary, our elected representatives took $30 in 1937 and now extract as tribute $8,109! It may be that Souder has had little to do with the price of gasoline rising from $1.13 in 1995 to over $4.00 in 2008, but there is no doubt that all elected representatives are to blame for the our decreased take home pay.

My plan for social security would allow all workers to retain not only the employee's share of the OASI Tax, but the employer's paid portion as well. Instead of handing out a one time rebate of $600 or suspension of the gasoline tax that might save you $30, I want you to keep from this point forward your Social Security OASI tax. You can find my plan at

1937 2008
OASI 1.00% 5.60%
DI 0.00% 0.90%
MI 0.00% 1.45%
Base $ 3,000 $ 102,000
OASI $ 30 $ 5,712
DI $ - $ 918
MI $ - $ 1,479
Total $ 30 $ 8,109

We are back to the price of Corn

There have been two editorials concerning ethanol and its affect on good prices. One stated that it could have little to no affect since only about 9% of all corn is for human consumption. This is the linear one step reasoning that politicians use all the time. It is indeed true that only 9% of all corn is sweet corn and the rest is used for other than human consumption. What do we use this other 91% of the corn for?

Farmers use it to feed their cattle. As corn prices go up, so does the price of beef. They use it to feed dairy cows. As the price of corn goes up so does the price of milk. The price of milk also increases the price of ice cream (smaller portions – same price), cheese and all other dairy products. They use it to feed chickens and pigs. Again as the price of corn goes up, so do the prices we pay.

Then there is a the corn syrup used in soda pop which everyone knows has gone from $4 per case to over $6.50 per case. The list goes on.

Yes, we may not eat corn directly, but a great many of the groceries we buy are greatly impacted by the price of corn. To say that Ethanol is not the reason for huge increase in grocery prices is just plain ignorant or worse.

How does a farmer decide what to grow? They look at the price of the commodity they can grow and based on risk and reward, choose what is best. With corn prices 100% higher than a year ago, how do you keep farmers planting sweet corn, sell it for more? Oil increase has increased the cost per acre. It takes about 8 gallons of diesel to plant corn. Corn yields are about 200 bushels per acre and the price per bushel is over $7. How large an impact on corn price is fuel? It certainly is not fuel. A much larger contributor is fertilizer. With more corn planted, the amount of fertilizer has increased greatly causing its price to escalate far more than fuel. Then we have demand from Ethanol producers and China. In simple terms, we have many variables working to increase the price of corn.

The government is artificially creating the demand for corn by the 51 cent per gallon tax credit on ethanol. Eliminate this tax credit and ethanol dries up, demand drops for corn and fertilizer and the price of corn will fall.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Ethanol is not a good use of our food crops nor is it energy efficient. Recently I read that it was 1.37 buts’ out for every Btu in. I have read a lot of reports and Purdue University has done a lot of research on this question. They have found and reported that Ethanol is not energy efficient.

Food for thought, no pun intended.

Take a dedicated farm devoted to growing corn for ethanol production. Do they include the farmer’s energy use in terms of house, car, etc, no? All of these must be included as well as the energy used to make the infrastructure to grow and process the corn into ethanol. They only way they show an energy balance is to use energy credits.

Energy credits are those credits given to the by-products sold from ethanol production. It is true that the by-products can be used for feed. However, they are not worth as much nor as good as the grain themselves.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

McCain and Obama Economics

Listening to both McCain and Obama the issue is economics. From what I hear both McCain and Obama refer to economics in terms of energy costs, universal health coverage, jobs, college and more.

Obama wants to slap a windfall profits tax on oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil who made $40 Billion in profits while the Federal Government was paid over $100 Billion. Clinton voted for Medicare’s Prescription Health coverage. Now Medicare is projected to run out of money in 2018. Both want all people to go to college. All this while the budget deficits are high, social security is projected to run out of money in 2041, Medicare cutting reimbursement to doctors, oil hitting $145 per barrel, property tax reform in Indiana, falling dollar, high trade deficits and an economic stimulus package (tax rebate of $600 per worker/$300 per dependent).

I need to take a deep breath and relax. What is going on here? Let us follow the dollar and see where it takes us. When I work 40 hours, I get paid x dollars. Out of this x dollars, Federal taxing authorities take the following: Federal Income Taxes, FICA taxes, State taxes and local taxes. The majority of workers pay more in FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) than any other tax. The FICA tax is 15.3% of wages. Many say the worker really only pays 7.65% (half) because the employer is required to contribute the other 7.65% on behalf of the employee. The worker actually pays the full amount. The reason is very simple, the company increases the price of goods and services to cover all costs. You pay it when you buy goods and services. As the FICA tax increases, the cost of doing business increases. Either your wages are lower or we as consumers pay more. Either way you want to look at it, we the worker are paying the full amount of the tax.

What happens when the cost of doing business increases to a point where the company cannot make a profit, it closes its door? As taxes increase, the cost of doing business increases. This means those countries that have lower taxes create an environment that is cheaper for companies to operate.

United States Constitution

The US Constitution was written and singed in 1787. It has been amended 27 times. Recently the US Supreme Court ruled on the second amendment. The Second amendment reads;

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of the 2nd amendment. It is not that I disagree with the ruling, but that the court had 4 members that voted against “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” My question is what part of “shall not be infringed” do these four judges not understand?

The people who wrote and voted on the Constitution were common folk. They spoke plain English. To me the plain and littoral meaning of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” means that any person has the right to bear arms period. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The arms of the day in 1787 meant pistol, rifle and cannon. They had recently fought a revolution against England where the King of England had declared colonists did not have the right to bear arms. Being revolutionists, they buried their arms.

Does anyone really think that after fighting a revolution for independence, they would give up their “arms?” When it comes to the US Constitution, you could call me a “constitutionalist.” I believe the US Constitution is not to be reinterpreted as time goes by. I believe its meaning and intent is the same today as it was in 1787. If we the people want to change the meaning of the Constitution there is a mechanism for doing so. This mechanism is called an Amendment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Information on "Dad's actions didn't warrant arrest"

On 2-3-2007 an event took place at Northrop High School over Videotaping my daughter's performance.

I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice for the rights many want to trample today. I have a civic duty, a moral obligation to my country and my children to question the state when they extend by implication or worse, a statute beyond the plain and literal language given it by our elected representatives. If we do not do this, our freedoms, our rights will disappear because we failed to question and keep them at bay. The 2nd amendment is a prime example in that the United States Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4. Why was it not 9 to 0? If we want the United States Constitution to be "updated" or reinterpreted based on today's meaning of the words used, the mechanism for doing that is not the courts, but amending the Constitution. The United States Constitution means exactly the same thing today as it did in 1787.

I would like to comment on Kevin Leininger’s column of 7-15-08. Given the amount of material and limited space, the article for the most part was correct. The US Supreme Court as well as Federal Courts has ruled numerous times that photography/videotaping is protected free speech. Anyone has the Constitutional Right to photograph/videotape ANYTHING that can be seen from public property. However, even though you have the right to do so, you may not have the right to sell it. In order to sell an image, performance, dance, choreography, etc, one must obtain the permission of the owner. In the case of Northrop, they needed the written permission of very singer, dancer, musician and the owner of the music song during the show.

What Northrop and Huntington Media Services did was to sell without permission the performers work/property. In simple terms they pirated the property of others for personal gain.

When entering Northrop there were no visible signs. The signs were on the doors to the gym and auditorium which were either too far away, blocked by people waiting to enter or the doors were open facing another door to be seen. No one at the admittance table said a word to me about no videotaping until after I had paid and walked a third of the way across the commons.

A volunteer told me they were recording the performances and that I was more than welcome to buy a DVD. I replied “we will see about that.” A performance was taking place. I waited with my mom. Sgt. Glock came up behind and said “If I catch you videotaping I will arrest you.” He did not provide his name or badge number. The doors to the gym opened, my mom went in front of me and I followed. I did not push by anyone. Mr. HARTZLER stated “26-16 There was no physical contact, but his demeanor indicated to me that he was, seemed angry to me. I mean, he seemed agitated, but other than simply brushing past me, you know, he didn't make any kind of aggressive move towards me, other than to, you know, dismissively push past me.”

I sat down, placed the tripod and camera case on the floor under the chair. Neither my wife nor I had signed a consent and release to sell my daughter’s property rights. With about five minutes before the next show would begin, I got up to speak with a Northrop official.

What are the known facts up until Larsen and Damerell speak to each other?

1. From Northrop's and FWCS's standpoint, they don't care one way or another who videotapes. Demerell’s deposition 17-20 through 18-2

2. Larsen approached Damerell not the security guard.

3. Larsen asked Damerell where they had the authorization to videotape and sell tapes of performers.

4. Damerell did not know who Detective Barrientes was until after Larsen had been dragged out.

4.1. Damerell 35-21 The officer (Barrientes) that appeared to be there not on duty, but for some other reason, or part of the program, when did he actually get involved? Did he just start walking forward when uniformed Officer Glock started walking forward?

4.2. Damerell 36-2 He (Barrientes) had, during the conversation with Mr. Larson, I think he (Barrientes) had entered, saw the officer that he knew, came over to say hello to him, kind of gathered that there was a situation, ended up just watching this gentleman. Said his hellos, or whatever, and just kind of, "Hey, if you need some help, let me know," type of thing, then went out and sat in his seat.

4.3. Damerell 36-10 When Mr. Larson, the officer and myself were talking, he (Barrientes) happened to come back, just because he knew that we were looking to talk, watching him. Now, he (Larsen) is standing there talking to us, so he (Barrientes) just came over and kind of listened in. When the officer who was hired by us, when security escorted him back to his seat, I think the other officer (Barrientes) followed him, just to make sure, you know, brother in arms type of thing, make sure that he would take care of his friend.

4.4. According to Damerell, Detective Barrientes had no input into our conversation, he listened, there is no mention that Barrientes ever spoke.

5. Damerell inquired of Tom Maupin about the issue after his conversation with Larsen.

5.1. Damerell 24-22 He was there temporarily. I talked to him and just told him, then he had to run off and do something else.

5.2. This means Damerell had no knowledge of the Carroll – Northrop Application to perform when he spoke with Larsen. More specifically, the statement that Carroll’s Application to perform would be professionally recorded and sold is hearsay. A copy of which has not been found. This implies that this too was not known to him at the time Larsen and Damerell spoke.

5.3. Damerell 16-12 I would say yes. Another event, being a general student concert, part of a class, what event might happen at night, they may say that a parent can bring in a video camera and record that. But because of this being a very exclusive kind of a show, obviously there is a higher admission on a Saturday, they probably worked out the video is with the professional recorder, they kind of had the exclusive rights to record the event.

5.4. Damerell 17-8 Not being the contractor, I would say there is probably something in there giving them exclusive video taping rights. I have not seen the contract.

5.4.1. Damerell has no first hand knowledge of the Videographer Contract until 8/1/2007.

5.4.2. There is no language in the videographer’s contract giving it exclusive right to videotape.

6. Damerell 27-8 We spoke a little bit more about rights, or whatever. I just finally, I felt like we were tripping over each other in a conversation. I finally said, "Sir, if you are not happy, we would be more than glad to refund your money and you may leave." He did not wish to do that. We just reiterated we were not going to allow video taping and continued to have a discussion back and forth.

6.1. Mr. Damerell acknowledges I declined the offer of a refund, yet later states he thought I was going to leave 28-11.

6.2. I never requested to video tape nor did I state I was going to videotape.

6.2.1. The School and Law enforcement made the assumption that my questions concerning consent and release were just a ploy to get around the rule “no videotaping allowed” that none of these individuals know who made.

7. Damerell 27-24 Speaking for a number of minutes, he was not combative, he was just argumentative.

7.1. Anyone questioning a rule or policy is considered to be argumentative.

8. Damerell 28-7 Oh, no. We were ten to fifteen feet from anyone. We weren't shouting. We were just kind of having a discussion.

9. In Damerell’s Deposition (Damerell 42-11) he got the impression I would not be happy with any answer he gave me. We now learn Damerell;

9.1. Had not seen the videographer contract until 8/1/2007

9.1.1. The contract with the videographer has no exclusivity language

9.2. Has never seen the application submitted by Carroll High School where it is alleged to state performances would be videotaped and available for sale.

9.2.1. He is unable to get a copy of the application to perform submitted by choirs

9.3. Had no idea who made the rule

9.4. Who put the signs up

9.5. So what did Damerell tell Larsen in their conversation that was based on first hand knowledge, nothing?

9.6. Why would any intelligent individual accept what Damerell was telling them based on the above?

9.6.1. Why not just admit he did not know and say I will get back with you?

9.6.2. Why did he continue to bluff his way through questions when he had no knowledge of the answers?

10. If Damerell who is the assistant principal has no knowledge of the rule, signs, videographer contract and performers application, then on what basis did Sgt. Glock and Detective Barrientes enforce the “rule” no” videotaping allowed?”

10.1. Did a parent decide to put the signs up?

11. What was the reason for removing Larsen from public property?

11.1. Glock 42-15 A Subsequently, when I had the conversation with the assistant principal and Detective Barrientes, as his attitude and behavior worsened, then I told him specifically that he was going to be removed from the building.

11.2. Glock 40-22 A I never asked him to leave until after his very rude and insolent conversation with Kevin Damerell, the assistant principal.

11.3. Damerell 28-11 A Finally, we just said, "You know, sir, we just think you should go. You obviously are not happy with us. Before something happens, maybe you should just go. We'll be glad to refund your money." So now, at this point, the officer and I had agreed that the gentleman ought to leave. I sat there and the officer went with the other gentleman to his seat. I am assuming that he was just going with him to make sure that he picked up his belongings and made sure that he left quietly.

11.3.1. So if a person is not happy, do they have to leave public property? Only happy people are allowed to be on public property? Only people who agree with the school and police are allowed to be on public property? If you question their authority, they interpret this as being unhappy and argumentative.

11.3.2. They state they removed me before anything happened.

11.3.3. I was not videotaping My camera case was on the floor under the seat along with my tripod.

11.4. According to Damerell it was a suggestion, not an order to leave. “Maybe you should” is not an order.

11.4.1. What I recall is “Will you please leave?”

11.5. The officer and Damerell agree that I should leave. How did they communicate this consensus between themselves with me standing there?

11.5.1. I did not hear any discussion between them.

11.5.2. Did they have a prearranged non-verbal sign to indicate this?

11.6. Damerell did offer to refund my admission, but to me this was just an offer. At no point did I feel I was being ordered to leave the school property.

11.7. Damerell thought I was going to leave. What gave him this idea?

11.7.1. Barrientes 22-2 We said, "I think it's time you just leave, then." And he said he wasn't leaving.

11.8. Glock 27-15 Without saying anything, but both myself and Officer Barrientes knowing that once we've given someone an ultimatum and they have refused to obey a law enforcement officer, that this is time to take action.

11.8.1. What lawful command was given?

11.8.2. What probable cause did they have to order me to leave Northrop?

11.8.3. It was not against any Indiana Statute to videotape Barrientes Deposition 14-19 through 14-22 Glock Deposition 14-19 through 15-4

11.8.4. What law/statute did I violate?

11.8.5. I was not videotaping. My camera case and tripod were under my seat

12. Damerell 23-18 During this time when the officer called me over to the gym, the doors were open at the time, there was a break right around 11:00 o'clock, 10:45, somewhere in that range, said that both parents, the parents at the front door, the parents at the gymnasium door, who had reminded the gentleman again that there would be no video taping, not knowing that the first group of parents at the main door maybe didn't see the camera, but, again, just reiterated that no video taping was permitted. Again, the response was rude.

12.1. Were the signs not located where the average person would see them?

12.1.1. They were on the Gymnasium over 110 feet from the entrance and impossible for anyone to read before paying for an admission ticket.

12.1.2. They were on the Auditorium doors, but being shut you would not see them.

12.1.3. There were no signs on the tables used by volunteers at the admission tables.

12.1.4. There were no signs on the entrance to the school.

12.2. Were they relying on visually identifying cameras and then informing people that flash photography and videotaping was not allowed?

12.2.1. This is after paying for admission to the school.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Nuclear Power V Windmills

On WOWO Congressman Mark Souder recently stated that he had visited Sandia National Laboratories in NM. While there he saw solar, wind, geo thermal to name a few of the energy sources available. Souder went on to say that NE Indiana needed seven more power plants over ten years. When asked about electric cars, he was told that the electrical generating capacity is already stretched. In fact the seven power plants needed do not include any new ethanol plants as they come on line, which is said consume a large amount of electricity. Souder supports nuclear and thinks this is a large part of the infrastructure needed.

It is great to hear Congressman Souder speak out on energy, but he needs to get his facts correct. First, I worked in the Nuclear Field for ten years. I worked on fuel assemblies as well as disposing of highly radioactive waste. What Congressman Souder either does not know or has failed to mention about Nuclear power are the following;

All spent “burned” nuclear fuel assemblies are stored on site at each individual nuclear plant. A spent fuel pool was built to store the burned fuel assemblies. This spent fuel pool was designed not to hold 40 years worth of spent fuel, but far less. The reason is the DOE has been charging a fee to remove the burned fuel and store it at a national repository (Yucca Mountain). Because of decades of delay, our nation’s nuclear power plants are very fast approaching full core reserve. Full core reserve is when the total core is off loaded into the spent fuel pool and there is no space left for anymore fuel. When this happens, when full core reserve is reached, the nuclear power plant must shut down operations regardless of how much life is left in the facility.

There have been a number of nuclear power plants that have shut down before reaching their designed end of life. The utilities who have had to prematurely shut down power plants due to reaching full core reserve are now suing the DOE for breach of contract. The potential cost to utilities is in the hundreds of billions.

Therefore, to even propose constructing new nuclear power plants before you have dealt with the current nuclear waste from 105 nuclear power plants is just plain stupid and reckless. It takes more than ten years to design and build a nuclear power plant. We do not have ten years. I doubt we even have the engineering needed currenlty to do so. The engineers who once designed these facilities have moved on or retired. Keep in mind the last nuclear plant went on line nearly thirty years ago. A coal fired plant could be built in five years, but that pollutes and is a costly form of energy.

The DOE announced today that Wind-power could achieve 20% of electrical capacity by 2030. As for me, I think this is very achievable. In fact, I think we could shave 10 years off this number. A wind turbine takes three days to erect. If you were to replace a nuclear plants' capacity with windmills, you would need about 300to 400 windmills. What do you think is easier to get permits for, Nuclear or windmills?

Department of Energy Says 20% Wind Power Achievable
7:00 AM EDT May 23, 2008

WASHINGTON, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a ground-breaking report concluding that using wind power to generate 20 percent of the nation's electricity is achievable -- without any new technological breakthroughs. The DOE's report "20% Wind Energy by 2030" stated that by accelerating the growth of wind power the nation's consumption of natural gas could be reduced by 11 percent and consumption of coal by 18 percent annually -- providing a reduction of 825 tons of carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming every year.

"This is the equivalent of taking 140 million cars off the road," said Randall Swisher, of the American Wind Energy Association.

"We can do this nationally for less than half a cent per kilowatt hour if we have the vision," said Andrew Karsner, the DOE's assistant secretary for efficiency and renewable energy.
According to the DOE's report, the growth rate needed to reach 20% would pose challenges for the wind energy industry but is achievable. Already, the wind industry is attracting many new entrants -- traditional utilities like Florida Power and Light (NYSE: FPL), smaller wind developers and even big oil companies.

On Monday, legendary oil man T Boone Pickens placed a $2 Billion order for wind turbines from GE (NYSE: GE). Pickens is among many in the oil and gas industry that are investing heavily in wind. "It's time for America to change the way we think about wind power," said Bob Lukefahr of BP North America (NYSE: BP). Both BP and rival Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) are major players in the wind energy space.

Smaller wind companies are also thriving. This week Nacel Energy (OTC Bulletin Board: NCEN), a Wyoming headquartered wind developer, announced a 600 MW joint-venture wind project. CNBC guest analyst Francis Gaskins was first to cover Nacel Energy when it IPO'd last year -- and analysts at Advisory Research have published a new higher $5.03 price target on the Company.

William Larsen for US Representative

I am officially on the November ballot for Indiana's 3rd District US Representative Seat. I was beginning to wonder if there was anyone at the Indiana Election Division. I called several times to make sure I had filed the correct papers, each time getting an answering machine. It took two weeks to get a response. Then when I filed the papers I waited a bit and then called, again getting an answering machine. Last week I was notified that the state did have my papers that they were filed correctly and as of June 23, 2008 at 2:26 pm I am on the ballot.

This November the voters will have three choices for US Representative.

Please check out my issues.

If you have any questions or would like to help with my campaigne, you can contact me at

Disabled Veterans Milage Reimbursement

Mark Souder proposes to reimburse Veterans for milage over 30 miles. His premise is that government workers get 50.5 cents per mile when they drive on government business. Those who serve should have the same benefit as government workers. Currently only those with a 30% rating or higher and meet an income requirement may be reimbursed.

As a service connected disabled veteran who has traveled twice to Marion’s VA hospital for treatment, I know the cost is high. It took me over an hour and a half to drive the 62 miles one way. Each time the VA staff sent me right back to Fort Wayne for tests that had to be done before they could do anything. Five minutes later I was in my car traveling back to Fort Wayne. I had wasted three hours of my time, consumed four gallons of gas, polluted the air, and still had not received the necessary treatment I needed. I can sympathize with my fellow veterans. However, my question is why should government workers get 50.5 cents per mile? When employees travel on company business, most companies specify a compact rental. Why should government employees be any different? What standard should we use full size sedan or compact?

Let us look at the cost of operating a motor vehicle. Gas at $4.10 a gallon is a large cost, but it is not the only cost. If the 50.5 cents a mile were simply to reimburse for gas, then we are looking at a gas milage of only 8.1 mpg. This is terrible milage! Therefore, the government, we the taxpayers, should demand and require those government employees who drive cars, use cars that get at least 30 mpg. This puts the gas cost at 13.7 cents per mile. Therefore, instead of raising veterans to 50.5 cents a mile, we should reduce government reimbursement to 13.7 cents per mile.

Ok, this does not reimburse the government employee for oil changes, tires, windshield wiper blades, etc. So let us figure out what these cost. Tires at $375, wiper blades at $25 and oil change at $21.95 increases milage costs by 1.3 cents. Therefore, we reduce it from 50.5 cents to 15 cents. Ok, this does not compensate for the capital cost of the car. Capital costs come in at about 8 to 10 cents per mile so we increase the reimbursement to 25 cents per mile. Repair costs might be a large factor. Most warranties are for 100,000 miles. Clearly, if the warranty and maintenance costs exceed 8 to 10 cents per mile, it is cheaper to replace the car therefore; it is safe to assume that these costs are less than 10 cents per mile. Add 10 cents per mile and we are at a reimbursement rate of 35 cents per mile.

Instead of adding a new benefit and brining that benefit up to the level of government employees, maybe we should reduce the government benefit and add the veterans benefit with a net savings to the taxpayer. This is the problem with politicians. They see nothing wrong with 50.5 cents per mile. They want to make sure veterans have as good a benefit as they do, at your expense. I will be as frugal with your money as I am with my own!


William Larsen
Candidate for Indiana’s 3rd district
US Representative


World oil consumption has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. At the same time, the dollar has fallen against all major currencies. The result is $145 a barrel oil, $4 a gallon gas and an increase in our national trade deficit. The last thing we need is to send more dollars over seas putting more pressure on the dollar. As the dollar falls, the price of oil increases. This has a spiraling downward affect on our economy.

The question is do we drill for oil in Anware, the costal areas, Gulf of Mexico and/or the mainland? Many say drilling will have no affect on the price of gas. Some say we should stop exporting Alaskan crude to Japan and use that oil in the US. What seems to escape many and nearly every politician is that oil is a commodity. Alaskan crude goes to Japan because it has higher sulfer content, is closer to Japan than mainland US, a contract to send half the oil to Japan for investing in the Alaskian Pipe Line and Canadian and Mexican oil is closer to the US mainland. This reduces shipping costs. The Alaskan oil sold to Japan brings in hard foreign currency or brings back our dollars from over seas, just to be sent to Canada or Mexico to buy oil. In essense, the shipping of Alaskan oil to Japan has no affect on the price of oil or US trade deficit.

If we were to increase oil production in the US, we would have a dramatic affect on our economy even though the price of gas would not fall. The affect would be a reduction in the US trade deficit. We would reduce our dollars flowing out of the US, thus reducing pressure on the dollar. A stronger dollar would reduce the price of oil in terms of dollars and thereby reduce the price of gas at the pump.

NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002