Is It Any Wonder?

According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) European countries, our best allies in the wider world, don’t like the Bush Aministration much. They know he doesn’t really care about what they think, and will go ahead and do whatever he wants without thought or concern. They are beginning to feel that if he wants to go it alone, he can be alone. Unfortunately, that means all of we Americans.

The report quotes one European source:

“Puritan America is hostage to a sacred morality; it regards itself as the predestined repository of Good, with a mission to strike down Evil…Europe no longer possesses that euphoric arrogance. It is done mourning the Absolute and conducts its politics…politically.”

The European Union is only just starting to become a cohesive whole – an incredible achievement and an example to the world about how we can unite despite oftentimes radical differences – differences that are even ancient in their roots.

The CRS report goes on to say the EU has recently managed to unite member countries in a common political direction on many issues – most notably the question of Iran and their growing nuclear capabilities. We also share their concern.

Are we not better suited to deal with word issues together? To avoid violent conflicts and death? We should.

It seems that Russia is selling Uranium to Iran for their Bushehr nuclear reactor. The CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service found it on Russian news broadcasts. This is good – Iran isn’t doing their own Uranium enrichment yet. This is bad – Iran hasn’t been very good about letting the EU people in to monitor.

It doesn’t seem that the US is really doing much for anyone else but ourselves – ourselves certainly not being the general American people. More like a self-centered brat. A self-centered brat that uses God.

Even as we are apparently beginning to turn control of Iraq back to the Iraqis, President Bush wants $1.3 billion dollars – in just extra money – for an “embassy” in Iraq – that amount is by far the most costly US Embassy in the world.

This, like all the costs associated with Iraq, were not included in his FY2006 budget, yet represent a huge amount of money. This request for $1.3 billion came just after he submitted his FY2006 budget, and was presented as an emergency supplemental funding request to the FY2005 budget instead, according another CRS report.

Congress is not really sure what money has been spent where, after they gave so much. Much is unaccounted for. Much is wrapped in controversy and ethical scandal.

Bush also wants $82 billion more now, outside of the budget, for operations in Iraq. The last request was $87 billion. I suppose it’s a good trend…

Recently we seem to have lost $9 billion, too, according to CNN. We’re not really sure where it went. Then again, a lot of questions exist related to the companies that have moved in there. Even silly little things, like a payroll of 8,000 guards, but only 602 known.

The President thought we couldn’t even afford Perkins Loans any more for our own people who want to go to college. Loans! Stupid people are very convenient, after all…

So far we’ve spent over $200 billion on Iraq.

Oil production is good now there. It was very quickly after the war, actually. Electricity is available on average 8 hours per day.

Violent attacks on our own people are trending upwards. Iraqi civilian fatalities are trending updwards. And, they don’t want us there. The Brookings Institution has a great study on this, and many, many other things. They update it regularly, too.

If you’re interested in quickly telling Congress people to come up with an exit strategy, MoveOn Pac has an easy way.

Interestingly, more Iraqis have telephone service than had before. And internet access. Hmmm. And they do feel better about being able to speak out against the government, and practice their own religions. But there is no doubt the want us gone.

Why don’t we leave? We could spend this incredible amount of money on doing some truly wonderous things for our own people!

HydrogenHow about this? The largest argument against using all hydrogen fuel, with technology that we have now, is that existing gas stations would need to be converted to hydrogen fueling stations. The cost is just too staggering. But it’s less than what we’ve spent so far on this war.

Car manufacturers won’t make hydrogen-powered cars until people can actually use them. Sensible.

From the Ford Motor Company themselves regarding Hydrogen powered cars:

Refueling Possibilities
Before widespread commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is possible, development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure is necessary. A study conducted by Ford researchers (working under a Department of Energy contract) found that factory-built hydrogen refueling stations capable of supporting 100 vehicles could produce hydrogen that is cost competitive with gasoline. These hydrogen-refueling stations would produce hydrogen by steam reforming natural gas or through the electrolysis of water and would utilize existing natural gas and electric power infrastructures.

An initial hydrogen infrastructure based upon on-site natural gas reformers might account for 10 to 15 percent of all conventional filling stations in the U.S. This would be sufficient to support mass production of direct-hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Present day cost estimates for natural gas steam reformer stations are near $1.5 million per station, but costs could drop to less than $250,000 per station if mass-produced. Sufficient infrastructure for mass-production would therefore require between $3 billion and $15 billion in capital investment.

So, we’ve thrown away over $200 billion so far, for oil? Oil that won’t even be around much longer? And hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, we’re ignoring, and making excuses to avoid? We need to squeeze out that last bit of profit for oil companies and the defense industry I guess. At any cost, to each of us, including our own ability to go to school, or even have health care.

The best “dark comedy” of all? As hydrogen fuel burns, what does it produce as it’s “pollutant”? Water. Imagine, RV’s wouldn’t even have to stop to reload on water!

If we could have spend this money on hydrogen fuel, we’d go a long way making amends for our unconscionable snubbing of the Kyoto Accords.