While doing some serious biking today (3 flatted tires! -- how typical), I listened to Ring of Fire, who had a caller ask about the obvious handouts in the U.S. Energy bill. Specifically the caller pointed to wording in the bill that host Mike Papantonio showed clearly excluded everyone but a single company from bidding. Note the elevation requirements from this CommonDreams article from last month that Pap reiterated:
a project to produce energy from coal ... mined in the western United States using appropriate advanced integrated gasification combined cycle technology that minimizes and offers the potential to sequester carbon dioxide emissions and ... shall be located in a western State at an altitude greater than 4,000 feet.I have to laugh at this, because overly specific requests for bids happen all the time in scientific research circles. This kind of stuff occurs everywhere from research help wanted (where the job description will clearly point to a single individual without ever giving a name) to requests for proposals. However, you would think that our energy future should not depend on these kinds of games, and more importantly given out to some of the people responsible for the Enron debacle. Bullwinkle: Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat! Rocky: Not again...
More information on the scammers from Enron wrapped up in this charade here:
The same process is used by Syntroleum Corp. of Tulsa, Okla. At one time Enron, as well as Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. and Texaco, held licenses to use Syntroleum's gas-to-liquids technology.
Something that occurs to me in my most insane moments relates to what authority a government (such as ours) has in opening up technological secrets that could really, truly benefit the country as a whole. In this case, if the crony hacks exemplified by Secretary of the (Enron) Army Thomas White and company could get the license to some Fischer-Tropsch gassification process, why doesn't the guvmint grab it too and open it up to a bunch of garage startups?
One could say the same thing about AIDS drugs in the Third World (if forgiving the debt is OK, why not cheap drugs?) and bank accounts in Switzerland held by evil dictators (cripes, bust in there and get the guy's dough - the Swiss are neutral and won't want to get involved!). (said only partially in jest)
Perhaps a bit inconvenienced by the flats, at least I did not get run over or pounded by a road rager today, unlike the lass in D.C. who displayed contempt for our Heritage (Foundation) by bicycling in an urban setting.
As I have illustrated in an old post, road-rage is used by these wingnuts to ostensibility prevent road rage:
"I'm tired of the sons of bitches on the road," 77-year-old Eugene A. Hruby reportedly told a Dane County detective.
Hruby, of Dane, was charged Wednesday with second-degree reckless endangerment.
"You tell them they are not tolerated on these roads," he reportedly said. "I'm trying to stop four or five of them from getting killed by road rage."
Update: I missed this one when it came out a couple years ago. It falls under the category of "celebrity newsman who drags cyclist for several blocks while apparently concentrating on reading the teleprompter in his Cadillac".