Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Naomi Wolf





This vid is 47 minutes long and basically re-affirms the 10 points of fascism past and present. Probably old hat for most of you and very accurate describing the results of and the establishment of evil fascism.

Humanity has not advanced very much in the political sense have we. The same agonizing stuff just keeps happening over and over resulting in massive loss of rights and lives.

I believe Naomi is the 'canary in the coal mine' along with many others all basically saying the same thing, fascism has reared it's ugly head once again and as such we must gather up to defeat it once and for all. Priority one is a 'Humans Rights' doctrine establishing freedom for all humanity, not just the 'select few'.

Neo-Fascism is Neo-conservative is Nazi-esque Totalitarian/Authoritarian rule and here in the USA today whether people acknowledge it or not.

It needs to go, once and for all

.

46 comments:

DEN said...

I recommend watching Democracy Now today for an excellent interview with two polar oposites on the Isreali/Palestinian issue and Naomi Wolf.

Amy is looking much better recovering from a Bells Palsy episode.

micki said...

Den, this NYT editorial today is a fitting adjunct to your post:

The New York Times
November 28, 2007
Editorial
A Loss for Privacy Rights

The Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches, but for this protection to have practical meaning, the courts must enforce it. This week, the Supreme Court let stand a disturbing ruling out of California that allows law enforcement to barge into people’s homes without a warrant. The case has not prompted much outrage, perhaps because the people whose privacy is being invaded are welfare recipients, but it is a serious setback for the privacy rights of all Americans.

San Diego County’s district attorney has a program called Project 100% that is intended to reduce welfare fraud. Applicants for welfare benefits are visited by law enforcement agents, who show up unannounced and examine the family’s home, including the insides of cabinets and closets. Applicants who refuse to let the agents in are generally denied benefits.

The program does not meet the standards set out by the Fourth Amendment. For a search to be reasonable, there generally must be some kind of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These searches are done in the homes of people who have merely applied for welfare and have done nothing to arouse suspicion.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, rejected a challenge brought by welfare recipients. In ruling that the program does not violate the Constitution, the majority made the bizarre assertion that the home visits are not “searches.”

The Supreme Court has long held that when the government intrudes on a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, it is a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. It is a fun-house mirrors version of constitutional analysis for a court to say that government agents are not conducting a search when they show up unannounced in a person’s home and rifle through her bedroom dresser.

Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for himself and six other Ninth Circuit judges who voted to reconsider the case, got it right. The majority decision upholding Project 100%, Judge Pregerson wrote, “strikes an unprecedented blow at the core of Fourth Amendment protections.” These dissenters rightly dismissed the majority’s assertion that the home visits were voluntary, noting that welfare applicants were not told they could withhold consent, and that they risked dire consequences if they resisted.

The dissenting judges called the case “an assault on the poor,” which it is. It would be a mistake, however, to take consolation in the fact that only poor people’s privacy rights were at stake. When the government is allowed to show up unannounced without a warrant and search people’s homes, it is bad news for all of us.

Carey said...

Ay, ay, ay. Major, major monster fungus jungle dreams!

I heard Naomi on Randi Rhodes a while ago and wrote here about it. Or else I told Winke, my sister.

She's hit the nail on its head.

Didn't the Supreme Court refuse to review a case involving the govt's constant plea of need for secrecy to get around investigations just this week or something?

Excuse me, I'm kind of groggy. Stupid nail kept me awake again. Either the jungle dream or lying awake. Fun. At least I had a kitty cuddler.

DEN said...

Let us not forget, The Extreme Court was aligned to be a fascist tool with the appointments of Alito and Roberts.

It is another sign that if something is not done soon, the 'Authorities' will be goose-stepping up your sidewalk to search anyone they feel disagrees with the fascist policies.

Dissent will be snuffed out.

micki said...

Panel Rebukes Judge, Citing "Lunacy" in the Court

Turn off that cellphone, dammit! Or this judge will hang you by your toenails!

The commission said that Judge Restaino acted “without any semblance of a lawful basis” and behaved like a “petty tyrant.” It said his conduct “transcended poor judgment.”

micki said...

Carey, later today we should discuss more pleasant topics, then perahps tonight you'll have sweeter dreams.

Too early for sugarplums dancing in your head though....

micki said...

Oh, BTW, I think Carol has experience with Lamasil.

Has anyone heard from her since her Thanksgiving at DAC?

Hellooooooooooooo, Carol!

micki said...

bush Names New Economic Advisor -- hahaha -- did he ever had one who knew what the hell he was doing???

Hubbard has helped direct White House policy on entitlement reform, energy security, climate change, housing and trade investment policy. Among other issues, Hubbard has been deeply involved in the debate over the State Children's Health Insurance Program and Bush's proposal for a major shift in tax policy to, for the first time, treat health insurance costs as taxable income.

Wow! Heckuva job, Hubbard! If you "helped direct" policy on those issues, you ought to slink off to Hell and call it a day. Loser!

micki said...

Senator Bernie Sanders -- GLOBAL WARMING IS REVERSIBLE

Dr. B -- So.....is Bernie being a bit optimistic here, or what?

Carey said...

Micki,

I don't have knowledge of this "Project 100%" program. I might have if the Air America local radio station was still going. And I don't read our local paper very often. It's highly conservative.

I reread some of Greg Palast last night. As we write, screaming mimi's are devising more and more ways to not count the vote. The bad guy is the voter ID card idea. Poor people don't have proper ID since drivers licenses do not count as ID, only birth cetificates, passports etc. (Lots of poor don't have these things.) Palast gets my goat up every time as is his intention.

This Kevin guy on the FCC trying to kill us off with media conglomeration--wow. I'm watching him now on CSPAN. He's another little Nazi, isn't he?

I'm definitely groggy. Oh dear. I walked away from the computer for a moment and left this post hanging. I wrote it an hour ago.

Carey said...

Or this judge will hang you by your toenails!

Was that necessary? :-))

Carey said...

Bernie's trying at least. I mean, assholes are still out there insisting on haggling over who caused global warming.

It doesn't matter. Just stop doing wasteful things. You want to fry?


Micksters,

Visions of sugarplum faries dance through my head every Christmas. The Nutcracker Suite IS my Xmas theme. I was just thinking of that a moment ago. That's weird.

Carey said...

I was also wondering where Carol was this a.m. too! Actually starting to get a little concerned what with Bob's health and all.

Okay, we're just psychic.

DEN said...

Hey maybe Carol beat up a rich repug and is in the cooler?

Or computer issues.

David B. Benson said...

Yes, global warming is reversible, although Bernie Sanders did not actually mention in his article how that would be accomplished.

Let's just say it would be rather expensive. Have to sequester about 500 billion tonnes of carbon safely away from the active carbon cycle. Suppose this costs $100 per tonne. Everybody has a mere $50 trillion to spare, don't they?

Still the ideas in his piece make good sense...

David B. Benson said...

Oh yes. And also stop adding 8.4 billion tonnes of carbon per year to the active carbon cycle.

However, it may well be that baking soda will provide a solution to all these problems! I'll post about the baking soda solution later today, if nobody finds and posts the links earlier...

Carey said...

I was also wondering where Carol was this a.m. too!

Proof I'm groggy! Can't string thoughts together today. All that fungus talk!

Man is at once transcendentally brilliant and incredibly stupid. The climate crisis will spark unbelievable creativity. Physical discomfort is a great motivator.

Maybe it will up the goodwill factor as well. I don't know, though.

Gerald said...

Father John Dear on Advent

Alan said...

Some scientists have proposed compressing carbon dioxide and sticking it in underground caves as a way to cut down on greenhouse gases. Joe David Jones wants to make baking soda out of it.

Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.

"It is cleaner than food-grade (baking soda)," he said.

The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.
Read on...

Gerald said...

Once we say yes to the God of peace in our contemplative nonviolence, we too will rush off like Mary, on the second stage of Advent, to serve those in need, to love our neighbors, and to practice active nonviolence.

micki said...

Some good news!!

Hi Micki,

Yesterday, thanks to your efforts, we won a huge victory. Washington State utility regulators soundly rejected an application to build a new coal-fired power plant in Kalama Washington.

In a unanimous decision, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council said that Energy Northwest's "plan to make a plan" to address the the plant's global warming emissions "misses the mark by a wide margin."

The proposed plant would have produced as much global warming pollution as a million cars -- but we stopped it in it's tracks.

Thank you to everyone who sent an email to EFSEC asking them to reject the application. Of the 1,500 public comments EFSEC received, 1,000 of them came from Fuse members in the last 24 hours of the comment period. Your voice was heard loud and clear.

It's not clear what Energy Northwest will do next. Hopefully, they'll get the message and stop using rate payers' money to pursue what is clearly a dead end. We'll let you know if there are any new developments, and we'll keep you posted on other opportunities to fight global warming.

If you'd like to read EFSEC's ruling, you can download it here:

http://www.efsec.wa.gov/FILES/orders/833%20-%20PMEC%20stay%20adjud.pdf

Thanks again for your work!

Chris

David B. Benson said...

Can baking soda curb global warming?

Pictures of the pilot plant

Neat stuff! Hope it works...

Gerald said...

The Myth of the American Dream

Gerald said...

Americans do not enjoy democracy, nor did we ever. We like to fool ourselves into thinking that this is the “best” country in the world, and we have the “best” government. Scratch the surface of that statement, and you will realize it is not true. Ask a veteran who swore allegiance to this country, only to return broken, disillusioned, and without medical care; ask the millions of people who cannot find jobs or healthcare; and, ask an African-American about the illusion of civil rights.

Then I dare you to travel to another country where you don’t stay at a “Sandals all-inclusive Resort”, but live with the natives and let them explain our “American Dream” to you.

Gerald said...

No End In Sight

Gerald said...

I have a terrific idea. How about come election day, we don’t re-elect anyone? We prohibit past politicians from becoming lobbyists, and all of the displaced politicians can attend re-training classes for their new careers.

We need new leadership, totally new leadership. Middle America is dancing on the edge of the volcano. What’s that rumbling sound?

Wake up Middle America; the last trains pulling away from the station.

Gerald said...

The Truth about Colin Powell

A twelve page article to be read at your leisure but it must be read!!!

micki said...

Popular Science article on Baking Soda & Global Warming

Gerald said...

I believe that many problems are reversible!!! Even global warming!!! Even Hitler Bush can someday find a brain instead of looking for the caboose when brains were passed out at his birth, he thought they meant trains and so he kept looking for the caboose. God said that the world would have peace if we prayed to Mary. But, the world chooses not to pray and so wars will endlessly continue. Yes, there can be reverses in problems but mankind will not cooperate. That's our human nature. We will just have to adjust to endless strife and wars. Yes, we will have to adjust to the atrocities of war, like a baby's tiny toes, tiny fingers, tiny head, and tiny body being blown up. That is especially the American way of life.

Gerald said...

In one Farmer's Almanac that I read it had a great article for the many ways baking soda is helpful. My wife uses baking soda for a variety of reasons all the time.

Gerald said...

Here is one use for baking soda. If you have ever had lasagna, you will recall that it has cheese in it and after you eat, the plate has cheese on it. Before you wet the plate, put baking soda on the plate and wipe the plate with a clean paper towel, not dampened. The cheese comes off and than you wet the plate to clean it. It really works!

Carey said...

It's in my scoopable kitty litter. There's all kinds of uses.

There is some good news out there. Hip, hip, hooray!

Micki,

Wonderful news on Energy Northwest. Good luck,though.

Carey said...

Damn. I keep hitting my toe. Ouch city. That's why I can't think. I'm too annoyed.

Carey said...

Gerald,

I printed out the Powell article for reading a little later.

His is a convoluted case because of race.

micki said...

This is for real. Is this supposed to keep GOPers from voting for Ron Paul or Michael Bloomberg or some other posible 3rd party candidate in the Federal Election? Or what?

GOP will demand 'oath' of February primary voters

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- If you're planning to vote in Virginia's February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty.

The State Board of Elections on Monday approved a state Republican Party request to require all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they'll vote for the party's presidential nominee next fall.

There's no practical way to enforce the oath. Virginia doesn't require voters to register by party, and for years the state's Republicans have fretted that Democrats might meddle in their open primaries.

GOP will demand 'oath' of February primary voters

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- If you're planning to vote in Virginia's February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty.

The State Board of Elections on Monday approved a state Republican Party request to require all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they'll vote for the party's presidential nominee next fall.

There's no practical way to enforce the oath. Virginia doesn't require voters to register by party, and for years the state's Republicans have fretted that Democrats might meddle in their open primaries.

Virginia Democrats aren't seeking such an oath for their presidential primary, which is held the same day -- February 12th.

micki said...

oops...I should have previewed!

micki said...

Advance copy (partial) of the oath to the GOP:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING IN GOP PRIMARY:

1. Dress code: clean, starched brownshirt w/swastika, jack boots shined to mirror finish.

2. Speech code: STFU!!!! You vill speak only if/ven spoken to, und ZAT IS UND ORDER!!!!

3. Memorize complete Oath, from opening line "Seig Heil Herr Uberfuhrer Bu$h" to climactic ending. [WARNING: FAILURE TO MEMORIZE IN ENTIRETY IS CAPITAL OFFENSE!]

David B. Benson said...

Off with their heads! Trial next year, or not all all...

Anyway, hippity hops time.

micki said...

Anyway, hippity hops time.

Hey! It's not even 5 o'clock!

micki said...

Regional warming worsens Jakarta's flooding


Indonesia's environment minister said Tuesday that global warming was to blame after the capital of Jakarta was partially flooded, forcing thousands of people to flee homes and cutting off a highway to the international airport.

Carey said...

Christ, it's just not stopping-- the weather-related crises.

Rereading Palast last night reminded me of the voter fraud shenanigans. Et voila, dear Micki. They all verge on the absurd in their ambitious, back-bending attempts to "stop people from voting twice or illegals who cross the border to vote." They are preventing "crimes" that don't exist while simply disqualifying those registering to vote. Thus the registration drives are nullified. That Virginia voter ID debacle, I gather, has caused great debate for a while now since I've even read of it.

Your Nazi-German accent is apropos in light of the introductory post on Wolf. Nice touch.

Carey said...

I saw The Nativity Story. It's nicely photographed, the actors are beautiful, I stopped watching half way through. Okay, we get it. Joseph and Mary really did love each other. Oh yeah, and a Messiah was born.

Lovely Christmas fare, normal boredom about halfway through.

DEN said...

You can't take Christ out of Christmas.

Purely Christian holiday spent being nice to people that one time of year.

The rest of the year?

Screw em!

GTFOTW!!

HO! HO!

DEN said...

Six pack and brandy chasers, now thats a holiday anyone can enjoy any time of year.

After 5 of course.

DEN said...

OK I'll STFU and go away.......

Nite Boot boy

micki said...

Aw heck...I'm just going to post the whole darned thing...it's the end of the day.

Ron Paul sounds like a simple-minded flake, IMO! This makes me laugh -- the Repugs stack the deck in the courts, then this free-market (GOP) Libertarian comes along and suggests that all ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSGRESSIONS should be handled by the courts. Oh, my head hurts!!!!!!!!!! WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS NUT?!

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/11/29/grist_qa/print.html

Ron Paul's free, green market

The libertarian presidential contender says laissez-faire policies could stop global warming and save the planet.

By Amanda Griscom Little

Nov. 29, 2007 | Enviros may roll their eyes at a candidate who dismisses the U.S. EPA as feckless and disposable, who believes all public lands should be privately owned, and whose remedy for an ailing planet is "a free-market system and a lot less government." But Ron Paul, the quixotic libertarian U.S. rep from Texas, has a bigger cult following online than any other presidential candidate, and has won unexpected attention in the GOP debates with his provocative ideas.

Some of those ideas arguably have environmental merit. Paul is known for his zealous opposition to the Iraq war, which he duly notes causes pollution and the "burning of fuel for no good purpose." He wants to yank all subsidies and R&D funding from the energy sector, which many believe would benefit the growth of renewables. A cyclist himself, he has cosponsored bills that would offer tax breaks to Americans who commute by bicycle and use public transportation. Still, his libertarian presidency would, among other things, allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, boost the use of coal, and embrace nuclear power. Moreover, it wouldn't do diddly about global warming because, Paul reasons, "we're not going to be very good at regulating the weather."

I called Paul up on the campaign trail in Iowa to get the skinny on how the environment figures into his small-government agenda.

For more info on his platform and record, check out this Paul fact sheet.

What makes you the strongest candidate on energy and the environment?

On energy, I would say that the reliance on the government to devise a policy is a fallacy. I would advocate that the free market take care of that. The government shouldn't be directing research and development because they are bound and determined to always misdirect money to political cronies. The government ends up subsidizing things like the corn industry to develop ethanol and it turns out that it's not economically feasible. So, my answer to energy is to let the market work. Let supply and demand make the decision. Let prices make the decision. That is completely different than the bureaucratic and cronyism approach.

On environment, governments don't have a good reputation for doing a good job protecting the environment. If you look at the extreme of socialism or communism, they were very poor environmentalists. Private property owners have a much better record of taking care of the environment. If you look at the common ownership of the lands in the West, they're much more poorly treated than those that are privately owned. In a free-market system, nobody is permitted to pollute their neighbor's private property -- water, air, or land. It is very strict.

But there are realms of the environment that, by definition, can't be owned, right? How would you divide the sky or the sea into private parcels?

The air can certainly be identified. If you have a mill next door to me, you don't have a right to pollute my air -- that can be properly defined by property rights. Water: if you're on a river you certainly can define it, if you're on a lake you certainly can define it. Even oceans can be defined by international agreements. You can be very strict with it. If it is air that crosses a boundary between Canada and the United States, you would have to have two governments come together, voluntarily solving these problems.

Can you elaborate on when government intervention is and isn't appropriate?

Certainly, any time there's injury to another person, another person's land, or another person's environment, there's [legal] recourse with the government.

What do you see as the role of the Environmental Protection Agency?

You wouldn't need it. Environmental protection in the U.S. should function according to the same premise as "prior restraint" in a newspaper. Newspapers can't print anything that's a lie. There has to be recourse. But you don't invite the government in to review every single thing that the print media does with the assumption they might do something wrong. The EPA assumes you might do something wrong; it's a bureaucratic, intrusive approach and it favors those who have political connections.

Would you dissolve the EPA?

It's not high on my agenda. I'm trying to stop the war, and bring back a sound economy, and solve the financial crises, and balance the budget.

Is it appropriate for the government to regulate toxic or dangerous materials, like lead in children's toys?

If a toy company is doing something dangerous, they're liable and they should be held responsible. The government should hold them responsible, but not be the inspector. The government can't inspect every single toy that comes into the country.

So you see it as the legal system that brings about environmental protection?

Right. Some of this stuff can be handled locally with a government. I was raised in the city of Pittsburgh. It was the filthiest city in the country because it was a steel town. You couldn't even see the sun on a sunny day. Then it was cleaned up -- not by the EPA, by local authorities that said you don't have a right to pollute -- and the government cleaned it up and the city's a beautiful city. You don't need this huge bureaucracy that's remote from the problem. Pittsburgh dealt with it in a local fashion and it worked out quite well.

What if you're part of a community that's getting dumped on, but you don't have the time or the money to sue the offending polluter?

Imagine that everyone living in one suburb, rather than using regular trash service, were taking their household trash to the next town over and simply tossing it in the yards of those living in the nearby town. Is there any question that legal mechanisms are in place to remedy this action? In principle, your concerns are no different, except that, for a good number of years, legislatures and courts have failed to enforce the property rights of those being dumped on with respect to certain forms of pollution. This form of government failure has persisted since the industrial revolution when, in the name of so-called progress, certain forms of pollution were legally tolerated or ignored to benefit some popular regional employer or politically popular entity.

When all forms of physical trespass, be that smoke, particulate matter, etc., are legally recognized for what they are -- a physical trespass upon the property and rights of another -- concerns about difficulty in suing the offending party will be largely diminished. When any such cases are known to be slam-dunk wins for the person whose property is being polluted, those doing the polluting will no longer persist in doing so. Against a backdrop of property rights actually enforced, contingency and class-action cases are additional legal mechanisms that resolve this concern.

You mentioned that you don't support subsidies for the development of energy technologies. If all subsidies were removed from the energy sector, what do you think would happen to alternative energy industries like solar, wind, and ethanol?

Whoever can offer the best product at the best price, that's what people will use. They just have to do this without damaging the environment.

If we're running out of hydrocarbon, the price will go up. If we had a crisis tomorrow [that cut our oil supply in half], people would drive half as much -- something would happen immediately. Somebody would come up with alternative fuels rather quickly.

Today, the government decides, and they misdirect the investment to their friends in the corn industry or the food industry. Think how many taxpayer dollars have been spent on corn [for ethanol], and there's nobody now really defending that as an efficient way to create diesel fuel or ethanol. The money is spent for political reasons and not for economic reasons. It's the worst way in the world to try to develop an alternative fuel.

But often the cheapest energy sources, which the market would naturally select for, are also the most environmentally harmful. How would you address this?

Your question is based on a false premise and a false definition of "market" that is quite understandable under the current legal framework. A true market system would internalize the costs of pollution on the producer. In other words, the "cheapest energy sources," as you call them, are only cheap because currently the costs of the environmental harm you identify are not being included or internalized, as economists would say, into the cheap energy sources.

To the extent property rights are strictly enforced against those who would pollute the land or air of another, the costs of any environmental harm associated with an energy source would be imposed upon the producer of that energy source, and, in so doing, the cheap sources that pollute are not so cheap anymore.

What's your take on global warming? Is it a serious problem and one that's human-caused?

I think some of it is related to human activities, but I don't think there's a conclusion yet. There's a lot of evidence on both sides of that argument. If you study the history, we've had a lot of climate changes. We've had hot spells and cold spells. They come and go. If there are weather changes, we're not going to be very good at regulating the weather.

To assume we have to close down everything in this country and in the world because there's a fear that we're going to have this global warming and that we're going to be swallowed up by the oceans, I think that's extreme. I don't buy into that. Yet, I think it's a worthy discussion.

So you don't consider climate change a major problem threatening civilization?

No. [Laughs.] I think war and financial crises and big governments marching into our homes and elimination of habeas corpus -- those are immediate threats. We're about to lose our whole country and whole republic! If we can be declared an enemy combatant and put away without a trial, then that's going to affect a lot of us a lot sooner than the temperature going up.

What, if anything, do you think the government should do about global warming?

They should enforce the principles of private property so that we don't emit poisons and contribute to it.

And, if other countries are doing it, we should do our best to try to talk them out of doing what might be harmful. We can't use our army to go to China and dictate to China about the pollution that they may be contributing. You can only use persuasion.

You have voiced strong opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. Can you see supporting a different kind of international treaty to address global warming?

It would all depend. I think negotiation and talk and persuasion are worthwhile, but treaties that have law enforcement agencies that force certain countries to do things, I don't think that would work.

You believe that ultimately private interests will solve global warming?

I think they're more capable of it than politicians.

What's your position on a carbon tax?

I don't like that. That's sort of legalizing pollution. If it's wrong, you can buy these permits, so to speak. It's wrong to do it. It shouldn't be allowed.

Do you think it should be illegal to emit harmful pollutants?

You should be held responsible in a court of law, and you should be able to be closed down if you're damaging your neighbor's property in any way whatsoever.

Who would set the law about what pollutants could and couldn't be emitted? Congress?

Not under my presidency -- the Congress wouldn't do it. The people who claim damage would have to say, look, I'm sitting here, and these poisons are coming over, and I can prove it, and I want it stopped, and I want compensation.

You've described your opposition to wars for oil as an example of your support for eco-friendly policies. Can you elaborate?

Generally speaking, war causes pollution -- uranium, burning of fuel for no good purpose. The Pentagon burns more fuel than the whole country of Sweden.

Do you support the goal of energy independence in the U.S.?

Sure. But independence does not mean to me that we produce everything. I don't believe governments have to provide every single ounce of energy. I see independence as having no government-mandated policy: If you need oil or energy, you can buy it.

What about being independent from the Middle East, so we're not buying oil from hostile countries?

I think it's irrelevant. We wouldn't be buying it directly, we would be buying it on the world market. I don't think the goal has to be that we produce alternative fuel so that we never buy oil from the Middle East. The goal should be to provide all useful services and goods through a market mechanism instead of central economic planning or world planning. That system doesn't work.

What role do you think coal should play in America's energy future?

Coal is a source of energy and it should be used, but it has to be used without ever hurting anybody. I think we're smart enough to do it. Technology is improving all the time. If oil goes to $150 a barrel because we've bombed Iran, coal might be something that we can become more independent with. I think technology is super, and we are capable of knowing how to use coal without polluting other people's property.

But coal technology has been proven to harm people -- with poisons like mercury and asthma-causing particulates -- so should old-style coal plants be allowed to continue operating?

Use of the technology I mentioned to prevent harm to people, even if it costs more for the coal producer, is another example of how costs must be internalized to the energy source. To the extent coal can be efficiently produced in a way that does not pollute another's property or another's physical body, it will be chosen as a viable energy source. Certainly no producer of energy or anything else has a right to pollute or harm another's property or person.

If coal is not competitively priced when all costs to keep production safe are internalized to the producer, then coal will not be purchased or produced. I do not happen to believe this will be the case, but it is for the market to sort out, not politicians in Washington. It may be that, from time to time, as other energy sources become scarce, "safe coal" will be viable even if it is not at some other point in time.

What's your take on nuclear?

I think nuclear is great. I think it's the safest form of energy we have.

Ethanol?

I don't think anything's wrong with ethanol -- it's just not economically competitive. It's only competitive now because those who produce it get subsidies.

What environmental achievement are you most proud of?

Nothing really special, other than trying to explain to people that you don't need government expenditures and special-interest politics to promote safe, environmental types of energy. That comes about through a free-market system and a lot less government, and I think that's the most important thing I can contribute.

If you could spend a week in a park or natural area in the United States, where would it be?

There's probably hundreds of places. I probably have gone to Colorado more than any place, around Telluride and Ouray.

Can you describe your connection to the natural world? Have you had any memorable outdoor or wilderness adventures?

My favorite thing is riding bicycles, and at home my hobby is raising tomatoes. I live on the San Bernard River in Texas, and I belong to an environmental group that works very, very hard to protect the natural aspects of that river.

Can you elaborate on what you've done personally to reduce your energy and environmental impact?

Well, no, other than the fact that I'm just always aware of doing anything damaging to the environment. I don't think I do anything that damages it at all. I don't ride my bike because I think I'm destroying the environment by driving my car; I ride it because it's a great way to be outdoors and enjoy the environment.


This article is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside.
-- By Amanda Griscom Little

Salon