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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

An American Tsunami

I published an article (#101) on this today at:

This is a disaster still in process.

I am pledging to donate 10% of any donations made at my Congress exploratory site in the next two weeks to the Red Cross for Katrina relief at:

Monday, August 29, 2005

How a Hurricane or accident in "America's Gasoline Alley" Can Create a Recession

Hurricane Katrina is battling New Orleans as I write, but it is also threatening 50% of the refinery capacity between Texas and Louisiana and our Gulf of Mexico production at the same time. Twenty five percent (25%) of our production comes from the Gulf area hit by Katrina.

Call it "America's Gasoline Alley." Katrina is exposing our Achilles heel. Much of our production eggs are in one basket. If a storm or an accident or terrorist knocks out one or more of our aging, 30 year old refineries or Gulf platforms, gas prices will go even further into orbit and our economy will go south (see news headlines a couple days from now--8 refinieries out; gas shortages). It is moving closer to the cliff as oil prices are peaking and busting peoples’ wallets. Oil is now spiking past $70 on the spot market. Analysts say it could go up another $5 to $10 more - $80 oil! This will hurt the country unless action is taken. Oil is good for Houston and Louisiana but it is also a negative brake on the U.S. economy as a whole when it gets over 3% of our disposable income. That is when it can cause a recession as it did in the early 80’s during the Reagan administration when it last peaked. We are now at that point, and the new spikes will take us into recession unless action is taken. I’ve talked to owners of car repair places who tell me that people are putting off maintenance on their cars until they break, which makes the problem even more expensive. They are avoiding even routine maintenance because all their money is going into filling the tank. The system is stressed; so are the people. The Energy Bill does not make building new refineries with new equipment a priority. So we rely on 30-year-old ones running at 95% capacity and when a storm or an accident shuts anything down, prices surge. Congress has not addressed this issue despite all the warnings. That inaction has left us vulnerable to pain at the pump -- and another national recession fueled by high oil costs that hit everything in our oil based economy. I think Congress should be proactive in avoiding these problems rather than just being reactive after the cows have run out the barn door. 9 11 should have taught us that.

Foresight is required, and planning. Refineries aren't built in a day, so we now have a shortage that can't be fixed without doing the one solution available that our government refuses to endorse: conservation.

One would think that would be a conservative value.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rep. Ron Paul BBQ - & the HJ Res 55 Exit Plan for Iraq

Yesterday I went to Rep. Ron Paul's annual BBQ in Alvin, a few miles down the road from my house.

It was very interesting --a huge crowd arrived from all points of the compass. His district 14 adjoins District 22 (D22) and some of the people attending now live in D22.

Dr. Paul looked as if he had stepped off a golf course --very energetic and personable. He's considered a maverick Republican, which is fine by me. I like a person who has independent judgment instead of being just another party clapping seal. We've got enough of those on both sides of the aisle.

Dr. Paul is supporting HJ Res 55, a resolution calling for a “planned exit strategy” from Iraq. But he wants to avoid fixed calendar dates, so it is not a “cut-and-run” policy. All investors go into a business deal with an "exit strategy." Why shouldn't our government take a page from business and do the same? Having a plan is supporting our troops.

An "intelligent design" exit strategy could be triggered by milestones, such as XX% of security being turned over to Iraqis, approval of a Constitution, etc. When those things happen, we start bowing out. We are already at a point where our opinion means less and less in Iraq.

As a counter terrorism expert, I know that there will always be an insurgency killing our troops as long as our soldiers remain in Iraq. It will NEVER fall to zero. It would be no different then if Iraqis were manning checkpoints in American towns and raiding our houses. If the roles were reversed, don’t’ you think we would be leading our own insurgency?

Our country has experience being occupied. Remember the British making U.S. colonists house troops -- and their bad experience with our Minutemen shooting at them from behind trees in 1776? We really resented the British soldiers pushing us around.

Locals on the home front will always have a hometown advantage over any foreign army (look at what happened to the Russians in Afghanistan).

That is why we need to let the Iraqis take over their security ASAP. HJ Res 55 should be given serious consideration.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Pentagon to Close Ellington Air Base - Bad Move

The Pentagon in its infinite wisdom has decided to remove our F-16's from Ellington air field.

This is a bad, bad, dumb move. Houston and its port are a major potential target. Having fighters come from San Antonio is too little too late.

And it happened despite Mr. DeLay. Houston just lost a big one that could be very costly.

So, the district would have fared no worse with a freshman GOP Congressman. The incumbent saw no problem with our security despite the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and bombings of U.S. targets in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

In fact, the district might have fared better if a new Congressman with a track record of counter terrorism consulting had been involved in the decision-making process.

Houston just became a more inviting target by this move...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pat Robertson's Call to Kill -

I am glad to see that Mr. Pat Robertson has come to his senses.

It is pretty shocking to hear a man claiming to be an Ambassador of Christ and God’s commandment “Thou shall not kill” endorse murder of an elected country leader as if he were ordering a bowl of soup. Before this he once expressed a desire for someone to blow up our own U.S. State Department over some issue he disagreed with.

We need to avoid Christian intolerance that can be as extreme and violate the Bible as much as Osama bin laden is violating the dictates of the Koran.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When to Pull Troops from Iraq ?

This critical issue took an article to cover in the Global American series.

We are at a crossroads in Iraq.

It might get better, but it seems more in danger of evolving into something even worse than Saddam -- another theocratic fundamentalist Iran. That would mean perpetual terrorism in the nuclear age.

Therefore, we can’t afford to take our eyes off the ball at this time. We can’t afford any more mistakes. There have been too many already. They have hurt America's image.

You’ll have to read the article to get the analysis -- from the perspective of a person who did warn about the potential of a 9 11 long before it happened….

P.S. Don’t forget to “Vote” on Iraq, Gas prices, etc. at the top of the website:

Monday, August 22, 2005

U.S. Unprepared for "Peak Oil" Coming - 2006+

This article says it all - we are unprepared for peak oil which is coming as soon as next year (world production drops and prices go UP even more).

The article offers real solutions. Check it out.

I have a new set of Poll questions on the website - Give me your opinion on Iraq, Energy, taxes, terrorism, etc. at:

The Poll can be found by clicking "Vote" at the top of the web page.

(Get your friends to vote).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Definition of Success

My wife and I go to a little church in Richmond, Texas - a small town that is our County Seat. I like it because it is a great escape from the impersonal "bigness" of Houston. It reminds me of the small towns I grew up near as a child (in Iowa and Texas).

Today, a lady at church said to me:

"Your running against Mr. DeLay the past 5 years has really got him paying attention to his district. That is success." I listen to this lady because she makes great sense. Her cousin is one of our U.S. Senators who I consider to be a great role model to follow, Kay Bailey. (I wish all our reps were like her. Texas would be in a class by itself).

I have to agree that is a form of success - that my efforts have made a difference. In earlier campaigns, people told me "We haven't seen Rep. DeLay here in years."

Now he is at every Lincoln Day dinner, ribbon cutting, etc. In fact, he's moving like his pants are on fire (raking in millions of special interest money while doing it).

Success is many things, including keeping our democracy alive. I was the only GOP challenger to Mr. DeLay in two elections. Last year he was unopposed in the primary. Without that competition to the powerful DeLay from a political unknown, NASA would not finally be getting full funding as it did this year; and pork barrel highway spending would not be sending our budget deficits to Mars before man gets there.

Competition works folks!

But the problem is that this "success" doesn't change the old wine skins into new ones. After winning prior elections, he has gone back to pulling the rug out from under folks - like cutting NASA’s budget or giving Houston's mass transit funds to other cities like Dallas. As a result, Dallas now leads Houston by over a decade in commuter rail development. Only recently has he restored what he took away five years ago.

Had I been elected twenty years ago when the incumbent went into office, our astronauts would now be riding new space vessels instead of 30-year-old technology. Houston's commuter rail lines would already be built to handle the doubling of population coming here the next 20 years. And we would have prepared for 9 11 in advance by making the FBI and CIA share information with Immigration after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center.

None of that has happened on the incumbent's watch.

So, success in getting an incumbent to pay attention has not been the same as success in making a change in Washington.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Terrorism and First Responders - Video

Yesterday I spent an hour in front of a video camera contracted by a film production company from near Chicago.

It is being made to send to police and fire departments across the U.S. on terrorism. I was interviewed as a counter terrorism advisor. In the background was a world map, and that was for a reason.

Our first responders are on the front lines here, but they are also the "tail of the dog" since they have to deal with issues that arise because of something going in somewhere else in the world.
In other words, they have to clean up stuff that they don't create.

Our own leadership may jab a stick into a global hornet's nest or miss the problem entirely (as they did before 9 11) -- and it will fall to First Responders to deal with the consequences if it results in a 9 11 or Tim McVeigh.

The London and Spain bombings confirm Iraq is spinning off attacks as a direct result. Even yesterday's rocket attack in Jordan against U.S. ships was a result of Iraq - the actors were not Jordanian. They were Syrian, Iraqi and Egyptian extremists taking the battle to Jordan yesterday, and maybe here tomorrow!

I can't cover an hour of video here, but you can review some ideas to resolve these issues in this Texas Viking blog and my platform page at the Congress website link (Wishlist).

If anyone wants a copy of the video, email me and I'll forward the producers' contact information. Otherwise, you won't see it unless you are a first responder.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Immigration townhall meeting

I attended both Rep. DeLay's and LULAC's immigration townhall meetings. I spoke at neither.

It wasn't allowed at DeLay's meeting (written questions only!) and at LULAC it would have required that I speak with my back towards the people (facing the panel). Sorry, but I only speak if I'm facing the people I'm talking to (and that isn't the panel but the ordinary folks in the room).

I will be convening a townhall meeting on this vital issue - offering a plan to solve this complex issue. You cannot separate security and a guest worker program in my opinion as a counter terrorism advisor.

I believe we will get security only if we set up an intelligent, legal way to process all immigration without treating people like animals.

In doing so we'll look more like confident, intelligent Americans who work out problems with our global neighbors instead of one reduced to checking 18 month old babies because their name is on the "no fly" list and using our Homeland Security funds as pork barrel rewards instead of making genuine safety investments that I will propose in this townhall meeting.

"Pass Out" Game - Kids New "High" of Great Concern

Yesterday I saw a TV spot on a new craze among middle school age kids that is of great concern to me.

It is called various names including the "pass out" game - kids choke another kid into unconsciousness - then they get a 10-second "rush" when they come by into awareness.

One girl said that "she didn't do drugs and alcohol" but yet spent all night with a girlfriend being choked to the point of passing out, then waking up. Some haven't and have died.

If these kids need a "rush" to feel alive then I suggest they spend time digging latrines for poor people in Africa or South America for awhile, so they can get a "rush" when they come back to the U.S. and see a real toilet with running water.

I hope parents pay close attention because this new "craze" is more dangerous than some illegal drugs. Speaking of which, nearly 1 of 3 kids have abused cough syrup. Legal prescription drugs are being abused. And we have a "meth" epidemic that local authorities say is the worst drug problem they are dealing with.

Last year more people died from using LEGAL drugs than from all illegal drugs combined (such as heroin, cocaine, etc.) so this is serious. How do you keep kids (and adults) from abusing LEGAL drugs such Oxycontin, which hooked even Rush Limbaugh.

We need solutions and parents are a key part of it. Talk to your kids - As the article pointed out, kids are less likely to do this stupid things if they have good communications with the parents.

On a Congressional level, we need to focus on treatment and establishing more drug courts that focus on making troubled kids responsible citizens instead of just locking them up and throwing away the key.

If you don't think so, then people like Mr. Limbaugh also need to serve jail time if we are going to apply the law equally to everyone.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mr. President - Please Meet the Lady and It's Over

I do not personally know the President but I offer a solution for him to consider regarding the lady camped next to his ranch, if he’s interested.

Since Congress' job includes advice and consent, consider this a friendly act of advice.

Note: I was trained by the Fortune 500 to be solution-focused so I bring that habit with me in the political world. (Yes, i know - how quaint to focus on solutions in the age of focusing on finding fault).

Here is a quick and easy solution. If I were President I would meet with Ms. Sheehan, spend a few minutes listening to her -- and it would be all over, Mr. President. Done! Back to chopping wood!

Then you can enjoy what is left of your well-deserved vacation (it can't be much fun at the moment with Cindy and press camped outside the Ranch and the Iraqis still not getting their Constitution act together, etc).

Yes, I know, it is vacation time and you saw her once. I understand. But with things going the way they are, does losing a child in Iraq limit a person to only one audience with the President who championed this action?

I've been a candidate and found it required that I listen to people like Cindy as well as people who oppose her who live in the same district. I figured that it was part of the job if I was going to be representing people in Congress.

Meeting her a second time won't end the world and it solves your problem.

Mr. President, you are a caring man who has nothing to lose by talking to a grieving mom. Good luck. All true Americans are looking for solutions to these difficult issues and need an audience.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Shocking Negligence On Our Borders – Homeland Security Farce

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Midwest video company making a counter terrorism program to be sent to police agencies across the U.S. is interviewing me this Friday to take some quotes, so I did some updating on Homeland Security to prepare for it.

After talking with some local law enforcement people I discovered some very shocking information on the lack of border security –2 and ½ years after 9 11 and how our system is not working on keeping out the bad guys.

On top of that is today’s news that our geniuses in Homeland Security are not allowing babies to board an airplane when their name comes up on the “no fly” list! This is nuts. What happened to common sense? This is an improvement?

Are you scared yet? You should be.

I am. And all I can do about it now is make this video. No one listened before when I did a video in the 90’s on terrorism coming to the U.S. (Nor did they listen to the FBI guy who figured it out before 9 11, so at least they are consistent).

One of the items I learned was that PEOPLE smuggling is more profitable than drugs, and has less of a penalty. That can be more dangerous from a security standpoint.

I learned that there is a pay scale --very bad people coming in have big bucks and are willing to pay a lot more than that charged for Mexican laborers just looking for work. The Mexico-Texas connection in people smuggling is a key part, but not the only part.

Worse part - we have people in law enforcement who know how they are being smuggled in, but have no jurisdiction over HLS -- and HLS is so dumb it isn’t listening to them or changing their Keystone Kop methods. I guess they are too busy keeping babies off airplanes.

Sorry to say, but Congress has really missed fixing this problem. If keeping babies off airplanes is an improvement, then it is going to lead to another “big one” in the words of my law enforcement advisors.

I’m not in Congress and can do nothing about it until I am, if I run.

Monday, August 15, 2005

O'Reilly is Right: Rumsfeld Incompetent - Congress silent

Fox's Bill O'Reilly is right. Mr. Rumsfeld has been grossly negligence in running the Iraq war. He has been incompetent at best and should have been replaced long ago.

How unbelievable is it to send troops into a war zone without body armor? And 2 1/2 years later they still don't have it right!

How bright is it to start a war without a post-war plan?

How smart is it to have so few troops that Iraqi nuclear material was left unguarded and looted at the start of the war. We had so few troops that the Iraq borders were left wide open to foreign terrorists to pour in, and they did.

How many of our troops unnecessarily died or were wounded because of these obvious oversights?

Congress has a duty to call our officials on the carpet when their conduct results in unnecessary loss of life and chaos. Do we attack only Democrat blunders yet consent to our own –even when it is costing American soldiers’ lives? I don’t think it should.

Yet our Majority Leader has remained silent despite all of these huge, costly mistakes by Mr. Rumsfeld. I believe that our troops are more important than the career of someone who has been so cavalier with the lives of our troops. His turning a blind eye to torture has further stained America's reputation as a global guy. His incompetence resulted

Mr. O’Reilly is correct -- Rumsfeld's actions are at best gross negligence and have cost us the good will of the Iraqi people. That loss of goodwill makes success in Iraq less likely.

Congress at the minimum should launch a hearing to find out why we still don't have adequate body armor for our troops -- and demand the President replace Mr. Rumsfeld with someone more competent (less arrogant).

Mr. DeLay has been silent and tolerated this despite the high cost in lives and money. I won't --not when American soldiers' lives are paying for it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Conservatives have traditionally been for...

I just heard something on Houston 740 AM radio. The caller said:

“Conservatives have traditionally been for smaller government, balancing budgets with controlled spending and strong international alliances...

…And we have NONE of that.”

I have to agree with the caller. Spending is out of control. The border is out of control. Government hiring since 2000 has exceeded that of the last Democratic administration. Lobbyists have doubled in the last 4 years to over 35,000. And we’ve plunged into a costly war while refusing to pay for it like past generations have.

And much of what we are borrowing is foreign sourced. If it dries up, the bottom really falls out of this house of cards.

None of this strikes me as conservative or good for our country. So why aren’t more Republicans demanding some common sense changes in what is happening? Why aren’t more people realizing the emperor U.S. has lost most of its financial clothes? We are in deep debt while still spending like drunken sailors. I do not desire to be the lone voice crying in the wilderness.

What is happening is not good for our kids or our future. It is diminishing our future prosperity.

Congress passed an “Energy Bill” that does a few things good like encourage renewables but is bloated with national pork – which might be survivable except that it misses the two key things needed. It neither (1) cuts our gas consumption by encouraging conservation nor (2) increases the refining needed to meet growing gas demand.

More hybrids and refineries would help solve that. Our leaders are pushing neither solution.

In a world in which China and India are growing fast and need some of the same global oil we need, it is an unwise foreign policy that forces us down the road to future global wars and shifting alliances over oil. It has already put us in bed with some nasty governments. We were Saddam’s largest oil customer before the war!

This is true especially if our use of conservation and alternative energy sources could avoid that lose-lose scenario.

Conservation and increased mileage in cars are things we can do immediately that cut the billions we send to countries like Saudi that are not democratic. This is conservative in my opinion. But it is not happening.

In and near this Congressional district are the BP plants that have had 3 or 4 explosions (one loses count) in the past 4 months. An engineer claims that the newest equipment on our refineries is often 30 years old! This lack of updating of our technology has refineries running over 95% capacity. This is asking for gas shortage trouble and is causing today’s pain at the pump.

This has occurred under leadership in office for over 20 years.

It would not take much to be an improvement.

I believe our leaders are supposed to plan ahead – we should already have our astronauts in second-generation machines instead of 30-year-old Shuttles running 70’s technology. We should already have additional refining sources to avoid these sharp spikes in gas pricing.

Our leaders should have known that wild spending and tax cuts that benefit only the top few per cent is not going to stimulate a broad group of Americans. I talk to people every day in the Houston area that can’t pay their bills because of gas and medical costs.

I believe in balanced budgets, planning ahead, smaller government, controlled spending, higher technology and putting people ahead of lobbyists.

If you agree with me I need your contribution (and your friends) today at the website.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gosh, it was only off by $200,000

Yep, that is what DeLay's people are saying - that they made a "$200,000 reporting mistake" while busy raking in $3.5 million in 2001 and 2002.

Ummmm. Let's see. He's been in office over 20 years, filed zillions of these FEC reports that are preety routine when you are also writing the reporting laws -- and yet they somehow miss reported $200,000 that was soft money spent on a Congress campaign, which is illegal.

The explanation? Ok, the incumbent's wife and daughter are on the PAC payroll and rake in $500,000 in the last four years, the incumbent takes in $3.5 million in donations, plus a salary and free global travel.

So maybe to him the $200,000 was just chump change that somehow got mislabeled.

Perhaps that explains why we have the largest federal deficits on our history. It's just another accounting error!

So, what's next?

One important thing that needs to be investigated is the finances of a DeLay "charity" The Oaks of Rio Bend for kids in Ft. Bend that sat on $6 million dollars for several years before anything was built. No records of who was paid what have been released to the public.

Did Mr. DeLay's wife and daughter also get paid charity funds for Rio Bend? Who did? If he has nothing to hide, I call on Mr. DeLay to voluntarily release the charity's financial records since the donors are receiving tax benefits and the public deserves to know who was paid what with their money...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Abramoff Indicted - Birds of a feather, flock together

Big news is that Mr. Abramoff, who was always putting people in front of Mr. DeLay as part of making his schemes work, was indicted for fraud today in Florida. This doesn't involve the millions Mr. Abramoff ripped off from Indian tribes, before he insulted them. This is the man Mr. DeLay publicly referred to as "my close dear friend."Separately, other DeLay associates (including former staff members of his office) have been indicted in Texas for violating a 100 year Texas law against using corporate money for political campaigns. These Keystone Kops should also make TV's Dumbest criminals - they "laundered" the corporate money by sending it to the national party, which sent back the identical amount in sequentially numbered checks. Doh! Not even Osama has been that stupid.
Mr. DeLay himself faces an ethics probe this fall regarding trips paid for by lobbyists. Where there is smoke, there is usually a fire. All Congressmen/women who traveled illegally at lobby expense should face the same scrutiny.Is there a pattern here? There is the old saying: "Birds of a feather, flock together." So do criminals and people with loose ethics, apparently.
I look around at my friends and associates. None of them are getting indicted for anything, not even jaywalking. But none of them are ripping off people for millions either.
My worldwide travel was never paid for by any lobbyists. My travel was not for sightseeing and playing golf at some expensive resort in Scotland. You don't learn squat about the real world that way. When I could I donated pro bono time and travel expenses out of my own pocket, like the trip to the Mideast involving a kidnapped 12 year old American girl. Apparently, making $150,000 (plus) year as a Congressman isn't enough for Mr. DeLay to pay his own travel expenses. A lot of Americans would be thrilled to pay their own travel if they were making that kind of money. And those same ordinary Americans would probably hang out with nicer people also -- people who weren't playing fast and loose with the rules and other peoples' money.

We need an ethical Congress and ethical members of Congress. Period.

Only way to do that is to have a lot of turnover and a real "house cleaning" ...

New website is up for online donations, polling, etc. It's at:

Sign up on the mail list if you like.

P.S. There is a DA candidate in DeLay’s home district who said at a recent "Young Republican" meeting that the local District Attorney should also investigate Mr. DeLay in the county where he resides. It could be an interesting fall…

Monday, August 08, 2005

Goodbye Peter

President Bush said nice things about Peter Jennings today. He died last night. Only 67. Lung cancer, even though he quit smoking 20 years ago.

I had to usher a funeral today, so I spent part of the time recalling my surprise, brief encounter with Peter.

It was over a decade ago, not long after I had spent time in the (1990-91) Gulf War as a Mideast analyst for a local Houston TV station. At the end of a TV newscast, he said something that sounded to me like a freudian slip. So a sent him a light-hearted fax, ribbing him about it.

A few days later the phone rang. My assistant picked it up and a voice said it was "freudian slip" and asked for me. She said "Is that you Peter?"

It was. We had a brief conversation, and laughed about whatever it was.

I was impressed that he would make such a call. I certainly was not a celebrity. We never talked again but he proved to me that he was a great gentlemen on top of being a worldwise newsman.

We shall all miss you Freudian Slip...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Remembering Hiroshima

Sixty years ago today, the first atomic bomb was used on Hiroshima, Japan. Its use stopped a war and may have saved a million lives.

Let us spend a moment of silence in memory of that event, and hope that we'll never see one used on another city.

One of the surviving crew of the Enola Gay, the plane who dropped the Hiroshima bomb, said it best: "Let's hope terrorists never get hold of one."

We've done very little since 9 11 to stop the global spread of nuclear material and weapons...

Friday, August 05, 2005

"Put Them in Tents"

I attended Mr. DeLay's "Immigration Forum" last night in Sugar Land. It was packed, mainly with GOP party people. I went to listen and have a couple observations about it.

One of the first odd things was the announcement that "all recording devices must be turned off." It was a public forum, with media and campaign people with video cameras -- so why the ban on recording? What didn't DeLay want public? That soon became apparent.

One of Mr. DeLay's solutions for dealing with illegal immigrants stuck out like a sore thumb. He said we should round them up and "put them in tents" if we didn't have enough space for them in jails, etc.

Forcing people to live in tents in Texas in August when it is nearly 100 degrees? That will show the world how “civilized” we are! Why not just be like the Taliban and beat them with sticks while you're at it? I don’t think so.

American criminals who steal or kill get jail cells with air conditioning. But a person whose sole crime is illegally looking for work deserves nothing more than a tent, according to our majority leader. I disagree. If you put anyone in a tent in the summer heat it should a Congressman who gives himself a pay raise while cutting teachers’ pensions. I would also include pedophiles.

If we are going to be a great nation, we can deport people and still provide due process without degrading them in the process. This is America. We can do better than throw people in tents even if they are illegal - they are still human beings.

Second comment. Last night, I saw that Mr. DeLay only answer questions written on note cards, which are carefully screened. No oral questions from voters are allowed! Not even from a very friendly audience of loyal Republicans like the one last night, who applauded like trained seals. That strikes me as strange.

I’ve mentioned before a prior meeting in which two GOP ladies had a question for Mr. DeLay about tobacco companies marketing candy cigarettes etc. to children. They wrote their question on a card, but it was never asked. After the meeting ended they followed Mr. DeLay, and verbally asked for a response. No response.

A Congressman should take questions people ask from the floor, and not just from cards. And not from just Republicans. I would take questions at a town hall meeting from any citizen living in the district: Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Green or Martian (ok, just kidding about the Martian).

The incumbent does not even represent all Republicans. If he did then I, a political unknown, would never have received 20% of the GOP primary vote in 2002 against a 18-year incumbent without so much as an ad or a mailing. Had I been able to do mailouts and advertise that percentage would certainly have been higher.

Current RNC polls show that Mr. DeLay's hardcore base in the district is only 36-38%, including that narrow group who votes in the March primary. That means he no longer represents the majority of voters in the district. With funding, my base would easily equal or exceed that.

If you add my 2002 GOP vote of 20% plus the 41% who voted Democrat in District 22 in November 04, that is 61% of voters in District 22 who prefer someone other than Mr. DeLay. So he is not representing a majority when you add them together.

This townhall meeting is a vivid example of leadership isolating itself from the public, and creating a negative image of the party. It reflects badly on how we as a country treat people. I want to change that.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Energy and Iraq's Death car

Congratulations to NASA on its first space repair, a success. PapaCool is right - people will be turning in to see if the Shuttle gets back safe. I bet they will. We need to get NASA moving at "warp" speed and get more private space business going as well. It's time for free enterprises like SpaceShipOne to be sending us civilians where few get to go. Can't wait for the first Space Burger Joint to open up!

Now, the Energy Bill. It has taken years to get an energy bill through Congress. But what was passed won't fix our biggest problem - lack of refineries! We have access to crude but not refined gasoline we need to fill your tank.

An expert I met explained it this way: Say we can refine a maximum of 1 million barrels a day. Say that because of summer driving or whatnot we consume 1.1 million a day - only 100,000 barrels short. That 100,000 shortfall has to be imported as refined gasoline at a 20 cent a gallon premium. So what happens? The sellers of the other 1 million raise their prices 20 cents a gallon to match it! So the 100,000 shortfall raises prices on the other 1 million. Yikes.

So until we build another refinery or two to refine the extra gas we need daily, we will have artificially high gas prices. Problem? Environmentalists drive but object to refineries -- and studies take years.

My solution: build a US refinery just across the border, either in Canada and Mexico with a pipeline straight to the USA, and watch the cost of filling your car drop like a stone. Start now.

Finally, Iraq - Steven Vincent didn't realize that the Iraqi Death Car had come for him (today's Houston Chronicle). Before being killed yesterday, he had reported that the insurgents are infiltrating the new Iraqi police and army. Off duty police paid by the extremist al Sadr's group drive around, kidnap and kill people. The death car, one of many, probably killed him. 45 journals have died along with over 1,800 American troops and countless Iraqi civilians. My military advisors say if we withdraw too soon Iraq will fall into a civil war.

Recently Mr. DeLay voted "no" to a motion that would have given a mere $53 million for more prosthesis research for vets coming home with missing limbs...

I believe if we send troops in harm's way we should take care of them 100% when they come back. $53 million is a spit in the bucket compared to the $200 billion spent on Iraq so far...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The World's First Space Repair

NASA Returns to its Original Mission - Doing Things Never Done Before

It's something NASA has never done before - repairing the shuttle in space. Dangling an astronaut beneath the Shuttle to fix protruding cap filler that could blowtorch Shuttle tiles on re-entry is going where no one has gone before.

This is as it should be. When the first Model T car broke down a hundred years ago, its occupants learned Roadside Repair 101.

A century later, NASA's team for the first time is learning Space-side Repair 101 with its space truck, the Shuttle.

NASA's original mission was to do things it had never done before --developing an entirely new space technology, which created a new industry. Fixing an aging space shuttle in orbit is the logical next step in that process.

Yes, the repair has risks of doing further damage to the fragile tiles lining its vulnerable underbelly. But not fixing it carries greater risks. NASA crews need to become comfortable dangling Astronauts under Shuttles in orbit on every future mission until it gets replaced.

Even the next generation orbit vehicles will eventually require it. Let's face it, the next level is Space Repair 202 and on to Advanced Lunar Repair 303, etc. as we reach for the Moon and Mars.

As we evolve ever more deeply into a space-age society, repairing a space vehicle in space will become as normal as wrestling with a flat tire or a dead battery on a Houston freeway.

I wish NASA’s team Godspeed in fixing its first space flat…