Archive for June, 2011

Science and Bias

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

June 27, 2011

Science has an enviable reputation for integrity. People believe scientists know what they are talking about.

Bias does creep in, however. and it can distort results and lead to problems. The serious cases are not so much actual fraud in reporting data (though that does happen), but in using the data to predict the future. Honest, but reckless, extrapolation is usually the culprit.

This is especially true when it comes to science and society issues like population studies, resource issues and climate change—the heart of the green vs. grow controversy I wrote about last week.

My progressive friend routinely disagrees with me on these issues. In rebuttal he forwarded two articles from progressive-left magazines and blogs. Chris Mooney in the American Prospect supports the mainstream view that climate change is catastrophic and he claims, “the expertise gap is becoming dramatic.”

Mooney points out that a majority of scientists and intellectuals in universities, in the media and in the government are Democrats or Independents. “Academia has long been a liberal bastion,” he admits, “but it hasn’t always been this lopsided … professors have been drifting to the left since the late 1960s, gradually carrying us into today’s very unbalanced expertise environment.”

Presumably the Democrats and Independents (the progressive ones) are the “experts” on the side of the angels in this “expertise gap.” (He doesn’t acknowledge that the “overwhelming majority” of scientists on the angel’s side have no expertise in climate studies.)

The other article my friend sent was by Rania Khalek on AlterNet (a website compiled from alternative left-wing newspapers). Ms. Khalek describes herself as “a young progressive activist with a passionate dedication to social justice.”

“Climate change poses a profound threat to many things that right-wing ideologues believe in. … private property rights, small government and above all unfettered industrial capitalism. … Seriously dealing with the threat of climate change would require government to heavily regulate corporations … would entail a strong international body, most likely boosting the power of the UN. It would bring an end to the inefficient and energy-wasting free-trade agenda, as localizing economies would become necessary to sustain communities. And, most importantly, confronting climate change demands addressing climate justice for developing nations suffering from the pollution of industrialized nations, or more simply, a redistribution of wealth from North to South.”

She is right. Climate change policy is anti-capitalist. It also destroys any hope for economic growth. It substitutes a romantic fantasy-land of sustainable organic communities (“localizing economies”). This would inevitably bring an increase in poverty, North and South, and a cataclysmic decrease in world population. People the world over would be more equal—equally destitute. Actually the overwhelming majority would be equally dead. (The late Howard Odum, one of the founders of this new ecological economics, told an interviewer, me, that to survive with a decent standard of living we would need to cut back the world’s population from seven billion to one billion. Which six of your family or friends do you want to sacrifice?)

Khalik writes that, “Environmental groups are reluctant to relate climate change to economics and politics, probably because conservatives would see it as confirmation of the right-wing myth that global warming is a socialist plot to redistribute the world’s wealth.”

This bias against free-trade capitalism and enthusiasm for redistribution of wealth has obvious similarities to an older secular religion of the 20th century called communism. Communicants of the new secular religion do not like to be called communists. Progressives or even socialists maybe, which sounds warmer, and more cuddly. No matter what you call it, command-economies, organic or not, are just as prone to utopian fantasy, and just as destructive to economic and political prosperity as their parent Marxists were fifty years ago.

Climate change is far from settled science. If you search you will find a substantial number of scientists (including some Nobel Prize winners) who admit the climate warmed slightly in the 20th century, but do not go along with the extrapolations that proponents like Al Gore claim will destroy “the future of civilization as we know it.”

Chris Mooney in his article uses a meteorologist at MIT (an ex-Republican he claims) to illustrate his point that only ignorant or maliciously partisan ideologues disagree. His ex-Republican scientist testified before a House Committee that, “MIT atmospheric-science students can do hand calculations or show simple models to show why global warming is a serious concern. Such calculations show that the planet will warm somewhere between 2.7 and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit if we allow carbon-dioxide concentrations to double.” (Note the extrapolations.)

He should talk to a colleague of his, a world-class climatologist at MIT, Richard Lindzen. (Not a meteorologist, note. Actually most meteorologists are not supporters of the “settled science.”) Dr. Lindzen was a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He does not deny that the climate has warmed in the 20th century. He does not deny the greenhouse effect, or that climate change is “real.” But he is more cautious about extrapolating those warming data into 21st century disaster. The IPPC summary statement that everyone quotes was misleading and pernicious, according to Lindzen.

He explains one point: “They throw in a very peculiar statement (referring to the predicted warming) almost in passing. ‘Uncertainties in the future rate of this rise, stemming largely from the feedback effect on water vapor and clouds, are topics of current research.’ Who would guess from this statement, that the feedback effects are the crucial question.”

In other words, water vapor and clouds are far more important to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. If current research shows negative feedback (which is actually more likely than positive feedback if the earth turns out to be homeostatic as all living things are) the climate will cool, not warm.

The point is climate change science is far from settled. (See my new book for more details.)

Talking about homeostasis reminds me that science itself, like democracy and like capitalism, is pragmatic and self-correcting. Individual scientists and groups of scientists have made many mistakes, gone down dead-end alleys and promoted concepts and theories that didn’t work—often for decades, even for centuries. In time, the unworkable ones get weeded out, and the science rewrites itself.

The great majority of biologists and earth scientists, for example, did not accept Darwin and Lyell for over half a century. The great majority of natural philosophers (scientists we call them today) did not accept Galileo or Copernicus.

Democracy is similar. When a policy fails, we try another. And another. And another. When you find policies that work, as our founding fathers did in 1787, you go for it.

Free-market capitalism is pragmatic. When a company fails, it goes bankrupt. When a company succeeds it makes profits and benefits us all. When we have a recession or a crash, we recover and have a boom. In the long run we all prosper.

Unfortunately religion is not self-correcting. People still believe outrageously improbable things and no amount of evidence shakes these beliefs. This goes for belief in the supernatural but today is also true of secular religions like communism, socialism and radical environmentalism.

Marx taught that religion was the “opiate of the people.” He considered his views to be “scientific,” not religious. Many of his followers believed in its scientific infallibility as the most devout Catholics believe in the Pope’s infallibility. So it is with radical environmentalists and their friendly scientific extrapolators.

Forty years ago scientists like Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren, (present science advisor to President Obama) were predicting societal collapse and mass starvation by the end of the century if we did not stop population growth, restrict resource development and control technology. Forty years ago, as now, most media pundits and the majority of academic and media intellectuals agreed. That was the settled science forty years ago.

Today the overwhelming majority of scientists admit the consensus of forty years ago was much exaggerated, if not totally wrong. They now have more modest, sobering and non-extrapolated views on population, resources and technology. Climate change, though, is still considered a majority “settled” view.

“So it goes” as Kurt Vonnegut would say.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. I can’t help myself. Another old progressive friend of mine from Antioch said a few years ago that he would never read anything by Richard Lindzen. Why not? Because he got on the Internet and found that Lindzen had given a speech to a group of oil industry executives.

I wonder how he feels now about James Hansen, NASA’s leading global warming activist. If you check the Internet you find that he made 1.2 million dollars beyond his NASA salary over the past four years from awards, speeches and other services to the environmental community.

Environmental organizations like the Sierra Club are not pure and unbiased either. They have a strong motivation to increase their membership and get more dues. The best way is to raise red flags on potentially popular issues. It worked in destroying nuclear power and it seems to be working now to advance green lifestyles. (In words. Not so much in practice. Again—see Mr. Gore’s new mansion in California, the hundreds of thousands of second-home cabins in the woods so prized by environmentalists, and the huge market developing now for ecologically green travel vacations.)

P.P.S. For further corroboration on the points made in this blog see my new book, The Road to a Tea Party: a Fresh Look at the Cold War, 9/11 and the Future of Free-Market Liberal Democracy. You can find it now on amazon.com and on hawkhill.com and at selected book stores.

GREEN or GROW

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

June 20, 2011

The week before last The New York Times had two articles that illustrated the conflict between the Green Sustainable Lifestyle movement and the current political struggle to Grow the Economy.

One article by Thomas Friedman, The Earth Is Full, covers the usual litany. The world is running out of space and resources to house, feed and support an exploding population, and our wastes are poisoning us—especially the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels that is about to stir fry us with global warming.

For confirmation Friedman quotes the Chinese environment minister, Zhou Shengxian, “the earth is full. We are now using so many resources and putting out so much waste into the earth that we have reached some kind of limit, given current technologies.” His recipe for avoiding disaster is: “The economy is going to have to get smaller in terms of physical impact.”

This call to “get smaller” is not going to please his fellow citizens in China where the watchword is growth. Big growth. Ten percent a year. When we were in China a few years ago we visited a small city in one of the poorer provinces. There was a street festival where everyone was singing, “It’s great to be rich.” After so many centuries of desperate poverty that is exactly what is happening.

The message will not go over very well with our own politicians and citizens either. We are struggling to find ways to create jobs and to grow the U.S. economy. A few environmental radicals still believe “a growing economy means a shrinking ecosystem,” but you would never guess it when you see how most of these same radicals live (see Al Gore’s new mansion in California).

Side by side with this gloomy op-ed article there was an equally gloomy one by Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at Manhattan Institute. He points out that renewable energy resources, like wind and solar, are unlikely to save us. California recently passed a law that will require the state to obtain one-third of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

Good luck.

To satisfy the law the state would have to get 17,000 megawatts from solar and wind in the next nine years. The largest solar project in the state, Ivanpah, is now under construction. It will provide 370 megawatts, will cover 3,600 acres and cost two billion dollars. Wind farms require 14 times as much land and need 50 tons of steel for each megawatt delivered.

Do the arithmetic, Bryce claims, this would take so many square miles of land (presumably in the Mohave desert), and so many tons of steel, and so many tons of transmission cables to bring the power to the cities—in both cases far far more than comparable megawatt gas or nuclear plants—the environment would end up worse off, not better. All this to prevent possible warming.

I accept the consensus opinion among expert climatologists that the world has warmed—one degree centigrade in the 20th century. I don’t accept extrapolations that predict catastrophic increases if we don’t make drastic changes in our lifestyles. The economic collapse this would bring really would be cataclysmic.

Doomsayers do not have a very good track record. Some of the same scientists now warning of catastrophes to come from global warming were telling us forty years ago that it was an ice age to worry about.

The entomologist, Paul Ehrlich, was predicting worldwide famines and catastrophic disease epidemics if we didn’t rein in our populations. He predicted in 1970 that sixty-five million Americans were going to starve to death by 1990. His arithmetic was close. Sixty-five million Americans were on diets by 1990.

The marine biologist, Rachel Carson, predicted catastrophe if we did not stop using so many chemicals in our energy and agricultural industries. There have been few, if any, casualties from chemicals in the environment since her warnings.

These experts created a stir, won awards, and had very large followings among scientists and non-scientists. One of the leaders of the doomster scientists was the physicist, John Holdren, the top science advisor to President Obama.

These scientific seers were spectacularly wrong in the past. What about today? Should we pay more attention now? What, if anything, can we do to prevent the catastrophe some scientists and many environmentalists predict if we don’t lower our carbon footprint?

Take the environment first. There is no question that (apart from the questionable case of more carbon dioxide) the environment in the U.S. and in all developed countries is far healthier than it was fifty or a hundred years ago. Or even ten years ago. And this is despite the fact that we have three times as many people and use ten times as many chemicals. (I document this claim in my new book. See below.)

Populations in all developed countries have stabilized and are, in most cases, declining. Populations in developing countries are still growing but at a much lower rate and all indications are that they too will stabilize and then start to decline. Even more important, not only are there fewer people starving to death, more people in the world are wealthier than ever before in recorded history. (I document this claim in my new book. See below.)

Resources are another non-issue. The supply (and price) of food, land, oil, iron ore, copper ore, energy, forests and forest products fluctuates from year to year. In the long run all these commodities are getting more plentiful and cheaper. (For documentation see my book.)

The one fly in the ointment is carbon dioxide. What about climate change?

(1) Yes, the world is slightly warmer today than it was a hundred years ago. (2) The world has gone through many cycles of warming and cooling over the past thousand years and will do so over the next hundred or thousand years. (3) Predicting the details of climate changes in the future is full of ifs. (4) The world may get warmer (or cooler) in the coming century. Humans will cope. We have survived and prospered through World Wars, volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, famines, droughts, floods, hurricanes, nuclear explosions, nuclear accidents, epidemics, pandemics and who knows how many more natural and human-made disasters.

Heck, we have even survived organic farming. The deaths, over 35, and the crippling diseases, more than 3000, from the recent E. coli contamination from the organic farm in Germany were more than the casualties from Three-Mile Island and Fukushima put together. Actually, even more than Chernobyl. Shall we ban organic farms then?

Get a grip. The world is not full. We’ve only just begun.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. For further corroboration on the points made in this blog see my new book, The Road to a Tea Party: a Fresh Look at the Cold War, 9/11 and the Future of Free-Market Liberal Democracy. You can find it on hawkhill.com and on amazon.com in July.

Poetry

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

June 13, 2011

In my youth, like many others, I wrote poetry. In my youth, like many others, I read poetry. I don’t read it much these days, but I often find myself reciting lines to my wife Jane from memorized poems of the past.

To me the poets of the late 20th and early 21st centuries don’t hold a candle to Robert Frost, E. E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, Kathleen Raine, Conrad Aiken, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot and the many other poets I read in the 50s and 60s. Or maybe it is just that I am older now and don’t relate to the new fashions.

The story of poetry in human history is similar.

The poets of ancient Greece and Rome, (and Arabia, see Omar Khayyam, et al)—in fact the poets of all civilizations—still speak to us, even in translation.

Modern fiction comes and goes. Popular novels of decades past are rarely read today. With a few exceptions (Shakespeare) the plays of yesteryear are seldom read or performed today. Movies of the past are loved by movie buffs—Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz on late-night TV—but are not box-office hits today. The heavy treatises of thirty, forty, fifty years ago in sociology, economics, history, science, philosophy, memoirs or literary criticism are grist for the PhD mills, but do not connect with the informed public.

Poetry is different. The Bible, the Koran and Shakespeare (poetry at its most powerful), not to mention the ancient classics of Greece, India, Persia and China are popular and are powerful driving forces in modern civilizations, for good and for not-so-good, just as they were in centuries past.

A few samples of favorite lines:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.”
–Robert Frost

“What shall I tell Mr. Godot, Sir?”
“Tell him you saw us. (pause)
You did see us, didn’t you?”
–Samuel Beckett

“There will come a time, I know,
When people will take delight in one another.
When each will be a star to the other,
When each will listen to his fellow as to music.
Then will life be great,
And the people who live that life will be great.”
–Maxim Gorky

“Wonders are many, and none is more
wonderful than man;
The power that crosses the white sea,
Driven by the stormy south-wind,
Making a path under surges that threaten to engulf him.
And Earth, the eldest of the gods, the immortal,
The unwearied, doth he wear,
Turning the soil with the offspring of horses,
As the ploughs go to and fro from year to year.

“And the light-hearted race of birds, and the
Tribes of savage beasts,
And the sea-brood of the deep,
He snares in the meshes of his woven toils,
He leads captive, man excellent in wit.
And he masters by his arts the beast whose lair is in the wilds,
Who roams the hills;
He tames the horse of shaggy mane,
He puts the yoke upon its neck,
He tames the tireless mountain bull.

“And speech, and wind-swift thought,
And all the moods that mould a state, hath he taught himself;
And how to flee the arrows of the frost,
When ’tis hard lodging under the clear sky,
And the arrows of the rushing rain;
Yea, he hath resource for all;
Without resource he meets nothing that must come:
Only against Death shall he call for aid in vain;
But from baffling maladies he hath devised escapes.
–Sophocles, 442 B.C. (translated by R. C. Jebb)

“If today your heart is weary
And every little thing looks grey
Just forget your troubles and learn to say
Tomorrow is a lovely day.”
–Irving Berlin

“The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.”
–Sara Cleghorn

“The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not quite sure it is right.”
–Judge Learned Hand

“A peasant must stand for a long time on a hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.”
–Chinese proverb

“Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.”
–Gene Raskin

“Environment to each must be
All that is, that isn’t me.
Universe in turn will be
All that isn’t me and me.”
–R. Buckminster Fuller

All of the lines above are featured in appropriate chapters of my new book, The Road to a Tea Party: a Fresh Look at the Cold War, 9/11 and the Future of Free-Market Liberal Democracy. The following lines are in the bullpen for books of the future from Hawkhill’s new subsidiary, The Gilman Street Press.

“If there is any thinking to be done in this forest, you and I will do it. We have brains.
The others have fluff.”
–Winnie-the-Pooh

“When nature’s darkness seems strange to you
And you walk an alien in the streets of cities
Remember, earth breathed you into her with the air
With the sun’s rays
Laid you in her waters asleep
To dream with brown trout among the milfoil roots
From substance of star and ocean fashioned you
At the same source conceived you as sun and foliage, as fish and stream.”
–Kathleen Raine

“Buffalo Bill’s
defunct
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
stallion
And break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus
he was a handsome man
and what I want to know is
How do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death.”
–E.E. Cummings

“When I return will the fish still swim
Glide, dive and slowly turn in the far-off
Dark-down sea?
Will life still explode in seed and spore
And decay in time?
Will questions of great moment
Still be settled by childhood dreams and luck
I think I shall return as rock
My rhythm shall be paced slow
To the grand tread of the century’s boot
I will be soil, and trees
Sparrows and snakes
Blue bottomed whales, oak ribbed barns
Skyscrapers too
But not too soon.
hen when autumn returns again
I will stand by my seat and yes,
I’ll answer,
Yes.”
–Bill Stonebarger

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. More poems, statistics, observations and interpretations in my new book, The Road to a Tea Party: a Fresh Look at the Cold War, 9/11 and the Future of Free-Market Liberal Democracy. Look for it in a week or two on www.hawkhill.com or www.amazon.com.

Summer musings

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

June 6, 2011

Which country had more civilian deaths from homicide—Iraq, Mexico, Venezuela, or USA?

The correct answer is Venezuela.

In 2009 there were 4,644 civilians killed by violence in Iraq. In Venezuela the same year more than 16,000 civilians lost their lives from violence.  According to an article in The New York Times “the number of homicides [in Venezuela] last year was three times higher than when Chavez was elected in 1998.” Mexico was close with 15,000 murders, mostly drug-related.

Vacation thoughts:

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” Billy Wilder

A Member of Parliament to Disraeli “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “Whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

A woman asked Jonathan Winters what he thought of the Temple of Athena in Greece. He said he was “terribly disappointed.” “Why?” she asked. “Everything is broken.” “But it goes back five centuries before Christ.” “It should have been fixed by now.”

“When a man brings his wife flowers for no reason, there’s a reason.” Piers McBride.

Be careful what you wish for:

Some Christian fundamentalists claim that the Bible clearly states that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. A preacher on the radio directed doubters to Leviticus 18:22. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

James Kaufman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, posed a few questions for the preacher.

“Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I do need some advice from you regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

“Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you verify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

“I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

“My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16.) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev 10:14).”

More statistics:

Which country  had the best economic growth rate last year? Mexico, Venezuela, USA, European Union or Japan?

Correct answer is Mexico.

Last year Mexico, despite the drug killings, had a growth rate of 5.5%. Poverty declined from 63.7% to 47.3%. Literacy rose to over 90% and life expectancy is close to U.S. and European levels.

According to the CIA, last year growth in the U.S. was 2.8%, in Japan 3.0% and in the European Union 1.7%. China grew 10.1%, India 8.3%, Brazil 7.5% and South Korea 6.1%. Venezuela had a negative 1.9% decline.

Aging in the U.S. and in the UK:

Did you know that old people in the U.S. have younger brains than old people in England? According to a new study in the BMC Geriatrics similar cognitive tests were given to 8,299 Americans aged 65 and older and 5, 276 English pensioners. The American scores for both the youngest and the oldest of the pensioners were significantly higher than their English counterparts. The lead author from the University of Michigan claimed that the Americans were “mentally 10 years younger than their English counterparts due to better education and quality of life.”

Pay to play:

If you need help with your prescriptions (and your faulty memory) it may be worth your while to live in Philadelphia. In a new twist to the nanny state, social workers there are using an inventive way to get people to take their medicine. Pay them. First you pay for the medicines. Then you pay people to take the medicines.  Valerie Fleishman, executive director of a research organization sponsoring the program, says, “It is better to spend money on medication adherence for patients, rather than having them boomerang in and out of the hospital.”

In the Philadelphia program people can make between $10 and $100 a day for taking a prescribed drug, so long as they record the time and day they took it.

More statistics:

Which country had the most burglaries? United States, Mexico, Canada or the UK?

Answer—UK had almost twice the number of burglaries as the U.S.—13.8 burglaries per thousand people vs. 7.1 in the U.S. Canada had 8.9. Australia had the highest score, 21.7. The UK also led the U.S. in total crime scores with 97 per thousand. The U.S. was close at 85 per thousand. U.S. led Canada and the UK in murders. You can’t win them all.

How wrong can you get department:

“I have seen the future and it works,” said the muckraking journalist, Lincoln Steffens, describing his view of Lenin’s Soviet Union in 1919. He added later while staying in a luxurious spa in Switzerland, “I am a patriot for Russia, the future is there; Russia will win out and it will save the world. That is my belief. But I don’t want to live there.”

Scholar Tony Judt, in The New York Review of Books told a similar story of expert opinions of Mao’s China, “I well remember sitting in the graduate lounge of Cambridge University in 1969 while a tenured member of the economics faculty assured us that the Chinese Cultural Revolution, then at its paroxysmal height, was the last best hope for humankind.”

However, in Judt’s most recent book Ill Fares the Land, he was equally at risk for error when he wrote, “Something is profoundly wrong about the way we live today. In contrast to their parents and grandparents, children today in the UK as in the US have very little expectation of improving upon the condition into which they were born.”

This prediction echoes the one of a famous economist and best-selling author of the 1950s, John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith, too, predicted that his children would never be able to live in a house as large as his, and would never have a living standard as high as his. It was high time, he wrote, to devote more of our national wealth to social goods and programs rather than private consumption. Living standards could never match the 1950s level.

In his new book, Sonic Boom: Globalization at Mach Speed, Gregg Easterbrook pointed out how wrong Galbraith was, “Fifty years later, inflation-adjusted per capita income is three times what it was when Galbraith said incomes had peaked; the average 1,100 square-foot American house of 1952 has become a 2,400-square-foot house; the average one-car family has become a three-car family; by many other measures, living standards are much higher than when Galbraith said they had peaked.”

I won’t be alive to collect but I am willing to make a substantial wager that Tony Judt will prove to be an equally mistaken seer.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. More surprise statistics, observations and interpretations in my new book, The Road to a Tea Party: a Fresh Look at the Cold War, 9/11 and the Future of Free-Market Liberal Democracy. Look for it in a week or two on www.hawkhill.com or www.amazon.com.