Friday, May 05, 2006

Louis Rukeyser, RIP.

The founding father of television financial news, Lou succumbed to multiple myeloma this week. He will be sorely missed, a man of scintillating intellect, dry wit, and panache' that mesmerized one about markets, finance, and the economy. CNBC is doing a wonderful rememberance on him, hosted by one of his TV progeny, Maria Bartaromo.

PBS was literally put on the map by Lou. And they're hardly remembering him.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Energy Arithmetic I.

The US uses 140 billion gallons of gasoline per year. If 10% of this amount is displaced by ethanol, our yearly ethanol production would need to be at least 14 billion gallons per year. Our present ethanol production capacity is about 3.5 billion gallons per year! From an earlier discussion, an E85 fuel would require 8.5 times this production. Is large-scale ethanol replacement of gasoline possible?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lou Dobbs finds the ANSWER.

CNN's Lou Dobbs has been out front on the illegal alien issue for years, and now he appears to be the lone voice among the Mainstream Meatpackers to recognize the tentacles of the neo-Stalinist group ANSWER grabbing control of the protests supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

No Cheap Answers?

The Instapundit cited a Popular Mechanics article about alternative fuels, and here is the breakdown in monetary and energy costs for a car to drive coast to coast on these fuels.
Note that the energy content of each of these fuels varies as well, contributing to total costs:

  1. Gasoline: 91 gallons required, 4.5 barrels of crude oil required, $270 in fuel
  2. 85% Ethanol + 15% Gasoline: 176 gallons, one-half barrel of oil + 53 bushels of corn, $425
  3. 85% Methanol + 15 Gasoline: 214 gallons, one-half barrel of oil + 18Kcf of natural gas, $619
  4. B100 Biodiesel: 68 gallons, 80 gallons of vegetable oil, $231 (B5 is routinely used)
  5. Compressed Natural Gas: 88 effective gasoline gallons, 11Kcf of natural gas, $110
  6. Electricity: 16 effective gasoline gallons, 1 ton of coal, $60
  7. Hydrogen: 73 effective gasoline gallons, 16Kcf of Hydrogen, $800

Using this data alone, it appears ethanol is not the wonder fuel that some are hyping, while biodiesel and electricity look promising. Licensing more nuclear power plants may help offset the growing costs of electricity generation from coal. We at Deadrifts have lived downwind from a food processing plant with fumes of burning vegetable oil, and the smell makes one yearn for a whiff from the exhaust of a '67 GTO.

The Mayday Shakedown.

It was a masterful exhibition of controlling the vocabulary of a debate, as the Hard Left perverted the issue of illegal foreign workers into an imaginary attack on legal immigrants. The ANSWER Bolsheviks joined in "solidarity" with "immigrants rights" groups - and we wonder what these groups thought was their common cause with ANSWER's notorious anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-captialist agitations?

Monday, May 01, 2006

(image courtesy Flyfishing Gear Info)

Opening Day Diary, 2006.

Last Saturday's trout opener in Grayling featured clear skies, fresh breezes, moderate air and water temperatures, plenty of Black Caddis and Hendricksons, but surprisingly few fish. I was skunked (Ye Gods!) on Saturday on the Manistee, but on Sunday the North Branch of the Ausable River yielded plenty of small feisty brookies (by swinging a Pheasant Tail). Later in the day a fine 11" brown snapped up a Hendrickson dry on the Holy Water. A fine opener, with great fishing, beautiful scenery, and convivial companionship.
Cramer rates Couric a Sell.

Tim Russert was looking for supportive righteous indignation when he asked Jim Cramer about the obscene, criminal, rapacious, and predatory gasoline pricing by ExxonMobil. But Cramer didn't take the bait:

MR. RUSSERT: ...and do you believe the oil companies have been adding on a little bit extra profit?

MR. CRAMER: I, I think if they could drill they would drill. If they could refine more, they would. These are companies that are run for the shareholders, but they’re run to be able to produce as much oil as we can possibly use. They want to do that. Lee Raymond, he, he generated $67 billion in profits for his shareholders. I think that that’s a reasonable return, $144,000 a day. Katie Couric makes $85,000 a day. What value has she created vs. 67 billion by Lee Raymond?

MR. RUSSERT: Well, to the “Today” show and to the millions of viewers?

Let's analyze Tim's last question: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!