DC editor: Islamic terrorists not a big deal

June 30, 2006

And so the complacency sets in.

Shortly after 9/11/01, President Bush expressed rather privately a concern that as time passed, the American people would forget 9/11. They would forget how that day felt, and the urgency that welled up in many that whoever perpetrated it needed to be pursued and destroyed. There were many others in this country who felt sad for “the New Yorkers” that such a terrible event had befallen them, but who didn’t see the urgency. Perhaps Bush didn’t know about these people. Basically anyone living in the Midwest and Western part of the country felt this way, and it got progressively more pronounced the farther west you went. My impression is that in California, 9/11 was a 3-day story, and that was it. People got on with their lives after that. I heard stories from friends that in contrast, people on the Eastern Seaboard were devastated for months. Even a year later, I heard stories about people in that region being basically numbed out by the experience. Many had friends and relatives who worked in New York’s World Trade Center. They took the situation seriously alright.

I read today’s Daily Camera editorial (unfortunately the link I had for it is now broken so I can’t reference the original article – piboulder – 3/6/2009) and saw all the earmarks of this complacency.

The administration hauls out its “war on terror” rhetoric whenever its back is to the wall, claiming that we are in an open-ended conflict against an extremely powerful, organized enemy, and asserting Bush’s primacy as “commander in chief” to do whatever he likes.

The claim that terrorism — a tactic, not an enemy — poses an existential threat comparable to that of the Cold War is tired, overblown rhetoric. The terrorist threat is real and dangerous, but it’s diffuse. And if anything, it has been put on steroids by the administration’s myopic, counterproductive tactics, such as the war on Iraq.

Translation: “The so-called ‘War on Terror’ was made up by the power-hungry Bush Administration. We should not be at war, because in reality the threat is small. This so-called ‘war’ is making the problem worse, not better.”

Isn’t it interesting that when the enemy gets weaker there are people who will say, “What were people so scared of in the first place?” If the threat is so small, or “diffuse” as he put it, who killed 2,500 of our military personnel in Iraq? Just ordinary Iraqi citizens? Certainly some Iraqi citizens have been involved with the attacks, but there is most certainly military operational knowledge behind the vast majority of them. It’s not as if everybody and his brother knows how to build a roadside or car bomb over there, and where to place them for maximum impact. Who’s killed a few of the leaders in the Iraqi government, and leaves all of the leadership with the knowledge that they are risking their lives every day as they do their jobs? Secondarily, who’s been threatening Hamid Karzai’s life, the president of Afghanistan? There have been a few assassination attempts on him. These are bold actions by a committed enemy, fueled by a hateful ideology no less dangerous to our world than Nazism. And no, I don’t draw a parallel between this war and the Cold War, but rather WWII. But this is before the editor’s time, so he can be forgiven if he doesn’t remember how all that developed. I will say that his knowledge of history is lousy.

Hitler and his gang were once just a “peasant army” before he joined the Nazi party, and rose to power. Why is it that some people insist that an enemy must gain sufficient force to pose a real physical threat to our civilization before they’ll finally get it through their thick heads that we need to oppose these people with overwhelming force? It’s as if they think it’s not a real war unless we get to the point where we’re rationing supplies, and a million of our own soldiers are killed on the battlefield. A president would be a fool to wait until that state of affairs materialized, as us Americans once were many decades ago.

Here’s a reality check for the editor: It’s called asymmetric warfare for a reason. This involves a small number of militants with small budgets, using small-scale weapons, or in the case of 9/11 our own technology, to cause the same amount of damage as more sophisticated weaponry, thereby making themselves appear more powerful. The tactics are different. The militants try to bypass our technological advantage.

Regarding the use of the term “terrorism”, the editor is correct, but he misses the fact that “war on terrorism” is a catch-all phrase that embodies a lot of different factors. I’ve seen many critics say this: “terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy” as a way of looking clever. I’ve seen some academics say they wish the president would use more accurate terminology, to say that we’re really at war with radical Islamists. Well, do most people know what a radical Islamist is? People saw terrorism on 9/11. They didn’t get a chance to really see radical Islam, because the closest perpetrators killed themselves in the act of attacking us. All people saw was the attack, not the underlying ideology.

Another fact the editor neglects is that several additional Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. have been thwarted since 9/11. President Bush mentioned these attempts not too long ago. I guess he’s forgotten, or didn’t believe in them because the description of them came from Bush’s own mouth. Anyone who’s been attentive enough to watch C-SPAN from time to time and has a memory of any length will have remembered that a military leader or two has mentioned these thwarted Al Qaeda attacks as well.

I have no cure for this complacency. I can only point it out and say that it’s dangerous.

I am reminded of a phrase I heard said a few times in a movie called “The Siege”: “Remember. The most committed wins.” Indeed this movie plays out many of the domestic political battles we’re seeing right now. It’s a well researched film that portrays Islamic terrorists carrying out a series of attacks on New York City (though nothing of the scale of 9/11), and our society’s and government’s response to it. Some of the similarities between events in the movie and 9/11 are eerie. If you watch it, keep in mind that the movie was released in 1998. That’s the striking thing about it.


Multiculturalism and radical Islam

June 28, 2006

I saw a good article in the Daily Camera today: “Gurwitz: Multiculturalism is enabling radical Islam”. In it, Gurwitz says that multiculturalism is on the decline, because countries that once embraced it are now seeing that radical Islam is showing that cultural tolerance can lead to national suicide. It’s good for people to realize this, though from his description it sounds like Canada and Europe are starting to get it, before some of us in the U.S. I’m sure that most Americans are not multiculturalists, but there are plenty in the halls of government and universities who cling tightly to this ideology.

What to do about immigration?

June 28, 2006

Former Boulder mayor, Robert Greenlee, wrote a new column this week on Boulder’s Immigration Advisory Committee. Greenlee is one of those “white buffalo” Republicans I referred to in a previous post. He actually got elected to office here some years ago, and served on Boulder’s City Council for 16 years. Impressive, for this town.

I’m not going to talk about the committee, since I don’t know much about it, and I’m confused by its mission since Greenlee says they don’t appear to be talking about immigration issues at all, but the same issues that the City Council sometimes focuses on. He says he wishes the IAC would focus on real immigration issues, such as the impact of illegal immigration on the community and the city’s budget, and bilingual education.

Like Denver, Boulder is what’s called a “sanctuary city”. The police are not allowed to ask about the immigration status of anyone they encounter. The basic mindset is that immigration issues are the federal government’s problem, not ours. We deal with everyone equally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is dysfunctional anyway, from what I hear. It’s even more difficult for them to do their job with local officials not cooperating with them, since they’re more likely to have direct contact with illegal aliens.

Greenlee advocates doing away with our sanctuary city status. I can sympathize with arguments on both sides of this. I feel that people coming into our country should respect our immigration laws. However, I see the wisdom of the sanctuary policy. The reason for it is that it makes the community safer. With the policy in place, illegal aliens can feel comfortable coming forward and talking to police about criminal activity in their community, without the feeling that they will be investigated and deported if they do so. The argument goes that this helps reduce violent crime. If the policy was not in place, illegal aliens would refuse to talk to police, making their jobs harder.

The overall feeling that I’m guessing most people have is that illegal immigration has more benefits than costs. Most illegals come here to do honest work for honest pay, because they can live a better life here. Who can object to that? In light of this point of view, these people’s immigration status seems more like a speeding violation. A minor infraction. Some even see it as a form of civil disobedience, because the law is wrong/unworkable. I don’t know that I know any illegals, but I’ve met some Latino workers. They seem to value hard work. They’re willing to accept wages that many would consider a bargain. Overall I’d say they’re nice folks. So I don’t have anything personal against them.

The jobs/economy argument I think is a non-starter. There’s a significant minority of people in this country who are very worried about the impact of illegal immigration on their ability to compete for jobs and higher wages. People have tried acting politically to stop illegal immigration for this reason, and the efforts have always failed. I think that most people either don’t know enough about the issue to care, or do know about it, but still don’t care. I used to be one of those who was worried about that, but I’ve gotten over it. Not because I make lots of money now and I’m sitting pretty, but because I’ve come to see it as a form of trade. They trade their labor for money, and I see trade as a good thing, no matter what form it takes. In my opinion, this is not the same thing as our “free trade” agreements. That’s a whole other topic.

As a trend, I have some concerns about illegal immigration. I think it’s safe to say that a  disproportionately high number of illegals use free services that are either provided by the government, or are provided for free by businesses, such as hospitals. More recently there have been movements to try and address those problems, such as a statewide campaign waged recently called Defend Colorado Now. This political group came together for the cause of keeping illegal aliens from benefiting from many government services. The idea being that since they’re not here legally anyway, they should not be an undue drain on state funded resources. State tax revenues fell dramatically in 2002 and thereafter.

The criminal element

There is a dangerous criminal element that is involved in bringing illegals across the border, the “coyotes.” They’re involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking (slavery and sex trades), corruption, murder, etc. Some illegal aliens who appear to be here just for the work are also involved with the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, which is plaguing the West, and spreading across the country. Particularly in the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, this criminal element is well known and feared by the U.S. citizens who live there. There have been frequent reports, though they’re not widely publicized, of U.S. border agents being shot at by these gangs, and the Mexican Army, which is apparently in cahoots with these criminals. This aspect of illegal immigration often gets ignored, because it’s seen as just a cover for racism or protectionism. Some argue that people are more afraid of these criminals because of their different skin color, that we have the same types of criminals here, and just as many of them. That may be so, but criminality must be confronted all the same, and if the criminals are largely succeeding in their aims, despite our efforts, then something about our approach to the problem has to change.

There is an aspect to this problem that makes it not so simple to draw an analogy to criminals in this country. If a U.S. citizen or legal alien commits a crime here, our government has jurisdiction to go after them, detain, and try them. We had an experience last year of an illegal alien in Denver shooting a police officer dead, and then escaping across the Mexican border within a couple days. We had to wrangle with the Mexican government to get the suspect extradited so he could be tried here, and they made us promise we would not pursue the death penalty. This is not the kind of treatment a U.S. citizen would get for the same crime. Even if a U.S. citizen escaped across the Mexican border for doing the same thing, I doubt the Mexican government would have the same sort of qualms about turning them over to us, if they could find them.

MS-13, a gang that started in Central America, has come up through our border. From the reports I’ve heard about it, it’s the most violent gang we’ve ever seen.

I don’t agree that we should have an open border with Mexico, where just anyone and everyone can come across as they please. I do think there is a potential threat from Islamic terrorists through this border. Not that the threat is indigenous to Central or South America. But what’s to stop Al Qaeda from sending operatives to that region, and then up through our open, largely unguarded border?

Mexico is not as well developed as the U.S., and it has many problems that we do not have, though citizens who live on the U.S. side of the border have been seeing them here, because the problems are being exported. Mexico as a country is not an equal to us, as I’d say Canada is. I don’t think it’s racist to say this, nor is it ethnocentric. I think this can be said just from the objective facts about the sophistication of its social structures, level of corruption, and criminality.

I think a guest worker program is in order, and I agree with the idea of the “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens who are already here. Bill O’Reilly said it well: The reason to have this is that the government has been complicit in the problem. It’s looked the other way once illegals have gotten across the border, and it’s looked the other way when employers have hired them.

First, however, the border needs to be secured. The criminal elements from Mexico must be curtailed. Second, there must be some robust way of establishing identity. The problem with too many official identity documents today is they are easy to forge. Employers and public officials must have an easy way to verify documentation with official databases. The current system is a laughing stock. It’s difficult to get documents verified. Third, there must be sanctions against employers who hire undocumented illegals.

Creating our orderly processes of migration without these measures will be no solution. It will be “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” as it were. I mean this only in the sense that it will not change the problem as it currently exists. The Senate proposal basically asks illegals to be on the honor system. I think that’s trusting them too much. Many illegals already have forged documentation. What’s to prevent them from forging more?

The issue of English

From everything I’ve heard, bilingual education as it has been done has been a failure. As any foreign language teacher will tell you, the fastest way to learn a foreign language is to go to that country, and learn and speak the language. You will learn the language quickly out of necessity. In light of this, English immersion in the schools, or at least emphasizing fluency in English is the best policy. It will be hard for foreign students at first, and certainly there should be ESL assistance for them, but teaching academic subjects in Spanish, not pushing English fluency, catering to the Latino students’ first language is not helping them. If they are going to stay here and integrate, they need to learn the language. Children learn a language best when they are young. It’s harder once they get older. If they do not learn English, they will be consigned to a life of poverty in this country. So many opportunities will be denied to them. Some attribute this to cultural arrogance, but most people in this country are not bilingual. Expecting them to be so is just wishful magical thinking. Some say that in Europe, it’s common for people to know multiple languages, but I think this comes out of necessity. The European economy has developed to the point that they have found it necessary to have a level of integration with each other, culturally, linguistically, and economically. Based on their historical legacy, it’s actually to one’s advantage to be multilingual. You open yourself up to more economic opportunities. This is not the case in America. Most Americans speak English and no other language, mainly because they’ve had no incentive, economic or political, to do so. It’s not as if the Western part of the country speaks French, the Midwest speaks Albanian, and the Eastern U.S. speaks English. If that were the case, for example, and we all had the same standard of living we do today, there would be an incentive for Americans to know more than just English.

Some hate this sort of thinking. They value multiculturalism, with the belief that all cultures are equal and none are inherently better or worse, regardless of language, religion, or cultural heritage. They fight against what they see as America’s cultural hubris. They like the idea of changing America into a bilingual and bicultural nation, even though a lot of people will be hurt in the process, mostly the immigrants who come here. In my opinion, it’s the thinking of fantasy land.

Companies have made efforts to be bilingual, and if they want to pursue that, that’s fine. They have the right to pursue as many customers as they want. I think however that government should for the most part have English as the official language. It’s more efficient, though there might be reasons for exceptions in the border states, since they have a disproportionately large Latino population.

This isn’t to say that foreign language courses should be abandoned in public schools. Learning about other cultures is valuable, and is a legitimate part of education. For most people, any foreign language they learn atrophies, since they never get a chance to exercise it in daily life. It’s rather like learning history. Most people never have a reason to value it either, so knowledge of that atrophies as well.

So, Zarqawi was small potatoes, eh?

June 23, 2006

So why is Ayman al-Zawahiri praising him like a great, lost leader? Not too long ago, after we got Zarqawi, some on the liberal side of things said this was all a publicity stunt, that Zarqawi was just another terrorist, like thousands of others, and that in fact his forces were only 10% of the insurgency in terms of numbers. Some speculated that based on the letters Zawahiri sent him that Al Qaeda would be relieved that he was gone. He was a little too wild for their taste and was making them look bad. Well, I’ll take it from the horse’s mouth, Zawahiri himself:

“May God rest his soul and allow him to reside in his vast heavens, and make his martyrdom a light for the allies of God and fire and destruction for the enemies of God, the crusaders and their treacherous agents and the charlatans who deal in religion,” al-Zawahiri says. “There isn’t a single person who’ll be killed that we won’t get vengeance for, God willing.”

Pretty strong words. This certainly does not say “We’re glad to be rid of him”.

Killing Zarqawi won’t end the insurgency, but with each step along the way, taking out their leadership, we’re weakening their capability. There will be followers who try to fill the shoes of those who have been taken out, but they won’t be as sneaky, and they won’t be as skilled. They’ll be a danger, but they will be less dangerous.

If there’s one thing I’d wish is that the U.S. government would work harder to help Pakistan get rid of the madrassas. I’ve heard a little here and there that we’re encouraging Saudi Arabia to do this, and this is good. But we need to be tackling this problem everywhere. The madrassas create fodder for the terrorist groups. We need to not only be fighting the Islamofascists that currently exist, but also help governments shut down the very “factories” where they are inculcated from a young age. The madrassas are addressing a real need, but they are not the solution. The madrassas provide a place where poor parents can send their children for schooling, and they get 3 meals a day. The problem is the only schooling they’re getting is in the strict, radical, fundamentalist teachings of certain ideologues. They’re basically brainwashing camps. What would be great would be to help the governments set up free schools where children could get a real education, and truly become civilized members of their respective societies. I’m not saying we have to come in and set the curriculum for them. That would be an insult, but we could certainly help with ideas, and provide some guidance.

It’s not only the terrorists that need to be fought. The ideology needs to be defeated as well. Attempting to bring democracy to countries in the Middle East is a noble goal, which I think will bear fruit if we keep our eyes on the prize. It is one method of defeating the radicals. However, in the places where there is little or no democratic program, I think the madrassas need to be addressed.

That’s alright! That’s okay! We didn’t want you anyway!

June 22, 2006

In the editorial column of the Daily Camera today, Boulder’s premier newspaper says “small is beautiful.” Our population dropped from 95,000 to 92,000. “We’re No. 11!” it proclaims, saying Boulder has dropped out of the list of the 10 largest cities in the state.

I used to agree with this idea that keeping Boulder small was desirable, but that was when the economy was going gangbusters in Colorado. Back then the growth was off-putting. It felt like too much, too fast. Now I think a more pro-growth policy is in order, but the prevailing politics here appears to be against that.

Boulder has long prided itself on being an exclusive club. Last year a prominent social worker in town said, when asked what the social atmosphere was like here, that when she brought guests to town, the “vibe” they got from the locals was, “Well, it was nice seeing you. Now please leave.” And it’s common that whenever somebody complains about Boulder, the response is dismissive: “If you don’t like it, then leave!” I saw some letters to the editor in the Camera to that effect this week. This is ironic given that Boulderites pride themselves on being inclusive–of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. But again, these are abstractions to Boulderites. I think it does well in being inclusive of gender and sexual orientation, but not of race, and most definitely not socio-economic status. Boulder and C.U. have talked about increasing racial diversity for years and years, yet they’ve never really achieved it. It’s because in order for it to happen, Boulder cannot have its cake and eat it too, and it’s always a bit mystified that it can’t. It would have to value being inclusive over being exclusive. You would think that would go without saying, but I don’t know if any city leader has ever put it that way. I suspect this is because it’s an issue that people here would rather not admit to. Many pride themselves on being different from the rest of American culture. They even think they’re superior. Many see sprawl as an enemy and work to avoid it at all costs, largely because people here value the natural beauty. The problem is this restricts social change in the community, since it cannot grow at a sufficient pace to make living here affordable. The people who like being here are already here, and there’s little economic room for others to come and enjoy it as well.

Boulder is mostly a white community. Granted, anytime there’s a hate crime against someone of a different race here, it’s considered a big deal, and such actions are rightfully scorned. On the other hand, I could probably count on one hand the number of black people I’ve met in Boulder in all the years I’ve been here, though there is a sizeable Latino community.

Anytime there’s a proposal to build more affordable housing it often faces stiff opposition, because it’s thought that it will lower property values in the neighborhood. The lower rungs of the government workforce (in pay scale), like police and firefighters, have to commute in from out of town, because they can’t afford to live here.

There are always trade-offs in life. Boulder has a tranquil atmosphere usually. There are some nice places to shop. I went to public school here and I left with the impression that the schools were good. The crime rate is low as well. The downside is that many of the people here see the local economy as an abstraction, because they participate in it only as consumers. Most Many of the jobs are funded by the government, which tends to explain its liberal politics–if you want to keep your job, vote Democrat. So the private sector is largely seen as a means for providing services, and revenue via. taxes, to government workers. Tax rate hikes tend to get approved by voters, with the exception of property tax mill levies. That’s the one issue where Boulderites really feel the pinch, because real estate is so valuable here.

The political consciousness is largely that of a professional, upscale community. If you’re not at least upper middle-class, you’re nobody. People in the lower socioeconomic classes have been getting squeezed out of town over the last 10 years. They can’t afford to live here, largely because of Boulder’s slow-growth policies.

So Boulder has gotten what it’s wished for. It will stay small while other cities grow. I hope we’re all happy for it.

The environmentalist religion

June 17, 2006

I found this through the Slapstick Politics blog: “Holy Smoke and Mirrors”, from Cox & Forkum:

“Well, it looks like Gore is working on a new membership drive for that church, by way of training 1,000 apostles to preach his apocalyptic gospel. Meanwhile, more scientists are speaking up to express their doubts about the global warming catechism.”

Michael Crichton had something to say about this too, in a speech he gave to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 15, 2003, called “Environmentalism as Religion”

“Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday—these are deeply held mythic structures.”

“And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die.”

“Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.”

Crichton is not against environmentalism per se, only what it’s turned into:

“if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past. So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

Michael Crichton is not an authority on atmospheric or climate science, but he does have a grounding in science, since he graduated from medical school. He’s familiar with the scientific method. He’s looked more at this issue than I have, but like me, even though he is not schooled in this specific discipline he’s saying “something does not smell right” from the point of view of a scientist.

I have an open mind about the issue. Climate science and the theory of industrial forcing of global warming may be like the theory of evolution: a theory in biology that took a declared position more than 100 years ago, but which has proven itself more and more true as time has passed, with evidence. I think there is evidence for global warming. Where there appears to be a dearth of evidence is in the cause of it. It deserves exploration, however what I could do without is the alarmism. I wish the scientists on this matter would get their facts straight about the cause, and then if there’s reason for alarm, sound it. Otherwise I really wish they’d get about doing serious work on it, and most of all let the chips fall where they may.

CEI has a different take on CO2

June 17, 2006

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has produced a couple of TV spots about the alarmism towards carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, called “We Call it Life”. They’re currently playing in a few markets and they plan to release it in some more. Apparently they’re releasing them around the same time as Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth”.

In my opinion they tell it like it is. CO2 is a natural byproduct of life and how we create and maintain our civilization that we enjoy. They mention that some life on Earth uses CO2 to live and grow, though it’s more complex than that. I believe it was Ronald Reagan who used to point out that while trees absorb CO2 during the day, they put out CO2 at night, when the Sun’s not shining. CO2-producing fuels, whether you’re talking about crude oil, coal, or ethanol, are the most potent and relatively safe fuel sources we’ve found. I use “potent” and “safe” in combination here, because we need that combination to fuel our society.

The second spot they produced talks about news stories in various sources that say that not all of the glaciers in the world are melting. Some are growing. I don’t know the full story on this, but what I think this video gets across is that the situation is not as simple as some portray it.

These announcements focus on carbon-emitting fuels because that’s the issue du jour. People might ask, “Well what about other energy sources?” True, other sources exist, and I think they should be explored and developed. The one downside to crude oil, a carbon-based fuel source we use in abundance is that we’re very dependent on foreign sources for it, in places that are unstable and don’t necessarily have our best interests in mind. It’s for that reason alone I’d like us to develop alternatives.