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Why Does Congress Mandate America use 70 Percent Foreign Oil?

October 5th 2009

In 1979 leaders in Congress and American industry drew a line in the sand; America would not trade its freedom for oil. The second mideast oil crisis in six years had once again disrupted economies world wide halting transportation and commerce. Leadership called for action to counteract petroleum’s new hyper-status as a strategic commodity that could be plied as a strategic weapon against other countries. So why today does Congress mandate American transportation rely on 70 percent foreign oil, a staggering increase from 24 percent reliance in 1979?

The 1979 proposals by leadership in Washington and Detroit to “Seize control of our energy needs” included:

1) Reducing foreign oil imports to 1977 levels
2) The Big Three automakers offered CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fleet Economy) of 48 miles per gallon by 1995.
3) A 2000 target date by which 20 percent of transportation would run on alternate energy sources to oil.
4) A national 50 cents per gallon tax be levied on imported oil. This would both spur conservation and fund the development of alternatives to oil.

Today America’s security, economy and foreign policy are in grave peril as 98 percent of our transportation (cars, trucks, planes, boats and military) runs only on petroleum, 70 percent of which must be imported from foreign countries.  The prosperity of future generations is compromised as we exchange our nation’s wealth for oil, undermining our national security.

Eighty percent of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by countries antithetical to America and democracy in general. The majority of these countries are ruled by dictators and autocrats whose policy or government could change in a single day. Crafting policy may take time, but for 15 sessions of Congress to have failed to “change the oil equation” is inexcusable. As our leaders wrestle with gasoline prices that fluctuate between “painful” and “acceptable” they ignore the underlying problem which exclusive dependence on oil for transportation presents when just 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves are located North America and the United States alone consumes 25 percent of the world’s total annual oil production. Read more ..

Seconding the Motion to Fire Holocaust Museum Hierarchy

October 5th 2009
The so-called "sorry state of affairs" at the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum depicted in Leo Rechter article about the hoarding of the Bad Arolsen files (see Opinion Sept 7, 2009, Holocaust Museum Snubs Survivors on Bad Arolsen Files But Luxembourg Gets the Data) and then a letter to the editor is completely unacceptable. I agree with the earlier reader who wrote a letter asking President Obama to throw the scoundrels at the Holocaust Museum hierarchy out if they cannot work with survivors in the last years of their life. I repeat the message that Leo Rechter presented: "Wake up and start applying pressure and mass protests on the United States Holocaust Museum Memorial in Washington, D.C. to release its sets of Holocaust files and records to major Jewish museums and libraries all over America, or the USHMM will continue to monopolize the data for its own purposes." What is the White House waiting for? Fire them from the executive director down, and especially anyone who obstructs the duplication of the files for suvivors in Miami and elsewhere.

Super Bunker Buster Should be Rushed into Readiness Amid No Good Choices

September 28th 2009
Edwin Black's report on a new super bunker-buster seems perfectly timed (see September 21 Page One Super Bunker-Buster Bombs Fast-Tracked for Possible Use Against Iran and North Korea Nuclear Programs). Just when the world is discovering that Iran is burying secret nuclear facilities far under ground, and rushing its own medium range and long missile into production, we should be be prepared to take action. Unfortunately, it appears that only the B-52 and the B2 Stealth bomber can carry the weapon due to tis heavy weight. This means that only the USA can deliver it--not Israel. Thus, America will have to take the heat for any such pre-emptive attack. My sense is that if Iran cannot be sztopped by diplomacy and sanctions, the Security Council may all authorize the "all means" clause and this would give America, Israel and allies the green light to take military action. Unfortunately, no one know what would happen next. Whatever it is, it will be terrible. No good choices.

If Holocaust Museum Snubs Survivors, Why Doesn't Obama Throw out the Bosses?

September 21st 2009
I was saddened to read the sorry state of affairs at the prestigious Washington Holocaust Museum from Leo Rechter regarding the wartime Bad Arolsen files (see Opinion Sept 7, 2009, Holocaust Museum Snubs Survivors on Bad Arolsen Files But Luxembourg Gets the Data). He wrote: "Unless Holocaust Survivors, Second and Third Generation individuals wake up and start applying pressure and mass protests on the United States Holocaust Museum Memorial in Washington, D.C. to release its sets of Holocaust files and records to major Jewish museums and libraries all over America, the USHMM will continue to monopolize the data for its own purposes." This is simply outrageous. Having looked into other media reports about this abuse of power, it seems the people in charge at the Holocaust Museum have thumbed their nose at just about everybody when asked to share the archives with survivor communities across the country. Indeed, why should elderly victims have to travel across the country and spend money for travel to see their own files. I ask, why doesn't President Obama simply fire the Holocaust Museum bosses starting at the top and replace them with people who will be more responsive to the survivor requests for their own files.

Hugo Chavez Must be Condemned not just as Anti-American, but also Anti-Semitic

September 14th 2009

Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez must be condemned for a venomous speech delivered in Damascus, while on a visit to the Syrian dictatorship, in which he described Israel as “genocidal,” “anti-peace” and implementing “America’s imperialist policies.” Chavez also praised  Syria as the “architects and designers of the resistance,”  while condemning American and European hegemony and the “unipolar” world order (‘Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez slams Israel during Damascus visit,’ Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2009).

In a subsequent interview in the Italian Le Figaro, Chavez said that, “The question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They’re doing it openly.” He also dismissed Israel’s need to defend itself in its Gaza operation last December and January saying, “What was it if not genocide? ... The Israelis were looking for an excuse to exterminate the Palestinians.” He also said sanctions should have been placed on Israel (‘Venezuela’s Chavez accuses Israel of genocide,’ Reuters, September 9, 2009).

Some examples of Hugo Chavez’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israel words and deeds: One of Chavez’s closest mentors was the deceased Norberto Ceresole, an Argentinean right-wing nationalist and advocate of a post-democratic Latin America, as well as being a  Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist preoccupied with alleged Jewish plans to control the planet. On November 29, 2004, Venezuelan armed police raided the Jewish elementary and high school at the Jewish Cultural Centre in Caracas, an attack that traumatized Venezuela’s 25,000 strong community.

Chavez made an astonishing anti-Semitic outburst in a December 2005 speech, in which he said that, “The world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendents of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendents of the same ones that kicked Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over  here in Santa Marta, in Colombia. A minority has taken possession all of the wealth of the world, a minority has taken ownership of all of the gold of the planet, of the silver, of the minerals, the waters, the good lands,oil, of the wealth then and have concentrated the wealth in a few hands.” Read more ..

A Turkish View on What is Really Behind Persistent Anti-Americanism in Turkey

September 7th 2009

Responding to "What's Behind Behind Persistent Anti-Americanism in Turkey?" by Soner Cagaptay and Yurter Ozcan in your August 31st 2009 edition (see August 31, 2009 Society), at least some of the reasons behind seemingly persistent Anti-Americanism in Turkey are: 

1) Continuing reliance of the Congress and even the Presidency on anti-Turkish lobbies to define United States-Turkey relations; 2) Ceaseless defamation of Turks, Turkey, Turkish culture, heritage, and history in the media due to input received from anti-Turkish biased sources, as in the bogus Armenian genocide case; 3) Insistence on a ridiculous war in Iraq despite strenuous objections from and damage to Turkey; 4) Behind the scenes wheeling and dealing with Kurdish terrorists, PKK (though officially always denied); 5) Taking Greek and Greek Cypriots representations and claims at face value when developing approaches in southeastern Europe; 6) Trade quotas (even yesterday’s communist China enjoys more freedom in trade in USA than long time ally, reliable friend and staunch supporter Turkey; 7) Remarkable ignorance and/or even insults when faced with matters Turkish always ending up in awkward apologies.

War Against the Weak was Neighbor Against Neighbor Ethnic Cleansing in America

August 31st 2009

I was astonished to learn in the Cutting Edge News (see Page One Government Death Panels and Mass Murder was Always an Option in 20th Century America's War Against the Weak by Edwin Black) that America's national health policy in the first decades of the last century was to wipe out the majority of its own citizens, ten percent at a time--millions of people at a stroke, leaving only a so-called blond Nordic utopian class to rule. I bought the book War Against the Weak by Edwin Black and read the details backed up up thousands of primary footnotes and am in disbelief that the official policies included state-run gas chambers, confinement camps, marriage restrictions of all sorts, forced surgical sterilization from California to New Jersey and that it was all upheld as the law of the land by the U.S. Supreme Court. Was this not ethnic cleansing in America, neighbor against neighbor? This country owes a debt to those like author Edwin Black who expose such horrors. I ask why this book and its terrible revelations is not taught in every classroom, discussed on every network, and available in every bookstore. I myself tried for days to secure a copy and was told the publisher was unable to keep up with demand. I did find the book in the library and it kept me up all night and then gave me nightmares. For shame.

Cash for Clunkers Parallels Cash4Gold

August 24th 2009

I have read with great interest the articles on the Cash for Clunkers program written by Edwin Black and a number of other contributors to The Cutting Edge News. Recently I sent a letter to the leadership of the Senate and House (with a CC to President Obama) regarding the PR and marketing success of the “Cash for Clunkers” campaign. In that letter, I drew parallels between the economic stimulus provided by my own company, Cash4Gold, and the Cash for Clunkers program. I noted that within just one week, the government doled out $1 billion with the intended goal of providing consumer-confidence-building liquidity. In parallel fashion, though at an admittedly smaller scale and on the basis of our own entrepreneurship and self-financing rather than through an Act of Congress with the support of the President of the United States, Cash4Gold has paid out more than $100 million since our launch in 2007.

In my letter to Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, I offered to dispatch a delegation of our core executive team-- including global brand strategists, marketers, alternative media experts, industrial metal recycling innovators, and communications specialists – to Washington to lend the initiative the benefit of our considerable collective experience. My staff is prepared to share best practices with the government that have enabled our success as the industry innovators and leaders in the consumer-direct precious metals recycling business, also known as mail-in refining.

I also recommended a series of steps that the government should consider to get the most mileage (please pardon the pun) out of its clunkers campaign. Among those recommendations were carefully selected celebrity endorsements to appeal to a wide range of Americans, more extensive Spanish-language outreach, and the use of a diverse array of innovative marketing strategies.

At the end of the day I am a businessman with an expertise in marketing and advertising who is singularly committed to providing the best possible precious metals recycling service to my customers. I don’t pretend to be an authority on the intricacies of the Cash for Clunkers scrappage program. Nor am I an expert who analyzes the impact that “inside the Beltway” policies have on our world today and their implications for the future. For that kind of insight I rely on The Cutting Edge.

Facts Revealed About Arab Nationalism, Syria and Palestine

August 17th 2009
I for one had now idea that "Arab Nationalism" was really just a 20th Century phenomenon and that the real quest for an Arab national identity focussed on Syria as I read in Edwin Black's eye-opening history of the original Mideast peace deal in 1919 (see Page July 27, 2009 One Original Mideast Peace Plan Recognized Jewish State in Return for Arab Nation in Syria). Nor did I know that the Arabs agreed in writing to a Jewish state in Palestine-Israel, not until until I read this illuminting article. As I look at it, the Mideast was carved up by the international community into a long list of Arab Islamic states and one tiny Jewish state. The Arabs all got their states. Israel should be allowed to live in peace in the one little parcel of land it lawfully developed in that region.

Cash for Clunkers--the Success that Wasn't

August 10th 2009

Cash for Clunkers (see Slices August 3 2009, Cash for Clunkers--a Historic Mistake by Edwin Black) besides not achieving any of its stated environmental goals appeared to be more successful than it really was. That success being measured by the program running out of money in July instead of November.

The program was supposed to start July 1st, but didn't actually get going until about three weeks later. So there was a delay in buying, all the people who'd made their deals with the car dealers, but had to wait to officially buy in order to get their Obama bucks. The week or so that the program was actually in effect had June and July sales that had just backed up at the starting line waiting for the tax money. People buying SUVs instead of small hybrids isn't going to change as long as the bigger car seems safer than the little car--something that wasn't really addressed in the Cash for Clunker dealer welfare. Maybe that will take something similar to bike lanes where the heavier vehicles aren't supposed to travel.

Years ago there was a demand to do away with Saturday Night Specials, cheap and readily available handguns.  Laws were passed and those weapons were no longer for sale. This didn't stop violent crime, just made handguns more expensive. Indeed the law could be viewed as manufacturers' welfare (perhaps racist) as the poor were deprived of self-protection whereas the wealthy could afford $300 to $500 for personal protection. Cash for Clunkers is also no help to the poor and indeed has consequences harmful to the poor as the $1,000 transportation they might have been able to afford has been used as a $3,500 or $4,500 trade-in, maybe for someone who has more than one vehicle.

With all the statistics being quoted about how much more oil and fuel older vehicles use I  haven't seen information about how that compares to the energy used in the manufacture of new vehicles compared to the retention of older vehicles. For example, a 1969 Austin-Healy SPRITE sports car, got 35 mpg, with top speed of 80 mph. A 1969 Plymouth Satellite 4-door sedan with the smaller 318 V-8 engine got 25 mpg on the open road and less in the city. The question is what makes a larger carbon footprint, driving one of these cars, or manufacturing a new car?

Cash for Clunkers was just another Bread and Circus giveaway.


Honduras Coverage Explains What the Networks Do Not Explain

August 3rd 2009
Your recent coverage of the events involving the ouster of Honduran ex-President Manuel Zelaya have helped me understand that the coup was not undemocratic but was in fact an act in defense of that countries democracies. In many ways, it is the opposite of what we have come to expect from Latin American countries. Unfortunately, I have not seen any explanation of the events except on the pages of The Cutting Edge News and in Luis Fleischman's writing. This includes the skin-deep coverage of the CNN and the other networks. Fleischman's last article made an exceptional point. The Obama Administration should stop supporting the return of Zelaya to power. Instead, the international community should use this moment to trigger a Yalta-like conference to oust all undemocratic regimes in Latin America. This would begin with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Restitution A Repeat Performance

August 3rd 2009

As expected, the June 2009 EU-sponsored Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Assets did little to nothing to deal with sizable amounts of unreturned assets stolen by the Nazis and their collaborators. As Stuart Eizenstat, head of the US delegation, pointed out in an interview, “There is no political will to have a binding treaty.”  Indeed, this Conference repeats the pattern of ineffectiveness of previous events on this subject.

For example, the Allies issued on January 5, 1943, the first of several multinational proclamations strongly backing the return of looted assets and invalidating agreements and laws to transfer these items to other parties. But at most 15 percent of the stolen assets were returned in the post war years. A renewed interest in the issue during the mid 1990s led to the 1997 London Gold Conference and the 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets. Again the results were minimal with only 3 percent of the remaining unpaid assets in 1995 restored during the past 14 years.

Like the earlier ones, the Prague Conference final declaration acknowledged the horrific nature of actions taken by the Nazis and their collaborators and called on countries to return the stolen property or to pay compensation. This Conference placed much greater priority on the fact that the bulk of the stolen property will end up being “heirless” assets and these amounts should be mainly used to provide needy survivors with an adequate standard of living and necessary health care. This “new priority” has been understood for some time. Read more ..

Three Obama-Jewish Conferees Wrote the Next Week for The Cutting Edge News

July 27th 2009
I was struck by the fact that just after Barack Obama met with 16 Jewish leaders, three of them wrote their view of the meetings or the issues involved for tyhe very next Monday morning issue of The Cutting Edge News: Howard Kohr, the head of AIPAC [American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee]; Marla Gilson, the Hadassah representative; and Abraham Foxman of the ADL [Anti-Defamation League]. I found their three views fascinating, especially Gilson, as she was the fly on the wall. But no one has been able to answer the question why was the so-called "J Street" lobby invited. You cannot compare the stature of the historic Jewish organizations invited with this one-year upstart with a radical agenda and questionable funding. I think more should have made about that.

Corn Ethanol: An Exercise in Self-deception

July 20th 2009

Your July 13 Energy article "BioFuels are No Longer Just a “Field of Dreams" was written as though corn ethanol actually increases our fuel supply. This is an exercise in self-deception. Some experts calculate that producing corn ethanol consumes as much energy as burning it releases; others are more optimistic. Which side is right? Until now, cost and benefit calculations were largely theoretical. Now the data are in: As production ramps up, gasoline use should ramp down if ethanol is a net benefit. Since ethanol is about 3 percent of vehicle fuel, gasoline use should decrease correspondingly. But U. S. gasoline consumption increased by 1.4 percent annually for five years (using figures ending in 2006, the last year before wild oil price swings and economic downturn distorted markets). If ethanol had substituted for gasoline, gasoline use should have decreased 1.6 percent. The discrepancy might be explained if fuel demand had spiked upward, but total miles driven increased only 1.2 percent from 2005 to 2006. The only explanation is that the critics were right—there is no measurable gain from ethanol.

Why is this? One reason is that most of the energy that goes into corn comes not from sunlight, but from fossil fuels. Tractors run on oil, fertilizer is made mostly from natural gas and moved around on oil-consuming trucks, and the list goes on. Small changes in the statistics won’t change the conclusion: ethanol production is a disaster, one that will get worse as new distilleries come on line in the Midwest. More and more corn will be distilled, leaving less and less for food and feed. Already we see higher prices for milk, chicken and other corn-based products. High corn prices hurt us, and cause real suffering in the third world. It is time to end this failed experiment before it does even more damage without producing any benefit. Corn-based ethanol as a substitute for gasoline is a tragic illusion. The major obstacle to a rational policy is not engineering, but politics. The corn lobby is well-entrenched. But other lobbies, and the interests of the country as a whole, demand that we change course. Grass-based ethanol does not yet exist, because of the difficulty of breaking down cellulose. We naturally try the easy things first, and cellulose ethanol isn't easy. Maybe it will work, but we can’t count on it. We would be better off to burn our corn in powerplants to produce electricity - at least we would avoid the energy cost of distilling the alcohol. The idea seems absurd, and it is, but it is less absurd than the alcohol alternative.

Neil Goldstein responds: Whether Mr. Bridgeman likes it or not, we will all have ethanol in 2012. Had Mr. Bridgeman bothered to read the EPA study in my article, he would have understood that that is the point. As for the specific science behind the EPA’s decision to force corn-based ethanol production, EPA concludes that corn-based ethanol is a net energy saver and CO2 reducer when the costs of clearing and tilling the soil are amortized over 100 years, but not over 30 years. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), similarly, has called homegrown ethanol a low-carbon lifecycle fuel. But, whether Mr. Bridgeman’s analysis is right and the EPA and CARB are wrong is a completely moot point. Whatever the net energy impact may be, ethanol is going to be produced because that is the law. Read more ..

Obama's Cairo Speech Equates Agressor and Victim

July 20th 2009
President Obama’s Cairo speech June 4, 2009 continues to be of current interest, because he stated policy objectives which are long-term. First, Obama complained about occupation for Palestinian Arabs, but failed to disclose that their horrific terrorism necessitated these conditions. He thus disregarded his own warning about being “blind to the truth,” together with Israel’s legitimate security needs.  Second, he stated: “No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.” This could deny Israel the right singlehandedly to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms. Third, Obama said “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not, ” urged that “no nations hold nuclear weapons,” and hoped that “all countries in the region” shared the goal of peaceful nuclear power under  the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Article VI of that treaty requires the parties to negotiate in good faith “on effective measures relating to…nuclear disarmament,” supposedly under “strict international control.” This would require Israel to surrender any nuclear advantage she may have. The present controversy with Obama thus involves not merely settlements-which themselves may implicate security because of Israel’s narrow 1949 lines-- but also an attempt to impair Israel’s other security measures, no matter how justified, and to alter the military balance of power to Israel’s disadvantage and harm. Obama fails to distinguish between aggressor and victim. This is like equating the Holocaust Museum murderer to the armed security guards who shot him down in self-defense and defense of other innocents. Supporters of Israel—and Congress—should wake up and have the courage to stand up.

GM--a Criminal Company With Billion-dollar Bailout

July 13th 2009
I am like many Americans and find it unconscionable that our government has bailed out and in essence become the successor to the corrrupt General Motors empire. Read Edwin Black's "GM and the Nazis" series in The Cutting Edge News (see Investigation), and then check his book Internal Combustion. Not only did GM put the Third Reich on wheels, they did it while they were destroying mass transit in America by killing electric street cars. The company and its executives were successfully prosecuted by the federal government for their conspiracy against mass transit but never really tried at Nuremberg like other Nazi collaborators. The case against this company as a decades-long criminal enterprise is there for anyone to read, highly documented and highly recommended. Instead of receiving taxpayer money, this company should have have dismantled with its most valuable parts sold off to the highest bidder. America would have more jobs, better and more fuel efficient cars, and less addiction to oil.

Russian Nuclear Coverage On Target

July 6th 2009
The media in the past 24 hours has mentioned the extremely important meetings now underway between President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. But most people only learned of this in over the weekend trying to find real news amid the Micael Jackson coverage. Even what I have seen on the Russia summit, I have found to be vague and unfocussed. But for the past month, The Cutting Edge News has been extensively covering the details of Russia's nuclear program and the difficult negotiations the Obama Administration must undertake for the years ahead. Congratulations for again being ahead of the pack and giving the cutting edge information people need to understand the events of our day.

Ten Years Spent Planning for a North Korean Missile But Not for an Iran Oil Interruption

June 29th 2009
Reading Edwin Black's stunning detailed history of America's ten-year race to prepare for a potential North Korean missile launch toward out shores, and Iran's partnership as tester-in-chief (see North Korea Missile Threat Against Hawaii and Alaska Has Been Expected for Ten Years—Iran Regime a Full Partner Page One, June 22, 2009), I went further. The article stated the coverage was inspired by the research on the book The Plan. I read Black's book and was amazed and angered. How is it that our country has been working 24x7 and spending billions to prepare for a North Korean missile that was only faintly suggested in the late nineties, but do nothing for a generation preparing for an oil interuption threatened every day by Iran and its cohorts? Since the Oil Shock of the 1970s, we have known that our country and indeed the Western World is at the mercy of oil from the Persian Gulf. If Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, 20 percent of America's oil will stop and the nation has no contingency plan to deal with it. Iran is now more unstable than ever. North Korea is now more bellicose than ever. The threat from North Korea, the threat from international terrorism, our addiction to oil, and our vulberability to Persian crude--it is all inter-related. I wonder why we spent so much of our national effort to build a base on on distant frozen Shemya Island when all we needed to do was switch to electric cars.

Missing the Mark on Rules for Obama and Russia's Nukes

June 22nd 2009

Andrei Shoumikhin and Baker Spring are to be congratulated for provided an interesting and thought provoking article on the prospects for successful arms control negotiations with Russia (Eight Rules Obama Must Observe in Confronting a Nuclear Russia, Opinion, June 15th 2009).

It is unfortunate that the example they used to justify Rule #7 (The US should seek treaties that are enforceable) missed the mark.  The failure of the US Navy to maintain parity with the British Empire after the Washington Treaty had nothing to do with parties not honoring the terms of the Treaty, or the lack of enforcement mechanisms.  

It is no coincidence that the Washington Treaty did not quantitatively limit ships other than Capital Ships and Aircraft carriers – at that time at least three of the signatories did not accept the extension of the 5-5-3-1.67-1.67 ratio to smaller warships, and it is therefore no surprise that they continued to build to meet their perceived requirements.  In contrast, the USN fell behind because the US Government failed to make adequate provision for warship construction during the 1920s.  This was a domestic political issue that cannot be attributed to any weaknesses in the Washington Treaty or its enforcement mechanisms, or limitations imposed by that Treaty.

It is true that all of the signatories failed to comply with specific provisions of the Washington Treaty – including the United States whose carriers Lexington and Saratoga were clearly non-compliant with the terms of the Treaty – and it is also true that there were no effective compliance mechanisms to remedy this.  It is difficult, however, to identify any strategically significant advantages that were obtained by any of the powers as a result of this non-compliance. Read more ..

Obama Deserves a B Minus for his Cairo speech

June 22nd 2009

I have been involved with various projects trying to open channels of discussion with Muslims, including a trip to Islamabad with two colleagues to successfully invite then President Musharraf to publicly meet with the American Jewish leadership. I have brought Muslims to Israel and found their reactions quite encouraging. But Barak Hussein Obama’s now famous speech at Cairo University moved me and frightened me at the same time and reminded me of the need to pause before reacting.

For starters, President Obama disputed two myths that have currency in the Muslim world – and not only in the Muslim world. He said denying the Holocaust is “baseless,” “ignorant” and “hateful.” And he said that he is “aware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. …These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.”

Both points were well thought through and well delivered and it took some courage to do so. Defending Israel’s right to exist, attacking Holocaust denial and dismissing 9/11 conspiracy theories amounts to an assault by land, sea and air on the swamp that passes for political culture in much of the Muslim world.

Moreover, the President did not move the goal posts on what Hamas must do to enter the diplomatic process – the one with the United States and the European Union. Hamas is already in the process with Arab, Muslim and other states (Russia); Mr. Obama restated the Quartet’s terms: “Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.” He said straight out the U.S. “strong bonds with Israel [are] unbreakable,” and that Muslims must (and many do in private) accept that Israel (presumably in the 1967 borders) “will not go away.” 

So far, Bravo, Mr. Obama.

On the other hand, the President did not single out for praise Egypt and Jordan as states for signing peace treaties with Israel. He spoke to Muslims, not to the citizens of the various 57 Muslim states – thus entering a dialogue on the basis of the Islamist program. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, clerics in Saudi Arabia, Hamas, and the Pakistani extremists agree that the various states (based on a parochial or Arab-wide nationalism) are not only failed instruments but stand in opposition to a “true” Muslim approach – a transnational caliphate. The United States is an appropriate interlocutor for Muslim states, but not for a worldwide religious community and, in any event, must not consent on this point. Read more ..

Are Jews From Arab Countries "Arabs of Jewish faith?"

June 15th 2009

Congratulations on the excellent article by Edwin Black (Page One June 8, 2009) dissecting what was wrong with the Obama speech in Cairo. However there was one sentence which I do find incorrect: That Jews of the Middle East and North Africa are ‘originally Arabs, but of Jewish faith’. Almost no "Mizrahi Jews," that is Jews from Arab countries, consider themselves ‘Arabs’ unless they happen to be Commmunists or anti-Zionists. This concept plays into the anti-Israel propaganda argument that there is no such thing as a Jewish people, only Arabs of the Jewish religion. No Middle Eastern Jew, asked whether he was an Arab, would have said yes, no matter how at home he felt in his environment. And for that matter, no Arab would have called his Jewish neighbour an Arab either. Jewishness and Arabness were perceived as antonyms in the sense of denoting two mutually exclusive ethnic identities, just as “Jew” and “goy” were antonyms in Eastern Europe. 

Edwin Black replies: Your observation is understandable. But my statement was correct especially in historical context. Some explanation may help. The term "Arab" derives from the word which described a person who dwelled in the Arabian Peninsula. For centuries, these people were almost entirely non-agrarian marauders and nomads of tribal character. There was no Arab national identity and no Arabs nations anywhere. The Arab Conquest or Muslim Conquest of the early seventh century brought Arabs to the far reaches of the Middle East and beyond as the Caliphate was forged by fire and sword. For nearly a half millenium prior to World War I, the Caliphate was controlled by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. There were, of course, no Arab nations and no Arab nationality or nationalism during these centuries leading up to twentieth century.

The despotism and backwardness of the Ottomans gave rise to the concept of "Arab Nationalism" in about 1908. Arab Nationalism was primarily driven by Christian Lebanese and Syrians influenced by French democratic thought. This group, the "Young Turks," expanded their movement to identify the Ottoman lands as not just imperial but also national, and its subjects as "citizens." In years before World War I, many nations saw a popular surge to end dynastic and ecclisiastical regimes from the Czars to the Sultans. The Young Turks defined Arab Nationalism or the Arab national identity to include all citizens of the realm, Sunni and Shia Muslims, Kurds, Christians or all denominations, Yazdi, Copts, Jews and all others. These people were to be Arab nationals first, and this identity and authority would supercede tribalism or religious grouping--just as it does throughout the Western World today. In fact, it was this Turkish national authority that asserted its right to tax Muslim pilgrims traveling to Mecca, thereby challenging the prerogatives of the Muslim Sherif. Indeed, this conflict compelled the Islamic forces of Hussein and Faisal to side with the British against the Turks in World War I under the leadership of Lawrence of Arabia. Read more ..

CNGChat Forum Influenced by Honda Dealer Administrator

June 15th 2009

Those of is concerned with the suppression of CNG have been exchanging views at the CNGchat forum online. Cutting Edge News articles regarding Honda’s suppression of CNG has been widely discussed on this site. Unfortunately, some of us find it easy to run afoul of administrators at the CNGChat forum. The biggest problem with the CNG Chat forum is that many of the administrators are intolerant of opinions contrary to what they accept as reality.

At least one major administrator at the Forum works at Robertsons Palmdale Honda, a dealer with a CNG fueling station right outside the door. So it is easy not to worry about or accept the idea that the forum administrator’s view—a Honda dealer employee--is in fact a minority view in this problem.

CNGchat administrators really do not understand that when people drop $10,000 cash on a unit to fuel the $27,000 car they just purchased there is the expectation that the company they purchased all this equipment from will operate in a fair and equitable manner. When it is the company that they represent they have a problem seeing the difference between where they are and where I am. I am still angry, and would dearly love to get my hands on the idiots at American Honda for a throttling session. There is just way too much insulation between consumers and "Corporate America" these days.

I am curious when I can get my misbehaving FMQ 2-36 serviced. It is on a steady diet of 15A fuses, about $150 in the last 3 months. The cooling fan is dragging and driving up the start-up current.

The CNG sector is viewed strictly as a public utility by most lawmakers and the people of the US in general. Suppression of technology is the accepted way of doing business today.

Obama Missed the Chance of a Century on General Motors

June 8th 2009
Barack Obama in muffing the GM crisis has lost a historic chance to rescue America from its oil addiction and its bad car century. The taxpayer is now the chief owner and controller of GM. Are we requiring the company to build the plug-in electric Volt? Are we requiring them to focus on flex-fuel and alternative fuel vehicles? Are we requiring them to build the Chevy Equinox Hydrogen vehicle and supporting a fueling infrastructure? Are we requiring them to build the type of fuel efficient cars here that the firm makes for overseas markets? Are we requiring them to build CNG cars here as they do in foreign markets? Are we placing government fleet orders for alt fuel, flex-fuel or alt propulsion vehicles that would crank up the production lines? We are doing none of that. Instead Washington will now be the new Godfather for GM's bad behavior, bad cars, and continued bad future. GM will soon be making the Camara muscle car again, a V8 vestige from the past. Gee--what changed when Barack Obama came to Washington?

Obama Speaks Out Against Israel

June 1st 2009
As who one enthusiastically supported Barack Obama for President, I am now wondering whether the worst fears of some in the Jewish community are now coming to pass and whether I made a mistake. Judging from the stern anti-Israel public statements coming from the White House--from Hilary Clinton to the President himself--it seems that Barack Obama is acting out the anti-Israel stance that no one in my circles wanted to believe. I am particularly concerned about two things: First, the Obama suggestion that the U.N. flag fly over the Western Wall? Am I hearing this right? Second, Obama tying action on Iran's nuclear threat to the Palestinian problem. Are we to think that nuclear destruction and a land resolution are in the same league? I am also distressed that Jewish leaders do not seem to be speaking up. So I am.

Nazi Nexus Opened My Eyes

May 25th 2009
I have studied the Holocaust a decade and for some reason during those years I was simply never aware of the American corporate connections to the murder of six million Jews and hundreds of thousands ofd Gyspies. Thanks to Edwin Black and his book Nazi Nexus, which I viewed on C-SPAN Book TV, my eyes have been opened. We have to thank not just Hitler but Hitler's power and profit driven helpers. Ford Motor, General Motors, the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and International Business Machines. Obviously, I have a lot of Edwin Black books to read. The world must never forget what the Nazis did. It must never forget who knowingly and deliberately advanced, accelerated, organized, financed and systemized the crimes that were committed.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Associations Criticize Obama Energy Program Cuts

May 18th 2009

The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) and U.S. Fuel Cell Council (USFCC), which collectively represent more than 200 companies and organizations, are concerned about the Obama Administration’s FY 2010 budget request for the U.S Department of Energy.

The cuts proposed in the DOE hydrogen and fuel cell program threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction. Fuel cell vehicles are not a science experiment. These are real vehicles with real marketability and real benefits. Hundreds of fuel cell vehicles have collectively logged millions of miles.

Both the National Academy of Sciences and NHA’s recent Energy Evolution report conclude that a portfolio of vehicle technologies is needed to achieve the nation’s energy and environmental security goals and that hydrogen is essential to success. Hydrogen also advances the Obama Administration’s goals of greener power generation and a smarter power grid. The newest fuel cell vehicles get 72 miles per gallon equivalent with no compromise in creature comforts. Fuel cell buses operating in revenue service achieve twice the fuel economy of diesel buses. Hydrogen production costs are already competitive with gasoline. Projected vehicle costs have been reduced by 75 percent. These are accomplishments of the Department’s own program in partnership with industry. It would truly be a government waste to squander them by walking away just as success is in sight. The National Academy recommended a portfolio approach and we are frankly puzzled at the Energy Department’s decision to ignore that recommendation even as the Department uses other material from the same report to justify its proposed cut. We are also concerned that the Department appears to be walking away from its Market Transformation activities, which support fuel cell deployment in early commercial applications. This Congressionally-mandated program is demonstrating the ability of fuel cells to provide a competitive and green alternative to battery-based systems in vehicles and in power supply.

Finally, we are concerned that the Department has proposed to cut funds for the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA). SECA success could dramatically lower the cost of carbon sequestration, improve power plant efficiency, and enable a virtually pollution-free coal plant in the future. Additional funding will hasten SECA progress.

The writer is the director of Technology and Communications for the National Hydrogen Association.

Urging Passage of Renewable Energy Standard Legislation

May 11th 2009

Passage of the renewable energy standard creates market mechanisms to ensure that a growing percentage of electricity is produced from renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass, solar & hydroelectric. Only legislation will create a predictable, competitive market, within which renewable generators compete with each other to lower prices. Renewable energy policies currently exist in 28 states, but not at the national level. Renewable energy occurs in nature, in contrast to non-renewable energy or fossil fuels, created in finite quantities, millions of years ago, by the decay or organic matter.  Renewable energy is clean. Nonrenewable energy such as coal, oil, gas, nuclear are dirty. In 2008, nearly 50 percent of America's new electricity production came from renewable energy and America surpassed Germany to became the world's number one producer of electricity from wind.


Today is a unique moment in history. Our eaders want change but they need the citizens help to break the political gridlock. Policy, the adoption of legislation, creates long term planning to supplant political discourse and rhetoric that produces policy changes every two years as Congress changes. American energy security will bring a cleaner, healthier era. The "green revolution" which will create jobs (35,000 new jobs last year alone) and scientific innovation, as well as building an economy based on creation, rather than consumption.


Change will come only when our voice demands new policy to safeguard america's future, looking beyond the current market interests of the utility companies. In 1973, America was crippled by the first Arab Oil Embargo. For nearly 40 years of energy "boom and bust," Congress has failed to lead and adopt a long term energy policy for America's energy security. We have that possibility now, with the Renewable Energy Standard which establsihes guidelines ensuring that 25 percent of all energy will be renewable for 2025. It's time for the people to lead.

Davis Elementary School Map Excludes Israel

May 11th 2009

Your readers should know the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and many others are troubled a factually inaccurate map of the Middle East that was posted at Pioneer Elementary School’s 4th Annual International Heritage Day in May 2008. Pioneer Elementary School is in the Davis Unified School District in Davis CA. The map did not include any reference to the State of Israel; instead, “Palestine” was erroneously denoted on the map in Israel’s place.

Even more troubling was the district’s response after the factually inaccurate map was brought to its attention. It took the district almost one year to respond to the complaint (supported in writing by numerous members of the community) that had been lodged about the map, and that was only after the original complainant repeatedly prodded the district for an answer. The response should have been immediate, since there was little if anything to debate about what the appropriate response should be.

When the district finally responded in a letter from Pamela Mari, Director of Student Services, the response was shockingly misguided. While the district acknowledged that International Heritage Day is a school-sponsored activity and that the district has the right and responsibility to regulate how such activities are conducted, the district then veered off in a direction that was unjustified and inappropriate.

The response focused on whether the map in question “promoted a discriminatory bias.” This is surely a concern. Leaving Israel off the map of the Middle East suggests an anti-Israel bias on the part of the map’s promoter at the International Heritage Day event. Indeed, the promoter’s animus toward Israel is clear; we understand that when confronted with the map’s inaccuracy, she responded angrily that “the Arab world does not recognize Israel.” (This by the way is false; Egypt and Jordan recognize Israel.) 

But bias is not the principal issue here. The fundamental issue is whether the school district is going to permit and promote deliberately false information at school-sponsored events, in derogation of its duty to ensure that materials that are presented to students are accurate and not misleading, and that such materials are based on facts and historical truths, not someone’s bigotry or political agenda. The individual who presented the map is plainly unhappy that the State of Israel exists. But it is indisputable that the State of Israel does exist and that it is a sovereign nation among all the nations of the world. It is outrageous that the school district would even consider tolerating a map at a school-sponsored event that deliberately falsifies the truth.

This information has also been communicated to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, U.S. Representative Mike Thompson, State Senator Lois Wolk, State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada and other appropriate parties.
The writer is director of the Center for Law and Justice at the Zionist Organization of America.

Honda Is Responsible for the Fuelmaker Mess and CNG Supression

May 5th 2009
I really did not want to believe Edwin Black in The Plan and in his investigative series in The Cutting Edge News regarding Honda (see Investigation). Who would believe Honda would have a complete gameplan for suppressing CNG, not selling their own Honda Civic GX and hurting this nation's efforts to switch out of oil? But the orchestrated Fuelmaker bankruptcy Honda--connived between Tokyo and Torrance--documented with riveting precision in Black's work, now make it painfully clear. Honda must be investigated and sanctioned. I have always loved Honda cars. Now I see, not all that glitters is gold.

Angry Phill Customer Waits for Answers

May 5th 2009
If someone is compiling a list of angry Phill owners, please pass my name along. The warranty is not over yet on my Phill unit, and I have not been able to use it for a couple of months now due to a malfunction. Looks like I will have to reverse engineer it to get any satifaction.

Honda Image Tarnished Forever--No Better than GM

April 27th 2009
As a life-long customer of Honda automobiles and life-long admirer of the company, I must admit that revelations about its conduct in the field of alternative fuels have tarnished my view of them for the rest of my days. I remember when people like me and others in Chicago would drive nothing but a Honda back when it was hardly fashionable and when autoworkers were still smashing Japanese cars in parking lots. But people like me saw the value in the Honda vision. It is very said to see that vision become blurred and hazy by greed and deception. It is sad to see what they have done to suppress the Honda Civic GX, the proliferation of compressed natural gas automobiles and fueling, the forced bankruptcy of Fuelmaker through an anonymous corporation, and the fake vehicle shortages and quotas they have contrived. Clearly, they have done the same thing for hydrogen with the Clarity and the home refueler--put out a slick brochure and a few highly-laquered cars, but kept this fine vehicle off the road in any real numbers. For shame Honda. You now join the ranks of Ford and GM. Your white hat is gone forever.

Littoral Combat Ships in Another Perspective

April 20th 2009
Your author on the virtues of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) (Somali Piracy of Maersk Alabama Places Littoral Combat Ships in Perspective) might want to consider some additional factors in promoting their utility. They really are not that much more inexpensive, particularly when including the various mission packages contemplated and the crewing involved. But we should ask: How are they to be moved to trouble spots about the world as such arise, all too often unexpectedly, in a timely manner? What mission packages will be provided for such deployments, particularly when  all emergent threat elements may not be known? How will those emergent mission packages be positioned in the threat area, carried in what platforms, and changed out on the LCSs by what means? How will the small LCSs fare with emergent weather conditions which their sea keeping characteristics do not match? How will the LCSs be logistically supported for extended operations? Having been associated with the operation of smaller ships in forward deployed areas, with more than one type of threat environment, with severe weather conditions (typhoons) in the area, and with varied logistical support requirements emerging over a period of time, I suggest the author's analysis should be expanded. Realistically, the LCS may be a fine platform for a third world navy that has no distant commitments foreseen. Hopefully, the U. S. Navy is not destined to be so constrained.

Coca-Cola Questioned as Kosher for Passover Over Cairo Confiscation

April 13th 2009

Your readers should know on Passover that a growing organization in the Jewish community, called Magen Tzedek, demands that “kosher food produced with the highest degree of integrity.” Their standards prescribe that companies “must operate transparently and with integrity, respecting ethical standards of conduct and corporate governance.”

In this regard, I have asked them and all in the community to take strong public action against the Coca-Cola Company, which is selling a product that is rabbinically certified as appropriate (“kosher”) for consumption on Passover and year-round, but which has been engaging in grossly unethical (“traif”) behavior. Coca-Cola is continually making enormous profits by knowingly and deliberately exploiting property in Cairo stolen from my father by the Nasser government when our family was expelled from Egypt in 1964 and deprived of our Egyptian citizenship only because we are Jewish.

This story was investigated in great detail by Edwin Black in the The Cutting Edge News last Passover (On Passover, an Egyptian Jew Battles Coca-Cola in the USA for a Modern Day Injustice) . As was exposed, Coca-Cola, before 1964, was leasing space on the Bigio family property and contracting with our family for the production of Coca-Cola products. It knew in 1964 and knows today that the property was taken from us by force by the Egyptian authorities only because we are Jewish.

In 1979, the Egyptian government’s own Finance Ministry acknowledged this illegality and directed that the property be returned to our family. We brought ten lawsuits in the Egyptian courts, but the judges repeatedly refused to follow this directive of the Egyptian Finance Ministry.

In 1994, the Egyptian government announced that it was “privatizing” the property and would sell it to the highest bidder. The Coca-Cola Bottling Companies of Egypt purchased it for many millions of dollars and Coca-Cola has used the property in Cairo to make enormous profits since that time. It announced shortly after its purchase that it intended to invest $148 million in its Egyptian operations. This was done on our expropriated property with the full knowledge of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Indeed, when the “privatization” sale was announced in 1994 and Coca-Cola’s interest in purchasing the property was made public, I traveled to Atlanta and met with Coca-Cola officials. I pointed out that they knew this was stolen property, and I asked for a modest compensation for the Bigio family. The Coca-Cola management brushed me off in a most disdainful manner. Read more ..

Honda Customer To Call His State Attorney General over Fuelmaker

April 13th 2009
I am really irked at Honda over the Fuelmaker bankruptcy (See Honda Suddenly Kills Fuelmaker In Stunning Move That Outrages CNG Movement and Honda Scrambles to Sell Fuelmaker Amid Confusion and Outrage). Enough to get rid of my 2009 Honda GX and our 2007 Civic Navigation System. I wire-brushed Honda right before a recent press release on the pending sale. I actually suspect their release was inflouenced by my severe expletive-laced announcement that I was locating legal representation for breach of warranty and false advertisement for the FuelMaker availability. Companies that hide behind 1-800 numbers that are afraid to publish the direct numbers are a target for me. I will contact the Oregon State Attorney General immediately and get the numbers for the Honda executive team and fax numbers to give to my attorney. I currently have over $60,000 in Honda product, $39,000 of which I cannot drive. Irritated does not even go far enough.

Another Interested in Kim Taylor Response

April 8th 2009
Let me second the motion on Kim Taylor responding to questions from Edwin Black or any other reporter about the upcoming Alt Fuel Expo (See Honda Suddenly Kills Fuelmaker In Stunning Move That Outrages CNG Movement). As a long-time supporter of alternative fuels of all types, including CNG but also hydrogen, I question the involvement of Honda, plus Ford and GM. These companies have done everything possible to keep these alternatives from the public, at least delay their rollout. So if Ms. Taylor does reply, I will be listening. And if she does not reply, I will be listening for that as well.

Kim Taylor Does Not Respond on the Alt Fuel Event in Orlando

April 7th 2009
I noticed in Edwin Black's spot-on coverage of the Honda and the Fuelmaker crisis (Honda Suddenly Kills Fuelmaker In Stunning Move That Outrages CNG Movement) that Kim Taylor of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute did not return calls and emails on the topic of the forthcoming Alt Fuel Expo in Orlando later this month about the involvement of Honda, GM and Ford in an event designed to promote alternative vehicles and fuel. I for one would like to hear Kim Taylor's response to these questions, and cannot understand why she did not and wish someone among the organizers would. What is the problem? If Kim Taylor does respond, I hope The Cutting Edge will publish her explanation.

Set America Free Hopes to End the OPEC Oil Monopoly for $100 per Vehicle

March 30th 2009

American recently saw the bipartisan introduction of H.R. 1476: The Open Fuel Standard in the House of Representatives by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Steve Israel (D-NY) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD). The bill paves the way for fuel choice in American automobile transportation. A similar bipartisan Senate measure is anticipated soon. The Open Fuel Standard would ensure that starting in 2012, 50 percent of new automobiles powered by an internal combustion engine, and starting in 2015, 80 percent of such new automobiles, be flex fuel vehicles warranted to operate on gasoline, ethanol, and methanol, or be warranted to operate on biodiesel. Flex Fuel capability in new cars has a nominal cost of approximately $100. The Big 3 Automakers currently manufacture 90 percent of the cars produced for the Brazil market as flex fuel vehicles. 

The CEOs of the Big Three auto companies have repeatedly stated their willingness to commit to making 50 percent of new cars flex fuel vehicles or warranted to operate on biodiesel by 2012. Anne Korin, co-chair of the Set America Free Coalition, a diverse alliance focused on stripping oil of its strategic value by breaking its virtual monopoly over transportation fuels, notes. "The Open Fuel Standard Act would buttress this commitment with law, ensuring that most new cars will be platforms on which fuels can compete, thus providing certainty for investors in a variety of alternative fuels to ramp up production and fuel station owners to install pumps."

Gal Luft, a founding member of the Set America Free Coalition, has said: “Fuel Choice remains as critical today with gas at $2 per gallon as it was last year when oil was $147 per barrel and the pump price of gas was $4 per gallon. It costs the automakers an extra $100 per car to give us the insurance policy we
need to prepare us for the next oil crisis that will surely come once we pull out of the recession.”

This movement needs many voices to make the message of fuel choice an integral component of energy independence. It should reverberate in the offices of the administration and the Halls of Congress so it becomes part of their agenda. If America is ever going to achieve Energy Independence, we must begin now. The road to Brazil's transportation energy independence was paved by fuel choice.  Gas-only stations must become a thing of the past... if we're  going to have a viable future. If Brazil can do it, so can America.

Open Fuel Legislation Challenged as Unwise

March 23rd 2009

I’m not in the habit of commenting on irresponsible and misleading articles published on the web, and have no intention of getting into it, or subsequent haggling.  I just wanted to point out that an article you published on March 16: Separating Energy Independence from Global Warming with an Open Fuel Standard,” by Neil B. Goldstein is full of half-truth “facts” and in my opinion misleads your readers. When it serves the author’s interests, the solutions of some problems (“green” power generation and electric/plug in vehicles) are expensive, insufficient, and would take decades to achieve, whereas other problems – using biodiesel and other alternative fuels in cars – is simple and could be here immediately if we would only have a legislation forcing the auto industry to make the modifications enabling the use of such fuels. This is simply untrue. Suggesting it is a disservice to all, especially those who try to develop safe and affordable means to produce alternative fuels and investigate all the aspects of such a process, related to production storage and transportation. These folks know this is a task that would take years of work and significant funds to accomplish, just like the other very important topics Mr. Goldstein considers of a lesser value to the American people.   

The writer is director of the Center for Energy Research at the The Weizmann Institute of Science.

Goldstein responds: Given Professor Karni’s admirable record of accomplishment in the field of solar energy (including the use of high-temperature solar to produce hydrogen and biofuels from waste), it is not surprising that he brings passion to the subject of energy policy. Unfortunately he has permitted that passion to interfere with a fair and accurate reading of what I said, and to disregard the one transitional strategy that can significantly reduce U.S. consumption of imported oil in the immediate future.


Freeman Bows Out of Security Post

March 16th 2009

The public needs some important information regarding the withdrawal of Amb. Charles Freeman from consideration for Director of the National Intelligence Counncil, a non-confirmable position. The vetting process was internal - no one but Director Blair and the  President had to be satisfied with his credentials, and clearly Adm. Blair was. So why did he withdraw? He blames the "Israel lobby," a convenient, largely mythical foil.  But more likely, once he aroused public and then Congressional interest and knew he would have to explain himself, he had neither the desire nor the ability to defend being paid by Saudi Arabia and sitting on the Board of a Chinese state oil company. It would have been illuminating to watch him try. Consider this - the Chinese state oil company, on whose board Freeman sits, pumps oil in Sudan. Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Sudan's President Omar Bashir for crimes in Darfur. Bashir, in retaliation, ousted several of the nonprofit food and medical organizations that keep the people of Darfur alive even as they suffer the depredations of the militias supported by the Sudanese government. A few of the civilized countries, including the United States, tried to get a UN Security Council resolution condemning Bashir for tossing the food and medical people. China has a history of defending Sudan in the Security Council and in this instance threatened to exercise its veto on behalf of its state oil company. Forget Israel. Try defending that in front of Congress.

The writer is a senior director for security policy at JINSA.

Honda Still Suppresses CNG Civic

March 9th 2009
Recently, I tried to purchase a Honda Civic GX. To my surprise, I was told that the car was unavailable. Neither I could I purchase the home filling device, the Phill. A friend told me to check the Cutting Edge News for the scoop on this. I was amazed and found more information in the book, The Plan. With Honda suffering right along with Detroit being unable to sell its Honda-style gas guzzlers, I am amazed that they will not give in and sell a car people actually want to buy--the Honda GX, especially as it will help free us by domination from foreign oil interests. What is wrong with Honda? Probably the same thing that is wrong with Detroit.

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