Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Foxes in the henhouse

Opinion piece from The Rocky Mountain News:

Foxes in the henhouse

If we're going to let a business owned by United Arab Emirates operate six of our major ports, why stop there? Why not put the Saudis in charge of airport security and the Colombians or Bolivians in charge of the war on drugs?

Can't we find a state-owned company from Mexico to take over our Border Patrol?

Surely the Chinese should be invited to bid on the next contract to run Los Alamos National Laboratory, while Iran boasts unique credentials to preside over the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Finally, isn't it time for the nations of the world to elevate Sudan to the U.N. Human Rights Commission?

Oh, wait: That outpost of genocidal barbarism is already there.

Vincent Carroll, editor of the editorial pages, writes On Point several times a week. Reach him at .

And from the Albuquerque Tribune:

Editorials: Bouquets & brickbats
February 22, 2006

Brickbat: new sermon

President Bush's newfound faith in energy alternatives is raising a righteous chorus of hallelujahs around the nation, but there's little wonder why congregations out here in the Rocky Mountain West aren't yet building bigger churches.

Folks here have good reason to question the president's sincerity. Take his visit this week to the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory up north in Golden, Colo., to promote energy proposals he made in his State of the Union address.

Two weeks ago, the lab, which develops the energy technologies the president is promoting, had to lay off 32 workers because of cutbacks in federal funds. Coincidentally - or not - the feds came up with money to restore the jobs just before Bush's visit.

Unfortunately, critics point out, the move restores only $5 million of the $28 million shortfall that caused the layoffs in the first place.

Meanwhile, alternative energy research at DOE's Sandia and Los Alamos national labs in New Mexico has languished since the end of President Carter's administration. These labs - like the lab in Golden - have the ability and the technology to end America's "addiction to oil," as Bush put it so aptly.

If the president were sincere, he'd put serious money and muscle where his mouth is. Yes, Bush has proposed a 22 percent increase in funding for alternative energy research at DOE. But developments such as the gambit at Golden raise legitimate doubts that Bush - a former Texas oilman - might be undergoing only a jailhouse conversion to energy independence.

We'll hold out for deeds to back up the words before we start adding more pews.

(1) For consistency with the other propositions, "the Chinese" (a people) should have been "China" (the country).
(2) Don't call me Shirley.
Dear "Brains...":

You have the makings of a new Editor for The Blog.
(However, benefits are LESS than those in LANS TCP2.)


P.S. Could the Red Chinese bureaucracy run LANL more inefficiently than DOE/NNSA? Or are we there already, with a Soviet-style system?
Dear Editor,

Thank you for the compliment (unless you are posting ironically a la the primary post).

Having already retired from LANL, and without any concerns about my current or future benefits because I have confidence they are well taken care of by my trustworthy benefactors, I am tempted by your suggestion of an offer, but with conditions:

(1) I would only do it if I could share the work-load with you and Doug. Being retired, I am quite busy with other interests, blogging being only one of them.
(2) I would adhere rather strictly to the stated Purpose and Posting Guidelines for this blog.
(3) I am somewhat pedantic. Despite having spent 40% of my life as a fulltime student, my favorite teacher remains my kindergarten teacher. So neatness counts and use of a spell checker is strongly encouraged. Review of what is written is a prerequisite to pushing the publish button, and some thought to what is written is recommended.

As for your postscript, I have always heard that running LANL is like herding cats, but I was never quite sure what my colleagues meant by that, not being a cat person or even a shepherd. In any case, I am usually reluctant to engage in political debate in a public forum. It strikes me as a hopeless waste of time and energy.
Your moniker alone probably qualifies you to be an LTRS co-maintainer.

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