My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Most Important Things 

M.I.T. #1: The End of the Internal Combustion Engine

In 1940, President Roosevelt ordered 50,000 fighter planes to prepare for World War II; everybody said it was impossible; instead, America cranked out an armada of more than 100,000 planes--enough to blot out the sun.

In 1961, President Kennedy laid out the goal of putting a man on the moon within a decade; at the time, WE KNEW NOTHING! Nonetheless, on July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong took "one small step . . ."

There is every reason--EVERY REASON--to believe that if the politicians showed the will, and got out of the way of the really smart people who know what they're doing, that America could end it's reliance on oil altogether within a decade.

Do we know anything that would make me think this is a realistic goal? NO. Though there are some fairly exciting things going on in people's back yards, if they end up being not just hoaxes.

Has anybody even run a test on a product or process that could accomplish this goal? Not that I know of, though the Volt seems to be promising.

What would it take? First of all, it would require a federal effort . . . ha ha ha. I couldn't even get the line out with a straight face.

If the federal government really wants to contribute to this, it would make available lots and lots of grant money that people--ordinary people--could apply for. The combined ingenuity of the American inventor would do wonders.

Have you ever been to a drag race? A formal one, like at Bandimere Race Track in Morrison, CO? What you see there on a typical Saturday in the summer are dozens and scores of ordinary people who devote a lot of their time and treasure to building the perfect car--all the combinations of motor size, air flow, tires, gas mixture . . . all in pursuit of the perfect run. And these are no dumb hicks doing this--the complex mathematics involved, combined with the clever application and bending of a few immutable rules are really the work of intense engineering. I know this, because my father-in-law has been racing cars his whole life, and his explanation of the improvements he's made to his engines over the years require a slide-rule, a glossary and a lot of time to decipher the diagrams.

Does anybody out there think that a few of these guys--and girls--couldn't come up with something better than the union shops if somebody gave them enough money to pursue it full-time for a couple years, with the resources to build what they come up with?

Detroit won't do it--the end of the internal combustion engine would put too many unions out of business.

The feds won't do it--the EPA would never let them do the testing and experimenting required.

This is the kind of job that the American people are perfectly suited to do. Two years to work on their own and make things the best they can, then come together in some sort of clearinghouse where all the best brains can look at what's been done, and start to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Is there anything more important to national security at this time than bankrupting the extremist Wahabist oil barons? Is there anything more important to world stability than rendering the oil nations of the middle east, along with Venezuela and Russia, irrelevant to the functioning of the advanced economies in the next 50 years?

The invention of the steam engine led directly to the industrial revolution in the 18th century; the internal combustion engine made the globe one community in the 20th century; the 21st century needs its own revolution.

And it should be led by Americans.

And if a conservative doesn't lead the way, proposing a consevative, individual-centered approach to solving this problem, then it's a sure thing that Obama and the Dems will lead the way to a government "solution" which will, almost assuredly, give the world the finest carbon-offset program money can buy . . .

but no engine.

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