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What Public Funds Could Do When Spent on Non-Military Stuff

Monday, May 26, 2008
In what may be another byproduct of the money pit that is the war in Iraq, the nation's wildlife refuges have fallen into disrepair. Responding to the proliferation of illegal drug farms and prostitution rings within America's understaffed and underfunded refuges, Evan Hirshe, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and chairman of the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), recently told Congress that "[w]ithout adequate funding, we are jeopardizing some of the world's most spectacular wildlife and wild lands" and recommended an eighty million dollar funding increase for the 2009 fiscal year.

Such an increase would bring public funding of our nation's wildlife refuges to $514 million, a figure that is still well below the $765 million CARE estimates is the minimal adequate amount to maintain the one hundred million acres of land under the protection of the National Wildlife Refuge System. As a result of budget-related staff cuts, the system only cannot afford to pay staff more than 180 of the 845 law enforcement officials needed to ensure the safety of the refuges' many visitors.

With more than forty million visitors a year, the nation's wildlife refuges bring in an estimated $1.7 billion to the American economy and provide well over 25,000 jobs.

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Ed Wallace Says There's No Gas Shortage

Saturday, April 5, 2008
From BusinessWeek.com:

"Gasoline reserves on hand are at the highest levels since the early 1990s, which is remarkable considering the nation's refineries have been cutting back on the production of gasoline because their margins have declined. In fact, average gasoline reserves on hand have risen since this past October, while oil reserves in this country have gone up virtually every week this year--and only fog in the Houston Ship Channel that kept oil tankers from unloading their crude one week kept it from being every week."

"Here's the scorecard, in case you missed it. There's no shortage of gasoline or oil in the U.S. today, and we have near-record reserves on hand. Meanwhile the Congressional mandate for ethanol has jacked up the price of chicken feed for Pilgrim's Pride, which is the U.S.'s largest processor of chickens and turkeys--by $1.3 billion. And that's for just one company processing chicken. This is what passes for acceptable to our Energy Secretary?"

Still, even if there is no gas shortage, let's get off of it before there is one.

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News Briefs

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
From The Guardian:
"Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain's most senior police forensics expert."
[Full story]

Well, England did produce 1984 and Brave New World...

From Reuters:
"The thickest, oldest and toughest sea ice around the North Pole is melting, a bad sign for the future of the Arctic ice cap, NASA satellite data showed on Tuesday."
[Full story]

More evidence of global warming to share with your doubting friends, if you're so inclined.

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