E-mail letters, May 16, 2011

More research needed
into oil shale byproducts

Thank you to The Daily Sentinel for the thoughtful analysis of the current situation of our problematic resource, oil shale. An additional component for maximizing the resource could be by-product research.

Recent discussions have pointed out the potential profitability of by-products in the shale deposits. In
addition to the recognized sodium carbonate and aluminum minerals in shale, metals including rare earths have been identified in shales, the recovery of which could equal the energy value. Asphalt, ammonia, and cement are other potential by-products.
Pretreatment of the oil shale rock could define the best methods for recovering the valuable by-products. Earlier work has shown that separation of carbonates from kerogen prior to retorting enhances oil production. Interestingly, such separation has potential to reduce any carbon footprint
of shale oil production.

In contrast to the BLM’s emphasis on leasing issues while assuming private energy companies will come up with profitable schemes, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab hass
been sponsoring oil shale research at such institutions as Colorado School of Mines and the University of Utah. I have suggested for years that such research be expanded into issues such as discussed herein.

I recommend that appropriate DOE contracts be arranged with perhaps CMU or Montana Tech. CMU
is certainly in the center of Green River shale deposits. Montana Tech has recognized skills in mining, mineral dressing and metal extraction and is located in oil shale lands. My recommendations are based on the fact that both of these institutions contributed significantly to my personal
knowledge and success.
Robert Loucks
Grand Junction

Pantyhose provide padding
for uncomfortable rides

Reading Donald Rumsfeld’s excellent history of the federal government between the late 1940s and recent years, “Known and Unknown,” I came across an interesting story that bought an old memory.

In the early years of the Afgan war, Special Forces had inserted small detachments to direct the bombing of the Taliban. At times, this was done on horseback by soldiers who had never ridden a horse before. Naturally, some of them developed bad saddle sores, which they first treated with Vasoline. The sand rapidly turned the treatment into areas of sandpaper. “Then some clever mind came up with a different solution: pantyhose,” Rumsfeld wrote.
Many years before someone, suggested pantyhose for long motorcycle rides. I borrowed a pair of my wife’s, (too small) on a ride from Colorado into Idaho. After riding two days, we pulled into a campground north of Boise, and I left that pair, totally shredded, hanging off a tree.

Later my wife bought me the largest size sold, which brought a puzzled look by the clerk. The wife had to explain that she was getting a gift for a very large friend. This pair lasted me for many years.
I wonder if any local cowboys have come up with this solution, or would they admit it if they did.
Dick Prosence

Obama administration releases
information it deems suitable

I find it interesting that within 100 hours or so of the bin Laden raid, the Obama administration was able to get news out about most of the details, even though everyone involved understood that this was highly classified and was not to be released or linked to the public.

The world now knows which SEAL team did the job, how many were involved, the loss of a helicopter, and even that bin Laden was dead. It also produced a picture of the administration “team” that attended the viewing of the incident, which I am sure has immediately put a target on all of them.
All this in 100 hours, and yet they were able to keep from the public his birth certificate for 2 ½ years. I guess its just a matter of priorities.
Lloyd Hunley
Grand Junction

Rand and Ron Paul, along
with Ryan, should be rated ‘R’

Three congressional disciples of cult novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, whose views have alternately been described as a “cult of selfishness” and “perpetual adolescence,” seem to be running rampant in Washington.

First, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., authored the now infamous Republican budget proposal that set out to destroy Medicare by privatizing it and put the government on a path to institutionalizing economic

Next, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, stated in recent Senate testimony that anyone who believes in universal healthcare in effect believes in slavery.

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave
not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses,” Paul said, adding that there is “an implied use of force.”

Sen. Paul also contended the idea of universal medical care runs counter to the founding father’s vision. “Our founding documents were very clear about this. You have a right to pursue happiness; but there’s no guarantee of physical comfort, there’s no guarantee of concrete items.”

And finally, there’s Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., Rand’s daddy, who just announced his third run for the presidency. Darling of the Libertarian Party, the elder Paul proposes such things as the legalization of heroin and a return to the gold standard. He also opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on the grounds it violates the sanctity of individual property rights.

If anyone made a movie of this stuff it would be rated “R” for reactionary, and classified as science fiction. But sadly, it’s all too real!
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction

Penry column on torture
shows his credibility is exhausted

I read with amusement Josh Penry’s May 13 column. Did he not see Sen. John McCain publicly state that over 160 waterboarding interrogations of Khalid Shiekh Mohammed yielded absolutely no information that led to the killing of bin Laden? This after a meeting with none other than CIA Chief
Leon Panetta.

Penry’s credibility has long been exhausted. The misinformation that oozes from his column is downright laughable. Penry will write anything in his attempt to discredit President Obama — truth be darned.

Like Rick Wagner, who claims the killing of bin Laden has “cost the Obama team public trust,” Penry has shown he is severely delusional.
John A. Ijams
Grand Junction

Wagner may join those who
‘think themselves accurs’d’

Will Rick Wagner criticize every thing President Obama does?

You could wonder whether King Henry V was criticized in England after the battle of Agincourt. Instead of criticizing him the king felt that men should “think themselves accurs’d” that were not in the battle with him, according to Shakespeare.

In the 2004 movie version of that battle, the king is asked at the end of the battle who the victor was. King Henry supposedly responded “hell if I know” or “who the hell knows.”

It would seem that it takes time to get true versions of details when battles end.  The idea of the four blind men describing the elephant should suffice. Nonetheless I believe Rick Wagner should hold his “manhood cheap” while he writes and criticizes President Obama.
Jose U. Lucero
Grand Junction


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