Thursday, December 31, 2009

Evidence of AGW fraud Increases

Evidence of AGW fraud Increases

I took a lot of science courses in school, and once thought I might make my career in physics. I only say this so you'll understand that when I tell you that "Geophysical Research Letters" is the most important and serious peer-reviewed journal in physics, I know what I'm talking about. I spend a lot of time reading on the subject, although I do not subscribe to heavy journals anymore. Today I came across this article in "Science Daily" which is no kind of "skeptic" type site - far from it, but they saw the need to report on this study. Read it here, cause the MSM will never cover this, but if it is true, and it has to be pretty close to the truth, the entire underpinning of the global warming fraud is a lie.

No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years, New Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2009) — Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.
In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Global Fraud

Global Fraud

This is a sad time for science. Anyone who has been involved in the world of academic science is grieving right now. I thought that the situation in physics over string theory was bad - a researcher needs to be a true believer in string theory to get big grants and choice assignments - but there is no organized effort to discredit other schools of thought (that I am aware of). Now we have this.

The difference is caused by the sheer amount of money and resources at stake, plus the factor that some portion of humanity has a religious belief that humanity has spoiled his nest, and the AGW hypothesis fits that body of belief well. Then we have the statist left which plans to use this issue to garner great power for their cause. We are talking about trillions of dollars here, and the full involvement of politics and industry. Now we see from these emails that careers have been ruined, and governments led astray.

The dichotomy we face is immense. The political and industrial stakes have never been this large. The statist left and the Malthusian true believers will continue to act as if this is good science to further their agenda, even as anyone with a sound basis in science knows just how badly the cause of science and understanding of climate has been corrupted. This will not end well.

We are not being well served by the media either. Maybe they do not understand the issues, but they surely never present them honestly. The question is not even about warming climate. It is only opartially about man's contribution to whatever warming there might be. The real question, which science has not yet even addressed, is whether curtailing CO2 emissions will have any effect on world climate, and if it will have any effect, will this effect be negative or positive. Drowning bears and melting ice have nothing to do with it, but they make good television. Sad.

Note: Some great writing on the same subject:

How to Manufacture a Climate Crisis by Patrick J. Michaels

Climategate's Stubborn Facts by Dexter Wright

Understanding Climategate's Hidden Decline by Marc Sheppard,

Scientists Behaving Badly by Steven F. Hayward

Botch after Botch after Botch by Lorrie Goldstein

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Federal Employees at the Trough

Federal Employees at the Trough

By Paul B. Matthews
Originally posted at American Thinker

Last week, USA Today reported that nearly one in five federal government employees now earn over $100,000. The paper also reported the average federal salary rose to $71,260, almost $31,000 more than the comparative average private-sector wage.

Within the Department of Defense, over 10,000 employees (as of June 2009) now earn at least $150,000 per year, a 5½-fold increase in the number of employees eclipsing this salary threshold from just eighteen months ago.

At the same time as federal employee salaries have been soaring, total private sector earnings have steadily declined as the unemployment rate escalates (now at 10%) and the average workweek declines. In fact, in November, private-sector employees worked an average of just 33.2 hours, slightly above the all-time low set in October (33.0 hours) and well below the forty hours guaranteed to federal employees. Simultaneously, average private sector hourly earnings totaled $18.74 per hour, significantly below the implied hourly wage rates ($34.25 per hour) paid to the average federal employee.

However, simply analyzing the growth in total paid compensation fails to capture the true explosion in benefits paid to federal workers.

For example, government employees almost never work on weekends. And if a federal employee does work on Sunday, he becomes eligible for Sunday Premium Pay. Federal employees are also entitled to compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, a benefit few private sector firms are able to offer.

Paid time off for federal employees is also extremely generous. Employees with less than three years' tenure earn twelve paid days off per year. For service between three and fifteen years, workers are guaranteed eighteen days off with pay. And when an employee reaches fifteen years of service, this benefit grows to twenty-four days.

Federal employees are also guaranteed ten federal holidays with pay.

With all this time off, some government workers might be hard-pressed to use actually use it. No worries -- federal workers have a very liberal carryover policy: thirty days for all employees. However, if you get stationed overseas, this policy expands to forty-five days. And if you become classified as a "Senior Executive Service," a "Senior-Level" [employee], or a "Scientific or Professional Employee," the policy expands to ninety days.

Naturally, at retirement, or if an employee decides to leave government service, any unused time is compensated for with cash -- a lump-sum payout that could easily amount to between $6,000 and $17,800 based on the "average" federal salary figure. For senior-level employees who earn the highest pay levels, such payouts could easily total $30,000 and might even exceed $50,000, thereby eclipsing the average annual salary of an American in the private sector.

The benefits continue. On top of paid time off, federal employees are also eligible for half a day of sick time per biweekly pay period. Thus, in a 52-week year, each full-time employee may accrue 13 days of sick time. There are also no limits on the amount of sick leave an employee may accumulate. Moreover, when an employee retires, any unused sick pay is added to the calculation of the employee's retirement annuity, thereby increasing the value of the annuity payouts received by federal employees during retirement.

And yet there is still more. As part of the Student Loan Repayment Program, a benefit enacted by Congress in 2007, all federal government employees are eligible for up to $10,000 per year in student loan forgiveness, a benefit capped at $60,000 per individual. (This benefit requires ten years of government service.)

Health care benefits provided to federal employees are also quite extensive and lucrative. Notably, there are a minimum of nine national pay-for-service health care plans from which an employee may select. To supplement these nine national plans, there are a number of additional agency-specific plans as well as state-specific HMO, HDHP, or CDHP plans that are also employee options.

On top of basic health care insurance plans offered to its employees, the federal government also provides a full range of vision and dental care plans. Of course, all of these insurance programs are heavily subsidized (up to 50% of the total cost for a family policy) by the U.S. taxpayer.

Finally, the federal government even provides a subsidized life insurance to its employees. Under this program, employees pay only two-thirds of the monthly insurance premium while the U.S. taxpayer covers the rest.

On top of all these incentives, Congress has recently decided to expand the handouts. While consumer prices have steadily declined throughout 2009 (the annual CPI rate fell 0.2% through October), the U.S. Congress just passed legislation that would provide an across-the -board 2% pay raise for all federal employees. As such, federal employees will soon receive a 2.2% real pay increase as private sector wages remain stagnant or fall.

Currently, the U.S. Office of Personal Management estimates that there are just over 4.2 million federal employees. Thus, based on the average salary figures reported by USA Today, total wages paid to all federal employees now total nearly $300 billion per year, or about $1,000 for every man, women, and child in the United States. Add to this figure the costs of insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits (which have not even been quantified here), and the total federal outlay to "pay" federal employees soars by billions more.

Simply stated, this trend cannot be sustained.

With last year's U.S. federal deficit of more than $1.4 trillion, it will become increasingly difficult to reduce the government's level of red ink, particularly if the federal government continues to expand. However, it now seems quite obvious that the government employment will continue to expand, especially under a nationalized health care system or once Obama's new Consumer Financial Protection Agency officially becomes part of the government Leviathan.

Americans and the media remain almost uniformly against the large bonuses being paid to Wall Street bankers -- even though these bonuses must come from the (albeit subsidized) revenues generated by these firms. Given what has been going on in the public sector, perhaps it's about time for Americans to refocus their anger on the public bureaucrats who feed daily at the trough of the tax dollars generated by their indentured servitude in the private sector.

Paul B. Matthews is a consultant and a Texas-licensed CPA. He is a former hedge fund manager.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Innumerate Warmists

Innumerate Warmists

A recent article in Scientific American, one of the most virulent purveyors of Warmist hysteria, makes the case that we can all go on a WWS economy, that is, Waves, Water, and Solar. They claim that all we need is
3.8 million large wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants, and numerous geothermal, tidal and rooftop photovoltaic installations
That's all very nice, but it seems to me that they never ran the numbers. Let's give it a try.

3.8 million 5 MW wind turbines. These cost $5 million to $10 million each. Including land and installation, that's $40,000,000,000,000. (40 trillion dollars) They claim that we need to build 1,700,000,000 3 kW rooftop photovoltaic systems. At current prices each of these would cost $24,000, which is another 40 trillion dollars. These numbers are exclusive of installation costs and the cost of a new electric transmission grid needed to make use of it all. Let's be kind and call it a minimum of one hundred trillion dollars to install the hardware.

Where will the money come from? The entire debt of the United States government is officially supposed to be twelve trillion dollars, so this proposal calls for increasing that debt by eight times! That's an order of magnitude more debt, and that's just the money cost. What about the environmental cost? All the mountain tops that will have to be leveled for wind turbine installation, like the proposal they are starting to put into motion in Maine, is an interesting subject for study all by itself.

Beyond that consider that the deserts will need to be covered with photovoltaic arrays. And we have not even considered the tidal dams, the wave energy collectors, and all the other pie in the sky neato-tech that will need to be invented to make this pipe dream come true. And for what? The AGW debate starts with a supposed increase in temperatures, but it seems to end there as well. Forgotten, beyond the question of human causeation, is whether any of this investment and destruction of habitat will change the course of terrestrial weather. Further, we need to see a debate on the effect of warming itself. Is it a bad thing, or a good thing for humanity? Making Canada and Siberia productive for food agriculture might just be a good thing. But to the true believer, this is not even part of the debate. Maybe Gaea is providing for burgeoning population by removing the protective ice cover from immense regions for human habitation and exploitation. Maybe that is what this entire debate is really about.

This all presupposes that climate conditions will remain the way they are, which seems to be to be a revealing bit of the Warmist mentality. If they truly believe that climate is changing due to human activity, then they should also believe that weather will also be changing. After all, isn't the utility of a solar generation site linked to the local weather? If a trend to more cloud cover develops, that would affect generation. And should changing conditions act on the viability of wind farms, should they look to possible changes in wind patterns? Wouldn't the mere existence of massive wind farms remove wind energy from the system, and thus slow the wind itself?

One might say that is all hypothetical, but then the entire body of AGW science is hypothetical. There are no experiments in climate science, only observations and predictions. To the extent that the models in use are now twenty years old, could we not consider the fact that those predictions predict the first ten of those years pretty well, but they fail to predict anything of value for the second decade at all? And now data has been collected that seem to show that wind velocity, and thus power available for harvesting, is reducing. Amazingly, Warmists dismiss this research, because the observations are not predicted their models. Isn't that the exact opposite of the scientific method? Shouldn't the prediction, the theory itself, change when new observations, new data, come to light?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Fin de Siècle

Fin de Siècle

Fin de siècle is a term that refers to the end of an era of impending doom and emerging into a new, brighter future. It seems to me that is a great way to describe the current changes occurring now in the dynamics of the cult that has arisen over the issue of anthropogenic global warming, or AGW.

Until a couple of weeks ago, society seemed destined to accept a fundamental change in the way the resources of the world would be distributed, a power shift that would move humanity incrementally closer to a one world government. We may well be headed toward such a future, and at a certain point it might even become necessary, but now we know that this shift will not happen today - and that's a good thing.

The entire enterprise was predicated on the premise that the AGW "science is settled," the "debate is over." But then a silly thing like reality asserted its will over the proceedings. An unpredicted cooling overcame the earth, and the AGW science teams couldn't explain it without abandoning the very models that had given them such power and predominance in the scientific community. Instead of reacting like scientists should, which would be to take a close look at the data, reevaluate their procedures of analysis, and try to understand why their models could not predict the future. Instead, they reacted in a purely political way, which was use their power to try to move public opinion, rather than seeking a better technical understanding of the dynamics of climate. That act will be the downfall of the predominance of their movement, now that the world has seen the cult leaders at their cynical game, in the leaked CRU emails and files.

All signs point to a cold winter for the northern hemisphere, where the economies designated to supply the cash to the AGW cult all live. They still all have some form of democratic governance in place, and the power grab was based upon having these electorates under the impression that the consequences of failing to accept the prescription would be dire. A couple of decades of brainwashing in grade school has convinced most of the younger generation that the AGW hypothesis is a fact. Seeing behind the methods and motivations of the leaders of the cult will have a profound effect on the discourse, and ultimately the zeitgeist, and the way people reflect and react to discussion of the future will have to change. They will have attained a bit more skepticism. It is natural for youth to be skeptical of the establishment. The Obama campaign tapped into this skepticism effectively. Now the bloom is off that rose.

When you finally realize that the CRU emails show that the observed facts do not fit any known theory of anthropogenic warming, you MUST come to the conclusion that science does not know what the next ten or twenty years of climate will be like. It would therefore be immoral for the governments of the rich countries to implement an unproved and not well understood plan to make serious changes to the way the human race manages international problems.

Back to the drawing board fellas. IF indeed the human race is to take such serious measures, we need to solidify the science. This can not be done unless and until those scientists who are skeptical of Al Gore's "theory" are allowed a full throated part of the public debate. Anything else is junk science, more politics than the quest for objective truth, and the honest seeking of solutions. We the People deserve nothing less from those who choose to rule us.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bill Ayers Dumps, Demonstrates Against, Obama

Bill Ayers, who tried to blow up the Pentagon, has finally had it with his erstwhile friend. After ghostwriting his autobiography, Billy boy draws the line at war, as in war against Jihad, not war against Israel.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Truth About Warming Climate

The Truth About Warming Climate

What tends to be forgotten amid human wrangling and debate is that we humans are mostly concerned with our personal situation, and only put matters into a public frame to make our argument sound more outer-directed. To most of us that is mere style, but when we consider people with ambition to attain great power, the consequences can be dire for the rest of us. Take the presidency. A man craves personal power, and circumstances conspire to put him in a position to achieve it. He will do whatever it takes to succeed. Did Obama ever stop to think, for even a moment, if his narcissism and inexperience made him the wrong person to lead a nation in perilous times? Not a single rational person believes that he did, or would. When Algore refused to concede to G.W. Bush in November of 2000 did he, even for a split second, consider whether his actions that day might hasten a disaster on the order of the events of 9/11/01? He surely did not, yet that is exactly what happened. Now we must deal with the climate crisis. And a crisis it is, definitely. Not a crisis of climate however, but a crisis of governance.

I am willing to concede that all the malefactors revealed in the recent document dump at the East Anglia CRU had the best interests of the planet in mind. I will concede, for the sake of argument, that they are true believers in their theory and genuinely want the best thing for humanity. But clearly, when the twenty year warming trend turned cold after 1998 and their models could not explain it, they began to issue fraudulent documents to support their point of view. They destroyed the careers of those who would stand in their way, if they could. To them, the end justified the means. But means are merely the route to a policy position, which, in the way of humans, consisted of a melange of different actors, each pursuing their single interest. The climate true believers made common cause with the statist Left, whose desire to end democracy and individual liberty has always been beyond question. If we believe the Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd, we need to reorder the entire system of government in the world, so that we can marshal the enormous forces required to stop industrial development and reduce human consumption as quickly as can be done.

They almost got away with it too. They still might. But their task is far more difficult now, as their mask is off. The raw power grab will be revealed for what it always was, as the victims, We the People, are going to be more alert to them now, and far less acquiescent to their claims, and especially to their prescription. And that can only be a good thing.

[Update] Just in case you missed what this is all about, Paul Jacob makes the case pithily. He has the links also.
In particular, scientists reported temperatures in the Medieval Warming Period as cooler than they were, and more recent cooling trends as warmer. Anthropogenic global warming catastrophists have engaged in a massive public fraud.

Now, you might not bat an eye were you to learn that economists associated with, say, our recent bailouts, had been fudging numbers. Trillions of dollars to spend!

But when climate scientists get caught lying — as well as conspiring to keep their basic data secret, and hijacking the peer review process — it’s hard not to feel a bit abused. Natural scientists are supposed to be above this.

Public, open criticism is the hallmark of science. Climate researchers who stonewalled to keep their actual data hidden from critics were scuttling science.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Politically Correct? How about Correct, Period?

Politically Correct? How about Correct, Period?

Amazingly, there is a news item out today that is headed "FBI: 10% of U.S. Mosques Preach Jihad." That report is false, and is yet another example of political correctness run amok.

All this talk about the religion of peace, all this talk about moderate Islam, is misguided, and factually wrong. Islam is a religion of war. The Koran, their holy book, was written as a battle manual, and it was used to enthrall most of the known world right after it was written. The actual number of Mosques that teach jihad is exactly one hundred percent of them, not ten. Jihad is dogma to them, as surely as confession is to a Catholic, a religious requirement, a basic tenet of his faith. No other religion teaches that they are at war with the rest of the world, and they will convert, enslave, or kill everybody living here on this planet. This becomes clear if you have the minimum understanding of the history of organized religion over the last three thousand years, and an ideology that allows you to see the truth when it is set before you.

In the beginning the priests would build an idol and a temple and get people to pay them for things like spiritual healing and to make the rains come, the crops grow. Well, the rain didn't always come, and each independent little idol or God had its own exploiters, therefore it was not centralized and thus, inefficient. In order to facilitate better control and to enable the accretion of more power, monotheism arose, in Egypt and other places. The Hebrews refined it and codified it. Their one God was pretty well uninvolved in the daily affairs of men, and His book, the Bible, was about their history, some prophesy, and rules of behavior. The priest class thrived under this new system, but some realized that they could do better, thus a group of them branched out with a new book, a New Testament, which built on, and incorporated the Bible as its preface. This time they improved the cost-benefit ratio, making heaven a goal everybody could strive to enter, and live out eternity with the most holy. Ten percent of all income was what they charged their believers. This turned out to become a much better business, but they could not attract the believers in the old system to join them, and they were lousy rules for recruiters for new members - missionaries were supposed to use persuasion instead of coercion. Then came Mo and his Koran, which was a more modern and far more effective manual for the priest class to make an even better living, which contained a major improvement.

That signal improvement was in directly seizing secular power, and personally leading the army. An army of believers, led by the priests. They moved the reward for supporting the priests into the next world, thus the believers needed to die to get into heaven. In this way the priests didn't have to deliver anything in this world, except leadership. They named their religion "Submission." In Arabic, that is "Islam."

The "Crusades" were a set of defensive wars that ultimately stopped the Muslim army at the gates of Vienna in 1683, and ran them out of Spain as well. This was the end of Muslim expansion by warfare. Since that time the priests of Islam have continued to teach world domination, and in the last eighty years their war against the rest of the world has really freshened, as they teach their children that Allah gave them oil to finance their victory.

This is not surmise, they say this stuff openly all the time. Check out the public statements of "mainstream" clergy in the pages of MEMRI, among other places. Mo wrote in his Koran that the world could be divided into two zones, the Dar al Islam, or the world of the believers, and Dar al Harb, the world of war. They have been teaching this to their children since the seventh century. They are on the march to the victory that Allah promised them. One hundred percent of Muslims believe that, if they keep on having lots of children and following Sharia, they can rule the world, even if it takes another hundred years. For most of them this is soon enough. A fair few of them get anxious though, and try to hurry things along. Like Major Hasan.

Major Hasan responded to his religious teaching and his faith, when he took a gun to kill as many of his comrades/enemies as possible, followed by suicide by cop, as his ticket to be home free in his whorehouse heaven with his seventy two raisins. I am sure that he is quite disappointed to still be alive. He is a perfect example of the jihadi terrorist. Now there are some who insist that he was sick, not hateful. Well, if Hasan is sick, so are all the other suicide bombers, but it the sickness of their society, not some special victim syndrome that affords him a free pass from his guilt. It is hate. Religious, murderous, hate. Pure and simple. And few, if any, of his coreligionists speak out in outrage.

Edmund Burke is supposed to have said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Or maybe they are not good men, but pious believers, following the precepts of their church.

[Update - Over at American Thinker, Amil Imani has a post up that complements this one. A good read.]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is Obama Speech Naive, or Islamist Perfidy?

Is Obama Speech Naive, or Islamist Perfidy?

An interesting analysis of Obama's words and seemingly intentional mistranslation of the Koran makes this observer wonder whether there is something sinister going on here. While the writer/translator tries mightily to sound fair minded, I have no such constraint. When Obama quotes Sura 9 in his speech in Cairo, are we not allowed to remember that he first learned that Sura in a Muslim school in Indonesia? That it could not be unknown to him that this is the very place in their holy book that all Muslims are bound by their prophet to kill all nonbelievers?

Now he does a similar thing in Fort Hood. While his words toward the dead and wounded sound the right tone, his denial of the clear motive the attacker acted under is enlightening. Military brass may have a need to downplay the crisis of political correctness in their ranks, but the president has no need to support the institution. He will, however, support the very devil if it would serve his interest to do so.

Are we allowed to discern the perfidy here, or are we bound to follow The Won into a world in which all evil is American, and all good comes from Allah?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Windows Seven

Windows Seven

I am usually the last guy to upgrade to new software or hardware, but recently my wife bought a new computer with Windows 7 installed, so I had a chance to play around with it a bit. I must say that the program seems to work better than any Windows version I have ever used. This is just a first look, but for me, that is saying a lot. Windows 7 is no Ubuntu Linux, but for the guys in Redmond, this is something new - a program that seems to work right, right out of the box. Last time they did that was Word 5.0, back in the eighties.

I came late to the Windows party. I stayed with Dos 3.3 until everybody was using Windows 3.1, and I had no choice but to switch to it in the mid 1990s, right after the buggy Windows 95 came out. Now I use Widows XP. When I boot into Ubuntu - I have a dual boot system - I marvel at the precision of the program, the way that everything is easily controllable, even the very fact that everything IS controlled by the user. I HATE the way Windows does so much stuff "in the background" where you don't know what is going on.

My computer is always on, and sometimes I can see the little light that means traffic is going over the web start blinking spontaneously for no apparent reason, but with Windows XP I have no easy way to find out what is going on. If I have Linux up, not only can I easily find out what the traffic is, this never happens in the first place. But then I need easy access to all my Windows docs and apps, and Windows is familiar, so as a result of Windows' ease of use, I use Linux infrequently. Also, if I did not have my computer administration and troubleshooting department at hand (my teenage son) I would be daunted by all the understanding that I do not have about Ubuntu Linux, and my expert is not here most of the time during the day. Little thing called high school.

When they decided to make Windows idiot proof, they were thinking about me. But when my computer needs to stay on for a week, such as when I go on a business trip, I leave it running Ubuntu. That way it will absolutely, positively be up and working, and my VPN can access it. Windows XP could never last for a week without needing a cold boot.

I haven't really tested Windows 7, and I probably will wait to use it for a year or two, but what little I saw these last few days is encouraging. Maybe Redmond finally got something right. It has sure been a while since the last time they did that.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Rich Whistling Past the Graveyard

Rich Whistling Past the Graveyard

Frank Rich, the former movie reviewer for the NYT, now the ponderously distinguished political analyst for the NYT, has come out with a remarkable piece of political spin. He has taken the fact that Dede Scozzafava has resigned her campaign so the more popular conservative candidate can have a better chance to beat the democrat, and spun it into unreality. His spin is more like whistling past the graveyard, as if claiming that the republicans are on the wrong track will put them on the approved path to permanent minority status. A bit of his prose:
The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama.
Obama is destroying himself, and when liberal republicans make way for honest conservatives to protect their district from democrat victory, is no paranoid cult. It sounds to me more like concerned Americans, willing to go the extra mile, even at the cost of their own careers, for the greater good. That is a good sign for America, and a black mark on the checkered record of Frank Rich.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Five Hundred Posts

Five Hundred Posts

What a long strange trip it's been. Seven years, five hundred posts, and just getting started. There is plenty to talk about, considering the fact that we have a narcissist in the White house, clearly trying to take this great nation down a path that the rest of the civilized world is retreating from, having tasted these fruits, and found them bitter.

Even so, after 500 posts I feel that I have the right, and the need, for a little break. I will be back early in November. It's all good!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Treasury Admits Cost of Cap & Tax will cost 1% of GDP

Treasury Admits Cost of Cap & Tax will cost 1% of GDP

The Treasury Department has been forced to admit that the cost of Cap & Tax will cost 1% of GDP. In respomse to a FOIA request, Treasury submitted a redacted report on the costs. While the dollar amount was redacted, on page three of the .pdf file there is the admission "Exonomic costs will likely be on the order of 1% of GDP, making them equal in scale to all environmental regulations."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Health Care Plan Status

Health Care Plan Status

Obama Abandons Missile Shield, Picks Best Date

Obama Abandons Missile Shield, Picks Best Date

President announced today that it will not continue to build the missile defense system that president Bush promised would protect Europe from missile attack and Russia did not want built. Amazingly, Obama, showing the political deaf ear he has displayed since the moment his brilliant political campaign ended, picked possibly the worst possible day to announce this, the anniversary of the Soviet Invasion of Poland.

While the official story of building the missile shield was that it would protect against Iranian missiles, it could be no secret that building defensive missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic would be even more protective of those nations. Thus, Russia was not pleased. Today, the Vodka is flowing in Moscow, as their dreams of reestablishing their hegemony over Eastern Europe got a big boost from their good friend Obama. Now, if Obama had a clue about how to get some mileage with Russia from this it might not be an entirely bad move, but the supine foreign policy of the current administration does not inspire confidence that they have just acquired a shot of competence.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fifteen in Congress Who Betray the Public's Trust

Fifteen in Congress Who Betray the Public's Trust

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is out today with its fifth annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress. Seven Republicans and eight Democrats comprise the list. They are:

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)

Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.)

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)

Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.)

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.)

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.)

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)

CREW's critieria? The congressmen and women "who have most egregiously betrayed the public’s trust."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Republicans for Sunstein

Republicans for Sunstein

Cass Sunstein was confirmed by the senate yesterday, He was targeted by certain conservatives, notably Glenn Beck and right leaning bloggers, for statements made in his 2004 book and elsewhere, which reveal a man who believes we need a new Bill of Rights, that animals need access to the courts, and a strong stance in favor of gun control. On the other hand, he was in favor of the appointment of now Chief Justice John Roberts, and he is generally of a free market disposition.

His new position as the guy in the White House who reviews federal regulations seems to keep him away from gun control, and his advocacy of new rights, including rights to a job and higher prices for farmers also seem to be beyond his new brief. In any event the key vote in the senate was the cloture vote, where the democrat side needed 60 votes. For your reference, here is a list of the republicans who foted in favor of Cass Sunstein.

Republicans voting for cloture:
Bennett (R-UT)
Collins (R-ME)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Snowe (R-ME)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brazil, Soros, Get Billions

Brazil, Soros, Get Billions

Sharp eyed news fans might have noticed that the Obama administration today gave Petrobras, the Brazil petroleum company and the worlds eleventh highest valued company, a commitment for two billion dollars to drill in deep water offshore from that country's coast. Even sharper eyes might have noticed that George Soros owns about one billion dollars of stock in Petrobras. Even more curious eyes would have noticed that, just days before Obama invested in the company, Soros announced that he had reduced his stake in Petrobras. But financially savvy readers might note that this was a move from common shares to preferred shares, which pay dividends. Thus George Soros upped the ante by putting himself in the revenue stream mere days before his good buddy Obama paved the way for much higher earnings.

I suppose it would be out of line for me to wonder why Obama would reverse course on his disdain for petroleum and support drilling, when he claims to want to stop using petroleum altogether. I guess that only wild eyed conservative wackos will draw any conclusions about possible collusion between the Obama administration and their benefactor, the principal funder of I must be stupid and evil to see any connection between these events. Not the first time, not the last.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Not to be missed. Sit back, turn up the sound, and spend four minutes remembering why it's all worth it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

End the Drug War

Today's Washington Post has a thoughtful article advocating ending the drug war. Written by a couple of Law Enforcement Officers, it has an interesting angle. A police officer dies in the line of duty every other day, and stopping the futile and harmful War on (some) Drugs will reduce that tremendously. The war destroys communities. Stopping the war could create and save 77 billion dollars per year.

I have posted time after time that there is no constitutional basis for prohibition. Indeed, alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment, and another one for repeal. But this nation had much more respect for its founding document eighty years ago. The concluding paragraph sums it up well:
Without the drug war, America's most decimated neighborhoods would have a chance to recover. Working people could sit on stoops, misguided youths wouldn't look up to criminals as role models, our overflowing prisons could hold real criminals, and -- most important to us -- more police officers wouldn't have to die.
A free society can not long survive alienating large portions of its population. If Obama really wants to provide us with "change we can believe in," he should read this article, and ponder the consequences of inaction on his people.

Forty Reasons We Don't Need Firearms

40 Reasons We Don't Need Firearms

1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, Detroit & Chicago cops need guns.

2. Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.

5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense - give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).

10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.

11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seat belts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.

12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917.

13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a "state" militia.

14. These phrases: "right of the people peaceably to assemble," "right of the people to be secure in their homes," "enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people," and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people" all refer to individuals, but "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.

15. "The Constitution is strong and will never change." But we should ban and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to that Constitution.

16. Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense! Of course, the army has millions of them.

17. Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they aren't "military weapons'', but private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles'', because they are military weapons.

18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting, government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations, variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no fingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.

19. The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign is responsible social activity.

20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.

21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.

22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun is "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed at women are "preying on their fears."

23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.

24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.

25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.

26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a "weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."

27. Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.

28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.

29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.

30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.

31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA was a cheap lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.

32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.

33. We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.

34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.

35. Private citizens don't need a gun for self- protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.

36. Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.

37. "Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.

38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.

39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.

40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wrong hands." Guess what? You have the wrong hands.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Clinton's Big Prison Break

Clinton's Big Prison Break

This is just too good. Bill Clinton went into the women's prison in North Korea to "interview" the two imprisoned "reporters" for Al Gore's Current news service. Excuse me, but isn't this just special? The wife, now Secretary of State, stays away while Bill "meets" with the two lovelies. The picture will come easily to anybody's mind - women in prison movie scene, unrepentant sinner, a wink to the guard so that Billy can get a lewinsky (or better) from the girls he's come to save... Some guys get all the breaks.

This has gotta be a Saturday Night Live skit. Can't you picture it? First scene on SNL. Bill Clinton on the phone, begging the person on the other side, "Please, please Al, let ME go! Who could do this better than I could? I'll bring 'em home with me, er, to you. I'll deal with Hilary, I swear!"

I had thought the story was a joke, but then I saw the link from CNN, and THEY are not playing this one for laughs. So I guess truth IS stranger than fiction... cuz I can't just make up material this good.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gold Ads and Advertisers Bug Me

Gold Ads and Advertisers Bug Me

Ok, I have just about had it with these Gold ads. After the last six months of hearing that, what with the bad economy, we need to invest in Gold, I had just about tuned them out. Now that there is a little economic news that is being taken as "Good News" the next wave of Gold Bugs attack - with the economy recovering, we need to invest in GOLD!!

Now, I don't listen to a lot of television or radio, but there is usually one playing near by, but even so, all the shows I watch on TV and everything I hear on radio is completely full of ads telling me to BUY GOLD!! Now, wait a minute...

Is there any other investment that advertises itself this way? Stock brokers, banks, car makers, etc. are all telling me to make my purchases with THEM. They don't say: "You really need a car. You are too stupid to know this, but a car is a really good way to get around. Buy a car today! By the way, please buy it from us." But the gold sellers have to convince you to buy their questionable product in the first place.

Don't get me wrong - I LIKE gold. I own a lot of it for the same reason I have a lot of ammunition - if our economy or even civilized society ever breaks down it will be a good thing to have. But as an investment it is about the worst thing there is. It goes up, it goes down. $300 one year, $1000 the next. But, as a metal, its value over time will definitely go down. That is the nature of things, and the lesson of history. Commodities like that are subject to a nasty boom/bust cycle. Price goes up, and the miners invest in more equipment and dig more holes, so supply goes up, therefore the price goes down. Gold is about one thou right now. This ad I just heard thought the listeners to be such stupid marks that it said that, the last time gold was a thousand, if we correct for inflation that would be two thousand dollars today! That does not mean it will go up to two thousand, it means that the value is declining over time, as supply increases and technology improves.

Now, for all I know gold will go the two grand, or even five. I buy lotto tickets too. But these vultures trying to convince people on limited incomes to spend their money on a commodity are just plain evil. Commodities trading is well known to be the most dangerous type of investing. but the gold bugs are trying to make some people believe that GOLD is in a category unto itself. That's fraud. That's nasty. I hate it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fundamentally Dishonest

Fundamentally Dishonest

We can now see, if we remove our blinders, that the Obama administration is a fundamentally dishonest enterprise. From the stimulus to cap and tax to health care, they have not been honest on the most basic level - not about what they want, not about what their proposals contain. An interesting example can be found by examining their latest fraud, the Gates affair.

The Gates affair is, if truth be told, about how the power equation between citizens and police officers is horribly out of step with our American ideals, but race hustlers have made it into something else. The fundamental dishonesty is shown by the participation of the Obama administration in this story. Anyone can be dishonest, but Obama is guilty of findamental dishonesty. Let me show you what i mean.

Obama got himself elected by representing himself as something new in American politics, and something new in the life of Barack Obama. He represented himself as the "Post-Racial" candidate. That was supposed to mean that he was beyond race - that his father African genetic makeup was not an issue. A fundamental lie. How do we know this was an example of fundamental mendacity? We know from Obama's own words.

He was asked about this in Wednesday's presser. It has been revealed that the question was seeded by David Axelrod, and queued up to be the last question that Barry was asked. And he used this self-generated opportunity to make this an entoirely racial situation. He said that the cop was, at least "stupid" for not recognizing the superiority of Gates, and claimed that it was a racial incident. Yet any honest American knows that if you confront a cop in public, you will be in for a hard time. White, black, yellow, or green, tell a cop that you will have his job and you get a free transit to the hoosegow. We all know that. But Obama used this as an opportunity to harangue us all on racism. That is fundamentally dishonest, for the "post-racial" president.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Energy Follies

Energy Follies

There is a lot of loose talk going around on alternative energy, with advocates saying we can produce all the energy we need with wind and solar. From what I understand, there is not enough power potential for all our energy needs to be supplied that way, unless nuclear is included. Even with a solar cell so efficient that has not been invented yet, we would need to completely cover Arizona and half of New Mexico with solar cells or mirrors to come close to our electrical needs that are currently covered with coal. That does nothing for the energy requirements of future electric cars.

Wind and solar-electric power suffers from being unreliable. Conventional power plants would need to remain online to cover the periods of little wind. Entire seasons suffer from far less wind than others. Also sufficient wind exists only is a few locations. We will need a new technology of power transmission, and an entire new electric transmission grid, to properly power the entire country from the few sites with large wind resources.

Two big problems remain, and they are concerned with the balancing of energy needs and environmental concerns. One is - If we cover the desert southwest with solar production, what happens to the little creatures of the desert? What about our pristine areas? Monument Valley anyone? Water plants do damage to the fish populations. What about the Salmon lobby? What about little fishies we don't even know about yet? And some eminent scientists have postulated that if we install enough wind farms to make a real dent in our power needs, the power, which will be extracted from the wind, might very well make a substantial change to surface winds, affecting weather or (gasp!) climate.

The second problem is that advocates of Wind, Water, and Solar power generation schemes forget that all three are truly Solar power. Climate on planet earth has always tended to change. If we do this stuff and the amount of insolation goes down, where will we be then?

Clearly, with unlimited power within any old molecule in the universe, we must include some form of nuclear power in any intelligent discussion of solving our energy needs while cutting down emissions. We don't need to wait for quantum energy generation to become available, or fusion. We have useful and proven nuclear fission technologies available right now. What we need is the political will to allow them. In the meantime, anyone who claims to believe that carbon dioxide is causing us problems but is against nuclear power is either not serious, or has a hidden agenda.

Obama's Masters

Obama's Masters

Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Reverend Wright. A sorry and sordid bunch. We voted for a man who was sold to us as a centrist, and we got - well, we can all see what we got. There are conspiracy fans out there who believe that we are under the control of a secret cabal. I can not agree.

It is true that we arrived here in large measure due to a KGB plot that was kicked off by Stalin, before the KGB even existed. When McCarthy and Cohn got the commies kicked out of government the KGB started to subvert our system in another way. KGB defectors have testified to this. Yuri Bezmenov is only one of them, but since his YouTube video has been posted all over the web, many people know about him. In 1983 he predicted the entire Obama phenomenon. This has been a long time coming. All about co-opting the press and academe, Acorn and the rest, twenty five years ago.

But the Soviet empire is gone. The KGB is no more. This thing is not under central control. Many Americans have become leftists, especially the very rich and their charitable trusts. Banks and traders love having their partnership with a neo-fascist government also. But it is not a centralized conspiracy. It is a diffuse amalgam of people and groups with similar interests, bucked up by the usual assortment of special interests and useful idiots.

But the important thing to remember is not that we are subject to a movement the Soviet KGB hatched. The important thing is that most Americans have no idea that this is happening, and will assert their will if and when they get riled up. We are still a conservative country, and the only reason we have a Manchurian Candidate in The White House is that the media sold him as a centrist. But the bloom is coming off that rose.

The result of recent news, IMHO, is that more Americans will be drawn to take notice of what is happening. It is, after all, the voters and not the citizens that decide these matters. After all the hooplah last year in the campaign, the young and the blacks really didn't show up to vote. It was the moderates who delivered us into this deadly embrace. In a year and a half, we may see a big change in the congress. Unless and until illegal immigrants and Acorn take over the elections, there will still be time to stop this. If we turn aside those two threats, we can return to some semblance of normality.

BTW, I am not giving up on the Hispanic immigrants. Even if all twelve million illegals are given the vote, they didn't come here for welfare - they came here for opportunity. Granting them the franchise may well backfire on the left. That is why some republicans favor making them at home here. While I don't agree with that, I can see that it might not be the worst outcome. I would much rather have this turn into a half Spanish nation than a Muslim one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Car Czar Quits, Union Man Replaces Him

Car Czar Quits, Union Man Replaces Him

Announced today is the news that Steve Rattner, former investment banker who has led president Obama’s auto task force during the takeover of GM and the bankruptcy of Chrysler, has decided to quit his job. The Obama administration, not missing a beat, has slipped a union guy, Ron Bloom, in as his replacement.

Consistent with Obama's use of so-called "Czars" to obfuscate the links between the industries involved and the administration's machinations, we know very little about Bloom, but we are just now learning about the federal investigation into Rattner. Something was alleged about kickbacks sought by officials linked to government pension plans from Rattner's "former" venture capital firm:
Mr Rattner's brief tenure was not without controversy. The White House was accused of sidestepping the Senate's scrutiny of administration nominees by naming him a mere member of a taskforce - rather than the touted "car czar" - even though he assumed charge of one of the biggest state interventions in US industry.

After his move to Washington, his former private equity firm Quadrangle was caught up in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged kickbacks sought by people linked to the New York state comptroller's office.

Nothing to see here, just move along...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Health Care Facts

Health Care Facts

The democrats in congress are bound and determined to pass health care reform legislation this summer, and the republicans are set to resist them in any way they can. In such a partisan atmosphere, truth has been the first casualty. Politicians believe We the People to be stupid in the first place and gullible in the second, so neither side feels the need to be very truthful about the challenges we face in finding a solution to rising health care costs. Eleven years selling the stuff has given me a thorough understanding of health insurance, and I AM a zero base thinker. Even so I can not differentiate between the liars and the clueless. I can, however, see clearly that the debate we are having about this subject suffers from a dearth of accurate information. A few random points for clarification and discussion:


Reducing costs is the stated aim of both sides of the debate, but the obvious ways to do so are seemingly off the table. The two most important reasons medical costs are out of control are:

1) The consumer of health services does not pay for them, so patients have no interest in reducing costs. Actually, it is in the patient's interest to run costs up as far as possible, once the deductible or co-pay has been passed. It is common for patients to game the system. Within the current public insurance options, calling an ambulance to avoid the wait in the emergency room is common. This is mostly a medicaid or medicare problem, since most private plans avoid the ER for trivial or routine procedures, and will not pay for these frivolous charges. Yet government run plans are promoted as a way to save money. Are any of the government plans on offer even beginning to address such abuse? (The answer is "No.")

2) Malpractice claims have done a lot of the cost inflation, both in the cost of each service or procedure performed and the number or volume of services needed or demanded to be performed. No plans to reduce or reform malpractice in any meaningful way are in any bill with a chance to pass congress, and the president is not calling for any.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room is this - reduction in costs will require a reduction in services, especially in the last few weeks and months of life. All professionals agree on this point, yet it is almost never discussed. Costs can only be reduced by making patients pay more, or by providing fewer services to fewer people, or both.


Life is full of injustice. Government vs. private enterprise is the battleground. People of the right distrust government, people of the left distrust private enterprise. Both sides seek more power to control and deny services to patients, but neither side will face this honestly. Just about every public participant in the debate, on either side, already possesses a tiffany plan, so their mendacity is not fostered by any personal need for better benefits. They believe themselves to be in a class that will withstand this attack on our health care coverage. Congress has already exempted themselves - and their employees - from any changes to their own coverage, and democrats have protected their chief supporters, the unions, from any untoward change. What does that say about their truthfulness?


Misapprehension of mortality tables on life expectancy. It is often pointed out by the advocates of reform that American longevity is not the best on Earth. This seems to be a willful manipulation of the data by those who understand it, and cluelessness by the rest. Our mortality rate from birth is indeed down the list, but we also have a high rate of death from causes that will not be affected by health insurance. For instance, we have a higher murder rate among our young men, we have a high rate of obesity and diabetes. Clearly we are not about to outlaw gun ownership or fine dining, and our food banks are not about to change to a lower carbohydrate (read higher cost) diet for the needy. Factor out these causes of death, and America scores in the top three in the world by any other measure of mortality. But reading and comparing mortality tables is difficult, thus we are not privy to this information so we can decide for ourselves. Suffice it to say that we have the best survival rates from most deadly diseases, and the longest longevity in our populations from age forty onward.


Allocation of resources, public and private. Right now those who have insurance are those who pay a lot for it, either by direct payment or their employer does. Any public health insurance offering will of necessity see many current payers decline to continue to do so, knowing that the public plan will pick up the coverage. This is a major, though little appreciated, outcome of any government plan.


Pre-existing condition trap. Our praise-seeking political class is quite fond of pointing out that denying coverage for pre-existing conditions is a big part of the problem. But what they never mention is that, without the ability to deny such coverage, any younger healthy person would go without coverage, or buy the very cheapest plan, if they knew they could switch to a tiffany plan if (when) they become sick. Not addressing this fact makes a single payer plan, with every citizen being forced to have the same coverage, necessary.

Now that we have some version of a patient's bill of rights in every state EVERYBODY has access to health care. Some states are better than others, but in any of them the state owned hospitals must offer care to anyone who presents himself with a disease. Of course, hospitals charge more than any doctor, but many doctors will not treat patients without immediate payment. What this means is, like always, the middle class gets the worst deal, since they have assets to forfeit if they can't (or won't) pay their bill. The poor and the well off are fine, but the great mass of humanity in the middle often fall through the cracks.

These are weighty issues, and they must be addressed, but I have not seen anything being proposed in congress that realistically addresses the situation rationally. Rather it is being addressed demagogically. If we are to engage in cost cutting, we should know in advance - What SERVICES are to be cut? Until that subject is engaged, we are being lied to by the party in power. If they ram through a partisan bill with no support from the other side, that will be a tragedy.

Feminists vs. Sarah Palin

Feminists vs. Sarah Palin

We have read the left's response to Sarah Palin's resignation announcement, and none were more egregious than Maureen Dowd's. It is so unfair that Dowdy Dowd and her ilk refer to themselves as "Feminists," even as they hurl invective and hate speech at women who have the temerity to be openly conservative. It is unfair to anyone who believes in equal rights for women, unfair to anyone who believes Dowd to be a Feminist herself.

In the sixties I got to know a few rising stars of the nascent feminist movement, and to them, back then, Sarah Palin would have been close to the ideal woman. She doesn't merely manage to have a career as well as a family, she has five kids and became Governor of the nation's largest state. She can kill, gut, and cook a moose while ordering hundreds of men on her staff to do her bidding. There is no ceiling, glass or otherwise, above her in Alaska. A real "twentieth century woman," this Hockey Mom actually plays the game, as opposed to Hockey Moms who merely deliver their kidss to the games.

Even today, a few Feminists, carriers of the torch raised back in the day by Betty Friedan, Jackie Ceballos and Kate Millet, women like Camille Paglia, openly admire Sarah Palin, but the "feminist" organizations have been taken over by the abortion crew and the committed Left. Of course, Betty, Kate, Jackie, and Camille were/are lesbians, but they never had anything against breeders before. National Organization for Women is a lesbian organization, sure, but while they do not hate female breeders per se, they do hate straight women who actually breed. Abortion has become the defining issue for radical "feminists," and women who can succeed without giving in to the cruelly selfish "abortion for convenience" paradigm make them look bad. And they hate nothing more than looking bad.

The real reason leftist women (and feminized men) hate Sarah so ferociously may be Hilary Clinton's fate in the 2008 election. They thought that Hilary would be coronated - they believed that it was their turn to finally attain real power. But along came a black man who hadn't paid his dues, and he wiped Hilary out. (Remember, as Andrew Breitbart put it, "Black beats white. Gay beats white. Black beats gay.") This was almost more than they could take, and the idea that maybe it WAS their year, but it would be a conservative woman who crossed the finish line first, sent them over the edge - Sarah became anathema to them. So they went stark raving mad, their lack of self control came to the surface. All their rules of political correctness, even years of steady progress against hate speech, went right out the window.

Or, as Breitbart put it, writing about the leaders of the whining pussy patrol Maureen Dowd, Katie Couric, and Tina Fey, the liberal women leading the charge against Sarah:
But since Mrs. Palin, a mother of five including a boy who was known to have Down syndrome before he was born, is a potent symbol of the pro-life movement, she is considered an enemy of the sisterhood."

Miss Dowd's attempted takedown of Mrs. Palin is less skillful surgery than it is name calling using fun noun and adjective pairings. Think "Mad Libs." And, that's exactly what Misses Dowd, Couric and Fey are. Once the ladies did their job, liberal men like Jon Stewart and David Letterman had the cover to join the hate campaign.

While Mrs. Palin is at ease with her gender, as well as her place in the workplace and at home, Misses Dowd, Couric and Fey convey a base insecurity in their feminine skin. Their rage is fueled by liberalism's false feminist dogma and they take it out on a woman who chose not to join their angry sorority.
We will know before too long what Sarah's real ambitions are, and what degree of success she will attain. But we know exactly the route taken and the goal of today's false feminism. It is ugly, it is destructive, and so far, it has failed.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Character Traits Examined, But Whose?

Character Traits Examined, But Whose?

An interesting study has been reported recently, and it might surprise some people. A sample:
Interpersonal traits include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, a lack of empathy, and failure to accept responsibility. The lifestyle behaviors include stimulation-seeking behavior, impulsivity, irresponsibility, parasitic orientation, and a lack of realistic life goals.
Who do you suppose this is about? Obama or Dillinger? Check this out:
What doesn't go unnoticed is the fact that some of the character traits exhibited by serial killers or criminals may be observed in many within the political arena. While not exhibiting physical violence, many political leaders display varying degrees of anger, feigned outrage and other behaviors. They also lack what most consider a "shame" mechanism. Quite simply, most serial killers and many professional politicians must mimic what they believe, are appropriate responses to situations they face such as sadness, empathy, sympathy, and other human responses to outside stimuli.
Zero base thinkers should take this analysis seriously. It may not surprise us, but seeing this in a peer reviewed study is definitely food for thought.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Obama plans to destroy General Motors

Obama plans to destroy General Motors

Well, maybe he is merely clueless about automobiles, and public policy regarding same, but his proposed (and now passed) new Cafe standards almost guarantee that GM can not make a profit. The Wall Street Journal has an article that tells the tale well, although it is knowledge all zero base thinkers have known for a long long time. Making an auto maker's legal ability to sell profitable, larger cars and light trucks dependent upon its ability to sell a corresponding number of high MPG vehicles. We will still be able to buy gas guzzlers, we will just have to get them from non-American makers.
The actual Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) results will depend on the mixture of fuel-thrifty and fuel-thirsty vehicles consumers choose to buy from each manufacturer -- not on what producers hope to sell. That means only those companies most successful in selling the smallest cars with the smallest engines will, in the future, be allowed to sell the more profitable larger pickups and SUVs and more powerful luxury and sports cars.

Sales of Toyota's Prius, Yaris, Corolla and Scion, for example, allow and encourage Toyota to market more Lexus 460s, Sequoia SUVs and Tundra pickups in the U.S. without incurring fines. Hyundai's success selling Accent and Elantra compacts allows it to sell 368-horsepower Genesis sedans.

Similarly, Ford has the Toyota-licensed hybrid Fusion and will soon produce the European Ford Fiesta in Mexico. Chrysler will soon have Fiats. But what does GM have?

No independent reviewer suggests that the Chevy Aveo and Cobalt are credible contenders in the small car field. Even the president's auto task force finds the electric Chevy Volt "unviable," since it will lose money unless priced above a Cadillac CTS.
To continue offering a Toyota-like array of larger cars and trucks under ever-tighter CAFE rules, GM would have to capture a much larger share of the market for small and/or diesel-powered vehicles. Unfortunately, European and Asian car makers have decades more experience building reliable subcompact cars and diesel engines for their local markets -- where consumers face steep taxes on gasoline and large engines.

General Motors does produce competitive cars and trucks, but not one of them is small. Consumer Reports recommends three GM cars and three GM trucks. The recommended cars are the Chevy Malibu (the unrecommended hybrid has been dropped), the large Buick Lucerne and the Cadillac DTS. Consumer Reports recommends the Chevy Avalanche and Silverado and the GMC Sierra trucks. Car enthusiast magazines insist on adding Camaro, Corvette and the 556-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V to that list.

Among those nine best GM vehicles, only the four-cylinder Malibu achieved as much as 25 mpg in Consumer Reports testing. The others get 12-17 mpg, yet they are no less fuel-efficient than comparable foreign brands. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the mileage of the Toyota Sienna van and Nissan Titan pickup as worst in their class, and comparable Chevys as best. Unlike GM, however, Japanese car companies sell enough small cars to offset the large and thus hold down the average figures.

General Motors is likely to become profitable only if it is allowed to specialize in what it does best -- namely, midsize and large sedans, sports cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. The company can't possibly afford to scrap billions of dollars of equipment used to produce its best vehicles simply to please politicians who would rather see GM start from scratch, wasting more taxpayer money on "retooling" to produce unwanted and unprofitable subcompacts and electric cars. The average mileage of GM's future cars won't matter if nobody buys them.

Politicians are addicted to CAFE standards because they create an illusion of doing something sometime in the future without voters experiencing the slightest inconvenience in the present. Tighter future CAFE rules will have no effect at all on the type of vehicles we choose to buy. Their only effect will be to compel us to buy larger and more powerful vehicles from foreign manufacturers. Americans will still buy Jaguars, but from an Indian firm, Tata, rather than Ford. They'll buy Hummers, but from a Chinese firm, Tengzhong, rather than GM. The whole game is a charade; symbolism without substance.
There is a lot more. Read the whole thing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

EPA Buries Its Own AGW Study

EPA Buries Its Own AGW Study

The Environmental Protection Agency not only buried the study and warned its researchers not to communicate with the media, they did it for explicitly political reasons.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Journey of Michael Jackson

The Journey of Michael Jackson

Bio-Diesel Makers Idled

Bio-Diesel Makers Idled

As users are discovering, Bio-Diesel fuel is no ecological panacea. Bio-Diesel makers are sitting idle for lack of buyers for their product. But there is a deeper problem with burning our food - economics.

Bio-Diesel can never be cheaper than mineral sources of energy - period. Government subsidies or mandates will be required to make crops a competitive energy source, which just means that they hide the cost or force us to pay it anyway. When any good is sold at a price that is cheaper than the cost to create it, there will be shortages. Best example is water. How can we have water shortages? Take South Florida. They have an average rainfall of about three inches per month (it takes much less than one inch to sustain life and agriculture) yet they still have shortages. If water was priced at what it cost to produce, people would use less of it, but more important, capitalists would build the infrastructure to make more potable water available, before it flows out to the sea. Now favors go out to favored constituents like the Sugar farmers, and tax money is spent on other things. If water were priced close to what is cost, sugar would not be an economical crop there, which would release enough water to double the residential population, and we would have a side order of a clean Everglades. But that is the logical route, not the political one.

The depth of the greed and mendacity of our governing class is beyond full understanding by normal people. The lies and fraud go so deep into government operations that the mind recoils at the thought. Can all politicians be criminals? We reject grokking the fullness of that truth, so we reelect the crooks for term after term.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More Eco-Fraud from Congress

More Eco-Fraud from Congress

The greatest flaw in congressional actions is their lack of regard to the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences, especially when it comes to Obamanomics. They do one thing and it always has far reaching effects as their largess percolates into the greater world beyond their cloistered existence. A fine example is contained within the recently passed War Funding Bill. Its stated purpose is to remove less efficient, older cars from the road in favor of more efficient models. Help the poor and all that. But it will do far more than that.

It provides a cash payment of $3.500 to $4,500 for these older cars, when traded in for a new vehicle. Sounds good, right? But what will it actually achieve? It seems to me that many people with older cars can not afford new cars in the first place. Even a Kia will set you back at least ten thousand dollars, so the buyer will be several thousand dollars short of any new car. But with many people able to do so, many of these plder cars will be traded in and disappear from the market. For people who need to buy these older, less efficient cars for their basic transportation needs, the market will have to recognize these artificial trade-in values and lower supply by raising the price of these used cars. Many of these so-called transportation cars today sell for less than one thousand dollars, with quite a few going for two to three. These prices will all rise.

So who will be hurt? Clearly, like most of what congress does, the most vulnerable among us will suffer the most. We live in such a rich country that even most people living at the poverty line own automobiles. The old pickup died, so another one is needed, but instead of being able to pick one up for $750, it will now cost more like $2,000. Our government just committed to spend a cool billion dollars to accomplish this. Nice Change, for those with a little less Hope than the rest of us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cracks Appear in His Armor

Cracks Appear in His Armor

Almost five months in, and finally some cracks are appearing in Obama's armor. His stalwart allies in the media, who worked and risked all to help him get elected, are finally beginning to report on negative elements of the rule of The Won. The imperial presidency may just be beginning a return to Earth. Toady has been a breathtaking departure for mainstream reporting on his mendacity.

The AP reports
"His vow sounds reassuring and gets applause, but no president could guarantee such a pledge."


"If he was a king, he would deliver that, but he's not king,"
In another example of disaffection from Obama by his former supporters, McClatchy runs the headline: "Obama's promise of a new beginning now hollow." The piece goes on:
Who stole our change?

Who hijacked a popular uprising that was going to put a stop to business as usual in Washington, D.C.?

What happened to Barack Obama on his way to the White House?

The Republicans have been so busy trying to paint President Obama as a socialist, as a radical, as a Marxist, as a Muslim, as the Devil, that they haven't even noticed that he has become one of them.

What a difference a year can make. A year ago Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, promising an American electorate disheartened and disgusted by eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that he was going to change everything if he was elected President.
The piece concludes with this gem:
His promises of transparency in government weren't worth a pitcher of warm spit. He sent the new, cleaner Justice Department lawyers into court to use the same limp arguments of national security to ask judges to back off on doing their jobs.

And bit-by-bit the possibility of change disappeared; bit-by-bit the hope of a renewed and reinvigorated American democracy and way of government faded away. Those who had held a dream in their hand closed their hand and crushed it.
The decidedly left of center New Republic ran with this one today "The Good and (Mostly) Bad News for Democrats in 2010" with such entries as this:
But dark clouds are visible on the horizon. First, the people have little confidence in government as an effective instrument of public purpose. Trust in government remains near an historic low and has not improved significantly since the beginning of Obama's presidency. Only 34 percent think that government should do more to solve national problems, down seven points in the past three months. Sixty-nine percent express "a great deal" or "quite a bit" of concern about the expanding role of the federal government in areas such as automobile companies, corporate compensation, and health care.

Second, people are unsure about Obama's overall economic strategy. Only 46 percent say that they are "extremely" or "quite" confident that the president has the right set of goals and policies to improve the economy; 53 percent are not. According to Pew, approval of the president's handling of the economy has declined by eight points (from 60 to 52 percent) since mid-April.

Third, evidence is accumulating that the administration misjudged the public's reaction to increased spending and rising budget deficits, which now rank second in the list of top concerns in the NYT/CBS poll, behind only job creation and economic growth, and ahead of health care costs as an economic issue. Indeed, Pew finds that concern over spending and deficits is now the most frequently cited reservation about the administration's economic policies. Only 30 percent think the administration has developed a clear plan for dealing with the deficit; 60 percent do not.

It goes on and on. Is the beginning of the end of Obama's honeymoon with our leftist media? We shall see.

Monday, June 15, 2009

AGW, Again

Freeman Dyson Taken On AGW Hysteria

In recent news, the war against AGW hysteria found another major ally in Freeman Dyson. Dyson, a towering figure in physics, has taken on Hansen and Gore at the root of their argument, which is the so-called "consensus" that the science is "settled," which gives them the excuse they need to avoid any and all debate on the merits of their theory. Dyson goes right to the heart of that avoidance, and ridicules even the mention of the word "consensus" along with the word "science." His contention is that there is not even an AGW theory, given that there can be no theory if there can be no experiment designed to test it.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360 we can read Dyson's answers, which are so much more satisfying than the way he was portrayed in the New York Times Magazine article that made this issue arise to public consciousness. And his own words are persuasive. He admits that he is no expert in climatology, but is an expert in the scientific method. So he says, most persuasively:
Dyson: I think the difference between me and most of the experts is that I think I have a much wider view of the whole subject. I was involved in climate studies seriously about 30 years ago. That’s how I got interested. There was an outfit called the Institute for Energy Analysis at Oak Ridge. I visited Oak Ridge many times, and worked with those people, and I thought they were excellent. And the beauty of it was that it was multi-disciplinary. There were experts not just on hydrodynamics of the atmosphere, which of course is important, but also experts on vegetation, on soil, on trees, and so it was sort of half biological and half physics. And I felt that was a very good balance.

And there you got a very strong feeling for how uncertain the whole business is, that the five reservoirs of carbon all are in close contact — the atmosphere, the upper level of the ocean, the land vegetation, the topsoil, and the fossil fuels. They are all about equal in size. They all interact with each other strongly. So you can’t understand any of them unless you understand all of them. Essentially that was the conclusion. It’s a problem of very complicated ecology, and to isolate the atmosphere and the ocean just as a hydrodynamics problem makes no sense.

Thirty years ago, there was a sort of a political split between the Oak Ridge community, which included biology, and people who were doing these fluid dynamics models, which don’t include biology. They got the lion’s share of money and attention. And since then, this group of pure modeling experts has become dominant.

I got out of the field then. I didn’t like the way it was going. It left me with a bad taste.

Syukuro Manabe, right here in Princeton, was the first person who did climate models with enhanced carbon dioxide and they were excellent models. And he used to say very firmly that these models are very good tools for understanding climate, but they are not good tools for predicting climate. I think that’s absolutely right. They are models, but they don’t pretend to be the real world. They are purely fluid dynamics. You can learn a lot from them, but you cannot learn what’s going to happen 10 years from now.
And then this about the basis of the whole kerfluffle - the computer models at the core of every true believer's soul.
I mean it’s a fact that they don’t know how to model it. And the question is, how does it happen that they end up believing their models? But I have seen that happen in many fields. You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real. It is also true that the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. Really, just psychologically, it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, “Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.” It’s sort of natural, since their whole life depends on it being a problem. I don’t say that they’re dishonest. But I think it’s just a normal human reaction. It’s true of the military also. They always magnify the threat. Not because they are dishonest; they really believe that there is a threat and it is their job to take care of it. I think it’s the same as the climate community, that they do in a way have a tremendous vested interest in the problem being taken more seriously than it is.

Lots more stuff where that came from. But even as he shoots down the basis upon which governments around the world are being pressured to act, what is never mentioned is the most interesting to me. The one funny thing about this debate is that the two sides both avoid the real issue. It is not about what bad people did to ruin the climate, and it is not about economic or health outcomes from this or that type of climate change. No, the real debate, the one that Hansen et al refuse to have, is how do we get the idea that humans can, by coordinated action, affect climate, and cause global temperatures to decline. Especially knowing that the real danger to humanity is posed by ice rather than tropical heat, the silence on this crucial issue is astounding.

One side says that we have spoiled our nest and must be punished. The other side says that there is nothing to see here, so move on. But the center of this is humanity taking control of global climate. Never mind that we have enough trouble making tiny changes to weather on a local scale, now let us embark on a grand experiment to alter a planet's climate. Not based on data or experience, but on fervor bordering on religious belief.

Before we go off half-cocked, is it not reasonable to get our facts straight before we make any substantial investment? I know this is heresy to the Hansen/Gore axis, but we really do not have enough data to make any of the prescribed moves to change this thing that, for all we know, may not even be broken. Or it may be but what we do might be the exact wrong thing. Alternatively, if the worst scenarios are about to unfold, there is absolutely no chance that humanity will be willing to invest more than a token amount in the prescribed changes to worldwide human behavior.