Friday, December 23, 2011

More Lawlessness from Justice, Holder

More Lawlessness from Justice, Holder

Only this week the Supreme Court upheld a voter ID law in Indiana, but the Voting Rights Act gives the Justice Department special oversight regarding some of the states of the Confederacy. Thus Attorney General Holder believes that it is within his power to ignore that the SCOTUS decision in the case applies to South Carolina, where he has today stopped enforcement of South Carolina's law requiring a state-issued ID for voters.

This represents anarchy, if not tyranny. The Obama administration seems bound and determined to seize power over as many functions of government as they can. The Supreme Court says (6-3!) that the interest of government in fair elections overrides the mere suspicion of unfairness to minorities, since proof of race based outcome cannot be produced. Holder and Obama do not need no stinking proof - they assert their power merely because they can.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Environmentalist Fraud, Caught on Tape!

Environmentalist Fraud, Caught on Tape!

Here we can see how environmentalists, advised by, and even driven by their attorney, plot to make up negative reports so they can get more funding. Amazingly, they even say this stuff while the camera is rolling. This is an outtake from a documentary. It now forms part of the evidence in a RICO case against them, filed by Chevron. Watch, and be entertained, or horrified, take your pick.

Wizbang has the entire story, and more video.

Legal RICO complaint from Chevron is here. They are charging under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The penalties afforded in a RICO case are huge, and criminal liability may attach.

A five minute video from Chevron explaining the case and the circumstances follows.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Obama's Blunders

Obama's Blunders

So, there he goes again. The Won has completely blown any claim he might have to intellectual superiority. This is not the 57 states, not the corpse man, not Hawaii is in Asia, not even the intercontinental railroad. This one runs deep. Once he calls the British embassy the English embassy, he seems to realize that he blew it, so he corrects himself with calling it the United Kingdom. (Video embedded below) Even undereducated American children laughed. The White House says it is all a mere (couple of) slips of the tongue. That they defend their guy is no surprise. What surprises me is that many on our side are willing to go along with the charade.

It seems to me that the reason the democrats are so successful in American politics even as few voters agree with their core beliefs is that they are not deterred by any need for propriety or sober reflection. The proof that Clinton raped Juanita Broderick was no issue, but a broke-ass whore making unfounded allegations against Herman Cain is front page news. That slim story is given more attention and belief by the left than Gennifer Flowers' tapes.

Bush was an idiot, they smeared, even as he read more books than any of them ever did, but every time their Golden Boy is revealed as an ignorant fool some on our side counsel ignoring it. For what advantage? Why should we just give up points in the political game?

Make no mistake, politics is a game, and if our side plays by a more restrictive set of rules than our opponents we might well end up with 4 more years of The Won. Face it - he is dumb, he is ignorant, he can't think on his feet, he reads (WHEN he reads) light fiction and lefty polemics. We should be pointing that out when he makes a fool of himself. The Obama campaign will be calling us racists anyway, so I can't see a single reason to hold back on his fundamental weaknesses, which are his weakness as a leader and a thinker. The guy is unqualified. Some may have thought (or hoped) that the first three years would have seen him grow in office. That has not happened, and his failure as a leader is there for all to see.

We need the voters in the middle who went his way last time to clearly see what and who he is. Democrats will surely have no reticence about painting our guy as an evil liar and a fool, no matter the facts. On the issue of Obama's lack of understanding of some of the basics we have the facts on our side. This issue is important - it is crucial - he is not a very smart man, and when he shows that, we need to point it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Constitution is Not Enough

The Constitution is Not Enough

The Soviet Union had a fine constitution. Their version of the Bill of Rights was quite a bit better (or at least stronger) as a guarantor of rights to the common people than our measly ten amendments. The constitution DOES NOT MATTER when you have a government that is bound and determined to take our rights away, as a natural consequence of seizing more power for themselves. Our government has been doing this from the very start. In 1803, Marbury vs Madison, the Supreme Court seized power from congress and the president, declaring itself the supreme power over the other branches. The federals have not stopped taking power in unconstitutional ways since then.

Our only bulwark against tyranny is to make sure that the would-be dictator is afraid to take power. That is why the 1st and 2nd amendments were written, and why they have pride of place right in the beginning of the list of rights. Read them in order - the 2nd guarantees the 1st. Our power to speak and publish and worship and assemble and complain - and shoot - guarantee that no president will try to put a crown upon his head. So they have been smarter than to do that - they take our rights and add to their power in little ways, all the time, bit by bit. It is death by a thousand cuts. That is why we need to elect principled supporters of constitutional limited government. Not necessarily to roll things back to the 18th century, but to hold the line, and maybe even roll the power of the overweening state back a bit. That is the best we can hope for.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Vomit List

The Vomit List

An interesting article from our friends at Zero Hedge crossed my workspace today. It covers some Eurobond territory in the beginning, but finishes with a list of tax provisions that corporations (Led by General Electric) are lobbying the government to keep. It truly has been well named by Bruce Krasting. If there is anything the American people need to do in the next election, it is to elect representatives who pledge to end corporate welfare this wide, this deep, this obscene.

The "Vomit" list


Sec. 101. Extension of Build America Bonds.

Sec. 102. Exempt-facility bonds for sewage and water supply facilities.

Sec. 103. Extension of exemption from alternative minimum tax treatment for certain tax-exempt bonds.

Sec. 104. Extension and additional allocations of recovery zone bond authority.

Sec. 105. Allowance of new markets tax credit against alternative minimum tax.

Sec. 106. Extension of tax-exempt eligibility for loans guaranteed by Federal home loan banks.

Sec. 107. Extension of temporary small issuer rules for allocation of tax-exempt interest expense by financial institutions.

Subtitle A–Energy

Sec. 201. Alternative motor vehicle credit for new qualified hybrid motor vehicles other than passenger automobiles and light trucks.

Sec. 202. Incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

Sec. 203. Credit for electricity produced at certain open-loop biomass facilities.

Sec. 204. Extension and modification of credit for steel industry fuel.

Sec. 205. Credit for producing fuel from coke or coke gas.

Sec. 206. New energy efficient home credit.

Sec. 207. Excise tax credits and outlay payments for alternative fuel and alternative fuel mixtures.

Sec. 208. Special rule for sales or dispositions to implement FERC or State electric restructuring policy for qualified electric utilities.

Sec. 209. Suspension of limitation on percentage depletion for oil and gas from marginal wells.

Sec. 210. Direct payment of energy efficient appliances tax credit.

Sec. 211. Modification of standards for windows, doors, and skylights with respect to the credit for nonbusiness energy property.

Subtitle B–Individual Tax Relief
PART I–Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 221. Deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers.

Sec. 222. Additional standard deduction for State and local real property taxes.

Sec. 223. Deduction of State and local sales taxes.

Sec. 224. Contributions of capital gain real property made for conservation purposes.

Sec. 225. Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses.

Sec. 226. Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.

Sec. 227. Look-thru of certain regulated investment company stock in determining gross estate of nonresidents.

PART II–Low-income Housing Credits

Sec. 231. Election for direct payment of low-income housing credit for 2010.

Sec. 232. Low-income housing grant election.

Subtitle C–Business Tax Relief

Sec. 241. Research credit.

Sec. 242. Indian employment tax credit.

Sec. 243. New markets tax credit.

Sec. 244. Railroad track maintenance credit.

Sec. 245. Mine rescue team training credit.

Sec. 246. Employer wage credit for employees who are active duty members of the uniformed services.

Sec. 247. 5-year depreciation for farming business machinery and equipment.

Sec. 248. 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements.

Sec. 249. 7-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes.

Sec. 250. Accelerated depreciation for business property on an Indian reservation.

Sec. 251. Enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.

Sec. 252. Enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of book inventories to public schools.

Sec. 253. Enhanced charitable deduction for corporate contributions of computer inventory for educational purposes.

Sec. 254. Election to expense mine safety equipment.

Sec. 255. Special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.

Sec. 256. Expensing of environmental remediation costs.

Sec. 257. Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.

Sec. 258. Modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations.

Sec. 259. Exclusion of gain or loss on sale or exchange of certain brownfield sites from unrelated business income.

Sec. 260. Timber REIT modernization.

Sec. 261. Treatment of certain dividends of regulated investment companies.

Sec. 262. RIC qualified investment entity treatment under FIRPTA.

Sec. 263. Exceptions for active financing income.

Sec. 264. Look-thru treatment of payments between related controlled foreign corporations under foreign personal holding company rules.

Sec. 265. Basis adjustment to stock of S corps making charitable contributions of property.

Sec. 266. Empowerment zone tax incentives.

Sec. 267. Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.

Sec. 268. Renewal community tax incentives.

Sec. 269. Temporary increase in limit on cover over of rum excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Sec. 270. Payment to American Samoa in lieu of extension of economic development credit.

Sec. 271. Election to temporarily utilize unused AMT credits determined by domestic investment.

Sec. 272. Reduction in corporate rate for qualified timber gain.

Sec. 273. Study of extended tax expenditures.

Subtitle D–Temporary Disaster Relief Provisions
PART I–National Disaster Relief

Sec. 281. Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements.

Sec. 282. Losses attributable to federally declared disasters.

Sec. 283. Special depreciation allowance for qualified disaster property.

Sec. 284. Net operating losses attributable to federally declared disasters.

Sec. 285. Expensing of qualified disaster expenses.

PART II–Regional Provisions
subpart a–new york liberty zone

Sec. 291. Special depreciation allowance for nonresidential and residential real property.

Sec. 292. Tax-exempt bond financing.

subpart b–go zone

Sec. 295. Increase in rehabilitation credit.

Sec. 296. Work opportunity tax credit with respect to certain individuals affected by Hurricane Katrina for employers inside disaster areas.

Sec. 297. Extension of low-income housing credit rules for buildings in GO zones.


Sec. 301. Definition of eligible plan year.

Sec. 302. Eligible charity plans.

Sec. 303. Suspension of certain funding level limitations.

Sec. 304. Optional use of 30-year amortization periods.

Sec. 305. Transition rule for certifications of plan status.

Subtitle A–Personal Service Income Earned in Pass-thru Entities

Sec.401. Partnership interests transferred in connection with performance of services.

Sec. 402. Income of partners for performing investment management services treated as ordinary income received for performance of services.

Subtitle B–Corporate Provisions

Sec. 411. Treatment of securities of a controlled corporation exchanged for assets in certain reorganizations.

Sec. 412. Taxation of boot received in reorganizations.

Subtitle C–Other Provisions

Sec. 421. Modifications with respect to Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Sec. 422. Denial of deduction for punitive damages.


Sec. 501. Extension of section 508 reclassifications.

Sec. 502. Repeal of delay of RUG-IV.

Sec. 503. Limitation on reasonable costs payments for certain clinical diagnostic laboratory tests furnished to hospital patients in certain rural areas.

Sec. 504. Funding for claims reprocessing.

Sec. 505. Medicaid and CHIP technical corrections.

Sec. 506. Addition of inpatient drug discount program to 340B drug discount program.

Sec. 507. Continued inclusion of orphan drugs in definition of covered outpatient drugs with respect to children’s hospitals under the 340B drug discount program.

Sec. 508. Conforming amendment related to waiver of coinsurance for preventive services.

Sec. 509. Clarification of effective date of part B special enrollment period for disabled TRICARE beneficiaries.

Sec. 510. Adjustment to Medicare payment localities.

Sec. 511. Clarification for affiliated hospitals for distribution of additional residency positions.

Subtitle A–General Provisions

Sec. 601. Allocation of geothermal receipts.

Sec. 602. Employment for youth.

Sec. 603. Housing Trust Fund.

Sec. 604. The Individual Indian Money Account Litigation Settlement Act of 2010.

Sec. 605. Appropriation of funds for final settlement of claims from In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation.

Sec. 606. Expansion of eligibility for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation to include all chapter 61 disability retirees regardless of disability rating percentage or years of service.

Sec. 607. Refunds disregarded in the administration of Federal programs and federally assisted programs.

Sec. 608. Qualifying timber contract options.

Sec. 609. Extension and flexibility for certain allocated surface transportation programs.

Sec. 610. Community College and Career Training Grant Program.

Sec. 611. Extensions of duty suspensions on cotton shirting fabrics and related provisions.

Sec. 612. Modification of Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund.

Sec. 613. Department of Commerce Study.

Sec. 614. ARRA planning and reporting.

Sec. 615. Surety bonds.

Sec. 616. Funding for Deployment of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Electric Power Transmission Projects.

Subtitle B–Extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance

Sec. 621. Short title.

Sec. 622. Extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Subtitle C–Extension of Health Coverage Improvement

Sec. 631. Improvement of the affordability of the credit.

Sec. 632. Payment for the monthly premiums paid prior to commencement of the advance payments of credit.

Sec. 633. TAA recipients not enrolled in training programs eligible for credit.

Sec. 634. TAA pre-certification period rule for purposes of determining whether there is a 63-day lapse in creditable coverage.

Sec. 635. Continued qualification of family members after certain events.

Sec. 636. Extension of COBRA benefits for certain TAA-eligible individuals and PBGC recipients.

Sec. 637. Addition of coverage through voluntary employees’ beneficiary associations.

Sec. 638. Notice requirements.

Subtitle D–TANF Provisions

Sec. 641. Extension of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and related programs.

Sec. 642. Reinstatement of Federal matching of State spending of child support incentive payments.

Sec. 643. Extension and modification of the TANF Emergency Fund.

Sec. 644. Modifications to TANF data reporting.

Sec. 645. State court improvement program.

Subtitle E–Unemployment Compensation Program Integrity

Sec. 651. Permissible uses of unemployment fund moneys for program integrity purposes.

Sec. 652. Mandatory penalty assessment on fraud claims.

Sec. 653. Prohibition on noncharging due to employer fault.

Sec. 654. Collection of past-due, legally enforceable State debts.

Sec. 655. Treatment of short-time compensation programs.

Sec. 656. State use of compensating balances and interest earned on clearing account to pay associated banking costs.

Sec. 657. Reporting of first day of earnings to directory of new hires.

Sec. 658. Deduction of obligations for custodial parents.

Sec. 659. Advisory Council on unemployment compensation.

Sec. 660. Amendment to the Federal-State extended benefits program.

Sec. 661. Operating instructions and regulations.

Subtitle F–Custom User Fees

Sec. 665. Customs user fees.

WOW! That is quite a list of corporate welfare and special pleading. Tax professionals, like Michelle Bachmann, make tidy livings making sense of all that gibberish. That is why compliance costs for corporate tax are about equal to the amount paid in tax. We the People are supposed to be too stupid to understand this rent-seeking (and granting) game that goes on between business and government. We may be. We may not. That is what the Tea Party movement is supposed to be all about.

Right now, running for president, there are only two candidates who claim to want to do more than window dressing on this obscene fraud. That is, Rick Perry and Herman Cain. No others even make noises about dumping this monstrosity, although they all make noises about tinkering with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson

VDH is one of the superior conservative thinkers of the age. He does not like the same candidate I like, but he has a well thought out point of view. as always for him. An important interview, well worth your ten minutes.



Many Zero Base Thinkers like Newsbusted, but their latest effort is better than most.

An Oldie But Goodie

An Oldie But Goodie

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

More anti-science from the political left

The anti-science political left

Interesting turn about, as the political left tries to make sure that smokers have no alternative that they might actually like.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Scientific Heresy - Matt Ridley's Angus Millar lecture at the RSA

Scientific Heresy - Matt Ridley's Angus Millar lecture at the RSA

The great Matt Ridley has posted the text of his speech on scientific heresy at the Bishop Hill Blog. Great reading - a finely reasoned logical presentation. A little taste:
Does it matter? Suppose I am right that much of what passes for mainstream climate science is now infested with pseudoscience, buttressed by a bad case of confirmation bias, reliant on wishful thinking, given a free pass by biased reporting and dogmatically intolerant of dissent. So what?

After all there’s pseudoscience and confirmation bias among the climate heretics too.

Well here’s why it matters. The alarmists have been handed power over our lives; the heretics have not. Remember Britain’s unilateral climate act is officially expected to cost the hard-pressed UK economy £18.3 billion a year for the next 39 years and achieve an unmeasurably small change in carbon dioxide levels.

At least* sceptics do not cover the hills of Scotland with useless, expensive, duke-subsidising wind turbines whose manufacture causes pollution in Inner Mongolia and which kill rare raptors such as this griffon vulture.

At least crop circle believers cannot almost double your electricity bills and increase fuel poverty while driving jobs to Asia, to support their fetish.

At least creationists have not persuaded the BBC that balanced reporting is no longer necessary.

At least homeopaths have not made expensive condensing boilers, which shut down in cold weather, compulsory, as John Prescott did in 2005.

At least astrologers have not driven millions of people into real hunger, perhaps killing 192,000 last year according to one conservative estimate, by diverting 5% of the world’s grain crop into motor fuel*.

That’s why it matters. We’ve been asked to take some very painful cures. So we need to be sure the patient has a brain tumour rather than a nosebleed.
Read the whole thing. Even better, see the pdf with all the illustrations.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

More Fraud From Obama's Energy Department

More Fraud From Obama's Energy Department

Is this the best use of our tax dollars?
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is probing a $730 million conditional loan commitment to Severstal, a Russian company operating mainly in the steel and mining industry. Writing to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the California Congressman questioned whether Severstal North America, a subsidiary of the powerhouse Russian manufacturer, should benefit from public financing to improve and expand facilities in Dearborn, Michigan.

The North American division of the company has struggled to penetrate the U.S. steel market, and it sold three of its U.S. mills in March. Consequently, Severstal North America received a conditional loan approval from the U.S. Energy Department in July to help retool and expand its factory in Dearborn.

Severstal is owned and controlled by Alexei Mordashov, who is worth $18.5 billion and is one of the wealthiest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine. In Issa’s letter, he asked Secretary Chu why taxpayer money is needed when "announcements made by Severstal during the loan consideration process indicated that the company had ample means to carry out the project."

Issa contended that the company already had plans to expand production "with apparently no need for federal financing." In fact, Severstal had already sold plants in Ohio, Maryland, and West Virginia, as part of a plan to shift operations to its Michigan facilities. "Given the immense wealth and power of Severstal’s CEO and the fact that the corporation had already made significant investments in the project, it is surprising that DOE would choose Severstal for a loan meant to spark new businesses and technologies within the automotive industry," Issa wrote.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taliban commanders say Pakistan intelligence helps them

Taliban Commanders Say Pakistan Intelligence Helps Them

In a no-surprise non-story, Taliban commanders have revealed, in a BBC documentary, that ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, provides and has been providing safe haven and weapons to Taliban fighters who kill American troops and Afghan civilians. This item appears a few days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated that, in any war between America and Pakistan, Afghanistan would be on the same side as Pakistan.

We know well the Islamic disdain for life on this planet, but this speaks to a desire for the Taliban commanders and Karzai to reside with Allah in heaven sooner rather than later. They may well understand Obama's desire to empower the enemies of America, but it may be that Karzai has underestimated the propensity of the American electorate to take incompetent leaders and put them out of office. We can presume that Obama's replacement will have a different take on paying billions of dollars per year to our enemies.

It has been our experience that moslems desire death with far less enthusiasm than they claim in their public pronouncements, but this time their lives may be closer to their end than they realize.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cult of Global Warming Is Losing Influence

Cult of Global Warming Is Losing Influence

Michael Barone writes it so much better than I could-
Religious faith is a source of strength in many people’s lives. But religious faith when taken too far can prove ludicrous — or disastrous.

On Oct. 22, 1844, thousand of Millerites, having sold all their possessions, climbed to the top of hills in Upstate New York to await the return of Jesus and the end of the world. They suffered “the great disappointment” when it didn’t happen.

In 1212, or so the legends go, thousands of Children’s Crusaders set off from France and Germany expecting the sea to part so they could march peaceably and convert Muslims in the Holy Land. It didn’t, and many were shipwrecked or sold into slavery.

In 1898, the cavalrymen of the Madhi, ruler of Sudan for 13 years, went into the Battle of Omdurman armed with swords, believing that they were impervious to bullets. They weren’t, and they were mowed down by British Maxim guns.

A similar but more peaceable fate is befalling believers in what I think can be called the religion of the global warming alarmists.
It goes on, and gets better. Read the whole thing.

No Wonder the U.S. Government is Broke

If you are one of the concerned citizens who get upset at the way our government wastes money in huge bunches, you may miss the fact that our government adds layers of cost and complexity on almost every single thing supposedly "free" citizens do. We are under a storm of government control that Stalin, Mao, and Hitler could only dream of. It is death by a thousand cuts. Not only is our legal system seriously broken, but the permanent regulatory state that has grown "like Topsy" adds controls over every aspect of our lives. As Conrad Black has said,
The country has nearly 48 million people with a criminal record; it has half the lawyers and a quarter of the incarcerated people in the world, and annual legal costs almost as large as the GDP of India. Congress is stuffed with second-rate lawyers who pass grandstanding laws that clutter the courts with what other serious jurisdictions would consider frivolous and vexatious litigation, and the benches are infested with unregenerate ex-prosecutors.
So today we read about a single point of "freedom" from regulation, over potatoes in school lunches (and breakfasts!) that the USDA dismisses as trivial because it only will cost We the People 6.5 billion dollars!

This may be only a pimple on the ass of the typhoid patient, but to me, it reveals a lot. From EdWeek:

Senate Seeks to Block Limits on Spuds in School Meals

Potatoes may remain plentiful on school lunch trays after all.
Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposedlimiting servings of spuds and other starchy vegetables in school breakfasts and lunches, a pair of potato-state senators succeeded in adding a rider Tuesday to the agency’s budget that would keep the USDA from spending money to enforce limits on any vegetable served at school.

The agriculture appropriations bill has to pass Congress before the amendment takes hold, but those promoting potatoes have already declared victory.

“This means USDA cannot proceed with a rule that would impose unnecessary and expensive new requirements affecting the servings of healthy vegetables, such as white potatoes, green peas, corn, and lima beans,” said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, who has boasted of her roots in the state’s potato-growing region and her first job, which was on a potato farm.

Sen. Collins and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, of Colorado, another of the 36 potato-growing-states in the country, have led the effort to undo the proposed restrictions.

In January, the USDA called for limiting starchy vegetables to one cup per week at lunch and banning them from breakfast. Although boiled down to a debate about potatoes, the proposal contains many other changes to school meals, including increasing the amount of whole grains, fruit, and green and orange vegetables served, reducing the amount of sodium in meals, cutting fat from milk, and reducing calories.

The limits on corn, lima beans, peas, and potatoes have drawn the most controversy, however. Ms. Collins and Mr. Udall said the potato, low in calories and high in fiber and potassium, was being maligned by the federal government.

Fried vs. Baked
The recommendations were based on guidelines proposed by the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit that advises the federal government on health matters. It suggested a reduction in servings of potatoes and other starches because 29 percent of the vegetables children eat are potatoes, mostly as fries or chips.

A USDA study from the 2004-05 school year showed that elementary schools already met the one-cup-or-less proposal. Middle schools were close, and high schools exceeded it, on average, by less than half a cup.

Mr. Udall suggested the USDA consider regulating how vegetables are prepared rather than which vegetables are served. While the potato industry pointed out that most school cafeterias don’t have fryers and that even fries and tater tots in school meals are baked, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group, counters that many of those potatoes are fried, even if not at school.

“Though potatoes are a good source of fiber and potassium, the majority of potatoes served in schools are fried,” said Margo G. Wootan, the director of nutrition policy for the center. “And even ‘baked’ fries are usually fried in a factory before they get to school.”

She accused Congress of bowing to industry interests instead of watching out for children. “Some members of Congress showed that they are more interested in protecting business lobbyists than children’s health,” she said.

By advancing the amendment, the senators leapfrogged the traditional regulatory process. The USDA is still sifting through the 130,000 comments about its proposed meal rules. It’s possible the limits on potatoes will have been softened by the time the final rules are issued, likely later this year.
Because those rules haven’t been set, the USDA could comment little on the action in Congress. But the agency did defend its proposal.

“Our proposed rule will improve the health and nutrition of our children based on sound science recommended by the Institute of Medicine,” said Kevin Concannon, USDA’s undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services, in a statement. “We will work with Congress to ensure that the intent of this rule is not undermined and that these historic improvements are allowed to move forward so that millions of kids across the nation will receive healthier meals.”

Opening the Door
But if the pro-potato set ultimately gets its way, the door could be opened for other interest groups to push their wishes on the proposed USDA rules. For a time during the ongoing debate in the Senate over the agriculture appropriations bill, for example, there was talk of offering an amendment requiring that small amounts of tomato paste be counted as a vegetable. That raised echoes of a controversial proposal during the Reagan administration to count ketchup as a vegetable.

While Ms. Wootan and others opposed the Senate amendment, they say it’s preferable to a House proposal that would require the USDA to start the meal-regulation process over entirely. The USDA offered its changes as directed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which Sens. Collins and Udall voted for last December.

Potato advocates seized on the cost of implementing those changes—projected to be $6.8 billion over several years—as another reason to allow inexpensive spuds to appear in unlimited quantities in school meals.

But those costs would be more than covered by required increases in the price of lunch for students who pay full price, a bigger reimbursement from the federal government for all meals served that meet the new requirements, and pricing a la carte and vending-machine items at amounts that cover their costs rather than prices that reflect subsidizing from the federal school lunch and breakfast programs.

“The Senate amendment will result in taxpayers spending billions of dollars more on school lunches that are less healthy than they should be and that will continue to contribute to the multibillion dollar obesity crisis in America,” said Chris Fitzgerald, a spokesman for Rep. Jared Polis.
Mr. Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, supports limits on potatoes.

Murders, Rapes, Falling Bridges and Phantom Jobs

Murders, Rapes, Falling Bridges and Phantom Jobs

David Limbaugh comments on Joe Biden's threat, that rape and murder would rise if congress had the temerity to fail to pass Obama's new slush fund plan.
Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said that "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste," but Obama has taken the maxim to a new level. The enhanced version is: "When all else fails to convince the electorate, fabricate a phony crisis, and fuel it with fear based on lies. Then re-present your proposal as the only antidote."
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Economic Truth

The Economic Truth

Every liberal should be made to see this video - not that the truth would have any effect on their opinion.

Monday, September 05, 2011

How the Far Left Got their Guy Into The White House

How the Far Left Got their Guy Into The White House

David Horowitz, a reformed Red Diaper baby, and a national treasure, gives us seven minutes of crucial history, explaining how, after 40 years of trying, the far left finally got their guy into the White House. Please, watch this one:

Or, if you would rather read, or for background, read Norman Podhoretz on much the same subject matter. I'd say read and then watch, but either way, this stuff is important.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Priceless - Santelli vs. Clueless Libtards

Priceless - Santelli vs. Clueless Libtards

It is really no contest - there are only four of them. Four clueless liberals who actually believe that the government can print dollars 'till the cows come home, trust O'Drama, and there will be no consequences.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Europeanization Here

No Europeanization Here

By Europeanization I mean that we Americansare not European in makeup or outlook. Europe is a huge area that was, until recently, a collection of culturally and racially homogeneous countries that hated each other with passions so deep that most modern Americans do not understand them. They kept killing each other on such a vicious and massive scale that they took the step of outlawing war itself, with the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928. After WWII they really started to take the idea of central government power as the "cure" to the outbreak of warfare seriously. They began providing welfare on a massive scale, and even tried to outlaw nations, instead constructing an undemocratic super state called European Union. They even outlawed sovereign currencies (with some notable exceptions).

All that seems to have failed, mostly because they seem to have forgotten that humans would be involved in their brave new world. They still seethe with nationalist hatreds there, they still have their moments of warfare and "ethnic cleansing," but they have granted their governments a level of power that is anathema to most Americans. Their governments use twice as much of their GDP and vitality, and their people have little of the personal liberty that Americans have.

I mention Europeanization in response to the idea that since European governments have succeeded in taking far higher levels of taxing and spending power than the U.S. has, that we are not taxed enough. I submit that there is no chance that we will go down the route that Europe has, mostly because all Americans believe that they can, one day and with enough hard work and luck, become the next Bill Gates or Barack Obama. We are used to the idea of personal freedom, and we have not had a war on our territory in living memory.

In short (very short - too short) it appears that our flirtation with European ideas of overbearing government is coming to an end, or is at least running out of steam. People are beginning to push back against the political juggernaut of ever expanding government. We will make our stand on taxing authority. The elites - an oligarchy of politicians, academics, and big corporations, is not powerful enough to beat an idea - the idea that we are a free people. Members of that elite might reject all of this. On November 6, 2012, you they well find themselves within the minority.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letter to a Democrat

Letter to a Democrat

Dear Democrat,

It pains me to inform you that the quandry this great nation faces can not be solved by increasing taxes on "The Rich." It is not taxes that we need to raise - we need to bring spending down to a level commensurate with our means.

I hear what you say, over and over. Republicans are devils and all bad is caused by them, and democrats are angels and all good comes from them. Wake up. The taxes paid by Americans to all governmental entities have always been less than a quarter of income (GDP). Nothing the government has ever figured out, rates, deductions, and reforms, have ever been able to get more revenue from the American citizens. Politicians of all stripes play rhetorical games, all designed to pander to their electoral bases, but the only way to end deficits is to stop spending so much. Clinton has a "surplus" (which was nothing of the sort, but he gets credit for one) because the economy was roaring, so tax collections went up with income.

Because our last few roaring economies were mostly caused by government inflating a bubble, and the bubbles got ever larger, we are now at a point where they can no longer inflate another bubble. While it is possible for private citizens to spend less, we are told that government cannot. Therefore they have spent trillions in "stimulus" and two trillion dollar rounds of "quantitative easing" which is merely printing trillions of dollars, and things still suck.

Every government that has ever had the power to print money has debased their currency, going back to the ancient Romans, who added lead to their gold coins. Our government is currently doing the same thing to the dollar. This does not end well.

We either reduce spending or we will see a great and real tragedy. Professional pols have their reason to pretend that no crisis looms, but there is no reason for citizens to parrot political talking points designed to fool the rubes, when we are the rubes being fooled. Politicians are insulated from the tragedy they are causing, so long as they can get themselves reelected. If you are not an elected official or a member of their patronage circle, you have got to wake up.


A concerned citizen, neither a democrat nor a republican. A citizen who actually cares about his country, not any political party.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The "Anti-Science" Trope

The "Anti-Science" Trope

Everywhere I go, I see that those who resist the global warming movement are always called "anti-science." I object to the sobriquet, a reversal of reality actually, of "anti-science." I was a physics major, and have followed climate and weather for fifty years. The science is in, and we have no idea what drives our climate, because there is no consensus among scientists.

There is a bunch of so-called "climate scientists" who make their living by ginning up hysteria, but in the real, peer-reviewed world of science, there is no agreement. The planet (the biosphere really) may or may not be warming, but it is historically colder than long term proxy studies suggest is normal for an interglacial period, and no warming has factually been seen for over a decade. We have much better ways to observe these things now, and the better we get at it, the less "warming" can be detected.

IF there is warming, and that's a big IF, there is no scientific consensus of what might be causing it.

If humans are causing it by carbon dioxide emissions, no possible way to reduce these emissions currently exists.

No matter which political stripe you come from, no matter how many times you scream "Bullshit!" (as Al Gore did last week) these are the scientific facts. Anyone who says differently is misinformed.

Now, that being said, there is some validity to adopting clean air and water policy. The hysterical claims of Gore et al make sensible environmental regulation almost impossible, as pols try to ride the hysteria to even bigger budgets and ever more power.

The "anti-science" group is the warming alarmists who claim that policy can alter weather and climate, and that is incontrovertible fact. The republicans like Rick Perry who see that there is no consensus, and no actual understanding of the drivers of climate changes, are the ones who follow the science where it has led us.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Further Thoughts, the Following Morning

Further Thoughts, the Following Morning

While many of us will vote for the republican nominee no matter what, that will not do the trick on election day. Obama will be a formidable candidate. It is demoralizing to see that the only sparkling candidate in last night's panel was Gingrich, who can never get the nomination IMO, nor should he - way too much baggage. In the politics of personal destruction the liberals are gonna use, baggage is far worse than silly positions.

Rick Perry was a democrat, being an Al Gore guy in 1988, He delivers the evangelicals big time. While the libs will attack the religion of any candidate, mainstream Christian is a far better place to be than Mormon under that type of fire.

No doubt Perry has a plethora of things in his record that we'd rather he did not. It is easy to choose the prize behind the curtain over the prizes we can see. The curtain is about to be revealed on Perry. I hope that he can stand up under the glare the liberals will put him under. Ever watch MSNBC? The hate there is ferocious.

In any event, I look forward to the campaign. No matter the nominee, ferocious libs getting crazy over their decline from power, especially after their big win in 2008 and their predictions of a long term dominance of the political scene, will be delicious to watch.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tonight's Republican Debate, IMHO

Tonight's Republican Debate, IMHO

Allow me to veer from pure Zero Base thinking, into my personal opinions of what happened tonight in the debate broadcast On Fox News from Ames Iowa:

Today's news carried some item that Texas Governor Perry was soft on Shariah, and certain quarters of the interwebs called him out on that. After tonight's debate, He'd have to convert to Islam before he would look worse that the crew we watched. Ron Paul was old and tired, no matter how great his ideas. Bachmann looked flighty, defending the indefensible on debt and government spending. Romney looked damn presidential, if only you didn't listen too hard to what he was really saying. Pawlenty, my favorite, looked plain small and indecisive. Santorum is a sweet man, but his train left the station when he failed to win reelection in Pennsylvania. Cain, wow what a president he would be. The only problem is that he would need some votes before they will let him be one, and tonight he didn't earn any. Gingrich looked fresh and uncanned, but he has already disqualified himself a couple months ago. Why proceed with a nominee with such baggage?

Unless you believe that a ham sandwich can beat Obama, we better hope that Perry has more pizzazz than this group!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thoughts on the Debt Ceiling

Thoughts on the Debt Ceiling

Make no mistake, both sides are being equally dishonest in this thing. Pretending that "deficit reduction" or "balanced budget amendment" are what we are talking about is a fraud that both parties are playing with. The fact is that neither side wants to talk about the real end game - tax increases on the middle class and benefit reductions in medicare and social security. We pretend that these are not the real issues, but a balanced budget could never be accomplished without these things.

Face it, We the People have been hosed, our representatives have betrayed us, and now they play games in the hopes that we never figure it out. The Ponzi scheme is crashed, and tax increases are in store for all of us, as is the diminution of our "entitlements." I say, bring it on! But the rest of the electorate will feel betrayed, and they were.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Science was better in the 60s

Science was better in the 60s

I was reading Luboš Motl's fine physics blog and came across this fine post about stratospheric aerosols. These substances have lately come into the news since they are the most recent excuse that warmists have come up with in their attempt to explain away the lack of warming the last decade and a half. First Luboš points out that the last actual science that addressed this phenomenon without the taint of warmism was done in 1965. Then Luboš makes some very strong points about where modern climate science has gone wrong, and, as he does, he goes on to prove it.

Some of the greatest commentary on the status of modern climate science is in this post. A little bit:
Their science resembles the science of the chieftain of a terrorist training camp. He believes in the Tooth Fairy and designs an amazing method to earn some money for his terrorist hobby. He punches away the teeth of all the mujahideens in his group, puts the teeth under the pillow, and expects that the Tooth Fairy will replace them by millions of dollars during the night, when he sleeps.

Instead, he still finds the teeth in the morning. So he is totally puzzled: what miraculous, unexpected, supernatural power could have prevented the Tooth Fairy from replacing the teeth by the money? Of course, he is as clever a chieftain as the IPCC scientists so he finds an explanation that satisfies him: the Tooth Fairy asked the Bone Fairy for a permission and didn't get it.

So the chieftain breaks all the bones of his men and puts them under the pillow. It must be different this time, he is confident, and he is waiting for the Tooth Fairy to replace the teeth and bones by millions of dollars. His belief in these laws of physics remains perfect - well, up to the moment when this man is finally shot by a NATO soldier.

It's very similar with the global warming nuts. Instead of admitting that their could have made a wrong assumption, they always prefer to add dozens of other wrong assumptions.
Read the whole thing. It is refreshing to read a young physicist who is not concerned with the career consequences of telling it like it is. I am grateful that he finds the time to write about warmism, especially after a week in which so much other news came out in his field of physics.

Thoughts on TSA and Airline Security

Thoughts on TSA and Airline Security

I remember the days when anyone could get on a plane with a pistol and nobody cared. I remember the days when planes were actually hijacked and/or blown up fairly frequently, and the proud American people did not cower in fear, or submit to indignities and loss of basic personal freedoms in the hope of a morsel of additional safety.

Our government has lost its respect for the people, and the people acquiesce. We have lost our honor as a people, our moral code, and all we seem to care about is having the wherewithal to make the lease payments on the Lexus.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Electric Cars And The Future

Electric Cars And The Future

In the 50s the Soviet Union made Thorium reactors and put them in buoys and lighthouses that provided electricity for years with no maintenance. It is inconceivable to me that, if the current hysteria against nuclear power were to subside that there could not be a superior technology developed. I noticed in today’s news two items. One, there are going to be brownouts in the middle and east of the country due to air conditioning use in the current heat wave. Two, I noted that Mayor Bloomberg of NYC contributed 50 million dollars to a group whose goal is to stop electric power generation from coal, which is currently our major energy source for electric generation. I can not be sanguine about current trends and technologies resulting in not having enough power to recharge millions of inefficient car batteries.

The answers to our problems are technological. We are currently in thrall to a political movement that threatens to cause shortages in electric power generation. If new technologies are retarded by political action, I fear that electric automobiles will not be successful now, any more than they failed to provide mass transportation in the last century.

Electric automobiles are an older technology than gasoline or diesel. We need something new. While projecting current technologies as the answer to our future transportation needs is all fine and well, it is entirely too pessimistic for this optimistic, ever more wealthy society, it seems to me that, rather than societal poverty, our tremendous wealth will continue to increase, once our modern Luddite political movement towards energy poverty will be circumvented. If America does not step forward into the future, China will surely continue development of new technological answers to our current problems.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Environmentalists are Cargo Cultists

Environmentalists are Cargo Cultists

Cargo Cults were belief systems developed by primitive tribes to make sense of parachute resupply pallets that missed their mark in World War 2. They found the bounty, had no easy explanation for how the goods arrived, and so designed a religion that ascribed these things to God. Environmentalists suffer from a similar misunderstanding about what they see in the world today. The actual explanation is easy to see, if we look at what is happening with open eyes.

The planet has changed, and it will continue to do so. Humanity has emerged as the apex predator in recent years, and we hope to remain at the top of the food chain for a long time to come. We humans need food and energy, and are fantastically gifted with the ability to provide it for ourselves. The Cargo Cultists and their ilk believe humanity to be vermin in a formerly "pristine" environment, who have ruined the optimum environment that existed before we ascended to primacy. There are too many of us, they believe, and we live too well, devouring too much food and energy for the planet's good, or something.

That is fatuous nonsense. We humans are here to stay, and our numbers are bound to increase. Pretending that yesterday's fish species or yesterday's climate is somehow "optimum" is merely a political talking point with no basis in fact or science. The political class wields these ideas to amass great power and wealth. I understand and respect where they are coming from. They know exactly what they are doing, and have no compunctions, or conscience, about it.

What I cannot respect is otherwise intelligent people buying in to these notions of peak oil, global warming, or endangered species. These changes are all natural, they have been happening for more than four billion years. There is no reason to believe that the earth will mot survive for billions years more as a fecund environment for whatever species have the hardiness and will to cling to life here.

Me? I'm betting on humanity. If the wild salmon can't make it in the real world, we will just have to find a better fish to eat. I see no danger in a warmer climate, even as I doubt that we shall see one. We are not that lucky - we may well have to deal with the cold. Air is cleaner every year, even as gas, oil, and coal are more abundant today than ever before. Victory will go to the bold, which pretty well describes humanity. Those who would cower in cold drafty caves instead of gleaming edifices because they fear the unknown can do it without me. Al Gore apparently agrees with me on that last point, for himself, at least.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Science, or "Science?"

Science, or "Science?"

Science has no place for consensus. "Science" does. In science, one puts forth a hypothesis and then experiments and observations are designed and collated to see if the result fits the predictions made in the hypothesis. In the case of climate science, the IPCC put forth a detailed vision of the future of earth's climate in 1990 and 1995. Those predictions failed. They changed the goalposts in 2001 and again in 2007, yet the conditions still will not conform to the new predictions.

The science that is settled is the physical behavior of CO2 in the laboratory. The "science" that says that we shall see this behavior in world climate is demonstrably false. We have lofted satellites and loosed buoys and balloons in order to get a finer understanding of climate, and the better observational tools have uncovered more failure of the theory. Oceans refuse to heat up, proof that global warming has not been happening for the last decade or so. Storms are way down, again not in compliance with prediction. Corals, sea level, none of these phenomena have acted in line with the predictions. That, in science, means that something is wrong with the hypothesis. It means we need more study.

Since 1988 the global warming movement, in the UN, through the IPCC, and some governments, have been demanding a policy prescription that is nothing short of reducing the expansion of industrial development worldwide. CO2 is a proxy for energy and manufacturing. It is unclear if it would be possible to reduce the amount of this trace gas in any significant way, since this has not been determined. Enforcing CO2 emission reductions will not only require the first world to reduce its standard of living, but, if it were to be effective, it would damn people in the third world to poverty, heating their food with animal dung and wood. For such a draconian regime to be put in place, the science better be right - we had better be confident. We are not confident, in fact we have become less so with better science.

My background in science makes me agnostic about what is happening. I am willing to believe that human activities are having an effect, but there is no way to know today, with the best science we can do, whether humanity is making it warmer or cooler. It has been much colder and hotter on earth in the past - on that there is no debate. Whether or not the climate of the 20th or the 19th century is an optimum that we must strive, at any expense, to maintain, is also something I do not believe that we know.

By all means keep funding research. We need to understand our world better if at all possible. And, once we know what is happening, then we should decide what to do. The true believers in the "science" are practicing a religion, where belief can not be questioned. That is not science.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Climate Conundrum

The Climate Conundrum

All the solar energy (insolation) that hits the planet is known, about 1366 watts per square meter. That sounds like a lot, but it is all used or otherwise accounted for in natural processes. It makes the rain fall, the wind blow, and the plants grow. It makes the planetary surface warmer than the deep cold of outer space. We can play with it, and so long as we do not extract a very large amount of power from it, we will be fine. But if we would actually attempt to extract enough solar power to make a real difference, there would be consequences in weather and climate that we do not know much about, since we have such a paltry understanding of the dynamics of climate.

I am always amused when I read one of these climate studies - not the executive summaries that science journalists read, but the studies themselves - there is so much that they admit that they do not understand. It does not stop them from reaching sweeping conclusions though, ofter covered with weasel words like "we believe" or "likely" with no backup or calculation. Climate science is unique that way - no calculation is needed, just a well written exec summary to fool the rubes.

Early indications are that wind farms on land tend to create a warmer microclimate nearby and offshore wind farms cause onshore cooling. The reasons are unclear, but the folly of extensive deployment of wind extracting mechanisms will definitely have unintended, and largely unknown, consequences. Large solar electric or heat extraction similarly prevents the sunlight from reaching the ground, thus upsetting the ecosystem in ways both known and unknown. Hydro - well, nobody is gonna let us build any more hydro plants, so that does not matter. The little fishies would protest.

The real conundrum is that we use an enormous amount of power in the first world, and the third world wishes to join us in this endeavor. There is no known way to produce this power without upsetting a preexisting balance of ecology. It may well be that petroleum is the cleanest and safest, but that depends on the yet unknown danger of CO2, the last emittant, the one that we can not remove the way we removed the actual pollutants. But all these alternatives also change the ecology in ways both known and unknown.

That is why the green movement is against every single one of them. They have sued to stop photovoltaic and wind projects, and they are just getting started. Their answer they seek (just ask them, or read their blogs) is a Malthusian die-off of about half the world human population. The global warming scare is just a single manifestation of their desire to achieve this Brave New World of theirs, where humanity lives in harmony with the little piggies and fishies, and everyone is happy. They have banded together with the end of the worlders, and combined with careerists in academia and industry to formulate their scare. They probably believe their own bullshit. The fact is that earthly climate history is a story of ice ages interspersed with interglacial periods. We are currently deep into an interglacial. The sentient people in the physics community believe that, to the extent that something humanity is doing is extending the interglacial, that is a Good Thing, since humanity cannot survive another ice age.

Update - In response to a question, I will add this bit:
Hydro power is solar power in that the sun evaporates the water that falls as rain in the reservoir that spins the turbines. Wind power is solar power in that it is the heat of the sun that provides the convection that results in wind blowing. There is a finite amount of insolation delivered at the planet's surface, and it all does SOMETHING. We can capture it on a limited basis, but do you really think the greens will let us cover a desert area the size of Arizona plus New Mexico? The little salamanders will stop that one every time, so there is never gonna be enough power from solar to replace more than a fraction of the energy we use currently, and the third world wants to use energy like we do. The "Greens" want us to use energy like the third world does. All known practical energy sources must be exploited, and all leads pursued, but I fear that the profoundly unserious way humanity appears to be dealing with this impending problem will continue to take us in exactly the wrong direction. We need energy in increasing amounts. A sizable proportion of powerful humans (the greens) want us to use less energy, but they know we will never agree, so they put up spurious limits on energy generation expansion, backed up by religious dogma, which they label "science." Science is a process, while Warmist greens claim that "The science is settled," which is a profoundly unscientific statement. Science marches on, but inconvenient findings are scorned and ignored by the academic and media Warmist community. Meanwhile more and more scientists who formerly believed the orthodox position are changing their views. There are powerful career and social consequences for a scientist deviating from academic orthodoxy - just ask any physicist who questions string theory how his career fared after submitting that contrarian paper. But. Over time, the data and the reality will become clear - whatever it is.

Update #2 Better insolation numbers
Above I posted that total energy from the sun was 1366 watts per square meter. That number applies to a total of solar energy, much of which energy never reaches the ground. Clouds soak it up, "greenhouse" gases soak it up (yes Virginia, actual CO2 absorbs energy from both directions, which is why global warming can not be caused by CO2) and a large amount is reflected back into space (albedo). The maximum solar energy that does reach the ground is 746 watts per square meter in optimum conditions, which is, in the U.S.A. limited to relatively small area in the south west between about 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM for about 300 days a year. all other places in the United States see less than that. Then the efficiency of collection must be considered. Right now we are doing well at 10%, but even assuming huge strides in this area you must factor in that this is only possible during times when most people are not home. Storage of electricity is also woefully inefficient, so add it all up and you can easily see that covering every roof with photo-voltaic cells and filling every basement with next generation electric storage batteries will still not keep any modern home off the grid for more than a few hours at a time.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Greens are running out of solutions

Greens are running out of solutions

The religion of Thomas Malthus is running out of steam. A few of the adherents to this incoherent religion are beginning to scramble for ways to salvage their movement, and make it compatible with rational thought. The true believers have hijacked science and have called us, all of us, self destructive idiots, and thus lost most of the popular support they once had.

Walter Russel Meade has a nice essay on this, borrowing liberally from a recent piece on the dead end their movement has run into by George Monbiot in The Guardian. Money quote:
All of us in the environment movement, in other words – whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse – are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess. None of our chosen solutions break the atomising, planet-wrecking project. I hope that by laying out the problem I can encourage us to address it more logically, to abandon magical thinking and to recognise the contradictions we confront. But even that could be a tall order.
But Mead goes much further than Monbiot. He deconstructs the failures of the movement and gets to their causes.
Malthusianism is a religious conviction that desperately needs to think of itself as a science. From Thomas Malthus and his mathematical certainties to Paul Ehrlich with his famine timetables and the Club of Rome with its ‘scientific’ predictions of resource exhaustion, Malthusians have made confident predictions about the future and claimed scientific authority for statements that turned out to be contemptibly silly. That is the brutal fate that often awaits people who can’t keep the boundaries between science and religion straight.
We can only hope that a soft landing awaits the movement, if only because humanity has actual challenges to meet, and having a fringe religion that claims to own the issue places itself in opposition to all the rest of us. This is entirely counterproductive, as we face a burgeoning population, all of whom require food, fuel, and housing, and few of whom will embrace a Malthusian solution that requires most of them to die.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Malthusian Fears are Baseless

Malthusian Fears are Baseless

The New York Times has a piece out today that explores a human future that is projected to surpass ten billion souls in a few decades time, or by 2100. The comments are illuminating, replete as they are with believers in the Malthusian idea, promulgated in 1799, that humans will outgrow our environment the way fungi and rats do. Not surprising, but these comments betray a strait jacket in their thinking. They insist that we can not adapt to the future with the techniques and technologies of the past.

It is amazing the lack of imagination shown by the naysayers of a successful humanity. In 1950 the world had no way to support a doubling of the population, yet in 2000 we did, with a higher standard of living in every way it could be measured for everyone. The Malthusian believers make no attempt to support their point of view, they just assume it and repeat it, and get angry that their point of view is not accepted by all.

Personally, I have no desire to live in a world of contracting population, with houses and schools becoming empty and technology declining, and I have no reason to believe that this is our fate. What the Malthusian believers forget is that we are not rats, we each bring more to the world than we take from it. We are tool users and builders, innovators and problem solvers. More population will result in more specialization, more advancement, more luxury, and a higher standard of living for all, as it always has. We have no fresh water shortage, we have a water collection problem caused by central planning and allowing "experts" to decide how to allocate resources. I am certain that humanity will thrive, and that means expand. There is no limit to how much food we can grow, no shortages of any important commodity that can not be accounted for in the pricing mechanism. This is not ideology, it the only valid conclusion one could draw from the last ten thousand (or two million) years of human improvement.

UPDATE: Becker and Posner agree with me. (No surprise there)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Never Again

Never Again

Caroline Glick at a meeting of (mostly) Jews on the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, Yom ha Shoah. This something every Jew should listen to, as well as any non-Jew who wishes to understand the Jews. This is personal, this is not intended for outsiders. But it should be required listening for anyone who desires to understand.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts on climate alarmism

Thoughts on climate alarmism

The movement called AGW, or Anthropogenic Global Warming, is basically an anti-modern or Malthusian belief in the finite availability of resources and a religion that believes that humans have soiled the planet due to our hubris and unquenchable greed. Believers in this religion can be called Warmists. Their redemption or solution to this "problem" is to back off of modernity by decreasing living standards and consumption to assuage the anger of the God Gaia. But they have their facts wrong. Since they base their religion on their claim that their religion is based on science and their belief in certain scientific "facts," the truth of those facts are a central to the understanding of that movement, and their view of where humanity stands here at the beginning of the 21st century. Those facts are not nearly on their side.

Life expectancy and health are on the increase world wide, as are personal income and living standards. Air and water pollution is similarly getting better every year. We have more resources of every type, as can be easily seen by commodity prices, whether steel or lumber, copper or wheat, or the availability of potable water to the poor. How can one reconcile Warmist beliefs in the face of these incontrovertible and easily proven facts? The only major threat our environment may be about to have to deal with is either global war or the appearance of the next ice age or a meteor strike, none of which is central to Warmist theology. Everything else they believe is faltering keeps getting better. We are so wealthy as a species, and getting more wealthy every day, that we can have this debate even as we make good money and live at a standard that our parents could not even dream of.

Our "addiction" is not to oil and coal, it is to wealth and modernity, and that requires immense amounts of energy. The discovery of hydrocarbon energy was the thing that brought us out of the middle ages, into the industrial age, and will bear us into the future. Until and unless we discover and build out a reliable source of energy to replace it, we will be "addicted" to oil and coal for decades. Windmills and sunshine ain't gonna cut it, because the wind and sunshine are not reliable energy sources. Malthusian fears of an impending die-off are no reason to impoverish our wealthiest societies or end our energy intensive ways unless or until the worst fears of the warmists become clearly true. Right now they are at the end of at least two years of being wrong about just about everything.

The planet continues to cool, as seen in measurements of heat in the oceans and weather on the ground. Even sea level has begun a small decline. The "Ozone Hole" has been shown to be a natural phenomenon, and banning chloro-fluorocarbons has had no effect on it. In any event the lack of ozone has initiated no increase skin cancers in affected areas, a central tenet of "Ozone Holism." In the face of unprecedented expansions of windmills and solar electric generation, no way to slow the growth of the thermal generation of electricity has proven effective, as these "green" technologies have no effect on the need for base load capacity. The same Warmists who decry carbon dioxide generation from hydrocarbon stand against expansion of nuclear electric generation capacity. Computer models that have been predicting melting ice caps and hotter climate have been universally unable to predict these non-events.

There is nothing new about religions that predict the end of the world. The difference here is that this religion is based on observable conditions. Their predictions have not been observed. That is how we know that this is a religion. No fact can withstand that portion of the human brain that insists on blind belief in a supernatural prediction. In this case the Jedi mind trick is correct. There is really nothing to see here, and we should really move along.

Arguing with Democrats

Arguing with Democrats

I spend way too much time on Facebook arguing with ideologues of the left - I don't know why. Yesterday I made a few points that looked good enough to post here. You can fill in the blanks, since I have no intention to memorialize the statist argument of the other side, but rest assured that it is the typical hackneyed dross about the importance of government power.


Remember that Bush was an idiot but Kerry was brilliant, then when their records came to light it was shown that Bush had slightly better grades and it had no effect on their opinion. To the left, it is not enough to have the better argument, they must dehumanize their opponents. That is the only semi-coherent they can demand statist solution to our challenges. We the People are idiots, thus only the "experts" in Washington and academia are qualified to exercise and limit the freedoms that the fools will abuse.

It is an evil movement, whether you call it statism, progressivism, socialism, communism, or the democrat party platform, it is all about control, and usurpation of constitutional freedoms. To a leftist, those who oppose them are stupid and evil, which we prove to them with every policy position we take. Our challenge is to convince a supermajority of voters to see it. Right now we seem to have a bare majority, which will not ensure victory, given all the dead leftists who will vote against America, again.


Without respect for the four walls of the agreement [the constitution] there will be chaos. You people are in the midst of a grand experiment of replacing the family with the government. The failure of that experiment is obvious for anyone with eyes. None so blind as those who refuse to see.


You are deluded. Social security and Medicare, while founded on high principles, have had the direct effect of the destruction of the extended family. When our parents get old and infirm we abandon them to the state. When my mother could no longer live alone we took her in, and the amount of pressure we received to abandon her was atrocious. Mothers on welfare are forced by the state to put their menfolk out or lose their benefits. You guys can either recognize this, or you are dishonest. Bad enough to lie to me, you are lying to yourself. Making allusions to Calicutta is fraudulent argument. We have never had anything like that type of poverty here, but screaming about that bogeyman is the only way you can hide your shame at what you have wrought.


Prosperity is what happened in the South Bronx, and you guys want to take credit for it. I know the South Bronx. Urban renewal destroyed it, now gentrification is reviving it. You need to get out more before you pick a place that makes my point perfectly. Wealth is the engine of American success, and government programs and needless regulation are a drag on it.


Very Obamunistic, your argument. Take a false choice, in this case an unjustified defense of the indefensible system we have today, and whine that the only alternative is doing nothing, or worse. That is not the position of the right, and you know it. Shame on you. There will be no solution to our intractable deficits and debt unless and until intelligent people on your side become willing to view things as they are, not through a prism where your opponent's argument is both evil and stupid. Allen West said it best - we either end Social Security and Medicare as we know it or we end America. Democrat leaders refuse to change a jot or a tittle, according to democrat senate majority leader Reid. Which side is being stupid and evil? All for power, and we the People can all go to hell. You people make me sick.


This is not about tone. This nation is currently borrowing in excess of three million dollars per minute, 188 million per hour, over four billion dollars per day to support your "Great Society." That is not great, that is pathetic. Supporting the continuation of this charade is profoundly unserious at best, so excuse me for suspecting your motives. You are not stupid enough to believe your position. If you are, I apologise. Meanwhile you keep pointing to examples that make my point, which at least shows you to be confused.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Has the green movement been a miserable flop?

Has the green movement been a miserable flop?

That's not my question, it is the headline of an article in The New Republic. No global warming skeptic in sight there. They wonder why their demand for the hobbling of capitalism and individual freedom has failed, and, as usual, they blame all the wrong things. Being statists, they are mired in process, since using the tools of government to change human behavior is the highest calling of a statist. They never ask if their message is wrong down to its fundament. They never question why, if "the science is settled" we are living in undeniably colder world every year for the last five. They never blame the fact that none of the models they made public have correctly predicted, well, anything, correctly. Especially the last two years of record cold in both Northern and Southern hemispheres of the planet. No, they decry the way some people argue against their received truths.

No matter what drivers humanity may have introduced into the environment, the real questions (that are never asked) are, 1) What would be the effect on climate if we followed all the greenie prescriptions? The simple answer to that one is at best a 10% increase in the rate of increase of CO2, with unknown effect on climate or temperature, because of 2) Why is the "scientific method" not applied to the climate policy debate? Since there is NO theory of global warming, and no theory of "greenhouse" effect on an open system, there is no way to quantify what is happening. There is only a feeling that we have soiled our nest, so we must suffer for it. But, like happens with flaggelist movements everywhere, recruitment numbers are down.

But what they never seem to notice is that their singular concentration on massive changes in the way humans interact puts people off to their message. Their prescription is all pain, no gain. Not gonna happen as long as humans have a say in what their government does, which is why statists are against democratic institutions in general, and the U.S. constitution in particular. And then we get to see just what they are about, like this bit on the electric vehicle front, and you have perfect conditions for the gestation of AGW skeptics, and even republicans.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Obamas pay 26% federal income tax

Obamas pay 26% federal income tax

President Obama has released his 2010 tax returns today. On an adjusted gross income of $1,728,096 the Obamas paid $453,770. They donated $245,075 to charities, and deducted $49,945 in mortgage interest.

That amounts to paying about 26% in tax. Add in the charitable deductions, and they gave away about 40%. Is there a single sentient being who believes that, if they remove the charitable deduction, and raise the rates to, say, 40% on "The Rich" the Obamas would still give away a quarter of a million dollars.

Didn't think so.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alexander Cockburn makes quite a bit of sense

Alexander Cockburn makes quite a bit of sense

Cockburn may be a dedicated socialist and a bit phobic about the hazards of nuclear power, but he sure sees through the hypocrisy of establishment Warmist academics and the massive fraud promulgated to scare people into a disastrous transfer of power from We the People to nameless faceless bureaucrats.

HT: John Ray at Greenie Watch

Barack the Magic Suit

Barack the Magic Suit - A Political Fairy Tale

Obama's "Let 'em eat cake" moment.

Obama's "Let 'em eat cake" moment.

Aside from his revealing the contempt he has for regular Americans, he displays the fact that he is completely out of touch. First he believes the guy's fuel economy is worse than that of any car made in several decades. Then he recommends the purchase of vehicles that are not available at any price. But the most shocking part of this snapshot of The Won is that his advice to a constituent who can not afford the gasoline is to buy a new car!

Sunday, April 10, 2011



Altruism is one thing. Forced altruism at the point of a gun is not altruism at all. It is an immoral theft of property. Considering that Medicare is 1960s ideas and technology that worked fine when most people did not live much past 65 and there were 6 taxpayers for each beneficiary, it worked. Now, with the prospect of two taxpayers to each person over 65 (that does not include the disabled) we need a new paradigm. People in power have lied and said that we on the right want these people to be sick and hungry and dead, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need a new paradigm. But so long as the leader of the congressional democrats approaches this issue by telling lies about seniors being forced to eat cat food, there can be no seriousness shown to the rhetoric from the left.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It'll take political courage to save America

Political Labels

Political Labels

I think our politics are suffused with mostly meaningless labels. Not only are they not very descriptive, they are in flux. Labels like Progressive, Liberal, and Conservative not only drift their definitions, in these three labels (at least) they have come to mean quite the opposite over the last few decades. Ask me my politics and I might say, with all honesty, that I am a liberal, while liberals today would have been called collectivists (or socialists) only forty years ago. So, labels are a problem, which is where most of this "centrist" argument comes from. People think it is a nice way to describe themselves, while they fit quite nicely into one category or another, or they do not understand the underpinnings of their own political philosophy. One can easily start an argument with a person of the left merely by pointing out that Hitler and the Nazis were left wing. They do not want his company, even as they espouse much the same policy.

Then there is the matter of ideology, which is different from politics. Ideology in humans occupies the same brain structures as religion and the belief in God. The collectivist movement of the last half century has increased this tendency, in my view, as they have made the state more responsible for personal welfare. That results in irrational thought processes. For example, a person who believes that it is the duty of the state to provide minimum standards of living for everybody might tell everyone, even himself, that he is a centrist, or, my favorite bit of fraud, "socially liberal, fiscally conservative." My own wife self-describes that way. It is a lie, but we tend to forgive lies we tell to ourselves. You can not be fiscally conservative and espouse welfare or state sponsored health care. You are on very thin ice with social security, although there is a fiscally conservative way to change the social safety net. It is just that people do not want to seem mean or unsympathetic to the downtrodden. Not that one must be mean, but then he is not a fiscal conservative.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Obama's NCAA bracket - Epic fail

Obama's NCAA bracket - Epic fail

So, we have a profoundly unserious president, who spends more time figuring out who will win the basketball tournament than whether or not to attack Arab countries. I figured that, at least this must be an area where he knows what he is doing - surely he is competent at SOMETHING. Alas, no. With the victory of VCU over Kansas this afternoon, he has failed to pick even a single team in the men's final four. Pitiful. Maybe he should spend more time doing the job he was elected to do, rather than the job he prefers to spend his time on. A faint hope, but there it is.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thoughts on the renewal of the birth certificate issue

Thoughts on the renewal of the birth certificate issue

The thing about the birth certificate issue being revived is, the president is the one keeping this issue alive. He clearly believes that he is being cute, and getting over in some way. The impish smile gives him away. That guy better never play poker.

On our side, we do not really believe that he can or should be disqualified on account of his dubious parenthood - the voters have made their ruling on that one. But. We hated Clinton for a lot of things he did. The stain on the dress is merely the key we used to have him impeached and disbarred. If Obama's cute game with his documentation becomes his stained dress, that's fine with us. But there are far more serious issues...

Many of us believe that another four years of this guy, four years when he will know that he will not have to face the voters again, well, many of us believe that our nation will not come out of that as something we could recognize. I imagine that many felt that way about Bush eight years ago...

Things will fall out as they may, but I for one am glad that this is becoming an issue. Now, if I am wrong, Obama actually IS smart, he has all this figured out already, and we are all playing out our parts in his devilish script. Or maybe this is another in his string of blunders, revealing his profound incompetence. We shall see, soon enough.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Global warming zealots are self-destructive to their claimed goals

Global warming zealots are self-destructive to their claimed goals

We live in a dangerous world. There are threats and toxic substances everywhere. We need to steer a course forward, making choices as we go. Taking natural gas out of the mix would be a disaster. Luddites who are against all hydrocarbon energy sources will either come up with usable, realistic, alternatives, or they will be sidelined from the debate. We see that today, as any hope of major CO2 reduction has been destroyed by zealots whose policy prescriptions amount to, frankly, a demand a descent into poverty. That is a step too far to ask a free people to undertake.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Understanding Science

Understanding Science

Physical laws are described by mathematical relationships. Newton's laws of orbital mechanics apply well to objects at planetary distances, even galactic distances, but now that we can resolve intergalactic distances, the math no longer works. Physics has responded by pretending that there is a force, they call it "dark matter" that adds the necessary gravitational force needed to make their equations work. Then they noticed, as their power to resolve details became better, that their math was out of whack again, so they invented "dark energy," which is a magic force that acts opposite to gravity.

Now that the physics establishment has made it look like they know what is happening, they are acting exactly the same way the climate group acts. The establishment has their orthodoxy, and grad students and academic staff either parrots the party line or they starve. Just try to get a position or a grant if you have ever written a paper that says that string theory is unsupported by experiment or observation and that thought, even though it is entirely true, will garner a failing grade.

Science is entirely political, with the older established deans and heads of labs sticking to party lines. The students in the field that are gathering the data know that they had better find data that supports their professor's well established viewpoint. That's the way it has always been, that's the way it is, and so it goes.

Climate science is only the most visible of the sciences where interest groups have tried to leverage their position of authority into massive political power. Here are the facts - temperatures are well within normal range, CO2 is higher today that the last few centuries, but low by long term standards - it has been many times higher than it is now, and the flora and fauna flourished. We can detect more global weather now, and as we can see finer detail we enter a situation where we have no historical comparison. The question is no longer about warming, since that stopped in 1998, it is about increased weather variability. There is a debate about that, with one side saying "Yes, now give us more money and power" and the other side saying "well now, we can resolve these things on a finer scale that ever before, so we do not know if the weather is getting more erratic, so let us pursue further research before we continue to pretend that we know these answers."