Tuesday, March 31, 2009
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Twilight Zone".
Because world knowledge is doubling every fortnight (actually I'm not sure of the time unit but I'm pretty sure it is small) we seem to be abdicating our responsibility to manage said knowledge and the implications of what it means.
COMPUTERS ushered in this knowledge era but I sense they are not up to the task of managing it. Unfortunately, a new cult of "modelers" have ascended and the "rest of us" out of ignorance or laziness have handed them the controls.
Consider that the most powerful supercomputers in the world still can't interpret a facial expression or the meaning conveyed by the use of inflection in a comment.
OK, if your with me on that then ask why we don't approve drugs with computer models but instead insist of extensive clinical trials.
The entire premise for the CO2 emission hyseria - melting ice caps, tipping point, famine, pestilence, rising seas, hurricnes, tornados, etc is based on computer models. Does any of this ring familiar ... "and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge."
I thought this quote form the article in the American Thinker puts it neatly.
Describing the compounded inaccuracies of these Johnny-come-lately modelers who would rather be funded than scientifically astute, Dr. Tim Ball, a former climate scientist at the University of Winnipeg sardonically clarifies: "The analogy that I use is that my car is not running that well, so I'm going to ignore the engine (which is the sun) and I'm going to ignore the transmission (which is the water vapor) and I'm going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel (which is the Human produced CO2) ... the science is that bad!"
Americans, of all people, should recognize how bizarre and dangerous it is to fawn over professional politicians.
Monday, March 23, 2009
They spotlighted a few key charts which I highly recommend you check out.
The truth is coming out but it is a race to the finish line for Obama and the left to achieve their tax and control agenda using Cap n Trade before the Citizenry catch on.
Here is their summary paragraph:
Due to the efforts of Heartland and others, the public is beginning to catch on to the cosmic scam that Al Gore, James Hansen and others--mostly not scientists--have been perpetrating. Meanwhile, the Obama administration, seemingly determined to inflict the maximum possible damage on the economy in the shortest time, is trying to ram a cap-and-trade carbon tax through Congress before opposition can be mobilized. It's easier to do that, of course, when you know that Congressmen won't read the statute before they vote on it. So our only hope is an informed citizenry
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I'm stupefied to find that some people are defending the constitutionality of Nancy Pelosi's discriminatory, confiscatory and retroactive tax on people who receive bonus income from companies that got TARP money. I would have considered it a bright line rule that the government can't identify a class of unpopular people and impose a special tax on them. What's next? A 100% income tax on registered Republicans, retroactive to last year? If Pelosi's bill passes muster, why not?
One theory, presumably, is that since the government is contributing TARP money it can put whatever strings it wants on that money. (Including, I guess, strings imposed after the fact that would deprive employees of agreed-upon consideration for work they've already performed.) But that theory has been rejected in a variety of contexts. The government cannot condition its spending on a relinquishment of constitutional rights. Here's a thought experiment: how about putting a condition (retroactively, of course) on TARP money that says no employee of any bank that receives such money (or his spouse) can get an abortion? Would Nancy Pelosi think that's constitutional?
Wells Fargo didn't want any TARP money, but the government forced it to take more than $5 billion worth, so Wells Fargo employees who receive bonuses would be subject to Pelosi's proposed tax. Say you're a teller at a Wells Fargo branch in Minnesota and you're married to a lawyer who makes $250,000 this year. You get a $10,000 bonus for your good work during 2008. The government steals it all (90 percent federal plus 8.5 percent state plus, unless it's included in the 90 percent, 3 percent Medicare). That is simply insane.
If the Pelosi bill is actually enacted into law (which I still think is doubtful) and upheld by the courts, there is no limit to the arbitrary power of Congress. In that event, we have no property rights and there is no Constitution--no equal protection clause, no due process clause, no impairment of contracts clause, no bill of attainder/ex post facto law clause. Instead, we are living in a majoritarian tyranny. As I explained here, there is nothing wrong with the AIG bonuses and no reason why they should be repaid. But even if you think it was wrong for AIG to pay them, Pelosi's proposed confiscatory tax--total taxes would exceed 100 percent in some jurisdictions--is an outrage. If Congress can appease a howling mob of demagogues by enacting discriminatory tax legislation against a group of people who are, for the moment, politically unpopular, even though the vast majority of them have nothing to do with the supposed problems that have given rise to popular outcry--imagine, say, Congress enacting a surtax on the incomes of all homosexuals in response to a notorious case of homosexual molestation--then the idea that the Constitution affords us any sort of protection against arbitrary government power is an illusion.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
You may ask: "Why would someone do this?"
The answer: Because they can, no downside risk for the Plaintiff
Examiner Editorial: Abusive lawsuits: Suing America into ruin
Examiner Staff Writer 3/19/09 To save jobs, stop abusive lawsuits. That was the gist of the timely message Monday at a hearing on legal reform sponsored by the Senate Republican Conference.
The hearing’s biggest emotional punch was delivered by Crystal Chodes of Rancho Cordova, who in May of 2006 worked for Basketball Town, a special-events sports facility serving as many as 100,000 families. When one family scheduled a birthday party for the facility’s upper floor, the wheelchair-bound uncle of an invited friend could not attend. Basketball Town offered to move the party downstairs, and the facility was fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The uncle still sued, and, Chodes said, “The cost of defending the lawsuit ultimately became more than we could bear. After about a year of fighting the lawsuit, we were forced to settle and to close our doors forever.”
Some 100,000 families lost a valued facility, 12 employees were forced out of jobs and a small, family-owned pizzeria inside the facility also shut its doors at the loss of the family’s life savings because of an abusive lawsuit that in a reasonable world would flunk the common-sense test.
One of Chodes’ co-panelists was Philip Howard, author of “The Death of Common Sense.” Howard has a new book out called “Life Without Lawyers.” His biggest recommendation: Give judges the authority to define the limits of reasonableness in cases like that of Basketball Town. He said the alternative of more litigation in a bad economy is the equivalent of a dog biting its own wounds.
Panelist Ted Frank of the American Enterprise Institute said, “The arbitrary and random nature of the American [lawsuit] system amounts, by cautious estimates, to over $400 billion a year in dead-weight loss to wages.” By contrast, orthopedic surgeon David Teuscher, a Desert Storm veteran, told how doctors are literally flooding into the state as a result of a series of lawsuit reforms Texas adopted in 1995. Putting reasonable limits on lawsuits, he said, is working for jobs, its working for small business and its working for health care. Teuscher’s U.S. senator, former Texas Supreme Court Justice John Cornyn, summed it up nicely: America cannot sue itself back into prosperity. We can, however, sue America into ruin.
As time has gone by I realize I am witness to a classic dramatic story unfolding. We are in the tail end of the "Falling Action" phase and rapidly approaching the "Denouement". You got to hand it to Gore. the 95-0 smack down was pretty dramatic; follow that with a squeaker loss in the 2000 election and whoa Nellie we got a twice scorned and really pissed off Protagonist. That 2000 election has my vote for the "Climax" of the story.
I love a good story so putting the AGW in this light helps me deal with it, albeit the solace I get is small compared to the eventual pain we will soon realize when we enter the "Denouement" phase of this story when our most competent leadership passes "Cap n Trade". Alas I have already cast this story as "Comedy" a favorable outcome for the protagonist.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Read the whole thing
Monday, March 16, 2009
A teaser quote below but I recommend you read the post and check out the Coyote yourself.
Interestingly, most Conservatives would say that they agree with this proposition, that rights flow from our humanity and not from the government. They would also generally oppose government licensing of all sorts of activities. But here we have a case where conservatives are arguing that not only some limited commerce rights, but the full package of civil rights, are lost without a certain piece of paper from the government.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
It isn't just the bursting of a bubble like the dot com collapse of 2000. It is a sort of neutron bomb effect, in which the physical means of production--buildings, fields, factories--are still standing, but the living heart of the economy, confidence in the future, has been wounded if not killed. I don't think that confidence (or, as Bill says, trust) will return any time soon.
The entire post: Worth the time - read it.
The current recession has a number of features that seem to me to make it considerably more worrisome than those in the past. As your second chart shows, it is, albeit by only a slight margin, the most significant contraction in GDP in over 50 years. But that is only the beginning. The Dow has lost 53% of its value in just 18 months, wiping out trillions in wealth -- indeed, wiping out every bit of investors' gains for over the last 12 years. This is at precisely the time when those investors -- probably mostly people in their fifties, although I have no way of proving that -- are trying to figure out how to fund their retirement. The drastic reduction of the value of their holdings, and the consequent scaling back or elimination of stock dividends, has made it increasingly likely that these people will be thrown on the mercy of the government. But one way or another, the recession's effect on stocks and stock dividends (and to a lesser though significant extent on the value of housing) has beaten down personal wealth to an extent unknown in my lifetime.Yet more worrisome is the qualitative effect of the recession. Lehman Brothers collapsed months ago. Wachovia followed suit. Citi and Bank of America are on life support. GE, GM and Alcoa -- all industry giants -- are in imminent danger of bankruptcy. There is a realistic question whether the financial system as we have known it will survive at all. That was not the case in other post-War recessions. It was only the case during the Great Depression.Our ability to recover is also open to question in ways different and more troubling than in the post-War past. Post-War America had a degree of toughness that has since been lost at the mall and in the spa. It knew privation and could live with it. As a relative matter, it believed in saving rather than borrowing. It believed in producing rather than consuming. It was not a nation of the "You deserve a break today," victim-centered, bail-me-out culture that dominates now. In other words, it was a nation far better prepared to tolerate the painful steps necessary to long term recovery, as opposed to the next (and the next and the next) stimulus check paid for with money we don't have and will never have, all to produce a fleeting and mostly illusory stop to the pain.Finally, our ability to bail our way out of this recession is extremely limited, because, even if they worked and could be paid for, bailouts, and government spending generally, fail to address the fundamental problem at the heart of our difficulties. The fundamental problem is not liquidity or even solvency. It is trust -- or more correctly, the lack of trust -- that has spawned the breakdown in the credit markets. The lack of trust cannot be remedied with money. It can only remedied with that which creates trust, to wit, honesty. But honesty is an obsolete and orphaned virtue in today's landscape. The evidence of this is so varied and widespread that it's hard to state it in an organized or lucid way. The current President of the United States lies almost every day about one thing and the next (earmarks, transparency, accountability, etc.). For this he is hailed as a great orator. The government routinely presents budgets and budget forecasts that are dishonest to the point of comedy. Corporate leaders routinely lie to their stockholders. Ten years ago, the President of the United States indignantly lied about an illicit affair; the reaction was (1) his approval rating went up, and (2) we were told, five minutes after the truth was extracted from him, that it was time to "move on," which admonition we largely and casually obeyed. The sub-prime loans that underlie the current near-collapse of the financial system were openly known on Wall Street as "liar loans." This did not stop brokers and appraisers from building on the deceit by lying about what those loans were worth, and concealing their dishonesty by bundling the loans in exotic packages so complex that no one could detect the lying. And on and on.A healthy economy cannot be built on a sick culture. More specifically, transactions that depend on trust -- meaning most of them -- cannot exist where the basis for trusting is as thoroughly eroded as it is now. This is not the same country that fought its way through recessions of the past. We have tossed aside, as excessively rigid and insufficiently compassionate, the discipline that saw us through them. There will be a price to be paid for this, and we have only just begun to pay it.
I agree with much of what Bill says, although I'm not especially alarmed (except as a shareholder) by the possible collapse of some of our corporate icons. In every era, the seemingly impregnable corporate giants of the day are on their way to oblivion.
I do think it is easy to forget what a disaster the recession/stagflation of the late 70s and early 80s was. That era was, among other things, bedeviled by inflation, an evil which we have been spared in the current crisis, although the Obama administration has pretty much guaranteed that it will return some time in the next couple of years. That period, unlike this one, was also marked by a sense of relative decline in the United States. Actually, it wasn't just a sense, it was a reality; we were losing the Cold War. Many argued that the U.S. needed to adopt a more statist economic system like our supposedly more successful rivals in Japan and Germany. No one makes that argument anymore, but (somewhat ironically) we're doing it anyway.
But the destruction of trillions of dollars in wealth that we have witnessed over the last six months is unique in modern history. It isn't just the bursting of a bubble like the dot com collapse of 2000. It is a sort of neutron bomb effect, in which the physical means of production--buildings, fields, factories--are still standing, but the living heart of the economy, confidence in the future, has been wounded if not killed. I don't think that confidence (or, as Bill says, trust) will return any time soon.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The same politicians who have been talking about a need for "affordable housing" for years are now suddenly alarmed that home prices are falling. How can housing become more affordable unless prices fall?
The political meaning of "affordable housing" is housing that is made more affordable by politicians intervening to create government subsidies, rent control or other gimmicks for which politicians can take credit.
Affordable housing produced by market forces provides no benefit to politicians and has no attraction for them
I came back to this post to add a comment from a reader I missed from the link I origianlly found Sowell's post. I think the commentary associated with Blogs is a significant "value add" . The notion that Blogging is an extended converstion is strengthened by this. Please add your thoughts by clicking the comments belwo each post.
Pretty good article by Sowell. It does, however, illustrate one of the pitfalls that conservatives and libertarians encounter when trying to get their message out. He is, of course, spot on when he points out that bailing out one set of people in order to keep them in houses comes precisely at the expense of another set who would have the same homes (now “affordable housing”), were prices allowed to fall naturally. But he can’t resist taking little digs at the former group, saying we “indulge” their living “high on the hog,” and referring to their “bad decisions” in the title of the piece.
This may all be true, but it is the type of rhetoric that fills leftists with outward indignation and inward glee. They will spin this article and cherry-pick quotes to make it sound like Dr. Sowell is a heartless bastard who blames poor victims for their own misfortunes. Worse still, members of the less-engaged public are likely to be receptive to this one-sided depiction.
In this case, it is abundantly clear that the aid rendered to one unfortunate group that we would like to help comes directly at the expense of another equal-sized and perhaps even more deserving group. This is a general principle of government action, but usually benefits are concentrated and costs are diffused in a manner that obscures the equal (or greater) harm incurred. Better to draw attention to the zero-sum nature of intervention in this teaching moment rather than cast aspersions on the unfortunate and play into the “cold greedy incompassionate market fundamentalist” rhetoric
Follow this link to the NY Times. Gives you map of US. Select the home country and it gives you a bubble map proportional to the number of immigrants from those countries and shows where they have settled. Has zoom features and specific stats for area you move cursor.
Save Mexico to last or after you have checked other countries.
Please share this with your friends and collegues before we all get led over the cliff.
Source: Florida State University from this link
Thursday, March 12, 2009
See entire article here
The growing power of government and the arrogance of so many in it pose grave risk to us all. Arrogant people do whatever they want, unconstrained by the caution that ordinary people would tend toward when dealing with matters of overwhelming importance. Thus they stand before the cameras for all of us to see, radiating such obvious self-satisfaction after rushing through trillions in debt to crush generations to come, despite knowing full well they haven’t a clue what is actually changed by their actions. At their most dangerous, they sit in full-throated judgment of people, events, and matters in which they have precious little experience or knowledge, then pass with great certitude sweeping laws, regulations, and restrictions with no apparent concern for their own limitations to act wisely. The average person would both know better than to take risks so blindly and have the sense to go slow and rely on better qualified judgment
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I've inserted the list below. Go to this source for some excellent analysis that challenges each item on the list and gives you more insight. The assumption by our political leaders is all they have to do is keep repeating an assertion and we will take it as the truth. Are you feeling manipulated yet? Why don't Katie, Charlie , and Brian give us this analysis? They will all be in Europe next week with Obama "... adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza. " Link for that event
George Bernard Shaw warned “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” The major overhaul of American health care pursued by President Obama and his supporters is based on many false premises and is excessive and likely to do more harm than good. Tuning up and improvements already always dynamically occurs. Instead, ObamaCare is aimed at dramatically changing one-sixth of the US economy in ways that are untested or tested and found wanting, primarily involving huge increases in government direction of health care.
The details of ObamaCare are largely being left to Congress, the same body that stuffs the federal budget with earmarks, waste, and other programs that are not requested. ObamaCare is premised on claims for drastic changes in health care and major increases in government programs being necessary. Those claims are largely specious.
Below, the top ten specious premises for ObamaCare are discussed:
- 1. Comparing US Health Care To Other Developed Countries
- 2. US Health Care Spending Is More Than We Can Afford
- 3. Reform Overhaul Will Yield Major Savings
- 4. Increased Evidence-Based Medicine And Health Information Technology Will Significantly Improve Care and Reduce Costs
- 5. Present Administrative Costs And Insurer Profits Are Too High
- 6. US Consumer Dissatisfaction Requires Drastic Health Care Changes
- 7. Health Care Costs Are So High They Are A Major Cause Of Personal Bankruptcy
- 8. The Number Of Uninsured Is So Large That Drastic Health Care Changes Are Necessary
- 9. More Preventive Care Will Better Serve Consumers And Save Costs
- 10. Health Care Consumers Are Being Served By Drastic Health Care Changes
Imagine what the restraint on government spending will be when we are not in a recession. Ponder that one.
This is a excellent summary. Covers the essential points.
It is relatively short so grab a cup a joe and read.
Global warming "bait-and-switch"
Scientific "consensus" and other shady sales tactics promote alarmist theories
Fred Schwindel’s TV City ad promises 40" flat screen televisions for $200. You rush to his store, to learn he’s "fresh out" – but has some 42" models for $1000.
That’s "bait-and-switch," and Fred could be prosecuted for consumer fraud.
In the political arena, however, bait-and-switch is often rewarded, not punished – especially in the case of global warming alarmism. Instead of fines or jail time, politicos get committee chairs, presidencies, speaking fees and Nobel Prizes. Scientists and bureaucrats receive paychecks, research grants and travel stipends for Bali. Activists get secretive government payments for "public education" campaigns. Companies get government contracts, subsidies and seats at the bargaining table. And all are lionized or canonized for supporting Climageddon theories and policies.
Global warming bait-and-switch starts with simple statements that few would contest – then shifts seamlessly to claims that are hotly disputed and supported by little or no evidence.
The bait: Global warming is real. The switch: Global warming is intensifying and threatens agriculture, human civilization and the fabric of life everywhere on earth.
Bait: 99% of scientists agree on the presence of human-caused global warming. Switch: The debate is over. Humans are the primary cause of temperature increases.
Bait: Atmospheric carbon dioxide from human activities is increasing. Switch: CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas and is reaching unprecedented and dangerous levels.
Bait: Earth warmed during the twentieth century, as CO2 levels increased. Switch: Runaway warming is increasing hurricanes, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and causing species extinction.
Bait: Even little things like reducing personal energy consumption help the environment. Switch: We can stop climate change by switching to wind and solar energy.
The perpetrators of these B/S schemes may never be chastened or prosecuted. However, as in the case of consumer fraud, an informed public is less likely to get fleeced.
President Obama and congressional Democrats support a $650 billion carbon cap-and-trade tax on every household, business and factory in America. If they introduce legislation amid this recession, voters, energy consumers and more responsible legislators should keep important facts in mind.
Global warming (aka climate change) has been "real" since time began. Witness the Ice Ages, interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period (950-1350), Little Ice Age (1400-1850), Anesazi drought, Dust Bowl, and conversion of verdant river valleys into the Sahara Desert some 4,000 years ago.
No one yet knows what solar energy fluctuations, planetary orbit shifts, recurrent oscillations in ocean currents, cloud cover variation and other natural forces combined to cause these potent climatic changes. But there is no evidence that they have suddenly been displaced by human CO2 emissions.
Growing numbers of scientists say the climate change debate is far from over, and global warming was never a crisis. Over 650 certified meteorologists and climate scientists are on a US Senate compilation of climate cataclysm skeptics – and 32,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, saying they dispute claims that humans are causing climate change, and the changes will be disastrous.
Many of them are meeting in New York March 8-10, at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. They may not drive the final nails into the coffin of climate hysteria, but their findings and analyses underscore the lack of evidence for scary "forecasts" that are routinely generated by woefully inadequate computer models and self-interested researchers, activists and politicians. They will point out
that planetary temperatures are no longer rising, hurricanes are not increasing in number or intensity, ice caps are not disappearing, and moderate temperature and CO2 increases benefit plant growth.
The UN’s Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change claims to be the world’s "most authoritative body" on the subject. However, only "something on the order of 20%" of the panel’s scientists "have some dealing with climate," admits a senior member. Even the IPCC chairman is an economist, not a scientist.
Worse, says atmospheric scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, the IPCC insists that human carbon dioxide emissions drive global warming. It has "never seriously investigated" the possibility that climate change might be natural. The IPCC sees only what it is looking for; it sees nothing it is not looking for.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may have "soared" from 280 ppm to 385 ppm over the last century. But this represents an almost trivial rise from 0.03% of the atmosphere to 0.04% – the equivalent of an increase from 3 cents to 4 out of $100, or from 1.08 inches to 1.44 inches on a football field. The dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, which nature controls via evaporation and precipitation.
Planetary temperatures may have increased during the last century, as CO2 levels increased. But not in a straight line. They rose 1900-1940 (1934 was the century’s warmest year), fell 1940-1975, rose again 1975-1998, then stabilized and even declined slightly from 1998 to 2008.
New York, Holland and Bangladesh might be inundated by a 49-foot rise in sea level, if the entire West Antarctic ice sheet melted. But that would require a global temperature spike far greater than even Al Gore has prophesied. The average temperature for the peninsula’s two-month summer is barely 36 F; in the winter, temperatures are below minus 50.
Unplugging unused appliances and switching to CFL bulbs may help jet-setting Hollywood celebrities feel better. But they will not stabilize Earth’s climate. Even grounding Al Gore and John Travolta’s private jets, scrapping every US automobile, mothballing America’s coal-fired power plants, and slashing US CO2 emissions by 80% (back to 1905 levels), as President Obama wants to do, will have little effect.
Even the IPCC recognizes that perfect compliance with the Kyoto Protocol by every country would reduce global temperature increases by only 0.2 degrees by 2050 (assuming CO2 does drive global warming). But Europe has put its greenhouse gas reduction programs on hold. Australia is poised to reject cap-and-trade plans. China and India are building new coal-fired power plants every week.
Nearly 85% of US energy is hydrocarbon based, whereas wind turbines currently provide 0.5% and generate electricity only 25% of the time. Even absent the deepening recession, taxing and penalizing hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions will drive up energy costs and extinguish far more jobs than can possibly be created via government-subsidized renewable energy and green-collar job initiatives. The impacts on poor families, economic civil rights, living standards and civil liberties would be severe.
Not surprisingly, the more people understand these facts, the worse the hysteria gets. Al Gore: Soaring global temperatures will "bring human civilization to a screeching halt." Energy Secretary Stephen Chu: "We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California." NOAA scientist Susan Solomon: "In ten years the oceans will be toxic, and all life in them will die." NASA astronomer James Hansen: "Death trains" are carrying poisonous fuel to "coal-fired factories of death."
Hollywood horror movie writers couldn’t possibly top this stuff.
So when Congress and the President call for more economic pain through energy restrictions and cap-and-trade bills, demand solid evidence for catastrophic warming and human causation. Don’t accept worthless computer models and worst-case scenarios. And don’t be conned by bait-and-switch tactics.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – black death
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
1. Since investors and the market in general hate uncertainty, have a vast array of conflicting ad hoc policy decisions so as to create uncertainty everywhere.
2. Transfer money from those who create sustainable jobs to those who create unsustainable jobs, e.g., the government
3. Promise to invest money in things that will enhance the country’s infrastructure, such as roads and internet access, but then practice bait and switch on a breathtaking scale, so the effort is swamped with pork for pet projects dear to Democrats
4. A sufficiently generous larding of pork can help ensure the destruction of bi-partisanship, so squandering the initial good will is definitely a very good move. After all, it’s hard to get things done when you’ve alienated people whose help you need.
5. Undermine the ability of those who create jobs by increasing their taxes so there’s less money available for investment.
6. While you’re at it, offer to spread the income around by raising taxes, in the process, making it clear to those who work hard, invest in their educations, take risks, save, and delay gratification that they will see their money go to those who do not do these things.
7. Encourage class warfare. Divide the populace and destroy cooperation, thus encouraging backlash and creating paralyzing polarization.
8. Talk up protectionism, since the beggar-thy-neighbor approach has such a long and vigorous history of encouraging depression.
9. Scare people with talk of economic catastrophe. You can backpedal later, but the initial good work of helping people lose confidence should have a lasting impact.
10. Print money on a scale that will insure inflation in the future. Print it on a scale that will make people not want to hold U.S. debt without staggering interest on that debt, if they’re willing to hold U.S. government debt at all.
11. Instead of allowing hopeless institutions to go bankrupt, pour vast amounts of money into them, prolonging the pain and running up the cost while only delaying the inevitable.
12. Burden future generations with unprecedented amounts of debt so that the eocnomy you ruined today stays ruined tomorrow.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Why everyone believes there is a problem:
people sign on to be alarmed because it's socially responsible ... (and because it makes them feel good). But once they get to the price tag, once they are asked to do something about it, like pay trillions of dollars, they begin to re-think.
Who are the enablers in spreading the fear:
I've never seen anything quite like this in my now 40 years in
Washington. I've never seen anything like the enlistment of the mainstream media in a political crusade --
What's different now is that we have a media addicted to hysteria
Why the current governing class embraces the problem:
But what it also always offers, whether it is global cooling or global warming, is a rationale for the government to radically increase its supervision of our life and our choices. Whether the globe is cooling, whether it's warming, the government's going to be the winner and the governing class will be the winner.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I love liberals, Roger…as I suspect you do. Many of them surround my daily life. But I despise leftists. A liberal is ruled by compassion, a leftist by deceit.
A liberal wants to try a different approach, a leftist wants to replace the system.
A liberal believes in fair play and honest disagreement, a leftist believes in hiding the truth and crushing dissent.
A liberal believes you may have a point, a leftist believes there are no points other than his.
A liberal says this country is great, but can be greater through dialogue. A leftist believes some other country is great and this country makes him puke.
A liberal wants equality for all persons regardless of gender, color or creed, a leftist wants class and racial warfare.
A liberal wants to take the poor and give them a chance to be rich, a leftist wants to take the rich and make them poor.
Here is where my overlay given today’s facts needs closest examination. Are we in the midst of a compassionate liberal agenda or does it contain the venom and windpipe crushingbrutality of a cramdown of leftism? Does it gain height by stepping on the necks of principled dissenters? Does it seek elevation via the digging of trenches for those on the wrong side of class warfare? Does it seek racial warfare through name calling (cowards)? Does it seek to attack the wealthy and make them poor…in order to gain parity, but not equality? Does it seek to mask the truth…suggesting that newly created problems are “inherited”?
And if it does these things, does it suggest that the implementation of this new system is not classic liberalism, but entrenched leftism? I leave that to others to decide, but in forecasting the differences…I certainly wanted to see how this played out.
The liberals are gone, Roger. The leftists have consumed them. I love the liberals, I despise the leftists. What Christopher cannot see…is the leftist magicians on stage, not with their trinkets hidden up their sleeves…but dangling from them in plain view…and daring us to shout out what we see….because, if we do…they will scream that we are racist and paranoid and not nuanced enough to appreciate the trick they are about to pull.
And if a brilliant and informed man like Christopher Buckley can be taken in by the sleight of hand, what possible chance does that leave for those who stand to vote the difference in this election? I’m afraid this magician’s show will make many of our fondest liberties disappear. For that, we will all pay the price of admission.
It's ofter cited as an example of the "Law of unintended consequesnces"
Consider what the hysteria associated with co2 is spawning...
DÜSSELDORF, Germany, Feb 27 (Tierramérica) - The prestigious German oceanography ship Polarstern is conducting a major experiment of seeding the oceans with iron in order to absorb carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse-effect gas.
Note the word "prestigious". Gimme a break!! Are we going mad.
On one hand we have the greens banning the beneficial use of DDT because it affects certain bird eggs with the unintended consequence of millions of malaria related deaths worldwide. We tie up projects that emits anything or disturbs natural habitats for years with endless environmental impact assessments and or lawsuits.
On the OTHER HAND, we plunge into dumping mountains of elementaal iron into the oceans because ...
Not to worry though, they know what they're doing. They're "prestigious"!!!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Today the House Committee on the Budget held a hearing at which Peter Orszag, Director of OMB, testified. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is the ranking Republican on the committee. His opening comments on the budget were, I thought, worth reproducing:
RYAN: Thank you, Chairman, and thank you for this hearing. I look forward to having a number of these hearings on this budget. What a week we just had last week. Let's go through it for a second. On Monday, we had the Fiscal Responsibility Summit. On Tuesday, we witnessed a very eloquent, ambitious and even inspiring speech by the president of the United States echoing those themes of fiscal responsibility. Then on Wednesday, Congress passed a bloated $410 billion spending bill with 9,000 earmarks. And on Thursday, we received the mother of all budgets, a truly sweeping transformation of the federal government, the likes of which we have not seen since the New Deal.
Finally, on Saturday, the president threw down the gauntlet. Rather than echoing the theme of changing the tone in Washington or bringing people together to forge a bipartisan compromise, he essentially said, "You're either with me or you're against me." He claimed opponents of this transformative budget are quote, "Tools of special interest and the powerful."
This is not changing the tone of Washington or forging a compromise. This is staking out an ideological conquest. It's playing the oldest political trick in the book, which is if someone disagrees with you impugn their motives. Don't debate the facts. Destroy their credibility and win the argument by default.
This power play strikes me as an incredible gamble with the U.S. economy and with those principles that built this country. Now the facts surrounding this budget are disturbing. It proposes to bring the size of our government to its largest level ever since World War II. It doubles the national debt in eight years. During a recession, it seeks to impose a $1.4 trillion tax in our economy on work, on savings, investment, energy, on manufacturing.
Even with the rosiest of economics assumptions, this budget never even comes close to achieving a balanced budget. During the time we have insolvency that goes permanently for Medicare and Social Security.
But what's most distressing about this budget is that it takes a decidedly ideological turn away from the principles that built this country and built this economy for the type of governing system we see in Europe that provides a kind of economic and social stagnation we have not seen here in America.
And I was asked this past weekend: What can Republicans do about this? Candidly, Republicans, we don't have the votes to really do anything about this. So I guess the question will become this year: Will all Democrats march in lock step with this vision, with this type of transformation?
Our goal, our role, our job, in the minority, is to give the American people the facts, is give the American people the truth, is to give the American people a good vigorous and civilized debate over this budget and to offer them a real choice and alternative, how we would do things differently and that is exactly what we intend to do while we have this vigorous debate and while we ask the tough questions.
The following 10 min video is amazing. From Climate Skeptic Blog. It takes you through an explanation of the current climate modelling in simple to understand terms. It points out the key assumption baked into the model that result in predictions of "catastrophic temperature rise "with increases of carbon dioxide and explains the so called "tipping point" , once reached it is too late for mankind, which Gore et al are always claiming is "just 5 years ahead"
You owe it to yourselves to watch this video carefully.
Whether you believe in man made global warming or not you cannot watch this video and still say "the science is settled" or that "the debate is over".
Also, keep in mind that because the politicians think these guys are the smartest guys in the room they are pouring $B into this. Talk about incentive to predict disastor.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Money (no pun intended) quote:
We are going to try to figure out how to make our income $249,999.00," she said.
"We have to find a way out where we can make just what we need to just under the line so we can benefit from Obama's tax plan," she added. "Why kill yourself working if you're going to give it all away to people who aren't working as hard?"
You know they will succeed. The idiots in Washington may have the power to tax but they're hopelessly outmatched compared to the brain power behind dodging taxes. Also, keep in mind that many of them will just cheat so they are safe unless of course they want to be on Obama's cabinet.
- It IS A TAX
- The cost will be passed on to the consumer
- STEALTH - Congress's way of passing a tax without the unwashed (that's you & me) noticing . Taxes are unpopular you know
- Industries like Duke energy have bought in because there are incentives for them baked into the plan. Also, they can pass on the cost with the blessing of congress
- The $540 B of expected tax revenue will be managed (I'm sure very efficiently) from Washington with the likes of Pelosi and Reid deciding where it gets spent outside the appropriations process.
- ENRON style brokers are greedily licking their chops at the prospects of dealing the buys/sells of the emission credits. (their commissions and bonuses also paid by you). Is their anything that can't be reduced to a commodity for these people. They will start out as relatively easy to identify credits to emit then they will be bundled for resale on a secondary market to spread the risk, then they will...HOLY COW!!
- Others lurking behind the scenes stand to make big profits selling offsets, e.g. I build a factory in Arizona and install solar panels so I can sell my credits to you in sunless Anchorage so you can use coal. Oh, by the way I would have used solar in Arizona anyway because it pays there. I'm no fool, someone will pay me money to do something I was already going to do!! Nice!! If I don't use my land to raise cattle can I get some $ for the methane I would emit?
- Offsets are an illusion created to offset the guilt of Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio for their multiple mansions and private jets.
- Economist point out that a direct tax is much more efficient because it does not require all the overhead to manage and manipulate. Congress won't do the efficient thing because it is too obvious even to the American Idol audience that it is a tax.
Much more, read the whole thing.
Please don't take this lying down. Let your representatives know you are aware of what this is - A TAX.
Oh, I almost forgot. Lost in all this rhetoric is the simple fact that -
- The Globe is not warming - Read this, from George Will in the WAPO
- Even if it warming it not significantly affected by our carbon emissions
- US Cap & Trade will not reduce emissions worldwide because China, India, Russia, Japan, et al have all said they will not participate.
- Kyoto and the EU's effort at Cap n Trade was an abject failure. I achieved no reduction in emissions at an enormous cost.