Monday, January 30, 2012

Facts be damned, Mother Earth must be saved!

We are engaged in an global struggle to save the earth, or destroy it, depending upon whom you believe.

The Climate Change true believers have viewed this conflict as an epic battle against polluters and greedy corporations in defense of Gaea, Mother Earth.  It has become a religion, and one must choose sides in order to be 'saved'.

Over the past several years it has been oh-so-fashionable to submit to the religion of Global Warming.  It has recently become trendy to smear those who express skepticism as 'deniers', an apparent effort to marginalize rather than respond to these critics.

Well, now Mother Earth has finally declared sides, and it is not good new for the environmentalists: 

Global Temperatures have not increased in 15 years:

Global Temps Soar.... or not.

(Daily Mail) — The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

This means that despite massive increases in CO2 in the atmosphere, global temperatures are not behaving as the AGW models predict.   End of discussion.  AGW is a fraud.

Even the enviro-whackos know this is end of the line:

‘We’re now well into the second decade of the (cooling),’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.

It is time for this charade to end.  It is abundantly clear that there is no validity to this theory. Or as one of my more scientifically literate pals like to phrase it, 'there is no science behind that'.

Funny, though, the media seems to have been busy on the day that this study was released.  No US news services thought that this was worthy of notice.

I expect that this report will be ignored, and the next 'wierd' weather event will be touted as proof positive that AGW is real.

They will then follow these wild stories with demands that the 'deniers' repent and accept the one true god of Global warming.

This is only possible because 'global warming science' is not science at all. It is a religion masquerading as science.  The zealots who are pushing it are actually power hungry leftists posing as concerned environmentalists.  Green on the outside, Red on the inside. 

Facts be damned, Mother Earth must be saved!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Headlines Lie

One of the ways in which the media displays its biases is in the headlines that they splash across the news.

Often you will find that the headline and the article don't seem to be related, or that the headline gives a very different impression of events than that which is related in the story.

Here is an example.  The headline is:
Cops: Man, 65, kills teen who knocks him off bicycle

This give the impression that some guy killed a teenage who knocked him off his bike, as if some random bump induced a fit of gun rage that left an innocent teen dead.

The actual facts are that three 15-16 year olds attempted to mug an elderly man, who drew his gun and shot two of them, killing one.

The assault victim was release by the police with no charges against him.  From this we can conclude that it was an act of self defense and that he possessed the firearm legally.  

49 states permit concealed carry of firearms

The reality here is that an attempt mugging was thwarted by a concealed carry firearm.  Or worse, for all we know the teens intended to beat or kill the old man.

The headline should have read: 
Man, 65, thwarts assault; kills teen in self-defense

The media go to great length to hide the facts or mislead you about what is actually happening in the world.  Don't believe everything you read.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lies, Damned Lies, and the SOTU Address

President Obama really hit some new lows with his 2012 State of the Union Address.

Not only was it  the lowest rated of his presidency, down 12 percent from last year’s speech, but event the AP could not let slide some of the major lies uttered during his speech.  The 'fact check' article basically called him a liar.

Some of the statements are pure drivel.

Obama said "We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000".

What the heck does this mean?  Not much, if you break down the numbers.  Let's assume the class has 25 students and they work for 40 years. This means that they experience an extra $250 in annual income due to this supposed 'good teacher'.   How is it possible to calculate this or even notice it in peoples incomes? It is absurd to think that a study could track all the variables that affect lifetime incomes and pull out a correlation that is measured at .5 percent.  (That's one half of one percent)  Obama takes this very dubious number and then multiplies it over an entire lifetime to be able to present this idiotic factoid.

Obama said: "I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration.  That’s why my administration has put more boots on the border than ever before.  That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office. "

The fact is that illegal border crossings are highly correlated to the health of the economy.  When there are lots of jobs here we get a lot of illegals looking to enter. When the economy is in the dumpster, we get fewer illegal crossings.  So what Obama is really saying is that he has damaged the economy so severely that even Mexicans don't want to move here anymore.

Obama said: "I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men. "

This is truly an amazing statement in terms of pure ignorance and mendacity.  Insurance is subject to the terms of the contract you signed. The implication here is that insurance companies were somehow running amok, not living up to the terms of the contracts.   Then he lumps in the idea that women are charged differently than men as if the evil insurance companies are screwing women.  The fact is that women often get charged LOWER rates than men.   For identical life insurance policies, women pay 1/3 less than a man.  Is Obama really advocating that insurance companies raise rates on women?

Full text of the address is here:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pipeline Pipe Dreams

President Obama has blocked the construction of Keystone XL, the pipeline that will carry Canadian crude oil to refiners in Texas and Oklahoma.  In doing so he claimed that the pipeline posed environmental risks that needed further review.

This is a lie.

The pipeline has been subjected to endless review and has been approved at every level of government.  The objections to building it are ridiculous and not connected to reality.

Remember when the Alaska pipeline was being planned?  The enviro-nuts claimed it would destroy the wilderness and devastate the caribou.  Well, caribou herds have increased since that time, and there is no apparent damage despite several spills from the pipeline.   The opponents of the pipeline were wrong. 

And not just slightly wrong.  Completely 180 degrees wrong.

The objections to Keystone make even less sense.  This pipeline will be buried underground, and it will be another one among thousands of existing pipelines.

The US is covered in pipelines that pose zero risk.  Keystone is safe and effective and Obama knows it.

Pipelines are much safer than the alternatives.  Trucking and shipping are more expensive and much more prone to spills and accidents.

This pipeline would bring with it thousands of jobs immediately, and millions of barrels of oil in the long term.  It would decrease our dependence on middle eastern oil, and bolster our economy through lower energy costs. 

This is obviously the right thing to do for America.

Naturally, Obama opposes it.

The rejection of the pipe proves that Obama does not value the things most Americans value.  He values the fight against mythical global warming and creating 'green jobs' more than he values reality and real jobs.  It is likely that the Canadians will now build a pipeline to the west coast, where they will place the oil in tankers bound for China through some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Such a deal.  We get no oil, an increased dependence on the unstable Mideast, and a weakened economy, while the Chinese get cheap oil that will be transported in a riskier manner to be burned in dirtier plants.   Well played, Barack, well played.

This is another reason why Obama is truly the worst President in our history, and likely to be the among the last if things continue at the present rate.

Centrally Planned Failure

If nothing else, the story of the 20th century is the story of the failure of centralized planning.

Everywhere you look, centralized planning has failed.  Whether you call it Industrial Policy or a Five Year Plan the outcomes are clear.  The planners fail. 

The results of the best planned economy fall short of the results of a free-wheeling capitalist economy.

Don't believe that?  How about East Germany and West Germany.  North Korea and South Korea. Western Europe and the US.

And yet, the yen to centrally control economic activity remains strong.

The Obama administration is fully committed to central planning and crony capitalism.

We have seen the results so far with the Solyndra scandal.   $500 million in loans to a company that was already doomed to fail.   No private investor would touch it, and for good reason.  Solyndra's technology was obsolete. It had ZERO chance of survival.  And yet Obama pumped half a billion of taxpayer money into it.   Worse, they did it in a way that made the original investors get all their money back first.   No private loan has EVER been structured this way.  This is a blatant ripoff of the taxpayers, effectively channeling $50 million to Obama's cronies while pissing away the other $500 million.  At this moment the remaining employees at Solyndra are busy filling dumpsters with obsolete raw materials purchased before the company finally collapsed.

Solyndra employees throwing away useless inventory purchased with taxpayer funds

This is not an isolated scenario.  Almost all the loans handed out by Obama for green energy projects have gone bad, most of them before the ink was even dry on the loan.  Add to this the wasted resources on politically directed investment in other areas:

  • GM is building 'green friendly' Volts as fast as they can to make Obama happy.  There is only one problem: the cars are not selling.  Sales are a small fraction of production, and recent recalls of every single Volt will not help sales.  In fact, the news today is that Chevy dealers are refusing to take the Volts that have been allotted to them. This bubble is bursting.

  • Congress bans the incandescent light bulb in favor of CFL's.  But CFL's are expensive, poisonous, and not very effective.  And as so often happens when the politicians try to pick winners and losers, it looks like LED bulbs will eclipse CFL's in the market as a safer and cheaper alternative.   So not only does the government disrupt the marketplace, it fails to pick the real winner. 

  • The government is subsidizing wind power, and wind farms are popping up all over the place.  The problem?  They don't work, they don't reduce oil or gas consumption, and they kill millions of birds. These ugly monuments to  centralized stupidity will dot the landscape for decades to come.

This is a direction that is truly a slippery slope to socialism and the death of American greatness.  We will not survive by abandoning the things that made us great and embracing the cause of others failure.

Obama shows no signs of remorse for having wasted billions.  In fact, he is doubling down:

The $25 million available today comes through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and "will support at least $12.5 million in grant and approximately $48.5 million in guaranteed loan program level awards."

USDA touted this green energy funding as an example of Obama working to "reduce our dependence on foreign oil, combat global warming, and build stronger rural economy." Obama blocked American use of some foreign oil -- piped from Canada -- this week when his State Department recommended that the Keystone XL pipeline not receive a construction permit, pending further environmental impact studies.

If Obama gets re-elected, it will be the end of our experiment with economic liberty, and the final act of our collective suicide.

Newt the Policy Wonk

Policy Wonk-in-Chief

Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina, and has jumped to the top of the polls based on his attacks on the mainstream media and his fellow Republicans.

He might well be the Republican nominee if this trend continues.

And if he is the chosen as the nominee, we will certainly lose to Barack Obama.


Here is a short quote from his South Carolina victory speech:

"One of the key issues is the growing anti-religious bigotry of our elites, and if you go to, my campaign site there’s a 54-page paper there on the balance of power"

Really??  A 54- page paper?!?!  Golly, Newt!!

The vast majority of Americans don't even know basic civics facts like the name of their Congressmen.  Most Americans have never visited any political website, never mind studying the issues and poring through policy papers.  The sad fact is most people get their information from headlines, snippets, and sound bites.

Newt's big inspirational victory message is 'go read my policy paper'.

This is the message of a policy wonk, not a real leader.

Jefferson: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
Roosevelt: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Newt: "Download my 54-page policy paper!"

People would be more likely to go read it if he said 'I have a 54 word policy paper'.

Newt should have said:

One of the defining issues of this election is the growing anti-religious bigotry in this country.  We have the media and the judiciary relentlessly attacking religious freedom.   As an example, we have a judge in Texas threatening to throw people in jail if they pray, or even take a moment of silence during a graduation ceremony.  This has got to stop.  As your President, I will restore the balance of power that the Constitution intended, and protect your fundamental rights from over zealous judges.

This is the kind of 'get the government off my back' message that will appeal to Americans.

This streak of wonkish-ness will sink him in the general election.   You cannot communicate with the average voter through policy papers.

54-page policy papers are like a Star Trek costume.  You might have one, and it might appeal to a small group of nerds.  But no, you don't talk about them in public.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Lesser of a bunch of Lessers...

The Republican Party is in the process of a self-destructive race to see who will be the Party's nominee for President in 2012.

It seems to me that the race it between a bunch of damaged goods candidates that are unlikely to win in the general election.  Let's look at the field:

Mitt Romney: Mitt has tracked at 25% support as others have risen and fallen.  He is telegenic, well spoken, appears to be presidential.  Sadly, he is not a philosophical Republican, nor is he very electable.  As I discussed in another post, he will be outed as a 'weird Mormon' who sacked companies and destroyed the 'little guy'.  And that criticism is coming from fellow republicans.  Most crucially, Romney will not repeal the biggest socialist program created by Obama, thereby dooming us to a future of socialism.

Newt Gingrich:  I wrote a letter to the editor in 1998 outing Newt as a communist and statist.  His recent pronouncements attacking Romney only confirm his ideology as socialist.  Echoing Obama's 'at a certain point you have made enough money' comments, Newt stated that Romney should have made less money if it allowed the companies he bought and sold to stay in business longer.  There is no room in the Republican party for people who attack capitalism and make populist pitches for 'little guy' votes.  Incredibly, Newt Gingrich is running to the LEFT of the moderate Romney.

Rick Perry:  Outwardly a good candidate with his steely good looks and his record as a military pilot and successful governor, Perry has been very disappointing since he has declared.  His debate performances killed his approval ratings, and now he is wading into the populist fever swamps by declaring Romney to be a 'vulture capitalist'.  His record has few problems, most notably his positions on treating illegal aliens as citizens.  His electability is hampered by the fact that he sounds a lot like George Bush, who managed to alienate just about everyone in the country by the time he left office. 

Jon Huntsman:  Huntsman is a Democrat.  Period. End of discussion.  He has a lot of nerve running for president as a Republican, especially now that he said that he hopes the Republicans become 'sane' again.  He is polling lower that Stephen Colbert, and Colbert is not even running.  When your biggest fan is Chris Matthews, it is time to throw in the towel.

Ron Paul:  Ron Paul is a Libertarian.  This makes him excellent on fiscal issues, good on most social issues, and a complete whack job on foreign policy.  His ideas are philosophically grounded, they are just not connected to reality.  The complete abandonment of our allies and our military obligations will come back to haunt us in very short order.  There are people in the world that want to kill us simply because we exist, and pretending otherwise is foolish. 

Rick Santorum:  Rick is the anti-Ron Paul.  Excellent on defense and foreign policy, he is a disaster socially and economically.  He is not a friend of liberty.  He is a catholic missionary, no different than the mullahs of Iran in his desires to use the power of government to enforce his view of religious morality.  He has been a consistent support of big government, and so we cannot expect him to govern any differently than Obama, except in the details.

I am not sure how the Republican party escapes the corner into which we have painted ourselves.  None of our candidates are very strong.  None of them possess a Reagan-like vision that they are clearly articulating, and none of them seems likely to be the next President.

The Virtue of Firing People

Mitt Romney is under fire for saying that he 'likes to fire people'.  In New Hampshire he was discussing health care and said the following:

The Democrats immediately jumped in to criticize him.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday pounced on Mitt Romney’s comment from the previous day about how he likes to “fire people,” saying it demonstrates the Republican candidate’s “insensitivity and callousness.”

“Is there anybody that likes firing people? Mitt Romney had the opportunity to be specific and talk about [how] he would let his insurance company go and switch insurance companies, but he didn’t,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Fox News.

Wassermans accusations are complete and utter lies.  There is no truth to them whatsoever.  She realizes, however, that most people only read the headlines, and what will stick is the mantra that Romney likes to fire people.

This is instructive on several levels:

Context:  Republicans look stupid and mean when you quote them out of context.  Democrats, however, look mean and stupid when you quote them accurately.   Mitt did not say he likes 'firing people'.  He said "I like to be able to fire people that provide services to me" when companies are providing poor services.

Philosophy: Mitt's comments are 100% correct, and the ability to freely choose who you buy services from is the very foundation of capitalism.  To criticize him on this (as some other Republicans are doing) is to reveal yourself as an opponent of freedom and capitalism.   The ability to choose who provides you goods and services is the most fundamental freedom.   Mitt is saying he likes being a free man.  And he is being attacked for this.

Politics:  The Democrats play to win, and the ideas of truth, accuracy, and fairness are thrown over the side in the quest for re-election and power.  Republicans need to get serious, and understand the vicious and unprincipled nature of their opponents.  Democrats will do anything to win, and the Republicans need to understand that and act accordingly.