Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ron Paul Should Not Have Debated


Just finished watching a CSPAN video of Ron Paul speaking at the University of Maryland "Town Hall" meeting.  My conclusion: Ron Paul is a vastly more effective speaker than debater.  When he is not peppered with loaded questions and when he has time to present a coherent picture of his positions, he can be quite convincing.

When he debates, he has too many thoughts rattling around his head and he views like a bad video that skips and locks and gets a little garbled.  But when he speaks to an audience without the distraction of a 30-second time limit or a poorly framed question, he does quite well.  Unfortunately, the somewhat goofy image he created of himself during the debates lost many potential voters.  Watch the video HERE.  Watch the reaction of college students.

I still disagree with his position on the U.S. military in that without the U.S. military presence to hold evil and barbaric... yes, I'll use those terms... regimes in check, the world would be a far more dangerous place.  That said, my position on Afghanistan is quite clear and aligns with Dr. Paul's general position.  But my overall position regarding the military does not align with his.

Dr. Paul's economic positions resonate with me.  I even agree with his position about drugs because he says that it's your body, but be careful about what you put in it and don't expect the government to come to your rescue if you screw it up... but that's a peripheral issue.  Unfortunately, the realist in me says the "live and let live" attitude about drugs would be a very hard sell because the moralists will condemn it and the progressives will argue that drug abusers have a "disease" that must be treated with the money and support of everyone else. 

Really, it is his isolationist position makes him just another candidate that leaves me ambivalent.  He tries to argue that it is not he who is the isolationist, but rather those who participate in the wars.  But the big "I hope this slides by" is at about 16 minutes into the video when he cites how useless the military efforts were against communism and mentions the collapse of the Soviet system... a collapse precipitated by the military cold war which bankrupted them and freed all of eastern Europe.  What I will agree with Dr. Paul about is that the current military efforts are wrong-headed.  Go back and read the above link about my position on Afghanistan.

The one thing I can say about Dr. Paul is that you can take to the bank what he says is what he means.  I'm not convinced about that for any of the rest of the candidates... and I know that President Obama simply twists with the wind so his words are meaningless.



A Drug On Our Society 


End The War On Drugs

2012 IS HERE


Friday, March 30, 2012

Global Warming Now Ending - Global Cooling Next?


“There were views that anthropogenic interference, like emissions of greenhouse gases by all heat electric power stations and all industrial influence in general, has resulted in irreversible changes in the Earth’s climate. Those views were based on excessively rapid warming in the 20th century which was thought to continue indefinitely. However, the events of the last three years, when Venetian canals froze and Spanish vineyards were destroyed by frost, and the fact that now Moscow and a considerable part of Europe are having a particularly long winter, prove that temporary cooling has begun. The same is happening to the Antarctic ice. The smallest ice volume and area in the Antarctic were observed in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, 2010, 2011 and early 2012, the volume of ice grew.” 
Thus, the academician says, the theory of continuous warming is not getting practical proof. In this century, the volume of the Arctic ice will grow and contract by turns. On the other hand, no one can say when the planet is to expect a new Glacier Period, similar to the one contemporary Europe saw 20,000 years ago, Nikolay Dobretsov continues.
Well, of course they would think so.  While we in the U.S. were enjoying a mild, low-cost heating winter, the Russians and a very large part of Europe and Asia were suffering through yet another miserably cold winter.

Still, the idea that "temporary cooling" has begun makes about as much sense as "global warming has paused temporarily."  Either the earth is cooling or it is not; either the earth is warming or it is not.  If one follows the other, then you are seeing normal variability in climate.

Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat. [source]
In a desperate attempt to explain why, the Global Warming Press has pointed fingers at George W. Bush... no, that is it has pointed fingers at China.
Sulfur particles in the air deflect the sun's rays and can temporarily cool things down a bit. That can happen even as coal-burning produces the carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming.
It's always convenient to have someone to blame when those inconvenient facts get in the way of your theory.  No matter what happens, the theory is always right and reality has an explanation.  The theory itself cannot be falsified.
In its basic form, falsifiability is the belief that for any hypothesis to have credence, it must be inherently disprovable before it can become accepted as a scientific hypothesis or theory. 
For example, if a scientist asks, “Does God exist?” then this can never be science because it is a theory that cannot be disproved. 
The idea is that no theory is completely correct, but if not falsified, it can be accepted as truth. [source]
That is why you will hear so many warming alarmists use the phrase "consistent with" global warming despite addressing opposite or conflicting real occurrences.  "Consistent with" higher temperatures, lower temperatures, more snow, less snow, drought, floods, more hurricanes, less hurricanes.

Why?  Because it is a belief, not a falsifiable scientific theory.

Also see:

Multi-Decadal Climate Model Testing Requirements – A Summary In this post, I summarize two necessary requirements for multi-decadal global climate models to be met before multi-decadal projections for the coming deca...

2012 IS HERE


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Obama To Oil Companies: That Money Is Part Of My Stash


President Obama, referring to provisions in the Tax Code for write offs of exploration and other expenses as "subsidies," called for higher taxes on oil companies.
In his Feb. 13 budget, Obama said existing tax “loopholes and expenditures” for the oil and natural gas companies amount to an unwarranted “preference” of these industries over others. [source]
Ignoring that oil companies have spent billions of dollars expanding domestic oil and natural gas production that have saved consumers billions of dollars...
Obama ridiculed Republican presidential candidates as the “flat Earth crowd,” who’d “rather give $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies this year than to invest in clean energy.”
So, on the one hand, the President chides U.S. consumers and the automobile industry for not being "green" enough and consuming too much fossil fuels while, on the other hand, sets up roadblocks to expansion of domestic oil exploration and production and demonizes oil companies for their profits... profit that is used for paying taxes, profit that creates new jobs, profit that enriches retirement funds, profit that could otherwise go to Iran or Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.
America's three biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil ( XOM - news -people ), Chevron ( CVX - news - people ) andConocoPhillips ( COP - news - people ), all endure income tax burdens of more than 40%--higher than the statutory U.S. rate of 35%. Exxon, with a 45% rate, tallied $21.6 billion in worldwide income taxes for 2010. [source]
Meanwhile, the President pushes investments in one "alternative" failure after another and thinks of himself as a visionary.  That would be a visionary through coke-bottle glasses.

The President has a way of lying through omission.  He tells one part of the story and conveniently omits the salient counter-points.  In this case, that's because he views profits from corporations as rightfully belonging in his stash.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Myth Of U.S. Oil Dependence

2012 IS HERE


Will Declaring Obamacare Unconstitutional Help Obama?


The one big winner who could emerge from a Supreme Court decision to declare Obamacare unconstitutional might be President Obama.  How could having the centerpiece of his administration made null and void help the President?

First, the President will launch a massive ad campaign against the Republicans declaring that they have "cheated the American people of their right to health care."  It won't matter that 26 states brought the suits and the Supreme Court was the branch of government that brought the judgment and it won't matter that government-sponsored/provided health care is not a right.  There will be enough people who will buy that story.

Second, the President will accuse the Republicans of being unsympathetic to the plight of the uninsured.  It won't matter that the President would not consider the input of the Republicans when the flawed law was drafted and that the Republicans have offered up alternative measures.  Maybe the alternatives are a little shorter than 2000+ pages and don't contain something special for Nebraska or Indians or dozens of other special interest goodies for his friends.  There will be enough people who will buy that story.

Third, the President will argue that his centerpiece legislation was "essentially perfect" and that only a "technicality" caused it to be declared unconstitutional.  It won't matter that many aspects of the legislation were seriously flawed and served special interests to the detriment of the total health care system.  The President will say that he just needs another term and more Democratic Party congressmen and he can work around the technicality to restore what "rightfully belongs to the American people."  There will be enough people who will buy that story.

And the President will push those stories to the forefront everyday with outrageous examples of how the "Republicans' health care system" is broken and how Republicans don't care.  If his opponents try to bring the focus back to other pressing issues and other failures on the part of the President, he will press on with the story of the hard-hearted, Wall Street loving, racially biased "neo-cons" who only care about lowering their own taxes.  It won't matter that the President has been a spendthrift, radical-activist loving, apologizing to the world reincarnation of Jimmy Carter.  There will be enough people who will buy his story.

And it's all Bush's fault... if all of the other stories get rejected.

2012 IS HERE


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coverage Of The Supreme Court Proceedings On The Health Care Mandate



The reaction of CSPAN listeners to the argument that if the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional, then the entire law is unconstitutional.

The general tenor of questioning by the Justices seems to indicate a leaning toward the individual mandate as being unconstitutional.  The big issue is whether or not the mandate can be stricken without invalidating the whole law.

Nothing is certain.

2012 IS HERE


The Argument In Favor Of Health Insurance Mandate


As the Supreme Court listens to arguments for and against the Affordable Health Care's mandate for personal insurance, it is interesting that the key point being made for a mandate is that everyone eventually requires health care so everyone should share the cost of coverage.  That's what all insurance is for: spreading the risk.  Some people will require more care than others and no one knows whether they will need extraordinary levels of care or not.  So, since everyone requires health care, it follows that everyone be required to buy health care insurance coverage so that other people are not forced to cover the costs of caring for the uninsured... even if you feel you are healthy and can afford to pay for your medical services as needed.  At some point, you will be unhealthy and you will not be able to pay for your medical services.

Of course, that's a generalization because nothing is inevitable except death and possibly taxes.  Still, the odds say that you will need health insurance to cover the cost of your medical care... unless you don't.  Then you are lucky because you didn't need your insurance which you didn't want and for which you were required to buy... but you might have needed it.

The point here is that nearly everyone will agree that having health insurance does give peace of mind and can be invaluable when you have a serious illness requiring expensive care.  Yet there are a lot of people who don't buy the insurance because they can't afford it.  They get by with state-run Medicaid programs and visits to hospital emergency rooms or inexpensive clinics.  The cost of these "freebies" is borne, of course, by everyone else in the cost of their health insurance and taxes.  So, why not force those who can afford insurance but choose to not have to have it?  Then there will be more money to give to those who can't afford it.

But they are already receiving the care under the present system.  It's just "under the table" forced payments from others.  So, formalizing the hidden costs into visible costs really doesn't change anything, does it?  Except, of course, the government makes you participate and the government dictates the level of coverage and care you can receive and the government can penalize you if you resist.  You answer to elected and un-elected officials rather than the other way around.

So, the individual mandate doesn't really fix anything except the lack of 100% participation.  It doesn't improve the number of choices or the level of care or the freedom to choose.  It really doesn't do much except to let those who want to scam the system by paying a small fine relative to the cost of buying insurance then get insurance when they need it for a condition that existed before they got the insurance.  Then the government can proudly say that you are covered even if you have a pre-existing condition that might be the reason for an insurance company rejecting you under the present system.  Which means that the government can't really boast about 100% participation [unless you call paying a penalty "participation"] and insurance companies would really be screwed if everyone opted to pay the small penalty and get the expensive insurance... guaranteed... when they needed it for that heart transplant.

This then becomes another argument against the individual mandate: people who are responsible and comply with the individual mandate and those who presently are receiving some form of assistance by the states will not see an improvement in their coverage or treatment, but those who want really cheap insurance without paying the true cost of the insurance can choose to pay a penalty for much less and then get the insurance when they really need it.

The real argument against the health insurance mandate is that it is unconstitutional for the government to require you to enter into a contract to buy a product and penalize you for not buying such product.  But we will have to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to formalize that.  And if they do, what are we left with?  An imperfect, but workable system that has a built-in incentive to buy insurance before you get a pre-existing condition, but the freedom to decide if and how much insurance you will buy.  Responsible people will continue to be responsible without threats from the U.S. government.

Oh, that penalty for ignoring the mandateImpose an annual penalty of $95, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, on individuals who do not secure insurance; this will rise to $695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016. This is an individual limit; families have a limit of $2,085.

The average annual cost of health insuranceAverage Annual Premiums for Family Health Benefits Top $15,000 in 2011

$2,085 vs. $15,000... and I can obtain the insurance when I need it?
Hard choice.  Let's take the mandate and scam the system.  We'll screw the responsible people and the insurance companies.
That's the real argument for the individual mandate.

That, of course, is the ultimate goal of Obamacare.  Force private insurance companies out of business and make the government the sole provider.  Then replace the penalty for non-participation with a significant general tax increase to cover the cost of government provided and administered health care.

2012 IS HERE


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Obama And Democrats Using EPA To Kill U.S. Fossil Fuel Industries and Economy


You may not remember this video, so here it is again:


EPA to impose first greenhouse gas limits on power plants

Washington Post - 13 hours ago

The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States. The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the ...

In-Depth: New Limit Pending on Emissions‎ New York Times

Blog: EPA's New Carbon Emissions Rule Spells The End For New Coal-Fired ...‎ Slate Magazine (blog)

EPA Takes Aim at Coal Plants‎ Wall Street Journal
The new rules will essentially make it unviable to build new coal-fired power plants, unless they are fitted with yet-to-be-commercialized carbon-capture technology. The rules would limit the permissible emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to a little more than half of what a typical coal plant emits today, administration officials have said. 
While in the State of Maryland...

House panel approves offshore wind farm bill 

[Maryland Gov. (D)] Martin O'Malley's environmental agenda cleared an important hurdle Monday as his bill seeking to foster development of an offshore wind farm near Ocean City won approval from a [Maryland] House committee.  
There you have the Democratic Party energy-starvation, economy-killing agenda wrapped up with a bow around it.  Does this make you happy?  If so, start watching your bank account.

Meanwhile, in Australia where the government with the same Obama-orient energy philosophy was just resoundingly repudiated by voters:

Vic government dumps carbon target state's environment and climate change policies and they would be confirmed after talks with state and federal environment ministers in May.

Carbon target scrapped 
Queensland tsunami is heading for federal ALP Brisbane Times - 34 minutes ago
On Saturday the Liberal-National Party swept all the state seats in his ... In 2010 Rudd and Swan won first preference votes of 44 per cent and 41 per cent ...

International: Australian ruling party plunges in polls‎ The West Australian

Labor continues to lose ground‎ Sky News Australia

Newman urges PM to ditch carbon tax‎ The Age

Supreme Court To Hear Arguments About The Voting Mandate


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear arguments regarding a proposed Department of Justice regulation that would require all U.S. citizens to vote in all elections for which they are eligible or face a penalty of $5,000 and/or 1-year in jail.  The Department of Justice noted that the right to vote also carried an obligation to do so because failure to vote was the leading cause of the wrong officials being elected and the "will of the People" being undermined.  Furthermore, it was unfair to those who did vote by placing undo pressure on their choices while those who did not vote were able to gain, without any effort on their part, the benefits of representation in government.

Opponents argue that a mandate that turns the right to vote into a requirement, no matter how well intended, was tantamount to conscription by political parties and undermined the concept of freedom and rights.  A Department of Justice spokesperson remarked, "We don't see it that way.  What good are rights if they are not exercised?"

A spokesperson for the National Conceal Weapons Carriers agreed, for the first time, with the Department of Justice position.  "What good is the right to bear arms if everyone doesn't do it?"

A spokesperson for Religion in America agreed, for the first time, with the Department of Justice position.  "What good is the freedom of religion if everyone doesn't worship?"

A spokesperson for Legalized Mind-Altering Drugs stated that as soon as mind-altering drugs were legalized, they would seek a mandate, too.

2012 IS HERE


Monday, March 26, 2012

The Roots Of Detroit's Malaise


This thinking:

Activist minister Malik Shabazz said black cities are under attack all over the state. 
"We understand we have financial difficulties," Shabazz said. "Give us the help we want, need and deserve, not the help you want to impose on us. We don't want an emergency manager or a consent decree. This is white supremacy and we will fight you. 
"Before we let you take over our city we will burn it down first," Shabazz said. [source]
Just what help do you "deserve?"  Money from Whites?  Sure.  What else?  More money next year?

Well, Rev. Shabazz, this you have to earn... and that's one thing you haven't done.

But maybe his idea of burning the city down is not all bad.  That would be the culmination of his life's work.

2012 IS HERE


As Michigan Recovers Detroit Spirals Into Oblivion


As the State of Michigan moves forward toward a long recovery, the City of Detroit stands shakily in the corner hoping to regain its "legs" before going down for the count.

Fifty years ago, Detroit was beginning its long downward slide.  The city still had a large population and a lot of big, important businesses.  But the city was beginning to crumble beneath the surface with corrupt unions and corrupt government and an uneasy racial divide.  Then came the 1967 riots... forty-five years ago.  Detroit's heart was broken and could not be repaired.  Death was and is inevitable.  The old Detroit is terminal.

Still, some keep trying emergency life support efforts.  While Detroit's Mayor is in the hospital himself, the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, is doing everything he can to shore up Michigan's nearly comatose largest city.

MARCH 24, 2012 AT 1:00 AM
Appeals court clears way for Detroit consent agreement

In an appeals court motion filed early Friday by state Attorney General Bill Schuette, he called Collette's order "crippling" to the state's efforts to help Detroit. 
According to the state's brief, Detroit faces a significant financial crisis and is due to run out of cash by the end of May. The law, gives Snyder the power to appoint an emergency manager, but Snyder would prefer a consent agreement "that will continue to give city officials a voice," the brief said.

The problem is that Detroit is a shell of its former self.

Detroit is physically too large for the present population of just over 700,000... maybe less by now... down from the 2000 Census and falling like a rock.
There is only one real solution and there have been several posts regarding that.  This was the most recent one:

Michigan Governor Synder Wants To Be Detroit's Partner 

But the Governor and the Mayor keep trying emergency triage.

2012 IS HERE


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin And George Zimmerman News Images


From the following 4 faces, which 2 are the bad guys?


Well, that was interesting....  Thanks to Mulvi for identifying that the picture from that has made the rounds of the internet was from a different Travon Martin.

Regardless, the conclusion of this post remains.

There are few facts, but the judgment is in.  The President has already spoken and the judge and jury are seeking justice.

Second Update:

April 9, 2012

Editgate, Spittlegate, and the Left's 'Race-Gating' Tradition

By Jack Cashill
The phrase "Editgate" established itself virtually overnight. It fit so well. This useful compound merges "edit," in reference to NBC's incendiary editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call, and "gate," the catch-all suffix used to describe a corrupt mess of deception and obfuscation. Already "Editgate" is being used more expansively to include other distortions in the Trayvon Martin case, including ABC's compression of the police videotape to obscure Zimmerman's head wound and CNN's absurdly imaginative translation of the Zimmerman word "cold" into the nearly archaic "coons."
 Third Update:

Special prosecutor, Angela Corey, held a press conference to announce that George Zimmerman will be charged with 2nd degree murder... a not unexpected decision.  Beyond this, there is no reason to speculate.

Fourth Update:
In a game-changing development Friday, a photo obtained by ABC News of Florida murder suspect George Zimmerman – who has acknowledged fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – clearly shows the back of Zimmerman’s head leaking blood from what appear to be two separate gashes. 
   It is going to liven things up this weekend on three popular Northwest shooting and gun rights forums, GunRightsMedia.comWaGuns and SeattleGuns
   The previously unseen bombshell image, reportedly obtained exclusively by ABC News, was apparently taken just minutes after the deadly confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin. The revelation prompted Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to suggest in an interview with that the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman: 
“…won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge … everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense.”
Fifth Update:
April 25, 2012

No charges over 'reverse Trayvon Martin' shooting in Phoenix area

Sixth Update:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Do It for Trayvon Martin!' — Virginian-Pilot Refuses to Cover Black-on-White Racial Violence; Paper Claims Didn't Want to Treat Its Employees 'Differently From Other Crime Victims'

2012 IS HERE


Supreme Court To Deliberate On Individual Health Care Mandate


Tomorrow, the Supreme Court begins to hear arguments regarding the constitutional legality of the so-called "Individual Mandate" in the so-called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."  This will be one of the most important cases ever to be heard by the Supreme Court, not because it allows or disallows the health care part of the legislation - which is fiscally onerous in itself, but because it potentially re-affirms the limits on the Federal government or, conversely, determines there are no limits on the Federal government with regard to states and individuals.  It is the single most important decision that will either separate us from a Chinese Communist form of government or allow the Constitution of this country to be ignored with regard to states' and individuals' rights.

That is what is at stake, not a few thousand dollars a year for individuals.  While cost is an important issue, it is not the issue.

This article in Reason Magazine spells out the reasons why the Supreme Court should strike down the "requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage."  You owe it to yourself to read this.

The 4 Best Legal Arguments Against ObamaCare

Why the president's sweeping health care overhaul should be struck down by the Supreme Court.

2012 IS HERE


Friday, March 23, 2012

Romney SPECIFICALLY Seeks White and Mormon Voters


Actually, he doesn't.  Imagine the uproar if he did.  The New York Times would have a field day with that one.  He would be denounced for "racial politics."  The Democrats would be grinning from ear to ear as they whipped up the media in a campaign against the "great divider."  Same thing for Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.

There would be comments about Hitler and the KKK.  The NAACP would start a press campaign and Revs. Jackson and Sharpton would be in the streets with bullhorns.  Romney would be shamed out of politics.  Same thing for Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.

Of course, the Democrats would not be the only ones appalled by this behavior.  The Republicans would also repudiate a candidate who openly and specifically tried to marshal a racial or religious vote.  Santorum might appeal to Catholics because of his positions, but he doesn't try to get an endorsement from the Pope.

So, isn't it strange that this occurred and not one peep has come from ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBC,... any major press outlet.  Even the Republican Party hasn't taken out attack ads.  Why do you suppose that could be?

2012 IS HERE


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Whitney Houston Lost Her War On Drugs


Five weeks ago the question was posed:

Did Whitney Houston Lose Her War With Drugs?
The answer is:
Cocaine, heart disease contributed to Whitney Houston's drowning, coroner says
 [image from Tekstovi-Pesama] So, just one question for those who want to de-criminalize hard drugs: what are you willing to give up for the freedom to use hard drugs?  Obviously, the answer for Whitney Houston was "success, adoration, wealth, recognition, achievement, and fame."
[image from Zimbio]

Was Whitney Houston unique among those who gave up success, adoration, wealth, recognition, achievement, and fame?  Not exactly....  Click here for a list of notable people who have died from drug-related causes.

But what about the not-so-notable?  Do we just say, "Go ahead and ruin your lives.  You don't really matter, anyway?"  Well, that won't happen.  If it's not a crime, it's protected... you're protected.

We'll just create a new cabinet level position heading up the Department of Drug Abuse to provide community services and rehabilitation at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars each year.  But we'll empty a lot of prison cells as an offset.  No crime; no punishment.  No crime; no consequences.

We'll tell children that you really shouldn't use hard drugs. That should handle things.

But if you do you don't have to worry because the government will fix things for you.  And if you never learned a skill or fried your brain, don't worry because the government will take care of you.  In the "new freedom" era, you don't have to worry about punishment or consequences because you have the right to be happy in your own way.  You have the right to have other people pay for your right to be happy.

It's not a crime to be happy, is it?

2012 IS HERE


Professionals Know What They Mean


This is an email I sent regarding an article about cancer patients and their personal habits.

Strangely written.  One could almost infer that having multiple cancers and surviving was due to unhealthy behaviors... when I think the point was that unhealthy behavior weakens the body and tends to lead to multiple cancers.
Contact: Allison Perryallison.perry@uky.edu859-323-2399University of Kentucky
Unhealthy behaviors more prevalent in survivors of multiple cancers, study shows
Survivors of multiple cancers showed a greater likelihood of cigarette smoking or smokeless tobacco use, greater alcohol consumption when drinking, and less moderate and vigorous physical activity.
As opposed to those who died? 
English is a flexible language.  It allows communication in a broken and twisted way.  But sometimes the intent is lost in the words.

2012 IS HERE


Obama Leading From Behind Again


From the Financial Times:

While Mitt Romney is presently being attacked as the "Etch-A-Sketch" candidate, it is obvious that Obama is the Etch-A-Sketch president.

President Obama re-iterated his boast that oil production has risen during his administration... a claim discussed here:
Myth Of U.S. Oil Dependence
and here:
U.S. Energy Policy
It appears that President Obama has once again wet his finger, stuck it in the air, and is trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing.  He is truly a man of great vision... hindsight.

As the National Review article states:

‘When it comes to American energy production, President Obama is like a rooster who crows at the sunrise, then imagines that he conjured up the morning,” jokes Ben Cole of the Institute for Energy Research. The White House has been taking credit for increased oil production, when it actually was taking place on state and private lands while output on federal lands was dropping. Now, the administration is touting the construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, though so far the process has been entirely outside federal jurisdiction.
It appears President Obama's re-election hope is to fool enough people all of the time.  No change there.

2012 IS HERE


It's Arab Culture Not Islam That's The Problem


When we see all of the so-called Islamic violence in Egypt, we stereotype Islam as violent.  But in reality it is the Arab culture that is violent.  Once again, this violence has shown itself as integral to the Arab culture as an Algerian Frenchman has gone on a rampage:
Toulouse shootings: France gunman 'wanted to kill more'
The Frenchman suspected of a spate of shootings in the Toulouse area planned more killings, prosecutors have said. 
Anti-terror chief Francois Molins said the suspect, named as Mohammed Merah, 23, of Algerian descent, intended to kill a soldier and two police officers. 
Merah, who says he was trained by al-Qaeda, is suspected of murdering three soldiers and four Jewish people.
If Islam were inherently violent, we would see it manifest in other non-Arab places like non-Arab Africa.  Oh, there is violence related to Islam in non-Arab Africa?  Well that's an aberration.  You won't see it in places like non-Arab Iran or Afghanistan.  Oh, you do?  Sure, but that's just a quirk of being close to the Arabs and getting some cultural contamination.  You won't see it where Arabs are not found like Indonesia and Malaysia and the Philippines.  Really?  Well, those East Asians are just violent people, too.

There is nothing about Islam that makes violent fanatics.  Nothing.  Just ignore anything you may see about that subject.  Anything.  Nothing.  We see nothing.  We hear nothing.  Nothing.

2012 IS HERE


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


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February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)