Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

No More Monuments

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Every time someone speaks or writes the name of the evil little worm who turned our attention to Sandy Hook Elementary School, a stone is added to his monument.  One day, another evil little worm, who is as willing to violate gun control laws as he to violate laws against murder, will decide he wants a bigger monument.  God help us all.

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Campaign Images

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Where political angst meets Photoshop (feel free to click on an image and grab the original – make yourself a bumper sticker or post to Facebook)….

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Romney v. Big Bird

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

People seem to be all excited about Romney’s pledge to cut funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  Perhaps he should have said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) which in turn helps fund PBS. Funding for PBS is rather tangled.  For example, much of its support comes from member stations which also receive funding from the federal government via other, less visible avenues.  I suspect Romney picked PBS because more viewers would understand what he was talking about.  But eliminating CPB would be a good start.  Why?  There are at least two reasons. 

First, there is no Constitutional warrant for the federal government to provide financial support for either the arts or journalism.  There are lots of really rich Americans who, according to Obama, are paying practically nothing in taxes.  They could easily increase their support for the arts; there is no need for the feds to be a part of it.  Besides, being generous and visible patrons of the arts might make the 1-percenters smaller targets in the class war Obama and the Democrats promote.

Government funding of journalism (or what passes for journalism in PBS-land) is a much more troubling than propping up Big Bird or Great Performances.  The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press because the Framers – wisely – didn’t trust government.  While they created a system of checks and balances within the government, the only check on the government as a whole was intended to be a free press.  It is obvious that a press beholden to government handouts is not free.  It is equally obvious to anyone who watches or listens that PBS and National Public Radio (NPR) know not to bite the hand that feeds them and the fail to act as watchdogs on the whole of government.

The second and much greater reason to get rid of CPB lies in the nature of the beast itself. CPB describes itself as “a private corporation funded by the America people”.  It should be obvious to even the most ardent supporters of Big Bird and Jim Lehrer that this is fundamentally wrong.  After all, what do you suppose they would say if the “private corporation funded by the America people” were Caterpillar or Shell Oil?

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“There aren’t enough rich people”

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Dr. Walter Williams is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University.  This means that (a) he has a proven track record as an economist, and (b) he is in a position (in Fairfax, Virginia) to keep an eye on the corrupt enterprise that is our national government.  In this column, he explains why the standard approach to staving off national bankruptcy – soaking the greedy rich – won’t work.  As the title says, there just aren’t enough rich people with enough money.  [Read the whole piece here.  While you’re there, read some more of his stuff.  It may cure you if you’re addicted to CNN and Time magazine for information about economics.]

This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich. It’s not even yacht and Lear jet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there’s a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.

How about corporate profits to fill the gap? Fortune 500 companies earn nearly $400 billion in profits. Since leftists think profits are little less than theft and greed, Congress might confiscate these ill-gotten gains so that they can be returned to their rightful owners. Taking corporate profits would keep the government running for another 40 days, but that along with confiscating all income above $250,000 would only get us to the end of June. Congress must search elsewhere.

According to Forbes 400, America has 400 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion. Congress could confiscate their stocks and bonds, and force them to sell their businesses, yachts, airplanes, mansions and jewelry. The problem is that after fleecing the rich of their income and net worth, and the Fortune 500 corporations of their profits, it would only get us to mid-August. The fact of the matter is there are not enough rich people to come anywhere close to satisfying Congress’ voracious spending appetite. They’re going to have to go after the non-rich.

They’re coming after you and me.

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Senator Schumer strong-arms Apple

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I’ve always had the impression that New York Senator Charles Schumer is little more than a publicity hound, and most of what he does just confirms my suspicions.  Yesterday (Thursday), for example, he boldly and courageously demanded – well, requested – that Apple do something about the iPhone 4’s “death grip” problem.  He also want to know what Apple was going to do about the iPhone’s habit of inflating signal strength by showing too many bars on its display

Apple announced on Wednesday – the day before Schumer wrote his letter – that they would hold a press conference today (Friday).  Most of the world seemed to understand that Apple would address both issues.  It seems the Senator from New York either didn’t know that the most anticipated public utterance since King James’ hour-long preen on ESPN was going to happen today, or he couldn’t figure out what King Jobs would want to talk about.

Or maybe he’s just patting himself on the back for getting such a speedy reply from Apple.

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Obamanation: No limits

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Does anyone else appreciate the extreme irony of referring to the feudal lords that infest the Obama administration as “czars”?  It was, after all, Czar Nicholas II that Obama’s Marxist heroes overthrew and assassinated in 1917-1918. So, it would be much more appropriate to refer to Obama’s deputy dictators as “Commissars”. For example, consider this Q&A between Katie Couric and BP Extortion Escrow Czar/Commissar Ken Feinberg:

Couric: Will BP have any jurisdiction over which claims are actually paid out or will that company just hand over the money?
Feinberg: That company has no say on the claims that I declare to be legitimate and eligible. [emphasis added]

Evidence? Courts? Accountability? Of course not, not in the brave new world of Obamanation. If one of Obama’s minions “declares” that a claim is “legitimate”, “that company” will be forced to pay it. I can see former ACORN activists lining up with bogus claims right now.

The money in question, of course, is the promised $20 billion that Obama extorted from BP under threat of ordering his fellow travelers in Congress to pass possibly unconstitutional legislation to accomplish the same end. It’s worth remembering that our Bigot-in-Chief didn’t even want to talk to the BP CEO because “when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s going to say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions.” Count among the words that Obama is not interested in the ones found in the Constitution.

[It’s also worth remembering that Obama’s bigotry has always extended to white people in general, and his white grandmother  – “a typical white person” – in particular.]

Make no mistake – BP is absolutely responsible for all costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The company may well face criminal charges related to gross negligence or willful misconduct. If their actions were criminal, BP people should spend some time in jail. It is in part for such things that the law – and the Constitution as the supreme law of the land – were intended. But mere law is not enough for this President.

There was a time when we Americans believed in the rule of law. Then we made the grave error of electing a Marxist ideologue who sees the law as either a weapon for his personal use in accomplishing his objectives or an obstacle to be circumvented.

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The global-warming hoax on trial

Friday, June 11th, 2010

A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change. [emphasis added]

Jason Johnston is Robert G. Fuller, Jr. Professor of Law and Director, Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He holds JD and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan. From these and other facts, I conclude that (a) he is not a dummy, (b) he is trained in the examination and evaluation of both written testimony and physical evidence, and (c) he knows something about the relationship between the environment industry and the fields of law and economics (his PhD is in economics). He is the author of “Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination” (which can be downloaded for free here).

The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the earth’s non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.[emphasis added]

Consensus Science

At the heart of the hoax is the phony assertion that there is a “consensus” among scientists that anthropogenic global warming is an undeniable “fact”:

In recent Congressional hearings, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts stated that not a single peer-reviewed scientific paper contradicts the “consensus” view that increasing greenhouse gas emissions will lead to a “catastrophic” two degree Celsius increase in global mean temperatures. Senator Kerry is hardly alone in this belief. Virtually all environmental law scholars seem to believe that there is now a “scientific consensus” that anthropogenic greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions have caused late twentieth century global warming and that if dramatic steps are not immediately taken to reduce those emissions, then the warming trend will continue, with catastrophic consequences for the world. [emphasis added]

If ever there was ever a red flag in any discussion of science, the word consensus is it. The late author Michael Crichton warned of this sort of anti-science in a speech at Cal Tech in 2003.

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had. [emphasis added] [The text of this speech seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the “official” Crichton site. I’m just sayin’.]

With politicians like Kerry, it’s hard to know if he is just ignorant or willfully lying in order to promote Obama’s Marxist agenda, but Johnston cites dozens of peer-reviewed papers in the course of his cross-examination of the hoaxers.

It is virtually impossible to find anywhere in the legal or the policy literature on global warming anything like a sustained discussion of the actual state of the scientific literature on ghg emissions and climate change. Instead, legal and policy scholars simply defer to a very general statement of the climate establishment’s opinion (except when it seems too conservative), generally failing even to mention work questioning the establishment climate story, unless to dismiss it with the ad hominem argument that such work is the product of untrustworthy, industry-funded “skeptics” and “deniers.”

The danger to America is that, since

the most significant ghg emission reduction policies are intended to completely alter the basic fuel sources upon which industrial economies and societies are based, with the costs uncertain but potentially in the many trillions of dollars, one would suppose that before such policies are undertaken, it would be worthwhile to verify that the climate establishment’s view really does reflect an unbiased and objective assessment of the current state of climate science.

But the leaders to which we have entrusted our economic and political future are not interested. Al Gore, Congress, White House advisors, and the UN’s fraudulent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are focused on destroying America’s free-market economy. Real science can only get in their way, so they evangelize us with their brand of true religion – unquestioning faith in “consensus science” and an inquisition for the “untrustworthy, industry-funded ‘skeptics’ and ‘deniers’”.

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