Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I saw a Democrat on TV talking about how the current economic recovery hasn't created enough jobs. He acknowledged that unemployment is near an all-time low, but still says not as many jobs have been created as there would have been with a Democrat in charge. Somehow I failed to grasp his point. I think the interviewer should have reminded him that the election is over, so he can stop spinning.

On the Larry Kudlow show I saw guests commenting on how the middle class is losing out. Both the liberal and conservative agreed that the middle class has lost $3000 per year during the recent economic recovery, similar to what happened during the "Clinton" recovery. This discussion mystifies me. I don't see how anyone could say that the middle class is worse off financially than when I was young. Back then there were no cell phones. Now most teen-agers seem to have them. My Uncle had a phone in the pickup provided by his employer. The phone system occupied a lot of space, and had a long whip antenna. And it wasn't reliable. When I retired I was making about ten times what experienced engineers were making when I graduated from college. New automobiles cost about ten times what they cost then, and gasoline costs about ten times as much as it did then. Houses have a similar relationship. The biggest negative is that taxes are a larger percentage of income than was the case then, despite the so-called Bush tax cuts. This was brought about by the progressive tax rate structure, so that inflation pushes everyone into higher tax brackets. But, there are a lot of items that are relatively cheaper than they were 40 or 50 years ago. Back then, for example a small screen black and white TV cost about 10% of the average person's annual income. Now a large screen color TV costs only a few hours labor. And back then there was one TV channel, and it was received sporadically, whereas now there are hundreds of channels to choose from. I think it is clear that the middle class is better off than ever before, despite what the spinners we see on the MSM tell us. I recall asking my grandfather about how it was in "the good old days." He replied "These are the good old days."

I haven't blogged much lately. I've had another round of skin cancer surgery, this time on my left hand and wrist. It is a little bit painful; but, nothing like the chemothearapy earlier this year. Mostly this is a nuisance. It is hard to do anything with my left hand all bandaged up.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Here is an interesting article on the subject of global warming called Gore gored. My natural reaction is that Al Gore is not worthy of trust, so anything he advocates should be carefully scrutinized.


Try to access the original report if you are interested in checking out the equations the IPCC uses. I have experience with large supercomputer thermal models, and agree completely with the comments of Freeman Dyson regarding the reliability of the models. His comments about "fudge factors" in the models are exactly what I have previously said.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I recently saw a report that said that our school system has not been able to close the gap between anglos and blacks and Mexicans in achievement test grades. (I recall that Steve Sailor predicted this result a few years ago.) Some have suggested that this is more of a class issue than a race issue. I wonder about that. My wife was a public school teacher for over 30 years, mostly here in Arlington, Texas. At the start of the school year she would often get non-English speaking students who had just arrived in the US from Mexico and from Vietnam. By the end of the year the Vietnamese would be speaking English and making A's and the Mexicans would be unable to speak English and would be failing. Both of these groups were poor, but there were obvious cultural differences.

The Germans want to try some of our leaders for alleged "war crimes," like fattening up terrorists at Gitmo. Have they clled for war crimes trials for bin Laden or any of the Muslim terrorists who behead people in various parts of the world? I missed it if they did.

I'm not encouraged when I hear that James Baker is going to tell us what to do in the Middle East. I suppose he wants to have a few talks with his old buddies in Iran and Syria. I suppose it depends on what the purpose of the talks is, and what we expect from them. Iran declared war on us back when the incompetent Jimmy Carter was President, but we have ignored them as we did bin Laden. We need to realize that we are at war in the Middle East, and not just in Iraq. The situation in Iraq has developed to the extent that it is becoming like Viet Nam. The similarity is that we are fighting a surrogate as part of a larger conflict, that our media and much of our population actually support the enemy even though the enemy clearly states his intention to destroy us, and that we don't have the will to do what is necessary to win. We need to enter into tlaks with Iran and Syria with the same lack of sincerity that they have. We need to lie to them, cheat them, and destroy them. I fear that rather than doing this, our leaders will attempt to appease them. If that happens they will contiue to press us harder and harder until we have to take draconian measures, and millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people will die in the conflict. That is what the Islamists want.

The United States needs to move toward self sufficiency in mobil system fuels. The US Air Force is working to produce jet engine fuel from natural gas (methane). By 2016 they want half of their fuel to come from methane. That makes sense economically with the price of methane at about $7.50 per million BTU's. That is about equivalent to $36 per barrel for oil based on energy content, but oil actually costs $55-60 per barrel. I suspect the Air Force's real motivation is not economic, but rather is to make it independent of foreign oil supplies. This would make sense. It is curious to me that Democrats who have complained about Republican failure to achieve energy independence have no feasible plan themselves. They seem to rely on conservation. They want to demand that auto manufacturers improve the mileage for the cars they produce. THey also want to discourage drilling for new supplies of oil. The Gulf of Mxico appears to have about as much oil as Saudi Arabia, but the Democrats don't want to develop it. And about 25 % of the oil in the world is under the artic sea, where the US could drill for it. But Democrats say it would take several years. This is an odd argument; if we had started at the beginning of the Bush Administration we would have the oil supply now. And improved conservation will take years to pay off. New cars with better mileage will only gradually bring down consumption of the entire fleet. I think a lot of people would simply continue to drive their old car for a few years longer rather than buying a much smaller, ligter car. I know I will.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The FDA has decided that silicone breast implants are safe after all. Will lawyers now have to give back the money awarded in lawsuits against the silicone implant manufacturers and medical doctors? Of course not. And John Edwards won't have to repay the awards he received based on junk science. Nor will he have to pay for the money wasted on unnecessary ceasarian sections performed by doctors protecting themselves from unjustified lawsuits. It seems to me that we have a serious problem with juries deciding scientific issues. It is bad enough that juries are asked to decide issues about which they have no knowledge, and which they are incapable of understanding, but the reality is that the lawyers strive to select the dumbest, most emotional people they can for the jury. Maybe a "jury of peers" should have to be selected from a panel of people who can understand the issues rather than the uneducated masses.

Another problem is that litigation is more a contest between lawyers than a search for justice. Consider the OJ case now in the news again. We don't seem to be much better than in the days when guilt or innocence was determined by a contest between "champions" as in the novel Ivanhoe.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Here is a great interview with Mark Steyn that was on Right Wing News.


Mark Steyn is a Canadian. I agree with his views regarding Islam. They represent an existential threat to us which most people are ignoring. The Democrats are supporting Muslims, and are planning legislation that would make them a protected class with special rights. America is going the way of Europe, particularly with Democrats in charge. In Europe Muslim gangs are intimidating people by such things as raping women who don't cover themselves from head to toe, burning cars, and beating homosexuals. I wonder how long it will be before they start such activities here. I think the US should ban immigration of Muslims. Islam is a political system as much as a religion, and is incompatible with the constitution of the US. Australia has told Muslims to assimilate or get out. If they want to live under sharia law, they should go back to wherever they came from. We in the US should give them the same language. Our politicians won't do that now. Hopefully they wake up and recognize the danger before we reach the state Europe is in.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

One of my elderly Aunts (who has no children) has had to move into a Nursing Home. She was frugal all of her life and saved her money. She has to pay her way in the Nursing Home, until she has no more money, at which time the State will pay. Many of the people in the Nursing Home had no savings, so the state has paid for them from the beginning. It appears it would have been a better strategy for my Aunt to have lived it up while she was young rather than saving for her old age. This is an interesting dilemma because the state needs people to save money, but saving money is a sucker play in our society unless you can accumulate many millions of dollars. When my son Brad was a teen-ager he told me he had figured out that in America you need to either have a lot of money, or have none at all so the state would be responsible for caring for you.

When I was a boy we read a lot of heroic tales in school. King Arthur of course. One of my favorites was the "Song of Roland." I've asked several young people about Roland, and none of them have ever heard of him. The story was a tragedy; Roland's father was killed fighting Muslims in France, and at the end Roland is killed in a rear guard action that allows the French army to escape slaughter by the Muslim army. Later the French led by Charles the Hammer kicked the Muslims out of France. At the time it never occurred to me that late in my life the West would again be fighting for existance against the Muslims.

The Muslims have new tactics necessary for them because they cannot fight us in a conventional manner, and we have not yet adapted. George Bush's approach has now failed due to lack of resolve on the part of our people, and Bush's unwillingness to do what is necessary (such as annilating the Iraqi army during the war). I think our soft approach will not work with Muslims. The reason Saddam and the Shah of Iran were so cruel is because that was the only way that any semblence of order could be maintained.

If we allow the radical Muslims to obtain nuclear weapons, then there will be unprecedented slaughter. I wonder if we will be prepared to do the killing necessary for our survival, or if we will surrender. The liberals still think war can be avoided if we can just reason with the Muslims. Conservatives think that it is impossible to reason with the Muslims since what they ultimately want is to kill us, so it is better to fight them now than later. Sadly it now appears that the fight will have to be later, after they have nuclear weapons.

I'm disturbed about the Baker Committee, or whatever it is. Baker, Lee Hamilton, and Scrowcroft think you can negotiate with Muslims. I see no reason to believe that we can. Their religion allows them to lie, cheat, or steal when dealing with us. I think Scrowcroft is almost as bad for America as McNamara was.

I thought the Republicans were going to suffer large losses in the election last week, so I didn't watch the election returns on TV. Wednesday morning Linda had the TV on in the kitchen. When I saw the smile on Diane Sawyer's face I said "the Repulicans lost control of Congress," and went to work. The major networks say they are objective, but their sentiments are obvious. Even on Fox News a lot of the people are quite liberal.