Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Friday, March 30, 2007

According to her statements, Hillary Clinton wants the state to take control of capital, production and demand, and to end free markets (and free trade). Political writers do not seem to be aware that this is actually fascism. Hitler and Mussolini both wanted to have private rather than state ownership of production, but for the state to have control. This is what separated Hitler's socialism and Mussolini's fascism from communism. They both wanted to co-opt the rich and powerful rather than kill them. Actually a much more economically successful approach than communism, but far from being as good as free markets.

One characteristics of liberals is that they always want us to "come together." Conservatives are generally more individualistic, more concerned about individual liberty. Thus the Conservatives are really more liberal than the so-called Liberals, who are actually collectivists. It is curious how that works. The reason for this is that America was founded on the basis of individual rights and freedom, so over time that became the conservative position, since it wanted to amintain the status quo.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Iranians are violating the Geneva Convention in their treatment of the British seamen. They were captured while in Uniform, so are not terrorists or spies, so they are due the protection of the Geneva Convention. No one on the left seems worried about that. Not Rosie O'Donnell or Dick Durbin or Ted Kennedy, not anyone who has claimed that the US violated the Geneva Convention in treatment of terrorists, who aren't covered by the Convention, but who were not being mistreated.

Rosie O'Donnell has speculated on TV that the Iranian seizure of British seamen is a plot by George Bush. She has also speculated that the US was behind the 911 attack. Charlie Sheen also subscribes to that theory. In situations like this, I always think of the Alice Cooper comment that "anyone who gets his political opinions from a rock star is a moron. Sadly, I think that there are enough morons out there for Rosie and Charlie to do damage to the US. Some of the morons appear to be in Congress. Nancy Pelosi is not willing to let a resolution condeming Iran's taking British seamen hostage come to the floor of the House for debate. It is becoming ever more clear that the Democrat's are invested in the idea of US defeat in Iraq and the Middle East. It seems likely that Democrats will gain total control of the government in the next election. I doubt Israel will survive the next Democrat Presidency.

Conservative blogs are out today talking about Diane Feinstein resigning from the committee that had oversight over some of her husband's companies contracts. Her husband's name is Blum. His companies received more sole source contracts for work in Iraq than did Halliburton. No one in th MSM was ever concerned about that. I doubt that the ethical issues being raised now will be investigated by the MSM or Congress. They aren't concerned about Harry Reid's dubious real estate dealings or refrigerator Jefferson's taking bribes.

Today's Ft. Worth Star-Telegram says that TXU is facing a $210 M fine for manipulating prices. I couldn't understand what they did, but they certainly deserve to be fined. A few years ago we in North Texas had relatively low electricity rates: now we have the highest rate in the nation. This came about because the Texas legislature let TXU tie the rate for electricity to the cost of natural gas. Even though TXU only generates about one-fourth of its power with natural gas, the legislature let TXU increase the cost of electricity as the price of natural gas increased. Since the cost of coal and nuclear fuel didn't go up like natural gas did, this let TXU make a lot of money. And then, it turned out that, through oversight, the legislature didn't require TXU to reduce the price of electricity as the cost on natural gas went down. So TXU has been making huge profits as the natural gas cost has fallen to one-half the peak level. The TXU stock price is up and the chairman got an enormous bonus for his good work. And, private equity firms are now trying to buy TXU. It seems to me that there are three possibilities with regard to the legislature:
1) they are stupid
2) they are lazy or aren't paying attention, ie, they are incompetent
3) they are on the take.

It doesn't look good for the legislature in any event.

Today I saw politicians discussing the Democrat's proposed tax increase on TV. The Democrat lady congressperson filibustered so the Republican didn't get to say much. The Republican charged that the Democrats were pushing the largest tax increase in history. The Democrat said that was not true, they are just balancing the budget. (That seemed like an evasion to me.) The Democrat said that Bush had cut taxes too much on the rich. She said the Democrats will restore "fairness." When I hear someone mention fairness with regard to taxes I know I'm listening to a liar because taxes are are inherently unfair.

Later I saw two congressmen discuss the same thing. Again the Democrat filibustered so the Republican didn't say much. The Democrat again talked about Republican failures over the past six years rather than what Democrats have passed. He did say they have fixed the AMT (which he said Republicans have refused to deal with.) The Republican had a chart that showed that taxes on 113M people would go up an average of over $2000 per year. (Almost half of the people do not pay income taxes, so 113M covers most everyone who pays income taxes.) The Democrat didn't comment on this and wouldn't say whether or not the 15% tax rate on dividends and capital gains will be eliminated: he didn't want to talk about specifics of the budget, perhaps because he was too busy talking about past Republican "failures."

The Democrats are clearly running on "Republican failures." I wonder if that will work in 2008, after they have had control of Congress for two years.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Laffer Curve gets discussed a lot when TV talking heads discuss tax law. Republicans like the Laffer Curve; Democrats don't like it. The Laffer Curve is a fairly simple concept that is obviously true. If a state charges a 0% tax rate, then no revenue will be raised. And, if the state charges a 100% tax rate then revenue will soon dry up since no one has an incentive to work. The optimum tax rate for revenue generation is someplace between the two extremes, but that place is not well defined. States have a tendancy to charge too high a rate, and so revenue can be increased by reducing the rate. It may take a while for the tax to increase since the revenue increase is due to an increase in economic growth. No one know what the maxic rate that produces the most revenue is, but so far in the US reducing the tax rate has increased revenue. This has also been the experience in other countries that reduced taxes. Ireland and Eastern European countries are recent example. According to the 9 April issue of Forbes, Iceland is also an example. From 1991 to2001 Iceland reduced the Corporate tax rate from 45%. Personal tax rates were cut from 33% to 22.75%. From 1991 to 2001 revenue increased by a factor of 3, and from 2001 to 2006 revenues tripled again. As far as I can tell Democrats in the US don't dispute that reducing tax rates increases income, but they are interested in social engineering to equalize income rather than to increase the size of the economy and to increase government revenue. My own experience is that the social engineering is a bad idea. When I was a boy everyone was more nearly economically equal: we were all equally bad off economically. I've always thought it is a better idea to create more pie than to concentrate on making certain that everyone gets an equal share of the existing pie. Collectivists and a lot of other people view life as a zero sum game where some people gain at the expense of others. That does happen, but it is clear that life is not a zero sum game; just consider the wealth of the US in 1936 and today.

The green's have taken over in Europe according to this article.


These measures will destroy the economy of European nations if they actually implement them. So far on carbon dioxide they are all talk and no action. The great hope of the socialists is that they can get the green program implemented before temperature starts falling naturally. If they can do that then they can take credit for the natural temperature decline, and keep themselves in power forever. This is similar to the Kennedy plan hatched at the 1963 Democratic Party planning session to start the "great society" welfare programs that would keep them in power forever as all of the beficiaries of the program voted Democrat. The program was put into effect under LBJ, but didn't work out as planned.

In recent testimony to Conress Al Gore took a shot at "novelists" opinions on Anthropogenic Global Warming. He meant Michael Crichton, who graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and is a real scientist as well as a writer. Here is a Scott Burgess interview with Crichton from the blog "dailyablution" that is worth reading. (My own position on AGW is pretty much the same as Crichton's. One difference: I expect it will be somewhat colder than it is now in 50 years. That is based on history rather than calculation.)

Our first respondent is one of the most popular novelists of our time. According to his official biography, he:
"Graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT."

He's "a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER". He is, of course, Michael Crichton.

To what extent is climate change happening, to what extent is it anthropogenic, and what should we be doing about it?

There has been so much disinformation about my position that I feel obliged to repeat what I said in my book. Yes, the globe is warming; the greenhouse effect is real; CO2 is a greenhouse gas; it is increasing from human activities; we would expect this increased CO2 to produce warming. All true.

But nothing in this sequence of statements implies that CO2 is the primary driver of the warming we are seeing. Not at all. It is one thing to say that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is therefore causing warming; it is quite another to say CO2 is causing ALL of the warming that we see. There is good evidence (and good physical theory) for the first statement, and weak evidence, primarily computer models, for the second.

Despite all the huffing and puffing, the truth is no one knows how much of the current warming trend is caused by man. Some of it surely is. And some of that anthropogenic warming is caused by the man-made rise in CO2. But how much is attributable to CO2 is not known. In the absence of that vital knowledge, people speak of a consensus of scientists. That's a way to get around the lack of knowledge and the inability to predict (which is the conventional proof of scientific knowledge, hence the usual emphasis in science on testable hypotheses.) Perhaps people and nations will choose to act on the basis of a claimed consensus. They have done so in the past, sterilizing their poor neighbors in the name of eugenics, gulping milk for their ulcers, downing antioxidants to prevent cancer, and soon. But all those behaviors were ultimately proven to lack a scientific basis — in other words, they are superstitions.If you take antioxidants, last year you were being sensible about your health. This year, you are engaging in superstitious behavior, wasting your money, and possibly harming your health. So what really matters is knowledge, not consensus.

In the end, the issue in climate is not how many scientists agree that CO2 is the primary driver of current warming. The issue is whether the CO2 mechanisms they have embraced accurately account for the behavior of the planet in the recent past, and can predict its behavior in the near future.
Time will tell. But I believe the planet has many surprises in store.
So, too, does the science. I am quite sure we will see greater scrutiny of the global temperature record, and how it is kept. At least one paper has attacked the notion of global mean temperature as an arbitrary calculation having no physical significance at all.

In the meantime, as you know, my own prediction for warming over the next 100 years is 0.8 degrees C. I arrived at this by a complex formula that I will reveal in future years.

You also ask whether we need to do anything about climate change. I think another question that must be asked first: what are the most pressing environmental problems that wealthy western societies should be addressing right now? Where does global warming stand in that list?
In other words, where does global warming fit in our environmental priority list?

Many people behave as if you dare not ask that question. But it is perfectly reasonable to assign priorities to our environmental problems. In fact, it is highly unreasonable not to do so.

So, should we act now, or not? That is appropriately a complex discussion that depends on economic considerations, an understanding of how fast modern societies can change their infrastructures, and on the question of competing needs — and, yes, on moral considerations as well. But taken seriously.

Readers who are interested in my views on what to do about climate can find them in a speech I gave at the National Press Club in Washington called "Our Environmental Future." It can be found at:


How has your public stance on climate change been received?
Any departure from environmental orthodoxy is marked by ad hominem attack, vigorous spread of false information, claims of criminality and mental derangement, and general nastiness. Apparently this is one area where reasonable people cannot disagree.

It's interesting that any entity as complex, changing and difficult to comprehend as the environment should be guarded by organizations that allow no deviation from a single point of view toward what needs to be done. One might have predicted a rather broad range of environmental viewpoints, promoted by an equally broad range of institutions and activist organizations. There is some variation among organizations, of course. But on the subject of global warming, no deviation. That is to say, I am aware of no environmental organization that does not claim global warming is a major threat that must be dealt with now.

I leave it to your readers to explain that puzzle. Complex subject, simplistic response.

Do you really think nanotechnology poses a serious threat, or was Prey just a good story?

I do not understand the reaction the novel evoked in many quarters. People got wound up for no good reason. But that often happens with my books. After Jurassic Park, a Congressman announced he would introduce legislation to ban all research leading to the creation of a dinosaur — until someone whispered in his ear that it couldn't be done.

It's frequently claimed that I am exposing the public to false fears (except when it's claimed I am giving them a false sense of security.) In any case, it's nonsense. I trust my readers. They understand what I am saying. Nobody worried about dinosaurs after Jurassic Park, and nobody worried about nanotechnology after Prey. On the other hand, people worried like hell about cancer and powerlines and other false claims made by the media.

Prey was written as a story about the influence of commerce on science. It was a story about people taking short-cuts to keep to a schedule and meet deadlines. It wasn't really about the emerging field of nanotechnology because the technology described in the novel is entirely fictional. Nanotechnology can't make self-reproducing, evolving nanomachines. Couldn't then, and can't now.

However, the story accurately dealt with certain trends; the novel anticipated a merging of molecular biology and nanotechnology as away to solve certain problems in both fields. And it is true that some Caltech graduate students asked me to visit their lab because "We're doing all the stuff you wrote about." But they weren't, exactly.

I think there is a great need for advanced societies to come to terms with the commercialization of science, which is an enormous social change that has occurred entirely within my lifetime. Science is now a very different game, with very different players, different opportunities, different benefits, and different hazards for the population. But people in general don't understand what has happened.

They will.

Can you paint a brief picture of technological and social development over the next 50 years?

No. I don't think it's possible to predict the future. It's hard enough to predict the past.

GM - boon, threat, or both?

Most of the people I know who are anxious about GM say that their concerns lie with the fact that the technology is of unproven safety. They share their worries with like-minded people by use of their cell phones. When I remind them that cell phones are a technology of unproven safety, and that the construction of all these wireless networks around the world and in our houses is a development of unproven safety, they just shrug. They don't care. Even though most of them are old enough to remember the false fears about cancer and electromagnetic radiation. You'd think that fear could be easily reawakened in them, but no.

From this I conclude fears are a matter of fashion. Worries are like clothing styles, they come and go, rise and fall, based on what the worry fashion leaders tell the herd of independent minds to fear this year. GM is fashionable to fear. But that will change.

What is the most serious threat facing our civilisation?

Loss of classical liberal values in those western societies that embraced them.

England was the first modern state, the first superpower, the first nation to deal with moral issues around the world, and the first nation to install the benefits of what we might now loosely term a liberal society. I mean that in the 19th century sense of liberalism. That notion of liberalism was also present in America, but made it to the Continent only in a pale and limited form. It is a wonderful social conception that must be vigilantly guarded. It is not shared by other nations in the world. Nor is it shared by many citizens in English-speaking countries. Peculiarly, many of our most educated citizens are least sympathetic to classical liberal ideals. Indeed the term 'liberalism' in the modern day has come to imply a constellation of attitudes that John Stuart Mill would not recognize as liberal at all. Nor would, say, John F. Kennedy recognize them as liberal. Kennedy's conception of liberalism was simultaneously more tolerant and more tough-minded: tolerant about varieties of behavior within the society, and tough-minded toward threats to a tolerant society from without.
That's all gone, now. Today there is far too much sensitivity within societies, and too little hard-nosed recognition of threats from without. We are inclined to be intolerant of speech by our friends and neighbors, and tolerant of beheadings, rape, and homophobia in distant lands.
This makes no sense. But here we are.

What are you working on now?

An adventure story like Jurassic Park. I'm enjoying myself

Monday, March 26, 2007

There is a lot of discussion today about a DOJ official invoking the fifth amendment rather than testifying to the congressional committee investigating the firing of eight US Attorney's. I predicted this would happen in the wake of the Libby trial for perjury. It is hard to fault the DOJ official because it is clear that the Democrat's are running a perjury trap. No law was broken since the President can fire US Attorney's without cause, so the only reason for the investigation is to "get" Administration officials, and the only way to do that is by perjury. Given the example of the Libby trial, which was a "he said, he said" case, it is possible for someone to be convicted even though they may be telling the truth. In the Libby case it appeared to me that it was as likely that Tim Russert was lying or mistaken as that Libby was. Of course the Judge prevented the jury from finding out that two reporters who worked for Russert were aware of the Plame situation before Libby and Russert spoke. I don't have high regard for Libby; he was a gangster's lawyer (which is why Fitz had it in for Libby since Libby beat him in a previous case). And I think Russert is a partisan Democrat who apparently has a faulty memory and is proud of himself for damaging the Bush Administration. At any rate , anyone should either not talk to Federal Investigators, or use the Bill and Hillary strategy of not remembering anything clearly when testifying. They not only didn't know anything, they didn't even suspect anything.

There is some interesting data on the use of coronary artery stents out today. When I had a heart attack ten years ago the doctors did angioplasty to remove a blood clot, but did not insert a stent. That may have been because they did not have the coated stents at that time. Today's information is that stents are beneficial for those actually having a heart attack, but do not appear beneficial for those who just have plaque build-up. My doctor says that I didn't have significant plaque build-up, which also is considered in the decision on whether or not to insert a stent. I did have gum disease, which is now thought to be a factor in heart attacks in people who don't have a lot of risk factors like high LDL Cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The proponents of catatrophic global warming are taking some serious hits lately. One of the basic concepts behind the global warming hypothesis is that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was constant up until the start of the industrial age about a century ago. The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since then was the reason for the purported 1 F average temperature increase over the last century. (The reason for a simliar average temperature increase over ninteenth century was not explained, nor were the temperature fluctuations in the twentieth century that did not comport with the steady increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.) Now researchers are looking at direct measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations made 150 to 200 years ago. Many of these measurements indicate levels that are higher than those seen today. It turns out that the IPCC disregarded over 90% of the old data because it didn't match the assumption that carbon dioxide levels were constant prior to the industrial age. It is curious that the IPCC acknowledged that carbon dioxide levels had varied widely over the history of Earth, and that some such as Al Gore had argued that the large increases in Earth's temperature in the past were caused by the increase in carbon dioxide even though it was clear that the temperature increases preceded the carbon dioxide increases. There is also recent work that casts doubt on the cloud data used in the Global Circulation Models. The GCMs do a poor job of predicting cloud cover, so that becomes an input parameter. Clouds obviously have a lot to do with temperature, so an error in cloud action makes the computer simulation invalid. It becomes a classic case of what in the computer analysis world is called GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out).

The Islamic Jihadists are using terrorism as a tactic against the West. I think they have a strategy of infiltrating the West with immigrants who use the West's unfortunate doctrines of "moral relativity," "diversity," and "political correctness" to obtain legitimacy for Moslem doctrines. This can be seen in a recent decision by a German judge to deny a divorce for a Muslim woman who claimed her husband beat her because beating of wives is permitted by the Koran. In Minnesota Muslims are working in grocery stores are refusing to sell pork and cab drivers are refusing service to people with seeing eye dogs or are carrying alcohol. In Quebec Muslim women wearing burkas are to be allowed to vote without a comparison of their face to a photo ID. We need to understand that even the so-called Muslims who don't engage in acts of terrorism want to destroy us and our way of life.

It is unfortunate that President Bush named our engagement with Islam as a "war on terror." He did that because he wants to avoid total war between civilizations. Bush has a strategy that we have to hope succceeds, even as Democrats try to make it fail. If it fails then the global conflict Bush has tried to avoid becomes likely.

There is a frequent question today, "Why didn't we finish the job in Afghanistan?" Democrats ask this as a rhetorical question that is actually an implied criticism of the Bush Administration. The answer to the question is that the enemy has a lot of support amongst the the population, but, more importantly, the Taliban and al queda have sanctuary in the neighboring country of Pakistan. Specifically, the area is nominally Pakistan, but the government actually has little control there. Nevertheless the US is not politically able to pursue our enemies into that region. It is difficult to defeat an enemy that has a nearby sanctuary. So, unless the US is willing to go to war with Pakistan, it is difficult to "finish the job."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I finished preparing my 2006 tax return. It is amazing how complicated the process has become. Every time the politicians "simplify" the tax code, it takes longer to prepare the return. I would like to see the process simplified by creating a flat tax as has been done in some Eastern European nations. Just get rid on all exemptions, deductions, etc. I suppose that would be impossible because the politicians want to use the tax code for "social engineering." It always strikes me as odd that the super rich always say they favor tax increases. But that seems to be because they don't pay the taxes. I recall that in the 2004 election it was revealed that Mrs Kerry, who apparently has $700 or 800 million paid taxes on income of only about $2 million. Rich guys usually make about 10% per year on their investments (they do better than ordinary folk), so obviously her income was sheltered somehow. Warren Buffett seems to have made $20 billion over the past five or six years (based on my memory of Forbes assessment of the wealth of rich folks); I will bet that he didn't pay much in taxes. He plans to leave the bulk of his wealth to a foundation that will not pay taxes.

I still think Barack Obama is the Manchurian candidate. He has one half-brother he likes. That brother lives in the US, but has converted to Islam and would like to move to Africa. He doesn't like his half-brother who is a physicist, who likes being an American, and is not conflicted as Obama is about being half African. I suspect that Obama as President would try to negotiate with the Islamists, who will accept only our unconditional surrender.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The so-called anti-war crowd are now burning our flag and burning soldiers in effigy. They are revealing that they are not anti-war; they are for the other side.

I watched some of Al Gore's performance before Congress today. He is supposed to have an IQ of over 130, but he talks like he is speaking to a really backward audience. He speaks slowly and emphatically in simple allegories. He reminds me of Chauncey Gardiner in the movie "Being There."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm not the only person who finds the argumeents for carbon dioxide causing warming. Here is a comment from a scientist who has syudies the issue more than I have, and has reached the same conclusion I have.

Prof Bob Carter, a marine geophysicist at James Cook University, in Queensland, Australia, argues: "Public utterances by prominent persons are marked by an ignorance of the important facts and uncertainties of climate science. "The evidence for dangerous human-caused global-warming forced by human carbon-dioxide emissions is extremely weak. That the satellite temperature record shows no substantial warming since 1978, and that even the ground-based thermometer statistic records no warming since 1998, indicates that a key line of circumstantial evidence for human-caused change to 2026 is now negated."

There has been some predictable criticism to the "Great Global Warming Swindle" video. Here is the director's response that I got from Greenie watch. (The Criticisms made of the video are indeed feeble, probably because the case for carbon dioxide causing runaway temperature on Earth is really weak.)

'The global-warmers were bound to attack, but why are they so feeble?'

'The Great Global Warming Swindle', broadcast by Channel 4, put the case for scepticism about man-made climate change. The programme sparked a heated debate and charges of scientific inaccuracy. Here, its director, Martin Durkin, responds to the criticsOn March 8, Channel 4 broadcast my programme. Since then, supporters of the theory of man-made global warming have published frothing criticism. I am attacked for using an "old" graph depicting temperature over the past 1,000 years. They say I should have used a "new" graph - one used by Al Gore, known as the "hockey stick", because it looks like one. But the hockey stick has been utterly discredited. The computer programme used to generate it was found to produce hockey-stick shapes even when fed random data (I refer readers to the work of McIntyre & McKitrick and to the Wegman Report, all available on the internet). Other than the discredited hockey stick, the graph used by us (and published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is the standard, accepted record of temperature in this period.A critic claims that one of the graphs cited by us, illustrating the extraordinarily close correlation between solar variation and temperature change, has since been "corrected". It most certainly has not. The graph was produced by Prof Eigil Friis-Christensen, the head of the Danish National Space Centre, who says it still stands. But if the global-warmers don't like that graph, there are plenty of others that say the same thing.No one any longer seriously disputes the link between solar activity and temperature in earth's climate history. I urge readers to look up on the net: Veizer, Geoscience Canada, 2005; and Soon, Geophysical Research Letters, 2005.In the film, we used three graphs depicting temperature change in the 20th century. On one there was an error in the dates on the bottom. This was corrected for the second transmission of the programme, on More4, last Monday. It made no difference. Global-warmers can pick whichever graph they like. The problem for them remains the same. The temperature rise at the beginning of the century (prior to 1940, when human emissions of CO2 were relatively insignificant) was as great, most graphs show greater, than the temperature rise at the end of the century.So what else do they hit me with? Prof Carl Wunsch, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who appeared in the film, later claimed he was duped into taking part. He was not.The remarkable thing is not that I was attacked. But that the attacks have been so feeble. The ice-core data was the jewel in the global-warming crown, cited again and again as evidence that carbon dioxide 'drives' the earth's climate. In fact, as its advocates have been forced to admit, the ice-core data says the opposite. Temperature change always precedes changes in CO2 by several hundred years. Temperature drives CO2, not the other way round. The global-warmers do not deny this. They cannot.During the post-war economic boom, while industrial emissions of CO2 went up, the temperature went down (hence the great global-cooling scare in the 1970s). Why? They say maybe the cooling was caused by SO2 (sulphur dioxide) produced by industry. But they say it mumbling under their breath, because they know it makes no sense. Thanks to China and the rest, SO2 levels are far, far higher now than they were back then. Why isn't it perishing cold?Too many journalists and scientists have built their careers on the global-warming alarm. Certain newspapers have staked their reputation on it. The death of this theory will be painful and ugly. But it will die. Because it is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2007

There is a new blog out on IQ by La Griffe duLion at this site:


(Liberals and others who are politically correct will be offended by this site. Liberals like Chuck Schumer don't believe in IQ except when informing you of their exalted level - actually it is his 1600 score on the SAT that Schumer like to point out, but that is the same thing.)

This article indicates that of the people who have an IQ of over 120 (the level usually assumed as required for professional occupations like Law, Engineering, and Medicine) about 37% are women and thus 63% are men. In industry about 35% of those jobs are held by women, close to the 37% that would be qualified. Interestingly, in Government, women have 66% of those jobs. (La Griffe duLion doesn't say, but I would guess that shows the effect of Affimative Action.) As I recall the President of Harvard got fired for pointing out that more men than women have really high IQ's, like 160 to 180. He was replaced with a woman of course.

Yesterday I read in the Miss Carnivorous blog something about planting trees to generate "carbon" credits. Today my forester called me to tell me about an offer to buy carbon credits. Apparently you can sell carbon credits for trees planted on previously open land as far back as 1990. You get carbon credits based on the age of the trees. I inferred from the rate trees grow and the number of credits given that each credit represents one ton of carbon. That sounds reasonable. The credits are worth $4 each at present. Apparently I could sell the 17 years worth of carbon credits for trees that I planted in 1990 for about $300 per acre. Somehow this doesn't make much sense to me. I suppose it makes sense to Al Gore. Like everything about Al Gore, it seems ridiculous. What if, as I suspect, global warming is not being driven by increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere? Probably some promoters will get rich anyway.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I don't like to vote for lawyers for anything. I think we would be better off if we got non-lawyers for the Supreme Court. This year the Democrats have three lawyers as their leading candidates; Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton. The leading Republican is Rudy Guiliani, a lawyer I've never liked. I suppose I would have to vote for Rudy in the general election as "the lesser of two evils." Since 1984 I've had to vote for the "lesser of two evils." It's too bad there is not another Ronald Reagan. Romney is a management consultant, has an MBA, so maybe he would be OK. I don't think McCain is a lawyer, but I've never like him.

Here is an article by Melanie Phillips on an interview with an Australian leader. He says if Muslims are willing to live under Australian laws and values, they should leave. I wis the US had some leaders with that attitude. I'm afraid political correctness has set in here, to our disadvantage. We have Muslims in Minneapolis who refuse to do their jobs because of their religious beliefs; it is curious that Muslims in other nations do not have the same constraints. For example, Muslim taxi drivers won't accommodate people who are carrying alcohol, or who have dogs, even seeing eye dogs. And clerks who refuse to sell pork products. It is intersting to me that Christian druggists who don't want to sell "morning after" abortion pilss are threatened with lawsuits or fired. But for some reason we have to accommodate Muslims. I think we should tell Muslims that if they can't live by the US constitution, they should leave. Of course they don't want to leave because they came here to work toward imposing shria law.


Today I have been reading about something called Post-Normal Science. Apparently when something has potentially disastrous consequences, like AGW in particular, then we cannot afford to rely on normal science to get answers because it may be too late to take action by the time the science is understood. The idea is, we try to get consensus on what to do, not only from scientists, who as yet don't know the facts, but also from politicians, etc. It is amazing that the supporters of the idea, not just of AGW, but that AGW is going to destroy the world as we know it are now arguing their case based on Post-Normal Science. The Al Gore's now seem to be saying, "don't confuse me with facts, I know what needs to be done." And, of course, what needs to be done is to end free markets and set up a world government under the auspices of the UN.

I've written before about the terrible weather that occurred during the little ice age, and how the bad weather was blamed on "witches" who were then burned at the stake. It reminds us of what is happening now, with calls for Nuremburg style trials for Anthropoligical Global Warming "deniers." This video is a good talk by a Harvard Astrophysist:


The Democrats in Congress are going to great lenghts to embarrass the Bush Administration, the latest example of which is the investigation into the "outing" of Valerie Plame. This whole affair was the result of Joe Wilson's attempt to get himself a good job in the next Democrat Administration. The hearings this week were another bad joke. It turns out that Valerie's job was so secret that she herself didn't even know what her status was. The CIA came out of this looking even more inept than I thought they were. I don't see how the fact that someone works at Langeley could possibly be "classified." What they did might be classified, but the idea that their employment by the CIA could be clasified is ludicrous. I don't think that even the CIA would have secret agents coming into work at Langeley every day. I feel certain that real secret agents never go to Langely, at least not openly. Here is a summary of Joe Wilson's activities from the blog "Sweetness and Light." Note that this not only shows the lies of Joe Wilson, but also shows how Democrats are lying about the Administration "cherry-picking" intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq.

When and Why Joseph C Wilson IV Outed Valerie Plame
Before we put Plame "leak" story to bed once and for all, I want to reiterate what I first posited almost two years ago, which now seems to be more true than ever.
It was almost certainly Mr. Joseph C. Wilson IV who first "outed" his wife as a CIA officer.
And he probably did this in early May 2003 after meeting with top level Democrats and around the time he began to work for the John Kerry for President campaign.
Let’s run through the chronology.
January 28, 2003: President George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union Address.
February 6, 2003: Joe Wilson wrote an editorial for the Los Angeles Times, A ‘Big Cat’ With Nothing to Lose, in which he claimed we should not attack Saddam Hussein because he will use his weapons of mass destruction on our troops and give them to terrorists.
There is now no incentive for Hussein to comply with the inspectors or to refrain from using weapons of mass destruction to defend himself if the United States comes after him.
And he will use them; we should be under no illusion about that.
February 28, 2003: Joe Wilson was interviewed by Bill Moyers. Wilson agreed with Bush’s SOTU remarks, and reiterated his belief that Saddam had WMD and that he would use them on US troops.
MOYERS: President Bush’s recent speech to the American Enterprise Institute, he said, let me quote it to you. "The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away." You agree with that? WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. MOYERS: "The danger must be confronted." You agree with that? "We would hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat." You agree with that? WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. The President goes on to say in that speech as he did in the State of the Union Address is we will liberate Iraq from a brutal dictator. All of which is true. But the only thing Saddam Hussein hears in this speech or the State of the Union Address is, "He’s coming to kill me. He doesn’t care if I have weapons of mass destruction or not. His objective is to come and overthrow my regime and to kill me." And that then does not provide any incentive whatsoever to disarm.
March 3, 2003: At the invitation of David Corn, Joe Wilson wrote a piece for the Nation, Republic Or Empire?
In it Wilson blasted the "neo-conservatives" in the Bush administration for their imperial over-reach. But he made no mention of uranium or any other suggestion that Bush misled the country or lied about Iraq’s WMD.
Then what’s the point of this new American imperialism? The neoconservatives with a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party, a party that traditionally eschewed foreign military adventures, want to go beyond expanding US global influence to force revolutionary change on the region. American pre-eminence in the Gulf is necessary but not sufficient for the hawks. Nothing short of conquest, occupation and imposition of handpicked leaders on a vanquished population will suffice. Iraq is the linchpin for this broader assault on the region. The new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our worldview are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme.
March 8, 2003: CNN’s Renay San Miguel interviewed Joe Wilson about the so-called Niger forgeries.
SAN MIGUEL: So how do you play this, then? I mean, what, do you admit it, do you just move on? Do you try to get these things verified if you do believe, indeed, that Iraq was trying to buy this material from Niger? I mean, how do you handle this? What’s the damage control on this?
WILSON: I have no idea. I’m not in the government. I would not want to be doing damage control on this. I think you probably just fess up and try to move on and say there’s sufficient other evidence to convict Saddam of being involved in the nuclear arms trade.
Note that up until at least March 8, 2003 Joe Wilson still contended that Saddam had WMD and that he was involved in the nuclear arms trade.
So what happened after March 8th to make Wilson change his tune about the Iraq’s WMD and re-write his findings from his trip to Niger? A version in direct contradiction to what he told his CIA debriefers, according to the 9/11 Commission?
The answer is easy. The US invaded Iraq in March and after searching for two months, admitted they had not found any stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. And, coincidentally…
May 2003: Joe Wilson began to "advise" the Kerry for President campaign.
Wilson… said he has long been a Kerry supporter and has contributed $2,000 to the campaign this year. He said he has been advising Kerry on foreign policy for about five months and will campaign for Kerry, including a trip to New Hampshire… — David Tirrell-Wysocki, "Former Ambassador Wilson Endorses Kerry In Presidential Race,” The Associated Press, 10/23/03
Five months prior to October 2, 2003 would be May 2, 2003. What happened on that date?
May 2, 2003: Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq. One of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof.
(Coincidentally, all records of this particular conference at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee have been expunged from their website.)
Here, unlike in his interview with CNN on March 8, 2003, Wilson suddenly now claimed State Department officials should have known better than to have been duped by the forged documents that purported to prove a deal for uranium had been in the works between Iraq and Niger.
May 3, 2003: Over breakfast, Wilson and Valerie told Kristof about his trip to Niger.
May 6, 2003: Kristof published the first public mention of Wilson’s mission to Niger, without identifying him by name, in a column for the New York Times, Missing in Action: Truth.
May 23, 2003: The John Kerry For President campaign recorded a $1,000 contribution from Joe Wilson.
Soon other newspaper articles began to appear, for which Mr. Wilson had been the obvious source.
June 12, 2003: Walter Pincus published an article in the Washington Post, CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data.
June 29, 2003: The UK’s Independent published, Ministers Knew War Papers Were Forged, Says Diplomat.
A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme accused Britain and the US yesterday of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case for war against Saddam Hussein.
The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the West African state of Niger, were forgeries.
When he saw similar claims in Britain’s dossier on Iraq last September, he even went as far as telling CIA officials that they needed to alert their British counterparts to his investigation…
The former diplomat - who had served as an ambassador in Africa - had been approached by the CIA in February 2002 to carry out a "discreet" task: to investigate if it was possible that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger. He said the CIA had been asked to find out in a direct request from the office of the Vice-President, Dick Cheney.
During eight days in Niger, he discovered it was impossible for Iraq to have been buying the quantities of uranium alleged. "My report was very unequivocal," he said. He also learnt that the signatures of officials vital to any transaction were missing from the documents. On his return, he was debriefed by the CIA.
Note that almost everything in this article, like the others, has been subsequently proven to be untrue. Including Wilson’s claim that he had seen the supposedly forged documents, and that his Niger report was "unequivocal."
June 2003: According to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, the following interview with Richard Armitage at the State Department transpired about a month before Robert Novak’s column appeared on July 14, 2003.
Woodward: Well it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency, isn’t it?Armitage: His wife works for the agency.Woodward: Why doesn’t that come out? Why does that have to be a big secret? Armitage: (over) Everybody knows it.Woodward: Everyone knows?Armitage: Yeah. And they know ’cause Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody. He’s pissed off ’cause he was designated as a low level guy went out to look at it. So he’s all pissed off.Woodward: But why would they send him?Armitage: Because his wife’s an analyst at the agency.Woodward: It’s still weird.Armitage: He — he’s perfect. She — she, this is what she does. She’s a WMD analyst out there. Woodward: Oh, she is. Armitage: (over) Yeah.Woodward: Oh, I see. I didn’t think…Armitage: (over) "I know who’ll look at it." Yeah, see?Woodward: Oh. She’s the chief WMD…?Armitage: No. She’s not the…Woodward: But high enough up that she could say, "oh, yeah, hubby will go."Armitage: Yeah. She knows [garbled].Woodward: Was she out there with him, when he was…?Armitage: (over) No, not to my knowledge. I don’t know if she was out there. But his wife’s in the agency as a WMD analyst. How about that?
Why would Richard Armitage have been talking about Wilson and Plame in June of 2003? This was still weeks before Joe Wilson wrote his New York Times editorial, and a month before Robert Novak published his column mentioning Valerie Plame.
Armitage brought this up because he is a gossip and it was already common knowledge because Joe Wilson had been calling all of the newspapers trying to get them to run his story about his mission to Niger.
Given the chronology and Mr. Armitage’s remarks, it seems quite obvious Mr. Wilson outed his wife when he spoke to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and then to the subsequent reporters at the Times, the Post and elsewhere, when he was hawking his story about his trip to Niger.
Wilson’s motivation for bringing up his wife would have been exactly as Armitage suggested to Woodward. Wilson told the panelists and reporters about Plame’s work at the CIA to give his radically new and dangerous story more credibility.
It’s highly probable Wilson used his wife’s position as a WMD analyst at the CIA to bolster his outrageous (and we now know fallacious) claims against a then popular President in a time of war.
July 6, 2003: Frustrated that his trip to Niger story was still not getting enough attention, Mr. Wilson finally stepped out from behind the curtain and wrote his now notorious op-ed piece for the New York Times, What I Didn’t Find in Africa.
Sometime after July 6th and before July 8th 2003 Richard Armitage told Robert Novak about Wilson’s wife working at the CIA. Mr. Novak then published that information in his column on July 14, 2003.
But Valerie Plame’s work at the CIA had almost certainly long since been disclosed to anyone who would listen by Joe Wilson. And he probably disclosed this information to promote himself, his fantasy about his "mission to Niger," and his new political career.
Remember, there was much talk within the Kerry camp that Joe Wilson might be the new administration’s Secretary Of State. The vainglorious Mr. Wilson surely had his eyes on that prize.
And any concern about the secrecy of his wife’s job at the CIA was a minor consideration compared to that lofty goal.

Friday, March 16, 2007

This John Edwards clip is interesting, and provides some insight into Ann Coulter's comments about him. Maybe Carly Simon was thinking of this guy when she wrote the song "You're so Vain." (I assume that this is actually Edwards; I've never paid much attention to him, and wouldn't recognize him.)


In 1900 the life expectancy in the US was about 47 for men, as I recall (I could have checked, to get the exact number, but that is close enough). By the time I was born in 1936 it was up to near 65. The major reason for the dramatic increase was not medical improvement, but rather good water and improved transportation. The clean water stopped water borne disease, and the mostly rail tranportation got better food to people in urban areas during the winter. I have long thought that improved water supply is the thing that is most needed by people in Africa, Pakistan, India, and similar "third world" areas where people have to spend a lot of their time getting water. (Some DDT would also help those people.) Here is an interesting article that I got from Powerline on what Coke is doing to improve water supplies in third world countries.

From Powerline:

I adopted Coke products as my non-alcoholic beverages of choice in response to the 2005 Columbia University Business School commencement speech given by Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi. (I wrote about Nooyi's speech in the Standard column "The straight story.") Yesterday's page-one Wall Street Journal story by Betsy McKay about Coke accordingly caught my eye: "Why Coke aims to slake global thirst for water." I was struck by the basic things we take for granted as well as the scope and ingenuity of Coke's efforts to help in Africa. McKay writes:
In Kenya, where more than half of the rural population has no access to clean water, the Atlanta beverage giant brought water-purification systems, storage urns, and hygiene lessons to 45 schools in a poor western province. Children learn how to use a chlorine-based solution to kill diseases that come from contaminated, muddy pools or remote wells -- and are taught to teach their parents.
In Mali, Coke is helping extend municipal water taps beyond the country's capital of Bamako. In India, where the company has been accused of draining water from poor communities for its own use, the company is building rainwater-harvesting structures to help alleviate chronic water shortages. Coke's bottlers are also implementing water-efficiency measures.
More than 1.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.6 billion -- about 40% of the world's population -- lack proper sanitation, resulting in waterborne diseases that infect and kill about two million people a year, according to the United Nations. And global population growth and rising industrial production are increasing competition for the world's freshwater supplies.
Coke has some 70 clean-water projects in 40 countries, a service it hopes will eventually boost local economies and broaden its consumer base. But the efforts are also part of a broader strategy under Chairman and Chief Executive E. Neville Isdell to build Coke's image as a local benefactor and global diplomat. "You have to be an integral and functioning part both in perception and reality in every community in which you operate," he said in an interview. Thanks to the Wall Street Journal's David Patton, who kindly responded to my request that the Journal make McKay's story available to our readers. Message: Drink Coke!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A question I have thought about a lot is what to do about the increasing percentage of people who lack the mental capacity to function in the modern world. I have seen estimates that it takes an IQ of about 106 to function well in a modern economy compared to perhaps 85 in 1870. That leaves out a lot of people, and the percentage left out is increasing as we absorb immigrants from Mexico who have average IQ's of about one standard deviation (15 points) less than 106. I don't have a solution, and it doesn't appear that politicians do either. When we consider what has happened in public education over the last 40 years, it appears that "dumbing down" has been the approach. This has caused a large increase in the number of private schools. When I was young in Texas most people, even the children of millionaires, went to public schools. Now even middle class people are sending their children to private schools, and the trend is accelerating. I suspect this is leading to even more "dumbing down" of public schools. The long term effect will be a "dumbing down" of our entire economy. Combine that with the Democrat's attack on capital, and I think the long-term outlook for the United States is not good. The Democrat's solution to what to do about those who are not smart enough to thrive in meritocracy is some form of collectivism. The United States experience with Capitalism shows that it is better for the lower IQ people than Socialism in terms of their physical well being. But, as the percentage of people with sub-par intelligence increases it becomes more likely that Democrat's will be able to implement thier collectivist agenda. The only solution I can see is to improve the education of those folks with lower IQ's, but so far no one has had much success in doing that.

An example of what could happen here can be seen recent events in Venezuala. There large numbers of illiterate poor people from other countries came in and voted into power a socialist dictator. Now a lot of the smarter people are leaving the country. I'm sure that the Democrat's (and Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee) who supported Chavez expect his socialist regime to do well. We'll have to wait and see how it works out.

Halliburton has decided to move their headquarters from Houston to Dubai in the UAE. Our politicians use Halliburton as their primary whipping boy, and threaten Halliburton regularly. (For example, do most people even know that San Francisco based Bechtel is a Halliburton competitor, and got more sole source business in Iraq than Halliburton did, or that Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband is a wheel in Bechtel.) Most of Halliburton's business is overseas, and, given the Democrat's opposition to producing oil in the US, is likely to remain there. Here is an interesting comment on this from Dr. Ray's blog Dissecting Leftism.

Democrats Force American Energy Companies to FleePost below excerpted from Gateway PunditDemocratic policies of "no drilling zones" are forcing energy companies to invest elsewhere. The Democrats also keep America dangerously dependent on foreign oil.Oil giant Exxon announced that of the 32 new major projects for 2006-09 only one is planned in the United States territory.Investor's Business Daily has the latest on how democrats are forcing American energy companies to flee the mainland and as a result leave our country more dependent on terror regimes for our energy. This is the last thing our country needs."Hil verses Hal"
Democrats gleefully demonize oil companies, outlaw offshore drilling and, in Hillary Clinton's case, vow to expropriate profits. In that kind of climate, why the surprise that Halliburton is moving to Dubai? Halliburton's pullout from its Houston headquarters Monday for a new home in the Middle East drew umbrage from the very Democrats who've had the oil-services company in their gun sights for years.Clinton led the charge, hinting at more punishment ahead. "I think it raises a lot of very big concerns, and we're going to be looking into it in Washington," she warned.One of industry's most innovative firms, Halliburton provides the operative brawn to transform the discoveries of oil exploration into fuel ready for pipeline transport all the way to the gas station. It holds 4,700 patents.The only thing Democrats see in this showplace of U.S. innovation is a criminal conspiracy. But then, leftists have built a whole culture around hating Halliburton. Their Amazon-listed books hawk conspiracy theories about how Halliburton supposedly runs the U.S. or the world or both."Tantamount to fleeing the scene of a crime," huffed the Huffington Post, claiming Halliburton's move was to avoid taxes and slip investigations. The company, of course, denies this -- credibly, we might add, considering its remaining base in Houston.The reality is, Halliburton's pullout is the result of Democrats doing everything possible to give the company reasons to leave. Yet they don't seem to have a clue that that's what's happening.Clinton says she is "troubled by the continued outsourcing of jobs and . . . eager to find out how the tax code can be strengthened to encourage American companies to invest here rather than abroad."Invest in what? Democrats have effectively taken away every opportunity that might keep Halliburton in the states. They've blue-penciled all but a small portion of the Gulf of Mexico for offshore drilling. They also have made the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge off-limits and now want that ban permanent.Add to that Clinton's threat to confiscate the profits of companies such as Exxon, profits now being used to develop the very energy that fuels the electricity in her microphone. The result is a climate so hostile that the only way oil concerns can produce oil is by moving.It's not just Halliburton. Exxon last week announced 32 new projects for 2006-09. Only three are based in the U.S., and just one is in the Gulf of Mexico. Another project is in Canada, and the rest are overseas, where no Hillary-like hatred of oil companies exists.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Here is the site for the movie that has irritated Al Gore's supporters. Gore and his UN buddies are all for free speech as long as those who they don't agree with are not allowed to speak. In fact, they think the scientists in this anti-global warming film should be tried for crimes against humanity. (The movie is over an hour long.)


Friday, March 09, 2007

Today I read a blog that said Barack Obama was the descendant of both slaves and slave owners. That seems unlikely to me. His Mother's family may well have been slave owners some generations back. But, his black father was from Africa, and I would guess it to be more likely that they were also slave owners rather than slaves.

Democrat leaders and candidates for President seem to have faulty memories when it comes to the question of WMD in Iraq. Here is what they had to say then.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

In my previous post I mentioned that the methane concentration in the atmosphere has declined. The current level is about 5 parts per billion, down from 20 ppb about 25 years ago. (On a unit basis, methane is about 20 times as effective as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.) Changes in the way rice is grown in China is probably the cause. for the reduction in methane concentration in the atmosphere. I wonder if the GCM's the IPCC uses to predict future temperature reflect the decline in atmospheric methane concentration.

It is well known that the IPCC still uses the Mann hockey-stick curve for the temperature history of Earth even though it has been discredited. Now there are claims that the IPCC's record of carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is incorrect. The record is based on ice core samples for the period prior to 1957. It turns out that there were direct measurements made as far back as the mid-ninteenth century. (That is not a surprise, and I always assumed that these were the basis for the carbon dioxide concentration record.) However, those records show much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations than the ice sore samples, but were ignored by the IPCC. Here is a paper on past carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration.


I don't have an opinion on this yet. But, if it is correct, then Al Gore's global warming hysteria is really a fraud.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a new campaign to stop global warming by having everyone stop eating meat and switch to a vegetarian diet. (This campaign assumes that greenhouse gases are the primary cause of claimed recent increases in average temperature of Earth which is debateable, and ignores that the temperature has not increased since 1998.) I saw a PETA representative discuss this on CNBC. The moderator apparently didn't know enough to challenge the proposition that animals add more net greenhouse gas than all industry, transportation, etc. Humans each generate about one kilogram of carbon dioxide per day, and animals similarly generate carbon dioxide. But, this carbon dioxide could be classified as "renewable," since the carbon comes from plants that recently grew by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. So, there is no net increase in carbon dioxide from animal metabolic processes. People have to eat something, so if they don't eat meat, they will eat grains directly rather than eating meat that was produced by an animal that eats grain. (Animals also produce methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so I suppose an argument could be made that eliminating animals would help. The fact that the amount of methane in the atmosphere has been declining wouldn't make that argument compelling.) This global warming stuff is getting ridiculous. We are in an era in which scientific knowledge is essential to understanding the issues we face, and yet most people, including opinion makers like politicians, Hollywood actors, Newspaper Reporters, and TV announcers are woefully ignorant of science or technology.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Russian journalist has died in what is described as a suicide jump. Day before yesterday a Russian journalist critical of the Russian government was shot in Washington DC in what has been described as just a coincidence. The one in Washigton had recently observed in a TV interview that journalists who criticized Putin or the Russian government seemed to die suddenly. It takes courage for a Russian journalist to criticize the Russian government. I get a kick out of our Liberals who brag about their courage in criticizing George Bush, who poses no threat even to their employment to say nothing of their life.

I read that Hirsi Ali said that it is easy to hate George Bush because he won't seek you out and behead you. Actually it goes further than that. There is no reason for Americans to fear George Bush because, unlike Democrats such as Bill Clinton he won't set Private Investigators and/or the IRS on those who criticize him.

Tomorrow, 6 March, is the 171st anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. Santa Anna announced that he was going to kill all of the defenders of the Alamo which he did, and later after the battle of Goliad executed prisoners after agreeing to honorable surrender terms. But, he didn't have the women, children, and slaves in the Alamo killed, and released them. Later when Texans agined independence by defeating and capturing Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto there were some women in the Mexican camp. One of them, described as being quite beautiful, was killed by a saber stroke. Only a few Texas officers had sabers. The Texas soldiers accused one of the officers of killing the woman, and had to be restrained from hanging him. The officer was dogged by suspicion that he had killed a woman for the rest of his life. Things are a lot different now. The Muslim terrorists go out of their way to kill women and children, and typically shoot from behind women and children so that they are killed in the crossfire. The Muslims are truly 7th century savages.

Liberals and Conservatives are all upset because, I gather, that Ann Coulter implied in apeech that John Edwards might be gay. I wonder what her comment was all about; maybe she meant that he looks gay. He's a Democrat, so no one cares anyway. Of course, a gay Republican would have to go. Maybe Ann is just striking back at all of those Liberals who I recall implied that she is really a man. (I've never seen her in person and she looks good on TV, but from the comments she must be much taller than average, and has a prominent Adam's Apple.) It is interesting to me that Conservatives condemn use of such invective against opponents, but Liberals do not. Liberals do not seem to be condemning those like Bill Maher who implied that they wished the alleged attempted assassination of VP Cheney had succeeded.

It is being reported that Barack Obama's white mother's family once owned slaves. I fail to see any importance in that. I would guess that his African father's family owned slaves. It might be a good thing if black Americans were forced to consider the ugly truth that those who sold black Africans into slavery were other black Africans, not whites. And that slavery continues in Africa. And has Thomas Sowell has documented, that whites are the ones who stopped the slave trade, against the policies of Aficans and Arabs.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been campaigning in black churches in the South. Is that legal? When Goerge Bush spoke in a churchiberals were outraged. I guess it all depends on who does it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Many years ago I read about the Muslim Brotherhood and their plans to take over the world. It seemed fantastic at the time. But they seem to meeting with some success. Their basic plan was to colonize Europe, and then to create a state within a state inside European nations as they have done in Lebanon. They would then work to get Sharia Law implemented in the regions controlled by Muslims. Initially they would use peaceful means, but after they gained sufficient numbers they would turn to violence. They are attempting to carry out the plan. They are demanding Sharia Law for Muslims in England and Canada. They have Muslim dominated areas in France and Sweden where the authorites have ceded control to them; where they attack Jews and rape women who don't wear the veil with impunity. In the United States, in New York, there is a movement to establish a taxpayer funded Arabic school.

It appears to me that President Bush attempted to combat militant Islam by pitting the Sunni and Shia against each other to sap their strength. That is a dangerous course, but, if it succeeds it could prevent a wider war in the West. Now President Bush has been weakened, and those who favor appeasement of the Muslims are in ascendancy. The Democrat candidates for President all indicate they will follow a policy of appeasement. They apparently do not believe that the Muslims mean it when they chant "Death to America." I think they ignore what the Muslims have been doing at our peril. If the Iranians get nuclear weapons, it seems likely that they will use them. I read where Newt Gingrich predicted that some American cities will be incinerated within the next 10 years. People who think that is impossible need to read some history. In the past Muslims and similar barbarians have wiped out civilizations that did not have the will or the capability to fight back. We have ample capability, but it seems to me that a majority of our people and most of our would be leaders do not have the will to resist. Whether that is true or not, the Muslims believe it, and are emboldened by their perception.

When I was young Texas Independence Day, 2 March, was a celebrated in Texas. It was an official state Holiday so schools were closed. Now Texas Independence Day is hardly noted and cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Texas. (The Mexican general who won the obscure battle over the French in Mexico was born in Texas as far as I can tell that's the only reason the fifth of May is celebrated in Texas.) Below is the site of an interesting article about this.


Mexico is now invading Texas, and I think is attempting to colonize it. It will be sad if they are successful. Mexico is a failed state, and I see no reason to believe it would be any more successful with Texas and California. The problem with Mexico is not that it lacks natural resources since it has plenty, but that it is politically corrupt, and always has been.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Libby trial is nearing an end. From my perspective the only reasonable outcome would be a Not Guilty verdict, but I am not optimistic that such will be the outcome. I have no confidence in Juries. In the case of Cullen Davis and OJ Simpson, obviously guilty people were turned loose by juries that ignored evidence. In Libby case it is hard to figure out why the Special Prosecutor focused on the White House when it was known that the "leak" that was the basis of the investigation came from the State Department. In his closing the Special Prosecutor talked about "the cloud over Cheney." What was that all about? It had nothing to do with the case, and the closing argumant seems to set up a successful appeal of a guity verdict. It certainly makes a pardon likely. This case was pure politics, and it is clear that Fitz set up a "perjury trap," something that is supposedly not allowed by Justice Department operating rules. Fitz seems to have operated outside of the normal regulations.

Regarding a pardon, considering the thugs Bill Clinton pardoned at the 11th hour of his Presidency, there would seem to be no reason Bush would not pardon Libby.

Some Christian Evangelical Leaders have embraced the global warming issue. I'm not surprised at this because they are people who operate on emotion rather than logic. I saw TV preacher discussing the issue. (I never heard of him and forgot his name, but apparently he has a large TV audience.) He made an emotional appeal that was based on his belief that the climate of Earth has been the same as it is now since time started, which for him appeared to be just before Noah's flood. Some conservative groups have now told the Evanelicals they should stick to issues they know something about and I agree completely.

I watched a movie last night on TV. I don't remember the name of the movie, but it starred Jodie Foster as a propulsion engineer. The movie was about a complicated extortion plot that involved killing Jodie's husband so a bomb could be smuggled onto an airliner in his coffin, and then kipnapping Jodie's daughter on the plane so Jodie would create havoc searching for her daughter. The villians were the air marshall and one of the airline stewardess's. The point that struck me was the bomb. It had flashing lights on it. The bombs on the TV show "24" also feature flashing lights. I don't know anything about terrorists bombs, but it seems unlikely to me that flashing lights would be needed. My guess is that the movies need them for dramatic effect. When I was young back in the pre-solid state electronics era, the terrorist bombs used alarm clocks as the trigger mechanism. That made some technical sense then, and would still work. For dramatic effect the hero always de-fused the bomb just before the alarm was set to go off, with just a few clicks to go. The bomb in the Jodie Foster movie was quite small, and could have contained only a few ounces of an explosive like C4. Jodie, being an engineer, realized that, and used that knowledge to kill the villian with the bomb without killing herself, though it devastated the airplane, which was on the ground by that time.

My impression is that terrorists nowadays use cell phones to trigger bombs. That works, but I would still want a safe-and-arm device with a mechanical block on the ignition train. Without that, it would be embarrassing if someone called the cell phone number by mistake. I've had two wrong number calls on my cell phone in the past week, so it can happen. I read about terrorists blowing themselves up with their own device about once a month. Since those guys plan on killing themselves anyone, maybe the terrorist leaders don't think an S&A is cost effective.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I have a friend whose in-laws are Venezualans. They are trying to leave, but barriers to leaving have been implemented by Chavez. THe people in the best position are the ones who started moving their money out of Venezuala many years ago. The story on how Chavez got power is instructive for us in the U.S. Venezuala was better off than the neighboring countries. Over time sufficient numbers of the poor from the neighboring countries moved into Venezuala. The newcomers provided the margin the native socialists needed to vote in Chavez.

It seems to me that we have a similar situation here in the U.S. Lots of poor people from South of the border are pouring into the U.S. Our politicians are working to give those illegal immigrants the vote. Mexicans wrting editorials in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram are chortling about how they are going to take over Texas by 2030. If they do, we will be on the road to socialism. I won't be alive by then so it won't affect me, but I would like for my Children and Grand Children to enjoy economic freedom.

Not much was said about it in the MSM at the time, but back in 1993 when Hillary was working on implementing socialized medicine in the U.S. there was discussion about the need to implement capital controls to prevent people from taking their assets out of the country. If Hillary is elected President, it will be prudent to start moving funds off shore. Guys like Ted Kennedy already have there money off shore. (In his case, I've heard it is in Fiji. That sounds risky to me.)

Today Hillary Clinton made in speeech in which she indicated she would like to implement capital controls in the US. She really believes in government control of the economy. That seems like socialism to me. She would be unable to take control of the economy unless the Democrats get control of Congress with 60 reliable members in the Senate. That is unlikely, but could happen. Anyone who likes a free economy with the high GDP it brings should oppose Hillary.