Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Here is a blog about division of labor in hospitals. It was interesting to me since I recently spent eight days in the hospital having coronary artery surgery. It is pretty lonely in there. Actually you hardly ever see a nurse. According to Peter Drucker, when you are in the hospital the most important person in your life is not your doctor, but rather is the nurse in charge of the ward you are in. I don't recall ever seeing that nurse, but I gather she could monitor my status with the instrumentation that was hooked to me. As this article says, it is important to have a family member advocate for you. My Mother did becasue there was no one to insist that she was in extremely bad condition, and was in fact dying, while the hospital was waiting for her primary care physician to show up.

I got this article from the blog "Cafe Hayek:"

Feedback, knowledge and the division of labor

Russell Roberts

em>Arnold Kling over at EconLog tells the poignant story of worrying about his father's health care. Anyone who has had a loved one in the hospital can relate. There are a lot of smart and caring people involved in the treatment, yet no one is overseeing the process and noting the interactions between this specialist and that one. No one is watching the heart rate zealously. The overworked nurse under pressure from another patient fails to note something crucial on the chart. Lots of cooks but no one's in charge. Usually a family member has to play that role, a family member who more often than not doesn't have the time for the full-time assignment and more than often not doesn't have the expertise other than to ask a lot of questions.

Economists talk about the power of specialization and the division of labor. Economists talk about how well things can work when no one's in charge. In the hospital though, it appears not to work as well as it might. Lauren in the comments to Arnold's post asks the right questions:

For which kinds of economic entities does division of labor break down? Why is it that sometimes having no one individual in charge is the economic ideal that is coordinated by the invisible hand, and other times not?

One answer is that maybe it works better in the hospital than it looks. Would we really want our parents in the hospital to be treated by a generalist? There are enormous amounts of knowledge and technology being brought to bear in curing people in a modern hospital.

But it clearly could be so much better than it is. We want the benefits of specialization without the costs, the same way we get them in other areas of our lives. What we want is someone to coordinate the process, someone other than ourselves to look out for the hammer-nail problem. All the specialists I've known are people with a hammer. Everything looks like a nail. The surgeon wants to cut. The oncologist want to give chemo. Beside the interaction problem, you want to make sure you don't have a specialist blinded by too much specific knowledge who fails to see the bigger picture

So why do we need someone in charge in the hospital but not in the graphite industry? In the graphite industry, there are plenty of pencils, tennis rackets and fishing rods and the dozens (thousands?) of products that use graphite. We don't need a graphite czar to make sure there's enough graphite to go around. All the specialists that contribute to those products don't get out of control. Their interactions don't get ignored. As Hayek pointed out, the knowledge gets coordinated without a coordinator. Why does it work there but not in the hospital?

The simple answer is that the price system and profit motive interact in the graphite industry causing the whole thing to work smoothly without it being anyone's intention. The prices and the profit motive lead to feedback and accountability. There are a whole bunch of people with the incentive and the information to make the system work well.

The simple answer is right. But it cannot explain why other organizations work well without prices and profits. Within a firm and within a family, resources and decisions get made without prices and often without profits. The answer (as Coase understood and as Lauren notes in her comment) is that in these organizations, the savings in transaction costs overcomes the loss of feedback and information benefits from using prices. But there are still incentives. There still is a residual claimant who bears the costs of failure and the benefits of success—the boss or the parent. Love motivates the parent. Bonuses and keeping your job motivate the boss.

So why doesn't a hospital work better? The answer I think, is that the level of specialization in medicine has emerged from a process that has very few incentives to make sure that the level of specialization is as productive as it should be. There are very few informational feedback loops. Very little accountability. Sure, if a surgeon leaves a scalpel in your chest cavity and sews you back up, the surgeon bears a cost. And as a result, it doesn't happen very often. But the kind of errors that Arnold worries about, the kind of errors that I've worried about with my Dad in the hospital (and the kind I've seen made) are the ones that have little or no consequence to anyone other than the patient.

These errors are built into the system. When a drug leads to unexpected side effects because the right questions weren't asked, when an opportunity for a safer treatment is missed, when an aggressive treatment for one illness weakens the immune system and leads to other problems, who can you blame? Who bears a cost other than the patient?

You can blame the hospital of course, whatever that means, but the costs to the human beings who work in the hospital are small. There are no feedback loops within the hospital to reward generalists who look for the costs of specializations. And the reason there are not is because the patient is not the customer. The patient is not paying the bill. The financial incentives that do exist are coming from Medicare and Medicaid and the insurance companies. The normal feedback loops that protect the customer from error and greed and simple stupidity are missing. In a way, it's amazing it works as well as it does. It works as well as it does presumably because most doctors and nurses do care about the lives in their hands. But it's imperfect and could be much better.

And because there isn't a residual claimant within the hospital, it is left to the wife or the husband or the parent or the child of the patient to represent the patient's interests in the face of the decentralized incentives presented by the hospital and its specialists. Ironically, the monitoring and feedback comes from the family, another organization that is usually not using monetary incentives to improve performance. But the love works pretty well.

But the patient who is unrepresented for whatever reason, who must rely on the system itself to keep an eye on the treatment regimen is at a greater risk than the patient whose wife is a doctor or better yet, a loving doctor or better yet, a loving doctor who is at her husband's side 24/7 until he comes home safely.

It's a flawed system that will stay that way until the incentives change. In the meanwhile, my heart and prayers go out to Arnold and his Dad and to anyone with a loved one at a distance going through a medical challenge.

Here is more about the Clinton's plan for destroying the US economy, plus more about Nicholas Stern, the Brit who is intent on establishing a socialist world government under the guise of stopping global warming. I took this piece from "Coyote Blog:"

(The carbon use chart didn't copy, butit was hard to read anyway, and you can get the gist without it.)

Clintons: Welcome to 1905

Bill Clinton is at least honest to some extent in saying that cutting back on CO2 emissions will requires us to throttle back the economy:

In a long, and interesting speech, he [Bill Clinton] characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."

But how much? Activists try to make the average person feel like the amount is "not much" by spinning out rosy stories of 3rd graders fighting global warming by recycling. But in fact Bill's wife Hillary makes the degree of cuts clearer:

...[Clinton's] plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of global warming...

And recognize, this is the typical figure being cited by global warming catastrophists for "necessary" US cuts. So how much is 80%? With current technology, an almost unimaginable cut. Its hard to get good Co2 data, but here is a chart from some place called the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center that purports to show US historic CO2 production from man-made sources:

The chartsmanship sucks here, but 1990 looks like about 1.35 billion metric tons. 20% of that would be 0.27 billion metric tons. That appears to be the level we hit in about ... 1905. So, apparently without using nuclear power (since Clinton opposed nuclear expansion in one of the debates, I think in Nevada) she wants us in the next 42 years to get back to the energy production of about 1905. Now this is a bit unfair, since efficiencies and GDP per ton of CO2 have improved substantially since 1905. So to be fair she may only want to take us back to about 1930.

While this is scary, what Clinton and other global warming crusaders want to do to the third world is even scarier. Right now, close to a billion people who have been in poverty forever are posed, via growth in China, India, and SE Asia, to finally exit poverty. Global warming crusaders want this to stop. For example, here is the former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern says that India must stay poor:

Mr Stern, the former chief economist of the World Bank, sends out a very clear message: “We need to cut down the total amount of carbon emissions by half by 2050.” At current levels, the per capita global emissions stand at 7 tonnes, or a total of 40-45 gigatonnes. At this rate, global temperatures could rise by 2.5-3 degrees by then. But to reduce the per capita emissions by half in 2050, most countries would have to be carbon neutral. For instance, the US currently has, at 20-25 tonnes, per capita emissions levels that are three times the global average.

The European Union’s emission levels stand at 10-15 tonnes per capita. China is at about 3-4 tonnes per capita and India, at 1 tonne per capita, is the only large-sized economy that is below the desired carbon emission levels of 2050. “India should keep it that way and insist that the rich countries pay their share of the burden in reducing emissions,” says Mr Stern.

Bill Clinton let the cat out of the bag about the intention of the global warming true believers. They want to destroy the economy of the west, the United States in particular. Here is a blurb I got from "American Thinker."

January 31, 2008
Bill Clinton gives away the global warming game
Thomas Lifson
Astonishingly, Bill Clinton has conceded that global warming alarmism is aimed at policies that will make us poorer. Jennifer Parker of ABC News' blog Political Punch reports that yesterday in Denver he said:

"We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."

She provides video, and asks about the obvious contradiction between this statement and earlier statements that somehow cutting so-called greenhouse gases will be good for the economy in the long run.

This is a classic gaffe: accidentally telling the truth in an offhand moment.

WE can see how the plan is working by considering South Africa. A fw years ago Stern and other Britons convinced the socialist government that the responsible thing to do with regards to global warming was to stop building electric power plants. Now South Africa has a terrible power shortage that has lead to shutdown of their mines and a lot of industry. Large numbers of employees have been idled. (The price of gold may go up even more as a result of the shutdown of South African mines.)

California is facing a situation similar to that in South Africa due to policies preventing the construction of power plants in California. Much of the electricity consumed in California comes from plants in other states. (Meantime the population of California keeps growing due to the influx of illegal aliens that is much larger than the outflow of Anglo's.)

I suspect most people are not paying attention, but the entire United States is under attack by the Greens. They freely admit that they are trying to get Polar Bears declared an endangered species due to global warming so that they can stop construction of any new coal-fired or gas-fired electric generating plants in the US. Naturally they also don't want any Nuclear plants. They push the ridiculous notion that windmills and solar plants, with vastly improved effiency will serve us well. Actually they envision a much smaller economy with people living simpler as embraced by Romanicists who have bought into the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They yearn for a time when there is no division of labor, and evryone lives on a subsistence farm.

Some say that Bill Clinton is like the famous rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks. Personally I have never been charmed by Mr. Clinton. He has always appeared to me to be a scoundrel. Here is a piece from "Blue Crab Boulevard"about some of Bill's activities since he left the White House, which have netted him $40 million plus hundred's of millions for his library:

A Mackerel By Moonlight
Published by Gaius under Politics

He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight. Senator John Randolph of Virginia, commenting on fellow lawmaker Edward Livingston.

The New York Times reports on the whiff of corruption that accompanies Bill Clinton wherever he goes. This time it is a huge donation to Clinton's foundation and a questionable business deal. Both Clinton and the donor deny wrongdoing, but the appearance is rather bad, any way you look at it.

Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

I mentioned before that Clinton and scandal are riveted together at the wrists and ankles. There will be more and more of this sort of thing coming out throughout the year, that you can be assured of. John Randolph would have recognized Bill Clinton for what he is on sight, I suspect

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I have written about how Hillary Clinton, based on her public statements, is a fascist. Most people are unaware of what fascists actually are, and fail to recognize that the Roosevelt Administration wanted to be fascist. Roosevelt was thwarted by Republicans and Southern Democrats, and by the Supreme Court. When I was young the Liberals at the time talked about the State taking control of raising all children, much as Hillary Clinton would like to see, based on what she actually says. They also, like Hillary now, wanted to have the state confiscate all wealth when a person dies, so the wealth would not be passed on to children, thus giving all children an even start. (Hillary has recently proposed giving all children $5000 when they are born, to help even things out.) Now we have the Liberals, or Progressives as they are beginning to call themselves, want to ban smoking, ban soft drinks, ban transfats, etc. (These things are happening in the solidly "blue" states such as New York and California.) Here is an article from "American Thinker" on this subject.


I never understood why President Clinton was referred to as the "first black President." Christopher Hitchen's answered the question in a recent article:

I have to say that Bob Herbert shocked even me by quoting Andrew Young, who said that his pal Clinton was "every bit as black as Barack" because he'd screwed more black chicks. How is Hillary Clinton, or Chelsea Clinton, supposed to feel on hearing that little endorsement? One gets the impression, though, at least from the wife, that anything is OK as long as it works,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I have written a lot about how I think George Bush has made the assumption that Islam can be reformed because the only alternative is an all out war with Islam. I had severe doubts that Bush's approach would succeed, and expected that there would be a long guerilla war in the Middle East. (Sadly for America and the world, the Democrat's have chosen to not support President Bush's policy, but rather to hinder him to gain domestic political advantage. I fear that the next Democratic Administration will blunder into the all out nuclear war with Islam.) I am not the only one who sees the situation with Islam this way. I do not think there are any "moderate" Muslims. All of them want to convert us to Islam, some by force, and some by stealth using our own laws to subvert us. But all of them want to do away with democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom for women, etc. Here is a discussion on this issue that I copied from the blog of Dr. Pat Santy (former NASA Flight Surgeon); in it she has some parts of blogs by "Wretcherd" and "The Adventures of Chester;"


Wretchard notices that:

There seems to be a bipartisan political consensus not to examine the subject of political Islam publicly. It is the most verboten of foreign policy subjects. But like other "open secrets", its exclusion from formal discussion doesn't banish it from public consciousness. It merely pushes it underground, like Barack Obama's middle name.

The key problem with subjecting the question of political Islam to debate is that every other conclusion except that of regarding it as a "religion of peace" implies consequences no one dares face. Concluding that Islam is a 'religion of war' would precipitate a revolution in diplomacy, energy policy and military strategy. It's a bottle of nitro nobody wants to shake; it's a can of worms nobody wants to open: not a Republican administration and most especially not a Democratic one.

Explosive questions such as this are as likely to be resolved by events as by debate. To a very great extent the West is genuinely hoping that Islam is a "religion of peace"; and I suspect many Muslims are too. Unfolding events will resolve the issue -- and perceptions -- one way or the other. Ten years from today we'll have a better understanding of the truth.

Wretchard refers to himself as an "agnostic" on the subject, willing to let events unfold so that the truth (as it usually does) will out. [Read it all].

Some time back, The Adventures of Chester took a long hard look at this very issue--which is really the key strategic issue of our times, if you will. Chester phrased it thusly: Is Islam compatible with a free society?

To say yes to our question, one assumes that there are aspects of being Muslim and faithful to Islam, that can coexist peacefully with liberty, tolerance, and equality. The strategy that follows is one of identifying the groups and sects within Islam that adhere to these notions of their religion, and then encouraging them, favoring them, propagating them, and splitting them off from the elements of Islamic practice that are all too incompatible with the portions of modernity that invigorate men's souls: free inquiry, free association, free commerce, free worship, or even the freedom to be left alone.

To answer no, one states that Islam itself is fundamentally irreconcilable with freedom. This leads to a wholly different set of tactical moves to isolate free societies from Islam. They might include:

-detention of Muslims, or an abrogation of certain of their rights;

-forced deportation of Muslims from free societies;

-rather than transformative invasions, punitive expeditions and punitive strikes;

-extreme racial profiling;

-limits on the practice and study of Islam in its entirety

And even some extreme measures if free societies find the above moves to be failing:
-forced conversion from Islam, or renunciation;


-extermination of Muslims wherever they are found.

These last are especially ghastly measures. But a society that thought Islam incompatible with freedom might in the long term slip towards them.

Chester points out that President Bush has been acting on the basis of a YES answer to the question and our entire strategy in the Middle East is contingent upon it. What is most astonishing about the essay is that the author unflichingly looks at the logical consequences that are inherent in answering NO to the question-- and finds them pretty frightening for any civilized person or nation.

It is no wonder that the "bipartisan political consensus" chooses to flinch for the time being. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that it is part of the unconscious appeal of a candidate like Barack Hussein Obama who--whether he likes it or not-- appeals on many levels to the hope that we can all get along.

Bush has consistently formulated our strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan and the larger war on terror based on YES. This is why he has been very circumspect in what he says about Islam and how he characterizes the war. This is why he never even mentioned the word "Islam" in his SOTU address and why he does things like dancing with the Saudis that enrage both conservative and leftist. His entire Presidency has aimed at preventing a "tipping point" beyond which people no longer believe that a moderate, reasonable Islam is possible.

It is maddening to those who believe that there is probably no such animal.

Post 9/11, the first hint of that was the insane reaction of the Muslim world to a bunch of inoffensive Danish cartoons. Repeatedly, the larger Muslim world--in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Iran, in Indonesia-- crosses that threshold where reasonable people can separate Islam from its growing number of fanatics; and many in the free world are finally digging a line in the sand, jutting out their chins, and more or less defiantly daring Muslims to cross it. This explains the inexplicably moderate response of the White House to many of Islamisms greatest obscenities in the last seven years. . Bush stubbornly believes that he must negotiate a path that will still answer YES to the strategic question.

I don't think Muslims around the world will like what they discover about the West if they decide to cross that threshold. They will not be safe behind the PC rhetoric and blustery resort to cries of "victimization" that have protected the extremists thus far in acting out their fantasies of worldwide domination.

It may eventually be the case that the West becomes convinced that Islam is unable to change and is completely incompatible with freedom. We are well on our way to that eventuality, sadly. Time and again there have been opportunities for the moderates in the religion to pull it back from its suicidal historical course.

Personally, I am not convinced that Islam can change, but I hope it can, given time.

Time is not on Islam's side, however. Leaders like the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon; and the remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban all seem to desire catastrophic confrontation. They foolishly believe that the West will back down--if not because of a belief in the superiority of Islam; then from doubts about the superiority of Western values and from a reluctance to act decisively and ruthlessly.

The psychopathic elements in Islam believe this is our fundamental weakness; but they are wrong. This is actually our fundamental strength. President Bush has bet that Islam can be changed if it is infused with some democratic opportunities and freed from some of the political and religious tyranny that has dominated the Middle East. If such a democratizing process had been started--and carried through-- a decade or two earlier, well who knows how much the situation might have changed by now?

And, contrary to the infantile imaginings of the antiwar and so-called "peace" movements, Bush's strategy actually represents the BEST POSSIBLE HOPE FOR PEACE.

It is a strategy that faces the grim reality of Islamic contradictions and historical brutality; yet has enough optimism and goodwill in it to be genuinely worth the price we are paying. If it works, millions of deaths might be prevented. And if the peace crowd really cares about peace, then they would do well to reconsider their own antics.

Because, if the left succeeds in its determination to undermine American policy as it is now formulated; or if the extremists succeed in eliminating any voices for moderation and tolerance; then there will be only one strategic option open.

As events in the middle east unfold; as we witness the desperate suicide bombers and mindless hate that daily disrupts any kind of a normal life for Iraqis in Baghdad; as we witness the Frankenstein-like rise of the fanatical and murdering Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan--it is hard not to conclude that the answer to the strategic question is NO.

Islam itself seems more and more incompatible with Western values; even antithetical to them. But still, we could live with that if they were not hell-bent on converting us to their medieval religion or alternatively, killing all infidels who refuse their path. The Mullahs and Imans; the fanatics and barbarians; the petty despots and tyrannical kings of Islam around the world-- are all united in their evil vision for all of mankind--and no olive branch; no amount of appeasement; and no appeal to reason and good will seems capable of bringing them into the fold of humankind.
Andy McCarthy voiced many people's frustration when he wrote:
We've been told for some time now — against common sense and the weight of our own national experience — that the way to defeat international jihadism is to spread democracy.

So now the Lebanese democracy can't control Hezbollah (which has been freely elected and controls about a fifth of its legislature), while the Palestinian Authority IS Hamas (the Palestinian people having democratically put them in power).

How much do we figure that Israel is hoping democracy breaks out in Egypt, with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad waiting in the wings? All it needs right about now is yet another democratic neighbor.

Democracy has many enduring benefits, but it doesn't stop terrorists from operating — and in many ways, it makes life easier for them. When are we going to stop talking about it as a national security cure-all?

We have to kill al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest. This is harder work than the administration's rhetoric is preparing the nation for. We are not going to democratize these savages into submission.
America continues to find homegrown terrorists on our own free soil. Some of these pathetic people have had the benefits of freedom and choice for their entire lives--but the poison of Islam is strong, and they are determined--along with their Islamic brothers--to destroy any free country that stands in the way of their vision.

They hate America because, where there is freedom, their oppressive beliefs can never be more than in the minority. When people are free to choose, and not killed for apostasy for not choosing Islam, they will be unable to force their beliefs on others. Until Islam itself comes to terms with that reality, it will only be just another thuggish totalitarian ideology. Just as socialism and communism were the 20th century's worse nightmare, so Islam is set to become the 21st century's.

After two world wars, humanity had pretty much rid itself of the bane of socialism and its more immature sibling communism. Only to see it rise up again, hanging on the coattails of Islam.

I hope I am wrong about all this, because many lives are in the balance. I am open to a debate about these issues. But, every day that passes seems to give more and more credibility to the NO answer.

Even the dhimmist bulb in the EU; the most deliberately and consciously delusional member of the international peace crowd cannot fail to see the lack of good will; the perverse determination to provoke war; and the genocidal glint in the eyes of Islam's brightest stars.

It is possible that the introduction of the seeds of democracy and freedom will make a difference in the years to come. There are some hopeful signs--in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example. Like Wretchard, I will wait and see.

Will it be enough? I don't know yet. But I will give President Bush full credit if it works out; and a great deal of credit even if it doesn't. Because his audacious vision was and is still the only one that may bring the hope of freedom and the promise of prosperity to a dysfunctional, barbaric and backward part of the world.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

More on Global Warming. I got this from the blog "Moonbattery;"

Here's the abstract to an interesting report entitled "Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics" (PDF), which came out of the Institut für Mathematische Physik at Germany's Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina last summer:

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861 and Arrhenius 1896 and is still supported in global climatology essentially describes a fictitious mechanism in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 °C is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

Someone get this to Al Gore quickly, before he makes a fool of himself. Whoops, too late.

I have been reading the report. It's 113 pages long and has a lot of equations. I'm trying to figure out how, as some say, that if Hansen, et al are correct about the greenhouse gas effect hypothesis, then it would be possible to construct a perpetual motion machine of the second class. That would then violate the second law of thermodynamics, therefore the greenhouse gas hypothesis would be invalid. So far I haven't figured that out.

Here is an article by a liberal about the witch-hunting of people who don't agree with the catastrophic global warming hypothesis.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Hugo Chavez is beginning to persecute Jews in Venezuela. See this article by Mona Charen (I think she is Catholic).


This is entirely predictable. It is probably politically incorrect to say that Chavez is a fascist, but he does appear to be following in the footsteps of Hitler. I wonder if all of the stupid movie stars who have been hanging out with Chavez are having second thoughts. Probably not since they are anti-American socialists, and idolize the murderous thug Che Guevera Lynch. (For those who didn't know, Che's Dad was an Irishman named Lynch.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today on TV, I've forgotten if it was Fox or CNBC, I saw a hurricane expert say that global warming with warmer oceans is reducing the number and severity of hurricanes that hit the East Coast of America. He provided a technical explanation for this. I recall that when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans a few years ago Al Gore and others blamed global warming in general, and George Bush in particular because he hadn't ratified the Kyoto Treaty. At the time I pointed out that history did not support the proposition that warming caused more and more severe hurricanes. In fact, as documented in the book "The Little Ice Age" severe weather events were more prevalent as the Earth cooled than in warmer periods.

Similarly, global warming is blamed by some for the snowstorm that trapped many motorists on Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. Back when I lived in LA during the 50's I don't recall there ever being snow in that area. Global warming is also being blamed for the unusually large number of people that have been killed in avalanches this year. Allegedly the warming has made the snow unstable. Experts say the reason is that it has been unusually cold with a lot of snow.

More on Climate Change; here is a Russian estimate that the Earth is about to get cold.


I wonder if this Russian is aware that Al Gore, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and lots of Democrats think he should be prosecuted for blasphemy.

Here is an article by Christopher Monckton on global warming that evryone should read:


I have done some analysis on global warming myself using engineering data on the absorption of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (I did use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, unlike the IPCC.) It appears to me that adding CO2 to the atmosphere won't add more than 1 C to the atmospheric temperature. The IPCC gets a similar number I think, but they then include a lot of positive feedbacks, which seem improbable to me. If the air temperature goes up then the air can hold more water vapor. Evaporation of water on the surface removes heat, and addds heat to the upper atmosphere when the water vapor condenses. The IPCC models do not appear to account for changes in chemical processes on the surface due to increase in atmospheric CO2 and water vapor. THese appear to cause desert areas to become more green due to increased plant growth. The models also do not appear to account for volcanic activity in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. (It would be difficult to include these effects, because, while it is known that there is activity, the extent is difficult to establish.

The article mentions that Al Gore is under investigation for racketeering due to false global warming claims in some of his "green" investment prospectus's. I'd like to know more about that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Our friends in Canada are truly politically correct. They have a taxpayer funded TV show called Little Mosque on the Prairie. The show no doubt shows Muslims as peaceful, loving people. I wonder how they tastefully handle "honor killing" of wayward girls, such as the Muslim father here in North Texas who had to shoot his two daughters because of their "Western Ways"? Here is a link to American Thinker:


A lot of us here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area objected to the City of Arlington building a billion dollar stadium for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Of course the Arlington Mayor and other officials touted the supposed financial advantages of bringing th Cowboys to Arlington, and got the citizens to approve the venture, along with the increased taxes t pay for it. Many of us thought the supposed finaancial advantages were a joke. Now we have an argument from a Seattle team that having a pro team in the city offers no financial advantage, as the team wants to break its lease and leave town. Here is a post I copied from Coyote Blog.

The Seattle Supersonics have finally admitted what rational folks have known for a long time: Billion dollar municipal stadiums are just taxpayer subsidies for already-rich players and owners, and do nothing for local economic development. Here is what the Sonics ownership stated in court papers (part of a case where they are trying to break their lease in Seattle):

"The financial issue is simple, and the city's analysts agree, there will be no net economic loss if the Sonics leave Seattle. Entertainment dollars not spent on the Sonics will be spent on Seattle's many other sports and entertainment options. Seattleites will not reduce their entertainment budget simply because the Sonics leave," the Sonics said in the court brief.

...Rodney Fort, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, who has criticized the economic-impact claims made by pro-sports teams, called the Sonics' latest argument "the best chuckle" he's had in a long time.

Hillary Clinton is making no secret of her fascist inclinations. She says that as President she would have the government intervene more in the economy. She says she intends to take away from the haves to fund programs she deems desirable. Based on her history during the Bill Clinton administration, she will use the power of the government to attack her political opponents. The Clinton's are adept at character assassination. When in power they illegally reviewed FBI files of Republicans, and ordered IRS audits of their enemies. Hillary sounds a lot like Hugo Chavez did as he was running for office in Venezuela, and Chavez is an example of how Hillary will govern, assuming Democrats maintain control of Congress, and keep Reid and Pelosi as legislative leaders.

The stock market took a tumble, perhaps because investors are realizing that either Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama is going to be President, so the politicians decide to respond by sharing the wealth. Republicans want to give money back to all income taxpayers. Democrats, realizing that their constituents don't pay taxes (after the Bush tax cuts, 40% of workers don't pay income taxes), want to give money to everyone; a redistribution of wealth that Democrats really like. I wonder if they plan to give money to the 20 million illegal aliens in the country?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hugo Chavez is showing off the economic marvel of socialism in Venezuela. He has implemented price controls on food, so farmers are selling their produce in Columbia rather than selling at a loss in Venezuela. Chavez says he will expropriate the farms of those who won't sell their produce at a loss. In this he will follow the example of Zimbabwe, a country that used to feed much of Africa, but now cannot feed itself. In Zimbabwe the socialist ideal was followed in which large farms owned and managed by whites were taken and redistributed to poor blacks who had neither the knowledge of how to farm nor the inclination to work. The result was that farm production plummeted. It is doubtful that the outcome will be any different in Venezuela.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Politicians are now planning recovery from the subprime loan mess. Once again those of us who have spent our lives acting in a responsible manner are being called on to rescue those who acted irresponsibly. I have heard of people with an income of $40,000 per year who bought houses that cost $400,000. It is hard to uderstand why someone would do that, or why lending institutions would loan them the money. It is easier to understand why speculators would buy homes with no money down, and interest only adjustable rate loans. They planned to sell the house in a few years for more money. It must be admitted that this "sell to a greater fool" approach worked for several years. Now the politicians tell us that we have no choice but to bail these people out. Failure to do so will destroy the housing market and harm us all. So, it appears that the optimum strategy in the US to to stay as deeply in debt as possible. Those of us that act responsibly are suckers.

I recently read a study that concluded that the US has the worst health care system amongst industrialized nations. This poor result was based on the rate of "preventable deaths" in the country. The US had more "preventable" deaths than other nations. The study, naturally, concluded that the reason for the poor performance of the US was the lack of socialized medicine. The key to the study is the definition of "preventable deaths." Death from heart attacks were defined as being "preventable." This puts the US at a severe disadvantage since the US has a much higher incidence of heart disease than nations such as France, Italy, Japan, and Great Britain. I take issue with death from a heart attack as being a "preventable" death. I had a major heart attack in 1997, shortly after a physical that declared me fit. And, I had none of the usual indicators of increased likelihood of developing heart disease. Just this past December I had coronary bypass surgery after it was found that I had a 99% blockage at the entrance to my left circumflex artery. The doctors said that with my condition , sudden death was imminent, so they recommended surgery immediately. (I asked the cardiologist how it could be that I was functioning normally with such a blockage in my heart: the answer, "that's a good question.") Had I lived in England I would have been put on the waiting list for surgery, since I have never smoked: at my age of 71, I would not have been eligible for surgery if I were a smoker. In Canada I would have been put of the list for surgery in a few months, or, maybe, sent to the US for surgery. Here is a piece from American Thinker about how Canada sends people to the US for treatment, despite having "the best care in the World available in Canada." Personally I think all of the studies that show how terrible healthcare is in the US, and how great it is in socialist nations are bogus.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Last week I watched CNBC where the Bank of America bail-out of Countrywide Financial was discussed. It appears that the CEO of Countrywide, Angelo Mozilo, will walk away from the trainwreck he brilliantly engineered with $120 to 150 million. His great plan was to loan money to anyone who asked without checking their financial condition. This was the sub-prime loan mess that has severly damaged financial institutions, and cost a lot of small investors much of their capital. It seems to me that Mozilo did not live up to his fiducial responsibility to his shareholders. I think that instead of leaving with a small fortune, Mozilo should be put out on a streetcorner with a beggar's cup. I hope Countrywide shareholders file a class-action suit against Mozilo. (Note: I own shares on BOA but not in Countrywide.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton is being criticized for her comments about Martin Luther King and civil rights. People seem to have overlooked her slander of Eisenhower at the same time. She said Eisenhower (she didn't mention his name, just referred to the President before JFK) had done nothing in the field of civil rights. That was untrue. He was behind the civil rights law of 1957, which was the first one since the post-civil war era. The 1957 law was less than what Eisenhower had called for in his State of the Union address. The reason for that was that it was sabotaged by Senator Russell and Senator Lyndon Johnson, the guy given credit for the laws in the 1960's. The ignorance of the MSM about the recent past is appalling.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I went to see my cardiologist yesterday. He seemed to think I'm doing well following the cardiac bypass surgery. I'm not sure that the surgery was a total success since they intended to do a quadruple bypass, and wound up taking 9 1/2 hours to do a double. The doctor thought I have some fluid in my lungs, and ordered an X-ray to check that out. I haven't heard the result yet. The doctor did change my medication, stopping the beta-blocker I was taking as well as the ACE inhibitor and coumadin. He prescribed a different beta blocker that I take twice a day. This beta blocker costs $4 for a one month supply at WalMart. Last year, a one month supply cost about $150. I have read that WalMart is starting to put clinics in their stores for treating minor ailments. Apparently the service is faster than the emergency room, and at $59 costs less. I read that they also take insurance (My insurance has a $100 co-pay, so I wouldn't use the insurance anyway in most cases.) No wonder Democrats hate WalMart: this sort of free market capitalism could actually reduce the cost of healthcare, and would eliminate the allure of socialized medicine.

There was snowfall in Baghdad for the first time in living memory:


This proves beyond all doubt that global warming is happening. (That may seem counter-intuitive until you recall that all unusual weather events confirm global warming. I would call that Williams' Law, but other people have previously noted this phenomena.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I remember watching the scaremonger Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. rant and rave about how mercury in childhood vaccines was causing autism in children. As usual, he was rude and ugly to people who disagreed with him. It turns out he was wrong, as indicated by a recently completed study:


Mr. Kenedy was successful in getting the preservative Thimerosal, which contains mercury, removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. The study shows that the rate of autism in California children has continued to increase even though there is no longer mercury in childhood vaccinations.

I don't expect Mr. Kennedy to apologize any time soon.

More recently Mr. Kennedy has been ranting and raving about global warming. He has suggested dire consequences for those who disagree with him. I wonder what he thinks about 2007 being the coolest year of the 21st century, something not possible according to the IPCC climate models?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Here is an article by Hirsi Ali about the conflict between Islam and the West. Having been born a Muslim, she has a better perspective than most of us in the west.


This article made me think about the fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans. Republican's values of reason are from the age of Enlightenment while Democrat's are from Romanticism. Moral and cultural relativism are the basis for Romanticism. Considering this it is easy to see why most of Hollywood are Democrats. This is the reason that Democrats are ill-suited for the existential conflict we are in now with Islam.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I had my three week check-up at the surgeon's office this morning. Actual experiences with Doctors are not like what is seen on TV programs. Doctors are almost never seen, and then only briefly. So, as usual, today I was worked on by the Physician's Assistants (PA's). I had a bit of swelling in my right leg where the vein used in the coronary bypass was taken from. THey squeezed some old blood out, and told me to continue to elevate my right foot for about an hour three times a day. My vital signs were all good. I have been walking a mile three times a day. They told me that is too much exercize, and to cut back some. I have lost 17 lbs since the surgery on 11 December, but it turns out that is expected, with the average loss at about 20 lbs. Food still tastes terrible to me. They explained that this is normal, and that taste usually returns in another month or so, though it takes longer for some people. Most food tastes like cardboard. If my taste buds don't recover, that will solve my weight problem. Next week I visit the cardiologist to get a long-term treatment plan. To a large extent that depends on what my insurance will pay for. I am able to drive now, but am not supposed to lift anything weighing over 8 lbs until 11 March. After that I can start practicing pitching and putting golf, but still no full swings. Sitting around waiting to get well is really boring.

Here is an article from Russia about global warming. I pretty much agree with the Russian Prof. I think we are about to see serious cooling. Wonder what the politicians will do as it becomes obvious that warming is not happening. The data available now indicate that the global warming hypothesis is not true, but politicians, always behind the curve, are beginning to get serious about "geen" programs to "save" us. Here is the article that I got from the blog American Thinker.

A cold spell soon to replace global warming
13:54 | 03/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW. (Oleg Sorokhtin for RIA Novosti) – Stock up on fur coats and felt boots! This is my paradoxical advice to the warm world.

Earth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect. The current warming is evidently a natural process and utterly independent of hothouse gases.

The real reasons for climate changes are uneven solar radiation, terrestrial precession (that is, axis gyration), instability of oceanic currents, regular salinity fluctuations of the Arctic Ocean surface waters, etc. There is another, principal reason—solar activity and luminosity. The greater they are the warmer is our climate.

Astrophysics knows two solar activity cycles, of 11 and 200 years. Both are caused by changes in the radius and area of the irradiating solar surface. The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.

This is my point, which environmentalists hotly dispute as they cling to the hothouse theory. As we know, hothouse gases, in particular, nitrogen peroxide, warm up the atmosphere by keeping heat close to the ground. Advanced in the late 19th century by Svante A. Arrhenius, a Swedish physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner, this theory is taken for granted to this day and has not undergone any serious check.

It determines decisions and instruments of major international organizations—in particular, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Signed by 150 countries, it exemplifies the impact of scientific delusion on big politics and economics. The authors and enthusiasts of the Kyoto Protocol based their assumptions on an erroneous idea. As a result, developed countries waste huge amounts of money to fight industrial pollution of the atmosphere. What if it is a Don Quixote’s duel with the windmill?

Hothouse gases may not be to blame for global warming. At any rate, there is no scientific evidence to their guilt. The classic hothouse effect scenario is too simple to be true. As things really are, much more sophisticated processes are on in the atmosphere, especially in its dense layer. For instance, heat is not so much radiated in space as carried by air currents—an entirely different mechanism, which cannot cause global warming.

The temperature of the troposphere, the lowest and densest portion of the atmosphere, does not depend on the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions—a point proved theoretically and empirically. True, probes of Antarctic ice shield, taken with bore specimens in the vicinity of the Russian research station Vostok, show that there are close links between atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Here, however, we cannot be quite sure which is the cause and which the effect.

Temperature fluctuations always run somewhat ahead of carbon dioxide concentration changes. This means that warming is primary. The ocean is the greatest carbon dioxide depository, with concentrations 60-90 times larger than in the atmosphere. When the ocean’s surface warms up, it produces the “champagne effect.” Compare a foamy spurt out of a warm bottle with wine pouring smoothly when served properly cold.

Likewise, warm ocean water exudes greater amounts of carbonic acid, which evaporates to add to industrial pollution—a factor we cannot deny. However, man-caused pollution is negligible here. If industrial pollution with carbon dioxide keeps at its present-day 5-7 billion metric tons a year, it will not change global temperatures up to the year 2100. The change will be too small for humans to feel even if the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions doubles.

Carbon dioxide cannot be bad for the climate. On the contrary, it is food for plants, and so is beneficial to life on Earth. Bearing out this point was the Green Revolution—the phenomenal global increase in farm yields in the mid-20th century. Numerous experiments also prove a direct proportion between harvest and carbon dioxide concentration in the air.

Carbon dioxide has quite a different pernicious influence—not on the climate but on synoptic activity. It absorbs infrared radiation. When tropospheric air is warm enough for complete absorption, radiation energy passes into gas fluctuations. Gas expands and dissolves to send warm air up to the stratosphere, where it clashes with cold currents coming down. With no noticeable temperature changes, synoptic activity skyrockets to whip up cyclones and anticyclones. Hence we get hurricanes, storms, tornados and other natural disasters, whose intensity largely depends on carbon dioxide concentration. In this sense, reducing its concentration in the air will have a positive effect.

Carbon dioxide is not to blame for global climate change. Solar activity is many times more powerful than the energy produced by the whole of humankind. Man’s influence on nature is a drop in the ocean.

Earth is unlikely to ever face a temperature disaster. Of all the planets in the solar system, only Earth has an atmosphere beneficial to life. There are many factors that account for development of life on Earth: Sun is a calm star, Earth is located an optimum distance from it, it has the Moon as a massive satellite, and many others. Earth owes its friendly climate also to dynamic feedback between biotic and atmospheric evolution.

The principal among those diverse links is Earth’s reflective power, which regulates its temperature. A warm period, as the present, increases oceanic evaporation to produce a great amount of clouds, which filter solar radiation and so bring heat down. Things take the contrary turn in a cold period.

What can’t be cured must be endured. It is wise to accept the natural course of things. We have no reason to panic about allegations that ice in the Arctic Ocean is thawing rapidly and will soon vanish altogether. As it really is, scientists say the Arctic and Antarctic ice shields are growing. Physical and mathematical calculations predict a new Ice Age. It will come in 100,000 years, at the earliest, and will be much worse than the previous. Europe will be ice-bound, with glaciers reaching south of Moscow.

Meanwhile, Europeans can rest assured. The Gulf Stream will change its course only if some evil magic robs it of power to reach the north—but Mother Nature is unlikely to do that.

Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute.