Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here is a quote from a guy who understood how to conduct war, that you need to crush the other side as quickly as possible (from Tammy Bruce's blog):

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster. War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.
- William Tecumseh Sherman

Other's have pointed out that this is the Scotch-Irish view, be slow to go to war, but win as quickly as possible when you do.

Global warming skeptics are often villifies as being either kooks or crooks in the pay of "Big Oil." But the billions of dollars being soaked up by the promoters of the apocalyptic Global Warming hypothesis are totally ignored. In particular the fortune Al Gore has garnered in his quest to save the planet is seldom mentioned. Here is a blurb on some of Gore's recent success from the bog "Greenie Watch."

The Church of England's Church Commissioners have gone green, investing 150 million pounds with former US Vice-President Al Gore's environmentally minded investment firm, Generation Investment Management.

On Nov 18 the First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith reported that in late September the Commissioners had placed the funds with Gore's boutique management firm which follows an "environmentally sustainable global equities mandate." Funding for the investment came from "cash and Treasury bills", he said, and not from the sale of UK equities as initially planned.

In Oct 2007 Mr Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in raising awareness of the potential threats from climate change. Generation Investment Management was founded in 2004 by Mr Gore and David Blood, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and had almost œ5 billion under management before the market collapse. The firm invests in companies that follow "socially responsible" business model such as insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk, Swiss food conglomerate Nestl‚, and San Francisco's New Resource Bank --- a "green" lender in the US.

Speaking at a press conference last March in Geneva, Mr Gore said private industry should take the lead in creating environmentally friendly market capitalism noting that "more money is allocated by markets around the world in one hour than by all the governments on the planet in a full year." "The principles and ways and values that have an impact on the way markets allocate resources can have an enormous effect" in tackling climate change, he said.

Institutional investors in his fund are "more attracted to the strategy we follow are managing long-term assets toward long-term goals." "Those looking for a quick hit in the market place, to skim the cream and go somewhere else, those are not the investors attracted to this strategy," Mr Gore said, according to wire service reports.

My prediction is that Gore will be a billionaire before the media and the politicians finally admit that CO2 emissions are not destroying the world.

The recent economic downturn appears to have been triggered by a housing bubble and excessive leverage by financial institutions. But there are some other long term factors that may have contributed, and that certainly will affect the economy in the near future. The first is that the baby boomer generation has started reaching retirement age. This will dramatically increase the number of retired persons in the nation. Then there is the large influx of aliens into the country, most of whom are poorly educated. This decreases the average level of human capital in the country. These factors combined will slow the recovery from the current economic downturn.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Today on TV I saw some left-wing commentators start talking about increasing the tax on gasoline because the price has gotten so low recently that "people have started buying SUV's again." Because they gasoline tax is regressive, the suggestion is that the tax be revenue neutral by increasing earned income tax credits. Democrats would like to gradually increase the price of gasoline up to $10 per gallon to get people to buy electric cars and start riding public transportation.

I experience cognitive disconnect when I hear politicians talk about reducing healthcare expense by providing insurance for the 47 million people in the United States who have no health insurance. (Many of the uninsured are reported to be illegal aliens.) My understanding is that insurance is an instrument for spreading risk, not for reducing expense.) The rationale for providing insurance for those not now insured appears to be to provide healthcare for people who currently do not get it. (That may not be entirely the situation: hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area spent almost $700 million on healthcare for the uninsured, again mostly illegal aliens, in 2006.) The politician's real objective appears to be to create a socialized medicine system in the United States. They are clever enough to know this has to be done by stealth because the country is rather conservative. The politicians claim that insurance provides "preventive" healthcare that reduces the overall cost of medicine. This is at best a dubious proposition.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Caroline Kennedy quest for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat illustrates something larger. Ted Kennedy wants his wife to be appointed to his seat when he dies. Joe Biden wants a seat warmer appointed to his seat until his son is old enough to run for election. It appears we are heading to a hereditary system here. Maybe we will evolve into having the Kennedy seat, and the Biden seat, etc. Or maybe we can set up some hereditary titles; maybe Grand-Duke Kennedy, Grand Duke Clinton, and maybe even a Grand Duke Bush. It is curious to me that the Democrats are the ones most prone to calling people Prince and Princess.

Dan Rather's story about President Bush and the National Guard was founded on a lie. The basic lie was not the fraudulent documents, but rather that President Bush avoided combat in Vietnam by entering the national Guard. Rather it was the idea that President Bush would ever have been in combat if he had not joined the National Guard. He was the son of a Congressman, and even if drafted, he would not have been sent to Vietnam because the military did not like to have the son's of prominent men in the combat zone. Al Gore went after his father, who was running for reelection pulled strings to get his son sent to aid his campaign, which he was not doing well in. Al Gore was assigned as a journalist, and the military had to baby-sit him until they could get him shipped home after about six months. President Bush was in the National Guard after learning to fly the F102, a relatively difficult plane to fly, the pilots of which were statistically in more danger than infantrymen in Vietnam. Bush had around 500 hours in the F-102, a high total for a national Guard pilot.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Alternative energy breaks down into two distinct categories. First there is electric power generation where wind turbines and solar cell and solar concentrator technology offer potential for partial satisfaction of the demand, but nuclear power is needed to provide base load. There are currently plans for 30 nuclear power plants in the US, which will go a long way to satisfying electric energy demand. Second is the need for a transportation fuel. There is a lot of talk about electric plug-ins, but it is likely that the electric power grid is not up to having a lot of folks plug in their car after the drive home from work. Hydrogen gets a lot of talk, but there is simply no infrastructure for it now. Biodiesel has some potential, especially in the South where the temperature is high enough to keep the fuel from congealing. There is no current infrastructure for any of these alternative transportation fuel systems. Scrapping the existing infrastructure would represent a huge capital loss, and building a new infrastructure will be expensive. Here is another view of the alternative energy situation. As usual, the recommendation is for a tax to solve the situation. No one seems to realize that taxes harm the economy.


Environmentalists are generally opposed to cost-benefit analyses, and have an absolutist agenda. They are willing to spend untold amounts of money to avoid the slightest "damage" to the environment. They are now attempting to get the Supreme Court to impose their perspective on the nation.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

I have written a lot before, as have others, on how many people fail to realize that fascists and Nazis were socialists who were vehemently anti-capitalist. This came about because the communists referred to anyone who opposed them as communists. The communists wanted an international revolution, while the fascists and Nazis were nationalistic. The Communists were also in the mold of the French Revolution in which rich and elites were to be killed, while the fascists wanted to co-opt them, but not kill them. The far left in America is basically communistic and internationalist, so mistakenly refers to capitalists as fascists. Here is a discussion of this subject from a European perspective.

The Fascist Shell Game
by Baron Bodissey

In the early 1920s in Italy, the Fascists and the Communists were rival socialist movements. During the same period in Germany, the Communists and the Nazis were also contenders for socialist revolutionary dominance. The difference between the Communists and the Fascists/Nazis was that the former advocated a world revolution — on behalf of the international proletariat and without regard for national boundaries — whereas the latter proposed to institute socialism for the sole benefit of the Italian and German people, respectively.

To the fascists and the Nazis, Communism was an enemy alien, imported from Soviet Russia and directed by Moscow. But from a doctrinal standpoint, national and international socialism were in broad agreement: it was necessary for a “revolutionary vanguard” to seize control of the government to effect a socialist revolution; there should be state ownership of the means of production to benefit the workers; citizens were obliged to work for the common good under the direction of the state; control of speech and the media was required to serve the aims of the revolution and protect the populace from counter-revolutionary propaganda.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bernie Madoff of the $50 billion Ponzi Scheme donated a lot of money to Democrats, including $430,000 to Chuck Schumer. I wonder if he expected anything in return? Probably he just wanted good government with a lot of oversight and regulation of financial institutions. I wonder how much he donated to President Bush? I'll bet none.

One of the hazards of a national policy of freedom of speech is that enemies can easily spread their propaganda. The Communists and Islamists have figured that out. Fortunately the Nazi's never did. I feel certain that the Nazi's could have found at least some support if they had. Now the British have given Ahmadinejad an opportunity to respond to the Queen's message at Christmas. This seems mad, but is in keeping with the philosophy of those who believe in multiculturalism, political correctness, and moral equivalence. The Iranians have responded as expected, as detailed in the comment by Michael Rubin:

Ahmadinejad's Channel 4 Christmas broadcast [Michael Rubin]

The irony of Britain's channel 4 giving Ahmadinejad the pulpit in the name of free speech is that as he was speaking, Iranian authorities raided and closed down the BBC's Tehran offices and, separately, in the spirit of goodwill to man, ordered Christmas trees banned from Iranian kindergartens... (More of these stories, and their original links, in the Iran News Round Up, available now for free by e-mail subscription to Ahmad.Majidyar@aei.org).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I tend to agree with Jennifer Rubin's list of ten myths exploded in 2008.


Jennifer Rubin has about the same opinion of Obama's economic plans as I do, which is not much. She quotes Paul O'Neill who has done some analysis on what it costs the government to create a job. He got $250,000 which matches the recent experience from Great Britain which I wrote about recently. O'Neill also points out the the 3 million jobs Obama is planning on creating is not enough because more people than that will enter the workforce over the next few years.

Here is Rubin's article:


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I suppose that it is no surprise that San Francisco would take the lead in letting air travelers buy carbon credits to assuage their guilt for traveling in a jet.


I wonder if anyone actually thinks this does anything to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. I suspect it does as much good as the indulgences sold by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.

Obama has made some picks for cabinet level positions that are acceptable to the middle, but as expected, he is picking left-wing zealots for lower level positions where the real dirty work will be done. His picks for EPA leader and science advisor are disasters. His science advisor, John Holdren, is one who puts politics squarely above politics, and if Obama believes his own rhetoric, we are in serious trouble. Here is a discussion from Powerline.


The Obama Administration is touting the old Franklin Roosevelt lie that big government socialism is necessary to save capitalism. The book The End of Prosperity by Art Laffer, Steven Moore, and Peter Tanous discusses the "four killers of prosperity." I like this phrase from "charliefoxtrotblog," which reviews the book: The four horsemen of the Obacalypse. http://charliefoxtrotblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/four-horsemen-of-obacaplypse.html

It is sad, but the Bush Administration has unleashed two of the killers of the economy on us: uncontrolled spending and monetary policy mistakes. Obama will gleefully impose the other two: trade protectionism and stifling regulation.

Hard times are a'coming.

My favorite economists are Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Here is a good idea from a Sowell opinion piece:

A reader suggests that members of Congress should wear uniforms, like NASCAR drivers, so that we will know who their corporate sponsors are. Many of those in Congress should also wear logos representing the teachers' unions, environmentalist extremists and other special interests.

When I was a boy I used to listen to my grandfather comment about FDR; he didn't like him. Most people at the time thought Roosevelt was focused entirely on recovery of the economy of the nation. My grandfather recognized that Roosevelt was trying harder to change the government than he was to effect a recovery. (He also though Roosevelt was lying about keeping the US out of WWII, and was in fact planning on entering the war. He correctly predicted that Japan would attack the US because of the US policy in the Pacific.) My Grandfather thought that FDR was promoting communism, but actually he favored communism's cousin, fascism. We now have another leader who would like to transform our government to fascism. (It appears that Bush has given Obama a head start. But, back to FDR. My grandfather wasn't the only person who saw what Roosevelt was doing. From a column today by John Stossel:


Here is what John Maynard Keynes said in an open letter to FDR:

"You are engaged on a double task, Recovery and Reform; -- recovery from the slump and the passage of those business and social reforms which are long overdue. For the first, speed and quick results are essential. The second may be urgent, too; but haste will be injurious. ... [E]ven wise and necessary Reform may, in some respects, impede and complicate Recovery. For it will upset the confidence of the business world and weaken their existing motives to action. ... Now I am not clear, looking back over the last nine months, that the order of urgency between measures of Recovery and measures of Reform has been duly observed, or that the latter has not sometimes been mistaken for the former."

OK, so my Grandfather probably read that, and it influenced his thinking, though, as I recall, he didn't like Keynes either.

Now we have another President who wants a fascist government, something will will solidify the position of the current rich and famous. We will have to wait to see what he chooses to focus on, recovery or reform.

FDR talked a good game, but the US economy was about as bad in 1940 as when he was elected President 8 years earlier. See the book about the Great Depression, "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes.

(For those unaware of the history, Southern Democrats refused to support FDR in his quest for the Democratic Party nomination for a third term as President in 1940 unless he put his reform agenda on hold until after WWII was over: we were not yet in the war, but they knew we soon would be. FDR died before the war ended, Truman became President because the Southerners forced FDR to dump his communist VP Henry Wallace in 1944, and Republicans got control of Congress after the war. Republicans and Southern Democrats formed an alliance that killed socialism in America, at least for 50 years. It is hard to kill socialism forever because it appeals so much to people with what we now call a liberal mindset, even though it has never worked well anywhere.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here are the top ten disasters of 2008 caused by global warming. (We are all doomed, doomed.)


When I worry about the future with Obama as President, I just think about this speech he made when he had secured the Democratic Party nomination for President:

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.

How can we doubt a guy who can stop the rise of the seas, stop wars, and heal the planet? But, knowing that the sea stopped rising two years ago might give us pause to think, maybe he's just another

Obama and the Democrats really don't want the US to be able to defend itself. They hate the missile defense system. It appears that Obama is following the Clinton example of polling to determine what action to take as he "leads," so he may not kill the airborne laser system, despite the wishes of his supporters on the left. Here is a discussion from American Thinker about a UK report that Obama will cancel the program.


The city of Seattle doesn't put salt to clear roads covered by snow because they don't want the salt to run off into Puget Sound according to this article:


I don't know much about the salt content of the water in Puget Sound, but it is hard to believe that salty water run-off from roads in the city on the rare occasions when it snows there would make much difference. Not clearing the roads leads to inconvenience for the public, and more auto accidents. This seems to be another instance where environmental absolutists are unwilling to do a cost-benefit analysis.

I agree with Jerry Pournelle about what it takes to have a successful society.

JERRY POURNELLE: “The way out of our economic problems is increased production. It’s a lot easier to divide up a big pie than a small pie. . . . There are two keys to increased productivity: low energy prices, and a well educated work force imbued with a work ethic. Eliminate either and you have a society either unable or unwilling to meet the demands of the non-productive (which includes both the deserving poor and the undeserving poor as well as those ‘employed’ in ‘jobs’ that consume but add nothing to the goods available for distribution). When energy prices and/or appropriate education are threatened, it’s rather difficult to have a positive reaction.”

The Obama plan, according to what he has said, is to adopt a green energy policy that will dramatically increase the cost of energy. That is going to have a negative impact on our standard of living. I also have doubts that his education plan will work out either, though exactly what he plans to do in that arena is less clear. In our politically correct society I don't think either political party has the will to impose the discipline in schools that is needed to turn our education system around..

Here is an article that exposes the "end justifies the means" attitude of the IPCC and the other supporters of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.


Steven Schneider is one of the lead authors of the IPCC Summary Reports for Politicians. The actual Technical Report that is released later does not agree with the Summary. The report states that the IPCC is 90% certain that temperature increase in the latter part of the 20th century was the result of man's activity. Yet, the IPCC did no work to determine how much natural effect their was, despite the obvious fact that in the past there were significant changes before man could have had an impact. Here is a paragraph from the Canada Free Press article:

Schneider, among others, created the appearance that the Summary was representative of the Science Report. However, he provides an early insight into the thinking when speaking about global warming to Discovery magazine (October 1989) he said scientists need, “to get some broader based support, to capture the public’s imagination…that, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have…each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.”

Others may disagree, but Schneider's statement indicates to me that he believes that the end justifies the means. I think he is ethically challenged.

One of the curious things about the recent Presidential election was the way Sarah Palin was attacked by both the left and the right. The ferocity of the attacks, which were mostly irrational, can only indicate that both sides are afraid of her gaining power. She doesn't appear to have any revolutionary beliefs, and her performance as governor has been solid, but contains no indication that she is anything but a typical somewhat libertarian conservative. So, their fear must be more in the nature of personal loss of power. Here is a view of Palin from an Englishman:


I just watched a press conference by Joe Biden and the Obama economic team. They claim to be negotiating with Congress on the Obama economic package that will "create 3 million" new jobs. I have seen Democrats complaining that Republicans are already criticizing Obama, and he hasn't even taken office yet. But, it appears that Obama has already taken over. For example I have never before heard of the "Office of the President Elect." It appears to me that Obama's actions open him up to legitimate criticism. I was struck by the economic teams frequent mention of "saving the middle class," which is the task Obama has assigned to Joe Biden. Records show that over the past 20 years the middle class shrunk because of so many people moving up rather than people moving down. I guess Joe Biden will be a success if he taxes those higher income folks back into the middle class where they belong.

Regarding the 3 million jobs, it appears that most of them are construction jobs. I wonder where we will find the construction workers. Maybe from Mexico. IN Great Britain they have been trying to create a lot of "green" jobs of the type Obama talked about in the campaign. Now from Great Britain comes the news that the "green" jobs cost them about $250,000 per year each. At that rate, Obama will need $750 billion per year for his "green" job program. That's a lot more than the defense budget. Should we getting ready for inflation, since it is obvious that Obama will continue Bush's policy of printing money.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We have to accept the fact that the United States has become a socialist nation, and it has happened with a Republican still in the White House. The difference between capitalist societies and socialists has to do with how failure is treated. Capitalism is successful because failures allowed go out of business and are replaced by new competent organizations. But, in socialist countries failures are propped up by the government. The same old incompetent bureaucracy is kept in power. People who are rich and powerful maintain their position by government fiat, regardless of whether or not they are competent. The rich leaders of large companies and institutions become fascists; they cede control to government in order to have their own position secured. In Europe the 50 largest companies from 50 years ago are mostly still the largest companies now. In the US most of the 50 largest companies didn't exist 50 years ago. Europe has people frozen in classes; there is little social mobility. As we bail out the large companies that are failing, we are now going to have a European style economy where the incompetent can't fail. Eventually the entire system becomes incompetent.

Recently I read an NYT article in which they revealed that - no surprise - it was President Bush who was responsible for the current worldwide financial crisis. Bush, aided by right-wing ideologues had pushed through evil deregulation that caused the problem. That this is not true hardly matters to the NYT, the formerly great newspaper that is now a joke. Actually Bush had been warning about Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and had been pushing for more regulations of those semi-government institutions. (I do blame Bush for something he did, specifically extending the sub-prime loan program to illegal aliens.) Here is a piece debunking the NYT article:


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here is more criticism of the Anthropogenic global warming movement. Some simple reasons why the AGW hypothesis is unproven, and discussion of Al Gore's dishonesty. Laurie David may not be smart enough to know that what she put in her movie is incorrect, but Al Gore surely is smart enough to know, so what he did was fundamentally dishonest. It may be that he has an 'end justifies the means' belief. here is another article from down under.


Back during the Presidential Campaign when the price of gasoline was about $4/gallon Obama remarked that he was OK with the price, it had just gone up too fast. Now he has appointed an energy secretary who says gasoline should cost what it does in Europe, which ranges up to the range of $10 per gallon. I knew what Obama thought about the price of energy, but I suspect that most who voted for him did not. Obama supporters knew that Palin's teen-aged daughter was pregnant but didn't know much of anything about where Obama stood on any issue. They knew he wanted change. $10 per gallon gasoline will be change all right, but I doubt it is the change Obama's supporters were hoping for. Here is a piece about this issue.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here are Caroline Kennedy's position on some issues of the day. I pretty much disagree with her on most issues. She is a standard liberal. Her grandfather Kennedy was a fascist, and I suspect she is also.


Obama plans on implementing a 'carbon cap and trade' scheme in the US. This is the same system that has been employed in Europe over the past few years and has failed. Obama concedes that the plan will raise costs on Americans. (He appears to be unaware of how poorly the plan has worked in Europe.) The purpose of the plan is to allow the government to choose winners and losers. It is really that simple. Here is a discription of the plan by someone who doesn't like it. (Actually the plan is no good even for those who think it is imperative to cut CO2 emissions.)


I expect Obama to destroy the economy of America, but Democrats will blame it on George Bush.

Here is an excellent paper on the subject of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) that should be read by everyone who is interested in the subject. This paper pretty well matches my own opinions regarding the subject. I totally disagree with the IPCC approach, which is politically driven, and is not scientifically sound. I have no doubt that man affects climate, particularly regionally, but have much doubt that atmospheric CO2 concentration is a primary driver of climate. I think that natural phenomena are more important than the IPCC, which seems to take the position that natural forces prevailed until about 1970, and then natural forces disappeared, and man's activities began to drive climate (recent temperature action has caused some to retreat on this point.) I think that public policy actions now being taken around the world to curtail CO2 emissions are ill-founded and are bound to fail, causing much harm to society as a result. I think science needs to study climate to identify all of the significant factors. This will be a most difficult task, given that earth's climate is a very large unstable, non-linear dynamic system. Here is the paper.


Here is an interesting article by James Taranto of the WSJ:


Here is a comment describing the environmentalist movement from a British reader of the Australian blog 'greenie watch.'

Give us the money

An insightful email from a British reader below:

After forty years of listening to greenie scare stories, (even believing some of them at one time) I think I am starting to see a pattern emerging. It seems to start as:

Plan A: The Scam

We have identified an ecological disaster and HUMANS ARE TO BLAME. But if you pay us lots of money and do exactly what we say, we may be able to fix it in time.

For some inexplicable reason, this does not convince everyone, so we need:

Plan B: The Precautionary Principle

Well, even if we're wrong, you still ought to pay us lots of money and do exactly what we say.

For some inexplicable reason, this also does not convince everyone, so we need:

Plan C: The Tipping Point

OK. So nothing is happening and there isn't any evidence, but there will be soon if you don't PAY US THE MONEY!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today I heard discussion on TV on potential government programs to get older cars off of the road. I have written before that this will be necessary for the Obama Administration to meet its goals. They need to reduce the average 17-year service life of cars. The proposals discussed were mostly incentives to get people to voluntarily get rid of their old car by selling it to the government for more than the market price, and by offering a subsidy for trading the old cars in on new fuel efficient cars. What if a lot of people really just don't want an electric car that is basically an enclosed four wheeled motorcycle? I predict the government will then go to coercion, assuming, as is likely, that Obama is reelected in four years. Obama wants to reduce CO2 emission by 80%, and without going to nuclear power. That is going to prove to be technically impossible without severe reduction in the standard of living. Either that goal will have to be revised or dictatorial powers will have to be assumed, because reelection will not be likely. (I suppose it is possible that master propagandists will be able to get popular support for a dictator. Hitler did it by demonizing Jews. So far Democrats are just demonizing white anglo-saxon males. I wonder if that will work.)

The Madoff situation looks like it will be even more complicated than I thought. It turns out that people who never invested with Madoff could be forced to repay the money he stole from other investors. This comes about because the funds that invested with him in the past, but are no longer with him, will have to return profits, and that money will come from new investors in that fund who were not investors when the fund was invested with Madoff. Here is an article that explains this:


It will take a lot of accountants and many years to sort this out. Look for some lawyers to make their fortune on the lawsuits. As in the novel "Bleakhouse" referred to at the end of the above referenced piece, in the end the lawyers will have all of the money. My first question is what happened to the $50 billion? Is it in a Swiss bank account? My second question is who helped Madoff run his scam? There is no way he could have pulled off such a deception by himself. I can see that it would be desirable to limit the number of people involved since the fewer people involved, the less likelihood of exposure. But surely he had help.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here is more about the ridiculous UAW work rules that have destroyed the U. S. auto industry (from the blog 'Ace of Spades'):


I blame the management of the auto companies for caving in to the unions. The managements most responsible for the current state of affairs retired on their overly-generous pensions and have sense passed away. It was obvious to me back in 1956 that the auto companies were doomed if they continued to cave in to UAW demands. There is probably no management change short of bankruptcy that could restructure the Detroit auto industry to be competitive. Building hybrids and electric cars won't do the job.

The problem with Detroit automakers is the UAW. But, it is not the high pay the workers get, but rather the work rules the UAW has negotiated. Politicians are unwilling to discuss the real problem with the UAW. The workers have rules that enable them to not actually do any work much of the time. These rules not only affect productivity, but also have a negative effect on quality. I didn't work in the auto industry, but the aerospace company I worked for had a union shop and had similar issues with unions back when I was young. I once had a union grievance filed against me because, as I was trying to explain to a worker and a quality inspector how to assemble a part that they kept messing up, I picked up a screwdriver and used it as a pointer. The grievance was filed because an engineer touched a tool. Nothing happened to me, but the resolution was that some worker got eight hours pay under the rationale that I had stolen his work, or something like that. I recall seeing a TV program about problems in a GM plant where morale was low. One fork-lift operator interviewed said he would occasionally deliberately drop a car for fun, smashing it. Most of the union workers that I worked with good, but every now and then there was a jerk, and there was nothing we could do about the jerks. I recall one guy who would deliberately drop his screwdriver to spear space radiator panels. He said, "I did it, and there is nothing you can do about it." We could ban him from the project, but he was just transferred to another job. Here is an article by another ex-aerospace engineer, Rand Simberg, on this subject.


Global Warming

Barack Obama says his Administration is going to tackle the problem of climate change, and stop the seas from rising. He and his advisors apparently don't pay any attention to the data on temperature and sea level that are currently being collected. The average tempeature of Earth is about the same as it was 30 years ago, and tidal measurements have not detected any rise in the sea level over the last 15 years. Here is a comment from Australia that I got from the blog 'greenie watch."

"The sceptics are growing in confidence and becoming emboldened," says Ray Evans, secretary of the sceptic organisation The Lavoisier Group. "In terms of morale, the atmosphere in the blogosphere is very cocky. The chief weapon brandished by the sceptics is the raw temperature measurements from the British Government's Hadley Centre, which shows that global temperatures peaked in 1998 and have been cooler ever since. Climate change believers hate this evidence, saying that it is misleading and are urging people to concentrate on the longer-term trend where the evidence of warming is stronger.

This is ineresting because if one looks at the longer term, like back to 1800, the temperature change of the twentieth century was at about the same rate as in the nineteenth century, even thought the level of CO2 in tha atmosphere didn't rise significantly until the latter half of the twentieth century. And the seas have been rising since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years or more ago. The rate of sea level rise, if any, in the twenty-first century is less than in the twentieth century. I think that those who support the AGW hypotesis would want to concentrate on intermediate term data, like the second half of the twentieth century. At any rate, for politicians, Al Gore has gotten the train moving out of the station, and data are no longer important. Obama will no doubt fall back on the positions of improved national security by not relying on foreign oil, and that the world supply of fossil fuel is limited, and the Earth will soon expend most of that reserve that can be readily exploited. This is true, but the government and the Obama Admiinistration do not seem inclined to look for realistic long-term solutions.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Liberals would like to see Bush resign now so Obama can take over. I read that Obama is the greatest President in History, and he hasn't even taken office yet. I wonder if he will still be the greatest in history after he has been in office a few years. I think it is easier to be great when talking about what you are going to do as compared to actually being in the game. I recall Archie Moore talking about how easy it would be for him to beat up Rocky Marciano because Marciano being a small, slow white guy, wouldn't even be able to get a glove on him. After the fight he said he said Marciano hit so hard that it hurt even though he blocked the punches. And Marciano was still World Champion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The recent financial meltdown continues to turn over rocks to expose vermin. The Madoff Ponzi scheme is incredible to me. How could someone take $50 billion without anyone realizing it. It is hard for me to understand the mindset of people who perpetrate such schemes. I can someone who is stealing people's money socialize with them and act like their friend. It is also interesting, though not surprising that these guys are big contributors to the Democrats. I suspect that it may not reveal their political beliefs so much as the political beliefs of the wealthy people they were exploiting. These scams certainly cause one to wonder about the soundness of any investment. I think the current financial crisis illustrates that there are a lot of frauds in the financial business. The rising stock market over the years just shielded them from detection. We can't rely on the SEC, so how do we identify the crooks? The articles below came from the blog 'Blue Crab Boulevard."

The Independent reports that many victims of Bernard Madoff’s gigantic Ponzi scheme still do not know that they are now destitute. In fact, I have been a little surprised at how little coverage a $50 billion scam has been getting in the US media. The report may indicate why:

Some victims of Wall Street’s biggest fraud – planned and carried out over decades by one of its most respected figures – are as yet unaware that their entire savings have been wiped out, financial experts in New York said yesterday. Such is the extent of Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50bn (£34bn) swindle, and so convoluted its paper trail of derivatives, that this weekend there will be Americans under the impression they are rich who are oblivious that their wealth had been placed in Mr Madoff’s apparently criminal hands, and is therefore now lost.

Enough details of the fallout were emerging yesterday to begin to judge the mayhem this one-time chairman of Nasdaq, and Democratic Party and Jewish charity benefactor, has wreaked. Those likely to have lost everything include a Jewish charity that had its $7m assets lodged with Mr Madoff’s firm, and had to lay off its staff on Friday, and Manhattan and Florida socialites. Many, in the words of an investigator, are now “destitute”. Corporate losers include Nicola Horlick (pictured, inset), the British hedge-fund manager known as “Superwoman” for her hectic private and business lives, whose Bramdean Alternatives seems to have lost at least £10m; and, reportedly, the Japanese brokerage house Nomura.

Madoff was a very large - but not ridiculously large - donor to Democrats. You’ll have to search his name at the Federal Elections Commission to get the details - their links are not persistent - but Madoff contributed some $161,000 - almost exclusively to Democrats (one exception, some money to Al D’Amato). Charles Schumer got rather a lot. So did the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. They got a lot of Madoff’s money.

Another Day, Another Scam Revealed
Yet another scam - this time one conducted by a well-known lawyer - is wreaking havoc. Marc Dreier has been arrested, accused of a financial fraud, this one has about $380 million going missing. The victims include hedge funds.

But people there gave little thought to Mr. Dreier’s odd visit until November, when the company’s founder, Sheldon H. Solow, received a disturbing call. The caller wanted to let Mr. Solow know that Mr. Dreier had offered him the chance to buy promissory notes that had been issued by the company, people associated with the firm said.

They were fake notes, and shortly thereafter, lawyers for Solow Realty — different lawyers — were in touch with federal authorities, reporting their suspicions that Mr. Dreier might be engaged in financial fraud.

Since that opening tip, federal authorities have been tracking what they describe as a brazen swindle of some of New York’s savviest investors by one of New York’s more accomplished lawyers. Mr. Dreier has been charged with multiple frauds in the United States and a related crime in Canada, and is being held without bail in Manhattan.

In court last week, prosecutors said their count so far put the money missing at $380 million, most of it lost by hedge funds and other investors who had bought promissory notes that were flat-out fictions.

And I decided to check the FEC again. Guess what? Dreier appears to have given money - not a huge amount - to the Democratic Senatorial Coordinating Committee as well as to Bill Richardson’s campaign.

This kind of corruption and fraud is what is causing additional major damage to an already weak economy. With the arrests of Dreier and Madoff one has to wonder how much of this iceberg of crookedness has been exposed yet. As to the so-called “sophisticated” investors and hedge funds who have been burned by scams like this, one has to wonder how sophisticated they actually were.

In a recent battle in Afghanistan 10 American soldiers earned the Silver Star. That's a lot. It was a fierce battle in which several American soldiers were wounded, none fatally. About 200 of the enemy were killed. Here is some video from the battle. It is a bit confusing, and hard to follow, but that is usually the way battles are.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

It appears that 500,000 sq km of Arctic ice just disappeared. Global Warming probably did it. There was getting to be too much ice u there, so something had to be done. Here is the story from the blog 'wattsupwiththat:'


Today in the Fort Worth Star Telegram there was an article that said the cost of health care for illegal aliens during the fiscal year 2005-06 was $678 million. I am curious as to how insurance would have reduced that amount. It is doubtful to me that many of the illegal aliens would pay for the insurance, so the state would pay for it. Insurance just affects who pays for care, not the cost of the care. Actually, the existence of insurance would probably increase the demand for care.

Barack Obama says he will reduce the amount of money spent on health care by preventative medicine. That is curious to me, since preventive care will obviously not reduce the total healthcare cost. It will certainly increase the cost eventually. Perhaps the most effective preventive measure is not smoking. This saves money rather than costing more. Next would include a good exercise program and weight management. Again these are not expensive. But, the people who practice these things probably wind up spending more on health care as they age than those who smoke and don't exercise, and die suddenly while still relatively young. I think an argument can be made that it is better for society to keep people productive for as long as possible, given the huge investment in raising and educating them, but I doubt that they will end up having spent more on healthcare over the course of their life.

One thing that has hurt the global warming hypothesis, aside from data, is that the supporters blame everything that happens on "climate change." This despite what seems obvious to me, specifically that in a world where diurnal temperature changes of 30or 40 degrees F are common and annual variations are 80 to 100 degrees F, that a change of less than 0.1 F in the annual average between 1990 and 2008 would have any effect at all. Some of the rational people who believe in the global warming hypothesis also see this, as indicated in this article.


One of the unsettling aspects of the global warming debate is the way the some supporters of the hypothesis used data selectively to advance their cause. It is unclear whether there was actual dishonesty involved, or if is a matter of confirmation bias. Two factors involved in the global warming hypothesis are particularly troubling. First is the "Mann hockeystick" temperature history curve. There was a lot of discussion between people who believed in the global warming hypothesis of the need to "get rid" of the Medieval Warm Period. Then Mann did it with an approach that has been thoroughly discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick, and others. The second issue concerns the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere where supporters of the hypothesis have taken control of the data, and have used data selectively to promote the idea that the atmospheric level of CO2 went up dramatically during the twentieth century. A significant amount of data, in fact, most of the data from the nineteenth century had to be rejected on the basis that it did not fit the pre-conceived notion of what should have been. Here is an article discussing the atmospheric CO2 question.


Friday, December 12, 2008

I always wonder if stories like this one are true:


This morning before I went to the doctor to get the stitches removed from my latest skin cancer removal site I watched a news conference by the head of the UAW regarding the bail-out of Detroit car manufacturers. I said a few thing that were curious, but none of the reporters asked about them. First he blamed evil Republicans who he said refused to support the deal as payback for the UAW supporting Democrats in the most recent election. I suppose that could be true, and it is certainly the approach the noble Democrats usually take, working to their political advantage regardless of the national interest. It apparently never occurred to him that Republicans might oppose the deal on principle. He said the Republicans were trying to make the UAW accept pay cuts to get their pay in line with foreign manufacturers. Later he said that UAW members don't make as much as Toyota workers in the South. This inconsistency seems to have escaped everyone there. He also said in effect that people in the South were weasels because they had given tax breaks to foreign car manufacturers to locate factories in the South. He seems to have forgotten that many years ago back in the 1950's GM was given tax breaks to locate in Arlington, Texas. It was clear that he blames Republicans for the financial troubles of GM and Chrysler. He seemed to think it was good that the union is involved in the management of the car manufacturers in Detroit. I remember writing a paper back in 1956 when I predicted that union involvement in management would ultimately destroy the companies. My communist Prof gave me a D minus on the paper because of my immature thought process. He thought it would be better if the unions ran the companies. That is basically what we have with the current management of the Detroit Auto manufacturers, and it has obviously not worked out well. I do agree with the UAW that the upper management of the auto companies, as with many other industries in the US, are paid far to much compensation. This is particularly true of the huge bonuses that are based on short term results.

Here is one lawyer's view of global warming. I think that the Obama Administration will move to destroy the US economy with "green" policies. I don't think they are interested in facts. Here is the article:


President Bush is a hero, if for no other reason than that he resisted the global warming hysteria, and did not implement a carbon cap and trade scheme. This killed the hopes of Enron, and probably accelerated the demise of that Ponzi scheme. With Obama entering the White House, some of the remaining investment firms hope to regain their profitable state with the carbon cap and trade scheme they expect to be implemented now. But, it appears that scientists around the world have woken up now, and recognize Al Gore's scheme for what it is, and are beginning to speak up. Here is an article providing a lot of comments from scientists from around the world.


Michelle Malkin is another one who doesn't like Carol Browner.


back during the Clinton Administration I wrote letters to Congress in which I characterized Browner as the most dangerous person in American government. I'll have to try to find those letters to send out again. As energy czar she can destroy the economy. By the way, how did Democrats come up with all of the czars; car czar, energy czar, etc.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm not the only one who takes a dim view of Carol Browner having any power in government:


Notice that like others in the Clinton Administration, she has probably made a fortune in the last eight years.

In other news I read today that the head of the IPCC now says that global warming does not represent an imminent threat to Earth. Maybe he actually looked at some data that shows the poor performance of the General Circulation Models in predicting the climate. But he says that carbon emission reductions are still needed. I have seen this news in several blogs, but have not found the source. But, it doesn't matter because Browner, like Gore, is not interested in facts. She wants more regulation to stifle industry.

It has just snowed in New Orleans. I blame George Bush because of his inaction on climate change. (Remember, global warming also causes any unusual weather event, including cold weathern.)

Erin Burnett interviewed Jamie Dimon, head of J P Morgan-Chase, today. Later someone elese mentioned that Dimon made a speech in 2006 warning about Fannie and Freddy and the dangerous over-leverage in the housing mortgage area, and starting de-leveraging J P Morgan-Chase. So, J P Morgan-Chase has come out of this financial crisis relatively intact so far. But other Investment Banks ignored the warning, and, apparently, some thought Dimon was making a mistake. I wish my broker would have reported this and recommended that I get out of financial stocks. It amazes me how much over-paid these Wall Street guys were, and still are. Apparently they thought they were genuises who knew how to juggle thinks so they could support 70 to 1 leverage forever. I wish I had known why they thought they were worth hndreds of million dollars per year. I guess they really thought they were alchemists who could spin horse manure into gold. Were they smart enough to know they were really running a Ponzi scheme?

Today on TV Erin Burnette interviewed former Chess Champion Kasparov about the state of affairs in Russia. Basically, he said "Not good, and a lot worse than in the US." One interesting comment about the difference in Russia and the US. He said people there couldn't understand the uproar over the governor of Illinois trying to sell a Senate seat. In Russia, that is just the way things are done.

Obama, the Chosen One, has apparently decided to offer to put Israel under the US "nuclear umbrella." That would mean that if Iran launches a nuclear attack on Israel, the US would obliterate Iran. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) is what Democrats like as opposed to a missile defense shield. Democrats assume that our opponents are rational human beings. That is why they think it is profitable to talk to dictators; that reasoning with them will work. MAD worked with Russians who are not suicidal. But, Iran's leaders are suicidal, at least they are willing to sacrifice their fellow citizens. Here is what Bernard Lewis, who has studied Muslim society extensively, has to say about this (I got the quote from 'Powerline'):

Bernard Lewis has observed that "Iran's leadership comprises a group of extreme fanatical Muslims who believe that their messianic times have arrived." Accordingly, for the Iranian regime, "mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent factor, but rather an inducement" because the regime's authorities believes it "can hasten the final messianic process. This is an extremely dangerous situation of which it is important to be aware."

I watched Tom Daschle make his speech today after Obama nominated him as Secretary of HEW. He is also in charge of setting up socialized medicine in the US. It is not clear exactly how the Democrats plan to do this, but expanding CHIPS will probably be the firsat step. Daschle says that every other nation has socialized medicine, so we have no choice, or something like that. (It is not clear to me why we have to be like everyone else in the world.) Welcome to the Socialized States of America.

Today Obama named Dr. Stephen Chu of Livermore National Lab to be Secretary of Energy. This is a high profile guy who will probably just do what he is told. More important is that he appointed Carol Browner, Al Gore's buddy, as number 2. Her job will be to get his regulatory program through Congress. This is very bad news, and means opposition to drilling for oil and gas, not only off-shore, but everywhere. It signals that he meant it when he talked about destroying the coal industry. I feel certain that will be her goal, regardless of what they say. She wants to stop using fossil fuel altogether, and seems unconcerned about what that does to the economy. She is a regulatory freak, and wants the government to control everything. I vote Republican in hopes of keeping Carol Browner out of the government.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I think President Bush should appoint a Special Prosecutor to look into Illinois politics. That is what a Democrat President with a Republican successor in the same situation would do. More than likely President Obama would fire the Special Prosecutor immediately after taking office. Republicans could use that in the next election. Republicans are going to have to learn to play the Democrat's hardball game if the party is to survive. Bush overcame Gore's attempt to steal the election in Florida in 2000, but in 2004the Republicans let the Democrats and Gregoire steal the gubernatorial election in Washington in 2004. (Democrats managed to "find" enough votes to overcome a 4000 vote deficit in that case, while Republicans didn't even look for any.) At least this year the Republicans are doing better in fending off the Franken attempt to steal a Senate seat in Minnesota by, after a slow start, they began 'finding' a few Republican votes, though they may still lose if Franken can get the Senate to take up the case. Soros and the Democrats managed to get someone from Acorn in charge of the election in Minnesota, which positioned them to 'find' a lot of votes after election day. Soros and the Democrats have focused on electing their people to the position in charge of elections in all states. Republicans are going to have to find a way to prevent that from happening. It will be difficult because it is hard to raise money for such a position, since it has no power except to conduct elections. Soros is willing to invest a lot just to be able to tip close elections.

Barack Obama and his team appear to have no understanding of basic economics based on his plan to create 5 million new 'green' jobs, assuming that this was not just campaign rhetoric that he never meant. Here is a description of how his plan is like the "broken window fallacy."


Barack also mentioned during the campaign that he would put the coal industry and coal-fired power plants out of business. That will clearly put a lot of people out of work. I guess Obama meant 5 million new jobs, not a net increase of 5 million jobs.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The governor of Illinois is in trouble for general corruption. He is a Democrat, something not widely reported. Actually, if the newspaper article doesn't identify the culprit's party in the headline, or at least in the first paragraph, then he is a Democrat. The transcripts of the governor and his wife, the daughter of one of the leaders in the Daley political machine, show that their language is both coarse and vulgar. Several recent governors of Illinois have been sent to prison. The previous governor, now in prison, was a Republican who was elected as a reformer to replace a crooked Democrat. The current governor was elected as a reformer to replace the crooked Republican. Politics in Illinois appears to just be crooked. Obama came from there, but his friends say he has integrity; he just had to associate with crooks in order to get ahead in Illinois politics. I suppose that could be true. Liberals and Democrats liked Fitzgerald when he prosecuted Scooter Libby for a non-crime. I'll bet they don't like him now. (I never liked Libby or Fitzgerald; both of them exhibit lawyer ethics. They want to win at all costs, and are not in the least interested in justice.)

Affirmative action is a favorite program of liberals. It has been around for 40 years now, but still hasn't succeeded as far as Democrats are concerned. Actually, it has managed to harm white males. Consider that 60% of college students are now women. I think males, particularly white males are becoming obsolete. I notice in the latest economic downturn, unemployment of males has gone up much faster than that of females. It has always seemed to me that liberals and Democrats do not want equal opportunity, they want equal outcome. Given the IQ difference between races (something liberals deny exists, despite mountains of data) equal outcome cannot be achieved without government intervention. Our liberal entertainment industry produces TV shows that depict men as lazy, stupid, criminal, and generally undesirable while women and blacks are energetic, noble, and perfect. (Maybe Desperate Housewives is an exception; but, it shows everyone as stupid, except the gay guys.) With Obama and the democrats about to be in total control of the government, I think we can expect renewed assault on white men. Here is an article from Australia by Andrew Bolt in Brisbane, where the liberals are now in control.

Andrew Bolt
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 09:46am

Discriminating against people because of their gender is now to be encouraged by law in mad Victoria:

DISCRIMINATION against dominant white males will soon be encouraged in a bid to boost the status of women, the disabled and cultural and religious minorities.

Such positive discrimination—treating people differently in order to obtain equality for marginalised groups - is set to be legalised under planned changes to the Equal Opportunity Act foreshadowed last week by state Attorney-General Rob Hulls…

Equal Opportunity Commission CEO Dr Helen Szoke said males ... “will have their position changed because they will be competing in a different way with these people who have been traditionally marginalised… Let’s open it up so everyone can have a fair go.”

Szoke’s demand for a “fair go” for “everyone” is a fraud. She actually wants some people not to get a fair go at all, if they are male. These people are not to be judged on their talents alone.

It is so typical of the Left to trample over individuals to achieve nirvana for the theoretical collective. Explain, please, Ms Szoke, how fighting against discrimination in theory justifies imposing discrimination in practice? In the end, some people wind up still getting hurt - and unfairly.

Obama says that the science of global warming is 'settled.' Apparently there are a lot of scientists who are not aware that the debate is over. The 'deniers' are able to put together a big conference, as reported by Jeff Jacoby:


No doubt Al Gore would charge that all of these deniers are funded by Big Oil, or Big Tobacco, or Big Big. I wonder if it has occurred to Al that the supporters of the Global Warming Hypothesis are funded by Big Government, and Big fascists like George Soros and Mrs. John Kerry.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The LA Times went into Chapter 11 today, and the NYT had to borrow $220 using their HQ building as collateral. It couldn't have happened to a group who deserved it more. I guess the Cubs will also be for sell (I think Sam Zell owned them as well as the LAT.) Maybe Mark Cuban will finally get a baseball team.

Some people think more atmospheric CO2 will result in cooling rather than warming. Here is somethng I got from the blog 'greenie watch.' I agree with Prof. Chilingar that we need to do everything we can to increase enengy supplies, who seems to favor the Sarah Palin approach.


Below is an email from Prof. George Chilingar [gchiling@usc.edu], one of the best-known petroleum geologists in the world and the founder of several prestigious journals in the oil and gas industry

Please allow me to pose an important question to you. Why are we going to spend trillions of dollars sequestering CO2 to mitigate global atmospheric warming, while our empirically-tested temperature models (e.g., see “Greenhouse Gases and Greenhouse Effect”, published in the last issue of Environmental Geology, or “Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission”, published this year in Energy Sources Journal) shows that increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere causes cooling rather than warming?

In the dense earth’s troposphere, the heat from the Earth’s surface is mostly transferred by convection, approximately 67%. Radiation accounts for approximately 8%. Why is this important fact ignored by most scientists?

Also, why do peaks in the solar irradiation precede the peaks in the CO2 concentration in atmosphere? The answer is that as the temperature increases, CO2 evaporates from the ocean water, which is a great storehouse of CO2. Is the cause and effect reversed in the mind of many scientists? What is the common cause of “simultaneous” warming on Earth, Mars, Pluto and Jupiter? This is more than coincidence.

Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climate changes using restrictive regulations are doomed to failure because the global forces of nature are at least 4-5 orders of magnitude greater than the available human controls (e.g., see recently published, 2007, book by Elsevier Publishing Co. entitled "Global Warming and Global Cooling. Evolution of Climate on Earth").

This is a critical issue because to misappropriate limited financial resources will create a deeper global economic crisis and pull away sorely needed moneys that currently help underdeveloped nations and the poor around the world.

When Silvio Berlusconi brilliantly stated that fighting global warming is like battling windmills, he was obviously referring to Don Quixote de la Mancha fighting imaginary monsters based on distorted perceptions.

Unfortunately the “Global Warming” issue has become an emotionally-, politically-, and economically-motivated issue that has warped into a form of religious dogma founded on erroneous perceptual beliefs in the face of contradicting facts. Like a religion, it is becoming a sacred cow, impossible to touch.

As far as alternate sources of energy are concerned, do the proponents of this issue realize that all alternate sources of energy put together will satisfy only around 35% of the World demand for energy?

The reality is that in order to survive we will need to take, at the minimum, 2 tracks simultaneously. The first one is to tap all available sources of energy: oil shales, geothermal, gasification and liquefaction of coal, expanding drilling for oil and gas offshore and in Alaska; also adapting cars to run on natural gas and hydrogen. The second one is to explore alternate sources of energy, but not because of combating global warming. Most importantly, clean energy is necessary for health reasons (e.g., respiratory and other health related issues).

Finally, we must also plan to eventually stop burning petroleum in our cars because it is a far more valuable resource than human kind currently appreciates. Petroleum is a critical component for medical and other highly valued applications, in particular plastics. Is it an understatement to state that if we run out of petroleum we will be in great trouble?

As a petroleum engineer and geologist, I can assure you that drilling for oil and gas offshore and in Alaska can be done in an environmentally safe manner.

According to the NYT, Obama and the Democrats intend to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. This is not surprising news. Historically governments have not done well at picking winners and losers. The current Bush Administration has gotten into that some, and does not appear to be a success. Of course Obama is supposed to be a lot smarter than Bush and the evil Republicans. We'll see how it works out in a few years. I look for a country that economically looks much like France; half of the people employed by the government and persistent 10% unemployment with high inflation rates. Regardless of what happens to the country's economy, we can be sure that Democrat (and selected Republican) insiders will be much richer. Expect Buffett to get much richer.

The Democrats are saying the money to be given to Detroit based auto makers is a 'bridge loan' rather than a bail-out. To arguments that the 'brideg loan' is not likely to be repaid, they say that when loan money, you have to assume it will be paid back, and that there will be a lot of strings attached to the money to ensure that it is paid back. Since the comapnies have no assets, I wonder how it is ensured that the loans will be repaid. Besides, isn't that how we got into this credit fiasco in the first place? Money was loaned to people buying homes who were unlikely to pay it back, with no money down, and an over-valued property. It seems unlikely to me that the auto makers will ever pay the money back, so it is a bail-out.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The claims of Al Gore and Barack Obama that the science on global warming is 'settled' are hard to understand given the number of smart people who obviously don't agree. The assertion is silly on its face when one considers that the science of nothing is ever completely 'settled.' Here is a comment from a member of the European Parliament.


Friday, December 05, 2008

I am seeing a push for Caroline Kennedy to be named to replace Senator Clinton. This is pathetic. Jeb Bush may run for the Senate from Florida, but at least he will have to win in a competitive race. In New York the people will elect whoever the Democrat party leaders select, and whoever they have put into the Senate will have the advantage of being the incumbent whenever they get around to having an election. I don't know anything about Caroline Kennedy, but assume she is a liberal as are her incompetent cousins who are in office because of their family. The sooner we can get all of the Kennedy's, Rockefeller's, Gores, Bushes, Pelosi's, Daley's and all others in office because of their family connections the better. Democrats like dynasty's; I don't. We don't have royalty in America, and we don't need it. Obama seems to be setting up a cult of personality. That is bad.

President Bush failed to defeat Islamic terrorists, and would not even name our enemy. Islam intends to destroy us, and is taking advantage of the naivete of the liberals in America to help them achieve their goal. I am not optimistic that Obama will even do as well as Bush has in defeating the enemy. Until we are willing to identify and confront the real threat we will continue to lose. I am optimistic that at some point we will take effective action, but it appears more likely that we will do little until we suffer another catastrophic attack. After that I expect Obama will act under threat of impeachment. Here is an article about the UN's proposed law that would imprison anyone who criticizes Islam. (The UN is an anti- free speech and anti-democratic institution.)


The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. Apparently the Justices are scientifically challenged since human life on Earth could not exist without atmospheric CO2. The EPA is now thinking about how they can use their charter to control pollutant to take control of most of the economic activity in the country. They can now put forth proposals such as the one in this article:


This is an ignorant proposition since the CO2 the cows and other animals emit came from food that grew recently by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. The animals do not create CO2 that did not exist before as, for example, burning fossil fuel does. I wonder if the EPA realizes that each adult emits about a kilogram of CO2 each day. I suppose they will propose a tax on humans for creating CO2. Our political system is going out of control, and I am not encouraged that Obama will do any more to correct things than Bush did.

Hawaii is going to go for electric cars according to this article:


This might work there since it is not necessary to drive great distances in Hawaii; in fact, the Islands are so small, you can't drive very far. Maybe they need electric powered boats or airplanes for travelling between Islands. It seems unlikely to me that they would be able to get the electric energy they need from windmills. I doubt people there would like to have windmills ruining the view all around they Islands; after all, the economy there is based on tourism. Building 100,000 electric car re-charging stations seems like an ambitious undertaking to me. They have around one million cars, so that is one recharging station per ten cars, so I guess they are planning on it taking a fair amount of time to re-charge the batteries. I suppose they would need to put a lot of the recharging stations at hotels, since that is where a lot of the cars on the Islands are parked at night. I wonder if they would consider the small nuclear power plants to generate the power they need. Naw, probably not. This will be an interesting experiment that might work in Hawaii, but it is going to cost far more than expected. Whatever the initial estimate is, they should at least double it.

Watching the Congressional Hearing on the Big 3 auto makers, it appears that Congress wants to design the cars. The Democrats want to force the auto makers to drop lawsuits against states such as California that have passed stringent exhaust emission laws. The Democrats want to save the jobs in the auto industry, but, at the same time, they don't like cars. They like public transportation and bicycles. They don't like the freedom that autos provide to the peasants.

Analyzing the climate of the world, and modelling it so that accurate projections of the future can be made is extremely difficult. It is much more difficult than has been acknowledged by James Hansen, Al Gore (who probably isn't enough of a scientist to understand) and the IPCC. Not only are many important parameters not well known, there are some important factors for which the future is unknowable. One of the flaws in the IPCC modelling of the climate is that they started with the premise that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere caused the temperature increase that occurred from 1975 to 1998, and they calibrated their models to reflect the past with the increase in CO2 levels. This assumption is now obviously flawed because the CO2 levels have continued to increase over the past 10 years but the temperature has not gone up. It is obvious that the IPCC models need to be improved. Here is a paper discussing how other factors can be shown to have caused the temperature increase of the latter part of the twentieth century, and that these factors do a better job of predicting temperatures, even if the contribution of greenhouse gases are ignored.


One of the mysterious things to me is how liberals and Democrats refer to Republicans as fascists and Nazis. The reason that it is odd is that fascists and Nazis were socialists who regarded themselves as the enemies of capitalism. Here is a quote from the head Nazi, Adolphe Hitler (I got this from the blog 'Dissecting Leftism'):

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I read today that Rahm Emanuel made $18 million in two years after he left the Clinton Administration. That is a lot less than Clinton, Gore, Rubin, Raines, Gorelick, etc. made after leaving government, but Emanuel did it in only two years, and then he ran for Congress. Who said Democrats aren't capitalists? Of course they are more rent seekers than creators of anything.

The airborne laser missile defense system has had another successful test:


I don't think the system is very useful unless there is very good intelligence, since it would not be practical to have enough airframes to continually patrol all potential launch spots. But, it probably doesn't matter anyway since Obama plans to cancel missile defense programs, and to stop upgrade of the US nuclear weapons stockpile.

Al Gore and his merry band of doomsters like to talk about sea level rising and wiping out civilization. But, facts do not fit his doomsday scenario. I have been going to the beach in Texas for over 60 years, and I have seen so evidence of rising seas. My unscientific observations are supported by real experts on sea level (as opposed to the IPCC authors who are not sea level experts).


I hear on TV that the CONTANGO is out of whack. I'm not clear on what the CONTANGO is, but it has something to do with storage of oil. A lot of oil is produced from marginal wells that cannot be shut off because they may not start up again, at least without a lot of costly rework. So the producers keep the wells running, and store the oil. They buy old oil tankers and fill them up with oil to hold it in storage. Back when the price of oil was running up toward $150 per barrel speculators were buying oil and storing it to reduce supply. It worked great for a while. But now the demand has fallen and all of the old tankers are full of oil. So, now supply has outstripped demand and the price is falling, a lot. Some on Wall Street are predicting that the price of oil will fall to $25 per barrel.I don't believe in coincidence, so I don't think it was an accident that the price of oil went up so much early last year. I suspect that the master manipulator George Soros had something to do with it as part of his efforts to defeat Republicans and establish the fascist state that he desires. I also think it was no coincidence that the stock market crashed on 15 September. The crash seemed inevitable, but it is curious that it was timed to aid Democrats in the election. I suspect Soros and other rich Democrats in that one also.

The current recession is not the ususal business cycle. This recession was caused by many years of creative financial instruments that increased the velocity of money to incredible rates. Some deflation seems inevitable now. The crash that has happened was also inevitable, and was predicted by many people, but no one knew exactly when it would end. Over the past 25 years I have thought it was unsustainable. But, it was almost impossible not to be invested during this period. After all, a lot of people lived high and died before the crash. THat was part of the problem as many CEO's took the attitude that they would get theirs and get out before the crash. The CEOs who got out won and the current CEOs would seem to have been the losers left holding the bag. They knew that was a possibility, which is why they negotiated such huge 'golden parachute' packages. Congress may take the golden parachutes from the CEOs that are still standing. Personally I think the 'golden parachutes' were a major part of the problem, along with the goofy financial instruments. If the executives had not been guaranteed a big payout they may have paid more attention and not leveraged their companies at 50 or 70 to one. (Citi was about 50 to one, and Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were about 70 to one. No one could tell what the actual leverage was becasue of the goofy financial instruments.)

Today I saw on TV that Detroit auto makers are being asked to produce more hybrids and electric cars in order to get funding from the government. I wonder who will buy those cars? If gasoline stays at $1.50 per gallon I predict people will just keep driving their gas guzzler rather than buying an expensive hybrid that will take 7 years to break even, of an electric that either has no range, or is small with no trunk. How will the government get people to drive cars designed by Congress?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I see a lot of stories regarding a controversy about Obama's birth certificate that I don't understand. I'm going to try to find out more about it. So far I don't understand the issue. I don't understand why Obama doesn't just produce the birth certificate. If that is a requirement for the job he should have to produce it, even if there is something embarrassing on it, which seems possible since he was conceived before his Mother was married. I had to produce my birth certificate in order to sign up for social security, and had to produce my infant granddaughter's birth certificate in order to open a bank savings account for her. If I had to produce a birth certificate to satisfy some silly law, why shouldn't the President be required to in order to satisfy the Constitution?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Politicians are not interested in facts when they have an agenda. The environmentalists are using the projections of general circulation models (GCMs) that have clearly failed to predict the future to advance their cause, namely to increase political control over economic activities. Here is a case from Australia where a liberal MP (apparently not a lawyer) who objected to policy being made on the basis of climate models that have failed.


Monday, December 01, 2008

People who have been actually looking at the data with regards to the temperature of Earth and the accuracy of the projections of the general circulation models(GCMs) used by the IPCC have known for a long time that the greenhouse gas induced global warming hypothesis is not valid. The supporters are aware of that also, so they have changed there spin to 'climate change.' Here is a piece from the blog 'Greenie Watch' that discusses this transformation.


An email from Henry N. Geraedts, PhD [arbutuspoint@gmail.com]

Might we be witnessing the third morphing of "Man-made Global Warming/Climate Change" politics? I think so. The first iteration was the original "Man-made-CO2-driven Anthropogenic Global Warming" [AGW], aka Hansen and Gore, Opus 1, 1988. When however, it became evident to all but the most shuttered dogmatists that global temperatures peaked in 1998, levelled off and that since 2003 key temperature metrics show what appears to be an accelerating decline, AGW handlers deftly and conveniently morphed it into its second iteration, and it took on the more nebulous form of man-made "Climate Change".

So what if the data runs counter to your contention that [Man-made] CO2 is the causal agent in "Global Warming"? Just buttress CO2 with other previously insignificant "greenhouse gases" [at all cost avoiding mentioning water vapour, by far the dominant GHG but likely a negative forcing..] and voila, the man-made component of the "climate crisis" can now again be held up as the determining driver in what just happens to be the most complex, multi-variate, non-linear and poorly understood system known to mankind. The fact that all of this irrevocably relegated the AGW/ACC case to the realms of alchemy, astrology and other pseudo "sciences" didn't bother the dogmatists in the least.

Inconveniently however, "climate change" for the past 6 years or so has meant an increasingly well documented global cooling trend. To the point where this is becoming politically bothersome. Two governments with enough backbone to do so -in New Zealand and Canada respectively- have ever so cautiously indicated that there are sufficient question marks in the margin to slow down the pace of environmental policy commitments, focus firmly on economic matters and even [may the heavens forbid] undertake a critical review of the "science" said to prove "man-made climate change". In the recent election, Canadian voters singularly punished the Liberal Party which ran on a carbon tax based "Green Shift" platform.

My sense is that given that the enviro-political gearbox clearly is not meshing as smoothly as before, we are starting to witness AGW's third political morphing in which both the EU and the US serve up to their voters a reworked political message about the need for GHG reductions, gradually unwinding the purported "climate crisis" argument in favour of the a new and overarching need to secure "energy independence" [from Russia for Europe and OPEC for the US]? Current attempts to salvage the EU's 20/20/20 GHG mitigation program are increasingly being held up in that light, and Obama's read-between-the-lines messages about the environment and energy appear to fit the mould.

The government is about to lease land that contains about 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil, as indicated here:


800 billion barrels is enough to last the US over 100 years. The Obama Administration will no doubt stop this activity forthwith. They may talk about energy independence, but they don't mean it. They want wind and solar power, never mind that those won't provide the energy the country needs. They will no doubt blame the reduction on the US standard of living on George Bush.