Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

California environmentalists have restricted the flow of water to agricultural areas to save some little fish, which may be being eaten by larger fish that are also on the endangered list. So they are willing to trade jobs and endanger the country's food supply to supposedly, but not really, save a little fish. The Californians have always been a bit weird. As California goes, the nation eventually goes. So we are in serious trouble as a nation, with the rabid environmentalists friends, the Democrats and Obama now in total control.

Another Obama nominee, Kathleen Sibelius, has corrected her past tax returns and paid an additional $7000. If we could just nominate all Democrats to cabinet positions, we would go a long way toward eliminating the budget deficit.

It is well known that Obama is closely connected with the thuggish Acorn organization, though the MSM don't like to report on that fact. I think their "Muscle for Money" program reveals what they are. Like the activity of Jesse Jackson it is thinly veiled extortion.

I have not seen much written about the GIVE Act. My newspaper apparently doesn't deem it worthy of discussion. There is discussion that Obama wants a 7 million person civil defense force with all people having to serve for three months between the ages of 18 and 24. Of course, no one will know what is actually in it until after it goes through the Senate-House resolution process, where Obama's people have a history of significantly changing in the dark of night. My guess is that a lot of young people are going to be very unhappy when they find out about this Act. I'll get really worried if they have to wear brown shirts.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama has taken over GM and Chrysler, and his Treasury Secretary says they would like authority to take over any company they deem vital to the economy of the country. This is the beginning of industrial policy dictated by the government. When FDR tried that, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Obama has said he doesn't like the Constitution anyway, and the Supreme Court is unlikely to challenge him. It appears that Obama is going to force GM and Chrysler to make "green" cars. The public is unlikely to buy the "green" cars as long as gasoline is at $2 or $3 per gallon, so it will be necessary to tax gasoline up to a price of $6 or $8 per gallon to make the electric cars economical. Some serious upgrade of the nation's electric power system will also be necessary. Obama may be able to increase the salary of poor people, but considering inflation and the higher cost of energy the standard of living of all people except the super rich (who supported Obama with a lot of campaign contributions) will be lower.(Several very rich people I have known have said they would like energy costs to be increased a lot to get the hoi polloi off of the highways, and the airplanes, and the beaches.)

Obama is trying to start a cult of personality, something that I find quite disturbing. All dictators need a brownshirt organization. Could this be Obama's? He also has Acorn. He will have to tie the organizations together and somehow funnel the $6 billion in his budget earmarked for community organizing to them. After he disarms the public and arms his organizers, they will be able to get down to serious intimidation of voters. Maybe they will try to have something like "card check" for regular elections. (Acorn already more or less does that with elderly absentee voters now.) Here is one of Obama's training video's that I got from the blog neo-neocon.

In the age of Obama, people with no income can apparently get a cellphone for free, at least in some states. I often hear Democrats say that under the evil Bush, poor people's income went down. But, it appears to me that their standard of living went up. When I drive around most of the people I see, either driving their car or walking, are talking on the telephone. This includes children walking home from elementary school.

Freedom of speech is under attack all around the world. The UN just passed a resolution that they would like nations to implement that protects religion, particularly Islam, from any criticism. (In Islamic countries, Islam is the political system, so no criticism of the political system would be tolerated.) Sadly, freedom of speech is already limited in Great Britain, where the police monitor what people say. With Obama and the Democrats in total control, expect moves to limit our freedom of speech. I expect them to attempt to implement the UN's restriction on criticism of Islam, and to outlaw defamatory comments about official minority groups. (Criticism of blue-eyed white males will be acceptable.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Over the last few years, to the chagrin of James Hansen and the people who support the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, the earth has been getting cooler. Most of the heat stored in the earth system is in the oceans. Data from the Argos sea buoys clearly shows that the ocean's temperature has been falling recently. This shows that the earth is cooling, as the air temperature data has also shown recently. But Obama and his science advisers don't appear to be impressed by actual data; they prefer to rely on computer projections. Recently I heard Obama imply that flooding of the Red River in North Dakota was due to global warming. He mentioned something about a 2 degree temperature increase. I can't figure out what he was talking about. The temperature of earth is about the same as it was 75 years ago, about the time when I was born. Oh, and the Red River flows from south to north, and floods because it is cold in the north and the river is still frozen. Politicians are not much interested in facts, particularly if they don't support their agenda.

Actually, some experts say global warming is the cause of the icing that causes the flooding.

Kate White is a civil engineer at the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., and one of the nation’s leading experts on ice jams.

White said climate change caused by global warming likely is changing ice conditions and adding to the unpredictability.

As a lot of people have observed, global warming is the cause of all unusual weather events, be it heat, cold, drought, or floods.

Here is a story about an Airbus 340-600 crash. I haven't heard of this before, but Cheat Seeking Missiles says he checked and the story is true. I suppose political correctness is the reason it was not publicized more. At any rate, a sad end for a $200 million aircraft.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back when Maurice Strong set into motion the IPCC study to prove that greenhouse gases are increasing temperature to catastrophic levels, he planned on having the UN take control of world economies, and to destroy western civilization. The process is well underway now as the UN has worked to develop a plan to reorder the economy of the world.

During the recent Presidential campaign Obama kept saying he was going to create 5 or 6 million new "green" jobs. I wondered if he was aware of how many current jobs would be eliminated by those "Green" jobs. Fewer coal miners and oil field workers, for example, would be needed. Here is a story about a study that says that 2.2 jobs are eliminated for every "green" job. Note that the study was done by Spaniards, not dastardly Republicans.

Here is more about the spreading use of cameras to enforce traffic laws (and to raise a lot of revenue.)

This winter Great Britain's vaunted wind turbine electricity generating system has operated at 10% capacity. They have only a short time in which to build a lot more wind generation farms or to build some new fossil fuel power stations to avoid brownouts or even blackouts. Is there a lesson there for America? Given their arrogance, I doubt Obama and his science advisers are paying much attention to what is happening with "green" energy in Europe.

Obama and the Democrats often said that Bush was really lame because he couldn't catch Osama bin Laden. I recall the brilliant Vietnam War hero John Kerry saying he could do it in a few weeks. Well, Obama has been in charge for two months now. No Osama. What went wrong?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

During the twentieth century there were several cycles of fear of global warming followed about 20 years later by predictions of another ice age. Now predictions of another ice age are being made on schedule after the prediction of runaway global warming originating in about 1988. The ice age fears are supported by recent dramatic drop in temperatures. Those who favor the AGW hypothesis claim the the precautionary principle dictates that we should reduce fossil fuel consumption just in case the AGW hypothesis is true. But, what if there is another ice age starting? In that case, wouldn't the precautionary principle require that we start developing all of the energy sources we can. And, we should start storing food, because it is hard to raise crops in Canada and Russia when they are covered in ice. Intergalactic periods such as the one the earth is currently in usually last less than 12,000 years, the length of the current intergalactic.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Obama and the Democrats want to totally control everything about citizen's lives. Here is a comment on why charitable giving should not be tax deductible:

Lefty truthful about Obama's real agenda on charitable contributions
Thomas Lifson
This writer at BeyondChron has this Obama policy about charitable tax deductions nailed:

Charities are concerned that reduced deductions will translate into reduced donations, hurting nonprofits just as foundation and government support declines. But nonprofits opposing this progressive reform miss the big picture. Government, not private donors, should decide how tax dollars are allocated.

Once Obama and Democrats have a socialist state established, there will be no need for charities. I'm not sure but I would expect the deduction for contributions to religious organizations to also be eliminated. With Obama in charge, there will be no need for religion.

Obama's discussion of his budget is an example of "figures don't lie, but liars figure." Obama says he will cut the deficit in half in eight years. He forgot to mention that he tripled it his first year, so it will still be 50% larger (by his numbers) than it was in 2008. (Keep in mind that, unlike the usual practice, the 2009 budget is Obama's because the Democratic Congress refused to pass a full year budget for the lame duck Bush.) The CBO sees Obama's budget in the out years a bit differently than he does.

Students in the US are more sympathetic to Hamas than are the Arab students in the West Bank. Once again, the problem with liberals in America is that much of what they know is not true.

I am amazed at the huge pay of commodity traders and others at AIG and similar companies. They justify the pay on the basis of profits and the risks they supposedly take. That is perhaps understandable. BUt they seem to get the rewards, but put the risks on someone else. So, I can't help but wonder if the profits are justified, and if they in fact are not just a tax on the economic system. In other words, what useful function do the traders perform that would not happen if the profits were lower? Apparently there is not much competition in that line of work. Given the profits, it seems likely that there is some restriction that prevents effective competition. Maybe all of the players collude to keep profits artificially high. In this regard, Jake DeSantis has resigned as executive Vice-President of AIG with this letter that discusses compensation. DeSantis seems to doubt that the high level of the traders pay is justified. I tend to agree with him that they should get the compensation promised to them for staying on after AIG crashed through no fault of theirs.

Some blogs are saying that DeSantis is pulling a "John Galt." It could be. My guess is that he will accept a position with another firm and continue to work. I'm not aware of any place someone dropping out of sight as John Galt did could go. Colorado is not remote enough these days. Maybe some island in the Pacific. Perhaps somewhere in New Zealand.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If Obama gets the socialized medicine that he craves for the US, where will Canadians go for care when they are seriously ill? Comments from Jennifer Rubin.

The commissars in California are trying to save the planet. So, they want to ban big screen TVs. Apparently the extra $20 per year that it costs to play the big screen TV compared to the more acceptable 36-inch models is not enough to discourage buyers, so banning the large screen TVs is necessary to save the planet. In another significant earth saving measure, California is preparing to ban certain car colors. Lighter color cars require less air conditioning on hot days, so dark colors may be banned. Environmentalists are now beginning to realize that people produce a lot of CO2 in their activities, so having babies must be discouraged.

The global warming hypothesis is really complicated. But, even though it is complicated, it represents a simplification the IPCC made of the actual atmospheric physical processes. The simplifications made by the IPCC suited their purpose, which was to show that CO2 was driving the earth to higher temperatures. Their mission was never to understand the processes involved in the atmosphere. Here is a paper that discusses what the IPCC didn’t consider. (This paper does require some knowledge of mathematics and physics.)

Many people appear to be unaware of the threat to western civilization that is posed by Islam. Western Europe is being inundated with Muslims who refuse to integrate into European society. The Muslims demand that people in the regions they invade adjust to accommodate the desires of the Muslims. They demand that women start dressing more modestly, lest they be raped by young Muslim men. They rarely work, instead living on the generous welfare provided by western nations. They demand that everyone eat according to their requirements, and that swimming pools be segregated. Liberals in Europe and America pride themselves on being "multicultural" and so encourage the immigration of Muslims. They do not appear to realize that the Muslims are not "multicultural," but, instead rather are antagonistic to other religions and political beliefs. Obama, in particularly, seems intent on accommodating Muslims.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama has written a letter to Jacques Chirac, the former leader of France, praising him, and hoping to work with him for the next four years. Sarkozy, the current French leader, was not amused. Does Obama not know who is the French leader now, or did he just want to diss Sarkozy, or is this just a rookie mistake of not understanding protocol? I don't know. But, I doubt Sarah Palin would have made such a mistake. Obama said he would bring back respect for America among foreign leaders. So far he has managed to irritate Great Britain and France, two of our closest allies. And, his former socialist buddy Hugo Chavez says Obama is an idiot. Furthermore Iran and Russia have trashed his overtures to them. He will no doubt do better in the future.

Powerline has a good article with interesting historical temperature data that all people concerned about global warming should be familiar with. Temperature has clearly been going down recently, contrary to what the IPCC said was possible a few years ago, though they now say that natural effects are strong enough to off-set the increase they attribute to carbon dioxide.

It was only two or three years ago that I read a lot of predictions that ski resorts were endangered because global warming was eliminating snowfall. Supposedly this was the case all over America and also in Europe. Now many ski areas like Camelback are doing so well with the longest season in history that they are reducing the price of lift tickets.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Here is a view of the Obama phenomena from a Canadian.

Obama has a carbon cap and trade plan that will destroy the economy of the US while solving a non-existent problem. He and Democrats claim the plan will make the US independent of foreign energy supplies, and will reduce the cost of energy. At the same time Obama's science adviser, Stephen Chu, says the Administration will impose tariffs on nation's that do not adopt policies similar to those Obama proposes. This would, of course, start a trade war that would push the world into a deep depression similar to what happened in the 1930's. A lot of people are beginning to question the global warming hysteria that is the rationale for the carbon cap and trade scheme that Democrats desire. Here is a report from Newsmax.com:

More Scientists Rip Global Warming Hysteria

Amid reports that President Barack Obama's climate plan could cost industry close to $2 trillion, 59 additional scientists skeptical of the threat of manmade global warming have been added to the U.S. Senate Minority Report on climate change.

They bring the total to more than 700 scientists from around the world who have spoken out against the hysteria created by Al Gore and other global warming alarmists, according to a statement issued by the office of Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The latest Minority Report includes 300 scientists and climate researchers who have been added to the list since the initial report’s release in December 2007.

Many of the 59 additional scientists are affiliated with prestigious institutions including NASA, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, the Defense Department, Energy Department, Princeton University, Tulane University, the U.S. Naval Academy and the EPA.

“Unfortunately, climate science has become political science,” said award-winning Princeton physicist Dr. Robert Austin, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

He told the minority staff on the Committee on March 2: “It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomenon which is statistically questionable at best.”

Dr. Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said the global temperature “has flattened and is actually going down. We are seeing a new shift toward cooler temperatures that will last for probably about three decades.”

As Newsmax.com reported, Obama's climate plan could cost industry nearly three times the $646 billion over eight years that the White House initially estimated for the so-called "cap-and-trade" legislation.

The plan seeks to reduce pollution by setting a limit on carbon emissions and allowing businesses and groups to buy allowances, although exact details have not been released.

But Dr. Diane Douglas, a climatologist who has worked for the Department of Energy, declared: “The recent ‘panic’ to control GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and billions of dollars being dedicated for the task has me deeply concerned that the U.S. and other countries are spending precious global funds to stop global warming, when it is primarily being driven by natural forcing mechanisms.”

Among other comments from scientists included in the report:

“I am appalled at the state of discord in the field of climate science . . . There is no observational evidence that the addition of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have caused any temperature perturbations in the atmosphere.”
— Award-winning atmospheric scientist Dr. George T. Wolff, a former member of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board who served on a committee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The sky is not burning, and to claim that it is amounts to journalistic malpractice . . . The press only promotes the global warming alarmists and ignores or minimizes those of us who are skeptical.”
— Dr. Mark L. Campbell, a professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“The cause of these global changes is fundamentally due to the sun and its effect on the Earth as it moves about in its orbit, not from man-made activities.”
— Retired NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. William W. Vaughan, recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Muslims are in conflict with all people of all races and religions that they come in contact with around the world. Their religion demands it. Their religion is a political system, so they cannot exist in peace in countries into which they immigrate. The Muslims Brotherhood made a plan for taking over Europe back in the 1970's and they are working the plan. People in the US seem to be largely unaware of how the Muslims are attempting to take over Europe. Obama has made moves to allow more Muslims into the US, including Palestinians, who appear to be even more virulent than other Muslims. Sweden is likely to be the first European country to fall to the Muslims. Swedish liberal politicians say they are being generous to the Muslims in the hope (which I think is clearly foolish) that Muslims will be kind to Swedes after the Muslims take over the country. One Swedish minister, commenting on the wide-spread rape of Swedish girls by Muslims who claim that the Swedish girl's dress provokes them, said that Swedish girls must recognize that they are living in a multicultural society, so must wear less provocative clothing. Here is a report from Newsmax.com on the situation in Malmo Sweden where a Davis cup match between Sweden and Israel had to be held without spectators because of the threat of violence from Muslims.

Sweden Rocked by Radical Muslims

A few years ago, the left-wing London Guardian newspaper called Sweden the most successful society the world has ever known. But Sweden today is being rocked by a large influx of Muslim immigrants and the growth of radical Islam.

Malmo is Sweden 's 3rd largest city and a major epicenter of the Islamization of Europe. Wide-open immigration policies have changed Sweden and have made Malmo, which is now one-quarter Muslim, one of the most racially divided cities in Europe.

Most Muslim immigrants are concentrated in one district, where the male unemployment rate is 82 percent. Crime affects one of three families in the city and rape has tripled in 20 years, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

In one housing project in the district, fire and emergency workers will no longer enter without police protection.

Malmo has been so accommodating toward immigrant Muslims that a local Muslim politician and imam has even declared, "The best Islamic state is Sweden !"

But Malmo's Jews won’t give the city the same glowing assessment. Jews who dare to walk the streets wearing yarmulkes on their heads risk being beaten up.

When Israel recently played Sweden in a Davis Cup tennis match in Malmo, protesters demonstrated against the Israeli presence in the city, and hundreds attacked police.

Journalist Lars Hedegaard, who is based across a bridge-tunnel from Malmo in Copenhagen, Denmark , told CBN News that pro-Israeli demonstrators in Malmo were met with rocks, bottles and pipe bombs from Palestinians and other Arabs.

Right-wing Swedish Democrats, who support limits on immigration, have been stigmatized by the left-wing Swedish media as fascist and bigoted.

But there is a growing acceptance that "the Swedish model" - generous welfare benefits combined with liberal immigration policies — is now unsustainable, according to CBN News.

Hedegaard said: “I think the best prediction is that Sweden will have a Muslim majority by 2049, so we know where that country’s going."

It is turning out that environmentalists are not just opposed to drilling for oil and gas, they are also opposed to developing so-called "green energy." Dianne Feinstein doesn't want any sort of energy production in California. It is no surprise that that people who oppose drilling for oil in a desolate place like ANWR would not want windmills or solar farms in the desert of Southern California. It has been pointed out that nuclear power plants and oil wells have less impact on the environment than wind turbines and solar farms, but environmentalist ignored that as they attacked the conventional energy sources. The environmentalists do not want to face the cost-benefit analyses that are necessary if we are to continue to produce the energy that we need.

Joe Biden says that President Obama faces worse problems than any President in history. Biden likes to tell people that he has a higher IQ than they do. (Liberals only think there is such a thing as IQ is when they brag abut their own.) As Reagan said, "The problem with Liberals is that most of what they know is not true." Joe has that liberal problem. Jeff Jacoby points out how wrong Biden is in claiming that Obama faces the most severe problems of any President in history.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Congress has managed to dodge their responsibility for the current financial crisis. Democrats deny it, but their "social engineering" is the root of the problem. They are now using Acorn to get mob action against their designated sacrificial lambs. I think they have managed so far to hide their culpability from the public. A. J. Strata has a summary of what happened.

Obama is well on the way to turning the United States into a banana republic. He may succeed before the next election anyway, but if he gain legalize all of the Mexicans illegally in the United States, then he will have a lock on it. He will then be able to make himself President for life by 2016. The 2012 election may not only be the most important in the history of the United States, it could well be the last. People forget that FDR was essentially President for life, but, he died as a relatively young man before completely solidifying his control. Last week I watched Obama on TV at a Town Hall Meeting campaign event, and the crowd chanting Oh-Bam-Mah creeped me out.

In previous intergalactic periods, when man's presence was insignificant, temperatures reached levels several degrees warmer than now. What if temperature continues to go up, even if carbon dioxide levels are dramatically reduced. If man assumes carbon dioxide is the cause, even though it is not, them efforts to stop the increase will fail. If that is the case, then mankind needs to concentrate on mitigation approaches rather than carbon dioxide emission reduction. Here is a paper discussing this situation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

There is a lot of discussion amongst scientific types about whether or not the global warming "greenhouse gas" theory violates the second law of thermodynamics. Most people have difficulty with the concept of the second law of thermodynamics, so this argument is usually ignored in the popular press. Gerlich and Tscheuschner have written a paper that they say falsifies the greenhouse gas theory. I read an earlier draft, and found it tough going; it includes some terminology with which I was not familiar. Much of it is obvious, but just negates some things like the average temperature of Earth being 0F if there were no greenhouse gases. One thing that is true is that the GCMs could produce results that violated the second law since computers just solve the equations that are programmed into them so can violate the laws of physics.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Liberals have figured out how to solve the global warming issue; just stop having babies. Al Gore has talked about the need to reduce population as a solution. I am a skeptic so I have a couple of questions about this. In the past the Earth has been 9 F hotter than it is now, and carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has been over 10 times greater. That happened before man was a factor. So, how do we know it wouldn't happen again even if there were few or even no humans around?

I have heard a little about Obama's plan to crate some sort of organization that would press all citizens into service. It is odd that Canada Free Press has this story, but I haven't seen anything about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It is interesting that Michelle Obama is to be the head of the Saul Alinsky type organization. I remember during the Presidential campaign Michelle Obama told use that Barack was going to make us work, and wasn't going to let us rest, or something like that. It amazes me that people paid no attention to the ominous comments made by Obama, and dismissed them as mere "campaign rhetoric."

Obama's carbon cap and trade system is a pending disaster for the United States. Here is an article that estimates that the carbon cap and trade system will increase costs for the average American family by 42000 to $5000 per year. I think it could be more tan that. Estimates are that the scheme will add about $1.50/gal to the price of gasoline and diesel fuel. If the average family uses 1000 gallons of gas per year, that is a total of $1500. Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy (and an Obama supporter) estimates that home owner's electric bills will increase by 40%. It seems reasonable to assume heating bills will also go up 40%. If a family currently spends an average of $400 per month on electricity and heating, then that represents an increase of about $2000 per year. This gives a total of $3500 per year. But, Kroger will also have higher electricity and heating and transportation costs. So, it is reasonable to assume that the price of groceries will also go up. Another thing to consider is that these cost increases will also be reflected in the capital cost of "green" energy, so it is likely that the cost of carbon credits will have to be increased even more to make "green" energy competitive with fossil fuel. So, prices will necessarily spiral upward. The Obama team recognizes this, and so they are working to limit drilling for oil in the US to drive up the price of fossil fuel. We now know from recent experience that in the age of Obama Congress passes laws that they haven't read, so they may not concern themselves with the implications of the carbon cap and trade system.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here is the list of attendees at Obama's St. Patrick's Day Party. It was a large group with all of the usual suspects.

The head of the AIG Financial Products unit is pictured wearing a Che Guevera T-Shirt. I'll bet the guy is a liberal who donated money to Obama. He may have lost hundreds of billions of dollars for AIG and created a world-wide financial crisis, but he did all right for himself. I'll also bet he favors higher income taxes. I'm sure he thinks getting lot of money is easy; after all, it has been easy for him.

The article also details a lot about the economic fortunes of Cuba under communism. Movie stars and other celebrities like Castro, but he hasn't been so good for Cuba. It took only a year or two for Cuba to go from having one of the highest standards of living in the world to one of the lowest.

Police in Missouri are being advised that conservatives are potential terrorists, and need to be monitored. With Obama in the Whitehouse, this may become a nationwide trend. Obama and the Democrats are declaring war on conservatives.

Well, here is one question answered. Obama is starting a group called "Organizing for America (OFA)". They have a nice logo; hands forming an 'O.' They ask people to sign up and pledge loyalty to Obama rather than the United States or the Democratic Party. This is unprecedented for an American President, but has happened in other countries: Hitler started that way in Germany, and of course Mao had a similar culture of personality in China. I think we should be alarmed by this. Germany reached the point of no return when private ownership of guns was outlawed, but arming Hitler's brownshirts was legalized. The OFA is an ominous sign for America.

Obama is in favor of gun control and appointed an Attorney General who will work to achieve that goal. It is essential for a fascist takeover of the country that the citizens be disarmed. So far the steps taken have been small, such as the move to disarm commercial airline pilots, and to stop selling DOD brass to reloaders, resulting in a financial loss. I expect more vigorous moves as Holder gets settled in his job. The next step is to arm his "brownshirts." It seems most probable that Acorn will at least provide leadership of the "brownshirts," who will go by some other name.

The current flap over bonuses paid to the AIG executives who failed so badly that they nearly brought down the world's financial system has some interesting aspects. First there is Congress that is outraged at paying bonuses to guys who failed even though they passed a law that said the bonuses would be paid. On investigation Congress can't figure out how that provision got into the law. Of course, we know that Congress doesn't actually read the laws they pass; not just in this case, but in general. In this case a wording change apparently was made in a meeting between House and Senate Democrats and the Administration. (No Republicans allowed.) But, no one knows who made the change. Maybe it was a staffer. Maybe it was an AIG lobbyist. (I thought Obama wasn't going to allow lobbyists anywhere near his Administration. So much for that promise.) We have known for a long time that the legislative process was flawed because the Congress people often don't know what the laws they pass actually call for. Our Congress is inept.

Another question concerns the management of AIG (and also other financial institutions). Why do they promise huge bonuses to employees with terms such that the bonus is paid even though the employee managed to lose billions of dollars? For example, I know nothing about credit default swaps, but I could have done a better job that the employees of AIG did, for the simple reason that by virtue of knowing nothing I wouldn't have made any bets. According to the conventional wisdom, Wall Street people were rewarded well because they took risks, and could lose everything. But it turns out that they collect large bonuses even if they fail. There is something wrong with the whole picture. It turns out that those Wall Street "masters of the universe" not only have feet of clay, but are charlatans.

There is a lot of confusion about what fascism actually is, the confusion arising because Democrats and various celebrities tend to call anyone they disagree with a fascist. There are three types of collectivist economic systems: in fascism the government controls the major means of production, in socialism the government takes ownership of the means of production, and in communism the government owns everything. Mussolini instituted fascism in Italy during the late 1920's and FDR tried to institute it in the US, but his efforts were thwarted by the Supreme Court. It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will now stop Obama is his attempt at fascism. (I think Obama would prefer communism, but he realizes that even the Democrats would not go along with that. But the Democrats really like fascism. It starts with Corporatism, a sort of crony capitalism that Democrats really like. That is why rent-seekers like Hedge fund operators and financial institutions like AIG donate their money to the Democrats. Here is a discussion about the history of fascism and the actions of Bush and now Obama that have us on the road to serfdom.

The card check system that the unions, Obama, and Democrats want to inflict on America involves more than just doing away with the secret ballot. There is also a requirement for binding arbitration in management-labor disputes, with the government as the arbiter making the final decision. This is very bad for business in America. Paul Greenberg points out that Benito Mussolini had this system in Italy where it was called fascism. No surprise to me, since Obama and the Democrats are fascists.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

IQ scores are always interesting to me. Here is something I copied from Stave Sailer:

Legal immigrants: hints of IQ scores

Here are Jason Richwine's calculations of scores from the 2003 New Immigrant Survey of the backward digit span subtest from the Wechsler IQ test. These are for the children of legal permanent resident immigrants:

White natives are at 100, with a standard deviation of 15.

European legal immigrants' kids: 99

India: 112

Northeast Asia: 106

Southeast Asia: 104

sub-Saharan Africa 89

Mexico 82

Central America/Caribbean 83

South America 86

Anyway, this is just a single subtest, but it's interesting stuff, although, as usual, not too interesting, in that it comes out about the way you'd have figured.

Not included in the above list, but Ashkenazi Jews from Central Europe average about 115, while Shephardic (Spanish) Jews average about 100.

Here are some interesting things about IQ that I have seen in various articles. It takes an IQ of about 106 to be successful in college in the easiest field, which, curiously, is Education. It takes over 120 or so for professional degrees such as in law, engineering or medicine. Based on this it is easy to see why there are proportionally so many Indians and Chinese who are doctors or engineers. It also explains why so many Hispanics and Blacks do not succeed in school. One major flaw in the public policy of the nation is the assumption that there should be proportionally as many Black and Hispanic professionals as there are whites, Indians and Asians. (Curiously no one worries about why there are proportionally more Indian and Asian professionals than whites.) Our schools will have problems until the politicians admit that the education potential of all races is not the same. It is important that we insure that individuals of all races be allowed to develop according to their own potential, but we should not expect that the same percentage of all races will achieve at the same level. There may be some way to significantly increase a person's IQ, but I don't think anyone has yet figured out how to do it.

What if Barack Obama had made a speech during the campaign in which he outlined what he actually intended to do. An example of what this would have been like, based on what he has actually done so far, has been written by Victor Davis Hanson.

The essential dishonesty of the Obama Administration is mind-boggling. Flopping Aces has a story about Democrats changing the wording after the vote. This is why people in Congress often don't what they are voting on. Often they don't read the bill, but even if they do read it, staffers may change the words after the vote. This is the way Democrats have always operated at times, but Obama seems to encourage it.

Democrats in Congress (particularly Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and all of the blacks) and their allies in the MSM claim that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was in no way responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008. People I know who are familiar with banking disagree, and insist that the government pressured them to make mortgage loans to people who would be unlikely to repay the money. Flopping Aces has a story about a bank that is being pressured to make loans to bad credit risks, even today.

I read something interesting today that I haven't been able to verify. The DOD has decided to stop selling expended brass cartridge cases to reloaders. If true, I suspect that this will cause the price of 5.56X45mm and 7.62X51mm ammo to increase significantly. Increasing the cost of ammo appears to be a goal of the Obama Administration.

Here is a report from the UK on the upcoming climate change meeting in Copenhagen. The organizers admit that the meeting is political rather than scientific. They intend to devise a new scam to replace Kyoto. One thing mentioned in the article is that if current trends continue, the world will be 1.1C cooler in the year 2100 than the average temperature from 1979 until 1998. According to the GCMs used by the IPCC, the world should be 1F hotter now than in 1998; instead it is actually cooler. The models show a monotonically increasing temperature, so there is obviously something wrong with them. The supporters of the global warming hypothesis now acknowledge that natural factors may prevail for a while, but insist that the models are correctly predicting the temperature 100 years from now.

Here is a definition of a term I had not heard before; zombie science. This is from the blog Greenie Watch:

Academic journal article below: It was written with the many bogus theories in medicine in mind (e.g. longevity and the Mediterranean diet, the unhealthiness of "obesity" and the desirability of a low fat diet), but the article specified none of the theories concerned and certainly in my experience the critique applies to science generally. It was the tenacity of bogus theories in psychology that caused me to abandon psychological research. So the three areas of science that I know best -- psychology, medicine and climate science -- are all dominated by zombie science. From what I hear of astrophysics, the situation there is similar too -- but I don't have the energy to go there as well. The bottom line is that most people will believe what they want to believe -- and evidence be damned

Zombie science: A sinister consequence of evaluating scientific theories purely on the basis of enlightened self-interest

By Bruce G. Charlton, MD


Although the classical ideal is that scientific theories are evaluated by a careful teasing-out of their internal logic and external implications, and checking whether these deductions and predictions are in-line-with old and new observations; the fact that so many vague, dumb or incoherent scientific theories are apparently believed by so many scientists for so many years is suggestive that this ideal does not necessarily reflect real world practice. In the real world it looks more like most scientists are quite willing to pursue wrong ideas for so long as they are rewarded with a better chance of achieving more grants, publications and status.

The classic account has it that bogus theories should readily be demolished by sceptical (or jealous) competitor scientists. However, in practice even the most conclusive 'hatchet jobs' may fail to kill, or even weaken, phony hypotheses when they are backed-up with sufficient economic muscle in the form of lavish and sustained funding. And when a branch of science based on phony theories serves a useful but non-scientific purpose, it may be kept-going indefinitely by continuous transfusions of cash from those whose interests it serves.

If this happens, real science expires and a 'zombie science' evolves. Zombie science is science that is dead but will not lie down. It keeps twitching and lumbering around so that (from a distance, and with your eyes half-closed) zombie science looks much like the real thing. But in fact the zombie has no life of its own; it is animated and moved only by the incessant pumping of funds. If zombie science is not scientifically-useable - what is its function?

In a nutshell, zombie science is supported because it is useful propaganda to be deployed in arenas such as political rhetoric, public administration, management, public relations, marketing and the mass media generally. It persuades, it constructs taboos, it buttresses some kind of rhetorical attempt to shape mass opinion. Indeed, zombie science often comes across in the mass media as being more plausible than real science; and it is precisely the superficial face-plausibility which is the sole and sufficient purpose of zombie science.

Medical Hypotheses, Volume 71, Issue 3, Pages 327-329 (September 2008)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I made an "A" in Thermodynamics, which is good, but I didn't understand economics so well. I understand why economics is called "the dismal science." The United States is now increasing the nation's debts to levels that are hard to even contemplate. We are about to borrow several trillion dollars. It would seem logical that we will soon have a significant inflation, probably worse than during the Carter years. But, some say that we are going to have to guarantee to the lenders, which are other nations, that we will not use inflation to pay back the money with inflated dollars. We also have a lot of underfunded pension plans and entitlement programs. Most states and many cities have pension plans that allow employees to retire and eventually receive a pension that was more than they were ever paid. Some cities in Texas are threatened with bankruptcy because of their pension programs. On top of that, Obama is proposing new entitlement programs. It is clear that the United States is going to have to raise taxes a lot. This will limit the growth of the economy, limiting the ability to grow out of the debt. (Obama thinks that government spending on entitlements will cause the government to grow, but nothing in history suggests that is likely.) The long-term economic outlook for the United States is grim. It appears to me that we are about to be involved in an economic war that is the first stage of a shooting war. We are dealing with radical, suicidal people who are about to have nuclear weapons. It is doubtful to me that Obama's appeasement approach will work with our adversaries. If Obama's approach fails, then we will be in a chaotic situation, so it doesn't matter what personal investment options we make. If he succeeds, then we need successful personal investments, but I don't have a clue as to what that should be. I hear a lot of conflicting opinions on TV. Some say buy gold and other commodities, but others say short gold. Some say buy TIPS bonds. Some say short treasury bonds. It is a dilemma. I'm trying to figure out what to do.

Hurricane activity is down. No doubt another consequence of global warming, or rather climate change. Could it be because global warming isn't really happening? We don't know the answer; it may be that the hurricane cycle is controlled by something other than temperature. But, we do know that storms became more severe as temperatures declined at the start of the Little Ice Age.

The TV show "24" is the usual soap opera. One problem for the nation in the show is that chief FBI agent Moss is dumber than a stump.

James Hansen has recommended civil disobedience to support the claims of environmentalists. IN Great Britain he testified on behalf of eco-activists who had damaged a coal-fired power plant. It is interesting that, as the Global Warming hypothesis is looking less likely to be confirmed, that environmental activists are moving toward violence, justifying their action on moral grounds. Here is a report on this from Australia.

One of the major problems with converting the fleet of automobiles in the country from gas guzzlers to fuel efficient or electric "green" cars is that the public may opt to keep driving their current car rather than buying a new "green" car. For Obama and the Democrats the solution will be simple. First offer an incentive to buy the "green" car. When that doesn't work, ban the older cars from the road. Since the government will have forced the auto companies to build only "green" cars, the government will have to induce the public to buy them. As usual, this will start in Europe, and migrate to the US in a few years. Here is a report from Great Britain.

Obama rescinded Bush's Executive Order on embryonic cell research in a bizarre and fundamentally dishonest way. Obama made his usual "double talk" speech in which he claims that Bush was driven by political considerations to ban good science. He says he is restoring science to its rightful place. But Bush actually was motivated by ethical concerns, and many scientists share Bush's concern about creating and destroying life for the express purpose of helping people already alive. What is truly bizarre is that Obama appears to have stopped funding for adult stem cell research that is actually successful in favor of embryonic cell that has so far failed. Michael Reagan discussed this recently, reported in Patriot Post as follows:

"What President Obama did when he reversed President Bush's executive order banning embryonic stem cell research was based not on solid science, but his desire to cater to the anti-life, pro-abortion forces and their media allies who helped elect him. In doing this, he created the potential for an outbreak of potentially fatal cancerous tumors caused by the therapeutic use of embryonic stem cells. Moreover, he killed another Bush presidential order that funded some of the most promising research on the creation of embryonic-like stem cells from harmless but potent adult stem cells. ... What most people are unaware of is that there are three types of stem cell research: there is embryonic stem cell research (ESC), there is induced pluripotent (IPSC) research, and adult stem cell research (ASC). When Barack Obama rescinded George Bush's ban on federal funding on certain types of embryonic stem cell research he also rescinded Bush's Executive Order 13435 which had provided federal funding for induced pluripotent stem cell research using harmless adult stem cells manipulated into mimicking embryonic stem cells without the risk ESC cells entail. This is where 72 different diseases are now being remedied or cured. There are no embryonic stem cells being used anywhere in the world on humans, with one tragic exception. A boy treated with embryonic stem cells for a rare genetic disease developed benign tumors, casting doubt on claims of the therapy's safety and effectiveness. ... There is a 100percent mortality rate among lab animals that develop these tumors. That's why George Bush banned this lethal form of research that Barack Obama, who should have known better, has now legitimized by overturning this life-saving ban."

Cal Thomas also had some comments on this in Patriot Post:

"What will constrain science? The president says it will be up to the National Institutes of Health to come up with 'guidelines' for the use of embryonic stem cells. He specifically came out against creating embryos for the purpose of human cloning. But the question is this, if there are to be no moral, ethical, or religious restraints on the initial experiments, why should anyone expect them to be invoked later? One can only be a virgin once. After a moral or ethical line has been erased, it is nearly impossible to re-draw it."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Heartland Conference of Global Warming skeptics meet in New York last week. Contrary to what Al Gore says, there were far too many people there to fit into a phone booth. The NYT reported that there was a lot of diversity of opinion at the conference, but most everyone did not agree with the position of the IPCC or the more even radical apocalyptic predictions of Hansen and Gore. Here is a report on the conference from American Thinker.

In the long run, the world needs an energy source like nuclear fusion. It is potentially a clean power source that could power the world for hundreds of centuries. But, since I was in college back in the 1950's it has been 20 years away. That doesn't mean it will never be successful. But, it does require a lot of development money, and private enterprise cannot supply the funding needed with the reward so far in the future. So, government development is needed. Here are some comments from Tom Maguire.

It is curious how 'global warming' has morphed into 'climate change.' As discussed here, the reason is that it is possible to prove that global warming is not happening, but the climate has always changed so no one can dispute that.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A lot of people listen to this and conclude that Obama is a socialist. I heard this back during the Presidential election, but apparently the MSM did not want to discuss Obama's odd ideas about the Constitution.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It appears that the Democrats have set up a vast left-wing conspiracy. O'Reilly had a spot on this tonight. The purpose of the conspiracy is to attack people who disagree with the Democrats. The attacks are on the person, not the merits of the issue. This is what fascism looks like. Blue Crab Boulevard has some discussion on the Democrat's nasty tricks organization.

Obama has decided to let Palestinians immigrate to the United States. I think it is a serious mistake to allow in Muslims who are hostile to our nation. (Giving $900 million to Hamas is also a mistake in my view.) It is curious to me that liberals in the West are always sympathetic to people who want to destroy us. They liked communists back in the 1970's and 1980's, and now they like Muslims. The Koran says that all parts of the world that are not ruled by Islam are in the "House of War." So they are at war with us whether we acknowledge it or not. Sweden has a problem because they have let in large numbers of Muslims. But, being politically correct, they do not refer to the troublemakers as Muslims, but rather as "youths." They have a lot of trouble now with the Swedish girls being raped by the Muslims. The Imams say it is the fault of the girls, because they wear provocative clothing. One of the liberal ministers (a female) said that Swedish girls are going to have to recognize that they now live in a multicultural society, and they will have to start dressing as the Muslims demand. I am hoping that Obama does not let in more Muslims so we do not have to deal with a situation like has developed in much of Europe, but in Minnesota and Detroit I think we already have the problem. Our liberal politicians seem to not realize that Muslims do not live in peace with their neighbors anywhere: it is against their religion. Recently the Swedes have put on an embarrassing display in which they would not allow spectators at a Davis Cup match between Sweden and Israel. Powerline has the story.

Democrats have long wanted to stop drilling for oil and gas in the United States, and not just on Federal property but everywhere. Now with Obama in the White House and control of both houses of Congress, they are ready to make their move. They are using tax law to drive the drillers to leave the US, and move operations to other countries. The result of their actions will be to make the US even more dependent on foreign oil, and to reduce employment in the US. The lack of domestic oil supply will be a disaster for the US should a war between Iran and Israel break out, something that I think the policies of the Obama Administration make more likely. This Business Week article discusses the situation with US oil and gas drilling..

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obama thinks about jobs like a Democrat Socialist. He thinks what is important is to have people doing something, it doesn't matter what, and they don't have to be actually producing something. They like labor intensive energy production such as wind turbines. They don't like anything with the word 'nuclear' associated with it, no matter how efficient it is. Obama has even withdrawn support for fusion power. He likes science associated with abortion, but not anything that involves nuclear energy, even though that is what mankind has to have to continue improving living standards.

Economists give the Obama Administration a lower grade on the economy than they gave Bush. How can that be? Flopping Aces has the story.

Here is a direct quote from the ONE.

"... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany ... and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama" - Barack Obama Lebanon, New Hampshire. January 7, 2008

I would like to know the context of this remark, but even if he were joking, this still creeps me out. He also made some comment about his election being the time when ills are cured, peace comes to the world, and the seas stop rising. I think this fellow may be seriously mentally disturbed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The environmentalists have decided that global warming skeptics are mentally ill and are having a conference to discuss this theory. Dr. Sanity has a long post about this describing all sorts of mental problems, some of which the environmentalists themselves must be suffering. The environmentalists would no doubt brand me as one of the mentally ill, and would nominate me incarceration. (Like most of the left, they don't believe in freedom of speech for people that they don't agree with.) Here is a letter to the editor that I wrote.

Issues with the Catastrophic Global Warming Hypothesis

The Catastrophic Global Warming Hypothesis is based on the fact that greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation. Emphasis has been placed on carbon dioxide even though water vapor is by far the most significant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, partially because of cloud formations that reflect solar energy. An increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause a temperature increase. By the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, the amount of water vapor that can be contained in the air goes up exponentially with temperature. The hypothesis is that relative humidity of the air will remain constant, so there will be an increase in the water vapor in the air, and this will cause a further increase in temperature, which will cause an even further increase in atmospheric temperature. This is called a positive feedback. If it further assumed that cloud cover does not change, then temperature will continue to spiral upward. Based on this, it is then assumed that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the primary driver of atmospheric temperature. Some object to this based on historical records that seem to imply that carbon dioxide levels have been an order of magnitude higher than at present, and the temperature obviously did not spiral upward.

The basis for projections that show much higher temperatures are General Circulation Models. These models use physical principles such as the Navier-Stokes equations to model the atmosphere with grid nodes with lateral dimensions of around 100 miles with smaller, variable heights. The resulting equations are solved using finite difference methods. The models do not do a good job of predicting humidity at higher altitudes, and cloud cover. Everyone knows that low level clouds have a huge impact on temperature, and that humidity varies widely both spatially and temporally. The fact that the GCMs essentially use assumed values for high altitude humidity and low level clouds casts severe doubt on the GCM projected temperatures. One difference in the GCMs and weather prediction models is that the latter have initial conditions reset frequently so errors are cancelled out, while whatever errors there are in the GCMs accumulate over projections made for the next 100 years. Recent balloon based radiosonde data indicates that upper atmosphere relative humidity actually declines as temperature increase. This is not surprising since GCM projections are not coming true either. As Roger Revelle, the godfather of the global warming hypothesis said, just before Al Gore threw him under the bus, a lot of research and data is needed before enacting public policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I never worried about George Bush abusing the power of his office by spying or harming ordinary Americans, even his political enemies. But, I did worry about what would happen the next time a Democrat was in the White House, given the past record of Democrats illegally using the government against those they don't like. (Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton were all guilty of that, but they didn't have the technology that is now available. Here is a similar comment from Dr. Sanity:


Cliff May quotes something that seems to be increasingly apparent in the New Age of Obama:

The practical effect is to prevent the courts from reviewing the legality of the warrantless wiretapping program that Mr. Obama repeatedly claimed to find so heinous — at least before taking office...

Then again, we are relearning that the "Imperial Presidency" is only imperial when the President is a Republican. Democrats who spent years denouncing George Bush for "spying on Americans" and "illegal wiretaps" are now conspicuously silent.
And somehow, I suspect that The Big O and his Democratic and leftist buddies who screamed the loudest during the Bush years don't actually intend to use this power of the Executive to to protect America's from its enemies.... But it sure comes in handy when they have to protect their own backsides--or when they need to dig up some dirt on anyone who dares to criticize the benificent wonderfulness of The One.

Watch and see. That's how totalitarian and authoritarian thugs--even the Harvard educated ones--operate.

Obama never passes up anopportunity to distort and lie about George W. Bush. Why is that? Obama appears to be in a permanent campaign mode, much as Bill Clinton was. This stuff is harming the country. Eventually the Republicans are going to be forced to adopt the same tactics as the Democrats. This could be leading to a civil war, whcih many of the liberla bloggers appear to want.Here is an article by Neo Neocon on Obama's lies as he endorsed stem cell research. The key point is that Bush's position was based on moral principles, and had nothing to do with science. Obama seems unaware that there are athiests who share Bush's position.

The Obama Administration is trying to force medical facilities to perform abortions, even if the personnel have moral objections. This is the sort of regulation that has a negative impact on society, and is the sort of thing that Ayn Rand depicted in 'Atlas Shrugged." As in the novel, Catholics have threatened to close down their 4000 hospitals in the US rather than comply with the government regulation. (I have heard weasel words from some Administration officials that the regulation is being mis-interpreted, apparently because of Orwellian language.) Here are some comments about this from Hot Air.

I thought the al Dura killing was a hoax from the first. But, the anti-semitic liberals in France and the US bought into that, and all of the other Israeli atrocity hoax's put forth by Palestinians. For reasons that are not clear to me, the MSM and liberals in general are propagandists for Islam. The al Dura hoax has been revealed in Europe, after much effort by some honest journalists, but not much has been reported on it in the US. Powerline has a summary of the al Dura hoax.

Islam is making significant inroads into the West as the Muslim Brotherhood's plan for domination is executed. Great Britain is setting up Sharia Courts for Muslims, to handle domestic cases this will mean that Muslim women are now second class citizens. Here in the US, progress by Muslims in their takeover endeavor is being made in Minnesota. Powerline reports on this.

Monday, March 09, 2009

We are entering hard economic times. I can tell because I am seeing more speed traps. The police need to write more tickets to raise money to pay their salaries. I notice that Fort Worth is reducing the speed limit on some of the roads, allegedly to save lives. Odd that they got that thought just as they realized that they needed to raise more revenue. Here is an article by a guy who recommends smashing the speed monitoring cameras. A friend of mine suggested using a paint ball gun to paint the lens: that is a more elegant approach, and you wouldn't even have to stop the car.

I agree with Vaclav Klaus that the debate on global warming has not happened yet. I also agree that the US no longer is a free market state, and with his comments about environmentalism.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Obama is clearly a collectivist who makes no secret of his desire to re-distribute wealth in the US. This American Thinker article likens Obama's Administration to the Fabian socialists of Great Britain. There is considerable similarity between what Obama is doing and what the socialists in Great Britain did when they gained control just after the defeat of Germany at the end of WWII. Great Britain went into steep decline at that point, and has not been able to completely reverse the decline, and it is now doubtful that they ever will. I think Obama would like to see America on a similar path to poverty and irrelevance.

Obama plans on implementing central planning in all aspects of American Life. The current budget has provisions that will force Doctors to perform abortions regardless of their personal convictions. The healthcare provisions also are going to let government bureaucrats decide who is to receive treatment and who isn't. Tom Daschle fashioned the plan, and would have gotten the job as health czar to implement it had he bothered to pay his income tax. Daschle observes that a large portion of the money spent on healthcare is spent in the last six months of life of people who have little chance of improvement. If those people would just die without treatment, much less money would be spent on helthcare. The particular individuals involved may not be so altruistic as Mr. Daschle, and may decide that they would prefer to spend money on treatment in hope that, against the odds, they might improve. I read that one of the states in the Pacific Northwest, either Washington or Oregon, already has such a plan. When they send a person the letter denying treatment, they also point out that the state will pay for assisted suicide. That is very thoughtful of them. Obama will first have to set up the data base medical file on all Americans, and then do a study to determine what the odds of survival are for various situations. This will take six or eight years, so I may not live long enough to be affected. Here is an article on Obama's (Actually Daschle's) plan to nationalize life and death.

Obama campaigned on a promise that lobbyists would not be allowed to influence government while he is President. He also promised that there would be none of them in his Administration, though that is another promise he hasn't helped. So why are the denizens of K Street celebrating? (K Street is where the offices of lobbyists are concentrated in Washington, DC.) Because the huge budgets proposed by Obama are loaded with earmarks, and are larded up in other ways. So, it is business as usual, except even better than usual, as the hogs line up at the public trough. Flopping Aces has a report on how the lobbyist feel.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Personally I think Obama is some sort of collectivist. Tony Blankley provides some Obama quotes that suggest that he is in his heart a Marxist. He clearly has always wanted to redistribute wealth. It is unreasonable to assume that Obama is in any way a moderate. Based on his time spent as a Saul Alinsky-type community organizer it is unreasonable to assume that he is in any way bi-partisan.

The Democrats claimed that Bush had ruined relations between the US and the rest of the world. They claimed that the election of Obama would make everyone love us instantly. And, sure enough Obama sent Hillary Clinton on a tour to apologize for Bush's rude behavior, and to promie that we will stop being evil and wil start doing everything that everyone wants us to do. (This could be a challenge since some of those nations have conflicting goals.) From the way Hillary describes things, the Russians invade Georgia because of the evil Bush. But the One doesn't have the time or inclination to make nice with our oldest and closet ally, as described here by Mark Steyn.

In the age of Obama we can expect racial politics to intrude into all aspects of our life. No doubt that Obama will seek to empower "community Organizers" and other commissars, as in the attack on philanthropic organizations described here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

People usually do not realize that the basis for the apocalyptic global warming hypothesis relates to water vapor rather than atmospheric CO2 buildup. Everyone agrees that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that increased concentration in the atmosphere will cause a slight increase in atmospheric temperature over what would otherwise exist. The global warming hypothesis is that this slight increase in temperature will cause an increase in amount of water vapor in the atmosphere because it is assumed that the relative humidity of water vapor will remain constant. (This assumption was never verified as far as I know, but it sounded reasonable as a first guess.) By the Clausius-Clapyron equation, a higher atmospheric temperature will support more water vapor in the air. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, so an increase will cause temperature to go up even more. This is called a positive feedback. The General Circulation Models (GCMs) used by the IPCC are programmed with this positive feedback. The GCMs have another problem with water vapor in that they are not able to calculate cloud cover using first principles of physics. For one thing, the grid elements in the GCMs are very large compared to cloud formations. As a consequence, heuristic, or rule of thumb, methods are used to create the cloud cover computations in the GCMs. It is obvious to everyone that clouds have a strong impact on atmospheric temperature. Low level clouds reduce temperature in the daytime and increase temperature at night. In the GCMs cloud cover is a positive feedback to atmospheric temperature. This deficiency with clouds cause some people to doubt the accuracy of GCMs. There is a lot of debate about what causes cloud formation, and it is clear that the GCMs do not use physics to compute cloud formation. In fact, if cosmic rays are a significant trigger, it would not even be possible to compute future behavior because the future cosmic ray flux is not only unknown, but is unknowable. But, back to the water vapor assumption. There has been some indication that relative humidity does not increase as atmospheric temperature increases. This would mean that water vapor is a negative rather than a positive feedback. I have always thought that might be the case based on a qualitative assessment rather than specific data. The reason is that CO2 has been an order of magnitude higher in the past than it is now, and temperature obviously did not spiral upward out of control. Then there is consideration of the Medieval Warm Period when temperature was higher than it is now. Again, temperature obviously did not spiral upward. (This type of logic is why the AGW advocates worked so hard with the now discredited Mann hockeystick to try to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period.) Now there is a paper that indicates that water vapor is a negative feedback. The AGW advocates will have to attack this with vigor because it severely damages the AGW hypothesis.

Obama and the Democrats have accused Bush of failing to properly regulate financial institutions. They have selected Tim Geithner to straighten out American financial institutions. This is curious to me because Geithner was the guy in charge of financial institutions in New York, which is where Wall Street is located. (New York has a Democrat governor so the had a Democrat in charge of the financial institutions.) Despite the fact that Geithner didn't do any better than Bush in regulating financial institutions, Obama selected him to run Treasury. This is curious to me. Now it turns out that the Australians had some experience with Geithner, and they were not impressed, as reported here.

A lot of Ivy Leaguers who run major corporations in America are Democrats and are what were called "looters" in Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged. These people do nothing useful for society or the companies they lead, but they do enrich themselves with huge bonuses. Unlike what is thought by most people, they do not fund global warming deniers. They don't really care whether or not global warming is real; they are rent-seekers who are looking for advantage from the government. (The more subsidies they can wrangle from the government, the larger the bonus they can justify for themselves.) Jim Rogers (of Duke Power) and Jeffrey Immelt (of GE)worked to elect Obama so they could help him fashion plans to "help" America. But, it is dangerous to work with politicians. You can buy them, but they don't always stay bought, especially if they are from Chicago. Rogers is finding that out the hard way, as described here. Rogers is correct that Obama's carbon cap and trade scheme is very bad for America.

There is a lot of discussion about Rush Limbaugh saying that he hopes Obama fails. I have never listened to a Limbaugh broadcast, so I don't know what he actually said or what the context was. Obama's economic policy is to induce failure of the American economic system to make way for socialism. We currently have a failure in the financial system. But Obama is ignoring that, and making silly remarks about how the stock market is like a tracking poll. Obama prioritizes nationalizing healthcare and implementing a carbon tax system that will destroy the economy of the country ahead of solving the financial crisis. (He also proposes education reform that will send all people to college, a curious proposition since more than half of the people are not intellectually equipped to succeed in college.) I am opposed to socialism, so why would I want Obama to succeed? He appears to think that the economy will cure itself, and he may be correct. I would be glad to see that, and to see his national healthcare, energy, and education plans fail.

Obama's team is having a hard time filling jobs in the Administration. The vetting process seems to be brutal. Is it true that they are now water-boarding candidates? seriously, why would anyone want to take a job in government given the treatment. In the old days it was easy for Democrats because after one left government service one could go to work for a financial institution and skim off a fortune from the mortgage industry. For example, Franklin Raines, Robert Rubin, and Jamie Gorelick managed to skim a few hundred million dollars. Maybe the Democrats are having trouble getting candidates because the door has closed on being able to skim from financial institutions. (Many rich Democrats fit the description of "looters" in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.)

The movie star Brad Pitt is involved in building housing in New Orleans to replace those lost in hurricane Katrina. Powerline reports that he had a meeting with Nancy Pelosi to discuss the project. In their discussion they talk about the utility costs of the houses being $10 per month. Apparently neither one of them has a clue as to what utilities actually cost.

This whole Katrina thing has me mystified. For one thing, why rebuild houses in a place that is 15 to 20 feet below sea level in a hurricane prone location? Hurricane Ike last year wiped out Bolivar Peninsula in Texas; almost all structures were just swept away. No one seems to be concerned about rebuilding the towns on Bolivar, I suppose because almost all of the people who lived there were white. It is pretty much assumed that white people can take care of themselves.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I think the carbon cap and trade scheme has the potential to destroy the economy of the US. Under the most optimistic scenario the plan will reduce the gross national product starting immediately after implementation, and as far into the future as can be projected (which is 2050 in studies). It will raise the price of electricity, gasoline, and all products that are produced with those commodities. In addition there will be literally millions of job loses; more than usually predicted because I think a lot of businesses will be driven off-shore. (China and India are not going to participate in the Global Warming/Climate Change madness.) Part of my concern is that I feel certain that the alternative energy sources that the Obama Administration is expecting to come on line will not be developed soon, and will not achieve the the cost reductions with increased scale that have been projected. I also have doubts about the economical success of carbon sequestration systems. There are some differences in the predicted impacts from various studies, but all predict negative impact, unlike the campaign rhetoric which presents a rosy picture. A study of the impacts of carbon cap and trade is given here.

Obama and the Democrats would like to completely stop production of oil and gas in the US. Obama's budget includes a lot of special new taxes aimed at the oil and gas industry. These taxes will increase the cost of energy to all Americans. This is a very regressive tax increase. A discussion of the new taxes is here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The economy and the stock market are sinking fast, and the government doesn't appear to be able to do anything to correct the situation. In fact the Obama Administration appears to be more concerned about their socialist agenda than the economy. It may be that they think the economy and the market will self-correct by the next election in 2010, and the election is all they really care about. Or, it may be that they think that they now have a permanent majority since they are significantly increasing the number of people dependent on the government, assuming they can get amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens. (In other words, the looters and the moochers are now a solid majority.) Jennifer Rubin comments that some of Obama's center-left supporters are beginning to have doubts about his far left agenda.

I watch Jim Cramer sometimes, not for his stock picks, but just to be amused by his antics. He does know a lot about how hedge funds and other market manipulators operate. Naturally he was an Obama supporter, as were most Wall Street types. He is not impressed by the Obama Administration so far.


There is a civil war going on in Mexico, with the drug cartels having as many soldiers as the Mexican army. In response to this violence on the border, the Obama Administration wants to restrict gun ownership in the US. They have an agenda, and they use any excuse, no matter how obscure, to justify action.


I have often noticed that there is a lot of similarity and affinity between the Democrats and Arab Muslims. Dr. Sanity explains that the reason for this is because both are "Shame" cultures. Basically, they feel no guilt, and it is OK to lie, cheat and steal as long as no one knows about it. Here are the comments of Dr. Sanity (I'm not smart enough to put in a link to the comments, so I copied them.)


One of my regular readers, OBloodyHell emailed me this yesterday:

Carl, over at No Oil For Pacifists has a piece up about pork: Pork Update which deals with Obama's name appearing on an earmark, despite his promises that wouldn't happen. In the final bill, his name will be removed. That makes it "all better".

I quipped something to him about one of his points, and he responded with
> That's because us inside-the-beltway types think anonymity preserves ethics.

Which produced an interesting connection in my head to your piece on Shame Cultures.

The Left's response to ethical challenges maps into that layout box on shame/honor remarkably well -- and maybe, if you think about it, to the underlying mental gymnastics going on when the MSM doesn't "report" ethically inappropriate actions by Dems, as we all know is far more common than it ought to be. It does seem to me that the Left seems to think that by not reporting on inappropriate actions, that Their Guys are exonerated somehow. Think about Dan Rather's continued denial of his incompetent fact checking in this context, too.

What OBloodyHell is referring to is this table, which lays out the fundamental psychological differences between a typical "shame" culture and a "guilt" culture:

Let me review the key differences between the two types of cultures:

In both cultures there is no problem if both parties believe that the individual is NOT GUILTY. If both parties believe that the individual is GUILTY, again there is agreement and in that case the guilt is punished.

The difference in the two societies lies in the other two boxes in the matrix (in red).

In a guilt culture, when an individual believes he is NOT GUILTY, he will defend his innocence aggressively despite the fact that others believe he is guilty. In this case, the individual self is strong and able to maintain an independent judgement even if every other person is convinced of his guilt. The self is able to stand alone and fight for truth, secure in the knowledge that the individual is innocent.

The guilt culture is typically and primarily concerned with truth, justice, and the preservation of individual rights. As we noted earlier, the emotion of guilt is what keeps a person from behavior that goes against his/her own code of conduct as well as the culture’s. Excessive guilt can, of course, also be pathological. I am solely referring to a psychologically healthy appreciation of guilt.

In contrast, a typical shame culture what other people believe has a far more powerful impact on behavior than even what the individual believes. The desire to preserve honor and avoid shame to the exclusion of all else is one of the primary foundations of the culture. This desire has the side-effect of giving the individual carte blanche to engage in wrong-doing as long as no-one knows about it, or knows he is involved.

Additionally, it may be impossible for an individual to even admit to himself that he is guilty (even when he is) particularly when everyone else considers him to be guilty because of the shame involved. As long as others remain convinced he is innocent, the individuals does not experience either guilt or shame. A great deal of effort therefore goes into making sure that others are convinced of your innocence (even if you are guilty).

In general, it has been noted that the shame culture works best within a collectivist society, although it can exist in pockets even within a predominant guilt culture.

I think OBloodyHell is definitely onto something here.

Ask yourself how a typical Republican responds to scandal, for example. He is capable of feeling both shame and guilt about his behavior, whether it is in the public or personal domain and frequently this acknowledgment of his behavior leads him to resign. He has high moral standards that he expects not only of himself, but of others and is ashamed when he violates them; even more so when the knowledge of his violation is made public (which Democrats can always count on the press to do).

Remember, shame--especially in limited quantities--has facilitated civilized conduct and made both individuals and cultures behave more appropriately. Healthy shame keeps us in touch with reality, and reminds us of our limitations, faults, and humanity. When experiencing healthy shame an individual may not be very happy to have embarrassing weaknesses and defects made obvious, but this awareness is insightful and humbling. As long as an individual is capable of self-doubt and self-reflection about his behavior; he is able to remain open-minded and willing to search for a better understanding of himself and others.

Guilt is an emotion that rises after a transgression of one's own or cultural values. Guilt is about actions or behavior; while shame is about the self. There is an important psychological difference in saying to someone that their behavior is bad; as contrasted with saying that they are bad. The former leads to guilt; the latter to shame.

The purpose of guilt is to stop behavior that violates a self, family or societal standard. Guilt keeps score on excesses or deficits of behavior deemed undesirable and is expressed in regret and remorse.

But many Democrats and certainly most leftists are completely shameless in the sense that they will never ever, for as long as they can possibly get away with it, going to admit to bad behavior. And in those rare cases where they simply cannot wiggle and maneuver and lie and deceive; or self-righteously tell you how wonderful they really are and all the wonderful things they have done; they will simply pretend they are still virtuous and have been victimized in some way.

This is, of course, typical of most narcissists; and without a doubt, narcissists and liars and cheats exist on both sides of the political aisle. But a narcissist in a guilt culture behaves somewhat differently than a narcissist in a shame culture.

If you recall, the other day I quoted a very perceptive thought of Siggy's while talking about the neo-Marxist economic modus operandi: "Conservatives believe they have better ideas. Leftists believe they are better people."

This is extremely relevant to a discussion about the differences between the Democratic Party culture (which has become primarily, though not exclusively, influenced by the political left) and the Republican Party culture (which is predominantly influenced by conservative ideas and values).

Eventually for the shame-avoidant person, reality itself must be distorted in order to further protect the self from poor self-esteem. Blaming other individuals or groups for one's own behavior becomes second nature, and this transfer of blame to someone else is an indicator of internal shame.

Most psychological theorists (Erikson, Freud, Kohut) see shame as a more “primitive” emotion (since it impacts one’s basic sense of self) compared to guilt, which is developed later in the maturation of the self. Without the development of guilt there is no development of a real social conscience.

Hence, we see Republicans as a group are far more likely to resign positions when their unethical or immoral behavior is exposed.

Democrats don't tend to do this. In the first place, they will not even acknowledge a "scandal" unless it remains in the national media for an extended period of time (they hope it will go away, and if it does, then they can continue to go about their business as if it never happened). They can always count on the MSM to minimize the damage--even not to report it at all if they can.

Thus the first and foremost rule: if no one knows about their shame, then it doesn't count and they can continue to pretend they are innocent. Just think of the likes of Charles Rangell; Chris Dodd or Barney Frank. Could a Republican politician ever recover from being responsible for the death of a young woman while he saved himself and didn't even report the accident to the police? Yet, someone like Ted Kennedy is now a revered senior statesman on the Democratic side of the aisle. No one talks of his crime. Do you imagine Larry Craig--whose indiscretion hurt no one-- could ever make a comeback like that? Not on your life.

No, because Democrats, on the whole, firmly believe that they are "better people"--i.e., more loving, more compassionate, more intelligent etc. etc. ad nauseum; they go to great lengths to avoid shame; and hence, to avoid responsibility for their behavior. For every corrupt Ted Stevens, there are at least three John Murthas, Charlie Rangells, and William Jeffersons.

They lie, they deceive, they distort. They take kickbacks and are self-righteous about how innocent they are. They vow to eliminate pork, but think all they have to do is take their name off the bill they support and they are in the clear. They wonder what the meaning of "is" is. They insist they" did not have intercourse with that woman" because rhetorical maneuvers are a key postmodern method to avoid having to deal with shame and oral sex isn't really sex anyway. They deny deny deny, and they pretend that they are innocent victims of vast rightwing conspiracies or, as in the case with ex-Governor Blagojevich, they emphasize what "champions" of the little guy they are. They ignore facts and when that doesn't work, they are prepared to ignore the whole of reality itself. Because the cost to their fragile self-esteem if they are discovered is far too catastrophic.

Republicans tend to be amused when they watch Democratic scandals unfold--they, at least have few illusions about human frailty. Democrats, OTOH, immerse themselves in an orgy of self-gratifying excitement and jubilation when they hear of a Republican who fails to live up to the morality he espouses. "HYPOCRISY!" they scream in delight, cheered by the fact that they can once again feel superior.

Their own hypocrisy is another matter altogether and the mental gymnastics in which they engage in order to avoid coming to terms with their own imperfections is...well, it would be amusing if they didn't get away with it so often. But since most journalists are now immersed in leftist culture, they also think of themselves as "better people" and thus, can't allow one of their cultural brothers or sisters to make asses of themselves.

Why, that would be like criticizing Mohammed for sleeping with a 9-year old! It just isn't done in a shame culture, especially one based on the writings and behaviors of the aforementioned Mohammed. Instead, you make sleeping with a 9-year old one of the highest moral virtues of the culture.

In the Arab/Islamic culture one of the ways that those who fear shame protect their fragile self is to subjugate those who he perceives as weaker. By doing so, he can rationalize that he is superior to the subjugated individual. In fact, this is the only way he can maximize his honor.

The Democrat/leftist ummah has developed a rather clever way to do this in the western world: they constantly create victim groups that they can feel superior to and "champion". All that is required is for those groups to remain perpetual victims and constantly complain about their downtrodden state so that the elites of the left can show off what better people they are. They have even created a complicated victimhood hierarchy to deal with competing victimhood claims; and when push comes to shove--i.e., when Democrats or leftists do something wrong, immoral, unethical, or even evil--they can always claim to be victimized themselves. It's a nice little scam they've got going on the side to maintain their shame culture.

Another way understanding this "shame and guilt" culture distinction is that, those who will do anything to avoid shame, have bought into psychological denial big time; their emotions and the need to feel good about themselves have become more important than reason, truth or reality.

This is the same psychological maneuver that allows people to claim they are champions of free speech, as they diligently work to silence anyone with views that differ from their own. Inevitably, it leads to complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Where once they stood for freedom; they now enable dictatorships and apologize for tyrants. Where once they sought to bring justice to the world; they now defend horrific acts of mass murder and enslavement. Where once they rightly demanded equal opportunity, they have embraced all kinds of racial quotas and discriminatory practices and demand equality of outcome. Where once they sought to empower the weak; they are now instrumental in maintaining and expanding their victimhood.

After all, how can you be a “champion of the oppressed” unless you maintain and nurture an oppressed class that will always require your services to help them?

This psychological maneuvering is no different from that of certain male religious fanatics to believe that by subjugating women and making them invisible, they are virtuously protecting society from the evils of women's sexuality; when what the society really suffers from is the evils of their own perverted sexuality. They delude themselves--and sometimes the women--into believing such nonsense so that they can maintain the illusion of being honorable men.

Because they persist in believing that they are "better people", the Democratic Party has had little choice but to descend into the immature, anti-reason and anti-reality behavior of a typical shame culture.

You can think of it as the "Arabization of American politics".

Monday, March 02, 2009

Obama is a truly scary guy to me. He appears to have delusions of grandeur, something like Hugo Chavez. I remember the speech he made in which he said he is going to (and I paraphrase) cure illness, bring peace to the world, and stop the rise of the seas. He seems to think he is a god. Here is something on this subject that I picked up from the blog neo neocon:

One of the most chilling quotes from Obama that I’ve ever read is this one, reported by Fred Barnes recently:

When Barack Obama met with TV anchors at a White House lunch last week, he assured them he likes being president. “And it turns out I’m very good at it,” he added.

Let that one sink in for a moment. President for only a little over a month and he’s “very good at it.” The stock market falling every day (as I write this, it’s in the 6800s) and he’s “very good at it.”

Confidence is one thing. Untrammeled, unashamed hubris is another. The worrisome signs have been there from the start with Obama.

Remember this McCain campaign ad? It seems like a long time ago, but it bears repeating (note especially the brief exchange at :29 in which the interviewer asks Obama “Do you ever have any doubts?” and he responds with a firm and chilling “Never”):

I wonder how we should refer to Obama? King? His Royal Highness? Maybe one of the oldies but goodies like il Duce.

Dr. Sanity has some suggestions that sound good. I forgot "Emperor." And Darth Obama sounds good.

Here is the Dr. Sanity comment, whcih actually treats Obama's dishonesty.


No, he didn't invent dishonesty in political discourse, but he certainly has a real talent for it:
Barack Obama just added double-dealing to his foreign policy repertoire. On Friday, administration officials led many Jewish leaders to believe that the president had decided to boycott the United Nation's "anti-racism" conference known as Durban II. At the same time, however, human rights organizations were being led to believe that the administration was not pulling out and was looking for a way to "re-engage."

Obama seems to want to have it both ways on everything and is talking out of both sides of his mouth both on national and foregn policy. It increasingly obvious that he is more interested in appearing to do the right thing, than actually doing the right thing.

I'm really beginning to dislike this guy.

He's disingenuous, manipulative, and rhetorically duplicitous. The amount of damage to this country that this destructive con man could do in 4 years is incalculable. Look at what he's done in a mere six weeks....If the sickening adoration continues at the same accelerated pace it has reached since the inauguration, soon Darth Obama will declare himself Emperor of the known universe.

"So this is how liberty dies...to thunderous applause." - Star Wars, Episode III

It has been difficult for me to understand why 77% of Jews voted for a person that detests Israel. There is something about it that I don't understand. I think Israeli's were about the only people in the world the majority of whom were not for Obama. Maybe American Jews don't like Israel.