Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Judge Sotomayor does not believe that the Constitution gives an unconditional right for citizens to own guns. That is not a surprise. Liberals do not want the citizenry to be armed. They say that this is for our own good, not part of an evil agenda on their part.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Obama Administration intends to remake American life. One thing they plan to do is dramatically reduce the role of automobiles in American life. They are willing to use coercion to achieve the transformation that they see as desirable. I wonder if people are really going to want to move from the suburbs back to the central city. And, will they enjoy using bicycles as their primary means of transportation. Secretary of Transportation LaHood explains this hopey-changey vision.

Obama's first choice for a Supreme Court seat is hostile to the Second Amendment of the Constitution. There is no surprise in that.

I hear a lot of proponents of global warming talk about rising sea levels, and how some island nations are going to soon be inundated. But, the data indicate that sea level has not been rising recently. This is not surprising given that the oceans have recently been cooling, as indicated by data from the Argos ea buoys. Here is a comment from a New Zealand scientist who was in the IPCC, and who disagrees with the apocalyptic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

The advocates of global warming allege that all sorts of things will go bad because of global warming. They take that the earth will grow warmer as a given, ignoring data from the last 10 years. For example, they say that increasing damage in the South from Pine Beetles is due to global warming, despite evidence that the temperature of the southern US has been falling for 30 years. (This has been explained by the doomsters; it turns out that the declining temperature is due to increased CO2 combined with naturally occurring aerosols. That sort of confuses me.) That does not answer the question of how does the Pine Beetle know global warming is happening, and is spurred to more activity, if it is colder in the Pine Beetle's habitat? Now an English scientist named Muir has decided that global warming threatens to cause a cholera pandemic. The prominent French medical scientist Paul Reiter says the prediction is not credible.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Could it be that the Obama White House choose the Chrysler dealerships that were to be closed based on political affiliation? (It was the White House that made the decision regardless of what the Democrat Spinners say.) Many find it hard to believe that Obama would be that heavy handed, but that ignores his background in Chicago politics. But it does seem curious that some of the financially successful dealerships were terminated. Hot Air has some comments on this.

Here is a comment from a Tom Maguire blog about how raising taxes affected revenue in Maryland.

Governor Martin O'Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were "willing and able to pay their fair share." The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would "grin and bear it."

One year later, nobody's grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller's office concedes is a "substantial decline." On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year -- even at higher rates.

Posted by: Neo | May 26, 2009 at 02:55 PM

Maybe Laffer was right.

One interesting aspect of the so-called torture photo release issue is this: it is against the Geneva Convention Protocols to release photos of prisoners. Of course terrorists are not covered by the Geneva Convention, but liberals in America want to grant those rights to everyone. Given that position, why do they want to violate the Convention by releasing the photos? It appears that they are willing to bend the rules for their political agenda, exactly as they accuse their opponents of doing. Under the Geneva Convention the terrorists could have been summarily executed. That is exactly what the US did to the German Werewolves, who were soldiers who continued to fight after the German surrender in WWII.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

According to polls most Americans think that Obama is doing a terrific job as President. They are impressed with his speeches that , to me, are reminiscent of a snake oil salesman's spiel. His favorite subject seems to be his most wondrous self. And he is self righteous to the extreme. But most people apparently don't notice any of this. There are some who do, as recounted by Flopping Aces.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pat Santy, the former NASA flight surgeon and psychiatrist who blogs as Dr. Sanity, agrees with my impression of Obama's speeches. Here are her comments:

Over and over again I hear how "wonderful" Obama's rhetoric is; how much everyone responds to it and how it makes them hopeful about the future etc. etc. etc.

Frankly, I can barely stand to listen to the man. I have to read transcripts of most of his speeches because my reaction to his style is so negative. I don't like the sensation of being manipulated; nor do I like being lectured to by someone who instinctively believes they are far more virtuous than I am-- and intends to show me the error of my ways.

Understand that I listen to people for a living. I hear various degrees of honesty, sincerity, and real emotional pain being expressed on a regular basis. I also hear some of the most self-serving, dishonest and completely irresponsible utterings that it is possible to imagine. Yet, in my professional career, I have to freely admit that I have heard nothing like the deceitful and self-aggrandizing utterings of Barack Obama, which seem to get more and more pathological with every speech he gives. His most recent scam, in the National Archives in front of a fake copy of the U.S. Constitution just about takes the cake. This is not irony, so much as it is the grandiosity of tyranny.

Bill Clinton--who I actually liked for the most part; even his amusing narcissism, which seems so childishly innocent in retrospect--was completely harmless compared to the sociopathic statist that is our current POTUS.

Mark Levine in his excellent book Liberty and Tyranny summarizes it best:

The Statist in America is no less resolute than his European counterpart but, by necessity, he is more cunning--where the European lurches and leaps, the American's steps are measured but steady. In America, the Statist understands that his counterrevolution must at least appear gradual and not revolutionary--sometimes even clothed in the flag and patriotism--lest his intentions become too obvious and thus alarming to his skeptics.

For the Statist, the international community and international organizations serve as useful sources for importing disaffection with the civil society. The Statist urges Americans to view themselves through the lenses of the those who resent and even hate them. He needs Americans to become less confident, to doubt their institutions, and to accept the status assigned to them by outsiders--as isolationists, invaders, occupiers, oppressors, and exploiters. The Statist wants Americans to see themselves as backward, foolishly holding to their quaint notions of individual liberty, private property, family, and faity, long diminished or jettisoned in other countries. They need to listen to the voices of condemnation from world capitals and self-appointed global watchdogs hostile to America's superior standard of living. America is said to be out of step and regressive, justifying the surrendering of its sovereignty though treaties and other arrangements that benefit the greater "humanity." And it would not hurt if America admitted its past transgressions, made reparations, and accepted its fate as just another aging nation--one among many.

Next time you listen to the Obamessiah's speeches, listen to what he doesn't say. Listen to the vagueness, the vacuity. Listen to the lack of specifics and the blatant emotional manipulation. Listen to the cognitive dissonance between what he is saying in his seductive, sedating style; and what he is doing with his deliberate, statist national policies and his foreign policy that not only demeans America by apologizing for her very existence; but severely handicaps her ability to act in the future. Watch how he badmouths the previous Administration, then surreptitiously implements the same policies that kept us safe over the last 8 years. The only problem with this last is that by simultaneously denouncing the security policies he is embracing, he is making schizophrenics of all the honorable people who are working hard to keep this country safe.

How long can this schizophrenogenic behavior go on before it essentially cripples those same patriots--because their service and their patriotism can be rendered criminal on the slightest whim of this unprincipled coxcomb?

The Democrats were all over the Republicans about the harsh interrogation techniques used by the Bush Administration. Obama is having none of that he says. Looking back, Bush started harsh interrogation because we didn't want to use rendition that Clinton had been using. In rendition we turned over suspects to other countries where they were questioned, apparently with methods that everyone would agree were serious torture. Now it turns out that Obama is essentially using rendition again; except that now we identify suspects and have them apprehended by other countries rather than apprehending them ourselves. I suppose that makes all of the difference; but to me, Obama is just a hypocrite. Here is an article about this issue.

Back in 2004 when Obama made the keynote address at the Democrat National Convention I noticed that the MSM was swooning over his public speaking ability. I was not impressed by his speaking ability, but I could see why the MSM and much of the public was. They were impressed by the way he said things: I was unimpressed with what he had to say. It brought to mind the first TV debate between Presidential candidates in 1960, which was between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy really looked good (though he was actually quite ill with Addison's disease, a bad back, and an incurable social disease) and he was a smooth talker. Nixon looked sick because he didn't have on TV makeup, though he was actually in good health, and was not a slick speaker. But, there was more substance in what Nixon said. I remember one exchange about federal funding for education. Kennedy spoke eloquently about how it was needed, and how it would help the country, etc. Nixon said if the federal government pours money into states for education, it will be for nought; bureaucracy will devour the money. In hindsight Nixon was right. When I was in high school in the early 1950's my school had an office staff of five (the Principal, the Assistant Principal, the Dean of Women, the Registrar, and the Secretary) and five coaches (three men and two women). When my children were in high school around 1990, I don't know the precise numbers, but the football team had 17 coaches, and the non-teaching staff was huge. I think schools all around the nation have had a similar increase in non-teaching staff. And how has that helped education? Not much. SAT scores have actually declined if the changes in grading are taken into account. But, the graduates are much better football players. The point of this is that just because a person is a slick speaker doesn't mean his ideas are any good. Personally I prefer guys like Bush and Cheney who "say what they mean, and mean what they say." It is hard to tell what Obama means. He uses strawman, sets up false choices, demonizes his opponents, and obscures what he really means with soaring rhetoric, at least while his teleprompter is working. There are other people don't think much of Obama's speaking style. Jennifer Rubin cites this article by James Delingpole in the UK Telegraph.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Obama has decreed that in 2016 new cars sold will have to get 39 mpg. Some people have asked me what that means. Well, for example, the so-called Smart Car (which carries two people in what is about like an enclosed golf cart) only gets 36 mpg. Obama expects "American Ingenuity" to produce cars that achieve that much mileage that everyone would like to drive. Like a lot of chief executives I have known, Obama has a problem grasping the laws of physics. I doubt that Americans are going to want to commute to work or go on trips in a glorified golf cart, and you certainly would not want to be in a collision in something like the Smart Car. Hybrids claim to get up around 50 mpg, but that is driving around town; they don't do as well on the highway. Volkswagen diesels get 50 mpg on the highway, but less in town. Obama claims that meeting the 39 mpg requirement will add only $1300 to the price of the car. Other more credible analyses that I have seen put the increased cost at $8000 per car. I think that is a good estimate because the most likely scenario is that many of the cars will be hybrids, or all electric. The mileage requirement is a fleet average, so presumably some of the individual cars could be like those sold today. But a lot of small light cars will have to be sold to get the average mileage up. I wonder if Obama plans on telling GM and Chrysler how many of each type of car to manufacture. The Soviet Union used to do that, but it didn't work out well for them. Of course, the One will no doubt be better at estimating how many of each type people will want to buy. I still think a lot of people will just keep driving the cars they now own. Consider Cuba; the communists took over there in 1959, and most of the cars on the road there are 1958 or older models. I saw a oil market analyst on TV tonight who predicted that there would soon be no gasoline refineries in the US. That would push the price of gasoline up enough to make the old cars useless. People who live close to Canada or Mexico might be able to cross the border to fill up, but I'm sure Obama can pass a law to stop that.

When you take a good look at Obama's life and listen to his speeches, it becomes apparent that his management style is bullying. That is probably no surprise. He worked up way up through the corrupt Chicago political environment where the standard mode of operation is making people offers that "they afford to reject." He follows the Saul Alinsky playbook that utilizes threats and intimidation. He continues to trash Bush in his speeches, and whines about the terrible shape Bush left the country, uses strawman arguments, and sets up false choices. I wonder how long the Democrats in Congress are going to put up with his bullying tactics? It is clear that he is attempting to become a Dictator, and doesn't mind harming the country if he can blame it on Bush.

Obama seems to think he is dealing with the Great Depression. There is a lot of discussion about how Obama is using the excuse of a looming depression to implement his ambitious social spending program. Obama has not studied what actually happened after the stock market crash in 1929. The Democrats created a myth that Hoover did nothing after the market crash and the economic downturn, and demonized Hoover and Republicans for decades afterward. (History repeats, and Democrats are now demonizing Bush and Republicans.) Actually Hoover was quite active in 1930 and 1931 doing all of the wrong things. He raised taxes on the rich. He started ambitious deficit spending programs. He raised tariffs, slowing trade in the entire world, and causing the Great Depression. (FDR actually just continued what Hoover started, but put it on steroids, and it didn't work for FDR either.) Obama is doing the same things Hoover did; raising taxes, creating enormous deficits, and talking about restraining trade. Obama is arrogant enough to think he can make it work, even though it failed for Hoover and FDR. (Obama also surely knows that fascist socialism hasn't ever worked anywhere, but apparently thinks he can make it succeed.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Democrats in Congress do not want an investigation into what Nancy Pelosi knew, and when she knew it. That is no surprise. If she were a Republican she would have already have been forced out. But standards are different for Democrats. She will probably ride out the storm. The press will also give her a pass.

Dissecting Leftism has a good explanation of the derivatives market, explaining how it ultimately led to a collapse of financil markets:

An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets:

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans). Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Now, do you understand?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Most people I talk to think that a civil war in America is unthinkable. I think it is happening now. Herbert Meyer, formerly a top CIA official, thinks Obama has already started the revolution. Obama has suspended the run of law, and instituted a command economy in the US. Meyer points out in his article that in the previous revolutions in Germany when Hitler took over, and in Russia when Lenin and the communists took over, the shooting didn't start until after the revolution.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama apparently had a successful speech at Notre Dame. He is very clever with his words, but his positions are hollow or disingenuous if examined. He supports late term abortions even to the point of letting a child who manages to be born alive despite abortion attempts to kill him should just be allowed to die. To is a throwback to Rome in the time of Caesar when a father could just kill his child. The only update Obama has made is that now the mother can kill the child. But, Obama says he doesn't know when life begins, that's above his pay grade. That lack of knowledge or opinion would seem to make abortion problematical. Apparently he must believe that life begins at sometime after birth. Perhaps he views killing the child as some form of justifiable homicide.

Fox News says GPS may be lost next year due to the failure of the Air Force to replace aging satellites in orbit. The third generation NAVSTAR satellites are supposed to be a big improvement over the current satellites. This illustrates a significant problem for management that develops as programs age. The bureaucracy gets larger making it harder to meet schedules and ensuring escalating costs. Workers on the program become complacent. Some of the more competent workers and most of the more ambitious workers move on to more cutting edge programs. It is a difficult challenge for management to keep the team lean and mean, particularly in a government civil servant environment. If the program manager pushes workers hard, there will be complaints up the line to his leaders, and often he will be replaced. It takes a creative program manager to keep workers motivated as a program ages.

Here is an update from A. J. Strata, who thinks journalists are acting like Chicken Little again. It is true that TV guys tend to get over-excited at times. They are looking for another Watergate all of the time. I'm unimpressed by Shepard Smith. My comments regarding the difficulty in keeping people motivated on long programs is still valid. I have no idea how well the management of the GPS program is doing, but they have had a lot of technical problems and schedule slips.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I see a lot of predictions the the world is going to stop buying US debt. And China, Brazil and Russia would like to displace the dollar as the currency for international trade. It appears that the US is going to monetize its debt because it will be impossible to raise taxes enough to pay down the enormous debt that is growing out of control. That is an amazing development. Monetizing debt didn't work out well when nations did that in the past. The Weimar Republic did it and got a depression with hyperinflation during the 1920's, leading to Hitler taking over the government. Recently it hasn't worked out well for Zimbabwe. There is a good chance that we will soon have Carter-like stagflation on steroids.

Some people have asked me why I refer to Obama as a fascist, suggesting rather that he is just a pragmatic liberal. What I notice is that in just four months Obama has already assumed more power to the Presidency than the reviled Bush ever did in eight years. I can't imagine that Bush would have fired the CEO of a private corporation or intervened in a bankruptcy as in the Chrysler situation. Obama's decisions are often liberal (or what I would call socialistic), but they seem fashioned to protect Obama himself from criticism or fault. He seems intent on garnering adulation from the public. The MSM love him and can find little fault in him, even though he doesn't treat them well. He exhibits imperial pretensions that exceed anything I have seen since FDR; he even refers to himself with the royal "we." This cult of personality that he fosters is the classic hallmark of a Fascist.

I watched the Newsweek interview with Treasury Secretary Geithner today. There were some interesting comments during the interview. Geithner's comments that the important thing for government to do in a financial crisis was to take immediate, forceful action. That, of course, is exactly what the Bush Administration did last year. Geithner also discussed the need for regulatory reform, and how it needs complete change because there is too much in some areas and none in other areas, etc. Democrats have blamed Bush for the poor regulatory system, but that is unfair because without a crisis there is no political support for change. Bush did, in fact, attempt to get more regulation on Fannie and Freddy for example, but Democrats, and some Republicans, were opposed to more regulation, perhaps because of the huge campaign contributions they were getting. Without a crisis there was no chance for any major regulatory change. Geithner also talked about the need for fiscal responsibility, and said that is why the Obama Administration is going to cut the deficit in half in four years. This is like a bad joke because in four years the deficit will still be twice what it was under Bush's last year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

When I was in college taking engineering back during the 1950's everyone thought that the world would run out of oil in 20 years. I recall bull sessions in which I speculated, to a lot of derision, that the world would not run out of oil during my lifetime. At that time people were hoping that CO2 emissions would cause enough warming to stave off the imminent ice age. We were more worried about the Soviet Union than climate disaster. During the 1970's people got worried about the shortage of energy and the US started an alternative energy program. I did research for the company I worked for, and we decided that there was no shortage of energy, so did not pursue alternative energy. (Many rent-seeking companies did pursue it because of the government subsidies, rather than expectation of success.) Now we are once again worried about energy, but this time not so much with a shortage, but with concerns about CO2 emissions that computer models predict will cause catastrophic heating of the world. There is a lot wrong with the computer predictions, such as inability to accurately model the hydrological cycle, as I have discussed before. But, the scaremeisters have carried the day with politicians, who recognize the issue as the path to increased government control over people, something all politicians crave. Here is a good discussion of the situation, including why Obama's plans are doomed to failure. One factoid people should consider: an adult breathes out about 0.4 tons of CO2 each year. If each persons allotment is 2 tons per year in 2050, as would be required by Obama's plan, we won't be eating much beef, or even riding a horse unless we have built a lot of nuclear power plants (which Obama doesn't want).

Democrats are beginning to realize the wisdom of Bush's policy on Gitmo. Jim Webb just did a 180 degree turn on the subject. I suspect that Obama will more and more be adopting Bush's policies. Bush was not articulate and did not demonize his political opponents, so is no match for Obama in politicing. But Obama should consult with Bush on policy matters, because Bush has far better judgement. Some on the left are beginning to realize that Obama and the Democrats were just bashing Bush to get the Democrats back into power; they actually had no problem with what Bush did. In fact, they would have and will do far more in terms of disregard for the Constitution and rule of law.

I have read that the standard of living in Argentina was higher than in the USA back at the turn of the 20th century. In the 1930's, like a lot of other countries during the Great Depression, Argentina elected a fascist government. The same thing happened in the USA, but the Supreme Court scuttled FDR's fascism. Argentina had no such Constitutional and Supreme Court protection so fascism took hold, and things went bad for Argentina. Now we are faced with the threat of a fascist government again, but things don't look good this time. The Supreme Court is questionable, and will no doubt support collectivism after Obama makes two appointments. Obama himself, unlike FDR, appears to be unconcerned with the rule of law. The net result: the USA is in for some rough times.Victor Davis Hanson has an analysis of the Obama Presidency here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Democrats used a fake Iraq war veteran during the last election. But they aren't embarrassed by this; the election is over, so who cares. I can recall several cases where the Democrats have used fake war veterans, going back to the "Winter Soldier" hearings that brought John Kerry to prominence during the Vietnam War. For Democrats the end justifies the means.

During the Bush Administration the Democrats attempted to limit the power of the President with legislation. But, the neither legislature nor the Supreme Court nor international treaty can limit the Constitutional power of the President. Liberals have a lot of trouble accepting that, particularly when a Republican is President; they are not concerned now with Obama as President even though he appears to be assuming powers not granted by the constitution.

In my opinion the Democrats did a serious disservice to America when they attacked the Bush Administration over the enhanced interrogation issue. There is no doubt that Democrat leaders approved of what was being done at the time, and would do the same, or be even more aggressive under circumstances similar to those after the 911 attack. Here is Attorney General Eric Holder wrapping himself around the axle in discussing the issue. (Holder has some ethical issues himself, given his work to get pardons for thugs when he was in the Clinton Administration. The Republicans could have investigated him after Bush was elected, but choose not to according to established practice of not criminalizing political opponents, something the Democrats now have discarded.)

One curious thing to me is how leaders in the West, particularly liberals, do not take Islamists at their word. The Arab leaders continually say their objective is to destroy Israel and the USA, but our leaders say that is just rhetoric and go ahead and make deals with people who want to destroy them. The Oslo accords are a good example of the bad deals for Israel and the West.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The judge doesn't think the lawyers were in on the conspiracy to extort Dole. That seems unlikely to me; I think an investigation should be started. More judges should toss this type of litigation with prejudice. Lawyers who did things like former VP candidate John Edwards should be sanctioned.

It was only recently that I learned the meaning of the word "bling." Here is an interesting article about eco-bling. I suppose it is expected that some ecologically symbolic, but ineffective technology would arise. One thing I have talked about before is solar cells that have a life that is shorter than the economic pay back period. I have mentioned before that there are hazards associated with rapid change, such as with this solar house that has no gas or electricity connections.

It is curious that Norman Hsu ran a Ponzi scheme almost as large as that of Madoff, but there is very little about it in the news. Is that because he was tied to Hillary Clinton's illegal fund raising? Probably so. The Clinton's raised a lot of money from Chinese communists over the years. Gorelick put a wall between intelligence agencies and law enforcement to stymie investigation of Clinton's campaign contributions from the Chinese. I can understand that the political establishment was not interested in prosecuting either Clinton for their illegal fundraising (maybe because the Republicans engaged in similar activities). My question is, what did the Chinese hope to gain by supporting the Clinton's? And why is the MSM completely uninterested in this question?

From Patriot Post, here is a summary of gun laws under consideration by Congress.

On the Hill this week are several gun bills that merit attention. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Zack Space (D-OH) introduced H.R. 2296, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act. This legislation, which corresponds with the Senate version S. 941, seeks to streamline BATFE's operations to make it easier for gun owners and dealers to comply with regulations while ensuring that criminals are punished for violations. Similar legislation cleared the House in the 109th Congress and was cosponsored by a majority of the House in the 110th Congress.

Before readers applaud the return of common sense in Congress regarding the Second Amendment, however, let's consider the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act. Introduced by Reps. Michael Castle (R-DE) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the Senate, the bill would place draconian restrictions on gun dealers and would not close any so-called loopholes, unless by loopholes they mean gun shows and private sales in general. The bill is based on the false premise that these shows are a major source of guns used in crimes, despite several government studies showing otherwise.

Rep. Pete King (R-NY) introduced the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, H.R. 2159, which gives the attorney general the power to deny a person the right to buy a gun if the AG "determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support thereof, and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism." This remarkably vague language is doubly disturbing since Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano deemed as potential terrorists virtually anyone who doesn't vote Democrat.

Maybe the last law explains why the Democrats want to classify anyone who doesn't vote for them as a potential terrorist. Curiously, the law is sponsered by a Republican from New York.

Margaret Thatcher said that the problem with socialism is that it always runs out of other people's money. It appears that Obama is going to run out of money before he even gets socialism fully in place. China appears to be growing tired of loaning the US at nearly zero interest.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I heard on the news that the lithium-ion batteries in computers are catching fire again. Back before I retired the Navy wouldn't allow lithium-ion batteries on ships because they have a tendency to burst into flames. Obama wants lithium-ion batteries for cars. That might work out I suppose. You can jump out and run from a car, but not from a ship.

Jennifer Rubin has more about the enhanced interrogation/torture issue. I still have the opinion that this way leads to civil war, just as it did at the time of Caesar. I am afraid that the left wing liberals actually want a civil war.

One thing that I have noticed is that politicians, particularly Democrats, increasing address all issues with spin rather than actual discussion of policy. Spin was always a part of political discourse, but since the emergence of Bill Clinton it seems that Democrats in particular no longer address policy at all. In addition, most of the MSM are no longer objective reporters, but rather are Democrat Party spinners who go on the air and spout the Democratic Party talking points. Jennifer Rubin has some comments on this.

There is now "buyers remorse" from some of the Wall Street supporters of Obama. I saw Larry Kudlow on TV say that one unnamed large contributor is shocked by what Obama has done, and now says that Obama is a communist. It is interesting to me that the elites really believed that Obama would govern like Clinton after the Republicans gained control of Congress. I saw a lot of Wall Street guys who were giving money to Obama say that they were sure that Obama wasn't really a far left liberal. They are surprised that Obama is a class warrior, though I can't see why they were so naive. Well, they got the change they thought they wanted, but they don't have much hope. Here is some discussion on this subject.

In my last blog I mentioned Mark Steyn and New Hampshire's motto of "Live Free or Die." Here is an article by the incomparable Steyn about the stages through which freedom is lost. We are still in the early stages, but Obama seems poised to move us rapidly to the terminal state that Europe is in.

Here is a ranking of the level of freedom in the 50 states. I haven't read the report, so I don't know if I agree with the methodology. Texas ranks 5th overall, behind New Hampshire (state motto, "Live Free or Die"), Colorado, South Dakota, and Idaho. Texas is the freest of the large, industrialized states according to the study, and based on my own observation. Years ago the author Robert Ruark (who wrote about the struggle for freedom in Kenya in Something of Value and Uhuruh) wrote that Texas was the most democratic place he had ever found in his extensive travels around the world. Mark Steyn lives in New Hampshire, which is a good indication that it is a free place. He is a Canadian, so probably can stand the cold weather, which would be tough for a Texan like me. Maintaining economic freedom anywhere in the US is going to be difficult under the Obama regime. A lot of people don't seem to realize that liberty and equality are opposite sides of the coin: if there is liberty, then economic outcomes will not be similar, and if there is perfect equality, there cannot be complete liberty. This is the reason that the US Constitution only promises equality under the law. (Note that Obama wants judicial "empathy" not equality under the law, implying that he does not want liberty.)

I have been reading that Putin of Russia is warning America that Obama is a communist, and suggesting that communism will be a disaster for America, just as it was for Russia. (Russia is now a fascist state.) I don't know about Obama being a communist, but he is certainly some sort of collectivist. Obama has been doing things that would have been unthinkable for FDR. For some reason the people of America are not paying much attention to what Obama is doing. I suppose that is because they don't analyze things much themselves, but instead rely on the MSM and movie stars to guide them. It does seem that movie stars in particular like communism; at least they regularly express a lot of admiration for Castro and Cuba. Both the MSM and movie stars think Obama is "cool," and agree with his policies. It appears to me that most of the elites and opinion makers in America are ready for a dictator, but they probably don't have a preference as to whether the dictator is a fascist or a communist. In fact, I suspect a lot of the movie stars would vote for an old fashioned king.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am not sure if Obama's Declaration of Independence is satire or mockery. The late night talk show guys on TV say they can't make fun of Obama because he is doing such a good job. It appears to me that they are just in the tank for Obama because I see him do a lot of things that could be mocked. I wonder if Obama ever asks himself if they will love him in December as they love him now in May. Dick Morris thinks not. My guess is that if the Democrats win the elections in 2010, it won't matter by 2012. In fact, Obama may just cancel that election.

Many people that I talk to about the climate are unaware that the earth has had numerous ice ages that last about 100,000 years, followed by an interglacial period of 15,000 years or so. And the current interglacial is getting near the end by historical standards. It is clear that an ice age is catastrophic to mankind, but mild warming actually is beneficial. Considering this it is hard to figure out why governments in the world want to make the world colder. It is also hard to figure out why they think they can have much impact anyway. Here is an article about ice ages.

Here is more about controlling healthcare costs by rationing, particularly rationing care for the elderly. I am glad to see that Democrats are considering cost-benefit analysis for something; they don't think much of it for environmental issues. Liberals and Democrats do not like it when some people have better care than others. Like in healthcare as in economics, they like for everyone to be equally bad off. That is why they like Cuba so much.

Today on TV I heard a Democrat Congressman discuss the healthcare situation. The Democrats say that the cost of the healthcare system is out of control and that something has to be done immediately or the world will end or something. They have to go into their whirling dervish spin mode as they try to explain how adding 40 or 50 million people to the government's charge will reduce cost. The Congressman revealed some the their planning. He says that about 1/3 of the cost is incurred during the last few months of a person's life, and that is where action is required. Apparently one idea is that people on Medicare would have to make an "end of life" agreement with the government. It was not clear what the "end of life" agreement would entail. It sounds like the person would agree that if he develops certain conditions, he would not be treated. He specifically mentioned the disease diabetes, but didn't give any details. I expect that, since I have had a heart attack and have had bypass surgery, that when my coronary arteries clog up again, I won't get treatment. It is not clear at this point if private practice would be banned, as it is in Canada. I expect that we will see more people going to India for treatment after Obama's plan, whatever it is, is put into effect. I suppose Canadians will have to start going to India instead of coming to the US for treatment that is not available to them in Canada. One question came to mind after listening to the Congressman. If the problem is primarily old people at the end of life, why can't they attack that under the Medicare and Medicaid systems which currently covers all elderly people; it does not appear that they need a new national healthcare system in order to address what they identify as the primary problem.

Democrats are now beginning to be sorry they started the enhanced interrogation technique witch hunt. It is turning out that they were for it before they were against it. As usual, their hypocrisy is showing. Jennifer Rubin has some good comments here, here, and here.

An environmentally friendly hospital in Wales hasn't worked out well. As Robert Burns said, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Radically different designs require a lot of detailed analysis which most conventional builders are not able to supply, and owners cannot afford. Doing something in a new way, something not done before, is the reason that aircraft and spacecraft design costs so much. Environmentalists do not understand the high level of investment in analysis required to successfully do things in entirely new ways. They also fail to appreciate the unintended consequences of radical design changes.

Ian Plimer's book, Heaven and Earth is having an impact on the AGW debate in Australia. Hopefully some of our politicians will take time to read the book. Obama will not like the book; he doesn't actually know anything about AGW, and doesn't care whether it is actually a problem or not. He simply wants the tax money carbon cap and trade will bring.

Back when Bush was President the MSM was always complaining about troops being deployed without proper equipment. Now that Obama is President, he MSM are not so concerned about this.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama is going to have to get the current fleet of automobiles off the streets if people are going to buy the ObamaMobiles he is going to design for Chrysler and GM to produce. One idea is to give people an financial subsidy to buy a new car. I don't think this will work in the long run. The Chevy Volt has a range of 40 miles. It will take significant coercion to get a lot of people to buy those beauties.

Jennifer Rubin has a good comment about the current enhanced interrogation techniques/torture. I remember the Oscar Levant remark about Doris Day. He was a funny guy that the younger generation is probably not familiar with.

O'Reilly had a segment on the top best selling music albums of all time. I had never heard of no.'s 2 through 5. No. 1 was the Eagles "Hotel California." I was surprised because I had heard that one before. Not only that, but I could understand the words. I couldn't even tell what the words were for the songs by AC/DC and Pink Floyd.

Obama is making good on his promise to disarm America. If he stays in office for 8 years we probably won't have any nuclear weapons left. That doesn't sound like a good idea during this time of rapid nuclear weapon proliferation.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A lot of people have been asking how Obama's plan to provide health care for everyone will save money. Megan McArdle has figured it out. The answer is "magic." Obama is the One, so I suppose he can perform miracles.

The Obama Administration made some estimates of what unemployment would be with and without their bogus stimulus package. Assuming that their estimate was accurate, the data show that the stimulus package was bogus. Here is a comparison of what was projected by the Obama Administration showing that what has actually happened is worse than what was projected for the no stimulus case. But, I'm sure that they would say that unemployment would be even worse without the bogus stimulus. My explanation is that business people looked at what was being done by the Administration, and decided that the plans were not going to work, and immediately began to cut back on their activities. A commenter to my previous post thinks that Obama's plans are designed to fail. I can see some logic in that. After all, his Administration says that the bigger the crisis, the more they can achieve. So, it makes sense that a massive crisis would be beneficial. Of course they have to somehow convince the voters that Bush caused the problem. With support of the MSM that should be easy. Jennifer Rubin has some comments about the Stimulus package, and how some Democrats are saying that they oversold the "repair roads and bridges" aspects.

It is a mystery to me why the liberals in Hollywood adore the murderous thug Fidel Castro, and have granted sainthood to his dear departed fellow thug and partner in crime, Che Guevera Lynch. The Hollywood actors are mostly intellectual lightweights with serious moral deficiencies. Here is a plausible explanation of why they return from Cuba with such glowing reports of life there that are in stark contrast with the reports of people who actually live there.

The Obama Administration is going to impose carbon dioxide emission regulations on all businesses, including the hamburger stands and farms, even though they say they are not. This will have a chilling impact on business in America. Generally it will put some companies out of business and create more unemployment, but will increase demand for lawyers. And all of this in response to cataclysmic Anthropogenic Global Warming, which is a hypothesis that is looking increasingly less likely to be correct. The radical environmentalists do not care that the hypothesis is incorrect; they want to bring about an end to Western Civilization (at least that is what Maurice Strong said in 1988 when he started the AGW madness).

I see a lot of people from the Obama Administration on TV who talk about the enormous budget deficit inherited from Bush. They aren't mentioning that since Obama took office, the debt for this year went up by over $600 billion (more than any annual deficit under Bush). Then they get into a whirling dervish spin mode. They say that Obama will cut the deficit in half by the end of Obama's first term. When it is pointed out that, at that rate, the deficit in that year will still be twice as large as Bush's largest deficit they don't respond. Instead they shift into spin hyperdrive, and talk about how Bush tax cuts caused all problems, Bush's deregulation (never specifically identified), etc.

As expected, the government is considering termination of the CEOs of some of the major banks. It seems like it would be a good idea for Pandit of Citi and Lewis of BoA to start updating their resumes. Between them they gave about $675,000 to the Obama campaign. I suppose one outcome will be that their successors don't make the same mistake of giving so little: they will give a lot more. They will want to do that not as a bribe but because they desire good government, and, after all, Obama is the One.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I have written before about the tendency of the Clinton Administration to take action to distract from their problems. And, of the focus on domestic foes of liberals and the Democratic Party rather than foreign foes. The Obama Administration has the same focus, as indicated by the recent DHS report that warns local law enforcement to put more emphasis on watching for people who oppose abortion and gay marriage, etc., than on Islamic terrorists. I have also written about the Clinton attack on the Branch Davidians, as an attempt to demonize Conservatives. Here is a comment on this same theme that was made by someone identified as Paleocon in response to George Will's column today:

On 26 February 1993, Ramzi Yusef and others who had been under intermittent FBI surveillance tried to blow up the North Tower of the World Trade Center in such a manner as to make it collapse into the South Tower. Two days later, the Clinton administration decided to serve a warrant on David Koresh. In the ensuing gunfight, four federal agents and six Branch Davidians died. After a 51-day siege, the government moved in and directly or indirectly killed 76 more Davidians, including 20 children, two pregnant women, and 24 British nationals.

Foreign terrorists had just tried to lay waste to our largest city, and a bewildering variety of street gangs and lunatic organizations were involved in _trafficking_ arms there and in other urban centers. One of these, the Chicago gang El Rukn, had a mutual-defense treaty with Libya, for crying out loud. Why did Clinton's people pick that moment to go after a failed rock musician leading a group of vegetarian Seventh Day Adventist schismatics who were _collecting_ arms in a _rural_ compound in Texas? Having chosen to arrest Koresh, why did they confront him in his stronghold instead of waiting for him to go to the grocery store?

Simple. They wanted to get the WTC out of the headlines, they wanted to make Clinton look bold and decisive, and they wanted to send a clear message to their domestic opponents. So they picked a politically correct target that they deemed a pushover. When the Waco siege became an embarrassment, they decided to cut their losses by lobbing incendiary CS grenades into a maze of wooden structures. In brief, they picked the wrong fight for the wrong reasons and murdered a lot of people who got in the way.

On TV I keep hearing that the problem that the Detroit auto makers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) had was that they did not produce the small, fuel efficient cars that people wanted to buy, while the foreign label makers did. I wonder about that. The statistics I see do not appear to bear that out. The problem, from what I have read in financial magazines is that the Detroit auto makers couldn't make a profit on small cars, but instead made their profits entirely on pickups and SUVs. Recently when I walk or ride my bicycle around the older, middle class neighborhood where I live, I have been surveying the automobiles in the driveways. I don't see many small cars. Mostly the people drive SUVs. My inexact survey indicates that over half of these large vehicles are from foreign car companies. I have stopped and talked to some of the owners of the foreign made SUVs, and while the owners like them, they say the cars don't get particularly good gas mileage; no better than the Mercury and Chevy SUVs my wife has recently owned. I think there is something wrong with the narrative about what is wrong with American car makers that I hear from the liberal commentators on TV. I have severe doubts that people will want buy the small "energy efficient" cars that the Obama Motor Works (formerly GM) is talking about producing. Since people won't want to buy them, Obama will be have to coerce people to buy them to keep his Motor Works in operation. Some options that I expect are subsidies to buy his new cars, banning older cars from the highway, and forcing up the price of gasoline to the $8 per gallon that Stephen Chu talked about.

The Republican Party has lost power to the extent that it is inconsequential in establishing public policy in the US. The continuing demographic changes in the country, in which the population increase is mostly comprised of immigrants who are actually hostile to conservatives and capitalists, and, in general, the WASPs that are the base of the Republican Party. To survive the Republicans are going to have to become nasty, vicious liars as Nancy Pelosi, Jay Rockefeller and other Democrats are, putting political advantage ahead of national interests. Whatever the Republicans do, surrender and die or fight back, the outcome will be bad for America.

The cataclysmic global warming hypothesis is very unlikely to be accurate. The sensitivity of the climate to rather small changes in carbon dioxide concentration is vastly overstated by the IPCC, which is more of a political body with a socialist agenda than a scientific body. Few people have an understanding of the thermodynamic processes involved in the dynamic climate action. I doubt that there are more than a handful of business and political leaders who have even a limited grasp of thermodynamics, and particularly the second law and the concept of entropy. I doubt that many of them even know what a perpetual motion machine of the second class is (which the second law of thermodynamics says cannot exist). Dr. Jennifer Marohasy in Australia has posted some blogs that discuss thermodynamics and climate, and cast doubt on the validity of the IPCC predictions. (Of course, data on polar ice extent, global temperatures, etc. also do not support the IPCC predictions.)

Here is the first blog.

Here is the second blog.

Obama claimed he would have the most transparent Administration in history. Like Nancy Pelosi's most ethical Congress in history, the reality is somewhat different than the promise. The Obama Administration has the upcoming census as a major focus. They clearly think they can manipulate the census to their political advantage. So it is no surprise that they do not want the media attending their planning meetings.

I have written a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood's plan for the conquest of Europe. Here is an example of what is happening all over Europe; in this case in France.

Friday, May 08, 2009

This has been a bad week for capitalism. In Venezuela Chevez has nationalized oil service companies:

"Today, the private services companies disappear, we don't need them, the people and workers can do the labor and be more efficient," Chavez said. "We're going to bury capitalism in Venezuela."

The fact that Venezuela owed the oil service companies $13.8 Billion may have been a factor, providing an immdiate gain. Longer term it probably means that oil production will decline even farther and faster than it already has following nationalization of the oil companies. The actions of Chevez seem likely to discourage foreign investment in Venezuela.

Then, we have the case in the US where the government has coerced Chrysler bondholders of senior debt to give up the collateral owed them in the name of "fairness." Actually this is to make a political payoff to Obama's UAW supporters. Howard Dean explains that we have had enough of capitalism in America. Could it be that the actions of Obama and the pronouncements of Dean will serve to discourage investment in America. As a general rule uncertainty frightens investors.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Obama Administration wants the courts to adopt the interpretation of torture law that was developed by the Bush Administration. Until recently they wanted to try members of the Bush Administration for developing that interpretation. So, this was just another example of the Democrats attempting to criminalize policies of the Republicans. The Democrats follow a scorched earth strategy that Republicans have not yet adopted. When Republicans respond, the country will be on the way to civil war. In the meantime, the Democrats have pushed the country into "Alice in Wonderland," where words (and laws) mean exactly what they want them to, nothing more and nothing less.

Democrats in the Hawaiian Senate has voted to hold an Islam Day. This is the sort of multicultural demonstration that Democrats like. We can hope the Republican governor will veto this outrage. The Senate cites the scientific and cultural contributions of Islam. That is pretty funny. The Islamic culture enslaves and mutilates women, kills gays, chops off people's limbs for minor crimes, and straps bombs on their children and sends them to blow up people they don't like. Scientific achievement seems to have peaked and ended about the time Omar Khayyam solved the cubic equation around 1100 AD.

Last year Barack Obama, John Kerry and other prominent Democrats were outraged because of the immorality of Bush attacks in Afghanistan that were resulting in the deaths of some civilians. Now the Red Cross is complaining about civilian deaths from raids ordered by Obama. The Democrats are no longer outraged. The Democrat's allies in the major news outlets are no longer outraged. There are no peace activists demonstrating. What is different now than last year? How is it that Obama does the same thing Bush did, but there is no longer any outrage? Is it because Obama is just inherently good and Bush was evil? Is it because Obama is black and Bush is white? There must be some reason, otherwise the Democrats are guilty of rank hypocrisy. Surely it is not partisan politics.

Democrats are busy telling a pernicious lie on every TV program I see these days, something to the effect that Japanese were prosecuted and convicted for subjecting POWs to waterboarding. Ann Coulter has investigated this obvious lie. Obvious to anyone who has read about the cruelty of the Japanese, who would not have wasted time with something so trivial as waterboarding as done by the CIA. The Japanese engaged in torture for the fun of it, not to extract information. Years ago I read about the water torture the Japanese used and it didn't involve simulated drowning. Rather it involved sticking a hose down the victim's throat and turning the water on full force. The victim's usually didn't survive. It didn't really matter because the Japanese just wanted a fake confession from him.

This is pretty funny. The British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has banned radio talk host Mike Savage from entering Great Britain. Smith also banned Dutch MP Geert Wilders from entering Great Britain, so Savage is in good company. Smith is very sensitive to the desires of Muslims who do not like people who criticize them. Wilders is a prominent anti-Muslim. I have never heard Savage's radio broadcast, but I would guess that Muslims would not agree with him. (Jacqui Smith would never be confused with Jaclyn Smith, the beautiful actress from Texas.) If Jacqui Smith only knew me, she would honor me by banning me from Great Britain. In fact, she would probably ban most Texans. She might not ban Jaclyn Smith because she has been in Hollywood for 30 years, and may have gone native by now. But, I'll bet the Texas beauties Jannine Turner and Angie Harmon would be banned if Jacqui Smith knew their political beliefs.

Democrats promised Arlen Specter that he would keep his seniority if he switched from the Republican to the Democrat Party. So Specter, being a weasel, switched. Then Harry Reid and the Democrats, being weasels, stripped him of his seniority. So Spector has lost much of the power he had as a Republican. I applaud the Democrats for giving Specter what he deserved.

So-called Liberals (more accurately defined as statists) have long wanted a statist dictator in the White House. I am sure they are happy now that they have one. Obama started as a community organizer in Chicago mau-mauing banks to loan money to people who were unlikely to repay it. Now he has brought Chicago-style political thuggery to Washington.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A lot of people I talk to cannot accept the idea that the Vietnam anti-war movement was run by communists. Many of the people involved in the movement have subsequently described how it worked after they converted from communism. Here is an article on what happened by one of the guys who was on the inside. Democrats think John Kerry was merely a dupe in all of this. I have a less charitable view. I'll accept that Jane Fonda was dumb enough to have been just a dupe.

The CIA made a serious effort to defeat President Bush in the 2004 election. I have discussed that with a lot of people, and most do not believe it. Here is an article on this matter by Jack Kelly. Something that I suspect will surprise most people is the quote from a former agent who says he never met a Republican in the CIA. Kelly discusses how Obama and the Democrats have demoralized the CIA. I like the comment from the French agent that it is no longer a question of barbarians at the gates, but Obama has told the barbarians that there are no gates.

(By the way, the Dr. Jack Wheeler mentioned by Kelly is an adventurer who worked for Reagan, and is sometimes creditied with being the author of Reagan's plan to defeat the Soviet Union with "Star Wars." I don't know much about him except that he is an Indiana Jones type adventurer, is a conservative, and is roundly disliked by Liberals. Many of them were really distressed by the fall of the Soviet Union, and they hold a grudge.)

I have written before about the sweetheart deal the Obama Administration is giving to the terrorist al-Marri. Here are comments on this from Powerline. I wondered why al-Marri was given such a good deal. I thought it was because Obama and Holder are just naturally predispositioned to be sympathetic to terrorists. Holder was involved in getting pardons for a lot of terrorists under the Clinton Administration, many of whom would not express regret for their past actions. (Holder also was instrumental in getting a pardon for the racketeer Marc Rich, who's ex-wife had contributed a lot of money to Clinton.) Obama and Holder also, I think, feel like al-Marri was mistreated because he was locked up for years without charges because Bush was fighting a war against terrorists. Powerline thinks, and I agree, that Obama and the Democrats (with a few exceptions like Lieberman) do not think there is a war with Muslim extremists, and that terrorism should be treated as a criminal matter. John Kerry voiced that opinion during the 2004 election when he said in effect that we should not have responded militarily to the 9/11 attacks, and that we should just "take the hits." If Obama turns al-Marri loose and he resumes his terrorist activities it will look very bad for Obama. Therefore I expect that al-Marri will be confined for at least a few years; long enough for him not to be a threat to Obama.

Here is a story from Australia about the cost and income from installation of a rooftop photovoltaic electric generation system. It appears that the system would not be economical without heavy government subsidy. The owner appears to think that the government should pay for all of the electricity produced, not just the excess power fed into the electric grid. According to her analysis it would take 8 to 10 years for payback even with the government paying for all power produced, even considering the government's subsidy of the original installation price. For people in North Texas insurance would be another consideration: roofs get destroyed by hail here every few years, and the hail would surely destroy the solar cell array.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Obama says he wants a candidate for Supreme Court Justice Souter's position who has "empathy." That seems to be an odd requirement for someone whose job is to interpret the Constitution. It seems to me that this is an appeal for a person who will attempt to legislate from the bench, who will find previously undiscovered "rights" in the Constitution. Carol Platt Liebau asks the excellent question, "Empathy for whom?" The mother or the unborn baby: the murderer or the victim's family?

The Muslim Brotherhood hopes to take over Western Europe by demographic change resulting from a much higher birthrate for Muslims than for native Europeans. Demographic trends can be a bit tricky as indicated in this article, so the plan may not work as well in the future as it has been working so far. The birthrate for Muslim women may fall dramatically after some time in the west as they have more access to education and to contraceptives. The Muslim Brotherhood is going to have to keep the women isolated if they want their conquest plan to succeed, and they do attempt to prevent assimilation of Muslims in the west. And, the birthrate for white women in the west is rising. These are encouraging developments, but I am still concerned about the conflict with Islam.

Acorn is accused of voter fraud in Nevada. There's not much new here. Once Acorn gets the $4 billion from Obama this sort of thing can be avoided.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Here is a view of what Obama is doing to change America. I suspect socialists will think it is change for the better. It appears that most people in America will agree. If the majority of Americans are not socialists, they soon will be. When Obama's policies don't work George Bush and blue-eyed white guys will be blamed.

Flopping Aces has an excellent discussion of Whitaker Chambers and how his book "Witness" relates to the age of Obama. Liberals and Democrats have long vilified Chambers because his testimony sent the liberal golden boy, and secret communist, Alger Hiss to jail for spying for the Soviet Union. Even though information obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union verified Hiss's guilt, liberal Democrats still cling to the lie that Hiss was not a spy, and was not responsible for Roosevelt giving in to Stalin at Yalta. Liberal Democrats also deny that FDR's New Deal was populated with communists. McCarthy had it right, but was a bit late because Truman had quietly purged many of the communists from government. Flopping Aces points out the similarity of Obama's actions and the approach used by communists. I don't know that Obama is a communist, or a Marxist, or a Fascist, or a Muslim. But he is some sort of totalitarian. Maybe a new type, but a budding totalitarian nevertheless. Obama has basically declared in recent statements that the rule of law no longer applies, that the USA is no longer a Christian nation, and that business is no longer in control (which I take that to mean that the USA is no loner a capitalist nation).

I wonder why we can't build things like this in America any more? With the Democrats firmly in control of all aspects of government the focus in on "social justice" rather than in creating wealth. The result is going to be less and less to equally divide amongst everyone.

Friday, May 01, 2009

In his last press conference, Obama, in his arrogant style, fabricated a Churchill quote to the effect that the English do not torture. Several people have tried to find the quote, to no avail because as far as experts about Churchill know, he never said it. The quote was silly in any event because it is well known that the British tortured people a lot more than the Bush Administration has been accused of. Particularly, the captured IRA terrorists were often treated very badly. Neo-neocon has done some research on the matter here. It strikes me that MI5's use of the threat of death against German spies was what I would define as torture. The fact that they executed 16 spies seems to me to have made the threat very credible. That tactic worked well against German spies, but I don't think it would have worked with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, even if one of his comrades had been killed in front of him. Given his strong religious belief he would probably have been happy to have been made a martyr. It is juvenile to think that "good cop, bad cop" would have worked with him. I believe that these Democrat former interrogators I see on TV claiming they could have "broken" KSM without coercion are deceiving themselves. It reminds me of a former boxer I knew who was convinced he would have beaten boxing Heavyweight Champ Joe Louis if he could only have gotten a fight with him. He based this on a match he had with Billy Conn in which he was ahead on points when Conn knocked him out "with a lucky punch." Billy Conn later lost twice to Louis in closely contested matches. My friend was convinced that he would have beaten Louis, but in reality it was unlikely (particularly since he, like Conn, was a Light-Heavyweight rather than a true Heavyweight like Louis). Similarly, I see no reason to think the non-coercive interrogators would have gotten anything out of KSM. After all, the guys who did interrogate KSM didn't go to coercive tactics until they concluded that KSM was not going to provide any information.

The other really stupid thing that the Democrats (and RINO John McCain) are saying is that the information gained may be false. Will that is a shock. I wonder if it ever occurred to them that information obtained over tea might also be false, and, in fact, is even more likely to be false. It should be obvious to anyone that any intelligence information could be false. If these interrogators think that they can tell when someone is lying, they are really kidding themselves.

A Frenchwoman has a message for Obama: France is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. Too much regulation, too high taxes, too much government control, too low growth as a result. I don't think Obama will take the hint.

The attorney who prosecuted the first set of World Trade Center bombers has declined to participate in an Obama charade regarding what to do with terrorist detainees. The point that Obama and Holder have already announced what they plan to do is a good one. It is interesting that McCarthy asserts that what Obama plans to do appears to be against the law.

Jon Steward, a not very smart liberal who is relied on to provide the news by a lot of liberals recently declared that President Truman was a war criminal for ordering that nuclear weapons be used on the Japanese. I am mystified as to why anyone takes Stewart seriously, but apparently many people do. And, the people appear to be as ignorant of history as our current President. Here is a video describing the circumstances surrounding the use of nuclear weapons on Japan. I doubt that Stewart are any other far left-winger will be impressed by this, or moved to change his opinion.