Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I saw something on TV today about an interview with Gore Vidal. Apparently Vidal, once a supporter of Obama, is disappointed with him, and predicts that the United States under Obama will be a dictatorship within a few years. I haven't read the interview, but think Vidal's prediction could come true if Democrats are nor soundly beaten in the 2010 Congressional elections.

The energy policy of the United States is in a sad state. With President Obama and his Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu in charge, the situation will get worse. Chu is a particle physicist who is alleged to have studied global warming for years, but who appears to have no practical knowledge of industrial energy production. Here is an article discussing Chu's lack of qualification of his current position.

GE supported Obama and the Democrats, and they expect a payoff with the cap and trade bill. Immelt probably doesn't know or care whether or not the AGW hypothesis is correct. If he can get government regulations that aid GE, and thus his bonus, then he is happy. If the legislation destroys the economy it matters not to Immelt, since he will be doing fine. Here is a discussion of one thing GE will gain from the proposed cap and trade legislation.

Since early in Obama's Presidential election campaign it has been apparent to me that his goal for the Mideast is to force nuclear disarmament on Israel as the price for Iran giving up nuclear bomb ambitions. This always seemed like an impossible fantasy to me. Powerline has a discussion about this.

One curious aspect of contemporary politics in America is the way in which the Democrats have managed to convince most people that the Republicans are the party of the rich. In reality most of the super rich are Democrats, including the Wall Street leaders that the Democrats publically revile. Those rich people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates support increasing taxes on "the rich" which they can easily evade. Here is an article that discusses how the prominent economists like Paul Volcker and Larry Summers that the Obama campaign bragged about having as advisers are now being ignored by the Obama team. The rich Wall Street leaders who vouched for the soundness of Obama's economic plans are now concerned. Obama's policies are clearly intended to radically change life in America by establishing an authoritarian collectivist government. Obama is not governing as he campaigned, and in fact he thinks he has a mandate to rule rather than govern. The comments made by Walter Lippman in 1937 that are referred to in the article are clearly applicable today. Lippman lumps communists, socialists, fascists, progressives, and even liberals together into the authoritarian collectivist category. Obama is clearly an authoritarian collectivist.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The United States is in decline economically, militarily, spiritually, and ever other way. Obama sees his Presidential role as overseeing and abetting that decline. I'm hopeful that the country will find another Reagan-like figure to turn things around, but I'm not optimistic. It is ironic that as the US turns toward statism, if not fascist socialism, Europe appears to be moving right. Here is an article from Neo Neocon that suggests that socialist Europe cannot exist without capitalist America and America's military umbrella. The Europeans may realize that the Pax Americana is over, and that they may soon have to fend for themselves. I think there is merit in this reasoning.

One of Hillary Clinton's fund raisers was sentenced to 24 years for violating campaign finance laws. Hillary was no doubt unaware of his activities, though she was glad to get the money. Hsu apparently also skimmed off some money for himself. That is probably why he got sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Here is more about Obama's brilliant literary work. He was fortunate to have "just a guy in the neighborhood," Bill Ayers, who actually is a brilliant writer. (No matter the unsavory aspects of Bill Ayers, he is talented.) As it says in the article, no matter what people say now, history will record that Obama was a fake who lied about writing his autobiography. Here is another story about Obama and Ayers.

Politicians talk about "green" energy as if were a panacea that will cure everything that ails our society. They reveal how little they understand technology. To hear leftists tell it we would all be living in a garden of Eden if only evil oil companies had not cruelly prevented the development of "renewable" energy. They have no understanding of the role of capital in producing energy, and seem to think society would be better off if less energy were used. Here is a discussion about the importance of energy density. More density is better. Nuclear energy has very high density; wind has very low density, and solar has even less. Here is the article.

There are a lot of public schools around the country that are teaching the students to lionize Obama. Here is another one that was reported by Flopping Aces.

When Muslims have a prayer day at the US Capitol, it would be interesting to know what percentage of them are praying for the destruction of the US. European countries are having some trouble with the Muslim immigrants, who are not attempting to assimilate, but rather are attempting to take over countries with just some veiled threat of violence. The US has not succumbed to this yet, but has given in to Muslims by accommodating them in minor ways, that are actually against the laws of the US. The people of the US must start to insist that Shariah Law not be implemented in any fashion in the US. Here is an article on this crucially important matter by Frank Gaffney.

Barack Obama has a huge ego; everything is about him. It appears to me that he is endangering the security of the United States with his attempt to make himself popular with all of the world's dictators and tyrants. He is in a constant campaign mode rather than governing America. Apparently he is running for leader of the entire world. He hosted a UN meeting on proliferation of nuclear weapons, but refused to confront Iran in the meeting. Even the President of France is frustrated by Obama's narcissism.

Thomas Sowell is a conservative writer that I like a lot. Here is a column he wrote explaining that having really smart people running the government often doesn't work out well. This article talks about the demise of Argentina, something that I often cite to illustrate how socialism, in Argentina the fascist variety, leads to anarchy and financial ruin. As the article points out, Argentina was one of the richest nations in the world in 1900, but went into decline and collapsed into chaos under the fascist dictator Peron.

Little Ernie Lynch grew up to be a murderous thug known as Che Guevara. (His father said he had Irish Rebel blood flowing in his veins.) A lot of people these days are referred to as "worse than Hitler," such as Richard Nixon and George Bush. This is really ridiculous of course. But a case can be made that Che was truly worse than Hitler. He murdered a larger percentage of the population of Cuba than Hitler did of the population of Germany. Now a lot of left-wing intellectuals and Hollywood types idolize Che, despite the fact that he was a mass murderer. This says something about those people, and it is not good. Here is an article about Che.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama is credited with having written two books. The first was brilliant, the second pedestrian. Many literary experts have concluded that the first book was written by Bill Ayers, who is recognized as an excellent writer. The second book, which is not so good, was apparently actually written by Obama, who appears to have little talent for writing. I would say that Obama is ahead of John Kennedy because I suspect that both Of Kennedy's books were written by someone else, possibly Ted Sorenson. Here is a discussion about the question of who wrote Obama's highly acclaimed autobiography.

Here from Strata Sphere is more about the problems with the data that show that the earth has been warming at an unprecedented level recently. I have long been concerned because the agencies gathering global temperature data were unwilling to share their data or the methods they used to massage the raw data, which did not show significant warming before massaging. Now it turns out that the owners of the data no longer have the raw data, or a record of which data they used in their analysis.

A. J. Strata worked for NASA in a job that sounds similar to what I did. PhD types are frequently liberals who believe in something for nothing, and the Program Managers want to believe them. System engineers are necessary to keep things in balance. The UN IPCC doesn't seem to have any system engineers, nor do national governments. They want to believe in global warming because they can use it to advance their political agenda.

Flopping Aces has a good article about how scientists admit that climate change is being used to advance political goals. They don't know how much effect man is having, but they can conjure up scare stories that convince people to cede more control to governments.

Here is a little political humor on how liberals need to deal with angry conservatives.

Liz Cheney is a rising star in Republican circles. Of course she is anathema to Democrats. I have not verified this, but I read that the three top Republican politicians, Liz Cheney, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin have five children each. Democrats don't seem to like women to have children; maybe one or two, but not so many. Maybe Democrats think they are sending the wrong message to young women. Maybe that is why they vilify these three Republican women.

The Texas election on 3 November will have 11 Constitutional Amendment Propositions. These propositions are often worded so that they are hard to understand. I urge people to vote for three of the propositions. (I haven’t figured out exactly what the implications are for some the others.)

I favor No.2 which requires that a person’s primary residence be appraised based on its homestead value rather than the “highest and best use” standard. My view is that the local government authorities should not be able to tax people out of their homes. If a developer buddy of the mayor wants granny’s property, he should pay granny what it is worth to her, rather than having the city increase taxes so high that granny can’t afford her home and is forced to sell. (That has happened, for example, in Dalworthington Gardens just south of where I live.)

I favor Proposition No. 4 which creates a path for seven colleges in Texas to become Tier 1 Research Institutions. At present Texas only has three (Texas, Texas A&M, and Rice). I’m not sure about which ones the seven colleges are, but Houston, UTA, and Texas Tech are included. Houston and Texas Tech would probably reach Tier 1 status almost immediately. Texas definitely needs more than three Tier 1 Universities. The state has far more top students than the current three Tier 1 Universities can accommodate.

I favor Proposition No. 11 which strengthens eminent domain protection for property owners. Government entities are using eminent domain to aid private developers, a practice upheld by the Supreme Court in the Kelo Case (where property was seized, but no development has occurred).
My view is that crony capitalists (who are basically fascists similar to Mussolini, not Hitler) should pay for their own developments rather than having the state seize property for them and effectively raise money for them through bond offerings. If the Jerry Joneses of the world want a $1.2 billion football stadium, they should build it themselves.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here is an article by someone who suggests that AGW may involve scientific fraud. I'm pretty sure that some of that has happened; at least that there has been exaggeration in an effort to create a sense of crisis to move people to take action immediately. This has actually been admitted by some of the advocates of AGW.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In his UN speech yesterday Obama said that it is not possible to make a country democratic by force. Democrats say that often, in fact it seems to be an article of faith for them, but it is factually incorrect. When I was young the United States brought democracy to Italy, France, Germany and Japan through force. I am amazed that many young people do not know that the US fought French and Italian armies, as well as Germans, in North Africa during World War II. Obama is supposed to be a smart guy, but he seems to be ignorant of history, even modern history.

Here, from Neo Neocon, is a good discussion about how democracies fail. Sadly, Obama is doing the very things that cause failure. Also note that Obama is acting like a totalitarian in that he treats his opponents as subversives, rather than as being legitimate actors as George Bush did.

Timmy Geithner said today that the Obama Administration is not socialist because they only take over non-profitable companies whereas socialist governments take over profitable companies. I don’t agree with that position, but accept that as his opinion. Fascists, however, co-opt all means of production and distribution, and that appears to be what Obama is doing. As an example, the Obama Administration has attacked Humana for sending out a letter to their members on Medicare Advantage explaining how Obamacare will reduce their coverage, and has ordered all insurance companies to not comment on the bill. This seems to be a clear violation of Freedom of Speech. Here is a speech to the Senate on this subject made by Mitch McConnell.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When announced, leftists treated the Sarah Palin speech in Hong Kong as a hoax. But it turns out to be real. And many people think the speech went well. Here is a report on the speech.

Obama made a speech to the UN today. For those who missed it I can summarize it briefly. America sucks. George Bush was evil. Everything Bush ever did was wrong. Obama is not Bush. Obama is great. Obama will do the opposite of whatever Bush did, because everything Bush did was wrong. And, in conclusion, America sucks, but Obama "the One" is in charge now, so we surrender.

The message was well received. Later in his speech Quadaffi said he would like to have Obama as his son, and hoped Obama would be President for life. I suspect Obama liked that thought.

The tiny little country of Costa Rico walked out on Ahmadinejad's UN Speech today. Good for them. I guess Israel can see who their friends are. I was a bit surprised that the US walked out. No surprise about the European nations. They have laws against denying the Holocaust. Argentina is still and about Muslims blowing up a synagogue in their country.

Here are some good reasons to question the AGW hypothesis from Australia. This is from the blog by Dr. Jennifer Marohasy and is written by Michael Hammer.(He is an engineer, not a Private Investigator like the American Mike Hammer.) To me, one of the interesting things about the AGW hypothesis is that all climatic events are said to prove the hypothesis. Such as, current droughts and floods in Africa are caused by AGW, as was the extremely cold weather experienced in Europe last winter, and the cold summer in the US this year. (Dr. James Hansen predicted that 2009 would be the hottest year on record. I expect his data will show that it was, even though everyone else thinks it was rather mild.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here is an article about the implications of cancellation of Medicare Advantage. I’m glad the Republicans have finally figured this out. I saw this immediately when I heard about the healthcare reform being partially financed with the Medicare Advantage funding. I think a lot of people will be leaving AARP as this sinks in.

During the last Presidential election the media did not investigate Obama's leftist connections, and in fact deliberately mislead the public about the extent of those connections. Now we have a lot of leftist radicals running the government, while the media still attempt to portray Obama as a moderate. Here is some more about Obama's radical buddies.

I have written before about the Democrat's and the Obama Administration's dislike for freedom of speech, and their efforts to curtail it. Here is another example in which Obama is investigating Humana for a letter opposing his healthcare reform.

Here is a slideshow about the SR-71, a remarkable aircraft that would fly faster than Mach 3. I didn’t work on it, but did work some on the X-15 and had a significant role in the design of the B-70 which originated some of the technology used in the SR-71. I also worked on design of the Space Shuttle Orbiter which flies even faster than the SR-71 or the X-15.

Democrats and leftists in general have a fundamental belief that ordinary people are unable to care for themselves, and that they need elites to govern and make decisions for them. (This desire for "soft despotism" by leftists is why I say they are "regressives" rather than "progressives" as they describe themselves. Notice how they seem to desire royalty as exhibited in their reverence for Kennedy's, and now Obama.) Stephen Chu recently expressed the Administrations contempt for ordinary Americans. Here is discussion from Instapundit.

Obama is a truly rude and insulting man. Here is a discussion from Powerline.

The Democrats have succeeded in convincing most people in America that Republicans are the party of the rich. In reality, Republicans are the party of the middle class while the Democrats are the part of the rich elites, supported by the votes of the poor. The Democrat leaders are statists who like large corporations, and don't like small business. The large corporations naturally support the Democrats who provide favorable regulations for them. This arrangement eventually evolves into fascism, because the politicians eventually take control of the large corporations because they control the legal establishment. Here is some discussion on the myth that Republicans are the party of the rich.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The leftists have worked hard to blame the right wing for all of the political assassinations in the US. They particularly worked hard on the JFK assassination. Neo neocon has a good discussion of this curious phenomena.

Neo Neocon is trying to figure Obama out. I think he is a committed leftist statist who is fundamentally a Marxist, but will settle for establishing the US as a fascist state as the first step. He is also essentially a Con man, since he has not revealed his agenda to the people. If he had, he wouldn't have been elected.

Jennifer Rubin has some comments about Obama's Sunday Morning media blitz. Obama didn't reveal much about what he wants, except that he wants people to quit criticizing him. And, he has a good outside jump shot, so I think he would do well on Dancing With The Stars.

Yesterday I wrote that Russia was not going to deploy the Iskander missile next to Poland after Obama dropped the land based missile shield in Poland. Now a Russian general says that is not necessarily true. My guess is that they will desist because deploying the missiles now would be a threatening move toward Poland. But Russians are not subtle, so you never know. Iskander is a mobile missile system, so they could be rapidly moved anywhere, so this is an academic discussion anyway. This article indicates that Obama plans to deploy ships with the advanced SM-3 missiles, rather than deploying them on land as I previously thought. That seems like a pretty expensive way to go to me, and it limits where the sensor system can be deployed. This is just for show, it doesn't have much strategic value.

Jennifer Rubin has a report on the recent talk by Mitt Romney. I think the comment that Obama and the Democrats think the US is in decline, and they must manage that decline is correct. I believe that US decline is not inevitable, and the policies of our politicians, mostly the Democrats but also some Republicans, threaten to make the decline real.

Obama wants to take over control of the internet. That is not a surprise. Obama wants control of everything. Today I heard that he wants to "bailout" newspapers. The New York Times is having financial difficulty whcih may be why Obama wants a bailout for them. I wonder if Democrats would takeover the writing the editorials? Actually, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference since the NYT is pretty much an organ of the Democrat Party.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I looked at the entire list of Emmy winners, and I had only seen at least one episode of two of the winning shows; Damages and 24. I had never even heard of most of the winners. I'm not sure what that means. I guess I'm out of the main stream.

Obama and the Democrats have never liked missile defense. They think it is de-stabilizing because it frightens our enemies and makes them more belligerent. (Actually, missile defense frightened the Soviets, and made them less belligerent, but reality is not recognized by leftists.) Obama has wanted to cancel the deployment of the missile shield all along, so he has cooked up some reasons for doing so. The reasons stated do not stand up to scrutiny. Then one has to wonder about the tone-deaf timing of Obama's announcement of his decision. Why make the announcement on the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Poland 70 years ago? That is like poking the Poles in the eye. The Poles still have good reason to be afraid of the Russians, and the decision looks to them like the US has abandoned them to the Russians. The Obama Administration says the decision strengthens NATO. I don't think anyone can figure out how that is true. Then they say that Iran is not working on a long-range missile now, but rather is concentrating on Shahab 3, an intermediate range missile. They say that the THAAD system is not proven, and won't be ready for several years. Instead they are going to deploy the advanced SM-3. As it happens, the advanced SM-3 is a paper missile which also won't be ready for several years. The SM-3 is a ship launched missile that uses the Aegis Battle Management system. Thus the radar won't be as good as the THAAD system that would have been deployed in Poland and Czechoslovakia. From the reports I read it appears that the plan is to deploy the SM-3 from land bases. This is obviously something new that has not been proven. I suppose this is a win for Raytheon (the SM-3 supplier), Ted Kennedy, and Massachusetts. It may not be so good for Poland, Europe, or the USA. Here is a discussion of this, with comments by people knowledegable about missile defense who disagree with the decision.

Obama has decided not to deploy the missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia as planned by the Bush Administration. The reason given for the decision was that recent intelligence indicates that Iranians are not moving to develop long range missiles as had been anticipated. It is possible that the Iranians slowed development, if indeed they did, because of the planned deployment of the missile defense system. (It could be noted that US intelligence about what is happening inside totalitarian countries is not very good, and often appears driven by domestic politics.) Russia and Liberals in the US are very happy with the decision, while Poles, Czechs and consevatives in the US are not happy. The Russians apparently did not give up anything in return for the US action. Some think there was a quid pro quo in that the Russians have said that they will not now deploy Iskander missiles along the border of Poland. The Iskander is a mobile short range missile that is about equivalent to the Army TACMS, and has a similar mission which includes suppression of air defense sites. Since the potential targets have been removed, there is no reason to deploy the Iskander, so this Russian action is logical, and has no strategic significance. Here is a view from Poland. Obama may have been popular in Europe during the election, but he won't be as he appeases our enemies and stabs our friends in the back.

Obama was on a lot of Sunday morning talk shows. Mostly he talked rather than answering questions. He claimed that he was unaware that ACORN received any federal funding. Liberals will no doubt say he was telling the truth; if so, then he is merely incompetent.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The United States is going to increase income tax rates to create more jobs. This is contrary to all economic theory. If it works for Obama it will cause all economics texts to have to be re-written. The rest of the world is going the other way, reducing taxes and cutting back on the welfare state, which experience shows leads to secular high unemployment and destruction of the moral fiber of society. Even Sweden, the Mother of welfare states, is now cutting taxes as reported by Powerline.

The proponents of the apocalyptic anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis have been hoping that the world's supply of petroleum would soon be depleted. The hope was that, as the supply dwindled, the cost of petroleum would increase sufficiently so that "green" energy would become cost competitive. This has not been working out well recently. Independent drillers in Texas have figured out how to extract natural gas from deep underground shale formations. This has dramatically increased the supply of natural gas in the USA to the point that reserves are now 2000 trillion cubic feet, and growing. This means that NG will be available at reasonable prices for more than one hundred years. This horizontal drilling, slick water fracturing technique has not been used much in other parts of the world yet, but will undoubtedly vastly increase the world's supply of NG. Then there are the deep water oil wells being drilled around the world as described in the WSJ. This is a big disappointment for the "greens." They also have the problem that the world is now cooling, the computer models that under grid the AGW hypothesis have been shown to have no predictive competence, so they are forced to present ever more hysterical and shrill alarms to call for action. They are now at the point where exercise of raw political power is the only thing that will stop the use of petroleum. Political power starts with science, but ignores scientific uncertainty that particularly exists with new fields of science like climatology. Most politicians have no scientific training or even understanding of science. But, they do like increasing their power.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In the energy/anthropogenic global warming debate the liberal/socialists argue that "renewable/green" energy is free. I have liberal friends with PhD's in engineering who truly believe in "something for nothing." They exhibit this belief in design of missile systems as well as in regards to the energy issue. Regarding renewable energy liberals typically ignore the capital requirement of their "free" energy schemes. Here is an article from the WSJ that discusses why there is "no free lunch." One thing that is not clear to me about the House carbon cap and trade bill renewable energy requirements for the year 2020 is what is meant by the 20% of electricity from renewable sources? Is it installed capacity or is it electricity consumption? There might be a possibility for the former, but the latter is probably not feasible. The reason is that renewable energy systems only provide about 25% of the installed capacity. In Texas 4% of installed capacity is wind turbines, but only 1% of the electricity consumed over a year comes from the wind turbines. The history of wind turbines in Europe is similar, with more than 25% utilization in some places, but less in others.

People have commented that William Ayers does not appear to have a role in the Obama Administration. That may be true, but some equally radical people do have a role according to Glen Beck (a guy a little too off-the-wall for my taste, but who was correct about ACORN). The founders of the Weather Underground were William Ayers and Jeff Jones. (Jeff Jones is a friend of Van Jones, but is not related to him as far as I know.) Jeff Jones was chairman of the Apollo Alliance in New York State. The Apollo Alliance is a radical left-wing group funded by George Soros, and is also related to the Tides Foundation that I recall is funded by Mrs. John Kerry. Jeff Jones is now some sort of czar in the Obama Administration. (Given his terrorist ties it is doubtful he could hold any position requiring Senate confirmation.) According to Harry Reid, the Apollo Alliance wrote the infamous Stimulus Bill passed earlier this year by Congress before anyone read it. Jeff Jones is also involved in writing some version of the healthcare reform bill. Yesterday I saw Senator Olympia Snowe interviewed on TV. She said Obama is a moderate. She seems to be unaware of the people Obama has in his Administration and what they are doing. Snowe says the Republican Party has moved away from her to the right. It is hard to believe that the Party of Reagan was ever as liberal as Snowe is.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama is looking for an IT czar. Must be an American citizen, but Indian accent is a requirement. OK, so this is a bad joke.

The carbon cap and trade bill passed by the House earlier this year will increase energy costs for people in the form of increased revenue to the government. The bill is essentially a tax increase, but is designed to help the rent seekers who supported Obama and punish those who didn't. While everyone agrees that energy costs will be increased, there is disagreement as to the amount. All estimates are purely speculation at this time, since the law of unintended consequences will be a factor if the plan is implemented. For example, I think that the cost of "green" energy will be significantly higher than expected. Then, the bill has a requirement that all houses sold must be in compliance with new energy efficiency standards. Existing homes do not meet those standards, and estimates are that it will cost many thousands of dollars to put houses into compliance. This requirement could make it virtually impossible to sell an existing home. It is hard to estimate what the impact of this would be on society, but is would surely slow home sales, and would create some of what Obama calls "green" jobs for people who install new household appliances, insulate homes, etc. It is generally agreed that the House bill would reduce GDP by about 1% per year. If GDP growth is reduced from 3% to 2%, after 50 years the economy will only be 61% of what it would have otherwise been. That is a significant change. The cost to individuals each year is more contentious. I think that it will be about $1000 per year per person initially. (Advocates of the bill say that poor people would be subsidized by the government, but that just means the cost will be higher for other people.) Here is what the Treasury Department estimates carbon cap and trade will cost.

The Obama Administration is intent on generating much of the electricity used in the US with wind turbines. They do not seem to realize that there are significant technical challenges associated with wind power, nor that the capital investment is prohibitive. They cite European experience as showing the way to wind power without examining the special circumstances in Europe, and the universal lack of success there. Great Britain's wind power program has cratered, Spain's was an economic fiasco, Germany's turned out to not be a good story, and Denmark's supposedly successful program had some special circumstances that don't apply here, and, by the way, is very expensive and needs more government subsidy. Back here in Texas, 4% of the installed electric generating capacity is in wind turbines. But, only 1% of the electricity used in Texas is produced by the wind turbines. And it would be less than that if the electricity were not heavily subsidized by government. Here is an article about the situation in Denmark. The emphasis on wind power rather than nuclear power is another example of the incompetence of the Obama Administration.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dr. Sanity says she will quit medicine if Obamacare is implemented. (My guess is that some watered down version will actually pass, creating ambiguity as to what will actually happen in three years. Despite his urgency to get a law passed, Obama doesn't want any change to go into effect until after the next Presidential election, to reduce the likelihood that dissatisfied people will vote against him.) I wonder how many doctors will actually go "John Galt." Again, it probably depends on what actually is enacted. A more important consideration may be the potential for fewer students to choose medicine for a career. The opinion as to whether or not medical care is a "right" is a fundamental difference between leftists and conservatives (who could also be termed "classical liberals"). Leftists believe in collectivism while conservatives believe in individual liberty. These ideals are opposite sides of the coin; they cannot co-exist indefinitely in any society. Leftists believe that society can make demands on individuals, basically enslaving them, but that doesn't work out well for long because lack of incentive discourages most people from working hard. Why spend 12 years in higher education to get a job in which ingenuity is overwhelmed by bureaucracy. That has been happening in my field of engineering, which is probably why fewer people are going into engineering, as I discussed in my previous post.

Here is some interesting data about graduate engineering degrees in America:

Percentage of doctorate degrees in engineering in the US awarded to foreign students in 1996: 56%.

Percentage of doctorate degrees in engineering in the US awarded to foreign students in 2005: 63%.

(Data source: Congressional Research Service.)

When I was a graduate student in Engineering at the University of Houston back in 1960 I was the only American that was a full-time student. The rest were foreigners mostly from third world countries. The foreign students had full scholarships from their home country. There were American graduate students but they were part-timers, many of whom eventually graduated. Most of the foreign students stayed in the USA after graduation. Apparently that was OK with their governments. They may have returned home after working here for a while, at least a lot of the Chinese did. It appears that the number of American engineers is still declining. I would say that this is because engineering is not a particularly good career path for Americans. There is a lot more money to be made on Wall Street.

OneCosmos has some interesting discussion about Friedrich Hayek's masterpiece The Road to Serfdom, and fascism. I like the Sgt Friday video at the end of the piece. I think that Obama's philosophy is Marxist. But, like Mussolini before him, he realizes that total destruction of society as communism requires (and was carried out in Russia by Lenin and Stalin, in China by Mao, and in Cuba by Castro) is not a good idea, and co-opting control of the means of production works better than taking ownership by force. I think Obama is attempting to put us on the road to serfdom. (It has been a long time since I read Hayek's book. I recommend that everyone read it. It is still timely even though it was written 65 years ago.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Strata-Sphere has a story on satellite measurements of carbon dioxide levels around the world. Some people may be surprised to learn that North America is a CO2 sink. That has been known for some time. Air flows from the west across America. Measurements show that the CO2 level of air coming in from the west is higher than the CO2 level leaving on the east coast. There is a lot of CO2 generated in the US, but North America has far more forest area than any other part of the world. That huge forest absorbs more CO2 than is generated by the population. That North America is a CO2 sink has been well known, but has been ignored by the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis believers because it does not support their agenda of destroying the economy of America.

Here is someone else who thinks Obama is "The Manchurian Candidate." Horowitz thinks George Soros is the puppet master pulling the strings. Sounds right to me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here is a discussion of why the media have been forced to "shed their figleaves" and reveal that they are almost all leftist ideologues

Obama is going to meet with Iran. Iran will not discuss their nuclear program, so it is not clear to me why we would have the meeting. Some suggest that Iran will offer us terms of surrender. I assume Iran doesn't expect us to surrender unconditionally, but then they have a better read on Obama than I do. I expect that Obama will not let us in on whatever secret agreements he makes. Maybe he will tell Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but I doubt he'll tell the Republican memebers of Congress.Melanie Phillips has some thoughts on what America faces with a liberal that dislikes America in the White House.

The Obama Administration appears to be intent on repeating the mistakes of the Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt Administrations during the Great Depression. They are raising taxes, restricting trade, and spending huge amounts of money on pork barrel projects that do not improve productivity of the economy.

If a government wants less of something they put an extra tax on it. The Obama Administration wants to put an additional tax on medical devices, as reported in the blog Tigerhawk. The tax will put an extra expense on people using medical services, and thus increase healthcare costs. But, the tax will discourage the development of new lifesaving devices and techniques, which appears to be the actual objective.

Next week will mark the 50th anniversary of the first powered flight of the X-15, piloted by Scott Crossfield. That was my first time to experience the first flight of something I had worked on (though, in this case, only briefly). Of course in those days there was not the sort of TV coverage of test flights that we had later. There were some engineers throwing confetti in the air, etc. Years later I arranged an AIAA meeting where Crossfield spoke, and we talked about the days at North American while the X-15 was being designed. He pretended to recognize me, but there was no reason why he should since I had only spoken with him a few times in the hallway. Crossfield was tragically killed in a plane crash a few years ago. He was still piloting airplanes even though he must have been well into his 80's by that time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

John Updike was a thoughtful liberal, and a true intellectual. There is a lot of difference in him and most leftists. Here from neo neocon is an article about Updike's view of war. Maybe I like his view because it matches my own. I was concerned about Bush's war with Saddam because I thought the ensuing guerrilla war would last for years, but I understood that he was attempting to avoid a wider and far more destructive war. I am sad now because I think Obama is stumbling toward that wider, more destructive war. Our enemies are more likely to attack us when we appear to have a weak leader than when we have a strong leader. It would have been better to cut down Hitler before he gained strength. The same applied to Iraq and applies to Iran.

The Democrat political organs (aka the US media) barely noticed the protest march in Washington today. They reported that scores of people showed up. An English newspaper reported that there were over two million. Apparently the English newspapers are not in the Obama camp.

Larry Summers, Obama's financial adviser, expects unemployment to remain high for at least the next several years. Strata-Sphere has the story. This is not suprising to me. Obama wants to transform the USA economy into a European-style socialist state. In Europe double digit unemployment is the norm, so we should expect that here as Obama implements his agenda.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama's diplomacy has failed in North Korea. I expect his foreign policy to collapse totally. The rest of the world didn't like Bush, but they were a bit afraid of him. They are laughing at Obama, and are becoming contemptuous of him and the US. That is not good for the country.

I have never been impressed by the speaking ability of Barack Obama, starting with the first speech I heard him make at the 2004 Democrat convention. His entire snake oil salesman approach with its strawman arguments and false choices does not impress me. But, it seem that most Americans, and maybe most people in the world, are impressed. I would like to see a poll on whcih people are impressed. I suspect that most blacks are, as are most leftists and liberals. This includes most people in the media. I may be wrong, but I suspect that most Texans are not so much impressed. Here is an analysis of the content of Obama speeches.

Pamela Geller is excited because Obama is going to have our folks pray with Muslims on 9/11. I wonder what the Muslims will pray for. I suspect some will pray for the destruction of the USA. Most of them seemed to be quite happy about the attacks on the USA back on 9/11/01, and I doubt that they have changed their opinion.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The United States got behind the eightball in Vietnam because the President attempted to run the war from Washington. For example, artillery batteries were told by Washington how many rounds they could fire each day. After that allotment was fired, they could no longer provide fire support to troops under attack. As a result, many troops died who would have lived if they had been properly supported. This sort of management from the top is ingrained in the psyche of Democrats, so we can expect to see it implemented in Afghanistan, which will lead to us losing the war there. Here is a report on a recent ambush of American troops that succeeded because of no artillery or air support. Note that the civilians in the area were helping the Taliban, which makes them combatants. The Democrats have trouble realizing that war is hell, and that killing people on the other side is necessary in order to win. The idea is to kill them without having troops on your side killed. Bush demanded that our troops in Iraq be careful, but he did let themdefend themselves.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thomas Sowell has noticed something that I have commented on before, namely that the proposed healthcare reform (or whatever it is being called today) is not scheduled to go into effect until after the 2012 election. Like Sowell, I assumed that the reason was so people would not feel the adverse effects until after Obama is reelected. Sowell also wonders why Obama wanted to pass the bill before August since it doesn't go into effect for years. Here are Sowell's comments.

It's funny how the reaction of the media to events depends on which political party is in charge. Obama is considering increasing the troop level in Afghanistan and the media hardly notices. There are no anti-war protests going on anywhere. We can all remember that when Bush increased troop levels there were a lot of protests that were covered by the media, who were skeptical of the wisdom of Bush's actions. But now a Democrat is in the whitehouse so there is little interest. Something similar has happened with regards to Obama's speech to schoolchildren. It appeared to me that the main complaints were not with the speech itself, but rather with the study material the Department of Education was putting out. That material appeared to be primarily about the aggrandisement of Obama himself, adding to the concern that Obama is attempting to create a cult of personality. The media went a bit crazy, complaining that the Republicans had gone paranoid, and reminding us that the first President Bush had also made a speech to schoolchildren (though without the study material). The media failed to mention the Democrat reaction to the Bush speech, which included congressional investigation. Here is a report from Powerline.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama has a lot more czars with weird ideas than Van Jones. Cass Sunstein, for example, is a vegetarian who doesn't think people should eat meat. In his position as head of regulations or something he will be able to pursue his goal of eliminating cattle ranching. I have read that he intends to that using the endangered species act. I guess their are endangered species that cattle grazing harms, somehow. Reality doesn't matter for extreme environmentalists like Sunstein. I wonder if Obama has thought about the trouble it would cause with people in "fly-over country" if Sunstein managed to stop beef production.

The Chinese communists learned that communism doesn't work from their and Russia's experiment it. But the US Congress and Barack Obama learned nothing as they watched communism collapse. They are certain that they can make communism work. They can create a system in which all experience the same economic outcome without just making everyone equally bad off as happened in Russia and China. Here is an interesting discussion on this situation in which the US is embracing socialism as China adopts free markets.

The left has at its base the assumption that all people are equal. Not that all people should have equal opportunity, as the right in America believes, but that they are actually equal. That this is so obviously not true either physically or intellectually creates a problem for the left. The left also has issues with the role of science in society. The right believes that science should be used to overcome nature while the left believes that nature is more important than mankind. Here is a long article discussing this issue.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Some are asking how someone with the beliefs that Van Jones has could be appointed to a position as a Whitehouse czar. The answer is simple: Obama was not disturbed by Jones's being a communist, accusing whites of poisoning blacks, etc. Jones fit right in with Obama's crowd. Here is some discussion of this.

There is a body of opinion that says that a country in which government spending is over 30% of GDP is not free. If that metric is correct, then we are now in danger here in America because under Obama government spending is 40% of GDP, heading to 50%.

Barack Obama plans to completely re-order American society; to build a new economy on the model of modern European socialist nations. He claimed that he didn't intend to take over car companies, etc. but was forced to by the bad economy. Jennifer Rubin has a good summary of what has gone wrong. I agree with her that he may still succeed.

Van Jones, the "green jobs" czar has resigned. But, leftists can take heart because there are plenty of Marxists and other folks with weird ideas left among Obama's czars. In fact, Jones's agenda is pretty much just standard black racist Marxist stuff rather than weird stuff. As far as I am aware he didn't entertain thoughts of mass sterilization or forced abortions like Science Adviser Holdren, or allowing lawsuits to be brought on behalf of animals like Cass Sunstein. Regarding green jobs, that is probably one czar we don't need since green jobs are so bad for the economy since they amount to a political allocation of resources that history shows is always sub-optimal. The history of green jobs in Europe is not promising. As any competent analysis would predict, green jobs are not economical and green power will always cost more than conventional sources at current commodity cost levels. Spain has aggressively pursued green energy, and it hasn't worked out well, though they won't admit that officially. George Will recently commented on this.

Climate modellers are beginning to admit that there are some shortcomings in their models. The global warming doomsayers are also becoming concerned that the world is now cooling, and that could cause further loss of public support for the UN IPCC plan to socialize the world. Here is discussion of the matter.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Here is another writer (Miguel Guanipa) who observes that Obama uses manufactured crises and scare tactics in an attempt to rush through his socialist agenda. Guanipa thinks that Obama believes that only through socialism can black people achieve equality of outcome. This may actually be true. The problem with the approach, as a Chinese soldier said about his country's embrace of communism, "We achieved true equality, everyone was equally bad off." I think Obama would be thrilled with that outcome; maybe something like Castro's Cuba. (Keep in mind that in 1958 Cuba had a higher standard of living than most of Europe, and declined rapidly after the Communists took over.)

I have tried to figure out if Obama is a Marxist or a fascist. Here is an article by someone who grew up in Hitler's Germany who argues that Hitler was actually a communist rather than a fascist, and that Obama is also a communist. Fascism does not seem to intrude onto the lives of ordinary citizens to anywhere near the extent that communism does, and life in Hitler's Germany was more like that in a communist country. Communists want to destroy capitalism (which Hitler said was his objective) while the fascists seem content with control over the means of production rather than taking outright ownership. I think Obama realizes that converting the United States into a communist country without outright warfare is impossible, but that we already are half-way to a fascist state. So, it would seem logical it is possible to push the USA into a fascist dictatorship through the existing electoral process. (It might be necessary to wait for replacement of a conservative on the Supreme Court with a leftist.) It would be necessary to have a series of crises to induce people to give more power to the state but that should be doable by artificially creating crises. Someone (we don't know who, but George Soros is a good bet to have been involved) withdrew over $500 billion from the US money market in an hour or so in September 2008, creating a severe financial panic that would have brought down the financial system of the world without swift action by the Bush Administration. Now Obama tells us that healthcare is in crisis, and that the government needs to take over healthcare immediately, without any discussion about what is being done. (Taking over healthcare is always a first step for socialists in attempts to take over a nation.) Then there is the proclaimed anthropogenic global warming crisis that Obama says can only be solved by the government taking over the production of energy. (Maurice Strong and the others in the group that set up the UN IPCC saw using global warming as a means of destroying Western Civilization, and setting up a worldwide socialist government.) Van Jones, the black racist and communist who is Obama's "Green Jobs Czar," has said that he sees global warming as the way to destroy capitalism. The battle for the future of America will be fought in Congress this Fall. If Obama is not successful in establishing government control over the US economy this year, look for him to create more artificial crises next year.

The UN has given Fidel Castro a hero medal. This is one more indication that the UN is a useless organization. Here is an article about this, along with some stuff about how Obama likes communists and doesn't like anti-communists.

Here is more about the relationship between Ted Kennedy and Yuri Andropov. Ted Kennedy showed poor judgement in that case, as he frequently did at other times. His acolyte John Kerry had a similar tendency to engage in near treasonous activities as in his discussions with the Viet Cong in Paris, and his forays into Nicaragua. In fact, it is a characteristic of the far left Democrats that they consider Republicans to be more dangerous than ommunist dictators. They like America's foes who are collectivists (socialists or communists) better than their true enemies, the capitalists.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Birds of a feather flock together. That no doubt explains why the Obama Administration is aligning with all of the communist dictators in calling for the deposed communist President Zelaya of Honduras to be restored to his office. He was kicked out for violation of the Honduran Constitution when he tried to hold an illegal special election to effectively make himself President for life. (He already had the ballots counted so he was certain of the outcome. No wonder Democrats like his style.) Obama and Hillary Clinton now say they won't recognize the results of the regularly scheduled Honduran election this Fall. That is odd, since according to the Honduran Constitution, Zelaya is not eligible to run for office again. It may be that Obama doesn't think the Honduran Constitution is Constitutional, or something like that. Obama does not seem to think much of Constitutions, but does seem to like the sound of President for Life, something much desired by communist dictators. Here are neo neocon's comments on this undemocratic stance by the Obama Administration.

Sir James Dyson thinks the West needs more engineers. I agree with him, though like him, I have a vested interest since I am an engineer. In this article he discusses how people go into finance in the west. That is because they can make a lot of money in finance. At Goldman Sachs the average bonus this year was $700,000. Engineers are relatively well paid, but they do not make anything near that. Goldman Sachs makes money somehow, but it is not by actually producing anything. Dyson talks about the lunar landing program, something that I worked on for many years. It was a challenge, but was also a lot of fun.

The current US Administration has turned its back on traditional US allies, and has attempted to embrace our enemies. The policy does not appear to be productive. Obama clearly wants to withdraw support of Israel. Here is an article that discusses the need to protect Israel as a line of defence for ourselves. As the article discusses, the leftists in the US and Europe do not want to defend us from our enemies. The reason for their position is debatable, whether they are merely pacifists or are anti-capitalists (and thus opposed to individual freedom). I tend toward the latter explanation.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Castro has a lot to thank the Kennedy's for. Here is an article discussing the reasons. JFK ran one of the most dishonest Presidential campaigns in history, much as LBJ did four years later. The Kennedy's are mostly a myth, created by a fawning media bought by old Joe's money.

The public tends to think that scientists, particularly Nobel Laureates, are knowledgeable about all facets of science. The truth is that, while they tend to be highly intelligent, they are truly expert in only one or two rather narrow fields. The whole business of global warming (or climate change) involves a multitude of scientific disciplines all of which it is impossible for one person to have mastered. The result is a collaboration of a great many people, all of whom are trusting that the others are correct in their assessments which are necessarily deficient because of the authors incomplete knowledge of the entire system. Here is an article that discusses this issue that the UN IPCC has not addressed.

Yesterday I wrote about the Thunder Horse oil field in the Gulf of Mexico about 200 miles south of New Orleans. When I first heard of that field from friends in Houston a few years ago, it was called Crazy Horse. But that name was decided to be politically incorrect since some American Indians might possibly be offended by it, so the named was changed to the less offensive Thunder Horse.

People in the media used to say that Reagan was dumb. (I suppose that is because all collectivists/progressives/socialists/communists think that those who disagree with their philosophy must be mentally deficient.) Here is something that Reagan said in 1961 (I got this from Newsmax):

Reagan said: "One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”

I thought Reagan showed a lot of wisdom, which is a different property than raw intelligence. For example, Obama may be highly intelligent, but he seems to lack wisdom.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

There has been another huge oil find in the Gulf of Mexico called Tiber. It is thought this well may access as much as 3 to 6 billion barrels of oil. No one know yet how much this well will produce, but there are hopes that it will rival the deep Gulf of Mexico oil well, Thunder Horse, which is producing 300,000 barrels of oil per day. That is about half of the daily production from Alaska. Naturally critics say this won't do much for the US oil supply since the country uses about 17 or 18 million barrels per day. Democrats must hate this, and will no doubt move to prevent further drilling.

It is hard to know when someone is near death. The experts are often wrong. My grandmother lived well for several years after the doctor predicted that the end was near for her. Deciding what to do regarding treatment of a seriously ill elderly person is a difficult decision, and not one I would like to made according to a set of guidelines established by bureaucrats, not matter how well intentioned they may be. Here is a discussion of how this is currently handled by the National Health Service in Great Britain.

It appears that the French have decided to blame the crash of the Airbus into the ocean off of Brazil on the pilots.
That is not an unusual development. Blaming the aircraft might have hurt sales. I have noticed in the past that the architecture of the Airbus flight control system is not robust. Then there is the matter of training pilots. Training of American airline pilots has been superior to that of most foreign airlines.

In much of the world refrigerators with "green" refrigerants are widely used. The isobutane refrigerant is explosive, so, unlike with the freon refrigerants used in the US, leaks can be dangerous. It seems that a few spectacular explosions of refrigerators have happened in Great Britain. The industry spokeswoman says the explosions are very, very rare. I'm sure that makes people feel better about having one in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Obama Adviser Jim Jones says the US is now capturing more terrorists than was the case under Bush. I presume those captured are being read their Miranda rights, but where are those presumably several hundred people being held?

Obama likes Islam. We already knew that. He said that in crunch time, he would come down on the side of the Muslims. Here is Obama's latest comment on Islam.

The Obama Administration has brought Chicago-style "pay-to-play" to Washington. If you are connected good things will happen. You don't even have to be American if you hire guys connected to Obama. Here is an example.

One of the great lies of Obama and the leftists Democrats is that preventive healthcare will save money. I think preventive care is a good idea for individuals to protect their own health, but it is doubtful that it will save money for the population in aggregate. Here is an article discussing this issue.

The most hated women in America are Republicans Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Liz Cheney. I just thought of something else they have in common besides being attractive, Republicans, and hated by leftists, the media and Democrats, and that is that they each have five children. Do Democrats and leftists hate them simply because they didn't have abortions?

Obama frequently says contradictory things, often in the same speech. Yet the media seem uninterested in reporting on his lies. He is a master at misdirection, and the media seem to have not figured it out yet, or they as basically spinners for the Obama and the Democrats. Here is an article discussing the Prince of Liars.

Below is an article from Heritage Foundation about Obama's Carbon Cap and Trade plan.

Don't Forget About Renewable Energy Mandates

Waxman-Markey proposes a new national tax of historic proportions

Related Links

Waxman-Markey's Effect on Gas Prices in Your State

Cap and Trade Sentence of the Day

Heritage's Research on the Cap and Trade Global Warming Bill

It’s easy to forget that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill is not just about cap and trade. There are a number of other problematic provisions buried in the 1,427 pages of legislation. Cap and trade should receive the most attention because it’s the most economically devastating part of the bill, but Waxman-Markey also includes a renewable electricity standard that mandates 6 percent of the nation’s electricity come from renewable sources, chiefly wind energy but also others like biomass and solar, by 2012. The mandate increases each year until it reaches 25 percent by 2025. It’s a provision that’s had a difficult time moving through Congress in previous bills.

Wind and solar power are promising ideas. They are renewable and clean, and parts of the U.S. are very rich in solar and wind resources. But right now it costs far too much money to generate energy from these sources. Established energy sources like nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas are far more efficient. If any renewable energy source is economically competitive (free of government subsidies that create government dependence), it will have its place in the market, but it’s not up to the government to pick winners and losers among energy sources. Doing so could crowd out energy sources we haven’t even discovered yet.

Government subsidies for renewable energy are only necessary because renewables are too expensive to compete in the market otherwise. In effect, the government is forcing costlier energy options on electricity consumers. Since renewables are lavished with substantial tax breaks, a national mandate will mean higher taxes and higher electric bills for Americans.

This isn’t just a game of estimates; we can learn from example. Britain’s renewable energy plan will cost 11 to 17 times more than the economic benefits it will bring. In Spain, electricity bills are 10 times higher because of renewable mandates.

Right here at home, Austin, Texas, electricity providers gave consumers a choice to purchase renewable energy. The problem is people aren’t buying it because it’s too expensive and now utility companies are spreading the costs to all the consumers. Moreover, in West Texas, wind suppliers are actually paying people to take their energy.

Renewable energy and other innovative ideas to create energy have potential, but their fate should be decided by the market—not Members of Congress.

The carbon cap and trade bill is one of the worst ideas to ever come out of Washington, DC. Apparently the Democrats can’t just have a simple tax on carbon because Obama promised not to raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 per years. Of course Carbon cap and trade is effectively a tax, but it is indirect. Plus, for Chicago style politicians, the Carbon cap and trade scheme will allow Obama supporters like Al Gore, George Soros, and Goldman Sachs to make fortunes. For those that don’t know, Texas now has wind energy installed that represents 4% of the state’s electric generating capacity. But, only 1% of the electricity used each year comes from wind. That is because the wind doesn’t always blow, and the places that have a lot of wind don’t have a lot of people that need electricity, and there are not enough transmission lines to carry the electricity to urban centers. The mandate says that 6% of electricity must come from wind by 2012. I guess that means that 24% of installed capacity will have to be wind by 2012. I doubt that is technically feasible, but that doesn’t bother the technically ignorant crowd in Washington. By the way, the reason the wind farms in West Texas pay people to use their electricity is that the government gives them a subsidy for electricity they produce. No one ever said that the social engineers in Washington were economical.