Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Sunday, February 28, 2010

For more than 20 years I have been telling people that Carol Browner is one of the biggest threats to democracy in America. She is a protege of Al Gore and a dedicated socialist who favors creation of a world government and dramatic reduction in the scale of the economy in America. She was Clinton’s head of the EPA. On leaving office she deliberated destroyed all emails and other documentation in violation of the law. She is now Obama’s energy czar where she continues to work to shrink the US economy. Naturally, she instructs people to put nothing in writing. Here is a discussion of Browner.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The news today is that Obama is working on his 2012 re-election campaign already. It seemed to me that he never stopped campaigning. He makes a speech very day. I wonder when people will start tuning him out. He may be over exposed well before 2012 if he maintains his current pace.

I watched the Congress harass the President of Toyota Motors today. The Democrat Congress persons, 31 of whom have received a lot of money from the UAW, owners of GM, had a lot of fun grandstanding before the TV cameras. I like the part where they read an internal Toyota memo that said Obama was hostile to industry. Everyone who is awake knows that is true, but naturally the President of Toyota was intimidated into saying he didn't believe it. Then there was a memo that said Obama was more interested in law than engineering. Given that Obama's team is mostly lawyers with no engineers in any important position, that also seems logical. But, the answer again was that the Toyota President didn't agree. Congress seemed to want to humble Toyota, and did not appear to be trying to do their job, which is to craft legislation for the good of the people. (I have never owned a Toyota, but I recall driving one that belonged to my daughter about 10 years ago. She recalls that the accelerator would sometimes stick on hers Toyota back then, so this may not be a new problem.)

I have been certain for a long time that the temperature record used by the AGW supporters was manipulated to show a significant temperature increase. Data presented in the Appendix to Michael Crichton's book State of Fear clearly showed that there had been little or no temperature increase during the 20th century. Data from Central England shows that the rate of temperature increase there has been the same for the last 300 years. The fact that those compiling the data refused to reveal how the manipulated the data cast suspicion of objective people on the results. As far as I know there has been no paper presented that shows that the data manipulation methods were valid. And, to me Phil Jones' paper that purported to show that the urban heat island effect was insignificant was suspect because he would not share the raw data used, and later claimed hat the data were lost (the classic "dog ate my homework" excuse). Here is a paper that looks at the data manipulation done by NCDC in the US.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Here is an interesting take on the ways in which the UN IPCC went wrong. My opinion is that Al Gore is not a very smart guy, and he was focused on his carbon trading schemes that were going to make him a billionaire.

President Obama makes a speech every day. In his speech today he talked about education, and took his obligatory shot at President Bush (failures of "no child left behind"). Obama recounted a conversation he had with the President of South Korea about problems with education. The President of South Korea said his problem was with the parents of first graders who wanted even more instruction for their children including a demand that they be taught English in the first grade. President Obama wouldn't have that problem, since all of the people in the US who want better education for their children and can afford it have their children in private school. The ones who have their children in public school are more likely to complain that the children are being pushed too hard, have too much homework, and endure much too strict discipline. It wasn't clear what Obama plans to do to improve elementary education, but he does want to send all people to college. That has to be one of the silliest proposals ever made. The average IQ in the USA is now about 98. It takes an IQ of at least 106 to master any college course, thus fewer than half of the people in the country are college material. About 15% of the people are not able to master the high school curricula. We need to provide training for all citizens, but college is not for everyone. Training the citizenry for useful employment is needed, but we need serious programs, not political pap.

I have noticed that many engineers have a problem accepting the Cataclysmic Anthropogenic Global Warming Hypothesis. I'm an engineer with a lot of experience in analyzing system failures to determine what went wrong, and why models failed to accurately predict what happened. Just a cursory examination of the methods used by the UN IPCC casts severe doubts on the validity of their conclusions. And, most of the literature on global warming simply assumes that warming will happen, and details the expected dire consequences, most of which are highly debatable even if warming does occur. (Such as a huge rise in sea level or spread of tropical diseases to higher latitudes, etc.) The famous engineer Burt Rutan, a well-known "green" has doubts that are the same as mine, as recounted in the blog wattsupwiththat.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The American Justice System has been co opted by the Plaintiff's Bar, creating a system of "Jackpot Justice." John Edward's legal career is an example of how lawyers can make a fortune using junk science to fool juries. Until the nation can enact tort reform it will not be possible to reduce the cost of medical care. A side benefit will be a reduction in the number of bright students taking law, and transferring to a more useful and productive field of endeavor. Here is a discussion of how the current system is played by lawyers.

Here is a good one that I wish I had thought of. Pat Santy (of the Dr. Sanity blog) observes that Obama must have spent a lot of time in the Holiday Inn Express.

We see all these elements in the national security policy that has been implemented in the Obama administration; combined with a willful blindness to reality and an almost magical belief in Obama's competence in areas in which he has no experience. One assumes that prior to his ascension to godhead, Obama must have spent a lot of time in a Holiday Inn Express.

I have observed that people tend to maintain the religion they practiced as children. Even when they change religions later in life, their philosophy remains closely aligned with that they were brought up with. President Obama claims to be a Christian, but as a child he was a Muslim. He seems unduly sympathetic to the Muslim position in my opinion. He says things such as that the US is not a Christian nation, and he apologizes for the US "colonizing Muslim lands. It is hard to figure out what he is talking about. He labors under the illusion that he is a great orator, no doubt because the MSM keep saying that he is. Actually his speeches to the Muslim world have been an embarrassment because much of what he knows about Islam, like everything else, is not true. Here is a discussion.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One modern phenomena that interests me is how passionately many people who have little or no knowledge of science can believe so strongly in Global Warming. It is clear that some sort of psychological mechanism is involved. It is true that leftists are more likely to be global warming believers and conservatives are more likely to be skeptics. The vast majority of these people are picking their position based on faith because they lack basic scientific knowledge, to say nothing of the lack of practical experience in processing temperature data. I am a skeptic, and I am conservative, but I do have scientific training, and have a lot of experience in thermal modeling. My skepticism is based on my own analysis of the problem. I don't know precisely how much impact CO2 emissions are having, and doubt that anyone does, but I an convinced that the UN IPCC is a political advocacy group rather than a scientific body and am certain that they have grossly exaggerated the case for warming. For example NASA has admitted that 1934 was "slightly" warmer than 1998. It turns out that "slightly" is 0.5 degree. How much was the dramatic "significant" temperature increase during the 20th century? Well the increase was 1 degree. I have severe doubts on the entire temperature record because it appears to me that the extrapolate the temperature over the entire globe based on an extremely small data set must lead to errors larger than the effect being measured. Back to psychology: here is a paper that discusses the psychological aspects of global warming beliefs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Al Gore says that the AGW debate is over. I saw him say that for the first time when he was a Senator. That was the Democrat Party's talking point 20 years ago, and Obama is saying it now. They almost pulled it off, but somehow there are still people who disagree. Here is a paper that points out some inconvenient data that disproves the AGW hypothesis.

Monday, February 15, 2010

President Obama seems curiously fond of failed economic policies. He likes socialism and also likes wind power, both of which have failed in Europe. The government subsidies for wind power in Greece and Spain are largely responsible for the current financial crises in those countries. Here is a discussion of the wonderful success of wind power in the United States. When the subsidies end, the wind turbines are feathered

The government is taking control of more and more of our lives, as discussed here. We are well on our way to serfdom. Obama believes that inner city blacks are not capable of taking care of themselves, so the government is compelled to take charge of all aspect of their lives. Obama is also committed to perfect equality of outcome, so it is necessary to take charge of all activities in the lives of all people.

Robert Reich, the economics professor who was formerly in the Clinton Administration recently said we are going to have to stop wasting money and developing technology to keep old people alive. People, mostly Democrats, made fun of Sarah Palin’s Death Panel comment. But she had it exactly right. Tom Daschle wrote a book about healthcare that was the blueprint for Obamacare. The book said that we were going to have to quit treating old people who are about to die anyway. Rahm Emmanuel’s brother, Ezekiel, is a doctor who advises Obama and he has also said we need to quit wasting money on the terminally ill. (How do we know when someone is terminally ill? Some old people survive when treated. If we don’t treat them, they will probably die. Obama’s solution is to establish standards on how to determine who should be treated. Necessarily a “one size fits all approach” that takes the decision out of the hands of the individual, his family and his doctor. Palin called that a “death panel.” Democrats said she was wrong, it should be called the “Life Panel.” That just seems like a matter of semantics to me.) As far as Robert Reich is concerned, he is an intellectual Democrat who blurts out the truth that Democrats tried to obfuscate. This issue is the result of the government taking over the healthcare of older people with Medicare. Does the government want to stop old people from spending their own money on life-saving techniques? My impression is that Obama thinks it is unfair that some people would have enough money for more life extending medical care than poor people. This is an example of what happens on the road to serfdom.

Some say that Obama has the US on the road to European-style socialism. I think we are already there. Federal government employees now make twice as much as private employees, and entrepreneurship is discouraged by government policy and regulations. This makes it more attractive for people to seeks public rather than private employment. As in Europe, public employment is a sinecure rather than a job. The result is that structural unemployment becomes a problem, with double digit unemployment becoming the norm. The Democrats have worked for years to convert the nation from a republic into a democracy. Democracies have historical failed after the majority of people realized that they could vote themselves money from the treasury. As Hayek pointed out, once that happens the nation is well on the road to serfdom. Here is an article by John Stossel discussing this:

"Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn't just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit. F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote 'The Road to Serfdom' in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom. ... Hayek meant that governments can't plan economies without planning people's lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama's economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government's single plan. At the beginning of 'The Road to Serfdom,' Hayek acknowledges that mere material wealth is not all that's at stake when the government controls our lives: 'The most important change ... is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.' This shouldn't be controversial. If government relieves us of the responsibility of living by bailing us out, character will atrophy. The welfare state, however good its intentions of creating material equality, can't help but make us dependent. That changes the psychology of society. According to the Tax Foundation, 60 percent of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest?" --columnist John Stossel

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana has decided to retire. He took a few shots at Obama on the way out. Recently in a meeting he asked Obama why the people should trust the Democrats. (A really good question in my opinion.) In his speech announcing his intentions he said that America remains an exceptional nation, an obvious rebuke to Obama's assertion that America is not exceptional, but is just another nation, nothing special.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jennifer Rubin has an excellent examination of why Obama is failing as President. Academic elites like Obama are generally ill-suited to executive positions.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Obama is clearly tied to unions, and specifically to the government employee's union. We have reached the point where government workers make on average twice as much money as private sector employees. We are becoming more and more like the socialist societies of Europe, where getting a government job is the highest ambition of most people, and there is structural unemployment at a level of 10%. Both in Europe and in many places in the US the overly generous government jobs are causing governments financial strain and even bankruptcy. Here is a discussion of the issue.

The CRU emails and computer routines that were released last year cast severe doubt on the AGW hypothesis. Here is a detailed review of the so-called "Climategate" material.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If George Bush was still President, this would be big news. Since Obama is President, the ACLU will keep their protests out of the media. The media wouldn't be interested anyway, given that Bush is gone.

The United States has a lot of energy available, especially a lot of gas, oil and coal. Enough to last for centuries. And there is enough thorium to power nuclear reactors for centuries. But, Obama and the Democrats do not want to exploit those abundant supplies, and actively resist private enterprise development. Instead they want to cripple the economy of the country in pursuit of elusive "green" technology. Europeans have gone down that path, and are paying the price for their folly. Now they want us to share their misery, and our politicians, eager for approval of the socialists, want us to follow Europe on the suicidal path. Here is a discussion. (There is a typo in the article; it says "high employment" where it means "high unemployment.")

Frank Church was a weasel. He was responsible, along with Jimmy Carter, for much of the difficulty that the US finds itself in at present. His destruction of the US intelligence gathering system still harms us. Here is an article about how he and the liberals harmed the country. Liberals like Obama and Eric Holder are continuing the work of Church in destroying the security of the country.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I heard on the news that the current severe snowstorms along the east coast of the US proves global warming. A few years ago warm winters in the US was also said to have proved global warming. It looks like anything that happens proves global warming. Given that, there is nothing that can disprove global warming because whatever happens proves it. I blame George Bush and his evil genius Karl Rove. (In reality, unusual weather events don't prove anything because the global weather is a dynamic, unstable, chaotic system.)

Here are some comments about the current state of climate science as practiced by the the UN IPCC.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

There has been a lot of discussion about the proposed 40% tax on so-called "Cadillac" Health Plans. The unfairness of the exemption from the tax of Obama's union supporters has been discussed a lot. One thing that I have not seen discussed is that taxing something causes there to be less of it. My question is, why do Democrats want me to get less healthcare? I think it is fair to say that they are engaged in class warfare. It appears that Democrats once again do not want to increase supply, but rather are concerned about making sure that whatever is available is shared equally. This is the same mistake Democrats make regarding the economy in general. The result of Obama's healthcare plan will be less healthcare for everyone in the US. What will happen over a few years is that clinics will be developed in foreign countries to serve Americans. This is already happening to some extent with people travelling to India for hip and knee replacements. Thus as with the economy in general, the final result will be outsourcing of medical care overseas. (That has happened in Canada and Great Britain.)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Here is a bilboard put up by someone with a sense of humor.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Ku Klux Klan was much different in Texas than the way it is usually depicted in the MSM. My Granddad used to laugh about the Klan, particularly the habit of going out at night wearing bedsheets. He told me that the main activity of the Klan was enforcing morals. He recounted the story of a guy who didn't care for his wife very well, particularly in not providing firewood to keep her warm. The Klan put a warning note on the guy's front door. My Granddad said he thought the guy was going to chop down the forest as he piled up firewood at his house. Here is an article about that time.

I knew that Obama and Lawrence Tribe don't like the idea of interpreting the Constitution as it was written, but would prefer to interpret based on current conditions. That is, they prefer the idea of a "Living Constitution" that can be interpreted to mean whatever they want it to. I had no idea that they had written a paper invoking comparison of Einstein to Newton to somehow support their view. It is doubtful that either Obama or Tribe actually understands physics well enough to write such a document, but given the size of their ego's I doubt that they felt constrained by their lack of knowledge. Here is a discussion of their collaboration on the project by a real physicist.

Friday, February 05, 2010

In Europe the economies of Greece, Spain, and Portugal are in trouble. We'll have to get Obama to explain how the Bush tax cuts in the US caused the economies of those countries to stumble.

President Obama lies a lot, and he just makes things up. He says that Democrats had to break more Senate filibusters last year than in all of the 1950’s and 1960’s. I couldn't recall there being a filibuster last year. The reason I couldn't recall one is because there wasn’t one. How could there have been since the Republicans didn’t have the 41 votes necessary to prevent ending debate. What is Obama talking about? How could Republicans have obstructed his policies since they didn’t have enough votes? Here is a discussion of this.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

First there was the DDT scam, then the Freon scam, and finally the AGW scam. The modern day Romanticists are battling modern civilization as Rosseau would have wanted, and are having some success. Here is a discussion of how it started.

Here is a good summary of how the liberal’s excellent global warming scam was executed. Al Gore and his friends will probably still make fortunes from it because politicians and the MSM are reluctant to admit that they have been conned. The politicians know that they will be out of office before the fraud is established, and the liberal zealots will because the socialist policies they have implemented will be impossible to reverse.

President Obama and the Democrats are moving to stop product ion of shale gas. They do not want a source of cheap energy. They like high cost “renewable” energy with its huge subsidies paid to their friends and supporters including large corporations like GE and their sugar daddy George Soros. Here is an article describing the situation:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Fred Singer has an article here discussing problems with the computation of the Global Average Temperature Anomaly (GATA). Like a lot of people, I have long had doubts about the terrestrial temperature records kept by folks who believe the AGW hypothesis is valid at NCDC, NASA/GISS and HadCRU. I suspected confirmation bias, if not outright deception, and this suspicion was reinforced by their refusal to share data or their computational techniques, and their assertions that the raw data had been destroyed ("the dog ate my homework" excuse). The satellite measurements are open, and when errors were identified by critics, corrections were made. The terrestrial records are so compromised that it is not possible to tell if there is actually any temperature increase due solely to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Apocalyptic AGW is not a cottage industry, it is a full-blown major global industry, that is, in fact, a major factor in the current economic problems in the world, and particularly in Spain and Great Britain. The eminently politically incorrect economist Walter Williams has a good discussion of the vested interests in AGW that now exist.

Here is the best description of the Obama Administration that I have seen:

"While fighting to stay awake during his State of the Union speech, it occurred to me that for over a year now, Obama has been speaking and behaving like the leader of an occupying force. Which, the more I thought about it, is exactly who I think he is." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

Somehow collectivists allied with the thugocracy of Chicago managed to take control of the government. The coup has already happened. We will now see if the people have the courage to force a return to our original Republic, or if the fascists manage to solidify their control. Time is critical; if the fascists are not turned back this year, the Republic may be lost forever.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Danny Williams, the Premier of Newfoundland, is coming to the US for heart surgery. This is really curious. Why would a person in a country with one of the highest rated healthcare systems in the world come to the nation ranked 35th in the world for heart surgery? Surely he is informed enough to know that healthcare in the US ranks below Cuba.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Obama has essentially cancelled the American manned space program.After the next few Space Shuttle missions the US will not have capability to put man into space, and will not have a replacement system on the drawing board. He wants NASA to focus on important stuff like proving that the AGW hypothesis is valid. It appears that America is now ceding space to Russia, China, and India. This will degrade our military capability. That, of course, is another goal of the Obama Administration.

North America puts very little CO2 into the atmosphere. The reason is because of the huge forest areas in the United States and Canada. People are often surprised to learn that North America has more forest than any other continent. Environmentalists and "greens" are aware that North America adds little to the CO2 in the atmosphere despite the large amount of energy produced in the US, but they don't like to acknowledge it. The reason is that they want the US punished for its success; they want to reduce the US to the third world economy level. Obama agrees with that position; as his Aides have said, he views his mission as to manage the decline of America. Here is an article that mentions the CO2 situation from the blog Strata-Sphere. There is a lot more in the article about what is wrong with the AGW hypothesis.