Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Monday, March 29, 2010

Environmentalists have decided that the government is acting fast enough in passing a carbon cap and trade law they they are going to start suing people. Apparently they will just pick companies at random, and accuse them of causing Hurricane Katrina. There is no proof at all that CO2 caused Hurricane Katrina. But that doesn't concern environmentalists. They don't need no stinking proof. There really isn't any jury competent to make a decision in this matter. And, if they did, how would they decide how much was the fault of Exxon, and how much blame to put on Indians burning dung. Here is some more discussion of the frivolous and potentially damaging to our legal system antics of environmentalists.

As you know, the British Parliament has undertaken an investigation of the CRU email leak. There have been a lot of interesting submissions made to Parliament as part of that process. Here is one from one of the people that was attacked by the CRU for being a global warming skeptic. (She supports the Labor Party, which, as you know, is about like the Obama Branch of the Democrat Party.)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama and his henchmen are turning America into a thugocracy. Anyone who doesn't toe the Democrat's party line is subjected to intimidation , as discussed in this article. Where is it written that the CEO's of large corporations have to agree with government bureaucrats? Of course, Obama and Congressional leaders have shown that they believe in the rule of man rather than the rule of law. admit that. As thug Congressman Alcee Hastings said, they just make up the rules as they go along.

The Federal Government has taken over medical care in the United States. Effective cost containment measures are being banished. "One size fits all" treatment methodology will be dictated from Washington. Here is an appraisal from the blog Clean Government.

Here is a good discussion of Scientific Consensus, and when it should be questioned, from the blog Greeenie Watch.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Democrats are really feeling their oats now, and now are beginning to show their true colors:

"[T]he American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama. Let's not act as though the president didn't tell the American people -- the president offered the American people health reform when he ran. He was overwhelmingly elected running on that and he has delivered what he promised. ... They voted for President Obama who said this was going to be one of the first things he would do.... This was not some concept the president introduced after he won." --the "Reverend" Al Sharpton

Yesterday the President himself said that the Obamacare is the first step toward the universal healthcare system that the Democats are working toward. I seem to recall him denying that in the past. I disagree with Sharpton; the President did not campaign as a socialist, but rather as a centrist. It is true that a lot of us warned that he was a socialist, but Democrats said we were lying. Instead, they were. But, as Nancy Pelosi has said, they have to lie to get elected.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Supreme Court, in a burst of scientific ignorance, recently proclaimed that CO2 is a pollutant. The reason is alleged global temperature increase due to the greenhouse gas effect. Of course, the primary greenhouse gas in water vapor, and the assumption that a temperature increase due to increased CO2 concentration would also increase the amount of water vapor in the air as relative humidity would remain constant. So far this assertion has not been borne out by actual experience. At the same time, the Supreme Court and the EPA appear to take no note of the fact that plant life could not exist without CO2 in the atmosphere. Nor, that increasing the amount of CO2 in the air increases the rate of plant growth, and makes plant growth more robust with less water, resulting in plant growth in arid areas. Here is an article that discusses this. By the way, I am still looking for the explanation of how James Hansen, Al Gore, and others determined that the ideal atmospheric CO2 concentration is 280 ppm(v).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The intent of Obamacare was never to reduce the cost of medical care. Instead the Democrat’s goals were to re-distribute wealth, increase government control over the lives of the people, and ultimately drive private insurers out of business so that the government has to completely take over. The bill was cleverly written so that Democrats could run on some of the “good” things it does in the 2010 elections, while delaying some of the less popular aspects until after Obama is re-elected in 2012. The tax increases, for example, come later. Here is a summary of the changes that go into effect in the near term.

Not mentioned in the article above is the increased bureaucracy created in the government, with the creation of dozens of new panels and other governing bodies. The law consisted mostly of “enabling” legislation, which means that the actual rules and regulations are going to be established by these new boards that do not now exist, and are run by unelected bureaucrats. The IRS will be in charge of compliance, and will hire another 16,000 employees to monitor this law. (Nancy Pelosi predicts that the government will add a total of 400,000 employees as a result of this legislation, so expect a lot of new paperwork because shuffling paper is the major activity of all bureaucrats.) Another aspect of this law not discussed above is addressing the “under-representation” of some groups as Medical Doctors. In this instance”under-represented” means black and Hispanic. This means that the government will take action to make it more difficult for Whites and Asians to get into medical school, and that standards for admission will have to be reduced.

The Democrat’s have cleverly designed their socialized medicine bill so that many popular aspects start immediately, but the unpopular aspects don’t kick in until after the next Presidential election to avoid damaging Obama’s re-election prospects. If they can ram through immigration reform before the next Congressional election then they can add millions of new Democrat voters by 2012, assuring permanent control of government to Democrats, completing the conversion of the US to a socialist nation. It is a brilliant plan that I think will succeed. Here is the view of Thomas Sowell, a guy who is smarter than you or I.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Obama Administration talks a lot about “energy independence.” This is evidently empty rhetoric because none of the energy initiatives undertaken could ever lead to energy independence in the US. The Administration initiatives are primarily directed at generation of electric power, an area in which the United States currently is truly “independent.” Foreign oil is used for transportation, not for generation of electricity. There are no serious initiatives that could make the United States’ transportation independent of foreign oil. There is talk of transition of electric powered vehicles, but that would take many years of cultural change just for personal automobiles, and is simply not practical for large transport vehicles like 18-wheelers (or even pick-ups). The Obama Administration talks about becoming the world leader in “green” energy, and points to alleged green development activity in China. The Chinese may indeed be working on wind turbines, but they are also buying energy all over the world, including in the US. I think that is because they know that hydrocarbons will be the dominant energy source, particularly for transportation, well beyond the 21st century. Estimates are that Obama’s “green” policy requires a gasoline price of $7/gal to succeed. The Obama Administration does not seem to recognize, or to care, that an American economy relying of hyper-expensive “green” energy cannot compete with the economies running on much less expensive oil. Timing is critical, and transitioning to “green” energy too soon will lead to bankruptcy, and thus is suicidal. This Obama energy policy may be part of the ”Cloward-Pivens” strategy to destroy the economy of the United States.

The Obama Administration could achieve energy independence for transportation fuel with an aggressive policy of drilling for oil and natural gas. But, instead the Obama Administration works to prevent development of oil and gas resources. They put off limits drilling in areas that are controlled by the federal government, such as lands owned by the government and coastal waters. At the same time, the Obama Administration is loaning money to Brazil for development of their off-shore oil. And, China and Russia are drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico off of the coast of Cuba in areas ceded to Cuba by the inept Jimmy Carter. The Obama Administration would like to ban hydraulic fracturing that is used to extract oil and gas from shale in areas not owned by the government. Here is some discussion about the Obama energy policy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In case you missed it, here is a link to Stephen McIntrye’s submission to Parliament regarding CRU’s work on climate change. In case you do not recall, McKitrick and McIntyre (M&M) have been found to be correct in their criticism of work on climate change. Some are surprised to learn that a lot of the work done allegedly proving the AGW hypothesis was based more on statistical analysis than climatology. As you probably know, a lot of highly trained professionals prove to be not very good at statistical analysis. I used to do some statistical analysis, but I knew my limitations, and got input from real statisticians. The UN IPCC workers appear to have been unaware of their limitations.

By the way, the technical problems with work of the CRU and the UN IPCC do not disprove the cataclysmic AGW hypothesis. They just prove that the UN IPCC work does not prove the cataclysmic AGW hypothesis is valid. Of course, as in the movie The Treasure of Sierra Madre, politicians don’t need no stinking proof.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A lot of engineers are skeptical about the purported average global temperature because of the way it is computed from a very small set of temperature measurements that are of considerable individual uncertainty. The idea that this global average temperature could be computed with an accuracy of 0.1 degree is impossible to believe. Here is an article by an engineer about how the global average temperature is divined by the climatologists at Hadley CRU. Like the engineer who wrote the article, I also did climate models, in my case including for the Apollo Command Module and the Lunar Module. In those cases we had the advantage of being able to do extensive testing, something the earth climate modelers can't do.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Obamacare law is going to dramatically increase taxes on the elderly. Obama has mentioned that the elderly have too much money, and the government needs to take it to promote "equality." This means that people who were spendthifts, who bought McMansions they couldn't afford, who took expensive vacations, who bought expensive new cars each year are to be subsidized by people who lived modestly, drove cars for ten years, and saved their money and invested it. In the world of Obama the latter people are suckers. It will not take long for people to figure out the system, so savings and investment will dry up. That will gradually reduce the rate of growth of the economy. That will not bother Obama; he is not interested in growth, he is interested in "equality." (For those who have forgotten, "equality" is the opposite of "liberty." If equality is enforced there cannot be liberty. That is why the US was based on "equality under the law," not equality of outcome.)

I'm certain that everyone is pleased to learn that Obamaare will create 159 new panels, commissions, and boards to regulate medical care. I'm also sure that everyone will be re-assured to learn that under Obamacare people will no longer have the right to sue the government over denial of medical care or even appeal decisions of the government boards. Those boards will also control private insurance companies so they also are shielded from appeal. Here is a discussion of this issue.

They made fun of Sarah Palin when she termed the new boards "death panels," but she appears to have had it right. If the government decides that a person is not to be treated, that is in effect a death sentence. One result of this law, I predict, will be outsourcing of medical care from the US. People who are denied treatment who have funds will go to foreign countries for treatment. People are already going to India for hip and knee replacements. I expect many American doctors will set up clinics in foreign countries to serve elderly Americans who will be denied treatment under Obamacare rationing. The result may be that spending on medical care does not decline, but is just shifted off-shore. I suspect that will be OK with Obama because the people will be using their own money rather than a government subsidy. Obama would like to strip elderly people of their money to "equalize" society. So he will make the elderly pay for insurance for deadbeats while making them pay for their own care out of their pocket. An ideal solution from his perspective.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The thing I recall most vividly from the first Presidential Election "debate" between Kennedy and Nixon was the discussion of Federal Aid to Education. Kennedy was for it. He was convinced that the Federal Government could improve student performance. Nixon said you can spend a lot of money, and create a lot of bureaucracy, but student performance won't improve. It turns out that Nixon was correct. Here is a discussion about the situation in Kansas City where the government, judges requiring more money to be spent, etc. has resulted in total failure of the system. One issue that Liberals need to learn to live with is the so-called "black-white" performance gap. The sooner Liberals accept that it is a matter of genetics, and so far no one has been able to figure out how to get blacks to, on average, perform as well on IQ tests as whites do, on average. I don't understand the problem. Jews perform better than East Asians, who perform better than whites, who perform better than Hispanics, who perform better than blacks. That's the way it is. We can strive to better educate everyone, but we may not be able to close the "gap" and we need to develop strategies to deal with reality. No amount of education or spending on training will turn a person with an IQ of 100 into a nuclear physicist or even a medical doctor. At the same time a person with an IQ of 160 probably doesn't want to be a plumber. There are a lot more people with an IQ of 100 than with an IQ of 160. So that works out because society needs a lot more plumbers than nuclear physicists. This may seem unfair because being a nuclear physicist may be more prestigious than a plumber (but may not make much more money these days). But, closing the gap shopuldn't be our goal because as President Kennedy said, "Life is unfair."

The Democrats have managed to convince people that Roosevelt saved the economy of the United States starting in 1933. Actually a recovery had started in late 1932 despite Hoover's dumb policies such as raising taxes in a recession and fixing wages rather than letting them decline. Roosevelt came in and put Hoover's dumb policies on steroids, and reversed the recovery and put the country into a deep depression. My grandfather told me that in his opinion Roosevelt's policies were the problem, and I think most objective economists agree with that now. Obama is following in the path of Roosevelt and is making a bad situation worse. He assumes, that, like in the time of Roosevelt, Democrat spinners can convince people that he has "saved" us. There is reason to think that, with the many alternate means of communication available now, the spinners may not succeed this time. Here is a discussion. Obama, like Nehru of India, doesn't like the concept of profit. He doesn't understand that profit is necessary, as indicated in this quote from the referenced article:

Strange as this might seem firms only invest and hire when there is a prospect of profit. This fact was apparently too complex for Hoover and Roosevelt to grasp. Obama apparently shares their innate inability to understand profit as a basic business motivation. To make it worse his spending, borrowing, tax, energy and regulatory proposals, etc., have created an atmosphere of uncertainty that is inimical to investment decisions. But what can we expect from a profoundly ignorant man with a thorough loathing of capitalism? As for his so-called economic advisers, they are a bloody disgrace to their profession. Loyalty to the Democratic Party means far more to them than intellectual integrity.

Regarding profit in India, their economy has done well since the departure of Nehru, and embrace of the profit motive.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I have written a lot before about how Maurice Strong set up the UN IPCC with intention of using it to achieve his goal of destroying the industrialized world. Twenty years ago I couldn't convince anyone that such a conspiracy existed. Now as evidence of the manipulation of data and other activities of the AGW community come to light, it is appearing more plausible. Here is the view of another person who recognized what was happening years ago. This is a view from Canada. The press in the US has not figured out what is happening, or they are on board with Maurice Strong's socialist agenda.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Liberals and Democrats are a mystery to me in many ways. For example they would like to ban smoking tobacco for a variety of reasons such as damage to the health of the smoker that puts a financial burden on all of us, or that cigarette smoke is a nuisance. Recently I read that in California there is a move to prevent people from smoking in their own homes. (It was not clear how that ordnance would be enforced.) At the same time liberals and Democrats would like to make it legal for people to smoke marijuana, even though the health damage to the smoker is more severe than smoking tobacco. Conservatives, on the other hand, think people should have a right to smoke tobacco since they only harm themselves by smoking. But, conservatives would like to ban marijuana because it potentially makes the users an immediate threat to others. Personally I think that smoking either tobacco or marijuana is a bad idea, but banning marijuana makes more sense than banning tobacco. I was glad when smoking cigarettes was banned where I worked. It did reduce my respiratory ailments.

The Earth has been warming since the end of the little ice age, which was not a firm, fixed date but was about 300 years ago. The temperature record from central England that started in the late 1600's shows a lot of sharp increases and decreases overlying a steady increase with a rate that has not changed. Thomas Jefferson was a close observer, and he noted the change that happened during his lifetime. Here are Jefferson's comments (which I copied from Newsmax.com):

Thomas Jefferson Noted Global Warming

Climate change crusaders insist that the earth is warming largely due to the emission of greenhouse gases by motor vehicles and factories.

But Thomas Jefferson wrote about global warming back in the early 19th century, before there were any emissions from cars, coal-fired power plants, and other developments of the Industrial Age.

In a letter to Philadelphia physician and professor Nathaniel Chapman dated Dec. 11, 1809, nine months after he left the presidency, Jefferson wrote: “The change which has taken place in our climate is one of those facts which all men of years are sensible of and yet none can prove by regular evidence. They can only appeal to each other’s general observation for the fact.

“I remember that when I was a small boy, say sixty years ago, snows were frequent and deep in every winter, to my knee very often, to my waist sometimes, and that they covered the earth long. And I remember while yet young to have heard from very old men that in their youth the winters had been still colder, with deeper and longer snows. In the year 1772, thirty-seven years ago, we had a snow two feet deep in the Champain parts of this state, and three feet in the counties next below the mountains . . .

“While I lived at Washington, I kept a Diary, and by recurring to that I observe that from the winter of 1802-03 to that of 1808-09 inclusive, the average fall of snow of the seven winters was only 14½ inches, and that the ground was covered but sixteen days in each winter on average of the whole. The maximum in any one winter during that period was 21 inches fall, and 34 days on the ground, the minimum was 4½ inches fall and two days on the ground . . .

“Williams in his history of Vermont has an essay on the change in the climate of Europe, Asia and Africa.”

It’s clear, then, that the earth was warming during Jefferson’s time. It’s also clear that the climate change could not be attributed to man’s activities.

The advocates of the AGW hypothesis initially tried to finagle data to show that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age never existed, but since the CRU emails were released, have had to acknowledge that they did. Prior to that occurrence last year they had claimed that natural processes had nothing to do with temperature change, and that since the late 1970's change had been the result of man's activities. Acknowledging the previous naturally occurring temperature changes does serious harm to the cataclysmic AGW hypothesis, and supporters are now in a major spin mode.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

My guess is that the Obama Administration has thought all along that the economy will recover on its own by 2012 when Obama is up for reelection. That is why they passed a huge stimulus package that rewarded their backers, but did nothing for the economy. I think they also are not concerned about the likely fallout from pushing through an unpopular healthcare bill. A Republican takeover of Congress will give them someone to blame their lack of success. Assuming the economy recovers on its own, and unemployment falls, reelection of Obama is assured. Here are some similar thoughts. Mark Steyn has some similar thougths.

During the Climate Gate hearings in Parliament Dr. Jones made the astounding revelation that he and other climate scientists do not use the "scientific method." If that be the case, then there can be no "scientific consensus" regarding climate change, not that havind such would mean much in the final analysis. Here is a further discussion of some other ethical issues with so-called climate scientists.

Obama and Eric Holder are remarkably uninformed about the history of the United States with regard to how enemy combatants have been dealt with. In 1916 Pancho Villa, the Mexican Bandit/Revolutionary was swindled in an arms deal by an American. The American lived in Columbus New Mexico. Villa decided to attack Columbus for, among other reasons, revenge. Villa's little army captured the town and executed a few of the citizens. But, the individual he sought happened to be out of town. A nearby US army base was also attacked, but that didn't go so well for Villa. The US Army quickly responded with a volume of fire that Villa's men had never before encountered, routing his army which fled back into Mexico in disarray, losing about one hundred men to four or five of the US Army. A few of Villa's men were captured, and they were summarily hanged without Miranda rights or any other formalities. I'm sure that Obama and Holder are appalled that the invaders were not granted their Constitutional rights. Obama will probably want to apologize to Mexico for this past offense. Of course the Mexican government at the time had no objections; if they could have caught Villa and his men they would have dispatched them the same way. (When I was in elementary school I had a teacher who was a child in Columbus at the time of Villa's raid, but I don't know how accurate her memory was.)

Liberals like to criticize conservatives by pointing out that Timothy McVeigh was tried and convicted in civilian court. I would like to have seen McVeigh treated as a terrorist and tried in a Military Tribunal. (Don't bother to say that would have been unprecedented because that's where those accused of being in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy were tried.) I would like to have seen McVeigh waterboarded to find out who was with him when he parked the truck laden with explosives and walked away. Some people claim to have identified the person with him as an Iraqi soldier. Of course the Clinton Administration had no interest in discovering how involved Iraqi or other Muslim terrorists were.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Here is an interesting take on the current cataclysmic AGW controversy. The key point here is that the supporters of the cataclysmic AGW hypothesis cite testimony of "experts" rather than discussing data (in particular raw data that has not been manipulated by the "experts").

The United States government has predicted that, with the advent of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale, the US has 2000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. At the current use rate of about 20 trillion cubic feet that is a one hundred year supply. I have previously predicted that at a price of $12/mcf, the reserves would be 4000 trillion cubic feet. Yesterday I saw T. Boone Pickens interviewed on TV. He predicted that NG reserves in the US are 8300 trillion cubic feet. Unless a lot more demand for NG develops, prices will stay in the range of $3 to $4/mcf for the foreseeable future. Democrats and other politicians keep talking about eliminating dependence on foreign oil, but there focus is on “green” power, such as windmills and solar cells that produce electricity. These things do little to reduce demand for oil, which is primarily used as fuel for transportation. Pickens points out that NG could be used for transportation fuel, particularly for large vehicles like 18-wheelers and buses, and is currently much cheaper than oil. The energy content of 1000 cubic feet of NG is about the same as 7 gallons of diesel fuel and costs about $5/mcf as compared to about $3/gallon for diesel. If Obama can push the price of gasoline to $7/gal as has been discussed, then NG will be economically attractive as a transportation fuel. Of course, Obama doesn’t like NG, and would like to have EPA ban hydraulic fracturing, the elimination of which would cut the US NG reserves to a few hundred trillion cubic feet.

Back in 2006 Nancy Pelosi promised to drain the swamp in Washington, DC. I wonder how she thinks that is working out? It may be that she was only after corrupt Republicans, not Democrats.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How did you like the way Obama summoned the Congress and instructed them on what laws to pass? He also threatens to enact laws by edict if Congress does not do his bidding. He sounded like a tyrant during the election, and now he is acting like one. Republican in Congress can’t stop him; it is up to members of his own party. It is up them, and I doubt they are up to the job. The Congressional election this year will determine the fate of the United States Republic. Here is some discussion about Obama’s attempts to be a dictator.

Barack Obama promisd the most transparent Administration in history. Here is an example.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The CRU emails that have made their way to the internet clearly show that the UN IPCC is a political advocacy group rather than a scientific enterprise. Here is some discussion of their malfeasance. It appeared to me that many of the world's scientists just assumed that the basic research being done was sound. But now, more and more scientists are beginning to recognize that the IPCC was cooking the books. It may be that Al Gore and the Democrats have enough momentum to force through their agenda that will cripple the economy of the US. (Is this part of the Cloward-Pivens strategy? It could be.) The Democrats acknowledge that they have a political goal of making energy very expensive to drastically reduce energy consumption. There is a strong positive correlation between energy consumption and standard of living. Obama and the Democrats say they are so clever that they can reverse this centuries long trend. Some of them are honest enough to admit that they want to do this even if AGW is not a problem.

Obama intends to manage the decline of America. One of his grandiose plans is to eliminate nuclear weapons from America's armory. He has the fanciful idea that if he dismantles the US nuclear arsenal, then our potential adversaries will follow suit. He is conceited enough to think he can persuade the likes of Russia and China, and even Iran, to give up nuclear weapon. Here is some discussion of his plans. I wonder how far he will get with this before Congress begins to talk impeachment.