Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Democrats favor equality of results over individual liberty. These are mutually exclusive conditions, and cannot exist together. The US was founded on the basis of equality of opportunity so that individual liberty could be achieved. Insistence on equality of outcome is why Democrats must necessarily not practice the “Rule of Law.” If there is “Rule of Law,” then laws cannot be applied in the unequal manner necessary to achieve equality of outcome. As F. A. Hayek reasoned, a state that enforces equality of outcome cannot have rule of law, and inevitably leads to a totalitarian state. History shows that Hayek was correct, but socialists and Democrats like Obama argue that it will be different under them. (Communists like Lenin, Stalin and Castro frankly acknowledge that they intend to have a totalitarian state.) Here are some similar thoughts from a more talented writer than me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The geniuses who thought up global warming have new ways of creating havoc, as reported here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona passes a law that says that being an illegal alien in America is illegal in Arizona. That seems logical, but Obama says it is illegal. On C-Span I once saw a Democrat Congressman making a speech to Congress in which he said that all people in the world have a Constitutional right to come to America. It sounds like to me that we need to change the Constitution.

The Mexican Senate condemned the Arizona law. They say it will damage relations between the countries. Maybe relations need to be damaged. It appears to me that Mexico is basically invading the US. Mexico treats people illegally in Mexico quite harshly. They seem to have a double standard.

The message for today is Remember November

Monday, April 19, 2010

Here's how they make solar power profitable. Why would anyone be surprised that if the government subsidizes solar generated electricity with very generous payments, some clever rascals will maximize their profit by hooking up some deisel power generators. After all, at the end of the wire no one can tell what the source of the electricity was.

Senator Kerry has been illegally conducting foreign policy for the United States since he was in the navy during the Vietnam War. Now he appears to be acting as the unofficial Secretary of State for President Obama. One problem with this is that Kerry seems partial to communist dictators like those in Vietnam, and he liked the would be dictator of Honduras. Here is some discussion on this subject.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Back in the late 1800’s Arrhenius suggested that raising the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would cause the average temperature of the earth to increase. No one thought much about it until about the time I graduated from college. Early discussions I recall concentrated on the benefits that would result, such as longer growing seasons combined with higher CO2 concentration which would increase the world’s food supply. It was thought at the time that the main effect would be an increase in nighttime minimum temperature, but not much increase in maximum daytime temperature. (The increase in minimum temperature at night was the main factor in increasing the growing season.) These effects have in fact materialized. Plant growth rates have increased by about 15% over the past 100 years due to higher CO2 concentration. It is generally agreed that average temperature has increased slightly, but there is no proof that the increased CO2 level is the cause. The increase in average temperature is problematical because the claimed increase is much smaller than diurnal variations, is very much smaller than seasonal variations, and there is doubt about the accuracy of the measurements and the analysis methods used to “homogenize” the data. Many people claim to see evidence of warming in behavior of animals, and to observe it themselves. It is highly doubtful than humans or animals can perceive variations of a few tenths of a degree given the 100 degree F variation encountered at a given location over the course of a year.

After a lot of study and analysis I concluded that it is unlikely that increased CO2 concentration levels in the atmosphere would lead to significant increases in the global average temperature anomaly (GATA). But, whether or not CO2 emissions are causing noticeable increases in GATA I concluded that Al Gore and the UN IPCC are running a scam that has a different agenda than what they claim. There are many others who think as I do. John Coleman has written a good article describing the history of the movement. People who have not worked in a University or in industrial research may not appreciate the zeal with which grant money is sought. Without grants scientists will have to move on to another field, something that is not much fun.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Strata Sphere has a good review of the the attempts to whitewash the CRU work on global warming (now called climate change).

Robert Reich lays the blame for the financial collapse of 2008 on repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act in 1999 while Clinton was President. Reich is a Democrat, but he doesn't always drink the Kool-Aid. I agree with him that repeal of Glass-Stegall was a mistake. But there were other mistakes, most made by Democrats. The government coercion of lenders to provide home mortgages to people who were unlikely to make the payments was a deliberate policy of the Democrats, though Bush made it worse when he extended the program to illegal aliens. The MSM doesn't tell the public that most of the Wall Street people they are currently vilifying are mostly Democrats, and that Wall Street firms historically gave most of their political contributions to Democrats rather than Republicans. It is easy to see why the Democrats eased Reich out of office and back into academia.

President Obama says the US has to lead the world "Whether we like it or not." Clearly he does not like it. It has been widely reported that his Aides say that he sees his role as managing the "Decline of America." It appears to me that he would like to see a world in which the US is just another nation. It appears to me that he would welcome a socialist world government lead by the UN, and he also thinks that the world would like for his wonderful self to be the President of the world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

T. Boone Pickens has advocated making a major switch to compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel vehicles in the United States. He says that switching large trucks and buses to CNG fuel would reduce US use of foreign oil by 3 million barrels per day. With the development of shale gas with horizontal drilling and slick water hydraulic fracturing has significantly increased the NG reserves in the US. Officially the NG reserve is 2000 trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf), and Pickens says the probable reserve is 8300 TCF. The US currently consumes just over 20 Tcf/year, so there is many years of supply available. There is a lot of mis-information put out by politicians regarding energy independence of the United States. The US is independent in terms of electricity generation. It is fuel for transportation that uses most of the imported oil. Windmills, etc. can aid in reducing oil importation only to the extent that electric automobiles can be adopted. Many people outside of the east coast need a vehicle with more range than 40 miles, and many people would like an SUV rather than a glorified golf cart. (Assuming they don't have $120,000 to buy one of those slick Tesla sports cars.) The problem with CNG fuel is that it is not volume efficient. This is not a major issue for large trucks and buses, and probably not for pickups and SUV's. The conversion rate for CNG to gasoline is about 8 gallons per 1000 cubic feet (mcf). So on a cost basis CNG at $6 or 7/mcf would take a vehicle about the same distance as $22 of gasoline (at $2.75/gal). (Actually the CNG vehicle will probably go farther because the engine is more efficient.) So CNG is an economic winner. But volume efficiency is another issue. The NG has to be compressed to a high pressure (3000 to 4000 psi) and stored in a cylindrical tank. Not much of a problem for a large vehicle, but perhaps a problem for a small car. In comparing CNG to electric vehicles it is often overlooked that the electricity to charge the battery comes from an electricity generation plant. About half of the electricity in the US comes from coal fired plants, with 20% coming from gas fired plants. The efficiency of the wheels on the ground is actually better for the CNG fueled vehicle than for electricity provided by a coal or gas fired electric power plant. In terms of pollution for one billion BTU's of energy input natural gas beats coal (using numbers from a Chesapeake Energy Presentation in April 2010.) Natural gas produces 117,000 pounds of CO2 compared to 208,000 for coal, 92 pounds of nitrogen oxides compared to 457, 1 pound of sulfur dioxide vs. 2591, 7 pounds of particulates vs. 2744, and no mercury compared to 0.016 pounds. Some of the CNG engine manufacturers claim that they produce virtually no pollution (they don't consider CO2 to be a pollutant). The manufacturers also claim that the engines have demonstrated over one million miles without any repair. Some countries have a large part of their vehicle fleets fueled by CNG. Pakistan, for example, has about 1 million cars fueled by CNG. The US has about 350,000 CNG fueled cars. Some people buy compressors and fuel their CNG vehicle from their home NG supply. I think I would much rather have a CNG fueled car than an electric car.

Argentina has taken over private pension funds in that country because the government needs the money, with the excuse that the move is to prevent the pension fund managers from stealing from the people. This will no doubt be applauded by Nancy Pelosi, who has frequently expressed a desire to do the same thing in the US. Here is more about the socialist government in Argentina:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have observed that the police are working overtime writing tickets around my home. That seems to happen every time the country has economic hard times. When income for municipalities starts to dry up, they look for other ways to raise revenue, and writing traffic tickets is a quick fix. I saw an anchor on Fox Business comment on this same thing; he has also observed that more traffic tickets are being written. I also saw an article today about the duration the yellow caution light is on at traffic lights has been reduced so that more tickets are sent out by the camera systems. It would be interesting to see if the enhanced enforcement of traffic laws reduces accidents. It would seem to me that reducing the time the yellow caution light is on might cause more accidents.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The thing you need to remember is that while “figures don’t lie, liars figure.” As the brilliant (and mediocre writer) Dr Michael Crichton pointed out some years ago in the appendix to the novel “State of Fear,” raw temperature data indicates that average temperatures have been falling for a century while the “adjusted” average temperatures used by the UN IPCC and other advocates for the Cataclysmic AGW hypothesis have been rising. Here is an example comparing raw and adjusted data. If you believe that so-called “climate scientists” like Phil Jones can write a computer routine that can take the average temperature in Sacramento and compute the average temperature in Eugene, Oregon with an accuracy of less than 0.1 degree, then you should believe that the AGW hypothesis is proven. I was a heat transfer expert for over 50 years, and I don’t believe it. But, I’m just an old Mechanical Engineer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Here is a discussion of climate change by Richard Lindzen, a real climatologist who is often vilified by the global warming hysterics. Lindzen makes the point that the climate has always been changing, and questions whether man is having a significant influence. Note the snarky Editor's comment that Lindzen is addressing the question is climate change real? Apparently the editor can't comprehend the concept that climate is always changing. That just doesn't fit the narrative.

One of the areas that I disagreed with George Bush was his refusal to identify Shariah Law as an enemy of the United States. The situation is even worse now with Obama, a former Muslim, in charge. Obama appears to have a policy of appeasement toward Islam. He is putting even more Muslims and Muslim sympathizers in office than Bush did. Muslims believe that the Koran is the word of God, and that it is the absolute truth. The Koran demands that Muslims convert, subjugate, or kill all non-Muslims. That seems pretty straight-forward to me. We have a clash of civilizations whether we like it or not. We should at least recognize it. Here is some discussion on this by Frank Gaffney.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I used to hear that California was 10 years ahead of the rest of the United States. In other words, the rest of the US will be like California is now in 10 years. If that is still the case, then the US is in for some tough sledding because California is bankrupt and it is too late to do anything about it. Their retirement system appears to be unsustainable. I heard that they have over 20,000 retired state employees whose pensions are more than $150,000 per year, and the number is climbing fast since state employees only have to be 50 years old to retire. They have former Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, the first "hippie" governor, to thank for their dire financial circumstances. Here is an article describing the situation. Of course the US won’t go bankrupt because, unlike California, the US can print money. But, there could be some serious inflation as the national debt is monetized.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I see a lot of conservatives on TV saying that we shouldn't call Obama a socialist or a Marxist. Just because he was raised by Marxists, and spend his early adulthood surrounded by socialists doesn't mean he is a socialist. I look at it a bit different. Suppose a socialist was elected president of the United States; how would he proceed? The Constitution of the United States limits action considerably, so he would need to gradually chip away at the Constitution. He would try to take over much of the economy of the country. He would work to increase executive power and to diminish the power of the legislature. It seems to me that Obama has done precisely what a socialist would do. He has taken over much of the auto industry. He has caused passage of a misnamed stimulus package that rewarded his supporters rather than stimulating the economy. He is asking for legislation that would allow him (through the Treasury Secretary) to take over any company that he chooses, fire the leaders, seize the assets, and disband the company, all without judicial action, and without resource. Obama has done these things, so it is clear to me that he is some sort of collectivist. Maybe he is a neo-socialist, but he is some sort of socialist.

One curious thing about the AGW hysterics is that they proclaim two mutually exclusive things that support their call for draconian action. They say that green energy must be developed because we are rapidly running out of fossil fuels, and burning fossil fuel is destroying the climate. If we are running out of fossil fuel, why bother to outlaw using it?

President Obama says that Sarah Palin "is no expert on nukes," after she criticized his new pledge not to use nukes against nations that attack the US with chemical or biological weapons. Apparently he thinks he is an expert, even though most real experts agree with Palin rather than him. He has an enormous ego, and apparently thinks his personal magnificence protects the US from attack.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Obama has appointed some really scary people to important positions in the government. At least they are scary to white Christians who believe in capitalism and individual liberty. Here is an article about a few of the scary lot. (There are more than those on just this short list.)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The world made much fun of President Bush's diplomacy, and claimed that the cowboy had ruined relations between America and the rest of the world. Obama was expected to bring much needed change. And he has indeed brought change. But, not the change that was expected. He has alienated our friends and made overtures to our enemies that they have rejected, as should have been expected. Obama has repeatedly insulted Great Britain and the other western European nations as well as Israel and India. Now Hilliary Clinton has gone to Canada and insulted them. Obama is a master of diplomacy

A woman complained to Obama about being taxed too much, and he gave a 17-minute response that surely was not understood by the audience. I disagree with Obama's first point; that everyone should be forced to purchase health insurance. Many people, including me, think that would be unconstitutional. My second problem with Obama is also fundamental; the United States was founded to provide people with individual liberty. Obama wants "social justice," which is another name for equality of outcome. There can be no individual liberty if the government attempts to enforce equality of outcome. Obama and the Democrats wonder why poor white people do not "vote their pocketbooks." The reason is that poor white people still embrace individual liberty rather than equality.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Recently some intellectual giants like Al Gore and Prince Charles predicted that Arctic Sea Ice would be gone by 2013, leaving the adorable Polar Bears in dire straits, starving and drowning. There is some good news now because Arctic Sea Ice has made a comeback. The media should give people this good news to re-assure the little kids worried about the Polar Bears. (Well, it may not be good news to everyone, since it does not match the “climate change” narrative.) Here is a lot of data on Arctic Sea Ice extent. The reality is that, like the sea ice decline a few years ago, the recent increase doesn’t actually prove much since the sea ice extent is more affected by winds than by temperature. (And, no one knows much about the history of Arctic Sea Ice coverage prior to 1979 when earth observation satellites were launched.)

The Obama Administration and its spinners continuously lied about whether or not the HCR law would pay for abortions. They revealed their perfidy when the President was forced to put out an Executive Order banning payment for abortions to get the votes to pass the law. But, the Administration is still lying. Kate, from the prominent Canadian Blog Small Dead Animals makes the following observation of contrary messages:

Globe&Mail, March 30 - Hillary Clinton has taken issue with Canada's signature G8 initiative on maternal mortality, arguing that any effort to improve the health of mothers in poor countries must include access to abortion.

FNC, March 21st - Today, the President announced that he will be issuing an executive order after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Barack Obama has announced that he is going to promote drilling for off-shore oil. A lot of people think it is a trick, and he is not serious. There is good reason to believe that is the case. What he says often turns out to be untrue. In this case he seems to have opened up some areas for drilling where there has previously been little oil found, while not opening up areas know to have huge reserves. Neo NeoCon has looked into this. Sarah Palin has it right when she says the actual plan is “Stall, Baby, Stall.”

When I was a boy back during WWII it was said that liberals (ie, undercover socialists and communists)in America were trying to destroy the family. Naturally the liberal news media said this was fantasy, and that the state just needed to make certain that all children had an equal chance. But somehow in the intervening years great damage has been done to the family in America. Now over 70% of black babies, 50% of Hispanic babies, and 20% of white babies are born out of wedlock. The children raised without a father have a high likelihood of not growing into well adjusted adults. Here is some discussion of this matter.