Friday, April 22, 2011

In which Barack Obama goes on a Witch Hunt for the cause of high fuel prices

One day a couple of years ago I was doing my Mad Prophet Of The Internet routine, smearing myself with peanut butter and locusts, raving in the streets and banging pots and pans together.  I got no attention whatsoever.
I was predicting some mega-inflation. 

You see, printing money is the only way that the Reagan / Bush / Clinton / Obama big spenders will ever get their debts paid.  But if you print all this money, prices go up. 

I said that rising prices would soon be blamed on corporate greed, and asked folks to send me copies of Lamestream Media editorials blaming the rising prices on greedy corporations, greedy people, and greed in general.  Hit the link.  But if you don't have time to read the link, here's the kicker to that old post:

Good luck when prices start doubling. A special prize will be awarded to the reader who sends me the first earnest MSM editorial blaming greedy corporations for the price increases.
I still haven't seen one of those indignant editorials, but if you spot the first one and post a link, I promise to mail you a free dachshund.  The first and second runners' up will also get a free dachshund. 

In the meantime, our Inflator In Chief is taking this waaaaay beyond anything I could've dreamed possible.  It's freakin' unbelievable.  (Most of these links I'm using came from The Streetwise Professor. )

Believe it or not, this beautiful example of finger-pointing crap is actually on the Department Of Justice website.  Barack Obama, without getting drunk or stoned first, has actually started a task force to look into possible fraud, collusion, and speculation as the cause for rising gasoline prices.  I swear to God, he's doing it.  He's trying to get waaaaay out in front of the story:
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the formation of a Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Working Group to focus specifically on fraud in the energy markets. The Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group will monitor oil and gas markets for potential violations of criminal or civil laws to safeguard against unlawful consumer harm.

The working group will include representatives from the Department of Justice, the National Association of Attorneys General, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Departments of Agriculture and Energy.

“Rapidly rising gasoline prices are pinching the pockets of consumers across the country,” said Attorney General Holder. “We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity. If illegal conduct is responsible for increasing gas prices, state and federal authorities should take swift action.”
And so the Witch Hunt begins. 

Here's more on this charade, from Fuel Fix:
Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston who specializes in commodity prices, says the task force is hardly needed, since the agencies already have the tools to monitor for fraud and take action.

“This is a transparently political fishing expedition that insinuates that fraud or manipulation is distorting oil prices without providing even the flimsiest factual basis for such a suspicion,” Pirrong said. “This is part of a broad effort by the administration to deflect criticism with regard to gasoline prices.”

Get ready for higher fuel prices, higher clothing prices and higher food prices.  Higher everything prices.  Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke are printing money all day every day.  The supply of goods is remaining stable, but the money supply is increasing. 
Don't you wish you could pay your bills with a printing press? 

Pics of Witch Hunt came from here

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A public service announcement on CFL bulbs

From The Telegraph (UK):

Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'

Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.
Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.

Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”
The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.

But the German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene.
Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps.

“I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”

British experts insisted that more research was needed and urged consumers not to panic.

Dr Michelle Bloor, senior lecturer in Environmental Science at Portsmouth University, told the Daily Express: “Further independent studies would need to be undertaken to back up the presented German research.”

The Department for the Environment insists the bulbs are safe, despite the fact that they contain small amounts of mercury which would leak out if the glass was broken.
Advice on its website states: “Energy efficient light bulbs are not a danger to the public.
“Although they contain mercury, limited at 5mg per lamp, it cannot escape from a lamp that is intact.
“In any case, the very small amount contained in an energy efficient bulb is unlikely to cause harm even if the lamp should be broken.”
The latest report follows claims by Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, that the bulbs could result in higher breast cancer rates if used late at night.
He said that the bluer light that CFLs emitted closely mimicked daylight, disrupting the body's production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.
The Migraine Action Association has warned that they could trigger migraines and skin care specialists have claimed that their intense light could exacerbate a range of existing skin problems.

The EPA has banned numerous beneficial substances and processes for much, much less than this.  But the Obamabulbs are "green".  All is forgiven....
Pics came from here and here

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apples that didn't fall too far from the tree

If you are entertained by this type of thing, you can see an earlier post on Jackson by going here. 

If you want to know more about the history of the Luddites (and Jesse Jr is a Luddite of the worst possible sort), then here's a video that was produced for middle school history classes.  Can someone who isn't busy today e-mail this link to Congressman Jackson? 

A fresh coat of Whitening to The Swash for the video. 


The genius of Matt Drudge at work.  I first saw this on Instapundit. 

45% of households pay no income tax. 

43% of our population says that tax levels are "about right". 

I bet that at least one of these polls has a 2% margin of error. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Have you taken in a Climate Change refugee family?

I have taken in a climate change refugee family of four.  They were driven out of their home in the Mekong Delta because of the flooding from the melting polar ice caps. 
We are working to place 8 other families, and I hope you can spread this appeal to everyone on your email list. 
In the meantime, please pray for the people in the Southeastern U.S. as they begin abandoning their homes in a quest for higher ground. 

Oh.  Wait a minute.  None of that happened.  False alarm.  Chill out.  Never mind. 

Back in 2005, the U.N.'s Chicken Little Climate Outfit put out an alarm designed to scare the crap out of everybody living less than half a mile above sea level.  We were going to have 50 million climate refugees by 2010. 
Fifty million climate refugees by 2010. Today we find a world of asymmetric development, unsustainable natural resource use, and continued rural and urban poverty. There is general agreement about the current global environmental and development crisis. It is also known that the consequences of these global changes have the most devastating impacts on the poorest, who historically have had limited entitlements and opportunities for growth.

Why the screen shot, instead of a link? Well, the representatives of truth at all costs decided that their predictions were a bit embarrassing and scrubbed the site.  We still have this Inconvenient Truth of a relic thanks to the miracle of Google cache. 
The also tried to delete the delightful map that showed which parts of the world would most likely be under water by now.  With that many climatologists leaning all over each other at the U.N., you'd think that one of them would know that this stuff stays out there on the internet forever....

And in the words of Anthony Watts,

And here it is in full-sized hi-resolution glory, suitable for printing, slides, or coffee mugs…wherever it might be appropriate to show the folly of these boneheads.

You can hit this link and get a larger version. 

I'm emailing this trophy to our graphics department today to have it posterized.  And I'm talking a really huge poster.

This non-crisis is about fund-raising through fear. 

It would've been interesting to live with one of those flooded-out refugee families, though. 

The Atlas Shrugged/Bush/Obama Reality Mashup

You've still got time to see it !!! (The movie, I mean.  The actors aren't great, but they're better than the cast of the D.C. Reality Show.) 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What if Uncle Sam hired a consultant?

A couple of years ago, my employer, Jukt Micronics, got into some serious trouble with the bank. 

We were into our line of credit further than we wanted.  Business was ok, but we were in danger because of some slow-paying projects and a few other problems. 

The bank said they would cheerfully continue to lend us money, but there were going to be some strings attached.  And one of those string was....a consultant. 

This consultant, who I'm going to call Batman (because he just might have been Batman), came in like a whirlwind.  He toured our facilities and without even thinking about it.....

* Laid off 25% of our employees.  We found that we didn't really need them. 

* Sold off every excess part, machine, or asset he could get his hands on.  Turns out, we didn't miss much of it.  I'm still pissed that he got rid of 8 of my semi-tractor tires that I still think I really needed, and Marvel Variants is irked to this day about some case front parts that got chunked.  But this freed up a lot of cash. 

* Eliminated a lot of duplicated efforts.  If something could be consolidated, he consolidated it. 

* Put a policy in place that we couldn't purchase anything without his approval, and he didn't approve anything except raw materials and a few maintenance items.  Turns out that we didn't really need anything new except raw materials and a few maintenance items. 

* Renegotiated payment terms with almost every vendor. 

* Made an effort at getting us out of every unprofitable business/sideline that he could. 

(He didn't just slash and burn, though.  He let me spend a small fortune on pallet rack.) 

Our debt was a relatively small portion of our yearly income.  Not much at all, really.  But if we were going to avoid going further into the hole, the actions listed above were necessary.  They weren't easy, but it's what we had to do.  We're now doing well, thank you. 

The U.S. government's debt, however, is approaching 100% of our yearly GDP.
Our government is borrowing $188 million dollars per hour. 
We have troops all over the world, at no charge, protecting other countries from non-existent threats. 
We have multiple cabinet-level departments that have totally failed to produce the results for which they were created. 
We're paying for this by printing money to make up for what China won't loan us.  Prices on everything are going up.  Please don't be fooled by racket about wars, harvests, or scarcity.  Ben Bernanke is printing money.  He's ruining your savings. 
We've paying to put more black men in government cages than the Confederacy ever dreamed of.  When we try to reform marijuana laws, the narcs, cops, prison guards and beer distributors all lobby to keep them in their cages.  This ain't cheap. 
We're in the middle of a drug war that has killed more civilians than drugs ever have. 
We could tax the wealthy at 100% of their annual yearly income.  Take all of it.  And we still wouldn't have enough to pay for what Washington is spending per year.   

The people we laughably call "leaders" are suggesting plans that will have us spending less than our income within 6-12 years.   Rand Paul's plan wouldn't cut defense, and would have us spending more than our income for another 6 years.  Paul Ryan's would take even longer.  The thing Obama trotted out on Wednesday didn't even rise to the level of Symbolic Gesture. 

There is no other alternative.  We must kill the beast.  Cut.  Privatize.  Economize.  Bring the troops home.  Release the prisoners.  Shut down the Departments of Education and Energy.   Drive a stake through its heart.  Put a morgue tag on its toe.  Make it achieve room temperature. 

We don't need to worry about the economic impact.  I promise that if the government lets me spend my money, I will spend all of it.  Every penny.  Texas A & M university guarantees it. 

This is the largest debt in the history of the universe.  This is getting terrifying, folks.