Saturday, September 5, 2009

In spite of 20 more years of Global Cooling, I hope the dream of warming lives on ! ! !

From The Yid With Lid, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorites....

Scientist Predicts 10-20 Years of Global COOLING

OOPS, Better Buy a new winter coat. At the UN's World Climate Change Conference in Geneva one of the worlds top climate change scientists, predicted that we are facing 10-20 years of global cooling. The Scientist, named Mojib Latif said the cooling would be the result of changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the North Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Latif also said that the NAO may be partly the cause of warming during the past 30 years. Do they have SUV's in the North Atlantic Ocean? Do they have McMansions? No? Trucking Companies? Then what new activity can we find to be self-righteous about?

Latif says that he is not a global warming skeptic, and says that after the cooling, the world will start warming again:

World's climate could cool first, warm later
by Fred Pearce, Geneva

Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter "one or even two decades during which temperatures cool. If that's the case, can we get some of our Clunkers back?

"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.

"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it." Sorry, Mojib. If you've placed a wager on "cooling", that makes you one of the sceptics. That simple gesture is all that's required to put you on the level of a Holocaust Denier.

Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought.

This is bad timing. You're dang right, it's bad timing. Can you imagine the money being lost by those who were banking on the Goracle's Green Startup companies? The UN's World Meteorological Organization called the conference in order to draft a global plan for providing "climate services" to the world: that is, to deliver climate predictions useful to everyone from farmers worried about the next rainy season to doctors trying to predict malaria epidemics and builders of dams, roads and other infrastructure who need to assess the risk of floods and droughts 30 years hence.

But some of the climate scientists gathered in Geneva to discuss how this might be done admitted that, on such timescales, natural variability is at least as important as the long-term climate changes from global warming. "In many ways we know more about what will happen in the 2050s than next year," said Vicky Pope from the UK Met Office. Exactly. They don't know jack about either one.

Cold Atlantic

Latif predicted that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over warming caused by humans. The cooling would be down to cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the North Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. "But how much? The jury is still out," he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

Scientists have proven that if you put a flame near a oil can it will explode, it has proven that if you drop a bowling ball of the top of the empire state building it will go down, not up. Scientists have not proven that man made carbon emissions will effect our climate.

Until they do, it is just plain nonsense to redesign our economy and cause continued hardships in anticipation of a man-made global warming trend 30 years from now. Any push done today is not about global warming, it is about global redistribution of income.
Well said, Mr. Yid.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

End The Fed, by Congressman Ron Paul - Pure, Undiluted Greatness

I got an advance copy of a long-awaited book in the mail today. Here's one of the opening paragraphs.

"....After all is said and done, the Fed has one power that is unique to it alone: it enables the creation of money out of thin air....Given that money is one half of every commercial transaction and that whole civilizations literally rise and fall based on the quality of their money, we are talking about an awesome power, one that flies under cover of night. It is the power to weave illusions that appear real as long as they last. That is the very core of the Fed's power.
As President Obama said of the economic boom that went bust: "I think it's important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place."

Those are among the opening paragraphs of Ron Paul's new book "End The Fed". I'm about halfway through my advance copy (I LOVE my new status as a member of the fourth estate), and so far, the book is pure, undiluted greatness. Brilliant.

When I get through reading a good book, there are markings on about 10% of the pages. By the time I got a few pages into "End The Fed", I was losing the ability to distinguish between the good, the great, the superlative, and the immortal passages that should be tattooed on Ben Bernanke's nether regions.
There's no point in underlining and highlighting in a book when it inspires this kind of frantic vandalism:

Here are a few of Dr. Paul's comments on the Fed's practice of pumping money into the economy whenever it suits them:

"It is and should be a mainstream cause to end the power and secrecy of the Fed. It's my own view that ending the Fed would address the most vexing problems of politics of our time. It would bring and end to dollar depreciation. It would take away from the government the means to fund its endless wars. It would curb the government's attacks on the civil liberties of Americans, stop its vast debt accumulation that will be paid by future generations, and arrest its massive expansions of the welfare state that has turned us into a nation of dependents....Essentially you take away from the government the capacity to expand without limit. It is the first step to restoring constitutional government. Without the Fed, the federal government would have to live within its means. It would still be too big and too intrusive, just like all state governments are today, but the outrageous empire at home and abroad would have to come to and end."

This little snippet got 3 stars in the margin:

"Even the Fed itself claims that part of its job is to keep inflation in check. This is something like the tobacco industry claiming that it is trying to stop smoking or the automobile industry claiming that it is trying to control road congestion. The Fed is in the business of generating inflation.....the entire reason for the Fed's existence is to generate more (inflation), not less of it.
What the largest banks desire is precisely what we might expect any large corporation to desire: privatized profits and socialized losses. The profits come from successful loan activities, sometimes during economic booms. But when the boom turns to bust, the losses are absorbed by third parties and do not affect the bottom line. To cover losses requires a supply of money that stretches to meet bankers' demands.....
Whenever instability turns up, so do efforts to socialize the losses."

Paul goes on to explain the history of the Fed, and how its stated goal was to stabilize the money supply. But then,

"In practice the reality has been much different. One only needs to reflect on the dramatic decline in the value of the dollar that has taken place since the Fed was established in 1913. The goods and services you could buy for $1.00 in 1913 now cost nearly $21.00. Another way to look at this is from the perspective of the purchasing power of the dollar itself. It has fallen to less than $.05 of its 1913 value. We might say that the government and its banking cartel have together stolen $.95 of every dollar as they have pursued a relentlessly inflationary policy."

Dr. Paul gives us a chapter on his intellectual influences, and gives some credit to his grandmother, who knew her Bible well. Shortly after the end of WW2, prices were rising because of inflationary war financing, causing Grandmother Paul to remember Genesis 47:15, a passage describing Joseph has become Pharaoh's Bread Czar:

"So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, 'Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed.' "
Our current problem was well established, even in ancient Egypt. Debased currencies fail. Governments cannot manage money.

That's my new favorite Bible verse. Genesis 47:15.
Dr. Paul also discusses FDR's ham-handed attempts to eliminate competitors of Fed Funny Money:

"Roosevelt, by executive order (6102) in 1933, confiscated all gold held by private citizens, with a few minor exceptions such as numismatic (collector) coins, and levied severe penalties on those who disobeyed. The penalty (for owning gold) was $10,000 and/or ten years in prison. In today's money, that's more like $400,000. It was a rather bold, arrogant move from which much harm has come."

And then he writes:

Before gold became legal in 1975, many gold bugs were buying it. I purchased my first gold shortly after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods Agreement. The law was circumvented by buying numismatic coins (any coin dated 1947 or older was considered a numismatic coin). Mexico accommodated American citizens by minting the beautiful Mexican 50 peso, weighing 1.2 ounces, and placing the date 1947 on it.

I love it. I've read through chapter 3, but will probably finish the book tonight.
You must own this book.
Sometime soon, when we're assured of the official on-sale date, we're going to have the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup at the Border's Books at Hulen and I-30 in Fort Worth. This book will be the topic for discussion.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another nominee for The Whitey - Charles Rangel

Six or seven months ago, when The Teleprompter Jesus was trying to fill his cabinet, I created something called The Whitey Award. The Whitey is given for the best effort at eliminating government waste. Special consideration is given to nominees who accomplish this by not giving the government any of their money.

Previous nominees include Tom Daschle, Rahm Emmanuel, She Whose Name Is Not Spoken, Tim Geithner, Hilda Solis, and the two guys who wheeled a corpse into a convenience store in an effort to cash the dead guy's Social Security check. (Hey, if that dead man's money had gone back to the government, it would've been spent on Clunkers, stimulus programs, or bailouts, instead of drugs and alcohol.) You can go here to read the qualifications of each Whitey nominee.

Early on in the Obama administration, I thought I was going to have to retire the trophy. The playing field was almost like the Special Olympics: too many winners. Then we went about three months without a new scandal, and we seemed to have achieved tax-paying compliance from those we pay our taxes to.

Then comes Charlie Rangel. Rangel is chair of The House Ways And Means Committee, and controls more money than Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong-Il, or any other socialist I can think of. And he goes to great lengths not to share any of the pile that is his. Here's a blogger named Ripclawe, from someplace in the Caribbean, on Rangel's latest accomplishment:

Representative Charles B. Rangel failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets on his financial disclosure forms for 2002 through 2006, including tens of thousands of dollars in rental income from a Harlem brownstone he sold in 2004, according to records filed this month with the clerk of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Rangel, who is facing investigations by two House subcommittees into his personal finances and fund-raising, filed amended financial disclosure forms on Aug. 12 acknowledging that he had omitted an array of assets, business transactions and sources of income. They include a Merrill Lynch Global account valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds; and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily brownstone building he owned on West 132nd Street.

So to Representative Charles B. Rangel, you have our respect and undying gratitude for doing your part to eliminate government waste. Your nomination has been recorded, and we wish you good luck beating the rap on this one.
If you ever get your hands on your own tax money, you'll probably just waste it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Top 10 Signs You Might Not Be A Libertarian, and The Top 10 Signs That You Just Might Be

Someone called Darksyde has written something for the Daily Kos called "The Top 10 Signs You Might Not Be A Libertarian". Parts of it are pretty funny, and Darksyde makes some good points about the libertarian ranks swelling because of the recent Republican debacles. All of my additions to Darksydes original post are in italics.

Notice a propensity of newly minted Libertarians showing up lately? Perhaps it's just coincidence their ranks swelled in inverse proportion to George Bush's approval rating, ditto that so many are mouthing traditional conservative talking points. But what about the everyday gun toting townhall screamers and taxcutters and deficit hawks we see on cable news: are they really libertarian as so many claim, or just conservatives in glibertarian clothes? Here's a few warning signs.

  1. If you think Ron Paul isn't conservative enough and Fox News is fair and balanced, you might not be a Libertarian. I think that Ron Paul generally acts on a different continuum than the Conservative/Liberal one. He's "small l" libertarian, as opposed to a Statist. And why does every Lefty that I encounter obsess over Fox News? Do they not own remote controls? I can't watch Fox or the Castro News Network without throwing shoes at the screen. A pox on both their houses.
  1. If you believe you have an inalienable right to attend Presidential townhalls brandishing a loaded assault rifle, but that arresting participants inside for wearing a pink shirt is an important public safety precaution, there's a chance you're dangerously unbalanced, but no chance you're a Libertarian. I think that the people carrying assault rifles to Presidential townhalls are less dangerous to society than the featured speaker at Presidential townhalls. I also own two pink shirts.
  1. If you think the government should stay the hell out of Medicare, well, you have way, way bigger problems than figuring out if you're really a Libertarian. By the time I qualify for any Medicare assistance, the program will be as broke as The Ten Commandments, and government will have decided to stay the hell out of Medicare. It's a moot point for me.
  1. If you rank Anthonin Scalia and Roy Moore among the greatest Justices of all time, you may be bug fuck crazy, but you're probably not a Libertarian. I kinda like Anthony Scalia. I've already written my opinions of Roy Moore. He isn't bug fuck crazy, but is instead.... (I think this is the third time I've been obligated to use that link. Sorry, Mama.)
  1. You might not be a Libertarian if you think recreational drug use, prostitution, and gambling should be illegal because that's what Jesus wants. Jesus supposedly turned water into wine (homegrown), he was criticized for hanging out with prostitutes, and he forgave the soldiers who were gambling for his clothes at the foot of the cross. 'Nuff said.
  1. If you think the separation between church and state applies equally to all faiths except socially conservative Christian fundamentalism, you're probably not a Libertarian. Don't get me started. I'm even for separation of Americans and State.
  1. You're probably not a Libertarian if you believe the federal government should remove safety standards and clinical barriers for prescription and OTC medications while banning all embryonic stem cell research, somatic nuclear transfer, RU 486, HPV and cervical cancer vaccination, work on human/non human DNA combos, or Plan B emergency contraception. I kinda hope the government continues to stay out of all those fields of research, because I'm confident that China is researching all of the above like crazy. If our legislators are in charge of the funding, they'll just screw it up.
  1. If you think state execution of mentally retarded convicts is good policy but prosecuting Scott Roeder or disconnecting Terri Schiavo was an unforgivable sin, odds are you're not really a Libertarian. I can go one further than that....I think we should consult with his family, and then pull the plug on Democratic Senator (and former Community Organizer for the Ku Klux Klan) Robert Byrd.
  1. If you argue that cash for clunkers or any form of government healthcare is unconstitutional, but forced prayer or teaching old testament creationism in public schools is fine, you're not even consistent, much less a Libertarian, and you may be Michele Bachmann. Public schools? Public schools? What government official in Washington, now that Jimmy Carter has been sent packing, would ever dream of sending their kids to the Public Schools? What point was Darksyde trying to make here?

And the number one sign: if you think government should stay the hell out of people's private business -- except when kidnapping citizens and rendering them to secret overseas torture prisons, snooping around the bedrooms of consenting adults, policing a woman's uterus, or conducting warrantless wire taps, you are no Libertarian.

Darksyde was doing ok until that last paragraph. He happened to step on a different set of toes there. I'm actually surprised that Daily Kos ran that part of his post. Because I think the Libertarians will soon be seeing some refugees and carpetbaggers from another political party, giving me the opportunity to write something like this. I'll go out of italics mode here.....

Notice a propensity of newly minted Libertarians showing up lately? Perhaps it's just coincidence their ranks swelled in inverse proportion to Barack Obama's approval rating, ditto that so many are mouthing traditional Lefty talking points. But what about the everyday anti-war protesters and transparency lovers we used to see on cable news: are they really libertarian as so many claim, or just traditional Big State Fat Cats dressing down to go slumming with The Proles? Here are a few warning signs that you really might be a Libertarian.

  1. If you thought you were electing the most transparent administration in history, but were sorely disappointed, you might now qualify as a Libertarian.
  1. If you recently discovered that anti-government protests aren't reserved for "progressives", but for anyone who believes that government's programs hurt the poor and needy the most, well, you just might be a Libertarian.
  1. If you recently looked at your Social Security contributions, and compared them to your 401K contributions, and the money you'll get from each, you'll soon become a Libertarian.
  1. If you recently discovered that Ted Kennedy gave less than 1% of his money to charity, which is a lot more than Joe Biden has given to charity, but they both wanted you to give a higher and higher % of your money to them??? And you finally woke up and wondered what the hell is up with that??? You might really be a Libertarian.
  1. You might be a Libertarian if you've ever wondered why Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Carrie Prejean (the now-infamous Miss California) all have the exact same position in opposition to Gay/Lesbian marriage.
  1. If you've ever looked into why Nancy "Greater Tuna" Pelosi has exempted employees in a certain industry from minimum wage legislation, you've probably become a Libertarian by now. Besides that, she's batshit crazy.
  1. If you still believe that the Department of Energy - created to reduce our dependence of foreign oil, the Department of Education - created to help teach something or other, or the Federal Reserve - created to help stabilize the value of the dollar, or this ignorant-assed website have been remotely effective, there's no hope for you and you're probably not a Libertarian.
  1. If you became deeply and profoundly irritated when you realized that Extraordinary Rendition would continue during the Obama presidency, you may have become a Libertarian. Or maybe it was when you learned that warrantless wiretaps would continue. Or perhaps you looked at the Obama The Warmonger widget to your right, and got tired of me asking HOW'S THAT HOPE AND CHANGE THING WORKIN' OUT FOR YA ?????
  1. If you decided it was somewhat hypocritical to claim as many tax deductions as possible while arguing for more goverment spending, you may have seen the light and become a Libertarian.

And the number one sign: if you think government should stay the hell out of people's private business -- except when kidnapping citizens and rendering them to secret overseas torture prisons, snooping around the bedrooms of consenting adults, or conducting warrantless wire taps, you are no Libertarian.

But some of us have elected a Democrat president and congress who, by commission or omission, continue to approve all of the above.

The Libertarian Party awaits.....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A note to the new Pay Czar

From Michelle Malkin, on the compensation level of Obama's "Pay Czar", the individual tasked with determining how much money someone can earn:

Kenneth Feinberg made $5.76 million last year as a partner in his Washington law firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP, according to a government ethics filing obtained by Reuters.
And his assets, which include a stake in his law firm, two homes and dozens of investments, are worth anywhere from $11 million to $37 million, according to the filing, which places assets in broad value categories.
His homes are a $1.66 million house in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, and a $1.96 million vacation home in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard.
Please allow me a brief digression about Martha's Vineyard....Who was Martha? Why is her Vineyard so popular with those of a certain political persuasion? Did Martha begin with a small summer camp for pious hypocrites, and it grew from there? Just wondering.

As long as I can remember, groups of Lefties have advocated topping organizational salaries at a multiple of someone else's earnings. I can remember people admiring the restraint of Ben & Jerry's founders (Ben & Jerry), who refused to take home more than, say, 10 times the salary of their lowest paid employee. I don't remember the exact number. This exercise in posturing didn't extend to Ben & Jerry's stock options, though, and after cloaking themselves with righteousness for a decade, they walked away with a lots more than 10 times the salary of the lowest 8 percent of the least compensated quartile of the blah blah blah blah blah. The whole thing makes me ill.

Anyway, the salary czar seems fixated on evil CEO's, Wall Street villains, people who burn orphanages, and the like. I think he should roll out something like this:

No lawyer can earn more than 12 times the amount earned by the paralegal who prosecuted Ted Kennedy's manslaughter case.

No actor, regardless of his political activism, can earn more than 17 times the director's salary of the Merigold Mississippi Community Theatre.

Take the cost of shipping one truckload of freight from Fort Worth, TX to a convention center in Chicago. Include Fuel, driver, use of tractor, use of trailer, road use taxes, and wear and tear on the vehicle for the 800 mile trip. From this number, subtract the cost of two union guys spending 20 minutes on forklifts unloading this freight at a Chicago convention center. Assume that this cost is lower than the freight cost. Sometimes it isn't. The leftover amount is the maximum monthly pay for any union leader.

No athlete can earn more than 7 times the annual salary of that guy from your high school who was a bust in the NFL draft, but who never learned how to do anything in school, and now spends his weekends watching his high school and college glory days on old videos.

No government official who leaves "Public Service" (ahem) to become a lobbyist can earn one cent more than the earnings of one of Fort Worth's Rosedale/Lancaster street whores. Equal work, equal pay.