Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Nation of Uneducated Adults

We have been talking about our lousy public schools now for some 30 years and to date nothing of much substance has been done to produce EDUCATED KIDS ready to work and think in the work force. What we are producing in many cases are young adults who have never grown up and worse cannot read, write and think properly. The following are excerpts from an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by William McGurn (WSJ READ).

"When Barack Obama's pastor was caught on tape accusing the government of inventing HIV for "genocide against people of color," it was dismissed as another crazy conspiracy theory – which of course it was. But what if the Rev. Wright had used his pulpit to direct a little fire-and-brimstone against a very real outrage: a public-school system that's depriving millions of children of the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy?"

"Scarcely half of American children in our 50 largest cities will leave their public schools with a high-school diploma in hand, according to a study released by America's Promise Alliance. These children are disproportionately African-American. Their homes are disproportionately located in our largest public school districts. And the failure is a scar on this great land of opportunity.

"...And of course, the teachers unions devote their considerable resources to fighting any measure that increases accountability or gives parents more options."

The Democrats won't fight for better schools - it's up to McCain. But is he up to the task to finally get our kids a first class K-12 education? The doctor's still out on this one. A nation filled with dummies who can't decide science from fiction as in the evolution or Creationism "debate", can't do math, or read Shakespeare, or write an essay will eventually see the twilight.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Obama/Clinton/McCain: Leave Us Free to Think and Act

Pete Dupont at WSJ has a scary scenario if we should be saddled with an Obama Presidency. Voter Beware! Do we want stagnation, increased poverty, lower trade with our friends and neighbors, less purchasing power, no growth and therefore less jobs? I would be very careful for whom you cast your ballot. This November will be the most important election in recent history: Besides Obama being the most liberal senator: "Add the announced retirement of six Republican senators and 29 Republican House members (compared with just seven House Democrats) and the Democrats are likely to control both the House and the Senate with much bigger majorities than they do today."

"Four significant public policy changes are certain: the size, scope and spending of the federal government will substantially expand; income taxes will go up; protectionism will replace free trade; and a commitment to global internationalism will saddle America with a broad Kyoto global warming agreement that, according to the U.N. Climate Treaty Secretariat, should exempt China and India.

"Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have proposed increasing annual federal spending, respectively, by $226 billion and $303 billion – the Obama total being about a 10% increase. Neither of them as president would likely limit any spending – not entitlements, not earmarks, not farm subsidies."

" 'He is indeed a redistributionist,' said blogger and Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan after watching Mr. Obama's answer to a tax question in last week's presidential debate."

Is this what America wants? A redistributionist 'a la' Soviet Union? Vietnam? North Korea? We know what happened to the first two and the misery the North Koreans have to live under today!

Why don't our left leaning politicians ever learn the lesson that most Americans appear to have learned from history. Taking from the rich, increasing taxes, placing barriers to free trade by protectionist policies all lead to DEPRESSION as it did under Herbert Hoover (THE GREAT DEPRESSION-remember this?)

Now couple all of the above bad moves that an Obama (or Clinton) presidency would make with all the restrictions that would come about due to Global Warming regulations such as hindering our use of new coal and oil reserves and prohibiting the building of new coal and nuclear plants you have a recipe for self-inflicted poverty and backwardness.

There is only one solution to riding out the current downturn in our economy and that is to UNLEASH the power of private individuals, entrepreneurs - the thinkers and the doers - and allow them to do what they do best - create, build, solve, and bring into actuality a better world for all of us.

POLITICIANS - leave us free to think and act!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Government's Job: Do Not dictate What My Values Are - Protect Them

Over at Forbes Dr. Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute writes that "government's job is not to dictate your values but to protect them". Wow! How dare this man say that our government cannot TELL us what to value! Why the nerve of him. We're just helpless pawns of life blindly following the whim of the moment! Of course government has to hold our hands and tell us what to value-how could we manage by ourselves? How could we live without the Nanny State? (Read the whole article here).

"They awaken in their highly mortgaged house (interest deduction), make breakfast for their adopted child (tax credit and exemption), then drive their hybrid cars (more tax credits) to work. John, at his office, signs a contract for solar energy panels (tax credit), but he turns down a promotion that would launch the couple into a higher tax bracket. Meanwhile, across town, Jane signs an application to get historic preservation status (tax credits) for her office building."

"...Tax policy works by attaching financial incentives to a long list of values deemed morally worthy. If you want to maximize your wealth come tax time--and who doesn't?--you must look at the world through tax-colored glasses, "voluntarily" adjusting your behavior to suit social norms and thereby qualifying for tax breaks. In this way, the social engineers of tax policy preserve the impression that you're exercising free choice, while they're actually dispensing with your reason and your judgment...

"Here's the point: Government's job is not to dictate your values but to protect them. In a free country, you choose values and then use your own money as a tool to achieve them. But a value-rigged tax policy reverses this cause and effect--it uses your money against you, bribing you with tax breaks that let you keep some of your earnings in exchange for abandoning your preferred values.

"Clearly, we have slid a long way downhill from this nation's founding, when political leaders respected individuals' ability to make rational decisions for themselves about how to pursue their own health, wealth and happiness. Today, it is commonly accepted that Uncle Sam has a right to reach not only into your wallet but into your soul, through tax policies that substitute some version of the "public interest" for your own rational desires."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Democrats, Lead by Pelosi, Reject Colombia At Our and the Region's Peril

By all accounts Colombia has made a remarkable transformation primarily by being tough on Narco traffiquers which are the local terrorists. Kidnappings, drug traffiquing and murder is down all due to the remarkable leader in that country, Alvaro Uribe. So how is it that the US congress is incapable of passing the Free Trade Agreement with this country so that tariffs will be lowered on our goods going into Colombia? Craven corruption.

Over at WSJ John Fund has a good column about how important this trade deal is to Colombia, to us and the region as far as a barrier to Chavez' designs on the rest of Latin America.

President Uribe made clear how disappointed he was that the Democratic front-runner had chosen domestic politics over geopolitical stability: "I deplore the fact that Sen. Obama . . . should be unaware of Colombia's efforts," he said in a statement. "I think it is for political calculations that he is making a statement that does not correspond to Colombia's reality."

The simple truth is that the opposition to the trade agreement--from the Democratic presidential contenders to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi--has nothing to do with reality. Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, admitted as much recently: "It's not the substance on the ground--it's the politics in the air."

There was another period when raw politics was allowed to trump what many in Congress privately admitted was common sense. In the spring of 1930, as the economic downturn set off by the previous year's stock market crash set in, Congress was debating the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill that sought to raise U.S. import barriers to record levels.

Most of the leading economists of the day opposed Smoot-Hawley. A front-page New York Times headline on May 5, 1930, read: "1,028 Economists Ask Hoover to Veto Pending Tariff Bill." But for entirely selfish and shortsighted reasons, both Congress and President Hoover went along with the protectionist hysteria. As a result, the Great Depression was probably deepened and extended for years.

Today, another no-brainer trade vote is before Congress. The foreign-policy benefits of the agreement are immense and the economic costs are minimal. "This is a test of whether the Democratic Congress is ready to accept the responsibilities of the majority," says Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.

Everyone plays politics with trade. But there are times when the stakes are too important. The Colombia agreement is another example of when politics must take a back seat for a larger good. We certainly know how Hugo Chavez is rooting for the congressional vote to turn out.

The Leftist and Their Hipocritical Bemoaning of Taxes

Isn't it funny to hear liberals in Hollywood like Streisand and Senators like Clinton decry that rich people should pay more taxes? It's not enough that 5 % of the top earners pay 60% of the taxes and the bottom 50 % pay 3% of the taxes (2005 figures) - the rich themselves cry out in anguish that "the rich should pay more taxes still. Well the left need not cry any longer - there is a solution in the making in Washington. Read this from the WSJ:

California Republican John Campbell yesterday introduced in the House his "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act," which would amend the tax code to allow individuals to make voluntary donations to the federal government above their normal tax liability. The bill would place a new line on IRS tax forms to make this easy.

Mr. Campbell says he has heard the "cries" of those wealthy Americans – Mrs. Clinton, Warren Buffett, Barbra Streisand – who reject the lower tax rates passed in 2001 and 2003 and complain that they and their fellow rich don't pay enough. "It's a great injustice that citizens wishing to fulfill their dream of paying more taxes cannot simply check a box on their 1040 form to make a donation," he says. His bill would give liberals a chance to salve their consciences without having to raise taxes on millions of Americans who already feel overtaxed as it is.
(read letter to Mr. Campbell in support of the "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act". This is at www.Nationaltaxpayersunion.org)

So why don't the rich pay more taxes? Who is stopping them? Is there a law against paying more than your "fair" share? Hypocrisy pure and simple since the rich ARE paying most of the taxes in America.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Senator Tom Coburn Demands Honesty From Fellow Senators

So that one does not get depressed and frustrated it helps to watch one of the good guys telling it like it is to these rascals in Washington who think nothing of spending our money as well as the money of future generations. Tom Coburn is a hero in my book. Go to www.Freedomtalks.org.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Obama Sells America to the Highest Bidder: The UN

We already know that Senator Obama is the most liberal senator in the US senate so are we surprised that this man has introduced the Global Poverty Act. Read Edward Cline's article at Capitalism Magazine if you want to get sick but also please write your reps and senators to oppose this piece of disgusting legislation which would hand us over to the likes of the United Nations. Also of note they are not putting this to a roll call vote but to anonymous voice vote and it's a bipartisan-sponsored bill!!!!! Why don't we just have a one party system like the Soviet Union was!! Please read Mr. Cline's article.

"Congress is proposing, in Barack Obama's Global Poverty Act (S.2433, based on H.R. 1302, passed by the House September 25, 2007), that Americans be delivered into a state of indentured servitude as laborers for the United Nations. Perhaps "indentured servitude" is too kind a term, for as horrendous a condition as it is, there is usually a time limit to such servitude.

"Slavery would be the more accurate term in this instance, for what Congress is considering is servitude by Americans in perpetuity, in exchange for nothing but the privilege of laboring to "save" the world without thanks or reward, of filling the alleged needs of others, of performing unlimited "community service" for the offense of merely existing.The not-so-peculiar and odd thing about H.R. 1302 was that it passed the House by voice vote. This is a stratagem adopted by legislators who fear that a bill is so outrageous that it is better that no record be kept of those who endorsed it. S.2433 was passed from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the same manner - by voice vote, without public hearings, to protect the identities of the guilty. It will probably be introduced to the Senate for a similar, anonymous voice vote -- by Harry Reid.

"There is a double irony in this behavior. First, S.2433 is a bipartisan-sponsored bill. This underscores the fact that there is no fundamental difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties. Second, it is a piece of legislation which, given the altruist, collectivist premises behind it, one would have thought its creators should have trumpeted boastfully. But it is being handled by corrupt, guilty, fearful sneaks who haven't the courage of their own malice."


Saturday, April 05, 2008

For Happiness and Progress You Need Reason Not Faith

Ibn Warraq has an insightful article "Why the West is Best" (City Journal) i.e. why it is better than any other place on earth. More than anything else, it is a state of mind which allows westerners the greater freedom to live their lives to the fullest. Alas, whereas we have thrown off the shackles of faith many parts of the globe have not and we see death, destruction and mayhem as a result. For happiness the basic ingredient is reason not faith.

"The great ideas of the West—rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy—are superior to any others devised by humankind. It was the West that took steps to abolish slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in Africa, where rival tribes sold black prisoners into slavery. The West has secured freedoms for women and racial and other minorities to an extent unimaginable 60 years ago. The West recognizes and defends the rights of the individual: we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live lives of our choosing."

"In short, the glory of the West, as philosopher Roger Scruton puts it, is that life here is an open book. Under Islam, the book is closed. In many non-Western countries, especially Islamic ones, citizens are not free to read what they wish...

"One could characterize the difference between the West and the Rest as a difference in epistemological principles. The desire for knowledge, no matter where it leads, inherited from the Greeks, has led to an institution unequaled—or very rarely equaled—outside the West: the university. Along with research institutes and libraries, universities are, at least ideally, independent academies that enshrine these epistemological norms, where we can pursue truth in a spirit of disinterested inquiry, free from political pressures. In other words, behind the success of modern Western societies, with their science and technology and open institutions, lies a distinct way of looking at the world, interpreting it, and recognizing and rectifying problems.

"...Moreover, other parts of the world recognize Western superiority. When other societies such as South Korea and Japan have adopted Western political principles, their citizens have flourished. It is to the West, not to Saudi Arabia or Iran, that millions of refugees from theocratic or other totalitarian regimes flee, seeking tolerance and political freedom. ...

"A culture that gave the world the novel; the music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert; and the paintings of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Rembrandt does not need lessons from societies whose idea of heaven, peopled with female virgins, resembles a cosmic brothel. Nor does the West need lectures on the superior virtue of societies in which women are kept in subjection under sharia, endure genital mutilation, are stoned to death for alleged adultery, and are married off against their will at the age of nine; societies that deny the rights of supposedly lower castes; societies that execute homosexuals and apostates. The West has no use for sanctimonious homilies from societies that cannot provide clean drinking water or sewage systems, that make no provisions for the handicapped, and that leave 40 to 50 percent of their citizens illiterate.

"As Ayatollah Khomeini once famously said, there are no jokes in Islam..." (City Journal).

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Model is Right, It's the Real World That's Wrong

As the title implies (not my title but don't know who said this) scientists can be non-rational as well as anybody else especially when there is government money to be had. The "Real World" consists of constant fluctuations of temperatures that can last hundreds or even thousands of years. Below I have included just the most recent climates that earth went through. Remember George Washington and his crossing of the Delaware - yup the frozen Delaware River? There is a famous painting of the period depicting the large ice chunks. Doesn't look like fun for our own great General Washington does it?

"The Medieval Warm Period was a time of warm climate in Europe. The warmest part of the Medieval Warm Period was from about 950 until 1100 A.D. The warm climate overlaps with a time of high solar activity called the Medieval Maximum. The Medieval Warm Period occurred before the Little Ice Age, a time of cool climate in Europe and other places around the world. The graph on the left shows a reconstruction of average global temperatures over the past 1000 years with temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period similar to the first part of the 20th Century, cooler temperatures during the Little Ice Age, and dramatic warming in recent decades. The Medieval Warm Period was likely cooler than the past few decades.

According to some archaeologists, the Vikings may have been better able to explore and colonize many areas in Northern Europe while the climate was relatively warm during the Medieval Warm Period because there was less sea ice. They traveled by boats to Greenland among other places through seas that would later become blocked by sea ice during the Little Ice Age.

This natural warming of the planet resulted in growth and wealth. It was when the great cathedrals were built. This period was followed by "The Little Ice Age" which lasted four hundred years.

"For about five hundred years, from 1250 to 1850, most parts of the world experienced colder and harsher climates than usual. This time is called the Little Ice Age. During the Little Ice Age, average global temperatures were 1-1.5 degree Celsius (2-3 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than they are today. The cooler temperatures were caused by a combination of less solar activity and large volcanic eruptions. Cooling caused glaciers to advance and stunted tree growth. Livestock died, harvests failed, and humans suffered from famine and disease." (Read).

Here are some cool websites for further investigation to arm yourself with facts to fight the biggest attempt at controlling mankind since Communism.

Global Warming Doomsday Called off

For fun go to Song about our Universe

To see how Gore totally misconstrues climate science go to:

Snowjob on Al Gore
To see the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle: also here
Go here if you can't connect above.

Environmentalism - The New Communism and Threat to Liberty

I say that each American has the obligation to investigate this so called "Global Warming catastrophe" being pimped by the likes of Al Gore and Moore and see what the other side has to say. Something to remember that many scientists get government funding for their research especially climate research so it is to their benefit to come up with "proof" of the disaster that will follow "Global Warming". But I think Americans are smart enough to investigate this for themselves and see what the opposition has to say. The reason Mr. Klaus has such interesting comments on this topic is because he lived under Communism which was also all about controlling people and money. Let's put on our thinking caps folks and not let ourselves be hoodwinked into another form of communism or control.

Vaclav Klaus, the President of Czechoslovakia, has some inciteful answers to questions posed to him at The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. The following are some of his comments.

"My ambition is not to bring additional arguments to the scientific climatological debate about this phenomenon. I am convinced, however, that up to now this scientific debate has not been deep and serious enough and has not provided sufficient basis for the policymakers’ reaction. What I am really concerned about is the way the environmental topics have been misused by certain political pressure groups to attack fundamental principles underlying free society. It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment but a clash of views about human freedom.

"As someone who lived under communism for most of my life I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism. This ideology preaches earth and nature and under the slogans of their protection – similarly to the old Marxists – wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning of the whole world.

"The environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an indisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and PR campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argumentation is based on the spreading of fear and panic by declaring the future of the world to be under serious threat. In such an atmosphere they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures, impose arbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on everyday human activities and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision-making. To use the words of Friedrich Hayek, they try to stop free, spontaneous human action and replace it by their own, very doubtful human design."(READ THE REST HERE). (Also go here). For some real cool videos go here.