Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Adventure is worthwhile - Aesop

Friday, April 23, 2010

X-37B makes its first flight

Our military knows how important our satellites are to their operations. Any country that goes to war with the formidable US military would be in a world of hurt. That is, unless they can cripple the technological advantages we have. And the quickest way to do so is to destroy enough of our satellites to fail both the GPS and the communications capabilities that our military hardware relies on to do its job well. The Chinese know they can not take the US head on. Let’s not kid around. China has ambitions to global domination, and they know the road to that requires them to eventually deal with the US military. They might choose to simply wait it out and hope 5 decades from now their economic advantages, the rapid decline of the US as the collectivists destroy anything and everything that made it exceptional, and their program to steal any and all military or industrial secrets without even the slightest bother to conceal that’s their agenda, to come together and deliver onto them that superior military capability, but my bet is that the fight will come sooner than later. The Chinese seem to feel the same way because for a while now their strategy has been to explore and build ways to come at us by asymmetrical means. From bringing down the internet to using ballistic missiles as carrier killers, they are looking at ways to overcome the technological advantage of our military, and score a David vs. Goliath kind of kill. And they are relying heavily on a strategy that attacks our space based infrastructure and destroy our technological advantage in the quickest and most effective way. So it is good to see that our military, despite the pap from the usual idiots that think the way to keep the hungry wolf at bay is to bare your throat to it in a gesture of submission, are taking the space threat seriously and acting upon it.

The military is fast moving to the use of UAVs. It should come as no surprise that an UAV would be just as good an option to have in space. The ability to quickly replace satellites or even protect ones in space while destroying enemy satellites or enemy kill vehicles, in order to provide continuity on the modern battlefield are key to deterring aggressive opponents. If you know your strategy to deny your enemy space and technology isn’t going to work, even a lunatic is going to think twice about starting a conflict that hinges on an asymmetrical attack reducing your enemy’s ability to take your forces out and give you a chance to win a fight you otherwise would not. If anything, this stuff will deter adventurism.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/23/10 at 06:15 AM in Politics   Science and Technology   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wikileaks Update

Wired has an interview with one of the soldiers involved in the fight that was the subject of the Wikileaks video a few weeks ago. I won’t quote.  Just go and read.  Then discuss.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/22/10 at 05:09 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wining To Congress

The Democrats have done a lot of things I haven’t liked over the last year.  Healthcare, climate, stimulus, you name it.  But this time ... they’ve gone too far.

The battle over whether consumers can order wine directly from wineries is moving to the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Members of Congress yesterday introduced a bill (HR 5034) that could end direct shipping of wine and other forms of alcohol in the United States, or at least put major roadblocks in front of lawsuits by consumers and wineries trying to reduce restrictions on direct shipping. Wine Spectator obtained a copy of a draft of the bill on Wednesday, which was crafted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). It would strengthen state governments’ control of alcohol sales, allowing them to protect the three-tier system of distribution while putting a much greater burden on people challenging it.

Here’s the story.  Up until 2005, the states had created a series of monopolies that controlled the distribution of alcohol.  You could only order beer, wine and spirits from in-state shops.  This was a relic of the prohibition era that was obviously quite popular with alcohol middle men.  But in 2005, the Supreme Court sent this regulatory scheme to the drunk tank, pointing out that Congress is the only body that can regulate interstate commerce. 

The result has been an explosion in direct alcohol shipping.  If you go out to California and find a wine you like, you can get them to ship a case to your home.  No having to go through your local distributor and give him his pound of flesh.  (My state, Pennsylvania, is still not compliant with the SCOTUS ruling, probably because the state itself owns all the liquor stores. Some of the lawsuits this would kill are the ones trying to get PA to comply with the damned SCOTUS ruling.)

The NBWA, representing state-sanctioned middle men in alcohol distribution, cried likea baby.  That didn’t work.  So, not being fools, they’re now arguing we need to restore their oligarchies.  You know ... for the children.

During the session, wholesalers and state regulators argued that the three-tier system is under attack and that the U.S. faces “an alcohol epidemic” if Congress does not intervene and prevent deregulation of alcohol sales. The hearing took many in the wine industry by surprise, and no winery-, retailer- or consumer-advocacy groups testified.

If you read some excerpts from the testimony, it’s clear that we have a “baptists and bootleggers” thing going on.  Literally.  Or should I say, “beer distributors and neo-prohibitionists”.

Among those testifying in favor of the three-tier producer-wholesaler-retailer system, several claimed that increased deregulation of the alcohol industry would lead to alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Pamela Erickson, an Arizona-based public policy advisor and a former Oregon state regulator, claimed that an “alcohol epidemic” has beset the United Kingdom due to deregulation of its alcohol industry. Erickson testified that as the U.K. deregulated between 1980 and 2007, “numerous nightlife centers sprung up … These became scenes of drunken debauchery, with people spilling out at closing time vomiting, urinating and passing out.” She offered no explanation of how the three-tier system prevents “nightlife centers” from springing up.

Nida Samona, chairwoman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission said, “In 1941, Supreme Court Justice [Robert] Jackson stated that liquor is ‘a lawlessness unto itself.’ That was true then and is true today. Alcoholic beverages must be highly regulated.”

I would be very interested to hear from our British readers if there are indeed nightlife centers of drunken debauchery all over the UK.  And since I’m going to the UK in a month or so, Icelandic volcanoes permitting, I would especially like to know the locations and operating hours of those nightlife centers.  Just for research purposes, of course.

Read the whole thing.  Of interest is that Warren Buffet is investing in the wholesaler business.  Say what you want about the man: he knows the Democrats.  And he knows that any time an industry asks them for help, the Democrats will geek.  Every time.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/22/10 at 07:30 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

We are going to get hosed yet again..

The demcorats are banking on general anger towards the banking and finance industry to provide them with some relief from their massively unpopular, expensive, and destructive government healthcare takeover bill, and are hoping that it will serve to mitigate the coming onslaught in November. They are in high posturing gear and actively engaged in both demonizing the private economic sector and fluffing up their own bone fides, claiming to be hard at work on a financial reform’s package that will stick it to those fat cast on Wall Street. In fact, to up the ante and create the illusion that they are going to come down hard on Wall Street, they even resorted to filing criminal charges against Goldman Sachs - what a coincidence and timing, huh? - which then had to be defended. If you have been following the details of this case it is obvious this was for show. There is no way the government wins this case in court - they have no proof of what they accuse Goldman of doing – and I guarantee you that’s on purpose. This is about posturing and nothing else. Keep this revelation in mind when watching this freak show playing out. The WH is in bed with these people. In fact, Wall Street gives a lot more cash to demcorats because they are the easiest to buy favors from.

Here is a prediction: we will again face a massive economic crisis, sooner than later, somewhere down the road. These same demcorats that are now demonizing Wall Street and are architecting this financial reform bill will write into law behavior that will create the conditions that will lead to yet another financial meltdown, and be directly responsible for that new crisis. Of course they will blame everyone but themselves, just as they did in this past economic crisis, and likely get away with it yet again. And the tax payer will foot the bill for that.

Look, it is simple: there is not a single thing that Wall Street does or doesn’t do that was not made possible by the law written by these very politicians now making the biggest hay of this economic disaster. The same applies to insurance companies and any other of the many industries that these collectivist twits love to demonize. Every bad thing that the demcorats tell you someone else did can be traced right back to some law they enacted that allowed or encouraged that bad behavior. The next time won’t be any different. Well except for the fact that we tax payers will have to foot a much, much larger bill when push comes to shove. It will again be everybody else’s fault, and not theirs though.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/22/10 at 07:14 AM in Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Earth Day Primer

Tomorrow is the world’s biggest joke: Earth Day.  I’ve been to rallies, mostly to observe.  And I’ve never been enlightened and rarely even amused.  The marches and protests you’ll see tomorrow have nothing to do with science and little to do with the environment.  It will be mostly a bunch of people trying to make themselves feel superior and moral.  A great editorial by Bjorn Lomborg says it all when it comes to Earth Day.

Given all the talk of impending catastrophe, this may come as a surprise, but as we approach the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, people who care about the environment actually have a lot to celebrate. Of course, that’s not how the organizers of Earth Day 2010 see it. In their view (to quote a recent online call to arms), “The world is in greater peril than ever.” But consider this: In virtually every developed country, the air is more breathable and the water is more drinkable than it was in 1970. In most of the First World, deforestation has turned to reforestation. Moreover, the percentage of malnutrition has been reduced, and ever-more people have access to clean water and sanitation.

Lomborg details his own journey from doom and gloom to optimism.  It happened because he simply started looking at the data.  And on everything except greenhouse gases—forestation, acid rain, smog, water—the trends were positive.  When I was a kid, LA was wrapped in a thick layer of smog ever day; no more.  When I was a kid, Lake Erie was almost dead; no more.  When I was a kid, cars, cans and paint dripped lead; no more.

It’s not that we don’t have environmental concerns.  Overfishing, for example, is a big problem right now.  But environmentalist refuse to acknowledge any progress whatsoever.  And admitting it turned Lomborg into Heretic Numero Uno in environmental circles and made him the target of a politicized witch hunt of an investigation.

If anything, this gulf between perception and reality has gotten wider over the years. For example, one of the “core issues” that the organizers of this year’s Earth Day say we should be worrying about is the use of fertilizers and pesticides. It may be unfashionable to point this out, but without the high-yield agricultural practices developed over the past 60 years, virtually all the forests of the world would have to have been cleared to make way for food production. And starvation would be much, much more prevalent.

I would also point out that these innovations are feeding more people on less farmland, massively expanding forests and nature preserves.  Moreover, improvement in farming, especially genetic modification, have drastically cut the pollution that farming used to entail.

April 22 should not be a day to rend our clothes and gnash our teeth.  It should be a day of celebration that so much progress has been made at so small a cost.  Environmental regulations has played a role (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, etc.).  But capitalism, innovation and technology have played the larger role.  Collectivist governments have the worst environmental records on the planet, as any resident of Chernobyl will tell you.

Lomborg especially takes on the proposed solutions to global warming, which makes him an Extra Double Secret Probation Climate Heretic:

What about indoor air pollution, which happens to be the world’s No. 1 environmental killer? In poor countries, 2.5 billion people rely on “biomass” — wood, waste and dung — to cook and keep themselves warm. This year, the resulting pollution will kill about 1.3 million of them, mainly women and children. Switching from biomass to fossil fuels would dramatically improve the lives of more than a third of the world’s population. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to hear any of this year’s Earth Day speakers promoting greater use of fossil fuels in poor countries.

I’m not saying we can blithely ignore global warming. Man-made climate change is real, and we do need to do something about it. But in a world in which most developing countries depend almost exclusively on fossil fuels to power their economies, it’s both impractical and immoral to insist that the only solution is for everyone to drastically cut carbon emissions. This approach might make sense if we were able to offer developing countries practical, affordable alternatives to coal and oil. But we cannot— and as long as we can’t, all we’re really doing when we call for massive carbon cuts is asking the world’s poor people to continue living lives of misery and deprivation.

I’m not quite as glib as Lomborg on fossil fuels, since I worry about scarcity.  But he hits the nail on the head.  Anti-carbon environmentalists insist that their efforts to abolish fossil fuels are for the good of the world’s poor.  But since when is poverty, pollution and disease good for anyone?

“Going Green” is something only rich countries can afford right now, since “green technology” is very very red when it comes to balance sheets.  Even solar power is outrageously expensive.  The technology simply doesn’t exist to build an economy around green energy, much as our leaders try to insist otherwise.

Innovation and capitalism have cleaned our air, cleaned our water and made every appliance we own more fuel efficient.  They have made our bodies healthy, our teeth straight and our lives long.  And yet, the greens continue to turn their back on this amazing miracle engine.

Update: More from Ron Bailey:

Since 1980, ambient concentrations of the six major regulated air pollutants have dropped by 54 percent, while U.S. population grew 34 percent, energy use increased 32 percent, automobile miles nearly doubled, and GDP rose by 126 percent. Specifically, ambient carbon monoxide is down 79 percent; ozone down 25 percent; nitrogen dioxide down 46 percent; sulfur dioxide down 56 percent, particulates down 68 percent.

More in peril than ever, my ass.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/21/10 at 08:00 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HUH! Take that Kumar…

That’s like what that little dwarf told him after stabbing him in that spoof of the Narnia movie! They always say that a conservative is someone that has had sense beaten into them by the real world. Looks like Kumar, who was working for Obama in DC, just got his dose of the real world. Not saying he might or might not come to his senses, but I wonder if he is wondering why the Unicorn ridding Obama didn’t come to save him. Maybe Bush sent them to get him for making fun of him in that funny movie about Guantanamo. Hey Kumar: how did that cockmeat sandwich taste? I am looking forward to the next Harold and Kumar flik. While this stuff is rife with stupid leftists stuff it makes for good laughs.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/20/10 at 06:12 PM in Celebrity Idiots   Left Wing Idiocy   Life & Culture   Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Ward of the State

This story is getting a lot of attention, as it should.  But I think people are taking the wrong lesson from it.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What follows is horrific.  The County, exceeding their authority, auctioned off the entirety of the couple’s belongings, without any assessment of how valuable anything was. They terminated the lease, locked Clay out of the house and confined him to a nursing home against his will.  Harold’s condition deteriorated and he died within three months. Clay, his partner of twenty years, was not allowed to see him at all.

Most commentators are focusing on the gay rights aspect of this—that gay couples have no legal rights and therefore we need gay marriage to be allowed.  That’s a point.  But as Radley Balko points out, this has happened before, to straight couples.  In the Kidd case, the authorities determined that the couple were incompetent, confined them against their will (in a $7,000 a month facility) and essentially forfeited their possessions.  Overlawyered has the scoop on the terrible case of Marie Long.  She was worth $1.3 million when she got sick.  The probate court assigned a flock of lawyers to run her affairs, in opposition to her family’s wishes. In four years, they burned through her entire life savings.  She’s a ward of the state now.  And a probate judge—who herself is a bumped-up lawyer—not only said that all the fees were justified but criticized the family’s lawyers for having the temerity to try to put a stop to this plunder.

I do not think these are isolated events.  And I think we will begin to see more and more of these stories emerging.  There are four forces that are working to make it easier to seize the fortunes of old people.  And it’s not clear that the old people of this country have enough functioning neurons to oppose the combination of demographic trend and an iron triangle of monied interests.

First, our country is getting older.  There are going to be more and more people who are not just old but who, in some cases, actually have legitimate cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s.  This gray wave is going to overwhelm the courts quickly.  They will not have time to adjudicate every case; most of the time they will simply trust the judgement of the authorities.

Second, we have governments that are hungry for revenue.  What could be better than extracting fees and percentages from senior citizens who may not be able to defend themselves?  I’m not in conspiracy theory mode here; I don’t think state officials are rubbing their hands together and cackling at the evil they intend to do.  But with a fiscal crisis looming—at every level of government—how much easier does it get to declare people incompetent and make sure the state is suitably compensates for administering their affairs?

Third, there is a massive and growing senior care industry.  The story I linked above—about the Kidds—mentions the extremely expensive facility they were put in.  Again, with so much money at stake, doesn’t it become easier nursing homes to cooperate with this, to encourage this?  After all, it’s all for the good of those seniors.

Fourth, the scumbag lawyers.  When you can drain $300,000 a year from someone’s estate for being their guardian ... well, I actually think the lawyers are rubbing their hands together and cackling with glee.

We need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of control, the way asset forfeiture has.  There is a political angle: we need ironclad laws protecting power of attorney and the right of people to manage their own affairs.  We need strict limits on how much elder care facilities, states and lawyers can extract from seniors’ estates when they are confined against their will.  And we need an a priori presumption of competence—it is up to the government to prove incompetence, not the senior to prove competence

But we also need people to be more aware.  My parents and uncles all have last wills, living wills and power of attorney statements.  The latter all designate, as primary or alternate, younger people who the state can not possibly claim are incompetent.  But that won’t protect them if governments continue with their efforts to enable financial predators.

This has to stop.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/20/10 at 04:21 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Money talks, bullhit walks…

The next time I point out that of you want to use the power of government to push for your special interest agenda you go to demcorats, or that we should bitchslap any demcorat that demonizes Wall Street because they are the biggest beneficiary of government largesse and regulation, and you think I am kidding or being stupid, read this story. Bush was responsible for the Enron disaster because he took contributions from them. These many other entities, all involved in the economic collapse of our system as the fat-cat government we now have sucks at our necks like a female mosquito in mating season looking to tank up for the eggapalooza, that are donating to demcorats in record numbers that make anything the republicans get look like peanuts, know where to votes to buy are. Don’t let the left tell you that the right is the party of special interests, because they have the right beat, and beat badly. I am sure the MSM will soon be carrying this story for our benefit. I mean, it’s not going to hurt the narative or anything like that....

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/20/10 at 03:54 PM in Decline of Western Civilization   Elections   Election 2010   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, April 19, 2010

American Freedom.

the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.

On the face of it, this quote uttered by a recent politician, does have merit.  We have seen examples of it all over the world where a government lords over its subjects, with abusive laws, taxes and regulations, and that is not that half of it, Our own Government does it to.
The Founding fathers were wary of the power of a central government, that is why we have the enumerated powers, checks and balances and the bill of rights. Even in that they knew that in time all governments grow in power and berth, as ours has, and takes more and more from us each year.
From our own Aaron.

so no matter what insane things some people do in pursuit of those concerns… and no matter what some weirdo screams at a Tea Party rally.... it doesn’t change the underlying fact that they’re entirely valid concerns that have been ongoing concerns since the birth of the Republic. pretending it’s somehow wrong to mistrust the federal government’s intentions and motives is ridiculously ahistorical, because this is pretty much the federal government we were told by half of the Founders that we shouldn’t worry about because it couldn’t happen, and by the other half that it would and we should mistrust it

Does any of that sound wrong to you? During the Bush administration we were told by our political betters, that dissent is the highest form of patriotism , and they were correct, however today it seem that they do not remember those words that they previously spoke.  Questioning the government IS not only a right but MUST be done, at all times, regardless of what political party is in power.
the Fact is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is and will be the main threat to our liberties, Al quada, Iran, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, all are threats that will come and go, but the government remains.
Oh BTW, that quote? Here is the entirety of it.

We should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves. They took to the ultimate extreme an idea advocated in the months and years before the bombing by an increasingly vocal minority: the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them. On that April 19, the second anniversary of the assault of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, deeply alienated and disconnected Americans decided murder was a blow for liberty.

Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials. But we do not have the right to resort to violence—or the threat of violence—when we don’t get our way. Our founders constructed a system of government so that reason could prevail over fear. Oklahoma City proved once again that without the law there is no freedom.

Former President William Jefferson Clinton.

I almost forgot, that THE AGITATOR, has a great piece on bills speech, please do read it.

Posted by HARLEY on 04/19/10 at 06:40 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

April 19

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.  It is also the anniversary of two terrible tragedies—the attack on the Branch Davidians in Waco and the attack on the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.  A lot of attention is going, as it should, to the latter.  There is no possible justification for the cold-blooded murder of 168 innocent people, including 19 children.  But as Radley Balko points out—in a scathing response to Bill Clinton—let’s not let our memories of Oklahoma City get the better of us.  I don’t generally do long pull quotes.  But this is a “you should really read the whole thing” diatribe.

In today’s New York Times, Bill Clinton once again tries to tie the Oklahoma City bombing to those of us who hold “the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.”

Of course he sort of proves those of us who do believe such things right by continually using April 19 to tie us to a deranged murderer instead of acknowledging, taking some responsibility for, or expressing any remorse whatsoever for another anniversary we observe today: the Clinton administration’s slaughter of 76 people, including 20 children, at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Waco gets all of a sentence in Clinton’s op-ed.


The thing is, Mr. Former President, if I may address you directly, is there are far too may public servants who, as you put it, “do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.” I document them every day on this site. And so despite your admonition, I will continue to criticize them for it. And when, for example, they out and out murder innocent people in the name of a senseless, wasteful, and fundamentally illiberal policy (a policy, incidentally, that you enthusiastically support, despite your admission that you yourself have broken the country’s drug laws), I’ll go ahead and, to borrow your word, demonize them for it.

And you know what? I won’t feel the slightest tinge of guilt about doing so. Nor will I feel the least bit of responsibility for acts of anti-government violence, past or future, even when they’re committed in the name of one or more ideas I might otherwise endorse.

Because fundamentally and categorically, I repudiate the use of force and violence to impose my beliefs, political philosophy, or policy preferences on other people.

Robert Heinlein once said: “Most self-described “pacifists” are not pacific; they simply assume false colors . When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.” A similar thing applies to these pathetic attempts to link peaceful anti-government protests to terrorism.  When the anti-government protests turn against something they liberals like—taxes, healthcare reform, Democrats—they see the dark echoes of Oklahoma City.  But the minute the wind changes and anti-government protests turn against something they don’t like—a war, tax cuts, the IMF—it becomes true patriotism.

People who claim to be “pro-government” or who call for implicit trust of government or who desire expanded government power or describe paying taxes as “patriotic” only believe these things as long as its their guys in power.  This is true whether they are Republicans or Democrats.  The minute the wind changes, they are suddenly suspicious of government and worried about power encroaching on civil liberties.  They love government power when it does their bidding and fear it when it doesn’t.  And the curses they hurl at anti-government types become praises once the White House changes hands.

Fie upon them.  We should always be suspicious of government, no matter who is in charge and no matter what lofty rhetoric they are hurling at us.  Government is necessary; government is infinitely preferable to the lack of government; government even manages to do some things reasonably well.  But it is not and never has been run by angels.  It is not wrong to remember this.  And it is definitely not wrong to let the powerful know we remember this.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/19/10 at 06:36 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Collectivist global government fantasy wont die yet..

If you still doubt that the collectivists in government invented AGW to screw us over and take more of our money, check out the State Department’sredolent report blaming man unequivocally for this piece of collectivist fiction.

WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - The United States released a new draft report on climate change on Monday, one week before the expected unveiling of a compromise U.S. Senate bill that aims to curb heat-trapping greenhouse emissions.

The report, a draft of the Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report that will be sent to the United Nations, says bluntly: “Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced ... Global temperature has increased over the past 50 years. This observed increase is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.”

Without action to stop them, climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions will rise over 8,000 megatonnes by mid-century, the draft said. By adopting measures detailed in a bill passed last year by the U.S. House of Representatives, these emissions will drop beneath 2,000 megatonnes. They’re now about 6,500 megatonnes. The United Nations measures greenhouse gas emissions in megatonnes, or million metric tons.

The effects of climate change are already evident, the draft said: warming air and oceans, vanishing mountain glaciers, thawing permafrost, signs of instability in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica and rising sea levels.

This bull isn’t accidental. The left, despite the obvious unmasking of this scam and the fact practically every sane person now knows this was just kleptokratic leftist predictions of doom & gloom in order to help them force their fantasies on an unwilling public, our own government continues to pretend like this stuff is real and settled.

These crooks are shameless. And guess which masters they are serving? No, don’t the proof is right in the report’s purpose:

The State Department report will ultimately go to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; previous U.S. reports to this body were in 1994, 1997, 2002 and 2007.

Screw the lot of them. A plague on them all. The agenda is to control our lives by controlling our access to resources as well as curtailing our mobility. If you are too worried about staying warm or cold and can’t afford your own transportation, government can control you better. Be afraid of these bastards.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/19/10 at 03:16 PM in Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   Science and Technology   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Taxes and Jobs

Reason.tv takes on California.  A must-watch.

Probably the most maddening trend of the last couple of years is watching politicians refuse to learn about job creation.  They keep borrowing and spending and it keeps not working.  And their response is to just keep trying the same old tactics.  Keynsians and their sympathizers insist this has to work at some point and, as it doesn’t, fall back on “it would be worse” arguments.  But every dollar borrowed by the government is a dollar not borrowed by a business.  And businesses aren’t spooked from investment by the economic situation; they’re spooked by the political one.

At some point, maybe somebody will try doing nothing.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/18/10 at 06:06 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Tea Party … Beatdown?

Several liberal blogs (notably LGF) are linking to this story and this video of a man apparently getting beat up at a Palin rally for holding up silly signs.

Maybe I’m wrong, but this looks like bullshit to me.  You hear no voices against the sign.  There is no time for people to react.  All that happens is that the camera waves around (and in a manner that’s more like someone shaking it than someone getting beat up).  Notice the tea party protesters aren’t even looking at this supposedly instantaneous violent beat-down.

I’ll be happy to print up a correction if this turns out to be real.  But I think the liberal blogs just got punked.  Either that, or I just did.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/18/10 at 04:29 AM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gay Hospitals

Yesterday, Barack Obama ordered hospitals to allow patients more discretion in who gets to visit them and who gets to make medical decisions for them.  The primary beneficiaries of this will be gay and lesbian couples.  He’s done this by threatening to withhold Medicare-Medicaid funds.

There’s a chance that this will cause some hospitals to drop out of Medicare-Medicaid, but I think that chance is miniscule.  Most hospitals are heavily dependent on the government programs.  As Obamacare expands, so will the threat of non-payment.  And a lot of Christians, including Focus on the Family are OK with this probably because they see this as removing one of the critical argument in favor of gay marriage.

While I’m in favor of this in principle, I’m against the way it’s being done.  And I worry that we will see more of this as Obamacare extends more government control into more of healthcare.  The government is essentially blackmailing the hospitals to do the right thing (and possibly trampling state law in the process).

I realize I’m probably alone in my concern.  The gays are happy, the Democrats are happy, the Republicans are quiet.  Even the Christians are fine with it, as I noted above.  It’s a smart political move by Obama.  He’s pleased a key constituency while only annoying process conservative-libertarians like me.  Still, just because something politically smart doesn’t mean it’s right.

The long term effects of the precedent could be nasty.  What happens if some religious nut gets elected and uses this same authority to restrict abortion?  Or some left-wing nut wants to encourage euthanasia? Or someone is against plastic surgery?  If you dig into this, you’ll see a very large can of worms beneath what, on the surface, appears to be a reasonable decision.

This is why people like me are so focused on the process of legislation and adherence to the Constitution.  Because, in the long run, a good process is the best way of assuring good government.  When you say “anything goes”, pretty soon anything does (see, e.g., Alex’s post on the expansion of warrantless wiretaps).

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/17/10 at 07:10 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Shya, right…

Pollsters Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell have an opinion piece in the WaPo offering demcorats advice on what to do to avoid a bloodbath in November. I had me a great and hard laugh at the advice. But let me set this up.

Media reports suggest that President Obama is turning his attention toward the midterm congressional elections. There are a few things it is imperative he understand if he is to, at the least, minimize Democratic losses in November. We are Democratic pollsters who argued against the health-care legislation ["Democrats’ blind ambition,” Washington Forum, March 12] that the Obama administration chose to pursue. Instead, we advocated incremental health-care reform. With the passage of health reform, some harsh political realities have emerged.

Recent polling shows that despite lofty predictions that a broad-based Democratic constituency would be activated by the bill’s passage, the bill has been an incontrovertible disaster. The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll, released on April 12, shows that 58 percent of the electorate supports a repeal of the health-care reform bill—up from 54 percent two weeks earlier. Fueling this backlash is concern that health-care reform will drive up health costs and expand the role of government, and the belief that passage was achieved by fundamentally anti-democratic means. Already we are seeing the implications play out with the retirement of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)—who had effectively become the face of the last-minute, closed-door negotiations that resulted in passage.

Put simply, there has been no bounce, for the president or his party, from passing health care.

The demcorats cravenly gambled that if they rammed through their government takeover of healthcare that the public would perceive this as a victory and side with them. Only problem was that the MSM could not control the information flow and contain the truth about how horrible this thing is. Americans, even many that agree there is need for healthcare reform, know this bill is not the answer.

In fact, only stupid people think this bill isn’t going make healthcare more expensive, quality go down, availability of care be rationed, and eventually, to sooner than later, make government completely in charge of who gets care and who doesn’t. Even worse, it is guaranteed to break our budget because the only way they could make this disastrous healthcare takeover seem fiscally responsible was to demand a CBO report limited to 10 years, collect taxes for those ten years, then provide services for only 5 of those years. Even a dumbass can figure out that this is unsustainable shit. Oh yeah, did I also mention
It also is going to cost jobs? We all know Waxman’s reaction to companies restating their earnings and the obvious economic and job related impact of government stealing yet another massive chunk of capital from the private sector to implement the ever elusive socialist utopia.

Anyway, as these two pollsters point out, there has not only been no bounce, the number of people opposed to this behemoth keeps going up. The latest polls put the number against this bill at 58%, up 4% since the Obama and MSM blitz to sell this disaster. Obama’s approval goes down, the demcorats join him in that downward spiral, and yet, their strategy isn’t to roll back the stupid, but to pile it on. Now they intend to hammer through a “Cap and Tax” bill. Which brings me to my point. The pollsters are recommending that the demcorats actually stop their campaign to demonize the Tea partiers and actually adopt their platform:

Democrats can avoid the electoral bloodbath we predicted before passage of the health-care bill, but in one way: through a bold commitment to fiscal discipline and targeted fiscal stimulus of the private sector and entrepreneurship.

And that’s why I laugh my ass off. Fiscal discipline to demcorats means to use the power of government to buy votes. We all have seen how well their fiscal stimulus plans work too. By some unexplainable twist of faith (that’s sarcasm for you lefty idiots that want miss this on purpose) their campaign coffers are loaded with cash for the November elections, and the real jobless numbers keep climbing towards 20%. These people don’t care about entrepreneurship. They believe government should pick the winners and losers. And we all know how well that works. It’s not a coincidence that when let loose demcorats in power recreate the Carter years.

They might have tons of cash to help them fend of the onslaught in November, but my bet is their stupid is so high that they almost guarantee there will be a landslide against them.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/17/10 at 10:16 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Elections   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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