Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thanks for drawing attention to a Republican success story, Joe.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Democrats have been very selective about which cartoons they deem cause racial offense. For example, many well-known Leftist cartoonists drew very offensive cartoons of Condoleezza Rice:
This is by the always execrable Ted Rall, who is President of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.
Even Pat Oliphant joins the racial stereotyping parade. Actually, Oliphant has been criticized many times for racist caricatures.
You notice that in each of these cartoons, unlike the Post cartoon, there is no ambiguity about who is being mocked and about the racial connotations.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Ms. Alexander used Senator John McCain collecting Social Security payments as an example of what she considers Federal waste. Ms. Alexander admits her essential ignorance of the system she is writing about when she states: “How many working Americans are even aware that wealthy retirees receive Social Security checks? I didn't know until the 2008 presidential campaign, when one very prominent "retiree" revealed that he cashed a hefty Social Security check every month.”
Before I go on, I assume Ms. Alexander realizes that many wealthy Americans now contribute 6.2% of their income (12.4% if self-employed), and have contributed to Social Security all their working lives.
I shouldn’t assume too much about Ms. Alexander’s awareness of what I thought was common knowledge of Social Security. She further paraded her ignorance of Social Security when she continued:
(Senator McCain’s) earnings in the Senate, where he contributes 6.2 percent of his income into Social Security, apparently entitled him to this handsome sum on some bureaucrat's chart, but isn't there something wrong with this picture?
Ms. Alexander, Senator McCain contributed from 3% to over 5% of his income into Social Security during each of his many years of military service. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised if you didn’t know that military members pay into Social Security.
For many years Congressmen didn’t pay into Social Security, even when military members like Senator McCain did.
Under a law enacted in 1983, all members of Congress both contribute to and receive benefits from the Social Security system. Apparently all of them, not just Senator McCain, are what you, Ms. Alexander, consider too wealthy to receive Social Security.
Where would you draw the line, Ms. Alexander? The top one percent of American households make over $350,000 a year, or about $175,000 per person, which is roughly a Senator’s salary. In the wealthiest one percent there are approximately 380,000 Americans over 65 drawing Social Security, receiving a total of about one billion dollars per year (assuming each wealthy recipient received at least the Social Security maximum of $2,323 per month starting at age 66).
Would stopping Social Security payments to the wealthiest one percent of households save Social Security? The $1 billion saved would be almost 0.2% of the over $600 billion paid out in 2008, or an extra $2 per month to each of the less wealthy recipients.
Do you really consider that meaningful progress towards saving Social Security, Ms. Alexander? Your answer has to be “yes,” or why would you write your article? Or perhaps you assumed that The Chronicle editors and readers would be too dumb to do the numbers. It appears you got that right. Thousands will have read your erroneous article and, like The Chronicle editors, not be able to make a common sense evaluation of your position.
A few will read my blog post and realize the truth, but most of them will be conservatives too. To us it is obvious that Social Security is an enormous waste and, by the way, its unfunded liability is roughly $16 trillion (a couple of trillion dollars more than the United States annual GDP).
If the United States was a business, the government of the United States would take it to court for misstating its liabilities, and shut it down for insolvency.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
After getting past the concept of cooling the Earth by painting roofs white and roads a light color, the first real puzzler was the claim of benefits from so doing.
In September, Akbari and his team published a study in the academic journal Climatic Change, which found for every 100 square feet of black rooftop converted to white, a building owner could offset about 1 ton of carbon dioxide.
Add to that all the world's paved urban surfaces (Akbari recommends converting black asphalt to an aged concrete color instead of white), and the team concluded enough cooling benefits to offset 44 billion tons of CO2.
Put another way, that's roughly the same amount of CO2 the planet emits every 18 months.
Where did the Akbari team get the above amount of CO2? Sources I've checked show the Earth emits 180 billion tons of CO2 per year, and mankind produces another 6 billion tons a year. Apparently Akbari is claiming his scheme would save all of mankind's CO2 emissions for over a seven year period. How does he do that?
About Akbari's suggestion to retard global warming by painting all roofs and roads a light color:
I don't think you can do anything about the color of the oceans, and they cover 70% of the Earth's surface. Ditto Antarctica - but it's already white anyway. A scan of a globe shows that the less than 25% of it that is neither ice nor ocean appears to be over 99% free of buildings and roads - and huge swaths of it, such as most of Canada, Greenland, and Siberia, don't require air conditioning (or much heating either, since hardly anyone lives there).
Almost all of Australia is uninhabited, and New Zealand too - plus its many glaciers and sheep are already white. Other huge, relatively uninhabited areas include the interiors of South America, North America, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the mountain, steppe, and desert regions of Asia.
Alice reminds me that many of the roofs that are candidates for painting already host solar panels. They won't work well covered with white paint, and Alice has forbidden me to paint over the 800 square feet of glass in our sunroom ceiling.
Which brings me to another point. The Sun spends little time directly overhead. In fact, for much of the year, particularly here in Northern California and more northerly, the Sun's rays strike the sides of houses as much or more than the roofs - and none of us have air conditioning - and it's been getting colder the past ten years.
I appreciate that Mr. Hashem Akbari is a big thinker, and he would be a boon to painting and road surfacing businesses. However, I don't think he's noticed how tiny an area he's dealing with in relation to Planet Earth.
I'm afraid Mr. Akbari has spent too much time out in the sunshine without his hat.
This is another solution in search of a problem.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Global warming models predict that if greenhouse gases increase, warming increases. Further, if greenhouse gases increase more rapidly than predicted, warming should also increase more rapidly.
Recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide indicate it is increasing at a 3.5% rate per year instead of the predicted 0.9%. Therefore, warming should be increasing at an accelerating rate rather than at a reduced or negative rate, as it has in the past decade.
The Master Resource blog notes that global warming models are adrift, and Dr. Patrick J. Michaels shows that temperature observations fall at or below the models' lower temperature predictions. In other words, the models are being proven false by reality.
Time to get some new models.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Leading off, the CEO of Catepillar, Jim Owens, was quoted by Obama as saying that the stimulus, when passed, would cause Catepillar to rescind 22,000 layoff notices issued last month. After Obama made the remark, and later repeated it, Owens was asked if the stimulus package would be able to stop the 22,000 layoffs or not, and answered, "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again."
Apparently the Democrat's "Great Communicator," is not a "Great Listener."
Come to think of it, he's coming up light in the communications area too, as evidenced by the sudden withdrawal of his Commerce Secretary nominee, Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who found too much to disagree with in Obama's policies. At least Gregg pulled out without an ethics cloud above his head.
Those who want to criticize Senator Gregg for getting cold feet might want to consider that Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, joined a long line of known tax cheats nominated by Obama, and is notable because he didn't have the decency to withdraw when his $34,000 of tax cheating became public.
On this topic, it goes without saying, but needs to be said because the main stream media ignores it, that Joe Biden deserves a wing in Obama's Stumbling, Fumbling, Bumbling Hall of Infamy all his own. Most recently he clearly forecasted failure of the stimulus even if Obama and the Democrats did everything right.
Fortunately for Obama, no one with any intelligence pays any attention to what Joe Biden says. Unfortunately, that means that most Democrats do take Biden seriously.
It's a fundamental mystery of life how anyone can credit Obama with competence after his selection of Biden as his running mate.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
When Obama was asked about Biden's remark at a White House press conference, he commented: "You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly."
However, what I believe is the final word on this was left to a commenter on the The Telegraph website, who noted that the Obama administration is not handling the financial crisis with absolute certainty, and is not making the tough decisions. With the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling approach the Obama administration is taking - primarily leaving crafting the stimulus package to the single-digit approval Democrat-led Congress - a 30 percent chance of getting it right would be wildly optimistic.
Test this and see if it seems logical. Obama comes into office with a mandate rarely seen in American politics, a belief that he can walk on water and that he will make everything alright. He joins forces with a Democrat-led Congress that has been in power for two years, got nothing accoplished and nothing right, and has the lowest rating in the history of congressional approval polling. So Obama steps aside and turns the salvation of the nation - most say of the world - to the widely preceived most ineffectual and incompetent group of legislators ever assembled in our nation's capital.
And then in another logic-defying step, they let Joe Biden out to talk about it.
The clowns can entertain, but never make one the Ringmaster.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Without an SUV in sight.
To me, this is another indication that climate change is natural and constant. To commited global warming alarmists, it's something else. According to paleontologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto Missisauga, senior author of a report on the find in the journal Nature:
Titanoboa's size gives clues about its environment. A snake's size is related to how warm its environment is. The fossils suggest equatorial temperatures in its day were significantly warmer than they are now, during a time when the world as a whole was warmer. So equatorial temperatures apparently rose along with the global levels, in contrast to the competing hypothesis that they would not go up much, Head noted.
"It's a leap" to apply the conditions of the past to modern climate change, Head said. But given that, the finding still has "some potentially scary implications for what we're doing to the climate today," he said.
The finding suggest the equatorial regions will warm up along with the planet, he said.
"We won't have giant snakes, however, because we are removing most of their habitats by development and deforestation" in equatorial regions.
Head's statements seem odd, even gratuitous in light of other information he and another paleontologist provided about the gigantic snake. Not only was it warmer then naturally, but the snake's habit was nothing like today's. According to Head: "While related to modern boa constrictors, it behaved more like an anaconda and spent almost all its time in the water."
Adds Paleontologist Jonathan Bloch of the University of Florida, fish fossils were also found that were related to bonefish and tarpon, and that would have lived in brackish seawater. "That indicates it was a big, riverine system close to the ocean."
And obviously not a habitat that would exist today, whether or not there was development or deforestation.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Chris, do you know what Bill Clinton said about the Rwandan genocide? He lied.
In 1998 he said: "All over the world there were people like me sitting in offices who did not fully appreciate the depth and speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror."
Chris, Bill lied. And lied. And lied.
I'll bet you're surprised.
During the first three days of the killings U.S. diplomats in Rwanda reported back to Washington that well-armed extremists were intent on eliminating the Tutsi.
Chris, I've been Googling for your condemnations of Bill Clinton for the Rwandan genocide, and I haven't found anything. What am I missing? I'll bet somewhere there's a tape of you praising his humility and sincerity as he "apologized."
It probably made your leg tingle when he bit his lip...then bit it again...and again.
There's no one who can fake sincerity like Bill Clinton.
I also search in vain for your, Mr. Matthews, condemnation of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and millions of Iranians, that Saddam had killed. I can't give Bill Clinton credit for saving lots of innocent lives, because he didn't, but President Bush's actions resulted in fewer Iraqis being killed than would have lost their lives under the tender ministrations of Saddam.
A recent study finds that the number of Iraqis killed since Saddam was ousted is about 50,000 instead of your 100,000 figure (and the wildly trumpeted 655,000 included in the thoroughly discredited Lancet study just before the 2006 mid-term elections). As a "journalist" you should know these things, right?
Chris, try this to put things in perspective. If all your friends could kick their drug habits, the 7,000 Mexicans killed in drug wars (10% are innocent bystanders) the past two years (Huffington Post article) would still be alive.
The gangs make a staggering £15bn a year smuggling heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and Colombian cocaine to the hip bars and dinner parties of North America and Europe.
Chris, that sounds like the crowd you run with.
(Click on the cartoon for a larger image)
(The latest stumbling, bumbling, fumbling Obama UPDATE: Obama likes it toasty warm in the White House. Reported by the New York Times:
He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?" said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there."
Not included in the New York Times article, back in May 18, 2008, CNN.COM has a transcript of a speech Obama gave in Portland, Oregon, about the seriousness of combating global warming. This is an excerpt of that speech:
We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we'll be fine. Don't worry about us. That's not leadership.
More "do as I say, not as I do" leadership from the top Democrat?
Obama and Al Gore share the same approach to fighting global warming: "Talk a good fight, but let someone else take the hits." For more, go here:
(S)ome energy experts say Obama, who made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his campaign, needs to stay on message.
"He's got to make every American make a personal commitment" to decrease their own energy use and educate the country about the threat of climate change, he said. "The earlier the president can convey that message the better."
(The previous latest UPDATE:
A Senate committee today abruptly canceled a session to consider President Obama's nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to be labor secretary in the wake of a report saying that her husband yesterday paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business -- liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.
Hilda Solis is a nominee I would really like to see tossed out. She's a throwback to the type of union-pandering Democrats that have killed and are killing American industries while claiming to be "saving jobs." Ms. Solis, you can't save union-workers' jobs if union costs and practices drive their employers out of business.)
The original post starts here:
The latest was Obama’s about face on a “Buy American” policy in the bailout when Europe and Canada reminded him that trade restrictions are a two-way street – they won’t buy our exports if we won’t buy theirs – and that what He proposed was a violation of World Trade agreements, anyway.
The Man who decried George Bush leading America away from other countries almost invited a Trade War. Fortunately He blinked. But why bring up something so stupid in the first place? Didn’t Democrats and The Obama brag about how They were in tune with the rest of the world, not arrogant like Republicans?
And smarter, too?
As a historical footnote, economists give FDR credit for using restrictive trade practices to deepen and drag out the Great Depression. “Beggar thy neighbor” politics.
Now I know what it means when Democrats say that He wants to be just like FDR.
As another digression, Democrats have been bemoaning the fact that a lot of basic manufacturing is done in China and other countries, not here. There’s a really good reason for that – basic economic common sense. Why should we make something simple and inexpensive when another country can make it cheaper? Isn’t it dumb to try to hold on to jobs where our workers are competing with lower paid foreign workers? Why wouldn’t we want to let go of such jobs, and have our citizens do higher skilled, better paying jobs?
Anyway, the bottom line, according to Democrats, is that we can’t Buy American for many goods because we don’t produce them in America anymore.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, Obama may have found the key to increasing tax revenues: just nominate Fat Cat Democrats like Tom Daschle, whose pockets were bulging with stipends from corporations who wanted him to make rain for them from government agencies, and use the confirmation process disclosures to force them to pay their tax liabilities. Then when they cough up their back taxes, dump them and nominate another Fat Cat.
Remember when Joe Biden said it was a pleasure to pay more taxes? Apparently not all Democrats share Joe’s euphoria.
Nancy Killefer, appointed by The President to a new position at the Office of Management and Budget to scrutinize government spending, couldn’t stand up to scrutiny of her own spending.
From Jay Hancock’s blog:
We have Treasury Secretary (!) Tim Geithner, who didn't pay self-employment tax for Medicare and Social Security for several years. We have Killefer. And don't forget Caroline Kennedy, who seems to have withdrawn from consideration for filling Hillary Clinton's NY Senate seat because of tax issues.
Jay adds that the joke going around Washington is: “Why are Democrats so happy to raise taxes?”
Answer: “They don't pay them.”