Friday, December 25, 2009

"Avatar": Awesome special effects, but Commie crap

It's Christmastime and you are done shopping, done with presents, done with the relative invasion, or perhaps that hasn't hit yet, and / or you are done with church. Since you have time to kill, Hollywierd has learned to give you the Christmas blockbuster flick. This years one is James Cameron's "Avatar", with Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" a not too distant second?

Gabriel Malor reviews Avatar at AOSHQ, and kind of likes it for its awesome special effects, in spite of the Commie political message.

John Podhoretz at The Weekly Standard can't get past the Commie message and hates it.

I just saw it. My take: utterly lame-ass and laughable Commiecrat and romanticize the primitive politics in the film, and a story that heavily takes from other movies such as "Dances With Wolves" (in fact, wags are calling it Dances With Smurfs because the alien creatures are blue) , Disney's "Pocahontas" and "Quigley Down Under", done in a Sci-Fi context with lots of CGI animation. Except for some creative imagining of animal and plant life on another world with a different atmosphere, and of course those undeniably awesome special effects, nothing is original in this movie.

John Podhoretz states that:

[T]he movie is nearly three hours long, and it doesn't have a single joke in it.

But honestly, there were a few unintentional funny moments in the film. The mineral the corporation and its mercenary army are seeking is called "unobtanium". As opposed to Upsadaisyium? I half expected Rocky and Bullwinkle avatars after that. The subsequent "floating mountains" in the movie didn't help either. (Mount Flatten!)

On the upside, Gabriel Malor is right: it's visually gorgeous, loud, and stuff blows up in really cool ways. And the 3-D version I saw didn't overkill on the gimmicky pop-right-out-at-the-audience shots. After the first 20 minutes, I stopped noticing the 3D glasses and just saw the movie. On the level of an action flick with cool explosions, you could like it.

You just have to overlook gaping holes in the plot. For no good reason other than to get the movie into its second act, the shallow corporate head honcho and the (obviously) evil and sadistic military commander decide to stage a military attack on the massive Tree City where the funky giant blue critters live, thus blowing the zillions of dollars they sank into the project of making blue critter avatar ambassadors in the hope of negotiating with the blue critters.

They attack the massive Tree City where the blue critters live simply because "It's the largest deposit of Unobtanium in two hundred clicks!" gushes the shallow corporate, played by Giovanni Ribisi. As if 200km is that major a distance in travel, even today, to say nothing of an interstellar traveling future. And as if the corporation wouldn't have picked easier deposits to mine first where the pesky blue critter tribes weren't. Path of least resistance and all that.

Suspension called and it said the disbelief load is way too heavy to carry, even if you fancy the idea of plugging your fiber optic cable tail into Mother Gaia and having sex with her.

If the special effects were not there, if Avatar were drawn like a regular cartoon, or had been made on sound stages with sets and the like, would anyone really like this movie? Nope. Even the most hard core eco-greenie won't claim there was a really deep message here. Unlike the protagonists in Cameron's Titanic, who you could cheer on even as you knew at least one of them was doomed, none of the characters in the movie comes across as anything more than a cartoon.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Carbon Dioxide Fallacy

And the Man-Made Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, hoax continues to unravel:

We are told, based on computer models, that human beings burning fossil fuels -- and exhaling -- is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This, in turn, is trapping heat, which is responsible for the modest temperature increase between 1976 and 1998. The conclusion is that we must alter our entire lifestyles to avoid a planetary catastrophe.
For computer models to be accurate, inputs must include all of the factors that can impact climate. Knowing this, as well as believing it likely that the majority of factors that do impact climate are yet unknown, how can we trust the models?
Especially when we find out the inputs were "fudged" if not outright fabricated.

And yet, we who doubt the agenda driven alarmism, are said to be "anti-science." Ha! The real "anti-scientists", also sinister liars, are those pushing the man-made global warming hoax. The hoax is put forth by those out for more research grant money at best, crypto totalitarians looking to take away our mobility and therefore freedom at worst, and those looking for another excuse to tax us in between.

Gee, it sure is "science" when the "scientists" have been caught red-handed adjusting / fabricating data to fit the "computer models". If the data doesn't fit the models, make it fit! Science!

Wow, what happened to empirical proof and causal links?

Solar orbital cycles, sunspots, natural non-industrial increases in carbon dioxide output, and volcanic eruptions could not be reached for comment.

It is also important to understand what the measure of "global warming" in degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius/Centigrade *really* means. Remember, zero degrees Fahrenheit and zero degrees Celsius/Centigrade are man-made conventions. To state a percent temperature change relative to either is meaningless.

Temperature is simply a measure of heat. At absolute zero (-460 degrees F or -273 degrees C) there is no energy. So, any thermodynamically relevant measure would consider a percentage energy change relative to absolute zero (that is, in degrees Kelvin) rather than an arbitrary Fahrenheit or Celsius/Centigrade measure.

Why is this distinction important? Because variations in the sun's radiation on the earth are defined against a true zero (usually as watts/sq. meter). When stated as a percentage relative to absolute zero, changes in the earth's average temperature can easily be explained through the typical variations in the sun's radiant energy. That no "climate expert" mentions this only further solidifies my dislike for the lot of them.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What "Climategate" reveals

It is revealing to see the Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, hoax imploding at the University of East Anglia. "Climategate" as some wags call it, refers to a series of emails "hacked"—as in leaked— from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom.

What they reveal is indisputable: the "science" of global warming has, at the very least, been compromised by the political ideology that drives it. Data has been manipulated or hidden from public view. Skeptical scientists have been marginalized along with academic journals that have printed their doubts, and the peer review process has been tainted by those who should know better.

The lessons of this scandal are instructive:

1. The manufacturing of "Overwhelming Consensus":
....the e-mails suggest that CRU scientists have been suppressing and misstating data and working to prevent the publication of conflicting views in peer-reviewed science periodicals. Some of the more pungent e-mails:

"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

"Can you delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith re AR4?"

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty we can't."

"I'm getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU temperature station data. Don't any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!"
2. The corruption of the "peer-reviewed" process:
The trouble with outsourcing your marbles to the peer-reviewed set is that, if you take away one single thing from the leaked documents, it's that the global warm-mongers have wholly corrupted the "peer-review" process. When it comes to promoting the impending ecopalypse, the Climate Research Unit is the nerve-center of the operation. The "science" of the CRU dominates the "science" behind the United Nations IPCC, which dominates the "science" behind the Congressional cap-and-trade boondoggle, the upcoming Copenhagen shakindownen of the developed world, and the now-routine phenomenon of leaders of advanced, prosperous societies talking like gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell, whether it's President Barack Obama promising to end the rise of the oceans or the Prince of Wales saying we only have 96 months left to save the planet.

But don't worry, it's all "peer-reviewed."

Here's what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by "peer review". When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann "consensus," Jones demanded that the journal "rid itself of this troublesome editor," and Mann advised that "we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers."

So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the "consensus" reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley ("one of the world's foremost experts on climate change") suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to "get him ousted." When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Which, in essence, is what they did. The more frantically they talked up "peer review" as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: "How To Forge A Consensus." Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That's "peer review," climate-style. The more their echo chamber shriveled, the more Mann and Jones insisted that they and only they represent the "peer-reviewed" "consensus." 

The e-mails of "Andy" (as his CRU chums fondly know him) are especially pitiful. Confronted by serious questions from Stephen McIntyre, the dogged Ontario retiree whose "Climate Audit" Web site exposed the fraud of Dr. Mann's global-warming "hockey stick" graph, "Andy" writes to Dr. Mann to say not to worry, he's going to "cover" the story from a more oblique angle:

"I'm going to blog on this as it relates to the value of the peer review process and not on the merits of the mcintyre et al attacks.

"peer review, for all its imperfections, is where the herky-jerky process of knowledge building happens, would you agree?"

And, amazingly, Dr. Mann does!

"Re, your point at the end – you've taken the words out of my mouth."

And that's what Andrew Revkin did, week in, week out: He took the words out of Michael Mann's mouth and served them up to impressionable readers of the New York Times and opportunist politicians around the world champing at the bit to inaugurate a vast global regulatory body to confiscate trillions of dollars of your hard-earned wealth in the cause of "saving the planet" from an imaginary crisis concocted by a few dozen thuggish ideologues.
Which brings us to:
3. The agenda behind all this: can't make informed decisions when those decisions have already been made for you by an educational establishment which has been in the liberal tank for decades. With respect to this particular subject, how many school age children have been forced to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and given the impression that a blowhard politician with no scientific credentials whatsoever, a man whose own lifestyle contradicts everything he ostensibly believes in, is the last word on the subject? How many kids have been told global warming is "settled science" without offering them a scintilla of contrasting information? How many have been brainwashed into believing that "living green" is tantamount to the religious mandate to "go and sin no more?"

Every effort mankind has ever undertaken to obliterate individual freedom and increase the power of the state has always included the inculcation of children too young to think independently. This one is no different. If America is going to right itself, the war for our children's hearts and minds must be won.

But in order to win it, more people have to realize it exists. More importantly, they have to do something about it. This is a difficult undertaking for parents who are the front-liners in this fight. At the end of a busy day, very few people want to know—exactly—what their children are learning in school. Unfortunately, such apathy is the mother's milk of progressives for whom raising a generation of school children who disdain American exceptionalism is a prime directive. People with no particular pride in their country are a much more malleable bunch than those with a real understanding of self-reliance, Constitutionalism, and historical perspective.
A "burning planet"—only thirty-three years removed from a "freezing" one—reveals the true nature of "progressivism". It is about the accumulation of power by any means necessary. And, as evidenced by the purloined emails, even the ostensible epitome of rational thinking, aka the scientific method, is as exploitable as anything else. But such people could never get as far as they've gotten without getting the children on board. 

Ironically, they have told us so. How many times has a liberal touted this or that government agenda with the idea that they're doing it "for the children." When more Americans begin to understand that the more accurate phrase it "to the children," it will be the beginning of the end for these power-hungry thugs.
4. The double standard of the liberal lamestream media:
The reaction to these revelations? Perhaps as revealing, if not more so, than the revelations themselves. Much like the ACORN scandal, the mainstream media—once again with the exception of Fox News—has either avoided the story completely, or sought to focus on the manner in which the emails were procured. This last bit is pivotal, because it is the basis by which the intrepid folks at the New York Times and other media sources have determined that they will withhold the damning evidence from the public: stolen material is unfit for print or broadcast.

Apparently this is a spanking new standard for the Times, whose appetite for disseminating purloined or secret stuff goes back at least as far as the top secret, "not intended for publication" Pentagon Papers in 1971, all the way through to revealing top-secret info about how the Bush administration conducted various aspects of the war on terror.

While "errors" of omission and large dollops of hypocrisy are nothing new in the annals of MSM behavior, what is new is that they can no longer get away with them. This story has legs for two reasons: 1. it is a genuine scandal and 2. the blogosphere, unlike far too much of the MSM, will not let it go unreported simply because it doesn't jibe with the liberal agenda.

Thus on the plus side, those of you who have heard of this story realize that the old media can no longer be trusted. As a result, your understanding of what is actually happening in the world goes far deeper than the average American. That is the minus side: too many of our fellow citizens still believe watching TV news makes them informed Americans. Too be kind, they don't know what they don't know. Too be less than kind, it's long past time they learned.
Copenhagen, despite Barack Obama's presence, seems sure to be a bust — there will be no agreement on mandatory limits on carbon emissions. Even if there were, it would probably turn out to be no more effective than the limits others agreed to in Kyoto in 1997. In any case, China and India are not going to choke off their dazzling economic growth to please Western global warming alarmists.

But that's just it---the elites pushing this *don't mind* if the Red Chinese won't choke off their economic growth. They just want to choke off *ours*.

Either out of some multicultural brainwash guilt, or a peevish resentment that the Soviets didn't beat us, so they hope the Red Chinese do so, or they genuinely believe the world is better off with another superpower to keep what they see as "Amerikkka" in line. They are old fellow travelers.

Some, like Tom Friedman at the New York Times, do nothing but praise Red China's new spin on statism. In his coverage of China, Tom Friedman reminds me of people like Charles Lindbergh who were impressed with and gushed about what they saw coming out of the Third Reich prior to 1939.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Obamacare To Hike State Taxes

Remember when the Obamunists claimed that their health care plan would allow you to keep your current insurance if you liked it, AND insure all the uninsured, AND would somehow save money and lower costs?

Well, gee, they lied. Here is a math problem for you: Assume that the legislation establishing government control of medical care is passed and that it "brings down the cost of medical care." You pay $500 a year less for your medical care, but the new costs put on employers is passed on to consumers, so that you pay $300 a year more for groceries and $200 a year more for gasoline, while the new mandates put on insurance companies raise your premiums by $300 a year, how much money have you saved?

While Obama has been at great pains to make a show of avoiding taxes on the middle class to pay for his health care changes, his proposed increase in Medicaid eligibility will have a huge impact on the 39 states whose income cutoffs for the program are below those required in the new federal legislation.

All states except for Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin (plus the District of Colombia) will have to raise their eligibility for Medicaid under the Senate health care bill. And they will have to pay for part of the cost. Under the House bill, with a higher Medicaid eligibility standard, Massachusetts and Vermont would also have to pay more.

The magnitude of the new Medicaid spending required by Obamacare is such as to transform the nature of state finances. A large part of the reason that some states, particularly in the South, have been able to avoid higher taxes is because they have chosen to keep down the Medicaid eligibility level.

The hardest hit states would be Texas ($2.8 billion in extra state spending), Pennsylvania ($1.5 billion), California ($1.4 billion) and Florida ($909 million). Who knows if Florida could avoid imposing an income tax if it has to meet so high an unfunded mandate?
The Medicaid expansion provisions of the Senate bill are complex. In the first year of the program (2013), states must enroll anyone who earns less than 133 percent of the poverty level in their programs. For a family of four, the national average poverty level in 2009 is $22,000 a year. So any family that size that makes less than $29,000 would be eligible for Medicaid. Many states, particularly in the South, actually have Medicaid cutoffs that are below the poverty level. Arkansas, for example, cuts off its Medicaid eligibility at only 17 percent of the poverty level, and in Louisiana, it goes up to only 26 percent. For these states, the spending increase required by the new bill is huge.

For the first three years of the program (2013-2015), the federal government would pay for all of the costs of the Medicaid expansion. But, starting in the fourth year of operation — 2016 — the average state would be obliged to pay 10 percent of the extra cost.

The following chart indicates the amount of new state money each of the 39 affected states would have to come up with apart from federal aid to cover the unfunded mandate in the Baucus or Senate version of the health care bill:

Alabama $394
Alaska 39
Arizona 217
Arkansas 402
California 1,428
Colorado 163
Delaware 35
Florida 909
Georgia 495
Hawaii 41
Idaho 97
Iowa 77
Indiana 586
Kansas 186
Kentucky 199
Louisiana 432
Maryland 194
Michigan 570
Mississippi 136
Missouri 836
Montana 29
Nebraska 81
Nevada 54
New Hampshire 59
New Mexico 102
North Carolina 599
North Dakota 14
Ohio 399
Oklahoma 190
Oregon 231
Pennsylvania 1,490
South Carolina 122
South Dakota 33
Texas 2,749
Utah 58
Virginia 601
Wash State 311
West Virginia 132
Wyoming 25

Monday, November 23, 2009

Global Warming Ate My Homework!

100 events attributed to man made global warming. Never mind the contradictions, non-sequiturs or other absurdities:

Late for a party? Miss a meeting? Forget to pay your rent? Blame climate change; everyone else is doing it. From an increase in severe acne to all societal collapses since the beginning of time, just about everything gone wrong in the world today can be attributed to climate change. Here’s a list of 100 storylines blaming climate change as the problem.
1. The deaths of Aspen trees in the West
2. Incredible shrinking sheep
3. Caribbean coral deaths
4. Eskimos forced to leave their village
5. Disappearing lake in Chile
6. Early heat wave in Vietnam
7. Malaria and water-borne diseases in Africa
8. Invasion of jellyfish in the Mediterranean
9. Break in the Arctic Ice Shelf
10. Monsoons in India
11. Birds laying their eggs early
12. 160,000 deaths a year
13. 315,000 deaths a year
14. 300,000 deaths a year
15. Decline in snowpack in the West
16. Deaths of walruses in Alaska
17. Hunger in Nepal
18. The appearance of oxygen-starved dead zones in the oceans
19. Surge in fatal shark attacks
20. Increasing number of typhoid cases in the Philippines
21. Boy Scout tornado deaths
22. Rise in asthma and hayfever
23. Duller fall foliage in 2007
24. Floods in Jakarta
25. Radical ecological shift in the North Sea
26. Snowfall in Baghdad
27. Western tree deaths
28. Diminishing desert resources
29. Pine beetles
30. Swedish beetles
31. Severe acne
32. Global conflict
33. Crash of Air France 447
34. Black Hawk Down incident
35. Amphibians breeding earlier
36. Flesh-eating disease
37. Global cooling
38. Bird strikes on US Airways 1549
39. Beer tastes different
40. Cougar attacks in Alberta
41. Suicide of farmers in Australia
42. Squirrels reproduce earlier
43. Monkeys moving to Great Rift Valley in Kenya
44. Confusion of migrating birds
45. Bigger tuna fish
46. Water shortages in Las Vegas
47. Worldwide hunger
48. Longer days
49. Earth spinning faster
50. Gender balance of crocodiles
51. Skin cancer deaths in UK
52. Increase in kidney stones in India
53. Penguin chicks frozen by global warming
54. Deaths of Minnesota moose
55. Increased threat of HIV/AIDS in developing countries
56. Increase of wasps in Alaska
57. Killer stingrays off British coasts
58. All societal collapses since the beginning of time
59. Bigger spiders
60. Increase in size of giant squid
61. Increase of orchids in UK
62. Collapse of gingerbread houses in Sweden
63. Cow infertility
64. Conflict in Darfur
65. Bluetongue outbreak in UK cows
66. Worldwide wars
67. Insomnia of children worried about global warming
68. Anxiety problems for people worried about climate change
69. Migration of cockroaches
70. Taller mountains due to melting glaciers
71. Drowning of four polar bears
72. UFO sightings in the UK
73. Hurricane Katrina
74. Greener mountains in Sweden
75. Decreased maple in maple trees
76. Cold wave in India
77. Worse traffic in LA because immigrants moving north
78. Increase in heart attacks and strokes
79. Rise in insurance premiums
80. Invasion of European species of earthworm in UK
81. Cold spells in Australia
82. Increase in crime
83. Boiling oceans
84. Grizzly deaths
85. Dengue fever
86. Lack of monsoons
87. Caterpillars devouring 45 towns in Liberia
88. Acid rain recovery
89. Global wheat shortage; food price hikes
90. Extinction of 13 species in Bangladesh
91. Changes in swan migration patterns in Siberia
92. The early arrival of Turkey’s endangered caretta carettas
93. Radical North Sea shift
94. Heroin addiction
95. Plant species climbing up mountains
96. Deadly fires in Australia
97. Droughts in Australia
98. The demise of California’s agriculture by the end of the century
99. Tsunami in South East Asia
100. Fashion victim: the death of the winter wardrobe
And the list goes on. The truth is climate change is causing some of these events, but the earth’s average temperature has been increasing and decreasing since the beginning of time. Maybe the increase in UFO sightings can’t be pinpointed to climate change but certainly animals will adapt to new habitats as the climate changes. But climate change and adaptation to it is nothing new. There’s an underlying assumption that human activity is causing the climate to change in many of these stories, but the scientific consensus on what causes climate change is anything but a consensus. Temperatures have risen and fallen many times before and the earth was cooling as recently as the period from the 1940s to the 1970s giving rise to fears of a coming ice age:
“At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”
The other implication of this list is that a reduction in Co2 with cap and trade policies like Waxman-Markey and Boxer-Kerry will cure problems as disparate as hurricanes, wars, crime, hunger and…cow infertility. The problem is that no one can actually claim that a reduction of Co2 will prevent these occurrences; one can only speculate that they will be worse in a world that has more rather than less Co2. Given cap and trade’s massive economic consequences and negligible effects on the earth’s temperature, this is a bold and potentially very costly speculation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Socialized Medicine: The battle begins....

Saturday night, all 58 Democrats and 2 Independents in the U.S. Senate voted to bring H.R. 3590, the government healthcare takeover bill, to the floor for a debate and possible amendments after Thanksgiving. It was the bare minimum to achieve the 3/5ths majority. The senators are now flying to their home districts for a weeklong vacation.

Whenever that final debate occurs, it will take another 60 votes to invoke "cloture" to end that debate. The good news is several senators who voted "aye" to allow debate say they will kill the bill unless the "public option," the very foundation of the legislation, is removed.

ACTION: Thank you to everyone who called, emailed and faxed senators to oppose government-controlled healthcare. Now, please call and protest at the district offices of your U.S. senator and other U.S. senators -- especially the swing votes (Democrats Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Independent Joe Lieberman) -- to express your deep concern.

The key vote will be on shutting down a Republican filibuster of the ObamaCare bill, HR 3590. In the Senate, we are faced with a health care bill that:

* Costs $2.5 trillion during its first ten years of full implementation (2014-2023);

* Increases insurance premiums and imposes $376 billion in tax increases -- many on the middle class; and

* Cuts Medicare by $465 billion, while increasing health costs by over $100 billion.

The word "tax" appears 183 times in the latest health care bill. Is Obama serious? Is that what he and Reid want to do to us in the midst of a recession?

Of course, all this increased spending -- and taxes -- means that you will have less money to spend on providing for your family and/or pursuing your real passions.

The strategy in the Senate is to cram this bill down the American people's throats before we have a chance to fully read and evaluate it.

Do you want left-wing bureaucrats appointed by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid determining whether you should own a gun via the health care system?

Remember, H.R. 3590 would increase insurance premiums, increase taxes, costs $2.5 TRILLION over 10 years, imposes an individual mandate that everyone buy health insurance, launches a federal "abortion insurance" program, cuts and restricts MediCare, and would result in rationing.

The Democrats' plan would NOT increase affordability or portability of health insurance. NOR would it restrain frivolous medical lawsuits that have been driving up doctor's insurance and insurance premiums over the last several years. NOR would it reward, instead of financially punish, consumers who live healthy lifestyles.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Criminalizing Health Care Freedom

Courtesy of the Heritage Foundation and Real Clear Politics:
The "reformers" in the White House and the House of Representatives have made all too plain their vision of the federal government's power to coerce individual Americans to make the "right" health-care choices. The highly partisan bill the House just passed includes severe penalties for individuals who do not purchase insurance approved by the federal government. By neatly tucking these penalties into the IRS code, the so-called reformers have brought them under the tax-enforcement power of the federal government.

The Congressional Budget Office stated on October 29 that the House bill would generate $167 billion in revenue from "penalty payments." Individual Americans are expected to pay $33 billion of these penalties, with employers paying the rest. Former member of Congress and Heritage Foundation fellow Ernest Istook has concluded that for this revenue goal to be met, 8 to 14 million individual Americans will have to be fined over the next ten years, quite an incentive for federal bureaucrats.

Who will be included among those subject to civil and criminal penalties if this provision becomes law? For starters, any family of four whose combined income in 2016 is above $102,100 ($88,200 in today's dollars) and that chooses to pay all its medical expenses out of pocket rather than pay the $15,000 a year that the CBO says will be the lowest-priced insurance option for families. Also any healthy twentysomething in a city with high costs of living who chooses to take the risk of going uninsured. And by outlawing the popular high-deductible plans that are currently among the lowest-cost health-insurance solutions, the new law would only increase the number of Americans on the rolls of those who cannot afford insurance. The CBO itself estimates that at least 18 million Americans will still be uninsured in 2016.

The fact that the penalties for noncompliance are enforceable by criminal prosecution is a chilling abuse of the prosecutorial power, which Columbia law professor Herbert Wechsler pointed out 50 years ago is the greatest power that any government uses against its citizens. Using it to enforce one particular notion of appropriate insurance coverage is nothing less than a tyrannical assertion of raw government power over the private lives and economic rights of individual Americans.

How would the penalties work? As a starting point, taxpaying Americans who do not satisfy the law's insurance requirement would be penalized on their federal income-tax returns. Their tax burden would be increased by the lesser of (a) the amount the government decides they should pay for government-mandated health coverage or (b) 2.5 percent of their adjusted income above a filing threshold. An otherwise law-abiding American who fails to pay this "tax penalty" could be criminally prosecuted and sentenced to a year in prison if the feds deem his refusal to be a misdemeanor.

Worse, if the feds decide the refusal is felonious, the culprit may spend five years in federal prison and be fined up to $250,000. You could end up in a cell in Leavenworth even if you have paid all your family's medical bills yourself. 
By transforming a refusal or failure to comply with a government mandate into a federal tax violation, the "progressives" are using the brute force of criminal law to engage in social engineering. This represents an oppressive, absolutist view of government power.
What does President Obama think of the criminalization of Americans' economic choices? He trivialized the issue when he told ABC's Sunlen Miller he didn't think the question of the appropriateness of possible jail time is the "biggest question" the House and Senate are facing right now.

We beg to differ.

The idea of imprisoning or fining Americans who don't knuckle under to an unprecedented government mandate to purchase a particular insurance product should outrage anyone who believes in the exceptional promises and opportunities afforded by our basic American freedoms. The idea isn't progressive but highly regressive, the equivalent of reinstituting debtors' prisons, a punishment Americans eliminated 160 years ago.

Of course, the prospect of winding up in prison for failing to maintain government-mandated insurance may be of no personal concern to the president or members of Congress. They each receive a Cadillac version of health-care coverage funded by those same American taxpayers who, in the reformers' vision, will be federal criminals if they have the audacity to make their own decisions about medical insurance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Badly needed for 2010: Contract With America 2.0

What needs to be in Version 2.0?

1. Border Wall all the way from San Diego to Brownsville.

2. Illegal immigration halted and reversed. NO amnesty ever again. We will have to tell the soft bigots of low expectations like Lindsey Grahamnesty to shut up, and wheel off Juan McLame to the retirement home.

3. Legal Immigration curtailment. Make skills, not family reunification, paramount. End "diversity lotteries" that treat US citizenship like the prize behind Curtain #1 on "Let's Make A Deal".

4. ALL of the various market oriented health care reforms proposed by The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, etc. Make that guy who runs Whole Foods our Joe The Plumber 2.0. (And why in the hell wasn't any of this done back when the GOP ran the House? Didn't Hillary's attempt to pussy-whip us into socialized medicine back in 1993 wake up anyone in the GOP?)

5. Drill here, Drill now. Debunk Climate Fraud for what it is.

Feel free to add to the list.

Monday, November 16, 2009


A man is visiting the zoo and observing the lion's pen area when he sees a little girl leaning too far over the safety rails and into the lion's pen. Suddenly, a lion jumps upward, grabs the little girl by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her over the safety rails and down inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The man quickly runs to the safety rail and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.

Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly. A reporter has watched the whole event.

The reporter addressing the man says, 'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I've seen a man do in my whole life.'

The man replies, 'Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right.'

The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page... So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?'

The man replies, 'I'm an account executive, a former soldier and a Republican.' The journalist leaves.

The following morning the man buys the paper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

 *Ex-Military man with anger issues?*

That pretty much sums up the media's approach to the news these days.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Coming California Water Rip-Off

The California Legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have approved a convoluted “water deal” that is supposed to quench the thirst of California individuals, farmers and local governments.

Yet beyond the hype, this water deal — which goes to the voters on the November 2010 ballot – will not build more dams and doesn’t fix California’s worsening water crisis. At its core, the water deal is fiscally irresponsible. It would mean more bureaucracy and more government ownership of land. It would actually remove existing dams without providing guarantees to build new ones. It gives $6.4 BILLION in our taxpayer dollars to liberal environmentalists’ projects. And it raises the price of water on us all, taxing us for alleged "overuse".

Sacramento’s bad water deal will raise your rates if you have a yard or children. Regular users will suffer, the government will control more land, and the environmental wackos will control more government. Why don’t we have enough water? It because, under pressure from utopia-seeking "Wild and scenic river" environmentalist groups, the liberal Democrats who run the California Legislature and our RINO Republican governor refuse to build more dams to store water year-round.

Having water throughout the year requires storage during the dry months. Yet California hasn’t built a new dam since 1968, despite the population doubling since that time. What’s in the new water plan you get to vote on next year? Pork for the same environmental groups that oppose new dams!

Here is what the water deal claims about itself, followed by what will really happen:
1. “Authorizes an $11.14 billion bond measure to pay for dams, underground water banking, water recycling, Delta restoration and dozens of regional projects.”
Sounds good, right? But BONDS ARE NOT FREE MONEY. We cannot afford another $11.14 billion in debt, which will cost more than twice that amount to repay. Unlike the federal government, California has no way to print money or inflate away the value of its debt; we have no choice but to pay back every penny, with interest. Even if there are catastrophes and crises in the future, we still need to pay back this pork-barrel bond first. That is fiscally irresponsible.
2. “Provide assurances about a proposed Delta water diversion canal. It would prevent the Department of Water Resources from starting construction until the Water Resources Control Board approves a diversion permit for the project....That diversion permit must specify ‘flow criteria’ that set new stream-flow requirements to improve Delta habitat.....Water contractors must sign contracts to pay for the canal project and to offset property tax losses to Delta counties.....The canal, as proposed by the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, must help endangered species recover, as required by the Natural Communities Conservation Plan, a higher standard than species protection, called for by current federal rules. Without this enhanced standard, state funding can’t flow.”
Despite all the hype, this bond does not authorize or require the construction of the peripheral canal. Like a magician re-directing the public’s attention while secretly pulling a “magic” coin from his pocket, this water bond is designed to trick both sides into seeing what they want to see about the peripheral canal. People who want the canal think that this bond will smooth the way for it, even though it does very little to accomplish that goal. People who don’t want the canal think that the bond deal will kill it by placing even more legal obstacles to prevent its construction. The former are wrong, the latter are correct.
3. "Create new Delta Stewardship Council, which must prepare a comprehensive, long-term ‘Delta Plan’ by Jan. 1, 2012. The council can require state agencies to follow the Delta Plan....Reform the existing Delta Protection Commission so that it expands Delta recreation; promotes agriculture; seeks federal status for the Delta as a ‘place of special significance’; and promotes emergency preparedness, appropriate land use and strategic levee investments.”
THERE IS ALREADY A DELTA PROTECTION COMMISSION; WHY IN THE HELL DO WE NEED A DELTA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL??? This horrible deal creates a new layer of government, which will not only waste taxpayers’ money, it will make it more difficult to resolve our water problems because there will be one more hurdle to getting anything done.
4. “Create Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, which will receive funds and make grants for habitat restoration activities from a pool of $2 billion set aside for Delta sustainability, restoration and conservation projects. This can include flood protection projects and ecosystem restoration associated with Bay Delta Conservation Plan. However, no bond money may be used for canal planning, construction, operation, maintenance.”
Yet another duplicative layer of government! This new conservancy guarantees that there will be yet another agency to create new hurdles to prevent common sense solutions to our water problems. What is worse, the primary mission of this new Conservancy is to acquire even more public lands in a state where three-fifths of the land is already owned by federal or state government. Only about 8% of our state is currently available for development, but the Legislature is creating another Conservancy to put even more land off limits to economic activity. If history repeats itself, this new Conservancy will squander taxpayers’ money to purchase private land from special interests at inflated prices, and then barbed wire fences will be erected to keep the public off lands that they paid for. (Anyone who is not familiar with this process should visit the huge tracks of public lands that were acquired several years ago in the Sutter Buttes in Colusa County. Aside from the millions spent to acquire the land from private owners, the state’s only “investment” in the last few years has been to install locked gates and “Keep Out” signs.)
5. “Provide $400 million for ‘drought relief’ that may pay cities for water that’s instead used to improve Delta flows; $250 million for a Klamath River dam removal project (plus up to $20 million to offset Siskiyou County economic impacts); $60 million for salmon migration projects in Sacramento River watershed; and $50 million in matching grants to improve upstream wastewater treatment.”
This is an eco-Luddite's wet dream, along with more special interest “pork” spending that California taxpayers cannot afford. It makes no sense for taxpayers in San Diego or Redding to pay for so-called drought relief in the Bay Area. Removing the dams along the Klamath River is criminally insane. It costs boatloads of money, destroys the local economy, exacerbates our electricity crisis, and does not necessarily help the salmon at all. The California Republican Party just unanimously passed a resolution against this particular act of insanity, so it will be interesting to see if any Republican legislators paid attention.
6. “Require 20 percent water conservation statewide by 2020; provide several paths to local water agencies for achieving this; agencies that fail will not be eligible for state water grants.”
The conservation mandate implies that water saved in one part of the state is automatically available to water users everywhere else, but that concept is ridiculous. In many cases, all the water “saved” will simply flow into the ocean, just as it would have done if it had been “used” and then treated. There is no net gain and no purpose served, excite to expand the size and power of government bureaucrats. Worst of all, San Francisco and many Democrat coastal strongholds are exempt from this statewide conservation mandate! What does that tell you????
7. “Increase statewide debt load, though half of the bonds can’t be sold until after 2015 to minimize negative impacts.”
The last thing we need is more debt for our state! How do we know that conditions will be better in 2015 than they are now?
8. “Provide $1.9 billion for regional water management; $1.5 billion for watershed protection projects; $500 million for groundwater protection projects; $500 million for water recycling and conservation for urban and agricultural users.”
Nothing that actually increases supply other than water recycling! Moreover, we have passed at least four other water bonds in the last decade that did this sort of thing. Add this to the $2 billion allocated for “Delta sustainability, restoration and conservation projects,” and the usual Luddite "environmental" groups that are more concerned about fish and plants than people will get $6.4 billion in this terrible deal.
9. “Require statewide monitoring of groundwater supplies, starting Jan. 1, 2012.”
This might be the most insidious part of this water deal: when you strip out the rhetoric and focus on what they are really trying to do, you find out that this is nothing but a thinly-disguised scheme to increase taxes. For years, the liberals have sought every possible excuse to force people with private wells to pay taxes on the water they are pumping out of their own ground at their own expense. It appears that they have finally achieved their goal. The bond talks about “groundwater monitoring” as if it will be done by the Tooth Fairy at no cost to property owners, but the reality is that property owners (or the people who own the water, at least) will be forced to pay taxes for government bureaucrats to install water meters, check the water meters, and threaten people who use “too much” of what is by property rights their own water.
10. “Allocate $3 billion for potential new dams, but only the ‘public benefit’ portion of those projects, such as ecosystem flows, flood control, recreation.”
This is another magician’s trick. The water deal will not build any new dams, even if it appears that it creates a hypothetical possibility that dams will be built if an infinite number of conditions are met.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Off Year Elections: Pretty Damn Good!

The corrupt Commiecrat Corzine was sacked in New Jersey and a pretty good patriot was elected to Governor of Virginia, despite the atempts of President Obama to prop both of them up!!!
Doug Hoffman rose out of nothing as an Independent Conservative Party candidate to almost take New York district 23, despite RINO backstabbing. Think about that: Mr. Hoffman nearly won an election even though the RINO phony Republican candidate suspended her campaign and endorsed the Democrat.

Oh, and by the way, the RINOs say that we patriots quickly have to embrace "gay marriage" (sic) because opposing it is so obviously a losing issue. I mean, the anti-gay-marriage forces can only manage a bare majority in the Deep South states of California and Maine, right? (snicker)

Even here, in California, the special election in District 10 didn't go all that badly for the Republican. It was basically handed to John Garamendi on a platter, given the gerrymandering of the district:

David Harmer (Rep) 53,441 / 42.69%
Jeremy Cloward (Grn) 2,314 / 1.85%
Jerome "Jerry" Denham (AI) 1,435 /1.15%
John Garamendi (Dem) 66,311 / 52.98%
Mary C. McIlroy (P&F) 1,672 / 1.34%

Look at CA-10 on a map. This blob of a district takes parts out of FOUR counties, and stretches a pseudopod out towards Berkeley and the Richmond ghetto, in order to get enough Commiecrat voters and thus nullify the patriot voters of Travis Air Force Base and rural Solano and Delta farming regions.

The only guy I really have beef with here is Jerry Denham, American Independent candidate, John Birch member, and associate of the late John Katz. Not that his votes would have made any meaningful difference in this race, but what if he and his patriotic and well meaning John Birch Society types stopped squandering their energy in the American Independent Party, actually *joined* the Republican Party, and worked to get a Real Republican elected? From what I know of him, David Harmer was definitely such a man.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rush Limbaugh smeared by Left

So the Obamunist sycophants in the media are now making outrageous attacks on Rush Limbaugh regarding rumors - that's right, rumors - that he has made racial remarks in the past.

And the NFL, like most big-money operations, got scared, quickly jumped on the bandwagon and let it be known that Limbaugh's desire to be included in a group seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams would be rejected.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a classic corporate empty suit, simply referred to Limbaugh's "divisive comments" as the reason for his being viewed as an unwelcome applicant for a franchise.

Since rumor is all that the shrieking Commiecrat crowd has to go on, they have dragged out of the closet the infamous hubbub back in 2003 when Rush Limbaugh was hired to give his opinions on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show. What got him into hot water was when he opined that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated. In a refreshingly straightforward manner, he went on to say, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

I happen to have seen that little segment, and I vividly recall two things about it. First, immediately after Limbaugh made his comments, Hall of Fame player Michael Irvin, an African-American and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, said, "Good point, Rush." I take Irvin at his word that he meant what he said.

Second, I recall thinking that Limbaugh's comments were positive in that they spotlighted the fact that most white Americans *do* want to see African-Americans succeed. And that's a good thing. I felt at the time that he should have been applauded for being sensitive rather than reviled for being insensitive. Nevertheless, the Race Police came flying out of the woodwork, and Limbaugh resigned under pressure the very next day.

So, here we are again, bringing up memories of all the "racial" comments made by famous persons who were fired and vilified for being "insensitive." Two of the more well-known examples that come to mind are Al Campanis, who was general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Jimmy the Greek Snyder, a one-time mainstay on CBS's NFL Today.

In an appearance on ABC's Nightline in 1987, Campanis said, "[Blacks] may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager." The left immediately went berserk, and the Dodgers quickly hustled Campanis off their payroll.

Campanis later explained what he had meant by his remark by saying, "When I said blacks lack the 'necessities' to be managers or general managers, what I meant was the lack of necessary experience, not things like inherent intelligence or ability. I was dead-tired after traveling when I went on the show. I got confused. It was like a telegram - you try to say it in a few words, and it's implied differently."

By all accounts, Campanis was not even close to being a racist. In fact, he was one of Jackie Robinson's biggest defenders when he played for the then Brooklyn Dodgers, and once challenged an opposing player to a fight when Robinson was being bullied.

Moreover, in 1987 Campanis was right, for the simple reason that at that time it wasn't that long ago that African Americans couldn't even *play* the major leagues, let alone manage a team there.

As to Jimmy the Greek, his famous faux pas was when he was purported to have said to a reporter, in a restaurant, "The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way - because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. This goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trading, the owner - the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid."

PC and historical accuracy are sworn and everlasting enemies. The interesting thing is that some years later I read a long, detailed article in the newspaper, based on scientific studies, that confirmed that blacks tend to be superior athletes because of their genetic propensity toward large and powerful thigh and buttocks muscles. It was a fascinating, well-researched article that provided scientific answers to a question that has long been of interest to both blacks and whites.

Whites are as much at fault as blacks for the absurd overreaction to both speech and facts regarding race because they are the enablers in a relationship that began as master and slave. As Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele, an African-American, points out in his book White Guilt, Americans are hopelessly trapped by the need to feel guilty over the sins of their fathers. Any people of color - including Arabs, Africans, and Latinos - must be coddled and treated with an excess of TLC.

I guess it's okay to a point, but it's also demeaning and irritating to people of color who just want to be treated like everyone else. As one African-American acquaintance of mine recently said, "The constant whining and cries of insult only succeed in attracting negative attention and get in the way of those of us who are trying to get ahead in life."

Fortunately, most people, both black and white, are becoming immune to the constant drumbeat of the racist-gotcha game. Plain and simple, we are suffering from race-compassion fatigue. To borrow from the title of Juan Williams' book: Enough!

P.S. Rush: For the sake of all Americans, please sue the butts off the NFL and every blogger and member of the media who attributed false quotes to you.

What can we do about this?

1. Call the NFL and give them hell. Their corporate office number is 1-212-450-2000. The switchboard hours are from 8:30AM to 7:00PM, Eastern Standard Time.

The NFL FAX number is 212/681-7573.

NFL staff members can be reached via-email by Example:

2. Call the corporations who pay big bucks to become the "official sponsors of the NFL" and tell them to please stop. It isn't the corporations fault what the NFL did, but they should know that decent Americans of all colors are fed up.

3. It's time to look into the backgrounds of every last creep in the NFL leadership. Every owner, every CEO, every GM, everyone. And Roger Goodell as well.

Oh look what I just found... I have it on good authority from some schmuck who posted it on the internet on April 1st, 1984 that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's ancestors owned slaves and when he learned of this, he was noted to have exclaimed: "COOL! And if I can just become NFL Commissioner someday, I can be a plantation owner too and control all those Black boys! Bwahahahahaha!"

4. Boycott the NFL and ESPN. Now I'm not saying stop watching the games (that's not a credible approach), but you can avoid buying any single product I see advertised in association with the NFL or ESPN. They won't notice me not watching the games, but they might just notice the fact that I'm not buying NFL shirts or other merchandise.

5. Forget the NFL and repeat after me.....N-A-S-C-A-R. Of course, the liberal Demunist Commiecrat news media tried to smear them too. You might remember when Arabic or East Indian looking "fans" were planted by MSNBC into NASCAR events to see if they would be harassed by NASCAR fans. Which prompted this great editorial cartoon:

There is a deeper issue here, namely, what the Leftist Agenda is.

1.) Rush may not be the representative of the opposition to their agenda, but he says exactly the things we are saying amongst ourselves. That is why they must attempt to propagandize about him as the Leader, so they can apply the Rules for Radicals, and isolate and destroy, thus isolating us and ultimately destroying us.

2.) Since the left have taken over all non-elected positions in the government, taken over the re-education of our children, control information transfer and media determination of news, and now represent the elite and Corporate America...They view sports as the re-education camp for the American Population that does not agree with their agenda.

3.) Modern American Sports has nothing to do with competition. It is only sold as competition, but in reality it is Entertainment focused on re-educating a population to fit a particular model.

4.) In sports you can control which people get to play and which can not. By using this method of re-education they can control the story line so that it falls in-line with the agenda. They do this by propping up organizations and individuals that fit the model, and demonizing the organizations and individuals that don't. This is very powerful because the machine can use the cover of apparent transparency to consistently, subliminally, and aggressively set the cultural rules, which in turn will all fit the agenda.

5.) Truth has become a scarce commodity in America. Among liberal leftists, lying is seen as perfectly acceptable behavior. Lying has little or no stigma attached to it, in their world. This is the end-game of moral relativism. Liberals are now enjoying the fruits of their years of subversive and divisive labor. These people are keenly aware of the fact that when truth is effectively undermined, all things are possible. Evil is, in part, the absence of truth. What we are witnessing is the dawning of a new era of evil. Time to fight back in earnest, people.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ah-nold sells us out--AGAIN

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 572, "Harvey Milk Gay Day" for schoolchildren, into law. Political indoctrination once again trumps real education. Once again, Ah-nold stabs us in the back.

A couple years ago, he hired a homosexual activist, Susan Kennedy, as his chief of staff. Now, by signing SB 572 and SB 54, which recognizes out-of-state homosexual "marriages" in clear violation of Prop. 8, Schwarzenegger supports the ENTIRE homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda, just like Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom do.

What's worse? A liberal Democrat or a RINO Republican? Since they do the same damage to fiscal discipline AND family values, a liberal Republican is worse. By infiltrating from within, a liberal Republican can do more damage to "his side" than a liberal Democrat. A liberal Democrat in office will actually unite pro-family citizens in opposition and motivate them for the next election.

You may want to express your anger by calling a live staffer in Schwarzenegger's office at 916-445-2841 or at any of his five regional offices. You should also expose this terrible deed (supported by 68 Democrat lawmakers, 1 Republican named Abel Maldonado, and California's liberal Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) by posting comments to online news sites and social networking sites, and by calling talk radio shows.

Harvey Milk Day teaches children as young as five years old to admire the life and values and the notorious homosexual activist Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk was a sexual predator of teens, an advocate for death cult leader Jim Jones, a public hoaxer and liar, and is in no way a good role model for impressionable schoolchildren. Sadly, children in public schools will now have even more in-your-face, leftist Commiecrat indoctrination. This provides the strongest impetus yet for loving parents to remove their children from not just anti-family, but frankly anti-American commie leaning public schools.

Schwarzenegger vetoed "Harvey Milk Day" last year, he signed it this year. The Governor also previously claimed to oppose same-sex "marriage," but now supports destroying the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman, in court, and by his signing of SB 54, to recognize out-of-state homosexual "marriages" in violation of Prop. 8.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Obama loses his magic status

The Obamunist's umpteenth campaign speech (since he's been in office!) Wednesday night - this time about government-run healthcare (disguised as everything but government-run) was encouraging. Encouraging????  Yes. While I still have a concern that he will pull yet another fast one over most of the American people, it was pretty palpably obvious how full of crap he was, even to many liberal commentators.

On top of President Obama's remarkable skill for transforming fiction into fact, one can easily become paranoid not only by the media's incessantly cheering him on, but by their refusal to report any negative news about him. It's scary to think about, but if a person got his news solely from ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, and/or The Washington Post, he would have no idea that Obama had appointed a self-avowed communist to rule over green-related issues. ("Green-related issues" meaning just about every aspect of American life.)

So, before Wednesday night's performance, I kept worrying that President Obama would come up with a clever surprise to win back some of the independents who have come to realize that they were duped into voting for him. As it turned out, however, my fears were without merit. In a show of stunning arrogance, Obama apparently believed that he could once again spew out hollow hyperbole and bedazzle us ordinary folk. And when he did say anything even remotely specific, it was ... well ... as Orrin Hatch might delicately put it, "disingenuous."

What is most striking about his Wednesday night speech is that for all the breathless build-up by his slavish liberal media followers, he really didn't say anything to answer the main criticisms of the plan. For months now, he has been making three claims: (1) his plan will cover everybody; (2) there will not be significant rationing; and (3) his plan will not add significantly to the budget deficit, and--get this--will even save money. Last night, he merely repeated these same claims.

The problem is that those statements cannot be true. If we are giving everyone free health insurance, we will either see rationing, much higher taxes, or much higher deficits. That's just common sense. He can keep making these claims all he wants, but they're just not persuasive.

So despite all the fanfare, the president's speech was the same old same old broth with a bunch of red-meat rhetoric tossed in for the left. He brought no certainty or clarity to the debate. He didn't lay out any deadlines. He didn't even say whether he will veto a bill that does not contain a public option. And he certainly didn't respond to the serious concerns that have been raised by Republicans and others about the financial and economic consequences of this bill. Points that are not credible when made in a normal tone of voice are not made more credible in the louder tone of voice he used last night.

Of course the media savored the slaps at conservatives over "death panels" and the like. But the fact is that a health plan that insures younger people under Medicare, vastly increasing demand, and *then* lowers payments to doctors under Medicare, thus decreasing supply, means that existing senior citizens will be shafted. And a panel will have to determine which treatments can be covered under the plan and which cannot--in effect, who gets treated and who doesn't, given the age related nature of most treatments.

Just a few of the many items that caught my (and most everyone else's) attention:

--"I don't want to put insurance companies out of business. I just want to hold them accountable." Question: What, exactly, do you mean by "accountable?" Second question: Who are you to hold anyone or any company accountable for anything? Sorry, Barry, but the Constitution says that you are accountable to us.

--His bold but embarrassing statement that his plan won't increase the deficit. He's going to pay for all the additional healthcare simply by eliminating fraud and waste. Yeah, right. You do know how good government is at controlling fraud and waste, don't you? How does it feel to know that the president of the United States thinks you're an ignoramus?

--His claim that government health insurance won't cover abortions or illegal aliens. Sounds nice, but why, then, does he refuse to ask Congress to add amendments to the bill that makes these promises rock solid?

--His gratuitous mention of tort reform was vintage Obama - no details, no plan, no promise. Given Obamunist trial lawyer support, if anyone wants to wager on this one, I'm available to cover your bet.

--Finally, the nasty (real) side of the Duplicitous Despot came out. After numerous admonishments to Republicans for daring to question his plans, he threatened them with: "If you misrepresent what is in this plan, we will call you out." In other words, don't tell it like it is and tell the truth, and keep your mouths shut unless you want to be labeled an uncooperative troublemaker.

In short, my worries were for naught, because BHO's speech was an embarrassing bust. I believe it's now safe to say that the emperor has no clothes. BHO is, in fact, losing his touch. I think it's called "overexposure."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Pledge to Promote Global Warming Propaganda

This is truly sad. But this is what they are pushing in the schools.

Meanwhile, corruption within the "climate-change" industry is rampant. “Climategate” — the unauthorized 2009 release of private emails from the Climatic Research Unit in the United Kingdom — revealed that many of the world’s top climate scientists were knee-deep in manipulating scientific evidence to support preconceived conclusions and personal agendas. Shrill warnings about everything from melting Himalayan glaciers to shrinking polar-bear populations turned out not to be supported--indeed, they were contradicted--by scientific facts.

It is also apparent that “green” industries are nothing but corporate welfare and crony socialism. Commonsense ideas like more windmills, solar panels, retro-fitted houses, and electric cars have all been in the news lately. But the common results are few jobs created and little competitively priced energy produced, but plenty of political donors who land hundreds of millions of dollars in low-interest loans from the government.

Even without the corruption and hypocrisy, sincere advocates of the theory of man-made global warming themselves overreached. At news that the planet has not heated up at all, and indeed has cooled, during the last ten years, “global warming” gave way to “climate change”. So now we are told that unseasonable cold or wet weather was just as man-caused as were the old specters of drought and scorching temperatures. Square that circle!

Then, when “climate change” was still not enough to frighten the public into action, yet a third term follows: “climate chaos.” Suddenly some “green experts” claim that even more terrifying disasters — from periodic hurricanes and tornadoes to volcanoes and earthquakes — could for the first time be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

Current hard times also explain the demise of global-warming advocacy. With high unemployment and near-nonexistent economic growth, Americans do not want to shut down generating plants or pay new surcharges on their power bills. Most people worry first about having any car that runs — not whether it’s a more expensive green hybrid model.

Meanwhile, fossil-fuel exploration and recovery — especially horizontal drilling and fracking — have vastly increased the known American reserves of gas and oil. Modern efficient engines have meant that both can be consumed with little, if any, pollution — at a time when a struggling US economy is paying nearly half-a-trillion dollars for imported fossil fuels. The public apparently would prefer developing more of our own gas, oil, shale, tar sands, and coal as an alternative to going broke by either importing more fuels from abroad or subsidizing more inefficient windmills and solar panels at home.

We simply don’t know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it has are disingenuous, statist control freaks, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Van Jones gone, but 30 odd commies to go

I think Barack Hussein Obama and his comrades in arms fully realize that the Democrats are going to lose a huge number of House and Senate seats in 2010, most of them by a landslide, if he keeps pushing hard left. So why does he continue his audacity in anointing communists and other radicals to posts that bypass the congressional vetting process? Because he knows that he has to get as much socialism as possible in place - people, programs, and laws - before he is faced with an unfriendly Congress.
Unfortunately for him, in his haste to install the most extreme anti-freedom radicals he can find in unvetted posts, he risks awakening the shrinking percentage of independents who still seem determined not to believe that an African-American president is an old-school radical. It's known as "white guilt," and there are some who will simply never get over it. Fortunately, a small but growing number of conservative and libertarian African-Americans are not among them.
In the case of Van Jones, everything would have been just fine had his ego not gotten the best of him. After all, his credentials were no problem. With timid Republicans not about to appear too harsh on a black guy, no one seemed to have an issue with Jones being a self-avowed communist who refers to the political opposition with all the tactfulness of a street thug.
But then Van Jones shot his mouth off one too many times.
And I will bet anything President Obama said something like this to his minions Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, "What the hell is this guy doing? Didn't he ever read Saul Alinsky? He's scaring all those Americans who are clinging to their bibles and guns - and scared people are more likely to resist servitude."
So, out came the Barack Obama bus - the same one he used for his pal "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright when Wright chose to shoot his mouth off. And you just know Barack Obama was thinking, for both people, "Sorry, pal. I appreciate the fact that you want to be a commie bigshot, but this revolution is bigger than you."
Poor Van Jones. Now he insists that he was the victim of a "vicious smear campaign" (read, telling people the truth about his radical views). He was so mesmerized by his leftist audiences' laughter that he didn't even notice the Obama bus pulling into position to run him over.
So now Van Jones is back out on the street, forced to look for lucrative employment. Unfortunately, he will probably find it in some campus, like commie Cornel West.

Unfortunately, too many  Americans have a bad habit of falling into the comfort zone after the smallest of victories.

Understand this, American patriots: Van Jones was just one of many cogs in the "progressive" (communist) Wheel of Servitude. Instead of congratulating ourselves on a job well done, we should be thinking "one down, thirty-something to go."
Among the remaining Obamunist advisers and czars:
--Cass Sunstein (the "regulation czar" who wants to reverse current law so that a person's organs can automatically be used for transplantation unless he or she has explicitly stated otherwise in writing, which brings to mind the old movie "Coma")
--John Holdren (the "science czar" who advocates, besides the man-made global warming fraud, forced abortions and sterilization of the general population by putting infertility drugs in the water supply)
--Mark Lloyd (the FCC "Chief Diversity Officer" who speaks with glowing admiration of Hugo Chavez's "incredible revolution" and wants to eliminate conservative talk radio and Fox News by forcing them to subsidize their competition)
And these guys are just the off-the-chart communists. How many more fellow travelers are there?

Conservatives, libertarians, and independents have to fight the tendency to prematurely celebrate a victory like forcing Obama to give a commie-clown like Van Jones the boot. Instead, they need to focus on stoking the protest fires in an effort to eliminate *all* of the "czars" and force Obama to get the "advice and consent" of the House and Senate before bringing anyone new on board. Further, the aim should be to reduce their powers to carrying out laws that have actually been passed by the Congress.

The good news is that "progressives" (Commiecrats) are just as inclined to prematurely celebrate as conservatives, libertarians, and independents. From the day they took control of all three branches of the government, they have been outwardly giddy and bold.
Remember, Jones was adored by Valerie Jarrett, whom Michelle Malkin has exposed as the main benefactor of, and most powerful advisor to, both Obamas. But Ms. Jarrett let one slip when she said about Jones, "We were watching him ... for as long as he's been active out in Oakland." So much for Obama not knowing about Van Jones' communist background.
Even the normally calm, cool, and collected Emanuel slipped early on when he spoke his infamous line, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
As a result of all these arrogant slips of the tongue, you can bet your life (actually, this is all about betting your life) that the Obamunist and his Che Guevara disciples guerillas will be very careful about what they say between now and November 2010. They'll probably all go back and reread Saul Alinksy's Rules for Radicals and be reminded that old Saul had no use for big mouths and showboaters. In fact, Saul Alinsky scornfully looked upon flag burners like Bill Ayers as "fools."
So look for a slicker, less threatening version of the power-holding "progressive" communists until, and if, they are in a position to slam the door shut on dissent. In the meantime, don't be fooled by their good behavior and allow yourself to get lulled back to sleep.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Underclass children will sink California

Months too late, California finally has a budget deal, through accounting maneuvers and budget cuts (including the release of convicted felons). But California's budget is toast—whether or not the economy turns around.

The cause: Millions of low-income, unskilled immigrants (and not just illegals) with lots of children have moved in. And lots of high- and middle-income Americans have moved out, even back to the states of their "Okie" and "Arkie" ancestors.

Immigration's highest cost is the public education of the immigrants' children. That falls on state and local taxpayers—not on federal taxpayers. Therefore, states with the largest number of poorer immigrant and poorer immigrant-descended students pay the most for over-immigration—although it is the result of failed federal policies.

In the fall, schools across America report average daily attendance (ADA) which is a measure of classroom hours of instruction. In the spring, schools collect data for students by race and ethnicity. The National Center for Educational Statistics data shows race and ethnicity as a percentage of students. For the tables below, ADA is multiplied by percentage of students by race and ethnicity:

Native Am

Overall, in twenty years, the increase in Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander children in the U.S. made up three quarters of the enrollment increase for U.S schools.

In California in the same period, enrollment of White and Black children declined by 1.4 million. But enrollment of Hispanic and Asian students increased by 2.5 million students. Therefore, the increase in Hispanic and Asian students in California made up 132 percent of California's enrollment increase (and an incredible 28 percent of the enrollment increase for the entire country).
Native Am

Now am I saying these Hispanic and Asian children are bad children? Not at all. However, most of the Hispanic and even a percentage of the Asian children (Hmongs, for example) are from an impoverished underclass background and will be net takers of public services.

In most of the country, K-12 education is funded by local governments. But in California, K-12 education is funded directly by the state government. Reason: In 1978, voters passed Proposition 13 which capped assessed property values and limited the rate at which property taxes could rise. When a property sells, the assessed valuation rises to the sales price and the rate of growth is then capped again. This is not as much as a problem as opponents claim, because most properties have changed hands.

Of course, elite liberal opinion dislikes voters interfering in government's taxation plans . The London Economist reflected this consensus recently when it disparaged California's initiative system as "the crack cocaine of democracy".

But California voters, who are overwhelmingly homeowners, will never overturn the Proposition 13 initiative that capped property tax increases. And Proposition 13 is not the problem anyway. The state of California raises quite enough money through its increased income taxes. The tax burden that California imposes on its citizen is among the highest for the U.S. state governments. (Those interested in more detail can visit the website of the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C.)

California has a very high and progressive income tax, among states the highest in the nation. The top marginal income tax rate of 9.55% starts at incomes over $47,055, which is a very low level for a top margin by U.S. standards. (There is a higher tax bracket on incomes over $1 million, but it is dedicated only to mental health funding. An initiative to divert that to the state general fund failed in May.)

Government budgets are made up of revenue and expenditures, just like budgets for everyone else. If expenses are too high, that is a problem. On an individual level, we respond by trying to cut expenses to balance our budgets. Right now, California's expenses are indeed too high. It has to do the same. But it won't.

California needs a two-thirds legislative majority to increase taxes, which means the Republican minority can still block new taxes. But In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 98, which guarantees school funding at 40 percent of the state general fund. And, behind that, the powerful California Teachers Union stands ready to fight any and all any cuts in education spenders, a.k.a. teachers' future pensions.

As every parent knows, children are a joy (mostly) but they are very expensive. The same can be said for the public cost of educating them. We care about our kids, but educating them is very expensive. We cannot put them up for adoption to other states.

We could, however, stop importing impoverished ones from other countries.

So, how does this all work out in California?

In fiscal year 2007-2008—the latest available—income taxes ($55.7 billion) and sales taxes ($27.1 billion) made up 81 percent of the general fund tax revenue ($102 billion) in California. The state sales tax does not apply to food and services. As required by Proposition 98, 40 percent of expenditures went to K-12 education ($41.billion). (Governor Schwarzenegger tried to suspend Proposition 98 but failed. And that would only be "kicking the can down the road" as the Terminator likes to say, because the immigrant poverty population continues to grow.)

Tax revenue is down. But when (and if) it goes up, the problem will not be fixed—because new poor people (and their children) arrive every day.

Since 1986, California added almost two million students, all (and more than all) because of immigration—see above. State tax revenue did not raise enough to cover the costs of the added children. Consequently, the California state budget deficit is $26 billion.

Most immigrants (illegal and legal) simply do not pay enough in taxes to support their public costs.

Education is the poster student for this basic fiscal truth. But it extends to all transfer programs.

According to California Franchise Tax Board figures for 2005, California income tax-payers earning over $70,000 claimed only 31 percent of dependents but paid 85 percent of income taxes collected. ( The top 1 percent of taxpayers generated 47.5% of income taxes.

In contrast, the bottom 80% of taxpayers in California had 76% of all dependents but generated only 11.2% of state income tax revenue.

And that's not counting the many California residents with dependents who do not file taxes because their incomes are too low—or they are being paid off the books.

According to California state department of education figures, half (49.7%) of students participate in the federal lunch program. That means they are poor. Half (51.5%) of California students attend schools which get Compensatory Education funding (Federal Title 1 and State Impact Assistance Grant) for underachieving, low income students. Half of California's students are Hispanic and 11 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander. Of the English-language learners, 85 percent are Hispanic and of the Hispanic students 43% are non-English speaking.

But the legislators are talking only about tax revenues— not about all the poor immigrants.