Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Letter to Reason

I wrote the following in response to this (but the site did not accept my post, not sure why):
There's a world of difference in disagreeing with the significance of the opinions of scientists (aka consensus) and disagreeing with science.  The scientific method of searching for truth depends not a whit on consensus.  There is either experimentation testing and proving/rejecting hypothesis, or there is not.  If consensus was science, the world would still be flat and the earth would be the center of the universe.  Put another way - if a million scientists vote for gravity and 1 does not, does that mean there's no gravity? 
It is in fact more scientific to reject consensus as a surrogate for "science" than it is to accept same.  The point of science is the opposite of consensus - reject opinion, trust only data.  The scientific method demands that we reject the opinions of scientists, as the method assumes a scientist’s opinion is as likely to be distorted by human frailty as is any human’s. 
“Scientists" should not pretend it is "scientific" to deal in consensus.  What would prove the outlandish conjecture that human activity is warming the planet is a model that could accurately predict temperature increases – again, the problem for the “believers” is that there is no such model.  The fact that the term consensus is used proves all one need know about the scientific proof of anthropogenic global warming – which is that there is none. 

Interesting That They Call This The "Right"

Let no one deny that swimming eternally amid the rightward waves of American politics is an ever-present school of fish that would solve Washington's spending problem mainly with cuts in the defense budget (ending foreign "entanglements"), set a place at the nuclear table for Iran ("Who are they going to bomb?"), cut Israel loose, cut the Federal Reserve loose, and legalize many currently controlled substances.

It's neither right nor left - it is liberty! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stossel on Jefferson

I'm a pessimist. I fear Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." That's what's happened. Bush and Obama doubled spending and increased regulation. Government's intrusiveness is always more, never less. The state grows, and freedom declines.

The natural progress of things was what the constitution was designed to prevent - but it failed. 

Stossel's always good for the libertarian perspective.

Samuelson On The Death Spiral

There are moments when our political system, whose essential job is to mediate conflicts in broadly acceptable and desirable ways, is simply not up to the task. It fails. This may be one of those moments. What we learned in 2011 is that the frustrating and confusing budget debate may never reach a workable conclusion. It may continue indefinitely until it's abruptly ended by a severe economic or financial crisis that wrenches control from elected leaders.
We are shifting from "give away politics" to "take away politics." Since World War II, presidents and Congresses have been in the enviable position of distributing more benefits to more people without requiring ever-steeper taxes. Now, this governing formula no longer works, and politicians face the opposite: taking away -- reducing benefits or raising taxes significantly -- to prevent government deficits from destabilizing the economy. It is not clear that either Democrats or Republicans can navigate the change.

He's not kidding.  We enter the death spiral and they just keep increasing the angle of bank ...

Liberals imply (wrongly) that taxing the rich will solve the long-term budget problem. It won't. For example, the Forbes 400 richest Americans have a collective wealth of $1.5 trillion. If the government simply confiscated everything they own, and turned them into paupers, it would barely cover the one-time 2011 deficit of $1.3 trillion. Conservatives deplore "spending" in the abstract, ignoring the popularity of much spending, especially Social Security and Medicare.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cell Phones Cancer and Physics

Cell phones cannot cause cancer, because they do not emit enough energy to break the molecular bonds inside cells. Some forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, are energetic enough to break the bonds in key molecules such as DNA and thereby generate mutations that lead to cancer. Electromagnetic radiation in the form of infrared light, microwaves, television and radio signals, and AC power is too weak to break those bonds, so we don’t worry about radios, televisions, microwave ovens and power outlets causing cancer.

I do find it interesting that we so fear the new risk, but discount the old but real risks - automobiles, sugar, wheat and government.

Don't They Just Steal It?

For months, we have been working with Mercer Health & Benefits LLC, our health-care consultant, to identify Obamacare’s potential financial impact on CKE. Mercer estimated that when the law is fully implemented our health-care costs will increase about $18 million a year. That would put our total health-care costs at $29.8 million, a 150 percent increase from the roughly $12 million we spent last year.
The money to cover our increased expenses will have to come from somewhere. We are a profitable company and, after paying our obligations, we reinvest our earnings in the business. Reinvesting in the business is how we grow, create jobs and opportunity. This is true for most U.S. businesses.

Reversoswabbie says:  This guy is just so dishonest.  We're on to his tricky tricks.  We know he's a 1%er and just steals his money from us, the 99%.  Reinvesting in the business to create jobs?  Why would he do that since all he has to do is just take the money from us?

WOW - Jurassic Park in 2016

Resurrecting the woolly mammoth is possible.
Scientists announced the possibility of cloning a woolly mammoth within 5 years. Just like Dolly the Sheep, the new mammoth would be cloned by a process called "nuclear transplantation." Using a preserved femur recovered from the Siberian permafrost, scientists plan to extract the nucleus of a bone marrow cell and transplant it into an elephant egg cell. Following a 22-month gestation period in a surrogate elephant mother, a woolly mammoth could be born. However, because the DNA inside the bone marrow may be severely degraded, resurrecting the woolly mammoth is still a long shot-- but well within the realm of scientific possibility.

Electricity Powers Buffoonery, Costly Buffoonery

Nothing illustrates the superficiality of our times better than the enthusiasm for electric cars, because they are supposed to greatly reduce air pollution. But the electricity that ultimately powers these cars has to be generated somewhere -- and nearly half the electricity generated in this country is generated by burning coal.

The electric car thing - if they would just let it happen in its own time, after we rebuild the grid with a France-like reactor system, it would work.  But the idealogues stuck on E are not patient enough to wait for electric cars to make sense.  Of course, since our government runs it, we'll never have a smart system for generating electricity, either.

More from Dr. Sowell:

The wisest and most knowledgeable human being on the planet is utterly incompetent to make even 10 percent of the consequential decisions that have to be made in a modern nation. Yet all sorts of people want to decide how much money other people can make or keep, and to micro-manage how other people live their lives.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I can't think of any term other than galling when a person who has such difficulty deciding when or when not to tell the truth, or perhaps just can't tell the difference, starts moralizing about the reasons why it is OK for the political class to use the government's coercive monopoly on force on the rest of us.

I can't name any names or even hint any until after I'm retired - which is fine, it could apply to many.

Why did we ever think it was about choosing politicians we could trust.  So freaking gullible ...

Volts n Dolts

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Whatever your opinion, the facts show that Volts aren't exactly selling like hotcakes. It's not hard to see why. As Audi’s president of North America Johan de Nysschen said, "No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a Corolla.”
De Nysschen prefers diesels, and I'm with him. If our silly environmental regulations didn't discriminate against diesels, you'd be able to buy a VW Polo diesel for a little over $20,000 and get more than 70 miles per gallon. That would mean real savings from the first day, not theoretical savings over the life of the car.
And you don't have to plug it in - or subsidize its production.

But even further into the range only a dolt could love:
Meanwhile Chevy's still being encouraged by the feds to crank out giant gas-guzzling SUVs thanks to the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which discriminate against cars and in favor of so-called "light trucks."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vaclav Havel - Farewell To A Hero

A hero of liberty.  Farewell and following seas on your journey!

One Step Over the Line ...

It's highly unusual in a presidential debate for two Republican candidates -- the two leading in current national polls -- to heap praise on a liberal Democratic senator.
But in the Fox News debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday night, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had very good words to say for Oregon's Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden.
The subject was the Medicare reform plan put forward in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that morning by Wyden and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
"Today is a big day for the country," Romney said. It was "an enormous achievement" for Ryan and Wyden, people on opposite sides of the aisle, to come together.

Samuelson - Post Keynesianism

Standard Keynesian remedies for downturns -- spend more and tax less -- presume the willingness of bond markets to finance the resulting deficits at reasonable interest rates. If markets refuse, Keynesian policies won't work.

I like the author's approach, in that instead of the long standing debate about whether or not Keynes' ideas were right or wrong, he points out the obvious - which is that it hardly matters since there's no money to be had to continue the experiment. 

Frankly, looking at this point - "in the mid-1930s, governments in most wealthy nations were relatively small and their debts modest. Deficit spending and pump priming were plausible responses to economic slumps" - one could easily conclude that this is the natural effect of dosing willing politicians with all the Keynesian self justification they could ever hope for to meddle, as if they were gods, in the affairs of their subjects (OK, still technically citizenry) via legislative coercion sold as do-gooderism.

But as Keynesian C. Romer points out in regards to those Keynesian approaches to economic stimulus, "estimating the effect is "incredibly hard." "

So, we should just trust all those genius economists and the politicians who use their work to do what's best ...

Samuelson writes:  "Were Keynes alive now, he would almost certainly acknowledge the limits of Keynesian policies."  I wonder if, after almost 100 years of experimentation, Keynes wouldn't just say "It seemed like a good idea at the time." 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Go USC Go!

Americans instinctively tilt to the ideological right on the most basic questions concerning the size and scope of government, and concerning the government’s inability to deliver, with efficiency, high-quality services. This means conservatives control the high ground in our public-policy debates. Show me a legislative battle that boils down to a choice between a larger government that offers us more services but takes more of our money in taxes and a smaller one with fewer services and lower taxes, and I’ll show you a conservative victory for limited government. Show me a debate that requires citizens to choose between the wisdom of government bureaucrats and that of small-business owners, and I’ll show you a decisive vote for the common sense of the private sector. Ask us to evaluate the relative efficiency of federal, state, and local governments, and you’ll find a clear bias in favor of the government closest to the people. Force us to choose between personal responsibility and dependence on government, and the result will dismay our liberal friends. You get the point.

Senator Reid, Job Creator?

Government's idea of job creation is to trade the risk of unemployment for the guarantee of it.

It's actually child's play to create jobs - you could, for example, make power construction equipment illegal, and require the use of spoons.  Do you think the result of that would be increased well being?

Sustainable Capitalism Is ... Neither

At first, I was wondering who the buffoon author of this bit of gobbledygook was ...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Faith Vice Science

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.


Saturday, December 3, 2011