PoliticalPen

February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 11:39 pm

Greens smash your food bowl

Andrew Bolt, The Herald Sun (Australia)
I ONCE asked the boss of a big Australian company working on Hong Kong’s new airport what he’d advise young engineers back home.

“Leave,” he snapped.

Our culture had gone sour. Development was now a sin. If you wanted to build stuff, forget Australia.

In fact, Hong Kong showed it could squash an island into a giant landing strip and build a huge bridge, underwater rail link and massive airport in the time it took in Australia to get an environmental effects statement for an extension to a milk bar.

But what we’ve seen this week from the Government now beats all that for sheer, mindless stupidity, as deep-sigh green dreaming triumphs over jobs, trade and the spirit of adventure.

I’m talking about the report the Government released that declared an end to any dream of turning the nation’s vast north into a food bowl.

And that’s when you get the first clue that what’s really holding back agriculture in the far north is not the dry season, but green philosophy .

Sure, the report concedes, it’s true that it rains up to 2m a year in some parts of the north, but the CSIRO had said that by 2030 global warming would make the region “hotter and largely drier”. So there’ll be less water to dam.

Oh, really? But the kind of regional climate models the CSIRO uses for its typically scary predictions can’t even predict past weather and “cannot be credible”, as a National Technical University of Athens study said in 2008

And the report itself concedes the rainfall has actually become more intense, not less: “In recent years (1996 to 2007), rainfall intensity (rainfall per rainy day) has increased slightly across the north compared to the past (1930 to 2007)…”

more…

Why Voters Turned Against Obama Policies

Jay Ambrose, Real Clear Politics
It seems to me that Obama has a controlling idea — the efficacy and responsibility of big government in taking care of people — and that his foremost political value is equality, not just equality under the law or even equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome.

Next: Obama the saint. In his meeting with Republicans, he wanted everyone present to understand that he relies on nothing but facts and logic in his proposals while his critics rely instead on “talking points,” arguments meant to fool people instead of educate them.

His tactic of blaming his predecessor for most of his woes is significantly off base.

He is in bed with a number of special interests, including the lawyer lobby and ethanol producers.

His idea of bipartisanship is agree with him or shut up.
more…

Voters to Obama and Congress: Stop!

Jennifer Rubin
Jennifer Rubin writes about the latest poll results form the Washington Post…

By a 57-to-36 percent margin, voters are pleased that the Democrats no longer have a filibuster majority. Ominously for incumbent Democrats, 56 percent are looking around for an alternative to their representative and only 26 percent approve of the job Congress is doing.

These numbers are even worse than they might appear, considering that the respondents were “adults” — not registered or likely voters. Moreover, the sample included only 26 percent Republicans.
more…

Obama against for against bonuses

Obama angry about bonuses…

…Unless “I know both those guys”

But he backtracks when he realized this doesn’t sound very good…

Activists angry over President Obama bonus talk

Victoria McGrane, Politico
Recognizing how damaging the comments could be, the White House press team launched a full-fledged pushback, saying that Bloomberg took the remarks out of context. They also posted an entry on the White House blog to clarify the remarks, saying Obama doesn’t agree with the big bonuses and has been saying the same thing dating back to the 2008 campaign.

But Obama’s comments have angered activists and policy experts on the left who say Dimon or Blankfein are the kinds of Wall Street bankers who helped bring the financial system to its knees with risky practices – the very kinds of people Obama has targeted in his recent anti-bonus comments.
more…

February 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 12:53 am

Debt a threat, too

2/3/10, editorial, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Obama’s new budget tells the tale. His proposed $3.8 trillion in spending puts the nation on course for deficits totaling more than $5 trillion over the next five years.

That’s staggering. Recession or not, the country can’t afford that level of spending. The federal government now borrows one-third of all the money it spends.

Obama’s short-term answer to fixing the economy is to borrow more money, and that increases deficits. As the national debt soars, it threatens economic recovery, putting pressure on interest rates to rise and tamping down job creation

Obama is trying to push the worst budget decisions further down the road. That won’t do.
more…

Obama Appears Blinded by His Own Ideological Biases

2/3/10, Jonah Goldberg, Real Clear Politics
“I am not an ideologue,” President Obama insisted,… “I’m not.”

The evidence offered that Obama is no ideologue rests almost entirely on two contentions: He has annoyed some members of his ideological base, and because he says so.

Of course Obama is an ideologue. The important question is whether he is sufficiently self-aware to recognize the truth.

I for one would be horrified to learn that the president is working from the assumption that ideological biases are something only other people have.

Obama routinely insinuates that all of the facts are on his side. He invokes a confabulated consensus of experts to suggest that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to disagree with his agenda.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote in 1909 that if everyone becomes a pragmatist, then “ironclads and Maxim guns must be the ultimate arbiters of metaphysical truth.” Russell’s point was that there’s nothing within pragmatism to delineate the proper and just limits of pragmatism. We must look outside pragmatism for that.
more…

November 8, 2009

There will be a revolt – one way or another

Filed under: health care,Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 1:27 am
Tags: ,

The house has passed the Democrat desired heath care take-over

Let me be very succinct on this issue – this is a theft of freedom. And there will be a revolt of one kind or another. The first line of resistance is the US Senate. If the Senate cannot prevent this debacle, then the next line of resistance would be the ballot box. If a new paradigm now reigns – a paradigm where a majority of people can expect to vote benefits to themselves at the expense of a minority of the people – then a revolt at the ballot box will fail.

But I believe there are enough people in the country who will feel this assault on their freedom so acutely that they will find other means of revolt. And these are the very people who form the bedrock of the economy, and have the resources to force a change.

I can’t predict how this revolt will self-organize or what specific events will transpire. But big things will happen.

October 30, 2009

George Orwell, meet Vice President Joe Biden

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 11:31 pm
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From 1984
by George Orwell

But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at one-hundred-and-forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than one-hundred-and-forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain.

The quote above is Winston Smith’s daily routine at the Ministry of Truth.  Smith would have to work overtime with Barack Obama in office.  Look at this graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from October 30th, 2009.

Unemployment graph from October 30th, 2009

Unemployment graph from October 30th, 2009

Now check out this video of Vice President Joe Biden from the Ministry of Truth MSNBC on the same day …

October 15, 2009

Indian and US nuclear power: reversed fortunes

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 12:52 am
Tags: ,

When I was a kid, sitting at the dinner table complaining about my potatoes, my Mom or Dad would say “Stop complaining, kids in India are starving to death.” If you are an American and as old as I am, then your parents probably said the same thing. Why did they say that?

Simple.  Because it was true.

While they starved, our technology brought us health and wealth. In the summer the corn and soy bean fields around my small town were worked by farmers riding John Deere tractors while in the third world desperate undernourished families labored with their hands and feet in the dust or mud. While their political and economic systems made them powerless to fight the droughts and floods that plagued their land, our engineers and scientists found new and efficient ways to harness the bounty of nature and tame its ravages.

While they put people into mass graves, we put people into space and on the moon. While they huddled around fires of sticks and dung, we built nuclear power plants.

While they got lean and determined, we got fat and lazy.

Times Change

Now Americans are governed by neo-luddites who shun clean nuclear energy and are willing to ruin our economic engine to garner “green” votes, while the Indians embrace the future.  The chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, spoke of Indian electricity production and  recently said “The proportion of nuclear power by 2050 could well be around 50 percent” of Indian electricity.

If the United States doesn’t change course, our fraction of nuclear energy will be zero by 2050.

India thenand now

 

US then and now

October 10, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize: Barack Obama’s reaction

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 10:14 am
Tags: ,

Barack Obama’s surprised reaction when he heard he had won the Nobel Peace Prize was caught on film. Here it is…

Obama kid 7

TIME for Kids – the Plastic Vortex

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 1:59 am
Tags: , ,

I don’t know if it is naive credulity or sinister complicity, or some combination of them both, that allows writers to so easily echo  environmental hyperbole.   The September 25 issue of TIME for Kids (TIME Magazine’s version of the “Weekly Reader”) had and article by TIME’s Bryan Walsh called “The Big Garbage Patch.”

Walsh tells fifth and sixth grade readers about the “Plastic Vortex,”

“an accumulation of plastic debris swept into the Pacific.  The garbage comes directly from beaches or flows out of rivers.  It is carried by ocean currents in a swirling pattern to a spot between Hawaii and the mainland United States”

The Big Garbage Patch 2
I first heard about this article when my 10-year-old son came home from school and asked if it was true “that there is enough plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean to cover Texas twice?”  After he explained the article to me, I assured him that he must have misunderstood, and I asked him to bring the article home so I could read it myself.  Sure enough, Walsh tells the kids…

“Plastic bags, bottles and toys end up in the vortex.  Some scientists estimate it to be twice the size of Texas. ‘it’s huge,’ notes Doug Woodring, an ocean conservationist.  But ‘unfortunately the ocean is a big place,and once [the garbage is] out of sight, it’s out of mind.'”

So there you have it.  Nothing subtle about that “twice the size of Texas” claim. 

A little more research into the subject reveals the “Plastic Vortex” was discovered by Charles Moore in 1997.  How something “twice the size of Texas” had stayed hidden until Moore stumbled upon it is a mystery to me.   Mr Moore, who subsequently founded the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, is widely quoted as claiming 100 million tons of plastic flotsam are circulating in the region.

Let’s see, Texas is about 700,000 km2.  So twice that is 1.4 million km2.   So on average there must be about 70 tons of plastic per km2*   I am wondering if that is just a wee bit of an exaggeration, because roughly speaking, that is about a pound of plastic for every 9 foot by 9 foot patch of the ocean in “Plastic Vortex.”**

Curiously increased estimates

I’m thinking Mr. Moore has ratcheted up his estimates slightly in the last few years.  Back in 1999 Mr. Moore actually published a paper that had a reasonable approach to making an estimate of the amount of plastic in this region.

Basically, he pulled a kind of small net net, called a manta trawl, through the area of the vortex with the highest density of plastic.  The holes in the net were 333 microns wide (or 1/3 mm).  This net was dragged repeatedly for three days with runs ranging from 5 to 19 kilometers.  After each run all the debris in the net was recovered and saved.  All the gunk was fixed in formalin and then soaked in 50% isopropyl alcohol.  Finally, all the plastic was separated from the biological material that was also trapped in the net. 

Moore and his colleagues counted 27,698 pieces of recovered plastic.  But they were pretty small pieces – their total mass was only 424 grams (0.93 pounds).  His net only sampled about 1/12 km2,  so he calculated about 5.1 kg of plastic per km2 (or about 11 pounds of plastic per km2).  

Somehow in the last 10 years Moore’s claims for the amount of plastic in the vortex has gone from a measured value of 11 pounds per km2  to an estimated 140,000 pounds per km2.

A plastic bag every square meter?

If there were, indeed, 100 million tons of plastic in the Plastic Vortex, from where did it possibly all come?  We are told that some of the largest components are from disposable plastic bottles and plastic grocery bags.  Lets just play along for a moment and say that 10% of this massive amount of plastic, or 10 million tons, is from plastic grocery bags.  

I went to my local grocery store a few days ago and weighed a bundle of plastic grocery bags.  The 80 bags in the bundle weighed 0.85 pounds.  Thats about 100 bags per pound.  So those 10 million tons of plastic bags would be equivalent to two trillion bags.***  Where could all these bags come from?  Those nasty litterers in the United States?  Not likely, since the wind that would carry this torrent of plastic blows primarily toward land on the western shores of the US, not toward the sea.

Lets keep playing along for moment and suppose the 54 million people living in California, Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia ARE responsible for two trillion plastic bags in the Plastic Vortex.  That works out to about 40,000 bags per person.  Those folks on the west coast must be buying a lot of groceries.

One more point about the plastic bags:  These 2 trillion bags spread out over and area twice the size of Texas would work out to more than one bag per square meter!!****  And that is just 10% of the supposed 100 million tons of plastic!!  

Why the preposterous exaggeration?

I think you can see my point.  The claim that there are 100 million tons of plastic in the Plastic Vortex is simply ridiculous.  Moore and company are using claims designed to influence the innumerate.  Why?  They have probably found the wilder they make their claims, the more funding and contributions they get.  What impresses you, the potential donor, more: 5.1 kilograms of plastic pre km2, or 100 million tons of plastic?

Why does TIME for Kids go along with this nonsense?  It may be that the article’s author, Bryan Walsh, is innumerate, or a lazy journalist, or the people at the magazine think that environmental guilt is good for your kids.

__________________________________

* 100,000,000 tons of plastic / 1.4 million km2 = 70 tons of plastic per km2 

** 1 million m2 / 140,000 pounds = 7.1 m2  per pound = (2.7 m)2 / pound = (8.9 ft) 2  / pound

***  10 million tons is 20 billion pounds.  2o billion pounds x 100 bags per pound = 2 tillion plastic bags

**** twice the size of Texas = 1.4 million km = 1.4 trillion m2.  2 trillion bags / 1.4 trillion m= 1.5 bags / m2.

September 16, 2009

Craig Silverman looks for a case where Obama personally played the race card.

Filed under: Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 11:18 pm
Tags: , ,

Today former President Jimmy Carter said:

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.”

I am not going to discuss the merits, or even the sanity, of Carter’s comments at this time.  Instead, I am going to directly answer Craig Silverman’s (Caplis and Silverman, Denver’s 630 KHOW) analysis of this controversy.  Silverman points out cases where Obama’s associates or underlings have played the race card, but Obama has attempted to put out the fire with reassuring words.  But that Obama has never personally played the race card.  For example, Silverman says

“…I think if you are going to make it specific to Barack Obama, then you are going to have to point to examples…I don’t see Barack Obama himself playing the race card…. If Barack Obama would have said what Jimmy Carter did – wow – that would be bad.  I’d have to re-evaluate Barack Obama.  But instead you have Jimmy Carter saying it and Barack Obama’s white house immediately saying ‘We don’t agree'”

Dan Caplis responds…

“Which was smart on their part because they understand the blowback from the tactics they’ve already employed which come from the same family. I mean, the overall tactic here is to go out and to try to silence and intimidate people by labeling them something horrible if they oppose you on policy….”

Silverman’s again insists that it is some of Obama’s supporters who play the race card, but that there are no examples of Obama playing the race card himself.  Silverman explains…

“What’s insidious, what’s dangerous for the country is the playing of the race card.  So I’m specific to that.  So, I’m looking for examples of when Barak Obama personally has played the race card.”

Well Craig, look no longer.  Here is the example you are looking for:  It was widely reported on August 1st of 2008, during the heat of the presidential campaign, that Obama implied the Republicans would resort to a campaign of racial fear to keep him out of the white house.  Obama said…

“What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know.”

The implications of Obama’s statement are perfectly clear.  He played the race card.

Jon Caldara, Denver 912 protest, 9/12/09

Filed under: debt,deficit,health care,spending,Tea Party — tommoriarty @ 7:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

John Caldara is the President of the Indpendence Institutein Golden, Colorado, talk show host on850 KOA, the host of Independent Thinking on PBS’ KBDI Channel 12.  Visit his blog, The Cauldron.

Here is his complete speech at the Denver 912 protest on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building.

Part 1

Part 2

September 13, 2009

Jason Lewis at Denver 912 Protest, 9/12/09

Filed under: Obama — tommoriarty @ 9:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

Here is the entire Jason Lewis speech on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol at the 912 protest yesterday.   He displays thoughtful political insight mixed with a sometimes juvenile humor.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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