Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, a Memorial Day Tribute

You'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful and stirring tribute to those who gave their lives for the cause of human freedom. Ironically, President Lincoln considered it inadequate and called the speech a "flat failure." Today we think of it as one of the greatest speeches in American history.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Bailouts, and the Worldwide Collapse of Nanny State Socialism.

Connie Hair at Human Events has written an eye-opening article about the US taxpayer's partial bailout of Greece AND the European Union via the International Monetary Fund. The Obama Administration is desperately trying to keep the Euro-socialist economies from failing, while at the same time avoiding the only lesson that's worth learning here:

Socialism doesn't work! As Margaret Thatcher said, "sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

Socialism violates the most basic principles of the property rights which underlie our freedoms. Whether it's the national socialist/fascist model, international socialist/communist model, or the Euro-socialist nanny state model with it's runaway public sector unionism, the result is always the same: Socialism fails every time it's tried. It collapses of it's own immorality because the state functions as a klepocratic, redistributionist cancer--afflicting the ambitious and hard-working with crippling taxes in order to buy the votes of the rest.

There are three legitimate balance sheets left in the world:
--The German household which is backing German government and EU deficit spending,
--The Chinese household which is in the midst of a GIGANTIC housing bubble,
--And the American household, already overburdened with mortgage and credit debt.

They're backing all of the irresponsible borrowing and spending of their respective governments. In other words, the emperor has no clothes! We are in the midst of the largest confidence scheme in the history of the world. Washington DC is printing money and monetizing debt as never before and the money backing it (the American household) JUST ISN'T THERE! Check out national debt/citizen, personal debt/citizen and then unfunded liability per citizen. All together its $447K per citizen. Subtract $234K assets per citizen and you get $213K total liability per citizen (a hell of a lot higher per taxpayer!). Of course this does not include the billions in IMF pledges we just made to the EU. The same holds true for the EU and to a lesser extent China and Japan.

The majority of the population capable of basic comprehension understands that we are creating unsustainable debt, and that there will be hell to pay as the result. Most people also understand that getting OUT of personal debt is the best strategy for surviving the coming crash. And it's not a question of IF that crash will happen, it's only a matter of WHEN it happens.

What works for individual households also holds true for nations. Debt creation and deficit spending must be reduced.

In her article Connie Hair quotes Mike Pence (R-IN) as saying, “America is not looking to the European Union to bail out New Jersey or California,” he said. “The European Union should not be looking to the taxpayers of the United States of America to provide the loan guarantees to bail out Greece or Portugal or Spain or any other country.”

Amen brother Mike! Our own socialists have given us enough debt to deal with here at home. Flushing $54 billion dollars more into the Euro-toilet is adding insult to the injury already suffered by the American taxpayer. Our only chance for surviving the coming crash is to reduce government spending dramatically across the board, and grow our economy by cutting taxes. The FairTax seems to be the best system of federal taxation to save our economy.

The Republicans are currently working on legislation to block the planned European bailouts. It's a good start!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bob Bennett's Defeat in Utah and the Conservative Counter-Insurgency.

The news media is telling us that Utah Senator Bob Bennett was defeated by the Tea Party, a "radicalized conservative base", and an anti-incumbency fervor that is now sweeping the nation. Fox News went so far as to claim that Senator Bennett is a "staunch, principled conservative" whose defeat in the Utah primary promises doom for Republicans in the general election. As usual the media got it wrong.

Bob Bennett voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), believing the Democrat's promises that the loan repayments from banks and mortgage companies would be used to pay down the debt.

My teenage daughter knows better!

The Obama Administration, their unaccountable gang of "czars", and the Democrats have used the TARP funds to wage war against American free markets and exert a quasi-fascistic control over our financial system. They have used these funds to undermine our institutions and they now use repayment as an excuse to spend us into even deeper debt.

That's what Democrats do!

Admittedly, many Republicans voted for the TARP program, many out of fear alone. Why didn't Bob Bennett know better? He also voted for a bi-partisan health care reform bill that was only marginally better than ObamaCare. It was STILL a stinker!

--A principled conservative would have known better and fought for free market solutions only!
--A principled conservative would have understood that the true purpose of ObamaCare was the outright destruction of the free market health insurance industry, forcing Americans to run to government for their health care needs.
--A principled conservative would have understood that the end game of ObamaCare was to control people's votes by controlling their access to health care. And last but not least...

--A principled conservative would have made this case loud and clear to his constituents.

On some issues, Bob Bennett is a conservative who understands the Constitution. On a few of the most important issues he has failed to provide desperately needed conservative leadership. He chose to cooperate with tyranny (or at least turn a blind eye to it) and meet it halfway. Thankfully he's been shown the door.

The Democrat party has been taken over by left-wing radicals. Our nation is under sustained attack from those radicals, and that assault MUST be met head on by principled conservatives who hold to the Constitutional principles of limited government.
The counter-insurgency marches on.

Way to go Utah!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More Context and Proportion on the B.P. Gulf Oil Spill

Today I intended to delve into the question of "why" the left and the media was hyperventilating over the Gulf oil spill. That's been delayed for a day or two. The adjectives used to describe the spill were over the top, and in some cases just plain dishonest. To give context--and more importantly a sense of proportion--to the story, I made the simple case that the daily flow (5000 barrels or 200K gallons) was equal to 1/3 of an Olympic competition swimming pool. A poster on the US News and World Report website has done me one better, and shed some light into the hysteria surrounding the oil spill. Enjoy.--

How About A Little Perspective? A Sticky Mess - Not A Cataclysmic Disaster

"Natural seepage of crude oil from the sea floor into the marine environment of North America exceed 47 million gallons, and 180 million gallons globally."

“Activities associated with extraction and production introduce an average of 880 thousand gallons in North American waters and 11 million gallons worldwide.”

*Source, “Oil in the Sea III” Committee on Oil in the Sea - National Research Council.

“Natural seeps from the earth’s undersea strata introduce about 1700 barrels of oil a day in U.S. marine waters, which is approximately 150 times the amount from offshore oil and gas activities.”

*Source, “National Academy of Sciences 2003-2004.

“Natural seepage introduces 160 kilotons into North American Waters annually. Total from exploration, extraction, transportation and refining is approximately 12 kilotons.”

*Source, “U.S. Dept. of the Interior - Minerals Management Service 2004.

“Activities associated with exploration and production account for 3 - 5% of all releases due to anthropogenic activity.”

*Source, “Committee on Oil in the Sea: Inputs and Effects - National Research Council - National Academy of Science 2003”

Here are some more fun factoids.

1. More oil was spilled into the sea from shipping losses every 6 weeks of W.W.II than in the entire 65 years since the war’s end. The oceans survived.

2. The “hopane marker” of petro-chemical pollution in the sea reached it’s maximum in 1946 and has been in decline ever since.

3. In 1792-6, George Vancouver, Captain Cooke’s famous navigator made notes in his log regarding numerous, vast oil slicks off the Pacific Coast of North America. Juan Cabrillo recorded similar experiences in the mid 16th century off the coast of California.

4. Over the past 20,000 years sea levels have risen more than 300 feet (YOU THINK ALGORE KNOWS THAT?) and the erosion caused by rising levels has increased “natural seepage.”

5. University of Ca. Santa Barbara researchers (Hardly a neo-con group) find that off shore drilling reduces natural seepage of crude oil by more than 50%.

6. 20-30 tons of oil leak from southern California under fissures every day! Remember, this number would double if we eliminate off shore drilling.

7. Truk Lagoon was the site of the most intense fuel/oil spill on record. 77 Japanese ships were sunk by American dive and torpedo bombers, dropping thousands of tons of high explosives into the enclosed lagoon, in a single day. The lagoon did not become a "Super Fund" site, but rather a thriving dive resort with a wonderful and diverse underwater ecosystem. Oil still leaks from the sunken vessels 66 years later.

R.L. Schaefer of CA

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Oil Spills, Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics...

Just yesterday our fearless leader, Barack Obama, finally woke up and noticed that that we have an ongoing oil spill happening in the Gulf. We can only venture a guess what arguments David Axelrod used to divert Obama's attention from his full frontal assault on our capitalist economic system, but some sort of political fallout from spilt oil is the ONLY thing that comes to mind.

Yesterday (April 30th) the airwaves were LITTERED with such breathless words and phrases as "catastrophic, environmental disaster, worst oil spill ever, a catastrophe for 5 states" and worse. All of the media outlets are using the exact same talking points and phrases to describe the 200,000 gallon per day spill.

Am I the only one who's deeply distressed by the sad state of affairs which has befallen America journalism? There was a time when at least a handful of Columbia Journalism School graduates in the "mainstream media" took enough pride in their work to take out a calculator and do their job properly by adding context to the hyperbole. Heck, that's a trick I learned in my third week of window cleaning school. (chuckle)

My point here is not to diminish the environmental damage done by this big spill, but to add FACTS and CONTEXT to the hype, both of which are sorely lacking in the media spin.

Fact: There are 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot.
Fact: An average Olympic competition swimming pool is 158ft. long x 60 ft. wide x 8.5 ft. deep.
Fact: That pool has 80,580 cubic ft. of water.
Fact: When you multiply 80,580 cubic ft. x 7.5 gallons you get 604,350 gallons in the pool.
Fact: Divide 604,350 by 200,000 (the amount spilled per day) and you get 3.02.
Fact: The amount spilled per day by the oil well is 1/3rd of an Olympic swimming pool.

You read that right...

The amount spilled per day by the oil well is 1/3rd of an Olympic swimming pool!!

Again, I'm not attempting to minimize the size or scope of the spill, I'm only adding a sense of true scale to the media hyperbole. As this oil spill story continues you can fully expect the Obama Adminstration and their media enablers on the left to continue the hysterical predictions of apocalyptic gloom and doom.

Tomorrow I'll tell you why they push the hysteria.