Thursday, July 31, 2008

Big Oil's "Excessive" Profits

Glenn Beck makes an enlightening observation in his show today:
Big oil is getting hammered right now by Congress over their profits. But guess who profits more from the oil industry than even the oil industry? Yes, your government. According to the Tax Foundation, from 1977-2004, big oil made $643 billion in profits. Nice. During that same span, Federal and State governments made $1.343 TRILLION in tax revenues from big oil. Nicer. I think your liberal friends might be mad at the wrong people here.
Last time I looked those obscene profits were going to retired teachers, firefighters and a lot of average Joe Citizens like you and I who happen to have IRAs and 401Ks. Seems like the gov't has managed to grab $2 of our money for every dollar we got! What's wrong with THAT picture?

Then the Democratic Messiah, Barack Obama, has the gall to suggest adding MORE "windfall profits" taxes to their already high taxes. I'm convinced most Democrats won't be happy until all money earned by everyone goes to the government, letting them decide how we live.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Al Franken: Another Bad Joke from Minnesota

Having been born in Minnesota, and spending much of my adult life here, I continue to be embarrassed by some of the candidates we manage to scrape up to run for public office.

Granted, most of the buffoons come from the ranks of Democrats and Independents (who can forget Jesse "The Body" Ventura), but the Republicans have not been completely immune (Sen. Coleman comes to mind, but keep in mind he's really just a Democrat in remission.)

The most recent Bad Joke brought to us by the DFL is comedian Al Franken.

He was never all that funny as a comedian, and he's even less impressive as a politican.

His most recent stroke of brillance is his idea for addressing the high cost of gas by selling 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic oil reserves.

Hmmm....let's see. We use 20 million barrels a day here in the U.S.A., so this is about 2.5 days worth of gas.

Of course, like all good Democrats, he's against actually getting more oil through drilling off-shore or in ANWR, claiming it will take 20 years to see the benefits.

For some reason, the pay-off time on oil exploration continues to grow among Democrats. Ten years ago Clinton opposed drilling for more oil because it would take ten years to see any oil.

Gee...seems like we'd be realizing those benefits right about now! Way to go, Clinton! (That's alright, Bill. We know you had your mind on other things back then. How's Monica doing, by the way?)

What don't these idiots understand about "speculation"? It's not based on what the oil supplies are today! It's based on what they "speculate" they'll be in the future! If we're aggressively going after MORE oil for the future, the speculators will bid down the price TODAY!!

None of them were bright enough notice the immediate drop in oil prices as soon as Bush rescinded the executive order banning off-shore drilling. That drop occurred without ONE new well being drilled!

If a largely symbolic gesture by the President gets that kind of immediate result, just imagine what actual congressional action to open up more oil exploration would do?

Unfortunately, the inmates are running the asylum these days, and are effectively blocking any and all rational attempts to work our way out of this energy crisis.

Al Franken wants to join them to bring us more of the same. I'm not laughing, Al.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

True American Immigrants

The following is an excellent Letter-to-the-Editor that was refused publication for being politically-incorrect. I think it's worth sharing and preserving. Thank you, Rosemary, for saying it so eloquently:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1892 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented . Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2008 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges, only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in 1892 -1924 deserve better than that for all the toil , hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the UNITED STATES just yet.

(Signed) Rosemary LaBonte

Friday, July 11, 2008

Green Movement Causing Global Warming

No, I am not referring to all the hot air they produce.

I'm referring to a new article appearing in which says that three decades of cleaning up the air in Europe has allowed more sunshine in, leading to higher than expected warming:

Christian Ruckstuhl of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Switzerland and colleagues took aerosol concentrations from six locations in northern Europe, measured between 1986 and 2005, and compared them with solar-radiation measurements over the same period. Aerosol concentrations dropped by up to 60 per cent over the 29-year period, while solar radiation rose by around 1 watt per square metre.
I for one am highly supportive of all efforts towards cleaner air. But why can't the global warming alarmists honest enough to admit ALL the causes for the small amount of warming we've seen?

"Green" Quote of the Week

An an excellent article by J.R. Dunne entitled "How the Greens Captured Energy Policy" he concludes with this:
Environmentalism is a luxury, and like all such, is best taken in moderation. The environment requires protection, but that's all. Primitive panthiesm has no place in this millennium. Nature is not an utterly benign continuum, and human beings are not a disease. Pseudo-religious environmentalism has long outlived its welcome. It's time to bring down the curtain.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The True Standard for a Scientist

There's a good article on American Thinker exposing how NASA's James Hansen has lined his pockets with "Big Green" payola while holding himself out as a mere scientist in public service.

In the comments to that article, Pat Heyman contrasts Jim Hansen's public posturing with the standard of conduct espoused by the late nobel laureate Richard Feynman who said:

"It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -- a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid -- not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked -- to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can -- if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong -- to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another...

I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of his work were. "Well", I said, "there aren't any". He said, "Yes, but then we won't get support for more research of this kind". I think that's kind of dishonest. If you're representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you're doing -- and if they don't support you under those circumstances, then that's their decision.

One example of the principle is this: If you've made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish BOTH kinds of results.

I say that's also important in giving certain types of government advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it would be better in some other state. If you don't publish such a result, it seems to me you're not giving scientific advice. You're being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don't publish at all. That's not giving scientific advice."

When compared to this standard, James Hansen falls a million miles short of the mark.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Religion of Global Warming

Many believe all humans have a physical, a mental and a spiritual component to their lives. The left has not historically been much inclined towards religion or anything related to it. But it would seem global waming is filling this possible void in their lives.

An excellent piece on this idea appears in the Wall Street Journal today, penned by Bret Stephens. It's worth a read to put into perspective the religion of global warming.

James Hanson: An Ego that Knows No Bounds

In a recent article on the Hugginton Post celebrating his 20th anniversary appearance before congress, James Hanson carries on his unending rant about man-made global warming. As always, it's an imminent "global catclysm", a "perfect storm".

But what is most amazing is he asserts that "Now, as then, I can assert that these conclusions have a certainty exceeding 99 percent."

Exceeding 99 percent.

In other words, a virtual certainty. Beyond question.

Yet, there are NO empirical tests that can prove any of his hypotheses!

And there are tens of thousands of scientists who disagree. But James Hanson is 99.something percent certain that his theory is true.

However, when you look at his projections in 1998, the results are considerably less than 99-something accurate.

He's a first and foremost a mathmetician attempting to create a computer model of something we haven't begun to fully understand, yet he has the moxy to proclaim his theories as being more than 99 percent.

I don't think I've ever witnessed the level of hubris displayed by James Hanson. He's an embarrassement to the the U.S. and to the scientific community.