Thursday, January 31, 2008

McCain Looks and Sounds like Bill Clinton

From what I have heard, John is starting to sound like Bill in some of his statements concerning Mit Romney - that is the troop withdrawal statement John says Mit made but video has proved differently -

There is a proverb that covers things like this : The man of interity walks securely, but he who takes the crooked path will be found out.

Bill Clinton is known for his fabracation of the truth - now McCain is following in his foot steps -

Here is another saying that is right for the occasion : Intergrity - when once compromised is gone forever and in not replacable.

Do we want this guy for our president? I don't.

John McCain Wants OPEN Boarders

I still don't like or trust John McCain and, of course, I never have. If you recall, I said that I got a very bad feeling from him at the 2004 Republican convention - he came across as insincere in his speech and his body english. I told my wife then that he is not to be trusted and he has proven me correct.

The following interview with Michelle Malkin on the Gleen Beck radio show goes a long way in finding the true John McCain. How he has gotten this far in the election process is no mistery to me - I will expand on this in the near future. I'm afraid it will be more of a rant than anything but I fell strongly on this subject.

This is a little long but good discussion and debate must be part of our daly time allocation.

*McCain’s Dishonesty on Immigration and Border Control

*GLENN: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, this is the third most listened to show in all of America. I'm glad you're listening today. I will tell you that the staff at the Glenn Beck program has had an intervention on me about a half hour ago because I'm a little testy, quite frankly. It might have to do with internal bleeding that we haven't been able to find yet or, you know, the anemia or any of the other things going on in my life right now, the lack of sleep, et cetera, et cetera. Or it could just be boiled down to John McCain. And when I say John McCain, my frustration comes from I don't understand America that can say, look at how wrong John McCain has been. 70% of America says John McCain is wrong about immigration. They believe in securing the border, et cetera, et cetera. And he says he has an epiphany.

Well, now, when you listen to the American people, okay, great, I had an epiphany, I listened to the American people. The reason why I'm so upset is what you're going to hear in the next few minutes. It is something that most of America doesn't know and when you hear the facts laid out before you about John McCain, it should make your blood boil. Whether it will or not, I don't know, but it should. Michelle Malkin is here and she's gooding to lay the whole story out. Hi, Michelle.

MALKIN: Hi, Glenn.
GLENN: Have you ever seen such an audacious slap in the face to the American people as this?MALKIN: I haven't felt one like this in a long time, Glenn. I'm still reeling from it. But I do hope that as more people find out about McCain's open border roots that they won't buy the dye job that he's given himself and the instant immigration makeover that he's trying to sell to conservatives and Republicans.
GLENN: Okay, I want you to lay it -- two pieces of audio, one from John McCain being asked about it and then another piece of audio from the gentleman that is now working with him. So you tell me the best time to play it while you explain what he's doing right now behind everybody's back.
MALKIN: Sure. Well, last month I received a tip from a concerned reader and she had listened to John McCain speak to the Hispanic Republicans in Nevada at a conference and apparently at this conference McCain was trying to tout his connection to a man named Dr. Juan Hernandez who has been named the national director of Hispanic outreach for the McCain 2008 campaign. This reader of mine was appalled when she learned of this hire and it had exactly the opposite effect that apparently McCain wanted it to have. This was supposed to be reassuring to Hispanic Republicans that this guy had been hired as outreach.

My colleague at, Bryan Preston, confirmed this staff hire and, in fact, on John McCain's daughter's campaign website, there's a lovely, cozy picture of Juan Hernandez pivoting with Meghan McCain and Mark MacKinnon who is the campaign guru for John McCain. Well, who is this guy? I'm quite familiar with him. I've debated him several years on the cable TV circuit because he's one of the most ubiquitous ethnocentric open borders zealots on the scene.

GLENN: I have never -- you know what, Michelle, he's been on my show quite a few times. In fact, I've banned him from the show. I'm just not going to give the guy any more airtime.

MALKIN: Good. He is an expert at filibustering and he is an expert at crooked talk. He talks a smooth game about how, of course, he supports our immigration laws but at the same time he had served as a Mexican cabinet official under Vicente Fox where he worked diligently to do nothing but undermine sovereignty and our laws. Yeah, it would be a great time to go ahead and play one of those audio clips because --

GLENN: Let's play, Stu, let's first play the John McCain and then we'll play the second clip of Juan Hernandez.
STU: Right, this is the answer because someone actually asked about Juan Hernandez.GLENN: Here it is, here's John McCain.
VOICE: I wonder if you agree with those policies. If so, explain it to me. And if not, why is he on your staff.
McCAIN: He's on my staff because he supports my policies and my proposals and my legislative proposal to secure the borders first, that no one will receive Social Security benefits who is in this country illegally. I don't know what his previous positions are, other previous positions are but he supports mine. I have nothing to do with his. And he has volunteered to help me with outreach to our Hispanic citizenry as that is his reach as I outreach to every citizen in America. I've made very clear my position on immigration, made very clear on my position on Social Security and, of course, I am grateful that we have so many people who came from Ireland to the United States of America and anybody else who can come here legally under the right system and that's the only system that I would ever support and I have no idea but I will check into the information you've given me. But I want to promise you I will secure our borders. I will not allow anyone to come here illegally. I will not allow anyone to receive Social Security or any other benefit because they have come here illegally and broken our laws.

GLENN: Okay. That's John McCain. Now, it's so disingenuous to say he doesn't know who this man is or his policies. This is a guy who used to work for Vicente Fox. He is the most open border guy you could possibly imagine. Here's just one clip of Juan Hernandez, and we've got tons of them and we'll be playing them over the next few days. Here's just one clip of Juan Hernandez on TV.
HERNANDEZ: I don't think that we need to build walls to control immigration. We are the 21st century now and we're a country that has always broken down walls. Once again with regard to securing the borders, we need to work with Mexico. We're never going to have a secure border. We're not going to put a wall up for these hundreds and hundreds thousands of miles. We have to work with our neighbors. We need to think now for the future. Canada, the United States and Mexico as a block.

GLENN: Canada, Mexico and America as a block. That's who this guy is. Michelle?
MALKIN: A block, not a region. He said it many times. He also, when he worked for this Mexican bureaucracy called the presidential office for Mexican abroad, what he did was he spent his time traveling all across our country lobbying local, state and federal officials for driver's license for illegal aliens. He defended his operators who were carrying illegal aliens to the country and who promoted extending banking privileges here in the United States to illegal aliens, lobbied to get lower rates for them so that they could send home billions of dollars in remittances back to their country. The guy does not believe in borders. He is a senior fellow at something called the Reform Institute which is a think tank that John McCain founded and it has come under scrutiny by the mainstream media because it underscores John McCain's hypocrisy not just on open borders but also on campaign finance because he's used his supposedly nonpartisan, nonprofit thinking to solicit donations from big donors who he then goes and crusades for while he's sitting on Senate committees. At this reform institute which is in part funded with George Soros money, Juan Hernandez was in charge of leading the lobbying campaign for John McCain's amnesty effort last year. And this reform institute also sponsored an art contest for students where they spent their time demonizing the border. And you can go and look. I linked this on my website, to all of the art that compares the walls our borders and our border fences to the Berlin wall which keeps people in instead of walling people out to prevent invasion, to prevent undermining our sovereignty, to prevent encroaching of our laws. And for McCain to have the gall to stand there and tell that voter in Florida who, by the way, learned about this Juan Hernandez thing by looking at our research on the Internet, for him to say that he supports securing the border first when he's got a guy outreaching to illegal aliens to persuade them to make John McCain President? It's more than nauseating. I have an ulcer.

GLENN: Michelle, I mean, I don't think -- I just don't think I have ever seen, well, at least on the GOP side I don't think I have seen anything more insidious than this kind of stuff. I mean, this is Bill Clinton insidiousness. This is somebody who is taking and wrapping themselves around an issue and trying to convince the American people that he's doing one thing and he is doing exactly the opposite behind our back.If John McCain would get into office and this stuff would happen, I really honestly think, Michelle, and talk me down from this tree, I think John McCain is more dangerous even than Hillary Clinton because at least Hillary Clinton has Bill Clinton to make her triangulate eventually. There will be no stopping between John McCain and the Progressives of going down a road that is massive internationalists. Right or wrong?

MALKIN: I'm with you on much of that. I think it's fascinating to --
GLENN: But hang on, Michelle. My point is if you have Hillary Clinton try to pull off what John McCain is going to try to pull off, I mean, and I don't believe he doesn't know this guy's policies. This guy is a leader. If he tried to pull this off and you have a Progressive Democratic congress, there's no one to stop it because there's enough John McCain Republicans in congress that it would sweep through. They're going to sweep through all kinds of treaties, all kinds of internationalism and there would be no stopping it. I mean, you've got -- how did we get welfare reform? We got it with a Democratic President and a Republican congress. They swept it through. You want to have gigantic international global warming treaties or gigantic treaties that are signed for setting up a block of Mex-Ameri-Canada, you put John McCain in office.

MALKIN: Yeah, I understand your point about triangulation and I'm very down. I'm very depressed about the rise of John McCain. But I don't completely believe that we wouldn't be able to stop it. Look, we had a globalist open borders Republican President try to push amnesty through with the Progressive left, the open borders left. His name was George W. Bush and he did not get his way and that's thanks in large part to the conservatives and talk radio and in the grassroots who John McCain has the same hostility to. The point is we don't want to repeat history here. I don't want another George W. Bush open borders type in the White House. And, you know, I'm galled by all of the Republican establishments who think we should shut up about it. Yes, everybody should know about Juan Hernandez. Everybody should know about Jerry Perenchio who is the billionaire founder of Univision who is a national campaign co-chair of John McCain. People should know about it.

GLENN: What is his -- besides him being the head of Univision, what is, you know, what's so devious about him?
MALKIN: He's also -- I mean, he's Juan Hernandez with a billion dollars. Let's put it that way. He's led the campaign to fight an English emergent initiative which was hugely popular and won overwhelmingly in California with the 227 that abolished so-called bilingual education which is keeping students hostage and basically forcing them to learn a foreign language instead of English and it was included popularly and overwhelmingly especially by Hispanic parents, law-abiding Hispanic parents who were appalled at the public schools with teaching their kids Spanish instead of English. Well, Perenchio, who is the national co-chair for McCain, poured millions of dollars not only directly into the opposition campaign but he put hourly public service announcements on Univision claiming that this was just -- it was not about helping Hispanic families, he was about helping his bottom line an keeping people from watching Univision instead of putting it into American culture. He's also given tons of money to Planned Parenthood and the National Resources Defense Council and you can see these are birds of a feather, Juan Hernandez, Jerry Perenchio, John McCain who, you know, isn't just a guy, the open borders type but also happens to be one of these stop global warming fear mongers. So it all says, and people should know the company that he keeps and the outreach that he is doing now to Reagan is, you know, completely cynical move to try and get into the office and nobody should buy it. This is the New York Times' favorite Republican.

GLENN: So Michelle, we were doing the math today on the election. How do you reverse this?MALKIN: Well, I said last night that it is a Mt. Everest battle for Mitt Romney and, of course, Mitt Romney has this problem but one problem he doesn't have is he doesn't have a record of crushing his shoe heel into the face of the conservatives. I would rather have someone who has, you know, had an epiphany and is now coming to court conservative votes because he wants to represent them than to somebody who even, as he now claims that he's the conservative frontrunner, continues to insult and spit in their faces.

GLENN: Michelle Malkin, I've got 30 seconds. If it's John McCain, Hillary Clinton, do you pull the lever for John McCain?MALKIN: Not at this moment I don't. I'm running a poll right now on my site and you can see that there are a majority of my own readers who are going to sit home. And I think it's a big warning to the conservative movement out there. We still have time to fix this.
GLENN: Michelle Malkin, thank you very much, appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

For The Love of P-51 Mustangs - America

I absolutely love this aircraft - I have seen and heard them at the Oshkosh air show on several occasions - each time I hear that engine start for the first time, I have such deep emotions that I find it almost impossible to describe -

It must be something primal as I never get tired hearing and seeing this magnificent machine preform -

Old Aviators and Old Airplanes ...

This is a good little story about a vivid memory of a P-51 and its pilot by a fellow who was 12 years old in Canada in 1967. You may know a few others who would appreciate it.It was noon on a Sunday as I recall, the day a Mustang P-51 was to take to the air.

They said it had flown in during the night from some U.S. airport, the pilot had been tired. I marveled at the size of the plane dwarfing the Pipers and Canucks tied down by her. It was much larger than in the movies. She glistened in the sun like a bulwark of security from days gone by.

The pilot arrived by cab, paid the driver, and then stepped into the flight lounge. He was an older man; his wavy hair was gray and tossed. Looked like it might have been combed, say, around the turn of the century.

His flight jacket was checked, creased and worn - it smelled old and genuine. Old Glory was prominently sewn to its shoulders. He projected a quiet air of proficiency and pride devoid of arrogance. He filed a quick flight plan to Montreal (Expo-67, Air Show) then walked across the tarmac.

After taking several minutes to perform his walk-around check the pilot returned to the flight lounge to ask if anyone would be available to stand by with fire extinguishers while he "flashed the old bird up. Just to be safe."Though only 12 at the time I was allowed to stand by with an extinguisher after brief instruction on its use -- "If you see a fire, point, then pull this lever!" I later became a firefighter, but that's another story.

The air around the exhaust manifolds shimmered like a mirror from fuel fumes as the huge prop started to rotate. One manifold, then another, and yet another barked -- I stepped back with the other s. In moments the Packard-built Merlin engine came to life with a thunderous roar, blue flames knifed from her manifolds. I looked at the others' faces, there was no concern. I lowered the bell of my extinguisher. One of the guys signaled to walk back to the lounge. We did.

Several minutes later we could hear the pilot doing his pre flight run-up. He'd taxied to the end of runway 19, out of sight. All went quiet for several seconds; we raced from the lounge to the second story deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the P-51 as she started down the runway. We could not.

There we stood, eyes fixed to a spot half way down 19. Then a roar ripped across the field, much louder than before, like a furious hell spawn set loose---something mighty this way was coming. "Listen to that thing!" said the controller. In seconds the Mustang burst into our line of sight. Its tail was already off and it was moving faster than anything I'd ever seen by that point on 19. Two-thirds the way down 19 the Mustang was airborne with her gear going up.

The prop tips were supersonic; we clasped our ears as the Mustang climbed hellish fast into the circuit to be eaten up by the dog-day haze.We stood for a few moments in stunned silence trying to digest what we'd just seen. The radio controller rushed by me to the radio. " Kingston tower calling Mustang?" He looked back to us as he waited for an acknowledgment.The radio crackled, "Go ahead Kingston." "Roger Mustang. Kingston tower would like to advise the circuit is clear for a low level pass." I stood in shock because the controller had, more or less, just asked the pilot to return for an impromptu air show!

The controller looked at us. "What?" He asked. "I can't let that guy go without asking. I couldn't forgive myself! "The radio crackled once again, "Kingston, do I have permission for a low level pass, east to west, across the field?" "Roger Mustang, the circuit is clear for an east to west pass." "Roger, Kingston, I'm coming out of 3000 feet, stand by."We rushed back onto the second-story deck, eyes fixed toward the eastern haze.

The sound was subtle at first, a high-pitched whine, a muffled screech, a distant scream. Moments later the P-51 burst through the haze. Her airframe straining against positive Gs and gravity, wing tips spilling contrails of condensed air, prop-tips again supersonic as the burnished bird blasted across the eastern margin of the field shredding and tearing the air.

At about 400 mph and 150 yards from where we stood she passed with the old American pilot saluting. Imagine. A salute! I felt like laughing, I felt like crying, she glistened, she screamed, the building shook, my heart pounded.

Then the old pilot pulled her up and rolled, and rolled, and rolled out of sight into the broken clouds and indelibly into my memory.

I've never wanted to be an American more than on that day. It was a time when many nations in the world looked to America as their big brother, a steady and even-handed beacon of security who navigated difficult political water with grace and style; not unlike the pilot who'd just flown into my memory.

**He was proud, not arrogant, humble, not a braggart, old and honest, projecting an aura of America at its best. That America will return one day, I know it will.Until that time, I'll just send off this story; call it a reciprocal salute, to the old American pilot who wove a memory for a young Canadian that's lasted a lifetime.*

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Words to Live By

I don't know who said this but when something is this good, it belongs to everyone :


Monday, January 28, 2008

What's Wrong with the Economy? NOTHING!

What a great day I am having - getting a lot done and I have several projects that are coming together - now I have this great article on the economy. I am very pleased with my good fortune in finding these articles of late. The one yesterday was an absolute marvel and this one is just as good - a must read.

We have heard so much in the media about our rotten economy and how everyone is suffering - in past posts I have given my opinion on this malarkey knowing full well that the market was in flux and that the housing market would even out eventually and it will - but the naysayers and other liberals want everything to be bad so that can use it as an hammer which they are - doom and gloom - that damn Bush and his tax cuts - vote for us so we can tax the hell out of the rich and give most of it to our friends. The rest we will keep.

Read this positive report and revel on how lucky we are to live in this country even though the liberals hate everything about America except, of course, what they can steal while hurting her heart out.

The Economy Is Fine (Really)*

By BRIAN WESBURYJanuary 28, 2008;

Page A15*It is hard to imagine any time in history when such rampant pessimism about the economy has existed with so little evidence of serious trouble.

True, retail sales fell 0.4% in December and fourth-quarter real GDP probably grew at only a 1.5% annual rate. It is also true that in the past six months manufacturing production has been flat, new orders for durable goods have fallen at a 0.8% annual rate, and unemployment blipped up to 5%. Soft data for sure, but nowhere near the end of the world.

[Wesbury]It is most likely that this recent weakness is a payback for previous strength. Real GDP surged at a 4.9% annual rate in the third quarter, while retail sales jumped 1.1% in November. A one-month drop in retail sales is not unusual. In each of the past five years, retail sales have reported at least three negative months. These declines are part of the normal volatility of the data, caused by wild swings in oil prices, seasonal adjustments, or weather. Over-reacting is a mistake.

A year ago, most economic data looked much worse than they do today. Industrial production fell 1.1% during the six months ending February 2007, while new orders for durable goods fell 3.9% at an annual rate during the six months ending in November 2006. Real GDP grew just 0.6% in the first quarter of 2007 and retail sales fell in January and again in April. But the economy came back and roared in the middle of the year -- real GDP expanded 4.4% at an annual rate between April and September.

With housing so weak, the recent softness in production and durable goods orders is understandable. But housing is now a small share of GDP (4.5%). And it has fallen so much already that it is highly unlikely to drive the economy into recession all by itself. Exports are 12% of the economy, and are growing at a 13.6% rate. The boom in exports is overwhelming the loss from housing.

Personal income is up 6.1% during the year ending in November, while small-business income accelerated in October and November, during the height of the credit crisis. In fact, after subtracting income taxes, rent, mortgages, car leases and loans, debt service on credit cards and property taxes, incomes rose 3.9% faster than inflation in the year through September. Commercial paper issuance is rising again, as are mortgage applications.Some large companies outside of finance and home building are reporting lower profits, but the over-reaction to very spotty negative news is astounding. For example, Intel's earnings disappointed, creating a great deal of fear about technology. Lost in the pessimism is the fact that 20 out of 24 S&P 500 technology companies that have reported earnings so far have beaten Wall Street estimates.

Models based on recent monetary and tax policy suggest real GDP will grow at a 3% to 3.5% rate in 2008, while the probability of recession this year is 10%. This was true before recent rate cuts and stimulus packages. Now that the Fed has cut interest rates by 175 basis points, the odds of a huge surge in growth later in 2008 have grown. The biggest threat to the economy is still inflation, not recession.

Yet many believe that a recession has already begun because credit markets have seized up. This pessimistic view argues that losses from the subprime arena are the tip of the iceberg. An economic downturn, combined with a weakened financial system, will result in a perfect storm for the multi-trillion dollar derivatives market. It is feared that cascading problems with inter-connected counterparty risk, swaps and excessive leverage will cause the entire "house of cards," otherwise known as the U.S. financial system, to collapse. At a minimum, they fear credit will contract, causing a major economic slowdown.

For many, this catastrophic outlook brings back memories of the Great Depression, when bank failures begot more bank failures, money was scarce, credit was impossible to obtain, and economic problems spread like wildfire.This outlook is both perplexing and worrisome. Perplexing, because it is hard to see how a campfire of a problem can spread to burn down the entire forest. What Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently estimated as a $100 billion loss on subprime loans would represent only 0.1% of the $100 trillion in combined assets of all U.S. households and U.S. non-farm, non-financial corporations. Even if losses ballooned to $300 billion, it would represent less than 0.3% of total U.S. assets.Beneath every dollar of counterparty risk, and every swap, derivative, or leveraged loan, is a real economic asset. The only way credit troubles could spread to take down the entire system is if the economy completely fell apart. And that only happens when government policy goes wildly off track.

In the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve allowed the money supply to collapse by 25%, which caused a dangerous deflation. In turn, this deflation caused massive bank failures. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, Herbert Hoover's tax hike passed in 1932, and then FDR's alphabet soup of new agencies, regulations and anticapitalist government activity provided the coup de grace. No wonder thousands of banks failed and unemployment ballooned to 20%.

But in the U.S. today, the Federal Reserve is extremely accommodative. Not only is the federal funds rate well below the trend in nominal GDP growth, but real interest rates are low and getting lower. In addition, gold prices have almost quadrupled during the past six years, while the consumer price index rose more than 4% last year.

These monetary conditions are not conducive to a collapse of credit markets and financial institutions. Any financial institution that goes under does so because of its own mistakes, not because money was too tight. Trade protectionism has not become a reality, and while tax hikes have been proposed, Congress has been unable to push one through.

Which brings up an interesting thought: If the U.S. financial system is really as fragile as many people say, why should we go to such lengths to save it? If a $100 billion, or even $300 billion, loss in the subprime loan world can cause the entire system to collapse, maybe we should be working hard to build a better system that is stronger and more reliable.

Pumping massive amounts of liquidity into the economy and pumping up government spending by giving money away through rebates may create more problems than it helps to solve. Kicking the can down the road is not a positive policy.*The irony is almost too much to take. Yesterday everyone was worried about excessive consumer spending, a lack of saving, exploding debt levels, and federal budget deficits. Today, our government is doing just about everything in its power to help consumers borrow more at low rates, while it is running up the budget deficit to get people to spend more. This is the tyranny of the urgent in an election year and it's the development that investors should really worry about. It reads just like the 1970s.

*The good news is that the U.S. financial system is not as fragile as many pundits suggest. Nor is the economy showing anything other than normal signs of stress. Assuming a 1.5% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter, real GDP will have grown by 2.8% in the year ending in December 2007 and 3.2% in the second half during the height of the so-called credit crunch. Initial unemployment claims, a very consistent canary in the coal mine for recessions, are nowhere near a level of concern.

Because all debt rests on a foundation of real economic activity, and the real economy is still resilient, the current red alert about a crashing house of cards looks like another false alarm. Warren Buffett, Wilbur Ross and Bank of America are buying, and there is still $1.1 trillion in corporate cash on the books. The bench of potential buyers on the sidelines is deep and strong. Dow 15,000 looks much more likely than Dow 10,000.

Keep the faith and stay invested. It's a wonderful buying opportunity.

*Mr. Wesbury is chief economist for First Trust Portfolios, L.P.*

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Environmentalism as Religion

What a great article by Michael Crihton - remember him? He is the author of Jurassic Park the book and the movie - he also wrote the book State of Fear - he is an expert on environmentalism and how it is being prostituted.

This a little long but to the point and something that will effect us all in the near future to the determent of all civilization - that means us and our off spring.

Michael Crichton
Commonwealth ClubSan Francisco, CA September 15, 2003

This was not the first discussion of environmentalism as a religion, but it caught on and was widely quoted. Michael explains why religious approaches to the environment are inappropriate and cause damage to the natural world they intent to protect.

Ihave been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems.

Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance.

I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.

I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability.

Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith. And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism.

Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them. Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let's examine some of those beliefs.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did.

On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.

How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction.

There was even an academic movement, during the latter 20th century, that claimed that cannibalism was a white man's invention to demonize the indigenous peoples. (Only academics could fight such a battle.) It was some thirty years before professors finally agreed that yes, cannibalism does indeed occur among human beings. Meanwhile, all during this time New Guinea highlanders in the 20th century continued to eat the brains of their enemies until they were finally made to understand that they risked kuru, a fatal neurological disease, when they did so.

More recently still the gentle Tasaday of the Philippines turned out to be a publicity stunt, a nonexistent tribe. And African pygmies have one of the highest murder rates on the planet. In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.

And if you, even now, put yourself in nature even for a matter of days, you will quickly be disabused of all your romantic fantasies. Take a trek through the jungles of Borneo, and in short order you will have festering sores on your skin, you'll have bugs all over your body, biting in your hair, crawling up your nose and into your ears, you'll have infections and sickness and if you're not with somebody who knows what they're doing, you'll quickly starve to death. But chances are that even in the jungles of Borneo you won't experience nature so directly, because you will have covered your entire body with DEET and you will be doing everything you can to keep those bugs off you.

The truth is, almost nobody wants to experience real nature. What people want is to spend a week or two in a cabin in the woods, with screens on the windows. They want a simplified life for a while, without all their stuff. Or a nice river rafting trip for a few days, with somebody else doing the cooking. Nobody wants to go back to nature in any real way, and nobody does. It's all talk-and as the years go on, and the world population grows increasingly urban, it's uninformed talk.

Farmers know what they're talking about. City people don't. It's all fantasy. One way to measure the prevalence of fantasy is to note the number of people who die because they haven't the least knowledge of how nature really is. They stand beside wild animals, like buffalo, for a picture and get trampled to death; they climb a mountain in dicey weather without proper gear, and freeze to death. They drown in the surf on holiday because they can't conceive the real power of what we blithely call "the force of nature." They have seen the ocean. But they haven't been in it.The television generation expects nature to act the way they want it to be. They think all life experiences can be tivo-ed.

The notion that the natural world obeys its own rules and doesn't give a damn about your expectations comes as a massive shock. Well-to-do, educated people in an urban environment experience the ability to fashion their daily lives as they wish. They buy clothes that suit their taste, and decorate their apartments as they wish. Within limits, they can contrive a daily urban world that pleases them.But the natural world is not so malleable. On the contrary, it will demand that you adapt to it-and if you don't, you die. It is a harsh, powerful, and unforgiving world, that most urban westerners have never experienced.

Many years ago I was trekking in the Karakorum mountains of northern Pakistan, when my group came to a river that we had to cross. It was a glacial river, freezing cold, and it was running very fast, but it wasn't deep---maybe three feet at most. My guide set out ropes for people to hold as they crossed the river, and everybody proceeded, one at a time, with extreme care. I asked the guide what was the big deal about crossing a three-foot river. He said, well, supposing you fell and suffered a compound fracture. We were now four days trek from the last big town, where there was a radio. Even if the guide went back double time to get help, it'd still be at least three days before he could return with a helicopter. If a helicopter were available at all. And in three days, I'd probably be dead from my injuries. So that was why everybody was crossing carefully. Because out in nature a little slip could be deadly.

But let's return to religion. If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn't ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn't fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets? What about salvation, sustainability, and judgment day? What about the coming environmental doom from fossil fuels and global warming, if we all don't get down on our knees and conserve every day?Well, it's interesting.

You may have noticed that something has been left off the doomsday list, lately. Although the preachers of environmentalism have been yelling about population for fifty years, over the last decade world population seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Fertility rates are falling almost everywhere. As a result, over the course of my lifetime the thoughtful predictions for total world population have gone from a high of 20 billion, to 15 billion, to 11 billion (which was the UN estimate around 1990) to now 9 billion, and soon, perhaps less. There are some who think that world population will peak in 2050 and then start to decline. There are some who predict we will have fewer people in 2100 than we do today. Is this a reason to rejoice, to say halleluiah? Certainly not.

Without a pause, we now hear about the coming crisis of world economy from a shrinking population. We hear about the impending crisis of an aging population. Nobody anywhere will say that the core fears expressed for most of my life have turned out not to be true. As we have moved into the future, these doomsday visions vanished, like a mirage in the desert. They were never there---though they still appear, in the future. As mirages do.

Okay, so, the preachers made a mistake. They got one prediction wrong; they're human. So what. Unfortunately, it's not just one prediction. It's a whole slew of them. We are running out of oil. We are running out of all natural resources. Paul Ehrlich: 60 million Americans will die of starvation in the 1980s. Forty thousand species become extinct every year. Half of all species on the planet will be extinct by 2000. And on and on and on.With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it's a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn't quit when the world doesn't end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets.

One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts. So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven't read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don't report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn't carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world.

Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn. I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it.

I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%.

I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigious science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won't impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependent on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view.

In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

I want to argue that it is now time for us to make a major shift in our thinking about the environment, similar to the shift that occurred around the first Earth Day in 1970, when this awareness was first heightened. But this time around, we need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s.

It's not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge.

Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these "facts" are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all---what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day.

At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better. That's not a good future for the human race. That's our past. So it's time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that. Thank you very much.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

McCain Not Fit to be President

I think it's way past time that I picked my man for the White House. I knew who I wanted along time ago but I have been waiting to see where and when everyone else in the race would fall or rise.

One thing for sure my man is not John McCain - When he gave a speech at the 2004 Republican convention that was anything but inspiring, I knew he wasn't sincere, that he had another agenda running and, that given the chance, he would turn on his fellow Republicans when the time was right - guess what, the time is right and now.

This article by Anne Coulter is what I believe to be the heart and soul of John McCaine. If you find John to be more liberal than Conservative, you have the hammer ready for the nail - read this and decide.


by Ann Coulter
January 23, 2008

John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most "electable" Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in Straight Talk.

Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws.

I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska. And I might lie if I had called the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "dishonest and dishonorable."McCain angrily denounces the suggestion that his "comprehensive immigration reform" constituted "amnesty" -- on the ludicrous grounds that it included a small fine. Even the guy who graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy didn't fall for this a few years ago.

In 2003, McCain told The Tucson Citizen that "amnesty has to be an important part" of any immigration reform. He also rolled out the old chestnut about America's need for illegals, who do "jobs that American workers simply won't do."McCain's amnesty bill would have immediately granted millions of newly legalized immigrants Social Security benefits. He even supported allowing work performed as an illegal to count toward Social Security benefits as recently as a vote in 2006 -- now adamantly denied by Mr. Straight Talk.

McCain keeps boasting that he was "the only one" of the Republican presidential candidates who supported the surge in Iraq. What is he talking about? All Republicans supported the surge -- including Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. The only ones who didn't support it were McCain pals like Sen. Chuck Hagel. Indeed, the surge is the first part of the war on terrorism that caused McCain to break from Hagel in order to support the president.

True, McCain voted for the war. So did Hillary Clinton. Like her, he then immediately started attacking every other aspect of the war on terrorism. (The only difference was, he threw in frequent references to his experience as a POW, which currently outnumber John Kerry's references to being a Vietnam vet.)

Thus, McCain joined with the Democrats in demanding O.J. trials for terrorists at Guantanamo, including his demand that the terrorists have full access to the intelligence files being used to prosecute them.These days, McCain gives swashbuckling speeches about the terrorists who "will follow us home." But he still opposes dripping water down their noses. He was a POW, you know. Also a member of the Keating 5 scandal, which you probably don't know, and won't -- until he becomes the Republican nominee.

Though McCain was far from the only Republican to support the surge, he does have the distinction of being the only Republican who voted against the Bush tax cuts. (Also the little lamented Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who later left the Republican Party.) Now McCain claims he opposed the tax cuts because they didn't include enough spending cuts. But that wasn't what he said at the time.

To the contrary, in 2001, McCain said he was voting against Bush's tax cuts based on the idiotic talking point of the Democrats. "I cannot in good conscience," McCain said, "support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief."McCain started and fanned the vicious anti-Bush myth that, before the 2000 South Carolina primary, the Bush campaign made phone calls to voters calling McCain a "liar, cheat and a fraud" and accusing him of having an illegitimate black child.

On the thin reed of a hearsay account, McCain immediately blamed the calls on Bush. "I'm calling on my good friend George Bush," McCain said, "to stop this now. He comes from a better family. He knows better than this."Bush denied that his campaign had anything to do with the alleged calls and, in a stunningly magnanimous act, ordered his campaign to release the script of the calls being made in South Carolina.

Bush asked McCain to do the same for his calls implying that Bush was an anti-Catholic bigot, but McCain refused. Instead, McCain responded with a campaign commercial calling Bush a liar on the order of Bill Clinton: MCCAIN: His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We're all pretty tired of that. ANNOUNCER: Do we really want another politician in the White House America can't trust?After massive investigations by the Los Angeles Times and investigative reporter Byron York, among others, it turned out that neither of the alleged calls had been made by the Bush campaign -- nor, it appeared, by anyone else. There was no evidence that any such calls had ever been made, which is unheard of when hundreds of thousands of "robo-calls" are being left on answering machines across the state.

And yet, to this day, the media weep with McCain over Bush's underhanded tactics in the 2000 South Carolina primary. In fact, the most vicious attack in the 2000 South Carolina primary came from McCain -- and not against his opponent.

Seeking even more favorable press from The New York Times, McCain launched an unprovoked attack against the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, calling them "agents of intolerance." Unlike the phantom "black love child" calls, there's documentary evidence of this smear campaign.To ensure he would get full media coverage for that little gem, McCain alerted the networks in advance that he planned to attack their favorite whipping boys. Newspaper editors across the country stood in awe of McCain's raw bravery.

The New York Times praised him in an editorial that said the Republican Party "has for too long been tied to the cramped ideology of the Falwells and the Robertsons."Though McCain generally votes pro-life -- as his Arizona constituency requires -- he embraces the loony lingo of the pro-abortion set, repeatedly assuring his pals in the media that he opposes the repeal of Roe v. Wade because it would force women to undergo "illegal and dangerous operations."Come to think of it, Dole is a million times better than McCain. Why not run him again?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Raise Taxes on the Productive - Kill the Economy

I guess it's not that difficult to understand that if you take the profit from those that are most capable of earning it, it won't be long before everyone else is affected by the loss of this most productive segment of our society. They are the engine of the economy.

This article is to the point on how taxes on the 1% of our tax base can be disastrous - it's a little long but please stick with it as you will increase your knowledge of how our tax system works in our economy and how the socialists what to destroy it. It's called income redistribution. A favorite of the socialists and communists.

The Tax Threat to Prosperity
January 25, 2008;

Page A15 WSJOver the past 30 years, the U.S. has seen large changes in income tax rates as well as other tax rates. And, as would be expected, the budgetary implications of these tax changes have once again become a hotly debated partisan issue.But missing from the discussion are the huge differences in how the top 1% of income earners respond to changes in tax rates versus, say, the bottom 75% or 80% of taxpayers -- the so-called middle class and lowest income groups.

The "rich" quite simply are not like the rest of us.From the standpoint of logic, the supply of their taxable income should be far more sensitive to changes in tax rates than the supply of taxable income of the middle class and poor. In the highest tax bracket, 100% of all taxpayers have the highest tax rate as their marginal tax rate. And it's the marginal tax rate that elicits supply-side responses.

Of course, if you look at a tax schedule, it's obvious that people with the highest taxable income also pay taxes in every other tax bracket. These lower tax rates are "inframarginal" and don't affect behavior. From the standpoint of the rich alone, a cut in these lower tax rates reduces tax revenues.

Some 99% of all taxpayers paid taxes at the 10% rate in 2005, for example. Yet only 25% of all taxpayers had 10% as their marginal tax rate. Thus a cut in the 10% tax rate would have a supply-side impact on a relatively small portion of all those who pay the 10% rate -- while for the rest who pay the 10% rate, a tax cut would result in a deadweight revenue loss.

On these grounds alone one should expect a greater supply-side response with a change in the highest tax rate than any other tax rate.In addition, low-income earners have a lot less flexibility to change the form, timing and location of their income -- and the avenues open to them to reduce their tax liabilities are far fewer. The avenues open to higher-income and highest-income earners include 401(k)s, IRAs, Keogh plans, itemized deductions, lifetime gifts, charitable gifts, all sorts of deferred income compensation plans, trusts, tax free bonds, etc.[Soaking the Rich]

Moreover, the culture surrounding low income earners is not nearly as focused on tax avoidance as it is in higher income earners; fewer lower-income earners, therefore, even avail themselves of the limited programs, laws and other opportunities to reduce their tax liabilities. This means that the supply of taxable income in the highest tax bracket should be far more responsive to incentives than it is in the lower tax brackets, all other things being equal.

Many tax-avoidance methods require expert advice and counsel from people such as tax accountants, lawyers, deferred compensation experts and, yes, even economists. Higher-income people find tax accountants and lawyers and other financial professionals far more cost-effective than do people with lower incomes, not only because the costs are spread over larger sums, but because the pursuit of tax avoidance is, dollar of income for dollar of income, more profitable at higher tax rates. This makes the taxable incomes of those who earn more, more variable, and the taxable incomes of those who earn less, less variable.

Academicians and politicians have finally come to understand that it's the after-tax rate of return that determines people's behavior. Even though statutory tax rates are far lower today than they were when, say, Kennedy or Reagan took office, it is still very true that for every dollar of static revenue change there is a much larger incentive affect in the highest tax bracket than in the lowest tax bracket.

But what actually happens to tax receipts by income tax bracket when tax rates change?Since 1980, statutory marginal tax rates have fallen dramatically. The highest marginal income tax rate in 1980 was 70%. Today it is 35%. In the year Ronald Reagan took office (1981) the top 1% of income earners paid 17.58% of all federal income taxes. Twenty-five years later, in 2005, the top 1% paid 39.38% of all income taxes.There are other ways of looking at tax receipts by income bracket. From 1981 to 2005, the income taxes paid by the top 1% rose to 2.96% of GDP, from 1.59% of GDP. There was also a huge absolute increase in real tax dollars paid by this group. In 1981, the total taxes paid in 2005 dollars by the top 1% of income earners was $94.84 billion. In 2005 it was $368.13 billion.

In 2000 this teeny, tiny group -- 1% of all taxpayers -- actually paid income taxes equal to 3.75% of GDP, which is why President Clinton had a budget surplus. Much of this huge surge in tax payments by the top 1% of tax filers resulted from the huge increase in realized capital gains resulting from President Clinton's capital gains tax rate cut to 20% from 28% in 1997.Let's take a look at the bottom 75% of taxpayers over this same time period -- the group current Democrats refer to as middle- and lower-income earners.

From 1981 through 2005, the share of all income taxes paid by the bottom 75% of all income earners (as reported on the individual income tax returns) declined to 14.01% from 27.71%. As a share of GDP, total taxes paid by the bottom 75% fell to 1.05% from 2.50%. The bottom 75% of all taxpayers today pay less than 35% of all the taxes paid by the top 1% of all income earners.

Over the last 25 years, the bottom 75% of all taxpayers' tax payments fell and their tax rates fell. This is the group the Democrats are targeting for tax cuts.The important point here is that, over the last 25-plus years, the only group that experienced an increase in income taxes paid as a share of GDP was the top 1% of income earners. Even the top 2%-5% of income earners saw a decline in the GDP share of their income taxes paid.

But now we get to the secret sauce, and the essence of what really happens in the realm of tax rates, incomes and tax payments by the rich.We have accurate data on both the total taxes paid by the top 1% of income earners, and on their comprehensive household income as measured by the Congressional Budget Office. From these two data series we can calculate the effective average tax rate for the top 1% of all income earners.

Surprise, surprise: The effective average tax rate for the top 1% of income earners barely wiggles as Congress changes tax codes after tax codes, and as the economy goes from boom to bust and back again (see chart).The question is, how can that effective average tax rate be so stable? The answer is simply that the very highest income earners are and have always been able to vary their reported income and thus control the amount of taxes they pay. Whether through tax shelters, deferrals, gifts, write-offs, cross income mobility or any of a number of other measures, the effective average tax rate barely budges. But this group's total tax payments are incredibly volatile.

For the low- and middle-income earners, the effective average tax rate has tumbled over the past 25 years, and so have tax revenues no matter how they're measured.Using recent data, in other words, it would appear on its face that the Democratic proposal to raise taxes on the upper-income earners, and lower taxes on the middle- and lower- income earners, will result in huge revenue losses on both accounts. But some academic advisers to Democratic candidates have a hard time understanding the obvious, devising outlandish theories as to why things are different now. Well they aren't!In the 1920s, the highest federal marginal income tax rate fell to 24% from 78%. Those people who earned over $100,000 had their share of total taxes paid rise -- from 29.9% in 1920 to 48.8% in 1925, and then to 62.2% in 1929. There was no inflation over this period.

With the Kennedy tax cuts of the 1960s, when the highest tax rate fell from to 70% from 91%, the story was the same. When you cut the highest tax rates on the highest-income earners, government gets more money from them, and when you cut tax rates on the middle and lower income earners, the government gets less money from them.Even these data grossly understate the total supply-side response. A cut in the highest tax rates will increase lots of other tax receipts. It will lower government spending as a consequence of a stronger economy with less unemployment and less welfare. It will have a material, positive impact on state and local governments. And these effects will only grow with time.

Mark my words: If the Democrats succeed in implementing their plan to tax the rich and cut taxes on the middle and lower income earners, this country will experience a fiscal crisis of serious proportions that will last for years and years until a new Harding, Kennedy or Reagan comes along.Trained economists know all of this is true, but they try to rebut the facts nonetheless because they believe it will curry favor with their political benefactors.

Mr. Laffer is president of Laffer Associates.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Higher Electric Bills in 2008 Nationwide

I wonder what will be the final bill for not drilling for new oil? Just what disasters must we suffer before we tell our politicians that are kissing the hide ends of the eco - fascists in this country just to get their votes.

The global warming religious fanatics are no different - even though the price of everything is going up with no end in sight, there are millions of Americans that can't or won't admit that supporting this nonsense is going to do us harm.

There is no hard scientific evidence supporting man-made global warming - having a bunch of experts agree by consenses is not enough to make it so - the only real evidence supported by research says, yes, there is warming going on, one degree increase in the last fifteen years, but there is no hard scientific proof pointing at man kind as the culprit. The religion of carbon credits can not make this claim. For them it's not about what's fact, it's about control.

I am amazed at the number of people involved who really believe we are all going to die in ten years if we don't shut our economy down and move back into the dark ages - I kid you not - so many people can not see beyond today what will be the result of such low horizons.

No new oil wells, no nuclear power plants, no new refineries and no more coal fired power generation plants until all possible potential problems with carbon emissions are solved. We depend on oil and coal for our very survival, especially here in the Midwest. It is 10 below 0 this morning. What would we do without electricity??? Millions would die - the eco-monsters believe that is a small price to pay to save the earth. So goes the thinking of the eco-fascists.

I believe we have to wake up now and take a hard look at what the nut jobs in the press and Washington are trying to shove down our throats. Remember all the dire predations of the past ten years? I remember someone on national television predicting all fish in our oceans would be gone by the 2000 if we didn't stop commerical fishing to let them recover. hmmmmm

My frustration level is growing by the day with my fellow citizens. Why is this whole global warming nonsense just a religious cult to me, and, to so many others, it is etched in stone.

History teaches us to learn what has happen in the past so we can avoid those same mistakes in the future. It sure seems to me we are blinded by our own inability to make rational decisions based on fact - it is so much easier to live in a fantasy world were others decide for us so we don't have to take the chance of being wrong - this way we can blame others for decisions that have destroyed our way of life.

Here are a few facts on what is in store for us this year as far as electric rates are concerned. This is from the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News. These figures are from the Department of Energy in Washington and they are saying residential electricity prices reflect a 1.9 percent increase over 2006 levels, commerical prices up 2 percent and industrial up 4.9 percent

Nationally kilowatt hours average prices for 2007 were 10.6, 9.6 and 6.4 respectively. But here is the kicker in all this, the 2007 projections came on the heels of a report from the same agency indication that 2006 brought the sharpest retail electricity price hikes in the last 25 years even though usage was essentially flat.

Go figure - What are we doing here? Are we willing to let our country die for the lack of rational thought and common sense? What ever happened to compromise? Why do we allow these people to run and ruin our lives and the lives of our off-spring? Come on, let's get real here and stop this idiocy.

keep the faith, the battle is joined!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Farm Bill is Just More Waste

Well if we look close, as the Wisconsin Energy Coop did to the new Farm Bill proposal, all kinds of nonsense and waste by the Federal Government comes to light - most politicians are like mushrooms, they do their best work in the dark.

This article, published in the Wisconsin Energy Coop magazine, points up some tactics that our 'betters' tried to stick us with when this monster bill was released.

Yeah, I know this is a 'special interest' magazine, but all the same, we all need electricity and more of it every day, but we're not going to get if someone doesn't fight the 'good fight' for us - look what happened with ethanol because we did nothing to stop it, now we are paying over $.50 a gallon to support this mess and it's causing huge problems with food prices and foreign markets are screaming, especially in the third world.

Is this part of the global warming religious nightmare or just more of the same coming from those who just want America to take a new direction? You decide -

A Season to be Wary

This morning marked the fourth time this season I had to re-attach my mailbox, courtesy of our local highway department’s snow plows.
I noticed that a neighbor, obviously fed up with his own repeated efforts to keep his rural mailbox upright, came up with what’s proved so far to be an effective—though perhaps not entirely legal—solution. He lashed his mailbox assembly to a nearby highway sign, figuring that no plowing personnel would dare touch a fixture that they themselves might be obliged to fix. He’s probably right that it’s in a more protected situation, regulations about messing with highway signs notwithstanding.

Similarly, as opportunities present themselves during legislative sessions, lawmakers routinely seek to attach pet proposals to larger, higher-profile packages that have exceptional chances of passage and enactment. Often, like relatively flimsy mailboxes in the midst of a snowstorm, the smaller initiatives might not have much of a chance to stand on their own against the force of close scrutiny. Depending on your particular interest, this can be good or bad.

Attached, Embedded

During December, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) waded through literally thousands of pages that comprised a federal Energy Bill, Farm Bill, and an “omnibus” Fiscal Year ’08 spending bill—huge packages that, in one form or another, were almost certainly destined for congressional approval. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and these behemoth bills had enough to keep a platoon of NRECA lobbyists busy ensuring that good features were retained and provisions harmful to electric co-ops were omitted.

Embedded in the taxation portion of the Energy Bill, for instance, was authorization for electric co-ops’ use of some $600 million in clean renewable energy bonds, which would advance local development of renewable energy sources. Causing concern, on the other hand, was language mandating that 15 percent of all energy produced would come from renewables by the year 2020—a standard some states, particularly in the South, say they’d have great trouble achieving. The status of the proposals was unclear at press time.

Tempting Tidbits

At the state level in recent months, the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming and its numerous subcommittees have been evaluating a long roster of proposals for possible inclusion in a comprehensive report due to be finalized in early 2008. It’s pretty clear that firm legislative and regulatory proposals will take their lead from the task force report and, like the huge bills mentioned above, will have momentum to be enacted.

There’s also the temptation for policymakers and interest groups to attach recommendations that might otherwise fail for lack of broad support. Electric co-op representatives have been serving on the task force and its work groups, and they’ve helped turn aside several troublesome suggestions offered by other panel members that could negatively impact electric consumers. Among them: 1) outlawing the use of electric hot water heaters in Wisconsin and 2) requiring that before anyone can sell a home that the dwelling must be brought up to strict, modern energy efficiency standards.

As with affixing a mailbox to a sturdy highway sign, pegging proposals to a massive policy initiative might provide an alluring opportunity, but they still need scrutiny to determine if they serve the broader public interest.

As this article points out, our leaders have no clue what is going on outside of their ivory towers.

Stay warm and keep the faith, the battle is joined!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whatz With All the Whining?

Okay people, enough of the whining about how bad off we all are - just look around you and tell what you see - is your neighbor suffering? Ah, no - How about your city or your school where your kids go? Well, no.

Oh, and of course, there are millions of poor in this country that are starving, right? How many poor people do you know? Be honest, how many poor people do you know and what is your definition of being poor - Oh my god, they must be poor, they only have one car and only two TV's and their car is five years old. Yeah, there are some people that have fallen on hard times but millions? Come on - - !

I am so tired of hearing people say they can't afford a new car or upgrade to a newer and bigger house - what in the hell is wrong with the old one? They always seem to have a thousand excuses why they are broke. Get a grip - Chill out, okay - take the high road and enjoy what you have because it probably 90% more than what the people in the world have today. This is fantastic country, we have everything. What more could you want?

So relax - drive the old car a few more years and for your vacation, stay home this year. look around, there's lots to do close by. And try something new for a change, try saving a few bucks each week or month and watch it grow instead of blowing every cent on stuff you forget about the next day.

Here something to think about when changing your life style to fit your income, you are not as important as you might think to the outside world, I know, I've been there, but you are to your family and friends. Cultivate those relationships. Just enjoy who you are and if you have a problem here is a snip from someone, I don't know who, but they have a grip on life:

"Everyone in the world has a burden - it's not the burden that counts, but how you carry it"

Here some more tips that work for me:

Play with abandon
Walk to the edge
Choose with no regret - my favorite
Live with intention
Appreciate your friends
Practice wellness
Live as if this is all there is

Keep the faith - the battle is joined!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When Coming Together is Warm

I think we need just a little warmth on this very cold Sunday of our Lord January 20th, 2008. Last night we had a low of minus 14 and the high today was plus 3 with a nice stiff wind out of the West.

These Goldens know when it's time to get together and make the most of a good thing. Humans, if presented with the right opportunity, would have no problem performing the same way.

Stay inside and keep warm - a good way to prepare for the new week.

Keep the faith.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

US Navy Chained to Washington

I love Ralph Peters and that's no error, but sometimes he assumes to much and talks like someone in the tenth row at a basketball game. He knows what will work because he has the first hand experience, and gives several ways to make it happen, but in the end, he doesn't have to take the responsibility for the outcome, the boat commanders did.

I agree with his assessment in this article but we have to give the navy commanders some protection from the monsters in congress that are always ready to burn anyone that is capable of taking responsibility, and or immediate action, to solve a problem like this one in the gulf - this is the liberal left operating at their best.

Liberals in Congress wants us to be destroyed as a nation before the 2008 elections so they can blame it on Bush and the Republicans - if these commanders had acted on their own and destroyed the gun boats, Reid and his socialists friends would do everything in their power to destroy them - would Bush remain silent? - maybe he would back them but maybe not -

Good article - enjoy and keep the faith - the battle is joined!


by Ralph Peters January 8, 2008 --

EARLY Sunday morning, the US Navy lost its nerve and guaranteed that American sailors will die at Iranian hands in the future. As three of our warships passed through the Straits of Hormuz,five small Iranian patrol craft rushed them. As the Revolutionary Guard boats neared our vessels, an Iranian officer broadcast a threat to our ships, claiming they'd soon explode.

The Iranians tossed boxes into the water. Mines? Just in case,our ships took evasive action. The Iranians kept on coming, closing to a distance of 200 meters- about two football fields. Supposedly, our Navy was ready to open fire but didn't shoot because the Iranians turned away at the moment the order was given.

We should've sunk every one of them. Not because we're warmongers. But because the Iranians had made threats, verbal and physical, that amounted to acts of war. When will we learn that resolute action taken early saves vast amounts of blood and treasure later?

Oh, from Washington's perspective we did the right thing by"exercising restraint." But Washington's perspective doesn't amount to a gum wrapper in a gutter. What matters is what the Iranians think. They now believe that the Bush administration, our military and the entire United States are afraid of them.

It goes back to the politicized and irresponsible recent National Intelligence Estimate that insisted the Iranians had abandoned their nuclear-weapons program years ago. They didn't. They're pursuing enriched uranium as fast as they can. That's what you need for bombs. At most, Tehran ordered it's weaponeering efforts to parade rest - until it has the ingredients it needs, after which building bombs won't take long at all.

Forget Washington's trust-fund-twit view of all this: Here's how the train of thought rolled down the tracks in Tehran: "The Americans have told the world we don't want nuclear weapons, even though they know we do want them. That can only mean that America is afraid to confront us, that their weak, defeated president needs an excuse to back down. "We can push these cowardly Americans now. They've had enough in Iraq. Their spirits are broken. Their next president will run away like a gazelle pursued by a lion.

"Even their military is frightened of us. On Sunday, America's might bowed down to us. They are frightened and godless, and the time has come to push them." Sunday's incident wasn't a one-off event improvised by the local yokels after a long Saturday night at the hookah bar. It was blessed and carefully planned in Tehran and had practical as well as political goals.

At the tactical level, the Revolutionary Guards' naval arm was testing our responses: How soon do the American weapons radars activate?At what range do the lasers begin to track targets? How close can a small vessel get to a major American warship? How do the Americans respond to possible mines? Can we use phony mines to steer them into real ones? How long does it take an American commander to make a decision?

Above all: Does an American commander have the courage to make a decision on his own? When he doesn't have time to deflect responsibility onto his superiors? And it wasn't just some madras's dropout with salt spray on his glasses scribbling notes on the lead Iranian boat. On shore, the Iranians would've had all their intelligence facilities tuned in to map our electronic profile as our ships prepared to defend themselves.

Rent-a-Russian military experts would've been on hand to assist with the newest gear purchased from Moscow. The Iranians may even have had an escalation plan, in case we opened fire.

President Ahmedinejad and his posse may seem contemptible to Washington, but the Iranians think several moves ahead of us: We play checkers, they play chess. On Sunday, the Iranians tested us. We failed. They'll probe us again. And every time we fail to react decisively, we raise the number of future US casualties. Remember the USS Cole? You bet the Iranians do. They plan to better that attack by an order of magnitude. For almost 70 years, we've deployed the finest navy in the history of the world. But it looks increasingly as if we've gone from"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" to "Will this interfere with my next promotion?"

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Wars of Blood and Faith."

Liberal Socialists Must Defeat Christians

If you are a Christian and believe that Christian principals are the foundation of America then you and I have to be on the alert for attack on our Christianity from the socialist left in this country -

It is happening in other countries as well but if socialism and or fascism is allowed to take hold in America, the entire world will be at risk.

This snip is taken from a new book called "Christian Bashing" - I believe this to be true - I see the tendency in my own church, the Lutherans. The church as a whole is sliding into the grips of the secular left as we speak - example, the church body at conference voted to condemn Israel for building it's security wall but said nothing about Palestinian suicide boomer's and rocket attacks on Israel - ?! Is this the church of St. Paul or Peter? I wrote the bishop but he never answered my letter - go figure.

Stand tall - keep the faith, the battle is joined!

Christian bashing, the last acceptable form of bigotry in America, is alive and well and growing more intense and hysterical by the day. For decades, desperate secularists and cultural elites have stereotyped and marginalized conservative Christians in an effort to stop their growing influence on American culture. And the defamation of Christians by "progressives" is only getting worse.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Energy Costs to Sky Rocket -

A very interesting article on energy costs from our local cooperative, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative, detailing what we must look for before we decide what to do about global warming.

In my view, green house gas build up from CO2 is mostly hog wash, but take a minute and decide for your self what this all means for our future energy bills. That there is Climate change is mostly agreed upon, but just what is the cause is very debatable.

I have posted on this very subject in the near past but find it most interesting how the power companies are trying to approach the subject as rationally as possible when our politicians are not.

I hope cool heads will prevail - keep the faith, the battle is joined!

America’s Perfect Storm

Can We Keep Up with Rising Energy Costs?

According to ABC News and other recent polls, the American public is generally aware of climate change and proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are unclear, however, about what needs to be done, who should do it, and what it will cost.

Resoundingly though, consumers say they don’t want to get stuck with a big price tag to pay for climate change solutions.

Ways of curbing greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, involve energy efficiency, new technologies (such as finding ways to store carbon dioxide emissions produced by coal- and natural gas-fired power plants), nuclear power, and renewable energy resources. But what will these solutions cost?

According to a The Washington Post article, electricity bills could rise by 25 to 33 percent just to “stimulate and pay for new technologies.”

Increases Loom

“All of this presents a huge challenge for electric utilities, especially electric cooperatives,” says Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), representing the nation’s 900-plus not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric co-ops. “Electricity demand is increasing because of growth, and we need to build more generating plants and transmission lines to meet this growing demand.”

According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation—which oversees reliability of the bulk power system covering the U.S. and most of Canada—demand for electricity will increase 18 percent over the next 10 years, although the electric industry’s capacity to generate power will increase by only 8.5 percent.

A longer-term forecast by the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that demand for electricity will increase by 40 percent during the next 25 years. Clearly, the country could face brownouts and blackouts unless additional power plants are brought into service.
“With a shortage of electric capacity, huge increases in demand for power, and the cost of climate change, we have the making of a perfect storm,” says English.

Big-Ticket Item

Based on calculations by Charles River Associates, a utility analysis firm, climate change proposals currently circulating in Congress, if passed, could result in a 50- to 80-percent increase in wholesale power costs by the year 2020. Translate that into retail rates and electricity bills could climb by 25 to 40 percent.

“When it comes to climate change, Congress will legislate and state and local governments are already moving forward,” says NRECA Vice President of Environmental Issues Kirk Johnson. “With carbon constraints in our future, it’s essential that lawmakers and elected representatives understand the financial repercussions their political actions could cost Americans.”

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal observed this past summer that the cost issue needs to be considered. If climate change legislation is not handled intelligently and carefully given these accumulating factors, electric bills could double or even triple, based on the best available estimates.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit utility-sponsored consortium whose members include electric co-ops, has developed a seven-part plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions based on technological solutions including energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and renewable sources. Although ambitious, the EPRI model would cut carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels (45 percent) by 2030.

Efficiency, Renewables, New Tech

Energy efficiency— reducing the amount of power needed—remains one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, energy efficiency alone can’t indefinitely postpone the need to build new power plants or meet climate-change targets, says EPRI, noting that efficiency improvements will reduce electric demand just 9 percent over the next 22 years

Renewable energy and nuclear power development are greatly impacted by massive global price increases for raw materials like nickel, copper, steel, and concrete, all of which raise construction costs for new generating plants. And renewable energy sources, like wind turbines, require transmission lines to move any power generated. At present, the nation’s electric grid is not equipped to do so.

With 50 percent of the nation’s power supply produced by burning coal, research and development of carbon capture and storage technology becomes crucial for keeping coal-fired power plants viable—and the lights on, according to EPRI. The institute’s best guess, however, is that affordable carbon capture and storage technology could hit the market as early as 2020, but that’s only if the federal government embarks on a massive $30 billion research and development program (bigger than putting a man on the moon).

Since no single “silver bullet” solution for tackling climate change exists, electric co-ops are working closely with policymakers to seek long-term, practical, and affordable remedies to the nation’s energy challenges.—

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, with source material from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, EPRI, Department of Energy, Charles River Associates, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Liberal Democrats Hate Talk Radio

If you have any sense of history and remember Walter Cronkite and his sign off " and that's the way it is - ", it will be no leap of your imagination to believe we really didn't get to find out ' how it really was' until the ' new media' came along - talk radio.

All those years we were fed what the liberal Democrats and their noise makers in the old media wanted us to know and nothing more.

Just think how things would be different if we were able to get the real news instead being spoon fed the liberal agenda all those years. This is how the liberals wanted to change our country, keep the masses in the dark and then change all of the rules. How were we to know what if fact and what is fiction? - - luckily for us, along came talk radio and Fox News.

The following snip is from NewsMax on one way the liberal fascists plan to put us back in the dark - kill debate - stamp out the truth - all we need to know is what the government tells and we have to believe it. If the liberals get in control this year, we can expect a lot of big changes in this country - I can guarantee you will not like them.

The 2008 election has yet to be decided, but one thing is clear: If the Democrats win the White House, expect an all-out attack on talk radio. Political talk, as we know it, could end.
If they win, Rush, Imus, Savage, Beck, and dozens of other major hosts will be muzzled by using federal regulations to control political talk.
So, what's their plan of attack?

As Newsmax magazine reveals in its just-released special report, "The Battle for Talk Radio," leading liberals in Congress, the Democratic presidential candidates, and even some Republicans speak openly of their plans to end conservative talk radio using federal regulations.
Their weapon: a revived Fairness Doctrine, which would once again require stations to air divergent points of view — a clever ruse that makes station owners leery of airing controversial talk-radio hosts fearing law suits and federal sanctions.
With a new Fairness Doctrine, you could see many top conservative radio hosts canned.