Wednesday, April 30, 2008
All this doesn't bode well for the majority of us that doesn't see the halo and are scratching are collective heads wonder just what did he say to make such a difference in so many people. As far as I can tell, he hasn't said anything of any substance since he declared he was running for president. It's just saying what ever it takes to win - politics Bill Clinton style.
Whether it's Clinton or Obama giving the speech, the message is the same: we have to take away your freedom to chose your own destiny and give it to those that know what is best for you. People that are much smarter than you and will take good care of your every need. A government that can and will control every aspect of your life.
These smart people will take from those that succeed and give to those that don't - Income redistribution - that's fair, isn't it? Why should you have all of the nice things in life when so many don't - besides, who do you think you are anyway?
Sowell nails the New Socialist Progressives, the old liberal party Democrats, here in his discussion of how they 'destructed' the "rust belt". The unions and old Democrats, nationally and locally, used income redistribution back then as they are trying to do now again. This is reality.
Remember, think about what you want out of your life before you pull the lever in November.
Also keep the faith, the battle is joined!
*Rescuing the Rust Belt?*
Policies that promise a free lunch leave you hungry in the long run.
By Thomas Sowell
It is fascinating to watch politicians say how they are going to rescue the “rust belt” regions where jobs are disappearing and companies are either shutting down or moving elsewhere.The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is being blamed for the jobs going elsewhere.
Barack Obama blames the Clinton administration for NAFTA, and that includes Hillary Clinton. Senator Obama says that he is for free trade, provided it is “fair trade.” That is election-year rhetoric at its cleverest.
Since “fair” is one of those words that can mean virtually anything to anybody, what this amounts to is that politicians can pile on whatever restrictions they want, in the name of fairness, and still claim to be for “free trade.” Clever.
We will all have to pay a cost for political restrictions and political cleverness, since there is no free lunch. In fact, free lunches are a big part of the reason for once-prosperous regions declining into rust belts.
When the American automobile industry was the world’s leader in its field, many people seemed to think that labor unions could transfer a bigger chunk of that prosperity to its members without causing economic repercussions. Toyota, Honda, and others who took away more and more of the Big Three automakers’ market share — leading to huge job losses in Detroit — proved once again the old trite saying that there is no free lunch.
Like the United Automobile Workers union in its heyday, unions in the steel industry and other industries piled on costs, not only in wage rates having little relationship to supply and demand, but in all sorts of red-tape work rules that added costs. State and local governments in what later became the rust belt also thought that they too could treat the industries under their jurisdiction as prey rather than assets, and siphon off more of the wealth created by those industries into state and local treasuries with ever higher taxes — again, without considering repercussions.
In the short run, you can get away with all sorts of things. But, in the long run, the chickens come home to roost. The rust belt is where those rising costs have come home to roost. While American automakers are laying off workers by the thousands, Japanese auto makers like Toyota and Honda are hiring thousands of American workers. But they are not hiring them in the rust belt. They are avoiding the rust belt, just as domestic businesses are avoiding the high costs that have been piled on over the years by both unions and governments in rust belt regions.
In short, the rust belts have been killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. That is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose doesn’t die before the next election and politicians can avoid leaving their fingerprints on the weapon. But the people who lose their jobs, and who live in communities that decline, need to look beyond the political rhetoric to the grim reality that there is no free lunch.
Many workers in the new plants being built by Toyota and others apparently already understand that. They have repeatedly voted against being represented by labor unions. They want to keep their jobs. Where does NAFTA come into the picture?
International trade is just one of the many ways in which the competition of lower-cost producers can cause higher-cost producers to lose customers and jobs. Technological improvements or better management practices by domestic competitors can have the same result. Jobs are always disappearing. The big question is why they are not being replaced by new jobs.
Rust belt policies that drove out old jobs also keep out new jobs. NAFTA makes it easier for politicians to blame the problem on foreigners. In fact, foreigners make ideal scapegoats for politicians. After all, people in Japan or India can’t vote in American elections.
Americans who can vote would do well to start spending more time thinking about economic realities, instead of being swept away by political rhetoric.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I think when we start paying five and six dollars for a loaf of bread, the general population will believe we haven't found the next best alternative for fossil fuel.
Watch your food bill going sky high and keep the faith, the battle is joined!
In Search of Alternatives - There will be a successor to oil and gas. But what will it be? And more important, how do we get there?March 24, 2008; Page R8*
Investment in ethanol is surging. But how much of a role will it play in powering automobiles?
Vinod Khosla, managing partner of Khosla Ventures, has invested in a number of alternative-fuel ventures. Red Cavaney, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, is cautious about when alternatives can make a big difference.
Messrs. Khosla and Cavaney talked to The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley A. Strassel. Here are edited excerpts.
THE JOURNAL REPORT
KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL:*
"What role will ethanol play in the future? What are its limits, what are its potentials, and how does it fit in with everything else?"
The way to think about the problem is over the next 15-plus years, we'll ship one billion new cars. When it comes to transportation and carbon reduction in transportation, what technology can get into 500 million to 800 million of these cars, at least, to make any material difference? There's one and only one choice, and that's cellulosic ethanol, because biomass is scalable in a big way, so it has to be the feedstock. You have to start with a scalable feedstock. You have to start with a technology that doesn't cost any money. A car costs the same whether it's flex-fuel or not.Cellulosic ethanol and flex-fuel cars are the only ones that can get to 500 to 800 million cars. So what's the fuel? We need a low-carbon fuel. The only feedstock is biomass.*
MS. STRASSEL:* But right now, we're dealing with the corn-based ethanol industry.
*MR. KHOSLA:* Corn-based ethanol has been a good steppingstone. It has established the market. It's made it easy for me to have 10 different cellulosic ventures, because now it's worth me taking the technology risk, which I would not have taken had the market not existed. But there's no question [about] the kinds of price targets we are talking about -- about $1 a gallon within five years and probably within two. Both oil and corn ethanol will have a difficult time competing in price with biomass-based fuels. In fact, last year, I forecast oil would have to decline to $35 a barrel by 2030 to be competitive. It is the alternative fuel 20 years from now.
*RED CAVANEY:* I think there's no question that there is going to be some successor fuel to oil and gas. The issue is that the transition, for which nobody knows the duration, be managed sufficiently so that the consumer has a reliable supply of fuel so they can continue to rely on automobiles, trains, whatever the case may be. We are presently absorbing as much ethanol as can be made. It does a lot of advantageous things for us. It adds octane to the fuel, gives it more power. It helps us rely a little bit less on having to import into the country.[Image]Vinod KhoslaWe have some challenges, and I think the most important thing that could happen is that we get away from the myths about things and start to deal with the facts.
*MS. STRASSEL:* What do you think the myths are?
*MR. CAVANEY:* That we can move overnight from wherever we are today to cellulosic ethanol. It will take time. [Ethanol] is going to play an important role, but it's got to be a longer transition, and that's why we don't want people to act too precipitously upfront. Let's learn, let's move together, and the right solution for the consumer will end up coming out at the end of the pipe.
*MR. KHOSLA:* Red said that we need an alternative fuel. It may or may not be ethanol, and I think we would probably agree on that. We're working on cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic gasoline, cellulosic jet diesel, cellulosic biocrude. You name it; we're looking at the fuel. And I can't tell you sitting here that cellulosic ethanol is going to be the answer. Fortunately, we were able to change the energy bill to refer to cellulosic fuels, not cellulosic ethanol alone, to allow for the wide variety of experimentation.*A Viable Industry*
*MS. STRASSEL:* Give me a year in the future when you think we're going to have a viable cellulosic ethanol industry.
*MR. KHOSLA:* Starting next year.
*MS. STRASSEL:* Commercially viable?
*MR. KHOSLA:* The first commercial plants that are cheaper than both oil and corn ethanol are targeted to start operation at the end of next year, probably be in full operation in 2010.
*MS. STRASSEL:* 'When you say cheaper than oil, is that standing on its own or with --'
*MR. KHOSLA:* Every time I talk about cheaper, I mean unsubsidized market competitiveness. Whether you get subsidies on top or incentives doesn't matter. Every single effort I talked about is meant to be competitive with oil at $45 a barrel, unsubsidized, within five years.
*MS. STRASSEL: Red, what year?
*MR. CAVANEY: I don't know the exact year, but it's later rather than sooner, not that we won't make the technical breakthrough, not that Vinod's plant won't come on and produce it. But to really have a meaningful impact, you need to get the volumes up.Everybody has a scheme to say, "Well, we ought to go tax the oil and gas industry to fund all these alternative products." We invest more than our total income, and we've done that for decades because we're a capital-intensive depleting industry.So what we want to do is make sure you keep oil and gas there until these other things really can stand on their own, they get the volumes, and as Vinod said, we're not sure what the ultimate successor is going to be. It may be something we haven't even thought of yet.*Chicken and Egg*
*MS. STRASSEL: Don't you have a chicken-and-egg problem here? There are something like 169,000 independent retail gas stations across the country, all of whom would have to decide that they were going to make this big investment to sell ethanol to their customers. If you don't have that in place, people won't buy the cars. If people don't buy the cars, the retail gas industry or anybody in the industry won't want to take the step of putting this out there for customers who don't have cars. Which comes first?
One of the big challanges that we have, of course, is how do you get that product from where it's actually in the refinery to where the consumer is. Of the 169,000 retail outlets that you spoke of, almost 95% of those are not owned by the oil companies; they're owned by individual entrepreneurs who have to make a decision on whether to invest. They're not going to do that till they see demand.
We have a love-hate relationship with the auto, but let me tell you something that we did that we thought was in everyone's best interest and worked it out.We went forward over the last four years and put over $8 billion in investment in ultralow-sulfur diesel. We took 97% of sulfur out of the diesel. It is now the cleanest diesel fuel in the world. We had to do that before Detroit ever produced their first new generation of diesels that they're trying to sell. So we went first, made the investment.
When you look at E-85 [85% ethanol, 15% gasoline], the autos have got to go first because if they don't create the vehicles to get the demand, how are you going to convince those people to make the investment?
*MS. STRASSEL: Why is it different from diesel?
*MR. CAVANEY: Because in diesel, we had to make the investment to go first, and they had to trust us that we would do it to bring their cars along.Here, we're saying the autos have to produce the cars first. It isn't going to all come on overnight, but it can come on gradually.
*MR. KHOSLA: This is the chicken-and-egg question that has to be solved by policy. The three largest U.S. auto makers -- GM, Ford, and Chrysler -- have said by 2012, 50% of their cars will be flex-fuel cars. That's a lot of new cars. And they stood with President Bush and announced that last year. What needs to happen is the oil companies [need] to sign up for a mandate. And there's a very simple mandate on pump distribution that makes sense. You don't want every one of those 169,000 stations to offer E-85. You don't need the mom-and-pop stores to offer it.
Every station that sells more than $5 million of liquid fuel a year [would have] an E-85 pump, if that was the mandate. If you have one E-85 among the 16 different pumps you have, we will cover 25% to 30% of the automobiles in this country. That, with Detroit's commitment, would solve our problem. That's the voluntary commitment we need from the oil companies and their franchisees. Who Pays?
*MS. STRASSEL: Who pays for that? Who pays for that mandate?
*MR. KHOSLA: There are strong federal incentives to put those pumps in. I do believe in the end it needs to be a mandate, and the sense I get is the auto companies would sign up for a 50% flex-fuel-car mandate by 2012 if the oil companies signed up for 10% of the highest-volume pumps to have E-85.
*MS. STRASSEL: Red, do you think that's the case?
*MR. CAVANEY:* There are enough mandates in this business right now that makes it complex enough.This is a big challenge. It's not going to be solved overnight, and even a mandate isn't going to do that. So what we need to do is work together, and I think that's the solution.
*MR. KHOSLA: There is no reason this mandate doesn't make sense. You know, we do have a mandate on what your tailpipe emissions can be. Why not this? Because it is so critical to global security and global climate change.
*MS. STRASSEL: I have been surprised by the number of people I've talked to in the audience who are involved in different forms of alternative technology, who have been a little miffed at the ethanol industry. They feel as though it has gotten the lion's share of government help and support and that its time should be over, that it doesn't actually do enough for global-warming reductions, for instance, and other things. What do you have to say to these people? When will ethanol be set free to do its own thing without government mandates or help?
*MR. KHOSLA: I don't believe we need continuation of subsidies for a long time. I've always said every renewable technology, be it solar, wind, cellulosic ethanol, should not get subsidies for more than five to seven years after its introduction in the market. But we need to get competition started. We need competition for oil.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I guess life in this country can be seen as great or depressing depending on one's perception. If you can't see above the horizon and the best that you can hope for by living in America is when someone will come and hold your hand, than you will vote for Barack -
The following article is just one of the many ways Barack is misleading then people in the church of Obama.
On the other hand, if you see living in this country as an opportunity to build and create a new life when things don't go well, your chances of being more than you ever thought you could be are very good. Freedom to choose one's destiny is what America is all about.
Where there is freedom to grow, there is prosperity - without pride in one's accomplishments, there is only a life time of failure. History has proved this over and over.
So when you walk into the voting booth, decide what you want for a future, success or failure - it's your choose. Keep the faith, the battle is joined!
Obama, freely trading in dishonesty.
By Stephen Spruiell
In the days leading up to the March 4 Ohio primary, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign aired a TV ad that featured a man named Steven Schuyler standing in front of a Delphi Packard Electric plant in Warren, Ohio. In the ad, Schuyler says he worked for Delphi, an automotive supplier, for 13 years until NAFTA enabled the company to ship his job to Mexico.
“Barack Obama was against NAFTA,” Schuyler says, adding, “We need a president that will bring work into this country.”
The Delphi ad might qualify as the most deceptive of the 2008 race.
First, Delphi did not exist as an independent company when Congress passed NAFTA in 1993. It was part of General Motors until it was spun off as an independent supplier in 1999.
Second, foreign competition did not drive the company to eliminate American jobs. It declared bankruptcy in 2005 because the legacy labor costs it inherited from GM made it impossible to compete against other /U.S.-based/ suppliers.
Third, workers at the Warren, Ohio plant were offered generous buyouts and early-retirement packages. Its employees were not just kicked to the street.When Delphi became an independent company in 1999, it inherited GM’s high-wage, high-benefit autoworkers’ union contracts.
Addressing reporters after Delphi declared bankruptcy in 2005, then-CEO Robert S. “Steve” Miller explained, “other U.S.-based suppliers, many of which were organized by the same unions . . . were paying less than half the automaker wages and benefits [that Delphi was paying].” Contrary to Obama’s ad, domestic competition played a bigger role in Delphi’s downfall than did competition from Mexico.
Even with its legacy costs, Delphi might have managed. But its relationship with GM harmed it in other ways. When Delphi declared bankruptcy, GM was still its biggest customer, responsible for about 50 percent of its sales. When GM’s market share tanked in 2003, so did Delphi’s profits. Delphi’s fate and the fates of its U.S. employees are tied to the fate of GM, which for multiple reasons has struggled, along with Ford and Chrysler, to stay afloat in recent years.
In his 2005 remarks to reporters, Miller argued that the U.S. auto industry’s problems have little to do with import competition. “Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are competing from assembly plants in our back yard,” he said, “but without the crippling work rules and social costs embedded in [GM, Ford, and Chrysler’s] labor contracts.”
The example of Honda is particularly relevant to any examination of Ohio’s economy. The Japanese automaker opened its first plant in Ohio in 1979, and since then it has opened three more and become one of the state’s top employers. Workers in Honda’s Ohio plants don’t belong to a union, but the company pays competitive wages and benefits and has never laid off any of its Ohio employees.
As for Delphi Packard Electric in Warren, Ohio, it was downsized as part of the corporate restructuring that followed the bankruptcy, but — unlike other Delphi plants in the U.S. — it wasn’t shuttered or sold. All but 700 of the plant’s 3,800 employees took buyout offers or early-retirement packages. Those who stayed on accepted a new labor contract that brought wages and benefits closer to the prevailing rates in the supply business.
In April 2007, the Youngstown /Vindicator/ ran a story about a former Delphi employee named Karole Kowalski who took a $140,000 buyout and invested it in an associate’s degree at Youngstown State University. “She’s excited about her plan,” according to the report, “and is hopeful the cutbacks at Packard were the best thing that could have happened to her. She couldn’t work as a laborer any more because of her back, and the buyout has given her the chance to retrain.”
If all ex–Delphi Packard workers were offered buyouts or early-retirement packages, it stands to reason that Steven Schuyler, the man in the Obama TV ad, took a similar deal. The Obama campaign ignored /National Review Online/’s repeated requests for more information about Schuyler, but a Delphi retiree told the /Vindicator/, “Schuyler took the buyout and got a good cash sum to quit his job.” When I spoke to /Vindicator/ editor Todd Franko, he said he still hadn’t been able to contact Schuyler to confirm this.
Kowalski and Schuyler offer dramatic contrasts for participants in the debate over free trade in this country. Kowalski’s approach speaks of a willingness to embrace the changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy and view them as opportunities. Schuyler’s approach — the one Obama has apparently embraced — is characterized by bitterness that things had to change, and rank dishonesty about why they did.—
Stephen Spruiell is an /NRO/ staff reporter.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The truth be known, the two pups like the cat because when they bit him he squeaks like one of their toys - what fun they have with this new squeaky toy that even lets them chase it down.
But for the sakes of fair play and all that, we have to step in once in awhile to even the odds, especially when both pups are on the attack - sign - this place is a zoo - literally.
Enjoy the week end and keep the faith. Life in this country cannot be found anywhere else. We have it all!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The Mexican government and a lot of the people see the United Sates as an opportunity to get something for nothing without even trying. They find the more they abuse us the more concessions we give them.
What's the answer. build the fence and do it now - then attack the employers that hire illegals. The liberals don't want the fence as it will stop the flow of voters to the party - the NSPP, the Socialist Progressive Party, formally liberal Democrats, relies on illegals and criminals as part of the voting base.
Again, it's time to stand and be counted - on what side of the fence will you find your self? keep the faith, the battle is joined!
An Absolut Outrage
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Tuesday, April 08, 2008
A vodka maker's ad campaign in Mexico is more than a marketing faux pas that offends many Americans. There's a real movement out there that feels our Southwest is really occupied Mexico.
The first rule of marketing is know your customer base. So when the makers of Absolut vodka began an ad campaign in Mexico featuring what a map of North America might look like "In An Absolut World," it was well aware it might appeal to many Mexicans there and here.The ad by the Swedish Absolut Spirits Co. features an 1830s era map where Mexico includes California, Texas, Arizona and other southwest states. The U.S. border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 and before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico ceded to the U.S.
The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of the leading Latino advertising agency in the U.S., Grupo Gallegos."Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, " the Argentine native said of the Absolut campaign, "so this is their way of reclaiming it. It's very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea."This isn't the first ad campaign targeted at what some Mexican activists call the "Reconquista" movement of those who dream and work toward the day when the American Southwest will be reconquered.
To them, illegal aliens crossing the U.S. border are merely returning home.In 2005, a Los Angeles billboard advertising a Spanish-language newscast showed the Angel of Independence, a well-known monument in Mexico City, in the center of the L.A. skyline, with "CA" crossed out after "Los Angeles" and the word "Mexico" in bold red letters put in its place.
The activists working for this cause actually see themselves as "America's Palestinians" and view the Southwest as their Palestine and Los Angeles as their lost Jerusalem. An editorial in the newspaper La Voz de Aztlan in Los Angeles stated: "There are great similarities between the political and economic condition of the Palestinians in occupied Palestine and that of La Raza in the southwest United States."The editorial went on to say: "The similarities are many. The primary one, of course, is the fact that both La Raza and the Palestinians have been displaced by invaders that have used military means to conquer and occupy our territories."
A key player in the "Reconquista" movement is the National Council of La Raza. Its motto: "For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing."Few caught the significance of the warmly received words of then-Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo before the Council in Chicago on July 27, 1997:"I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders." During a 2001 visit to the U.S., President Vincente Fox repeated this line, calling for open borders and endorsing Mexico's new dual-citizenship law.
A secondary group in the "Reconquista" movement is an Hispanic student activist group known as MEChA, for Movimento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan).It has spent the last three decades indoctrinating Latino students on American campuses, claiming that the American Southwest was stolen and should be returned to its rightful owners, the people of Mexico, under the name "Nation of Aztlan."Aztlan is the mythical place where the Aztecs are said to have originated.
Former MEChA members include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was officially endorsed by La Raza for mayor and awarded La Raza's Graciela Olivarez award. Another MEChA member is former California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who delivered the keynote address at La Raza's 2002 annual convention.
We have an idea: Let's build the border fence and pay for it by selling ad space, even to an ideologically driven company such as the makers of Absolut vodka. We'll drink to that.
Think again - violence that is taking place in Mexican cities can and will happen here if we do nothing to stop it from coming here. We are not immune - we are not bullet proof!! Are we completely blind and stupid not to see this coming our way? We need the fence as well as a good comprehensive immigration policy that is fair for everyone and we need it now.
Keep the faith, the battle is joined!
*Seeking Asylum From Palomas
*By Rene Romo Southern Bureau
LAS CRUCES— The small Mexican border town of Palomas, ravaged by drug-related violence in recent months, apparently grew too dangerous for its police chief. Officials with the U.S. Border Patrol said Friday that the Palomas police chief, identified as Emilio Perez, went to the Columbus port of entry late Tuesday seeking asylum in the United States, asserting concern for his safety. "He applied for asylum due to the fact he felt that Mexico is not the safest place for him right now," said Chris Mangusing, assistant patrol agent in charge of the Border Patrol's Deming station, which covers the Columbus area.
"My understanding is maybe there were some death threats made." According to Border Patrol officials, the police chief told Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the port of entry that his two officers had fled to parts unknown. Mangusing said the police chief was taken to a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso. Leticia Zamarripa, ICE spokeswoman in El Paso, declined to comment on the case, citing privacy issues.
Typically, refugees seeking asylum are taken into custody for 48 hours until they are interviewed by a federal official seeking to determine whether the applicant has a credible fear of harm if returned to his home country, said Marilu Cabrera, a Chicago-based spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The decision to grant asylum is made by the Executive Office of Immigration Review, an arm of the Department of Justice, Cabrera said. Recently, Palomas, a town of about 8,000, has been beset by border violence. The newspaper El Diario of Juárez reported Friday the discovery Thursday of two bodies wrapped in blankets and dumped along a road near Palomas. Two other people were killed last weekend in Palomas, Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos said. And at least four men were shot and killed in Palomas in February in what local officials said is a violent battle for control of the area by rival drug gangs.
"We understand the dynamic of why he requested asylum, given the circumstances of what's going on in the Palomas area," said Doug Mosier, spokesman for the Border Patrol's El Paso sector, which includes all of New Mexico and two western Texas counties. "We, too, have concerns about increasing violence in that area, and we've taken steps to be vigilant to make sure the violence does not spill over onto this side of the border," Mosier said. Cobos said the recent violence, coupled with the departure of Palomas' police chief, concerns him because of the potential for violence to affect people on U.S. soil.
"If they have a complete lack of police presence in Palomas, then obviously that opens the gates to whomever wants to step in and claim authority," Cobos said. "If it's the criminal element, or narcotics-related elements, that's bad for people on both sides of the border. Cobos said his primary concern is the safety of roughly 400 U.S.-born children from Palomas who pass through the Columbus port of entry each weekday to attend school in Columbus or Deming. "I have deputies standing by to provide security as much as they are able and given the environment," Cobos said.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The use of fear and intimidation to force their agenda of control on an unsuspecting world should send a message to all of us to stop what we are doing for just a few minutes and try to understand what impact this will have on our lives. That is, what will be the result to our safety and freedom to decide our own fate.
I am a firm believer energy is the single most important factor in our survival as a nation. It effects everything we do. It is the most important driving force in our expanding economy. Little wonder the environmentalists want to stop any expansion of fossil fuel, drilling of new oil wells in our own country or new refineries, or the construction of nuclear power plants. And now they want to stop coal fired plants as well due to their "carbon foot print". You really don't buy into this nonsense, do you?
How much more of this nonsense can we take before we say 'enough is enough' and come down to reality. Will it be when we are freezing or roasting? Will that be too late? Will there be anyone that we can point to that will take the responsibility for such insane policy? Will they stand up and say " I made that decision to stop all development of power generation for oil, nuclear power and coal for the betterment of our world, and I take full responsibility for the deaths of the thousand from freezing and excessive heat as a result". Of course they will - right? What a hoot -
What do you think? Is the Autobahn Society or Greenpeace dedicated to the environment or their own well being? This article brings a lot of light to the true meaning of 'environmentalism".
You decide - you will be the ones trying to stay warm and finding the money to pay the heating bill. As all ways, keep the faith, the battle is joined!
Why I Left Greenpeace*
By PATRICK MOORE April 22, 2008
In 1971 an environmental and antiwar ethic was taking root in Canada, and I chose to participate. As I completed a Ph.D. in ecology, I combined my science background with the strong media skills of my colleagues. In keeping with our pacifist views, we started Greenpeace.
But I later learned that the environmental movement is not always guided by science. As we celebrate Earth Day today, this is a good lesson to keep in mind.
At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.The breaking point was a Greenpeace decision to support a world-wide ban on chlorine. Science shows that adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health, virtually eradicating water-borne diseases such as cholera. And the majority of our pharmaceuticals are based on chlorine chemistry. Simply put, chlorine is essential for our health.
My former colleagues ignored science and supported the ban, forcing my departure. Despite science concluding no known health risks – and ample benefits – from chlorine in drinking water, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed its use for more than 20 years.
Opposition to the use of chemicals such as chlorine is part of a broader hostility to the use of industrial chemicals. Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," had a significant impact on many pioneers of the green movement. The book raised concerns, many rooted in science, about the risks and negative environmental impact associated with the overuse of chemicals. But the initial healthy skepticism hardened into a mindset that treats virtually all industrial use of chemicals with suspicion.
Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas. Its antichlorination campaign failed, only to be followed by a campaign against polyvinyl chloride.Greenpeace now has a new target called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates). These are chemical compounds that make plastics flexible. They are found in everything from hospital equipment such as IV bags and tubes, to children's toys and shower curtains. They are among the most practical chemical compounds in existence.
Phthalates are the new bogeyman. These chemicals make easy targets since they are hard to understand and difficult to pronounce. Commonly used phthalates, such as diisononyl phthalate (DINP), have been used in everyday products for decades with no evidence of human harm.
DINP is the primary plasticizer used in toys. It has been tested by multiple government and independent evaluators, and found to be safe.
Despite this, a political campaign that rejects science is pressuring companies and the public to reject the use of DINP. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us are switching to phthalate-free products to avoid public pressure. It may be tempting to take this path of least resistance, but at what cost? None of the potential replacement chemicals have been tested and found safe to the degree that DINP has.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently cautioned, "If DINP is to be replaced in children's products . . . the potential risks of substitutes must be considered. Weaker or more brittle plastics might break and result in a choking hazard. Other plasticizers might not be as well studied as DINP."The hysteria over DINP began in Europe and Israel, both of which instituted bans. Yet earlier this year, Israel realized the error of putting politics before science, and reinstated DINP.
The European Union banned the use of phthalates in toys prior to completion of a comprehensive risk assessment on DINP. That assessment ultimately concluded that the use of DINP in infant toys poses no measurable risk.The antiphthalate activists are running a campaign of fear to implement their political agenda. They have seen success in California, with a state ban on the use of phthalates in infant products, and are pushing for a national ban. This fear campaign merely distracts the public from real environmental threats.
We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy.
*Mr. Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, is chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies.*
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Enjoy and keep the faith!
The environmentalist god is not one of compassion but one of destruction and plunder. The environmentalist god is a small god created by men and based on greed and power.
The environmentalist religion is designed to take power from the individual to determine their own destiny. Nothing more. The environmentalist demands all individuals give up their individual rights for the good of the planet, but in reality it is to gain control of the population, not the planet.
If these small groups of Marxist go unchecked, the destruction of our way of life will be certain. I have posted several times on this subject but it never hearts to be remained every now ant then what can and will happen if we do nothing to stops them.
A great time to get a handle on this will be in November - The New Socialist Progressive Party, liberal Democrats, has the agenda that will bring us to our knees with taxes and social programs that will crush our economy.
The following article will explain in finer detail how the environmentalist will dictate how we live our lives in the future and they are starting to right now. What do you pay for a gallon of gas?
Keep the faith, the battle is joined!
By MAX SCHULZ April 20, 2008 --
Tuesday is Earth Day, the calendar's High Holy Day of Green theology. With each passing year, environmentalism more clearly assumes the trappings of a secular religion. Now, along comes Iain Murray to assert that the Green God is dead.
Murray's new book, "The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About - Because They Helped Cause Them," clarifies the difference between caring for the environment - a reasonable and virtuous belief that people rightly harbor - and the modern-day movement known as environmentalism.
The latter, Murray notes, has amassed a shameful legacy over a half century that has killed millions of people and consigned billions of others to backbreaking poverty.
"Environmentalism deserves to be as discredited as Marxism," Murray argues.
His book does a superb job of doing just that. Murray, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, lives a low-carbon lifestyle. He loves nature and the outdoors. He's practically a tree-hugger. Nevertheless, he makes clear, "I am not an environmentalist."Why? Because, as he explains, environmentalism has become a socio-political movement exploiting people's genuine regard for nature as a smokescreen for expanding government and exercising power. And the results have been disastrous for both humanity and the environment.
Murray chronicles seven environmental catastrophes, and shows the hand of the professional environmental movement in each one.Thanks to the efforts of Green patron saint Rachel Carson, environmentalists have succeeded in curbing the use of DDT, which, Murray writes, is "highly effective in controlling malaria and thereby lifting millions out of poverty." While it's unclear if banning the pesticide has had much in the way of environmental benefits, it has been unquestionably harmful to humankind.
Unchecked malaria has killed tens of millions of people, particularly in Africa, and continues to cost people their lives each year. "In 2005 alone, across Uganda, 50,000 children died from malaria," Murray notes. "That is the true Silent Spring.
"The current biofuel craze is another case in point. Greens have long favored government mandates to convert corn into motor fuel. They claim this will cut into our supposed addiction to oil, while minimizing harmful greenhouse gas emissions from our tailpipes. The Greens got their wish, and in recent years Congress has ordered billions of gallons of ethanol to be introduced into our fuel supply. European nations have passed similar biofuel mandates to fight global warming.The result, by almost any account, has been a fiasco.
Pouring corn into our gas tanks has led to a spike in food prices worldwide. Those high prices have caused food shortages and even riots in other countries (several in just the last month). While people starve, biofuels are creating an environmental disaster as well. In places like Indonesia, forestland is being cleared at alarming rates in order to plant palm oil crops and cash in on the artificial demand for biofuels. The result is a holocaust for many endangered animals. "The orangutan is being crucified on a cross of green," Murray notes.
Murray also has the number of environmentalists who demand higher automobile fuel efficiency mandates. These government standards have meant smaller, lighter, less crashworthy vehicles. "The tradeoff the liberal environmentalists demand is actually safety for gas mileage. In other words, blood for oil."At bottom, Murray notes, the environmental movement is rooted not in a concern for the environment, but in a disdain for personal freedom and free-enterprise capitalism.
Humanity is the disease plaguing the planet. The antidote must be environmental policies enforced by government diktat, relying on mandates, bans, orders, restrictions and punishments to achieve its goals.
The better answer is conservation by private stewards, individuals and corporations, who understand caring for the environment is important, while making choices that are actually logical - and sustainable.
Put in such stark terms the choice isn't that difficult, Murray notes. "Marxism brought us the Gulags. The worst that most commentators can say about free enterprise these days is that it brought us McDonalds."
Max Schulz is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
I am at a lose as to what motivates these organizations - is just power to control other peoples lives? - is it a deep seated hate for anything that doesn't conform to their agenda? - is it a territorial thing with the Europeans against any other country that might have a better or newer idea? - or is just plain greed on the part of these so called 'humanitarian groups' that are willing to see, or not see, Africa slowly starve to death while boasting of their successes in the manipulation of Africa government officials to follow their lead.
This is crazy stuff - it is very similar to global warming - many of the same groups that sit in the pew of Rev. Al on global warming are the same ones that demand Africa wither away in cloud of dust. That thousands starve to death every year is not important - what is important is that the agenda of these organizations is implemented - nothing else matters. Period! Is there no common sense left or moral responsibility?
da - Common sense or morals have nothing to do with it, it's about control of peoples lives, i.e. global warming.
Let's keep an eye on this while keeping the faith, the battle is joined!
THE FIGHT TO FEED AFRICA
By ROBERT PAARLBERG April 6, 2008
Why are so many Africans desperately poor? The answer lies in the kind of work they do - more than 60 percent plant agricultural crops and graze animals - and in the fact that their farming lacks the productivity provided by modern science. But the other, more tragic, answer is that Western charities are helping to keep them that way.
Most small farmers in Africa do not plant any scientifically improved seeds, do not use chemical fertilizers, do not have access to veterinary medicine, do not have any electrical power and do not have any irrigation. Lacking any of these improvements, their labor in farming (and 80 percent of which comes from women and children) earns them only about $1 a day. One-third are malnourished.
On a per capita basis, Africa's farms today are producing 19 percent less than they did in 1970. These condition persist throughout nearly all of sub-Saharan Africa - even in countries that produce food crops more than cash crops; even in countries enjoying internal peace; even in countries with elected governments and low inflationl even in countries with low rates of HIV; even in countries with adequate access to international markets; even in countries receiving generous foreign aid.
Yet African nations do little to modernize. Although a majority of all African citizens still depend on agriculture for income, governments in Africa typically devote less than 5 percent of their national budget to the agricultural sector, and many spend less than this.
Since 1991 in Uganda, where two-thirds of all citizens are farmers, agriculture has not received more than 3 percent of the budget in any year, and in some years the share has been below 2 percent.*It is Western donors who romanticize traditional farms and demonize genetically-modified crops that encourage this behavior.
African governments are heavily dependent on foreign aid, and since the early 1980s the donor community has cut its assistance for agriculture modernization dramatically. The US Agency for International Development has cut the agricultural share of its aid programs from 25 percent of the total in 1980 down to just 1 percent today. US bilateral assistance to agricultural science in Africa has actually fallen by 75 percent since the 1980s. World Bank lending for agriculture has dropped from 30 percent of all Bank lending in 1978 down to just 8 percent of lending today.
It was largely because the international donors abandoned the goal of agricultural modernization that African governments did the same. Prosperous countries in Europe and North America have cut back on bringing modern agricultural science to Africa for curiously myopic reasons. Having noticed that their own farmers at home are highly productive and don't need more agricultural science, they conclude that farmers in Africa should not need any more, either. Beyond this, some influential elites in prosperous countries are actively hostile to agricultural science.
Having used modern science to become productive, prosperous and well fed themselves, they have begun to fantasize about returning to an earlier model of farming - one based on farms that are all small, local, highly diversified and dependent exclusively on the use of pre-modern organic fertilizers (such as composted animal manure) without any inorganic nitrogen. They also want "heirloom" crop varieties rather than scientifically improved crops, and, of course, no genetically-engineered seeds.
What groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace fail to realize is that the impoverished farming seen throughout Africa today is little more than an extreme version of their pre-modern fantasy. Prosperous countries don't actually adopt this kind of farming at home (less than 1 percent of U.S. cropland is currently being farmed organically, and in Europe only 4 percent), but that doesn't stop organic farming activists from trying to sell the vision to governments and farmers in Africa.
Organic farming activists actually see Africa's low use of chemical fertilizers (one reason for low crop yields, which are one-third the Asian average) as an advantage, since they can be more easily certified as organic. Non-productive and poor, but certified organic.*Now European activists in particular are telling African governments they should stay away from approving any genetically-engineered crops, known as GMOs. These crops were first introduced in the mid 1990s and are being grown successfully (and so far without any documented mishap) in 23 countries around the world, including a number of developing countries such as China, India, Philippines, Argentina and Brazil.
They are popular with farmers because they help reduce the costs of weed and insect control, and Europe's own scientific authorities have found no new risk to human health or the environment from any of the dozens of different GMO crops approved by regulators so far (a finding endorsed by the Royal Society in London, the British Medical Association, the French Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Medicine, the German Academies of Science and Humanities, and the Research Directorate of the European Union).
Yet when European activists speak to Africans about GMOs, they conceal these benign official assessments and traffic instead in fear. In 2002, an official delegation from Zambia visited the UK to get advice on whether or not to accept GMO corn from the United States as food aid during a drought emergency. This was the same corn Americans had been eating since 1996, but the Zambians were told by Greenpeace that if GMOs were let into their country, organic produce sales to Europe would collapse; an organization named Genetic Food Alert warned of the "unknown and unassessed implications" of eating GM foods; and a group named Farming and Livestock Concern warned the Zambians that GM corn could form a retrovirus similar to HIV.
These erroneous assertions frightened the Zambians into banning GMOs completely. As Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa explained at the time, "Simply because my people are hungry, that is no justification to give them poison." A group of mostly European NGOs, this time led by Friends of the Earth, then continued the disinformation campaign against GMOs at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. They coached their African partners into signing an open letter warning that GMOs might cause allergies, chronic toxic effects and cancers. At this same meeting in 2002, two Dutch organizations, HIVOS and NOVIB, joined with partner groups from Belgium, Germany and the UK to pay for a so-called "small farmers march" on Johannesburg that ended with a predictable pronouncement that Africans "say NO to genetically modified foods.
"The local African organizer of this effort, who was not a farmer himself, later explained that he was opposed to GMO foods because he had been told they would change the genetic composition of the human body. An African minister at this meeting asked US AID Administrator Andrew Natsios "if it was true" that GMO crops contained pig genes.
These fear campaigns, mounted by European activists and paid for with European money, were unfortunately effective in Africa. As of 2008, only one country on the continent - South Africa - has made it legal for farmers to plant any genetically-engineered crops at all. South Africa was able to avoid the damage only because it had a science-based regulatory system for GMO safety in place several years before activists from Europe began campaigning against the technology.*
Why are governments in Africa, with their citizenship of mostly poor and non-productive farmers, adopting an urbanized European perspective toward this new technology? Africa follows Europe in this case, rather than the United States, because of a trio of continuing post-colonial relationships. Africa's farm exports to Europe are six times as large as exports to the Untied States, so it is European consumer tastes and European regulatory systems that Africans feel they must mimic. Africa also gets three times as much foreign assistance from Europe compared to the United States, so when European donors counsel against GMO crops, African governments must listen.
Europe also contributes three times as much to the Trust Fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the United States, so when the United Nations Environment Programme uses GEF money to show Africans how to regulate GMOs, they favor the stifling European approach.
The richest of tastes are being imposed on the poorest of people. Fortunately some independent-minded Americans and Africans are looking for ways to break out of this pattern. Since 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been braving criticism from anti-science NGOs to provide private-grant funding for a new initiative called an Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. This project will use conventional scientific plant breeding techniques to bring improved seed varieties to African farmers.
When this project was announced, an NGO from Europe named GRAIN tried to argue that improvements in crop genetics in Africa would only lead to greater poverty, and an NGO from the United States named Food First criticized the project as "naive" for its assumption that African farmers needed more science-based productivity.Yet this year the Gates Foundation has gone ahead with another research project in Africa, to develop improved varieties of drought-tolerant crops, using not just traditional breeding techniques but genetic engineering as well.
Crops better able to tolerate drought are precisely what poor farmers in Africa need to work their way out of poverty, so it is reassuring to see at least some private philanthropic donors keeping Africa's need for more and better farm science utmost in mind.
Robert Paarlberg is a professor of political science at Wellesley College and author of "Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa" (Harvard University Press)
What a great feel good story - it's that total commitment from a dog that is so beautiful - he doesn't expect anything return - he just wants to be there and to please.
Enjoy and keep the faith.
Monday, April 21, 2008
So many people today have lost sight of what we have and how we got it. Proof of this is the reaction that millions have to the rhetoric of Barack Obama. He say nothing at all and when he is pin down, like he was in the last debate, it became clear he doesn't know what is happening in this country or the world at large.
He has made it clear he does not like America and he is not a Christian. He wants to change the Constitution of this country to reflect his socialist views of taking from the productive and give to the unproductive that support his agenda. He wants to enslave the population to a totalitarian government.
Ha! How silly - that can't happen here you say - guess again - we are in the process right now. How did Obama and Hillary get as far as they have without the support of millions of people that believe we would be better off as socialists?
Are they that stupid or just uneducated and naive - or maybe just to lazy and prosperous to care about their immediate future. The sun is out today and my world is good - I can't be bothered by tomorrows problems - that is someone else's problem to fix. Barack says he will change America and fix all of her wrongs. That's good enough for me. You really don't believe that - Right?
Get real people, open your eyes and hears - but keep the faith, the battle is joined!
ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez(*)
I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz . We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims.
In Auschwitz we burned a culture; thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned. And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.
Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.
A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.
Absolutely No Profiling! Pause a moment, reflect back: These events are actual events from history. They really happened! Do you remember?
1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a: Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40.
2.. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
12. In 2002 the Unite d States fought a war in Afghanistan against: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by: Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages of 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.
Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other du nder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story 'Forrest Gump' so aptly put it, 'Stupid is as stupid does.'
Come on people wake up!!! Our Country and our troops need our support.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I can't help but to thank God for having the privilege to live in this country and have the opportunity to do anything I want to do to better myself or just enjoy the day.
Take a break from the push, kick back for a little bit and recognize all that you have to be thankful for.
Relish the opportunity and keep the faith.
Friday, April 18, 2008
They want to surrender freedom to the terrorists like the liberal Democrats did in Vietnam by cutting off funds to the South Vietnamese army, and as a result, 2.8 million people were slaughtered. Thank you Democrats. The same thing would happen in Iraq, but hey, who cares, why should we care who lives of dies - we're NSPP Democrats after all.
Now the threat for early with drawl is still there but also the threat to keep our boarders open to anyone, a disastrous national health care plan, potential destruction of trade agreements, tax increases and most destructive of all, an energy plan that will bring America to her knees. No more oil and no nukes. It's that carbon thing remember, the scam. The fraud.
As if this wasn't enough to wreck your day, the unions in this country are also ready to step back into the lime light as well if the NSPP are successful in November. Clinton and Obama have promised the world to get the union vote.
This article will explain in detail how potentially disastrous this grab for power by union bosses will be on our freedoms to chose where, when and how we work. Make no mistake, this is just another NSPP finger of the hand tightening around our collective necks to chock off freedom and Democracy in the American work place and every where else.
In the end it will chock off our will to work and be prosperous. There will be on reason to be optimistic about the future because we won't have one. It will just be, " shut up and do what you are told".
Watch, listen, think and decide, then keep the faith, the battle is joined!
The Union Agenda
April 4, 2008 WSJ
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama visited the House of Labor this week, and Labor can't wait to invite one back. Which one? Who cares. To read the press coverage, unions are as split as the rest of the country over a Democratic nominee. The giant AFL-CIO has yet to endorse, its member unions hopelessly divided. Locals fight it out state-to-state, squaring off into their candidates' corners.
The upcoming Pennsylvania primary has devolved into a slugfest over a huge union vote, one reason why both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama planned their weeks around speeches to an AFL-CIO convention in Philly.
Republicans are gleeful about these divides, but the guys grinning widest are union bosses. They understood long ago what even today the GOP and the business community have yet to grasp.
This election is their best shot in a half-century of making over Washington. Not everyone is thrilled with a Clinton or an Obama, but this matters little next to the big prize. As Gerald McEntee, the savvy head of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, succinctly put it, Big Labor is looking for a "trifecta" – the Oval Office, the House and a filibuster-proof Senate. And after that, the biggest rewrite of labor law in modern America.
"This is an all-in bet for them in 2008," says Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, a group that fights down in the trenches against coercive union power. "As market cycles go, they're in their peak, we're in our trough, and they're looking for a clear two-year run" in an all-Democrat Washington.
How bad does Big Labor want this? Consider history. George W. Bush has been eight years of anticorruption probes and more union financial disclosure. Bill Clinton's tenure was defined by an antiunion GOP majority, with Nafta as a bitter pill. George H.W. Bush codified the Beck decision, allowing workers to withhold political dues. Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union. Even Jimmy Carter was tightfisted with gifts.
The unions' last political heyday arguably ended with the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959, which regulated internal union affairs. How bad does Big Labor want this? Consider the desperation. A global economy has meant higher-paying, more flexible jobs, and a U.S. workforce that sees little value in unions. Union membership has been in a free-fall for years, with private-sector membership now at just 7.4% of the labor force.
Fights over how to stop this bleeding have fractured the movement. Labor leaders worry that if they don't reverse the trend soon, they'll be out of a job. This is their shot. Unions are confident the House will be Democratic and pliant. By holding off on big endorsements, they've forced both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama to pander to their demands, creating some of the most pro-union presidential candidates in recent history.
In the Senate, labor bosses see a chance to add three to seven seats, enough, when combined with wobbly Republicans, to do away with filibusters. They're already out spending in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Alaska and Maine. How bad does Big Labor want this? Consider the money and manpower so far. The AFL-CIO has approved a record political budget of $53 million to help fund 200,000 union workers on the street. Its affiliated national and international unions have pledged another $200 million.
The National Education Association will throw $40 million to $50 million at races. The Service Employees International Union has marked off $100 million for politics, and intends to pay 2,000 union members the equivalent of their salaries to work on Democratic campaigns. Add in union money for federal or state political action committees, for 527s, and for local and state races, and some astute members of the business community – those who have seen this coming "tsunami" (as one puts it) – estimate union political spending may top /$1 billion/ in 2008.
How bad does Big Labor want this? Consider what it will get if that money pays off. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama have already pledged a rewrite of Nafta and an end to more trade deals. Both promise to throw government money at new union-only jobs, to boost unemployment insurance, to penalize companies that hire overseas, and to take a run at "universal" health care.To this, unions will add passage of "card check," which would outlaw secret ballots in union organizing elections. Alongside will be legislation to make union officials the exclusive bargaining agents of most police, fire and rescue personnel.
Then there's the biggie – so big that most officials don't talk about it publicly. Tucked into the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act is a provision called 14(b), which allows for "right to work" states. Big Labor last took a run at deleting this section, and forcing more unionization, in the Johnson administration. With a filibuster-proof Senate, they'd have a far better shot.
Unions want a Department of Labor that will sit on corruption cases, water down financial disclosure rules, and turn a blind eye to the use of pension funds to influence boardroom decisions.
The National Labor Relations Board has three vacancies, which Senate Democrats will refuse to fill this year. Big Labor's own slate would include people favorable to proposals to allow "mini-unions" within corporate workplaces, or to rework job definitions to bring more positions under the union umbrella.The biggest obstacle to all this would normally be the business community.
But with Democrats strongly positioned to win, companies are reluctant to upset the political masters. The corporate world's list of political problems has also grown so large – trade, paid leave, healthcare, environmental issues – that it has barely been able to focus on the union threat.
To the extent companies have stepped up, it's been on single issues, like card check. And therein lies the unions' biggest risk: overreach. Good as the overall political environment is, most Americans don't agree with specific union proposals. A recent poll released by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which is fighting against card check, found that two-thirds of voters in key Senate election states oppose getting rid of secret union ballots.
The tactic of pro-union Democrats in the past has been to avoid talking specifics. If Republicans want a shot at winning some political races, they'll need to. Painting the picture of a union-dominated America might help focus minds.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Worse, now the courts have put a hold on many coal fired electrical plants waiting to see what impact they will have on environment. And don't forget, no new oil wells anywhere in this country or off our shores, and, oh my God, no nuke plants. hmmmm - what's left for us to power our trucks to deliver the food to our stores? Heat our homes? Fuel for the farmers tractors?
I wonder why the price of food is going up and up? hmmmm again!
With the demand for ethanol to power our cars being mandated by the uninformed in our government driving up the price of corn, is it any wonder our budgets are being stretched by the increased price of food as well as fuel.
The media is full of stories of third world countries rioting over the cost to feed themselves as the these poorer countries rely mostly on gain products as their major food stuff. Critical in this aspect is Mexico. Watch what happens when push comes to shove at the border as people flee north to find something to eat. I've posted on this subject several times in the past.
We have a great country here but we must use common sense to make it work to every one's advantage. Allowing a few environmental terrorist organizations to dictate what or how we live our lives is not my idea of freedom to chose. And the fact that so many people have bought into this scam of global warming, carbon credits is very puzzling given they are effected like the rest of us by bad policy.
Now is the time to stand tall, back straight and head to the wind - call your representatives and tell them we need more energy of all kinds right now - not when the country in in the dumper.
Keep the faith, the battle is joined!
Higher Food Prices May Be Here to Stay*
By PATRICK BARTA April 14, 2008 WSJ
For all the economists and consumers who hope high food prices are temporary, here's one reason why they probably won't be: Farm costs are skyrocketing, making permanently higher prices essential for farmers to keep expanding production. Inflation is biting farmers world-wide.
In New Zealand, farm wages are up as much as 20% this year, and the average price of a dairy cow has jumped to more than $1,900 -- almost double last year's average of about $1,000. In Thailand and Indonesia, farmers are complaining about sharp increases in the price of fertilizer and diesel fuel.
In the American Midwest, land prices have jumped, along with the cost of energy and chemicals. The price of diammonium phosphate, a common fertilizer, is about $1,200 a ton in the U.S., up from about $450 a ton a year ago."Diesel, fertilizer, insecticide, grass-killing chemicals, they're all going up -- just like a shadow," says Samear Ruengrit, a 57-year-old farmer who grows rice about 45 minutes north of Bangkok. His average costs are now about 50% higher than last season, he says.
Farming costs are climbing for several reasons. Higher fuel prices make it more expensive to run tractors and other equipment, while pricier natural gas -- needed to make some fertilizers -- has also played a role. Equipment prices are rising because of strong demand for farm machinery in China and other developing countries, along with rising costs for raw materials like steel.
Wages are up in some parts of the world because many farms are expanding to meet higher demand, putting pressure on labor supplies, especially in countries like Australia where many workers are already occupied in commodity-based trades like mining. Cost pressures have intensified over the past six months.
Many farm suppliers and equipment dealers held back on price increases in 2006 and 2007, despite their own higher energy and labor costs. Now, after a year or more of strong markets for corn and other crops, those suppliers are deciding farmers can afford to pay more -- and they are passing costs along.
Many farmers were able to postpone cost increases through hedging or by buying fertilizer, chemicals and other supplies in bulk in 2006 or 2007, when they were cheaper. Now those strategies are hitting their limit as the stockpiles run down. The higher costs are transforming the economics of agriculture. Since some of the heftier outlays -- like those for fuel -- are expected to persist, farmers will need to command higher prices for their crops than they did a few years ago to maintain their profit margins.
For consumers, all this means continuing pain from high-food costs, at least for the foreseeable future. Rice prices have more than doubled since the beginning of 2008, causing some farmers to hoard their crops in hopes of further windfalls, pushing prices even higher. Food-inflation protests have rippled across the developing world, including Haiti, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan.
A similar cost spiral has played out in other commodities markets, notably those for minerals. Rising costs "are sweeping across the commodities complex, and agriculture can't escape it," says Michael Lewis, global head of commodities research at Deutsche Bank in London. The upshot, he says, is "a complete structural shift" in agricultural prices to a new, higher level. None of this means food prices can't fall somewhat from current levels -- indeed, many economists believe they will, as the world economy slows and new farms come into production. If the U.S. slides into a deep economic malaise that triggers a world-wide recession, prices of most commodities probably would fall.
Even so, economists say the magnitude of the recent cost increases suggests it will be hard for farm prices to return to their lower levels of the late 1990s and early 2000s, amid a financial crisis in Asia and a recession in the U.S. Indeed, consider what happened in the mid-1980s, when crop prices collapsed following a sharp run-up in the 1970s. Corn fell to less than $1.60 a bushel in 1986 from a high of more than $3 a bushel a few years earlier. But within about two years, corn and wheat prices rebounded. Corn settled above $2.25 a bushel for much of the next decade, well above its price of less than $1.25 before the 1970s farm boom began -- the same kind of long-term upward shift in prices many economists expect today.
The problem for many farmers back then was that costs also stayed high, eating into profit margins and forcing many out of business.That merely underscores how dangerous high costs can be for farmers. Added costs often take a while to materialize during the early years of a farm boom, allowing growers to cash in on big profits during the early stages -- much as they have over the past two years. But they also tend to stick around for a long time, even after some of the forces that drove crop prices higher have faded. That exposes farmers to significant risks as farm booms mature.
Farmers are "terrified" of high costs if crop prices ease back, says Michael Swanson, an agricultural economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Minneapolis. Such fears could make them reluctant to expand production as much as they might do otherwise. That would mean more constraints on food supplies -- and even higher prices.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Socialist have a habit of taking the lions share of your labors for the good of the masses. Translated - you have to work harder for less as there are many that don't want to work as hard as you or not at all. It's only fair this way and it's for the betterment of the state.
The real question that I feel is at the root of the discussion is do we care if we lose our freedom? Maybe freedom isn't all that important to many of us that live lives strictly dedicated to reaching for the brass ring in our own simplistic small world. If so, one should look up to see who is controlling the brass ring. Maybe if you don't do what you are told they will put that brass ring out of your reach. But don't feel bad as you will come to realize, the state knows far better what's good for you than you do.
Something to think about while you ponder the election in November. keep the faith, the battle is joined!
WHAT DO YOU THINK? MORE SOCIALISM IN OUR LIVES?
Do we want more liberal control?
Remember the election in 2006? Thought you might like to read the following:
*A little over one year ago:
*1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high
2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon
*Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:
*1) Consumer confidence plummet;
2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;
3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);
5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;
6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.
*America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!*
Remember it's Congress that makes law, taxes and spends, not the President. He has to work with what's handed to him.
*Quote of the Day........"*My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." -- Barack Obama
*Taxes*...Whether Democrat or a Republican you will find these statistics enlightening and amazing. www.taxfoundation.org/publications/sho w/151.html http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/sho%20w/151.html
*Taxes under Clinton 1999
**Taxes under Bush 2008
*Single making 30K - tax $8,400
**Single making 30K - tax $4,500
*Single making 50K - tax $14,000
**Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Married making 125K – tax $31,250
Both democratic candidates will return to the higher tax rates.It is amazing how many people that fall into the categories above think Bush is screwing them and Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever.
If Obama or Hillary are elected, they both say they will repeal the Bush tax cuts and a good portion of the people that fall into the categories above can't wait for it to happen. This is like the movie The Sting with Paul Newman; you scam somebody out of some money and they don't even know what happened.
*You think the war in Iraq is costing us too much?*Boy am I confused. I have been hammered with the propaganda that it is the Iraq war and the war on terror that is bankrupting us. I now find that to be RIDICULOUS.
I hope the following 14 reasons are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the reader gets sick of reading them. I have included the URL's for verification of all the following facts.
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments. Verify at: http://tinyurl.com/zob77
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.0html
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.Verify at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.Verify at http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCIPTS/0610/29/ldt.01.html
9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens. Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the USVerify at: http://transcri/ pts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/12/ldt.01.html http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/12/ldt.01.html
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border.Verify at: Homeland Security Report: http://tinyurl.com/t9sht
12. The National Policy Institute, "estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period."Verify at: http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute.org/pdf/deportation.pdf
13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin.Verify at: http://www.rense.com/general75/niht.htm
14. "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States."Verify at: http://www.drdsk.com/articleshtml
*The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
**Are we THAT stupid?*
If this doesn't bother you then just delete the message. If, on the other hand, if it does raise the hair on the back of your neck, I hope you forward it to every legal resident in the country including every representative in Washington, D.C. - five times a week for as long as it takes to restore some semblance of intelligence in our policies and enforcement thereof.Tell all of your friends, and if you know any, the Democrats that will listen!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
His complete absence of any protocol sends the State Department into tailspins, even though most of the State Department employees are socialist progressives left over from the Clinton nightmare. That in itself tells a story.
Never the less he forges forward looking for some other aspiring tyrant to kiss up to hopping to find the next world mass killer that might be willing to visit him in Plains, GA. What a thrill that would be.
Keep the faith, please, the battle is joined!
Jimmy Carter Lays A Wreath at Arafat's Tomb
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:07 PMBy: Julie Stahl
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter laid a wreath of red roses at the grave of Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat during a visit to the West Bank City of Ramallah on Tuesday.
"He and Mrs. Carter and his son Jeff wanted to pay their respects to President Arafat," Carter's trip director Rick Jasculca told Cybercast News Service. But the former president didn't make any comments there, he said.
Dubbed the "godfather of terrorism," Arafat was linked to the deaths of two American diplomats in the Sudan in 1973 -- one of many terror acts laid at his feet. (See earlier story) Twenty years later, Arafat became the first PLO leader to sign a peace agreement with an Israeli Prime Minister -- Yitzhak Rabin -- in 1993. He was considered Israel's peace partner (although many Israelis never believed it) until the beginning of the violent Palestinian uprising in September 2000.
Arafat managed the terror war against Israel until his death in 2004.
U.S. officials have emphasized that Carter is visiting the Middle East as a private citizen and not as a representative of the U.S. government.
On Tuesday, the Israeli government refused Carter's request to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza. The former U.S. leader has angered the Israeli government over plans to meet Hamas's top leader, Khaled Mashaal, in Syria on Friday. Most visiting American dignitaries -- including President Bush -- have avoided Arafat's tomb.
Michaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem that handles Palestinian affairs, told Cybercast News Service that no active U.S. Executive Branch member had ever laid a wreath on Arafat's grave.
Carter first met Arafat in 1990, when Arafat was leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. According to a New York Times report, Carter praised Arafat as a peacemaker. Years later, Carter led an international team in observing the first Palestinian Authority elections that gave Arafat the presidency. (Carter also observed the 2006 elections that brought Hamas an overwhelming parliamentary majority.)
Arafat was the most frequent visitor to President Bill Clinton's White House. President Bush also dealt with Arafat at the beginning of his presidency, but after the Palestinian leader lied to Bush in early 2002 about a huge shipment of Iranian weapons bound for the P.A., he was shunned until his death in November 2004.
On Tuesday, Carter also had lunch with a dozen or so Palestinian civil society leaders and had what was described as a "wonderful round table" discussion with Palestinian youths that he and his wife enjoyed immensely, said Jasculca.
As President Carter travels around the Middle East he is "eager to hear viewpoints" about peace and the peace process. "Instead of talking, he's doing a lot of listening," said Jasculca.
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