Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mr. Baldwin’s Winter

It’s been one of the warmest winters on record in New York. For the first time since 1877, no snow was recorded in New York City for the entire month of December.

Actor Alec Baldwin used the occasion to advance his personal liberal agenda. Writing in the Huffington Post blog, he said “All around us are signs of global climate change. And this Administration’s response is to send in more troops. If you don’t think there is a link between the weather and Iraq, you are wrong.”

Two weeks later, New York state was digging out of a record 100-inch snowfall.

Wow, I didn’t know George Bush was empowered to increase the world temperature by two degrees in a century, which somehow raised the temperature in New York to thirty degrees above the average, which in turn crystallized all the water in Lake Huron and dumped it on the Adirondacks.

Liberals and other global warming Chicken Littles fail to understand one basic concept of global climate science: the Earth’s temperature is not nearly as stable as they’d like it to be. And it never has been.

But their hatred of George Bush and anything capitalistic and entrepreneuristic blinds their better judgment into believing that a war on the other side of the world causes hurricanes on this side. (They literally salivated at the prospect of another Katrina last year and were publicly disappointed when the Atlantic went an entire season without depositing one significant tropical depression on our shores.)

The 10th through 14th centuries were warmer than “average”, which gave rise to the term “Medieval Warm Period”. That was followed in the 16th to 19th centuries by a period of cooler than “average” temperatures, now known as the “Little Ice Age”. What comes next? Yep, warmer temperatures. Duh.

This is in spite of the scare that we all endured in the 1970s of the threat of “Global Cooling”. Remember the Nuclear Winter that we were all going to face because of the carbon emissions of the time? Now those same carbon emissions are being blamed for a warming trend.

Guys, the main source of the heat of the Earth is the sun. The sun gets warmer, the temperature goes up. The sun gets cooler, the temperature goes down. It’s a big, big sun. Really, big. That means that it has a rhythm, but it’s a very, very slow rhythm. It takes it a long time to get a few degrees warmer and then a few degrees cooler.

Accurate temperature records measured with mercury thermometers were virtually non-existent before 1880. If a weather station moves across town (as it has in recent years in Los Angeles and Kansas City) the “average” temperature can fluctuate by ten degrees or more. You can plant a tree near a thermometer and lower its temperature reading. Or you can build a sidewalk near it and raise it. But none of those events have global impact.

You can count all the tree rings you want to, but nobody could have measured the temperature five hundred years ago with the accuracy of today.

And what of Mr. Baldwin’s snowless New York? Well, it’s the warmest winter in New York since 1877. Oh gee, Alec, I guess that means it was warmer 130 years ago than it is today. Are you going to blame that winter on George Bush, too?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Richification of America’s Poor

It is a well-established fact that the poorest of America’s poor is wealthy when compared to the poor of most other countries. But that fact is lost on liberals who depend on the poor for their political survival. The constant redefinition of “poor” is the very foundation from where they derive their power.

In the thirty-one years between 1973 and 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that the percentage of people in America living in poverty “grew” from 11.1% to 12.7%. Did that mean that the billions of dollars spent on raising people from the depths of poverty has been wasted? Nope. It just means that the liberal egghead bureaucrats have done a great job of raising the poverty level each year to make sure a sufficient number of citizens fail to clear the limbo bar of prosperity.

Senator Ted Kennedy likes to refer to those “poor” as people who “go to bed hungry each night”. He and his fellow liberal legislators fail to understand the basic principle of algebra that says that if you define the bottom ten percent of your population as “poor”, then about ten percent of your population will always be, uhm, poor. Duh.

Let’s look at some facts about America’s poor that the think tank Hoover Institute uncovered.

Half of all households under the poverty level has cable television and at least two television sets. A fourth of them own a personal computer. Most of them own a vcr or dvd player.

Friends of mine who teach school tell me of students on free lunch programs wearing hundred-dollar designer tennis shoes and sporting fully-loaded iPods and GameBoys.

Half a century of Great Society reforms has bred a generation of sponges that take pride in beating the system while living in a luxury that the richest citizens of most third-world countries could only dream of.

How do we stop such abuses while still providing an adequate safety net for those who are truly needy? I think the answer lies in the numeration of the luxuries of those receiving aid. I propose a simple plan. With a little tweaking, it just might work.

In my plan, certain “luxuries” would be denied to those receiving federal aid. Simply put, if you are receiving food stamps or Medicaid or welfare payments, there are some things that you simply cannot buy.

For example, nobody receiving federal aid could subscribe to cable tv. Period. Cable providers would be required to submit a list of their subscribers to federal agencies who would match them against lists of recipients of certain federal programs. A letter would be sent to all households that match. They’d be given a simple choice: tv or federal money. You can’t have both.

Same for cellular phones. You want a phone? Give up your monthly check.

It wouldn’t have to stop there. Why should they be able to rent movies? No Blockbuster or Netflix memberships for these people. If they want to watch a movie, they can relinquish their government subsidy.

Magazines? Nope. There is no need for the poor to read TV Guide, Reader’s Digest, Playboy, National Inquirer. None of them. In my system they could have their choice: magazines or a check from the government. But not both.

Things like magazine subscriptions and cable service and Blockbuster membership — those would be easy to enforce. But heck, I honestly believe that the technology exists to prevent individual purchases, too.

Purchases of any shoes over fifty dollars would be off-limits to welfare recipients, if I had my way. The same goes for ice cream, grocery store bakeries, fine deli meats, and sugar-ladened breakfast cereal. And certainly no alcohol or tobacco products.

Entire stores would be off their list. They wouldn’t be able to buy anything from Starbucks, Crate & Barrel, or any department store fancier than JC Penney’s.

I think it’d be a good idea to force at least 80% of their purchases to come from Wal-Mart. Well, maybe Wal-Mart and Target.

Please understand that I believe in a capitalistic society where everybody should be buy what they want to and shop where it suits them. It’s not my intent to actually deny anybody any freedom. But when you accept federal money, you need to check your capitalism at the door.

I think everybody should have a right to buy all the fine things in life. I just don’t want them to do it with my money.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hillary wants to take it — all of it

Do you own anything? Anything? You might as well hand it over to Hillary Clinton. Right now.

She is currently the odds-on favorite to become the 44th President of the United States in 2008. And she has just declared that she wants it. All of it.

What is “it”? While speaking at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting, Hillary made this chilling statement:

The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives and technologies ...

Those are six stunning words. Words that should never be uttered in public. Certainly never by an elected official...

“I want to take those profits.”

They send chills up my spine.

Just whose “profits” does she think she’s “taking”?

Mrs. Clinton, with all due respect (actually, with a total disregard for respect, but that’s just a polite thing to say), corporations don’t earn profits! They can’t. By their very definition, the profits belong to the owners of the corporations. In a capitalistic society, we refer to those owners as stockholders.

If you have money in a bank, if you have money in a mutual fund, if you have money in a 401k or an ira, if you have attempted to put away a little bit of money for your retirement years — there is a good chance that you are a stockholder. And Hillary wants to take your profits.

Hillary doesn’t want to take the profits from some nameless, faceless, fat-cat puffing on expensive Cuban cigars. She wants to take money away from you. She just doesn’t have the guts to admit it.

She has already identified several industries that — in her mind — don’t deserve to exist. Their role is better done by Big Government. They include the oil industry, the health care industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. At least. Big government has already taken over the education industry. Can transportation be far behind? Communication? Farming? Construction? Manufacturing? Where does it end?

“I want to take those profits.”

Well, Mrs. Clinton, there are a few profits of yours I’d like to take.

As a United States Senator, you earn a salary of $165,200 every year. I want to take those profits.

In 1979, you turned a $1,000 investment in cattle futures into a $100,000 profit. I want to take those profits.

In 1996, you wrote a best-seller named “It Takes a Village”, which earned you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I want to take those profits.

In 2000, you earned an $8 million dollar advance for your book Living History. I want to take those profits.

Watch out, people. Hillary is coming after you. She wants to take your profits. She thinks they belong to her.