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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Odds and ends

A few odds and ends as I wait for the new year. 

I think the reason I don’t like Obama is because I must have rented to the guy.  Of course my memory is dim after all the renters and their shenanigans, but I’m sure he is one of those guys who just doesn’t pay his rent and then brags that he “saved” by not doing it.  One of my renters put up a big stink once, swore that he had dropped his cash in my mail slot when I was gone.  Finally I agreed to forgive a month and swallow the loss.  But then he bragged to his next-door neighbor about having gotten out of paying the rent.  Since I am a person who prides in my word, I didn’t confront him about this.  I just found other excuses to evict the following month.  Everyone was sure that there would be a “doc fix” outside of Obamacare.  Obama was bragging that his bill saved untold billions in medical costs.  Then we found out he simply cut Medicare payments to the docs by billions. That sucker just didn’t pay the rent.  And now it turns out that the Harry Reid never brought up the ‘doc fix’ in time so doctors are now slated to get a 25.3% reduction from Medicare.  And then last summer, Obama demanded that insurers just cough up coverage without being paid for Catholic birth control and abortion coverage.  Then he bragged long and loud about it during the campaign.  Didn’t that sucker rent from me once? He looks familiar.

And if your Dem friends say that health insurers make huge windfall profits, just tell them they can put a stop to this almost instantly.  Just require all insurers to be mutuals.  Mutuals already comprise 55% of health carriers.  Then everything will be non-profit and we can get on with a healthy discussion of the real problems.

Air Force played in a bowl game but came up short.  Trouble was they had only a ground game.(???)

With all the gun talk, the libs are trotting out the old arguments about how you should only own a gun if you are a soldier since the 2nd A starts out, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,…”  Ask them if they know what a Militia is.  No one seems to have a clue.  Militias were common in the days before there were any police.  Every able-bodied adult male from some age (say, 18-45) in an area was required to own a firearm and supply ammunition.  The purpose was for instant defense of the community or to keep law and order in a vigilante style.  “Well-regulated” doesn’t mean that there were bureaucrats regulating; they hadn’t been invented. It was synonymous with functioning well. Polished.  Working together.  OK abolished their militias just a few years ago since not everyone owns a gun.  There are counties in Georgia that still require you to own a gun for such purposes.  I heard some pundit on TV protest that the weapons of 1791 were muskets and not guns.  Ahem.  A musket was a gun with an un-rifled barrel (was not scribed on the inside to impart spin and accuracy to the projectile). Rifled guns were expensive in those days and so few existed.  The colonial fix for accuracy was to use a very long barrel and those long-barreled muskets were the death of so many British soldiers. 

Russia  isn’t a free country.  Proof: Vlad decided to impale the lives of all those orphan kids who had Americans as adoptive parents.  If any politician in a free country suggested such cruelty, they would never be re-elected.  So Russia ain’t free.  It is as if the President of the US decided to create a healthcare system where all the people were told they would get care.  But the price of insurance will double and you still can’t afford it.  If you don’t buy insurance, you get fined and then you still don’t have any insurance. Now that’s real cruelty. (Please don’t write me and inform me that Vlad the Impaler was actually Wallacian)

Speaking of, I think that the next step after Obama phones should be Obama Barbecue.  All the poor people would get free barbecue.  The rich have to pay but could only sniff.  And you’d be required to buy and eat barbecue no matter what your religious inclinations.  Supreme Court says what you buy is not a 10th Amendment right reserved “to the people” anymore.  It’s a tax. All you Vegans need to develop a taste for calf fries. Muslims, try the pulled pork.

Bill Engvall says his mom’s southern fried chicken could bring peace to the Middle East.  Do Barack and Hillary know this?  Of course she has a concussion and he’s not allowed to go farther than Hawaiian hoi poi and spam.  Otherwise he’d never hear the end of it from Michele. Maybe we should have sent some to the Wisconsin capital building last year.  Where Steve came from in the Ozarks, they hunt hogs and hog fish. You think Michele understands this?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Batshit Crazies

It snowed and we were housebound and watched a movie.  “Moneyball” was one of the big surprises of this year, a movie that was supposed to be grade B and the makers merely hoped would break even.  Instead it became a blockbuster hit.  It’s about the management of baseball talent, the story of how Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s managed to contract a bunch of cast-off players and remake the A’s after they had gone to the World Series the year before, but then all the big players had left for rich contracts with other teams. A’s had no money to replenish the team and Beane managed to hire a young kid who was a statistical/computer whiz who found the undervalued players.  And of course, if you know baseball history, the A’s made the playoffs and set a new major league record of 20 straight wins.  All the while Beane’s scouts and manager and the rest of the baseball public made fun of his changes.  But the punch line of the movie comes through the President of the Boston Red Sox who tried to hire Beane at the end of the season.  Roughly quoting, he said, “The first guy to break a barrier, to go through a wall, usually gets pretty bruised up.  That’s because the guy who comes in with a new idea threatens the guys in power, the guys who are used to running things their way, the guys who hold the reins.  And they go absolutely batshit crazy over the change.” 

How true in all things.  It was true of the Civil Rights movement when Southern governors and officials went batshit crazy over the marches and the marchers got pretty beat up.  True of Washington at Valley Forge, true of the guys who started Apple, true of Karl Benz and his auto-mobile. And most of all, I remember how true it was of Ronald Reagan and Arthur Laffer who came in with a novel idea that if you tax less, government gets more revenue.  That was utterly counter-intuitive for many political junkies and politicians.  Reagan’s own V-P went batshit crazy, calling it voodoo economics.  The media, the Europeans, the ruling Congressional Democrats, just about everyone went batshit crazy with criticism. But Lafferism worked.  And then Thatcher tried it also and it resurrected the Brits from “The British Disease” of welfare statism.  The Pacific rim countries paid note.  They had longed to become developed countries, and couldn’t decide if they wanted the Japanese model or the Chinese.  When they saw Lafferism they tried it and they became Asian Tigers of growth.

Sometimes the guy with the new ideas loses.  Benz just didn’t have enough resources to fight and wound up selling out to a guy who named the cars after his girlfriend, Mercedes.  Henry Ford had a vision of cheap cars but then when the country got richer, they wanted something upscale and bought GM.  And the Republicans put the Voodoo Economics Veep in after Reagan and gradually lost the movement to Washington political hacks.  But as the Red Sox Prez noted, “Next year any team that isn’t rebuilding their team with your model [Beane and the A’s], is going to ultimately lose.” And now the Northern Europeans as well as Asia are converting sheepishly to Laffer’s models. 

But here in America, the Batshit Crazies won an election with 52% in 2008 and 50.3% in 2012. They used all the old faithful ‘progressive’ tools—Class Warfare, Chickens in every special interest pot—and they are cocky as can be over 50.3%. Counter to the warnings of Britain and Scandinvians and Australians, they have doubled down on the Spend-Into-Prosperity model of government.  May I simply point out that it won’t work in the broader scheme of things.  Economics doesn’t lie.  We face horrid stagflation. What then? Default? Volcker 21% interest rates? At that point may I quote the words of Rev. Wright, “America’s chickens have come home to roost”.

The American people await new management.  The new manager will have to be expert at turnarounds in the political world, a communicator who can keep the people on his/her side, a bold artist of change back to the conservatism and free-market principles that made America the envy of the world.  We’ve come through the wall, been bruised a bit, but I have faith in American common sense.  Common sense will come out in spades when our team’s economy starts to look like the Royals and Expos.

In the end, Beane’s numbers guy encourages him to start attending the games and not distance himself from the team.  The romance of the game is still there.  So too, we need to take the fight to the Batshit Crazies.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Polar Express

Christmas Eve, babysitting my 2-yr-old grand-daughter and she wanted to watch the movie Polar Express. And the sound had to be turned way down so we wouldn’t disturb her month-old brother’s nap.  I had never seen the movie, you can’t lipread computer-generated characters, so I figured out what it was about just from the actions.  Here’s my version.

It starts with a kid who is awake at midnight on Christmas Eve. A huge train pulls up and he is asked to climb aboard.  They were rounding up Republicans, no doubt. Republicans get into politics with little experience because they have a life without it, so they were symbolized by children.  Awake at midnight—that meant he was worrying about his business, no doubt.  The conductor was the head bureaucrat who handed him a food stamp, so he could get on the gravy train for a life of cradle-to-grave security.  They had rounded up a number of Republicans, an Afro-American girl and a smart-ass kid and another who can’t trust the bureaucracy.  I mean they weren’t perfect people, just all individuals. 

The bureaucrats seem determined to make the train crash.  The engineer and fireman are a couple of bozos who  act like DMV employees who suddenly confront panic.  They try to run the train off the fiscal cliff and then take it into the abyss of debt, but each time the Republicans save the day with trepidatious acts, but complete common sense.  Likewise the R’s help each other, the way normal good-hearted people do. At one point they stop a certain crash into a herd of Independents, i.e. reindeer standing on the tracks. There’s also a good angel who saves them from time to time, dressed as a hobo who disappears after each near-disaster.  We never do see God and so we don’t know what party he belongs to, but Santa Claus is definitely a Democrat. And finally they arrive at his  headquarters of the State.

All the citizens of the State headquarters wear the same red clothes, like little socialist elves.  They turn out in mass to herald the head narcissist, Santa.  I guess the goal was to get the R’s to assimilate with the elfin Dems, but it doesn’t work.  The Republican kids wander off to find the secret underground where all the children of the world are watched and labeled as naughty or nice.  They walk by the vacated factories and finally manage to embed themselves in Santa’s bag of handouts.  In the end, the main character collects a bell that has fallen off Santa’s sleigh and tries to do maintenance.  Finally, the R’s are escorted back to the train as unconvertible and sent home.  They get their food stamps punched with labels like “lead” and “believe” which is exactly what a Republican does when called upon.  The main character kid receives the single bell he found from the narcissist-in-chief’s sleigh as a lame thank you for his efforts.  Nonetheless, he smiles in the acknowledgement of knowing that he had saved his country.  And that’s about all an R needs, of course.

So in the end, I suppose I really did like the movie, muted and all.  It tells an important tale about hanging in there, working hard, doing heroic things and even if we are outnumbered, we have a bell to ring for America.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Better is coming

Everyone keeps saying, “I’m a conservative first and then a Republican.”  Which is like saying you are a football player first and a Cowboy only by expediency.  Try making a team out of that attitude.  Like many, I was a bit disappointed with Romney, but we ought to understand what the Democrats did.  They turned out their base by scaring people about Romney being rich, played the racist card about how he was “white” and anti-minority, and captured a small amount of low-information voters with Obama the Cult Figure.  Meanwhile they and the media kept beating the foolish drum that says a race is all about winning the independent vote.  So Romney failed to turn out his base by 3 million fewer R’s than McCain did while winning the Indies by 19 points.  Result was a net loss. Conclusion: turn your base on and don’t get snookered by your opponent’s lies about you.  Secondly, Dems did a huge Get Out The Vote effort and it worked. We need to match that. 

A  true, blue conservative would be good at base turn-out.  Well, as long as they aren’t a poor communicator or quirky or scandalous.  But I tend to discount the Republican navel gazing.  Politics is a team sport.  Arm chair quarterbacking may be the luxury of Joe Conservative as he sits and cusses at the TV.  But it won’t get conservatives elected.

However, better days are coming. The Dems and Obama are acting cockier than the last banty rooster standing who now has all the hens.  With such behavior, I smell a Big Mistake coming. Theirs is odd behavior for a team that won with 50.3% of the vote.  R’s are being lectured about how they lost because we are all racists.  Michael Moore says that the suburbs are full of guns and the only reason this can be is because all the suburbanites are racist. That ESPN sage said the RG3 wasn’t really “black”.  NY Times and Matthews attacked Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott as Jim Crow enthusiasts.  Really? 

Meanwhile Obama doesn’t negotiate over ways to end the fiscal cliff dilemma, holds a supposedly important news conference to make a big announcement an hour late, comes in to say that he talked to Reid and Boehner and if Congress doesn’t come to a conclusion it’s all their fault.  He’s heading for Hawaii.  Even CNN thought that was a bit cocky, since after all, the Prez threatening veto is the reason nothing has been passed so far.  Why is he so cocky?  Everyone from Time Ragazine to Limbaugh is saying that Obama really wants to go over the fiscal cliff (he really wants taxes from everyone), then will come back in as a white knight with tax relief for the middle class 98%, while the dispirited R’s wring their hands and get blamed for putting us over the fiscal cliff.  Yeah, well, that will work so long as the R’s don’t propose to restore tax rates first.  In fact, I expect some opportunistic R to pledge that if we go over the cliff next week, he would propose, right after Jan. 1, to restore taxes for those making under $1 million, a plan all the Dems have said they would vote for in the past.  And so what if there aren’t enough votes to pass it?  Well, then there sure won’t be when Obama comes back with a worse proposal thereafter. 

Going over the cliff also would galvanize the R’s over things like Death Taxes that would go back to 55% on every American estate that is larger than an average one.  It would put talking points in their mouths about killing business with high cap gains rates and corporate taxes.  All this would be like a prophetical loaded gun (nothing racist intended!) should the economy go into recession or inflate.  And we are almost guaranteed that one of these two will happen.  It would also galvanize the R’s about the debt ceiling. 

And concerning the cult figure status of Obama, he is lucky so far.  Things are not bad for most disinterested voters.  Interest rates are low. Jobs are scarce but government takes care of everyone.  And Slick Willie assured us that poor ol’ Barack was just dealt a tough Bush hand.  But if our country falls into debt crisis or recession or both, when the international bond market demands we stop spending or raise taxes drastically, all those low information voters will channel flip from American Idolatry and ask what the heck just happened!  There are times in politics when people want to nap and times when they are wide awake and foaming at the mouth.  When the public woke up to Hitler, they started looking for that Churchill guy who had been warning about the war and said he had a plan.  Give us solutions, not image!

The tragedy is that USA will have to fall off the cliff in order to come to it’s senses.  I just hope and pray that we won’t get a convenient concussion that always allows some to disregard disasters.  I guess I have to rely on the common sense of Americans.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Young, need job

I don’t know if you have seen this but the unemployment statistics are worse than awful among young people aged 16-24.  I’m not talking about the usual drivel about how minority youth can’t find jobs which is the standard template for a MSM story.  I’m talking about something we have never seen before.  Despite the talk of less unemployment, it’s a bleak story.  From a peak employment of 22 million in 2007, the 16-24 age group has slid to 17.5 million today.  In fact it hasn’t even made a comeback with the recovery started in July 2009.  So are all the young people dying off?

            Of course not! In fact the 16-24 population is a record.  They just aren’t working. The 55+ workers are.  From a fairly stagnant 16M in 2000 they have risen to 30M today.  These are stunning statistics.  We have never seen anything like this in our history.  Even the infamous 99% to 56% drop from 2007 to 2011 college grad employment saw a similar hesitancy to hire the young in the opening days of the Great Depression. But youth, with it’s beginner’s wages, eager energy, and new ideas has always made for a workforce that is desired by the boss.

            I don’t think you can conclude that the young are slackers today.  Employers are loading up on seniors because of supply.  A lot of seniors have paltry retirements and need a supplemental job.  Seniors often come with Medicare and—I don’t think, based on what I read in Obamacare—will require the purchase of healthcare by employers that typically amounts to about $5000 per employee.  And they often accept part-time. Moreover, employers are hunkering down reorganizing to minimize workers.  That often requires more duties and experienced folks to man the remaining jobs.  It’s going to get uglier for a young person to find a job. 

            It should be noted that total employment is 143M which is still down from the peak 144M in 2007.  Which is why so many are saying that the BLS is “cooking the books” to make unemployment look lower.  In fact they simply have reclassified vast numbers of workers as “not looking”.  If you counted all those workers, unemployment would be over 10%.  And that 143M counts a part-time job the same as a full-time job.  So lack of work is still quite bad.

            Here’s my advice if you are young and need a job.  1. Consider moving anywhere. Old workers won’t. Their house is paid for.  A lot of the jobs I have had don’t matter how smart you are, but can you take the grueling schedule.  Sure, you are willing to travel!   2. If you are in a hot field, that’s great but you need to get some sort of experience on your resume.  When I was at the university in the 1970’s, things in my field were bleak. Government labs and NASA were shutting down facilities.  Professorships were scarce. We joked about how we had to wait for someone to die in order to get a job.  I kept volunteering for curriculum committees and oversight committees and keeping a log of all the minimum wage jobs I had done.  You laugh.  Employers didn’t.  They saw someone who was willing to get his hands dirty, go the extra mile in his field.  3. If you aren’t in a hot field, study other industries and dream of how you could help them.  A lot of people say, I’ll do anything, but they haven’t studied the problems of business and can’t carry on an interview with a potential boss. Here’s the dirty truth.  A lot of people wind up with jobs not at all like what they studied in school.  Don’t worry about it.  Just adapt. 4. Take a stop-gap job.  Then when you have to explain that you graduated over a year ago and still don’t have a career, you say, “yeah, but I can’t stand not having something to do.  And I find it interesting to use my sociology in sales and marketing.”  This is music to a boss’s ears.  5. If you have the possibility of foreign study or just an excursion, go for the one that sounds like the most work. “I hiked the Appalacians”  doesn’t compare well with “I was a volunteer with the Forestry Service.” Better yet, go down the Chamber office and ask what you can do to volunteer.  They may put you on a board or give free training.  6. Get off the couch and write/blog. There is a need for all sorts of instructive ditties, but people fail to write about their experiences.  I once heard a world-renowned geo-scientist plead for this.  He said there is a need to write about the “craft of contouring a map”  or “how to load dynamite” in a seismic source and keep safe. Get published in a professional journal or on a trade website. Even if you are interviewing for something entirely different, there’s always a need for people who can document.  It will also help you articulate your skills. (“Being caretaker for my hospiced aunt was somewhat like working with an unskilled person because you have to be specific in instructions, but very respectful of the person. You also have to be aware of drug side effects.”)

            These are the kinds of things that make a young person look wise for their age, able to handle responsibility like an old hand, and willing to do the dirty work necessary. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Perpetual ignorance about Perpetua

I watched The Story of All of Us on History Channel and was stunned at what I heard in a couple places.  History is a field where one should have a huge command of details in order to get the story right.  Most of us, myself included, don’t have such skill so they write popularizations for the rest of us.  Story tries to do world history in about 4 hours of documentary, picking and choosing events that seem to capture the times.  In the episode covering the first millennium, they chose a story about Perpetua, a young woman who left a diary in the early third century about her martyrdom. The documentary actually told the story fairly well and swiftly, though they left out the fact that her father was an important official in Carthage.  He pleaded with Perpetua to renounce her Christian faith and avoid the death penalty.  Then the governor, Hilarianus, pleaded with her as well.  But Perpetua remained true blue to her Christian faith and was “condemned to the beasts” of the games, “and we returned to prison in high spirits” at being able to stand for their Lord.  But then the documentary  pronounces that of course Christians could not capitulate “because they would then know that they would go to hell.” 

            I nearly choked.  Fear of Hell is not what motivates Christians.  Loyalty to the One who has saved you from Hell and your sin is what kept Perpetua from ‘pouring out the libations’.  (A toast to the emperor that acknowledges him as a god)  Indeed, Simon Peter denied Jesus and Jesus chose him as the leading disciple.  Fear of Hell is what motivates Muslims to do suicide bombings.  But not Chistians.  I found myself taken aback that the authors of the documentary didn’t know this simple fact about Christianity. Were there no Christians on their staff?  You don’t even have to be orthodox, just born again. Barna says 43% of Americans are born-agains.

            And then the secular liberalism became quite apparent.  Cordoba and Jerusalem were labeled wondrous places of tolerance and peace were it not for Christians trying to re-take them from the Muslims. I find myself amused that among the 138 acts of jihad recognized by the Muslim scholars is one called Promoting the Myth of Andalusia.  Jihad simply means advancing the faith of Islam and not all jihads are violent.  Some can be simply arguing with a Jew or Christian.  Muslims recognize that Westerners have built up a myth of tolerant Andalusia.  But like all Muslim kingdoms it had a prohibitive 20% dhimmi tax on Christians and Jews as an attempt to try to force them to convert.  This is prescribed by the Koran.  

            And where, they opined, would we be without Muslim engineering, science and mathematics?!  Where would we be without the zero? Indeed, I find myself laughing again. Because most historians agree that Islam merely collected technology and managed not to burn quite all of the library of Alexandria.  And those famous Arabic characters and zero were borrowed from India.  They did faithfully preserve things.  What else do you do when an army of a few fanatics conquer a much larger population?

Then Tom Brokaw intones that, of all his vast learning, the Crusades stand out as singular in their senseless violence.  Gosh, I didn’t know Tom Brokaw was that intellectual.  Perhaps he didn’t realize that massacres of entire cities, as a shock-and-awe tactic of the ancients, was done by just about all peoples.  Thus the Assyrians massacred Lacish of the Hebrews—40,000 people.  Genghis Khan and the Muslim, Tamerlane were the worst.  Tamerlane wiped out one city of 150,000, just to show the world how useless it was to resist. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD and killed about 1 million Jews in Palestine.  They also wiped Carthage off the map.  And of course the Barbarians returned the favor to the Roman Empire. What is singular about the Crusades is that widespread massacres by Christians occurred, a practice that is more than forbidden by the faith.  “Turn the other cheek”, Jesus said.  “Love your enemies. Do good to those who curse you.”

Maybe we could take up a collection to buy a Bible to send to the History Channel.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Simple speak

If Steve has taught me anything, it is to speak simply about things that matter.  If a robber breaks into your house in the middle of the night, shouldn’t you have the right to use a gun?  Well, here’s Boehner negotiating with Obama trying to avoid the fiscal cliff.  Trouble is, Obama doesn’t negotiate.  He won’t put spending cuts on the table and continues to campaign around the country for tax increases on the rich.  Here’s his strategy.  Go over the fiscal cliff and then come back afterwards with a proposal to cut back the tax increases on the middle class 98%.  Makes him look like a white knight, and if he doesn’t get it, he will blame R’s for the tax increase. 

Here’s what R’s should do.  Stop negotiating.  Explain that if we took raise taxes like Obama wants, it will fund  the country for 5 days and cost almost a million jobs. He’s not serious.  Now tell us how you’ll stop overspending, Mr. President. What you propose doesn’t amount to a spit in the Pacific ocean. Keep hammering the point. Make him explain.

Of course the media lap dogs will all come to his rescue about how the R’s don’t have any plan or any proposals.  Bull spit.  It’s the President’s job to write a budget.  Do your job.  And Obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff (which is really not much of a cliff) so he can implement part II of his strategy.  So we’ll probably go over the cliff. 

Now he comes back to Congress with his white knight proposal about eliminating the tax increases on middle class.  Pass it immediately, but pass it along with proposals to kill the death tax and other taxes on the middle class that were snuck into Obamacare.  We Republicans want ALL the tax increases on the middle class removed.  Obamacare and fiscal cliff were just sneak ways of looting the middle class while claiming to soak the rich. 

BO won’t like the smell of this. But if he defends just the income tax cuts, he would be forced to answer for all the tax increases that he’s hit the middle class for.  Chances are good that he would just say, I can’t do anything.  The R’s have killed my proposal.  Meanwhile he secretly is glad for all the tax increases that took place.  Then he can spend all the more.  So the R’s need to keep raising the heat.  Remove all the tax increases on the middle class, Mr. President.

So what happens to government revenue?  It goes up for a couple years as higher taxes take place but then people arrange their affairs to avoid the taxes and true to Laffer curve, revenue actually falls.  This will keep happening as our bond ratings are lowered and deficit spending continues.  R’s have to blame this on Obama’s unbalanced budget.  If you don’t live within your means, the creditors will come after you.  When creditors come after us, there won’t be any business or any jobs. The only way for government to get out from under the debt is inflation. Everybody’s life savings will be become worthless. Or future is in a helluva fix.  We have been elected as the people’s representatives to make sure our future doesn’t go to there.  And we ain’t backing down.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Obama's Jihad against Christianity

I suppose that title sounds alarmist.  Boehner has floated a trial balloon about ending the charitable deduction and you can bet that Obama will accept it, even though protesting feebly today.  That’s because Obama has said that this is what he wants for years.  Ending the charitable deduction would both raise revenue while destroying charities, largely supported by conservatives.  If charities could be annhiliated or at least significantly cut down that makes the state, the only source of benevolence.  Meanwhile since conservatives are prime beneficiaries of the deduction and churches the prime beneficiaries of giving, this would have the effect of eliminating much political opposition. 

Sit back and think about what this year has wrought for Christianity.  First Lutherans were told they had to hire all comers, no discrimination for belief, by the Justice Department.  The JD lost the case 9-0 in the Supreme Court, but has never issued an apology for such wrongheaded thinking.  Next the Catholic Church and many church organizations are being forced to fund morning-after and week-after abortifacients, despite their clearly enunciated beliefs against such things.  Then the Democrat convention got caught taking God out of their platform, tried to re-instate it for appearances sake, and clearly a majority of the floor votes were against God.  Now comes Obama's war on charitable giving. It’s a keen strategy devised by someone who claims Christian faith, but opposes it at every turn.  

Why do this?  Well, the sworn belief of a National Socialist is that the State, not God, is benefactor.  Anyone who questions big government’s “compassion” is called mean-spirited and hateful.   But are government’s entitlement programs ever compassionate? 

Let’s say you are about to give a home to a foster kid, a system kid, a street kid.  Would you say, “Well, they pay me to keep you so you are entitled to that back bedroom.  And every meal feel free to come out and take a plate full back to your room.” 

Or do you say, “We love you and want to make you part of this family. Our home is yours.  We want to connect with you, have a relationship with you.  I know you have been hoarding food in your pockets, but you can trust us.  We want the best for you.”  And then one day the kid ran away.  You found him/her back on the streets eating out of dumpsters. So you said, “Listen, I know how this works.  You did something bad that made you scared we would reject you.  So you rejected us before we could reject you.  You think you are the prodigal son/daughter, be I’m your prodigal mom/dad. I will risk a great deal to come after you, because I love you.  I want to inspire you so that you will aspire to things you never even dreamed.” 

So which is compassionate—entitlements or undeserved kindness?  Entitlements have no obligation, but no forgiveness.  You simply are owed what you get.  Undeserved kindness forgives, loves beyond reason, and pursues you in a relationship.  God brings us the latter, and inspires families and churches to do the same. 

Jesus told a story about a man beaten nearly to death and left on the side of the road.  First came a Priest who passed by uncaringly.  Priests were more than just religious appointees, they were community leaders and powerful men, more like politicians.  Then came a Levite who also passed by uncaringly.  Levites oversaw the social service coffers. So they were like bureaucrats. Finally came a Samaritan, a person hated as a racist, who had true compassion.  A major point of the story is that compassion doesn’t belong to the State but begins in each person’s heart.  Marx and Lenin understood this.  That’s why the Soviets tried to ban the churches, then decided to impoverish them and replace the priesthood with KGB agents.

The National Socialists, like Mussolini, were more subtle, asking churches simply not to speak of their faith outside the church walls.  Don’t “impose” it on anyone else, they demanded.  But Jesus rarely spoke about faith inside a church.  His teachings were almost entirely things to do outside the walls.  Which is precisely the critical point.  To kill Christianity, you  have to kill it’s witness beyond the church buildings.  And then replace this with Stately “compassion” giving away “free stuff”  through government benevolence.  This is why I say that this campaign against Christianity is a very clever, effective jihad.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Climate Change Part II, science

About 1970 with the advent of large computers, scientists could, for the first time, do computer models of the atmosphere.  They could ask how much reflectivity and retention of heat occurred when certain chemicals were added or subtracted to an atmosphere.  So you might ask what happens if I have an atmosphere with a lot more methane as in the early days of the planet? Or before forests, in say, the Devonian age, CO2 was probably 20 times as high, so what would happen in the computer model if we changed that?  The answers were that increasing CO2 makes it warmer and increasing SO2 makes it colder.  Indeed CO2 can be produced by man.  The models predicted rapid temp increases the amount of CO2 could be radically increased.   Perhaps this could be produced by man due to modern activity and machines.  This speculation developed into a political issue since an obvious solution would be to limit CO2 output.  The Left could warn of dire climate changes caused by industrial progress and could attempt to control people (which is their real desire) and their emissions. But were the models correct?  Actual climate observations after CO2 emissions have been much less pronounced.

            The climatologists knew there were other effects.  Among them was cloud cover and haze.  Humidity or haze tends to trap heat while cloud clover tends to cool the climate.  The tops of clouds are 98% reflective—brilliant white.  So the obvious question: what’s the effect of increased clouds and can this be observed.  This is what the atmospheric scientists in conjunction with NASA were doing in flyovers of northern OK in the 90’s and bringing those atmospheric scientists to my hotel. 

            Ocean currents and changes are also important.  The oceans are 14,000-18,000 feet deep and fairly uniform in depth.  But only the upper 500 feet has currents and changes in temperature. Below that the water is uniformly cold. Since water holds 5 times the heat energy per volume as land, the oceans are the climate moderators of the earth.  But what if by some turbulence or other effect, some of the deep cold water is mixed with the surface? This would immediately change climate.  Or vice versa, what if the surface gets more laminar and less mixed?  Then you have more heat. 

            Finally there is solar radiation’s fluctuation .  This is least well-understood since we don’t know how the sun changes. Run models based on just 1% loss of radiation and climate changes disastrously.

            Now comes an important point.  The order of importance of each of these 4 effects (radiation, currents, clouds, chemistry) goes in reverse order.  In other words, we think solar radiation is the biggest effect.  After all it changed the Little Ice Age suddenly and radically.  Next in importance are oceanic effects that are suspected in the Dust Bowl, Younger-Dryas, and Sahara desertifications.  Next in importance are the clouds, finally the chemical content.  So then if CO2 changes are present, they may easily be outdone by the other changes.  Moreover it is not well-known how much man’s emissions of CO2 affect the entire amount.  Estimates of total CO2 in the atmosphere vary enormously, by a factor of ten!  When you see such unknowns in gathered data, it raises a red flag with most thoughtful scientists.  Then what is the amount of CO2 that is manmade?  Estimates vary widely again. You can see how some have concluded that Manmade Global Warming via CO2 emissions is a hoax or a miniscule effect.  And indeed, since about 1980 we have been measuring ocean temperatures.  From 1980 to 2000 about half a degree of warming was observed.  But then since 2000 we have lost about a quarter of a degree.  Something unknown caused the world to cool down.  Couldn’t be man’s activities since much of the 3rd World has gone from bicycles to autos. So when you see folks like Senator Inhofe calling global warming a hoax, this is why.

Climate Change Part I, History

            I presented this at the Kay County Republican meeting, concerning climate change.  There are two parts, History and Science.  My expertise is not large but I can explain the issue.  When at KSU in the 70’s I was tapped to be temporary Librarian for the Weather Data Library-- oldest continuous weather records in the United.  Years later I ran a hotel and some of the top climate change scientists in the world frequented our area.  Due to some odd circumstances, word spread that a former colleague (not quite true!) ran a nice hotel.  We got lots of reservations and became something of a headquarters for the scientists who descended on Ponca City’s airport and Lamont’s climate station.  Result was a lot of evening discussions in the lobby.  One night Dr. Tim Tooman, Scripps Oceanographic Institute, author of the El Nino theory gave me a renditon of “the big picture” of the whole climate change controversy which will be in the Science section.  But first the History.

            The  largest climate changes are the ice ages that may have begun almost 3 million years ago.  Earth became 30-40 degrees cooler and glaciation covered half of the northern continents.  Oh, by the way, I don’t want to offend anyone’s faith.  If you believe in a 6000 year earth, just realize that if we make a road cut, there are artifacts that bespeak many years of a former history.  Now whether God just put this in the rocks as a virtual history or whether it is real—you decide.  And we can still talk in apparent years.

            Ice ages were 40-60,000 years long and had interludes of typically 140,000 years between when the climate was considerably warmer than today.  What caused them? We think the nutation of the earth (these wobbles occur every 17,000 years) could have been coupled with continental drift that made the poles landlocked is the reason.  Landlocking the Arctic Sea and the Antarctic continent means that poles can grow an ice cap. Then either a solar radiation change or nutation threw the planet into increasing glaciation as the polar caps reflected more and more sunlight back into space and drove temps down. But the jury is still out on some of this theory.  The last ice age ended roughly 20,000 years ago and the earth began to warm.

            About 11,700 years ago the Younger-Dryas era occurred where the warming reversed and became markedly colder.  Many large animals such as mastodons and sloths died during this era, like the ones you have seen as cartoons in the Ice Age movie.  (Younger-Dryas when the Scrat froze just inches from the tantalizing acorn?)  Younger-Dryas was also an era when we believe that Caucasians in N. America were either were killed or absorbed by Mongloid people from Eastern Siberia who became the Indians.  What caused this cold, dry era which lasted 1700 years?  One theory is that glacial melt which originally went down the Mississippi valley was captured by the St. Lawrence Valley and suddenly went north changing the ocean current patterns and causing a very cold era until more warming took over as the polar caps shrank. So was this just a N. American effect?  It seems to have occurred in the Southern hemisphere too, but at not exactly the same time.  There’s about a thousand years of overlap.

            Then about 6000 years ago, the Sahara began to warm and dry up very slowly.  Shortgrass savanna, somewhat like the OK panhandle, turned into a desert like New Mexico.  It drove the hunters and gatherers off the Sahara and into the Nile river valley where they developed agriculture.  Cause of this warming is unknown.  Then another warming which was much more cataclysmic and faster occurred about 4200 years ago.  We think one or more dust bowl warming events happened.  It dryied the Nile so much that the river refused to flood.  But the people of the Nile, at this time weren’t irrigating, just using the annual floods to wet the land. So a 30-yr. Dust Bowl and no floods caused famines.  The sudden disappearance of the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the similar fate of the Akkadian civilization in Asia Minor-Arabia, and several other places in the East all happened at this precise time.  The Sahara went from New Mexico vegetation to sand dunes as it is today.  Cause has been explained as change in ocean currents off Africa but this doesn’t explain Arabia.

            In more modern times, the era from 800 AD to 1300AD was a particularly warm one called the Medieval Warming. This time we have a measurement of the temperature difference.  It became about 5 degrees warmer than in Roman times. Wine grapes were grown in England.  It’s too cold to do that today.  Vikings traveled to Iceland and deforested the island, then Greenland and settled there during better conditions than exist today.  This warm era allowed better crop production and led Europe out of the Dark Ages.  Cause however is not well established.

            From 1309 to 1850 a disastrous era called the Little Ice Age took over.  We know the dates and cause fairly exactly because Chinese monks who studied the sun with lampblacked glass (part of their religion) suddenly recorded that sunspots almost disappeared in 1309.  The scarcity of sunspots continued until 1850.  Climate was about 7-10 degrees cooler and the cold has an obvious cause.  Sunspots are storms on the solar surface.  When they are plentiful it means that the sun is having more radiation output.  So solar radiation went down during the Little Ice Age.  Dickens wrote Christmas Carol with snow on the streets of London.  That is a truly rare occurrence nowadays. Was this climate change worldwide?  The jury is still out somewhat on this point.

            Another climate change was the Dust Bowl which affected N. America only.  From 1931-1938 midcontinent temperatures averaged 10 degrees warmer, and rainfall dropped by half, then returned to normal.  What cause?  Not well understood but one theory is a prolonged La Nina cycle.

            Bottom line of all these events is that climate changes quite a bit and it is natural.  Fred Flintstone didn’t pollute the atmosphere with too much gasoline in his rock car!  There wasn’t enough fossil fuels being burned in any of these eras to cause changes.