Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stock Market Bust - What Isn't and Won't Be Reported

Immigration is down. You know, the illegal kind. Whether it is because our Homeland Security improvements are working, or because the Mexican economy is on a roll, or because of our construction slump, fact is, there are fewer apprehensions. That is how the HSD determines how many are trying to get in.

But this reduction could end up being one of those unintended consequences that most economists will never actually figure into the historical pattern. Let me see. Less new adults added to the population, fewer families looking for a place to live, less people buying goods and services. This is very likely to lead to an economic slowdown, starting with housing. Checked out the value of your home recently.

In checking around with my friends in the business world, construction work is very slow, truckers are looking for loads, and almost everyone seems to be complaining about new business in the last three weeks of February. So Alan Greenspan says: We might have a recession later this year. China hears that (he said it at a meeting in China.) They aren't stupid, and they can feel the cough in America long before it becomes a cold in Asia. So their market dumps 9% in one session.

Does this mean we should encourage illegal immigrants to start crossing over again? Does it even mean we should dramatically increase the number of work visas and such. Not necessarily. We just need to know that there will be pain in the process.

PS. This is not to say that this is the only thing impacting the economy or housing prices. And I am not predicting a recession later this year. As a card carrying member of the Optimist Party, I expect a major increase in business tomorrow or the next day.

Al Gore, Liberal Elitist Extrodinaire, Just Doesn't Get It

Wow! Al Gore responded today to the issue of whether his energy use of 20 times the national average was an indication of hypocrisy in his war against global warming. He pointed out that he has switched many of his light fixtures to low energy compact fluorescent bulbs. He is in the process of installing a solar panels, and he tries to buy energy from companies producing such energy from greener sources. Thus he is reducing his carbon footprint from what it was.

It turns out, however, that the "pool house" uses 10 times more energy than the average American home. Al, if you want to be the lead spokesman and win the Nobel Peace Prize for that leadership, maybe you could lower yourself to live in a 2500 square foot home with a pool. Just maybe you could travel commercial instead of private jets. I know you have worked hard, as did your father before you, and you deserve your luxuries. You and Babs with her air conditioned barn that stores her personal memorabilia. But if you want to be believed that you think we are in a global emergency, and that life as we know it is threatened, then I would think the only ethical thing to do would be t0 actually sacrifice. Don't hold your breath.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Al Gore Get's Another Award

This is almost too good to be true, but other than the Drudge Report where I found it, you're just not going to see this information hitting the Main-Stream-Media any time soon.

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”
Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average
Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.
Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.
“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

So let's dispense with the nominating, the voting, and all that. I say we give him Hypocrite of the Decade with no further ado.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Given Enough Time, Science Might Get Things RIght

I've been spending more than few hours debating scientist over at my new blog http://godvsnogod.blogspot.com. And in order to do the research, I have also traveled to places like thenogodblog, The Panda's Thumb, and the bronze blog. Most folks in the science world agree that much they propose to know to be true today will be improved on in future days, months, or years. Science is always self-correcting. We can hope it self-corrects for the better. If global ice age vs. global warming is any indication, there is still much work to be done.

Well, if there is one science that is usually the most ridiculed, it is the one I have my degree in, psychology. Freud has been completely discredited, and those who followed fit the claim often made of economists: If you have 10 psychologists in the room, you probably have 11 opinions on any given subject.

I have to say, though, the past few months have seen some remarkable progress in the field. Psychologists first determined that teaching self esteem wasn't working. This was almost my first post on this blog. Then last year a survey revealed that therapists believed that 75% of emotional illness is related to failure to forgive. Both of these are most amazing in that they confirm Biblical teaching.

Now this
from findings of The American Psychological Association:
...the portrayal of girls and young women as sex objects harms girls' mental and physical health - should be addressed at the root cause: the media.
If this were the only finding, it would be amazing enough. But the article goes on:

The saturation of sexualised images of females is leading to body hatred, eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, high rates of teen pregnancy and unhealthy sexual development in our girl children. It also leads to impaired cognitive performance. In short, if we tell girls that looking "hot" is the only way to be validated, rather than encouraging them to be active players in the world, they underperform at everything else.And all along the "progressives" in this society have believed that it is ok to dress our 12 year- old girls like sluts, allow our 14 year-olds to date adults, and put no restrictions on the tv, movie, or internet habits of our preteens of either sex.
I spent two weeks over at blogcritics.org a couple of years ago arguing about the negative effects of porn, an inclination of men to require their dates to do what they have seen on porn. This and the opposite. Women feeling compelled to do what they believe their date likes in porn in order to hold onto them. Most of the folks in the forum thought I was an old fashioned nanny.

Well, the Bible tells us to esteem not ourselves, that our worth comes from God. The Bible says that forgiveness is the key to spiritual cleansing which will lead to a balanced life. The Bible says that we should reserve the sexual aspects of our lives to our mate. Science follows Bible. I like it.

More on Light Bulbs

I know that the name of this blog seems a bit less than humble, and it was intended as a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing, but every once in a while, this little blog that could gets it right. We got it right on dark chocolate. Now we were the leading edge on light bulb. The first article was here

Now the great state of California may join Australia in some kind of ban on bulbs. This morning it was above the fold in the LA Times. Go figure. You can also read all about the details on a "green" website here. (Bet you never thought you'd see the day when I pointed you to a green website.)

And by the way, in case you don't read the entire LA Times article or go to the green website, one other interesting point is that the major bulb makers are working overtime to come up with a more efficient incandescent bulb. Will wonders never cease.

This is not the only way to become more efficient on energy while reducing carbon in the atmosphere without killing the worlds economies. See my list from a few days ago. Hopefully in a future column there will be more evidence that some of us lay people get it right from time-to-time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Australia To Outlaw Traditional Light Bulbs

This makes total sense. See my post below. If we agree, and I think almost everybody does, that we should cut petrol use and become more efficient in energy use, and pollute less - than this is the kind of regulation we need.

(AP) The Australian government on Tuesday announced plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs across the country. Legislation to gradually restrict the sale of the old-style bulbs could reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons by 2012 and cut household power bills by up to 66 percent, said Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

More like this! The rest of the article is here

Will This Make Front Page In LA Times Tomorrow? - American Want to Win In Iraq - Poll

HT to the Drudge report.

Public Opinion Strategies took a poll. Who are they? Well, they "scored the best win-loss record among the major polling and media firms in the 2004 election." The were also named Pollster of the Year in 2002.

The survey shows Americans want to win in Iraq, and that they understand Iraq is the central point in the war against terrorism and they can support a U.S. strategy aimed at achieving victory, said Neil Newhouse, a partner in POS. The idea of pulling back from Iraq is not where the majority of Americans are.

  • By a 53 percent - 46 percent margin, respondents surveyed said that Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the President to withdraw troops from Iraq.
  • You can read all the results by going here

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Serious Methods For Reducing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gasses

    My blogging buddy, Norma, has posted her personal list of ways to Green the planet. OK. Some of hers are tongue-in-cheek. My list will be far to serious, but I suggest it is more realistic than the methods being proposed by those flying to international meetings in their private jets.

    1. Nuclear power plants.
    2. Increase number of years of patent protection on patents related to energy efficiency or reduction of any pollutant. Get an international treaty that makes certain that the patent protection gets enforced worldwide.
    3. Experiment with tax or even cash incentives until we find a successful set of methods to move people into more efficient products. (In California, Southern California Edison offers incentives from time-to-time for the installation of more efficient lighting in businesses. These programs are always oversubscribed. If we believe that this is necessary to save the earth, provide the necessary incentives so that every business that wants to can get the incentive.)
    4. Give all government bodies at all levels 10 years to move to more efficient products. If all government cars had to 100 MPG by 2017, there would be dozens of start-up companies trying to fill that demand, not to mention the companies that already exist. Same thing for lighting, AC, heating, window treatments, etc.
    5. Don't penalize energy producers for their old technology, provide tax incentives to whatever degree necessary to get them to move to new technologies.
    6. Stop scaring people about the future. It doesn't work, and it can even be counter-productive. Instead, point to the benefits. Everyone knows for a fact that we would be better off to find cleaner-more renewable sources of energy. Everyone knows that we would be better off if our cars and light bulbs and appliances were more efficient. No one knows if the planet will be warmer or cooler in 100 years or what the effects will be. Move people with a positive message and excellent incentives.

    Enough from me. Am I wrong? What else?

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    The Last Jihad by Joel Rosenberg

    Some of you will know that I'm a total Johny-come-lately on this one. The Last Jihad hit the book shelves in 2003 and was a New York Times best seller. Joel Rosenberg ended up doing all kinds of talk show work because he "predicted 9/11." How could I have missed all this. Did Drudge report this? Was Rosenberg ever on The Factor?

    In case you too were living in a cave during the last 4 years and completely missed the writings of Joel Rosenberg, take my advice and just go buy everything he has written. The first three, The Last Jihad, The Last Days, and Ezekiel Option make up a Trilogy of action packed, spy thrillers. The subject is World Politics, and Rosenberg has his pulse on real politic. He also has an amazing depth of knowledge about end-times theory.

    Here are the reasons to read this trilogy. It is like Reading "24 Hours." Excellent storytelling, fantastic insights into political strategy, and the inside scoop on weapons, and the technology of war.

    The books are better written and more intellectually satisfying fictional versions of end times than Left Behind. Rosenberg is a huge fan of Left Behind, and one can assume that LaHaye would return the compliment.

    Even if you are not pre-trib, not even a fundamentalist, or not even a believer, you will be mesmerized by how these book parallel the front page of your daily paper. I'd give a couple of examples, but it would give away far too much.

    Don't do another thing until you click on the book cover on this post and buy his entire output. (Yes, I will make about $.50. I promise to put it all in the offering plate.)

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    100%. WOW!

    I rarely take tests any more. I thought they took all the fun out of school. This one is fun, though.

    You know the Bible 100%!

    Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

    Ultimate Bible Quiz
    Create MySpace Quizzes

    NY Times Columnist Shocker - US Troops WERE Greeted as Liberators - More

    Now that the 2006 elections are over, the truth can come out. The truth is being revealed not on Rush, not on Hewitt, but on the Tim Russert Show. Who brings us the truth. Lead overseas correspondant for the NY Times who reported from Bagdad before the war, John Burns.

    Reminded by Tim Russert on Russert's Saturday night CNBC show, about how Vice President Cheney predicted U.S. troops would be welcomed as “liberators” by the Iraqi people, New York Times Iraq reporter John Burns corrected Russert's presumption that Cheney was misguided: “The American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly, it was exhausted quickly by the looting.” Burns added: “I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts: the desire not to have too heavy of a footprint, the desire to empower Iraqis.”

    And if you heart can take more, read this next bit:

    As for what led to the inaccurate assumption that Iraqi would “stand up” for democracy, Burns contended that journalists made the same error: “I think that the policy makers in Washington, and to be on honest with you the journalists also, to speak for myself, completely miscalculated the impact of 30 years of violent, brutal repression on the Iraqi people and their willingness, in President Bush's phrase, ' to stand up' for themselves, to take authority, to take risks.”
    And then there was this:

    Burns also rejected the notion that different U.S. strategies would have prevented the current chaos: “My guess is that history will say that the forces that we liberated by invading Iraq were so powerful and so uncontrollable that virtually nothing the United States might have done, except to impose its own repressive state with half a million troops, which might have had to last ten years or more, nothing we could have done would have effectively prevented this disintegration that is now occurring.”

    If you'd like to read or hear or see the details, go here. Do you think this info will be running right column in any papers tomorrow? Leading any news broadcasts? Talked about at all?

    HT: Laura Ingles Radio Show 2/6/07

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Don't Buy That Beachfront Property in Alaska Yet

    This might be my last post on global warming for a while. Someone with far more time on their hands to devote to the subject has done such a masterful job of COMPLETELY debunking the just released UN Climate update, that I will just point you to him. Then to the extent that you care about this issue, and wish to be kept informed, he should be a great resource.

    Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute, a division of Energy Probe Research Foundation. His series of articles starts out this way:

    Many in the "science is settled" camp claim that the skeptics are untrustworthy -- that they are either cranks or otherwise at the periphery of their profession, or that they are in the pockets of Exxon or other corporate interests. The skeptics are increasingly being called Deniers, a term used by analogy to the Holocaust, to convey the catastrophe that could befall mankind if action is not taken. Increasingly, too, the press is taking up the Denier theme, convincing the public that the global-warming debate is over.

    In this, the first of a series, I examine The Deniers, starting with Edwar Wegmanan. Dr. Wegmanan is a professor at the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and board member of the American Statistical Association. Few statisticians in the world havCVsVs to rival his.

    If you want to take about 15 minutes to read the whole series, here it is.

    The series
    Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I
    Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II
    The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III
    Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV

    The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V
    The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI
    Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII
    The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII
    Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX
    Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X

    I think it is clear that we are witnessing a science juggernaut driven by fear, rage, greed, lust for power, grant considerations, envy, and every other normal human contributor. There is no other way that one can explain how a science that AGREES that they know almost nothing about clouds can state with 905 surety that global warming is man caused and will result in horrible catastrophes (and no benefits) over the next decades. Balderdash.