Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Minnesota Economists Debunk Myths About the Financial Crisis

The alarm bells sounded back in September and October of this year concerning the supposed 'freeze-up' of the financial system, rung by US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, and others, had some significant results. For one thing, they handed the white house to the Democrats and enabled them to increase their majorities in congress. They also spread news about an 'imminent' recession across the country, causing people to cut back on consumer spending.

Now we learn from three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis that three of the main claims made by Paulson are false. You can see a copy of the paper written by Chari, Christiano, and Kehoe here.

The three falsehoods include:

1. Bank lending to nonfinancial corporations and individuals has declined sharply.

There is no evidence of any decrease at all.

2. Interbank lending is essentially nonexistent.

There was no decrease in the aggregate amount of interbank loans.

3. Commercial paper issuance by nonfinancial corporations has declined sharply, and rates have risen to unprecedented levels.

There was no decrease in the levels of commercial paper issuance by nonfinancial corporations, nor did the interest rates change at all.

This is typical of the kind of nonsense that comes out of Washington. Bush was a fool to appoint the Keynesian Bernanke to be Federal Reserve Board Chairman. And he needs someone to be secretary of the Treasury who can look at the issues in a calm and dispassionate manner. Not someone like Paulson who has made hundreds of millions on Wall Street in recent years.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Obama Defers to Bush, for Now, on Gaza Crisis

During the presidential campaign, how many times did we hear something like "We must restore the USA's credibility with the world" from 0bama or one of his surrogates in the lamestream media? But now that His Holiness is about to take the reigns of power, he has to start making the difficult decisions that Bush had to make concerning foreign policy. Now even his lackeys at the New York Times are admitting that the 0-man is letting Bush handle such matters:

Since his election, Mr. Obama has said little specific about his foreign policy — in contrast to more expansive remarks about the economy. He and his advisers have deferred questions — critics could say, ducked them — by saying that until Jan. 20, only President Bush would speak for the nation as president and commander in chief. “The fact is that there is only one president at a time,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, reiterating a phrase that has become a mantra of the transition. “And that president now is George Bush.”
Mr. Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, talked to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Saturday. “But the Bush administration has to speak for America now,” Mr. Axelrod said. “And it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to opine on these matters.” As the fighting in Gaza shows, however, events in the world do not necessarily wait for Inauguration Day in the United States.

So when are you going to start showing some leadership, Mr. Wonderful? Are you going to wait until January 20, or will it take even longer than that?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The 'Scientific Consensus' on Global Warming

From the blog Urgent Agenda, we read a letter from Frank Tipler, mathematical physicist at Tulane. Here are a few excerpts:

As regards global warming, my view is essentially the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no basis in science.

It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are then compared with observations that the average person can check for himself. As we both know from our own observations, AGW theory has spectacularly failed to do this. The theory has predicted steadily increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience. NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling period. In other words, whether the ice caps melt, or expand --- whatever happens --- the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory. A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology.

I emphasized in point (2) that the average person has to be able to check the observations. I emphasize this because I no longer trust "scientists" to report observations correctly. I think the data is adjusted to confirm, as far as possible, AGW. We've seen many recent cases where the data was cooked in climate studies. In one case, Hanson and company claimed that October 2008 was the warmest October on record. Watts looked at the data, and discovered that Hanson and company had used September's temperatures for Russia rather than October's. I'm not surprised to learn that September is hotter than October in the Northern hemisphere.

And the most disturbing part:

AGW supporters are also bringing back the Inquisition, where the power of the state is used to silence one's scientific opponents. The case of Bjorn Lomborg is illustrative. Lomborg is a tenured professor of mathematics in Denmark. Shortly after his book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," was published by Cambridge University Press, Lomborg was charged and convicted (later reversed) of scientific fraud for being critical of the "consensus" view on AGW and other environmental questions. Had the conviction been upheld, Lomborg would have been fired.

I find it very disturbing that part of the Danish Inquisition's case against Lomborg was written by John Holdren, Obama's new science advisor. Holdren has recently written that people like Lomborg are "dangerous." I think it is people like Holdren who are dangerous, because they are willing to use state power to silence their scientific opponents.

As bad as 0bama is, there wasn't much to choose from in the recent presidential election. McCain has also fallen for this nonsense.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Aren't Those Israelis Awful?

The Palestinians in Gaza have been throwing rockets and mortar shells at them for several months now. And now those evil Israelis have the nerve to shoot back.

And all of you leftists and muslims who think the Israelis are so terrible for defending themselves, please try an experiment some time. Get a gun and open fire on a hunter or some guy at a firing range or sporting clays course. See how he responds.

Likewise, all you scumbags in Sinn Fein/IRA who wonder why the protestants in Northern Ireland formed their own paramilitary groups and fought back.

If the Palestinians want to avoid any future attacks, they may do so by simply refraining from launching any more rockets.
Lucianne Lays an Egg

I often enjoy reading The articles posted there are often useful to anti-leftist like me, and the comments usually give good insights.

The moderators of the site are another matter altogether. They act in a bizarre fashion, deleting some articles for no apparent reason and getting all bent out of shape if someone doesn't post in just the right manner. This even though it's almost impossible to discern what is acceptable to them and what is not. I have mostly given up on trying to post anything there.

This morning, the moderators outdid themselves. There was an interesting link in the "Must Reads" section about Caroline Kennedy's attempt to get appointed to the US Senate:

So I clicked on the link to read the article and the comments. And look what the moderator did:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Put the M Back in MTV

Oh horrors! MTV's ratings dropped 23% over the fourth quarter. To combat this, they are planning 16 new reality shows:

In trying to keep its hold on young and fickle audiences, MTV over the decades has undergone some fundamental programming shifts, but never before on this scale.
The cabler's recent ratings declines include a 23% fourth-quarter drop in its core demo of 12- to 34-year-olds. So MTV is embarking on a major programming overhaul, with 16 new unscripted series over the next 4½ months.
The series come from high-profile producers including Sean Combs, Matt Stone & Trey Parker, Donald Trump and Nick Lachey. And they represent a major thematic shift for the channel -- more toward the meta-scripted reality of MTV's "The Hills," one of the cabler's few success stories these days.
While MTV pioneered reality series with 1992's "The Real World," that genre has become ubiquitous, so the network is offering a slate that avoids the backbiting and bitchery of most nonfiction fare.

If I may be so bold, try SHOWING SOME MUSIC VIDEOS. Or at least experiment and try alternating an hour of videos with an hour of your Real World/Road Rules/Jackass stuff.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kathleen Parker Brainfarts Again

The presidential was concluded six weeks ago, with a decisive victory for 0bama. But for some bizarre reason, a number of people can't get over the fact that Sarah Palin had the gall to run for vice-president. I mean, how could anyone with a college degree from the University of Idaho possibly think they are qualified to be president? The mind boggles. Only someone with degrees from Columbia and Harvard (Carolyn Kennedy, Barack 0bama) or Princeton and Harvard (Michelle Obama) or Wellesley and Yale (Hillary Clinton) could possibly have the gravitas to be president.

One of the people who are still venting their anger against the usurper Palin is Kathleen Parker, writing for the Washington Post:

Palin's demonstrated lack of basic knowledge, her intellectual incuriosity, her inability to articulate ideas or even simple thoughts all combined to create an impression of not-quite-there.

Dropping the sarcasm, I am going to try to explain to Kathleen why she gets an "impression of not-quite-there" from Sarah Palin. No one knows everything, nor even more than a tiny fragment of the knowledge that the six billion people of the world possess. However, many politicians like to pretend that they have all the answers (a certain gentleman from Chicago comes to mind) and by doing so, they acquire a veneer of phoniness.

Sarah has not adopted that phoniness. But simpletons like Kathleen interpret Sarah's intellectual honesty as "not-quite-there". Some of the interviews she undertook such as those conducted by Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric were designed specifically to exploit her honesty and try to embarass her to the maximum degree possible.

Kathleen, many of us in the Republican party would greatly appreciate it if you would quit pretending to be a Republican and join the Democrats where you belong. You're no more Republican than Teddy Kennedy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Worst Possible Pick for Secretary of State

We have heard for some time about how Bill Clinton's raised a half billion from various places. Now we learn where it came from:

Former President Bill Clinton has raised more than $500 million for his charitable foundation from foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, and an international who's who of royal families, corporate barons, philanthropic foundations, entertainment personalities, Democratic donors and longtime friends of the Clinton family, according to a list of donors made public for the first time this morning.

Lifting a veil of secrecy aggressively protected by the former president, the William J. Clinton Foundation disclosed a 2,922-page list of more than 200,000 benefactors as part of an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that allows Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), to become secretary of state.
Among the multimillion-dollar donors -- whose identities have remained anonymous for more than a decade -- are several foreign states, multinational corporations and international business moguls. They represent a thicket of potential conflicts of interest that Hillary Clinton must avoid should the Senate approve Obama's nomination to make her the nation's top diplomat.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Australian government's overseas aid program and a Dominican Republic government agency that fights AIDS each gave between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit that financed Bill Clinton's presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., and funds charitable efforts to fight poverty and chronic global health problems.

So our prospective Secretary of State is beholden to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A repressive regime that spawned 15 of the 9/11 highjackers. Why is Hillary even being considered for Secretary of State? She has no business being a senator either.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Suppression of Free Speech in Scotland

Watch what you say in the UK. If its not PC, you can get in trouble with the law:

A Rangers fan has been given two years probation and a football banning order for singing the 'Famine Song'.
William Walls, 20, was found guilty of breach of the peace, aggravated by religious and racial prejudice, at Kilmarnock District Court.
The offence was committed at Rangers' away match at Kilmarnock on 9 November.
Rangers have asked fans to not to sing the song, which refers to events that killed an estimated one million people in Ireland in the 1840s.
Speaking after sentence, Kilmarnock District Procurator Fiscal, Les Brown, said: "The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service takes all instances of racism and bigotry very seriously.
"We will prosecute in court all offences which are aggravated by racial or religious prejudice.

We got our problems here in the USA. But for the moment, I am still glad I live here. We have our first and second amendments. The second guarantees the first.

But there are many on the left who would like to take our freedoms away. One of them is about to be sworn in as president.

The Joys of Illegal Immigration

Those of you who favor amnesty for illegal aliens should read about Marcos Velasquez-Morales:

A Dale County man who pleaded guilty to raping a 9-year-old girl was sentenced to a full 18 years in prison, according to authorities. Marcos Velasquez-Morales, 31, of Level Plains, was charged July 30 with first-degree rape after authorities said he lived with the victim’s mother. He was sentenced by Dale County Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin on Dec. 15, according to the Dale County Sheriff’s Office. According to a press release from the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, Morales was an illegal alien from Mexico. He had been deported once from the U.S. in 2003, according to Immigration and Customs officials.

During the political battles of the summer of 2007, many of the advocates wanted to extend amnesty even to illegals who had been convicted of felonies and those who had ignored previous deportation orders.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that someone who breaks the immigration laws would also be likely to break other laws. But that's apparently too much to ask of the open borders advocates.

And in the mean time, that 9 year old girl, who should be playing with Barbies or wondering what to wear to her friend's birthday party, has something much more serious to deal with. And she has those of you who have looked the other way while millions of criminals have flooded into our country to thank.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Headlines

From AP science writer Seth Borenstein: Obama left with little time to curb global warming

WASHINGTON – When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.
Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.
"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."

From Kevin Roth, Lead Meteorologist, the Weather Channel: Bitter Cold Grips Much of the Country

An arctic cold front plows eastward through the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and middle Mississippi Valley Monday.
Relatively warm temperatures ahead of the cold front in the 30s and 40s allow the precipitation to fall as rain. However, once the cold front pushes through temperatures take a dramatic tumble into the 20s changing the rain to freezing rain, sleet and snow. Thankfully there should not be too much moisture left once the cold air is rushing in so any wintry precipitation should be light with only spotty accumulations of an inch or less anticipated.
Bitter arctic air combined with blustery winds behind the front should produce wind chill readings in the -30 to -50 degree category Monday morning. The winds should diminish as the day progresses, but temperatures will have a very tough time climbing. High temperatures should remain below zero across all of North Dakota and South Dakota and over all but southeast Minnesota.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Tragedy of Cults

There is an interesting article in yesterday's WSJ about the massacre at Jonestown, Guyana that occurred 30 years ago.

Jim Jones was a marxist. And like all of his kind, he treated human beings like cattle, to be slaughtered at will. Although on a smaller scale, the carnage he wrought was similar to the mass homicides carried out by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and more recently Mugabe.

The cult of 0bama is eerily reminiscent of the cult of Jim Jones. The simpletons who support 0bama think he will solve all their problems and will follow him blindly.

0bama's marxist leanings and his associations with terrorists William Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and Rita O'Hare make one even more uneasy. Likewise his appointment of Eric Holder as US Attorney General. Holder was involved in the pardon of 16 FALN terrorists.

We are coming upon some very scary times.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

0bama Advisor Does an About-Face

David Axelrod, one of His Highnesses chief advisors, last month claimed that 0bama spoke with Illinois Governor Blagojevich about the president-elect's replacement in the senate. That was a natural thing for the two politicians to do, and very believable.

But now that Blagojevich has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell the senate seat to the highest bidder, Axelrod has changed his tune:

Ax was 'mistaken' and Al Gore was ignored Posted December 9, 2008 8 :57 PM
David Axelrod sent a statement out this evening via Obama transition team spokesperson Jen Psaki saying he was “mistaken.” Here are the entire two sentences of the statement:
“I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject.”

Yeah, sure.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What State is This?

You'd never guess it. This is southeastern Colorado at the Kansas border. No mountains here. It loooks just like the adjoining part of Kansas. Flat and featureless.
If it were up to our federal government, the entire country would look like this.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Terrorist Bernadine Dohrn Teaches 'Torture' at Northwestern

In order to understand how unrepentant terrorists like William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn can become esteemed members of the faculty of prestigious universities, you must first understand the nature of the people who run these fine universities. Many if not most of them are capable of similar depravity. I learned this first-hand when trying to deal with Kristen Murtaugh, who is the Vice-President of Folorida Atlantic University's Jupiter campus. That woman is a sociopath.

I took a look at Bernadine's profile on Northwestern's website, and found something really amusing:

She writes and lectures on international human rights law, torture, juvenile justice and extreme sentencing of youth, family violence and school law.

Every good terrorist should know how to carry out, and teach others how to torture their victims. We read before how Bernadine admired the brutal Tate-Labianca murders:

"Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach! Wild!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Animal Rights Wackos Criticize Sale of Reindeer Meat
In spite of the fact that the Sami, the people of northern Scandinavia, have been living off reindeer for centuries, some PETA-types in England are criticizing the sale of their meat:

Ikea has been accused of condoning cruelty to animals by selling salami made from Santa's four-legged sleigh-pullers, reindeer.
Unlike a traditional reindeer hunt, modern ranchers buzz over the animals in helicopters, herd them with snowmobiles and truck them hundreds of miles, causing them mental and physical stress.
Around 70 per cent of Swedish reindeer slaughtered are calves, which means they die without seeing snow, claims the animal welfare group Viva!.
Ikea sells 130g of reindeer salami for £1.75 and 100g of reindeer slices for £2.25 in its Swedish food hall, which features other national dishes such as rye bread, meatballs, and almond cake.
Viva!, a vegetarian campaign group based in Bristol, said: "We are calling on the company to withdraw sales of the meat, due to the cruel exploitation these wild animals suffer at the hands of hunters."
Viva! has already persuaded supermarkets not to stock kangaroo and other exotic meats which can be reared and killed in ways that would be illegal in the UK.
In a letter to Ikea, it cited evidence from a study by Uppsala University in Sweden in 2005 that found reindeer hunting caused "considerable physical and mental stress".

Rocky, Daphne, and I are going back to Kansas this weekend to cause considerable physical and mental stress to some pheasant roosters.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008