Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Government, Get Out of My Life!

First came NAIS, to make it illegal for me raise my own animals and share them with friends and family without government permission.

From NoNAIS.org:

Homesteaders, people who grow some of their own food, will have to register with the government as a farm and obtain a Premise ID. They’ll also have to pay the annual fees associated with that and fill out the paperwork on all of their livestock. Every time you have chicks, goats, piglets or other animals born you’ll need to register it with the government. Every time an animal dies you’ll have to register it with the government. Got a predator problem? Expect to fill out a lot of paperwork. Have an animal escape the fence and cross the road or go onto a neighbor’s property? Fill out more forms and the neighbor may have to fill out forms, too. Animals come on to your property uninvited? More forms. And no, there are no exceptions. Every livestock animal must be registered, tagged and tracked from birth to death.

Small Farmers who sell direct to their customers will be devastated. Small farmers already work at higher costs than the big factory farms. Under NAIS they’ll have to identify each and every animal at a high cost because they can’t use the group identification techniques of the big Agri-Biz corporations. The big guys do all-in/all-out animal management. Each mass group of animals are of one gene stock and the same age. The factory farms need only apply for one ID to cover the entire group of thousands of animals. Small, traditional-style farmers have many, genetically diverse animals of different ages on their farms. Each individual animal will be required to have an ID. The result is that the cost of farming will go up greatly for small farmers. This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin of small farming. Developers will be over joyed as they buy up farm land at rock bottom prices to divide up into condos and strip malls. Rural America will turn dingy with pavement. Gone will be the fields, pastures and meadows filled with grazing livestock. Vermont can kiss it’s tourist industry good-bye.

Then came HR 875 and S425 to take away my right to home garden.

From Campaign For Liberty:

  • Legally binds state agriculture depts to enforcing federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal dept.
  • Effectively criminalizes organic farming but doesn't actually use the word organic.
  • Affects anyone growing food even if they are not selling it but consuming it.
  • Affects anyone producing meat of any kind including the processing wild game for personal consumption.
  • Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal. There are no specifics which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.
  • Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation. It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation. Who do you think they are going to side with?
  • Section 206 defines what will be considered a food production facility and what will be enforced up all food production facilities. The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.
  • Section 207 requires that the state's agriculture dept act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements. This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment.

They claimed the rains in the dry states, making it illegal to harvest rainwater.

They said that food can’t make health claims unless it is labeled as a drug (see the Cheerios debacle), even though Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago, "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." Not according to the FDA.

The House has passed The Watermelon Bill to tell me how when and what I can drive, switch on my lights, heat my home and God only knows what else. President Obama and his carefully orchestrated infomercials are trying to shove government controlled health care down my screaming throat. Please, someone, tell me when the government has managed to do anything less expensively than the private sector?

I've had it, I've just had it. Government, back the heck off! Get out of my life! I am a grown up, and I know I lot better what my family and my community need than you do. What is happening at the federal level is unconstitutional (as well as being absolutely ludicrous). Get yourselves copies of the Constitution. Read them. Quit lining your (and your friends) pockets with my money and the money of every other hard-working American.

Monday, June 29, 2009

We Can't Hear You

From EPA May Have Suppressed Report Skeptical Of Global Warming

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward... and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision."

The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be a independent review process inside a federal agency -- and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document.

Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, told CBSNews.com in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. "It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else," Carlin said. "That was obviously coming from higher levels."

E-mail messages released this week show that Carlin was ordered not to "have any direct communication" with anyone outside his small group at EPA on the topic of climate change, and was informed that his report would not be shared with the agency group working on the topic.

Mr. Carlin seems pretty sensible to me. You can check out more of his information at Carlin Economics.

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon...

H/T to the National Watermelon Promotion Board for the excellent watermelon photos.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Watermelon Bill

I was watching Friday's TiVo'd episode of Glenn Beck, and I'd have to say that once again he's hit the nail on the head with his discussion of "The Watermelon Bill" (green on the outside, red on the inside) - H.R. 2454 American Clean Energy Act. I'm referring to the recently passed Cap and Trade bill, which slimily slipped through the House of Representatives by a 219-212 vote late Friday while the media instead fixated on the late Michael Jackson.

Maybe they're hoping that Watermelon's Viagra-like Effect will stimulate the economy. My money's on (literally, it seems) an effect more like the one noted in Spain.

Take a peak at an excerpt from "Tilting at Green Windmills" on RealClearPolitics:

WASHINGTON -- The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?

Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy.

To which Washington DC responds:


Why, oh why, are they waging war on a trace gas that is necessary for the survival of life on earth that makes up only 0.00039% of the atmosphere? Yes folks, soon you will be taking turns breathing on alternate days, because we all exhale polluting gases. Let's take a little science side trip. If we visit The Cold Facts on Global Warming, we find (emphasis mine):

According to the US Department of Energy, only about 14.8% of this increase, or 11.88 ppm, is man-made. The remaining 68.5 ppm is caused by natural forces, such as volcanoes and forest fires [26]. From this, researchers have estimated that, when water vapor is taken into account, anthropogenic CO2 contributions cause about 0.117% of the Earth's total greenhouse effect.

At the current rate of increase, CO2 will not double its current level until 2255.

And as for the pictures of poor drowning polar bears used to rally support for the AGW cause, maybe the AGW fanatics should have a chat with a certain polar bear expert who has been banned from Copenhagen. BTW, he says the bears are doing just fine, thank you very much. I know this sounds silly, but shouldn't being covered with hollow air-filled hairs all over their body be like having their own built-in personal flotation devices? I'm sure bears die, don't get me wrong, but they seem pretty well adapted to their lifestyle overall.

Of course, companies will simply relocate to other countries like India and China to do business, so those emissions won't really decrease anyway, so I guess the whole discussion is even more irrelevant.

So, if this isn't about jobs or science, what is it about? MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND LINING PEOPLE'S POCKETS. Like I tell my boys - follow the money. Al Gore stands to become the first Global Warming billionaire. Nancy Dearest and Rep. Markey (who sponsored the bill) aren't doing so bad either. (I thought this type of thing was called insider trading and was illegal?)

From Glenn Beck:

• Nancy Pelosi has $50,000 to $100,000 in Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

• Rep. Edward Markey — hmm, why does that name sound familiar? — has investments between $51,000 and $115,000 in the Firsthand Technology Value Fund (which as three solar-energy manufacturers)

• Al Gore — Mr. "Inconvenient Truth" himself — his venture capital firm is heavily invested in a new software company that's making software to help companies track their carbon footprint. He, and companies like his, will make a fortune.

Then again, Mr. Gore indulging in a little fearmongering for his own financial benefit is nothing new.

Suburban Guerrilla has some good excerpts from a Rolling Stone article that point out yet another set of beneficiaries - Wall Street:

In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees - while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.

Carbon credits are a artificially created, non-existent commodity that are now set to be traded just like stock futures. That's worked pretty well, hasn't it? You think gas prices shot up fast before? You ain't seen nothing yet, as the saying goes.

Finally, it's all about control. The government will decide what vehicle you can drive, what temperature you can keep your home at, what type of lighting (if any) you can use - it's a pretty substantial list. Check the Constitution. There is no mention of these powers in it. As I mentioned at the top of the post, this bill is a watermelon - green on the outside and red on the inside - moving us ever closer to a Socialist/Marxist state.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Praying for a Miracle in Iran

I know, it's probably too much to hope for, but my prayers are with the ordinary people of Iran who are fighting for their lives and for their freedom. May they overcome the tyrants who subjugate them.

From the Wall Street Journal "The Fear is Gone: Voices from Iran"

Marching to Freedom Square

By Alireza in Tehran

There is something in the air in Tehran these days. We remain afraid, but we also dare to speak.

I left my home in Tajrish along with my family at 3 p.m. to head to the protest on Monday. We knew that people were supposed to gather in Enghelab [Revolution] Square at 4 p.m. and march toward Azadi [Freedom] Square. From Gisha Bridge onwards, we saw people walking. Cars were blowing their horns and people were flashing the victory sign. I also saw a group of about 20 militiamen with long beards and batons on motorbikes.

My hand was hanging out of the taxi window with a little green ribbon -- the color of the reformists -- tied around my finger. One of the militiamen told me to "throw that ribbon away!" When I refused, 15 people attacked me inside the car. They beat me with their batons and tried to pull me out.

My wife and my daughter who were sitting in the back seat cried and held me tight. I also held myself tight to the chair. As they tried to shatter the car windows the driver went out and explained that he is just a taxi driver, we are just his passengers, and he hadn't done anything wrong. After about five minutes they left us alone.

Soon we joined the crowd at Enghelab Street. What I saw there was the most magnificent scene I have ever witnessed in my life. The huge numbers of people were marching hand-in-hand peacefully. There were no slogans being shouted. Hands were held up in victory signs with green ribbons. People carried placards which read: silence. Young and old, men and women, rich and poor were marching cheerfully. It was an amazing show of solidarity. I was so proud.

Enghelab Street, the widest avenue in Tehran, was full of people. Some estimated that there were one to two million people there. As we marched, we passed a police department and a Basij base. In both places, we could see fully-armed riot police and militiamen watching us from behind fences. Near Sharif University of Technology, where the students had chased away Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a few days before, Mir Hossein Mousavi (the reformist president-elect) and Mehdi Karrubi, the other reformist candidate, spoke to the people and were received with cries of praise and applause.

My family and I had put stickers on our mouths to represent the suppression of the regime. Other people carried signs. One quoted the national poet Ahmad Shamlu: "To slaughter us/why did you need to invite us/to such an elegant party." Another made fun of the government's claim that Ahmadinejad won 24 million votes: "The Miracle of the Third Millennium: 2 x 2 = 24 million." Others just read: "Where is my vote?"

When we finally arrived at Azadi Square, which can accommodate around 500,000 people, it was full. We saw smoke coming from Jenah Freeway and heard the gunshots. People were scared but continued walking forward.

Later, my sister told me that she saw four militiamen come out from a house and shoot a girl. Then they shot a young boy in his eye and the bullet came out of his ear. She said that four people were shot.

On my way home at around 2 a.m. I saw about 10 buses full of armed riot police parked on the side of the road. There were scattered militiamen in civilian clothes carrying clubs patrolling the empty streets. And in Tajrish Square I saw a boy around 16 holding a club, looking for something to attack.

At Ahmadinejad's "victory" ceremony, government buses transported all his supporters from nearby cities. There was full TV coverage of that ceremony, where fruit juice and cake were plentiful. At most, 100,000 gathered to hear his speech, including all the militiamen and soldiers.

We reformists have no radio, no newspaper, and no television. All our Internet sites are filtered, as well as social networks such as Facebook. Text messaging and mobile communication were also cut off during the demonstrations. And yet we had hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The state-run TV station has announced that riot police will severely punish anybody that demonstrates. Ahmadinejad called the opposition a bunch of insignificant dirt who try to make the taste of victory bitter to the nation. But his remark was answered by the largest demonstrations ever.

Older people compared Monday's gathering to the demonstrations of 1979 which marked the downfall of the Shah's regime. They even said that this event was larger.

Democracy is a long way ahead. I may not be alive to see that day. With eyes full of tears in these early hours of June 16, I glorify the courage of those who have already been killed. I hope that the blood of these martyrs will make every one of us more committed to freedom, to democracy and to human rights.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well said, Mr. Hansen, well said!

Just Make Stuff Up
President Obama’s war on the truth.

By Victor Davis Hanson

In the first six months of the Obama administration, we have witnessed an assault on the truth of a magnitude not seen since the Nixon Watergate years. The prevarication is ironic given the Obama campaign’s accusations that the Bush years were not transparent and that Hillary Clinton, like her husband, was a chronic fabricator. Remember Obama’s own assertions that he was a “student of history” and that “words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up.”

Yet Obama’s war against veracity is multifaceted.

Read the full article on the National Review.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Return to China Those Who Belong in China

Q: Where were the Uighur Gitmo detainees found?
A: In Taliban strongholds and training camps.

Q: What country are the Uighur detainees citizens of?
A: China

Q: Where should the Uighur detainees be returned to?
A: China, not Bermuda.

Detainees Freed in Bermuda

Friday, June 12, 2009

16 Czars and Counting

Call me oblivious, but I never realized that past presidents had appointed czars. In my defense, the most that had previously been appointed by any administration were four (George W. Bush appointed a National Intelligence Czar, a Cybersecurity Czar, an AIDS Czar, and a Drug Czar). Now, being president is a tough job, and I'm sure extra help is appreciated. On the other hand, last time I checked, the Constitution called for three branches of government, not one.

Let's take a look at the latest list of Obama czars.

President Obama: 16 Czars (and counting)

* Drug Czar- Gil Kerlikowske, former Seattle police chief

* Energy and Environment Czar - Carol Browner

* Homeland Security Czar - John Brennan

* Health Czar - Nancy-Ann DeParle

* Urban Affairs Czar - Adolfo Carrion, Jr.

* Economic Czar - Paul A. Volcker

* Regulatory Czar - Cass R. Sunstein

* Technology Czar - Vivek Kundra

* Government Performance Czar - Jeffrey Zients

* Border Czar - Alan Bersin

* WMD Policy Czar - Gary Samore

* Intelligence Czar (Director of National Intelligence) - Dennis Blair

* Car Czar - Steven Rattner

* Pay Czar - Kenneth R. Feinberg

* Great Lakes Czar - Cameron Davis

* Cyber Czar - TBA

As David Rothkopf Notes on Foreign Policy, he's created more czars than the Romanov Dynasty.

Get to Know Obama's Czars by Benjamin Sarlin is a nice piece on The Daily Beast that introduces us to some of the czars. Thus far what I've seen hasn't left me particularly comforted.

I realize that each of these issues that he has appointed a czar for is certainly important, but none of them occur in a vacuum. You can't isolate them from the conditions surrounding them. Our country and our economy functions as a system, not a collection of independent actions. Artificially manipulating different facets of the economy will have far-reaching, potentially devastating effects.

To me these czars seem to represent a heretofore unseen grab for power and control, subverting the oversight of the other branches of government. A President's main advisers are supposed to be his Cabinet, whose appointment is approved by Congress. It's called Checks and Balances.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Psychological Warfare

Couple this with the inability to do basic math and science and it's no wonder we're in the state we're in.

I like this interview even better, but I can't get the embedding to work.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Global Warming Stupidity

Get ready to dig a little deeper into your wallet. From Cap-and-Trade: All Cost, No Benefit in the Washington Post:

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have proposed a major cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists agree that CO2 emissions around the world could lead to rising temperatures with serious long-term environmental consequences. But that is not a reason to enact a U.S. cap-and-trade system until there is a global agreement on CO2 reduction. The proposed legislation would have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households. And to get political support in key states, the legislation would abandon the auctioning of permits in favor of giving permits to selected corporations.

The leading legislative proposal, the Waxman-Markey bill that was recently passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would reduce allowable CO2 emissions to 83 percent of the 2005 level by 2020, then gradually decrease the amount further. Under the cap-and-trade system, the federal government would limit the total volume of CO2 that U.S. companies can emit each year and would issue permits that companies would be required to have for each ton of CO2 emitted. Once issued, these permits would be tradable and could be bought and sold, establishing a market price reflecting the targeted CO2 reduction, with a tougher CO2 standard and fewer available permits leading to higher prices.

If we take a look at Moonbattery.com, we note:
Not even Henry Waxman, the left-wing freak who has been ramming this act of economic sabotage through the Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs, is familiar with its contents.
Visit the Moonbattery post to see an assortment of lovely YouTube videos highlighting this idiocy.

Why, WHY isn't anyone in power standing up and saying "WAIT JUST A MINUTE!" Before we run this country into the ground,let's look at the basic science.

Skeptic's Corner has an excellent post title Spit and Pie Charts that compares the different graphs used by the global warming alarmists to the reality of the world we live in. The first chart is similar to those used by the alarmists (like the Goracle, showing how carbon dioxide makes up 76% of greenhouse gases, including the gases methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. Oh my, that carbon dioxide must be really evil!

Chart two steps back a bit. We see that only about 5% of that original CO2 is (so called) manmade....hmmm...

My favorites are saved for last. What's the "most nastiest" greenhouse gas of them all? WATER - H2O - AGUA! 95% - ninety-five percent of the greenhouse effect on our planet is caused by plain old water. Human activities contribute only 0.28%. It almost makes you want to go out and buy a Humvee.

Finally, he looks at exactly what gases make up our atmosphere.

This is the make up of our Earth's atmosphere. Nitrogen, Oxygen and that tiny sliver of Argon. Where is carbon dioxide and methane and all that other stuff? They are too small to be represented in a pie chart, that is why they are called trace gasses.

How small amount of carbon dioxide is there in our atmosphere? Imagine the above graph represents 100,000 dots, so nitrogen would be 78,000 dots, oxygen would be 21,000 dots, Argon would be 1,000 dots and carbon dioxide would be currently about 39 dots. Or as Roy Spencer puts it:

"As of 2009, there are only 38 or 39 molecules of CO2 for every 100,000 molecules of atmosphere, and it will take mankind’s CO2 emissions another five years to raise that total by 1 molecule, to 40 out of every 100,000 molecules.....Yes, we might double the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere by late in this century…but 2 times a very small number is still a very small number."

It is not like that tiny amount of carbon dioxide is not important, life would come to a screeching halt without it. As that heretic Freeman Dyson pointed out:

"The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes. If the air were not constantly stirred by convection currents and winds, the corn would stop growing."

But I still like Reid's

"You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide".