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Those Terrible, Uncaring Conservatives . . .

7 Jan

David Limbaugh, in his recent column titled “The Left’s Latest Mantra:  Income Inequality”, besides addressing the left’s unjustified claims to the high ground on income inequality, has this to say about the liberal world view in general.  I thought it was well stated.  The whole column can be read at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-limbaugh/the-lefts-latest-mantra-income-inequality.html

Excerpt:  [Emphasis is mine]

Whether or not liberals are able to process the reality that their programs have failed, they will not abandon them, because class warfare and government dependency programs are their ticket to power. CNN’s Candy Crowley unwittingly admitted as much when she asked Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker why any unemployed American or minimum wage worker would become a Republican.

It’s not that conservatives don’t care about the poor. It’s that we do care about the poor — and everyone else. We believe that our free market solutions generate economic growth, stimulate upward mobility and improve the economic lives of far more people, including the poor and middle class, than any other system. History vindicates us.

The left will always win the “look at how much I care about you” contest. But it loses in the “actually caring” department because at some point, people have to be presumed to have intended the damaging results their policies have consistently caused.

[End of excerpt]

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Thomas Sowell: “Obama versus Obama” — Great Stuff!

26 Sep

Thomas Sowell has just written a series of essays titled “Obama versus Obama”.  In my opinion, these are excellent portrayals of the “before and after” Obama, and well worth the read and redistribution – and re-read.

I usually provide excerpts and refer the reader to the entire essay, but this is another of those instances where I cannot begin to do justice to this series by just providing “sound bites”.

Read ‘em and weep . . . . or better yet, become re-energized

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-ii.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-iii.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-iv.html

Hey — How’s Our Investment in GM Doing, Anyway?

29 Aug

Michael Barone recently wrote an essay titled “GM Goes From Bad to Worse Despite Obama Bailout”, in which he points out the difference in thinking between Obama and conservatives regarding the success of this bailout.  It also portends what Obama will feel free to do if he is re-elected.  You can find the full essay at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/gm_goes_from_bad_to_worse_despite_obama_bailout

Mr.  Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

Excerpts:   [Bolding is mine; content in brackets [ ] is mine]

.  .  .  .

“When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse,” Obama told a campaign event audience in Colorado earlier this month, “I said, let’s bet on America’s workers. And we got management and workers to come together, making cars better than ever, and now GM is No. 1 again and the American auto industry has come roaring back.”

His conclusion: “So now I want to say that what we did with the auto industry, we can do in manufacturing across America. .  .  .

Obama talks about the auto bailout frequently, since it’s one of the few things in his record that gets positive responses in the polls. But .  .  .  the GM bailout is not at all the success he claims.

GM has been selling cars in the U.S. at deep discount and, while it’s making money in China — and is outsourcing operations there and elsewhere — it’s bleeding losses in Europe.  .  .  .  

It botched the launch of its new Chevrolet Malibu by starting with the green-friendly Eco version, which pleased its government shareholders, but which got lousy reviews. And it’s selling only about 10,000 electric-powered Chevy Volts a year, a puny contribution toward Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“GM is going from bad to worse,” reads the headline on Automotive News Editor in Chief Keith Crain’s analysis. That’s certainly true of its stock price.

The government [the taxpayers] still owns 500 million shares of GM, 26 percent of the total. It needs to sell them for $53 a share to recover its $49.5 billion bailout. But the stock price is around $20 a share, and the Treasury now estimates that the government [the taxpayers] will lose more than $25 billion if and when it sells.  .  .  .

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that GM is bleeding money because of decisions made by a management eager to please its political masters — and by the terms of the bankruptcy arranged by Obama car czars Ron Bloom and Steven Rattner.

Rattner himself admitted late last year, in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club: “We should have asked the UAW (the United Auto Workers union) to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.” Non-union employees of GM spinoff Delphi lost their pensions. UAW members didn’t.

The UAW got their political payoff. And GM, according to Forbes writer Louis Woodhill, is headed to bankruptcy again.

Is this really what Obama wants to do for all manufacturing across America? Let’s hope not.

[End of excerpts]

 

 

I Beg to Disagree — Please? May I?

25 Jul

My favorite writer, Thomas Sowell, expressed the following in an essay he wrote 5-10 years ago.  It is perhaps even more applicable today than it was then.  The essay was titled “I Beg to Disagree”, and this is just an excerpt from it.  Dr. Sowell is an outspoken black conservative economist and author, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  His collections of essays are among the best books I have ever read.

 Excerpt:  [Bolding is mine; content within brackets [] is mine.]

 Too many people today act as if no one can honestly disagree with them.  If you have a difference of opinion with them, you are considered to be not merely in error but in sin.  You are a racist, a homophobe or whatever the villain of the day happens to be.

 Disagreements are inevitable whenever there are human beings but we seem to be in an era when the art of disagreeing is vanishing.  That is a huge loss because out of disagreements have often come deeper understandings than either side had before confronting each other’s arguments.

 Even wacko ideas have led to progress, when dealt with critically, in terms of logic and evidence.  .  .  .

 Unfortunately, our educational system is not only failing to teach critical thinking, it is often itself a source of confused rhetoric and emotional venting in place of systematic reasoning.

 It is hard to think of a stronger argument for teaching people to examine arguments critically than the tragic history of 20th century totalitarianism .  .  .  . [Sowell goes on to discuss Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot – and even Jim Jones]

The point is not to teach [children] correct conclusions but to teach them to be able to use their own minds to analyze the issues that will come up in the years ahead .  .  .  .

 Rational disagreement can be not only useful but stimulating.  .  .  .

[End of Excerpts]

What are your thoughts about this?

 

 

Destroying History: The Wages of Ideology and Ignorance

19 Jul

Very good column in the Jewish World Review by Victor Davis Hanson.  Column is titled “Blowing Up History”, and reminds us that lack of respect for history, tolerance, and practicality is not just the domain of religious zealots.  The full column can be found at  http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0712/hanson071912.php3

 Excerpts:    [Bolding is mine; content in brackets [] is mine]

 In the Arabic media, there are reports that Muslim clerics .  .  .  are now agitating to demolish the Egyptian pyramids.  .  .  .  [T]he Pharaohs’ monuments represent “symbols of paganism” from Egypt’s pre-Islamic past and therefore must vanish.

Don’t dismiss such insanity so easily. Mali Islamists are currently destroying the centuries-old mausoleums of Sufi-Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu .. .. .. . But perhaps the most recent regrettable Islamist attack on the past was the Taliban’s 2001 dynamiting  .  .  .  of the huge twin 6th-century A.D. statues of Buddha carved into a cliff .  .  .  in Afghanistan. “We are destroying the statues,” Taliban spokesmen .  .  .  bragged, “in accordance with Islamic law, and it is purely a religious issue.”

Ideologically driven and historically ignorant violence is not just an Islamist monopoly. Sometimes postmodern, politically correct Westerners can be every bit as zealous .  .  .  .  One of the joys of visiting California’s Yosemite Valley is a series of historic arched bridges .  .  .  on the valley floor. All are used daily, appreciated by thousands of visitors each summer, and now are listed as endangered treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Environmental zealots in the National Park Service are now proposing to demolish all three bridges, motivated by their pie-in-the-sky dreams .  .  .  . To paraphrase the Taliban, these green fundamentalists would probably believe that the bridges are “symbols of humanism” and their destruction is “purely an environmental issue.”

 Again, don’t laugh. A petition circulated by an environmental group is forcing the city of San Francisco — in a state .  .  .  with a $17 billion budget shortfall — to hold a November referendum on a proposal to blow up the historic O’Shaughnessy Dam .  .  .  .  That .  .  .   early-20th-century water and power project still supplies San Francisco and the South Bay with as much as 85 percent of its water, while providing the city with 400 megawatts of clean electrical power, and providing Central Valley farms and towns with irrigation and flood control. Where the billions of dollars would come from to dynamite the vast dam, penstocks, pipelines and powerhouse complex and to clean up the ensuing mess, how the green electricity would be replaced, and how the Bay Area’s millions of residents would find their daily water are questions that matter little to ideologues who believe the aboriginal valley of Hetch Hetchy can be reborn without man’s baleful touch.

What do these contemporary wars against the past have in common? One shared trait is the power of ideological zealotry, whether religious or environmental, to trump all questions of practicality, historical preservation and reverence for prior generations. The zealot’s version of purity, and only his version, matters.  .  .  .

[I]t is only because water so easily flows from San Francisco faucets, and power is a matter of flicking a switch — both impossible in 1913 when a growing San Francisco was short on clean water and newfound electricity — that today’s green imams have the latitude to dream of their own version of a pure and uncontaminated paradise.

A general historical ignorance among the public at large plays a role, too. Just as fundamentalist madrassas pound dogma into the heads of students without any historical appreciation of the richness and variety of all religions in the early Middle East, so too have politically driven courses in our own universities crowded out broad classes in history. Students in our own versions of the madrassas can recite all the commandments of their own sacred green texts, but they know very little about the nation’s past — and almost nothing about the constant poverty, physical ordeal and, yes, early death that our forefathers struggled against to ensure that we might not.

Beware of the wages of professed purity, whether religious or environmental — whether it targets a mausoleum in Timbuktu or a stone arched bridge in Yosemite.

 [End of excerpt]

Anything to add?

The Biggest Issue America Faces

11 Jul

John Stossel has written a great column called “Budget Insanity”.  I have excerpted that column below, but the full piece can be found at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_john_stossel/budget_insanity

[Begin excerpts]        (Bolding is mine)

Last year, Congress agreed to $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, unless politicians find other things to cut. They didn’t, of course. So now, with so-called sequestration looming in January, panic has set in. Even the new “fiscally responsible” Republicans vote against cutting Energy Department handouts to companies like Solyndra and subsidies to sugar producers. Many claim that any cut in military spending will weaken America and increase unemployment.

It’s another demonstration of the politicians’ addiction to spending .  .  . “One more infrastructure bill” or “this jobs plan” will jumpstart the economy, and then we’ll kick our spending addiction once and for all.    

But we don’t stop.  .  .  .     

Progressives say: If you’re so worried about the deficit, raise taxes! But it’s a fantasy to imagine that taxing the rich will solve our deficit problem.  .  .  .      

It’s the spending, stupid.   

Even if you could balance the budget by taxing the rich, it wouldn’t be right. Progressives say it’s wrong for the rich to be “given” more money. But money earned belongs to those who earn it, not to government. Lower taxes are not a handout.    

That’s the moral side of the matter. There’s a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation.   .  .  .   

Politicians promise to balance the budget by getting rid of what is wasteful, redundant or unnecessary. There’s plenty of that, but they have promised to eliminate it for years. They cannot. It’s just in the nature of the beast. Centrally planned monopolies do things that are wasteful, redundant and unnecessary.    

What will bankrupt us first are the wealth transfers to my generation: Medicare and Social Security.  .  .  . 

Few of us realize that most of us get back up to three times what we paid in, that politicians have promised Social Security and Medicare recipients an impossible $46 trillion more than will exist and that our sense of entitlement will ruin America much faster than foreign aid, subsidies for NPR or foreign wars ever will.    

Amazingly, we could grow our way out of debt if Congress simply froze spending at today’s levels. That would balance the budget by 2017.  .  .  .

But the politicians won’t do even that.  .  .  .  

[End of excerpts]

Your thoughts?

 

EPA Requires Use of Non-Existent Fuel Additive

22 Jun

Headline to a Fox News article by Jim Angle, published 6/21/12:

“EPA blasted for requiring oil refiners to add type of fuel that’s merely hypothetical”

Excerpts from that Fox News piece: [Bolding is mine – content within brackets is added by me]

Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.

“As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s fact,” says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. “If it weren’t so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical.”

And Tom Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research says, “the cellulosic biofuel program is the embodiment of government gone wild.”

Refiners are at their wit’s end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has [produced it commercially].   .   .   .

And yet, they still have to pay what amounts to fines:

The EPA does have discretion to lower the annual requirement. And one supporter explains, that’s what the agency is saying.   .   .   .

The EPA, which would not speak on camera, is still hoping production of cellulosic ethanol will emerge.   .   .   .

So the refiners are now suing the EPA, in part because the mandate gets larger and larger– 500 million gallons this year, 3 billion in 2015 and 16 billion in 2022.

And still, not a gallon of cellulosic ethanol in sight.

[End of excerpts]

There is also a WSJ article on the same subject, maybe a little more balanced, but still demonstrating that regulators are out of touch with reality, and that more taxpayer dollars have gone down the drain as a result of well-intentioned but ill-designed regulation.  See the WSJ article at

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204012004577072470158115782.html

This article indicates that somewhere between 6 and 10 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol have, in fact, been produced, but this is nothing, basically experimental, in the face of the huge EPA requirement.  Here is the neat wrap-up to that article:

“To recap:  Congress subsidized a product that didn’t exist, mandated its purchase though it still didn’t exist, is punishing oil companies for not buying the product that doesn’t exist, and is now doubling down on the subsidies in the hope that someday it might exist.  We’d call this the march of folly, but that’s unfair to fools.”

Your thoughts?