Monday, October 30, 2006

ABC News: Global warming coverage should not have balance.
ABC News reporter Bill Blakemore has decided that his personal assessment of the science around global warming and our impending doom has eliminated the need for "balance" in media coverage on this issue. Obviously, the American people are too stupid to hear both sides of the argument and decide for themselves. Blakemore and his ilk would silence skeptics of the liberal global warming fanatics because a study funded by Teresa Heinz Kerry is clearly more credible than one funded by industry. And they wonder why Fox is dominating news.
Also, check out these massive global warming taxes proposed in the UK. Does anyone think this sort of thing is far behind if Democrats can seize power?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Minimum wage = minimum jobs
Several states have ballot initiatives proposing an increase to the state's minimum wage (see National Review column). Aside from being a blatant attempt to increase turnout among low-income (aka Democratic) voters, this is part of the larger liberal class envy strategy. They argue people are entitled to a "living wage" and only greedy, corporate types with no sympathy for the poor would oppose increasing the minimum wage. Here's the other side of the story, what Howard Dean considers "economists' mumbo-jumbo":

With the exception of the minimum wage, the market typically sets wages in our country, home to the greatest economy the world has ever seen. Messing with market dynamics causes inefficiency in the economy, lowering its productivity. Who cares? Just fat cats right? Wrong. Raising the minimum wage hurts low income workers in two ways. First, cost of living rises, hurting low income workers the most. For example, if WalMart is forced to increase spending on health insurance or wages, their prices must go up. The poor are hurt the most by higher prices for groceries and basic necessities. Second, when the price of a good or service goes up, the demand for that good or service typically goes down. For example, if Little Caesar's has to pay its employees $8 an hour instead of $6, they will have to raise the price of their $6 Hot N Ready pizza. Say the current demand per store is 100 per day. At $8 per pizza, demand may drop to, let's say 70 per day. People will be more likely to stay home and have gross Red Baron pizza. That means 30 fewer pizzas need to be made and the manager at Little Caesar's will need fewer employees each night. This all translates into fewer jobs for low-income (unskilled) workers.

Strong employment numbers (like what we're seeing now) benefit the unskilled. Employers are forced by the market to offer better wages in order to compete for workers. If workers want more, they can acquire skills and become more valuable to a company (as this former Little Caesar's employee did). Let the market work for the good of everyone. If you want to help the poor, pay attention to the economists' mumbo-jumbo or you may end up hurting instead.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I was born in a crossfire hurricane
The Rolling Stones came to town last night to play Soldier Field. Great show, despite the bitter cold. The Stones played for 2 1/2 hours. Keith Richards singing "You Got the Silver" while Ron Wood played acoustic with a slide was one of the highlights for me. Mick Jagger was his usual self: non-stop, ridiculous dancing. 90 year olds should not be able to shake their hips like that. Here's the best Stones albums, in my humble opinion: Let It Bleed, Exile on Main Street, and Sticky Fingers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Flintcraws and Saddlecocks
As shocking as this may be to some, I've become aware that some people have not seen the Royal Tenenbaums, one of the greatest movies of all time and the inspiration for the title of this blog. To fill you in, Owen Wilson plays an author just attaining celebrity for his best selling book. At a reading in front of a crowded room he uses a few of my favorite made up words to conclude with this ridiculous passage: "The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. 'VĂ¡monos, amigos,' he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Apparently the first amendment applies only to those criticizing the Bush administration. A liberal judge in Seattle has shut down a talk radio show because of the hosts’ opposition to a liberal ballot initiative. The rationale? Their words, since they are on radio, should be recognized as campaign contributions and are equal to spending money on the campaign. Let’s all thank John McCain once again for campaign finance reform and his assault on political free speech. George Will writes that this may be what would happen to talk radio under a Democrat run national government. Don't forget to register to vote.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Global Warming Alarmists
Al Gore and his ilk are doing their best to make global warming the major issue of our generation. We are commanded by God to be stewards of this earth and any rational person would agree that pollution is not good. However, the tree-huggers and their accomplices in the media are completely overstating their case while doing their best to stifle dissent. The risk: taking focus and money away from real problems like terrorism, poverty, disease, and communism, as well as the enormous economic consequences of "solutions" like the Kyoto Protocol. Check out well reasoned criticism from Michael Crichton's State of Fear and from a recent speech by Senator James Inhofe.

Key points:

  • Gore's favorite study, the famous "hockey-stick" indicating stable temps for 900 years and then a dramatic spike in the last 100 years, has been completely torn apart by the National Academy of Sciences and others. The statistical model was bogus. Be very skeptical of doom and gloom computer models.
  • We are not very good at accurately measuring global temps and it is impossible to predict future temps. The best guess right now (even from the wackos) is a 1 degree Fahrenheit increase in the last century. You read right. 1 degree.
  • If the world is getting warmer, how much is due to greenhouse gases? or land use (blacktop, urbanization)? or completely normal variations in temperature caused by changes in solar heating that have been going on since creation?
  • Liberal groups spend much more than industry groups on environmental studies. However, according to the media, only the industry studies are biased.
  • Recent data indicate that the Antarctic is getting colder and that sea levels are not rising.
As you can see, I've joined the ranks of the bloggers: people who think others might be interested in their thoughts. My posts will most likely be on things of a political nature that have me fuming, as well as the occasional event in my life. My main hope is that it will help me keep in touch with friends scattered across the country. Oh, and watch Royal Tenenbaums again if you don't get the title.