Thursday, October 17, 2019

What does the data tell us

I haven't posted on global warming in a long time.  The satellite data had me convinced:  global warming is real.  The extent that it's anthropogenic and what we can do about it is up for debate.  The tipping point for me was the satellite data because we'd known for many years that the surface data was manipulated both in collection and analysis.  We knew the models didn't accurately predict real world outcomes.  So, from a scientific perspective, those weren't reliable. 

Satellite data is reliable, however.  Right up until it turns out that's been manipulated, too.  I've linked a video and I'll embed it below:

So, that's a problem, scientifically.  Corruption of data, especially on purpose, isn't scientific, because science is about honest discovery of the truth in an open manner everyone can review and come to thee same conclusion about.  The constant lies and false predictions have pretty heavily jaded me against the claims of the global warming alarmists.  After I had ironically warmed to their side of things, this information turned it back around for me.  I don't trust the data manipulated by activists, from the hockey stick graph to the corruption of satellite data.

We need real, unbiased research to find out the absolute truth on this issue.  Somehow we need to remove the big money and political motivations so the average person can work with reality instead of ideological fiction.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Sunday, September 8, 2019

What Walmart should stop selling today

I have no problem with any retailer voluntarily choosing not to carry a product they don't want to.  Walmart has chosen to stop selling handgun ammunition to be a responsible retailer and help curtail preventable death in the United States.

Great, and let's get really responsible.  Walmart should immediately discontinue all sales of beer, wine and spirits.  Alcohol is purely recreational and contributes to more preventable death and abuse in the United States than firearms ever will.  It also contributes to rape, unwanted pregnancy and the drunk-driving related manslaughter of innocent families who were driving responsibly but got in the way of a drunk driver.

If Walmart is serious about not being part of preventable death in the US, it must stop selling alcohol.  There's no excuse to keep doing it.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

So, I haven't written much

I know.  Nobody's reading anyway.  I am a bit disheartened by the political situation.  I don't like Trump at all.  He's a scumbag personally and intemperate idiot who tanks the market by saying stupid things he won't follow up on.  I think the media cries of racism are probably incorrect overall, but I do think he's a bit of a casual racist in that he thinks along racial lines the same way many folks of his generation did. 

I do really like his judges, though.  A lot.  We know he's not the one picking them, and whomever in his administration is doing that, I'm thrilled with their selections.

I don't like how he's spending.  It's worse than under Democrat control and it sickens me.  It's a threat to our national security and we're mortgaging the futures of our children and grandchildren for stuff we want now.  It's unacceptable, and now neither party will stop it.

I do like the trolling of the media and the political left.  They need it.  They take themselves far too seriously and most of America no longer does, so it's warranted and often hilarious.  I just wish someone else could do that and not say really stupid things on Twitter, too.

There's a lot to write, and perhaps I'll do more in the future.  I've found the Trump presidency as disheartening as the Obama presidency, just in different ways.

It was also really disheartening that Californians, following what they saw on TV rather than actually reading anything, voted no on Prop 6.  Yes, that was my last post.  It's further proof that if you spend enough money on advertising, you can get idiots to vote for anything in California.  That hurts me deep inside.

As our well-intentioned but misguided policies in California keep being implemented, we're seeing petty theft all but decriminalized so that you have to be home to receive your Amazon packages.  We're seeing garbage pile up in the streets.  We're seeing the return of medieval diseases because our kindness has invited the entirety of the nation's homeless population to California and we're letting them stay in tents and campers in our residential neighborhoods.  In short, California is going to hell, and quickly.  I'm afraid by the time people realize this, it will be too late to fix it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why every Californian should vote yes on Proposition 6

In 2003, California voters recalled then-Governor Gray Davis, largely over one issue:  increased car registration fees.  California is a huge state.  Despite what the Democrat party would have you believe, public transportation can't fulfill California's transit needs.  In most parts of California, we don't have the population density required to make public transportation effective.  In short, we need our cars.

For some reason, California's politicians treat cars as a luxury instead of a necessity.  Californians just trying to live and get to work, see this differently in an otherwise very liberal state.

Voting yes on Prop 6 provides immediate tax relief when you renew your car's registration.  "State law requires vehicle owners to pay two specific taxes for the privilege of operating a vehicle on public highways.  These are (1) vehicle license fees and (2) recently enacted transportation improvement fees." (California Official Voter Information Guide, emphasis added.) 

Voting yes on 6 reminds politicians we don't consider driving in California a privilege, but a necessity that shouldn't be burdened by extra taxation.  We have to drive to get to work to pay our taxes and to get to the store to feed our families.  We expect politicians to prioritize spending on roads so we can do that.  We expect that to be paid for from the massive amount of taxes we already pay, because we consider it a basic function of government.

Voting yes on 6 also repeals a big gas tax increase.  Maybe you noticed the hike in what you pay at the pump.  It was about 12 extra cents per gallon.  In my case, that's about $30 extra per year added to my commute.  I drive a small, gas-efficient vehicle.  If you drive an SUV, it could easily be hundreds of dollars a year.

Opponents of Prop 6 tell two lies:

(1)  If you pass Prop 6, then road repair spending will drop to, like 1990's levels! 

This is a scare tactic, and good policy shouldn't rely on scare tactics.  There is no reason road repair spending has to drop.  Vote yes on Prop 6 and then write your representatives a letter saying you oppose new taxes but want them to prioritize spending on repairing and upgrading roads.

(2)  All the money goes to road repair, not the fake high speed rail project!

First of all, if you have to say that you admit that the high speed rail project should be shut down, because obviously most voters have recognized it's another lie and waste of money (it isn't even high speed--it's now going to be "mixed use" rail, so it'll go more slowly than most cars).  Secondly, it's true the money is earmarked for transportation projects, but high speed rail is a transportation project.  Nothing prevents the diverting of funds to that idiotic crony train project.

Voting yes on Prop 6 promotes fiscal responsibility.  There's a trend I saw years ago.  These are some older figures, but they prove the point.  When you give the California government more money, it spends less responsibly than if you give it less.  Here's the proof, which I've posted before:

It's ridiculous.  Even more ridiculous is the idea that a tax cut means less spending on roads.  This was created in 2008 as part of a post on how to address California's budget difficulties at that time.  Here's the amazing part:  10 years later, we could still cut the programs proposed here (Mish's California Budget Proposal) and raise more than enough money to more than make up for the "revenue" cut voting yes on Prop 6 will cause.

VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 6:  Never miss an opportunity to cut taxes on yourself and force greater fiscal responsibility on the government, whether state, local or county.  Yes on Prop 6 is good for California and Californians.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The single, biggest threat to national security

The past few weeks have been exciting for really dumb reasons.  The Kavanaugh confirmation hearing fight was long and pretty awful.

It was also a bit of a distraction.  Much of our political infighting is.  For years, politicians have been buying our votes.  Not directly, but by promising that if they're elected, they'll bring lots of taxpayer dollars to their home districts.

I'll skip the lecture on how immoral making our children and grandchildren pay for our spending is.  Let's talk about how dangerous that kind of debt is to all of us.

We've had at least two warnings from people who know about our national debt.

"On Sept. 22, 2011, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen warned: 'I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is debt.'"  Opinion and analysis column here.

The writer goes on to warn:  "The United States is racing toward a fiscal cliff. We are taking few measures to save ourselves from the fall and ruinous fate once we go over the edge."

Although there are some who disagree, one of the biggest reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union was unsustainable spending.  Most people who disagree don't want to give Ronald Reagan credit for ending the Soviet Union through an arms race and to be fair, that wasn't the only factor involved.  Overspending was definitely a part of the collapse, though, and if most analysts are to be believed, it was probably the biggest part.

It is folly to believe the US can't do the same to itself.  Ask former entertainment and sports stars who thought they'd never run out of money how shocking it is when they do.  The US is on the path to do the same thing on a much larger scale.

I wouldn't expect readers to accept Mullen's word alone regarding this danger.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, outlining a series of rising global and cyber threats the United States faces from adversaries including North Korea, Russia, Iran, and China.

But he also warned against an internal threat that he says could undermine US economic and national security: the national debt.

"I'm concerned that our increasing fractious political process, particularly with respect to federal spending, is threatening our ability to properly defend our nation both in the short term and especially in the long term," Coats said alongside five other top intelligence chiefs. "The failure to address our longterm fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over $20 trillion and growing."

"I would urge all of us to recognize the need to address this challenge and to take action as soon as possible before a fiscal crisis occurs that truly undermines our ability to ensure our national security."

(From Business Insider on 02/13/2018, source here)

The really scary part of these warnings is that I have no idea how to stop it.  I don't know how to make politicians see that this matters more than everything else, especially when all people seem to care about is Roe v. Wade.   If enough of us wrote our representatives, we might make a difference, but I don't think most people care.  They're distracted, busy fighting one another over important, but lesser concerns.  I fear we won't do anything until the crisis is upon us.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Nike, Kaepernick and the Memes

Nike and Colin Kaepernick stirred things up quite a bit recently.  For those who don't remember, Kaepernick is the football player who took a knee during the national anthem (instead of standing and saluting) to protest police mistreatment of Blacks in America.  He wore socks depicting police officers as pigs.  Despite his protests to the contrary, Kaepernick's protests were perceived by much of the nation as anti-American and anti-military.  I actually think he's sincere and that he should probably have considered more deeply the ramifications of way he chose to protest.

Further, while there is definitely injustice with regard to policing of Blacks in America that needs addressing, insulting the good officers you'll need to both help expose the bad ones and combat the injustice doesn't help your cause.  Finally, the fellow who sparked it all, Michael Brown, is a terrible symbol for the movement, because he was a criminal engaged in assaulting an officer and even the Obama Justice Department couldn't find a problem with that particular shooting.

With that background, Nike's choice to make this ad is fairly inexplicable, and I've bought my last bit of Nike gear (I bought shoes a few weeks ago).

It didn't take long for folks to point out that there was a far more appropriate fellow for this kind of ad.
Pat Tillman was an actual hero, who actually did sacrifice everything to protect all Americans without regard to race. 

The trend didn't stop with the pantsing of Nike, though.  The political savagery followed and was hilarious.

Naturally, the purely hilarious followed.

So, thanks, Nike and Colin Kaepernick.  I won't support either of you, but I sure do appreciate the entertainment.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A fact on arming women

While I reject gun control for a number of reasons, there's one fact that has always stuck with me.

In 1979, the Carter Justice Department found that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were carried out. -U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape Victimization in 26 American Cities (1979), p. 31

This single statistic should end the debate.  I don't understand why feminists aren't serious about this one.

We know for certain that privately-held firearms do not exacerbate crime.  Dr. Gary Kleck is the most often cited researcher because although his mind has changed, he's still politically very left. As a criminologist at Florida State University, Kleck began his research as a firm believer in gun control. In a speech delivered to the National Research Council after years of studying the issue, he said while he was once "a believer in the 'anti-gun' thesis," he has now moved "beyond even the skeptic position." Dr. Kleck now says the evidence "indicates that general gun availability does not measurably increase rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U.S."

There's even growing evidence that private gun ownership actually has a very slight impact in lowering crime rates. Concealed carry laws have dropped murder and crime rates in the states that have enacted them. According to a comprehensive study which studied crime statistics in all of the counties in the United States from 1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%.  -One of the authors of the University of Chicago study reported on the study's findings in John R. Lott, Jr., "More Guns, Less Violent Crime," The Wall Street Journal (28 August 1996). See also John R. Lott, Jr. and David B. Mustard, "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," University of Chicago (15 August 1996); and Lott, More Guns, Less Crime (1998, 2000).

While anti-gun folks will dispute that last bit of research, even if we discount it entirely, we're left with two important facts:

1.  Private firearms ownership doesn't make crime worse.
2.  Women who have access to self defense tools, including guns, are victimized far less than women denied these rights.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Michael Shellenberger: Why I changed my mind about nuclear power

I've made the case for nuclear power many times.  It turns out that a far left, super green fellow who is a self-proclaimed hippy made the case better than I ever have.

I had always thought that solar and wind power would likely be great variable output supplements to baseload energy production.  That baseload production should be nuclear.  Mr. Shellenberger changed my mind on the renewable energy sources.  I didn't know about the statistics he presents. 

Here's Michael Shellenberger:  Why I changed my mind about nuclear power

For those who would like the direct link:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Oceanside minister supported Trump, now he faces deportation

Here's a sad story missing some critical details:  Oceanside minister supported Trump, now he faces deportation

Jorge Ramirez, an Oceanside minister and unauthorized immigrant, didn’t think he would end up in line for deportation when he encouraged his U.S. citizen daughter to vote for now-President Donald Trump.

Ramirez said he does not know why he is being targeted for removal from the U.S. The Trump administration has said that it is targeting criminals and those who have already been ordered deported. Ramirez said he falls into neither category.

“Trump said, ‘Let’s keep all the good people here and all the bad people out,’” Ramirez said.
It's an interesting read, and I agree with Ramirez.  We shouldn't deport him.  I am left with one critical question that the article doesn't answer.  It looks like more than once in life, Ramirez' legal status held him back.  Has he been working to change his immigration status?  If not, why not?

"Easier said than done" is an easy answer.  Yes, I'm aware.  My wife is an immigrant, so we've worked through the process together, and she didn't claim citizenship by marriage, or because our child was a U.S. citizen.  However, it isn't as hard as the "No borders" crowd seems to indicate, nor as expensive, and there are organizations set up to help.

I also understand the idea that legalizing the status of people here illegally can encourage more people to enter our country the wrong way.  However, the biggest problem with an influx of immigrants is trying to help them acclimate to our culture.  The reason people are coming here is that we have something that has worked really well to promote prosperity and security, and that's an important set of ideas based on personal liberty.

Folks like Jorge Ramirez and DACA recipients have acclimated.  They get our culture and most have gone to U.S. schools.  These are the folks we want to keep here.  They're not trying to turn the U.S. into the country they fled.  They're trying to be a part of the success of the system that has worked so well.

It's in the hands of judges now, but I hope this is something the Trump administration and the courts will address.