Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I started to skim through the Health Care Bill--now I understand why Congressman Conyers won't read it. I am sure its language is beyond 90% of all congressmen's reading comprehension capability. I think Congress should apply the same standards they passed regarded regarding truth in credit card rules--write in plain language. I wonder what policy-wonks wrote it?????


First the stimulus bill and now the health care bill--congressmen aren't reading their own bills. At least Conyers (D, Michigan) is honest about it. But I have to agree with Steyn--this marks the death of legislative government and opens up the horrors of unseen consequences.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The news accounts of Obama in Africa indicated he spoke directly and bluntly to the issues facing Africa and said that Africans needed to get their act together when it comes to governing their countries. The media highlighted this trip back to his "roots." (He has also spoken sharply to American African-American groups about their responsibilities). America and the West is not responsible for Zimbabwe and other failures according to Obama.

But the Economist noted that President Bush said essentially the same thing. And ex-President Bush has done as much for African problems as President Obama appears to be doing.

Development depends on good governance.” Said by a white Texan dynast in Ghana, an African country once ravaged by the slave trade, that unexceptionable insight might sound a shade patronising. Said by a son of Africa whose election to the world’s most powerful post thrilled the continent, it was taken at its respectable face value. “We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans.” In other words, throwing aid at bad governments—and Barack Obama made plain that there were still far too many of them—will not work. The president’s candour was well received.

The article also pointed out that Obama's administration has continued the same Bush policies his campaign criticized in the 2008 election campaign.

In fact, though Mr Obama did not wish to dwell on security, his biggest headaches in Africa, as for Mr Bush, do still relate to armed conflict. His worst problem is Somalia, where his closest advisers upbraided Mr Bush for worsening matters by arming Somali warlords who claimed to be fighting militant Islam. More recently, however, Mr Obama won a waiver from the UN to send arms to Somalia’s beleaguered government, which is threatened by jihadists (“terrorists”, he bluntly called them) with links to al-Qaeda. He is unlikely to let his warships or aircraft bomb jihadist strongholds in Somalia for fear of enraging the civilian population. But equally he is plainly loth to let that failed state slide further into the domain of al-Qaeda.

The deeper truth is that Africa is not high on the American president’s agenda. His Ghana speech was sensible and stirring. But in the end his message was that African-American relations would see no grand change.


Dan Lawton writes on the political diversity (really the lack of it) at the University of Oregon.

The University of Oregon, where I study journalism, invested millions annually in a diversity program that explicitly included “political affiliation” as a component. Yet of the 111 registered Oregon voters in the departments of journalism, law, political science, economics and sociology, there were only two registered Republicans.

I guess there are no libertarians.


I am troubled by all of this emphasis on global warming. I have to admit I am skeptical even though, according to a science colleague, all of the scientific evidence indicates that it is a fact. Those that oppose it are incompetent scientists or just ignorant right-wingers. I do believe that history shows that the world has gone through weather changes, but some of this seems to be normal cycles. Yet, science is not God and it is far from exact. Maybe my doubts come from all of the times I have seen "science" change--first it was the global cooling alarm bells that went off in the seventies or maybe it is the number of different theories over the years about the extinction of dinosaurs. Science's understanding seems to change, it is not absolute.

There was an interesting editorial in the July 19, 2009 Dallas Morning News on "Screen Out Junk Science." The problem deals with sending people to prison based on valid scientific tests a couple of decades ago, tests which now are discredited by more advanced DNA models. But it wasn't "junk science" a couple of decades ago; it was considered science. So who is to say the scientific theories of today will not be considered "junk science" in the future. Science seems to go through more theoretical changes than Christian theology.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


From the July 27, 2009 Business Week:

  1. P. 9. To me the following is an alarming statement and raises serious questions about the future of the U.S. and how the Obama administration is rebuilding the nation's economic infrastructure. The article first dealt with the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.--which means we are not making anything to sell and create wealth. If an economy doesn't create anything of value, the future is dire. Then the article went on to say: More alarming, the U.S. is losing its ability to create big-impact products as research and development is increasingly tranferred to foreign lands that have become manufacturing leaders in, say, computers or telecom gear. Except for Apple's products, for instance, every U.S. brand of notebooks is now designed in Asia. If nothing is produced in the U.S., how can national wealth be created? I don't see how the U.S. can continue to exist on a service economy. Also research and development is critical for future jobs and wealth creation, yet it appears that U.S. companies are not doing this with American human and physical resources. In addition, the focus of the Obama administration's economic policy is not on creating future wealth. So neither the private sector or Washington are dealing with the long-range impact of the current economic crisis.
  2. P. 42. Wenran Jiang, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta: Why would we want to keep subsidizing irresponsible U.S. behavior that will inflate the dollar and hurts us? So what is China doing? China is purchasing real wealth in natural resources and companies and avoiding holding the U.S. dollar or treasuries whose value is dropping because of inflation. Obama wants to spend money and accumulate U.S. debt while the Chinese are building an economy on real wealth and not debt. Washington and the American people don't seem to realize the problems we are facing--we want to use credit-card solutions instead of rewarding innovation and wealth-creation.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Mark Tapscott's article "Where did all the liberals go?" hit home with me. For some time I have been thinking about how different liberals are today from those I had instructing me in the 60s and 70s. 20th century liberals believed in the use of government and Keynesian economics, but at the same time they realized the dangers of big government and stressed the importance of personal rights for all. When I look at recent liberal/progressive web sites, I see an angry, vindictive streak to them that contradicts the more gentle and broad-minded liberalism of the last century. Today's liberals are acting more like the angry and irrational radical right of the past.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


From Nature Geoscience.

The report found that only about half of the warming that occurred during a natural climate change 55 million years ago can be explained by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What caused the remainder of the warming is a mystery.

"In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," says oceanographer Gerald Dickens, study co-author and professor of Earth Science at Rice University in Houston. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."


Interesting video--Senator Barbara Boxer (D, California) challenged by a black man as a racist in questioning over global warming.


I am very skeptical about the health care proposals floating around in Washington. I don't like what we face today, but I haven't seen good alternatives. Politico has a good summary of the problems with current Democrat proposals.

One concern is that Obama economic proposals haven't worked that well. How do we know these proposals will work? After the vice president admitted the administration had misread the economy, the president said administration officials, instead, had incomplete information — but yet they would not have done anything different in the too-slow stimulus. We need to prevent a recurrence of the stimulus mistake on health care.

I see these as the main points:
  1. Health costs would be higher with these proposals.
  2. Higher premiums means workers will have less take home pay--that means less money on spent on other consumer goods.
  3. Would employers want to run two systems? Wouldn't they just dump everyone into the government program and save money and overhead?
  4. Government costs would go up. Government can't live on borrowed money forever so taxes would have to go up.
  5. Are there really enough wealthy people to raise taxes on for the program to work? It strikes me that wealthy people always find loopholes.
  6. Would some terminally ill people or those with ongoing problems continue to be treated?
  7. Relatives in Scotland and friends in Canada have indicated to me that they are unhappy with their government health programs.

And then I read about Vice President Biden's speech on health care: We have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt.


I have been concerned about Justice Ginsburg's quote referring to the Roe v. Wade decision that there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. Today I read my first follow-up comment on the quote in a column by Jonah Goldberg. This viewpoint is of interest to me since I have had liberal, pro-abortion friends make a similar comment about getting rid of welfare costs by having "poor" people abort their babies.

Goldberg takes us back to Margaret Sanger, the inspiration of Planned Parenthood, and notes her willingness to use eugenics to limit some population groups. However, I thought this aspect of the pro-abortion movement had died with Margaret Sanger, but Goldberg points out:

In 1992, Ron Weddington, co-counsel in the Roe v. Wade case, wrote a letter to President-elect Bill Clinton, imploring him to rush RU-486 – a.k.a. "the abortion pill" – to market as quickly as possible.

"(Y)ou can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country," Weddington insisted. All the president had to do was make abortion cheap and easy for the populations we don't want. "It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it. ... Think of all the poverty, crime and misery ... and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don't have a lot of time left."

Weddington offered a clue about who, in particular, he had in mind: "For every Jesse Jackson who has fought his way out of the poverty of a large family, there are millions mired in poverty, drugs and crime."

I am wondering how prevalent this idea is? Is it an unspoken goal that is in the thinking of pro-abortion eugenicists, but hasn't been pushed because they realize it would discredit the pro-abortion movement? Having read the German advocates of eugenics leading up to Hitler and then seeing how Hitler implemented these ideas, the consequences of population control policies is so terrible that no words can describe the horror of it.

From the Washington TImes on recent research about 30 week fetuses. (NARAL has not responded)

They weigh less than 3 pounds, usually, and are perhaps 15 inches long. But they can remember. The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation - or about two months before they are born.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I have never been a supporter of Obama's economic policies, because they never seemed to get to the root of the problem. Somehow wealth-creation has to be stimulated which will create jobs as businesses develop and expand to meet the needs of our country and the world. People need to have meaningful jobs creating wealth and also providing a tax-base. Instead he has just thrown money out there as a stimulus. It may stimulate for the short-term, but unless productive capacity and innovation is taking place, it will only have a short-term impact. For example, extending unemployment relief may be good in the short-term helping a person transition, but it really doesn't get people back to work.

I have not seen the main-stream media really raise any serious questions about the theories behind his stimulus. The August issue of Money does have a columnist talking about how Obama is using "spackle" to deal with the economy (painters will understand the analogy).

On July 14th I read a column by Bob Hebert in the Dallas Morning News that begins to address the problems in a more serious way (Hebert is a NYT, African-American, Obama supporter). While I don't agree with everything he says, I do like his principle that the administration is not dealing with fundamental economic problems.

Vice President Joe Biden told us last week that the Obama administration "misread how bad the economy was" in the immediate aftermath of the inauguration.

Puh-leeze. President Barack Obama and Biden won the election because the economy was cratering so badly there were fears we might be entering another depression. No one understood that better than the two of them. Obama tried to clean up the vice president's remarks by saying his team hadn't misread what was happening, but rather "we had incomplete information."

That doesn't hold water, either. The president boasts the second coming of the best and the brightest working for him down there in Washington (think of Larry Summers as the latter-day Robert McNamara), and they're crunching numbers every which way they can. They've got more than enough data. They're not coming up with the right answers because they're missing the same thing that McNamara and his fellow technocrats were missing back in the 1960s: the human equation.

The reference to McNamara and the "best and the brightest" who got us into Vietnam is quiet troubling. How do we know that the Obama economic team isn't made up of a bunch of McNamaras who tell us they have the answer, but as the years pass, the country finds that the "best and the brightest" on Obama's team have created even more problems?

Saturday, July 11, 2009


These Rasmussen results are amazing in my opinion (I don't see Republican leadership on issues as particularly insightful). I can't help, but wonder if something was wrong with the polling or else the mainstream media isn't reporting this change in the American mood.

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues, including, for the second straight month, the top issue of the economy. They've also narrowed the gap on the remaining two issues, the traditionally Democratic strong suits of health care and education.

Many Americans must be beginning to realize that many of Obama administration programs aren't working. If the administration is already talking about a second stimulus package, it is an indication that something went wrong with the first stimulus package.


I don't like Wikipedia, but the list shows the number of tsars being appointed grows every day. I am not sure it is accurate--I think it may have missed one or two. We are becoming more Russian than Russia. Maybe it will make Putin and Medvedev identify with Washington more. But if one considers what the tsars did for Russia, the Obama administration would surely have picked another term. But I guess most Americans don't know anything about Russian history anyway.


Headline from the Telegraph (UK). Obama is going to prevent global environmental catastrophe. I am not sure the editors see the theological implications.


Dr. Francis S. Collins is having trouble being appointed to direct the National Institue of Health, because he is a Christian according to Martin Peretz in the New Republic (hardly a bastion of the religious right):

He is a practicing and believing Christian. It's odd--isn't it?--that this fact should make a scientific designee unfit or unsuited for a job. Soon we will hear the same about judicial nominees. The establishment mounted a sustained campaign in the Senate (and outside) against President Wilson's nomination of Louis D. Brandies to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the candidate was Jewish, although some of his critics tended to be euphemistic rather than direct about their objections. Not so those who are against Collins.

He did pay his taxes.

Collins contrasts with the appointment of John Holdren as the "Science Tsar."

From FrontPage.Com: Collins wrote Ecoscience with Paul and Anne Ehrlich in 1977 and stated among other things a neo-Malthusian view and "If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" (pp. 837-838).

Friday, July 10, 2009


I have mixed feelings about Sarah Palin--there are many issues I agree with her on, but I am troubled by some of her decisions. I like much of what Peggy Noonan wrote in a recent WSJ article. I know Noonan has been critical of Palin in the past and the article is certainly not favorable. I believe Sarah Palin has shown her liberal enemies at their moral worst as they have engaged in personal attacks (even on her children). I believe some of the attraction to her on the right is because of the anger they see her creating among the liberal establishment.

However, I just think Palin was over her head when she faced difficult national political issues. Coming from Alaska, I just don't think she realized what the media and contemporary political culture was like. I never sensed that she was well-read or engaged in a lot of policy debates before being named as the Republican Vice President candidate. Obama's experience was almost as weak, but he could express himself much better as a result of years in Illinois and Chicago politics (he seems to have done very little in his two years in the Senate, but at least he knew what the debates and issues were).

If I were Sarah Palin and wanted a political future, I would have gone back to Alaska and read, read, and read some more. . .and perhaps spend a weekend or two here and there in dialogue with leading conservatives and moderates (I am not sure liberals would talk to her). I would serve as Governor of Alaska, introducing innovations like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and not be so preoccupied about the future. Maybe I would run for the US Senate if I had thoughts about 2016 (2012 is a bit too close to 2008).

The media and liberal establishment will never like Sarah Palin, but she needs to prove two things: 1) She can govern something for more than two years and 2) when she hits the talk shows she has intelligent, well-thought out responses.

Noonan concludes with: The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.

I agree that the future will require far better leaders than I am observing in Washington now.