Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
This past week, the nation of Belarus in Eastern Europe held another rigged “election.” Now, long-time Stalinist dictator Alexander Lukashenko has cracked down on his opponents with a ferocity not seen since the worst days
of the old Soviet empire.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I like this post by Paul Hsieh. I agree with his comments about the Republicans getting the right message. I too think the election expressed the frustration people are feeling with the health care bill and the economy, not whether gay marriages should be allowed or whether abortion should not be allowed.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Three weeks ago we launched a poll asking, “Will Regional Extension Centers deliver on their mission?” With the help of fellow bloggers, we received a total of 87 responses from physicians, health IT insiders and other health care professionals. Thank you to those who participated and to those who helped us spread the word about the poll.One of the major components of the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was the allocation of $19 billion to jump start the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). One of the major uses of those funds was the establishment of Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to support EHR adoption by primary care physicians.
Read more: http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/medical/five-reasons-we-think-recs-are-reckless-1092310/#ixzz13CUhFBX5
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
USGS Release: 3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995
For all the blather we hear about the need for energy independence we see precious little action happening within our borders to make this happen. I'm sure a variety of factors play a role, from the Not In My Back Yard attitude to the environmentalist objections to off shore and on shore drilling to the belief that America doesn't deserve to be independent because of its inherently evil capitalist system (or what's left of it). In that context it's interesting to see the USGS release this staggering estimate of how much oil lies under our own soil.
Will we ever touch it?
Good friend Robert Bidinotto penned The Anti-American President?. Well worth reading!
Here is a sample.
Indeed. With the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson, Barack Obama is the only American president to truly despise, at the deepest philosophical level, what America uniquely stands for—which is why he stresses that he aims to be a “transformational president.” He has complained that the Framers of the Constitution failed to allow for “redistributive change.” Andrew C. McCarthy summarized Obama’s frustration with constitutional limits on government power:
John Giffing has written an insightful analysis of the trend in America towards fascism: American Jeopardy: What is Fascism?
Here is the introductory paragraph.
Over the years, words lose meaning and often take on new forms that in no way represent their original usage. This can be observed in the now taboo word "fascism." Fascism is now most closely associated with the system of government that effected the slaughter of over 6 million Jews and other political prisoners. But at its core, fascism is really no more than a system where government, through agreements with the private sector, controls virtually all property and income indirectly.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In browsing different blogs on both sides of the political spectrum, a common theme I've seen on the right is to accuse Obama of being a socialist or a communist. While there might be some merit to applying one of these labels to him I actually think he is more in favor of what some call crony capitalism. Or maybe a more appropriate term is fascism of some sort. According to Wikipedia, “Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy. ... Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. They claim that culture is created by the collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus they reject individualism.”
The last sentence in the Wikipedia entry captures what I think is a common denominator shared by socialism, communism, fascism and crony capitalism: an antipathy towards individuals. I think it also shouldn't be surprising that small businesses have been suffering under the Obama administration's attempts to "fix" the economy. Many small businesses represent the embodied dreams of entrepreneurs, of a man or woman who create a business on their own instead of working in the corporate world.
Joel Kotkin's article explains why small businesses, which normally lead the economy out of a recession, are staying hunkered down.
Obama’s big problems with business did not start, and are not deepest, among the corporate elite. Instead, the driver here has been what you might call a bottom-up opposition. The business move against Obama started not in the corporate suites, but among smaller businesses. In the media, this opposition has been linked to Tea Parties, led by people who in any case would have opposed any Democratic administration. But the phenomenon is much broader than that.
The one group that has fared badly in the last two years has been the private-sector middle class, particularly the roughly 25 million small firms spread across the country. Their discontent—not that of the loud-mouthed professional right or the spoiled sports on Wall Street—is what should be keeping Obama and the Democrats awake at night.
Small business should be leading us out of the recession. In the last two deep recessions during the early 1980s and the early 1990s, small firms, particularly the mom and pop shops, helped drive the recovery, adding jobs and starting companies. In contrast, this time the formation rate for new firms has been dropping for months—one reason why unemployment remains so high and new hiring remains insipid at best.
It’s not hard to see the reasons for pessimism. Entrepreneurs see bailed-out Wall Street firms and big banks recovering, while getting credit remains very difficult for the little guy. In addition, many small businesses are terrified of new mandates, in energy or health, which makes them reluctant to hire new people. Small banks—not considered “too big to fail”—fear that they will prove far less capable of meeting new regulatory guidelines than their leviathan competitors.
Among businesses of all sizes, there is now a pervasive sense that the administration does not understand basic economics. This is not to say they believe Obama’s a closet socialist, as some more unhinged conservatives claim. That would be an insult to socialism. Obama’s real problem is that he’s a product, basically, of the fantastical faculty lounge.
For the most part, university professors do not much value economic growth, since they consider themselves, like government workers, a protected class. Many, particularly in planning and environmental study departments, also embrace the views of the president’s academic science adviser, John Holdren, who suggests Western countries undergo “de-development,” which is the opposite of economic growth.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Victor Davis Hanson's Obama's Greek Tragedy makes a number of good points about the drastic disparity between Obama's hope and change campaign platitudes while merely continuing the policies of his predecessor, George W, who Obama excoriated during the presidential campaign.
The reality of Barack Obama is that he was an inexperienced community organizer with an undistinguished record as a Senate newcomer. A perfect storm of popular anger at eight years of George Bush, a lackluster John McCain campaign, Obama's landmark candidacy as an African-American, a disingenuous campaign promising centrist and bipartisan governance, and the financial meltdown in 2008 got the relatively untried and unknown Obama elected.
Most mortals in Obama's position would have treaded lightly. They would have kept promises, steered a moderate course and listened more than lectured until they won over the public with concrete achievement.
But headstrong tragic figures do not do that. They neither welcome in critics nor would listen to them if they did. They impute their unforeseen temporary success to their own brilliance -- and expect it to continue forever. So would-be gods set themselves up for a fall far harder than what happens to the rest of us.
That's about where we are now, with our president playing a character right out of Greek tragedy, who, true to form, is railing about the unfairness of it all.
This piece does a nice job summarizing the fact that Obama's thuggery is useless in fighting spill | Washington Examiner.
In particular I liked these two paragraphs:
And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the Gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help.
The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: Dance with the girl that brung ya.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Obama campaigned on competence and cool. But his technocrats, whether Van Jones, Dr. Chu, Larry Summers, or Eric Holder, are at best academic misfits and at worse simply unfit for executive responsibilities. Harvard Law Review may be of value for suing BP later and demonizing it in the press, and community organizing may be valuable in shaking down BP to clean up, but had only the president run an ACE Hardware store, or at least worked the night shift at Starbucks, he could have had some experience in delegating authority and demanding results from employees, while keeping in mind the bigger picture of economic survival. Right now we are being governed by a GS something, who has no idea where money comes from, but lots of ideas how to blow it. This crisis brings that out.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Earth to NY Times: Obama is not a competent leader. He can pretend to be one during a campaign, and the press can assert that he is one when he has so little record to refute their claims. But that is not reality, it’s a co-constructed narrative that can easily fall to pieces when it faces events in the world.
The Times editors, who still appear to believe that Obama could show these things if he would only choose to do so, fail to understand the principle. But as wordsmiths who’ve most likely never had to show results in their lives (including an increase in circulation; theirs has been in freefall), but who believe something to be so merely by asserting it and/or bluffing, they must be very puzzled indeed.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
While BP has resisted some government interventions, it has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.
Now that BP’s oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in American history, the Left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with Enron and AIG: Whenever a company earns universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Earlier this week I saw a post titled on the always-excellent neo-neocon about a speech Obama gave regarding the recent push for financial reform. Neo-neocon’s post has the following quote from this speech (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I have not dug up and read, yet).
Here is the quote.
“We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.”
One of the most interesting things about the Obama quote under discussion is that, if you look at his scripted speech, he was trying to do his version of supporting what Sowell says—that is, of praising the power of capitalism’s ability to allow the aggregate forces of private enterprise and personal initiative to grow an economy. He knows that’s the American way, and that it is necessary for a president to pay some sort of lip service to it. But he couldn’t help blurting out what for him is the truth—that he doesn’t really believe in it at all—and that he and the other brilliant intellectuals surrounding him know much better, both practically and morally.
Let’s unpack what he says. There is a lot in this one paragraph consisting of four sentences.
“I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Enough for whom and for what? Is the $5,000,000 Obama made last year primarily from his book sales the level that demarks what is enough? What happens if you exceed what is considered “enough”? Does the government cap it so you can’t receive it? Is it taxed at a 100% rate? Notice too the elitism inherent in this statement, that he and his cohorts know better than the rest of us what is “enough.”
“But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service.” Maybe I’m reading too much into his choice of words but it seems as though he harbors disdain for what is known as the American dream, especially with his choice of “just keep on making it.” Apparently once you’ve had enough you’re supposed to do what? Stop? Give away what is considered excess? Or, if you’re enlightened like Obama you don’t strive to just keep on making money in the first place.
“We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.” Here he seems to be saying that the justification for people succeeding economically is not because it is their right to do so (provided they’re not violating the rights of others). No, he seems to be saying it’s OK for them to succeed (up to a point defined by him, of course) as long as it’s fulfilling a responsibility to grow our economy (i.e., benefit others). I don’t see personal economic success and benefiting others as necessarily being mutually exclusive. Obama seems to be hinting that this success is justified only because others benefit too.
I would argue that socialism and planned economies, which aim to stifle or punish the individual drive for success while supposedly helping the “disadvantaged” accomplishes less of both than free markets. While the free market does a better job of enabling people to achieve personal economic success and benefiting others through the ripple effect of this success in creating opportunities for others or by generating the tax revenue the government needs to fund programs that help others. And that for me is more than enough.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
- 9,000,000 Millionaires
- 27,000,000 people who make more than $50,000 per year, but choosenot to get insurance
- 22,000,000 Young adults who can afford insurance, but choose not to
- 14,000,000 People who can already get medicaid, but choose not to
- 11,000,000 Illegal Immigrants
- 23,000,000 People who are actually insured. That’s right; you’ve been lied to…surprised?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.
All these alarms were given special prominence in the IPCC's 2007 report and each of them has now been shown to be based, not on hard evidence, but on scare stories, derived not from proper scientists but from environmental activists. Those glaciers are not vanishing; the damage to the rainforest is not from climate change but logging and agriculture; African crop yields are more likely to increase than diminish; the modest rise in sea levels is slowing not accelerating; hurricane activity is lower than it was 60 years ago; droughts were more frequent in the past; there has been no increase in floods or heatwaves.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
As I’ve said in earlier posts I see this as a consequence of postmodernism in which the “truth” is what we want it to be. The facts are shaped to match our conclusions, which are shaped by our politics. It also reflects the belief that the ends (allegedly saving the earth from humans) justify the means (distorting or changing the facts if they don’t match our judgments). In other words political ends trumps inconvenient truths.
Here are a few excerpts.
Instead of seeing large collaborations of meticulous, careful, critical scientists, we instead see a small team of incompetent cowboys, abusing almost every aspect of the framework of science to build a fortress around their “old boys’ club”, to prevent real scientists from seeing the shambles of their “research”.
Phil Jones to Ray Bradley, Mike Mann, Malcolm Hughes, Keith Briffa, and Tim Osborn, regarding a diagram for a World Meteorological Organization Statement:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
Those thirty-three words summarize the hoax so magnificently succinctly that the Nobel Committee should consider retrieving their Peace Prize from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore, and re-issuing it as a Literature Prize to Phil Jones.
Again, Wigley perpetuates the arrogant myth that this small club of scientists should have the right to interfere with, and ultimately veto, the review and publication process for each and every paper published in their field. Such censorship is not how a healthy discipline of science operates; indeed, any discipline that operates in this manner is not “science” at all, but mere religious dogma.
I suspect that de Freitas deliberately chose other referees who are members of the skeptics camp. I also suspect that he has done this on other occasions. How to deal with this is unclear, since there are a number of individuals with genuine scientific credentials who could be used by an unscrupulous editor to ensure that “anti-greenhouse” science can get through the peer review process (Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, and so on). The peer review process is being abused, but proving this would be difficult.
This is a damning admission by Wigley: he acknowledges that these skeptics have impeccable scientific credentials; the only reason that they should be banned from reviewing papers for journal publication is that they don’t buy into their dogma of global warming! This email dispels any doubt that this cozy club redefined “peers” to mean “scientists who agree with us”—which makes a mockery of the entire idea of “peer review”.
The ultimate irony in all this, of course, is that skepticism is not a scientific insult, but rather an essential tenet of the scientific method. Only fundamentalist theological debates brand skepticism a heresy.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It's the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being "confused" by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.