Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The weak “climate change” hypothesis gets two more serious blows

More bad news for environmental alarmists came last week when 16 more well known and well respected scientists signed on to a Wall Street Journal article titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming: There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy,” adding their names to a large and growing list of scientists opposing manmade climate change dogma.

From the article:
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: “I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

Despite a long and arduous campaign to persuade the world that “greenhouse” gases and increasing amounts of carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, and in the face of heavy pressure from their colleagues to jump on that bandwagon, more and more scientists agree with Dr. Giaever that stubborn scientific facts argue against the alarmists’ position.

The climate change argument, originally called “manmade global warming” until that title fell into disrepute when recent years have been cooler rather than warmer, has suffered credibility problems in recent years. Perhaps frustrated that many people, including many scientists, did not get all sweaty over the idea that mankind is killing our world with pollution-causing fossil fuels and excessive bovine flatulence, the climate change alarmists resorted to data manipulation and outright fraud to promote their version of “The Sky is Falling.”

The idea that climate change endangers the environment benefits a special few, but it does great harm to many. Funding for research – totaling tens of billions of dollars over the last two decades – is aggressively sought after among researchers in academia and elsewhere. Indeed, without billions in research funding many professors would be forced back into classrooms all across the country, putting hundreds of graduate assistants and doctoral students out of work.

Misplaced fears of climate catastrophe have unleashed horrors on the populace, which as a result has been condemned to burn gasoline polluted with ethanol, the manufacture of which has diverted countless tons of corn out of the food chain, raising food prices, and to replace perfectly good incandescent light bulbs with something called CFLs, a replacement bulb that puts users at risk of mercury poisoning, and requires a HazMat team to dispose of the things. And it allows true believers like Barack Obama to throw away millions of taxpayer dollars on boondoggles like the Solyndra loan, and on ideologically pleasing, but expensive and inefficient hybrid autos, like the Chevy Volt.

An excellent summary of the current mania is contained in this statement by Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT Atmospheric Sciences professor, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and also a former lead author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” Dr. Lindzen is one of the 16 signatories to the  Journal article.

No doubt some readers will dispute the professor’s position—despite his experience, training and expertise—but that does nothing to lessen the impact of his words and the truth they represent.

Back in the summer of 2006, fully 74 percent of participants in a Pew Research poll thought global warming was a serious problem, while 24 percent thought it was not a serious problem. Last November those numbers were 65 percent and 33 percent, showing that despite the one-sided coverage of this argument, the people are turning away from global warming/climate change as a serious threat. The pro-climate change side lost 12 percent, while the anti-climate change faction gained 29 percent.

More interesting, however, is this from the Daily Mail of London online last weekend: “The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.”

A real crisis may be on the horizon. It is fair to wonder how these climate change scientists will react to this, a real episode of climate change, one that is not caused by humans. Maybe they will determine that we really need fossil fuels, after all, to combat global cooling.

Drill, baby, drill.

Comments are welcome

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AP believes nearly half of Americans are now poor or close to poverty

Last month a story by the Associated Press told the nation that nearly half of the country is living in poverty, or on the edge of it: “Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.”

Can’t you just hear the astonishment expressed over this horrible development? “Things are so bad in America that nearly half of us are poor or almost poor.”

Poverty: the word conjures up images of people living on the streets or under bridges, with ragged clothes, begging for food. Or a family of ten crowded into a 3-room apartment or a dilapidated trailer. That is the picture of poverty. But for the vast majority of those that are the subject of the AP story, conditions are much, much better than that. Nevertheless, some folks accept this awful scenario without question, because it fits into their view of America as a deeply flawed country that ignores the needy and must be fundamentally transformed.

True, the protracted and anemic Obama recovery has had terrible effects, as anti-business policies create uncertainty about the future, which keeps people unemployed, causes some businesses to impose cut backs while others are forced to shut down completely. However, even in the throes of the ghastly Obama economy, half of us are not in or near poverty. At least not true poverty.

In order to get close to the shocking 50 percent threshold, the AP had to double-down on the poverty levels by adding in those earning up to twice the poverty level, then describe these people as “scraping by” as low income earners. There are 49.1 million people whose earnings level classifies them as in poverty. That’s a lot of people, but it is a long way from 50 percent, only about a third of that number.

To truly shock people, a 16 percent poverty rate just won’t do; the number must be much higher. So, by adding in the 97.3 million classified as “low income,” which is the group at 100 to 199 percent of the poverty level, that adds another 31 percent to the total, and gets pretty close to one out of two Americans.

The purpose here is not to diminish the dire existence of truly poor Americans, but to bring honesty into the discussion.

I have written before about how “normal” the lives of many of those in the “poor” half of the population are, using government data that show that the typical poor household has a car, air conditioning, cable or satellite TV service, not one but two color TVs, a VCR and a DVD player, and kitchens equipped with a refrigerator, a range and a microwave.  Half of them have a home computer and a third have a widescreen TV, and one in four has a digital recorder.

It is a positive aspect of the capitalist system that the price of products becomes more affordable over time, enabling more and more of us to acquire things we want. However, it is a truism that truly poor people cannot afford to purchase such unnecessary items at any price.

The anti-capitalism folks on the Left want you to believe that despite having these modern conveniences, poor families still are deprived of basic needs, like food and housing. If this is true, doesn’t that beg the question of why these families spend scarce dollars on non-necessities instead of on food and better housing?

But, as the Heritage Foundation explains, the truth is that half of the people addressed in the AP story live in single-family homes and 40 percent live in apartments. Their residences are not overcrowded and for the most part are in good repair. “Poor Americans, on average, live in larger houses or apartments than does the average, non-poor individual living in Sweden, France, Germany or the United Kingdom,” Heritage’s Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield wrote in September.

But what about the children, the one in four who go to bed hungry every night? Well, as it turns out, that, too, is untrue. Heritage reports from Department of Agriculture data that “96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during 2009, despite the severity of the recession.”

It is nothing short of despicable, and maybe it ought to be illegal, to attempt to convince the American people that half of us are in poverty or in dire financial circumstances when that is provably untrue. We can only guess at the motivation of the Associated Press in perpetrating this fraudulent picture of life in the United States. Playing such games – exaggerating the conditions and the numbers of poor – benefits some, but it does not benefit the poor.

It’s an attempt to soften us up and make us more willing to support starting new government programs or expand existing programs to help the poor, and it shifts the focus away from other serious cultural problems, like the collapse of marriage and the family, and the erosion of the work ethic.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The rap on the rich: They take a lot, but give very little in return

For as long as there have been economic differences between people there has been some level of jealousy and envy of wealthy people by the less wealthy. At times unscrupulous politicians and others who appeal to people's emotions and prejudices work very hard to ramp up the level of discontent among those of lesser wealth. The current campaign against the rich, which began in 2009 with the swearing in of Barack Obama, is the most determined effort in a long, long time.

Mr. Obama has succeeded at few things in his ignominious three years in office, but he is perhaps the greatest of our presidents in his ability to stir up bitterness among those who believe they are victims of the wealthy, as well as in persuading those who don’t realize it that they also are victims of the rich.

Perhaps he subscribes to George Bernard Shaw’s insightful observation that the guy that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul, Peter representing the wealthy targets of Mr. Obama’s class-envy obsession, and Paul representing those who receive continually increasing amounts of bounty from their government, courtesy of the top 10 percent of earners who pay 70 percent of the cost of our overweight and extravagant government.

The president’s strategy makes sense: If your policies have only made a bad situation worse, and what it takes to make things better is in conflict with your ideological programming, you have to distract attention with a bogeyman, and get people all fired up against the bogeyman so they won’t notice how badly you are doing.

Let’s examine some well known bogeymen from history: The robber barons.

The term engenders visions of mean, evil, wicked, bad, and nasty businessmen amassing personal fortunes through the persecution and bullying of the common people through unscrupulous practices and even illegal schemes. The term carries such strong images that when it is heard or read, revulsion is automatic and immediate.

Questioning the conventional wisdom that the robber barons were really the scum of the Earth is nearly as bad an idea as questioning that those who oppose Barack Obama policies are racists. That’s just the way it is, and if you know what’s good for you, you won’t question it.

And so, such villains as John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Jacob Aster, J.P. Morgan, Grenville Dodge, and James J. Hill became some of the most vilified men in American history. Accounts portray these vicious, exploitative capitalist predators as victimizing their customers through thinly veiled acts of larceny for their personal benefit.

However, in the continuing effort to push back the boundaries of ignorance, we bravely enter the world of the robber baron to see just whether they were as dreadful as we’ve been told all these years. And, predictably, someone dares to offer an alternative view of these contemptible characters.

“Time: that is the key,” Matt Ridley, explains in The Rational Optimist. “The true measure of something’s worth is the hours it takes to acquire it. If you can get something made efficiently by others, then you can afford more of it. This is what prosperity is: the increase in the amount of goods or services you can earn with the same amount of work. The robber barons of the late 19th century usually got rich by making things cheaper” for others, he wrote.

Consider Cornelius Vanderbilt, the first man referred to as a “robber baron” by the New York Times. His railroad building activities resulted in the reduction of rail fares; rail freight charges fell by 90 percent between 1870 and 1900.

Likewise, Andrew Carnegie, in the process of enriching himself enormously, reduced the price of steel rail by 75 percent, and John D. Rockefeller cut it by 80 percent. In fact, Mr. Ridley tells us that during those 30 years the per capita GDP of Americans rose by 66 percent. “They were ‘enricher-barons,’ too,” he proclaims.

If because of Cornelius Vanderbilt folks can get where they want to go quicker, and if that also makes it possible for them to work fewer hours to earn the ticket price, he has made a good living for himself while at the same time enriching virtually everyone else.

While not technically a robber baron, Henry Ford certainly became wealthy at the expense of his customers. His first Model T cost $825, but through his efforts four years later it cost only $575, and only $360 a few years after that. While Henry was getting rich, he was making it easier for others to afford an automobile.

People acting in their own self-interest not only make things better for themselves, but for the rest of us, as well. This is a basic tenet of economics, and we really need to pay more attention to such wisdom, and leave counter-productive envy behind.

A strong message that comes from Mr. Ridley’s assessment of the robber barons is that the very wealthy almost always engage in activities that benefit everyone as they gain wealth. Wonder why this message isn’t more widely circulated? Maybe it’s because envy-mongering gets better results.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

South Carolina Senator Davis endorses Ron Paul

The crazy Republican primary process takes another wild turn with the endorsement of Ron Paul by Sen.
Tom Davis. Here's the report by
S.C. Sen. Tom Davis – the leading fiscal conservative in South Carolina state government and one of the most coveted endorsements of the 2012 “First in the South” presidential primary – will announce his support for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul on Sunday.

Davis will endorse Paul’s candidacy at a campaign event Sunday evening in Myrtle Beach, S.C. – confirming a report published earlier this week on Buzzfeed.

Paul’s campaign has described Davis’ forthcoming endorsement as “consequential” and “game-changing.” Why?

A first-term State Senator, Davis wields a disproportionate impact given his stellar fiscal voting record and his advocacy on behalf of key state-level reforms including a taxpayer rebate fundand an aggressive government restructuring bill (unlike the “restructuring in name only” pushed last year by Gov. Nikki Haley).


Saturday, January 14, 2012

EPA: A History of Disservice

The dim bulbs at the Environmental Protection Agency are at it again. Having grown bored with killing jobs and businesses and raising consumer costs without improving anything measurable, the EPA is now punishing businesses for failing to use enough of a certain product when there isn’t enough of the product to allow those businesses to meet the EPA threshold.
In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act was enacted with the goals of reducing America’s dependence on oil from hostile nations, the payment of billions of dollars for the oil to the hostile nations, improve the efficiency of motor vehicles and increase the use of renewable energy resources which includes biofuels.

By 2011, fuel companies were to be blending in 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel into domestic gasoline and diesel.  Cellulosic biofuel is made from wood chips and other plant parts such as corncobs and plant stems that are not edible

However, there has been one major flaw in the EISA and that is the technology has not caught up to the requirements.  Cellulosic biofuels only exist in small amounts as various research companies are desperately trying to come up with a way to produce the biofuel which isn’t cost prohibitive.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Items from the "Obama Hit Parade"

Polls show America is recovering from it's disturbing case of ObamaWorship:

Poll: Americans, 2-1, Fear Obama's Reelection
When it comes to how Americans view President Obama going into the new year, there appears to be very little spirit of Auld Lang Syne. Instead, according to the new Washington Whispers poll, many voters aren't forgetting what they dislike about Obama and want him out office.

In our New Year's poll, when asked what news event they fear most about 2012, Americans by a margin of two-to-one said Obama's reelection. Only 16 percent said they fear the Democrat won't win a second term, while 33 percent said they fear four more years.

Demonstrating the economics acumen that turned the American economy from a developing disaster into a full-blown disaster:

Obama thanks EPA workers, vows allegiance to agency mission
President Barack Obama defended the work of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, saying he would stand with the agency that has taken a beating from Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail for regulations that the GOP maintains will cripple the economy and kill jobs.

Obama, making his first-ever visit to the EPA, took issue with those claims, saying he did not buy the notion that there is a choice between clean air and clean water and a growing economy. He said the mission of the agency was "vital."

"That is a false debate. We don't have to choose between dirty air and dirty water or a growing economy. We can make sure that we are doing right by our environment and in fact putting people back to work all across America," Obama told about 800 EPA employees gathered at headquarters in Washington, reminding them that before Republican President Richard Nixon created the agency in 1970, rivers caught fire and were devoid of life.

 Even more evidence that ObamaCare is the worst legislation ever to be written and passed into law in secret:

Doctors Say Obamacare Is No Remedy for U.S. Health Woes
America’s doctors have conducted a full examination of the president’s health reform law — and their diagnosis of its effects on our healthcare system isn’t good.

Nearly two-thirds of doctors expect the quality of care in this country to decline, according to a new survey from consulting giant Deloitte. Just 27 percent think that the law will lower costs. And nearly seven of every 10 doctors believe that medicine is no longer attractive to America’s “best and brightest.”

Few people know more about our healthcare system than doctors working on the frontlines. Policymakers should pay heed to their indictment of Obamacare and revisit the disastrous law.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Broader unemployment numbers paint a grim picture of the “recovery”

The good thing about our economy is that despite the serious problems it often has, the market will self-stabilize fairly quickly, as history has repeatedly shown. That is, if the politicians have the good sense to remove barriers and leave it otherwise alone.

However, when politicians impede the recovery through bad policies and foolish actions, the result is the Great Depression and, in this case, the Great Recession.

Even though there was slight improvement in the jobless number for December [the U-3 rate], a one-tenth of a percent decline in the unemployment rate to 8.5 percent, the economy is still sputtering.

Unemployment was already headed upward when Barack Obama took office in January of 2009 and rose steadily from 7.6 percent to 10.2 percent in October 2009, ending the year at 10.0 percent. Apparently the gods of the economy didn’t hear the president’s predictions that his nearly $800 billion stimulus would keep unemployment at 8.0 percent or less.

Three years later the unemployment rate is still substantially higher than Mr. Obama’s predicted peak. Plainly, the stimulus failed; a shining example of how the bad judgment of politicians impedes economic recovery. And the liberals running the government failed to learn anything from that mistake.

In politics, however, one takes even the smallest bit of good news and makes the most of it, so it was no surprise when Mr. Obama said, “We’re starting to rebound. … We’re heading in the right direction and we’re not going to let up.” He went on to say that the country has made “steady progress” since he took office, blithely ignoring inconvenient facts clearly demonstrating the contrary.

The good news is that unemployment has fallen from a high of 10.2 percent in October of 2009 to the current 8.5 percent rate, down 1.7 points over that 22-month period, and that is, of course, welcome news.

The unwelcome news, though, is that the unemployment rate rests nearly 3 points above the 1948-2007 average of 5.6 percent. Also, the 8.5 percent number reflects only the people currently active in the job market, and ignores the misfortunes of those who are underemployed or who have become discouraged and stopped looking for a job. An accurate picture of unemployment cannot ignore those Americans, as the U-3 rate does.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the official source for unemployment data and in addition to the number of people reported as unemployed reflected in the U-3 rate, it also reports the U-6 rate that includes the underemployed and those who have given up. The U-6 rate stood at 8.8 percent in December 2007, stood at more than 15 percent in January 2009 when Mr. Obama took office, rose to a high of 17.4 percent in October 2009, and was at 15.2 percent at the end of December 2011.

Acknowledging the true unemployment picture reflected by the U-6 rate, it is difficult to make a case that things have gotten noticeably better than they were when Mr. Obama took office.

Worse still, using the methodology for computing the unemployment rate used during the Great Depression and up until 1994, the current unemployment rate is around 23 percent. Essentially, the only reason the Obama economy looks even marginally decent is that the BLS changed the way it calculates unemployment.

Having frequently taken credit for a recovery, however, Mr. Obama is now obliged to take responsibility for everything that occurs after the recovery began, such as the news on median household income.

According to a Sentier Research report, median household income has actually fallen during the recovery, and in fact has fallen even more than it did during the recession. Gordon Green, former chief of the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, and co-author John Coder say that real income fell by 3.2 percent during the recession, but it has dropped 6.7 percent in the recovery, twice as much decline in the recovery as in the recession. Nothing to brag about here.

Despite these discouraging numbers, the president and his fellow Washington liberals continue policies based upon bad judgment. Mr. Obama tried to stimulate the economy by throwing nearly $800 billion at it. It didn’t work. He tried to stimulate green energy alternatives by throwing a half-billion dollars at Solyndra. That failed miserably. He tried to help the lower income folks by cutting their contribution to Social Security, which put a few extra dollars in their pocket each payday, but also increased the Social Security program’s deficit, and now he wants to extend that reduction.

And, last year he increased the size and cost of government yet again by creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will further impede business operations and raise costs by arming yet another band of bureaucrats with investigative power, and giving them loose standards to use in deciding who and when to investigate.

What the government ought to be doing instead is improving conditions that foster employment, and that means restoring certainty about the future in the minds of businesses and consumers. The “more regulations and laws” mentality of liberal Washington Democrats is the opposite of that prescription, and will further delay the recovery.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

“Stupid” sometimes has fatal consequences

There are two items in the news today that illustrate both how stupid some people are, as well as how serious the consequences of being stupid sometimes can be. 

We might be tempted to think that as many such examples as there are of idiotic behavior having horrible consequences that people would begin to figure out that they should stop and carefully think things through before acting.

Holding that particular belief gives people far more credit than they have earned, as the following two tragic stories more than amply illustrate.

The aftermath of these two events also illustrates how some people – too many people – will try to relieve the stupid people of responsibility for their stupid behavior. 

In the first incident, from Fox News:
A teenage mom took action recently when an intruder broke into her Oklahoma home. Sarah McKinley shot and killed the man after calling 911 and speaking to a dispatcher who, upon being asked by McKinley if she should shoot the suspect, answered that she should do whatever necessary to ‘protect her baby.’ McKinley says she did just that. 

According to the 18-year-old’s account, two men began beating on her front door, prompting McKinley to take her three-month-old baby and lock herself in a room with a gun before calling emergency dispatch. 

When the intruders finally got through the door, the mom had no more time left to wait for police and made a judgment call. “I waited ’til he came in the door, and when he did I shot him. I didn’t know what else to do … I wanted [the police] to hurry and get here before I had to do it, but they didn’t get here quick enough,” she said. 

On today’s America Live, Megyn Kelly pointed out that under Oklahoma law it is legal to use deadly force against an intruder, in certain circumstances. Prosecution in the case has decided not to charge McKinley with any crime.
The intruder had a second accomplice, however, and he has absorbed the charges, set to be tried for first-degree murder. In Kelly’s Court, Lis Wiehl and Joey Jackson got into a heated debate over the legal decision, with Wiehl saying the prosecution got this ‘exactly right.’ Do you agree? 
And in the second incident: 
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - An armed eighth-grader gunned down by police officers in the hallway of his Texas middle school Wednesday was brandishing a pellet gun that looked like a firearm, and he refused repeated orders to lower the weapon before the officers opened fire, police said. 

The carbon-dioxide powered pellet gun 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was holding looked like a handgun, and the initial report to police that sent officers rushing to Cummings Middle School Wednesday morning was for a student seen holding a gun, Orlando Rodriguez, Brownsville's interim police chief, said at a news conference. 

Robert Valle, a 13-year-old who was among the school's 750 students locked down in their classrooms during the confrontation, said he heard police run down the hallway and yell "put the gun down," before several shots were fired. 

"He had plenty of opportunities to lower the weapon ... and he didn't want to," Rodriguez said. Two officers fired three shots, striking Gonzalez at least twice, he said. The autopsy results are pending. 
In the case of the mother defending herself and her son, it is difficult to think that anyone would conceive that the woman should be charged in this case. But, liberals have the capacity to defend the most outrageous conduct. 

In the case of the 15 year-old student, his parents are understandably grief-stricken that their child is dead, but in their grief want to blame police instead of their son. Most 15 year-olds are in the 10th grade, so we must wonder why this boy was only in the 8th grade. 

Reportedly, he assaulted one student prior to the shootout, and verbally threatened to shoot at police. 

It is difficult to feel any sympathy for the cretins who broke into the young mother’s home, or the kid who took a real-looking gun to a school and threatened to shoot people. They acted stupidly and got what they deserved. 

It is equally impossible to blame the young mother for defending herself and her child in her own home, or the police who thought the gun was real and acted when the boy refused to drop it. They are innocent and should be commended for acting appropriately in a dangerous situation.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Banner Year for Government Awards


The 2011 “Hineys”


Dennis Evers

Hollywood really has it together when it comes to honoring their own. These actors that get paid millions of dollars for pretending to be someone else deserve the accolades the industry bestows upon them. Let’s face it, when you nearly break your arm patting yourself on the back with awards like the Oscars, the Golden Globes and countless others, people really want to hear what you have to say about things like politics, the environment and animal rights.

There is, however, a segment of society that fails to get the recognition they deserve - the zealous government employee. I’m not talking about the millions of hard working government employees that go to work everyday and make twice what the private sector makes, or those that have a better retirement fund, or more holidays off, I’m talking about those tireless public servants, bureaucrats and politicians who go beyond the call of duty to enforce and create laws and do things that make this great country a better, safer, more gender-neutral, less competitive, environmentally-friendly, PC place to live.

They deserve their own award, and I would like to propose a name that many of us regular tax-paying citizens often find us calling them under our breath - the “Equine Hiney,” or simply, the “Hineys.”

Because competition has gotten out of hand in America, it’s not really good for their self-esteem to have a winner per se, so we will simply brand the top examples all as “runner ups’ so they can share the accolades equally, without the fear of being branded a “loser.”

With that clarification, I would like to present the top nominees, again, in no particular order, they’re all winners.

The TSA for arresting numerous low-life criminals for rape, child pornography, assault, thievery, child molestation and various drug-related crimes. Unfortunately, all of those arrested were TSA employees.
Senators Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Charles Schumer and Olympia Snowe. Forget minor issues like rampant unemployment, skyrocketing energy and food prices, a deadlocked Congress and an oppressive lack of hope. An intrepid, grossly overly paid group of lawmakers (the same group that can legally get rich by illegal insider trading) has bigger fish to fry - rogue maple syrup producers. Their MAPLE (Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement) Act will send these dirty syrup counterfeiting bastards away for a long time by making the sale of fraudulent maple syrup a felony offense with up to a five-year maximum penalty. Finally - finally some sanity in Washington. 

Mayor Jack Scott of Cordova Alabama. When many of Cordova’s residents were left homeless when a tornado destroyed the town, FEMA was good enough to offer emergency single-wide trailers for the displaced survivors to start the difficult process of reclaiming their lives. Not so fast, says Mayor Scott, who won’t allow the single-wide trailers in the town limits because he doesn't want run-down mobile homes parked all over his city, and he has the town ordinance to back him up. By the way, he cites that ordinance from a temporary single-wide FEMA trailer that the town hall and police department both are now housed in.

The Oak Park Michigan carrot cops and Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski. Julie Bass decided to replace her lawn with a raised bed vegetable garden. Her five aesthetically pleasing planters, overflowing with lush vegetation in the form of carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and more are a hit with the neighborhood kids who enjoy helping out. Unfortunately, someone didn’t like the concept and called the city on her. After inspecting Julie’s vegetable patch, they issued her a warning and told the upstanding citizen and mother of six that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other “suitable” live plant material. Director Kevin Rulkowski says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common.” There is no specific ordinance that forbids vegetables, just some bureaucrat’s interpretation that “suitable” means “no vegetables.”  She demanded her right to a jury trial, so the city planned to throw the book at her. Julie could have spent 93 days in jail except for the avalanche of ridicule the city received. They dropped the charges, but recently added new ones with the same 93 days in jail penalty- unlicensed dogs. Really?

Montgomery County Md. Vegetables aren’t the only thing at the top of bureaucratic hit list, the American dream is right up there, as well. Rogue, entrepreneurial, prepubescent capitalist lemonade stand vendors seem to be a favorite. When some kids set up a lemonade stand on a street near the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland during the US Open, a Montgomery County inspector shut the stand down for not having a government approved “permit.” Forget the fact that half of the proceeds were going to help pediatric cancer victims, and that these were good kids just trying to help out. None of that matters to a bureaucrat - they were in clear violation of “the code.” One of the fathers was nailed with a $500.00 fine as things escalated. Fortunately, a local TV station grabbed some video of the incident and it went viral, bring an avalanche of complaints against the stupidity. After enough pressure, the county backed off and let the kids set up nearby. The kids’ response was to donate 100% of the proceeds to the cancer victims.

NYC Sanitation Dept.  One of the best examples of why we need to eliminate about half of all government jobs is 83 year-old Darbe Pitofsky of New York. While going out for a cup of coffee, she dropped a brown bag of old newspapers in a public trash can. Shortly thereafter, a sanitation worker jumped out of his vehicle and chased her down, demanding identification and threatening to “put her away” if she didn’t comply. “He just frightened the hell out of me, scared me to death, I was terrified.” He issued her a citation for disposing of household waste that carries a fine of $100.00 and when she complained he threatened to raise it to $300.00. Darby has appealed the citation.

Honorable Mentions:

The moronic wonks that show just how stupid they believe citizens are by taking perfectly good words we’ve used for centuries, (words or phrases that keep politicians up at night, particularly if they offer a truthful representation of the current state of affairs) and magically “swap” them for new improved words that eliminate the harmful nuance and excite the MSM.

Words like:
Kinetic military action (war)
Overseas contingency operative (terrorist)
Leading from behind (who knows)
Investment (taxation)
Eliminating spending in the tax code (more taxation)
Jobs created or saved (who knows)

And finally, every politician that voted to ban our great American light bulbs and replace them with hazardous, Chinese-made, mercury-laden, early-dying, crappy-light-producing, buzzing CFL’s.

If you have a politician or government employee you would like to nominate for a “Hiney,” please drop me a line. Please limit nominees to two or three hundred a week.

Dennis Evers is a former police chief, wannabe-political satirist & cartoonist, and author of a real book, “How to Handle a Crisis,” and can be reached at

What happened to the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?"

Look at the areas of our lives that the federal government regulates or controls: education, commerce, employment, the environment, transportation, energy, mining, oil and gas drilling, healthcare, banking, immigration (well, not so much) … The list goes on.

At what point is there too much government? Many Americans believe we have long since passed that threshold. The federal government has co-opted Americans from freely deciding many routine things that not so long ago were theirs to decide. The degree of government control is demonstrated by a huge collection of rules and regulations.

Last year’s Federal Register – the daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government – contained more than 81,000 pages. The Tax Code’s length is nearly 17,000 pages, and the Code of Federal Regulations this year has 165,000 pages.

According to the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis and the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., that jointly studied the federal government, agencies spent an estimated $55.4 billion in budgetary expenditures to administer and police the regulatory enterprise in a recent year. Adding the $1.75 trillion in off-budget compliance costs, the total regulatory burden is $1.8 trillion.

“In 1787, there were four federal crimes. Now there are over 4,000,” an article in the American Spectator told readers earlier this year. “In an average year, Congress will pass about 200 bills and agencies will enact over 3,500 regulations,” the article continued. Many of those regulations – written by bureaucrats, not Congress – have the force of law and carry prison terms.

William Anderson of Frostburg State University writes that “The only thing that stands between almost any American and doing a stretch in federal prison is the choice of whom prosecutors will target. This is a serious problem that shows no signs of disappearing. The transformation of federal courts into indictment and conviction machines imperils the U.S. business environment. Entrepreneurs and business owners face enough uncertainty in the current economic climate without having to worry about going to prison because an ambitious federal prosecutor can convince a jury that someone violated a vague, murky law.”

As serious a problem as this is, it is not the most serious threat Americans face at the hands of their government.

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead believes we have gone over the edge where policing is concerned. “Among those federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions are the State Department, Department of Education, Department of Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service,” to name just a few of the 73 agencies that have Offices of Inspectors General that exercise police powers, frequently using SWAT teams that evoke visions of a police state.

Predictably, overzealous and sometimes poorly trained SWAT teams abuse American citizens without cause, like the California man and his three young children rousted from their home at 6 a.m. by a Department of Education SWAT team looking for information on the man’s estranged wife’s education loan. Yes, that’s right: a SWAT team was sent to break into his home because of an education loan.

Much worse, a young ex-Marine was killed after a SWAT team crashed into his home during a drug raid and opened fire. According to news reports, the father of two young children grabbed a gun in response to the forced invasion but never fired. He was allegedly fired upon 71 times, but police found nothing illegal in his home.

Mistakes are bound to happen, of course, but that raises the question of how many times the federal government should be allowed to abuse or kill innocent citizens with impunity? The answer is: Never!

Mr. Whitehead notes that “Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances: angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling.” Even worse, he continues, “All too often, botched SWAT team raids have resulted in one tragedy after another for the residents with little consequences for law enforcement” because “judges tend to afford extreme levels of deference to police officers who have mistakenly killed innocent civilians but do not afford similar leniency to civilians who have injured police officers in acts of self-defense.”

How did our government, conceived in ideals of liberty at a cost of the lives of patriots fighting for that liberty, turn into an overbearing mechanism that micro-manages our lives, and even unleashes military-like power against its citizens without accountability?

We have allowed government to grow in size and power, supported by citizens who have been conned into believing that government knows better than they how to do everything, and encouraged by a cadre of Americans who prefer depending on government support to having to fend for themselves. The interests of the people have been trampled by statists and socialists who happily wallow in the power they gain from a huge, domineering government apparatus like pigs in mud.

John Adams was right about a nation with democratic ideals: “It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

RIP, America, and Happy New Year.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The third and final installment of the 2011 edition:

No. 362 of 365

Quote Teddy Roosevelt: "A gentleman told me recently that he doubted I would vote for the Angel Gabriel if found at the head of the Democratic Party, to which I responded that the Angel Gabriel would never be found in such company. Speaking quite dispassionately, and simply as a historian, the Democrats can be trusted invariably to walk in the darkness even when to walk in the light would be manifestly to their advantage."

No. 359 of 365

Ask your liberal neighbor to explain the logic of Obama's "stimulus" pork program. Say, "So let me get this right, the government takes money from taxpayers to put more workers on the government payroll that is paid for by taxpayers, and this helps the economy how exactly?" When he goes on to give a vague (and probably inaccurate) Keynesian explanation, you can cut him off with, "By that explanation, thieves are good for the economy, too— they help spread the wealth around; but I'll stick with the old-fashioned idea that we don't need the government to spread the wealth around, we can do that ourselves with our own free-market choices that support real free-market jobs and independent charities. What's the beef you liberals have with freedom anyway?"

No. 358 of 365

When your liberal neighbors knock excitedly on your door to show you ultrasound pictures of the baby they're expecting, look mortified and then say, "But surely, it's not yet a child, it's still a choice."

No. 354 of 365

Start a "Take a Liberal to Lunch" program to provide counseling for liberals whose high hopes for hope 'n' change are running out.

No. 353 of 365

Next time a liberal upbraids you for "maintaining narrow, traditional moral values" remind him that "tradition" is simply the inherited wisdom of our ancestors, which keeps us from making moral fools of ourselves, and anyway, which of these traditional moral values would he flat-out like to do away with: compassion, fidelity, honesty, restraint, deference, courage, chivalry, self-denial... (Actually, all of them, but he won't be able to say that.)

No. 339 of 365

Even an agnostic liberal might be a little taken aback to learn that Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, a book that inspired the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is dedicated to "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom— Lucifer." Point out that Alinsky was at least one radical who knew where liberalism led.

No. 338 of 365

Show them the neglected conservative flick The Wild Geese with Roger Moore, Richard Burton, and Richard Harris. A collection of truly free-market soldiers (mercenaries) blow the hell out of Communist, Cuban-aided Africans, to rescue a democratic African leader. True, the bad guy is a wealthy investor, as your liberal friend will undoubtedly point out to you, but you can say, "Yeah, you're right; he reminds me of George Soros."

No. 337 of 365

Remind a liberal that California used to be a reliable Republican state. It voted Republican in every presidential election from 1952 to 1992 with only one exception (1964). Remind a liberal further that in those days, California was renowned for having some of the most right-wing voting districts in the country (in Southern California's Orange County); and remind the liberal even further that in those days California was equally renowned for its prosperity. Since 1992, the state has been overwhelmingly Democrat, and — while flooded with illegal immigrants — native Californians have been fleeing to other states, and the economy has gone down the toilet. Is that all just a coincidence?

No. 336 of 365

Force them to sit down and watch the movie Patton. Then ask them just how well we'd have done in World War II with an army led by men like Barack ("We could learn from the Nazis' outreach to Islam") Obama, draft-dodging Bill Clinton, Al ("All these explosions must be bad for the environment") Gore, Jimmy ("America has to get over her inordinate fear of National Socialism") Carter...

No. 329 of 365

Quote Richard Lamm, former Democratic Governor of Colorado: "Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it."

No. 327 of 365

When the holidays roll around, always say: "Merry Christmas," never "Happy Holidays." Not only do 70 percent of Americans prefer it—according to Rasmussen polls—but you are much more likely to offend a liberal. While 88 percent of Republican voters prefer "Merry Christmas," only 57 percent of Democrats do.

No. 326 of 365

Pick a fight with a liberal on: PEAK OIL.

"Peak oil"—the idea that we've reached the peak of oil production and that it's about to run out—is an S & M fantasy scenario designed by liberals to justify their fetish for higher taxation, greater government control, more regulation, and the mass switchover to expensive, pointless energy sources that don't work, such as wind and solar power. As Dennis Miller says: "Relax. We'll replace oil when we need to. American ingenuity will kick in and the next great fortune will be made. It's not pretty but it is historically accurate. We need to run out of oil first. That's why I drive an SUV—so we run out of it more quickly. I consider myself to be at the vanguard of the environmental movement and I think individuals who insist on driving hybrids are just prolonging our dilemma and I think that's just selfish..."

No. 325 of 365

Defend Israel. Show them pictures of Gaza's ritzy new shopping mall; quote the Japanese journalist who said: "Gaza and the West Bank are the only places in the world where I see refugees drive Mercedes;" remind them that life expectancy for Gaza Arabs—seventy-two years—is nearly five years higher than the world average, with a higher literacy rate than Turkey's. Then explain: "And it's ALL the result of years and years of EVIL ISRAELI OPPRESSION!"

No. 324 of 365

Conservative history: Quote "liberal fascist" Woodrow Wilson as an early example of America-hating, One World Government addiction. Asked whether the League of Nations might compromise American sovereignty, he replied that he looked forward to the day "when men would be just as eager partisans of the sovereignty of mankind as they were now of their own national sovereignty."

No. 321 of 365

Pick a fight with a liberal on: "PEACE ACTIVISTS."

Oh, yeah right, like the "peace activists" on the "peace convoy" bringing aid to the people of Gaza in May 2010? The ones who engaged in the traditional "peace activist" activity before they set sail from Turkey of preparing suicide videos; the ones who armed themselves with iron bars, knives, and guns, and tried to beat up, slice open, and shoot the brutal Israeli soldiers who boarded their ships armed with paintball guns. So what you're saying, right, is that "peace" is the new "war"?

No. 320 of 365

Reclaim rock for conservatism: Speculate that the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was almost certainly an attempt by London School of Economics-educated Mick Jagger to convey to his youthful audience two of the bedrock concepts of conservatism: life is unfair; don't expect the state to bail you out.