11/19/2008

Everything's Amazing and Getting Better All of the Time, But Nobody's Happy and Everybody's Whining

This puts things in perspective, and points out how we take our comfortable lives for granted.

Hat tip: Carpe Diem

10/21/2008

Wall Street Journal video: A Liberal Super Majority



A video version of The Journal's editorial of the same title published in the past week. We can only pray that these predictions do not come to pass.

10/14/2008

Video: Rare Julian Simon interview (Part 5 of 6)

From the PRC Forum. Check back here tomorrow for the last part in this series.

10/13/2008

Video: Rare Julian Simon interview (Part 4 of 6)

From the PRC Forum. Check back here each day for another video in this series.

10/12/2008

Video: Rare Julian Simon interview (Part 3 of 6)

From the PRC Forum. Check back each day for another in this six-part series.

10/11/2008

Video: Rare Julian Simon interview (Part 2 of 6)

From the PRC Forum. Check back daily for the next video in the series.

10/10/2008

Video: Rare Julian Simon interview (Part 1 of 6)

From the PRC Forum. Check back daily for the rest of this series.

10/02/2008

Why the bailout is bad for America

My sentiments exactly. From Dan Mitchell at Cato via Don Boudreaux via Carpe Diem:
  • The bailout is bad for the economy.
  • The bailout repeats the mistakes Japan made in the 1990s.
  • The bailout will increase corruption in Washington.
  • It rewards executives and companies that made poor choices.

The bailout will encourage imprudent risk in the future.

Bottom Line: When government tries to redistribute wealth from rich people to poor people, it causes economic damage by discouraging productive activity by the most successful and by discouraging productive activity from those who are lured into government dependency. The proposed bailout is even more pernicious. It would redistribute wealth from poor people to rich people, and simultaneously encourage reckless behavior by recipients and impose an immoral burden on those that behaved responsibly.

I don't doubt that there will be a bitter pill to swallow if there is no "bailout", but the country will be better off in the long run with the preservation of a somewhat purer market economy.

WSJ video: What the Democrats said about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Video: The financial crisis in the Democrat's own words

Another instant classic.

10/01/2008

8/04/2008

The Spoiled Children of Capitalism

Jonah Goldberg writes one of the best explanations capitalism, i.e. free market economies, since Milton Friedman - warts and all.

Goldberg:

"Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude."

7/11/2008

Global Warming Pop Quiz

Reporting of global warming by the MSM seems to often reach the absurd. Sometimes, the headlines are much like the parody you'd expect to see from America's Finest New Source.

GORE LIED has a quiz that will likely leave you scratching your head, unless you've followed the news pretty closely of late.

6/18/2008

Arthur Laffer quotes JFK

As quoted in the Wall Steet Journal's Notable & Quotable, Arthur Laffer (of Laffer Curve fame) speaking last month to graduates of Mercer University:

Pursuing your dream of prospering will benefit everyone . . . When I graduated from Yale University, we had a serious commencement speaker not like the one you are stuck with today. The commencement speaker was President John F. Kennedy. And the point I'm making today is the same point he made all those years ago. He said, "No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and all of us are made better off whenever any one of us is made better off." He concluded by using the analogy that "a rising tide raises all boats."
Never forget or be ashamed of the fact that pursuing your own self interest furthers everyone's interest. Without you, the poor would be poorer.

6/11/2008

3 must read columns/editorials on gas prices and energy policy by The Journal


The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page continues to be one the best (if not the best) sources for clear, coherent, free market solutions to what troubles us. These three are must reads:

#1: $4 Gasbags

Money quote:

...the U.S. remains one of the only countries in the world that chooses as a matter of policy to lock up its natural resources. The Chinese think we're insane and self-destructive, while the Saudis laugh all the way to the bank.

#2: Drill, drill, drill! by Daniel Henninger

Henninger hits on a lot of the same notes, such as:

At this point in time, is there another country on the face of the earth that would possess the oil and gas reserves held by the United States and refuse to exploit them? Only technical incompetence, as in Mexico, would hold anyone back.

But not us. We won't drill.

#3: The coming oil investment boom by Holman Jenkins

Money quote:

If today's towering price of oil reflects some speculator's bet on a long-term scarcity of liquid motor fuels, this will prove the misguided bet of a lifetime. Hydrocarbons are abundant and can be extracted from living plant matter as well as from their fossil remains. Many oil fields under current technology are considered depleted when they're still 50% full. But technology advances, doesn't it?

Yes, they do Mr. Jenkins. As Julian Simon would say about any commodity:

More people, and increased income, cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail in the search, at cost to themselves. But in a free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices eventually become lower than before the increased scarcity occurred.

5/28/2008

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. It's pretty simple and The FDC urges you to sign the petition here.

H/T: Global Warming: A Worn-Out Hoax

5/25/2008

Free-Trade Paradox: Poor Benefit More Than Rich

It’s safe to say that the main burden of trade-related job losses and wage declines has fallen on middle- and lower-income Americans. So standing up to China seems like a logical way to help ordinary Americans do better. But there’s a problem with this approach: the very people who suffer most from free trade are often, paradoxically, among its biggest beneficiaries.

The reason for this is simple: free trade with poorer countries has a huge positive impact on the buying power of middle- and lower-income consumers—a much bigger impact than it does on the buying power of wealthier consumers. The less you make, the bigger the percentage of your spending that goes to manufactured goods—clothes, shoes, and the like—whose prices are often directly affected by free trade. The wealthier you are, the more you tend to spend on services—education, leisure, and so on—that are less subject to competition from abroad.

In a recent paper on the effect of trade with China, the University of Chicago economists Christian Broda and John Romalis estimate that poor Americans devote around forty per cent more of their spending to “non-durable goods” than rich Americans do. That means that lower-income Americans get a much bigger benefit from the lower prices that trade with China has brought.

From The New Yorker via Greg Mankiw via Carpe Diem

5/23/2008

"It's about...basically...taking over and the government running all of your companies"

Link: sevenload.com

The FDC has told you before that Gore's lies are not about the science of global warming, are the means to an end - and we got a glimpse of that end today.

Maxine Waters, while grilling the Big Oil executives today, stated:

What this liberal will be all about, this liberal will be all about socializing...would be about...basically...the government...taking over and running all of your companies.p>

As is stated at the end of the video, she's taking a page from Hugo Chavez.

5/22/2008

The Death of Conservatism is Greatly Exaggerated

While lamenting that some conservatives are fearing the "liberalization" of America in the near future, Senator Fred Thompson, writing in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal:

...there is still a way to revive the conservative cause. Doing so will require avoiding the traps of pessimism or election-year quick fixes. Conservatives need to stand back for a moment and think about our philosophical first principles.

Conservatives value the lessons of history and respect faith and tradition. They are skeptical of mass movements, perfect solutions and what often passes for "progress." At the same time, they recognize that change is inevitable. They also know that while man is prone to err, he is capable of great things and is meant to be free in an unfettered market of ideas, not subjugated by a too-powerful government.

These were the principles relied upon by our Founding Fathers, and which paved the way for a Constitution that delineated the powers of the central government, established checks and balances among its branches, and further diffused its power through a system of federalism. These principles led to a market economy, the primacy of the rule of law and the abolition of slavery. They also helped to establish liberal trade policies and to meld idealism and realism in our foreign and military policies.

The power of conservative principles is borne out in the most strong, prosperous and free country in the history of the world. In the U.S., basic constitutional government has been preserved, foreign tyrannies have been defeated, our failed welfare system was reformed, and the confiscatory income tax rates of a few decades ago have been substantially reduced. This may be why the party where most conservatives reside, the Republican Party, has won seven of the last 10 presidential elections....

Sen. Thompson concludes:

It's not that conservatives today no longer believe in the validity of these principles. They just find it difficult to stand strong when the political winds are blowing so hard against them. To be sure, standing by conservative principles does not always guarantee success at the ballot box – it did for Ronald Reagan, but not for Barry Goldwater. But abandoning these principles doesn't ensure victory either. Circumstances often play the deciding role. Is there any doubt that the Carter administration's misery index and the Iranian hostage crises allowed Reagan to prevail in 1980?

In this unpredictable world, conservatives should adhere to their fundamental ideals. These ideals have brought our country much success, and may well win the day again. Conservatives must have faith that, more often than not, Americans will make the sacrifices necessary to preserve national security and prosperity.

A political party that adheres to conservative principles should have continuing success – especially if its leadership believes in those principles and is able to articulate them.

Senator Thompson is communicating very eloquently the values that conservatives hold dearly. These values need to be communicated with passion as often as possible to inspire the next generation of conservatives - just as The Great Communicator inspired yours truly.

Senator Thompson would have made an outstanding President.

5/13/2008

The hamstringing of America

You could call it a hamstringing. You could call it a neutering. What ever you call it, the road this great country is heading down to combat the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public, i.e. anthropogenic global warming, will result in a mother lode of unintended consequences - or at least the largest set of UC's since President Johnson's Great Society.

Monday was the day that fate became apparent - when John McCain gave his speech here in Oregon on his planned global warming initiatives if he were President. So, now it can be known that whether we have a President McCain, a President Obama, or a President Clinton the country will be neutered, hamstrung, and the results will not be pretty.

Chris Horner over at Planet Gore gives excellent commentary of McCain's proposals:

McCain is wrong on temperatures, wrong on sea level rise (if the implication is that SLR has accelerated; surely he doesn’t mean we can stop the interglacial SLR), and anecdotal about the rest. And throughout his speech, the anecdotes are either exaggerated, inaccurate, or countered by equal and opposite anecdotal evidence.

Anthropogenic global warming will be proven to be a hoax over time, and indeed it already has - some just haven't gotten or refuse to receive that message. But, no matter. It wasn't about solving the so-called problem of anthropogenic global warming. That was just a means to an end. The end? Putting America and other bastions of free markets in their place. Kick them down a few notches. It was the triumph of guilt over common sense. It was about realizing the dream of a planned economy that dictates to its citizens how to live their lives.

Many who have drank this Kool-Aid will live to regret it. They will realize that Al Gore and his surrogates succeeded in snookering them into sacrificing their livelihood for.........what?

5/05/2008

Commencement advice you're unlikely to hear elsewhere

I wish P.J. O'Rourke had spoke at my commmencement. This is the type of advice that would have been productive - and would have got my attention:

1. Go out and make a bunch of money!Here we are living in the world's most prosperous country, surrounded by all the comforts, conveniences and security that money can provide. Yet no American political, intellectual or cultural leader ever says to young people, "Go out and make a bunch of money." Instead, they tell you that money can't buy happiness. Maybe, but money can rent it.There's nothing the matter with honest moneymaking. Wealth is not a pizza, where if I have too many slices you have to eat the Domino's box. In a free society, with the rule of law and property rights, no one loses when someone else gets rich.

The whole article is here.

H/T Carpe Diem

4/24/2008

Wal-Mart and Costco rationing rice?

But why? Raising the price is the answer. Technically all products are rationed. By the price. Prices convey information - and consumers get the message loud and clear. As a result consumers are forced to make choices. If the price is artificially low when demand is high, consumers will hoard the product (in this case, rice). If the price were higher:

1. Consumers would replace their rice with an alternate product, thereby reducing demand and helping to alleviate the underlying problem.

2. Have an incentive to buy less rice than they normally would, thereby increasing supply for other consumers, and again - alleviating the underlying problem. Think of it as self-rationing.

3. Farmer would have more incentive to grow more rice (and they will), which would increase the supply and thus - all together now - alleviate the underlying problem.

Rationing might help the "right now" problem, but it does nothing to fix the problem in the future. The FDC is bewildered why Wal-Mart and Costco would find it necessary to use a typically governmental solution that is doomed to failure.

Free markets and the invisible hand created companies like Wal-Mart and Costco - why would they abandon the same economic principles that made them what they are today? Methinks it's a public relations move so as not to look like they are "price gouging" the poor. There is no such thing as price gouging, but that is another post for another day.

4/20/2008

Bush = Hitler?

It's been a common theme in the past four to six years for the left to call President George W. Bush a fascist, or to equate him with Hitler, i.e. Hitler = Evil and Bush = Evil; therefore, Bush = Hitler. Got it?

Today's Oregonian featured a commentary written by William B. Fischer, a professor of German in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at Portland State University that thoroughly destroys the Bush = Hitler comparison. Credentials? Professor Fischer received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Professor Fischer:

Little more than seven hours after Hitler was installed in office (Jan. 30, 1933), the authorities halted a protest message that was being delivered on radio by the great German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Seven years after Bush was installed in office (Jan. 20, 2001), nothing remotely comparable has happened to the media or, much less, individual free speech. (The Nazis hanged Bonhoeffer on April 9, 1945, three weeks before World War II ended.)

This is a good spot to recommend Jonah Goldberg's fine book Liberal Fascism.

4/18/2008

US Army Chorus welcomes Pope Benedict to The White House

The US Army Chorus nearly stole the show on the South Lawn of The White House. The video quality is not great, but also not important. The audio is what counts.

A smattering of the YouTube viewer comments that stood out:

In-Your-Face, but makes a great point:

"TREMENDOUS!! The greatest version of this tune I've ever heard! The Pope at the White House!! Separate that you liberal facists!!! "

And this from the viewer with the best ears, and an awesome grasp of the history:

"Listen carefully to the last verse. They sang the original line: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free. This line was rewritten later to "let us *live* to make men free". A small, but significant, distinction, given the times in which we live. As it was in 1861, it is today."

Great comment.

4/02/2008

Mr. Smith is at work. Right now.


The Wall Street Journal writes the best editorials in the newspaper business - but this one stands out:

The Editorial Board:

"Today's credit panic isn't some "crisis of capitalism" that needs a vast new layer of regulation. We are living through the aftermath of a societal credit mania fueled by excessive money creation. The regulators are as much to blame as the regulated, and Adam Smith is providing more punishment and reform than Washington ever will."
The Invisible Hand? This might be more like the Invisible Fist, but if that's what Professor Smith says we need, then that's what we'll get - and it will be better than what Washington can do.

3/22/2008

More inconvenient truths

Christopher Peterson writing in The Australian about a recent broadcast on ABC Radio National, that featured an interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs:

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."

Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"

Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."

Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could be considerable ..."

Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."

The evidence is piling up like cord wood, and the fable we've been told about anthropogenic global warming will likely prove to be just that.

The FDC would like to remind readers that the climate does not react to the spin of politicians, scientists, environmentalists, or anyone else. The climate will be whatever God intends.

3/21/2008

The Laffer Curve, Part 3

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute, has posted Part III (the final installment) of The Center for Economic Prosperity's three-part series on The Laffer Curve on You Tube.

The crux of this tutorial demonstrates why a dynamic-scoring model of tax revenue estimating is much more accurate and realistic than Congress' static-scoring model.

The FDC linked to the first two videos in this series: #1 & #2

But the static vs. dynamic scoring doesn't just apply to economic tax-rate policy and the Laffer Curve. Methinks this static-scoring analysis is the folly of the global warming alarmists climate models, the Peak Oil crowd predictions of oil drying up, Paul Ehrlich and the population control advocates predictions of chaos, and so on.

H/T: Larry Kudlow

3/20/2008

UW climatologist: "I'm willing to bet large sums of money that we will have a bottom in this cool period and we'll see the long-term trend again."

Here in Oregon it has been a cold winter with snow packs several feet above average in The Cascades. The Oregonian this morning had another masterful spin piece to soothe the worries of the local alarmists that this is just a temporary situation - stay tuned for more anthropogenic global warming.

Of course, the alarmists want global warming. They say they don't, but really, they do. Because, if anthropogenic global warming doesn't really happen, then they would look really foolish - and they really want to be able to say they told us so. Nevermind, that some perfect average cozy temperature is the supposed goal, right? Well, The FDC knows that's not the goal. The real goal is centralized planning of the use of all energy and emmissions, and the redistribution of the wealth to pay for it all. But I digress.

Anyway, Philip Mote is a climate scientist at the University of Washington quoted in today's Oregonian:

"If La Nina goes away and the long-term temperatures are still below average, I'll eat my hat."

We'd like to see that.

He went on to say:

"I'm willing to bet large sums of money that we will have a bottom in this cool period, and we'll see the long-term trend again."

Did you hear that Planet Gore? Did you hear that Rush Limbaugh? That sounds like a man who needs to put his money where his mouth is. This could be fun. El Rushbo would get his buddy Roy Spencer on board, and turn up the hype machine to 11.

Tony Blair: Bush is "colorblind"

Following Sen. Obama's Tuesday speech on race, Jonah Goldberg has a post over at The Corner:

Goldberg:

“Obamaniacs think conservatives just don't get it, that we're mired in the past, that we are motivated by old passions and bigotries. We can't get swept up in the Obama "movement" because we don't want or can't imagine a post-racial America, blah, blah, blah, blah. The truth, as Ross suggests, is that we very much can imagine a post-racial America.”

And here’s a perfect example of what Goldberg is talking about. This is from a recent article, previously discussed in this space, written by Bob Geldof, when Geldof accompanied President Bush on his recent tour of Africa:

Geldof: "I spoke to Blair about you before I came on the plane."

Bush: "Tony Blair? What'd he say?"

Geldof: "He said you don't see color. To remember that you employed the first black secretaries of state, that your worldview had changed since you began, and that Condi was a big influence with regard to Africa."

That’s the kind of colorblind The FDC, Goldberg, and many others would like to see. I don’t think that liberals really want that.

3/19/2008

David Mamet: Why I'm No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal


The Wall Street Journal's David Henninger writes about David Mamet, who wrote a piece in the Village Voice last week titled, Why I'm No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal - which likely caused The David Mamet Society to disband immediately. Drudge noticed, most ignored it though - but it clearly struck a nerve with some.

Mamet:

As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

He goes on:

the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.
But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong, and neither was nor is always wrong in the community in which I live, or in my country. Further, it was not always wrong in previous communities in which I lived, and among the various and mobile classes of which I was at various times a part.


And on:

And I began to question my hatred for "the Corporations"—the hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.

And on:

I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism.

David, here at The FDC, Sowell, Friedman, and Steele are some of our biggest heroes. If I may, I'd also like to suggest you read Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource II.

3/18/2008

President Gore? It could happen

The FDC posted about this possibility here one month ago, and John Derbyshire over at The Corner reminds us that it is still in the cards.

On the other hand, considering that The Goracle has amassed about $97 million more dollars to add to the about $3 million he had when he left the Vice Presidency he may not want to. This AGW gig is paying pretty handsomely. Afterall, he's got some irons in the fire that will pay off hugely if his wished for climate policies are successfully mandated.

The Obama Bargain

Shelby Steele, writing in today's Wall Street Journal:

How to turn one's blackness to advantage?

The answer is that one "bargains." Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain -- and feel affection for the bargainer -- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.

This is how Mr. Obama has turned his blackness into his great political advantage, and also into a kind of personal charisma. Bargainers are conduits of white innocence, and they are as popular as the need for white innocence is strong. Mr. Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence.

But...

...bargainers have an Achilles heel. They succeed as conduits of white innocence only as long as they are largely invisible as complex human beings. They hope to become icons that can be identified with rather than seen, and their individual complexity gets in the way of this. So bargainers are always laboring to stay invisible. (We don't know the real politics or convictions of Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey, bargainers all.) Mr. Obama has said of himself, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views . . ." And so, human visibility is Mr. Obama's Achilles heel. If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen."

3/14/2008

Series of blunders turned the plastic bag into global villain

According to The Times Online this conclusion was arrived at:

...based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine....Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything"

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.


In the words of the great 20th century American philosopher, Emily Litella:

"Never mind"
You can add plastic bags to the dust bin of environmental alarmism - and please make sure that dust bin is lined with a plastic bag since they are virtually harmless.
Let's examine the other contents of the dust bin while we're at it:
1. DDT
2. CFCs

Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright

There's much discussion in this country today regarding Sen. Barack Obama and his association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright at the church the Obama's have attended for the past twenty-plus years.

One telling sign about the potential fall-out is all of the hand-wringing going on over at the Daily Kos.

Poster Silverfox:

"The story is pretty damning when looked at through the eyes of the general populace....The context of these sermons appear to be a real liability for the Obama campaign, as he has not only embraced Rev. Wright, but more importantly (and the point will be made by the GOP) continued to attend the church where these types of messages were being dispersed (thus giving his implicit agreement with the general concepts). I am starting to fear that we (with the help of the media) may have forced out John Edwards a tad too early during the primary and we may end up in a very tough fight for a White House that should be easy pickings."

A commenter to the post:

This is big.
Obama's gonna have to deal with it and it's not going to be pretty. It cannot be wished away.
by
bugscuffle on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:02:24 AM PDT

One of the unintended consequences of the MSM's non-vetting of the Democratic candidates is that eventually the dirt on a particular candidate will get out...eventually. In the case of Obama it may have gotten out too late, i.e. after he's already been deemed the Democratic nominee (although not formally at this time). On the other side of the coin the Republicans get sufficiently vetted by the MSM with glee, notwithstanding a potential "October Surprise" if the Democratic campaign has dirt that has not been leaked to the MSM.

3/13/2008

Al Gore & Big Green

Chris Horner over at Planet Gore:

"...Gore, who left office worth less than $3 million, had just plunked $35 million into a particular “firm that selects the private funds for clients and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products.” Mr. Gore and his advisors are savvy enough not to place all of his wealth in one fund, it seems — the same sources report this wealth as “well in excess of” $100 million. It’s been a good seven years. Mr. Gore also has a position in a Silicon Valley “green” venture capital outfit — another group of people investing in companies that would be worth real money in an America with Gore-favored environmental policies."

Now, Gore is always trying to marginalize so-called "global warming deniers" by saying they are supposedly funded by Big Oil. In his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore trots out an old Upton Sinclair line:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, if his salary depends on him not understanding.”

Gore could have just as easily been talking about himself.

A reader over at Planet Gore makes the same point. Well, actually that reader was yours truly.

Election '08 results inadvertantly leaked!

SPOILER ALERT!

The shadowy puppetmasters are likely not happy the Diebold Corporation, makers of the AccuVote voting machine among others has inadvertantly leaked the results of the election this fall. The winner? John McCain, of course. Those that weren't privy to the conspiracy were pretty close to cracking open the whole story anyway.

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Hat tip: America's Finest News Source

3/06/2008

FDC Global Temperature Climate Model

OK, The FDC is the first to admit that nobody on the staff is a climate scientist. But, we are at least as qualified to practice climate science as say...Al Gore.

So here goes. In the past year, the earth's average global temperature has cooled between .65 and .75 degrees Celsius. Erring on the side of caution let's use the .65 degrees Celsius number. If that change is extrapolated out in a computer model, then the...Wait a minute! Gore always uses the worst case scenario, so we we do likewise.
Gore:
OK, let's start with a comfortable, balmy 21.1 degrees Celsius (American readers: 70 degrees Fahrenheit), and subtract out an annual temperature decrease of .75 degrees Celsius, in 100 years, the average global temperature will be -53.9 degrees Celsius (American readers: 65 degrees Fahrenheit below zero).
Brrrrrrr, that's mighty cold. We're talking about icebergs in Hawaii, the extinction of those cute camels, and who knows what else.

3/04/2008

Mrs. Clinton lives to fight another day

And you know she will. She will not give up the Democratic nomination until Sen. Obama pries it from her cold, dead fingers.

Tomorrow morning's Wall Street Journal Editorial:

"...after her victory yesterday in Ohio and a nailbiter in Texas, we see little reason that the New York Senator shouldn't fight on."

Of course.

3/03/2008

The Fallacy of Peak Oil

There's an interesting discussion going on over at Planet Gore: Peak Oil.

As The FDC is a student of Julian Simon as well as Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell , and have learned from these teachers that the theory of Peak Oil is...well, a bunch of hooey.

I suppose that there is some finite amount of oil in the earth, but from an economic standpoint that is totally irrelevant. The idea of Peak Oil and that someday the gasoline pumps will just run dry is a popular concept among those with a casual understanding of supply and demand. But, casual knowledge of supply and demand doesn’t cut it. Casual obeservers don’t quite understand the miraculous role that prices play in the supply and demand equation – not to mention the role prices play in the incentives created to go out and discover more oil when higher prices dictate that it is needed. Low oil prices will dictate that lots of oil is not discovered – yet. Just as I have no need to have a lifetime supply of groceries available to me at all times, the world doesn’t need to acually discover now a well there is no economic need for - yet. When will this unknown well be discovered? If you guessed when the Central Planning Committee decides we need it, move to the back of the class. If you guessed when prices dictate and create incentives for further oil exploration(AKA, the Invisible Hand), move the front of the class.

The grocery example again: I’ll probably need to buy some groceries to feed myself for the second week in May of 2023. Why don’t I go out and buy them now? The easy answer is that I don’t need them now, because I’ll go out and buy them when I need them in 15 years. Right now, I’ve made the rational decision to apply my monetary resources to other goods and services that I’ve deemed are more important to me and my family in the nearer future. The groceries that I’ll need 15 years and three months from now is irrelevant. I am, however, applying some of my resources to more long-term needs, i.e. my retirement and my kids college education – because that is not irrelevant even at this time. But, as far as my groceries are concerned, I’ll just keep buying them about a week or so before I need them. But, of course, if the store has a real good sale on some items that are not perishable, I’ll probably stock up. There’s that miracle of prices again. Oil supply isn’t much different.

As I said, a casual knowledge of supply and demand won’t cut it here – the Peak Oil nuts are just going to have to read a few serious economics books to wrap their brain around this concept.

Julian Simon:

More people, and increased income, cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail in the search, at cost to themselves. But in a free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices eventually become lower than before the increased scarcity occurred.

A column by Nansen G. Salerit on tomorrow's Wall Street Journal Editorial Page agrees:

In fact, we are nowhere close to reaching a peak in global oil supplies.

Given a set of assumptions, forecasting the peak-oil-point -- defined as the onset of global production decline -- is a relatively trivial problem.

3/01/2008

Buckley & Reagan: Qualities of Conservative Greatness

Bruce Walker at The American Thinker has written a column about the two men who most epitomized the conservative movement in America.

Walker:

Buckley, a deeply religious man, realized that all political problems are ultimately moral problems, and all moral problems ultimately religious problems. The attempt to expunge God from politics, therefore, was the first step toward totalitarianism and the sort moldy social jelly that it Europe today.

Reagan also put God above all else. Buckley and Reagan, however, were not the sort of political-religious leaders like Huckabee. Neither man would have said a word about Romney's Mormonism. The God of Buckley and Reagan had very long arms. It was a God that Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Christians each recognized well. This God was concerned about unborn children, but just as concerned about souls trapped in the Gulag.

Walker concludes:

Buckley and Reagan were men of great gifts, but it was not their gifts alone that made them great. What made them great was certainty of moral purpose and absolute fearlessness in defending without equivocation what they knew was right. Nations always need such men. America particularly needs such men now.

2/29/2008

Glenn Beck: "I think Angelina is actually open-minded"


And James Taranto says: Jolie 1, Obama 0

Angelina recently visited Iraq, met with General Petraeus and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and she wrote in the WaPo that:

"My visit left me even more deeply convinced that we not only have a moral obligation to help displaced Iraqi families, but also a serious, long-term, national security interest in ending this crisis.

Today's humanitarian crisis in Iraq -- and the potential consequences for our national security -- are great. Can the United States afford to gamble that 4 million or more poor and displaced people, in the heart of Middle East, won't explode in violent desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?

What we cannot afford, in my view, is to squander the progress that has been made. In fact, we should step up our financial and material assistance."

The FDC thinks Beck is right...Jolie does get it. Maybe there's more to this woman than the typical guilt-ridden liberal Hollywood starlet. Jolie also recently purchased the rights to make the film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and is apparently a fan of Rand. Hmmmmm. She might be exposing a little too much of an unwelcome opinion to her Hollywood friends - that is if she wants to continue to get roles, win awards and go to Hollywood parties.

2/28/2008

Geldof on Bush: "...you sound like a hippie, for God's sake"


Bob Geldof was talking about not only about the Bush Administration's policies toward helping Africa, but more specifically Bush's personal rhetoric of compassion and caring about the people on the continent.

Prior to boarding, Geldof was probably dreading sharing the plane ride to Africa aboard Air Force One with the man a recent poster on Democratic Underground called, "a f---ing, d--kheaded, a--hole". So, Geldof was probably a bit surprised that the leader of the free world became his new pal. Now, they have their differences, Iraq of course, but other than that struck up an unlikely friendship. Geldof's well-written account in Time Magazine gives a rare behind-the-scenes look at President George Bush at his warm, teasing, funny, and down-right human best - not the cold, evil, right-wing extremist caricature we are used to reading about in the MSM. A very good read.

Geldof:

I gave the President my book. He raised an eyebrow. "Who wrote this for ya, Geldof?" he said without looking up from the cover. Very dry. "Who will you get to read it for you, Mr. President?" I replied. No response.

The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — " 'The international best seller.' You write that bit yourself?"

"That's right. It's called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn't have to be here telling people your Africa story."

It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration.
So why doesn't America know about this?


I'll tell you why they don't know about it Bob - because the MSM won't give Bush credit for anything. And they especially won't give him credit for his acts in Africa that are considered a left-wing solution. If the media were to do that it might undermine the MSM template that Bush is a cold-hearted, evil, right-wing extremist. Yes, these acts in Africa are a product of the left - that's why Geldof is so approving. And yes, there is an argument that there is a much better approach. But The FDC is not in the mood today to rain on Messrs. Bush and Geldof's parade so that will be a post for another day.

Geldof:

The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.

More Geldof, regarding Air Force One:

I'd been asking about the laundry arrangements. How do they get the presidential shirts, socks, undies, etc., done on this thing? I'm used to rock-'n'-roll tours where there's a washing machine and dryers set up backstage, but this is gigging on a whole other level. At least 20 military transporters haul presidential necessities around the planet. At our hotel in Ghana, the porter carrying my bag said they had thrown out all the other guests because "the President of the World was coming."

"Laundry, huh?" the President mused. "Y'know, I've never asked that. I usually just wear the same thing all day, but if I need to change, there's always a room I can go to. Laundry, huh? Is this the interview, Geldof? It's certainly a different technique!"

2/27/2008

Theya Culpa

Mark Perry at Carpe Diem has an excellent post pointing out that The FDC's much revered Wall Street Journal erred today in an editorial written by David Ranson that was much ballyhooed by the MSM that said inflation is sky-rocketing.

Perry:

"David Ranson is way off-base on his inflation analysis and has made a serious and fundamental error: he has assumed that income remains constant for 30 years and all other prices increase annually by 4%. That's pure nonsense and nitwitery.Reason? Wages are just another price, the price of labor. And inflation affects all prices, including wages....Inflation may or may not be a problem, but to assume that prices go up but wages don't IS a real problem for this WSJ editorial."

The FDC agrees with Perry. Theya culpa.

Remembering Buckley

Much is being written today in honor and remembrance of the great conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. Buckley, founder of The National Review, was a towering intellectual and the father of the modern American conservative movement. He will truly be missed.

"Erudite" seems to be a word that followed Buckley around. But, that seemed proper as Buckley was the kind of fellow who made large and arcane words cool.

Over at The Corner there is a lively and emotional conversation regarding Mr. Buckley's passing.

WFB gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal in 2005. A nugget:

"My view is unorthodox," Mr. Buckley says of the violence roiling the French suburbs. "It seems to me that a very hard dose of market discipline would distract the attention of the young revolutionaries from their frolics, traditional and otherwise, and my sense is that if they had to worry about how to eat, and buy food, they would stop screwing around and face reality. If these people didn't wake up in the morning thinking about what cars to burn -- instead of work -- they might not be having these problems."

Buckley is the one who put the "move" in the convservative movement.

Global Cooling

According to severl recent reports, solar activity has decreased, and sunspots have virtually vanished. The last time this happened was at the advent of the Maunder Minimum which gave birth to The Little Ice Age.

Maybe what we'll need is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - you know, to take the chill off. Soon the politicians will be guaranteeing a Hummer in every garage, and other acts of governmental intervention encouraging citizens and corporations to spew more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - and China and India have already climbed on the bandwagon!

To lower tax revenues, Hong Kong will lower tax rates

You see, Hong Kong has a problem virtually no other country has - booming tax revenue. And they did it with low tax rates. So, they want to reduce tax revenue, by reducing tax rates. If you read this space often this should come as no surprise, even though this seems to be at odds with The FDC's argument to cut tax rates to increase tax revenue. But it's not. Let's take a look at the good ol' Laffer Curve (above). Hong Kong is clearly in a different situation, in regard to tax rates, than the US. Hong Kong already has low tax rates (16% salaries tax and 17.5% corporate tax) has seen the benefits of high tax revenue as a result of those low tax rates. Therefore Hong Kong exists on the left side of the Laffer Curve (above). On the other hand, the US (with higher tax rates) exists on the right side of the Laffer Curve. Therefore, if the US were to lower tax rates further, the likely result would be more tax revenue instead of less.

Hong Kong's finance minister is preparing to cut the salaries and corporate rates 1% each.

H/T: Drudge

2/25/2008

The Laffer Curve Part II - Reviewing the Evidence

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute, has posted Part II of The Center for Economic Prosperity's three-part series on The Laffer Curve on You Tube.

Before you hit the back button since you probably think this is just some boring economics stuff, please wait! Yes, I'm sure you need all you need to know about economics - "it's all about supply and demand". Yeah, sure. Well, there is much more, and if you want to learn one more important lesson about economics, it would be The Laffer Curve - more specifically the economics of tax rates and how they affect tax revenues.

H/T: Larry Kudlow.

If that's not quite your cup of tea (and you're ready for a chuckle), try this video with Arthur Laffer and Merle Hazard...


2/23/2008

CFL Bulbs are not the environmental savior we are told

Mrs. Klockarman has been on a personal crusade the past several years trying to tell anyone who would listen that CFL bulbs are not what they are cracked up to be. Why? Because, if you break one of these cute little swirly bulbs you'll likely need a haz-mat crew to clean one up - because they've got mercury in them. Don't believe me about the haz-mat crew? I'm not joking.


The FDC has never been able to figure out the left's fixation on these crappy bulbs. The light from CFL's is poor (just like a regular fluorescent bulb), and they have mercury in them. Fluorescent light can also cause depression, and judging from the studies that the liberals are generally more depressed then conservatives (see FDC post here) there must be a connection with those the folks on the left using CFL's. Makes sense to me.


Thomas Lifson, at The American Thinker, writes today, that perhaps the left is finally starting to realize that CFL's just have a whole different set of problems than incandescent bulbs.

Everything Jonah Goldberg and his book Liberal Fascism



One of our favorite writers, Jonah Goldberg, author of the recently released Liberal Fascism, was a guest on the Glenn Beck Show last week. If you missed the shows, not to worry. See the segments here, here, and here.




If you still haven't got your fill, you can check out Liberal Fascism, The Blog at National Review Online.


Still need more? Jonah's written a column, Debating Liberal Fascism.

2/22/2008

The Most Important Issue to Voters in 2008...


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters
...courtesy of America's Finest News Source.

The McCain article: The Times responds


The Old Gray Lady (or what James Taranto called today The Old Gray Bimbo) is in full damage control mode today on the lame McCain smear story, and the readers are not happy.

The readers:



  • "I must say that the McCain article left me embarrassed for your paper. So little substance, but trumpeted prominently as though you somehow had the goods on him or were raising burning questions. It makes it look like your reporters or editors had an ax to grind. I hope they didn't. Question: Do you read the coverage of your coverage? Did you see the piece at slate.com ridiculing your paper for this? Doesn't it smart?"


  • "Why did The New York Times strongly endorse Senator McCain to be the Republican Party nominee in January, if at the same time the paper was well aware of and continuing to investigate what it considered to be front-page, damaging, “un-presidential” charges?"

Although it is the policy of The FDC not to partake in schadenfreude, but in this case it is a bit fun to witness The Times twisting in the wind.


The Times' David Brooks has in tomorrow's paper an inside peek at the McCain campaign, and notest that:


"At his press conference Thursday, McCain went all-in. He didn’t just say he didn’t remember a meeting about Iseman. He said there was no meeting. If it turns out that there is evidence of an affair and a meeting, then his presidential hopes will be over. If no evidence surfaces, his campaign will go on and it will be clear that there were members of his old inner circle consumed by viciousness and mendaciousness. "

Rick Moran examines the carcass of the smear.

UPDATE:

The Times ombudsman doesn't agree with Bill Keller's spin of his four reporters lame smear of McCain:

"A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. And if a newspaper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair, whether editors think that is the central point or not, it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to provide."

Freedom of speech/press conundrum

What are the limitations of free speech and a free press? We might find out soon with the recent shut down of wikileaks.org by a US judge. "Shut down" is a vague term - dozens of mirror sites have popped up all over the internet.

What is wikileaks.org? According one of the mirror sites:

"Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis. Our primary interests are in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we expect to be of assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact...."

Some of the more notable leaks on the site are documents concerning the rules of engagement for American troops in Iraq, a military manual concerning the operation of prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and other evidence of what it has called corporate waste and wrongdoing. In the interest of US national security, The FDC will not link to any of these mirror sites. The genie is out of the bottle though, and the documents can easily be found in about 0.17 seconds via Google.

This will likely turn out to be one of the biggest tests of the freedom of the press since the Pentagon Papers. There's lots of debate about this issue on the web, and it's likely to heat up. The debate isn't necessarily formally decided along party lines.

Regarding government leaks in general, Gabriel Schoenfeld, writing on today's Wall Street Journal Editorial Page:

"Today, the secrets that are routinely leaked to the press typically concern operational intelligence, i.e., secrets about ongoing intelligence programs. The New York Times's publication in 2006 of details of the joint CIA-Treasury program to monitor al Qaeda financial transactions is one of the most egregious cases in point. But one could cite many other damaging leaks.

Such unauthorized disclosures of classified information have the direct and obvious effect of conveying vital information to America's adversaries. They have a range of harmful second-order effects as well.

The ever-present possibility of disclosure throws a wrench into the machinery of deliberation. In this environment, discussion of policy alternatives must be confined to small groups of reliable officials, and certain policy alternatives cannot be discussed at all lest their disclosure generate outrage.

Also, foreign governments cannot depend upon the U.S. to protect their secrets, and therefore cannot share them. When that happens, communication even among friendly states, a vital part of intelligence, dries up.

What's more, leaks aimed at influencing policy subvert the rule of law and the democratic process. Decision-making that is supposed to be the work of a democratically elected government is supplanted by the decision-making of anonymous officials and Pulitzer-Prize seeking journalists -- individuals who have private agendas.

This state of affairs -- government policy hijacked by leakers, government decision-making paralyzed by the fear of leaks and the repercussion of leaks -- is exceptionally dangerous. And worse is yet to come."

What's worse that's yet to come? Wikileaks.org and the whack-a-mole mirror sites.

Another turning point in Iraq


Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's extended his Mahdi Army's cease-fire another six months on Friday (Rick Moran, links to the story and comments at The American Thinker). The importance of this should not be overlooked, although it largely has been by the MSM.


It's not that Mookie's militia is lying low waiting for the Americans to leave, so that can spring up afterwards to ignite another round of sectarian violence. It's not that he's doing it for us, or for the greater good of the Iraqi people. He's doing it because he does not have a choice. It would be political suicide (and maybe literal suicide too) for Mookie to end the cease-fire at this point.


It appears at this point, that the majority of the Iraqi people have turned the page as a group, and have seen a brighter tomorrow with more freedom and prosperity, and less killing.


Cheers.

2/20/2008

Just read Mark Steyn...







...he's one-of-a-kind.


"Do Obama’s volunteers even know who Che is? Apart from being a really cool guy on posters and T-shirts, like James Dean or Bart Simpson, I doubt it. They’re pseudo-revolutionaries. Very few people in America want a real revolution: Life is great, this is a terrific country, with unparalleled economic opportunities. To be sure, it’s a tougher break if you have the misfortune to be the victim of one of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs or a decrepit inner-city grade school with a higher per-student budget than the wealthiest parts of Switzerland. But even so, to be born a U.S. citizen is, as Cecil Rhodes once said of England, to win first prize in the lottery of life. Not even Obama supporters want real revolution: They’re messy, your cities get torched, the economy collapses, much of your talent flees. Ask the many peoples around the world for whom revolution means not a lame-o Sixties poster above your desk but the carnage and horror of the day before yesterday."

Direct talks with Iran?

A conservative ex-CIA officer recommends direct talks with Iran. Have the neo-cons turned to doves?

Not quite. According to Reuel Marc Gerecht's opinion in today's New York Times, it's his strategy "to apply American soft and hard power".

The Bush administration should advocate direct, unconditional talks between Washington and Tehran. Strategically, politically and morally, such meetings will help us think more clearly. Foreign-policy hawks ought to see such discussions as essential preparation for possible military strikes against clerical Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Mr. Gerecht offers up a thoughtful, realist analysis that ought to be considered. Mahmoud, whaddaya say? It's a lot better solution than the hugs, kisses, apologies, and bouquets of flowers that would be offered up by a hyopthetical President Obama.

"Readin', Writin', and Warmin'"

According to an editorial in Investor's Business Daily, a bill that would require that children be taught about global warming, and more importantly that it is caused by man, is "child-abuse".

IBD:

"Turning our public schools into Gore re-education camps and sending children to bed thinking we're all going to die is child abuse."

The FDC agrees.

h/t: Planet Gore

2/19/2008

Just copied words.

Apparently even the Republicans aren't concerned about Sen. Barack Obama's plagiarized speech. The FDC does not agree.

Judge for yourself, but in this side-by-side comparison Patrick has a much better delivery than Obama, and gets the more enthusiastic response. Maybe Obama was embarrassed because he knew that it was copied from Patrick.

Presidential candidates hire speechwriters to put words in their mouths. Their own words. Not somebody elses words. Obama could have used: "Ask not what you country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country!". But, using such an iconic line wouldn't be considered plagiarism because it's too well known. See, effective plagiarism (or plagiarism that you get away with) is some great material that just never quite made it to a wide enough audience the first time around. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's speech qualifies on that criteria. Obama, get your own material.

2/18/2008

It will take time...

... but The FDC is a firm believer that President Bush's long-term legacy will be a good one. It's not really necessary to spend much time trying to spin a positive legacy at this point, but over time it will become self-evident. Some are already trying their darndest to make sure that Bush is portrayed as a complete and utter failure now and forever. These efforts are surely effective now - look at his poll numbers - but over time the spin becomes more difficult as long-term circumstances provide unspinnable evidence of a prior President's accomplishments. This is what happened to Reagan. Some, like The FDC, were singing Reagan's praises the whole time, but now Ronaldus Magnus is the most revered and talked about former President of the modern era.

William McGurn, a form Bush head speechwriter sums up on tomorrow's Wall Street Journal Editorial Page that:

"President Bush hasn't always been right. But he's been right on the things that matter most, and he's been willing to take the heat. I, for one, admire him for it."

McGurn points out specifically:

  1. Tax rate cuts
  2. Embryonic stem cell research
  3. The Iraq War & surge

The moose didn't get the memo from Gore

Proving that nature does not respond to political spin, The Oregonian is reporting today that moose (no, it's not mooses or meese or meeses) have uncharacteristically moved into northeastern Oregon from colder, snowier climes.

What's bringing these moose? Colder weather and and plenty of snow. Despite predictions by environmentalist funded cliatologists that the warm climates would be shifting to the north, the opposite is true in northeastern Oregon - hence, the moose.

Despite the anthropogenic global warming alarmists, there have been many reports recently that the Earth is entering a phase of global cooling due to changes in solar patterns and sun spots, so these moose could be a harbinger of what's to come.

2/17/2008

Al Gore in the right place at the right time, again?


In Al Gore's mind he is destined for history, in a Forrest Gump kind of a way stumbling through life inventing the internet, witnessing via his college professor the supposed "smoking gun" of anthropogenic global warming, blah, blah, blah, etc.

And now..............this.

Far-fetched? In Al's mind it's destiny.

Nancy Reagan hospitalized


The FDC's thoughts and prayers are with the Reagan family tonight as Nancy Reagan, 87, has been hospitalized after a fall.

2/15/2008

Life is good & getting better all the time! #3 - Julian Simon would have won his bet with Paul Ehrlich again, of course!




Last Friday, February 8, marked ten year anniversary of the death of natural resources economist, Julian Lincoln Simon. Simon is the author of The Ultimate Resource and The Ultimate Resource II (the most important book you've never read - unless you actually have read it, of course).


George Mason University economist, Don Boudreaux, marks the anniversary of his death with his column titled, Ultimate Scholar.


Broudreaux:


"Simon's most important contribution was to crystallize and explain an insight that even the best economists before him only glimpsed -- namely, that human beings in free societies are "the ultimate resource." Nothing -- not oil, not land, not gold, not microchips, nothing -- is as valuable to the material well-being of people as is human creativity and effort."


Here is Simon's grand idea:


"More people, and increased income, cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail in the search, at cost to themselves. But in a free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices eventually become lower than before the increased scarcity occurred."


The above is repeated in virtually every chapter of the book, and Simon also points out that this idea should not be an excuse to create our own problems. Alas, government does that anyway.


Again, Broudreaux:


This conclusion is so at odds with conventional wisdom that it is difficult for many people to see its validity. Stanford University's Paul Ehrlich -- author of "The Population Bomb," foretelling disaster from population growth -- found Simon's optimism about population growth to be so absurd that he famously accepted a bet offered by Simon in 1980.
The essence of Simon's position in the bet was that, despite the population growth that was sure to occur during the 1980s, the effective supply of natural resources would increase during this decade because human beings would figure out how to find, extract and use such resources more efficiently.
And the surest measure of this increased supply would be lower inflation-adjusted prices of resources.
Convinced that higher population is a curse, Ehrlich accepted the $1,000 bet. He chose (for Simon gave Ehrlich the choice of which resources to bet on) a bundle of copper, chromium, nickel, tin and tungsten and bet Simon that the real price of this bundle of resources would be higher in 1990 than in 1980.
In 1990 the prices in September of that year were compared to the prices of these resources in September 1980. Simon won convincingly. The real price of each of these five resources had fallen over the course of that decade, indicating that their supplies had grown even though human population had also grown by more than 800 million during that same time.
Julian Simon's legacy is profound. Free people are net producers. No economist has had a greater impact upon my own way of looking at the world than has Julian Simon. After 10 years, I still miss the wisdom and genuine kindness that flowed regularly from this remarkable man.



"Julian Simon wanted to enter into a second wager, based on either the same commodities, or a different group of commodities, but the terms of a proposed second wager were never agreed upon. Simon died in February 1998. What if the original bet had been extended for another ten-year period, from 1990-2000? Simon would have won again (see chart above), since all of the metals declined in real price except for tungsten, and the average price decline of the 5-commodity group was -19%."

It would have made a great third book...The Ultimate Resource III.