Thursday, January 31, 2008

Does This Mean That I AM or AM NOT a Conservative?

I've been puzzling this for a while now...

BACKGROUND: There is, as of this moment, exactly one planet in the entire universe, that we know that will support human life. (Hint: you are there.) This planet has exactly one atmosphere. (Hint: you are breathing it in.) As we burn fossil fuels we add carbon dioxide and water vapor to this atmosphere. It is a known scientific fact that these two molecules absorb infrared light. When the amounts of these molecules go up, more infrared light is absorbed. This will produce an increase of heat content of the atmosphere. These same burning processes produce particulates which scatter sun light and reduce the amount of light that reaches the surface of the planet. When there is less light reaching the surface, the temperature goes down. So the particulates reduce the heat content of the atmosphere. Does burning increase the planets temperature or reduce it? Answer: Both. OK, but which wins? Answer: The data is not yet clear.

What is clear is that we as a species are changing our atmosphere, in ways that we can not predict. Will the temperature of the planet increase, decrease, or stay the same? I don't know. No one really knows. But as a Conservative, I believe that we should conserve our atmosphere, not do uncontrolled experiments on it.

John McCain seems to agree with that point of view. For this he is called a "RINO", and "liberal", and other names. This is why I'm puzzled. I believe that my reasoning is clear, consistent, and most surely conservative, but the so called Repubilcan party leaders (and others) choose to call this "liberal".

Can anyone out there explain this to me and, please, does this make me a conservative, or not?

The Void Ends in Two Weeks

Yes, That's right "The Void" will end in two weeks.

(There are only two seasons "Baseball Season" and "The Void".)

Pitchers and catchers report on Feb 14.

Spring renews, everyone is in first place, and the season starts again. All is right with the world.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who Believes This Stuff?

Here in California we are geting ads for all the propositions that are on our up-coming ballot. One in particular is starting to tick me off.

Proposition 93 is designed to change the term limits the California populace put on our state legislature. As it stands someone can serve 8 years in the state senate (2 terms, 4 years each) and 6 in the assembly (3 terms, 2 years each). The proposition wants to make it 12 years in any one house. I don't like the change, and will vote against it. The ad in question supports the proposition, so that may be part of my problem, but I think it's deeper than that.

The ad says that when a legislator is forced to leave, then the lobbists run the place. Are they seriously suggesting that letting a legislator run again, somehow makes them immune to lobbists (even though they'd need lots of campaign funds to run)? Or is the point that newbies in the legislature are somehow more susceptible to the evils of the lobbists?

The whole thing is just so stupid that I can't understand who would believe this?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A National Treasure

The National Archives just posted a few hundred color photos of America during the 1930's and 40's. I spent a good hour poking around and expect to spend several more. I can't recommend this too highly.


See it here .

Here are two to wet your appetite.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fiscal Sanity Does Not Include Tax Cuts That Pay For Themselves

I was just reading a post over at The Scratching Post about how tax cuts don't pay for themselves (post).

Is that a surprise to anyone? Sure the validity of the Laffer Curve is real (although anyone that thinks it is as smooth as the wikipedia graph, or stationary in time, is on some serious recreational chemicals). The point though should be two fold: 1) Unless we are way over on the extreme right end of the graph, don't expect a tax cut to pay for itself, and 2) It is very possible to cut taxes and see a rise in revenues.

Indeed, I believe we are past the maximum in the curve and recent history suggests that this is indeed the case, still, we are not anywhere near the point at which a cut in tax rate will pay for itself.

But beyond that, and as I posted in my comment over at The Scratching Post, regardless of where anyone thinks we are on the curve, the bigger question is: Should the tax rate be set to maximize revenue? If you think so, Why? The only reasonable case that I can make for such a belief is that if the government has costs, costs it must incur, which total more than it can raise in revenues, then they must, to try to cover costs, maximize revenue. Otherwise, the goal should be to tax the people to the minimum possible extent, yet which still generates sufficient revenue to cover the costs the government must incur.

So what would those items be? Well there is where the rub sets in. Personally, I'm in favor of "less is more". I'd like to see the government return to those things that are required of it. You know, "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity". That kind of stuff.

Does anyone out there think that huge deficits are securing anything for our Posterity? I don't.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Upcoming Elections... Enough Already!

Yesterday we got yet another primary. I'm so tired of all this I can't even believe it.

But as bad as that is, here in California we have a bunch of propositions to vote on as well, and I simply can't wait for it all to end. The commericals on the "Indian Gaming Propositions" are almost overwhelming. Every commerical break it seems that there is one telling us we have to vote "YES" and another saying "NO". This goes so far as to have one "Indian Spokesperson" saying vote "NO", and another where a tribal spokesperson is saying "YES".

Then there's the misleading one saying that California needs the additional revenue, and quotes this absurd figure of $9,000,000,000. Of course they barely mention that that is over 20 years. So that works out to $450,000,000 per year. California's budget deficit for 2008 is projected at $14,000,000,000 (see here ). So that would only leave $13,550,000,000. Yeah that solves the problem. For a different view, California has about 36,000,000 people, so the deficit works out to $388.88 per person. Get the money from the gaming agreements and it drops all the way to $376.38 per person. That's a savings of $12.50 per person. I feel better all ready.

Seriously, why are even considering expanding the Indian Casinos? Casinos are not the answer to any question I can think of, except maybe "Where can the mathematically illiterate go to lose their money?"

I hope that we can find a better way to ensure that the local native tribes can become self-sufficient. I hope we can find a better way to solve California's fiscal issues (like maybe letting the State run a surplus, instead of forcing the legislature to spend the entire income during the good times).

But then mostly I just hope the commericals stop soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Can't Imagine the Odds

This one is way out there...

Seems an Air Force reveservist just replaced another over in Iraq. OK, odds of that are pretty good. But the hitch is that the replacer is the mom of the replacee. Don't believe it? Read here .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fed Lowers Rate, Dow Fall Ends, HUH?

I can't complain that the market drop stopped, but seriously, is a rate drop enough to solve the other systemic problems?

Here is San Diego they just announced that house forclosures were up 353% in 2007. No that's not a typo on my part. 353% The level is higher than any year since '92 (which is as far back the graph went).

Now certainly an interest rate drop will help anyone stuck with an adjustable. It may really help, but it simply doesn't solve the high oil prices. It doesn;t end the shift of jobs off-shore. It doesn't eliminate the federal debt or the growing deficits. I hope it holds. But, I'd bet against it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Who I'll Vote For - And Why.

As everyone seems to know, we're undergoing a credit meltdown due to the sub-prime mortgages. How'd we get here? Simple. Loan money to lots of people who can't really pay the mortgages, but assume that the value of the houses continue to increase so they can keep refinancing until they eventually can either sell the house, or actually make the payments. When the eventual, and inevitable, downturn comes, the whole thing implodes. What a surprise.

Now let's look at the whole economy. The country spends more than it takes in. The deficit grows. We keep borrowing to cover the debt. As long as we can do that, all is "well". But if (when) the day comes all hell will break loose.

Anyways, so now we have stock markets around the world dropping because it looks like the US is entering a recession. Oh really, you think? I wonder what caused that.

Anyways, as you might guess from my name I'm an Ohio boy, with all the midwest values that implies. One of the basic ones is fiscal sanity. You know, spend less than you make and save the rest for emergencies. Compare that to the previous paragraphs. I've always been against making a "litmus test" for a politician. As of right now, I have one and only one issue that I care about. Fiscal Sanity. Anything else is asking my kids to pay for my poor choices.

That I won't do.

Anyways, I had to support Fred Thompson. Now that he's gone, McCain is a weak second. Nobody else is close.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Yesterday was a Dark Day for Charger Fans

Yesterday the Chargers lost to the NE Patriots. OK, the Pats are the best team in the NFL this year, maybe as good as any team has ever been, but I can't help but wonder if the Chargers could have won that game if they'd had an healthy L.T. and Gates.

As bad as that game was for any Chargers fan, the second one was worse. How could Eli be heading to the Super Bowl? UGH! It's enough to make one think that fate really has it in for us.

Well It's About Time

I can't really say why it's taken me so long to set this blog up, or what I'll be posting as time unfolds, but I have to admit that it is way past time to start this.