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In response to:

Turning up the Heat on Gore

Factualist Wrote: Jul 09, 2014 12:56 PM
Demagogues often claim that their proposals are supported by science. For them, a good scientific theory is any story that persuades people to accept whatever dogma they are promoting. It is easy to identify these charlatans, because they insist that their pet theories are unquestionably true; they cite authority figures or an alleged scientific consensus as if mere opinions verified their claims; they vilify those who disagree; and they dismiss or disparage data that do not support their prejudices. These dishonest tactics are tools of propaganda, not science, where the only authority is and must be reproducible observational evidence. When you encounter them, understand that the claims are phony and that you are being conned. In the debate over anthropogenic climate change, note that it is the doomsayers and not the “deniers” who rely on this kind of agitprop.
Note that these regulations are proposed at a time when the loan debt to income ratio of many graduates is high because they can't find appropriate jobs. This scheme, limited to for-profit schools, will be much more effective in destroying them now than it would be after we get rid of Obama and restore economic growth and job opportunities.
In response to:

An Opportunity For Congressman Issa

Factualist Wrote: Jun 29, 2014 4:15 AM
There is no point at present in granting anybody immunity. If somebody still refuses to answer, or indeed confesses to crimes, all the House can do is to refer him or her to the DoJ for prosecution. This is a meaningless threat while Holder is in charge. At best, he will start a phony "investigation" that will produce no results while Obama is in office. As Andrew McCarthy suggests, a better approach is for the House to impeach various Federal officials, starting with Lerner and Holder. Let the Senate Democrats take the political heat if they refuse their Constitutional obligation to try people impeached by the House.
In response to:

Hillary’s Book Tour From Hell

Factualist Wrote: Jun 15, 2014 8:27 PM
How can Hillary escape responsibility as Secretary of State for squandering the American victory in Iraq, leading to the present disaster? If Americans die at our embassy in Baghdad, it will be Benghazi on steroids; and we may see Saigon redux, with people scrambling to get aboard the helicopters. Obama will take most of the blame for this debacle, but Hillary cannot avoid taking her share.
In response to:

Amazon Throwing the Book at Publishers

Factualist Wrote: Jun 12, 2014 12:18 PM
What you are seeing here are the death throes of conventional publishers (aka dead-tree publishers). An author who self-publishes on Kindle can earn $7 for an ebook selling for $9.99. What publisher can match that? Authors may need help with editing, sub-editing and/or formatting for Kindle, but those services can be provided by individuals (probably for a fee based on the time required). There is no need or role for large publishing companies. Authors may also want promotional services, but dead-tree publishers rarely provide much help in that area. We may see a proliferation of PR/advertising agencies that will promote ebooks (for a fixed fee or a portion of the author’s royalties). Old-style publishers may serve a dwindling market for books on paper, but basically they have become irrelevant.
As all honest scientists (as opposed to diehard propagandists) now admit, the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis has been conclusively disproved: in particular, satellite observations show that cloud formation makes water vapor feedback negative rather than positive, as assumed by the IPCC, which reduces the calculated climate sensitivity to CO2 by an order of magnitude. Faced with this result and the collapse of popular concern about the issue, Green extremists and their lackey in the Oval Office are now trying to convince us that CO2 is a dirty pollutant. Thus the new EPA outrage is called the Clean Power Plan, and it talks about reducing “carbon pollution.” This is deliberately fraudulent. CO2 IS NOT A POLLUTANT. It is plant food, as essential as oxygen to life on this planet. Without CO2, there would be no plants, and therefore no food chain supporting life. Moreover, we are now living in a CO2 desert: for the last 500 million years, the atmospheric CO2 concentration was almost always been 8 to 20 times higher than now, and the biosphere thrived. As satellite measurements also show, the current increase in CO2 is in fact leading to a greener planet, especially in arid areas. Absent significant climatic effects, more CO2 is unequivocally beneficial. Unfortunately, too many pundits and commentators have been taken in by this deception. For example, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News says we should curb CO2 even if its warming effect is negligible, because “nobody wants a dirty planet.” Get wise, people: the spirit of Josef Goebbels is alive and well and living in the White House.
When did we the people agree to seek permits from government overlords to do almost anything? May I please dam a creek on my property? Operate a lemonade stand? Drive a car? Form a company? Carry a gun? Burn leaves in my backyard? Go fishing, hunting or camping? Drive an off-road vehicle on public lands (which are OUR lands, not the government’s)? Drill for offshore oil? Build the Keystone pipeline? Build an LNG export terminal? And so ad infinitum. The global warming scam is another tactic aimed at driving us into an Orwellian regime in which “everything is prohibited that is not specifically permitted.” There are of course a few areas (e.g., air traffic control) where preemptive regulation is needed for public safety. Proficiency tests are needed for activities that could endanger others, such as flying and driving (but pilot tests are given by flight schools: why do we need the DMV to test drivers?) Why must we buy annual permits (a.k.a. taxes and registration fees) to drive our own cars on public roads? You will hear that “driving is a privilege, not a right,” but government cannot graciously grant us privileges, because they work for us, not we for them. Drivers should perhaps contribute to the upkeep of roads – but that is what the gas tax is for. If we are a free people, we need to change most regulations from Orwell’s nightmare to “everything is permitted that is not specifically prohibited.” If I want to do something that might affect other people, I should notify an appropriate government agency of my intention; that agency should then have a reasonable time (e.g., 30 days) in which to tell me why I should not do it. If we cannot agree, the issue should be submitted to arbitration, and the agency should demonstrate why the action would be unreasonably harmful, in terms of its specific details, and not by recourse to some general rule. Long ago, C.S. Lewis pointed out that “of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” When will we take our country back?
In response to:

The Misinformed Case for Voter ID

Factualist Wrote: May 15, 2014 4:13 PM
Nonsense. The 26th Amendment only prohibits denial of voting rights ON THE BASIS OF AGE to anybody over 18. The Federal statutes prohibit voter qualifications based on various specifically identified criteria, such as race, literacy, sex, etc. All other criteria are left to the States. I would like to see some very simple multiple-choice civics questions (factual, not ideological) at the top of every ballot, with the vote weighted by the percentage of correct answers. Examples: How many States are there in the United States? What is the term of office of the US President? Who was Abraham Lincoln? Who was Neil Armstrong? Etc. People who have learned nothing about their country cannot make rational decisions about voting.
Good article, but Dennis is incorrect in saying the Left wants to reduce inequality and carbon emissions. The Democrats claim to be the Party of the Poor, and therefore they have a vested interest in ensuring (1) that there are plenty of poor people, and (2) that the poor will remain not only poor but angry and envious, so they will continue to swallow Leftist snake oil. The claim that most rich people made their money by depriving the poor is a deliberate lie, and so is the claim that redistributing wealth will benefit the poor. The truth is that the aggregate wealth of the rich is not enough to provide decent lives for everybody, and that confiscating their money slows job creation, so that the poor end up worse off, not better. Economic growth is the only way to alleviate poverty, and that requires encouraging rather than penalizing accumulation of capital. We now have conclusive proof from satellite observations that water vapor feedback is negative (due to the formation of low clouds), not positive as alleged by warmists. This means that anthropogenic CO2 has only a minor influence on the climate, which is driven primarily by natural forces. The first reason that the Left is clinging to the totally discredited Global Warming scam (now called “Climate Disruption”) is that driving up the price of energy will slow economic growth and help keep people poor, so that they will vote Democrat. The second reason is that socialist nations simply cannot compete with capitalist nations in providing opportunity for their citizens, so that socialism is doomed unless a World Government is implemented that can suppress capitalism. As former French President Jacques Chirac said in 2000, the allegedly necessary global response to man-made climate change is “the first component of an authentic global governance.” The spirit of Josef Goebbels is alive and well, living in DC, and still advocating the Big Lie.
In response to:

5 Ways Liberals Hurt The Poor

Factualist Wrote: May 03, 2014 5:53 PM
This list leaves out the disastrous poverty trap created by welfare programs. Definitions of “the poor” always quote earned income levels, leaving out the value of welfare. Google “welfare cliff” to see a graph, prepared by Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania, which shows that a single mother of two earning $29,000/year has an effective after-tax income of $57,314, including welfare benefits. This is not poor by any reasonable standard, but it is not wealthy, either. If she gets a raise to an earned income of $30, 000, she loses food stamps and housing benefits, so her effective net income actually FALLS to $49,000/year – i.e., a raise of $1,000 costs her $8,000! In other words, the effective marginal tax rate on that increase is 900%! The sad truth is that she is better off earning $29,000 than at any earned income level below $69,000! Since there is no way she can suddenly increase her earnings by $40,000, she has to reject all opportunities to earn more than $29,000. She is thus trapped, living a modestly middle-class life, but with no chance of fulfilling the American dream. Even worse, she will always vote to maintain the trap that imprisons her by choosing Democrats, because losing her benefits would mean a sudden reduction in her standard of living with no way to compensate by earning more. The poverty trap is a disgusting, cynical scheme imposed by Democrats that keeps millions in fairly comfortable poverty in order to ensure that they will vote Democrat. If or when Republicans regain control, it will be difficult to change this system without driving those millions into real poverty. The best solution is to taper off benefits as incomes increase, instead of ending them abruptly at some specified income, so that net income actually increases with earned income, even if only by something like 25 cents per dollar. Once that is in place, a slow reduction in the level of benefits would compensate for the increased public cost of tapered benefits and also motivate recipients to find better jobs and earn more money.
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