Monday, September 25, 2017

Black Lives Matter

We are all being lied to on many issues. Most of what we hear in the world is spin, even by well intentioned people. Often well meaning people pass on misinformation in the name of doing good.

Race relations in this country have never been better. However, various people whom I can only describe as anarchists have been trying to stir up racial divisions. The reason for this is clear. It is politically motivated. The left is a coalition of people who in one way or another see themselves as victims. There is no political left without people feeling like they are being suppressed by somebody else, so all the rhetoric we have been hearing centers around victimhood.

I think that BLM is mostly a false narrative. I say "mostly" because I am sure that people can point out a few relatively rare cases where there was an unjustified or questionable shooting. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/23/heather_macdonald_on_black_lives_matter_does_the_truth_matter.html

The data shows that 92% of Blacks who are killed are killed by other Blacks. http://www.politifact.com/florida/article/2015/may/21/updated-look-statistics-black-black-murders/

If people want to disrespect the flag or the national anthem then that is their free choice. This is what freedom looks like. However, if people are upset by this and choose not to watch nor attend, that is also their free choice. And if the NFL and the team owners realize that this is hurting attendence and ratings, then they are also free to do something about it, because the players are their paid employees.

There is an irony to multimillionaires disrespecting the national anthem because they are are worried about discrimination.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ask yourself if you are OK with Russia dictating who becomes our President?

With all due respect, "Ask yourself if you are OK with Russia dictating who becomes our President?" is far from proven. In fact, I think it is rubbish, or at the very least there is no credible evidence for it. Even if Trump colluded with the Russians, there is no crime there. At the moment, everybody is hanging their hat on a process crime, but this seems unfair to me, as the president had the legal power to fire Comey for any reason. He also had the power to tell Comey how to run his investigation. Even Comey and other people at the FBI testified that Comey wasn't vital to the investigation.

But I have to come to realize just how deeply the left feels slighted. What tipped me off is Morgan Freeman's video about how we are at war with Russia. At first I thought that the left would be somewhat reasonable in the sense that we would have an investigation where most of the allegations would be proven insubstantial and maybe a couple of minor improprieties would come to light. However, this is not how the left is acting. They are acting like we have been invaded by a foreign power, and they will not be satisfied until the resistance movement removes the head of our government. As evidence of this, the left has been throwing around the word "treason" a great deal recently.

To use the political system to overturn an election to me feels like an injustice. Trump was elected, regardless of the events that lead up to his election.

I am a bit alarmed by the actions of Muller. He has 17 lawyers working for him. He has opened a Grand Jury. There is no way that he can do all the work, and spend all this money, and then go before Congress and say that he found nothing. He is going to find a crime, somehow, some way. Unless he collects one or more scalps, this is going to look really bad.

Impeachment is not a legal process. You cannot throw someone in jail from impeachment. That takes a separate trial in the regular courts. Impeachment is a political process. All it takes is the political will to impeach, regardless if there is any legal merit or not. Then it takes a trial in congress to remove that person from office. I don't think that the political will is there. I might be surprised.

However, to me this feels like a waste of time. The worst case scenarios involve Mike Pence, or Paul Ryan, or god forbid Orrin Hatch becoming President. I could be pretty happy with a Mike Pence, or a Paul Ryan as president. What exactly is it that they hope to accomplish?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Truth About The DREAM Act

Topics like this are highly controversial, so I am sorry if it steps on anyone's toes.  


I happen to agree with him on this.

My position is that we do not have a shortage of laborers in this country.  We have a shortage of jobs.  More competition for jobs results in lower wages.

Some say that we should import people with degrees, which maybe has some value, but there are stories about companies firing high paid American workers and hiring people from India at half the wage.  We have no shortage of people with degrees, since 40% of college graduates have to take a job that does not require a degree.

What is the other thing that we don't have a shortage of?  People.  The population of the United States has gone up 80% in my lifetime.  More people means more strain on resources.  Natural resources.  Things end up costing more, like land and water.

Hypothetically, will we ever reach a point where the open border advocates think that the country is too crowded?  Would it be at 500 million people, or 600 million, 700 million or a billion?

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

What if We Never Went to the Moon?


This video is remarkably statist. Everybody looks at the benefit of government spending, and not the cost. Suppose the $200 billion adjusted for inflation dollars had been spent on something more useful? Cure diseases? Not go into as much debt, which has been compounding for the last 50 years? Reduce the burden of government on the free enterprise system? For a long time we have had more government than we can afford.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Fwd: America First Trade policy in action

Spanish olives, and potentially the EU's agricultural policy as a whole, are the next potential victims of Donald Trump's "America First" policy.

The U.S. Department of Commerce opened a probe last month to determine whether to slap duties on ripe olives from Spain, after Californian producers argued their Iberian rivals receive an unfair advantage because of the EU's lavish farm subsidy scheme.

For Brussels, the case could set an alarming precedent. Under the sacrosanct Common Agricultural Policy, the EU pours about 40 percent of its budget into farm subsidies and it is highly protective of any trade investigation that questions the legality of those payments. Last year, Brussels pushed back hard against Australia's moves to put tariffs on Italian tinned tomatoes.

Washington may prove a tougher adversary than Canberra. Brussels is bracing for U.S. tariffs to be imposed as early as November, as President Trump vows to slash the trade deficit with the EU, which swelled to $147 billion last year from $61 billion in 2009.

"What we are seeing here is Trump's 'America First' attacking our agriculture policy," said Clara Aguilera GarcĂ­a, a Spanish member of the European Parliament. "It seems Trump's policies are encouraging U.S. producers to go down a protectionist path and try to shut out foreign competition."

De Mora, head of the Spanish olive association, accused the Californians of only starting their protests after the Spaniards launched major promotions for their fruit this year.

Criticism of Europe's farming subsidies is nothing new, and the CAP is often accused of unfairly hobbling competition, particularly in emerging markets. Earlier this year, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan quipped: "The European Union pays enough subsidies to fly each cow in Europe around the world first class and still have money left over."

http://www.politico.eu/article/united-states-attack-on-spain-olives-threatens-eus-hallowed-farm-subsidies/


Thursday, August 31, 2017

The real truth about the 2008 financial crisis |

A black man undercover in the alt-right | Theo E.J. Wilson | TEDxMileHigh

Very interesting perspective ...


As a side note, "alt-right" means different things to different people. It started out just meaning constitutional conservative or Tea Party enthusiast. However, it has been co-opted by racist elements.

I'm tired saying this, but mainstream Republicans are not racist. The Republican party was the party of Lincoln and abolition. The Democrats were the party of slavery and the KKK. The Tea Party's favorite presidential candidate was Herman Cain. Republicans wanted Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to run for President. Neither one was interested, but Republicans would have gladly put either one of them on the ticket.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

What Colleges and Graduate Schools Don't Want You to Know


I have heard that 40% of college graduates have to take a job that does not require a degree.  It means that we are educating more people than the market needs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Automation

One concern that has been on my mind is the displacement of workers. This has certainly been an issue in the midwest, which has been highly dependent on the declining domestic manufacturing. In Indiana, I can see the terrible effect it has had on people, especially in the poor areas of the state.

Automation is threatening to take over as machines become more intelligent in the next decade or so. This is going to be much more rapid than automation in the past, which has been generally beneficial and we have had plenty of time to adjust. It seems likely to me that in the near future, we will see many, if not most, jobs just disappear.

We can imagine a future where humans have to do almost no work. It is not a question of if this will happen, but when. We have known this all along. Science fiction has predicted this for decades. Assuming that this is the future, how should our society be organized? Normally I would just trust the free enterprise system to sort things out, but the pending sudden rise in automation is threatening to more sharply divide us between the haves and have nots.

Intelligent machines will change the world more than anything that has come before it.

The fear of automation has given rise to the call for Universal Basic Income. Although I see this as Marxism in disguise, if human workers really do get displaced by machines, we might not have a choice. However, having people idle and making them wards of the state is bad for the human condition.


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Transition of Power

We are a country that is noted for, and is proud of, its peaceful transition of power. However, lately we have been living in bizarro land and there may be no going back from this. The new response to a both a democratically elected president, and unpopular speech, has been violence. The purpose of free speech in a free society is not to protect popular views, but to protect unpopular ones, because popular views need very little protection. We should recognize the right of people to protest peaceably, regardless of how much we disagree with their views.

Politically, we are in danger of becoming a third world country. In most places where people feel like they have very little political power, conspiracy theories run rampant; people believe that an external force or scapegoat is responsible for their oppression. So they riot in the streets.

The path we are on is a decline in civil society and a decline in civilization.

When Republicans lose, there is very little problem with the political transition. Republicans are used to losing and are used to being on the outside looking in, so they mostly have been content being the opposition party. Some people say that Republicans prefer to be the opposition party, as evidenced by their failure to lead.

However, there is an element in the extreme left that has risen up that is Marxist to the core. This element does not want to tolerate contrary opinions, because they view their opponents as oppressors, thus justifying a violent response. This is why we get calls for Trump's assassination, and actual violence.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump

I'm pissed off. If Donald Trump picks his nose he is a racist. If he fails to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, he is a white supremacist. In fact, he is a Nazi for just being Donald Trump. By definition. Everything Trump does results in outrage at ever increasing hysterical levels, and will continue to do so until all the forces aligned against Trump succeed in getting rid of him.


Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, August 7, 2017

Re: Top 10 Climate Change Lies Exposed

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:47 AM, Albert Nelms <alnelms
​> ​
wrote:
Another quick rundown of global warming lies. You've mentioned most of these issues in your debates with friends online.

https://youtu.be/ICGal_8qI8c


1.  There is a long term consequence of raising the temperature 5 degrees celsius or more that is very bad, which is that the polar ice caps will completely melt.  Based on current temperature trends, I don't think that this is likely to happen, and if it does happen, it will take 5000 years, giving us plenty of time to do something about it.

2. The direct effect of doubling CO2 in the atmosphere is an increase of 1.1 degrees celsius.  Almost everybody agrees on this.  There are a couple of dissenters who say that over geological periods of time you can't find a clear correlation, but there is so much else going on over geological periods, usually solar and orbital variation, that confuses the issue.  

There are additional positive and negative feedbacks that are in dispute.  Whereas the direct effect is 1.1 degrees celsius, the data since 1880 indicates to me that the Climate sensitivity is slightly under 2 degrees.  That means that there is positive feedback, although solar variation could also be the cause.  It also means that the climate sensitivity is less than the alarmists are claiming.  I heard one lecturer say that the positive feedback was "0.6", which seems to me to be close.

Until about a week ago, I didn't see any evidence of positive feedback, but that was because I had miscalculated the Climate Sensitivity.

#3 and #4 are interesting points.

#12 He doesn't explain his point about acidity very well.  

Warming does cause the oceans to release more CO2.  There is also very little doubt that CO2 causes warming.  The real issue is how much?  The warming caused by CO2 is a logarithmic function, which means that you have to keep doubling the CO2 level to achieve the same result.  Based on current temperature trends, we will run out of fossil fuels long before we reach an increase of 5 degrees celsius.




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Re: Global Climate

Steve,

As I recall, the human contribution to total emitted carbon dioxide gasses is around 5%.  The usual argument is that the CO2 both leaving and being put in the atmosphere was in balance before, and now it is not.  Since about 1880 we have seen the atmospheric CO2 level go from about 280 PPM to around 400 PPM.  It was 230 PPM in the preindustrial period.   It is expected to reach 800 PPM by the year 2100.  As long as it doesn't go higher than that, I think that this is more beneficial than detrimental.

Previously, I did my math wrong.  I thought that an atmospheric increase of CO2 from 280 PPM to 400 PPm was a 70% increase, but that was because I did a brain fart on the math.  Instead, it is about a 43% increase.  I just now discovered my mistake.  Doing a new calculation, based upon the 0.85 temperature increase since 1880, I get a new climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 of 1.98 degrees Celsius.  However, the IPCC changed the low end of their range to only 1.5 degrees because they accepted papers that said that this was the climate sensitivity based upon 20nth century data.  So other people are looking at recent data and are coming up with Climate Sensitivity numbers.  The generally accepted range by the IPCC is from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees.  Whereas the skeptics think that 1.5 degrees is the most the climate sensitivity could be, the IPCC think that it will be at least this much, if not much higher.  I just watched a climate scientist claim that it is 6 degrees celsius.

I just found yet another source claiming that it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt.  This is the disaster scenario that the alarmists warn about.  The temperature has to warm about 5 degrees celsius for this to happen.  Obviously we have plenty of time to change course if the Climate Sensitivity is more than I think it is.

Correlation is not the same as causality.  The biggest driver of temperature is solar variation.  Ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years show that temperature increases precedes CO2 increases, and not the other way around.  This is because warmer air causes the oceans to release more CO2.  Although the two things are correlated, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a clear causality relationship between CO2 and temperature.  When I looked at temperature data, sometimes the two went in opposite directions.  Although I am certain there is a greenhouse effect, CO2 may not the main driver of temperature.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Healthcare

Stephen W Gordon The US has spent somewhere around 5 trillion on wars (still going up) to avenge/punish/protect after 4,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11. But some how we don't have any money to help the many times that number who will die from lack of health care. Strange.
Manage
John Coffey
John Coffey I meant to respond a few days ago, because I think that your point is valid. War is a terrible waste of money.

When it comes to war we have sort of a paradox, because I don't think that we should do nothing, but we usually end up doing the wrong thing or too much.

There is also a paradox when it comes to healthcare. The national sentiment right now is that nobody should be without healthcare, which means that some people are going to need public charity. It doesn't necessarily mean that everyone should have their healthcare paid for by the government, but I have read that we are 64% of the way there already, so some might say let's just go to single payer. This is where I think that paradox comes in, because whenever someone else is paying for your services, you are not going to care about either the price or overusing the system. One thing that keeps prices in check is people's willingness to do without when it gets too expensive, but we think that nobody should do without. Ironically, the current supply of healthcare services is not enough to cover everybody.

I am a firm believer that when government funds something it automatically becomes more expensive. Both healthcare and higher education have risen much faster than inflation. It has everything to do with incentive. When people spend their own money, they are much more careful on how they spend it or do without if something is too expensive.

I would not necessarily be against single payer if there were incentives to control costs. People need to pay for a portion of their healthcare. One possibility is have single payer cover disasters and people have to pay for routine expenses.

My prefered solution is medical savings accounts, which would be subsidized for those who can't afford them. Hypothetically, both you and your employer contribute 5% (or some other percentage) of your income pre-tax dollars into an account that can only be used for medical expenses or to buy health insurance. You have the option to contribute more and the money can accumulate till retirement. If you have an excess amount in the account at retirement then you could take some of it as taxable income. With this system, current retirees would still fall under medicare, but future retirees would be required to use the medical savings accounts first. Also, people should be allowed to invest the account money in something that will get a decent return.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The moral hazard of climate change.


I write about this because it is one of the most important issues of our time.

I agree with the basic premise of the article that a completely unregulated capitalism could lead to some bad consequences.  However, some things not covered by the article are ....

1.  The government's major role in creating the financial crisis of 2008.

2.  The moral hazard of publicly funding science to the tune of tens of billions of dollars per year to tell us that there is a problem.

3.  The positive benefits of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

4.  How nuclear fusion will allow us to start replacing fossil fuels (if necessary) by mid century.

5.  How predictions of large climate sensitivity, which is how much the atmospheric temperature will go up every time you double the level of atmospheric CO2, are not supported by current temperature data, which shows the climate sensitivity to be about 1.1 degrees celsius.  Many climate scientists have noted this.  Climate alarmists are worried about a climate sensitivity of around 5 degrees celsius.  

6.  How there will be ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (if necessary).  The most cost effective method is Iron Fertilization.

Yesterday, I watched several videos talking about Climate Sensitivity in general.  The biggest concern is about positive feedback, such as increased water vapor acting as a greenhouse gas.  However, we have seen no evidence of positive feedback over the last 137 years where the CO2 levels have gone up about 75%.  I have no doubt that some positive feedback does exist, but if the feedbacks were more forcing than the CO2 is forcing then we would have seen runaway greenhouse by now.   In order for this to happen, the feedbacks would need a multiplication factor greater than 1.  Yesterday, I saw one lecturer claim that the feedbacks are only about 0.6, although we currently see no evidence of even this level.  If he is correct then we could expect a climate sensitivity of about 2 degrees.  Even the climate alarmists say that this doesn't lead to disaster, although they do claim it would be inconvenient.  However, some skeptics note that the the temperature change in a typical day can vary by as much as 30 degrees celsius, so a 2 degree change in the average is nothing to get our underwear in a knot about.

I have put much faith in the current temperature data in estimating Climate Sensitivity.  One of the arguments against this is the claim that the oceans have been absorbing much of the recent warming, acting as a buffer against Climate Change.

CO2, which is necessary for all life on earth, is a trace gas that we measure in parts per million.  It is a weak greenhouse gas compared to other gasses.  It has also been on a major decline over the entire history of the earth because it gets sequestered by natural processes.  During the last period of glaciation it was dangerously low, almost to the point where terrestrial plant life would start dying.  We have been running out of CO2.  Only in recent history have humans reversed the decline.

We have technically been in an ice age for 3 million years.  All of human civilization arose during a brief 10,000 year period between glaciations.  The next period of glaciation is expected in another 10,000 years, although some have speculated that global warming may delay this.  Others have said that we can't prevent it.

I tried really hard to find data about what past temperatures were when the CO2 level was last about 800 parts per million, but this information is hard to find.  This is the level of CO2 that we expect to have around the year 2100, which is double of what we have now.   If historical temperatures were to show much higher temperature than we have now then I would be more concerned.

What past temperature and CO2 data do show is that there is not a clear correlation.  Sometimes they can be opposite of each other.  I saw multiple people claim that orbital variation (of the earth) is the by far the biggest driver of temperature.  If anything, CO2 increases usually follow temperature increases, instead of the other way around, because higher temperatures cause the oceans to release more CO2.  What is likely happening here is that first the temperature goes up, which causes CO2 to increase, which then in turns adds to the temperature.

Plants benefit from increased levels of CO2.  Crop yields are up and are continuing to increase.  As a result of man's activity, there has been a greening of the earth.  However, there should be some limit to how far we want to go with this.  The earth has not seen a CO2 level of 1,200 parts per million in 60 million years.  I believe that technology at some point in the 21st century will allow us to stabilize the level.  We will move to nuclear fusion and sequester CO2 as necessary.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Fwd: Do the math


​H​
ere is some simple "old school" math. First, Obamacare is bankrupting every Obamacare exchange. Minuteman Health announced its failure last week. That means 19 of 23 Obamacare co-ops are bankrupt and out of business. Billions of taxpayer dollars up in smoke.

That's a failure rate of 83 percent. This has nothing to do with conservative vs liberal. These are just facts.

Here in Nevada, our last two insurance carriers just pulled out. Fourteen of 17 counties in Nevada will not have any insurance option for the Nevada Obamacare exchange in 2018. That's a failure rate of … you guessed it, 83 percent. Hey, at least Obamacare is consistent!

By the way, the Obamacare exchanges failed in both Vermont and Hawaii. Two tiny, liberal states couldn't make it work. Hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars lost.

In California, the Democrat Assembly leader is getting death threats because he tabled the idea of universal health care. Democrats are threatening to kill a Democrat because he realized there isn't enough money in the world to pay for free health care. The cost in California for universal health care? $400 billion. That's more than twice as much as the entire California budget.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/opinion-columns/wayne-allyn-root/commentary-do-the-math-replacing-obamacare-is-a-must/