Friday, February 25, 2011

U.S. envoy's name blocked in latest run-in with China

A river in Wisconsin

U.S. Pulling Back in Afghan Valley It Called Vital


From: larry.r.trout
Wisconsin constitution:

'Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory

attendance. SECTION 7. Each house shall be the judge of the

elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a

majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a

smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel

the attendance of absent members in such manner and under

such penalties as each house may provide.'

Board votes to dismiss all Providence teachers

How Chris Christie Did His Homework


From: larry.r.trout

'In this world, when you tax a citizen a bit less to try to generate economic growth, you are not taking less from the taxpayer, but "stealing" from a third party who, at some point in his life, was told he had an indelible right to your wallet, no matter the cost.'

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Look For the Union Fable

"However the left has a new big problem, millions of folks not in unions are out of work. These millions are finding out just how out of sync the public sector employees wages and benefits are with the private sector. The collusion is obvious...

We are broke.

The nation is in trouble, folks are finding out the curly lightbulbs are not such a good idea, and that if you are concerned about CO2 that planting a tree is more efficient."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fwd: Wisconsin

From: larry.r.trout

'For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000. 

That staggering figure was revealed last night at a meeting of the MPS School Board.

The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.'

'Using a figure of $100,005 for average teacher compensation in MPS and an average yearly workload of 195 days, these teachers cost approximately $513 per day in salary and benefits to employ.'

…and 92 days of vacation a year J

George Washington

Some "Hate Speech" by George Washington

Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo on February 22, 2011 07:24 AM 

Today is George Washington's birthday.  The following are a few of Washington's statements that would surely get him in trouble with the self-appointed thought police censors at the Southern Poverty Law Center, not to mention the university PC police on virtually every campus in America.  In fact, it's hard to think of more than a handful of colleges and universities that would invite George Washington as a guest speaker today if his views expressed in the following quotations were well known.   Even worse, he was a Southerner!

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty teeth."

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference  they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

"Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

"The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon."

"The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure."

"The marvel of history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

"The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be fee men or slaves."

George Lakoff: What Conservatives Really Want

A straw man argument ...

Reckless Spending

Reckless Spending

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Richard Lindzen on GW

'Here, it must be noted that the greenhouse effect operates by inhibiting the cooling of the climate by reducing net outgoing radiation. However, the contribution of increasing CO2 alone does not, in fact, lead to much warming (approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2).

The larger predictions from climate models are due to the fact that, within these models, the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever CO2 does. This is referred to as a positive feedback. It means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. All climate models show such changes when forced by observed surface temperatures. Satellite observations of the earth's radiation budget allow us to determine whether such a reduction does, in fact, accompany increases in surface temperature in nature. As it turns out, the satellite data from the ERBE instrument (Barkstrom, 1984, Wong et al, 2006) shows that the feedback in nature is strongly negative -- strongly reducing the direct effect of CO2 (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) in profound contrast to the model behavior. This analysis makes clear that even when all models agree, they can all be wrong, and that this is the situation for the all important question of climate sensitivity. '

Galileo and the Scientific Pose of the Left

Fwd: Mitch Daniels speech

From: larry.r.trout

'We Hoosiers hold to some quaint notions. Some might say we "cling" to them, though not out of fear or ignorance. We believe in paying our bills. We have kept our state in the black throughout the recent unpleasantness, while cutting rather than raising taxes, by practicing an old tribal ritual – we spend less money than we take in.

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.'…

'The national elections of 2010 carried an instruction. In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War. As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat. We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.

I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. We can debate its origins endlessly and search for villains on ideological grounds, but the reality is pure arithmetic. No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be.'…

'The task of such people is now a simple one. They need only play good defense. The federal spending commitments now in place will bring about the leviathan state they have always sought. The health care travesty now on the books will engulf private markets and produce a single-payer system or its equivalent, and it won't take long to happen. Our fiscal ruin and resulting loss of world leadership will, in their eyes, be not a tragic event but a desirable one, delivering the multilateral world of which they've dreamed so long.

Fortunately, these folks remain few. They are vastly outnumbered by Americans who sense the presence of the enemy, but are awaiting the call for volunteers, and a credible battle plan for saving our Republic. That call must come from this room, and rooms like it.'

'Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery. The perverse presumption that places the burden of proof on the challenger of spending must be inverted, back to the rule that applies elsewhere in life: "Prove to me why we should."

Lost to history is the fact that, in my OMB assignment, I was the first loud critic of Congressional earmarks. I was also the first to get absolutely nowhere in reducing them: first to rail and first to fail. They are a pernicious practice and should be stopped. But, in the cause of national solvency, they are a trifle. Talking much more about them, or "waste, fraud, and abuse," trivializes what needs to be done, and misleads our fellow citizens to believe that easy answers are available to us. In this room, we all know how hard the answers are, how much change is required.'…

'Second, untie Gulliver. The regulatory rainforest through which our enterprises must hack their way is blighting the future of millions of Americans. Today's EPA should be renamed the "Employment Prevention Agency." After a two-year orgy of new regulation, President Obama's recent executive order was a wonderment, as though the number one producer of rap music had suddenly expressed alarm about obscenity.'…

'If this strikes you as a project of unusual ambition, given the state of modern politics, you are right. If it strikes you as too bold for our fellow Americans to embrace, I believe you are wrong. Seven years as a practitioner in elective politics tells me that history's skeptics are wrong. That Americans, in a vast majority, are still a people born for self-governance. They are ready to summon the discipline to pay down our collective debts as they are now paying down their own; to put the future before the present, their children's interest before their own.

Our proposals will be labeled radical, but this is easy to rebut. Starting a new retirement plan for those below a certain age is something tens of millions of Americans have already been through at work.

Opponents will expect us to be defensive, but they have it backwards. When they call the slightest spending reductions "painful", we will say "If government spending prevents pain, why are we suffering so much of it?" And "If you want to experience real pain, just stay on the track we are on." When they attack us for our social welfare reforms, we will say that the true enemies of Social Security and Medicare are those who defend an imploding status quo, and the arithmetic backs us up.

They will attack our program as the way of despair, but we will say no, America's way forward is brilliant with hope, as soon as we have dealt decisively with the manageable problems before us.'

Iraq Bioweapons Claim a Lie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's day

'Continuing its quest to become a cartoonish stereotype of an evil empire, the Iranian government has decided to outlaw Valentine's Day.

"Symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses, and any activities promoting this day are banned," announced state media last month, according to the Wall Street Journal's Melik Kaylan. "Authorities will take legal action against those who ignore the ban."

Valentine's Day is only the latest in a long list of benign activities criminalized by the Iranian regime:

The Iranian state has pronounced against unauthorized mingling of the sexes, rap music, rock music, Western music, women playing in bands, too-bright nail polish, laughter in hospital corridors, ancient Persian rites-of-spring celebrations (Nowrooz), and even the mention of foreign food recipes in state media. This last may sound comically implausible, but it was officially announced by a state-run website on Feb. 6. So now the true nature of pasta as an instrument of Western subversion has been revealed. …'

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Match McConnell Urges Conservatives to Stick to Principles Over Popularity

AP News,

Brewer to Countersue Federal Government Over Immigration Enforcement -

Homeland Security chief suspects terrorists are already within the U.S.

What Is 'Judicial Activism'?

Arthur B. Laffer: Reaganomics: What We Learned

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maybe both of these could have been prevented

Fort Hood Shooter:

'Our basic conclusion is as follows: Although neither Dod nor the FBI had specific

information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collecti vely had suffic ient

information to have detected Hasan's radica lization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both

to understand and to act on it. Our investigat ion found specific and systemic fai lures in the

government's handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be

broader systemic issues.

Both the FB I and DoD possessed information indicating Hasan's rad icalization to vio lent

Islamist extremism. And, to the FB I's credit, it flagged Hasan from among the chaff of intelligence

collection for additional scrutin y. However, the FBI and DoD together fai led to

recognize and to link the information that they possessed about Hasan: ( I) Hasan was a military

officer who lived under a regimented system with strict officership and security standards,

standards which his behav ior during his military medical train ing violated; and (2) the

government had [REDACTED] communicat ions from Hasan to a suspected terrorist,

[REDACTED], who was in volved in ant iwAmerican activities and the subject of an unrelated FBI

terrorism in vestigation.'

Wiki Leaks Bradley Manning:

'The United States Army private accused of downloading classified materials while serving as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad and passing them to WikiLeaks should never have been deployed to Iraq in the first place because he was mentally unfit, a soon-to-be-released Pentagon report will conclude.

Bradley Manning, 23, who is facing eight charges of breaking federal law in connection with the WikiLeaks affair, was serving at Fort Drum in New York when mental specialists advised against his deployment to Iraq. But his immediate superiors ignored the advice, according to an internal Army investigation . The report, which will be delivered formally to Robert Gates, the US Defense Secretary, later this month, also faults officers at the intelligence analysis facility in Baghdad for failing properly to supervise the soldier and to maintain a proper degree of security to protect secrets. '

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Americans Believe GOP Should Consider Tea Party Ideas

Politics by the Numbers

The Debt Ceiling Spin Begins From the Democrats

The Corrupt Soil of Egypt

Fwd: Egyptian opinion poll

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Cindy Trout" 

'According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics. When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.

Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion.'

Fwd: Egyptian protest's organizer

From: larry.r.trout

'Said, a young businessman from Alexandria, was reportedly beaten to death by local police this summer – well before rumblings of the country's current unrest. But a Facebook page that bears his name has been one of the driving forces behind the upheaval that started last week.

The anonymous Facebook page administrator who goes by the handle El Shaheed, meaning martyr, has played a crucial role in organizing the demonstrations,

El Shaheed's Facebook page, simply named "We Are All Khaled Said," began as a campaign against torture and police brutality. But this month, shortly after the Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was brought down following weeks of grassroots protests inspired by Bouazizi's self-immolation, a post appeared on the Facebook page, announcing a day of protest in Egypt – Tuesday, Jan. 25…'

'With the next protest scheduled for that Friday, activists including El Shaheed were busy coordinating their response to what they believed would be a brutal government crackdown. A Google document with a list of demands as well as instructions for the demonstrations was, at one point, viewed at the same time by more than 200 people, altered in real-time by dozens of editors.'

It would be interesting to see the list of demands

Fwd: Largess out of the public treasury

From: larry.r.trout

The first portion (italicized above) first appeared on December 9, 1951, as part of what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson.[11] The original version was as follows:

'Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing,'

Fwd: Deficit this year

From: larry.r.trout

With a $1.5 trillion dollar deficit this year and a population of 300 million in the United States

The government will have overspent by $5000 per man, woman, and child.

If they were to pass a head tax to make up the difference, between spending and revenue

My family of 5 would need to pay $25,000 and Robert's family of 7 would need to pay $35,000.

And this would only cover the shortfall this year!

Fwd: Imagine

From: larry.r.trout

'"It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be 'difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power' and we would have a Constitution in name only."'

Re: democracy as the cure (Healthcare)

Health insurance is not the same as healthcare.  It is a question of how we should pay for healthcare.  Should healthcare be guaranteed, even though most things in society aren't?   We have public and private charities for food and housing, which we consider to be basic necessities, so maybe we should have the same for healthcare, and to some extent we do. 

The current system is bad because 3rd party payer programs have removed the concept of price, cost versus benefit, from the consumer.  This has lead to a really nice healthcare system, but one that has driven up cost.   (There are a few people who moved us toward this kind of system with the agenda of socialized medicine, because now just about everybody expects someone else to pay for their healthcare, which may be the fundamental problem with the current system.  What would happen if we just suddenly said that everybody is now responsible for paying for their own healthcare?  It would increase competition and drive down prices.)

I am suggesting that a national system of medical savings accounts, even if subsidized for those who can't afford it, would put price choices back in the hands of the consumer and lead to lower costs due to competition.  It would also guarantee portability since people would own their accounts. 

I would prefer just about anything other than the current system of using insurance companies subsidized by our employers, which to some extent ties us to our jobs and puts us at the mercy of the insurance companies.  I would even go with a single payer system, although it is far from my first choice.  I have heard horror stories out of Canada of their crummy system.  

Seems to me that Obamacare is patterned after the Swiss system of mandatory health insurance. 

Best wishes 

John Coffey

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 1, 2011, at 3:57 PM, larry.r.trout

Did you know the States can pass laws that the Federal government can't.

If the Federal law is not one of the enumerated powers, then it is an unconstitutional federal law.


From: Wendel, David J


A thought just occurred to me.  If you don't want mandatory health insurance, what are your thoughts about mandatory liability insurance on your car?


David Wendel

From: Trout, Larry R 


It was also my view, even in 2002, that to force a population into democracy at gunpoint was an oxymoron. 


Robert Updike asked me whether forcing people to buy insurance at gunpoint, was consistent with democracy.


Obviously he feels strongly about this :-)