There are several well known reasons to be wary of Newt Gingrich. His support for health care mandates and his chummy relationship with health care radical Dr. Donald Berwick, for example. No one, absolutely no one with any knowledge of Newt Gingrich, should expect a repeal of Obamacare should Newt Gingrich be the next president.
Then there is Gingrich’s support for the ethanol boondoggle, his support for cap and trade with Nancy Pelosi, and his foolish and uninformed embrace of the hoax of man-made global warming.
But the scariest thing about a Gingrich presidency is contained in the book “Breach of Trust,” by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Coburn recounts how Gingrich as Speaker of the House became overly fond of the trappings of power, such that he began to undermine the momentum for fundamental change promised in the Contract With America. Coburn describes how the fervor of the freshmen lawmakers of 1994 quickly put them at odds with Gingrich: “[He] would receive our input, but he rarely took it seriously … We were from the outside and wet behind the ears in terms of politics and we obviously didn’t know as much about history as he did. It would not take long for us to become ‘the conservatives’ to him.” And it did not take long for the Contract with America to fall into the dustbin of history.
Gingrich has become the ultimate Washington insider. The $1.6 million he made consulting for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is irrefutable evidence, if any were needed.
We have a narcissist extraordinaire in the White House now. Gingrich is every bit as narcissistic as Obama. Conservatives will rue the day they throw their support to Newt Gingrich. He sells them out every time.
I thought commercial wind turbines cost about a million dollars each to get up and running and ready to catch the wind. I didn’t even consider the added cost of getting the electricity transported to the electrical grid. Now I find I was wrong on the cost, it’s more like $3.5 million per wind turbine. That makes Google’s investment of $38 million in wind turbines, which it called its “Renewable Energy Cheaper That Coal” project, look paltry. Thirty-eight wind turbines is a not a large wind farm — each turbine can produce about 2 megawatts of electricity when the wind is blowing, none the rest of the time. At $3.5 million a copy only 11 turbines at the most would be constructed.
But Google’s $38 million was only seed money. Lots of other investors were kicking in. Google hired a guy named Bill Weihl who predicted that “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.” All producing electricity cheaper than coal-fired plants. Sounds good to me.
But like most things to do with green energy, it only sounds good. It’s not actually good at all. It’s not actually possible at all.
So who is putting up all this money for wind farms? You are, that’s who. It turns out the green energy movement, especially the wind turbine portion of it, is little more than fabulous tax shelters for wealthy Democrats. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said about Googles green energy project at the time”
“Google’s stakes in the wind farms are ‘tax equity’ investments, in which investors buy into a project and use federal tax credits granted to the project to offset their own taxes.”
Oh, and Google also announced at the time that electricity from these wind farms would not be used to power any of Googles several massive data centers. Right. After all, these data centers needs lot of reliable electricity, something wind farms cannot provide.
So now Google has thrown in the towel completely, and Bill Weihl has gone on to other boondoggles.
I used to make part of my living writing legal opinions for tax shelters, back in the days when tax shelters were the rage. In the opening paragraphs I explained how the investment would legally yield tax deductions for investors that they could take against their income from other sources. In the final paragraphs I explained the likelihood of those deductions having to be realized as income in later years if, as likely, their “capital account” in the investment fell below zero. Apparently many of them didn’t bother to read all the way through the opinion letter, or had short memories if they did, because they were often surprised and disappointed when their former tax losses were “recaptured” as income. In some circumstances the recaptured income could exceed the amount of losses previously deducted. Ouch.
I wonder if the rich Democrats making out like bandits on green energy tax shelters have thought of this. Of course, they have probably used their political connections to get the rules written in their favor so they won’t have to face such a prospect.
For more check out Steven Hayward’s piece today, More Green Energy Fail
I also recommend C.J. Box’s Cold Wind, which is a fiction novel. Like all great fiction novels, it contains large kernels of truth.
One of the biggest scandals in American politics is waiting to explode: the full story of the inside game in Washington shows how the permanent political class enriches itself at the expense of the rest of us. Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, yet it is routine among members of Congress. Normal individuals cannot get in on IPOs at the asking price, but politicians do so routinely. The Obama administration has been able to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to its supporters, ensuring yet more campaign donations. An entire class of investors now makes all of its profits based on influence and access in Washington. Peter Schweizer has doggedly researched through mountains of financial records, tracking complicated deals and stock trades back to the timing of briefings, votes on bills, and every other point of leverage for politicians in Washington. The result is a manifesto for revolution: the Permanent Political Class must go.
Click the image to go to the book’s Amazon page. The Kindle price is a reasonable $9.10.
A reviewer who gives the book 5 stars, as have 24 others, says, “The club Schweizer calls the ‘Permanent Political Class’ makes rules for itself. Members with no time to meet small business constituents do not spare any trouble to legally enrich themselves through earmarks, real estate deals, securities violations, trading on inside information, self-dealing with stimulus funds and literally every budget item.”
This scandal is in both political parties, but not equally so. One of the two parties has a far and away advantage in the game because of its ample media protection, and I don’t need to tell you which one that it is.
I’ve read these other books by Peter Schweizer that I liked:
Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine Less…and even hug their children more than Liberals
Well, you don’t actually “like” a book by Peter Schweizer because the subject matter is so appalling, you just like that he is exposing it and helping you to understand it and making you want to stop it.
A Young Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman Take on the Fatuous Bromides of Frances Fox Piven — and Demolish Them
I remember watching this on television in 1980. It was part of Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose series. This video clip demonstrates two opposing points of view between liberals and conservatives. Piven says “people are born into this world and into a certain status,” and hopelessly stay there, she thinks. Of course, American Exceptionalism is the idea that in this country that isn’t true. Most people in this country that liberals consider “rich” were born into what liberals consider “poor.” If they stayed that way liberals would like them better.
Friedman and Sowell recoil at the ideas of Piven because it’s perfectly obvious to anyone that isn’t blinded by liberal ideology that America is a land of opportunity where people can make their own outcomes. If liberals like Piven get the big government they want (gosh, I guess they’ve mostly gotten the government they always wanted now) the infringement of individual liberty will stifle social mobility and people really will be stuck in the status into which they were born.
Frances Fox Piven is the lady who supplies the “Piven” in the Cloward-Piven Strategy, a diabolical prescription to create social change through crisis, chaos and instability. As Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want to let a good crisis go to waste, because a crisis allows you to do things you could not ordinarily do.” Raising people’s taxes to confiscatory rates, destroying their freedom, and making government bigger are the things to which he was referring. That sort of thinking explains the attraction that the Occupy Wall Street contagion has for liberals.
Abraham Lincoln pre-echoed what Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell stated in the video when he said during one of the slavery debates before the civil war that in the North, unlike in the slave South, “A man labored for others last year but this year labors for himself, and next year will hire others to labor for him.” Social mobility exists here, at least it did until modern liberalism, which is the opposite of classical liberalism, came along.
See the rest of this photo essay here, Tea Party Versus the Occupiers
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
We can’t imagine any modern president, certainly not the current one, offering thanks to the “Almighty God” for the blessings of peace and happiness. At least 4 justices on the Supreme Court would be aghast at what they would probably perceive to be an unconstitutional entanglement of religion and government.
Washington clearly associates our gratitude for the blessings we enjoy with the happiness we attain. That’s interesting since most modern thinking on the successful pursuit of happiness holds that gratitude for the good things in our lives, no matter how small, is a necessary prerequisite to happiness.
A recent  television production on the History Channel titled “The Real Story of Thanksgiving” made the entirely false declaration that the system of communal property first established at the Plymouth colony protected them from starvation during their first winter in America. The truth is exactly the opposite.
First of all, a substantial number of the them did starve to death that first winter. The reason for their plight that first winter probably had nothing to do with their ideas about common property rights. They didn’t arrive in the New World until December of 1620 and they were taken by surprise at how cold and miserable it was. In 1620 the role of ocean currents in determining the weather on land was not known. Thus, the Pilgrims left England believing the weather would be similar in America because their destination was roughly the same latitude as London. They spent the first winter hovering and freezing in whatever shelter they were able to hurriedly construct immediately upon arrival. The only food they had that first winter consisted of what they brought with them, supplemented only by whatever game they may have shot in the forest [some histories of the period claim that they also found a stash of corn and ate it. If so, they truly were starving because at that time all they knew of corn was the European variety, which was pig food]. Under any system of property rights it is to be expected that a small group of people who have just endured a perilous journey together and now face a harsh cold winter in a strange land would likely share whatever they have or can gain through group or individual efforts.
But in the next few years, for those still alive, the system of property rights became a decisive factor in their success, or lack of it. Those who today attempt to bolster their sales pitch for socialism by referring to the communal system that the Plymouth colony first attempted [but soon abandoned] must ignore the actual history of the time, and the very words of William Bradford himself. This short video presents a more truthful account than the recent production on the History Channel:
The voiceover in this video pronounces all the vowels in the writing of William Bradford. That’s a little weird. There are no recordings to prove it, but it’s not likely that words in the English language were pronounced much different then they are today, even accounting for different accents. But there was no standardized spelling of words in those days. Dr. Johnson’s dictionary would not appear for another 150 years. The voiceover in the video pronounces the “e” on the end of the words that Bradford wrote. I think it is more likely that the ending “e’s” were merely a quirk of Bradford’s spelling, and were silent. Anyone who has read the Lewis and Clark journals, written almost 200 hundred years later, will be familiar with the fact that spelling was mostly an individual preference and didn’t seem to follow any universal rules.
Ever wonder why the Pilgrims arrived in December, much later than they had originally planned? It is because they had so much trouble getting the Mayflower made seaworthy and also they were resolving disputes with the London financiers of their new colony to be. They actually had two ships, neither of which was entirely seaworthy. They bought one called the “Speedwell” which became the Mayflower. Their first departure was aborted when the Speedwell began to sink soon after leaving England. They made it back to Leiden for repairs, just barely. That resulted in a late fall departure and arriving in the New World with winter in full swing. That’s the main reason, perhaps the sole reason, so many froze and starved the first year.
The final chapter is that the Plymouth Colony was not a success. The early Pilgrims that stayed and survived were eventually assimilated into the later and more successful Massachusetts Bay Colony.
See the next post, The Real Story of Thanksgiving, for more of this most terrific tale of American History.
The real story of Thanksgiving is about the Pilgrims experiment with communism, or “communalism” as it would have been called at the time, its utter failure and replacement with capitalism, and the prosperity that followed.
From Kayleigh McEnany:
We were all taught about the Pilgrims and Indians, but most of us do not know the real story of Thanksgiving — the failure of communism and the triumph of capitalism.
Long before Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, and the days of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, the Pilgrims conducted a communist experiment that exposed the system’s downfalls and led them to communism’s natural antithesis and the economic system we extol today — capitalism. The incomplete narrative we were told growing up went something like this:
In 1620, the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower and set sail for the New World. According to their leader, Plymouth Governor William Bradford, they found “cold barren desolate wilderness” upon their arrival in November. The Pilgrims endured a long, cold, and deadly winter during which half of them perished. When spring arrived, the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land, thereby saving the new settlers.
More often than not, this is where the account ends. But this is not the whole story of Thanksgiving — far from it. This was just the beginning.
Read the rest of the real story of Thanksgiving.
Junior high school math teacher Steve Coburn and his buddy Jeff Reiley, a counselor at the same middle school in Driggs, Idaho, were duck hunting. When they were done hunting they laid their 12-gauge shotguns on the floor between the seats of their extended cab pickup. The shotguns were loaded with safeties on, or so they thought. Coburn’s 6-year old yellow lab, Dexter, wasn’t feeling well and so Reiley lifted him up onto the back seat. Somehow the dog got down to the floor while Coburn was standing outside in front of the muzzle of one of the shotguns. BANG! Coburn took a round of bird shot in the stomach at point blank range. They figure the dog’s paw got in the trigger guard. The safety must not have been on, or it was a cross-bolt safety and the dog’s paw disengaged it as well as causing the trigger to engage.
This is the usual case where two (or three) different gun safety rules are violated at once resulting in disaster. Often, but not always, a violation of only one rule won’t produce a negligent discharge (no such thing as an “accidental” discharge since guns don’t fire unless someone, or someone’s dog, pulls the trigger).
The two rules violated here are putting a loaded long gun in a vehicle and failing to recognize that a safety is a mechanical device that, like all mechanical devices, can fail. Therefore, it must be considered little more than an extra measure of safety but not something to rely on exclusively. The rule of treating all guns as loaded also was violated here because one would not ordinarily stand in front of the muzzle of a loaded shotgun. That’s three violations and most of the time that’s plenty enough to make you have a bad day.
Fate’s alarm bells began to ring when the shotguns were placed in the vehicle without at least emptying the chambers of live rounds. Since they were done hunting the shotguns should have been completely unloaded. The unloading procedure would have been safer out in the woods than it was going to be back in town anyway.
Idaho apparently has no law against loaded long guns in vehicles, as most other states do. In Colorado, for instance, loaded means a round in the chamber. All hunters have to do when putting their long guns back in the truck is unload the chamber. When they exit the vehicle to hunt for game all they need do is run the bolt, lever or pump to be back in the game. I know why hunters don’t want to do that. It makes just the right sort of sound that will spook game, most of which can hear far better than us. Another reason to walk more and not hunt so close to the truck.
In all cases the long guns should be positioned so the muzzles aren’t covering anyone, man or dog, at anytime. That’s why police place their long guns in a between-the-seats rack with muzzle up (above head height), or in the trunk unloaded (supposedly).
Mr. Coburn got lucky. He’s in fair condition in the hospital.
It’s because our brains began evolving about 2 million years ago, around the time Australopithecus became extinct and Hominids started the journey from Homo Habilis to Homo Erectus, and finally to Homo Sapiens (us). Two million years is roughly 100,000 human generations. Agriculture arose only about 500 generations ago. All hominids were hunter-gatherers before that. In evolutionary time, five hundred generations is not long enough for much fundamental brain development to occur. Our brains are perfectly adapted to the hunter-gatherer existence that dominates our time line on this earth. But all we have to do is wait it out. In another say, 50,000 generations or so, our brains will be structurally well adapted to the 21st century. That will be in the year 1,002,011. The 10,020th century.
By that time we might actually have figured out how to supply our electricity needs from windmills.
*According to the Chinese who claim to have found it the skull above is 100,000 years old, or from 5,000 generations ago. Except for the razor-sharp jutting jawbone, protruding eyebrows and small forehead, it looks about like ours doesn’t it. The brain cavity is much like ours, with a prominent frontal lobe area.
After decades of government subsidies and wasting of taxpayer money renewable energy still can’t get up to providing a measly 3% of our electricity. Obama is trying to kill the coal industry (we don’t have to guess, he told us so) and he’s halting gas drilling and development wherever he can. Hydroelectric Dams are being torn down.
The country is going to go dark if Obama isn’t stopped. First our gas and electric bills will get sky high. That will be followed by brown outs leading to black outs. Obama and the media will blame it on the “obstructionist Republicans” and a “do-nothing Congress” or just bad luck. At least we won’t have to listen because we won’t be able to hear him if our electricity is off.
One of the Republican hopefuls was asked when the economy will recover. He answered that it will start to recover late on election night when America realizes that Obama is gone.
The excellent John and Abigail Adams TV series has John Adams saying, at the end of the final chapter, something along the lines of “We gave them freedom, I hope they will preserve it.”
Adams and the founding fathers carried out much of the their work to give us freedom in Massachusetts. Boston might be thought of as the cradle of liberty for America. I think someone said that once. So did we, or they who have lived and voted in Massachusetts all these years since, have they preserved their freedom?
This story in the Boston Herald, involving Obama’s Uncle Omar, might influence your answer to that question. The seminal line in the story is, “Whose side are you on? And whose side do you think the Massachusetts legal system is on?”
Also, see the comment I left there.
Sidebar: Massachusetts, you may remember, is the state where the most powerful politician in the legislature was running the Commonwealth while his brother ran the Irish Mafia, and killed anyone who threatened the power of either of them. The Mafia brother didn’t have to worry much about law enforcement because he had an old chum in the Boston FBI office looking out for him. Not just for a while, but for many years. You can read that story in The Brothers Bulger.
The global warming hoax depends upon another hoax — that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The late Ernst Georg Beck proved that it isn’t and that increases in CO2 levels do not raise the temperature of the earth. In fact all increases in CO2 levels are preceded by rising temperatures. In other words, the AGW hoaxers are telling the story backwards, blaming CO2 for a rise in earth’s temperatures when it may be precisely the opposite; it appears that a rise in the earth temperature has always come first. Since 1997 the earth has been in a cooling trend which means the earth is absorbing CO2 rather than radiating it.
Slaying the Sky Dragon, an easy to read book, explains the science of why CO2 in not a greenhouse gas and why the AGW hoaxers need for you to believe it is.
The AGW scare was always meant not to save the earth but to save government grants to university science departments and therefore salaries to scientists, and to save the ability of politicians to enact so-called carbon taxes.
But with people catching on to the hoax it’s harder to sell it. So Australian politicians have decided to just make it a criminal offense for businesses to tell anyone that the necessary price increases of the goods they sell are due to recently enacted carbon tax. Businesses who tell customers their price increase is due to the carbon tax will face fines up to One Million Dollars. Liberals have to keep people ignorant or they won’t be able to advance their agenda.
Democrat unmanned drone Steny Hoyer accuses Perry of pandering to the Tea Party to which Perry says, “Thanks, brother.”
Aside from the specific proposals of the plan it would be great if Perry would also pledge to adopt a philosophy as President along the lines of the following.
Before any Federal law or administrative agency regulation will be supported by the President or allowed to be promulgated, the following three questions must all be answered in the affirmative, (i.e., a negative response to any one of them stops all further action at the Federal level):
1) Is this something that should be done?
2) Is this something that government should do? (i.e., should it be left to the private sector?)
3) Is this something that the Federal government should do? (or is it the exclusive province of state governments?)
If three “yes” answers cannot be given with a rational explanation as to why the Federal government should be acting in this area, along with an analysis of exactly which of the 22 Federal government powers enumerated in the Constitution authorizes it, then all further action at the Federal level should cease forthwith.
That sort of approach would immediately get rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of …., Energy!
It would get rid of a lot of other things as well, such as the light bulb ban, the low-volume-multiple-flush toilet mandate, Federally mandated flow restricters in your shower head preventing you from getting the shampoo out of your hair, a whole bunch of Federal gun laws and regulations, and much more. The scope and size of the Federal government would be dramatically reduced overnight, along with Federal corruption, at least if you subscribe to the theory that government corruption is a function of the size and scope of government. The bigger, meaner, nastier the wolf at the door the more incentive people have to bribe the wolf.
This approach would eliminate the Federal government’s war on drugs everywhere except at the border. If we return to the days when each state made its own criminal drug laws the 50 state laboratories would likely find a solution to the illicit drug problem that would reduce drug use without turning the country into a police state. We could go on and on and on.
There are many skills that can be developed in life if you are able to see yourself doing whatever it is. Ansel Adams (1902-1984) wrote about the process of prevision or “pre-visualization” as the first step in making a fine art photograph. The photo he called, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” is an example of Adams working extensively with a difficult negative to finally get a print that matched the image he had in his mind when he looked at the scene and made the photograph. As he looked at the scene that evening in 1942, the light on the crosses was fading fast and he couldn’t find his light meter. He had to calculate the exposure as best he could from what he knew of the luminance of the moon. The foreground was underexposed and the highlights in the clouds were overexposed making the negative difficult to print. He worked with the negative over several years before he finally got the image that he wanted, the one that captured what he saw in his minds’ eye at the moment he released the shutter on his camera.
“Moonrise” became Ansel Adams’ most famous photograph. There are about 1,600 original prints in existence, all made by Ansel in his darkroom. One sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for over $600,000.
The same sort of pre-visualization process is applicable to all sorts of endeavors that one might seek to accomplish. As Bill Whittle says in the following video, it starts with imagination.