A Local Part Of The Chrysler Saga

According to yesterday’s Providence Journal, the Tarbox motors family has asked the Obama administration to reconsider closing their dealerships.  Tarbox Jeep is a third-generation, famility owned business in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  The dealership ranked 365th out of 3,200 dealerships nationwide at the end of March (in the top 12 % nationwide).

If the dealership closes, the state of Rhode Island will lose 55 direct jobs, $3 million in payroll and more than $2.2 million in sales tax.  Rhode Island in April 2009 had an unemployment rate of 11.1, the fourth highest in the nation.  Closing a successful car dealership does not seem like a wise move on any level.

Governor Carcieri of Rhode Island has sent a letter to President Obama stating the following:

“While you have stated this plan will give Chrysler ‘a new lease on life,’ what it does is favor the [United Auto Workers union] by giving them 55-percent majority ownership of this iconic American automotive company. Government and unions should not be in the business of running companies; the marketplace should decide which dealers survive during these difficult economic times.

“I respectfully ask you to reconsider the Chrysler plan and allow the current bankruptcy laws to prevail in the reorganization of this company going forward. Successful auto dealers, like Tarbox Jeep, are where the rubber truly meets the road. This plan bypasses their rights and deprives them and their hardworking employees the opportunity to compete for their share of the American dream.”

As a former resident of Rhode Island who remembers this dealership in a very positive light, I am hoping it will remain open.  I agree with the governmor that bankruptcy laws should be followed–not ignored.

There is a petition at Tarbox Motors.com that you can sign to protest this closing. 

Why We Do Not Want Guantanamo Inmates Imprisoned In The United States

According to Rueters.com, President Obama has stated that some Guantanamo prisoners will be transferred to top-security prisons in the United States.  He pledged not to release any detainee within the United States who would endanger Americans or threaten U.S. security.  Maybe I’m just basically a difficult person, but I don’t want any Guantanamo detainees released in the United States, period. 

There is an article in today’s New York Post about the four men arrested who were planning a terrorist attack on New York City.  They became radical Muslims while in jail.

We do not want Guantanamo inmates in American jails (even top-security jails) because:

1.  Any interaction with other prisoners could result in recruitment of more radical Muslims.

2.  There would always be a danger that some group of related terrorists would set up a hostage situation near the prison to get the prisoners released.  These people would not hesitate to take over an elementary school and start killing children–that’s what they did in Beslan, Russia.

3.  As soon as they are put in American prisons, some looney judge is going to give them all the rights of American citizens, which they are not and never were.  They are not even covered under the Geneva Convention because they are not uniformed soldiers of a country.

4.  Guantanamo is a very secure and well run prison.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

5.  If they are part of the population in an American prison, their religious dietary needs will not be met and someone will file a lawsuit!

6.  At a time when government spending is reeling out of control, we do not have the money to close down a perfectly good prison in Cuba to build a less secure one in America.

How We Get To Peace

The website for WCBS-TV in New York has a great story today. ImamShamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier came together at the 96th Street Mosque to denounce terrorism. 

Imam Shamsi Ali of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York stated, “These intended evils must be condemned, and I’m here to condemn it.” 

Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding stated, “Any attack on a Jewish religious institution is an attack on any and every religious institution.” 

The above picture is of the two men embracing during a press conference at the Mosque in New York City on Thursday.

I have no idea how representative this story is, but it is encouraging to see these two men who I believe are sincere take a step toward peace between two groups who do not usually interact well.


The Credit Card Bill

This is the link to the information on the new credit card bill at Thomas.gov.  It spells out the changes that are being made to help people with credit card debt.  You can read the bill for yourself.  There are a few things here that I think are positive:

1.  The 45-day notice on interest rate changes.

2.  Prohibits a creditor from opening a credit card account for any college student who: (1) has no verifiable annual gross income; or (2) already maintains a credit card account with that creditor, or any affiliate.

This is a mixed blessing.  My kids used credit cards in college when they had no verifiable income.  A better idea might have been to cap the credit level of a college student at a very low level, and I believe there is something similar to that in the bill.

3.  Prohibits extensions of credit to consumers under age 18, unless they are emancipated under state law, or the consumer’s parent or legal guardian is designated as the primary account holder.

The above three aspects of the bill are good ideas.  The question comes on how they will be implemented.  It will also be interesting to see what the credit card companies do to make up for the income they will lose by not being able to raise interest rates on a moment’s notice.  The Congress has done what it can to make credit cards more consumer-friendly, let’s see what the credit card companies do in response.

More On The Chrysler Bailout

According to today’s Financial Times, three Indiana state pension funds have gone to court to fight the government’s bankruptcy plan for Chrysler, stating:

“In a court filing on Wednesday, the Indiana funds accused the government of adopting a strategy of “the ends justify the means”.

They also said the Treasury “has taken constructive possession of Chrysler and is requiring it to adopt a sale plan in bankruptcy that violates the most fundamental principles of creditor rights – that first-tier secured creditors have absolute priority”.”

George Schultze of Schultze Asset Management stated that he felt their actions could galvanize other lenders to renew their challenge.  The charge against the settlement is that it violates the most fundamental principles of creditor rights – that first-tier secured creditors have absolute priority.  The funds have requested that the case be heard in district court instead of bankruptcy court.

There is only one outcome of this case that fits the guidelines in the US Constitution regarding property rights.  It will be interesting to see if the case has that outcome.

Home-Grown Terrorism

Today’s New York Daily News has the story on the four would-be terrorists attempting to blow up two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down a plane carrying supplies to our soldiers.  Thank God they were total amateurs and had been infiltrated by the FBI, who gave them phony weapons. 

This group was not connected to any other terrorist group, but had they been successful, that really would not have made any difference in the result.  According to the article:

“Among those arrested was (James) Cromitie, of Newburgh, who is the son of an Afghan immigrant and his African-American wife.

Cromitie, who also called himself Abdul Rahman, has served a long stretch in prison.

David Williams, Onta Williams and Leguerre Payen – his alleged henchmen – were busted with him. Cromitie allegedly recruited them at the Newburgh mosque.”

We need to be aware of what is going on in our prisons and in our mosques.  The majority of Muslim religious leaders may be peaceful, but evidently there are a few who are not.  I know it is not a popular idea, but we need to monitor what is going on in our mosques and in our prison religious services.  This would be a sad day if these man had succeeded in their goals.

Denial At Work

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the Iranian missle test and what it means to the world.  Iran launched a  Sajjil-2, a solid-fuel, surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,200 miles, far enough to strike at southeastern Europe.  A threat assessment by a team of Russian and American analysts says the Iranian menace is overblown and a missile defense futile.  I don’t even know where to begin with that statement.  The Russians have technically supported Iran’s missle and nuclear programs for years, why are we asking them to evaluate the threat?

The article states that:

“According to a new report, this isn’t supposed to be happening. The Washington Post on Tuesday reported on the results of a year-long study on the military threat to Europe from Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. The team of six Russian and six American technical experts brought together by the EastWest Institute concluded no threat exists and that a defense against it wouldn’t work anyway.”

This is unbelievable and irresponsible.  The editorial points out that during World War II, there were only six months between America producing weapons-grade nuclear material and detonating the first atomic bomb–and that was when the technology was new!

The article also points out that Iran has rockets capable of launching satellites–any country capable of launching a satellite is capable of delivering a bomb anywhere in the world.  It may not be a really good idea to slowly try to make friends with these people.  While we are making friends, they are planning for our destruction.

State Governments Are Waking Up

WIBC in Indianapolis is reporting today that the State of Indiana will no long invest on bonds issued by banks and automakers who have accepted federal bailout money.  State Treasurer Richard Mourdock stated that since the government rewrote the rules of bankruptcy in the Chrysler bailout, the state lost $ 5.6 million dollars in investments.  The bondholders are supposed to be at the front of the line when a company goes bankrupt.  In the case of Chrysler, the government rewrote the rules, the bondholders got 29 cents on the dollar.  The unions, who were unsecured creditors, got more.  That is illegal according to the laws of bankruptcy, but the government pushed it through anyway.

I am sure savvy private investors are thinking the same thing.  Why should you put any money into a company if the laws of bankruptcy (which previously protected your investment to some extent) are no long followed?  This sort of bankruptcy manipulation is going to have a very negative impact in investment in this country.  Why should any of us invest when we are in danger of losing the value of our investment because of government intervention to protect their pet special interest groups?

The Unintended Consequences Of Tax Increases

Today’s New York Post ran an opinion piece today by Tom Golisano on why he is leaving New York State.  He states in the article:

“Politicians like to talk about incentives — for businesses to relocate, for example, or to get folks to buy local. After reviewing the new budget, I have identified the most compelling incentive of all: a major tax break immedi ately available to all New Yorkers. To be eligible, you need do only one thing: move out of New York state.”

When Rush Limbaugh announced in March of this year that he was moving all of his business operations out of New York State afer Governor Paterson raised taxes, Governor Paterson replied by saying, “If I knew that would be the result, I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.” (according to the New York Times).  This is the political equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Rush, unfortunately, may be the leader of what may become an exodus out of the state by people who are able to relocate their businesses and business interests.  This will lower tax revenues rather than increasing them.

According to his calculations, Mr. Golisano will save $13,800 every day by moving to Florida.  This is money that he can invest to create jobs, spend to help charities, invest for his or his family’s future, or use in any way he sees fit.  He earned it; he should have the right to spend it.

We need to pay attention to incidents like this one–raising taxes does not increase government revenues or create wealth.  Raising taxes puts a drag on any economy and slows down or prevents growth.  Raising taxes at the national level will have the same negative effect on the nation’s economy.   

Legislation Has Consequences

According to yesterday’s Investor’s Business Daily, even though Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey have modified their cap-and-trade global warming bill, the the Gross Domestic Production cost of their new regime jumps from $7.4 trillion from 2012 through 2035 to $9.6 trillion.


This chart (from the Heritage Foundation) shows the impact the legislation will have.  According to the Heritage Foundation, under the new legislation gasoline prices are expected to jump by 74%, natural gas by 55% and electricity by 90%.  The rise in energy prices will result in higher unemployment and lower incomes.  Our spending power as people will decrease as corporations raise prices to compensate for their increased energy costs.

According to the article:

“It’s conceivable that a cap-and-trade regime — or a carbon tax, which would likely generate similar GDP losses — could create permanent economic stagnation.

Economies grow best when the tax burden is low. But economies are handicapped when the burden is high, and cap-and-trade (indirectly) and a carbon tax (directly) increase that burden. As Myron Ebell, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s director of energy and global warming policy, noted, this would be the “biggest tax increase in history.””

I am hoping that the American economy can survive the good intentions of some of the people currently serving in our Congress.

Dealing With The Unthinkable

As a history buff, I have heard it said over the years that American and western Europe were horrible in that they did not respond quickly enough to stop what Hitler was doing in the concentration camps.  I would like to address that and to relate it to something that is happening now.  Beginning in 1933, Hitler set out to rid Germany of its Jewish population.  Dachau opened in March of 1933, originally used for political opponents,  The first death camp opened in 1941 and the five other Polish death camps began operating in 1942.  Although it would have been impossible for the immediate neighbors of these camps not to know what was going on there, I also believe it would have been impossible for them to do anything about it.  By 1941 Hitler had so consolidated his power that to oppose him in any way meant death.  But let’s widen the picture.  I am not sure anyone in Europe or the United States believed the stories that were coming out of Germany.  There are some things we just don’t want to believe that people are capable of.  That is not an excuse–it’s just a fact.

Today we are listening to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threaten to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ on a fairly regular basis.  We are watching as he plays cat and mouse with the UN in hiding his nuclear program–claiming he only wants peaceful nuclear energy.  We are seeing rocket testing in his country for longer range rockets as he continues to claim that he is only building up his military for defensive purposes.  At some point (probably within three years) this man will have nuclear weapons.  It is unthinkable to the average American that he would use them.  We also need to remember that by the time he obtains a nuclear weapon, he may have the rocket technology to deliver that weapon (or weapons) anywhere in the world.  American, in his mind, is ‘the great satan’; Israel is ‘the little satan’.  We have no reason to believe that if he is capable of launching a nuclear weapon against us, he will not hesitate to do so. 

America has had nuclear weapons for more than fifty years, and we have only used them once–to end a war.  We inflicted massive civilian casualties, but saved many lives by taking away the need for a land invasion of Japan, which would have caused even more death and hardship.  Anyway, my point is this.  Are we reacting to the threat of a nuclear attack on Israel by Iran the same way we reacted to the initial reports of the concentration camps?  Is the thought so horrible that we are in denial? 

Voting With Your Feet

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece by ARTHUR LAFFER and STEPHEN MOORE about the states who are planning to raise taxes to cover budget deficits.  According to the article:

“Lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Oregon want to raise income tax rates on the top 1% or 2% or 5% of their citizens. New Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn wants a 50% increase in the income tax rate on the wealthy because this is the “fair” way to close his state’s gaping deficit.”

Interesting idea, but as usual we come right up against the ‘law of unintended consequences’.   Mr. Laffer and Mr. Moore recently did a study for the American Legislative Exchange Council entitled “Rich States, Poor States.”  The study, published in March, showed that the tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.

The article points out that when you continually raise taxes on ‘the rich’, they relocate to places where the taxes are lower.  Since ‘the rich’ are usually people who generate jobs, any jobs they provide move with them.  New Jersey is cited as an example of what happens when taxes are continually raised–in the 1960’s New Jersey had no state income tax and no sales tax.  It was a state that was growing rapidly and consistently had budget surpluses.  Today New Jersey has income and sales taxes that are among the highest in the nation and the state has growing budget deficits.  People are leaving the state because of the excessive tax burden.

As some states (including Massachusetts) look to raising taxes as a solution to their economic woes, they might want to consider that raising taxes may be the problem–not the solution.

President Obama Meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

There was an historic two-hour meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House today.  The Washington Times reported that President Obama expressed concern about Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons.  Prime Minister Netanyahu said that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a grave danger to Israel.

There has been much pressure put on Israel for a ‘two-state solution’.  Until the Palestinians acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist, I am not sure that this is a reasonable goal.  The increase of anti-Jewish sentiment around the world at this time is troubling.  The dictatorships in the Arab world are much better at manipulating the media than the democracies of the western world, and I believe the rise of anti-semitism around the world is a result of that.

The Changing Policy Positions On Guantanamo Are Amazing

According to The Hill, Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has changed his position and now thinks an artificial deadline to close Guantanamo is not a good idea.  Senator Webb also opposes bringing any detainees to American soil.  He stated that:

“We spend hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases,” Webb said. “There are cases against international law. These aren’t people who were in the United States, committing a crime in the United States.  These are people who were brought to Guantanamo for international terrorism.  I do not believe they should be tried in the United States.”

The wisdom of the policies of George Bush regarding the war on terror is beginning to shine forth.  This is an interesting statement for a variety of reasons, first, when George Bush was President, the Senate wanted Guantanamo closed down ‘yesterday’, now that the facility is under President Obama, they don’t seem to be in such a hurry.  One reason might be that the political advantage in screaming for Guantanamo’s closing is gone.  Another reason might be that any Senator or Representative that ends up housing terrorists in his (or her) district is not going to be popular with the people who live there. 

Jed Babbin reported in Human Events in April of this year that the White House lawyers were refusing to accept the findings of an inter-agency committee that the Uighur Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay are too dangerous to release inside the U.S.  President Obama had planned to settle the Uighurs in Virginia somewhere and give them financial aid to help them get settled.  I don’t think it is a coincidence that Jim Webb is the Senator from Virginia and that he has gone on the record as wanting a slowdown on the closing of Guantanamo and no resettlement of terrorists in this country.  This situation should be interesting to watch.

The Preakness

Today’s Washington Post posted an article today by Lisa Rein about the changes that had been made at the Preakness race track for yesterday’s race.  The infield of the race had been known as an all-day party with rowdiness as a routine part of the menu.  The racetrack sought to change that by banning spectators from bringing their own beverages into the infield.  They wanted to restore some civility to the area (ending the topless women and flying beer cans).

One racing fan on Facebook protested the move–according to the article:

“Ryan Goff, 24, a Baltimore resident who works in media marketing and started one of many Facebook groups that protested the change. “What’s the point of going?” someone wrote on one of the pages. “As if there’s some reason to be there other than drinking and partying.” “

But there was another viewpoint also:

“For all the criticism, the new policy also drew some new spectators. Mark Lennon, 30, who works at the University of Baltimore Law School, said he had stayed away from the infield for years because of its rowdy reputation.

“I was hesitant to come,” Lennon, of Baltimore, said. “I’d like the day to be about the actual event, which is horses.””

In watching the event, I noticed that all the owners were in suits and ties and looked very formal.  The beginning of civility in the infield initially has caused a serious attendance drop, but hopefully that will be reversed.  I credit the officials at the Pimlico Race Course for their efforts to bring civility back to the race.

Hate Crimes

Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe has posted an editorial today about the hate crimes legislation that is working its way through Congress.  He points out that the particular crimes that inspired the law were already illegal, and the people who committed them were either jailed or executed.  Adding ‘hate’ to the charges really won’t make a difference–the victims are still dead and the people who committed the crime are still in jail.

Mr. Jacoby states in his editorial:

“Hate-crime laws serve a symbolic function, not a practical one: They proclaim that crimes fueled by certain types of bias are especially repugnant. But that is the same as proclaiming that crimes fueled by other types of bias, or by motives having nothing to do with bias, are not quite as awful. Is that a message any decent society should wish to promote?”

He also points out that the proposed law would make it possible that a person who committed a ‘hate crime’ would be tried at the federal level as well as at the state level.  This is illegal under the US Constitution–the Fifth Amendment’s protects against double jeopardy.

This law is another example of Congress and ‘the law of unintended consequences’.  What they might have meant to do was to point out how horrible crimes which are the result of bigotry or hate are.  What they have done instead is to inject the federal government into local law enforcement issues and ignore the Constitution.

Mr. Jacoby ends his editorial with this thought: 

“The best hate-crimes bill Congress can pass is none at all. But if we are going to have such laws, why limit them to only four, or eight, categories of victims? Let Congress expand the pending legislation to include every crime of violence – regardless of the attacker’s motive, or of the group the victim belonged to. Murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, let us learn to see them all as crimes of “hate” – not the criminal’s hate for his victim, but society’s hate for the crime.”

I agree. 

Smoke and Mirrors In The Healthcare Debate

According to Politico, Richard Umbdenstock, President of the American Hospital Association said Thursday that the agreement on reducing healthcare spending had been misrepresented by the White House.  According to the article:

“But in a conference call Thursday, President Richard Umbdenstock told 230 member organizations that the agreement had been misrepresented. The groups, he said, had agreed to gradually ramp up to the 1.5 percentage-point target over 10 years — not to reduce spending by that much in each of the 10 years.”

This may simply be a misunderstanding, but it is important.  We were lead to believe that the healthcare meeting at the White House was a wonderful unified meeting that accomplished laying the foundation for going ahead with improving our healthcare (read as socialized medicine).  That is not true, and many healthcare workers are concerned about what nationalizing healthcare will mean. 

If you are interested in seeing what nationalized healthcare brings to the countries currently using it, please see THE COST OF FREE GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE at the American Thinker website.  If you are under forty and healthy, it may work for you, but if you are over forty and have any serious health issues, it will probably do you more harm than good.

The Lack Of Common Sense In The Middle East

I’m sure almost everyone in the world would like to see peace in the Middle East (I’m sure there are a few terrorists that may be the exception–they want to see peace–but only after the country of Israel is destroyed).  But let’s not let the desire for peace overrule common sense.  The Associated Press (hosted by google) is reporting that Jordan’s king, King Abdullah II, is urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state as a way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.  It sounds nice.  It sounds fair, but the historical record does not show that the idea will work. 

When Israel gave up it’s land and the greenhouses which provided income to the residents of the land, the Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses.  When international organizations gave humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, they spent it on guns and rockets.  They used their new land as a base to launch rockets into Israel.  It has been documented that in the last war with Israel, the Palestinians used civilians as shields to make Israel look as if it were committing human rights violations.  The charges of ‘war crimes’ were investigated, and Israel was cleared.  Why in the world do we think the Palestinians, if given their own country, will let Israel live in peace?

The American Thinker posted an article on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict recently.  It points out that:

“Shortly after the conclusion of the First World War and the total defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which had ruled most of the Middle East for 400 years, Britain was made trustee by the League of Nations for the whole of the geographical area known as Mandatory Palestine. Incorporated within the Mandate was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which specifically referred to the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the moral validity of reconstituting within it the Jewish National Home.

The British Mandatory power, however, arbitrarily tore away 80% of the Palestine Mandate in 1921 giving it to the Hashemites, a Bedouin tribe with links to Mecca. Only the land west of the River Jordan remained from the original territory promised to the Jewish people as a National Home.”
The Palestinians never had a land–it belonged to Israel.  Walid Shoebat has been quoted as saying, “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”  He has also said, “No one (Arab or Jew) has a “right of return”. Jews who fled Arab persecution from 1948 to 1956 should have no right of return to Arab lands, and Arabs who ran away in 1948 and 1967 should have no right of return either. This should end all argument. Yet the Jews accept this judgment, while the Arabs reject EVERYTHING.”
The game that is being played here will not bring peace–it will destroy Israel. 

The CIA vs Nancy Pelosi

There is a fairly detailed account of the dustup between the CIA and Nancy Pelosi in tomorrow’s Washington Times.  Basically, it’s becoming a ‘he said, she said’ story.  Unfortunately, I suspect there is much more to come.  There are a few things to remember here.  First, it is not a good idea to get into a fight with the CIA–they keep very detailed records and have been known to leak things that are to their advantage.  They are quite capable of strongly inflencing public opinion by what they leak and when they leak it.  To accuse them of lying is rather foolish.  Second, to anyone who actually believes that this will be the end of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, remember–it’s different with the Democrat party–she’ll be there as long as the Democrat party has the majority.  I would love to be wrong about this, but I don’t think I am.  In this matter, because President Obama released the ‘torture’ memos, the Democrats have formed a circular firing squad, I suggest that someone yell, “Fire!”.

Things We Need To Consider Before Relying On Alternative Energy Sources

The Detroit News ran an article today about a $900,000 ‘green’ house owned by the City of Troy which was built to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.  The house was built with no electrical or gas hookups to prove that it is possible to build an entirely ‘green’ house.  What happened next shows what happens when people use new technology without taking into consideration the need for backup systems.

The house has never opened to the public.  The pipes froze in the winter, causing  $16,000 in damage to floors.  According to the article:

“Jeff Biegler, superintendent of parks for the city, said the flooding occurred from a glitch in the heater.

“The system was designed to kick a heater on to keep water from freezing,” Biegler said. “The heater drew all reserve power out of the battery causing the system to back down and the pipes froze.””

There is an alternate explanation cited in the article:

Joe Veryser, an associate dean of architecture at the university, said he heard otherwise.

“What I heard repeatedly was that somebody turned off the breaker during the winter and forgot to turn it back on, which caused the pipes to freeze and then break.”

Either way, we have a way to go before we can build an affordable, practical, working ‘green’ house, and as we hear all the ruckus about using energy, we need to keep that fact in mind.  Most Americans cannot afford a $900,000 house, particularly one where the pipes freeze. 

You Have To Be A Secure Man To Fight The Taliban In Pink Underwear

If you haven’t ssen the picture yet, please click on the link to NBCDFW News.  Zachary Boyd was sleeping when someone opened fire on his base in Afghanistan, and he didn’t have time to put on his uniform or boots.  The front page of Tuesday’s New York Times has a picture of him fighting the taliban in pink boxer shorts that say I ‘heart’ NY.  Sometimes it really doesn’t matter what you wear, you just have to do something now!

Things We Weren’t Told About The Bank Bailout

Judicial Watch and Power Line have recent posts on the October 13, 2008, government meeting with the major banks which allowed the government to take $250 billion equity stakes.  Through a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request, Judicial Watch has obtained some of the major documents relating to that meeting.  The documents show Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, FDIC Chairman Shelia Blair, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke co-hosted the meeting with Paulson.

There is a lot here–pressure put on the banks–opting out was not allowed, making sure the poeple who feared ‘nationalizing the banks’ were kept quiet, and notifying the Presidential candidates (but not able to reach McCain).  The situation is frightening, but the fact that without Judicial Watch’s FOIA Request we would know none of this is even more frightening.

Please follow both links and read both articles.  We are on a runaway train here, and the only way to stop it is for people to be informed about what is happening behind the scenes.

Facts Get In The Way Of Politics On Global Warming Legislation

My favorite climate-change information site, wattsupwiththat.com, has the story on the memo leaked by the Office of Management and Budget showing that Carbon Dioxide has ‘no demonstrated direct health effects’.  Whoops!  The memo states:

“An EPA finding last month that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health rests on dubious assumptions and could have negative economic impacts, a memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) warned.

The memo has no listed author but is marked “Deliberative-Attorney Client Privilege.” A spokesman for OMB told Dow Jones Newswires that the brief is a “conglomeration of counsel we’ve received from various agencies” about the EPA finding, the conclusions of which would trigger regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The author(s) of the memo suggest the EPA did not thoroughly examine the relationship between greenhouse gases and human health.

In the absence of a strong statement of the standards being applied in this decision, there is concern that EPA is making a finding based on…’harm’ from substances that have no demonstrated direct health effects,” the memo says, adding that the “scientific data that purports to conclusively establish” that link was from outside EPA.”

If there is no danger from Carbon Dioxide, why regulate it or tax it?  Please follow the link to the entire article.  There is a video and a chart to add to the discussion!!

Wage Controls Are Brewing

One of the hallmarks of a free economy is the ability to achieve anything you desire based on your own ability and talent.  That’s why celebrities are paid so much more than the rest of us.  That is why people work hard to get an education that goes past the minimum requirement.  That is also why financial risk takers are highly rewarded–they take financial risks.  It’s called incentive.  It is also a part of human nature that people will work harder if they know they will be rewarded for it.  That is part of what keeps an economy growing–people willing to take risks and people being rewarded for hard work and risk taking.  I challenge you to find someone with an income over $225,000 per year (I believe that’s Obama’s latest target for increased taxes) who works a simple forty-hour week.  Anyway, that is part of the foundation of our economy.

The free economy is about to be challenged.  Yesterday’s American Thinker published an article by Rick Moran stating the following:

“At the same time, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) is working on legislation that could strengthen the government’s ability both to monitor compensation and to curb incentives that threaten a company’s viability or pose a systemic risk to the economy.

Among ideas being discussed are Fed rules that would curb banks’ ability to pay employees in a way that would threaten the “safety and soundness” of the bank — such as paying loan officers for the volume of business they do, not the quality. The administration is also discussing issuing “best practices” to guide firms in structuring pay.”

This is the beginning of government wage controls.  I wonder what impact that will have on people vying for admission to some of our more prestigious colleges.  If you can’t make enough money to pay your $60,000 a year tuition, are you willing to pay the tuition?  The economy will thrive if the government restraints are taken off.  Any restraints on capitalism need to come from individual morality and ethics.  Maybe that is where we need to make the change.