November 30, 2009

Global Warming Perfidy

CARPE DIEM has a great summary on The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Age (referring to global warming). The lies have long ago been exposed, but it took a hacker to get some traction on a scientific community that has given up on it's own true value and become a bunch of hucksters trying to swindle the world.

What makes this an even more eye opening situation is the implications beyond global warming. Scientists are supposed to be impartial discoverers of new things, using an impartial scientific method to ascertain new knowledge. But apparently they can't hold themselves up to that level. Politics, corruption, personal subjectivity all play a part in their modus operendi. As a community they should be bending over backwards now to fix their image if they EVER want to be taken seriously again. Otherwise they will be regarded with the same skepticism as lawyer, used car salesmen and politicians.

Which brings us to the broader implication. If they are supposed to be impartial, what does that say for other supposedly impartial groups within society - like say judges who, rather than being what they are supposed to be - referees - decide that they need to be activists, moving the interpretation of legislation in a direction they might personally desire?

What does it mean for terms like revenue neutral when applied to health care reform? Who determines that neutrality? Do they have political agendas as well?

Of course they do. Everyone has views and preferences. Might I suggest that anything that goes on from a national interest perspective, from legal interpretations, to carbon taxes to revenue neutrality be subject to a burden of proof if it passes? How about making legislation subject to verification? Failure to meet agreed upon benchmarks should mean revocation of any legislation. Wouldn't that be novel?

Which brings us full circle to global warming. If there's doubt that the validity of the problem exists (and there's plenty), shouldn't the burden of proof lie in the case for legislation and not the case against it? Never mind this 'insurance policy' business if the claims are a hoax. And the burden of proof, given the suspicions of the scientific community must be a little bit more than a peer review as alarmists want to push. This is putting the fox in charge of the hen house, and that makes all of us a bunch of drumsticks.

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

The reality of entrenchment versus the policy of hope

President Obama has real problems - a floundering economy with a recovery that has been touted but not felt, chief among them. He has double digit unemployment with any sign of real relief being years away from reaching the level of Bush's "jobless recovery". He has a war on terror that he won't end just yet but really, really wants to end - for those of you on the far left. He has a health care vision that most of the country does not share but that he is hell bent on imposing. He has serious debt problems and a handy credit card in the American taxpayer. He has had problems vetting his staff. He has had problems with supporting a phony global warming ponzi scheme that is finally being outed (a thaw in the insanity, if you will). He's got dropping popularity that I'm going to predict will not recover before the 2010 elections.

Those problems are real. As a Democratic President he's got two basic choices in how to deal with the political swamp he charged into - pragmatic solutions, or dogmatic ones. The previous two Democratic Presidents offer a glimpse into the divergent outcomes.

Bill Clinton, after starting down a progressive path with the help of Hillary. He was rebuffed by voters in 1994 and forced to deal with the first Republican Congress in decades. He even declared that the era of big government was over. That he likely didn't want it to be over, is immaterial. He had to govern from the center to stay in power, or he could dig in his heels and likely govern for only 2 more years and accomplish nothing. He chose the former option and won re-election. He likely held the belief that his role was to move the yardstick markers just a little to the left instead of way down the field. After all, the era of big government was not, and clearly is not, history. So he could be argued to have furthered the liberal cause.

Then there's Jimmy Carter. More devoutly liberal than devoutly Christian, and certainly more devoutly liberal than Bill Clinton. Carter was weak on national defence, he emphasized conservation over either consumption, investment or development and innovation. He was not friendly with Israel, he was ineffectual (at best) in the Iranian hostage crisis, and he was simply weak at home and abroad. Many times in the past year Obama's presidency has been compared to that of Carter's. The one thing that has been lacking is stagflation and the infamous misery index. They are quite possibly on the way. It's bad news for the country if stagflation occurs but given the path the country has been put on, it might be unavoidable in the short term. What might be the end result of this for the GOP in 2012, is a revisiting of the Reagan campaign slogan from 1980:

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

The answer will be a resounding 'no' if as expected, the inflation kicks in and unemployment is still hovering at or near 8%. It means that Obama could conceivably follow the Carter one term path. There's ample evidence he will do just that, as opposed to the Clinton path of moving his executive direction towards the center. The reality of the entrenchment of Obama's dogma seemingly supersedes the issue of pragmatism, and even that of his campaign message of hope.

From the perspective of the pragmatic, important state electoral losses in Virginia and New Jersey for the Democrats have apparently done nothing to alter the President's course. If he wanted to be pragmatic, he would eat a little humble pie with the American voters instead of foreign leaders. But sober reflection it seems, only involves navel gazing at America's supposed wrongs, and does not extend to the mistakes made by the current administration. Voter outrage they rationalize, will be assuaged only by passage of the dogmatic liberal agenda. How else can one explain the unrelenting determination to try a confessed terrorist in a N.Y. courtroom instead of with a military tribunal? How else do you explain the blind allegiance to a forged global warming crisis? Or a steadfast effort to pass an unpopular and unwieldy health care bill?

Even the hope he sold his followers on it seems, is secondary to his vision. Unemployment has risen and will stay high for the foreseeable future. National debt has soared. Taxes and fees will be on the rise very soon. Inflation with all the extra money in circulation is bound to rise. And the central Obama vision - the promise of universal health care is mired in a detail nightmare that apparently requires thousands of pages to be made real. That is a Vietnam-level quagmire, never mind Iraq (which, hey, we won). Hope it seems is subordinated to the policy of radical progressivism. The thinking behind that must be the same as all Democratic thinking. It goes something like this; hope springs eternal. Hope can always be re-packaged and re-sold because when people are down and out, the only thing left often, is hope. The Democrats will position themselves as they always have - yes, we've made progress but we didn't have enough money, enough time and/or enough of an electoral majority to enact everything we needed to enact. The solution - give us more of each and this time we really will deliver. It seems a key difference between a liberal voter and a conservative voter is how many times you can pull the wool over their eyes.

Democrats believe voters can be sold a bill of goods like they were with welfare, Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. Those programs solved everything right? Especially year after year when the programs associated with them were compounded and grew ever larger. There's no more poverty. There's no more missing health care for Seniors and the under-privileged, right? Wait, what? Wasn't that the reason for the need for Obamacare?

Democrats can fool themselves into an ultra liberal course of action. They can even force the country down that path unwillingly. But in the end redressing the issues for voters can begin, if the Republicans have the nerve to ask that one simple question, starting in 2010 and being unrelenting through 2012 - Are you better off than you were four years ago?

November 28, 2009

Great Conservative Speeches #1 - Reagan

A time for choosing. The launch of Reagan.  It was before my time, but it's such a terrific speech.

November 27, 2009

The Carefully Choreographed Health Care Dance

The Democrats have fooled us. With each step towards health care I have been convinced that the deal is done, even while arguing for renewed opposition to it. The fact remains that it keeps moving forward. Despite the Tea Parties, the town hall opposition, and the 9/12 march on Washington, it kept moving. Despite the vote in Congress looking like it would fail it squeaked through when 3 vote changes would have stopped it.

Despite the host of Senators who had issues the Senate got the 60 votes to open debate.

Now that debate is opened in the Senate, overcoming resistance gets easier. Not only can Harry Reid throw money at resistance but the true choreographed theatrical dance can begin in earnest. Where the media, both mainstream and conservative, have projected the outcome will follow a very difficult fight that either side could win. Health care is no done deal they say. I'm skeptical. Each hurdle while supposedly daunting, has been overcome at the 11th hour on a Saturday night. Coincidence? Could be.

But consider this - the Democrats could be staging this whole process to make it look like vigorous debate is occurring.

They have plenty of reasons to do so. It protects them in case it does fail. They have the "we tried" argument for 2010 and could use it to push for bigger majorities in the November elections. Meanwhile it provides cover for Democrats in red districts. They can vote against it in significant numbers and it will still pass, ostensibly without harming them locally. Those who voted against it can even vote for now it saying their concerns have been addressed.

Another reason they would want to make it look like it won't easily be passed is to channel the efforts of their opponents in a way they can control. If people are focused on the problems of the most recent version of the bill Democrat leadership can keep the focus away from where it really needs to be - procedural methods of stopping the bill AND the next version of the bill to be put forward because the current versions to date are definitely not the final version that will go to the President.

Is everyone being manipulated into believing the carefully choreographed health care dance? Could be. It's devious. It's ruthless. Sounds like a few Democrats I could name. As always though, that's no reason to give up. If it's true, it simply means we need to be a little smarter strategically in fighting what amounts to the wrong idea, at the wrong time and at the wrong price.

The good news is that if I'm wrong, then this albatross actually is a lot harder to hang around the neck of the nation than I believe and there's still a good shot at stopping it.

Get A Grip on Your Spending, Washington!

This movie is a must see for anyone who cares about the United States and what it means for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For more, click this post title to go to the source website.

There really is still a War on Terror.

Ample evidence exists that the War on Terror is alive and well, even if it is only one side - the bad guys - who are fighting it. Today marks the one year anniversary of the terror attacks on Mumbai by Islamic radicals that killed 166 people. In India vigils were held along with calls for a death penalty to the lone surviving terrorist, who is currently standing trial.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, seven men suspected, were FINALLY indicted in the crime.

The so called Man Caused Disaster at Fort Hood underscores to the public that these problems are not going to go away. They must be addressed. Jihad does not come to you because of your actions - it comes because of who you are. No amount of bowing, apologizing and embracing of tin pot dictators is going to change that. It does not go away.

Those radicals who want to destroy America haven't seen the light shining around Obama. The see only an opportunity. Their hatred, their evil has not, will not be, dissipated by kindness. They do not ascribe to liberty. The ascribe to a belief that all must be faithful believers in their twisted murderous thuggish ideology or suffer the consequences - death. That is the fundamental difference that George Bush, Dick Cheney et. al. understood, and the current troupe does not.

Speaking with Ahmedinejad has not stopped Iran's march towards nuclear arms. Jihadists are similarly driven; by an Islam-or-death mentality.

This problem, unlike global warming, will not suddenly vanish in a puff of logic. It is permanent. Radical ideology can not be defeated by logic or Karl Marx wouldn't be laughing in his grave at the U. S. today. Radical ideology can only be contained, with tremendous effort that involves diplomacy, military effort and eternal vigilance.

For the Democrats it appears that is too high of a cost. They seemingly would rather suffer the scars of occasional attrition al attacks than pay the price of preparedness. That is their choice. Thankfully, as a result of American belief in liberty, the American voter has a choice as well.

Great Conservative Speeches #2 - Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill, on national resolve in the face of adversity. A highly remembered and referenced speech.  "We shall fight on the beaches" is an almost universally known piece of history.  Churchill understood the evils of both facism and communism.  Despite being a wartime Prime Minister, Churchill was a bigger figure than just that, and deserved more time at the helm of Great Britain.

That makes 2 of the top 3 speeches so far, and 3 of the top 10, British.  Number one will be revealed tomorrow.

Friday Musical Interlude - November 27, 2009

Musical composition. Enough said.

Paul McCartney and Wings - Band on the Run

November 26, 2009

Great Conservative Speeches #3 - Thatcher

The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher in 1975.  she was Britain's counterpart to Reagan and evry bit as solid a conservative. Another lion of conservatism, her she is prior to her Prime Ministership with a short but worthy speech.

Turkeys - Uninvited Guests at the State Dinner

The President had his first state dinner last night, and there were some uninvited guests who bluffed their way in, dressed as attendees. They weren't terrorists, or rather, disaster-causing persons. Rather, they were people wanting apparently, to have some cool pictures to put on their Facebook page.

What does it say about the pre-9/11 mentality of the Democratic elite, if anything? I would be prone to let this one slide if the Fort Hood tragedy hadn't just happened. This was an innocuous event in its own light, but if it were possible I'd be willing to bet $10,000 that this would not have happened on Thanksgiving in 2001 had there been a state dinner (?).

I'd been no fan of Bush on domestic issues since 2005, other than perhaps the earlier tax cuts, but I have to give him credit on national security. Whether you agree with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or not (and many Democrats were for the war before they were against it), Bush kept the country safe and I'd be hard pressed to believe this type of mistake would have happened on his watch.

Obama on national security? Lackadaisical? At a minimum. Misguided? Apparently so. Dangerous? Increasingly evident. While the press will laugh this off (even while the Facebook Crashers might face felony charges), national security, indeed the security of White House officials up to and including the President is nothing to laugh at. The Secret Service rightly has egg on their face over this screw up. But so does the White House mentality. This mistake would not have been allowed to happen 8 years ago. Vigilance was in vogue. Now it's disinterest that reigns.

The Facebook Crashers were no doubt being foolish in their actions but the current attitude of the party in power is the real turkey in all of this.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

November 25, 2009

Hoffman Officially Calls it Quits in NY's 23rd Congressional District

For those of you keeping score, here's the notice on his website

Hoffman ran a low key campaign but garnered some high profile endorsements, minus that of Gingrich including Gingrich late in the game.  He's not giving up on 2010 though.  Meanwhile the GOP should learn some lessons really quickly.  They need to reconnect with grassroots conservatism and remember to have a real Republican primary and steer clear of party-elite style appointments that drive away potential supporters.  2010 is coming fast.  Even if they learn in time, they may not be able to get everything done for 2010.  Let's hope they at least try.

Great Conservative Speeches #4 - Palin

Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican Convention. It was a very good speech.  It was inspiring to conservatives, downtrodden by an embattled Bush (who was not truly conservative) and a lackluster McCain (who was not truly conservative).  Don't buy into the liberal hype that she's a lightweight.  If she was, they wouldn't care, and they wouldn't be bashing her incessently.

She may be a populist, but that doesn't preclude conservativism.  Listen to the speech again and remember how for a moment, it gave you hope that the Republicans weren't dead.  And see if the talking points she touches on, have changed or aren't conservative.

I created this list of top 10 conservative speeches a while ago, I didn't intend for this to coincide with her book release, but timing is everything, especially in politics. Just ask Barack.

November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009

Palin vs. Obama approval gap silently shrinks

Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama: The approval gap silently shrinks to a few points according to the LA Times blog, the gap has shrunk because Palin's approval ratings have gone up and Obama's have gone down.


At what point do the ratings cross, if ever?  If they do cross it will be months before it gets reported in the MSM, but it's quite possible the numbers cross before spring 2010 if the trending continues.  Wow.

Who'da thunk?

Inhofe to call for hearing into CRU, U.N. climate change research

The Hill's Blog Briefing Room has the story - Inhofe is going to call for an inquiry into Climategate.

Those of you who aren't brainwashed know the global warming books have been cooked. Now apparently there's proof, and a call for an investigation. All I can say is that it's about time.

For those of you who are brainwashed, by the way, wake up and listen to the other side, just for one hour. You'll come away changed.

What Does $2.2 Trillion Buy You These Days?

Cap and Trade - the government counts it as revenue, but to the public it's a tax, and according to bill, "A “cap-and-trade” program would generate a total of $645.7 billion by 2019".  Then there's the $787 billion from the ARRA recovery clunker. And the $410 billion Omnibus bill that passed. And the roughly $1 trillion dollars to be spent on the health care reform bill if it ever passes.  All of that is coming out of your wallets.  Or in large part, more likely your children and grandchildren's wallets to pay back the Chinese with dollars that will require interest on top of it, with American dollars that will surely be devalued by that time.  No doubt the total amount will be more than doubled by the time it gets paid off, if ever.

But let's be unrealistically conservative and say that these costs are completely static.  They represent $2.843 trillion dollars in new costs to the American taxpayer in just 10 months on the job for the new Congress, Senate and President.  They must be proud. I say that because they seem to want to keep doing more. That works out to $284 billion dollars in new gouging of Americans PER MONTH so far. Or $9.5 billion PER DAY. President Bush at his worst created an unholy deficit of $400 billion.  We thought that was bad.

Gee America, I hope you're getting your money's worth.  Let's look only at the spending portion of that money - $2.2 trillion.

What could $2.2 trillion dollars do if spent in other ways?  Here's some back-of-the-napkin math.  Feel free to do some math of your own and contribute some ideas in the comments section.

  • It could pay for the entire Gross Domestic Product of Russia, with the Omnibus bill left over to spare.

  • China is building a high speed rail system (bullet trains) with a total length of track of 16,000 miles, for a cost of $300 billion.  For that price the President could have built 117,333 miles of track for high speed trains.  In China the project created 110,000 construction jobs - the U.S. job would create over 800,000 jobs.

  • Pay for NASA at it's historical budget rate, for the next 146 years.

  • Pay off (if that were possible) 38% of the public portion of the national debt as it stood in 2008

  • China's Three Gorges Dam cost anywhere from $25 billion (officially) to $75 billion (estimated).  The dam generates 18.2 million kilowatts of power.  At an average of  $50 billion For the money Obama has spent, the United States could have built 44 of these dams, providing over 800 million kilowatts of power for the country.  That is, assuming there were enough rivers to dam up like that. 

  • Alternatively, a nuclear power plant costs anywhere from $3 to $10 billion to build (estimates vary).  At the highest end of that scale, the country could build 220 nuclear power plants that generate say 837 MegaWatts (as in the case of Three Mile Island) each.  That represents 184,140 new Megawatts of power.  If a small city of 50,000 needs 3 MegaWatts per day, and the U.S. population is 306 million, the country apparently requires roughly 18,360 MW of power per day. That's one tenth of what could be produced by adding new nuclear power.

  • Based on Market Capitlization as at September 2008, the U.S. government could buy up 5.5% of all publicly traded companies in the world

  • Based on 2006 census data, purchase 10.8% of all real estate in the entire United States or 94% of all real estate in China.

That's just a few examples. How much oil drilling could the nation do?  How much of a national border fence or wall could be built along the Mexican border?  The point is that it is an enormous amount of money. It is beyond the scope of what is needed.  And because these new bills are coming fast and furious, there's no time to question any of them.  Just like none of them are likely to be well thought out.  But Rahm Emmanuel's theory of not letting a crisis go to waste is serving another Democrat purpose - it's keeping any reasonable questioning, any opposition groups from having time to evaluate the spending.  Each one is more egregious than the previous, so none get the attention they deserve.

Voters should be howling mad at this.

Great Conservative Speeches #6 - Reagan

You knew any list of top conservative speeches had to include Reagan. 

There are plenty to choose from.  I've included this one because I remember watching this as a young teenager and it being part of a personal awakening to politics in general, but also that he was articulating things I felt but had never before considered.

Here's  Ronald Reagan, at the Republican Convention in 1980. Words of wisdom.

November 22, 2009

November 21, 2009

Simply Indefensible.

You can talk to a Democrat, pardon the pun, until you are blue in the face, but it won't make a bit of difference.  They believe being fiscally conservative means you are selfish, mean-spirited and greedy.  They do not understand that liberal policies in many subtke ways, embody greed.  They do not understand that what drives fiscal conservatives is not wanting to spend the money but rather not wanting the COUNTRY TO GO BANKRUPT!!!!

Already my face is turning blue.

The fact of the matter is that health care reform as espoused by Democrats, and Cap and Trade and the ARRA stimulus and the omnibus bill ALL are financial, simply indefensible.

The country is being drained of it's lifeblood and IT CAN DIE. IT WILL at this rate.

The Wall Street Journal describes it as a coming disaster.

Peter Schiff sees it too, just as he saw the housing bubble burst.

Part II:

As an aside, word is Schiff is going to run against Dodd in Connecticut: (in which he uses the word 'distaster')

That's trading up, big time - Dodd is at least negligent and at worst criminal on the housing problems. Schiff deserves support.

Charles Gasparino from CNBC gets it too;

The examples could go on forever. The fact is that there are so many people who see the gaping holes in the Obama Titanic that  to continue without even stopping for a breath is also, simply indefensible.

If this economic folly is not halted soon, it has only two possible outcomes - collapse and/or violence.  Either way, this does not end well.  I know it sounds like the equivalent of conspiracy nutjob stuff but we're talking about trillion dollar debts for a decade, in a best case CBO scenario.  The best case is never the way reality turns out.

If these people are wrong, then delaying Obama health care a few years is merely a delay.  If they are right, or even partly right, then we are facing an even bigger change than Obama planned - irreversible decay of America's financial power and global influence.  We're talking about the greatest country in the history of the world turning into an also-ran.  Rome fell; in it's heyday it was the current version of America as far as geopolitical and economic power.  There are more disturbingly similar parallels too.  That means America is not too big to fail.  Do you really want to chance that for free health care paid by higher taxes, and money borrowed from China and/or stolen from your children?

It really is indefensible.

Saturday Learning Series - Worlds Without End

Some have viewed this ending episode of the series as a Utopian vision of the future, focused on Buddhism and tying it to the potential of the Internet. I think that's an oversimplification. I believe Burke is looking at the potential explosion of knowledge and is optimistic.

Despite the the scary sounding nature of a society 'tolerant of all views' and constantly changing, it is after all what made America great in the first place. The idea that radical thinking is a bad thing for America is nonsense. In the free market of ideas, good radical ideas will thrive and silly ones will go nowhere.

Radical thinking has created and helped sustain scientific progress. Radical thinking in a political world is something entirely different. Certain concepts like liberty and justice are timeless and will hold strong despite a potential for radical ideas.

Where Burke misses the mark on the free thinking concept is the idea that all societies will allow unfettered access to free thought. China, Russia, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea are great examples of this. He's talking about an almost de-nationalized world where ideas supersede national identity. Reaching that point may still be centuries off.

However, in Burke's defence is that fact that while those totalitarian societies can thrive over a short period of time (China being the most recent example of a societal surge in geo-political power), they cannot sustain the rate of progress that a free society can muster. Free societies like Great Britain and the United States have had a distinct advantage in that regard and it is reason for their success in recent centuries.

Any move away from that freedom, whether by the likes of the Obama administration or by racism, or religious intolerance under any guise, is a danger to the continued success of America. That is not to say that the U.S. should be any less vigilant in defending it's national interests. There are those like the Taliban for example, or radical environmentalists, who would gladly see free societies turned back to the stone age to suit their own agendas.

There's nothing wrong with a utopia, other than the fact that it's pretty much impossible to reach. But if there were ever an opportunity to get there, where logical thought, religious tolerance, and individual liberty are all prized, then the liberties enshrined in the United States Constitution must be defended from abuse, theft and vandalism in the supposed name of social justice that includes rights not granted by the Constitution or God. President Obama refers to them as 'negative rights', because they don't go far enough to guarantee things for people.

Only socialist societies do that. Free health care. Free medicine. A right to a post-secondary education. What's next? A right to free television?

Freedom from stupidity? There are certain things the government simply cannot guarantee. Nor should it. If it tries to guarantee them, recognize that you are being sold a bill of goods.

Great Conservative Speeches #8 - Lincoln

The Gettysburg Address should rank higher except that the voices are always recreations and not that of Lincoln himself. Still, a fantastic albeit short speech.

November 20, 2009

Great Conservative Speeches #9 - Hannan

Continuing the countdown of Top 10 conservative speeches with #9 today.  Many people have seen British MP and European MEP Daniel Hannan's more famous speech to Gordon Brown, but this one has a more positive tone and therefore I think it is a more worthy speech.

Friday Musical Interlude - November 20, 2009

Today's Friday Musical Interlude is another dust collector from the late 70's. It's kitchy but catchy.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.

November 19, 2009

Great Conservative Speeches #10 - Buckley

Counting down a list of the Top 10 conservative speeches, starting today at #10 with William F. Buckley in his famous debate with Reagan on the future of the Panama Canal.

November 18, 2009

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

According to Rasmussen's Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Barack Obama's Presidential Approval Index (those who strongly approve minus those who strongly oppose of the President's job) is at a staggering -14.  His overall approval is at 47%.

Despite that, and despite the fact there are more people who who oppose health care reform than support it, it still might just happen.  Go figure.

Obama's crystal ball is cracked

This morning the October inflation number came out. It's up 0.3%. Housing starts are also down 10%. And earlier today in Asia, the President announced that Gitmo would not be closing on time as per his schedule.

All three of these items were unexpected.

The question I have is this: if they can't predict one year or even for economic numbers one month ahead, why would anyone believe the health care cost forecasts they have stewed up, or even further out the need for cap and trade to prevent the planet from turning into a second sun?


November 17, 2009

And So It Begins - Rationing


Gateway Pundit has a great summary on the weird timing of the rationing of mammograms – according to a federal task force recommendation, saying women shouldn’t screen for breast cancer in their 40’s but rather start in their 50’s.

Oddly, as Gateway Pundit points out the U.S. breast cancer survival rate exceeds that of the socialized medicine of Great Britain.

Here’s an idea; how about a nice… wait that’s the last two posts.

Here’s an idea; how about playing up that story for all it’s worth because it telegraphs the future state of health care in America under the O (and that’s not a BINGO reference).

McCain camp: Palin account 'all fiction'


McCain camp: Palin account 'all fiction' - Andy Barr and Jonathan Martin -

Hey, people who ran the campaign for the supposed polite elder statesman, here’s an idea; how about a simple ‘no comment’?  The McCain camp continues to get even the little relevance it still has wrong.  Way to go guys.  Now go away.

Regardless of what you might think of Palin, the McCain camp pooched his campaign royally, including the handling of Palin.  They should deal with it by shutting up and sucking it up for the Republican team.  But they continue to be self-serving, even though their time has passed.  It’s disgraceful.  Not Newsweek disgraceful, but still bad.

W.H. denies Drudge Report - prematurely


The White House had a case of premature denigration when it denied the Drudge Report story that they would have an Obama interview on Fox – it later turned out the story was true.

Hey, here’s an idea; how about a simple ‘no comment’?  The White House continues to get even the little things wrong.  Way to go guys.

November 16, 2009

Dr. Zero's Essential Fusion Reaction

Over at Hot Air today, Dr. Zero has a great article about the Essential Fusion of social conservatism and fiscal conservatism. Cue the applause. It’s not like I haven’t been arguing that point for some time now – conservatives and moderates, conservatives and Republicans, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives and national defense conservatives all have something in common, despite their differences. The issue is not supposed to be about Rush versus Powell, or Newt versus Hoffman. The real issue is about current conservatism versus invasive socialism. A united front is needed in the face of a common enemy.

An aside implied in Dr. Zero’s appraisal, is the idea of fighting liberal emotional fire with conservative emotional fire. He says don't use pie charts to make your points. Damn it though, the pie charts prove so much!

I get his point though. Repeating the phrase "proven to fail" ad nauseum, could be just as effective as the liberals’ mantra-chanting of "Bush lied, people died". Although I wonder how many people that lie actually converted, as opposed to just solidified in beliefs of diehard liberals. There's no way to tell. “Proven to fail” has truth on its side too. Supposed solutions that have proven to fail time and again, have been evident both here and abroad.

“Proven to fail” sounds catchy. It doesn't even need a pie chart. But as a fiscal conservative, I'm going to keep the chart in my back pocket in case someone asks.

To be honest, that's the kind of convert I want, not a Marc Antony* following mob of mindless drones who would rather munch popcorn and be seduced by a good speech than ask serious questions of the speaker. As a conservative, that's how we are wired.
*Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Caesar ... The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it ...
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral ...

But hey, that's just me. Rahm Emmanuel and Saul Alinsky get it, although they see those people as useful idiots who will vote with their emotions that can be easily manipulated. I'm a purist but I understand the need to get an emotional response from the listener some times. Perhaps these are such times.

Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out the flaws of feel-good-liberalisms and why it’s not a principle to be governed by. But he fails to move on to the next logical point in that line of thinking. Many people will always, only vote with their hearts and not their heads. Getting through to them is tough, and pie charts and logic make it harder, not easier. It’s a conservatives are from Mars, liberals are from Venus type problem. If you want to win over the unconvinced, you have to at least speak their language.

Let’s face it; the right of the blogosphere is full of wonks who can recite lines from a 1900 page bill. That fails to connect with most of the non-choir part of the right as much as the GOP party insiders who thrust Scozzafava upon NY23 in a smarter-than-thou fit-a-pique more attenuated to Democrat sensibilities than liberty-loving conservatives. And if we can’t convince the less attuned conservatives on a regular basis, how can we get moderates and nervous liberals to consider our side of the story?

That’s right – we’ve got to talk to their feelings. At least until we can start to get them asking the questions where we get to start showing our pie charts…

Programming Note - Assessing the Candidates

Two Weeks ago I had mentioned that I was going to do another candidate review this past week.  You may have noticed it didn't happen.  I haven't forgotten but given the soon to be spectacle around Palin's book tour, including Oprah, I've decided it would be smarter to hold of f for a bit.  The reason is that I've decided to try to compare the candidates against each other and the landscape could shift considerably this week.

As a result the Assessing the Candidates revisit will be delayed for at least one week from today in order to process the impacts sure to come this week.

All Systems Go! NASA, or Palin?

T-20 minutes (here at least), I'm not talking about another NASA shuttle launch, I'm talking about Palin on Oprah. This is a golden opportunity for a brand re-launch if you want to consider it in clinical political terms.

Remember, After new Coke, Coca Cola was able to rebrand itself with its original formula and people re-acquired a nostalgia for it.  Palin's initial brand, as it were, was exemplified by her first speech to the Republican Convention last fall.  This could go as well as that if she manages to handle the interview well.

Oprah seems to be going into the dragon's den in a sense for Palin.  Despite Oprah's image a nice, Oxygen loving, friend to women, she did schill for Obama.  Palin will be treated politely but Oprah would be quite happy to see Palin trip up and is more than willing to create a situation favorable to that outcome, even if she doesn't do the tripping herself.

Then again, Palin has had time to prep herself for that sort of situation and should expect it to be coming, and be prepared for it. This should prove to be an interesting, and hopefully not predictable week.

It's the Wild West, Stupid.

It doesn't have a nice acronym like Keep It Simple Stupid, and it's derivative of the Clinton War Room's It's the Economy stupid, but it it really is the Wild West, stupid.

One of the things about the left that frustrates those of us in the right is their inability to apply learnings to their belief system. Instead of learning from the evidence, they contort the reality of the evidence to fit their belief system. The biggest single example of this pretzel-logic taken to inane lengths is the fundamental disbelief in the concept of individual liberty. At every turn throughout American history, indeed world history, the greatest advancements in human achievement have come inextricably linked to freedom. Rather than a laundry list of socialism's abundant failures, take a look at it from the reverse angle.

When the Internet bubble burst, it wasn't a collapse of innovation; it was a collapse of over-valuation. The Internet and all of the innovations associated with it exploded with the Moore's-Law-like speed, or greater. Compare today's internet to Compuserve circa 1987. Twenty two years and it's like Boeing versus the Wright Brothers. And why did and does the Internet continue to quickly expand in what it can and does do? Because it's the Wild West. It's not regulated. The government isn't involved to distort nature. Yes, the capitalist economy is the ultimate human version of natural selection - survival of the fittest. Actually it goes natural selection one better - the best and brightest don't just survive - they thrive. In a Wild West environment, experimenters are free to try out their ideas, some more risky than others, but all with the possible potential for big payoffs, and catastrophic failure. But the advances just keep on coming.

Imagine explaining Youtube, illegal file sharing, ultra high download speeds, NetFlicks or any of a million other innovative ideas brought to life, to someone in 1987. They'd get it but they probably wouldn't believe it was possible with their 486 and 28.8k modem, because it wasn't possible back then.

That Wild West environment, that sense of free-for-all of innovation ALWAYS, ALWAYS delivers improvement. Competition is primal, and it pays off for society if allowed to flourish. Somebody forgot to tell that to the gurus in Washington. Yes, there's a downside to the free-for-all approach, which is why capitalism isn't pure capitalism anywhere in the world. It's why the government does get the opportunity to play referee.

[Reading Note: Apply Jesse Jackson intonation to the following paragraph]

But it should only be to play referee. Not participate. Not dictate, Not debate, or castrate. But simply adjudicate, and only where it's needed.

People think that the government is needed to protect the people from themselves, forgetting that protection from government gets harder with every invasive law that gets passed. If you allow a government the opportunity to tell you you can't idle your car for more than three minutes because it's causing an environmental disaster, how long before they change it to one minute? Amazingly enough not that long.

If you allow the government the opportunity to decide and regulate but do not limit their power to no more than that, they will inevitably go further than they should. The other recent bubble, the housing bubble was not a result of deregulation but a result of government trying to do social engineering with the powers they'd given themselves that no one spoke up to contest.

Is that worth peace of mind? Is there happiness to be found in subjugation because the consequences of the alternative are worse? I guess for some the answer to that is yes. But show them the full picture of a slightly regulated Wild West versus an autocracy and I think the Wild West would get a fair bit more than 54% of the popular vote. What's worse - a recession or no freedom? Besides, governments can't stop recessions any more than they can stop a tsunami or a hurricane.

Recessions are bad, but they are capitalism's influenza virus. Unlike people, the economy needs to be subject to periods of weakness from time to time to clear out the inefficiencies and reallocate the resources (capital or labor) to better suited purposes. Yes they are upsetting and come with often frightening changes. That's why the government is there with a safety net to get people through those difficult transitions. But it isn't there to keep the deadwood afloat. It sounds harsh, but it's always for the best. The economy will roar out of the back end if left predominantly to it's own devices, because it can.

But what about jobs going offshore the liberals cry? Stop creating artificial minimum wages and those jobs will return, guaranteed. If you can make a pair of running shoes in China for 50 cents and in America for 50 cents, they'll be made here, because there's no (or smaller) shipping cost with the American labor. And with no minimum wage laws, people would be willing to come here legally to do the jobs that Americans don't want to do, because that labor will be needed. It would go a long way to fixing the government's current account situation too.

Of course that's more than a little extreme. But hey, the country has tried extreme before (think November 2008) and on blind faith. Come to think of it, perhaps an incremental approach might be wiser. Wiser still, the government should remember that innovation requires the liberty of the Wild West.  If it doesn't remember soon, things really could turn out like the O.K. Corral vision of the Wild West.

November 14, 2009

Could Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Get A Liberal Judge?

Like I'm supposed to know the answer to that one? Of course the terror suspect terrorist, when put on trial in a New York court instead of by a military tribunal could get a very liberal judge, but whose to know until the time comes?  Eric Holder maybe.

By way of background on the issue of where to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Big Government has the story;
This particular example highlights the underlying notion that terrorists should be privy to the same rights as United States citizens. In this instance, President Obama did in fact exercise his discretion (if you can call it that) by allowing the trial to take place in civilian court. Attorney Brian Levi serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University. As Levi noted today, “As a legal matter President Obama could very well also have tried these five detainees before military tribunals, as five others are…”

There is longstanding precedent for the use of military tribunals to deal with the difficult situation of unlawful combatants captured in a time of war. As Arthur Herman wrote in Commentary, this is the original path the Department of Justice and the Bush administration sought:

The rules on Gitmo detention and on interrogation constituted a valiant attempt to deal with an unprecedented legal situation. The same was true of the system of military “commissions” or tribunals for trying suspects at Gitmo. Here the Justice Department largely followed the precedent of tribunals used by the American military during World War II, and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1942 decision Ex Parte Quirin.

As 9/11 victim relatives Debra Burlingame and Tim Sumner lay out in a letter and petition to President Obama, and as anyone who has watched an episode of Law and Order can surmise, there are a host of thorny issues that could arise in the civilian trial of an unlawful military combatant. These detainees weren’t Mirandized. Secondly, their extended detention, a defense attorney could claim, was in violation of the assurance of a swift and speedy trial. Furthermore, given that they were caught on a battlefield, the chain of evidence is not up to par with the (rightly) strict standards of our civilian courts. Could their cases be dismissed outright? These are legitimate legal concerns raised with these cases.
Liberals have argued that he was not caught on the battlefield.  Of course in a War on Terror a battlefield is not confimed to a war zone.  9/11 proved that, but the liberals just don't get it. That and the specificss of the circumstances are a discussion for another post.   I want to focus on what the transfer of venues means.

Liberals may have a valid point in saying that trials prove to the world that America firmly believes in due process and have faith in the country's judicial system.  The question is, does America need to care about what others think?  In Obama's world yes.  Again that's worth discussing at some other point in time.

But let's focus on the possible impacts of creating a civil case.  There is a security risk to the city.  There is a personal safety risk to the judge, jurors and lawyers involved.  There is also a risk of acquittal (though small).

This is going to sound very cynical but might that not be a good thing? Wouldn't acquitting a terrorist send a bad message to terrorists around the world? Sure - their actions have no consequences to themselves personally, it's open season.  It would free a dangerous man, isn't that bad? Not according to Eric Holder, they have back-up charges ready to go. Would it set a dangerous precedent? Probably, yeah.  So how could it possibly be a good thing?

It might shake the sensibilities of Democrats enough to smarten up about the War on Terror and that you can't fight a war as a police action.  Terrorists aren't criminals, they are terrorists.  If it doesn't impact the likes of Holder, it will certainly affect voters and make them realize you have to fight this like a war.  It might smarten up liberals about the battlefield issue.  Why?  Because some liberal judge freeing a confessed terrorist on a technicality or out of pure liberalism, will worry people about the logic of liberal actions.

This isn't a political good thing, it's a national security good thing.  Everyone, me included,  would be horiffied if that monster did not get convicted and sentenced to death for his terrible crimes.  But people need to realize 9/11 isn't ancient history.  They need to realize the new world the national interest now faces.  Ironically it's conservatives who realize the new dynamic and liberals are the ones stuck in a past that never really existed.

Cold Cash Jefferson Goes to Jail

I heard on the Michael Savage Show last night* that the former Democrat Congressman from Louisiana has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in relation to the illegal activity associated with that money.

Bribery? Fact check needed on the specific charge.

I haven't seen much play on it yet anywhere yet.

*I'm not usually a Savage listener but I was surfing the AM dial while driving at night, picking up a lot of stations from the midwest and also the Atlantic coast. I heard him from I think it was Missouri.

24 Obamanyms for the English Lexicon

For better or worse, President Obama has had a major political impact on America. Because his influence has been pervasive, it was inevitable that the language would be influenced by his mere presence.  To get a jump on the new verbiage, and maybe pre-emptively copywrite some future common usage words, below are some suggestions for new words.

The first of which is actually the word Obamanym used in the title:

Synonym - a word with a similar meaning to another word
Antonym - a word with the opposite meaning of another word
Homynyn - a word that sounds like another word but does not have a similar meaning
1.  Obamanym - a word improved by the mere inclusion of part of the President's name.  In order to qualify, the word must relate to Presdient Obama.

2.  Obamerica - Once Dear Leader is firmly and permanently domiciled in the White House, the United States of America's official new name will be modified to reflect it; the United States of Obamerica.

3.  Obamageddon - In the future, when the country is fraught with a myriad of perils, people will fear the coming Obamageddon, which of course the end of the world that involves global-warming driven natural disasters, a financial meltdown, and people actually understanding the value of conservative principles and individual liberty.

4.  Obamississippi - contrary to popular belief, this word doesd not represent the renaming of the state of Mississippi, but rather a recalibration of the national economy to rank 50th in the world for national median household income.

5.  Obamnesty - A noun that applies to the pardon for any crime or misdeed related to the improving  of Democrat electoral chances, especially the act of creating citizenship for illegal immigrants, falsifying census information, illegal voter registrations or thug tactics when utilized by anyone affiliated with a union (esp. SEIU).

6. Obamafaction - A feeling of euphoric happiness and tranquility as if induced by SOMA.  Example; Conservatives can't get no Obamafaction.

7.  Obamber alert - a non-voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious Tea Party gatherings, in order to suppress free speech misguided in the notion that the President is not always right.

8.  Obamma-slamma - A drink that involves arugula, dark rum, sugar, spice and everything nice.  It is always followed by a chaser of angostura bitters and hemlock.

9.  DesperadObama - a person in a state of heightened desperation based on the fear that in 2012, the world will end as Obama suffers electoral defeat.

10.  Cinqo de MayObama - A regional holiday in the liberal bastions of America, celebrating the Dear One's victory over the forces of reason and logic in 2008 and again in 2009.

11.  Obamarrogant  - an adjective describing those who utter the phrase "I won" and then act as if it means there will be no future contests.

12.  Obamaffluent - someone well off according to the following criteria; they have government-provided health care, have government-provided carbon-free air, have a job, belong to a union and pay a marginal tax rate below 50%, and haven't complained about it yet. To do so would require removal from the category (forcibly, by union thugs (see #5) shouting "We have Kelo!").

13.  Obamafuscate - to selectively reference details, create straw man arguments and use mis-direction tactics so effectively that those not paying close attention will end up voting for you.

14.  Oilbama - the fuel of the future, when everything runs on hope and dreams.

15.  Obamass - an idiot. In extreme cases, if the person is entirely an idiot, it is preceeded, or more frequently, followed by the word 'whole".  I'm sure you can do the math.

16.  Obamassive Tax Hike - When paying for promises becomes so exhorbinently expensive, you have run out of paper to print money on and the Chinese will no longer lend you money, this is the inevitable result - tax increases so large they need new adjectives; Obamassive.

17.  Obamambulance - New ambulances, like old ones, but 89% slower.

18.  Obamabuse - a type of abuse where surrogate will insult your victims/enemies without the use of fact and resorting only to the tool of ridicule when unable to formulate a coherent, fact-based response to valid criticisms. (See Also -- Obamabusive, Obamabusing, Obamabuser)

19.  CObama2 - The new carbon dioxide which is earth friendly, because they told you so.

20.  Obambudsman - future complaints about anything will bypass the court system to this duly appointed czar, who will offer fair, above the fray, post-partisan decisions that will be imposed upon all concerned, and also some who were not party to the circumstances.

21.  Keith Olberbamamann - Not a noun but rather, an adjective describing the perfect fusing of deity and worshipper into a single self-worshipping entity. Example; Tyra Banks is so Keith Olberbamamann.

22.  Obamurism - The feeling of a tingle running up your leg that will later on, prove to be a health risk.  It is believed that Chris Matthews was the first person to suffer these symptoms.

23.  DrainObama - Aproduct for cleaning out the first 22 new Obamanyms.  It contains chemicals highly corrosive to liberals, like truth, facts, logic and common sense.  Example;  America could should sure use some DrainObama to get rid of this stubborn clog.

24. ___________ -  I'm leaving this slot open for now, hoping to get some reader feedback on additional words.

Saturday Learning Series - Making Waves

Saturday Learning Series - Episode 9 of James Burke's The Day The Universe Changed.

It's a fascinating history of science, society and culture.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

November 13, 2009

Opportunity is Knocking and Timing is Everything

One of the things I like to do is connect the dots.  Not in some sort of crazy consiracy theorist sort of way, but rather linking together events or ideas in the spirit of James Burke.  Mr. Burke was able to connect seemingly unrelated pieces of history together to find a common thread of social and technical progress that, when put together make a lot of sense and indeed seem to have followed a logical path.

The real excitement though is finding events that link together when not all of those events have yet occured.  That's what I mean by timing is everything.

Over at Hillbuzz, a group of disenfranchised Hillary Clinton supporters have just recently become so disillusioned with the Obama left, they have decided to switch to Independent and possibly even vote for a Republican candidate if they aren't what they term a "religious zealot".

That is an OPPORTUNITY awaiting action.

Cue Sarah Palin's book release and next weeks visit to the Oprah Winfrey show. She has an historic opportunity to re-brand herself to a large swath of the American public.  A positive appearance, with insightful, intelligent and measured communication, an endearing approach would do wonders.  That Hillary supporters have just become 'officially' disenfranchised with Obama, and Oprah viewere may in fact constitute a large portion of the Hillbuzz crowd, means that the timing is not just an opportunity but a golden opportunity for Sarah Palin to make some serious inroads into her negative image scores in a short period of time.

Where did everybody go?

This is a self-serving post with no obvious beneficial outcome. But I've got a question for my readers. Or what's left of my readers.

Last year I had a number of visitors that were in the 100-200 range on a fairly consistent basis. It peaked in March one day at nearly 500 visitors thanks to a mention on Conservative Grapevine. Something I'm still proud of, being recognized by John Hawkins. Those numbers weren't RightWingNews numbers by any stretch. But to me they were very encouraging.

The visitor numbers trailed off over the summer, not unexpectedly. Then in August, in the heat of the town hall frustrations they made a strong rebound. Since then, let's just say a couple of weeks ago I had one week where I managed to get only 49 visitors for the entire week. My Technorati authority number has subsequently fallen from the 440's to 139.

So where did everybody go? Did I say something offensive? Have my posts become stupid, redundant or unreadable? What just happened?

I have no clue. Readers who still come are displaying the same behaviors in terms of how many posts they read. They spend as much time on the site as before. There's just far fewer of them.

Here are my two questions (and I realize the irony that asking those who have stuck around why people have left is likely to provide a biased response).

1. What - if anything - has made my blog less appealing as a stopping point in your daily web travels? (Brutal honesty is encouraged).

2. What - if anything - would you do to bring back (or in) readership to a blog?

Please feel free to enter comments in the comments section.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


Friday Musical Interlude - November 13, 2009

I remember when the song Paper Planes by M.I.A. came out last year, thinking 'that song sounds so familiar'. Of course that always sets off an alarm bell for me as far as an artist sampling another artist. Whether legally sampled or not (and I'm sure it was legal), it just seems less than a full effort nowadays.

The Clash's iconic album Combat Rock featured a lesser known track called Straight To Hell. Proof positive that older music, even those songs not destined for big notoriety in their day, still provide the shoulders of giants that so many of today's musical artists seem uninterested in learning from (preferring instead to ignore or merely sample). That's not a knock against today's artists, just a lament about the...wait, it is a knock. Quality today is much fewer and farther between, and there's no need for it.



The Clash. Sounds familiar.

November 12, 2009

The American Engine Analogy

Seventy years of damage have been done to the economic engine of America.  The engine has survived in spite of it, but the warranty is about to run out.

The damage is repairable if somebody really wants to fix it.  The problem is that whoever has had their turn in the drivers' seat, has not seen fit to address the engine problems.  Instead they've turned up the radio and dazzled you with a GPS system and in-seat DVD players.

Nobody wants to fix the engine because it means less passenger comfort.  The seats will have to be ripped out and replaced with cheaper, less comfortable ones.  No one wants to be the one to say it has to be done.  Every driver has hoped the problem would hit the next person to drive and not them.  We're at, or pretty near that last driver.

The engine has to be fixed.  Nobody wants to hear the truth, but it's going to cost a lot.  If it had been addressed long before this it would have been cheaper.  If we wait much longer it will soon become unaffordable. The cost to fix America is probably in the neighborhood of of a 25% tax increase and a 25% across the board slashing of spending.  Or more of one and less of the other depending on your preference.  But as passengers, the free ride is over.  The car is going to break down or else require a major overhaul.

The irony is that instead of addressing it, the current driver (Obama) is siphoning the gas out of the gas tank.

I've written about this before. Quite some time ago in fact.  And often.  Many others have raised the same warnings.  But it hasn't mattered.  The passengers have been too caught up in their free ride to notice that the car is going to leave them stranded on the side of the highway.

The good news is that the passengers are starting to notice the problems with the car.  Maybe, it's not too late to start the repairs.

Unemployment's gloomy future

Unemployment. It’s Bad, and it’s going to get worse. As a Gen-Xer (though barely, I'm on the cusp of being a Boomer), I've looked at the Baby Boom generation with some disdain for dropping the ball given to them by the greatest generation. They endorsed radical expansion of government. They spent and spent and spent. They raised the national debt. They didn’t fix social program problems they inherited, instead expanding them and punting the costs down the road. They didn’t learn the lessons of the past and made a myriad of mistakes they could have avoided with some common sense. Of course, Gen-Xers are no better. In our defense, we weren't handed a ball so much as a half-rotten fruit. But we have taken that half-rotten fruit and grown even more stupid, and less patient and more feeling of being entitled than even the Boomers. Not to mention, lazier and fatter. And in defense of the Boomers, if they hadn't dropped the ball, we most certainly would have managed to do so. We've just been spared the blame as such.

I may be right or wrong on that.  But who cares about who is to blame anyway? An honest evaluation of the circumstances the Western World now finds itself in should only be looking at root causes and realistic solutions to the crisis at hand, as well as the systemic problems in world economies.

Growing older, from a strictly selfish perspective, I used to think about waves of Boomers starting to retire, and relish the resulting power vacuum with respect to job opportunity. Those of us held back as a result of a population bulge could not only gravitate towards our natural employment levels but in fact we would be sucked upwards by the vacuum of retirements. Not a bad proposition except that it amounts to a free lunch. We all know there is no such thing. All of those retirees will be feeding at the social security trough and that trough drastically needs filling with levies from the working population. Especially now.

No, I don't see it as more reason to blame the Boomer generation. They didn't ask to be a population bulge. The problem lies in a system built on unsustainable suppositions, and as it's been called, generational theft (spreading the wealth - over time not income band). The problem, as far as retirement goes is the system itself.

The situation as it has been with respect to social security has become even more complex as a result of this latest recession. With the housing bubble burst, many homeowners are in a situation called underwater - they owe more on their home than they can sell it for in the marketplace. With the precipitous drop in stock markets, values of assets held have declined steeply, wiping out over a trillion dollars in wealth. The market has recovered somewhat but there is still a net negative effect and no guarantee that a full market recovery to pre-crash levels is happening any time soon.

Meanwhile, the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation is now at retirement's doorstep. Do you suppose many of them are prepared to retire after the impact on their assets? Certainly not as many as 3 years ago, that's for sure. This brings us to the unemployment picture and a serious impact on it as a result of delayed retirements. Boomers once dreamed of early retirement. Now they are facing extended employment. That is unfortunate for them and depending on the level of impact of this recession on their wealth, potentially disastrous for future unemployment rates.

There are a number of signs that unemployment is still headed in the wrong direction, with no obvious end in sight. Consider;
  • 8 million jobs lost in the current recession
  • 3.3 million (55%) more working part-time (9 million total) than the high water mark of previous recessions
  • The equivalent of another 2.4 million jobs lost due to work week hour reductions
  • Previous recessions unemployment rates have peaked almost a percentage point higher and a year after the official end
  • Youth unemployment nearing 20%

That doesn’t even factor in the problem of under-employment relative to skill sets. Now add to that list the fact that there will be new graduates coming on line to the employment search environment. Their efforts will be complicated by a bulge in the population that is set to retire but won’t be in the numbers expected and will be competing for jobs (overall, not the same ones).

The relative numbers might be something that can be projected. Keep in mind these calculations are very rough and require a much more in depth analysis than below.


In 2006, there were an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers, and 7,918 of them turned 60 each day in 2006. So here’s the back-of-the-napkin math, assuming that 7,918 is a reasonable static indicator of birth rate for the entire baby boom generation (not a sound assumption but not horrible either):

  • 2.89 million people will reach retirement age starting this year and each year for the next 20 years.
  • In 2005, there was a projected 3.9 million people reaching age 22, 1.2 million of which would graduate from college
That means that despite the fact that there was a baby boom. There are more people coming online for employment than people leaving the work force through retirement (thanks to positive population growth). The situation is worsened if we assume 25% of those reaching retirement age do not retire, meaning the net retirement workforce reduction would be 2.17 million, versus 3.9 million new workers looking for jobs.

That’s 1.7 million more people looking for work than jobs opened through retirement per year as a result of population trends. That in turn means that 1.7 million jobs per year will need to be created just to for unemployment remain static and not increase. That’s 142,000 new jobs per month, outside of all of the existing circumstances. Granted those past 65 won’t remain in the workforce forever. But 5 years is not an unimaginable amount.


So when economist David Rosenberg argues that unemployment is headed higher, he makes a solid case, which is only furthered by the demographic issues the country is about to face. The employment situation in America is not recovering any time soon. That begs the question of whether Cap and Trade, health care reform, green jobs that will materialize in scant numbers only make any sort of sense right now (if ever)? It further begs the question of why there isn’t a rush to build nuclear power plants and aggressively promote domestic oil drilling as well. The path the Democrats have chosen has some serious implications for the country and depending on timing could presage electoral disaster come November 2010 and November 2012.
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