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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 11, 2013, 10:49:23 AM
Rep. Tom Cotton is a rising star and has this about right.  The House needs to pass a very good bill and stand by it.  After borders are secured, legalization and new immigration policy can stand on its own merits and political will.  The Senate should recognize that as a good bill but they won't.  The standoff will no doubt go into the 2014 congressional races. 

"what's to stop President Obama from refusing to enforce this law? After all, he just announced he won't enforce ObamaCare's employer mandate because of complaints from big business."

That is an inescapable point made here yesterday.  [More famous people caught reading the forum?]

George Will: "the Obama administration’s approach to the rule of law is pertinent to the immigration bill, which at last count had 222 instances of a discretionary “may” and 153 of “waive.” Such language means that were the Senate bill to become law, the executive branch would be able to do pretty much as it pleases, even to the point of saying about almost anything"

3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Reform, Phil Gramm on: July 11, 2013, 10:17:14 AM
A rare politician who is actually an economist, Phil Gramm shares good wisdom about the criteria required to make tax reform successful.

Phil Gramm: A GOP Game Plan for Tax Reform  WSJ July 10, 2013
If the special deals that create crony capitalism are allowed to survive, Republican efforts will have failed.

Thanks to the efforts of Democrat Sen. Max Baucus and Republican Rep. Dave Camp, Congress will take up tax reform this year. Before the debate begins, however, Republicans need to set out the principles that represent our values. In my 24 years in the House and Senate, I never wrote a bill that represented a 100% statement of my values, but I always found it important to know where the North Star was as I tried to navigate through the swamp.

First, under no circumstances should Republicans agree to make the tax system even more progressive than it already is, or to increase the number of people who do not pay income taxes. In 1980, the top 1% and 5% of income earners in America paid 19.1% and 36.9% of total federal income taxes. Today, the top 1% and 5% pay 37.4% and 59.1%. Meanwhile, 41.6% of American earners now pay no federal income taxes.

The more progressive the tax system becomes the more unstable the country's public finances get. High-income Americans earn a large share of their income in bonuses, dividends and capital gains, all of which are highly sensitive to the business cycle. This means wide swings in tax collections that play havoc with government budgets. The removal of large numbers of people from the tax rolls makes the political system more unstable. Individuals and households that pay no income taxes have a diminished stake in limited government.

Second, government should collect the minimum revenues needed to support and protect a free society and do so in a way that is, as far as possible, neutral in its effect on individual behavior. In its purest form, this means no individual deductions, credits or tax expenditures. No matter how committed Americans may be individually to charitable giving or home ownership, the government should not promote those values through special provisions in the tax code.

Third, Republicans should require all similarly structured firms be treated the same. If sweat equity is taxed as a capital gain for a mechanic who opens a garage with a financial partner, it should be treated the same for a hedge fund or private-equity manager who shares in the gains of his investors.

Fourth, business subsidies and credits should be eliminated. Ending subsidies to fund lower tax rates improves the efficiency of capital allocation. The sine qua non of tax reform is a more efficient allocation of investment capital. If the tax breaks that create crony capitalism are allowed to survive, then tax reform failed.

Fifth, all costs of production should be equally deductible when they are actually incurred, and all income should be recognized at the time it is actually earned and taxed only once. President Obama's repeated proposal to force large Subchapter S corporations and limited liability entities to be taxed as C corporations is a movement in the wrong direction. Revenues flowing from those changes would come almost exclusively from the double taxation of corporate income: first on corporate profits, and again when individuals pay taxes on dividends and capital gains.

Other things being equal, the efficiency of a nation's corporate tax system can be measured by the lack of special-interest provisions in the code and how low the tax rate is. But things are never equal—and a fixation with achieving a given corporate tax rate is dangerous. That's because you can, within limits, make the tax rate whatever you want it to be by changing the definition of what is a deductible business expense.

For example, by limiting or eliminating the deductibility of interest cost—a perfectly legitimate cost of doing business—the "savings" could be used to lower the corporate tax rate. But such changes would further distort the cost of capital relative to the cost of labor and almost certainly be detrimental.

Similarly, you could eliminate the deductibility of wages and other costs of doing business and simply tax gross receipts instead of net profit. The tax rate would be low, but would economic efficiency be increased? No.

Sixth, tax reform should move toward the elimination of taxes on the foreign earnings of American companies, whose profits are already taxed abroad. Other countries recognize that the competitiveness of their companies would be severely damaged if they had to pay higher taxes than their competitors in foreign markets and do not impose domestic taxes on foreign earnings.

By attempting to tax foreign earnings when they are repatriated, the United States has incentivized companies not to repatriate earnings. As a result, U.S. companies hold huge hoards of cash abroad while domestic investment lags.

Since America is now the worst place in the world to earn corporate profits, we might be better off ending all business subsidies and using the savings to eliminate the dual taxation of corporate income and the taxation on foreign earnings—and to lower the corporate tax rate as much as is consistent with revenue neutrality, using static scoring. We could then write a provision into the law that if the improved code collects more taxes than the static revenue estimates, the rate would automatically be lowered over time by the amount of over-performance, down to 25%.

Some final advice: Compromise is fine if it moves you in the right direction. But don't compromise on things that will only make rational reform harder in the future. If you can improve the tax code and help the economy now, do it. But remember, the Obama administration too shall pass, and a poor deal now will make a good one harder to achieve in the future.

Mr. Gramm, a former Republican senator from Texas, is a senior partner of US Policy Metrics and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Colorado Marijuana tax to be 35%? on: July 11, 2013, 10:08:24 AM
Colorado makes a distinction between medical and recreational use.  For taxation there will be 3 categories, medical with zero tax, recreational taxed to the hilt, and old fashioned black market, just like it used to be.

DENVER (CBS4)- The taxes on recreational marijuana might go a lot higher than first thought. Smokers buying at shops in Denver may pay up to 35 percent in taxes.

Colorado voters will be asked to approve two state taxes totaling 25 percent on all retail marijuana sales in the November election. They may be asked to approve an additional city tax for Denver.  Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wants to add an additional five to 10 percent city tax on top of that.  Hancock said the money is needed to pay the costs of regulating the drug.
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: As mentioned before... on: July 10, 2013, 04:11:43 PM
"Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the president's unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects."
 "As the Supreme Court said long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes passed by Congress 'would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.'"

Other examples of this were not enforcing borders, not building the fence, and not deporting.  The justification is that Bush wouldn't do it either, or Clinton, etc.

I don't remember the campaign mantra that we will take the violations and abuse of our predecessor and build on them in ways you can't imagine.
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process fraud, SEIU, corruption, Lois Lerner: "A Behavior Changer" on: July 10, 2013, 02:34:39 PM
Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of tax-exempt organizations who is overseeing the investigation, says many schools are rethinking how and what they report to the government. Receiving a thick questionnaire from the IRS, she says, is a “behavior changer.”

  - November 17, 2011 Business Week,  article about business operations of non-profits
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 10, 2013, 02:25:42 PM
Obvious question:  If Obamacare implementation is taking longer than expected, isn't it also costing more than expected?  Isn't that against the law?  lol
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abort for sexual orientation? Yes you may. on: July 10, 2013, 02:18:36 PM
Watch this be the end of liberal support for legal abortion.  If gayness is born and innate, not learned, eventually we will be able to test for it and give women their choice as is now the case with Down Syndrome.  When then abort, will it be a hate crime?

...everything looks good, the doctor asks the beaming couple, “Now, would you like to know what you’re having?”  When they say they would, the doctor replies, “You’re having a lesbian”
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bret Stephens: Think of the Keystone pipeline as an IQ test for greens on: July 10, 2013, 02:09:08 PM
As environmental disasters go, the explosion Saturday of a runaway train that destroyed much of the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, about 20 miles from the Maine border, will probably go down the memory hole.

It lacks the correct moral and contains an inconvenient truth.

Not that the disaster lacks the usual ingredients of such a moral. The derailed 72-car train belonged to a subsidiary of Illinois-based multinational Rail World, whose self-declared aim is to "promote rail industry privatization." The train was carrying North Dakota shale oil (likely extracted by fracking) to the massive Irving Oil refinery in the port city of Saint John, to be shipped to the global market. At least five people were killed in the blast (a number that's likely to rise) and 1,000 people were forced to evacuate. Quebec's environment minister reports that some 100,000 liters (26,000 gallons) of crude have spilled into the Chaudière River, meaning it could reach Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River before too long.

Environmentalists should be howling. But this brings us to the inconvenient truth.

The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren't enough pipelines to carry it.
Pipelines account for about half as much spillage as railways on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines also tend not to go straight through exposed population centers like Lac-Mégantic. Nobody suggests that pipelines are perfectly reliable or safe, but what is? To think is to weigh alternatives. The habit of too many environmentalists is to evade them.
In 2001, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insisted that "global average surface temperatures [will rise] at rates very likely without precedent during the last 10,000 years," and that they would rise sharply and continuously.

Yet in the 15 years since 1998, surface air temperatures have held flat, a fact now grudgingly conceded by the climate-science establishment, despite more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide having been pumped into the atmosphere over the same period.
The world needs a credible environmental movement. Conservation matters. So does the quality of water and air.
The first application for a Keystone XL pipeline permit was filed with the U.S. State Department in 2008. Since then, the amount of oil being shipped on rails has risen 24-fold. Environmentalists enraged by this column should look at the photo of Lac-Mégantic that goes with it, and think it over.

Read it all at the link:
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, NYC politics, Spitzer v Davis on: July 10, 2013, 01:58:43 PM
"Ironically, Kristin Davis, the madam infamous for her role in the Spitzer scandal, is also running for comptroller (only in New York!). But unlike Spitzer's, Davis' candidacy is not being taken seriously, despite the fact that she has performed well in debates in her previous runs for office. Instead Davis is laughed off, in part because she is a convicted felon. What was she convicted for? She served time for her role in Spitzer's prostitution scandal. He never did. --Keli Goff,, July 8
3660  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense / Zimmerman race trial on: July 10, 2013, 12:28:51 PM
72 more shot and 11 more killed in Chicago over the holiday weekend.  Black on black crime for the most part.  No coverage to speak of.  Some of the rare coverage said violent crime was still down from last year in Chicago.  Lower violent crime than last year in Chicago is not exactly the gold standard of safe neighborhoods. 

Was the Zimmerman show trial ever about anything other than race?  Trayvon was black.  People thought Zimmerman was white, though he is Hispanic and 8 times more black than Elizabeth Warren is 'native'.  A media outlet doctored a tape to make the 911 call sound racial, when all he did was answer a question of what race the man was.  People went nuts, demanding prosecution and got it.  It was overcharged at 2nd degree murder.  That is what it would be if he shot him when when he first saw him, not as the result of a fight and getting his nose broken. 

There is no question in my mind that Zimmerman's claim self defense constitutes more than reasonable doubt to the charge, if not truth.  Zimmerman did not set out to shoot him.  He followed him and called 911 instead.  More likely from what we hear about the testimony, Trayvon started a fist fight and was winning it against a guy who had a gun.  Bad choice.
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Krugman on: July 10, 2013, 12:06:22 PM
Krugman could go always go under under cognitive dissonance of the left (but I'll put it here) and this thread could be closed after the Obama years because is there really any debate left about how to or how not to run an economy?

This caught my attention because really he is refuting Wesbury:

He calls the economy "depressed".  "We really should be adding more than 300,000 jobs a month, not fewer than 200,000. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we would need more than five years of job growth at this rate to get back to the level of unemployment that prevailed before the Great Recession. Full recovery still looks a very long way off. And I’m beginning to worry that it may never happen."

"Ask yourself the hard question: What, exactly, will bring us back to full employment?"

He then goes on with the same drivel.  We won't recover because people don't want large enough fiscal or monetary stimuli. 

"After six years during which hardly any new homes were built in America, housing is trying to stage a comeback. So yes, the economy is showing some signs of healing itself.  But that healing process won’t go very far if policy makers stomp on it, in particular by raising interest rates."

Dr. Krugman, If this economy cannot withstand interest rates greater than zero, after 6 years of artificial stimulus-based 'recovery', MAYBE SOMETHING ELSE IS WRONG.
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 10, 2013, 11:54:27 AM
Scarier than a movement to repeal the Bill of Rights is the movement to add a another Bill of Rights.  *

Ratification is no longer needed; they only need 5 Justices not bound by original text or meaning and anything can become the law of the land.

*  right to a livable wage, decent home, adequate medical care, protection from the fear of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 10, 2013, 11:41:11 AM
Referring to Obamacare in the Constitutional Law thread: "what is the legality and constitutionality of the Obama administration unilaterally picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which programs to implement?"

Now over to immigration...

The point of comprehensive reform is that two sides want two different things, and both sides need to concede one to get the other.  But in the context of Obama chutzpah and power to unilaterally pick and choose what parts of what laws to implement or enforce, hasn't the entire concept of  'comprehensive' reform been permanently destroyed?
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 10, 2013, 11:21:17 AM
Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Timing of the implementation of Obamacare was an essential aspect of the budget constraint issue and budget scoring was an essential element of securing the votes for its passage. 

Co-equal branches?  The House has repealed Obamacare 37 times.  This is a meaningless act because they were not joined by the Senate nor obviously will it be signed by the President. 

Yet President Obama unilaterally delayed implementation of the employer mandate, which is one of the most controversial and damaging aspects of the law. And he simultaneously declared that individuals will not even have IRS records verified for their subsidy, encouraging larger numbers to sign up and become reliant on the new law, making it harder to repeal later even if only partially unimplemented.

Health care aside, what is the legality and constitutionality of the Obama administration unilaterally picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which programs to implement?
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: July 10, 2013, 11:04:16 AM
An excellent point, and one greatly augmented by an omnipresent surveillance state.
One that has been corrupted by a Chicago type thugocrat.

[Typing while GM posted, this makes essentially the same point.]

Yes.  Increased distrust in government is about the only positive Obama accomplishment.  Maybe out of that we can get IRS shrinkage, tax reform and scale back our overly zealous Census Bureau to its constitutional function.  It may also be the downfall of Obamacare, I just can't yet see how.  On the flip side, we may be losing security by losing our trust in the professionalism and independence of our security agencies.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 09, 2013, 02:07:57 PM
"Col. Ralph Peters advocated kicking ass and leaving."

As was my thought on Iraq.  Had we used a large stick and left, we leave with a perception of strength (and hatred, criticism, etc.).  In the current plan, facing trouble and then leaving, we leave with a perception of weakness.  Either way, American military resources and personnel had better have a clear mission and justification for being in harm's way.

Unfortunately all choices are always current tense, not hindsight.  What do we do now?
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:11 AM
"it must be said that Bush left the US in really bad shape in Afpakia"

It was said, if you break it you must fix it.  But Iraq and Afghanistan were already broken.  We had a right of self defense in Afghanistan and Pakistan to take out the elements that were attacking us.  Then we had unrealistic hopes of bridging together a peaceful modern democracy that we could leave behind.  In war, there are always mistakes and miscalculations.  The challenge is how quickly you recognize them and adjust the strategy.  If the end result after 12 years is disaster, the answer in hindsight was to only take out the hostile elements and not try to re-shape the society.
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Krystal and Rich Lowry: Kill the [Senate Immigration] Bill on: July 09, 2013, 11:12:20 AM
Kill the Bill  -  July 9, 2013
Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse than passing nothing.

We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical. But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake. House Republicans should kill it without reservation.

There is no case for the bill, and certainly no urgency to pass it. During the debate over immigration in 2006–07, Republican rhetoric at times had a flavor that communicated a hostility to immigrants as such. That was a mistake, and it did political damage. This time has been different. The case against the bill has been as responsible as it has been damning.

It’s become clear that you can be pro-immigrant and pro-immigration, and even favor legalization of the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and increases in some categories of legal immigration – and vigorously oppose this bill.

The bill’s first fatal deficiency is that it doesn’t solve the illegal-immigration problem. The enforcement provisions are riddled with exceptions, loopholes, and waivers. Every indication is that they are for show and will be disregarded, just as prior notional requirements to build a fence or an entry/exit visa system have been – and just as President Obama has recently announced he’s ignoring aspects of Obamacare that are inconvenient to enforce on schedule. Why won’t he waive a requirement for the use of E-Verify just as he’s unilaterally delayed the employer mandate? The fact that the legalization of illegal immigrants comes first makes it all the more likely that enforcement provisions will be ignored the same way they were after passage of the 1986 amnesty.

Marco Rubio says he doesn’t want to have to come back ten years from now and deal with the same illegal-immigration problem. But that’s exactly what the CBO says will happen under his own bill. According to the CBO analysis of the bill, it will reduce illegal immigration by as little as a third or by half at most. By one estimate, this means there will be about 7.5 million illegal immigrants here in ten years. And this is under the implausible assumption that the Obama administration would administer the law as written.

The bill’s changes in legal immigration are just as ill considered. Everyone professes to agree that our system should be tilted toward high-skilled immigration, but the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers. Nor is the new immigration under the bill a panacea for the long-term fiscal ills of entitlements, as often argued, because those programs are redistributive and most of the immigrants will be low-income workers.

Finally, there is the sheer size of the bill and the hasty manner in which it was amended and passed. Conservatives have eloquently and convincingly made the case against bills like this during the Obama years. Such bills reflect a mistaken belief in central planning and in practice become a stew of deals, payoffs, waivers, and special-interest breaks. Why would House Republicans now sign off on this kind of lawmaking? If you think Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are going swimmingly, you’ll love the Gang of Eight bill. It’s the opposite of conservative reform, which simplifies and limits government, strengthens the rule of law, and empowers citizens.

There’s no rush to act on immigration. The Democrats didn’t do anything when they controlled all of the elected branches in 2009 and 2010. The Gang of Eight tells us constantly that we have a de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants now. Fine. What’s the urgent need to act immediately, then?

The Republicans eager to back the bill are doing so out of political panic. “I think Republicans realize the implications for the future of the Republican party in America if we don’t get this issue behind us,” John McCain says. This is silly. Are we supposed to believe that Republican Senate candidates running in states such as Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, and Montana will be hurt if the party doesn’t embrace Chuck Schumer’s immigration bill?

If Republicans take the Senate and hold the House in 2014, they will be in a much better position to pass a sensible immigration bill. At the presidential level in 2016, it would be better if Republicans won more Hispanic voters than they have in the past—but it’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility. Passing this unworkable, ramshackle bill is counterproductive or irrelevant to that task.   

House Republicans may wish to pass incremental changes to the system to show that they have their own solutions, even though such legislation is very unlikely to be taken up by the Senate. Or they might not even bother, since Senate Democrats say such legislation would be dead on arrival. In any case, House Republicans should make sure not to allow a conference with the Senate bill. House Republicans can’t find any true common ground with that legislation. Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart.

— William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard. Rich Lowry is editor of National Review.
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: July 09, 2013, 10:59:08 AM
Wow! to both of those posts!  There are amazingly few people who can articulate the value of freedom.

Video of the speech:
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chinese banking: a Wild West in the Far East? on: July 08, 2013, 02:56:35 PM
Chinese banking problems, often mentioned on the forum, are covered in depth here today:

“We believe that the domestic Chinese banking system is a mess, with an enormous amount of bad loans, or loans waiting to go bad. The problems of China’s lenders are greater than those of Western banks on the eve of the financial crisis,”
"it seems likely that today’s highpoint will be seen in hindsight as the ultimate warning signal of a coming crash."
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 08, 2013, 02:40:29 PM
Wesbury post combined with a James Pethokoukis clarification, nice balancing act!
Previously in the thread, "Doug: I think there is a distinction here to be made between the actual economy and the market."

Doug:  "Wesbury and I both blur the distinction between the market and the economy."

Wesbury today: "stock market and the economy have moved consistently higher"

Doug (now):  The stock market moved way up; the economy has not hit first gear.  All job growth is immigrant.  All job growth is part time.  Taxes on capital are up as much as 60% federal and 30% state, and there are now over 170,000 pages of federal regulations.  Hooray?  No, good luck!
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion takes five years to complete on: July 08, 2013, 02:12:19 PM
Another story about a botched abortion, this one lived 5 years before dying:

NYT has a story today about an abortion that went well.  20 year olds were able to keep their convenience, avoid consequence and avoid a stigma, complete masters degrees and then have a family.  The would-be third oldest became the second oldest, the second oldest became the oldest and they all lived happily ever after, that is, except for that one that didn't.  
3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IEEE: Electric car, unclean at any speed on: July 08, 2013, 02:03:36 PM

most electric-car assessments analyze only the charging of the car. This is an important factor indeed. But a more rigorous analysis would consider the environmental impacts over the vehicle’s entire life cycle, from its construction through its operation and on to its eventual retirement at the junkyard.

One study attempted to paint a complete picture. Published by the National Academies in 2010 and overseen by two dozen of the United States’ leading scientists, it is perhaps the most comprehensive account of electric-car effects to date. Its findings are sobering.
The materials used in batteries are no less burdensome to the environment, the MIT study noted. Compounds such as lithium, copper, and nickel must be coaxed from the earth and processed in ways that demand energy and can release toxic wastes. And in regions with poor regulations, mineral extraction can extend risks beyond just the workers directly involved. Surrounding populations may be exposed to toxic substances through air and groundwater contamination.
an electric car is likely worse than a car fueled exclusively by gasoline derived from Canadian tar sands!
Upon closer consideration, moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another.

3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Organized Religion on: July 07, 2013, 04:56:11 PM
The bad behaviors, bad systems, and bad management are all violations of the Church's teachings, not any indictment of the validity of the teachings. 

I agree this failure has a link to the celibacy policy for priests.  Eagerness to forgive sin isn't helpful here either.  Some sins are unforgivable.

OTOH, nothing in Catholic or Christian teaching says it is acceptable to harm children.  The violators and those who cover up for them are imposters, not Christians or Catholics, IMHO.  Further, they are atheists if they believe God is not watching them behind closed doors.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 06, 2013, 10:53:50 AM
I agree with you 100% on the value of reading Wesbury in addition to the doom and gloom out there.  I am pointing out the converse, Wesbury's optimism alone without the opposing doom and gloom would also leave one misinformed.  He hinted only subtly at the trouble with Obamacare indicated in the numbers and gave no clear signal that full time and broader unemployment is actually worsening.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 06, 2013, 10:39:40 AM
Thanks.  And I teed that one up for you.  Your clarity is appreciated!

People read certain publications and assume we already proved fracking is killing us.  Like Letterman's writers, I oppose poisoning the planet; I just wish they would cite one credible instance before we shut down the American economy.  As I posted previously, imagine what our 0.0% growth rate looks like without the boom in energy, and none of it coming from federal lands.  The political-regulatory war against fracking isn't hypothetical.  Too bad it is synonymous with a war against science.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 06, 2013, 10:24:03 AM
George Will today: 
Although the Constitution has no Article VIII, the administration acts as though there is one that reads: “Notwithstanding all that stuff in other articles about how laws are made, if a president finds a law politically inconvenient, he can simply post on the White House Web site a notice saying: Never mind.”

Never mind that the law stipulates 2014 as the year when employers with 50 full-time workers are mandated to offer them health-care coverage or pay fines. Instead, 2015 will be the year. Unless Democrats see a presidential election coming.

Hey Obama – why couldn’t a Republican President delay all of Obamacare for 10,000 years?

As the Obamacare law is written, the employer mandate is to begin in January 2014. This is what the law said when it was passed by the House and Senate, and signed by President Obama in 2010.

However, it has been reported that President Obama has just delayed the employer mandate part of Obamacare until January 2015. Obama did this without approval from Congress.

It was Obama himself who delayed part of Obamacare for one year. If Obama can do this, I would love to hear him explain why a Republican President could not delay all of Obamacare for 10,000 years.
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, IBD on Jobs Report: More of the same = mediocrity on: July 06, 2013, 10:11:47 AM
I agree that Wesbury has degraded to the point where he needs to be posted with a contrary opinion or spin in order for what he presents to be informative.  It is quite a miss in my view that he would write an update about improved employment when both U6 and full time jobs are down.

Is not U6 a better and broader measure?  Patriot Post:  "...while the U-6 rate -- a more complete measure that includes those who have given up looking for work -- jumped significantly from 13.8 percent to 14.3 percent"

Hours worked are 'up' 0.2%.  We will return to our previous growth line at this pace - never.
Investors Business Daily today: A Solid Jobs Report? No, This Is a Crisis

Employment: From the media to Wall Street, June's jobs report is being spun as a major positive, a sign the economy is getting back on track. Maybe the pundits should look at the actual numbers, which are abysmal.

To hear some of them, the 195,000 payroll jobs added for the month while the unemployment rate stayed at 7.6% were a big deal. One investment house called it a "very good report." Another termed it "solid."

Really? Let's take a little closer look at the numbers.

The total number of payroll jobs in the economy, at 135.9 million, is still 1.6% below 5-1/2 years ago, when the recession began. We're not even back at scratch.

At June's pace of 195,000 new jobs a month, it will take 11 months to get back to where we were in 2007. If you factor in monthly growth of 120,000 in the labor force, that will barely make a dent in unemployment.

In short, this jobs recovery isn't solid. It's pathetic.

It's even worse when you consider all of the net addition to June jobs - repeat, all - were part time. Compared with the 360,000 part-time positions created, full-time employment shrank by 240,000.

Year to date, only 130,000 full-time jobs have been added to our economy. The rest of the jobs - 557,000 - have been part time.

And tucked deep into the jobs report was this little tidbit: The underemployment rate, which measures those working in a job for which they're overqualified, or working part-time when they really want full-time work, shot up from 13.8% to 14.3%.

This isn't a solid jobs report. It's a crisis.

A new report from McKinsey & Co. says 45% of college graduates today have jobs that don't require college degrees. A generation of young, educated workers - our future human capital - is being wasted on waiting tables and selling shoes.

And those are the young people who can get jobs. The unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-olds stands at 16.1%, with 1.7 million having dropped out of the labor force entirely.

Why is this happening?

Certainly five years of "stimulus" by President Obama and quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve haven't helped. And thousands of pages of new regulations, higher taxes on entrepreneurs and a deep philosophical antipathy toward healthy free markets by this administration have made businesses wary of hiring.

The No. 1 culprit, though, is ObamaCare. The added costs this monstrous piece of legislation has imposed on employers of full-time workers encourages them to hire only part-timers, who get few benefits and no health care.

So don't count us among those singing the praises of the latest employment numbers. From this vantage point, they look like more of the same: mediocrity.
3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, and glib cabinet, Egypt, and 4th of July on: July 06, 2013, 09:59:39 AM
State department denies, denies, denies, then admits Sec. Kerry was out yachting during the Egypt coup. (CBS)  Bottoms up to the dreaded 3am phone call.  Let's party.

Meanwhile Pres. Obama cancelled fireworks displays on military bases due to budget constraints, takes his own $100 million extended working vacation, is the first(?) President to vacation outside the U.S. over the 4th of July.  What is all this liberty-mania about anyway?

This is a working trip; he is writing his own Declaration of Coercive Paternalism.

The winning tweet on Obama's handling of the Egypt crisis goes to Glenn Reynolds:

"On Egypt, Obama should strive for irrelevance. It’s the best he is going to do."
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: David Letterman swings and misses - No Verified Cases on: July 06, 2013, 09:30:07 AM

Shocking, a Letterman show where Letterman stopped being funny. What part of no verified cases of water contamination does this political wannabe not understand?

First he says of himself, "I'm not smart enough to understand this", and I agree with him.

Second, he confirms my allegation that there is a war against fracking.  He offers not a shred of new evidence.  Does anyone think Letterman came up with this rant on his own?  That's a joke.  NYT has done entire series without offering a shred of evidence either.  Just speculation of damage.

Famous people in this case not caught reading the forum, let's go over what he would know if he checked the forum first?

Letterman mentions Colorado as gone, destroyed, and Colorado was mentioned earlier today as a model state the left has taken oven, yet the environmental leftist Governor brags on Huffington Post drank the fracking fluid, meaning it is that safe. Again:  [Left Wing] Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)Tells Senate Committee He Drank the Fracking Fluid [to demonstrate it is not toxic]

I took the time to compile statements from all states involving fracking that they have no incidents reported of drinking water ever getting contaminated, and I welcome the opportunity to bring these posts forward.  (Excerpted below)

As if Letterman deserves reply, there is no mystery as to what is in tap water; my city's tap water is tested and measured every year, based not on corporate greed, but on the existing requirement of ample federal, state and local laws already in place.  The mention of methane discovered in water is quite frightening, implied by fire in the faucets, but this was not new nor caused fracking.   Where in science or logic did THAT connection come from?  Both water and natural gas come from the ground.  One didn't cause the other unless you present evidence that it did.  Screw Letterman, the question is what gives Crafty and others with informed logic their skepticism of America's two cleanest forms of energy.  Would you prefer dirty energy from farther away, or doing without energy and our fleeting prosperity?

"U.S. CO2 Emissions Hit 20 Year Low"  - Why??  Fracking.  What say Letterman (and NYT) about THAT?  (Emissions would be lower yet if we were also building up our nuclear capacity.)

Did anyone read all of this long post, debunking NYT/Letterman bunk and ending with statements of the existing regulatory authorities:

Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from Regulatory Officials

"In recent months, the states have become aware of press reports and websites alleging that six states have documented over one thousand incidents of ground water contamination resulting from the practice of hydraulic fracturing.  Such reports are not accurate." - President of the Ground Water Protection Council

"After 25 years of investigating citizen complaints of contamination, DMRM geologists (Ohio Division of Mineral Resources Management) have not documented a single incident involving contamination of ground water attributed to hydraulic fracturing."  - Ohio Department of Natural Resources

After review of DEP's [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] complaint database and interviews with regional staff that
investigate groundwater contamination related to oil and gas activities, no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water has been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations.  - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

"we have found no example of contamination of usable water where the cause was claimed to be hydraulic fracturing."  - New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

"I can state with authority that there have been no documented cases of drinking water contamination caused by such hydraulic fracturing operations in our State."  - STATE OIL AND GAS BOARD OF ALABAMA

"Though hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 50 years in Texas, our records do not indicate a single documented contamination case associated with hydraulic fracturing."  - chief regulatory agency over oil and gas activities in Texas

"There have been no verified cases of harm to ground water in the State of Alaska as a result of hydraulic fracturing."  - Commissioner Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

"To the knowledge of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff, there has been no verified instance of harm to groundwater caused by hydraulic fracturing in Colorado."

"There have been no instances where the Division of Oil and Gas has verified that harm to groundwater has ever been found to be the result of hydraulic fracturing in Indiana."  - Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

"The Louisiana Office of Conservation is unaware of any instance of harm to groundwater in the State of Louisiana caused by the practice of hydraulic fracturing."

"My agency, the Office of Geological Survey (OGS) of the Department of Environmental Quality, regulates oil and gas exploration and production in Michigan. Hydraulic fracturing has been utilized extensively for many years in Michigan, in both deep formations and in the relatively shallow Antrim Shale formation. There are about 9,900 Antrim wells in Michigan producing natural gas at depths of 500 to 2000 feet. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in virtually every Antrim well. There is no indication that hydraulic fracturing has ever caused damage to ground water or other resources in Michigan."

"No documented cases of groundwater contamination from fracture stimulations in Wyoming."

Link: Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from Regulatory Officials

3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, vote fraud,corruption: Electioon by 'Data Mining" on: July 05, 2013, 01:04:52 PM
Does anyone remember a) that in 2009 the Obama White House took the 2010 Census away from the Commerce Dept and brought it in-house, and b) in 2010 the Obama allies got their asses handed to them by the tea party.

Then in the 2012 campaign the Obama-IRS shut down tea party operations and then won the election based on turnout derived from "data mining" in "The Cave" in Chicago with secret sources of information that they already happened to have via Census, IRS etc.
Today on

Data Mining and Elections
Barney Brenner | Jul 05, 2013

"these anything goes, Alinsky acolytes now have access to data, and its electoral ramifications, which Nixon couldn’t begin to dream of. And this administration can’t be trusted not to use it. ...

The Left is attempting a bloodless coup."

Please see also:   
    February 10, 2009
Why Obama Wants Control of the Census
Counting citizens is a powerful political tool.

Get Ready For the U.S. Census Fight, Chicago-style
Republicans are fit to be tied over the Obama administration's Tom DeLay-style strategy of removing the U.S. Census Bureau from the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department and transfering it to the White House.

Let Statisticians, Not White House, Conduct the 2010 Census
By: Bruce Chapman
February 7, 2009

3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, The 3am call from Egypt on: July 03, 2013, 10:45:08 AM
3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Steve Forbes: Economic impact of Energy Production on: July 03, 2013, 10:40:02 AM
We don't all possess G M's gift of brevity.   wink

Steve Forbes: The U.S. is on its way to becoming the world's largest oil producer.

How much longer will we hear empty claims from President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the United States has only 3% of the world's oil supplies and therefore, "we can't drill our way out of the problem"? The recent increase in domestic oil and gas production is sending shock waves through the global energy economy and is bolstering the USA's standing among the energy-producing giants in the Middle East. Not only are U.S.-Middle East relations changing in a geopolitical sense, but also economically, as trade balances reflect increasing U.S. energy production.

According to a recent report from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. domestic crude-oil production in May exceeded oil imports for the first time in 16 years. Moreover, this past February, the U.S. met 88% of its own energy needs -- the highest rate since 1986. These milestones are in no small part due to the oil and natural gas boom and improved technologies such as hydraulic fracturing.

But that's not all. U.S. imports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have decreased more than 20% since 2010 with the International Energy Agency predicting that the U.S. could become the world's largest oil producer by 2020, and possibly energy independent by 2035.

These developments have considerable implications on U.S. foreign policy. If we continue developing our energy and manufacturing sectors, no longer will the U.S. have to kowtow to dictators of volatile nations for fear of disrupting our energy supply or rocking international markets. And we will feel far less compelled to intervene in foreign conflicts to stabilize world energy supplies. Indeed, the calculus for determining a threshold for intervention in another sovereign nation is changing in a promising way. The U.S. will always have a vested interest in a stable Middle East but the prospect -- and eventual realization -- of U.S. energy independence tips the scale and lessens the ability of rogue dictators to exercise their geopolitical control.

Decreased dependency on foreign oil doesn't just impact American foreign policy; it also opens the door for the U.S. to no longer send hundreds of billions of dollars each year to countries not always friendly to the U.S. Representatives from OPEC member countries recently complained about the impact of the largely unexpected U.S. shale boom. Oil and gas imports from Nigeria, Algeria and Angola -- three of OPEC's African members -- have decreased to their lowest levels in decades. Between 2011 and 2012, exports from those countries dropped by 41%.

Additionally, the shale gas/natural gas boom here at home could spur an energy and manufacturing renaissance that will create thousands of new, high-paying jobs in dozens of states. However this manufacturing resurgence will never fully occur if agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and others maintain their usual bunker mentality while mandating excessive and costly regulations that effectively block new energy and manufacturing operations.

Consider the Alaska oil pipeline, which was mired in regulatory limbo for more than five years while bureaucrats scrutinized, litigated and studied its impact. But since its completion in 1977, the Alaska pipeline has delivered more than 16 billion barrells of oil to market, while maintaining an exemplary environmental record.

The Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver crude oil from a friendly Canada is experiencing similar delays. Under review since 2008, the Keystone pipeline has been studied more extensively than the Alaska pipeline. The delay is not only costing the U.S. cheap energy from a reliable neighbor, but also thousands of good-paying jobs.

A Renewable Fuel Standard is another example of misguided government regulation. The RFS mandates the blending of an experimental, cellulosic ethanol into gasoline and is driving up costs for refineries that are either forced to purchase renewable fuel credits or face large fines for not using a biofuel that exists in laboratories, not commercially.

Then, there are the upcoming EPA ozone standards: tougher restrictions on smog levels that by some estimates, will cost $90 billion a year just to implement. Under newly proposed EPA ozone targets, even Yellowstone National Park would be out of compliance. Many cities are still struggling to comply with 2008 standards. A recent Heritage Foundation study revealed that by the year 2100, carbon-capping policies could cost the global economy a staggering $100 trillion.

The U.S. oil and natural gas boom is drastically improving our standing in the global economy and strengthening our foreign policy might. It can also create a manufacturing boom if Washington gets out of its own way. And Americans want this energy and manufacturing renaissance to occur. A recent Gallup survey showed that 48% of Americans place higher priority on economic recovery and job growth over mandating additional environmental protections.

It's time for Washington to take heed.
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science: The "Bright Side" of Global Warming in Britain on: July 03, 2013, 10:28:28 AM
First, a comment or two to the above regarding Death Valley, Vegas in summer etc.: Records are in the context of how short a time we have measured and measured accurately.  Also, they are in the context that here we just had a record long and cold winter, as did China, Russia and other places.  Good reporting would be that it is hot out, or cold out in a particular place, not that the planet is turning to molten rock - unless it is.  How much air conditioning did Vegas have 50 or 100 years ago?  If Vegas would prohibit air conditioning, which puts more heat outside than cold air inside, the outdoor temps in summer would not be so bad.  Just a thought.  Fewer people would fly there, hence less greenhouse gas.  We make choices.

From the Times of London: “Global Warming Has a Bright Side”:

    A SURGE in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions could create a boost for parts of the British economy, a government report will suggest this week.

    The National Adaptation programme, to be published tomorrow by Defra, the environment ministry, will suggest that farming, forestry and tourism will all benefit from warmer summers, while shipping will profit from the shorter sea routes caused by the melting of the ice caps.

    It will even say that rising warmth might boost Britons’ health, encouraging them to spend more time outdoors, where exposure to sunshine would boost vitamin D levels.

And the Telegraph reports:

    Climate change will be good for British farming, according to Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, with exotic crops such as melons already thriving. In a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, she said that, although problems such as droughts would become more frequent, warmer weather would also mean a longer growing season and less frost damage, allowing the introduction of crops such as peaches, maize and sunflowers. Already 10,000 melons are expected to be harvested in Kent this year.
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / President Coolidge 1926 on: July 03, 2013, 10:04:50 AM
It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and were very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. . . .

It was the fact that our Declaration of Independence containing these immortal truths was the political action of a duly authorized and constituted representative public body in its sovereign capacity, supported by the force of general opinion and by the armies of Washington already in the field, which makes it the most important civil document in the world.

 - From President Calvin Coolidge's "Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence" in Philadelphia, July 5, 1926
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 03, 2013, 09:38:59 AM
We are perhaps in agreement but headed different directions with this.

If there is contamination of water supplies that cross state lines, the federal government certainly could justify jurisdiction over it.  But, a) we haven't seen a trace of evidence of that, b) we already have laws and enforcement mechanisms in place since the 1970s, c) the EPA as we knew it has more recently run astray and can't be trusted with any hint of new power or bureaucracy, and d) the states in with this problem, and there aren't any, already have protective agencies on both sides of any border should first try to resolve the problem, that doesn't exist, among themselves before imposing a solution, to no problem, from Washington DC.

"The contamination" would be from the fracking process."  - To that I have posted that the Dem Gov of Colorado drank the fracking fluid, and all state regulatory agencies have testified no instances of contaminated drinking water from fracking.  No doubt the opponents of civilization/fracking will come forward some day with East Anglia data, but for now, nothing credible has made it to these pages.

Let's ask the jurisdictional question a different, more personal way. (botched analogy warning)  At what level should we regulate Martial Arts Schools that reach across state and national lines with their scope and impact?  Local, state, federal, all of the above, or by some one world government that can cover the entire impact?  Visualize for one thing a great, big, new federal building housing thousands of new scientists, bureaucrats and enforcement and compliance agents with unlimited budgets labeled something like the new federal bureau of martial arts school department of monitoring, enforcement, compliance and new rules generation agency committed to killing off an industry they don't like. But the right answer is none of the above.  We don't have a problem, a complaint, or an incident; these schools are doing far more good than harm, and there are already plenty of far-reaching laws in existence at all of these levels to handle problems that could arise.  My point is that the original question leads to a solution not needed because we have not identified a problem.

"no new problem has been identified to be in need of a solution"
So then the point to make is there already is federal regulation.

Yes that would have been far more succinct.   smiley
3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / “innocent-bystander-in-chief”* line is not selling, 43% IBD/TIPP on: July 02, 2013, 11:49:45 PM
President Obama's approval rating tumbled to a record low as Americans reacted to the government's sweeping surveillance programs and other scandals, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index.

3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politico: What if Hillary did not run? on: July 02, 2013, 01:17:44 PM
In almost hysteria, a politco journalist asks, what if Hillary did not run?  This is a rare admission on the left that the Dem bench is empty.

“We would be at sea in a lifeboat with no food, no water, and no land in sight,” said one veteran Democratic operative who has worked on presidential campaigns, and who, like most people interviewed for this story, asked for anonymity to speak candidly about the former first lady. “There is no Plan B.”
"Such assessments wouldn’t sit well with Democrats who are looking at 2016 as the understudies to Clinton – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Vice President Joe Biden, to name a few."

I already said Hillary will lose to Hickenlooper.

Speaking of yellow state governors, how come Andrew Cuomo isn't making the lib journalist short lists?

3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the market, Martin Feldstein WSJ on: July 02, 2013, 12:49:23 PM
Feldstein argues that the Fed should start to taper off now the QE program, not because the economy is healthy, but because they aren't working and the 'risks' that policy brings are growing.  Perhaps a monetary thread issue, but I quote him for the following spin-free, US economic data relevant to discussions here.  If the economy is in a stall, what other than QE was driving the market up?

Over the past year, unemployment has declined to 7.6% from 8.2%. However, there has been no increase in the ratio of employment to population, no decline in the teenage unemployment rate, and virtually no increase in the real average weekly earnings of those who are employed. The decline in the number of people in the labor force in the past 12 months actually exceeded the decline in the number of unemployed.

These poor labor-market conditions are unlikely to improve in the coming months. ... [The growth rate was] less than 2% in 2012, 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013, and a likely 1.7% in the second quarter [just ended]..."

Today's WSJ:

Might I add, if the economic growth rate nationwide is roughly zero during this boom in oil and natural gas (due to fracking) with the related containment on the cost of energy for businesses, manufacturing and consumers, please imagine what the health of the economy is if we put our only growth sector in handcuffs.
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Earned distrust in federal government and solutions in search of a problem on: July 02, 2013, 11:03:07 AM
"I suggest that we don't regulate safe and healthy production.  What we do is prohibit ground water contamination. "

Fair enough!

Allow me to restate then:

In that ground water is an interstate phenomenon (contamination will not be limited to intrastate)  it seems logical the legal regime for it should be interstate, i.e. federal as well.

If I may, I think you are conflating more than one point:

a) the motives of some opponents of fracking;
b) the track record so far;
c) whether a state or federal legal regime should be the legal framework.

My point speaks specifically to the third of these; to it the first two are irrelevant.

At the risk of becoming annoying, I continue.  Again, what contamination crossing state lines?  Yes, federal would be the correct framework, if not for the fact we already regulate water contamination at the federal level, no new problem has been identified to be in need of a solution, the federal apparatus has proven it can bring down any industry it chooses without solving a problem, and the fact that this EPA is no longer under the control of congress nor is it a government run of, by or for the people.  A federal solution should be a last case answer for what states are unable to resolve amongst themselves, which is not the case right now in fracking.

The point of this discussion right now is the implication that we need new laws and new bureaucracies to address this new and growing threat to our environment.  But there are no instances.  There is no letter drafted by one state alleging their water supply has been contaminated by under-regulated or under-enforced activity in another state.  And it begs the question, contamination with what?  Fracking fluid? 

I don't think sounding off warning signals about federal government over-regulation before we head off into making a huge mistake is a small matter - or irrelevant.  It is not the motives of some, but the motives of all who oppose an industry with no evidence of pollution that are in question, IMHO. 

Turn this over to the Feds right now and they will destroy it.  It is no small matter.  North Dakota is not going to accept the energy policies of NY, Calif and DC at this point in time IMHO.  Worst case isn't a destroyed industry; we may see states secede over it.

Take the federal logic one step further out.  The U.S. must share an aquifer or two with Canada, and Belgium with France etc.  Isn't the only real solution for this one world government?  If not, why not?  We don't trusty the UN to do the right thing for the right reasons in our own best interests.  Well guess what?
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 01, 2013, 07:04:19 PM
I'm not saying one was, I'm saying that it is the fear of this external dis-economy which drives the conversation.

I appreciate that but see the motives of the opponents quite a bit more cynically.  Please forgive my quibbling - as I continue to do so.   wink

Your point posed the question, "IF (emphasis mine) the question presented is the contamination of an aquifer..."

I would like to stop you right there because I have taken the time to gather, quote and publish, in these threads, statements from the regulatory authorities of every state involved in fracking claiming that there have been no incidents to their knowledge of contaminated ground water.  Please post otherwise (anyone), science, not NYT speculation.  I also posted Gov. Hickenlooper's testimony to the Senate Energy committee (D-Colo.) bragging that he drank the fracking fluid:

The article questions, who should be in charge of regulating fracking?

I suggest that we don't regulate safe and healthy production.  What we do is prohibit ground water contamination. 

Please understand (everyone) that there is a war against energy production and prosperity that goes far beyond science and pollution.  In war, one may need to take sides.  If fracking is destroying drinking water, let's stop it.  If it is not, let's legalize it.  These 'regulators' in MN are trying to stop SAND from crossing state lines in order to hinder oil and natural gas production in North Dakota.  Good grief.  So let's give power to people even further away from it.  Elites who know better than us like we do for everything else.

Let's ban dihydorgen monoxide while we're at it.
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 01, 2013, 12:45:30 PM
Sorry, but which aquifer was contaminated?
3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bipartisan (?) Blank-Slate tax Reform on: July 01, 2013, 12:43:15 PM
The two ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee are starting a project of writing a new tax code and replacing the current 72,000 page monstrosity.  They have put their peers on notice that they have one month to report back on what deductions, exemptions and special treatments are worth keeping and why.  Otherwise we start from scratch, blank slate.  This is great news except for the fact that Max Baucus (D-MT) is lame duck, not running for reelection and not supported by his own party and Orrin Hatch serves in the minority party with no power and no chance of moving good legislation forward.  Still, this is a very positive development compared to the status quo of no one talking about the problem or a solution since the last Republican Presidential losers' debate of winter, 2012.
3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar - WSJ: Snowden had help on: July 01, 2013, 11:54:10 AM
Who Helped Snowden Steal State Secrets?
The preparations began before he took the job that landed him at the NSA.

Before taking the job in Hawaii, Mr. Snowden was in contact with people who would later help arrange the publication of the material he purloined. Two of these individuals, filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald, were on the Board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation that, among other things, funds WikiLeaks.

In January 2013, according to the Washington Post, Mr. Snowden requested that Ms. Poitras get an encryption key for Skype so that they could have a secure channel over which to communicate.

In February, he made a similar request to Mr. Greenwald, providing him with a step-by-step video on how to set up encrypted communications.
3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 01, 2013, 11:49:34 AM
One strategy for immigration the House could use would be to pass the good parts of the Senate bill individually instead of passing any version of comprehensive reform.  This would prevent the Senate from rolling over the House in conference committee for a bad deal.  If the 'gang' and the Senate are serious about security first, pass security first.  They aren't and they won't, so call the question.  If they are serious about building 700 miles of double fence, build it.  Same for e-verify and visa anti-over-stay enforcement.  Then come back for legalization.
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: July 01, 2013, 11:41:26 AM
I read an AP version of the Egypt protest story yesterday and Strat and WSJ ( and I still cannot tell who is better or worse from our point of view, Morsi or whoever would replace him if the crowd today had its way.  Summarized by the last line in the WSJ editorial: "The alternatives are all ugly."
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Should Feds or States regulate fracking? on: July 01, 2013, 11:31:14 AM
Should the Federal Government Regulate Fracking?

"States aren't fully up to the task of regulating these risks."

Isn't it exactly the other way around?  The Federal government has been a complete failure in the regulation of the energy industry and states have presided over our greatest successes.

Let's say there is a hypothetical difference over how to regulate fracking on the border of North Dakota and Montana, a damage from one state that spills over to the other. Why not first let those two states try to resolve that before we turn to NY, Calif and DC for the 'answer'.

The answer out of Washington has been consistent.  Produce no energy.  Force the production to countries that are enemies of the US, who have drilling and refining etc techniques far worse than ours, then send them trillions of dollars to take up arms and attacks against us.

"Let states devise local solutions to what are mostly local problems."

Amen to that.
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Best math-science pranks on: June 30, 2013, 11:11:19 PM
Let ρ=A. Is it possible to extend isomorphisms? We show that D′ is stochastically orthogonal and trivially affine. In [10], the main result was the construction of 𝔭-Cardano, compactly Erdős, Weyl functions. This could shed important light on a conjecture of Conway-d’Alembert.

 - 'The Best Science Pranks Ever Pulled', the one above is a Randomly-Generated Math Paper Accepted by a Math Journal

More links at the links.
Regular readers are well aware that dihydrogen monoxide -- H2O -- is water. But apparently many residents of Lee County, Florida are not. Just this past April Fools' day, two Florida deejays warned their listeners that dihydrogen monoxide was leaking from faucets across the state. Panic ensued, and the water utility was flooded with calls from concerned citizens, so many, in fact, that they were forced to issue a public statement.

3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Human Genetic Engineering in UK; 3 parent embryos on: June 29, 2013, 01:52:32 PM
UK to allow research into three-parent embryos
The UK government has decided that it will allow the creation of three-parent embryos to prevent the births of children with mitochondrial diseases. The announcement came after an extensive consultation carried out by the fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, last year which found that most Britons were not opposed to the procedure.

I understand that this is for the purpose of preventing a genetic disease but at some point, in my view, man pretending to take over for God with the design and evolution of life is not realistic or in our best interest.
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, often criminal history, Liberty award? on: June 28, 2013, 11:23:06 PM
Could anyone imagine Clinton honoring their political enemy like this?
All they have to do when she runs against Bush is replay this image of him honoring her.   

I don't know what good it does, but I share your reaction to this.  We live in an anti-liberty tsunami.  How is liberty going in your business, Doc?  Coercive Paternalism might be a better descriptor than Liberty.  Though she was only Sec of State, these are the policies she is working to advance too.  The results are a human tragedy. 

Hillary was negligent in her own duties, failing to answer the security challenge in Benghazi and a co-conspirator to cover that up after the fact.  That is in addition to her prior, "long, sordid, and often criminal history".  But she wins the liberty award.  Unbelievable.

"Clinton traveled to 112 countries"

That is how we measure success in 2013?  These were the places where "Chris" Stevens could not reach her.  One million miles on the taxpayer dime and liberty moved backwards around the globe on her watch. 

But the elites honor the elites for "Liberty", while ignoring the loss of liberty of the people.
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