Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anthropogenic Global Warming Lacks Scientic Backing

Having spent the bulk of my professional career in the field of marketing and sales, I have learned a few things about what works and what does not. I have also learned that what is acceptable in one industry is not necessarily acceptable in another.

For example, in the consumer products world, if you build a new widget or better mouse trap, you can tell the world that is 'new and improved' or the best at doing this and that. Little verification is required; it is just an unsubstantiated claim. In the technology space, for the most part, the same thing. There are groups or individuals that actually do detailed analysis of the claims, but in general, we buy it because we think we like it, or it is fashionable, etc.

In the medical or scientific world, things are clearer -- more absolute. Scientific progress depends on accurate and complete data and on replication. A manufacturer cannot make claims without some scientific backing. Research and testing are required. If a medication is designed to lower blood pressure it a) should lower blood pressure in almost every case and b) should have limited side effects, and the ones it does have should be clear for the MD and patient to make an risk assessment. Just because a company wants a product to work or does as it was designed, if the science shows it does not, then the manufacture cannot market it as if if does.

The anthropogenic global warming (man-made global warming) consortia have confused scientific evidence with political will. For people belonging to the church of the global warming, scientific evidence supporting their claims is not quite where they want it to be. As such, they have done their best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. Only active 'church of the global warming' member need to participate. If you fail to hold the line, it will ostracize you.

A week ago, a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. He released a series of email damaging to the anthropogenic global warming crowds' legitimacy (as if it had any). Are stolen email and documents legitimate? One can argue either way. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that this is more of a political political argument than a scientific one.

If it were a scientific one, I really am not sure why a body of people want to turn the world's economy on its head through stringent government regulations. Prudence and reason should reign. Being good stewards of the earth is something all inhabitants should practice. However, teaching people that man is bad and the earth will be destroyed if the "enlightened ones" don't do something it, is pure rubbish.

It is clear that the anthropogenic global warming crowd (researchers) have gone out of their way to conceal information that counters their bias. At least one U.S. Senator is interested in following up with an investigation into "Climategate." Obama is pro-anthropogenic global warming, a key to his campaign. He could care less if it is based on any scientific evidence. He knows it is in his best political interest personally (not the nation's) because most of his supporters believe in this 'man-bad, earth good' diatribe.

The earth is going to be here long after we are gone. We all should make it a better place to live. But U.S.-based legislation or some global accord is not the way to accomplish this.

I will never get why these people think that if everyone in America drove electric cars, lived in solar and/or wind powered houses and recycled our own bath water, the world would some how cool down. The Asians, Latin Americans, eastern Europeans, Africans are not going to do anything about it.

And finally, why do anthropogenic global warmers believe that average temperatures of the earth over the pass 200 years are normal. Last time I looked, people like warmer temperatures.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crossing the Mexican Border

I spent the day in Nogales, Mexico. Getting into Mexico is rather easy -- no lines -- they just want you to pay $23. that is the equivalent of a Visa but to for a specific company. (We have other facilities in Mexico that I can use this for, entering in another port of entry.)

Coming back was more involved. the guy I was with drives to-from Nogales once a week. He has a "fast pass" to expedite his crossings. He was able to drive through a special lane. right before crossing, I got out, walked around the corner to the foot-traffic line. It took about 5 minutes, met a US border patrol agent, he asked me a few question after looking at my passport, and wallah, back in the USA.

What I noticed or confirmed is that like most security, it is for the few. Most people pass back and forth for work. They do not have evil on the mind. It is the few -- the smugglers, the wanna-be terrorists, the disease-carrying chaff -- that merit the billions spent on security.

And it is the few that truly merit this expenditure in our to protect this nation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Obama Warns of Double Dip Recession

This week, President Obama made his way throughout eastern Asia. On Wednesday, he issued a warning:
the US economy could head into a “double-dip recession” unless urgent steps were taken to rein in mounting public debt.

It is important though to recognise if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a double-dip recession.
Is he repenting of his administration's recent economic sins? Or is he posturing for more bad news in the coming months and years?

He has spent like few administration prior, from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Cash for Clunkers and publicly-traded company takeovers. And now he is saying we need to rein in public debt.

He is encouraging a Democratic congress to pass a complete take-over of the nation's health care system and medical insurance industries, creating a entitlement program that will dwarf Social Security. How does this reconcile with his "double-dip" warning?

Housing does not look like it will rebound anytime soon. Consumer spending will remain stagnant for a long time. The stock market is looking more and more like a useless place to put money. Unemployment will remain at least at ten percent for a couple of years, probably raising to 11-13 percent because his administration's fiscal policies are destructive and discouraging to business investments and growth plans. His monetary policies are detrimental to the dollar, as it continue to buy less and less. The only saving grace for the average person, but not for some industries, is the stable price of energy. Could you image what it would be like if oil drifted back up to $4-5/gallon?

If Obama is warning about a double-dip recession, he is really showing his hand and is fearful of the future. If it were not so, he would be telling us how the government programs are bringing us out of this recession. We are dutifully warned. His policies will ensure this recession will get worse before it will get better.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gore Claims the Earth's Core Is Several Million Degrees

How is it that Al Gore continues to succeed despite his ignorance? The Nobel Laureate recently told Conan O'Brien that the Earth's interior is "extremely hot, several million degrees." That's more along the lines of the sun. The Earth's core is a few thousand degrees...just slightly off.

If the temperature anywhere inside the earth was "several million degrees," we'd be a star.

The demigod of man-made global warming continues to demonstrate that the Church of Global Warming is based on good intentions, not of facts. Facts just get in the way. So what if he's off by a million, his good intent was there -- man needs to harvest geothermal energy. (I wonder if he has a business investment in one or more geothermal enterprises? Duh.)

Most leaders of major causes, from cults and gangs to CEOs, have a basic understanding of the facts associated with their causes or businesses. They know when they don't and know when to keep quite. Algore has none of these qualities yet dorks continue to follow his rantings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Replay Required for Soccer

I have written about this on multiple occasions: soccer, aka football, needs to embrace technology and use replays in certain situations.

In soccer, there is one referee and two line judges. There are twenty two players on the pitch. Is is asking an awful lot to think he can see all, especially in major matches.

This week, Ireland was eliminated from World Cup 2012 by France on a goal that clearly should not have been allowed.

France's Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball with his arm and hand two or three times while in the box, just prior to making a pass to teammate William Gallas for the go-ahead header. (France also had two players offsides at the beginning of series of events.)

Henry admitted his error. It was not intentional. He even felt that the game should be replayed. FIFA refuses to replay it. I disagree with those that feel Henry should be banned or made an example of. Henry was not a cheat; just because a player handles the ball with an arm or hand does not make him a cheat; does not make everything like this intentional.

There is talk of adding a goal referee behind each goal like in the NHL. That might be fine but there is no reason they should not use technology; e.g., video replays. Replays would help on free kick fouls, red cards, offsides on goals, etc. There are probably only five cases a game on average where replay would be used. Provided you can turn it around quick like the NHL and NCAA (most of the time) do and not the slow processes used by NFL and MLB. It would not slow the game down that much; the benefits would clearly outweigh the negatives.

There is too much on the line to allow something like this to go on given modern viewing and video technology. World Cup is bigger than the NFL and auto racing. It is the biggest sporting thing in the world. The Irish will forever be denied this opportunity to fairly qualify for South Africa.

World football succeeds despite FIFA. This is (FIFA is) frustrating for the fans and participants.

Climate Change Creating More Prostitution

Have you ever read such a ridiculous headline: "Climate change pushes poor women to prostitution, dangerous work"?

The article is based on here say and speculation. The authors state: "Climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing, possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection." It is pure propaganda.

Apparently prostitution is a forced profession, that those that become prostitutes have no option.

He goes on to say "the sea’s resources are depleted due to overpopulation and overfishing, fishermen start losing their livelihood and women are forced to share the traditional role of the man in providing for the family."

Apparently overpopulation is caused by global warming and that because we over fish certain areas, the women must become whores.

The man-caused global warming idiots continue to show their stupidity.

What's the Deal with Vampires?

I have not read any of the Twilight saga books -- don't really need to in order to know what they are about. Young girl falls for a vampire.

I need to quote my brother in law made on Facebook to our relatives (that suck this stuff up, read the books, wait in the lines) that share a similar opinion about the vampire saga as I do:
Twilight triple sucks!!! Along with the shallow minded fools who have no interesting life of their own that feel the need to yearn to be vampires or shag vampires. In a nice mormon kind of way after you've married that vampire. Plenty of real life stories more interesting than this pantload.
There are just a lot of dweebs -- male and female -- that like dorky things, from Harry Potter, Star Wars and sci-fi characters, to Sex In the City and Twilight.

Some people have nothing better to do in life than waste it on absolute drivel. Some people prefer total escapism to real life. A bit is fine but in my opinion, excessive amounts are rather sad.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sarah Palin and Her Political Role

I don't mind Sarah Palin. I am okay with her politics but have no interest in seeing her as a national political leader. She writes a book that I have no interest in reading. She is not that smart. She has no original ideas. She is not well read.

As far as the Republican Party is concerned, sure she's a member but nothing more. She's not going to be the Party leader. She's not going to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028 or 2032. She's not going to be a radio talk show host; she's not smart or witty enough. She's not going to be a conservative journalist or columnist; although Chuck Norris is, so maybe she'll just be a bad one.

She'll make some money with her book. She might be able to make some doing endorsements. But her political future, provided she's interested, might just be at the local level, as a Senator from Alaska at best.

I have nothing against her. But I do wish she'd just go back to Alaska, back to her family, back to her local political role. We always need good local politicians; that might just be where she'll make the biggest political impact.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stimulus Programs for Non-Existant Districts

This stimulus program is working so good that there are districts getting money....that don't even exist.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Arizona leaders at Sky Harbor Airport, regarding the success the stimulus has seen in Arizona, stating that it has created about 12,000 jobs.

According to recovery.org, the government’s website that tracks the stimulus funds, thirty jobs in Arizona’s 15th district were either saved or created with $761,420 in stimulus funds. The problem with this “good news” is that Arizona only has eight Congressional Districts.
Politicians love to talk about how great their programs are impacting the lives of Americans, whether it is true or not.
Arizona's page, for example, showed the state's 52nd, 15th and 86th congressional districts received hundreds of thousands of dollars in stimulus money, according to CNN affiliate KNXV. However, no such districts exist in Arizona, which has only eight congressional districts.
A report released Wednesday by the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity said it found such errors on pages for all 50 states, four territories and Washington, D.C. More than $6.4 billion in stimulus funds was shown as being spent -- and more than 28,420 jobs saved or created -- in 440 false districts, it said.
Why do they allow Biden out in public? The selection of Biden as a running mate should have disqualified Obama immediately. What was he thinking? Obviously he was not doing much thinking.

The idea behind government accountability is prudent, but not when they are the ones making the accounting. Why would anyone waste time looking at recovery.gov? Only those looking to find the jokes?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Disaster in Cleveland

The mistake on the lake has reared its ugly head once again. This time in the form of one of the worst major sports franchise's in America.

If you were one of the unfortunate ones to waste any of your time watching Monday Night Football tonight, you know what I am talking about. The Browns lost at home 16-0 to the Ravens, the team that bolted Cleveland for Baltimore many years ago. Cleveland has lost nine straight home games since 2008.

For 60 quarters this year, the Browns offense has not scored a touchdown. Tonight, they kept the inept streak in tack.

This is a team in total disarray. However, I will give the defense some credit: they play hard and do not give up, despite spending more time on the field than their offensive counterparts and knowing that they have to both keep the other team from scoring and score points themselves.

The Browns are one of a handful of teams never to have played in a Super Bowl. This organization is not going to get them there. They can't draft. They cannot put together a game plan. They cannot execute. This offense might be the worst offense in the history of the NFL.

As a life long Browns fan, I watch only out of duty. Why anyone pays a single dollar for a ticket is beyond me. It is bad enough watching them play in the comforts of your home on a wide screen HD TV, but to watch this team perform live... All I can say, alcohol must play some role.

It is rather embarrassing to claim the Browns as your team. I did not even wear any of my ten or twelve Browns shirts or sweatshirts. This is misery personified.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And You Want to Be My Health Care Provider...

The CDC claims that H1N1 has killed 3,900 Americans thus far.
In an average flu season, about 36,000 Americans die and 200,000 are hospitalized with 90 percent of deaths and hospitalizations among people over 65.
This was not spun by the federal government and the media as just another flu. This was a pandemic. As such, they would gather up their experts, develop H1N1 medication, and get it to the nation.

We all know that did not quite work out they way they wanted. If you want a shot or want your children inoculated, you are pretty much out of luck. Who has the time to wait in lines? If you are not in the "risky" category, do not apply.

Get the government involved, you get FIMA's response to Hurricane Katrina victims; you get out of control spending -- stimulus programs, bailouts, corporate take overs -- that has only negative impacts on the economy.

The federal government wants to take over the nation's health care. It can't even get a real H1N1 inoculation program that they had plenty of time to address. Who actually thinks they can pull this off? Obviously some bureaucratic lunatics. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

False Impressions Regarding the Recession

We all have stereotypical beliefs about the economy, about financial matters, and about how the world works.

For the longest time, we were taught that an diversified investment portfolio must have owned and loaned equities. Compare a $10,000 investment in a stock or bond mutual fund made 10 years ago. That really has not worked out for most of us.

Buy a house because it will only go up in value. If you rent, you are throwing away money. We have learned by the school of hard knocks that cash rules. Working capital management, be it for you personally or for your business, trumps just about everything.

The recession will end, they all do. What is it in our economy that is going to drive investment? It is investment that creates growth, new opportunities, new innovations. It is investment that creates jobs. With the federal government's monetary policy of printing as much money as possible and its fiscal policy to deficit spend like never before, the federal government is handcuffing business.

The role of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens. the less government get involved it the lives of its citizens, the better. the more they get involved, the less freedom we have.

The government and the Federal Reserve have created this recession. There is nothing in their plans that will pull us out of it. For the past 60 years, we have pulled of of these downturns -- the Fed-driven ups and downs. This time, they are going to have a tough time addressing the problems because they have gone too far down the socialist path. Ten percent unemployment might be the norm for some time; seeing it back in the five percent range will probably never happen again in this nation.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nothing Like A New Job

I started a new job, with a new company, in a new city and state. I decided I needed a new start. The old thing was not working and it had not been working for five years. I gave the past business an enormous amount of my time and money. The financial opportunity cost was huge; the learning experience priceless.

I will be back into product management, this time in a more traditional form. The product managers (PMs) here own the product from start to finish with complete P&L responsibilities. Most technology PMs have product responsibility and lack the marketing roles.

The bad thing is being in a city far from my family, without the ability to return home as frequent as I'd like. We are in a buyers market for new homes but not in a sellers market for an existing home.

There is nothing like a new job. Getting out of a rut is something I needed to do. Goodbye Utah for a season; hello Arizona.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Landmark Health Care Reform Makes Us Worse Off

Speaker Pelosi, and those that share her ideology, must be on cloud nine. Last night, the House narrowly passed health care reform legislation along party lines -- 220 - 215. Obviously, there is a long way to go before it will reach Obama's desk -- three more votes including a Senate debate and bill and a combined bill that both legislatures will need to vote on.
The House legislation would for the first time require every individual to obtain insurance, and would require all but the smallest employers to provide coverage to their workers. It would vastly expand Medicaid and create a new marketplace where people could obtain federal subsidies to buy insurance from private companies or from a new government-run insurance plan.
It is not too late; it is not a forgone conclusion that this will become law.

Only a raving lunatic would tout this legislation along with the lines of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965 -- two entitlement program that are inefficient, financially broke and far removed from their original legislative spin.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and now government health care are based on fraud, redistribution of wealth and theft (the forthcoming cap and trade is likewise). It will burden this nation for decades and eventually break it. Centralized health care will cost every one more, return less, result in rationing, eliminate many medicines from the market, and disincentivizes investment in modern medical treatments and innovations.

Our government, based on the people we have elected, has taken another step forward in controlling more our our lives. It not only has taken control of our financial futures, it is trying to take control over our physical well-being.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Liberty and Tyranny

I just spent a few days at my dad's in AZ this week. He has four TV stations that don't really come in that clear, so he tends to read a great deal. I always get some extra reading time when I visit him. This time, I read Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny.

There is not station in Utah that airs Mark Levin so I rarely listen to him on the air. I am however familiar with his work, having read Men In Black. I think I have arrived at the point that I am going to minimize the number of conservative books I read. Why? They no longer educate me.

His book is good, don't get me wrong, but there is nothing new in it for me. His embedded Conservative Manifesto is worth a read, but again, not much new.

One thing I did like was how he uses "Statist" as his preferred term to refer to liberals as a whole.

Liberty and Tyranny is a solid summary of conservative principles. If you are little unsure about those points, then pick up his book. It'll take you a few hours to get through his simple-to-read 200-page book.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Please Read 'End The Fed'

Fiat money, Austrian school, moral hazard, easy credit, fractional reserves, the money printing press, boom and bust cycles, banking secrecy, statism, objectivism, Greenspan, Bernake, are all explored in Ron Paul's wonderfully written book End The Fed. Here are some thoughts...

The Federal Reserve -- the American central bank -- is "responsible for the boom-bust cycles; price inflation recession, depression and excessive debt."

"Only the Fed can inflate the currency, create new money, and credit out of thin air, in secrecy, without oversight or supervision. Inflation facilitates deficits, needless wars, and excessive welfare spending."

When government grows, liberty suffers, regardless of the justification. The Fed is core to this growth. Its design to protect profits and socialize losses is flawed at its core.

We need to forgo the idea that the government is to protect us from our individual poor decisions. This is a moral hazard. We allowed the government to dictate our personal financial decisions -- that we could afford a large house, multiple cars, second homes/vacation properties, motor toys, and all the other things we purchased with debt, using the notion that life is great and tomorrow will only be better than today.

Our trade balance is not solved by tariffs; they make things worse. Tariffs are taxes. The issuing of the reserve currency of the world gives us license to inflate. High taxes, excessive regs and over priced labor cause our jobs to be exported.

Americans including the politicians and bankers attempt to solve our messes with more of the same -- more spending, more deficits, more regulations, and more inflating of the currency. None help. They compound the problem. The people who and policies that got us into this problem are being tasked to get us out, when the truth is they will only exacerbate the problem.

We do not need more regulations and regulators to protect us in the traditional sense. Sarbanes-Oxley did nothing to protect us, it just created more expense and bureaucracy. Government sponsored enterprises like Fannie and Freddie tell investors and lenders that there is no real deal that can go bad because they will be there to cover.

Paul states, without the Fed we "would enjoy all the privileges of modern economic life without the downside of business cycles, bubbles, inflation, unsustainable trade imbalances and the explosive growth of government that the Fed has fostered."

There are more bank failures now than there ever have been in our history. It has nothing to do with lack of regulation but everything to do with too much government control. The free market works. We just do not have this. The Fed makes it so.

We all have heard the claim that we needed the government to act, to solve the financial problems we found ourselves in after this last 7-8 year borrow and spend season. Who benefits? Those that set the policies, not the people.

Lenin stated that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. The Manifesto asks for centralization of credit, a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

The 1913 Federal Reserve Act's purpose was to "furnish an elastic currency to afford means of rediscovering commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the US and for other purposes." The premise is inflationary. Stretch money? How? By making more with nothing behind it. Only the Fed is responsible for inflation and recessions. All other participants are reactionary to the Fed's policies.

Through the central bank, power is solidified through deficits, taxes, fear and fiat money (legal tender with no intrinsic value nor backing reserves). It "funds" bail outs, stimulus programs and other wealth transfer efforts. The corporate welfare/warfare system can end with the phasing out of the Fed.

The Fed is "cheating. It is a tax. It is counterfeiting. It benefits the few at the expense of the many. It breaks the rules of contracts. It causes suffering and punishes the innocent. It enables world wars and vast payoffs to the powerful."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Obamacare: The Worst Bill Ever

So is the title of today's main WSJ opinion article: The Worst Bill Ever.
Yet at this point, Democrats have dumped any pretense of genuine bipartisan "reform" and moved into the realm of pure power politics as they race against the unpopularity of their own agenda. The goal is to ram through whatever income-redistribution scheme they can claim to be "universal coverage." The result will be destructive on every level—for the health-care system, for the country's fiscal condition, and ultimately for American freedom and prosperity.
This bill is nothing like it is being spun. Who in their right mind would believe any government prediction for costs? The spending to maintain this crappy program will be enormous, multiple times the current estimate. This program will fall, in part, to the states when the federal tax revenues continue to plummet.

This will expand Medicaid which is a government mandate to give lower earning people free health care. The providers bear 90 percent of the costs. This new-look Medicare, which is what this new Obamacare will be, will devastate those who provide medical services. It is a government-mandated program to force medical service providers to offer their services at rates lower than a business model allows.

The taxation rates on the wealthiest will increase 5.4 percent to 45 percent (federal tax only). Small businesses will be taxed 8 percent of their payroll is they don't offer insurance or pay 72.5 percent of their workers' premium. This will kill many small businesses.

The concept of insurance is to take in more money for premiums than is paid out in benefits. The government has never been able to run a business. Their monetary policy allows them to print more money, issue worthless bonds, and to participate in 'too big to fail' hegemony. The masses will have moderately expensive insurance in return for average to poor medical coverage. The few remaining insurance companies and private medical service providers will cater to the rich including politicians.
All of this is intentional, even if it isn't explicitly acknowledged. The overriding liberal ambition is to finish the work began decades ago as the Great Society of converting health care into a government responsibility.
Health care will be more expensive, quality will be diminished and curtailed, and this entitlement will bankrupt an already bankrupt nation. Rational politics is completely gone at the expense of national ruin. If and when the President signs this bankrupt entitlement program, mark that day down in history along with other devastating government actions like the creation of the Federal Reserve, the Bretton Woods system, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act.