Friday, April 27, 2012

Are Speculators to Blame?

The Obama administration masterfully manipulates the politics of fear and obvious misinformation through speeches and a compliant media to rally its voting base and to justify its destructive policies that have brought this economy and our country to its knees.

Are Republicans the reason why students cannot get affordable student loans? Is the federal government not in charge of the student loan program? Why is college tuition so high, textbooks and tiny dorm rooms so expensive? Why do college graduates have 25 percent unemployment under President Obama’s administration? What good is the ability to get a low interest college loan if you cannot find a job when you complete your degree?

Are oil speculators the reason why we pay high gas prices at the pump? Has President Obama not promised that under his watch energy prices will necessarily skyrocket, coal plants go bankrupt, and gasoline will rise to $10 a gallon, following the European model? Has Secretary of Energy Chu not stated, they must find ways to push gas prices even higher than the current price?

Supply and demand are crucial determinants of the price of oil. Other variables such as a crisis and turmoil in the Middle East can cause real oil shortages or increase the fear of shortages. That is why oil futures contracts were invented, bought and sold by speculators.

Speculators can estimate the demand for oil and plan accordingly. They can lose or gain money based on too much demand and little supply or too much supply and little demand. They buy futures contracts to smooth out unexpected price changes. They never take delivery of gasoline; they hold contracts worth 42,000 gallons each.

Keynesian economists agree that speculators sell protection from risk to other people and smooth out price fluctuations by purchasing oil when it is abundant and cheap, holding the contracts and reselling them when oil is scarce and expensive. Speculators, in this economic view, “play an important role in alleviating and even preventing shortages of oil.”

Independent oil producers and OPEC, the best-organized cartel in the world, can increase or decrease output. A cartel’s decision is always collusive and often counterproductive to the goals of our economy. U.S. makes cartels illegal within our borders, in the interest of the free market, but they are legal elsewhere.

Speculators make money by betting on price moves, some willing to take the risk and some willing to avoid it. The price of future contracts is influenced by political events, economic news released by the government, and natural disasters.

The government releases economic data, sells Treasury bills, or creates new policies that influence the price of futures contracts for both natural (oil) and financial commodities (derivatives).

Speculators themselves can have a temporary influence on commodity prices by a sudden demand for a contract either sparked by rumors, inside information, or other factors that drive the price up or down. (Kenneth M. Morris and Virginia B. Morris)

Speculators operate in a “zero sum market.” For every person who makes a dollar, another person loses a dollar. Speculators trade in order to make money, they are not interested in acquiring oil or holding it, they purchase contracts. Speculators gamble on price changes, they buy contracts when they think prices are low and sell when they think prices are high.

According to Kevin Freeman, oil-price manipulation by speculators on the futures market in 2007 when oil was $50 per barrel to $150 per barrel in 2008 occurred without a disruption in supply. Supply actually increased slightly. “Daily paper trades at the New York Mercantile Exchange were seven times higher than the actual oil used.” If you accounted for all other exchanges, Chicago, London, Dubai, other markets, trades of oil speculators may have been 50 to 100 times that of oil used. Producers and consumers had no change in production levels or consumption patterns.

Dr. Mark J. Perry, Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Michigan, said, “Market forces, not speculators, are the main determinants of oil prices and all other commodity prices. “A large number of scientific studies have failed to produce any credible evidence that high oil and gas prices were caused by the presence of financial investors in oil futures markets.”  

“The Obama administration is mistaken in attributing high oil and gas prices to the presence of financial investors in oil futures markets.” (CNN editorial, Professor Lutz Kilian)

Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) argued that, because of speculators, “today’s oil prices of about $100 a barrel have become disconnected from the costs of extraction, which average $11 a barrel worldwide.” The fact that it is physically and economically impossible to extract oil for $11 a barrel is lost on Representative Kennedy. (John Hinderaker, Energy Policy)

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the EPA’s “philosophy of enforcement” to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies like the “Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.” EPA engaged in smear campaigns against natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming, claiming that the use of hydraulic fracturing caused water contamination, without providing scientific proof. After threats of steep fines and overt intimidation, the EPA backtracked, but the public’s perception of danger and fear was already entrenched. (Craig Bannister)

Economic fear, intimidation, threats, empty promises, and glaring misinformation are some of the tools used to rally support for this administration’s failing policies and to pander to its voting base. Are progressive Americans so dim, chanting gleefully in a propaganda style reminiscent of communism, eager to vote for the demise of their own freedom and economic independence? Are the taxpaying residents of Realityville America hoping against all odds that they will out-vote the mesmerized and satisfied welfare recipients who want more communism?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta
Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta 4/25/12
Topic: Environmentalists cookstoves scam
I come on in the second hour at the 19 minute mark.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Piece of Land and a Moment of Time

In December 1989, communism fell in Eastern Europe and Romanians started the process of reclaiming their land and personal property confiscated by the Communist Party during 1949-1962. My maternal family recently received judicial notification of recovery, 23 years after the suit commenced.

Mom and I were given a plot of land that we have never seen. I am told that it is covered with rocks, the type that an enterprising fellow nearby is already exploiting and selling to construction companies for road building. I am not holding any high hopes or interest right now to plant a crop but it feels strange and empowering at the same time to own an ancestral piece of property that had belonged to my family for generations but was taken by force after World War II. Grandpa would be proud!

In 1921, peasants were given 4 hectares of land. When communists came to power in 1945, under pressure from Moscow, a new agrarian reform was passed meant to disband large farms and to gather votes for the Communist Party. Hundreds of thousands of farmers received small plots of land to grow crops on and feed their families.

Once entrenched, the communist agricultural vision changed. Their leaders were convinced that small properties were not valuable and condemned to non-modernized operations. At the time, people had plenty to eat and their families were thriving. However, community organizers fanned across the country convinced them through extensive propaganda that the state would be more efficient in administering the land.

The Marxist-Leninist dogma said, “A small property generates capitalism day by day, minute by minute, spontaneous, and in mass proportions.” The small-time farmer feeding his family, with a little surplus, was seen as an individual member of the bourgeoisie, requiring squashing.

The commie’s strategy was to turn farmers against the richer farmers through class envy and class warfare and it worked quite well.
The communists began the process of confiscating land from farmers who owned 50 hectares or more in a violent manner in March 1949 via an immediate executive order or decree. Overnight, farmers were taken out of their homes and forcibly moved to other villages, while their homes, animals, agricultural equipment, and land were seized. Farmers who had some mechanized agricultural tools were labeled “rich and bourgeois.” The “socialist transformation of agriculture” followed via division of farmers into five categories: those without any land, poor peasants, middle peasants, well-to-do farmers, and the very rich farmers.

The Communist Party introduced the quota system in order to compensate for lack of food in cities across the nation, to make war reparations to the Soviet Union, and to ruin farm operations that were doing well. A significant part of the crops had to be turned over to the state. Oftentimes the farmers were only left with the seed necessary for next year’s crop or nothing at all. Thousands of previously well-off farmers or people of modest means were ruined this way, including the very poor whom the communists pretended to protect.
The farmers who opposed collectivization, the joining of small private farms into large, state owned and controlled farms, were violently repressed through deportations, incarcerations, and confiscation of everything they owned, including clothes.

Deportations involved taking families who were considered most resistant and uneducable in labor camps and placing them in the middle of nowhere, far from civilization and transportation, forcing them to live in a hut in order to have shelter from wind and cold, surviving like the American pioneers in the west. More than 40,000 farmers were deported this way to 18 geographically difficult regions to survive in, the so-called called „special communes” run by the dreaded security police loyal to the Communist Party.
Northern Moldova and Transylvania offered most resistance. The farmers were arrested, shot in their homes, or summarily executed without due process. Thousands were sent to jail by 1950 and their wealth confiscated. If allowed to return to their village of birth after a lengthy deportation (1949-1956), farmers found their homes occupied by other families who were staunch communist party members and were rewarded for their loyalty with ownership of a confiscated home. Injustice was swift and the spreading of wealth was cruel.

Collectivization was completed in 1962 with medal awarding ceremonies. The chaotic and mismanaged agricultural system under communists experienced such a sustained crisis between 1948-1962, that the effects are still felt today, twenty-three years after the communists lost power.
Can this happen in America? Can we lose our land and property to someone else deemed more deserving by constant leftist propaganda? Can we lose our land to wilderness because environmentalists in control force us to move? Or is it already happening peacefully and silently while the population is being soothed with „hope and change,” lies and fabrications on a daily basis?

Americans are asleep, ignorant, mesmerized, doped up, or so corrupt that they no longer care what happens to their fellow citizens, their children’s future, the future of our country, so long as they have a cushy job, mindless television shows, sports, a pay check, perhaps bribes, comfortable homes, club memberships, vacations, and most of all, intoxicating power and control.
Redistributing wealth is the only thing communists know how to do brutally and stealthily well. Those who do not pay taxes or hold down jobs protest that it is their right to steal someone else’s money. They’ve even come up with a new euphemism, they are not stealing the wealth of producers, they are merely forcing them to „share the burden.”

But it is stealing! Every moment of time that we must work to earn money and pay taxes that are then spent by our out-of-control government on non-producers is a moment too long that we are slaves to someone else, a moment of time that is stolen from our limited time on earth.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shaping America into Progressivism

Teaching or substituting in America of the early 1980s was not easy. As a Superintendent of Education had told me, they “did not just take anybody off the street. You had to be highly qualified.” That did not necessarily mean well versed in a subject matter. You had to belong to the “rarefied” group of licensed teachers.

I was interested in Latin and he had told me that he did not need Latin teachers because he had a person from Latin America who taught Spanish. As I looked at him, I was thinking of the Vice-President who told a crowd in Latin America that, had he paid more attention in his Latin class, he would have been able to speak to his audience in their native language.

The newly formed (1979) Department of Education had instituted stringent rules and regulations that school districts had to follow in order to receive federal funding and state certification. The National Education Association welcomed all dues-paying teachers, eager to indoctrinate them into the master educational plan.

Teaching elementary, middle, and high school required jumping through certification bureaucratic hoops that only the College of Education graduates could easily meet. It was not important if teachers performed well in the classroom, on the National Teacher Exam, or knew their subject area of expertise - they had to be licensed.

Many mediocre students eked out a diploma after four years of easy courses and became distributors of revisionist knowledge and shapers of generations of American students. As they gained tenure, no matter how inadequate their teaching, school districts could not get rid of them. The NEA vehemently defended their rights to a life-long career.

Many former coaches and physical education teachers went back to school for Masters Degrees in School Administration and became principals and superintendents, cheerleaders and supporters of their former colleagues and peers. If they played by the Department of Education rules, the rewards were plenty. Objective teachers who followed their conscience were marginalized as not being “team players.” Non-Education graduates could teach college with a Master’s Degree but not in the public schools. Membership in the club had its rewards and prevented better teachers from entering the system.

Liberals took control of education and imposed political correctness, which silenced conservatives and any possible opposition lest they be labeled racists and anti-children.

The curriculum changed from year to year, becoming more secularized and socialist, pushing religion completely out of the public schools. Prayer at football games, singing the national anthem, and the recitation of the pledge of allegiance to our country were scorned. Atheists objected to traditions that made this country great but interfered with their agenda. Being Green, the worship of Gaia, Mother Earth, and activist environmentalism became the new religion.

Teaching methodologies changed yearly, according to the latest fashion from teacher colleges in New York, Boston, California, like a new dress, more outrageous and less conducive to learning but easy on testing and highly experimental. The curriculum became more “socially just.” Standards were so relaxed that some students graduated who could not read or write on an elementary level. Education was dumbed down to include even the laziest students, test results worsened, dropouts increased, while knowledge retention declined.

Multilingual education and multiculturalism were forced upon schools in order to accommodate the burgeoning illegal immigrant student population.

A wave of anti-Americanism dominated the lectures of liberals. Everything that America did in its history or stood for became evil and open to negative interpretation. Conservative teachers were silenced by the threat of job loss. Performance boards ignored them but awarded constant praise and “I love myself” certificates to mediocre teachers who played by the progressive rule.

When expressing honest opinions, conservative students were intimidated and ridiculed by socialist activist teachers. Some students received lower grades when their opinions clashed with the teacher’s “America is evil” platform. Certain assignments crossed the line of objectivism and had nothing to do with the subject at hand but few parents paid attention or were vigilant enough.

I was shocked when the entire student body was required to attend two-hour indoctrination into the peaceful religion of Islam, presented by a Palestinian imam. A rapt audience of innocent and ignorant high school students was told how respected and cherished Muslim women were. The faculty did not protest but sat stony faced although they all knew the lack of rights and worth of Muslim women. Nobody asked questions about the hangings, stonings, decapitations, and cutting limbs of women under Islam. The religious presentation had been organized by the principal, the same person who said repeatedly that there is a separation of church and state, and refused to allow students to wear crosses to school because it might make students uncomfortable who did not believe in God.

Instead of teaching students that in 235 years of exceptionalism, America rose to become the world’s greatest power and revered society, an AP English teacher in Montgomery County, MD was asking students to explain how “Thoreau’s extolling the virtues of individualism and self-efficiency can jeopardize the community.” They were talking about community in Marxist parlance, as in “communis,” Latin for “shared.”

We were not allowed to be individuals in the totalitarian regime I lived under for 20 years. We shared a lot of misery, poverty, and despair under communism because self-reliance and rugged individualism were discouraged. Instead, we were told to be sheep under a benevolent government with omnipotent, god-like powers. As Marx said, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.”

Our children are taught that private property, the lynchpin of liberty, is bad. Thomas Jefferson began the Declaration of Independence with the words, “the pursuit of life, liberty, and property.”

Few American students pay attention to what Thomas Jefferson wrote anymore. Distributing condoms to elementary school children and setting up nurseries in high schools across the country for illegitimate babies take precedence over serious education.

American children have been brainwashed to reject the fundamental values of this country and of civilization. The Pew Research Center showed that more Americans age 18 to 29 have a favorable view of socialism over capitalism, 49 percent positive for socialism and 46 percent positive of capitalism. (December 2011)

The United Nation’s 150-page “World Happiness Report” promotes European socialism as the path to well-being. Fabian socialism must be imposed on the entire world through social and environmental justice. It is no coincidence that Maryland was the first state in the U.S. to pass The No Child Left Inside Act, forcing environmental literacy as a condition of graduation from high school. The reading and math test scores for some areas in Maryland are pathetic yet students must be environmentally literate in order to protect Mother Earth from the destructive economic activities of man. The education system is clearly pushing the religion of Gaia to the detriment of traditional education.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution lists the items over which Congress has the power to legislate and education is not one of them, neither can education be logically included under the commerce clause. It would be a stretch to consider the Department of Education constitutional. President Carter signed the DOE into law on October 17, 1979 and it began operating on May 16, 1980. President Reagan tried unsuccessfully to dismantle it.

Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 authorizing $1 billion annually to upgrade schools attended by students of low-income families has grown to $19 in 2010. No Child Left Behind is part of Title 1, an attempt to bring all students to proficiency level in math and reading by 2014. “More than half the states have asked the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver from No Child Left Behind.” The Obama’s administration will grant the waivers, ten years after President Bush signed the NCLB law, if those states adopt a new set of requirements established by President Obama, Common Core State Standards, a nationalized k-12 program of instruction. Title 1 funding would be tied to the Common Core. The “Race to the Top” grants in 2009 already emphasized “college and career ready” style of teaching and learning. Common Core national standards and tests require states to “surrender control of their classroom” to the federal government. (Heritage Foundation)

The federal government has spent $7 billion a year on Head Start, a program created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to serve almost a million low-income children across the country.  Taxpayers have spent $168 billion since its inception yet the National Head Start Impact Study released by the Department of Health and Human Services in January 2010 showed that three and four year olds who were followed into first grade were not impacted positively at all on cognitive skills when compared to those children who did not participate in Head Start.

Congress mandated in 2006 another study of Head Start participants after third grade. Have their cognitive skills perhaps improved then? Health and Human Services concluded the study in 2008 but has not released the study results, four years later. Senators Tom Coburn, Mike Enzi, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, and John McCain have asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to release the results of the study. (Lindsey Burke)

It is safe to say that the existence of the U.S. Department of Education has had no positive effect on American education in spite of its $70 billion a year budget and its extensive bureaucracy.

Parents disenchanted with public education have proliferated home schooling and charter schools in spite of the vociferous protests of public school teachers, administrators, and NEA. 
The worthless Bachelor of Arts has become a piece of paper necessary to get an easy job. Students are disappointed when the six-figure salary job promised by their college advisor does not materialize, after having spent $7,000 per year in a public college on tuition alone.

After taking easy courses and the bare minimum of work, often times hiring other students to write papers for them or do their work, the B.A. degree is not worth the paper it is printed on. Employers request a transcript to verify graduation, but grades and courses taken are rarely scrutinized. Perhaps the students show promise in the perseverance department as potential on-the-job learners.
According to Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, eight million Pell Grants were awarded in 2010, totaling more than $32 billion. New loans of $125 billion were issued by the federal government in the same year.

The sad reality is that college graduates are experiencing 25 percent unemployment in the Obama administration that promised them “hope and change.” The hope is gone, there are no jobs in sight, and there is little change left in their pockets when college loans come due.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Unsolicited Opinion on Executive Order on Natural Gas
Radio commentary on Executive Order on Natural Gas. I come on in the second hour.

Friday Radio with Silvio Canto Jr. of Dallas, Tx
Topics: UN Agenda 21, pigs in Michigan, gas prices, France elections, American economy

Cook Stoves and Climate Change

Several months ago, I reported on the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, a czarina post created by President Obama on April 6, 2009, to represent the interests of third world female population.

Verveer, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested that we had to “build a global market for clean cook stoves” because they affect the climate through “greenhouse gases and short-lived particles such as black carbon. In her opinion, by integrating females into the supply chain of clean cook stoves, new economic development opportunities would be created for third world women, thus bringing gender to climate change.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which was launched on September 21, 2010 in Washington, D.C., had 240 partners and many founders:

-          German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

-          Government of Norway

-          Government of Peru

-          Morgan Stanley

-          Shell Foundation

-          the Netherlands

-          U.S. Agency for International Development

-          U.S. Department of Energy

-          U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

-          National Institutes of Health

-          Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

-          U.S. Department of State

-          Environmental Protection Agency

-          United Nations Foundation

The United States was in the platinum donor category with $5 million dollars, the Department of Energy, EPA,  the Department of State were in the gold donor category with $1-5 million each, along with socialist European nations such as economically troubled Spain and Ireland, the World Bank, and many UN affiliates.

The Department of Energy awarded “Clean Biomass Cookstove Technologies” grants of $100,000 and $750,000 at a time when our country could ill-afford it, unemployment was at an all time high, taxpayers were unhappy, and the administration was demanding that we reduce our consumption of energy.

According to Washington Post, the U.S. has pledged $105 million in the last two years toward the project and Hollywood provided a spokesperson, Julia Roberts. Replacing cook stoves with “clean cook stoves” with chimneys would help 100 million households by 2020.

The “science” provided under the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves consisted of two articles, one published in Le Monde by Bertrand d’Armagnac on November 13, 2011 and another published in Bloomberg by Jonathan Alter on November 24, 2011. Both pieces cross-referenced World Health Organization data that 2 million people die annually from smoke inhalation, more than malaria, TB, and AIDS combined. Fuel, wood, dung, makeshift charcoal, and agricultural waste, were directly responsible for 2 million deaths, particularly in women and children who inhaled the smoke during cooking.

Third world dictatorships were incapable of running their countries, feeding, sheltering, and caring for their people properly yet kept such accurate count of disease and death rate data caused by cook stoves.

The recent results from two studies demonstrate that cook stoves do not improve the users’ health, do not reduce pollution in the environment, do not reduce the amount of wood burned, and “occasionally release a larger volume of certain pollutants than the traditional stoves they were intended to replace.” Brian Palmer said in the Washington Post, “From a wider environmental perspective, clean stoves didn’t slow deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions either.”

RESPIRE (Randomized Exposure Study of Pollution Indoors and Respiratory Effects), a large-scale study, showed improved air quality and health but not by as much as suggested in observational studies. (Washington Post)

Rema Hanna of Harvard University and Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone of MIT released the results of a much larger study, “Up in Smoke.” They sold clean cook stoves to 2,600 households in 44 Indian villages for 75 cents each. The actual cost of the stoves was $12.50. Made of mud with two burners and a chimney, the stoves were not always used correctly, or maintained by the users. The “clean cook stoves” delivered the same amount of measured pollution as the previous stoves although people were trained how to use them.

“Lung functioning, incidence of respiratory illnesses, the body mass index of children in the household and infant health outcomes such as birth weight and infant mortality did not change significantly.” (Brian Palmer, Washington Post, April 17, 2012)

Brian Palmer admits in his Washington Post column that, “Just because a solution works in a laboratory – or among a small group of closely watched test subjects – doesn’t mean it should be rolled out to 100 million households.”

Michael Greenstone of MIT said, “This isn’t an argument against spending money; it’s an argument against spending money unwisely.” Yet The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is forging ahead with studies in Ghana, Nepal, and Kenya in spite of failures so far.

I am not disputing the fact that people have died throughout history from unsanitary and unhealthy living conditions. We have waged education wars to improve living conditions and spent trillions of dollars to alleviate poverty around the world yet we do not seem to be any closer today than we were in the beginning. Repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different outcome is a pattern of absolute liberal madness.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A War by Any Other Name is Still War

I just watched in tears the space shuttle Discovery over our house, flying to its resting place at the Udvar-Hazy Space Museum at Dulles. Part of the American exceptionalism that made U.S. into a superpower ended with the demolishing of the NASA space shuttle program. Many closures have taken place under this administration that will affect and diminish our ability to defend national security for many years to come. Will we ever recover?

The Romans used to say, “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” “if you want peace, prepare for war.” Do we really need a large army, nuclear warheads, war ships, weapons, drones, tanks, and the latest technology to fight against foreign and domestic enemies? If you ask a group of people, you get many different answers.

According to Kevin D. Freeman, “Events of the past dozen years clearly show that America’s adversaries have gained ground in non-military ways.  Could the 9/11 terror attacks, high gas prices, market volatility and the U.S. credit rating downgrade all be linked to the same strategy?”

The recently published 150-page United Nation’s “World Happiness Report” is attempting to indoctrinate us into Fabian Socialism as an absolute giver of wellness, which must be imposed on the entire population of the globe. Happiness no longer comes from within, it comes from socialism.

Indoctrination worked well with our children in the last fifty years. We are witnessing the result of dumbing down of American education and the blatant move toward open socialist and communist indoctrination in schools and universities. If you tell a lie often enough to children and ignorant adults, they will eventually believe it to be the truth.

A book by two Chinese colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Wiangsui, “Unrestricted Warfare,” published by the People’s Liberation Army, listed several variables of “war by other means:” (The American Legion Magazine, Kevin D. Freeman, April 2012)

-         Financial warfare (manipulation of currencies, banks, and the stock market)

-         Technological warfare (having primary control of technology such as the intact drone we gifted to the Iranians so they can reverse engineer it or sell it to the Chinese to do so)

-         Resources warfare (manipulating oil reserves, the price of oil, oil supply, oil refining capacity, moratorium and access to key resources)

-         Network warfare (Internet control, Facebook control, Google control by various governments and entities)

-         Economic aid warfare (creating economic dependencies in a segment of the population such as welfare, earned income tax credit, EBT, spreading the wealth through schemes, or dependency of an entire nation, thus controlling them)

Running out of money and overprinting your nation’s currency to the point that it becomes worthless is an important reason for a nation’s decline. Since April 2010 until April 2012, our money supply M1 rose from $17 trillion to $22 trillion, according to government reports. The Fed has printed $5 trillion worth of currency without any backing by goods and services, at a time when the average GDP growth has been 2.4 percent. This devalues our dollar, increases our national debt, and increases overall prices, including the price of oil, in addition to the cost born by our disastrous energy policies.

Oil-price manipulation by speculators on the futures market in 2007 when oil was $50 per barrel to $150 per barrel in 2008 occurred without a disruption in supply. Supply actually increased slightly.

“Daily paper trades at the New York Mercantile Exchange were seven times higher than the actual oil used.” If you accounted for all other exchanges, Chicago, London, Dubai, other markets, trades of oil speculators may have been 50 to 100 times that of oil used.  Producers and consumers had no change in production levels or consumption patterns. (Kevin D. Freeman)

China has the United States over a barrel with its huge foreign exchange reserves, $2.8 trillion. We lost our AAA credit rating in late 2011. We are vulnerable to naked short selling and naked credit default swaps. European Union wisely banned their use.

Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary under President Bush, received warnings from China that Russia would dump holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, forcing a bailout that would strain the U.S. economy. It happened. (Kevin D. Freeman)

One of the weapons frequently used to fight an enemy is to counter fit its currency and drop it by planeloads onto that country in order to destabilize their economy by creating hyperinflation - too much money chasing too few goods.

Bruce Thornton believes our nation is in decline because “citizens choose to spend money on themselves, not on defense.” Lavish early retirements, excessive vacations, early retirement at 50 in hundreds of professions, two additional paychecks at the end of the year, and other socialized welfare benefits have contributed greatly to the economic woes of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland.

Austerity measures alone (spending less money on social programs and taxing citizens more who already cheat heavily on their taxes) will not work unless there is reasonable economic growth.  When general unemployment is almost 24 percent in Spain and 50 percent among the young, it is hard to fuel economic growth.

Gross Domestic Product is the monetary sum of all final goods and services produced yearly in a nation. Italy’s public debt is $2.3 trillion, which is 20 percent larger than its GDP.  Interest alone is five percent of GDP.

Italy, like many EU nations, has a worker shortage that interferes with their ability to grow the economy. Italy’s low fertility rate of 1.4 is partially to blame. The number needed to replenish the population is 2.1. Immigrants supplant the labor force but mostly in the non-skill category. Many become recipients of generous welfare payments as soon as they are admitted into the union. “Heavy debt and a shrinking population are a very bad combination.” (The Atlantic)

Any “baby boom” eventually reaches retirement age, the labor force shrinks, and older workers receive Social Security, their pensions and benefits, spend their savings, thus “depleting the nation’s supply of capital.” (The Atlantic)

Megan McArdle made an excellent point that having such generous pensions and benefits in Europe, a security net in old age, caused people to stop having babies that otherwise might have been necessary to care for aging parents in the absence of retirement income. She concluded, “Europe’s pension system may have set in motion the very demographic decline that helped make that system – and some European governments – insolvent.” (The Atlantic)

EU countries have a declining GDP, however per capita retirement and welfare disbursements are higher than ever. Europeans have considered themselves superior to Americans because of their outstanding socialized well-being and happiness. The hapless Americans were unhappily working to pay for and provide military protection to the world, subsidies for drugs, grants for economic development and financial aid, and other forms of disaster relief.

Spain has about 1.5 million homes unfinished or unsold. These homes were built in the time “cuando pensabamos que eramos ricos,” “when we thought we were rich,” the time when easy EU money was pouring in. When citizens default in Spain, banks sell their property at auction, but the owners are still responsible for the remainder of the debt, they cannot walk away from their mortgaged property as we do in the U.S. Spanish private debt is 220 percent of GDP because bankruptcy laws are quite different. (John Mauldin)

Spain cannot attract new investors to service its debt unless Madrid pays 3.6 percent more to issue a bond than Berlin would. European Investment Bank (EIB) is discussing the possibility of another Marshall Plan for Europe. (Fiscal Times, Patrick Smith)

Banks in Portugal are experiencing runs-on-banks because people are moving their money to safer countries such as Germany. European banks are not insured by FDIC (depositors’ insurance in the U.S.). EU deposits are guaranteed by the national central banks and the respective government, not by the European Central Bank. If a government is in financial trouble, then depositors’ money is not safe. (David Kotok)

Greece has been bailed out twice and has become the financial black sheep of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), of the European Central Bank (ECB), and indirectly, of our Fed who has been pouring money into the IMF.

According to Rodney Atkinson, as a pre-condition to receiving the second 130 billion Euro bailout, Greece had to pay out, not roll over, 1.4 billion Euros worth of bonds. The money was allegedly taken in March 2012 from various Greek utilities, including hospitals and universities, without prior notification, causing checks deposited with the Bank of Greece to bounce, and unpleasant repercussions for those institutions.

Mark Steyn believes that collapse of our ethnic identity, exacerbated by liberal brainwashing, economic meltdown caused by excessive government spending, and large debt will cause our decline. (“After America: Get Ready for Armageddon”)

Cutbacks in our defense budget due to sequestration are the biggest threat to our national security, $1 trillion over the next ten years.

If our military becomes weaker, if our faith is derided and ignored, and if our education is watered down by political correctness/cultural Marxism, we become weaker culturally and as a nation, and the end is not far in sight. As Winston Churchill said, “If we lose faith in ourselves, in our capacity to guide and govern, if we lose our will to live, then indeed our story is told.” 

There is ample evidence that the majority of Americans allows liberals, a minority, to malign our ideals, our institutions, our faith, our cherished symbols, as they admire and praise Europeans for their civilization and superiority, and apologize for our American exceptionalism.

Our national unity is in danger if we choose to believe the lies that we are racist, imperialist, colonialist, sexist, and genocidal. It is not true what the MSM and universities tell students, that Europe is a model of a just, more civilized society. It is a dying empire, demographically, socially, and economically, whose failed socialist and communist policies should not be emulated unless we desire their fate.

We are at war, not a conventional one. We are attacked from all sides simultaneously. We are attacked from within for our conservatism and faith. We are attacked by race baiters, liberals, environmentalists, and foreign enemies. We are attacked financially by speculators, foreign and domestic, EPA through job and wealth killing regulations, TSA through invasion of privacy and molestations under the guise of “safety,” and by United Nations through UN Agenda 21.

Hollywood is destroying our values and culture. Illegal aliens are pouring in from north and south, stealing our wealth and ability to defend our borders. Our government is robbing our children and grandchildren’s futures through non-stop borrowing of money from China and uncontrollable spending.

We are at war with the blatant communists and socialists among us, some of whom serve in public office. We are at war with those who want to restrict free speech, termed as hate speech by those with whom we disagree. We are at war with the left who uses successful tactics to highjack law and order through a massive intrusion into our American freedom and way of life. A war by any other name is still a war.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Liberal "Political Psychology" Propaganda

Chris Mooney wrote an article for the Washington Post on “why Republicans and Democrats don’t just vote differently – their brains work differently too.”  He is the author of “The Republican Brain: The Science of Why they Deny Science – and Reality.”

Mooney, who has an English degree from Yale, wrote two other books, “Republican War on Science” and “Unscientific American.”

According to Mooney, political differences are no longer just about divergent philosophies, wealth, or lobbying, but about “political psychology.” “Political psychology” is psychobabble for pseudo-science. We know how many times throughout history real science has been wrong.

“Political psychology” is the ultimate euphemistic leftist talking points interpretation of why liberals and conservatives “hold wildly incompatible views on issues ranging from global warming to whether the president was born in the U.S. to whether his stimulus package created any jobs.”

As a conservative economist, I can address with most certainty that the President’s stimulus did not create any jobs, shovel-ready, green or otherwise, did not save jobs, and wasted billions and billions of taxpayer dollars while doubling our national debt in less than four years.

Mooney brands conservatives as “intellectually contorted and inconsistent” because they oppose Obamacare on the grounds that it was passed by a Democrat when Mitt Romney, a Republican, passed a similar law in Massachusetts.

I can speak for many friends who are logical conservatives. They oppose Obamacare not because it was passed by a Democrat in the middle of the night by twisting arms, through bribery and chicanery. They oppose it because it robs Americans of having control over their own bodies and their excellent health care. They oppose it because it is an unprecedented wealth and power shift of monumental proportion to the executive branch of the government. Conservatives oppose it because it is unconstitutional, we cannot afford it, it is bankrupting our country like most of his policies, it will destroy our current health care system and replace it with a sub-standard one, and last, but not least, Obamacare includes a 15-member death panel composed of non-medical personnel.

The unfortunately named The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009 subsidizes care for all union members, union retirees and community organizations such as ACORN (p. 65, section 164)

Obamcare will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally. (p. 50, section 152)

The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts. (pp. 58-59)

This bill does not apply to members of Congress who have well-funded private plans and are exempt from the Social Security system.

The government specifies which doctors can write an end-of-life order. (p. 429, lines 13-25)

The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Social Security recipients will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years. (p. 425, line 4-12)

I got Orwellian shivers when the author said, “There is now a large body of evidence showing that those who opt for the political left and those who opt for the political right tend to process information in divergent ways and to differ on any number of psychological traits.”

What non-sensical psychological surveys decided this outrageous piece of information? Freud studied five subjects when he made his monumental pronouncements on human behavior that had become the codex of liberals. Are we supposed to process information identically and think, act, and exhibit identical psychological traits? In addition, who would dictate the correct psychological traits that we must follow?

Liberals score higher on “openness to experience,” one of the “Big Five” personality traits, said Mooney. Conservatives are “less open, less exploratory, less in need of change.” Conservatives are “more conscientious, a trait that indicates they appreciate order and structure in their lives” but are “resistant to change.” How is that openness to laser-focused destructive change working out for liberals with 25 percent unemployment rate among young college graduates?

The religious right is so irrational, he says, that 43 percent of tea party people polled do not believe “that humans are the product of evolution.” Since when are polls and surveys scientific? Conservatives are called derisively the”religious right and the tea party people,” all rolled into one. He admits liberals have their irrationality but it is more rational, based on recent science such as vaccines causing autism. On the other hand, conservative irrational beliefs are over 100 years old such as the non-belief in evolution.

Mooney talks about the conservative divide over reality and the “need for cognitive closure.” Conservatives have a greater need for closure and are thus closed-minded while liberals are known for their openness.

A University of Maryland psychologist developed a scale to measure the need for closure. This study is based on non-scientific opinion survey statements such as, “I dislike questions which could be answered in many different ways,” and “In most social conflicts, I can easily see which side is right and which is wrong.”

I hate to burst this journalistic scientists’ bubble but most humans have a need for closure, regardless of political ideology. I do not consider a five-point scale opinion survey a scientific method that would show with measurable and visual accuracy how brains function differently in conservatives vs. liberals.

He continued, “Anti-evolutionists have been found to score higher on the need for closure.” Does the author label conservatives anti-evolutionists? My question is, are anti-evolutionists necessarily all conservatives?

“In the global warming debate, tea party followers not only strongly deny the science but also tend to say that they ‘do not need any more information’ about the issue.” Could that be because global warming is not a debate, it has been settled by liberals and only their opinions count? Could it be because a lot of the science has been doctored, hidden, altered, and misrepresented by environmentalist liberal agenders and we are tired of hearing about the glaring lies? Must liberals pick on tea party followers who tend to be conservative, are fiscally responsible, supporting the rest of the legal and illegal population, and are Taxed Enough Already?

According to the author, liberals do not have a monopoly on truth, however, “when they’re wrong, they are wrong differently.” Does that mean, if you are wrong and a liberal, you get a prize anyway because you participated in a competition and your self-esteem would be devastated without it?  

I am still scratching my head trying to put order to this blatant propaganda attack on conservatism, tea party, religious beliefs, and intellectual ability of Americans who disagree with liberals.

Mooney concludes his piece with “Did the founders intend this to be a Christian nation?”
Yes, our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and the attempt by liberals to revise history does not change this fundamental truth, no matter how they spin it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bike to Work Day

We were invited recently by our county supervisor, a Democrat and UN Agenda 21 Smart Growth proponent, to a “bike to work day.” Our county has almost a million inhabitants and is criss-crossed by two of the busiest interstates and highways in the nation. On any given day and night, we are lucky to get home unharmed, after inching our way in extreme traffic congestion.

Most people live at least 10-25 miles from work. I tried to picture how this “bike to work day” would work, not withstanding logistics and mortality rates, but also in terms of middle-aged people with various degrees of arthritis, able to bike such a long distance. How would they smell to co-workers, once they made it to work, should they not first succumb to sheer exhaustion or die splattered on the very busy highways by drivers eager to get to New York?

Joking aside, America is a large country with vast distances to cover. We cannot afford to live five minutes from work, play, and school as the environmentalists would like us to do in order to preserve Mother Nature from the destructive economic activity of humans.

Unfortunately, foreign and domestic environmentalists have planned such a commute and existence for us, aided and abetted by many county supervisors across the U.S. Some know and participate willingly; others are hapless believers in protecting the planet at all costs from human intrusion and destruction. Stark evidence is found in the Wildlands Project to re-wild the United States and is seen in the Biodiversity Wildlands Map presented to Congress by Dr. Coffman.

We are not Europe with small countries and plenty of inexpensive public transportation subsidized by socialist governments who tax their citizens to death for the right to buy a cheap ticket. Do not worry, we are becoming like Europe more each day in terms of policies to de-grow and bankrupt our country through spreading the wealth and environmental justice policies.

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is in Phase 1 of construction and Phase 2 was just approved by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Fairfax County is the largest county in Virginia with a population of 1.08 million.

“Like children in a toy store,” supervisors were eager to spend other people’s money. A lone supervisor criticized the cost ($2.7 billion for the second phase alone) but he said, “The project was too far advanced to stop it.” (TOLLROADSnews)

The unanimous vote in favor of this very expensive rail was billed as “it’s about the future,” and “this is the county’s economic engine and of the state of Virginia.”

Thomas Cranmer, Director of the Fairfax County Taxpayer's Alliance described the vote as "based only on fuzzy feelings." There was no serious consideration of the project's financial feasibility or “discussion of the higher tolls needed and diversion of traffic to local roads.” (TOLLROADSnews)

Cranmer believed the county board's decision irresponsible because it was "willing to spend any amounts of other peoples' money on this project without insisting on even elementary financial analysis."

According to TOLLROADSnews, Fairfax County is responsible for $435 million of the cost of Phase 1, about $400 per person. In order to service the rail debt, tolls must double next year to $4.60 for cars for the typical mainline plus ramp toll trip and treble to $6.75 by 2018. More than 30,000 trips per day are forecast to be diverted to local roads, a nightmare in the making.

The entire project begs the question, was this rail necessary in order to create jobs, relieve congestion, make profit, create economic boom, or was it intended to separate Americans from their cars by making the toll roads prohibitively expensive?

China has developed entire ghost cities and highly expensive rail systems that have very few passengers to remote areas. These ghost cities, airports, train stations, malls, and high-rise office and apartment buildings are still awaiting their occupants.

In case you have missed it, there is a popular show, “Life after People,” describing in graphic details what would happen to our planet in the absence of humans. Interestingly, it does not explain what happened to humans, how they have suddenly disappeared, leaving a green planet behind where animals can roam freely. It is not hard to imagine who produced the show and why.

At some point in time, perhaps environmentalists will succeed. Our roads will be deserted, overgrown with weeds and abandoned, off-limits to humans, and given back to nature. We will travel by trains to permitted areas by policed corridors, and ride our bikes five minutes from work and school. We will imagine nature, freedom, and outdoor activities in our high-rise cubicles while watching on TV wild animals roaming the vast expanses of our country.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Radio Show with Silvio Canto
My hour radio talk with Silvio Canto of Dallas. Topics: Titanic, Dracula, European crisis, praise to moms, Obamacare

Power Grab for Natural Gas - New Executive Order

It is Friday the 13. If you are superstitious, then the new Executive Order issued today, “Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources” must give you pause.

The order states,While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards.”

Because natural gas produced 25 percent of our energy in 2011, the federal government must control this source of energy in order to deliver on the promise of making gasoline prices rise to $10 per gallon, bankrupt the coal industry, and cause energy prices to skyrocket.

An interagency working group is tasked to “facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.” This working group bureaucracy will be chaired by the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and has several curious members that have no direct involvement with natural gas production:

-          the Department of Defense

-          the Department of the Interior

-          the Department of Agriculture

-          the Department of Commerce

-          the Department of Health and Human Services

-          the Department of Transportation

-          the Department of Energy

-          the Department of Homeland Security

-          the Environmental Protection Agency

-          the Council on Environmental Quality

-          the Office of Science and Technology Policy

-          the Office of Management and Budget

-          the National Economic Council

The Chair may invite other agencies or offices to participate in the working group.  The working group will “support [read control] the safe and responsible production of domestic unconventional natural gas by performing the following functions: coordinate agency policy activities, share scientific, environmental, technical and economic information, coordination with federal government in long-term planning, and “consult with other agencies as appropriate.”

The White House Blog explains this new bureaucracy as a step in eliminating “redundancy.” What is there redundant about each state controlling and exploring their natural gas? The federal government is concerned, since natural gas volumetric exploration in 2011 was so large, it eclipsed the all-time high production record of 1973, it must “ensure that we can successfully tap this critical resource for decades to come, we must develop it safely and responsibly.” Translation, we must control it and reduce its production so that our air and water are safe according to the EPA dictates. This is interesting because natural gas is one of the cleanest sources of energy.  

The White House Blog continues, “At the same time, as the administration develops a framework for safe and responsible production that builds on steps already taken by states across the country, we must ensure that those efforts continue to happen in a coordinated way.”

There we have it; we cannot let states continue business as usual. We must interfere and impose federal power and control over the states. We cannot let cheap natural gas interfere with our plan for expensive alternative sources of energy. Fossil fuels and frakking are tampering with our power grab plans.