Sunday, October 26, 2008

Global Warming SAT

Inspired by "The Deep Sleep," by David Craig,   Columbia magazine, Fall 2008.

Here is a short quiz on climate change, aka "global warming."   If you can answer any of these questions, then you are Smarter than Congress.  You may open your test booklets now and begin.  There is no time limit.  Good luck.

 (1)What is the ideal temperature for the earth?
(2) If you can not identify a specific temperature, then is the ideal temperature higher, lower or the same as the present temperature?
(3) What is the present temperature of the earth?   
(4) What was the temperature of the earth during the Cambrian explosion?  
(5)  Is atmospheric CO2 pollution?
(6)  What is the ideal atmospheric CO2 level?    If you can not be specific, then state whether the ideal level is higher, lower or the same as the present level?   The present level is about 387 ppm.
(7) Recently, the price of gasoline skyrocketed.  Why did Democrat politicians, most of whom claim to oppose the use of fossil fuels, try so hard to find a way to control the prices? One would think they would  have been jumping for joy, no?
(8)  The rise in gasoline prices has been attributed to evil oil companies, speculators, and OPEC, among others.  Yet  American and world-wide gasoline consumption   has dropped since the price went up.  How is that evil?
(9)  What were the reasons that Republicans opposed Kyoto?    Hint:  it was not because they hated Clinton.
(10) Why is there no wind farm off the coast of Chappaquiddick?
(11)  If global warming is the most serious problem facing mankind, or even if it is merely a serious problem, why has Congress not facilitated or encouraged the building of nuclear power plants to replace coal?
(12)  What happens to the ocean level when the arctic ice cap melts?  Hint:  "It rises" is not the correct answer.
(13)  What are the benefits of global warming?   Hint:  there are some.

Thank you for participating in this quiz.   You will receive your scores in the mail in  6 months.  Rush service is available for  one easy payment of $29.95. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Three Wise Men

Here is the answer to yesterday's riddle.

Q:  What's the difference between Teddy Kennedy, O.J., and Bill Ayers?

A:  Not much.  There are definitely similarities, however.  (1) Each of them, through intent or negligence,   cause the unlawful death of an innocent victim.  Notice, I am being careful not to call Teddy Kennedy and O.J. murderers.   The courts have ruled on that question.   (2)  Each of them got away with mur--oops, there's that word again.   Each of them got away with his crime, got away scott free.   Teddy Kennedy bought his way out of an indictment.  O.J. bought his way out of a conviction.   Bill Ayers bought himself prosecutorial misconduct.   

The  only differences I can think of are: (1) Teddy killed one person (Mary Jo Kopechne);   O.J. killed two (Ron and Nicole);   Ayers killed several, including 2 police officers and his own girlfriend, among others. (2) Ayers was a coward.  He had his flunkies make the bombs, plant them, and set them off.   At least O.J. had the cojones to do his own dirty work.  (3)  O.J. and Teddy Kennedy caused very little property damage.  Ayers cause hundreds of thousands of dollars worth, at least, and has never paid back one red cent.

One last difference.   O.J. has led a life of shame since his crime, and finally is going to jail.
The other two, because they are big democrat/liberals, have lived cushy, outwardly respectable lives.  But I wonder if the money, prestige and power can ever erase their shame.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The 3 Wise Men

Riddle:     What is the difference between Teddy Kennedy, O.J., and Bill Ayers?

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Biden Slidin'

Yesterday, Bafflegabbed posted a blog titled "Palin Failin'."   He took issue with her use of the phrase "pro-American areas of the country."    Apparently, she said she was referring to patriotic small towns.   It turns out that Joe ("Joe the Politician") Biden has an unusual concept of patriotism as well.  Sarah Palin thinks patriotism resides in small towns .   Joe thinks that patriotism means  paying taxes.   And Barack (Baruch?)  Obama thinks patriotism means spreading the wealth.   I think they are all wrong.   I do not know the exact definition of patriotism, but I know a patriot when I see one.    John McCain is a patriot.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Three Stooges

Recently, I posed this riddle to my son: What is the difference between V.I. Lenin, Osama bin Laden, and Bill Ayers?

He answered: Only Bin Laden poses a national security risk to the US. I suppose this is true. After all, Lenin is dead, and Ayers is a loser (I think, see below), but I am not particularly worried about bin Laden either, cowering in his hut or cave or spider hole.

I think the correct answer is: not much.

Consider their life stories. Each of the three was a spoiled rich kid who got tired of spending his daddy's money and struggling in an oedipal effort to out-do, or at least gain the respect of, daddy. Failing in that quest, each turned to revolution, an attempt to denigrate and eliminate daddy's society. Lenin, of course, was successful for a time, and what a price the people of Russia and their neighbors paid. Bin Laden? Last time I checked, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia still exists. And Ayers?
What of Bill Ayers, the cowardly murderer and destroyer of public and private property?
His girlfriend died in a bomb-making accident, his wife did jail time, but he escaped without punishment because of a technicality, and now enjoys life and fame as a member of the Chicago intelligentsia. What would his daddy, the energy tsar, think of him now? Is Barack Obama, brainwashed when he was a political neophyte, his Manchurian candidate, programmed to bring about revolution from within the system? Or is Ayers just a burnt-out hippie, trying to cover his guilt and shame with his liberalism, his posturing, and his professorial robes?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saving McCain On Healthcare

John McCain may have gained some ground in the debate last night, but he certainly did not deliver a knockout blow. Among other things, he failed to adequately explain the benefits of his healthcare proposal. Indeed, he has never adequately explained the benefits, so I will have to do it for him.

It is the conventional wisdom, or at least the congressional wisdom (oxymoron?), that health insurance* should be provided by employers. I contend that this is a poor way of providing health insurance, in that it denies health insurance to millions of people, raises premiums, ties employees to their employers almost like indentured to servants, is unfair to lower income employees, and results in higher taxes for businesses and individuals.

First, let's look at the dollars and cents. When you pay premiums to an employer based insurance plan, you get a tax deduction. This means that the amount of savings is determined by your tax bracket. For example, let's say your annual insurance premium is $10,000. If you are in a low income tax bracket, say 15%, your tax savings will be $1500. However, if you are in a higher tax bracket, say 33%, your tax savings will be $3300. It is plain as day that the higher your annual income, the greater your benefit under the current system. And don't forget, any one who does not get health insurance from his employer gets ZERO tax savings. Is this the result that liberal Congressmen wanted for constituents when they came up with the tax code? Are they to dumb to figure this out?

Now, lets look at the McCain plan. McCain would give a $5,000 tax credit (per couple filing a joint return) to any one purchasing health insurance. Since it is a tax credit, and not a deduction, is means $5,000 to every taxpaying family, even low income families who owe zero in taxes. This would be a greater benefit on a percentage basis to those with lower income, and a smaller benefit on a percentage basis to those with higher income. Under the current system, for someone in a 15% tax bracket to save $5,000 in taxes , his insurance premium would have to be $33,333.33. I have never heard of an insurance premium that high, even for plans with frills. So tell me, which plan states the insured more money, McCain's or the status quo?

Next, let's consider Freedom. This is simple. With employer based health insurance, the employee is limited to whatever insurance plans the employer offers. With McCain's plan, which disengages health insurance from employment, the insured can purchase any health insurance plan that is available in his state. Every one would have the exact same choices available to him as everyone else, including members of Congress.

I believe that premiums would be lower under McCain's plan also. Under the current system, insurance premiums are negotiated between insurance companies, large businesses, and labor unions (small companies and individual customers have no negiotiating power whatsoever). These entities have only their own interest at heart, not yours and mine. Furthermore, the pool of negotiating parties is limited, and the pool of potential customers is reduced by tens of millions of citizens (the 47 million uninsured). Keep in mind, many of these 47 million are healthy, and inclusion of healthy people in insurance plan helps spread out healthcare costs, and therefore helps keep premiums down. Finally, because we would be able to choose any health insurance plan that is on the market, insurance plans would be forced to compete for our business, not for IBM's business, or the AFL-CIO's business. They would have to come up with insurance plans to satisfy us.

Also, wages and salaries and jobs would go up if employers did not have to provide health insurance. I should not have to explain this, but the conventional wisdom is so ingrained that I think it is necessary. If a business does not have to pay health insurance premiums, guess what, its overhead is lower! A lot lower. That means: higher pay for employees; or higher contributions to retirement plans; or, hiring more employees; or, investing in equipment, plant, advertising, or other revenue increasing items, and hence the possibility of even more jobs, higher pay and better benefits. Now, would that be good for the economy, or bad?

Finally, did I mention FREEDOM? If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, "the only reason I stay at my job is for the health insurance," I would be a wealthy man. People are tied to their jobs; they do not feel free to leave their jobs because of the fear that they will lose their insurance. It is time to end the idiocy of employer-provided health insurance.

Elect McCain, take your tax credit, and go out and buy your own insurance. Embrace freedom, and you will be healthier, wealthier, and smarter than Congress.

*You know what bugs me? When polticians say "health care" insteadof "health insurance." Doctors, nurses, and hospitals, among others, provide health care. Insurance companies are financial middlemen. They transfer money from one party to another for a fee. That is not "health care."

For an alternate point of view, go to

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate Headache

I watched the debate in HD.   Obama's ears, and McCains complexion were distracting.   It was hard to focus on the issues when the camera was focussed on their cosmectic defects.

Here's another headache:  McCain says Obama will raise taxes.  Obama says McCain will raise insurance costs.   Either way, guess who loses.    That's right, Joe the plumber.