Stand By For News: Paul Harvey Has Died


CHICAGO – Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices, died Saturday in Arizona, according to ABC Radio Networks. He was 90.

Harvey died surrounded by family at a hospital in Phoenix, where he had a winter home, said Louis Adams, a spokesman for ABC Radio Networks, where Harvey worked for more than 50 years. No cause of death was immediately available.

His death comes less than a year after that of his wife and longtime producer, Lynne.

"My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news," Paul Harvey Jr. said in a statement. "So in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today millions have lost a friend."


A Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham

Power Line uses the words of Woody Allen's character, Fielding Mellish (on trial for treason) in the 1971 movie "Bananas" to describe the latest study involving climate change:

"I object, your honor! This trial is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."
The announcement from Dartmouth College is self-explanatory:

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Michael Dorsey was recently awarded $300,000 from the Ford Foundation to launch the Climate Justice Research Project. The project is dedicated to studying the racial and social inequities that occur in addressing climate change.

"We are working to develop the tools and means of analysis to ensure that climate change mitigation will occur in an equitable and just manner, inclusive of marginalized, low-income communities and communities of color," says Dorsey.

According to Dorsey, preliminary evidence shows that carbon cap and trade programs are having little effect on climate change, and this and other market-based environmental programs often exacerbate the vulnerability of poor and marginalized communities. Dorsey and his team at Dartmouth's Climate Justice Research Project will study this phenomenon and work to identify policy options that address the needs and concerns of underrepresented populations in relation to climate change, energy policy, and the economy.

"The Environmental Studies Program is delighted that the Ford Foundation has chosen to fund Professor Dorsey's research," says Andrew Friedland, professor and chair of Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program. "We are glad to see he has received such recognition for his contributions in the field of global environmental justice and climate. We know the work will enrich our faculty and our students as well."

The funding will allow Dorsey and his research team, made up of undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, to generate policy information that is informed by comparative data about the effect of climate change on the livelihoods of low income people in the U.S. and abroad. The research will include an analysis of the current social, political, and economic capacity to change and adapt to with regard to climate change policy.

"An important component of the Climate Justice Research Program is finding ways to build bridges between the scientists, the policy makers, and the people in low-income communities," says Dorsey. "All stakeholders need to be part of the debate and the solutions."


Power Line continues that: "Professor Dorsey's research project brings to mind the mock headline usually attributed to the New York Times: World to End Tomorrow, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit." From this picture, I can only conclude that being female and poor may or may not be a bad thing . . . depending upon your perspective.

Who Caused The Mortgage Crisis?


From the American Thinker comes this Wayback Machine look inside the pages of the Grey Lady:



September 30, 1999

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''
Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.
In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.
''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.
Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.
Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.
In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.
Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.
In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.
The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

Manhattan Capital: Über Czar to be Renamed

Manhattan Capital: Über Czar to be Renamed: "The Federal Agency for Renaming Solutions, which is working overtime to find a more attractive title for the bank bailout program TARP, will also tackle the task of renaming the Czar Czar—the Czar that rules over all other Czars."

The office of the US Czar Czar was recently created to oversee the exponentially growing army of czars appointed to control all aspects of existence. The czars are being given distinctive names, such as Autocrat for the Car Czar, Munarch for the Municipal Bond Czar, Bail Boss for the Bank Czar and Morticia for the Mortgage Czarina.

“Our staff is working 24 hours a day searching for appropriate names,” said Snaky Mox, the director of FARS. “These are very complex issues for which there is no precedent, so we need to be free to make judgment calls along the way.”

One possible new name for the Czar Czar has cropped up in the blogosphere, where several stories were posted to the effect that FARS has already decided on the new title, which is to be Cza Cza Gabor.

"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."

George Will has hit another homer . . .

The Law of Doomsaying
George Will
Monday, February 16, 2009

WASHINGTON -- A corollary of Murphy's Law ("If something can go wrong, it will") is: "Things are worse than they can possibly be." Energy Secretary Steven Chu, an atomic physicist, seems to embrace that corollary but ignores Gregg Easterbrook's "Law of Doomsaying": Predict catastrophe no sooner than five years hence but no later than 10 years away, soon enough to terrify but distant enough that people will forget if you are wrong.

Chu recently told the Los Angeles Times that global warming might melt 90 percent of California's snowpack, which stores much of the water needed for agriculture. This, Chu said, would mean "no more agriculture in California," the nation's leading food producer. Chu added: "I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going."

No more lettuce or Los Angeles? Chu likes predictions, so here is another: Nine decades hence, our great-great-grandchildren will add the disappearance of California artichokes to the list of predicted planetary calamities that did not happen. Global cooling recently joined that lengthening list.

[ . . . ]

Speaking of experts, in 1980 Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford scientist and environmental Cassandra who predicted calamitous food shortages by 1990, accepted a bet with economist Julian Simon. When Ehrlich predicted the imminent exhaustion of many nonrenewable natural resources, Simon challenged him: Pick a "basket" of any five such commodities, and I will wager that in a decade the price of the basket will decline, indicating decreased scarcity. Ehrlich picked five metals -- chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten -- that he predicted would become more expensive. Not only did the price of the basket decline, the price of all five declined.

An expert Ehrlich consulted in picking the five was John Holdren, who today is President Obama's science adviser. Credentialed intellectuals, too -- actually, especially -- illustrate Montaigne's axiom: "Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."

As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.

An unstated premise of eco-pessimism is that environmental conditions are, or recently were, optimal. The proclaimed faith of eco-pessimists is weirdly optimistic: These optimal conditions must and can be preserved or restored if government will make us minimize our carbon footprints, and if government will "remake" the economy.

Because of today's economy, another law -- call it the Law of Clarifying Calamities -- is being (redundantly) confirmed. On graphs tracking public opinion, two lines are moving in tandem and inversely: The sharply rising line charts public concern about the economy, the plunging line follows concern about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center poll asked which of 20 issues should be the government's top priorities. Climate change ranked 20th.

Real calamities take our minds off hypothetical ones. Besides, according to the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare.

Islamic "Honor Killings" Now in America

The couple in happier times, before Hassan removed his wife’s head.


From Tim Blair at the Daily Telegraph:
New York man Muzzammil Hassan founded pro-Islam station Bridges TV five years ago to combat the negative public image of Muslims. He is currently under arrest for beheading his wife.
Aasiya Hassan was the victim of an Islamic "honor killing" because she had the audacity to file for divorce from her husband and to obtain a court order to have him removed from the family home.

Muslims number somewhere between 3.3 and 7.0 million in the US today, but Daniel Pipes believes that 7 million is a high number. J. Grant Swank writes "In America alone, there are 5,000 so-called 'honor killing' deaths every year. Five thousand!"

Muslim women have no rights. They are property in the same manner as livestock. They cannot own property; they speak when spoken to . . . they are slaves. Sharia Law!

Grant Swank describes the senseless act of honor killing:
When a Muslim male within a clan concludes that a female has spoiled the clan's honor, that female is to have a bullet put through her head or her neck slit. In some way, a male must do away with the dishonoring female in order to please Allah. This is an evil practice worldwide throughout Muslim environs and now threatening civil countries.
According to Phyllis Chesler:
This is the problem: Islamist separatism -- aka Islamic religious and gender apartheid. It is practiced in Muslim countries and transported by immigrations globally. Tradition and religion have a strong hold, especially on immigrants in a strange, new land. However, many religious and cultural groups have managed to both integrate and to retain their own religious identities. Muslim immigrants (and their third generation descendants) seem to have a much harder time with this balancing act.

If we understand Islam as an all-encompassing political, military, religious, social, and cultural entity (which it is), then things become clearer.

Islamists insist that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. They say that it is a "cultural" but not an "Islamic" crime. They are wrong. Islamists also say that honor murders are the same as domestic violence. All men, all religions engage in it. Wrong. Most honor killings are committed by Muslims who believe that what they are doing is a sacred, religious act. They may misunderstand the Qu'ran but as yet, no mullah or imam has stood up in the global, public square to condemn such murders as dishonorable and anti-Islamic. No fatwa has ever been issued against a Muslim honor killer.

In terms of domestic violence, western-style domestic batterers rarely kill their daughters. That is a characteristic of an honor killing. And, western style domestic batterers act alone when they kill their adult partners. An honor killing is a collaborative act between several or many members of the same family.

It is unfortunate, even shameful, but not surprising that Islamists seek to cover up this sin against Muslim girls and women by attacking those who would dare expose it as "Islamophobes."

We cannot afford to fall for this deception. A crime is a crime. The shame resides in the criminal, not in his victim. The shame will become ours if we justify the brutal sacrifice of Muslim girls and women in order to remain multi-culturally and politically correct.

The Unending Rage of Janeane Garofalo


Day by Day reminds us that Janeane Garofalo is still around. The comedienne, script writer, cable TV talking head, Air America hostess, 9/11 Troofer . . . and sometimes supporting actress is up to her nasty liberal attacks again. This despite the fact that only right wing nut jobs at "The Jack Bauer Power Hour" otherwise known as "24" (which demonstrates torture methods on TV) will hire her at the ripe old age of 44. She had this to say at (of all places) the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s Komedy For Karma event.

And since it is clear and has been clear since Reagan that the republicans, the “conservatives” will NEVER play ball … NEVER … f*ck um.

Their policies have destroyed us and most of the world – that’s a fact not an opinion. Their policies of deregulation, pre-emptive strikes, unmitigated support for Israel to the detriment of the Israelis, Palestinian’s, Americans, the British. Every single policy that “conservative republicans” have put forth since Reagan has destroyed us. And we affect most of the world, so why do they still get a say? That’s what blows my mind. It’s almost like self-flagellation or masochism in some way. We keep going to that portion. They are NEVER going to compromise. The thing is that the more you give in to something like that, the more they take advantage.

The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.

I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an asshole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a dick to cleave onto their ideology.


via videosift.com

Anybody But Bibi


The generally left-leaning politics of Israel is facing a dramatic challenge in the election just completed. Exit polls indicate that the number of Knesset seats captured by the centrist Kadima party of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and the hawkish Likud of former premier Benjamin Netanyahu is about a one or two seat difference.

Mrs. Livni, a relative political neophyte (sounds familiar doesn't it?) took up the Obama election theme to woo votes. The Washington Post reports:

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, running a close second in the polls, has been most conspicuous in invoking Obama. A relative newcomer to politics, she presents herself as a fresh alternative to her chief competitors, both of whom are older men who have held Israel's top job before.

On the stump, she invites Israelis to "vote for change." Her campaign distributes T-shirts emblazoned with the made-up word "Believni." And she brags that unlike the race's front-runner, former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, she could partner with Obama in pursuing a peace accord with the Palestinians.

"The American people voted for hope," Livni told an audience of college students recently. "This is also possible in the state of Israel."

But the Netanyahu campaign answers with its own T-shirt: "No, She Can't."

It would now appear that Bibi Netanyahu did not win, but in the style of the British Parliament, a coalition government must be formed by the party leader acknowledged by President Shimon Peres to have the most support in the Knesset.  The real decider in the government turns out to far-right nationalist Avigdor Lieberman and his Israel Beiteinu party. Lieberman told the Jerusalem Post:
"It's true that Tzipi Livni won a surprise victory. But what is more important is that the right-wing camp won a clear majority... We want a right-wing government. That's our wish and we don't hide it."

"The main argument which is being waged today is not only over the borders, but rather on the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state," he continued. "These three things must be intertwined."

"We have a way and principles, and we don't plan on giving them up," Lieberman said, adding that the most important thing on his agenda was that the new government be decisive against terror.

In what may prove a twist for coalition talks as ceasefire negotiations between and Hamas move into an advanced stage, Lieberman firmly stated that his party would never join a government which permitted Hamas to rule the Gaza Strip.

The underlying story of the election suddenly is not the Obama-imitation, but a return to yesteryear and Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" commercial against Barry Goldwater in 1964.  Lisa Goldman in the Guardian reports the perception this way:
You'd be hard-pressed to find an Israeli who is genuinely enthusiastic about today's national elections. For many, the two frontrunners for prime minister represent a choice between bad and terrible. Tzipi Livni, the Kadima leader, is widely viewed as a decent but untested candidate with a very unimpressive list of candidates and no identifiable platform. Binyamin Netanyahu proved himself a failed prime minister 10 years ago, but voters have short memories and Bibi, as he is known, is now the favourite. If he wins, he will probably form a coalition with Avigdor Lieberman's far-right Yisrael Beiteinu.

For liberals, a "Biberman" government is a terrifying prospect. Over lunch in the cafeteria of a ministry building in Jerusalem on Sunday, a well-known diplomat insisted that the most important reason to vote for Livni was to prevent the election of Netanyahu. Vote for her because otherwise you'll have to deal with Biberman's finger on the nuclear button, he seemed to be saying.

"Shovel-Ready" Infrastructure Projects are Wrong


The February 5 issue of Popular Mechanics exposes the fallacies of instant spending on infrastructure in the stimulus bill before Congress.

The term arrived with all the muscle and blue-collar authority of a bulldozer: “shovel-ready.” As in, infrastructure projects that are ready or almost ready to begin, the antithesis of some dimly imagined earmark or budget-sucking bridge to nowhere. Then-president-elect Obama used the term on a December 7th visit to NBC’s Meet the Press, describing the kinds of projects that would be supported by the upcoming economic stimulus bill. Soon the phrase was being repeated by policy-makers only an almost daily basis. Now the bill is here, with one version passed by the House, and another being debated by the Senate. “Shovel-ready” isn’t language used in the bill, but the House’s version, at least, does have an enforceable short-term focus: Only projects that are able to start construction within 90 days of selection are eligible for funding from the $90 billion set aside for infrastructure.

So what exactly is a shovel-ready project? There are no specific parameters or requirements that define shovel readiness. But according to civil engineers, the idea behind this new buzzword could help scuttle the stimulus bill’s highly publicized, though secondary, goal of infrastructure reform. At issue is that 90-day restriction stipulated by Congress, an even narrower window than the bill’s original 180-day limit. “They’re well intentioned, and they know their infrastructure sucks, so they’re trying to do immediate reactive management to what is a very deep, endemic problem,” says Robert Bea, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you want to patch some potholes in the road, this is a good program. But if you’re hoping for anything long-term with this approach, throw away all hope. It can’t happen.”

The programs that would meet the bill’s 90-day restriction are, for the most part, an unappealing mix of projects that were either shelved after being fully designed and engineered, and have since become outmoded or irrelevant, or projects with limited scope and ambition. No one’s building a smart electric grid or revamping a water system on 90 days notice. The best example of a shovel-ready project, and what engineers believe could become the biggest recipient of the transportation-related portion of the bill’s funding, is road resurfacing—important maintenance work, but not a meaningful way to rein in a national infrastructure crisis. “In developing countries, there are roads that are so bad, they create congestion, because drivers are constantly forced to slow down,” says David Levinson, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s civil engineering department. “That’s not the case here. If the road’s a little bit rougher, drivers will feel it, but that’s not going to cause you to go any slower. So the economic benefit of those projects is pretty low.”

That might be acceptable to people focused purely on fostering rapid job growth, but ironically, such stimulus spending could fall short on that measure, as well. “In the 1930s, when you were literally building with shovels, that might have made sense. That was largely unskilled labor. Today, it’s blue collar, but it’s not unskilled,” Levinson says. “The guy brushing the asphalt back and forth is unskilled, but the guy operating the steamroller isn’t. And there’s an assumption out there that construction workers are interchangeable between residential and highway projects. But a carpenter isn’t a whole lot of help in building a road.”

Even if the engineers are wrong, and a new wave of smoothly paved roads and bridges does somehow bolster the economy, politicians will eventually have to come to terms with the dangerous legacy of shovel-ready thinking, which has helped shape the current infrastructure crisis. The 90-day stipulation rules out projects already under construction. And in order to begin replacing or overhauling one of the country’s thousands of structurally deficient bridges, transportation officials might be forced to resort to hastily planned projects. “Unfortunately the approach is a quick fix, and it’s what we’ve been doing for decades. It’s a patch-and-play approach to solving our infrastructure needs,” says Pat Natale, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who supports a mix of shovel-ready and longer-term projects.

As is the case in all political "solutions", the answer now and forever will be . . . throw money at it. In the liberal mind, success is defined as "we tried" not "we fixed it."

This effort by Congress most certainly violates the First Law of Holes . . . when your in one, quit digging.

UPDATE: Fort Wayne's "Ready-To-Go" Project List . . . starting with $300M for elementary and middle schools!

Uncertainty, the Precautionary Principle, and Climate Change

Scott Armstrong points out in this article on AGW that he and co-author Kesten Green have "been unable to find any forecast derived from evidence-based (scientific) forecasting methods that supports the contention that the world faces dangerous man-made global warming."

Uncertainty, the Precautionary Principle, and Climate Change

Kesten C. Green & J. Scott Armstrong
August 9, 2008

The precautionary principle is a political principle, not a scientific one. The principle is used to urge the cessation or avoidance of a human activity in situations of uncertainty, just in case that activity might cause harm to human health or the natural environment. There is an interesting discussion of the history of the term in Wikipedia.

In practice, the precautionary principle is invoked when an interest group identifies an issue that can help it to achieve its objectives. If the interest group is successful in its efforts to raise fears about the issue, the application of the scientific method is rejected and a new orthodoxy is imposed. Government dictates follow. People who dissent from the orthodox view are vilified, ostracized, and may have their livelihoods taken away from them. Consider the case of “climate change”.

Warnings of dangerous manmade global warming from scientists, politicians, and celebrities have received much publicity. They admonish us to dramatically reduce emissions of CO2 in order to prevent disaster over the course of the 21st Century. Efforts have been made to stifle a scientific approach to the issue. In an article titled “Veteran climate scientist says 'lock up the oil men'”, James Hanson, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was quoted as suggesting that those who promote the ideas of global warming skeptics should be “put on trial for high crimes against humanity.” The skeptics themselves have been ejected from, for example, State Climatologist positions and prevented from publishing research in mainstream journals, and they and their views are routinely attacked. Much complexity and uncertainty surround climate change. The cumulative empirical evidence on proper forecasting procedures suggests that the most appropriate method in this case is naïve extrapolation. In simple terms, this means to forecast no change. Of course there will be change, but with current knowledge there is no more reason to expect warming than to expect cooling.

As we describe in our paper, we have been unable to find any forecast derived from evidence-based (scientific) forecasting methods that supports the contention that the world faces dangerous man made global warming.

Appeals for urgent curtailment of human activity “just in case” are often couched in ways that imply that industrial societies are inherently sinful, rather than that there might be a problem to be dealt with. Indeed, interpretation of the precautionary principle is subjective and it is arguable that it is being misapplied to the issue of climate change.

Firstly, even if forecasts of increasing temperatures turned out to be accurate, predicted temperatures and other conditions are within the range of variations that have been experienced in the past. There is no evidence that the natural environment “prefers” relatively cool to relatively warm average temperatures. In fact, life in general prefers warmth.

Secondly, curtailing human activity would harm people’s health by making them poorer than they would otherwise have been. This is likely to be the case even if curtailing human activity happened to reduce global average temperatures. When the situation is framed in this way, the precautionary principle dictates that it is policies to curtail economically efficient human activity that should themselves be curtailed. The outlook for the climate over the 21st Century is highly uncertain. There is a word in the English language to express high uncertainty. That word is “ignorance”. And ignorance is not a basis for responsible government action. We should expect our politicians to have the courage to resist interest groups’ calls for action in the face of ignorance.

The precautionary principle brings to mind the slogan on the Ministry of Truth building in George Orwell’s 1984: “Ignorance is Strength.” Instead of this political principle, we hope that politicians will turn to scientific principles for making public policy.

Science & Public Policy notes Orwellian "Doublespeak" as well:

A similar Orwellian inversion preached these days by global warming catastrophists is: Balance is Bias. This is the claim that journalists mislead the public by interviewing global warming skeptics or reporting their views, because the skeptics are on a par with Flat Earthers and Holocaust deniers. This is manifestly self-serving, the objective being to ensure that the public hears from only one-side . . . the [Robert]Kennedy-Al Gore side.

New Hampshire States Rights Resolution

This resolution, has been presented for passage in the current session of the NH legislature. This approach is the only way to reestablish States Rights and reign in Federalism.

Hat Tip: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

A RESOLUTION affirming States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles.

Whereas the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, Part 1, Article 7 declares that the people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled; and

Whereas the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, Part 2, Article 1 declares that the people inhabiting the territory formerly called the province of New Hampshire, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign and independent body-politic, or State, by the name of The State of New Hampshire; and

Whereas the State of New Hampshire when ratifying the Constitution for the United States of America recommended as a change, “First That it be Explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly & particularly Delegated by the aforesaid are reserved to the several States to be, by them Exercised;” and

Whereas the other States that included recommendations, to wit Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia, included an identical or similar recommended change; and

Whereas these recommended changes were incorporated as the ninth amendment, the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and the tenth amendment, the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people, to the Constitution for the United States of America; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, -- delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress; and

7 That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own territory; and

That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitution, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;” and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated, rather than the use be destroyed. And thus also they guarded against all abridgment by the United States of the freedom of religious opinions and exercises, and retained to themselves the right of protecting the same. And that in addition to this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press:” thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press: insomuch, that whatever violated either, throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, and that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals. That, therefore, all acts of Congress of the United States which do abridge the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, are not law, but are altogether void, and of no force; and

That the construction applied by the General Government (as is evidenced by sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof,” goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their power by the Constitution: that words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers, ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument: that the proceedings of the General Government under color of these articles, will be a fit and necessary subject of revisal and correction; and

7That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union which it has manifested from that moment at which a common danger first suggested a common union: that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly to those specified in their federal compact, to be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States: that faithful to that compact, according to the plain intent and meaning in which it was understood and acceded to by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for its preservation: that it does also believe, that to take from the States all the powers of self-government and transfer them to a general and consolidated government, without regard to the special delegations and reservations solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of these States; and that therefore this State is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis), to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them: that nevertheless, this State, from motives of regard and respect for its co-States, has wished to communicate with them on the subject: that with them alone it is proper to communicate, they alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the creature of the compact, and subject as to its assumptions of power to the final judgment of those by whom, and for whose use itself and its powers were all created and modified: that if the acts before specified should stand, these conclusions would flow from them: that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism -- free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. That this State does therefore call on its co-States for an expression of their sentiments on acts not authorized by the federal compact. And it doubts not that their sense will be so announced as to prove their attachment unaltered to limited government, whether general or particular. And that the rights and liberties of their co-States will be exposed to no dangers by remaining embarked in a common bottom with their own. That they will concur with this State in considering acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States, of all powers whatsoever: that they will view this as seizing the rights of the States, and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with a power assumed to bind the States, not merely as the cases made federal, (casus foederis,) but in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent: that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories; and

That the said committee be authorized to communicate by writing or personal conferences, at any times or places whatever, with any person or person who may be appointed by any one or more co-States to correspond or confer with them; and that they lay their proceedings before the next session of the General Court; and

FThat any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America. Acts which would cause such a nullification include, but are not limited to:

I. Establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the States comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that State.

II. Requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

III. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

IV. Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.

V. Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.

VI. Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition; and

That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government; and

That copies of this resolution be transmitted by the house clerk to the President of the United States, each member of the United States Congress, and the presiding officers of each State’s legislature.

Tom Daschle on Taxes


“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.”
Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.

The Cabinet of President Barack Hussein Obama is about to add its second tax cheat. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom "Puff" Daschle awaits only the hearings and rubber stamp of the Senate.

The Washington Post reports:

Thomas A. Daschle waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing Barack Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes for the use of a car and driver provided by a wealthy New York investor.

Daschle, one of Obama's earliest and most ardent campaign supporters, paid $140,000 to the U.S. Treasury on Jan. 2 and about two days later informed the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, according to an account provided by his spokeswoman and confirmed by the Obama administration.

The disclosure of Daschle's tax problems coincided with the release of the financial statement he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, which details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.

The WAPO article is chock full of revelations about his troubles with the IRS and his magical acquisition of wealth that need to be read here.

Also amusing is the Daschle letter to the Senate explaining that he is "deeply embarrassed and disappointed." Of course his tax "mistakes" were "unintentional."