December 20, 2009

Never Do The Math

There are some things it is better to not know. For instance:


My driveway as approximately 23' x 38'.

The average depth of Global Warming on my driveway was one foot.

Giving me roughly 874 cubic feet of Global Warming.

According to WikiAnswers a cubic foot of snow weighs from 7 to 10 pounds (unless it is that really dense wet heavy snow.) Today's snow was fairly light and fluffy but not pure powder.

Using an estimated 8 pounds per cubic foot, the snow that WAS on my driveway weighed 6, 992 pounds.

Not counting the deck, stairs and path I offset three and half tons of Global Warming.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


December 19, 2009

The Climate Change Has Started -- UPDATED

The forecast for my little corner of the world is for a 60% chance of Climate Change today with Global Warming accumulations of one to two inches.


Overnight there is a forecast 100% chance of Climate Change with expected accumulations of Global Warming of seven to eleven inches.

The Climate Change forecast for Sunday is and 80% chance of an additional one to two inches of Global Warming.

The Inconvenient Truth is that I am going to spend tomorrow afternoon shoveling nine to fifteen inches of Global Warming off my driveway.

UPDATE: There has been a revision to the Climate change forecast. The afternoon on to two inches of Global Warming never materialized. I think this is because the Climate Change is moving slower than expected. This is probably why the overnight Climate change has been revised to a predicted 10 to 16 inches of Global Warming.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:59 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


December 16, 2009

More Chili Cheese Fries for Me

As a resident of Connecticut, this headline from Michelle Malkin may be be best news to come out of the healthcare debate yet:


Beclowned: Michael Moore threatens to boycott Connecticut over Lieberman

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 12, 2009

Left vs Left Partisanship

My friend Jack forwarded me an email that provides a slight glimmer of hope that we just be able to avoid the nightmare of a government takeover of healthcare.

Thanks Jack.

The email came to him from MoveOn.org. It seems they are not at all happy with the direction of healthcare reform in the Senate. They are insistent that the legislation contain a "public option." The inclusion of which will mean that the bill will never make it out of the senate.

Dear MoveOn member,

Hi. I'm Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton and currently a professor at the University of California.

You've probably heard about a possible "deal" in the Senate to do away with the public option.

I'm here to tell you that this is no deal: it's a gift to Big Insurance, plain and simple.

The details are sketchy. The only thing that's really clear is the deal would drop the public option from the bill. With no public option, there's no guarantee of real competition. And without real competition, health care costs will continue to be out of control.

I don't suppose there is any point in arguing with Reich and company that if they wanted competition what they should be doing is combing through current laws and regulations and removing barriers to competition among private enterprises. The left has made the argument that part of the problem is that the insurance industry in some states is dominated by one or two major players. They never acknowledge the role of government regulation and market distortion in creating that situation. Their solution is more government. More government control of the economy. And in the end more government control of individual lives.

But the deal is far from done. If voters generate a massive outcry around this and progressive leaders in Congress fight back, we can fix it.

Can you sign a petition to leaders in Congress and the White House right away?

Given that a bill with a public option will more than likely fail a cloture vote in the Senate, by all means my socialist friends petition your fellow travelers in the Senate to insist that it be included. While your at it, be sure to threaten them with electoral challenges if their efforts on this issue are not sufficiently "progressive." The insertion of a "poison pill" into a piece legislation to insure its defeat is a time honored practice. When the majority does you the favor of insisting on including a poison pill in their own legislation it kind of makes you smile!

Click here to add your name:
http://pol.moveon.org/gift/?id=18245-15519988-ADjCAYx&t=3

The petition says: "You must make sure health care reform includes a real public option—it's what the majority of Americans want. Anything less is a gift to Big Insurance."

With no public option, the Senate "deal" is a giveaway to Big Insurance—and industry insiders admit it! One recently wrote "We WIN," in an email about the "deal."

What's in this "deal"? Like I said, almost no one knows the details. That means that progressives who embrace it right now may be giving away the store without getting anything in return.

This is a rather amusing admission. "We have know idea what this compromise is but we oppose it because it is not exactly what we demand. And we are going to hold our breath until we get what we want."

But here's what we do know: First, it might allow some 55-64 year-olds to buy into Medicare. Second, it might allow those without employer health insurance to buy private insurance the way federal employees do.2

So what's the problem here? A system of only private insurers simply will not control costs. Without competition from a public option, insurance companies have no incentive to compete—just like now.3

Enlarging Medicare is no answer. The Senate bill slows Medicare's costs only if they're rising faster than total health spending. But with private insurers running the show, total health spending will still be out of control.4 Plus, we have no idea how many people might be allowed to buy into Medicare, or if it will be even close to affordable for them.

Reich's understanding of the market is that is that companies see it in their best interest to price their product so high that only a few can afford to purchase it. It doesn't work that way. I'm sure if they were free of massive regulation that limits their access to markets and mandates of what coverage must be included, the insurance companies would love the opportunity to innovate and compete with each other.

Here's how it works. Monte Blanc sells a roller ballpen for $180. Not everyone can afford to spend $180 for a pen nor do a vast majority of consumers want to spend $180 for a pen. Are those people left without options for writing? Absolutely not. You can buy a dozen Papermate Write Brothers pens for $5. Why does it work this way? Because there is no government regulation that requires that all pens have "stainless steel tip; Precious resin; Removable Cap; Platinum-plated rings with embossed logo; Platinum-plated clip." There is no government regulation prohibiting selling pens across state lines.

And Papermate is not the consumer's only choice - BIC sells a 10-pack of competing pens for $2.00. Staples, Walmart, OfficeMax and many other retailers all sell a competing private label product. And there are many offerings in between. (The Monte Blanc example is far from the extreme high-end it was just the first one that showed up on my Amazon search. Want to spend a couple of thousand on a pen - they've got that covered for you.)

Could insurance companies offer innovative policies if they were free to do so? Absolutely. Here's one idea I'll give them for free - since they probably can't do it under current regulations anyway.

This is policy designed to be sold to a younger consumer. Offer a fixed amount of Major medical coverage say $30,000 and $3,000 for minor medical for a year. (Want higher amounts pay a higher premium. Want a lower premium by less coverage.) At the end of the year a percentage of the balance of your major medical limit gets added to the next year's coverage and the entire balance of the minor medical gets rolled over. At certain benchmark points (say every time your coverage doubles) your premium would be adjusted to reflect the increase in coverage. If at any time you suffer a major medical expense that exceeds your coverage for the year you can access the minor medical funds to pay down those costs. If you use the entire balance of either account in a year they will reset to the last premium adjustment point for the next year. If your premium adjusted when your coverage reached $60,000 that would be the minimum you would start with for any year.

If you stay healthy until you reach your senior years you would have a substantial amount of insurance "in the bank." If you carefully manage your minor medical expenses and don't run to the doctor every time you sneeze you'll have nice chunk of minor medical coverage built up too.

I'm sure if Blue Cross were offering this plan nationwide, the folks at Aetna would be having many brainstorming sessions to come up with something better.

Health care reform must include a strong public option. It's key to controlling costs, expanding coverage, and forcing Big Insurance to compete. Without it, we'll end up with a national health care system controlled by a handful of very large corporations accountable neither to American voters nor to the market. And that is not even close to real health care reform.

Please sign the petition to House and Senate leadership and the White House today. The deal is still up in the air. If congressional progressives hold strong—and public demand for a public option is clear—then White House and congressional leaders will have to do what they haven't: put pressure on the few conservative Democrats to get on board and help pass real health care reform with a public option.


Click here to sign your name:
http://pol.moveon.org/gift/?id=18245-15519988-ADjCAYx&t=9

Thank you for all you do.
–Robert Reich

There is midterm election next year. It represents a chance for the citizens to reform the government. I think Washington meeds to be sent a message that the idea of "reform" should always mean less government intrusion into our lives. And if Robert Reich and MoveOn succeed in killing the federal healthcare takeover by insisting on having it their way, those of us who value our freedom will owe them a thank you.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:38 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


December 02, 2009

Global Warming Falls Apart

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


William Butler Yeats

Unless Hold the Mayo is your primary source of news you are aware of the recent revelations regarding the Holy Church of Global Warming. If not here'e the news.

But before I get to that I have a slight rant I need to get off my chest. The most annoying legacy of any president in my lifetime has to be that of Richard Nixon. Because of him, any time any public official does something even slightly untoward, the resulting scandal is named with the suffix "gate."  If only Nixon had campaigned honestly, if only the Democrats had chosen to work out of the Mariot. But no, history is what it is so we are stuck with "Climategate."

And now back to the news.

Someone (and no one is sure if was a hacker or insider leak) published a large collection of emails, files and data from a server of the Climate Research Unit of the East Anglia University in England. This is a significant development.

If you view "Global Warming" as a religion, the CRU is the Vatican. The work done by the CRU is the foundation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports on the impending doom of the planet known as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

The revealed emails and documents highlight efforts by select High Priests of the Church of Global Warming to manipulate data to insure that the results show man-made warming. That they actively worked to block peer reviewed publication of papers that questioned the idea of AGW. That they conspired to withhold information covered under freedom of information requests.

The CRU has subsequently acknowledged that they discarded the raw data on which they based their climate models and predictions to save space when they moved. The result of which is that it is now impossible for any scientist to independently verify their work.

I have always maintained that the entire AGW movement was not based on science. Like any long con, AGW is about the transfer of wealth. It is not a vast warming conspiracy, buy rather a web of independent yet intertwined efforts to redistribute wealth.

First there are the warm mongers themselves who, through their urgent alarms of eminent disaster and suffering polar bears, seek to ensure the transfer of wealth from various governments to themselves.

Then their are the profiteers who through scams such as "Green Energy" and "Carbon Credits" seek to transfer wealth from the general public to themselves. Yes, I'm talking about al Gore.

Then their are the governments who want to use AGW to justify all sorts of taxes and regulations to transfer wealth from their people to themselves.

And finally, as is the focus of the upcoming Church of GLobal Warming Pilgrimage  to Copenhagen, there are the internationalist egalitarians. These are the folks who believe it to be their duty and their right to take wealth from nations that have produced it and hand it over to those who have not. These "developing" nations love the idea of transferring vast amounts of the world's wealth to themselves.

But the whole thing is falling apart at the seams. It is house of cards built on a foundation of lies and bogus data.

I doubt the Warmists will go down without a fight though. It should be fun to watch.

One more thing.

I told you so.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:00 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


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