Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, May 07, 2005

We just can't win. No matter what we do, we just can't win.

Check out this story at news@nature.com:
Our planet's air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground, say two studies in Science this week.

Reductions in industrial emissions in many countries, along with the use of particulate filters for car exhausts and smoke stacks, seem to have reduced the amount of dirt in the atmosphere and made the sky more transparent.

That sounds like very good news. But the researchers say that more solar energy arriving on the ground will also make the surface warmer, and this may add to the problems of global warming. More sunlight will also have knock-on effects on cloud cover, winds, rainfall and air temperature that are difficult to predict.
Unbelievable. The environmental industry, that is people whose prestigious, highly paid, well-traveled, cushy jobs are dependent on a continuation of bad news on the environmental front, have really outdone themselves here. This is a masterstroke.

The bottom line is that no matter what happens we will need environmental activists. We need them to keep thinking about how to save our planet and that will take years, money, jet-travel to conferences in resort cities, and lots of jobs. No matter what we do our environment is going to hell in a handbasket and we need pointy headed environmentalists to stay on the job no matter how long it takes. Eventually they'll find a solution. Or live very well trying. No matter how much it costs.

Larry Kudlow:
That said, the news of higher tax payments is big. And the real story behind the numbers is the successful supply-side experiment that began in the middle of 2003, when investment tax rates were slashed on capital gains and dividends. With new incentives to counter the deflation of investment during the 2000-02 period, both capital formation and economic growth came back from the dead.

Real GDP since the tax cuts has averaged 4.3 percent at an annual rate, whereas growth was only 2.4 percent during the anemic recovery that preceded the tax cuts. The latest government data on tax collections for calendar-year 2004 confirm a tax-cut-led recovery through the explosion of tax receipts at lower tax rates. Once again, the Laffer curve is working.

With more people keeping more of what they earn and invest, after-tax, a major new economic boom has been launched. Enormous wealth creation from real estate, stocks, and small-business formation is the backbone of this entrepreneurial recovery. Despite the rantings of the naysayers in the mainstream media and on parts of Wall Street, strong economic expansion will continue for many years to come.
I hope Americans in the 2000-teens will realize that the Bush tax cuts are the reasons their economy is so strong and won't be fooled by another Bill Clinton Democrat into believing he had anything to do with the economy.

Just as Ronald Reagan in the 1980's created the economy of the 1990's with his tax incentives to entrepreneurs (to take chances and start companies that eventually became profitable and began paying tax revenues), so too will President Bush's tax policies be the reason for coming good times.

But then we'll probably have Hillary Clinton in office insisting that her policies are the reason the economy is doing so well. That is until she raises taxes and puts the kibosh on the economy. Then another Republican will have to come in, cut taxes, spur the economy, and eventually turn it over, again, to another Democrat who takes credit.......yada, yada, yada.

Update: I missed this news. I'm glad I saw it because it serves to reinforce what I just said:
WASHINGTON — U.S. employers created a surprisingly large 274,000 new jobs in April and added more workers in each of the two prior months than first thought, the Labor Department (search) said Friday in a report that eased fears about economic growth.

The April jobs total far outstripped Wall Street economists' expectations for 170,000 new jobs.

Further underlining the surge, the government said 93,000 more jobs were created in February and March than it previously reported — 146,000 in March instead of 110,000 and a whopping 300,000 in February instead of 243,000.
The economy is doing very well.

William F. Buckley is ever so gently suggesting that the time for the U.S. to get out of Iraq is surely coming. Sooner rather than later.

Buckley is correct in saying that there is only so much we can do for Iraq and that, ultimately, they must do for themselves. I totally agree and I believe that the time for the U.S. to leave has to be no more than one year from now. We can't announce a timeline for withdrawal because the terrorists in Iraq would simply bide their time, build their strength quietly, and strike hard at the Iraqi government that remained once we left, but I'm sure President Bush is making plans now for the eventual withdrawal.

We will have to continue to help Iraq for many years, but 90% of our troops should be able to leave by at least this time next year.

Ann Coulter:
Close your eyes and even now you can hear Aaron Brown saying: "Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay came under fire again today when it was disclosed that his Permanent Record showed he refused to take a nap once while in kindergarten. We turn now live to Wolf Blitzer with former kindergarten teacher Louise Millicuddy in Livingston, Texas. Wolf, could this bombshell spell the end for the combative Tom DeLay?"
Hehehe. THAT is typical Ann Coulter and it's why she pisses off so many people. More Coulter:
How about asking the Democrats – I would recommend asking Rep. Rosa DeLauro this – to explain precisely which law they believe DeLay broke? People will have already left the building before we get the most basic outline of the allegation. These are the same legal geniuses who looked at dozens of Whitewater-related felony convictions and said, "Crime? What crime?"
And this bit is absolutely priceless:
The UN is an organization with thousands of people from all over the world with one thing in common: They badly need to be yelled at, preferably by a guy who looks like Wilford Brimley.
Yes they do.

I get really excited when I think about the revolution taking place in medicine and science. Wired News (via Instapundit) has a story about artificial retinas that will, I believe, one day allow blind people to see. Cool.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Thomas Lipscomb in The Chicago Sun-Times:
At the time Asia was anything but stable. The fragile former British colonies Malaysia and Singapore were under siege by communist guerrilla forces. The second-largest political party in India was the growing communist party. Taiwan expected an assault from Red China at any moment. China itself was suffering from Mao's "Great Leap Forward" industrialization that led to the greatest famine in modern history, killing 30 million. Indonesia was headed toward a "year of living dangerously" showdown with a large communist insurgency. The Philippines continued to have a problem with its communist Huk rebellion.

Dulles wanted to save "essential parts" of Asia. America understood at the outset it was unlikely to save all of it. And America succeeded. It may have lost Vietnam and been unable to stop the communist takeover that led to the death of a quarter of Cambodians in the "killing fields." But the dominoes did not fall. Only four years later, in 1979, American trade with Asia had surpassed trade with Europe.

Now, 30 years later, the new "Asian tigers" have standards of living and booming economies that would astonish an old Asia hand like Dulles. Asian prosperity is the wonder of the 21st century and particularly valuable to U.S. trade. In this brilliant company of Asian states, full partners in the global economy, the People's Republic of Vietnam remains mired in irrelevancy
Ultimately, what Lipscomb describes was our goal in Vietnam even if leftists do scoff at the suggestion. We were trying to prevent a murderous, intellectually intolerant, and economically disastrous form of government from effectively turning innocent people into property of their state. We were compelled to fight communism in Vietnam because, at the time, our own freedom and liberty were at risk. Communism was a very real threat to our country.

The left in the United States was the fifth column for communists to their everlasting shame. No one should ever forget how many people the communists slaughered in the 20th century and we should always be wary of contemporary leftists because they are ideological cousins to that point of view. No doubt they've moderated their views, but deep inside they share the same basic ideology: The state knows best.

Denis Boyles writes about Europe for National Review. Since he lives in France he is able to make some educated predictions about what we can expect from Europe in the next few months. I especially like this one prediction because it effectively shows how news is created and shaped by media outlets all over the world:
2. Meanwhile, Europe will grow larger — as a brand, that is. Once the EU constitution has been dismissed by the voters, the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the Euro-press, none of whom have high regard for lowly voters, will begin the predictable process of doing what might be called an electoral bypass and fashioning a Europe based on pure sentiment. The International Herald Tribune recently demonstrated how it’s done, by reporting, Times-style, the lingering death of nationalism and the birth of a European consciousness. This is an assignment made easier by simply surveying the likes of Greenpeace workers and exchange students. The wiser observers at Eursoc help provide a more accurate take:

Economic differences will not go away simply because the guy in charge spent a year having sex with interesting foreigners in Hamburg, Bologna or Barcelona: Far from being "sharp differences of opinion," the vision of Europe offered by Britain and by France are wholly different and wholly incompatible.

Symbols of European unity are all the rage, of course. The maiden flight in Toulouse of the world’s largest passenger jet, as reported in Le Figaro, was a huge story in the Euro-press. Who needs a plane big enough to carry all the inhabitants of a Nebraska county from Luxembourg to the Maldives? Nobody, really. While one hopes for endless happy landings for the titanic airplane, the French have had some experience covering this sort of thing before.
Absolutely priceless and what's more it happens everyday. That "Time-style" reference is to how the New York Times will interview only those people who agree with their editorial position so as to create the illusion of widespread support for their view.

The Times and other media outlets will ask slanted poll questions to an overweighted Democrat versus Republican ratio, they will hide it when one response is contradicted by another question in the poll, they will give a headline to a poll result that is totally contradicted by the results of the poll, and when they need a quote for the paper they will not reveal that the individual they are supposedly randomly interviewing is actually known by the reporter to be an activist with an agenda.

And then they'll wonder why anyone accuses them of being biased.