Picture 2

Picture 2

Apr 28, 2013

US Air Traffic Control:: Total Managerial Incompetence

I want to privatize US air traffic control.  That would be truly less government.  The Canadians have privatized air traffic control.  You know how liberals love to talk about how Canada does things.  The air traffic control fiasco is just another example of total managerial incompetence in government.  This incompetence is a direct result of the incentives that face government employees who make managerial decisions.  The bigger the government, the more secure your job is.  When faced with cuts, the government typically cuts the most visible services in order to get their budget restored.  This strategy is so common it has its own Wikipedia entry.  However, the FAA has a long history of such managerial incompetence.  In a recent example, the FAA did not managed to modernize US air traffic control, while wasting billions of dollars trying.  Government employees want to maximize their budget, so cost overruns are good for them. This administration's political reaction to budget cuts should make everyone think twice about allowing big government to run anything economically important, especially air traffic control.  
Description of Canadian Air Traffic Control
Article on FAA History of Waste
Cuts Politically Motivated
Wikipedia Entry for Washington Monument Syndrome

Arms Race: Missile Defenses v Rogue State Nukes

The Iranians are threatening Israel with annihilation, not the other way around.  Iranian demonstrators have been encouraged by their government for years to chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”  ever since 1979.  The ayatollahs say they will wipe Israel off the map.   My guess, based on the Israeli view of the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust, is that Israel will use their nukes if they have to, especially when the Iranians explicitly threaten them.  The fact is that Israel has nuclear capable ballistic missiles that can reach Iran.  My guess, based on their view of the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust, is that Israel will use their nukes if they have to.   Israel also has a formidable air force.  However, it's likely that only the US, and not Israel, has the capability to significantly damage Iran's nuclear program with conventional weapons.  If the US does not take care of the Iran threat, then we may force the Israelis to use their missiles with nuclear warheads to preclude an Iranian nuclear breakout.  The only thing that could stop Israel from attacking is a significant missile defense capability.  So as it stands now, it’s a race between Israeli missile defense and Iranian nuclear weapon development.  The president says that all options are on the table.  However, he seems to be signaling, with all of his diplomacy, that the US will sit this one out militarily.  Does that seem like a smart thing to do?  

The US needs robust missile defenses as well.  Missile defenses make a small number of ICBM's less valuable.  They would tend to discourage North Korea from trying to build enough ICBM's to be effective as a credible threat to the US, because the cost would be prohibitive for them.  The argument that US missile defenses might offend the Russians and Chinese is appeasement pure and simple.  The liberal line on these issues is always in favor of spending less on defending ourselves, so we can spend more on domestic "investment," like Solyndra and Fisker.  It's how liberals buy their votes, but  it is not a rational approach to defending ourselves.
Article on need for missile defenses
Description of Israeli Ballistic Missile Capability

Apr 24, 2013

Immigration: 840 Pages of Unreviewable Discretion.

Marco Rubio was quoted in National Review Online saying the Senate immigration bill is only 840 pages. There is no way I want the government to be able to hide its arbitrary actions behind a screen of 840 pages of poorly and hastily drafted law, exceptions and regulatory guidelines.  The bill gives the Executive branch the ability to waive many of the key provisions of the law, according to another National Review article.  Worse, the bill says that these waivers are “unreviewable discretion.”  Remember our current president already thinks he can pick which laws he enforces and which laws he can ignore.  The House should reject this mess and pass a simple bill.  It should greatly expand H1B Visas and create a guest worker program.  People should be able to qualify for either, whether they are in the US or outside.   If they qualify, then their immediate family should get residency permits.  Shirt tail kin should not be allowed to piggy back on this status.  Extended stays on public assistance should be prohibited.  The bill should be 50 pages tops.  The Democrats should have to explain to Hispanics and Asians why the Senate won't vote on it because unions don't like it.  Conservatives would be able to show that we are pro immigration as long as it's legal.  The "Comprehensive Solution" on any issue is always a mirage.  Liberals promise such a solution for two reasons.  If they get it passed, government gets bigger and more complex.  If they fail to get it passed, Liberals can blame conservative obstruction for the failure to achieve the mirage. 

Rubio quote:

Apr 11, 2013

Birthers Have it Backwards

Liberals feel strongly that questioning where the President was born is racist.  They argue that nobody asked about McCain’s birth because he’s white.  For liberals questioning McCain’s birth see the New York Times headline, Feb 28, 2008: "McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out."  As far as the President's birth, I think he was born in Hawaii.  However, I think the reason he won't release his college transcripts is because he probably claimed to be Kenyan in order to have an easier time getting admitted.  Further, in the bio he supplied to his publisher in 1991, he claimed to have been born in Kenya.  (See the link below.)  So like Elizabeth Warren, with her claim to American Indian minority status, I think Obama claimed to be Kenyan when he was not in order to game the system.  
NYT on McCain’s birthplace
Obama book jacket

Voter ID and Gun ID

Why ask for a voter's ID?  Is asking for ID racist?  I have lived in Chicago for years.  The Democrats' motto here is "Vote early. Vote often."  The legend goes that Harold Washington was elected mayor by a lot of voters from Indiana. The jokes are that people want to be buried in Chicago so they can stay active in politics after death.  The only reason liberals have for fighting ID laws is because they benefit from fraud.   Anti voter ID suits have a hard time finding plaintiffs that don't have an ID.  As far as ID is concerned, I think you need ID for most of the things you do in life, like cashing a check.  Liberals want ID and background checks for gun buyers.  Is that racist? 

Thoughts of John Locke on Holocaust Day

Recent articles on Holocaust Day have drawn comments that religion is a big contributor to violence and even genocide.  I think the problem is not religion itself, but rather the claim that what any individual believes to be the word of God should be held superior to other views by secular authority and forced on those who disagree.  I got this opinion while reading books by John Locke, starting in philosophy class in college.  The professor didn't think he was much of a philosopher, but I thought he was great.  Locke argued that government derives its power and legitimacy from the consent of the governed.  His views were extremely influential in the formulation of the government the US has today.  Please take a look at the wikipedia entry for John Locke, and in particular his views on religious toleration.   He was a very religious man who argued that human judges could not dependably evaluate competing versions of the word of God.  According to Locke, “No private person has any right to encroach in any way on another person’s civil goods because he declares his allegiance to another church or religion. Anything that a man has as a matter of human rights or civil rights is to remain inviolably his.”  Locke’s argument for toleration lead to the First Amendment provisions for freedom of religion.
Original article on Holocaust Day:
Wikipedia entry for John Locke
Source of Locke Quotation

Control Guns or the Mentally Ill?

I was taught in high school debate class years ago that to win the debate you had to prove that the solution proposed actually would fix the problem.  Most liberals seem to have skipped that lesson.  At least the comments to Kathleen Parker’s article on gun control seemed to skip that step.  The common element in most of the recent mass shootings was mental illness.  The Columbine shooters were mentally ill according to the FBI.  The Aurora movie theater shooter's psychiatrist reported warned the police that he was homicidal.  The Virginia Tech shooter had a history of mental illness.  Tucson police knew the Gabby Giffords shooter Jared Loughner was delusional.  Newtown shooter Adam Lanza feared his mother was going to commit him.  At least a partial solution to the problem would be to make involuntary commitment easier.  However, easier involuntary commitment would really upset the ACLU, so we must avoid talking about that.  Conservatives have noticed that the gun control solutions liberals propose do not address the problem.  This makes them suspect that the real purpose of these laws is different from what liberals say it is.  I have noticed that whatever the problem under discussion, the liberal solution is more government power.  Liberals have the hammer of big government imposed solutions, so the whole world gets treated like a nail. 
Gabby Giffords:
Original Article

Apr 8, 2013

Obamacare Delay

The first link below is an article by a conservative who wants Republicans to help Democrats delay the implementation of Obamacare.  This is ridiculous.  To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, Republicans should demonstrate the theory that the Democrats knew what they wanted, and deserve to get it good and hard.  They got themselves into this mess without any Republican votes and they should have to get themselves out of it the same way.  In the second link, the New York Times admits the administration has already delayed cafeteria benefit plans for small business because they are “unable to meet tight deadlines in the new healthcare law.  This delay is a black eye for Democrats.  I want to see even more delay announcements.  I hope to see the Chosen One on national TV explaining why he wants a 1 year delay for implementation as a whole because he can't deliver as promised.  Even more I want to see a Republican Congress in 2015.  It's the only way to stop the tax and spend insanity.  After that, I want to make sure we don't see Hillary Clinton inaugurated President in 2016. The only way to repeal this mess is to win both elections.  Giving GOP help to allow the government more time to lessen the pain and chaos of Obamacare implementation will only make both 2014 and 2016 elections harder for us to win.  We should not help the Democrats out of this jam.  It would be contrary to the long term interests of the country as a whole.

Apr 7, 2013

Appealing to Black Voters

Thomas Sowell’s article in the link below talks about how the Republicans can get more Black votes.  A lot of the comments assume we have to change our message to appeal to minority voters.  I don't think we need to change our message.  I do think we have to expand who we talk to.  Years ago, a friend of mine was running for Cook County (Chicago) Sanitary District Commissioner.  He was a white, Jewish, conservative Republican.  He was also the only Republican to appear at Jessie Jackson's Operation Push endorsement meeting.  He explained his views without any filtering for the audience.  However, just because he bothered to show up, they endorsed him.  Republicans have to bother to show up.  We have to explain our positions in Black venues and radio stations.  For example, we have to explain that we favor education vouchers so their children can have better schools, rather than patronage union teachers who aren't doing the job.  We have to explain how increasing the minimum wage has lead to 43 percent black teenage unemployment.  We have to explain that federally mandated sub prime lending lead to foreclosure and financial disaster for many members of their community.  We have to explain that asking for a powerful government is like the Israelites asking the prophet Samuel for a king to rule over them. 

Would Obamacare Repeal Take 60 Senate Votes?

I think Obamacare can be repealed by Senate majority vote because it's so massively expensive.  Repeal would be scored as saving a lot of money, so the procedure called reconciliation would apply.  Reconciliation requires only a majority vote in the Senate to save money.  Filibusters are not allowed.  Of course Obama would veto it.  However, he is more likely to have to postpone more and more of it because he can't reorganize 17 percent of the US economy in the time the bill allowed.  Implementation will be rocky and increasingly unpopular.  Imagine how 7 million people will feel when they find out that even though they like their insurance, they can't keep it.  The result could easily be a Republican Senate voting to repeal Obamacare, followed by a presidential veto.   

Is the Sequester a Threat to US Air Travel?

The president and his party are threatening that the sequester is going to paralyze US air travel.  The House can stop this nonsense by passing a bill privatizing air traffic control.  Canada has already done this, and we know how liberals love to imitate Canada.  Further, if there are lines in airports due to administration "sequester" cuts in TSA screening, pass a bill to privatize passenger screening, as it was before the TSA.  It will halt the sequester narrative in its tracks.  The press will have to consider that the administration's mismanagement is costing the flying public unnecessarily. 

Global Warming: No Feasible Liberal Way Out

The global warming article in the link below and most of the comments are magical thinking in the extreme.  From geological and fossil evidence, we know that climate has varied from tropical to ice ages over the 4.5 billion years of geologic time.  This means that observations over the 10,000 year existence of man would be too short a time to make statistically valid predictions.  So even if the models favored by the warmists were accurately predicting world temperature levels, which they are not, it would seem that the length of time in the models would mean predictions subject to an extremely wide margin of error.  I don’t see how anyone can conclude that any pattern of global warming we observe over the past 150 years is man caused.  Even worse, although the warmists are willing to inflict a lot of economic damage to stop carbon emissions, their actions are not consistent with their beliefs.  Assuming that any global warming we see is man-caused, the answer is nuclear power, which emits no carbon at all.  But warmists don’t like nuclear power.  Assuming you don't like nuclear power, then we have to build a lot of dams, probably killing a lot of snail darters and other endangered fish.  We also have to carpet sunny places like Death Valley with solar collectors without regard to the possible extinction of obscure lizards.  We also have to build wind turbines and kill literally tons of migratory birds and ruin the view from Martha's Vineyard.  We also have to build a lot of high voltage transmission lines through everybody's back yards to move the renewable power from where it’s generated to where it’s used.  But the environmentalists, who fervently believe in global warming, fight all of these things.  Assuming you don't like any of these options, you have to assume a miracle happens in order to stop the carbon.  Or we can go back to 19th century technology.  The expense of all of this gets obscene.  The flimsy justification for the economic ruin that fighting global warming will cause is a statistically insignificant anomaly.  Good luck with the politics of flimsy justification, miracles and economic ruin!