Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Well, the time has come for another look at the heavyweight Financial bill, and its comparison.
Again, from the American Enterprise Blog:
If the Glass-Steagall Act was a dog, and the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act was a horse, the Dodd-Frank bill that just passed is a steroid chewing, Hulk-Gamma-Radiation, iron pumping monstrosity of a Blue Whale.
Heck, even if you added the previous overhauls together, it is only 1/7th the size of this Dodd-Frank bill.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
A century ago, the gasoline-powered automobile revolutionized personal mobility. It did it so profoundly and swiftly as to make it a routine aspect of our daily lives. Wide-ranging mobility is so normal that many people, particularly in the anti-car crowd, have forgotten its importance. On whatever day you may happen to read this, Americans will travel 11 billion miles in their cars, going to work or to lunch with friends, shopping, visiting the doctor or dentist, picking up materials for a home project, transporting kids to soccer or a pet to the vet—compacting into a few hours tasks which, had they even been contemplated before the automobile, would have taken carefully planned days or weeks."
If you like driving, this is a great column. The cars and trucks we drive are capable of so much more then we need them to be, and we love it that way. Excess capabilities are fun to have. Sports cars don't always race, most trucks seldom tow, and very few SUV's make there way off of pavement.
I remember a Nissan commercial campaign a few years back, and the tag line was 'Not that you would. But that you Could." That really sums up what we want from our vehicles, the tools to bring what our mind conceives into actions we can accomplish, maybe with some air conditioner included.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Next time you have a conversation at a desk, water cooler or traffic jam regarding the BP Oil Gusher in the Gulf, remember this.
Financial Times: "In sharp contrast to Dutch preparedness before the fact and the Dutch instinct to dive into action once an emergency becomes apparent, witness the American reaction to the Dutch offer of help. The U.S. government responded with "Thanks but no thanks," remarked Visser, despite BP's desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer --the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment --unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.
Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.
When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, "We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water--the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that." In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they off-load their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls "crazy.""
So the Dutch ships, which were being provided to us by a willing ally free of charge, were turned down.
Not because of some injured pride regarding American Oceans, but because of a unconstitutional, monolithic, dangerous, and morally bankrupt bureaucracy run the Executive branch.
Cleaning some water a lot of the way isn't good enough, this EPA requires that water be more clean then the water I drink from my tap.
Rather then utilizing a smart and functional option to make the best of a bad situation, the EPA has denied the Gulf Coast of valuable water.
Ironic, that in the same week that we have seen a Healthcare program run by the Federal Government paying for infanticide, that we have an Environmental Protection Agency making its best efforts to ruin the Gulf Coast.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
...Historically, presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent—Obama is at 45—lose an average of 41 House seats in midterm elections. This year, that would return the House of Representatives to Republican control. The Democrats will suffer disproportionately from a climate in which so many Americans are either dissatisfied or angry with the government, for Democrats are in the large majority in both houses and have to defend many more districts than Republicans. In any election year, voters' feelings typically settle in by June. But now they are being further hardened by the loose regulation that preceded the poisonous oil spill—and the tardy government response."
For a guy who used to help write speeches with Obama's campaign, this is a blistering analysis of a failing president.
Sadly, it appears that the failures are occurring for ideological reasons, but for the appalling lack of leadership rearing its ugly head.
The city's eight public outdoor pools were shut down last Thursday after fights broke out and a locker room was vandalized.
At one pool, a 16-year-old lifeguard says she was yanked by her ankles into the water when she tried to restore order. She says she struck her head on a drain and then was repeatedly dunked by several teenagers until another lifeguard rescued her.
The teen was treated at a Buffalo hospital for a mild concussion.
City parks officials say security guards were on duty over the weekend and will be working at the pools for the rest of the summer."
What is going on in Buffalo??
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Bill Bradley: "The absence of state income tax in Florida and Texas is a big reason the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks can be active in free agency.
Compare that to the New York Knicks, whose players have to pay combined state and city income taxes of 12.618 percent. That means Amar'e Stoudemire's five-year, $99.8 million deal with the Knicks is worth about $12 million less than if he had signed with the Heat.
While athletes are taxed by other states when playing road games, they come out well ahead if they live in Texas or Florida.
Yes, these Florida and Texas teams had to have salary cap space to get involved in this circus. Yes, they wanted to improve their rosters.
But think about this: There are five NBA teams in Florida and Texas. Those are the only teams without state income tax. All five are among the most competitive in the league."
The unintended consequences of taxation spread far and wide.
Personally, I'd be ecstatic if my Mavericks wound up with a Bosh, James or Wade. But after this bold move by Chicago, I think he'l be a Bull.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
"...The harder we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger becomes our enemy. When an enemy without weapons can respect an army of great strength, the most powerful of all history, one should ask, who has the moral high ground?
Military failure in Afghanistan is to be our destiny. Changing generals without changing our policies or our policymakers perpetuates our agony and delays the inevitable.
This is not a war that our generals have been trained for. Nation building, police work, social engineering is never a job for foreign occupiers and never an appropriate job for soldiers trained to win wars.
A military victory is no longer even a stated goal of our military leaders or our politicians, as they know that type of victory is impossible.
The sad story is, this war is against ourselves, our values, our Constitution, our financial well-being and common sense. And at the rate we’re going, it’s going to end badly...."
Monday, July 05, 2010
Fox: ""When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview. "
Gone for good are the days of NASA's glory, it has become yet another vapid use of tax dollars.