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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Letter The Kokomo Perspective Won't Print

In the town in which I live, there is a weekly newspaper called The Kokomo Perspective. The August 12, 2009 edition of this paper published an opinion column by Rick A. Parsons entitled "Why we need a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide."

According to the short bio at the end of the column, Parsons is a high school environmental science teacher. Understand that I'm not claiming that Mr. Parsons projects his personal views on his students. I don't know whether he does or not. However, Mr. Parsons' stated in his column, "Global warming is a fact, and the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide mainly due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the major cause of this warming." It did occur to me that a teacher who believes this to be "fact" may well feel justified in relating those "facts" to his students.

I have nothing personal against Mr. Parsons; I don't know the man. I would also defend Mr. Parsons' right to express his belief in man-made global warming and his belief in the need for a cap-and-trade program. However, I believe that the public, especially the parents of Mr. Parsons' environmental science students, have the right to know that there is another side to what Mr. Parsons calls facts. Believing that, I submitted a letter to the editor of The Kokomo Perspective in response to Mr. Parsons' column.

Since the time that I submitted my letter, the Perspective has published two editions of its paper and has so far not found the need to publish my letter. Therefore, I've decided to publish the letter here on Right Thinking.

Read Mr. Parsons' column; then read my response. What do you think? Should Mr. Parsons' opinions be allowed to stand as so-called "fact"?

Here is my letter:

In the August 12 issue of the Kokomo Perspective, Rick Parsons wrote an editorial arguing the need for cap-and-trade legislation. In his editorial Parsons made this statement: “Global warming is a fact, and the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide mainly due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the major cause of this warming.” It seems that Mr. Parsons uses the word fact rather freely.

I noticed that Mr. Parsons is an environmental science teacher. I’m not a scientist and, therefore, will not argue the science with Mr. Parsons. I can read, however. Let me, therefore, point out that the U.S. Senate Minority Report has published a list of over 700 international dissenting scientists who are skeptical of man-made global warming.1

Additionally, from March 8-10, 2009, the second International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by The Heartland Institute, was held in New York City. During the conference, 80 of the world’s top climate scientists presented evidence skeptical of man-made global warming.2

If one is inclined to do even the simplest research, he or she can quickly and easily find an abundance of evidence presented by reputable scientists who are skeptical of what Mr. Parsons calls “fact.”

In his editorial, Mr. Parsons also wrote that “local politicians and editorial writers…have in a partisan way attempted to scare everyone with hyperbole about increased electricity rates or taxes.” He declared that “scaremongers…continue to put out lies or half-truths regarding the cap-and-trade system.” I would contend that it is not scare mongering when you have the research to back it up.

Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment at The Heritage Foundation, reports that analysis shows that, for a house of four, passage of the Waxman-Markey bill (cap-and-trade) would cause energy costs to go up $436 in 2012 (the year the bill would take effect) and would reach more than $1,241 by 2035.

In addition to direct energy costs, the higher energy costs would raise production costs. This in turn would raise the cost of almost all consumer goods. According to Lieberman, Waxman-Markey would result in “a total impact attributable to a family of four averaging $2,979 annually from 2012 to 2035.” 3

Even if global warming were real and man-made, and even if we were willing to pay the economic costs of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, would the legislation do any good? According to climate scientist Chip Knappenberger of New Hope Environmental Services, “the Waxman-Markey climate bill will only produce a global temperature ‘savings’ during the next 50 years of about 0.05º”4 This would not be enough to make any impact on any negative effects of global warming, even if there were any.

Further negating any positive effect of Waxman-Markey is the fact that many other countries, such as China and India, have shown no inclination to curb their CO2 levels. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson recently testified that "U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels."5

The science of global warming is highly debated; the economic costs of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill would be high; and the effect of the bill on global temperature would be negligible. I certainly hope that students in Mr. Parsons’ environmental science classes are being presented both sides of this issue.

3 4

Bryan Alexander
Kokomo, Indiana

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yeah, These People Can Run Health Care

It started as a brilliant idea. Trade in a gas-guzzling, environment-destroying clunker of a car, and the U.S. government will give you $3,500 or $4,500 toward the purchase of a more fuel-efficient vehicle. We'll stimulate the economy and save the world from environmental disaster all in one motion.

The processing of claims for the "Cash for Clunkers" program began on July 24, 2009, and the $1 billion the government allotted was supposed to last until November. Opps…

In less than one week, the program was out of money. Now I know it’s hard to imagine that the federal government miscalculated how much money this program would cost, but they did.

Not to worry, however. Congress simply voted $2 billion more for the program, and President Obama signed into law on August 7 legislation that would extend the program until Labor Day. Opps again…

It was announced today that the “Cash for Clunkers” program will end on Monday at 8 p.m.

Why close the program? One reason may be that, according Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa, only 2% of the claims submitted by auto dealers have been paid.

Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, says that about half of the dealerships in the New York metro area have left the program already because they haven’t been reimbursed, are concerned that they won’t be reimbursed, and are out of cash to fund any more deals.

Schienberg says that although the program has brought a lot of people into the dealerships, it is a program that is "in the hands of this enormous bureaucracy and regulatory agency. If they don't get out of their own way, this program is going to be a huge failure."

Even MSNBC said this about "Cash for Clunkers": “Bureaucracy, poor planning may mar the overall impression of the program.”

What? Poor planning? As difficult as it is to believe, I think we must, indeed, call it poor planning. First, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) was chosen to run the program; however, the NHTSA had never run anything like this before. They assigned only 230 staff to the program, were immediately overwhelmed, and had to more than triple their assigned staff. They also had to bolster the NHTSA computer system, which was drowning in a flood of “clunker” deals.

OK, let's look at the positive side of all this. Even with all of its problems, the “Cash for Clunkers” program has at least helped to stimulate the economy, right? Well, yeah, kind of - if you’re talking about the Asian economy. It seems that of the top ten vehicles bought through the program, seven are manufactured by Japanese automakers, one by a Korean automaker, and only two by an American automaker.

So the program has been a bureaucratic nightmare, it ran out of money, it was administered poorly, and it helped to stimulate the Asian economy more than ours. And what is President Obama's reaction? In an interview today, the President said that the program was "successful beyond anybody's imagination."

No wonder he thinks the government can run health care.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If We Weren't Paying Attention, It's Time to Start

In March, the well-known New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks made this admission: "Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was."

In recent days and weeks I have heard an increasing chorus of Obama supporters exclaiming that what they are seeing from this administration is not what they thought they were voting for.

My only question for all of these folks is this: “How could you not have known?”

You’re shocked at the federal deficit which has grown to a record $1.3 trillion and is expected to top out around $1.8 trillion for the year; however, the National Journal ranked then-Senator Obama as the nation’s most liberal senator overall in 2007, and tied with five others as the nation’s most liberal senator economically. But many didn’t bother to pay attention.

Many are concerned with the Obama White House telling Democrat senators last week, "If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard."

But did we pay attention when candidate Obama gave the un-presidential directive to his supporters to “argue with them and get in their face”?

You’re outraged when union thugs intimidate and attack those who show up at town hall meetings to oppose nationalized healthcare.

But how closely did we pay attention when Black Panthers members showed up at polling places last Election Day, one wielding a nightstick, to intimidate voters?

And where was the public outrage this past May when political appointees in the Obama Justice Department inexplicably dropped the charges of voter intimidation that had been filed against those thugs?

Maybe it raises a red flag with you when President Obama tries to silence opposition by stating just last week, "I expect to be held responsible, but I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking."

Or perhaps it’s alarming when the Obama White House sends a memo to their followers stating, "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

These attacks on free speech may be troublesome, but did it bother you when candidate Obama tried to intimidate a Chicago radio station into not giving airtime to an anti-Obama book author, or when a Barack Obama Truth Squad was set up in Missouri last September to “target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign.”

Many are disturbed by what they find in the backgrounds of some of the people President Obama has appointed to positions in his administration.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, is a health-policy adviser in the Obama administration, who openingly advocates the allocation of medical care based on age and on the ability of the patient to participate in society.

The President's “science czar” is John Holdren, who in 1977 co-authored a book entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. In his book, Holdren suggests possible ways to control population, including all of the following: forced abortion, requiring illegitimate babies be put up for adoption, requiring pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, forced sterilization of populations by adding a sterilant to the drinking water or to food supplies, and forced sterilization of women after their second or third child.

Van Jones, the President’s "Green Jobs Czar," is another Presidential appointee of concern. Jones, who was jailed during the Rodney King riots, has said that in jail he “met all these young radical people of color -- I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary. I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist."

How shocking is it that the President of the United States would appoint an avowed communist and others with radical left-wing agendas to positions in his administration?

It shouldn't be shocking at all. Didn’t we pay attention to who was supporting candidate Obama during the campaign? Here is just a short list:

Tom Hayden - A principal organizer of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who met with Communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong leaders during the Vietnam war and who called returning American POWs "liars, hypocrites and pawns" when they described their abuse in Viet Cong prisons.

Carl Davidson – A former national secretary of SDS who has called Fidel Castro “a remarkable man."

Fred Klonsky - Former SDS member, son of leading Communist Party USA member Robert Klonsky and brother of Mike Klonsky, former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).

Mark Rudd - Former leader of both SDS and Bill Ayers’ terrorist group Weather Underground.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. – A principal organizer of the Black Radical Congress.

For more details on what we knew about Barack Obama before the election, go back and read the following posts from this blog:

Barack Obama: A Step in the Left Direction - October 10, 2008

Do we really understand what's at stake? - October 27, 2008

Barack Obama's Ties to a Terrorist - September 20, 2008

If you didn't read those posts before, please read them now. If you did read them before, please read them again. Understand who Barack Obama is. Understand what he is doing. It's too late to stop him from becoming the President of the United States, but perhaps we can still stop him from destroying The United States, as we've known it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Did they say what they said? Yeah, they did.

We have all heard Barack Obama repeatedly tell us that the public option in his healthcare reform plan will simply give Americans another choice in healthcare. He likes to tell us that if we like our current coverage, we'll be able to keep it. He claims that he simply wants to put competition into the healthcare system. But is that what he really wants? Is that what the Democrat Party really wants?

Here is a video clip of Barack Obama speaking to the AFL/CIO in 2003:

Bloggers and talk radio are using this clip and others like it to expose what President Obama really wants to do with healthcare coverage, and the White House is sending out damage control. In a recently released YouTube video, Linda Douglass, the Communications Director for the White House Office of Health Reform, says this:

The truth is that the President has been talking to the American people a lot about health insurance reform and what is at stake for them, so what happens is that because he’s talking to the American people so much, there are people out there with a computer, and a lot of free time, and they take a phrase here and there, they simply cherry pick and put it together, and make it sound like he’s saying something that he didn’t really say. (emphasis mine)

Go back and listen to the Obama clip again. What he said seems pretty clear to me:

I happen to be a proponent of single-payer, universal healthcare coverage... A single payer healthcare plan, universal healthcare plan, that’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately, because first we gotta take back the White House, and we gotta take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.

Douglass attempts to use two recent clips to try to prove that Obama didn't really say what he said. One clip that she uses is from June 23, 2009; the other is from July 28, 2009. In both clips, President of Obama is telling his audience that under his plan, if Americans like and want to keep the coverage they already have, they will be able to do so.

It seems to me that in attempting to prove that Obama didn't really say what he said, the only thing that Douglass has proven is that Obama was saying one thing in 2003 and he's saying another thing now. It's important to note that Douglass didn't say that, in the past, Mr. Obama was in favor of single-payer healthcare, but that, because of more and better information, he has changed his position. I could accept that a person could change his mind on an issue after giving the issue more study, but that's not what Douglass says has happened. She says simply that he didn't say what we can clearly hear him say.

Need more proof of what the democrats are really after? The following video includes a short clip from the above video, but it also includes Obama saying that he doesn't think we will "be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately (emphasis mine)," Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) saying that a good public option is "the best way to reach single payer,” and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) saying that an insurance representative was correct when he told her that "a public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single payer."

When someone tells you that Obama's insurance plan will not eliminate private insurance, that right-wingers are only using that as a scare tactic, let them know exactly what the President and democrats in Congress have said. And don't let them tell you that what the democrats said is not what they said.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This Dog Doesn't Want a Government Handout!

Thanks to my cousin Vanessa, a fine conservative woman, for bringing this video to my attention.

OK, before you Obama supporters get all worked up, I know the dog has been trained to do this, but I still think it's funny.

Have a sense of humor!

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