Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Global Warming charade just another Intelligent Design

The big red flag in the history of the Global Warming thesis should have been the declaration that the science is settled. The science is never settled. It's an egregious claim even for politicians to make let alone scientists who should know better. By issuing this heavy handed statement they gave themselves permission to begin the process of shaming governments, business and the populace into compliance with their agenda for good or for ill.

In advanced societies people and business will only go so far, eventually the proscribed remedies cost real money. As well, people are smart enough to understand the concept of throwing money down a rat hole. It's when the limit has been reached as to what people will do voluntarily to mitigate their so-called "carbon footprint" that the anthropogenic global warming pushers resort to dangerous and destructive activities. 

The pushers have every right to their opinion. They have every right to express their opinion and try to convince others that theirs is the right and moral position. They don't, however, have the right to declare the truth and then get laws passed or create regulations based on that truth that will severely degrade the economic destinies of the multitudes while enriching the few. Yet, this is exactly what has happened - even as evidence pours in that the science is not settled and that the pushers routinely lie about and obscure their own "facts".

The fact is that climate and its variables are not that well understood. The effect of solar variability and cosmic influences are not well understood. The very nature of the self correcting biosphere is not well understood. Then with all this uncertainty to claim that  the effects of mankind's activity and particularly an increase in the trace gas C02 makes it conclusive that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is upon us is the height of scientific arrogance. (please refer to  http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com/ )

I'm reminded of another thesis that has no place in the law or the school house. After the Christian fundamentalist failure to elevate Creationism to level of Darwinian Theory in the schools (primarily because it was clearly theistic and not science) a new idea emerged called Intelligent Design. ID was presented as an answer to Darwinism by auguring for irreducible complexity among other things and against natural selection. The issue for ID arises when you wind up in a spiral of infinite regression trying to identify the designer as being anything but God. There is no empirical evidence of a first cause or prime mover if you will, and there never will be. Therefore it isn't science. While there are gaps and holes in Darwinian Theory there is empirical evidence that aspects of the theory are true and demonstrable.

I happen to believe in a "first cause" or God, but I do so on faith because all any of us can ever observe or hope to measure are second causes. The wonders and mysteries of this beautiful world and awesome creation may forever be hidden from us, because until we are unleashed from our mortal coils we are on the inside looking out. We will never be in a position to report on the ultimate "truth". Like a drop of water flowing downstream we can't see the river to even understand that we are in the river.

ID proponents unable to prove it is even a workable theory try to use public opinion and the courts to get into school curriculum along side evolution. Science isn't done in a courtroom or with sound bites.

So too with the proponents of AGW, unable to sufficiently tip public opinion or persuade the corporate world to go all in due to their own untrustworthy science they have used the tremendous power of governments and a willing mainstream media to shove wasteful and damaging policies down our throats toward their end goals. The thing to ask is are they even being honest about those goals? Is it really about green energy and saving the Earth?

So-called “Green” energy is dubious because it doesn't come close to living up to its hype and it harms taxpayers: inefficient technologies like solar and wind energy survive only through taxpayer-funded subsidies. The federal government investing billions in numerous “green” energy projects that have gone bankrupt has literally stuck taxpayers with the tab. Green energy is also destructive because it has been used to enrich government cronies and the war-chests of politicians, while established industries are unreasonably regulated with the specter of punitive expense to companies and rate payers. People will gladly pay for value, and a clean environment has value, but a scam is a scam.

A scam always has an ultimate goal underlying the mechanisms of the play. Obviously this is usually money, of course. It may well be the case with the Climate Change industry, and probably is, but I think it's more sinister than just money. I think there are two things that drive this scam at its core. One being the destruction of Western Civilization and the other a massive reduction in the human population. The two go hand in hand. Western Civ represents growing economies and wealth and thus a support base for more and more consumption. World poverty is going down faster than at anytime in history - this is bad for the saviors of the planet.

The saviors themselves will never suffer nor will their families, but everyone else will.



Ugh

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prelude to War? Time to look in the mirror

What happens on the other side of the world seemingly has no effect on the everyday lives of ordinary Americans like me, until it does.

In my little sequestered corner of the world I live in the Rodney King inspired "Can't we all just get along-ville". (It's better known by it's other name Naive-ville). No we can't it seems. What's happening in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula was a long time coming and it seems it wasn't Russia who pulled the trigger. Mother Russia, behaving like any other country would, has had just about enough and is moving to protect its vital interests. Of course, you'll never hear that from our mainstream media.

The whispers and shouts all over the Internet is about the concerted but clumsy US/EU coup to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine. The timing was chosen to inflict maximum embarrassment on Putin and the Russians. The Olympics were in full swing in nearby Sochi when the "grassroots" protests began. The highly calculated and preplanned coup d’├ętat orchestrated on the ground in Kiev might have been widely accepted as a real grassroots protest but for the audiotape of foul language used by Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State. On the tape we clearly hear Ms Nuland plotting the future leadership of Ukraine in her conversation with the US ambassador to the Ukraine. This was reported in the U.S. acknowledging the embarrassment to the Obama administration but then was never discussed again.

It's highly likely that the over arching plot to this sub-plot was hatched long before Obama, and probably before G.W. Bush as well. If true it gives you the sense that the President, whomever he is, doesn't really control the entire foreign policy agenda ( 'ya think). Since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been a plot rumored that the Euro-American hegemony is marching eastward to impose world economic domination. You can argue about the chess pieces on the board, but regardless, this shit has been going on for decades and neither Bush nor Obama is innocent.

The question then to all patriotic and America loving citizens is how much longer are you going to continue whispering sweet nothing's into Uncle Sam's ear as he orchestrates coup after coup on tiny defenseless countries before you realize he's a really bad dude?  How many innocent people living in Can't we all just get along-ville have to suffer and die at the hands of the CIA and its European counterpart. These things make great plots for thrilling novels and blockbuster movies, but this is real life and these are real people.

No one is saying Vlad Putin is a great guy, but he and the Russians are probably confused by these events and are reacting in a way they believe will preserve their vital interests - Crimea being the major one. In fact no one expects the world’s last superpower to act so insanely. Since 911 and even before everywhere the U.S. goes it ends up creating one failed state after another. The idea that it's the U.S. fomenting revolt, breeding hatred, and spreading death and misery to whatever it touches seems preposterous - but look at the track record of just the last decade. Iraq and Afghanistan turned out nicely, right? How about that Arab Spring?

At a time when the world needs a steady and sober hand to guide it to the next chapter in civilizational progress we have the world's sole superpower (and its business masters) rampaging from one violent confrontation to the next causing havoc and misery with no rhyme or reason. At least none that makes common sense.

Those who proclaim that the U.S. "must" stay engaged to protect the world from mad men need to look in the mirror. The U.S. is becoming the mad man. There are sober and thoughtful people who see the ultimate outcome of this madness but are powerless to stop it. Deception and delusion rules. The arrogance on display as the statements and actions out of Washington become more and more reckless.

Ordinary Americans and Europeans should be in the streets protesting the coming disaster. While the news media distracts the masses with fluff and nonsense the insane criminals in Washington, New York and Brussels are driving the world toward another war.

Time to look in the mirror America.


Ugh




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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Future of the future


The question of whether the future needs humans or not has been the subject of many a sci-fi novels and movies. It's not a ridiculous question at all considering the pace of technical innovation over the past 100 years. Factor in the movement of labor intensive jobs that helped create the vast American middle class to emerging countries and you can see that the future of the future in the West starts to look dicey for the average guy.

We've all seen entire industries transformed by technology. Consider the Internet in particular as a transformative force. While it has without a doubt created jobs for engineers, programmers and IT people it has wiped out or fundamentally changed the jobs of millions of others. Look at what Amazon.com has done to bookstores; any that are left are tiny specialty stores or big box stores that are in a fight for continued existence. Books are one thing, there is, of course, the music industry too. What ITunes alone has done makes it simply unrecognizable in relation to what it was just 10 years ago. The Amazon and ITunes juggernauts are slicing into electronic and discount department stores as well. The Amazon model is just one example of a fundamental shift in way commerce is getting done.

In his Takimag.com article "Useless Mouths" John Derbyshire tells of two industries that once were ubiquitous and indispensable that have been nearly replaced by software and the Internet. The tax preparation and travel agency industries are a shadow of what they once were. These are just the obvious ones. Think about how robots have transformed manufacturing in the heavy industries. As machines tirelessly take over simple repetitive jobs with more precision than their human counterparts a corporation would be doing themselves and their shareholders a disservice not to weed out unnecessary human workers.

Innovation is nothing new. The steam engine transformed work in the early industrial revolution. Suddenly one machine could do the work of hundreds of men. Since then countless inventions and technological developments have changed the landscape of the human workforce. The masses rolled with the changes, retrained and learned something new over and over. However, this won't go on forever, the pace of change, drastic change is accelerating and we have to wonder if we are at a major turning point for human labor.

What will happen to this society, to this culture as less and less people work because there just isn't anything for them to do. The very smart and very motivated will find their niche, but the majority of people are neither very smart nor very motivated. Even now the political element actively promoting dependency is making noises that joblessness is the new normal and that work is not necessarily for every one.

Is anyone really hailing this trend as the sign of civilizational progress? Not in so many words, but deeds speak much louder. Neither end of the political poles can claim the high ground, but one side clearly sees the decline of American economic supremacy as a good thing for the world. In the union hall and in the Democratic caucuses the decline in blue-collar work is often portrayed in near-apocalyptic terms - but it's not just blue collar jobs anymore. High skilled IT work is being off-shored at an astounding rate because modern high speed networks make it so easy. Those on the left see it as the "free market, capitalist" economy’s failure to supply good-paying jobs, and those on the right see a depressing sign that government over regulation and culture of dependency is killing the American work ethic and the American worker. The new normal indeed.

Nothing good can come with a huge population of under-educated young urban men living on the dole, idle hands and all. We have plenty of evidence that this destroys men, and in fact, entire cities - Detroit anyone... Does anyone see the trend reversing? Surely not if Washington DC and the mega-businesses that own it continue doing what they're doing.

Technology is going to continue advancing - as it should. Jobs that we trained for in the 90's and early 2000's will be replaced by advanced automation and soon enough by rudimentary AI itself . It doesn't mean that men and women without elite status have no place or purpose. One obvious solution is for the U.S. to increase the skill level of its labor force. If we are to attract high-technology businesses that produce goods with high-value-added content and good jobs, important jobs, the educational system and business are going to need to come together. This means the government/union stranglehold on education at all levels will have to end. That is the challenge. I wish I had a magic solution to break up the educational monopoly - perhaps it will be the Internet to the rescue, we'll just have to see.

Truth is that the average quality of a U.S. high school education is so low when compared to other wealthy countries and our own past, and unfortunately fewer and fewer college students pursue engineering and science-based courses. Today very few U.S. companies have formal apprenticeship or training programs, this needs to change, but it will take a real hard nosed business visionary that loves his country to plow through the educational fortress of the NEA and its affiliates. If a Google, Microsoft, Cisco, GM or Boeing developed their own post secondary system of technology education that didn't force mountains of debt on the potential workforce we might see a movement in the right direction. Maybe now these kinds of companies see no need for it because they just go overseas and pay less per head any way. That short sighted view ignores the fact the most creative and innovative people in the world are in America and Western Europe.

I would hate to see an America with even one more Detroit, Allentown or Gary, Indiana. If that's the future of the future I guess I'm glad I'm close to being an old man.



Ugh





Monday, March 03, 2014

Maximizing profits right into the poor house

It's not a stretch for the average guy to see that the world today is fouled up. We should not be surprised by the notion that it probably always has been. Pick any time in history and plunk yourself down. Unless you were a prince or a noblemen your life is hard, brutal and short. I say this to imply that life for the average guy has always been a struggle. With that we have to acknowledge today's hardships are relative. Americans by and large live better today than at any time in history. No matter how bad things have gotten in the past 60 or 70 years there was always the belief that things would get better. However, now for the first time in my 50 plus years I wonder whether a vast middle class will ever thrive again in America, because it isn't thriving now.

We are at an odd crossroads economically, socially and demographically where the workforce, wages and opportunities are shrinking in real terms for the traditional middle class. Where the well connected and wealthy in business and government have never seen better times. We are on the cusp of becoming a two-tiered society. The elites and the serfs.

Of course if you listen to the politician of your choice he is fighting for you like never before. I doubt it. The President does nothing helpful and blames the Republicans when nothing gets done. The Republicans pass bill after bill they know Harry Reid's Senate will never consider and then they blame the Democrats and the President. The sad fact is they are not fighting for anybody but themselves and their cronies. How is it that corporate profits just hit another all-time high, in absolute value and as a percent of the economy as a whole. The U.S. stock market just hit yet another record, after having a phenomenal year in 2013. What gives? If corporations and shareholders are making piles of money, and the Federal government is spending more than ever before why is (real) unemployment so high the economy still so bad?

In the name of maximizing profits the corporate chieftains are able to hold down payroll and keep more and more of the company's wealth for the execs and the shareholders while wages are at an all time low as a percentage of GDP. While wages as a percent of GDP doesn't tell the whole story workers continue to fall victim to technology advancements and efficiency improvements - it's not necessarily just simple greed. Still corporate managers aren't hiring because they feel they don't need to in this peculiar environment of high unemployment and increased automation. But is it short sighted? Is it sustainable? Maybe... But can their customers continue to afford their products if they fall further and further behind?

Does intense focus on profit and share price starve out the rest of the economy? Huge companies complain about higher taxes and more regulation but how does that explain these profits statements and stock prices? On the flip side taxation and regulation does smother small businesses and it's those same factors that create a barrier to entry and competition. Larger companies take advantage of the tax and regulatory environment to make it easier for them to lock out their competitors and maximize their profits. The deck is so ridiculously stacked in their favor that they have nothing to fear from upstarts. The inevitable result is everything becomes too big to fail. The problem is that it's the little companies that employ the majority of Americans an with regulation and taxes are smothering them, that job creation engine has been stripped. There are fewer small business start-ups, those that have closed are not being replaced, and as a consequence the wage and job growth we enjoyed has evaporated.

So, in the battle to balance capital vs labor things have tilted so far in favor of capital that labor is hardly a factor, certainly not a powerful factor. Unions aren't necessarily an answer anymore, so where does that leave labor? Who is advocating for the labor side of the equation? The government? How can government advocate for labor when government is in partnership with big business. Minimum wage? Yeah sure.

We live in system of rampant crony capitalism. We have now witnessed the result. The challenge for the powers that be is to pay the wretched (the rest of us) just enough to keep us from rioting, keep the "American Dream" fantasy alive, and distract us from recognizing the fact that we are becoming serfs.

The key, I think, is to be as apolitical as possible. Neither party is your friend in all of this. The middle class has been set adrift. The challenge now is to get the middle class to understand that they have suffered and need to do something to help re-assert an acceptable balance. Of course "do something" is the key, do what?


Ugh


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Inequality is like water, a part of life, but may, because of the size of its gaps, become toxic.