Day by Day

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Automobile Bailout!



I had to think hard about this – almost a minute – well thirty seconds anyway.

A bailout would be the worst thing we could do to American manufacturers, including the automobile ones. Instead of biting the bullets and remaking themselves into modern competitors, a bailout would prolong their agony, but the end would be the same, and a lot of taxpayers’ money would be gone along with the companies.

I saw a very succinct explanation of the problem by Mitt Romney (Let Detroit go Bankrupt, New York Times, November 18, 2008), son of the former president of the former American Motors. He knows the auto business, and he saw the right and wrong things done to try to save American Motors, and later Chrysler.

The biggest problem facing American car manufacturers is their cost structures make them uncompetitive. Their pensions and health care costs are about $2,000 per car higher than their foreign competitors building cars in American factories. As Mr. Romney pointed out, the foreign competition can sell a car for the same price that has $2,000 more value in it, and shows it.



Another article (A British Lesson on Bailouts, by Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, November 17, 2008) illustrated the point of the failed bailout of British Leyland in the late 1970s, when poor management, shoddy workmanship, and intransigent unions merely prolonged the agony and to the British taxpayer and delayed the inevitable. It was so bad that soon every MG automobile sold in the United States resulted in a $2,000 loss. Eventually all of British Leyland was liquidated or sold off, and in one of its many dumb moves, Ford bought Jaguar and operated it long enough to lose over $10 billion. Now Tata of India owns Jaguar and Rover, and I have a feeling that they will be able to do much better than the previous British and American ownership because they can rid themselves of the institutionalized high costs.

Al Gore’s parents may have sung him to sleep when he was 27 years old with “Look for the union label” as his lullaby, but don’t you look for the union label unless you want to subsidize expensive failure. It’s bad enough we have to pay top dollar for a mediocre public education system, so when you do have choices, choose wisely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Global Warming Battle Won! Someone Tell Obama!

President-elect Obama announced that combating global warming would be one of his top priorities. Will someone please tell the president-elect that the battle has already been won?

Since 1998 global temperatures have been lower, and NASA recently had to check their climate records and revise them; now 1934 is the warmest of the past 100 years, and six of the ten warmest years are now over fifty years ago. The Thirties are now the warmest decade, the Southern Hemisphere is on a long-term cooling trend, and the Antarctic ice cap is growing. 2007/2008 are the coldest period since 1980, and Arctic sea ice is back to normal.

So what is there to fight?

Sea levels rose about seven inches in the past century, and there are no signs that the rate is increasing, although the average increase for the past 100 centuries has been four feet per century.

The warming during the past fifty years of industrial development is only an extension of the warming of the past 300 years since the end of the Little Ice Ages. Glaciers have been retreating during the same period, a natural occurrence that began 250 years before CO2 levels began to increase.

The Vostok ice core samples Al Gore proudly referred to in his slide show actually demonstrate that warming precedes increased levels of atmospheric CO2, not causes it. As a wise person – obviously not an Obama advisor – said, the future cannot effect changes in the past.

Governor Schwarzenegger wants Californians to lead the fight against global warming. If he could get all Californians to go back to living a Stone Age existence, except we couldn’t even light campfires for cooking or warming, the CO2 we prevented from reaching the atmosphere would be quickly replaced by the increases from China and India.

Ironically, the monies that are flowing to China and India and other developing countries to reward them for taking actions to reduce some carbon emissions are being used by them to finance coal-burning plants to generate energy to fuel their rapid economic growth.

Actually, rapid increases in energy production from combustion of carbon-based fuels is the best environmental step the world could be taking right now, since the resulting increased prosperity will enable mankind to do what mankind does best, adapt to changes in our environment.

And the earth will continue to do what the earth has done quite well for billions of years: change its climate naturally.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blacks are Racist and Homophobic

Blacks are not only racist, they’re homophobic.

California gays are in high dudgeon over passage of Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Many gays are calling for boycotts of individuals and organizations that supported passage of Proposition 8. So far their greatest outrage has been directed towards the Mormon Church. That’s understandable. Mormons in California are relatively few in number and few of them support Democrats.

A few bolder and reckless gays are criticizing the Catholic Church, but most aren’t. The Catholic Church in California is huge, and roughly thirty percent of the voters in this election were Catholics. More importantly to gay activists, many Catholics are Democrats, and Liberal leaders don’t want to annoy them.

“Mormons si, Catholics no” is the Democrat motto for dispensing criticism.

Blacks voted approximately 95% Democrat (about the same as journalists), but roughly 65% supported Proposition 8.

Again, most Liberals and even gay activists are not criticizing Blacks support of Proposition 8.

“Stick it to the Mormons. It’s safe.”

Over half of Hispanic voters supported Proposition 8.

Do you think Liberals or Democrat leaders are going to criticize Hispanic voters?

Liberals and Democrat leaders are like the guy who was pushed around by a big bully, then got even by beating the Hell out of a little guy.

Liberal Gets Instant Wish Fulfillment

The San Francisco Chronicle is a constant source of blogging inspiration, especially the Letters to the Editor page. Case in point: a recent letter inspired my response below.

“Churches that act like political parties should be taxed like political parties,” wrote Arthur Evans of San Francisco (Chronicle letters, Nov 12, 200). Heavens, Mr. Evans, from your lips to God’s ear! Churches are in essence taxed like political parties. Neither pays taxes on their “exempt function income,” but both pay taxes on income unrelated to their exempt functions.

For many years Black pastors have preached support for Democrat politicians from their pulpits without Liberal criticism that it violated their tax-exempt status. Alice and I attended a service at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem where the minister directed his congregation to get everyone, including “your crack-head cousin,” out to vote for Obama. Only now after these same ministers urged support of Proposition 8 are Liberals incensed. I’ll bet they won’t be during the next election when the same ministers instruct their congregants to “vote for the Democrat.”

Roughly ninety percent do, almost as high a percentage as journalists.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Democrats Believe in Man-Caused Global Warming and UFO’s

When you ask a Democrat about the problems with Social Security and Medicare, they reply: “What problems?”

But if you ask them about UFO’s, they’ll say, “Of course there are UFO’s, and we have the proof but the Bush Administration won’t let you see it!” (And neither would the Democrat administrations of Clinton and Carter.)

The most recent prominent Democrat believer, joining the ranks of others such as Jimmy Carter, is John Podesta. Although Podesta was chief of staff in the Clinton Administration, and could easily have asked his boss to show him and the World the proof, he’s waited until now to expose one of his weird beliefs (I'm sure he has others, especially about taxes). [ link to news article about Podesta, Carter, and UFO's ]

I’m convinced that Democrats had rules to keep all the weird stuff hidden until after the election. If I were trying to convince the American voters that they could put their faith in a Democrat, I would have put the heavy hand of censorship on nut-case beliefs like UFO’s.

Add UFO’s to the other secular Liberal religions, like “Anthropogenic Global Warming” and “Achieving Prosperity Through Tax Increases.” None have yet been demonstrated in the real world, and that is their prime attraction to Liberals. All they need is faith, all they have to do is believe.

Of course they criticize Christians, but not believers in any other religions, for having faith in unproven, unknowable things, and then have belief systems of their own creation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama's History Challenged

A couple of weeks ago a letter writer to our local weekly newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer, wondered what earth I lived on. I’m happy to report I live on one with a history book that begins before 1975, and where positions are based on facts and reason.

On election night, Obama said, “Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime—two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.”

I don’t know how Obama defines “our lifetime,” but mine began with wars against Germany and Japan, and included the Korean and Vietnam Wars. To put events in perspective, more American military were killed in Vietnam in an average four-month period during the last year of LBJ’s presidency than the total killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.

In the 44-day Battle of the Bulge near the end of World War II, over 19,000 U S military were killed. In the American Civil War, almost 5,000 Americans were killed in the one-day Battle of Antietam, more than in Iraq and Afghanistan to date.

“A planet in peril” must refer to the global cooling that will soon (in less than 2,000 years) mark the end of this current warm interglacial period. Since there has been no warming for the past ten years, it looks like our planet has removed itself from an Al Gore-induced peril panic.

As far as “the worst financial crisis in a century” goes, a century is 100 years, 100 years ago would be 1908, and the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression began in 1929 (21 years later). For Obama and his math-challenged followers, it appears that the event considered the worst financial crisis the world has known occurred less than a century ago. The current financial crisis may get worse, but it has a long way to go to beat the Great Depression.

Since Obama and the Democrats created the current financial crisis through their advocacy of sub-prime loans for “affordable” home ownership and their opposition to Republican attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that the collapse occurred after two years of Democrat control of Congress, the obvious solution would be to throw the bums out.

And start working on the real crises, saving Social Security and Medicare from Democrat neglect.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama - Another Man From Hope

I am struck by the outpouring of emotion from Blacks because of the election of Obama to the presidency. It’s not that I didn’t expect it, but one aspect repeats itself that surprises me: apparently Blacks will now be able to do what they couldn’t before, prosper in America. Again and again I read statements that now Blacks will be able to succeed educationally, vocationally, and economically.

It will be wonderful if that is true, but I wonder why it should be.

Two other large, easily identifiable minorities in America are more prosperous and successful than Blacks, and neither of them has ever had one of theirs become President. Asians in America as a group are as successful, and in terms of education and median income more successful, than White Americans.

Although not as successful in America as Whites or Asians, Hispanics already do better than Blacks in terms of education, median income, home ownership, and poverty rate.

Blacks can claim that they are still victims of lingering racism and the slavery of some of their ancestors (which ended over 150 years ago), but Asians and Hispanics have also been exposed to racism, not only in America, but often in their former homelands (perhaps even having personal knowledge of slavery). Many came to America with only the proverbial, often wet, shirts on their backs, not speaking English, frequently illiterate even in their native languages, penniless, and thrust into a strange culture. When they arrived they envied American Blacks, who were literate in English and established in American culture and in their communities.

Then in less than a generation many Asian immigrants became more prosperous than most of the long-established Black Americans, with higher median incomes and education levels than Whites.

Amazingly, all of that was accomplished without an Asian President, or even an Asian Secretary of State or Supreme Court Justice.