April 2009

GM, Chrysler — You Just Can’t Make This Up

by Bill O'Connell on April 29, 2009

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Our once proud automobile industry

The government institutes regulations such as CAFE that force the automobile companies to build many cars they can’t sell at a profit for each car they can.  The unions negotiate contracts that pay people who have been let go 90% of their salary and give retirees extremely generous packages.  The automobile companies stagger under this load to the brink of bankruptcy and what happens?  The CEO of GM gets booted out and the government and the unions end up owning the car companies.  In the case of Chrysler the UAW will end up owning 55% of the company if the government’s plan is approved.

Had the automobile companies gone into bankruptcy before the bailout, as this author advocated, the union contracts could have been voided and a new workable deal struck.  But the government said bankruptcy was bad. The government said we had to give the car companies billions of our tax dollars.  The government said, if you automobiles companies don’t accept our deal, you will be forced into bankruptcy.  Huh?

So tell us again, Mr. Obama, how this is not socialism.

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Junk Science Kills Tens of Millions — Oh, Well

by Bill O'Connell on April 27, 2009

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In 1962 Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, about which some have credited the beginning of the environmental movement.  It also led to the subsequent ban of DDT in 1972.  DDT was accused of causing cancer and in damaging wildlife, particularly birds by causing eggshells to thin.

Prior to this DDT was believed to be a miracle, and the scientist who discovered it, Dr. Paul Muller, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948.  During WWII, GIs would cover themselves liberally with the substance before heading into the jungles for protection against malaria.  It is also believed that its use eradicated malaria in the U.S. and other developed countries.

Flawed Science

A 1969 study found a higher incidence of tumors in mice that were fed DDT.  Let’s think about that.  A single study found an increase in cancer in mice fed DDT.  However over 20 years of widespread use among humans did not show any increase in the cancer rate among those populations that used them.  Upon closer examination of the study they found that both the subject and control groups had increased levels of tumors. Oops.  It appears that both groups were fed moldy food that contained a carcinogen.  When the test was repeated, neither group had any tumors.

The studies of birds whose eggshells were thin, were also given closer scrutiny.  It was determined that the cause was due to a calcium deficiency, not DDT.  Actually during the period of greatest DDT use in the U.S. many of the bird species under study grew in numbers rather than fell.

Don’t Let Science Stand in the Way of Politics

In 1971, authority for pesticides was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency.  What better way to kick off a new government bureaucracy than some bold action:

“In April 1972, after seven months of testimony, Judge Edmund Sweeney stated that ‘DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. . . . The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. . . . The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.’” — Sweeney EM. EPA Hearing Examiner’s recommendations and findings concerning DDT hearings. 25 April 1972 (40 CFR 164.32)

However, two months later, the new head of the EPA, William Ruckleshaus, instituted the ban on DDT.  This was done without him attending a single hearing on the matter as it was discussed over a seven month period or reading the transcripts.

The Tragic Results

In Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka, widespread use of DDT cut the number of malaria cases from 2.8 million in 1948 to 17, that’s right, seventeen in 1963.  Spraying was stopped in 1964 and by 1969 the number of cases had risen again to 2.5 million.

It is estimated that in the last ten years alone the number of deaths worldwide from malaria is over 27 million.

There is an aggressive program today to raise money to buy bed nets to protect children in Africa and other parts of the world where malaria is still rampant.  Billions of dollars are estimated to be needed to buy and deliver these nets.  One of the positive factors about DDT was that it was inexpensive, around seventeen cents per pound.

If only had cooler heads prevailed, and the “science” looked at with a reasonable dose of skepticism, tens of millions of lives would have been saved and malaria, perhaps eradicated.  But when some in the environmental movement latch onto a position it soon moves into the realm of settled or consensus science.

The Next Blunder

So before we drive the world over the next environmental cliff, perhaps it’s time to tune out Al Gore, take a cleansing breath, and take a closer look at the science with clear eyes.  What the global warming, er, global climate change crowd is proposing would cost in the trillions. Let’s ask if what some scientists are saying that global temperature peaked about ten years ago, why is the earth cooling if we continue to pour more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere?  Why are we calling carbon dioxide, which is essential to life…we exhale it, trees take it in and give off oxygen…a pollutant?  What if we eradicate the pollutant, carbon dioxide like we did DDT?

Will there be anyone around to count the damage?

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Unilateral Disarmament

by Bill O'Connell on April 25, 2009

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How much time do we have left before Joe Biden’s prophesy comes true that within six months of taking office Obama, and by extension we, will face an international crisis?  Well, unless you haven’t been paying attention, I think he will hit his mark before his 100 days are up.

Obama and Biden and the rest of their supporters have confused the difference between being liked and being respected.  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, while ambassador to the UN called the world, “A Dangerous Place.”  When trying to be a leader in a world that is dangerous, it is far better to be respected than liked.

The Obama Feel Good Tour

As President Obama tours the world and grovels at the feet of the Europeans, the Saudis, and Latin American dictators, trying to “repair the damage,” done by President Bush, our enemies are licking their chops.  The Europeans flocked to see him, touch him, kiss him, but when he asked for a commitment of more troops for Afghanistan, how did they respond?  Awkward silence and an offer of 5,000 troops to train police while at the same time an insistence that the “world” should have some say in the regulation of the U.S. economy.

While President Obama achieved his goal of improving the U.S.’s likability quotient, pirates were taking ships on the high seas, North Korea sent an ICBM over Japan, Iran celebrated Nuclear Technology Day, and the Taliban made inroads in Pakistan.  How did the popular leader respond?  To North Korea, he scolded that actions have consequences and words have meaning and proposed more words from the UN to be piled on top of the words the North Koreans are already ignoring.

Disarmament

To continue with the feel good groove, we have stopped calling terrorists terrorists.  Their acts are now to be called Man Caused Disasters and I guess the terrorists themselves are to be called Man Caused Disaster Causing Men (or Women).  After all, we don’t want them to be offended by being called terrorists.  Isn’t that was caused 9/11?  It was merely a response to our bad behavior, no?  Our lack of likability?

There is no longer a War on Terror.  It’s an Overseas Contingency Operation.  We don’t want to raise Osama bin Laden’s sensibilities thinking we might be at war with him, but we do need contingency planning in case something happens.  As a further show of good faith, let’s start re-writing the Al Qaeda training manual for them by telling them exactly what kind of interrogation techniques we use so that they can best prepare the training of their members to resist them.  Of course, we already swore we would never use them again anyway, but we have to make sure they are prepared for the infidel’s trickery.  Repeat after me: “I am not going to drown.  I am not going to drown.  I am not going to drown.”  There, it’s simple, now they can resist even our most diabolical torture.  But we shouldn’t forget to tell them that if an interrogator so much as raises his voice they should do the following:

  1. Ask for a lawyer
  2. Insist on having their Miranda rights given to them in both English (so their lawyers can verify it) and in their native tongue
  3. A clean, untouched by infidels hands, copy of the Koran
  4. Immediate transport to the United States
  5. A green card
  6. A path to citizenship
  7. A tenured professorship at the college of their choice

If that doesn’t get them to lay down their arms, what will?

Respect Not Likability

The only time the United States is both respected and liked is when the bullets are flying and the United States is saving the hides of our new friends.  When the shooting stops or it is confined to a theater far away from the talkers, the United States will be disliked but, however begrudgingly, respected.

Ronald W. Reagan may have been liked personally in private but when the klieg lights were on, he was “an amiable dunce,” and  “a cowboy.”  But Reagan stood firm and put Pershing II missiles in Europe against all protests.  Such steadfastness led to the eventual arms negotiations and winning the cold war.  At the moment President Reagan took the oath of office, the Ayatollahs in Iran released the American hostages they held for 444 days.  They respected that Reagan would act, not just talk.

George W. Bush was not liked.  He was another cowboy, one who was inarticulate to boot.  But he was respected.  After 9/11 the world respected that he would hunt down and kill America’s enemies.  After the Iraq invasion, Libya publicly shut down their nuclear program.  Quadaffi didn’t want to be next.  President Bush kept America safe for seven years after 9/11.  Now, this Congress and this President want set aside over 200 years of precedent and to put them on trial for doing that.

Preparing for Our Enemies

President Obama plans to keep America secure by cutting our defense budget by 25%.  He plans on a staggering increase in our national debt and selling it to the Chinese.  Picture the Chinese doing to the USA what Obama did to General Motors.  Can you just see the head of the Chinese Communist Party saying to Obama, “Well, we own you now.  You’re fired.”

Can this Juggernaut be Stopped?

On April 15th over 1 million people gathered at Tea Parties around the country to protest the growth of government, the taking of our liberty and out of control taxes.  The Obama main stream media largely ignored the event, or willfully disparaged it.

A recent Rasmussen poll, “85% of mainstream Americans say the government has too much money and power, just 2% of the political class agree.”  If they have no bread, let them eat cake! The poll went on to say, “51% of Americans have a favorable view of the Tea Parties but the political class strongly disagrees.” {emphasis added}  How more out of touch with the people can they be?  How more arrogant in their shameless grab for power can they be?

New York City Tea Party, April 15, 2009

I will end this post, my friends, with a quotation from the Declaration of Independence.

“WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

July 4, 1776

I hope to see you at the Tea Party on July 4, 2009

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Rescue Me

by Bill O'Connell on April 1, 2009

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Can liberty be saved?  Is there a chance that we can rescue our country from the federal juggernaut that wants to reach down into the deepest recesses of your life and take control?  They spend your money with reckless abandon and say, “What Me Worry?”  Those in power would have indulged in the trappings of office, sated on money and power, and be long gone with their spoils while the crumpled bill lies on the floor for you and your children and your children’s children to pick up and pay.

They have invited many to the party, to eat, drink, and be merry with promises of “middle class” tax cuts that are the greatest April Fools joke of all time.  Don’t worry we’ll get the rich to pay for it all.  You know, those evil fat cats on Wall Street.  But the Republicans on Wall Street have long be replaced by Democrats.  That’s right, Gordon Gecko is a Democrat.  60% of Wall Street contributions went to Democrats vs. Republicans.  How long will the top 2% of earners keep shouldering the burden before they slow down, stop, or emigrate.  Who will pick up the pieces then?  Who will support the drunken revelers that Obama piled on the public dole?

AIG Outrage

All of the outrage by Congressional and Administration leadership over the AIG bonuses is the epitome of hubris.  AIG contributed $104,000 to each Barack Obama and Christopher Dodd, during the recent election cycle.  Do you remember the brouhaha over language in the stimulus bill that had a loophole that allowed the AIG bonuses to be paid?  Dodd said he didn’t include the loophole.  Later he said he did include it but at the insistence of the Obama administration.  Now is it just me or does anyone else see a quid pro quo here?  Then they come out red-faced professing that the bonuses are an outrage.  Senator Schumer, who is threatening to unconstitutionally tax the bonuses into oblivion, took $112,000 in contributions from AIG.

Lessons from Hugo Chavez?

More recently President Obama effectively fired the CEO of General Motors and now speaks of bankruptcy.  I, among many others, said they should have filed for bankruptcy long before taxpayers bailed them out.  So now after we have sunk taxpayer money into GM and Chrysler, Obama steps in and effectively runs the company on “our behalf” as owners of 80% of the company and now says bankruptcy is a good idea!  When will the amateur hour come to an end?  But watch carefully, because Obama will assiduously avoid offending the auto workers union, despite the fact that the union contracts put US auto makers at a $2000 per car disadvantage against the competition.  GM (Government Motors) will now be forced to make cars that satisfy Obama’s left wing supporters but that Americans don’t want to buy.  It will be interesting to see how the government forces us to buy them.

What Do the Europeans Think?

For years we have been told by the left that we must listen to what the Europeans are saying.  They say we have to consider foreign laws in weighing Supreme Court cases.  They decried Bush’s policies as alienating our European friends.  So what do the Europeans think of Obama now?

The president of the European Union on Wednesday ripped the Obama administration’s economic policies, calling its deficit spending and bank bailouts “a road to hell.” — Washington Post, March 25

A Very Dangerous Path

In March of 1933 Adolf Hitler, proclaiming a national emergency of a potential communist revolution asked the German legislature, the Reichstag, to grant him emergency powers to deal with the situation.  Such a proposal required two-thirds approval by that body.  The final vote was 441 in favor, 84 opposed.  From that point on, Hitler was dictator. 

 Rahm Emmanuel likes to say, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  President Obama is taking the current financial crisis to ram through a massive power grab.  The legislation is being rammed through with such force and urgency that no one has a chance to read it.  What ticking time bomb could be tucked in those pages that get voted on and passed without scrutiny?  Just look at the AIG fiasco for the answer.  No one seemed to know or admit it was in there.  If we allow this to continue, we may find some other provision included in the dead of night that will destroy our country forever.

Be on your guard.

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