What’s That About Us Catching Up With Europe?

Europe ‘needs 75 years’ to catch US

It found that the European Union’s research and development levels were achieved by America as long ago as 1979, while the lag time on per capita income is 18 years.

It will take the EU until 2072 to reach US levels of income per capita, and then only if the EU income growth exceeds that of the US by 0.5pc,” the study said

A common belief on the left is that we need to be more like Europe in our foreign policy, financial and labor policies and just about every other measure.

As usual, they don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

Who Cares About McClellan? We Need To Talk To Craig Livingstone.

Althouse: “I Knew It Was a Terrible Mistake, but I Didn’t Mention It Until I Got a Book Contract.”

The “most tedious” of 3 annoying types of political memoir, according to this NYT editorial. (The other 2 are: “‘I Reveal the Honest Truth’ a kiss-up-and-tell designed to settle scores (nod to honesty optional)” and “‘I Was There at the Start,’ designed to make the author appear to be the linchpin of history.”) Like the NYT, I can’t get past the rank venality of McClellan’s project.And does McClellan add anything to the discourse?

What McClellan did was terrible. But he was probably upset about how he was portrayed in Frank J’s “In My World“.

Now Craig Livingstone, there’s a man that knows how to keep his mouth shut.

Not that anyone that wants to continue working in the news media would dare to talk to him.

He just lives happily at his undisclosed location and cashes the checks that don’t come from the Clinton’s every month.

Intent Be Damned!

CAJ applies to intervene in Maclean’s human rights case

OTTAWA, May 29 /CNW/ – The Canadian Association of Journalists has formally applied for standing as an intervenor at the upcoming British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal hearings on a complaint of religious and racial discrimination against Maclean’s magazine

I am glad to see that the journalists are finally getting involved in the case for Free Expression. But I am not too pleased with one of their arguments.

One argument the CAJ hopes to make is that human rights cases under section 7 must consider the intent of the writer in assessing published material.

Intent be damned! I believe that Ezra Levant made that quite clear during his inquisition at the hands of the Canadian Inquisition.

The CAJ seems to accept that the human rights commissions have the right to censor the publication of any opinion that is contrary to the PC opinion du jour. If they have the right,then there is no free speech. There is only speech that has been approved by the government.

Damn It, Pfleger! Don’t Let Them Tape!

Primary Election blog – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Sen. Barack Obama issued a statement this afternoon after a video tape emerged showing Father Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest, ‘speechifying’ from the pulpit of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.In the statement Obama said he was “deeply disappointed” in Pfleger after his sermon was captured on videotape showing the priest mocking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and white people from the pulpit of Trinity, the home church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Sen. Obama.

But I’m sure that he has never heard Father Pfleger express such sentiments before.

There is no way that Obama will succumb to the urge to right historic racial wrongs when he is elected President. There is no way that he will allow such people as Rev Wright and Father Pfleger to influence his policies.

Wright….er….right?

The Reaction Is Going To Be Telling

US says biotech key to easing food crisis

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States will propose biotechnology as a strategy to boost agricultural production at a UN global food crisis summit in Rome next week, the top US farm official said Thursday.

GM foods are routinely denounced by Greens around the world as “Frankenfood”. This proposal will put them on the spot. They can either approve the distribution of GM food or they can take the responsibility for starving thousands of children in Asia and Africa.

Wanna bet on which they will find acceptable?

Yeah, me too. Sorry kids.

Clinton’s The Victim Of Another Conspiracy?

Bill Clinton says wife is victim of a ‘cover up’

(CNN) — Former President Bill Clinton said that Democrats were more likely to lose in November if Hillary Clinton is not the nominee, and suggested some were trying to “push and pressure and bully” superdelegates to make up their minds prematurely.

So, that would make this a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy?

And The Answer Is…?

Environmentalists are alway telling us to follow the science.

Well, one scientist, or at least one economist, has modeled the performance of five responses to Global Warming.

The Question of Global Warming – The New York Review of Books

Nordhaus examines five kinds of global-warming policy, with many runs of DICE for each kind. The first kind is business-as-usual, with no restriction of carbon dioxide emissions—in which case, he estimates damages to the environment amounting to some $23 trillion in current dollars by the year 2100. The second kind is the “optimal policy,” judged by Nordhaus to be the most cost-effective, with a worldwide tax on carbon emissions adjusted each year to give the maximum aggregate economic gain as calculated by DICE. The third kind is the Kyoto Protocol, in operation since 2005 with 175 participating countries, imposing fixed limits to the emissions of economically developed countries only. Nordhaus tests various versions of the Kyoto Protocol, with or without the participation of the United States.The fourth kind of policy is labeled “ambitious” proposals, with two versions which Nordhaus calls “Stern” and “Gore.” “Stern” is the policy advocated by Sir Nicholas Stern in the Stern Review, an economic analysis of global-warming policy sponsored by the British government.[*] “Stern” imposes draconian limits on emissions, similar to the Kyoto limits but much stronger. “Gore” is a policy advocated by Al Gore, with emissions reduced drastically but gradually, the reductions reaching 90 percent of current levels before the year 2050. The fifth and last kind is called “low-cost backstop,” a policy based on a hypothetical low-cost technology for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or for producing energy without carbon dioxide emission, assuming that such a technology will become available at some specified future date. According to Nordhaus, this technology might include “low-cost solar power, geothermal energy, some nonintrusive climatic engineering, or genetically engineered carbon-eating trees.”

So option 1 is to do nothing, option 2 would tax carbon adjusting the the taxes every year. (Do you think there would ever be an adjustment of that tax in any direction except up?)

Options 3 and 4 would be the stiff reductions required by the proposal put forward by the British government or the slightly less draconian reductions put forth by St. Al of Gore.

The final, or 5th option is to use some unspecified method that hasn’t been developed yet. That option displays the characteristic of the preferred solution of any problem…magic. Arthur C. Clarke did state that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. But I don’t think that sitting around hoping for it to be developed was exactly what he had in mind/

So, which method works the best?

Here are the net values of the various policies as calculated by the DICE model. The values are calculated as differences from the business-as-usual model, without any emission controls. A plus value means that the policy is better than business-as-usual, with the reduction of damage due to climate change exceeding the cost of controls. A minus value means that the policy is worse than business-as-usual, with costs exceeding the reduction of damage. The unit of value is $1 trillion, and the values are specified to the nearest trillion. The net value of the optimal program, a global carbon tax increasing gradually with time, is plus three—that is, a benefit of some $3 trillion. The Kyoto Protocol has a value of plus one with US participation, zero without US participation. The “Stern” policy has a value of minus fifteen, the “Gore” policy minus twenty-one, and “low-cost backstop” plus seventeen.

The Kyoto Protocols would have no effect either with or without the participation of the United States. The proposals by the Global Warming Gods Gore and Stern would be unqualified disasters bringing misery with no benefit. Only the 5th proposal will make a difference and that is mainly because no one knows what it is. Since it is unknown I will name it “Magic Pixie Dust”.

So, it has been scientifically proven that the most effective means of combating Global Warming is a liberal application of Magic Pixie Dust.

I presume that the government will start a crash program to develop it. As soon as they can determine whose district it should be built in.

So write your Congressman and Senator and demand that the search of Magic Pixie Dust be done in your State.

Kneejerk “Progressives”

    Every week I get the e-mail version of the New York Times Review of Books. I can generally judge whether or not a book is worth reading by the review. This is because the Review of Books is normally a megaphone for the furtherest left of the New York leftists. It is aimed, not so much at the vast majority of readers, but at those who know exactly what is wrong with the world and how only they can correct it

Look at the review of two books about the dean of Conservativism William F. Buckley Jr. There are plenty of people qualified to review books on Buckley. Writers from news magazines, people that worked with him at National Review or even Christopher Buckley, whose wit and humor, not to mention his advantage of having observed the subject at close range for a number of years, would have brought a lot to the review.

But no, who do we get? Not someone who knew him well or admired his work. What we get is what we almost always get from Review of Books A reviewer who not only did not know him, but is actually a partisan from the opposite reaches of the political world.

Book Review – ‘Flying High,’ by William F. Buckley Jr. – ‘Strictly Right,’ by Linda Bridges and John R. Coyne Jr. – Review – NYTimes.com

I am reminded of these ruminations when I think of the late William F. Buckley Jr. and National Review, the magazine he founded way back in 1955, because as former editor and then publisher of The Nation I spent more than my share of time taking exception to and attacking Buckley and his National Review reprobates.

While we do occasionally get a reviewer from the conservative point of view, he is invariably reviewing a book from a similar point of view. Even then, it most conservative writers were to review a book about a “progressive” personality, we could expect them to accentuate their agreements and downplay their differences. Look at the almost universal sympathy for Teddy Kennedy from the “right-wing” pundits compared to the widespread virulence directed at President Bush. VP Cheney, and Justice Clarence Thomas.

After Kennedy passes and tomes are written on his life, what do you think the chances are that the NYT Review of Books will ask Pat Buchanan or Ann Coulter to review them?

    Moving right along. In the same issue of the NYT Review of Books we have this book which looks interesting. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the freeing of Eastern Europe, we have had an explosion of organized criminal gangs branching out throughout the world.

I guess that whole experiment with building the “new socialist man” didn’t take very well. Most people in the former Soviet bloc grew up since WWII and knew nothing of the evil Capitalist system other than the screeds against it that they were taught in school. You would think that if it were true that the “Workers Paradise” instilled an ethic so far superior to that of the West, that so many former bureaucrats turned so quickly to crime. After all, greed, racism and the other evils of the world are routinely laid at the feet of the Western societies.

Misha Glenny has achieved an encyclopedic knowledge of the crime organizations that grew out of the former Soviet Union.

But in the eyes of the NYT Review of Books he committed the most grievous of errors. He treats his subjects as being responsible for their own actions. Their organizations made up of former policemen and apparatchiks grown out of their society.

The reviewer will not let it go unremarked that he missed the most obvious connection, when viewed from the West, the complicity of the West in all organized crime everywhere. Former socialists and peasants are just not capable of the thought and initiative that building such a crime network entails. Only Westerners can do that. He forgot to absolve his subjects of blame for their actions and place it where it really belongs. On the societies of the West.

Book Review – ‘McMafia,’ by Misha Glenny – Review – NYTimes.com

Glenny’s criminal geography centers on the post-Soviet countries, whose influence he sees spreading outward to “countries as far away from one another as India, Colombia and Japan.” He signposts but doesn’t travel a “new Silk Route, a multilane criminal highway” linking the old Soviet periphery with central and eastern Asia.

[…]

“McMafia” has great anecdotes but lacks structure and is fatally weakened by global overstretch. There’s no big picture here, no corporate brand, no franchise. In global crime, the structures, the methods, the personnel, the channels, the merchandise, the alliances change even faster than they do in the world of legal business. There are patterns of complicity, however, and closer to home than Glenny’s nightmare settings.

Of course, any book which “exposes” the failings of the the western Capitalist system, which has outperformed the Socialist and Fascist models whenever it has been tried, can expect a warm review from the Review of Books.

    The next one is no exception. In it Greenhouse finds that businesses are just incapable of providing the “safety net” for the workers. Accordingly he finds that the only entity capable of providing everything that someone would need is…the government.

In Greenhouse’s mind the same government who’s bureaucrats are driving Social Security into bankruptcy, can’t run the Veteran’s Hospital, can’t handle a natural disaster and who have put most of our energy resources out of reach while we suffer huge increases in gas prices and shortages of other types of energy, is the obvious choice to put in charge of every facet of the lives of its citizens.
Book Review – ‘The Big Squeeze,’ by Steven Greenhouse – Review – NYTimes.com

As Greenhouse observes in his closing chapter, the components of an efficient social safety net are reasonably well understood. For instance, we could easily afford a single-payer health system like the one in France, which covers everyone and delivers better health care for about half the amount we now spend per capita. We could easily afford to supplement the American Social Security system, which transfers income from workers to retirees, by establishing a national retirement savings plan in which a portion of each worker’s wages was deposited in a tax-sheltered investment account, enabling families to take full advantage of the miracle of compound interest. We have ample resources to supplement lagging wages by raising the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Ronald Reagan called the most effective antipoverty program ever devised by Congress. And we could easily reduce the college-tuition burden on low-income families by expanding the existing program of Pell Grants.

[…]

As Greenhouse’s interviews vividly remind us, no economic system can prosper in the long run if people who work hard and play by the rules cannot meet their basic needs. The workers profiled in “The Big Squeeze” cannot afford to pay for health care or to send their children to decent schools. And precisely because of their precarious economic position, their sons and daughters are far more likely than others to go into the military. Six days after the subrogation order was issued against Deborah Shank, the family learned that their 18-year-old son, Jeremy, had been killed on duty with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Iraq.

What the reviewer, Robert H. Frank, meant to say is that if you don’t get the proper education, you end up in Iraq. I think I heard that opinion expressed before. In his opinion, the only reason someone goes in the military is because they have no other choices, not because they want to do something for their country.

On the other hand, you have to take Greenhouse’s apparent belief that in an America run by “progressives” every school would be Harvard and every clinic the Mayo, with a whole shaker of salt.

    And just to cap an exemplary issue of the NYT Review of Books we have this one. In keeping with the views expressed in the previous review, this book comes right out and says it. Everything that is wrong with American is the fault of the Conservatives.

Book Review – ‘U.S. vs. Them,’ by J. Peter Scoblic – Review – NYTimes.com

As the occupation of Iraq grinds through its sixth year, many who view American involvement there as a disaster are content to blame the neoconservatives, those operatives and intellectuals inside and outside the Bush administration who once believed they could democratize the Middle East at the point of a gun. Even some right-leaning critics have declared that the neoconservative project in Iraq was both utopian and imprudent, and therefore at odds with basic conservative principles.

Not so fast, says J. Peter Scoblic. In “U.S. vs. Them,” Scoblic, the executive editor of The New Republic, argues persuasively that neoconservatism isn’t the problem — plain old conservatism is.

That is the view from the Ivory Tower. The only problem with American is the half of the citizenry that don’t agree with the “progressives’. All they have to do now is figure out a way to keep the conservative half of the nation quiet and prevent their views from being heard in Washington DC, or anywhere else for that matter.

They have seen the enemy and it is us.

New Header Pictures

I finally got tired of the header pictures that came with the theme when I downloaded it. So I went through some of my pictures and cropped some that I thought would look interesting. If you look closely you will see pictures of my wife and I, our granddaughter and pictures from Thailand, Buffalo and some sights around here,