November 7, 2010

What We Believe: Gun Rights

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:57 pm

Gosh, this is good stuff:

“Power rests with we the people” — that includes their right to keep and bear arms.

Let Them Eat Biofuels: Enviros Largely Responsible for Worldwide Food Price Increases

Via James M. Andrews at American Thinker (“The Biofuels Scam”; bolds are mine, though I could have bolded the whole thing):

Since 2007 the price of food around the world has just about doubled. Bad harvests, inflation, or George Bush didn’t cause this price increase. According to a secret report from the World Bank, reported in the UK’s Guardian, 75% of the increase in price has one source: “Biofuels.” This contrasts with US claims of only a 3% biofuels-caused increase. The World Bank also says that rising food prices have pushed 100 million people worldwide below the poverty line. Riots have been sparked from Bangladesh to Egypt.

The Holy Grail of the Left in recent years is Climate Disruption (formerly known as Global Warming and Climate Change). Much ink has been spilled and much airtime has been devoted to pushing the Green Agenda. … Among other measures, Congress mandates that gasoline contain 10% by volume of ethanol. As a result, the US is currently burning about 25% of its corn crop as fuel. Government subsidies and mandates work quite well at converting food into fuel, thus reducing the amount of food. As anyone with more than a room temperature IQ knows, less of something results in higher prices. Hungry people? Pssh! Saving the planet takes precedence.

… Ethanol is highly corrosive. It absorbs water from the air like a sponge. It cannot be transported in pipelines, necessitating delivery by (diesel) tanker trucks. If used in aircraft, water in the fuel can cause engine failure at the colder high altitudes. If left in your lawn mower or chainsaw over the winter, it causes serious rust problems. It lowers your car’s mileage, negating any benefits from “reducing our dependence on foreign oil.” It causes rust in your fuel lines and engine. It burns too hot in catalytic converters, causing premature failure.

If biofuels made sense, they would have made their way into the energy supply on their own without a government mandate and massive government subsidies.

Simply scratch the surface, and it’s intuitively clear that, except for relatively narrow instances, biofuels don’t make sense, haven’t ever made sense, and probably will never make sense.

To generate biofuels, you have to expend large amounts of effort and huge amounts of energy and other resources just to grow the crops that represent their raw material — and then expend even more energy converting those raw materials (i.e., edible crops) into usable fuel.

To generate conventional energy, all you have to do is go out and get what is already there in nature in the form of crude oil, coal, natural gas, etc., and use time-tested and clearly less expensive (because of already-existing economies of scale, and having decades to work out the kinks) conversion methods.

The only way biofuels even start to make sense is if it can be shown that we are running out of naturally available resources. We’re not.

Thanks to enviro activists’ artificially-imposed barriers, obstructionist government regulations, and a frightening and growing lack of political will, it may seem that these resources are in short supply. They’re not.

Enviros and the subsidy-seeking politicians who have championed biofuels must admit that they’ve been on the wrong side of this equation — financially and morally (whether they admit it or not, they have been). What they advocate has led to higher food prices and worsening worldwide poverty. Free-market capitalism, when legitimately implemented, leads to the opposite result.

NewsBusters Posts Not Mirrored Here

  • Saturday — AP, Which Called NY-01 For Bishop, Hasn’t Pulled Back, Despite Recanvass Results
  • Sunday — Here We Go Again: Climate Taxes on the Table, Accompanied by Usual Media Slant

In the spirit of the second post, here’s the latest vid from Minnesotans For Global Warming (HT to an NB commenter):

I wonder how long it will take for the YouTube takedown (which is what happened to all versions of “Hide the Decline”).

WSJ Gets It on Iowans Who Fired Three Activist Judges

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:57 am

In a weekend editorial:

Iowa’s Total Recall
Voters give activist judges the boot. Lawyers are shocked.

Iowans made a clean sweep of the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, voting to recall all three justices who were up for a retention election. The rout is being played as an unprecedented politicization of state courts. Maybe if judges behaved less like politicians, they’d have less reason to fear recall votes.

Voters were expressing their dismay over a 2009 Iowa court ruling that gave the green light to same-sex marriage. That unanimous decision, which overturned a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, struck voters as an attempt by the seven justices to impose their views on the state. This is precisely the kind of judicial arrogance—finding a right to gay marriage in the state constitution after many decades in which no one noticed it—that the recall election was designed for.

… According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s nominating commission includes 12 Democrats, one Republican and one member whose affiliation is unknown. Critics of the judicial ouster naturally deplored the recalls as a “misuse of the judicial retention vote.”

But Iowa’s voters aren’t yahoos who recall judges willy-nilly, and when judges exceed their writ in such blatant fashion they shouldn’t expect an automatic pass from the people whose lives are governed by their decisions.

Far from a beacon of judicial independence, the three Iowa justices were fired because they put their own political preferences above their commitment to the law. If judges want to avoid recalls, they should leave social legislation to legislators.

I should add that in the process they violated oaths they swore to uphold the state’s constitution.

Read the whole thing (if you run into the subscriber wall, Google the editorial’s title) for further discussion of the flawed process that allows temperamentally disqualified activist judges to reach these positions in the first place.

Positivity: Penn St rallies to get JoePa 400th victory (See November 2011 Update)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

November 12, 2011 Update: I thought long and hard about just deleting this post and pretending that it never happened, but decided that to do so would be inappropriate.

I’m letting this post and my other post on Paterno in 2005 stand as a warning to all, including yours truly, that things are not always as they appear, even in the seemingly brightest of circumstances.


From State College, PA:

Nov 6, 9:00 PM EDT

As camera flashes lit up Beaver Stadium, Joe Paterno got a ride to a victory celebration atop the broad arms and shoulders of two burly offensive linemen.

Career win No. 400 for Penn State’s beloved coach will be remembered around Happy Valley for a long time.