August 12, 2012

USAT: Companies Reducing Training Costs Are ‘Pushing Up Unemployment Rates’

In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax’s MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that “Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today’s economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process.”

The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:

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Leftist Energy Nonsense: Two of a Gazillion Examples

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:39 am

Example 1: As drought ensues and people continue to need to, well, eat, 40% of the corn crop is getting diverted to ethanol production. The diversion is leading to higher prices, concerns about shortages, and even calls from a United Nations body for the U.S. government’s Environmental Protection Agency to immediately suspend its “national corn ethanol requirement.”

The Obama administration is so far uninterested in acting on this sensible idea — so much so that the President didn’t even bring up the option in his weekly address promising a so-called “all-hands-on-deck” effort to deal with the drought’s fallout.

Example 2: Continuing environmentalists’ thus far vain effort to improve on the internal combustion engine (HT Doug Ross; paragraph breaks added by me):

Fisker Karma hybrid EV ignites in parking space as owner returns from grocery run

… Similar to an incident last spring that left a model burnt to near smithereens and damaged its owner’s house, the Karma above caught fire in a Woodside, CA parking lot while powered off. Jalopnik was to first to get word of the incident, noting that the damage remained reserved to the front left of the vehicle, near where an exhaust is located.

As the story goes, the owner found the vehicle emitting smoke after returning from a grocery run, prompting a call to Fisker and then the local fire department, which arrived as it was already engulfed in flames.

In a statement to Wired’s Autopia, Fisker has been vehement to note that the damage appears to be far from where the car’s battery and sensitive electrical components are located, and that it wasn’t plugged in for a charge — furthermore, it’s already had correspondence with the owner and is actively investing the matter with plans to issue an update when there are findings to share.

All that said, it remains to be seen whether the Karma’s battery system, supplied by A123 Systems (and the focus of previous recalls), had any role in igniting the car.

Doug notes: “Fisker … absconded with $530 million of your money to build $100,000 electric cars in Finland …” Also: A123 systems received a quarter of a billion dollars in Obama green grant money.

The point? Neither problem would even exist without massive government payments, subsidies, and other market distortions. In other words, government built these problems. A truly free market would either solve problems which can be solved, or effectively prevent ideas which make no financial sense (e.g., ethanol, which takes something which already required an extraordinary amount of fuel to produce and turns it into … another form of fuel, requiring more extraordinary amounts of fuel) or physical sense (as one commenter noted at the Fisker item, “unless Cold Fusion becomes a reality, Electric cars will NEVER replace regular internal combustion cars”) from ever seeing the light of day.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081212)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Priest’s new film says physics help prove existence of God

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Irvine, California:

Aug 11, 2012 05:02 pm

A new film by philosopher, priest and producer Father Robert Spitzer aims to integrate faith and reason by making the claim that God’s existence can be proved through scientific evidence.

“We thought the whole story wasn’t being told in the media about the evidence for God from physics,” the Jesuit priest told CNA.

“We’re utterly convinced that the evidence from physics shows the existence of God and certainly does not take away from it.”

The 49-minute documentary, titled “Cosmic Origins,” features eight physicists who discuss the big bang theory, theories of modern physics, and eventually discuss the need for a creator.

Along with Fr. Spitzer, a former Gonzaga University President and founder of the Magis Center for Faith and Reason, the film features Michael Heller of the Vatican Observatory, Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias, and a slew of professors from Harvard and Cambridge.

In choosing the physicists for the film, Fr. Spitzer made sure that every scientist was “absolutely top in their field, world class, they had to be a Nobel prize winner, a Templeton prize winner, or come from Harvard or Cambridge or from the top ranks of NASA.”

The scientists “come pretty much out of the closet,” and affirm that it is impossible for the universe to be random and without purpose, he said.

In the film, after discussing the Big Bang theory and affirming it scientifically, the physicists say there still must be a beginning or cause of the universe, even with theories of modern physics.

“When the universe was nothing, it could not have moved itself from nothing, something else had to do it, and that something else was a transcendent creator,” Fr. Spitzer said.

He claims that this creator would have to exist outside space and time because before the Big Bang, nothing existed, including space and time.

Go here for the rest of the story.