Re: Ben Stein's What a Piece of Work:
This is the best article Ben Stein has ever written. It orients the reader to the most confusing, nebulous, ill-posed argument ever, and shows the gargantuan stakes involved and identifies the players and their motives.
One thing is certain to anyone who studies plant or animal physiology, planetary science, engineering, or physics: the widespread existence of negative feedback loops in systems. These are essential to life.
In the realm of carbon dioxide biochemistry, one feedback loop which certainly exists is:
1.) CO2 increases for whatever reason.
2.) Plants grow more rapidly and reproduce more rapidly in a CO2-enriched environment (Marijuana growers exploit this when they supercharge their crops with an atmosphere rich in CO2).
3.) More CO2 is consumed by the increased biomass of plants.
4.) This feeds back negatively to 1, thereby lowering and stabilizing the CO2 concentration, and presumably, regulating greenhouse-gas warming to some extent.
Every cell, every organism, every ecosystem, every planetary system has at least one of these types of equilibrating feedback loops. The human body has maybe a thousand such feedback mechanisms. Earth may have a million such feedback loops, all working right now.
The scientists all know this, and instead of plotting and working to understand and publicize such stabilizing mechanisms, have chosen instead to panic-monger to the public.
Their goal is made clear in Mr. Stein's article: Impose totalitarian control over their would-be intellectual inferiors; re-distribute wealth; accrete power; negate personal freedom.
Wonderful article. Thanks, Mr. Stein.
-- Francis Dillon
I am growing more frustrated with the compliant, "state-owned" media which ridicules Sarah Palin and glorifies Al Gore and Barack Obama. These "geniuses" bellow "we warm the earth" when we exhale!!
Somehow, I see an "Exhalation Tax" brewing.
It is high time we point these idiots out for what they are and stop this nonsense which will ultimately end the America we all grew up in.
-- John Sorg
Re: Jeffrey Lord's President Spock:
Mr. Lord is too kind in likening Obama to Mr. Spock. For one thing, Spock was likable and his logic based miscues were endearing but Obama strikes me as merely smarmy. Oh, I've heard over and over ad nauseam how personally likeable Obama is but I don't see it. Back in the eighties when a Rising Sun in the east seemingly threatened to dominate the globe economically and many US business-people were busy aping Japan's supposedly superior ways it was said that naive Americans constantly mistook a simple politeness and smiling demeanor as marks of friendship and trust. Such a misreading is how I view other's infatuation with a hip and cool Obama. His vague affability masks a ruthless determination to enslave his fellows and yoke them in servitude to the state, his state. Jonah Goldberg rightly calls this interpersonal tactic of the left, "smiley faced totalitarianism". Sure Obama is nice and friendly but he wants control over each of us in every way possible nonetheless. Smiles and handshakes as a subterfuge to thrusting the dirk only infuriate a man like me. Call me old school, but I prefer the enemies of liberty straight up and forthright in their intentions like the scowling, growling, uni-browed commies of yore over their smooth, urbane and even toned heirs. Liberals seemingly never learn from experience but their change in approach indicates maybe they do, much to our peril.
Secondly, I've seen no evidence beyond Democratic shills' assertions that the man is brilliant, a unique thinker or even particularly brighter than average. He hasn't laid out a single idea that hasn't been floating around liberal circles and that hasn't been tried and found wanting the world over for at least the 40 years I've been paying attention. Most of them, "universal healthcare", for example, are ancient and hoary ideas from the dawn of the last century when the forward thinking assumed the good life could be ordered and benevolently managed from on high with just the right mix of intelligent people, emerging technology and modern organizational techniques. Back then Utopia through the aegis of total government beckoned but we've since learned how well that all worked out to mankind's horror and sorrow. But for Dems it is always thus, Liberals are smart and sophisticated, Conservatives dumb rubes and it is as though the last 100 years never happened. In 2000 we witnessed the spectacle of a Republican candidate who graduated Yale, earned an MBA from Harvard, went on to fly F102s (modern fighter cockpits have been called the most stressful environment known to man), then succeed in the business world, and finally serve as governor of one of our largest and booming states labeled as dumb by supporters of the Democrats who finished Harvard then flunked out of Divinity school and crapped out of Law school or vice versa, whatever, who then went into legislative office and never actually produced or ran anything in his life. Which brings us back to Barry -- speaking of supposedly brilliant men who never ran anything in their lives.
What Barry lacks is not intelligence or the right kind of intelligence, or IQ or even a kind of common sense. What Barry lacks are two old fashioned words long out of common use that far too many people today also lack. In his inadequacy he is not alone and therein lies partial explanation of Obama's rise to power and now his blundering. But it is true I think that liberals are particularly susceptible to this self-inflicted deficiency. What Barry wants is wisdom and humility. One cannot be had without the other. A sense of the limitations of human understanding and capability, not the least one's own, and the commensurate understanding of what can, and should, be done.
-- Mark Shepler
An old Yiddish expression clearly fits President Spock: he is an ass ladened with books.
-- I.M. Kessel
Spock is nothing but a metaphor for sociopath.
-- Steven Shaver
BAILING OUT THE MEDIA
Re: Quin Hillyer's Media Belles at the Ball:
There was dull old me, wondering why progressives want our rulers [formerly "our government"] to save the "main stream media" from extinction. They certainly never tried to prevent the extinction of other great news organizations of the past.
Where were they, I ask, when Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, and other great news magazines were in desperate need of a bailout?
Where when the telegraph stopped transmitting the dits and dahs of important news?
Or when the Pony Express was riding off into the sunset?
Or when the Town Crier lost his voices?
Our world is less -- what? -- charming for their demise, all, but progressives never tried to save them.
Of course, those ancient media forms never tried to save the political left, either.
Never mind. I get it now.
-- A.C Santore
NOT SO DYNAMIC
Re: Joseph Lawler's The Jobless Recovery and Its Structures:
You assert that the "labor market becomes more complex, more dynamic..." every day. Bureau of Labor Statistics don't bear this out. The job separations rate (quits, layoffs, discharges as % of employment) went from 4.3 in January 2001 to 3.9 in December 2002 to 3.2 in October 2009. Gross job gains decreased 33% from Qt. 1 1998 to Qt. 1 2009. This is the metamorphosis into a less dynamic economy.
-- Martin Vaala
Is there really a recovery? Depending on the Obama official you listen to the economy is recovering or isn't. The observable evidence is that the economy is on the cusp of a double-dip recession as unemployment lingers at near depression level highs, consumer spending is anemic (compared to late 2007 when the recession allegedly began), small banks are folding, foreclosures are growing, the credit crunch continues, Democrats behave as Democrats (i.e., tax and spend), and the Obama administration is doing everything it can to increase its power at the expense of American's Constitutional freedoms and rights.
If this recession began in 2007 then how can anyone claim it is over since things are worse today than in 2007 and the first half of 2008? The only way to turn this economy around and possibly save the Obama Presidency from death at the polls in 2012 is a Republican avalanche sweeping away Democrats in 2010 at the local, state and national levels. Then and only then will the nation be able to reverse the Democrat decline (that began with the 2006 elections) -- a deterioration being exacerbated by the mere existence of the Obama administration.
Auspiciously, unlike the unimpressive Bill Clinton, Obama isn't amenable to letting Republicans run the country while he garners the glory. Obama seems to really believe the fawning about his "transformational Presidency." Of course, could anyone expect less from such an egotistical, arrogant, ignorant, sophomoric, boorish, and narcissistic jackass? Obama makes Jimmy Carter look effective and Bill Clinton humble. No mean feat.
President Obama = American decline -- it's that simple and the formula will hold true as long as he and Democrats maintain power over Congress and the Presidency.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
REFORTIFIED BY INDECISION
Re: George Neumayr's Peacenicked:
As the mother of two in the military, a son and a foster daughter, we, like other military families awaken each and every morning demoralized some mornings and highly vexed on others. Our fine military finds itself commanded by a man unworthy of tying the shoes of any soldier or officer. He dallied over 100 days, while over 100 died -- killed by an enemy who has been refortified by indecision.
Having survived the Carter years and his catastrophic bulldozing of the military, I recall it took years to rebuild both the military and morale. Now, I see this anemic President as so much worse. Never have I talked to so many dejected and demoralized military members. Most speak of extra care in preparing things, in case they do not return from war. While this is usual preparation for all military members, it has taken on new significance in recent months. Add in the massacre at Ft. Hood, that is completely off anyone's radar, leaving every military member to question the loyalties and wonder just how this assassination happened and why it is so soon dismissed and only silence lingers.
So, this note is to TAS readers. Find a way to go bless someone serving in the military. Do it now. Never has the military needed extra blessing and reminders that we find them as our personal heroes. Start with discovering who in your hometown serves. Then find a way to bless through the military member, or for their families, especially during this time of year. You won't need to look far. And lastly remember, the military is the only thing holding your precious freedoms.
-- Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher