Buffett's Billions - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Buffett’s Billions
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WORSE THAN THE U.N.
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s You Can Buff It, But You Can’t Make It Shine:

Where the ghastly Gates philanthropy is concerned, Mr. Homnick has nicely pointed out the tip of the iceberg, but no more than that.

The former editor of one of the other VRWC opinion journals has given us his Law: All institutions which are not explicitly right-wing tend, over time, to become left-wing. The Gates Foundation is well down that road, dancing, as Mr. Homnick points out, with the Planned Parenthood ghouls at the party of death. Nothing known to us at this juncture suggests the Gates monstrosity, now augmented by the Buffett Billions, won’t join and then exceed the other bastard children of our beloved capitalist pigs in that race down the slippery slope. One thinks of the Ford Foundation and its fellow travelers, now reduced to relative fiscal pissantry by this unholy BuffetGates singularity, and one must shudder. The thing is much bigger than, say, Cuba, and is already inside the gates, so to speak.

It’s bigger than the UN, for that matter. Perhaps this is a mission for the indispensable Jed Babbin. Start your research, Jed, there’s a best seller in your future: Inside the Asylum: Why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Is So Very Much Worse Than the U.N.
Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

Once again, Mr. Homnick, with added wit and satire, hits the nail on the head regarding the elite and their sad and twisted ways of thinking. I assume that given their wealth and power, these men of influence have morphed into demi-gods whose very thoughts and actions are deemed divinely inspired and will only provide goodness to all, especially the “little people.” Well, the little people they think should exist anyway. Regardless, the world will go on, with or without the billions they place in the hands of those who adhere to the Culture of Death (as the late Pope John Paul II aptly named it) and survive. Hope springs eternal, especially for those who believe in God, not in the machinations of men.
David P. Bennett
Chicago, Illinois

Apparently everyone except you feels there are already too many damn people on this planet, and the population keeps increasing geometrically everyday as families, in the third world especially, keep squirting out babies. As health increases, people live longer and infant mortality goes down. The population and resulting sprawl (and poverty) then increase at an increased rate, gobbling up more resources (including misapplied charity monies).

We don’t need any more people on this planet. We could function just as well with half. Easily. Why must we help third world nations develop if the result will be greater population and more mouths to feed? The earth’s resources are finite. The space on earth’s surface is finite. Family planning makes perfect sense (not necessarily Planned Parenthood’s approach). Of course, deciding what the plan should be will never probably happen because no one will agree. China was smart enough to know about what over-population was doing to their country. They enforced small families (democracy is sometimes way too slow). Yes, birth control and abortion were and are widespread there as they are here in the U.S.

As an aside, I’d like to know is why is abortion considered murder by some and birth control not, especially by those who think God is somehow in control of all birth (shoot away and let God sort ’em out!)? Truth is, God gave us the brains to figure out how to improve our planet as well as the common sense to know that the burgeoning population is causing increased misery and untimely deaths. Also, we can still experience wealth and efficient allocation of resources without population growth. Economic growth and population growth need not be co-related, although some people act as if it were the case. We need more planning and less mindless sprawl. We all cherish our freedom, but it’s hard to be free when everyone is crowding each other out.
John Sperling, Republican
Las Vegas, Nevada

I could not keep from chuckling over the reports of Warren Buffett donating the bulk of his fortune to a private foundation. For years, Mr. Buffett has been an outspoken advocate of the inheritance tax, destroyer of family farms and small businesses. Yet when it came to his own estate, he chose to divert it so it would not be largely confiscated by the government.

Of course, even after taxes his fortune would still have been sufficient to endow generations of Buffetts. Perhaps he feared that bequeathing riches to his descendants would spawn legions of Paris Hiltons. Heirheads living absurd lives may not be the legacy he wanted associated with his name. Perhaps he agrees with Andrew Carnegie’s maxim that the man who dies rich should be ashamed, so that forking it over to any charitable end use is better than checking out with a big checking account. Perhaps Messrs. Buffett and Gates genuinely believe they are doing good with their charity, although Jay Homnick is right that the Gates Foundation’s support of abortion surely will turn out to be wildly destructive rather than beneficial for the intended recipients. Perhaps these modern Midases have simply fallen prey to Liberal Guilt and are trying to buy their way into heaven.

In the long run, however, we all know what will happen to Warren’s wealth and Bill’s billions. Like Rockefeller before them, they have created another United Nations: a self-serving bureaucracy of international do-gooders, accountable to no one and accomplishing nothing. The money will be squandered and embezzled, and gradually put to uses completely at odds with the original intent of the donors. Within a few decades, their foundation will be unrecognizable to its long-dead founders.

The world would be better off if they gave their money directly to ordinary people. Therefore, I invite all the billionaires reading TAS who want to avoid Mr. Buffett’s mistake to send your donations to:
Jim Bono
Midlothian, Virginia

As Mr. Homnick eloquently points out, for Mrs. Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to use their blessings to deny the most innocent among us life itself is beyond perverse.

It reminds me of when I worked for a company that put on a charity drive wherein they wanted as close to 100-percent employee participation as they could get. To that end someone went around to the employees imploring us to contribute at least $1 to the cause, thereby giving the company bragging rights. When I saw that the cause was the United Way, one of whose charities is Planned Parenthood, I steadfastly refused to contribute. My employer’s Shylock tried to impress upon me that I could designate that my contribution went only to some specific charity associated with United Way.

Nevertheless, I continued with my refusal. Since money is fungible my donation of a clamshell to their shell game would have simply caused United Way to designate my $1 (net overhead, of course) to the charity of my choice while simultaneously removing an equivalent amount from that charity’s portion of the general fund and redistributing the general fund accordingly. Therefore the net result of my contribution would have been to increase Planned Parenthood’s coffers by, say, .016 cents. But that would have been .016 cents too much!
R. Trotter
Arlington, Virginia

I have just “discovered” Mr. Homnick in your online edition. Absolutely amazing wordsmithing.

Amen, Mr. Homnick. You have a new fan.
Bob McMillin
Orlando, Florida

COWBOY SHOOTS SELF
Re: The Prowler’s Paulson Gives Pause:

Paulson is a lousy choice. He has nothing in common with conservatives. Wait until he wants to sign on to the Kyoto treaty!
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

What is wrong with George Bush (“Paulson Gives Pause”)? This is the first I have heard about Henry Paulson’s political connections and inclinations. That the media are treating him like a stealth candidate should tell us something alarming. Paulson wants to raise taxes and is a known supporter of the Democratic Party. But George Bush nominated him to be Treasury Secretary. Sounds to me like Harriet Miers redux, save that the Conservative base has been kept more effectively in the dark.

Anyone remember that George Bush began his first term with the unfortunate Paul O’Neill? That is what happens when you appoint someone who doesn’t agree with your policies. Or remember the egregious Norm Mineta? That is what you get when you appoint a Democrat.

Sure, I can hear the RINO cheerleading section telling us what a great job George III has done with his appointment of Roberts and Alito, but that was done under duress by his base, and done grudgingly. Nor has George III demonstrated any ability to learn from his blunders. He keeps making the same kind of clueless appointments over and over. Now, with Norm Mineta’s retirement in the news to remind him, and to free him of one of his worst appointment mistakes, he does it yet again. The clueless cowboy seems hell-bent inflicting another unnecessary wound on his own administration, but this one will be in the all-important financial-economic sector.
George Mellinger
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I find it extremely interesting that President Bush and his team of advisors and head hunters surveyed the entire landscape and could find not one worthy soul of conservative/Republican bent to appoint as Secretary of the Treasury. I would like to think that they don’t care because they see the job as such an inconsequential one. However, I see the track record of candidates nominated by this administration and I truly wonder. I believe that we can chalk up Mr. Paulson to the same political tone deafness that gave us Harriet Miers, and Norman Mineta, and George Tenet, and others. The list of job candidates put forward from the ranks of non-GOP/conservative supporters, when added to the list of Clinton administration holdovers is strange indeed. I could speculate on why this is, but I will be charitable instead.
Ken Shreve

SNIFFING POLICY FUMES
Re: Eric Peters’s Flex Fuel Fuzzy Math:

“Flex Fuel Fuzzy Math” by Eric Peters points up the irrationality of the enviro movement. Everything its intellectual gurus say and do, no matter how idealistic, questionable or false, is intended to cajole us or scare us away from the efficient fuels that power the modern world. The fiction of “climate change” (currently known by its summertime moniker of “global warming”) is intended to throw us off our game, to substitute desire for demand.

In the 1970s I lived and worked in rural Vermont with a group of serious engineers who were refining a new generation of wind-electric technology. We had not one but two windmills in our yard. We had solar collectors and all the rest. At the wide-eyed age of 26, I decided that it all was a myth. I moved to New York City.

After more than 70 years in existence, wind generators, developed for remote Midwestern farms in the 1930s, still are highly inefficient. On the other hand, nuclear power is proven, while the world is discovering more and more petroleum every year in every region save one — the United States — where the most powerful lobby in history has been most successful in obstruction.

We need to squarely face economic choice. Should we invest in windmills and ethanol, which will provide much smaller and more expensive quantities of energy output for every dollar of input? Or should we invest in nuclear power and oil shale, which produce the opposite?

We can’t do both. Thankfully the free market will lead us to the best result for the most people.
Steve Nikitas
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The main problem I see in ethanol is my V8 does not run very good on 10 percent ethanol.

I was reading the article with interest until I got to this part: “According to a New York Times piece by Thomas Friedman, the E85/CAFE loophole ‘increased U.S. oil consumption by 80,000 barrels per day in 2005 alone.'”

I have a hard time believing ANYTHING printed in the NY Times. Couldn’t you find any other source for this?
Elaine Kyle

Your writer Mr. Peters only lightly touched on the subject of ethanol production. This production, in addition to costing the taxpayer billions of dollars in direct subsidies, is an eminently energy-negative process. It uses diesel-powered tilling machines, petroleum-based fertilizers, again diesel-powered planting and harvesting machines, and diesel-powered trucks to transport corn to processing plants; these plants use coal/gas/oil-fired electric power to heat and process the corn into ethanol; then diesel-powered trucks transport that ethanol to mixing plants, etc. The energy balance of this cycle is negative, meaning that ethanol production results in more imported oil than it replaces.
Marc Jeric
Ph.D., Engineering (UCLA ’68)

I sure wish someone would calculate and publish the amount of fossil fuel it takes to produce 1 gallon of government-subsidized ethanol.

As for fossil fuel itself, it’s hard to get worked up about its consumption when one considers P.J. O’Rourke’s astute observation: it’s not doing any good sitting in the ground.
R. Trotter

HARASS, BUT DON’T THREATEN
Re: David Holman’s The Huffington Post’s Swift Antics:

Excluding threatening calls, Swift Boaters deserve every disparaging phone call they get.
Douglas Terrance

What the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should do when they get harassed is just repost all the info about John Kerry. Just maybe the HuffPost would get the message, you bother us we will just repost the truth. Knowing the lack of intelligent thought on the left that is a slight “maybe.”
Elaine Kyle

CRIMINALLY APATHETIC
Re: David Hogberg’s Can Social Security Be Saved?:

When the Social Security coffers are so bloated that excess largesse can be given away to criminals in this country illegally, there is no need for reform.
Lamar Johnson
Beaverton, Oregon

UNITED WITH PENS
Re: Reader Mail’s Rudy Awakenings:

What a crop of worthy letters in TAS Wednesday. Great viewpoints in response to your thought-provoking articles. I see a diversity of opinion about Giuliani’s presidential bid. I, for one, would never vote for him mainly because with his social outlook, he is a threat to Constitutional intent, even if he led NYC well. Let’s face it. If you’re immoral and against gun ownership, then it doesn’t matter how good a leader you may be in some areas, you fail where it counts.

Free speech? My state of Vermont just had their head handed to them by the SCOTUS for restricting free speech in a campaign reform law while our two “Senators” voted for burning the flag in the interest of such.

Now the 9/11 widows. Who likes to attack widows of any stripe? No one unless those widows are greedy, whiny, people who blame us for their husbands deaths instead of the perpetrators of the act and like the writer pointed out, made out far better financially than if their husbands had lived. Yes, TAS has its articles but it’s the letter section which provides the debate on those articles and a chance for some of us peons to express our opinions uncensored. The left-wing media cannot survive against that type of onslaught.
Pete Chagnon

THE RUDY BAIT-AND-SWITCH
Re: “Surviving the Social Cons” letters in Reader Mail’s Rudy Awakenings and Philip Klein’s Giuliani and History:

Mr. Klein list the following as reasons as to why Rudy is our best hope vs. terrorism:

* Investigated the 1985 murder of Leon Klinghoffer.

* Fought to transform New York City.

* As a mob prosecutor, a crime fighting mayor or an entrepreneur, shown an ability to think creatively about solving problems.

Only thing missing is where the entrepreneur/erstwhile mayor actually foiled any terrorist plots, infiltrated any terrorist organizations, captured a terrorist, or killed a terrorist.

Note that the pattern is exactly the same among the Rudyophiles: exalt their guy to crusader-like status (sans bona fides) in order to appeal to our fears while they disregard our morals.

I don’t think the next GOP primaries will be exciting times for Mr. Klein. And here, where “Jefferson, Reagan, and morality” are not anomalies, we are indeed thankful for that!
Jeff Anderson
Richmond, Virginia

Abortion is not a periphery issue compared to crime and welfare, as Philip Klein’s article and Steven M. Warshawsky’s letter in support of it suggest. If a candidate is wrong when it comes to the right to life, he has no foundation on which to stand when it comes to these other issues. Peace and justice begin in the womb.

The only time it is morally acceptable to vote for a pro¬-abortion candidate is when the other candidate is more pro-abortion.
Richard D. Hunter

I agree with Phillip Klein about Rudy for president. I wouldn’t worry about his liberal views on social issues because I am sure with his record on crime he would appoint conservative judges.
Ardean Fishman

I read with interest the Klein article pimping Giuliani for president, as well as the subsequent comments. Having seen firsthand, and sadly, participated in, the insidious demise of American culture since the ’60s, I have reached a somewhat different conclusion than most. Inspired by Algore’s famous “tipping point,” I finally realized that we have been going downhill for so long that only an earthquake will change the landscape, and allow us the slow climb up from the “godless” oblivion which has consumed our nation.

I dream of a devastating Democratic victory in the mid-term elections. In 2008 I want HRC as commander in chief. I want the liberal buffoons who will be in charge of both houses and all the committees to show everyone their true intentions and abilities. I want the Democrats to work their magic on the economy, on foreign relations, and on defense.

Then, if we survive as a nation, maybe some really good candidates will feel the need to step up. Men and women that believe in God-given morality, that believe in the original ideas of our republic, that tell the truth, that can’t spell nuance, and don’t confuse legislation with their retirement plan. I have a dream, and Rudy isn’t in it.
M. Riordon Glasgow
Wichita, Kansas

I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Klein on his view that Rudy Giuliani is the right man for the times. Winston Churchill did not prance with the homosexuals down Main Street and advocate the willful murder of 1.3 million innocent lives while fighting a war for the survival of his nation. Something about those positions doesn’t align with a principled view of life.

While I have no personal dislike for Rudy at all, he is first and foremost a New York Liberal and like all Northeast Liberals, be they Democrat or Republican flavor, they will in fact turn off the conservative voters in the South and they will stay home. Given a choice between Rudy or Hillary, New York wins, everyone else loses that cares for the traditions of this nation. New York is not the center of the Universe contrary to the thinking of every elected official in New York State.

Rudy is a fine New Yorker but he is a New Yorker first and foremost. I think we’ve had enough New York politics and life styles interjected into national politics for several life times. Like the current Democrat governor of California is going to find out, you can not reform the economic health of a state or nation by ignoring the government-subsidized social decay underneath. The Northeast is shedding population and business; California is shedding population and business; I don’t want to have to move to Mexico to afford the social welfare state that is sinking both.

The same is true for that media darling from Arizona and that Conservative Governor from the land of Kennedy and Kerry. It is what you stand for or against that counts, not that you simply disagree.

The 2008 election is the Republicans’ for the losing. Given a choice between two liberals is no choice at all to conservatives. No offense, Mr. Klein, but Rudy was the right New York man for New York City on 9/11. His time has passed and simple name recognition in polls does not make a political platform and successful run for office. To borrow a popular phrase outside of New York State, “this dog doesn’t hunt” and neither does Rudy Giuliani. Contrary to your thinking, prancing with homosexuals, abortion on demand for the mere convenience of the mother and disarming the general population and trashing the Second Amendment isn’t “small potatoes” to those that live outside New York State. Howard Dean did real well raising money too before critical analysis of his positions brought him down. Money enables elections but votes still determine the outcome.
Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

COOL SELLS
Re: Eric Peters’s Why the New Camaro Will Fail:

With due respect, I think you will be proven wrong when the Camaro comes out. In this day and age of me too styling in sports cars and muscle cars, a look that stands out will sell well. You can sell a hot looking car to an old man but you can not sell an old looking design to young people. The Camaro will sell well. Ford took the safe route with the too much retro style Mustang. What’s next for the Mustang, a retro version of the Mustang II from ’74 to ’78? To set the record straight, I must inform you that I am an owner of a 1985 Trans Am and a 1993 Trans Am, so my opinion may be biased, but in the end a cool looking car will sell. The GTO was way too bland for the masses who do not know what they are looking at (to them it may be a Grand Am or a Grand Prix) and the old guard GTO enthusiasts stayed away from it and bashed it as well because it did not have any styling cues from their revered old GTOs.
Jim Prinzivalli

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