What ever happened to public education?

I completed my formal education in 1969 when I graduated from Southern Illinois University.  The institutions were geared towards education then instead of social engineering.  I actually had professors, the majority in fact, who were actually conservative!  It was also a time when the NEA was an educational association instead of a union.

What changed?  Chuck Asay provided the answer.

Phbbt!

I haven’t had time to research anything for today’s post.  I spent yesterday at the Docs getting a bunch of X-rays, a visit to the Vampire’s lab and then a short trip to get hooked into a monitoring harness.  
So far, everything is looking fine. I just haven’t been feeling all the great for the last month and more so the last ten days.  I finally decided it was better to get checked out and know than to continue and keep wondering.

The only thing found so far is that I’ve picked up a sinus infection.  That may be the cause of my headaches.  Also I definitely have arthritis in my right knee and the ache from that has been keeping me awake at night.

So y’all get a reprieve from my rants.  I have to return the monitor this afternoon. I don’t know if I’ll get anything ready for Friday.  You’ll just have to wait and see.

Gangster Government

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

 If you went to public school, you may not recognize the quote above.  It is the preamble to our Declaration of Independence. It continues with a list of grievances and aspirations of the American people against the government of King George III.  The basic issue was the treatment, the tactics used against the colonies and more specific, the cronyism of special groups usurping the God-given rights of the colonists.

Is there any difference between then and now?  We have a tyrannical government who ignores the will of the governed and a government who uses gangster tactics against those who contests the action of special interest groups—a union perhaps, or who successfully battle oppression by the government.

Case-in-point.  Boeing Aircraft needed to expand production of their newest aircraft.  Costs are expected to be high and those costs would have to be passed on to the buyers.  There are many competitors who have similar aircraft and Boeing must control costs to be competitive on the world market.  Boeing chose to build the aircraft in another state from their usual Seattle, WA plant to take advantage of lower labor cost.  That location was a “Right-to-Work” state, South Carolina.

The unions protested and went to the National Labor Relations Board.  In an unexpected move the NLRB told Boeing it could not build the aircraft in Right-to-Work South Carolina or it would jeopardize other contracts Boeing had with the US government.  That’s known as cronyism. Where the government hand, through a government agency, benefits a special group—the unions. The government used its heavy regulatory hand to threaten a private company.

Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post states the issue succinctly. 

The key question isn’t whether Boeing executives are trying to avoid strikes and maximize productivity and profits. Of course they are. The more compelling concern is whether unions should be allowed essentially to veto where a company locates and conducts business. — Chron: Viewpoints, Outlook, April 23rd, 2011.

By the way, that union was a big Obama and democrat contributor.

Second case-in-point. 

The Department of Health and Human Services this month notified Howard Solomon of Forest Laboratories Inc. that it intends to exclude him from doing business with the federal government. This, in turn, could prevent Forest from selling its drugs to Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. If the government implements its ban, Forest would have to dump Mr. Solomon, now 83 years old, in order to protect its corporate revenue. No drug company, large or small, can afford to lose out on sales to the federal government, a major customer.

The US Department of Health and Human Services is trying to force from office the CEO of a private company.

Why?

The campaign against drug-company CEOs is part of a larger Obama administration effort to pursue individual executives blamed for wrongdoing rather than simply punishing companies. The government has tried to prosecute Wall Street executives in connection with the 2008 financial crisis, but with limited success.Wall Street Journal Online, April 26, 2011                            

So the government couldn’t prove its case in court, so they’ll retaliate directly against Forest Labs CEO Howard Solomon. Not only is this unethical, but I believe it’s also illegal—something called “extortion.” If an individual tried something like this, he’d be doing time in prison.  When the FedGov does it, it’s business as usual.

All this brings us, once again, to the Declaration of Independence.  Perhaps we should read that document again.  The excesses of the Obama government and the dems in congress certainly provide enough incidents to bring the Declaration back to mind.     

CFL Bulbs—more than making your home a hazardous waste site

I posted previously about the farce known as green lightbulbs—those curly mercury filled CFL lightbulbs forced on us by the FedGov. The issue with that previous post was about making your home a hazardous waste site if you broke one of those curly things.

Now, more information is coming out, not from the US but from Europe where the same incandescent bulb ban is in effect.  It seems that researchers have found that the CFL bulbs emit a number of carcinogens.

By IBTimes Staff Reporter | April 21, 2011 3:19 AM EDT

Even as the European Union works to phase out traditional incandescent lights by the end of the year in an attempt to rein in carbon emission, a report from scientists working at Berlin’s Alab laboratory has refuelled apprehensions over the carcinogenic implications of energy saving devices, bulbs in particular.

The report indicates that energy saving compact fluorescent lamps released several cancer-causing chemicals such as phenol, naphthalene and styrene in a form of steam as they were switched on. Consequently, the researchers have advised against the use of these lamps in close proximity of the human head and body, for example as a night lamp for reading. (Emphasis mine: Crucis)

Andreas Kirchner, from the Federation of German Engineers, advocated against the use of the bulbs in unventilated areas or in the proximity of the head, citing the risks posed by a kind of electrical smog that develops around the lighted bulbs.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that fears have been expressed over the health hazards associated with the use of CFL; it has already been established that these green bulbs if broken release potentially harmful amounts of Mercury. Early in 2008 doctors from the British Association of Dermatologists had said that environmentally friendly bulbs could exacerbate existing skin conditions in many patients and even lead to skin cancer. A biologist from the Haifa University in Israel is also known to have warned about increased risks of breast cancer from exposure to energy efficient bulbs.

However, the most recent research from Germany needs to be backed up with more independent research before sounding a blanket warning against use of such lighting. Most of the released substances identified are anyway used in a wide variety of common uses and it would be important to establish the intensity or duration of exposure that could trigger carcinogenic reaction. Phenol, for example, when ingested in high concentrations could kill, but is used in small doses in a lot of every day chemicals, from mouth washes to strong disinfectants.

The German agency for environmental protection has already issued a warning against mass hysteria. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of the UK also maintains: “Energy efficient light bulbs are not a danger to the public. Like many household products, they must be disposed of sensibly and there are suitable facilities available for this purpose. Although they contain mercury, limited at 5mg per lamp, it cannot escape from a lamp that is intact. In any case, the very small amount contained in an energy efficient bulb is unlikely to cause harm even if the lamp should be broken.”

CFLs are a bad idea from the beginning. Their need was based on a lie and their desirability is maintained by lies.  The issue really isn’t whether CFL bulbs are better than the old incandescent bulbs—they’re not.  It’s about more FedGov control over our daily lives.

Shorties

There a new blog on my side bar by a friend of mine.  I invite you to drop in and give him a visit. 

 
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The Heritage Foundation had a piece a couple of days ago about the Department of Energy and how it’s been bloated.  The department was created back in the 1970s to expand our sources of energy, nuke and fossil.  Instead it’s been a ball ‘n chain around the legs of producers and those who would like to enter the field.  Since 2008, it’s turned all PC—hindering those it was suppose to aid and pushing “green” sources that frankly don’t work worth a hoot!

Disco, mood rings and bell-bottom pants are relics of the 1970s relegated to the dustbin of cultural history. But one product of the 70s is still going strong and growing at a rapid rate, despite America’s monstrous fiscal crisis. It’s the Department of Energy (DOE), and in the last 10 years it has seen its budget grow by over $11 billion — a staggering 76 percent. If Congress wants to cut government spending, the DOE would be a good place to start.

It would be better and save a lot of money to just disband the entire department and cut loose all those working there.  The department produces nothing and is just a worthless expense.  It’s time for it to go…and a bunch of other departments should go too.  
 
It’s bad enough when the FedGov has no positive results after all the money spent over the decades. No, it worse when the FedGov is actively hindering progress in just about every front.

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That’s it for today. Not feeling all that chipper. I’ve had a headache, off an on, for three weeks.  Throw in my overall pain from various places, lack of sleep, and it’s just wearing me down.

Back tomorrow.
                   

Cartoon of the Week: Michael Ramirez

Michael Ramirez is, in my opinion, the best political cartoonist for our times.  I believe he’ll be remembered long after his time as is Bill Mauldin.

Now for your viewing pleasure, The Founders.

Y’all have a Great Easter!

April’s Friday Follies

A local radio station, KCMO, interviewed Atlas Shrugged producer Harmon Kaslow this morning.  One interesting tidbit was that the movie opened in 300 screens across the country.  That number has now increased to 450 screens.
  
One area with the largest turnout is, surprisingly, in liberal Seattle, Washington. It appears that the folks there in the Northwest identify with the movie and see the FedGov’s lawsuits against Microsoft and Bill Gates with the trials of Hank Rearden against the crony capitalists in Atlas Shrugged.

Hmmm, strange that.

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According to Rueters, which is not a conservative organization, US oil production is down 13%—mostly due to the denials for drilling permits in the Gulf.  Obama’s drilling and oil production moratorium was overturned by the Federal Court.  However, the Obama administration has continued to drag its feet complying with the Court’s orders.

With the price of oil reaching $120/barrel, much of that price increase is due, not to Libyia and the strife in the Mideast but due to the weakness of the US dollar.

How the Value of the Dollar Affects the U.S. Economy:

When the dollar declines, it makes U.S. produced goods cheaper and more competitive when compared to foreign produced goods. This helps increase U.S. exports, boosting economic growth. However, it also leads to higher oil prices in the summer, since oil is priced in dollars. Whenever the dollar declines, oil producing countries raise the price of oil to maintain profit margins in their local currency.
 
For example, the dollar is worth 3.75 Saudi riyals. Let’s say a barrel of oil is worth $100, which makes it worth 375 Saudi riyals. If the dollar declines 20% against the euro, two things happen. First, the value of a barrel of oil has declined 20% to the Saudis. Second, the value of the riyal, which is fixed to the dollar, has also declined 20% against the euro. To purchase French pastries, the Saudis must now pay more than they did before the dollar declined. To avoid this, the Saudis raise the price of oil, which they do by threatening to limit supply.

The growing U.S. debt weighs in the back of the minds of foreign investors. That’s why they may continue to gradually move out of dollar-denominated investments – slowly, so they don’t diminish the value of their existing holdings. The best protection for an individual investor is a well-diversified portfolio that includes foreign mutual funds. (Article updated April 12, 2011)

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I’ve seen a sudden increase in blog hits the last two days.  Drudge linked a report about the Tea Party license plates proposed for AZ and MO.  However the article that was linked mentioned only AZ!  

I’ve had several posts on the Missouri plate and about my efforts lobbying (I never in my life thought I’d be a lobbyist!) my local state represent to get the bill passed. Now I’m seeing an increase of internet visitors viewing my blog searching for information on the Missouri bill and its progress.


Thank you, Drudge!