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Friday, April 14, 2006

Profit-seeking Angels

While those who rely on government response to calamity are doomed to repeat the Katrina fiasco, regardless of which party is in charge, a better option is to have private business provide resources needed by those in the eye of catastrophes (I was going to use the word "victims" but realize that is a status of choice).

In an AP story entitled Private Industry Responding to Hurricanes we learn how "the management chief for a Mississippi county hit hard by Katrina plans on hiring private companies to be ready with food, water, gas and sanitary sewer supplies".

All over the Katrina ravaged South, Walmart and other private businesses were at the ready with necessities while local, state and federal bureaucrats followed their protocol to the detriment of the people.

AP reports:

The business opportunity is especially clear from the numbers at the annual National Hurricane Conference in Orlando this past week:

About 15 years ago, there were 30 exhibitors, according to coordinator Teri Besse. This year 170 companies and groups ponied up $1,500 for 10-foot booths for 2 1/2 days.

Sixteen companies have larger equipment towers, RVs and portable bathrooms sprawling across half the hotel parking lot. Forty more are on an exhibit wait list for lack of space.

Yes, that is opportunism at work. If you recall the pictures of the people forced to live in the Superdome or otherwise rely on government services, you may conclude that results trump motives. Personal initiative will be better preparation that reliance upon ill-equipped civil servants.

MSM Inaccuracy on the War

Another area where the MSM is practicing distortion is in its reporting on the Iraq War. This comment from Captain Chuck Nash in a Frontpage Symposium captures the failure of the MSM. Nash spoke to a Navy Seal who just completed his 8th combat deployment. Nash states:

The Seal said that there was a universe of difference between what was really going on over there and what was being portrayed here in the media. He said as far as he was concerned "this wouldn't last another six months certainly not a year." His meaning was that things were about to break out into stability after this period of walking to the brink. His faith in the future was rock solid.

The safety of wood-panelled Washington DC taverns provides the complete environment for our crack national news reporters.

Distortion Is Their Credo

Blogs are very different from newspaper articles. I see blogs as fitting somewhere between the reports and the editorials, though much closer to the editorial side. I try to add some independent research to explain, support or refute the MSM article(s) I may be analyzing. I open myself up to similar analysis.

Think Tanker Mike Taylor provides this commentary regarding the MSM misrepresentation of a charitable gift made by T. Boone Pickens, the famous oil investor. (BTW Pickens told the world that oil prices would continue beyong $60 per barrel 6 months ago on Kudlow and Company. So he gave us a fair chance at risk and reward.)

From Mike:

Seems that I'm always confessing something to members of this blog.

In the past, I have confessed to being a Hoosier, a Hoosier basketball fan, an atheist and that I voted for John Anderson instead of Ronaldus Magnus the first time around.

I am deeply ashamed of that last one.

My latest revelation is that I was once a Journalism major at university.

Yes, yes my friends, it's true!

Although I never pursued a career in the communicative arts, I do remember my training. Part of being a journalist is "digging" for the story. A good journalist does not write an article based on a cursory examination of the facts because the last thing a paper (or TV station) wants to do is admit that it "got the story wrong" when subsequent facts conflict with the original story.

You can see how credibility, reliability and perserverance are desirable traits. These virtues are the bedrock of a good journalist. A good journalist talks to everyone at the scene of the crime, interviews investigators, asks probing questions and above all... TRIES to understand what really happened so that an accurate representation can be conveyed to the public.

"Never underestimate the intelligence of your readers and never overestimate their information" was a credo I heard repeated over and over.

Apparently, this philosophy is no longer necessary in big-time journalism. If it sounds good, run it. If it sounds especially damaging to wealthy Republicans, run it into the ground.

If you read this Bozell piece, (Character assassination, media-style) you can see that IF ONLY someone at the NY Times did a little follow up, IF ONLY someone at CNN asked a few questions, IF ONLY the news presenters at ABC looked for more facts... the story would have come out that the mean, old, filthy stinking rich Republican Texas Oilman actually did something incredibly generous for students at Oklahoma State University.

Lack of follow-up and follow-through aside... what's really sickening is that these news outlets have become just plain sloppy in the way they're doing their job.

They should be deeply ashamed of that last one.

-- MTT

I too was a journalism major. I did some radio news work early in my life before law school. It was practiced no differently then than now. However, now it cannot smugly avoid remonstrance. Neal

Laptops For Children

Those involved in school administration are real fiscal conservatives closely guarding the taxpayers' wallets. They want to give every child a laptop. Joanne Jacobs comments:

Using computers to teach reading in the early grades had negative results.

Anything to keep from interacting with the children. My town will be initiating this one soon, I am sure. And the people cry and cry....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Math Test Politics Goes Awry

A math test question at a Seattle area community college asked:

"Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second." The question went on to ask when the watermelon will hit the ground, based on a formula provided.

Some students were offended by the obvious allusion and stereotype in the question and complained to the media. The school has not released the name of the teacher and states the teacher has apologized and requested cultural-sensitivity training.

Don't you all get it? Since Bush was elected, it has been open-season for liberals to drop any pretext at objectivity in their MSM reporting, their blogs and their government classrooms. We see teachers supposedly teaching geography, math or other non-Poly-Sci subjects, regularly bringing their political beliefs about the Iraq War and the Bush administration into their daily lectures. In addition, the horrible stereotyping of conservative blacks like Rice and Justice Thomas appears to be acceptable in liberal circles.

Just pointing this out causes liberals to cry "McCarthyism" even though faculties are overwhelmingly liberal and Democrat as they continue to hire and promote their co-ideologues. We do not want these teachers' personal beliefs to result in dismissal or other repression of thought. But they should attempt to educate their students first in the subject matters they have been hired to teach. And we would like them to be open to opposing viewpoints so students can weigh the arguments for themselves (without recrimination in grading).

And what kind of sensitivity training will that teacher receive? She may learn never to blurt out openly what she truly believes regarding Rice and black conservatives. More important, will she also receive the lesson that attempting to indoctrinate captive students to her political beliefs is wrong and not what her profession is supposed to be doing?

Doubt it.

And what about that question in the test about the neo-con money-lender? I know, it was a question about fractions.

Here's To All The Little Piggies Living Piggy Lives

Even if you are the biggest tax and spend, anti-war, we need to amp up hate crime laws, tyrranize all cigarette smokers, liberal on earth, you will agree with me that corporate welfare is a bane on our national budget, inflates consumer prices and deflects capital from production to fat cats who do not need the money.

Ed Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, notes how $60 billion of federal monies go to "gentleman farmers" and giant corporations. Join me in advising our Congress that we prefer American businesses to compete on their own and, if they are so lucky as to sell a commodity that we all choose to purchase, then they are entitled to as much profit as they can rake in. We just won't provide you tax dollars as seed money. Hell, we will invest in those businesses through our 401K plans so long as we are allowed to retain more of our earned income.

Feulner concludes with the following:

Remember: Every dollar wasted on corporate welfare is a dollar unavailable to protect our ports and secure our borders. It's bad enough to tolerate such subsidies in peacetime, but in a time of war it's positively immoral. Let's make sure our elected representatives know that as they decide which projects to pay for in the future.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tax Cut Magic- One Of Life's Mysteries

Jack Kemp explains how the Congressional Budget Office continually misunderestimates the impact of tax cuts or increases on growth and revenue. For the umpteenth time, cutting capital gains and dividend rates stops the wealthy from investing in tax shelters and rewards them for investing in revenue-enhancing stocks. Instead of the government losing $20 billion, the tax cut increased revenues by $87 million.

Just as people who understand dynamic scoring said it would. But, do not just believe Jack Kemp or me. Try reading JFK, Abe Lincoln and others who understand human nature.

Some of you may be willing to trade economic growth, a 4.7% unemployment rate and increased revenues for higher taxes upon the rich. That would sooth your emotions. However, writes Kemp:

And by the way, the capital gains tax is not a tax on the rich, who are already rich; the capital gains tax is a tax on the poor and the workers who want to get rich. You can't get rich on wages. The only way to create wealth is to work, save, invest and make a profit, then reinvest.

Call it voodoo or magic. But when it happens every time, maybe it is just one of those mysteries of life.

Cum 2 R Rally!!!!

Public school teacher of English-as-a-second-langauge in Houston was suspended for using school property to print out a flyer to drum up support for an immigration demonstration. Rudy Rios' flyer stated:

"We gots 2 stay together and protest against the new law that wants 2 be passed against all immigrants. We gots 2 show the U.S. that they aint (expletive) with out us (sic)."

Rios gots 2 learn it hisself.

Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for that not so unusual nugget.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Global Warming, No Cooling, No Wa...What Is The Temperature Now?

A British geologist researching global climate changes over centuries claims that the globe has not warmed at all over the past 8 years.

Now, correct as geologist Bob Carter may be, that is too short a period of time to conclude anything. Right? But the global warmers are basing their conclusions on a 28-year period running from 1970 to 1998---pretty short as well. Carter explains that there also was a warming period between 1918 to 1940. That is prior to our current period of global industrialization. Then temperatures held steady for 30 years.

The view on climate should focus on longer periods. Writes Carter:

Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming.

Didn't we get snow here in Jersey last week? Following Carter's rationale would sure kill a few hundred government scientist jobs. Once the climate starts to cool, watch the Greens start revving up those SUVs.

French Bravery

Another example of a Profile In Courage: Jacques Chiraq. He has succumbed to the public protest and scrapped the law that would have allowed employers to fire at will workers below 26 years of age in their first 2 years of employment.

That will make France competitive.

Update: Our friend Donald Luskin had this nugget:

French industrial production in Feb unexpectedly fell -0.9% following Jan's +0.3% rise, suggesting that the French manufacturing sector was weaker than expected going into the large student protests that occurred in March.

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