Wotka World Wide

Thursday, December 31, 2009

TSA subpoenas bloggers, demands names of sources. So I guess they are more concerned about this than some guy trying to blow up a jet. Especially since the "system worked", according to Janet Napolitano. Well, that is reassuring!

And Napolitano apparently considers it a priority to unionize TSA employees so that they have collective bargaining rights. This is what she spends her time working on, not striving to make air travel safe for all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sen. Dianne Feinstein blocks solar power plant construction in Mojave Desert. This is one of those moves that makes people wonder if the whole climate change crisis isn't really that serious, if we can't even build alternative energy plants in California in a desert! Especially ones that were ready to begin, but have now been scuttled thanks to Dianne. This reminds me of the Kennedy family blocking the wind farm construction on Cape Cod, and ironically, Patrick Kennedy offers his opposition to Sen Feinstein's actions in the linked article. This is all very entertaining to me...
Senate Democrats getting scared about cap and trade? Maybe they are smarter than some give them credit for. Or perhaps they realize they have already used up their political capital for 2010 on health care. Now if the Republicans can only remain united in opposition, which is also a questionable proposition.
Jonah Goldberg makes the observation that wealthy countries tend to have the cleanest environments:
The historical record is clear: Democratic free-market nations are better at protecting their environments than statist regimes for the simple reason that they can afford to. West Germany’s environment was far cleaner than East Germany’s. I’d much sooner drink the tap water in South Korea than North Korea.

Mugabe rails against capitalism as if he has a better idea of how to run things. That’s almost funny given that Mugabe has destroyed what was once a great cause for hope in Africa, in large part by abandoning capitalism and democracy. Zimbabwe now has the highest inflation rate in the world and one of the lowest life expectancies. Let’s hope nobody was taking notes when he was giving out advice.

Moreover, capitalism, and the wealth it creates, is the best means of bending down the population curve. Don’t take my word for it. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges that “affluence is correlated with long life and small families” and that growing prosperity will cause world population to decline even further.

Want to know the best way to heal the planet? Create more rich countries. Want to know the best way to hurt the planet? Throw a wet blanket on economic growth.
Interesting connection, think anyone on the left will notice this? Nah...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here is a good round-up of concessions that lawmakers and interest groups won in the latest versions of the health care reform bill. Sure takes a lot of $$$ to get anything done these days in Washington...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rep. Parker Griffith, a Democrat from Alabama, has just announced that he is switching his party affiliation to Republican. He is also a radiation oncologist, and cites his opposition to the health care reform bill as a major reason for the switch. Kinda makes you wonder when a doctor is moved to switch parties over a health bill...

Monday, December 21, 2009

More proof that Nicholas Kristof is a hack. In case you didn't already know...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Polls are showing that both Obama and Biden's old Senate seats may fall to Republicans in 2010. In Illinois, Rep. Mark Kirk, a centrist Republican, is leading his Democratic adversary pretty handily already, while Rep. Mike Castle, long Delaware's lone House member, is polling well ahead of Joe Biden's son Beau, his potential Democratic opponent. Combine those with potential losses for Chris Dodd and Harry Reid, and the Senate could have a vastly different flavor this time next year.
There is a pretty long history of Democratic attempts to pass universal government run health care. They can never seem to get all the votes though... Daniel Henninger takes a walk down memory lane for you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Al Gore caught in another lie, this time at the Copenhagen summit:

Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

“It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

Keep it up, Al.

The folks in Copenhagen give us yet more reasons to disregard their ridiculous conference, roundly applauding Hugo Chavez's every utterance. Disgusting. They even gave the monster Robert Mugabe a platform for denouncing the supposed crimes of everyone else in the developed world. Right.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

There have been more revelations regarding Sen. Max Baucus and his girlfriend. She received a $15k raise shortly after their relationship began. Hmmm. Still waiting for the outrage from those who harped about Paul Wolfowitz...
France is planning to sell an advanced assault warship to Russia. This apparently isn't sitting to well with Russia's neighbors, who see it as a direct threat. I would too if I were them. Look to see how this plays out...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ukraine reaches $2.5 billion arms deal with Iraq. I wonder whose money they are spending? And if this was really a war of American domination, don't you think we would have made them buy the arms from American companies? At least it wasn't from Russia...
Thought this was interesting: Historian finds Red Baron's death certificate.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Michael Barone and Glenn Reynolds offer their takes on the Climategate scandal. Both are worth your time.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thoughts on ignoring the science on climate change, at the UN and the EPA, including specific directives to ignore the fact that global temperatures are on an eight year downtrend, directly contradicting all the doom and gloom forecasts.

Then you have the UN IPCC chairman's thoughts:

Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world’s leading climate scientist has told the Observer.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of “sustainable consumption” was now urgently required, he said.

Lots of sacrifice, etc., until you find that he has flown over 440,000 miles in the last year and a half, with a significant portion for pleasure trips, including one weekend jaunt from New York to India to catch a practice cricket match. Do what I say, not what I do. Blech. More here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I sure hope they actually build this!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Jamaica vs. Singapore. A look at the two countries over forty years, comparing the effects of government growth versus growth driven by the private sector:
[C]ontrast Jamaica and Singapore. Both are relatively tiny states, with under 5 million residents apiece. Upon Singapore’s independence in 1965—three years after Jamaica’s own establishment as a nation—the two nations were about equal in wealth: the gross domestic product (in 2006 U.S. dollars) was $2,850 per person in Jamaica, slightly higher than Singapore’s $2,650. Both nations had a centrally located port, a tradition of British colonial rule, and governments with a strong capitalist orientation. (Jamaica, in addition, had plentiful natural resources and a robust tourist industry.) But four decades later, their standing was dramatically different: Singapore had climbed to a per capita GDP of $31,400 (2006 data, in current dollars), while Jamaica’s figure was only $4,800.

What accounts for the amazing difference in growth rates? There are many explanations: soon after independence, Singapore aggressively invested in infrastructure such as its port, subsidized its system of education, maintained an open and corruption-free economy, and established sovereign wealth funds that made a wide variety of investments. It has also benefited from a strategic position on the key sea lanes heading to and from East Asia. Jamaica, meanwhile, spent many years mired in political instability, particularly the disastrous administration of Michael Manley during the 1970s. Dramatic shifts from a market economy to a socialist orientation and back again, with the attendant inflation, economic instability, crippling public debt, and violence, made the development and implementation of a consistent long-run economic policy difficult.

But in explaining Singapore's economic growth, it is hard not to give considerable credit to its policies toward entrepreneurship.

Read the whole thing.