Thursday, May 31, 2012

Constitutional Imbecility

In today's New York Times ("all the fits are news to print"), mouthpiece of the Far Left Wing Extremists and Bible  to the anti-American Wing of the secular humanist movement (I have no beef with secular humanists - as long as they leave alone my "free exercise thereof"), Sanford Levinson, Professor of Law and Government and, no doubt Major Embarrassment to Real Texans everywhere has published an opinion piece entitled,"Our Imbecilic Constitution".  Ibecilic is correct, but only as regards Levinson.

I am not a government or legal scholar by any means, but I'm a reasonably smart guy who can "smell what you're steppin' in".  This is piled high and deep.

The author wishes us to ignore for the sake of arguement, the clauses that allowed slavery to exist until ended by the Civil War.  What he fails to understand is that the Civil War was not fought over slavery.  Ending slavery was a convenient rallying cry and little more.  The Civil War was fought over the ability of states to choose their own economic path.  Once states began to secede, it was "War".  To maintain the Union, it was necessary to fight.

But those clauses were part of a Great Compromise.  In historical context, to proclaim slaves as 3/5 of a citizen was a gigantic win for the founders.  They has been precisely zero before that.  This was a watershed.

Our professor also wants to remind us that the Electoral College hasn't been very popular for quite some time.  That is only because people do not understand that the federal government was "constituted" from the individual states.  The Electoral College ensures the sovereign states each have equal say in the selection of the President. But the esteemed lecturer wants to ignore that little tidbit.  Eliminating the Electoral College ensures all US politics is dominated by California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

He claims the "separation of powers" is nearly meaningless, disregarding that these checks and balances have worked for nearly 250 years.  He goes back to the 1912 Presidential campaign and debate about the Constitution between two Progressives (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), both claiming the Constitution is outdated.  he further takes a shot at Mitt Romney regarding Mormon Theology and the Constitution.  But had Levinson actually understood the founders intent, he would know that we are endowed by The Creator with certain unalienable rights.  The Bill of Rights protects those with which we are endowed.

Levinson believes that enhanced Presidential power or an ability to prevent gridlock are good "radical reforms" to the Constitution.  I cannot disagree more.  Gridlock is not a bug.  It's a feature.  The Founders knew from their own experience that government only mucks things up.  Bigger government, less Liberty, less innovation, less ability to control one's own outcome.  These are good things, not bad.

Levinson is a believer in Direct Democracy.  Direct Democracy is "mob rule".  It also does violence to the sovereignty of  the individual state.  Levinson is not just wrong here, he is dangerously wrong.  The Constitution of the United States has worked spectacularly for nearly 250 years.  Amend it, don't dump it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Polls Don't Make Sense

I've been digging into the presidential polls a little and I see some things that don't add up.

  • Starting at the top, RCP average has Obama leading Romney by 1.6% (45.4-43.8).  That is consistent with the Obama approval rating (essentially 48-48).  But when I start to look a the other numbers, it just doesn't add up.
  • Direction of the Country is not in the Democrat's favor.  33.8%-58.5% say the country is on the wrong track.  This is RCP average, but it is fairly consistent across all polls.
  • Congressional Job Approval is just 14.6% (RCP avg....FOX poll shows lowest at 12%).  One can argue that Republican recalcitrance (that is your 25-cent word of the day) is the cause.  But it's not reflected in the Generic Ballot Ballot.  Rasmussen and USA Today/Gallup show the GOP up big, file the Democrat-leaning pollsters Democracy Corps and Quinnipiac show Democrats up slightly.  RCP average again showing GOP candidates up 1.6%.
  • While economic confidence is up, it is still a dismal view.  And the number appears to have plateaued.

Nearly everything points to a huge defeat for Democrats and RINOs, but the Presidential polling doesn't show it.  All I can come up with here is that the voters confuse personal likability with "Job Approval".  Or the voters have lost their minds. 

What say you?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another Reason Wind and Solar are Bad Ideas

Warning:  Energy geek-speak ahead.

To maximize the Power (P) from an electric generation plant, Voltage (E) and Current (I) must be "in phase".  That is, the sinusoidal peaks and valleys must line up.  They do by design (within certain limitations to account for reactive load [VARS]).  But when operating more than one generating unit on the same grid, the units must both be "in phase" with each other.  That is a slightly trickier proposition, but not difficult.  With one unit already locked on the grid, the oncoming unit's speed is varied so it is slightly "faster" than the grid.  The grid normally runs at 60 hertz, so the incoming might be running at 60.02 hertz.  When the phases line up, the unit is locked into the grid.  By locking it in slightly faster, it picks up some of  the electrical load and maintains stability of the grid (in very simple terms).

Wind power has no such ability.  The wind is the wind, and although there is some ability to vary windmill speed within a local group, but varying windmill speed to parallel units between an area with a 20 mph wind speed and a 10 mph wind speed can't be easy.  An the variation in wind speeds makes it that much more difficult.  Easier to dump the energy from the windmill to a battery and parallel a motor/generator to the grid.  Maybe it's done that way, I honestly don't know.  But it is inefficient and brings a higher capital cost per installed MW.

PV Solar MUST be done using some sort of storage device and a DC/AC conversion arrangement.  PV will only output DC.

Again there is a problem with wind not blowing and sun not shining (or shining at a very reduced rate).  Spinning reserve must be maintained in order to pick up when either of the "green" sources falter.  Having run a plant providing that spinning reserve, I assure you it can get exciting in a hurry.  As an example, a large 1000MW nuclear unit tripped off-line and took another 1000 MW unit with it.  My available 150 MW units along with several others on the grid attempted to pick up that load.  It was a**holes and elbows in the control room as grid frequency swung wildly, nearly hitting the point of cascading failures all the way down the grid.  At the same time, we started to fire up one "hot standby" unit and two "cold-iron" units.  It seemed like an eternity before the grid stabilized.  This is going to be standard operating procedure when wind and PV solar become the 20% the administration wants.  It will be in.....sane.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenge Them

So, I was reading Dad 29 the other day regarding (alleged) Global (we can believe in?).  You can read the whole thing here.  I challenged two commenters with whom I have dealt before.  I did not receive a response from either this guy or the guy who chose to be anonymous.

And this is the point.  We have the facts.  We need to continually challenge them on facts.  When they ask us to "read outside our comforts zone", challenge them to do the same.  Give them the links.  They won't go there because they are the ones uncomfortable with different views.  When they claim someone needs special rights,  do not just tell them to prove it, be specific and ask them what Rights do they not have that are enshrined in the Constitution.  Ask how they are oppressed using the backdrop of the laws of the land.  If they respond, provide them with facts.  No, they won't listen, but do it anyway.   Their arguments are emotional and not fact based.  They are easy to refute.  Turning the conversation back at them will keep them off balance and unable to continue to attack.

Try it.  It's fun.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Great Cultural War

I posted this to Kim at her Facebook page (slightly edited):

Yes, we would be fools, but the blind hatred from the Left is something I haven't seen before. Even against Bush. When Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, the Lefties in the City of Milwaukee hated him, but not like this. We know that this is about raw power and the public sector unions have convinced their rank-and-file that Walker intends to do them financial harm. I have a man who was my very first friend as a child who is a county employee. I found this out when we reconnected on Facebook. Last I had seen him, he was an engineer at a private firm. It is all I can do to make civil arguments. They will not listen to logic or facts. They truly believe that we who campaign for Walker are being paid by the Koch Brothers....literally. They believe that "corporate money" from out of state is evil, but union money from out of state is good. I will add this last thing. If we win, it is just the beginning of the end of the Great Cultural War. There will still be many battles to fight. But if we lose, it is the end. No politician in a lifetime will again challenge union power.

It is true.

"Fairness Matters"

All the talk today is about the economy and I will suffice to say "it sucks" and will say no more about how lousy the economy is because it does no good to say Obama's economy is awful, so I'll stop talking about the economy and the dismal jobs report.  I do so only because it would be redundant with those who have already spoken about how crappy the jobs report is and how the labor participation rate is lower than any time in the last 30 years.

So, I'll talk about "Fairness".

On the way to work yesterday, I followed a small SUV through a construction zone.  On the back was a round sticker saying, "Fairness Matters".  As I considered the implication, I thought, "what constitutes 'fair'"?  The Left will tell you it is not "fair" that one has more than another.  That is a child's definition of "fair".  This is what the Left brings us; the child.  The child that must be cared for by those who are smarter, better, more caring, more loving and nurturing.  That child is you.  You are not smart enough to take care of yourself and the rest of the Big, Bad World is  not as good or caring or loving or nurturing as the Leftists.  They just want what is best for you.  Really.  Never mind that this concept has never worked ....ever .....anywhere ...the

The adult definition of "fair" is that everyone gets a shot at the brass ring.  Everyone is born with an opportunity if they choose to take it.  Whether you are born in a compound on Cape Cod or at 20th and Center in Milwaukee, you still get a shot.  Self-Determination.  It doesn't always work out, but you had a shot.  But government policies have changed everything.  You had a shot at education in the public schools.  The same public schools run by a government that abandons the most vulnerable while claiming to care about them.  You had a shot at furthering your education beyond the public schools, but government subsidies and policies have made it too expensive to go without sacrificing your economic future.  You had a shot at a job to earn a living and become economically mobile, whether it was a good paying factory job or one as an engineer, technician, teacher, plumber or small business.  But government policies have all but destroyed that opportunity.

Do you really expect "fairness" out of government?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

So Now It's About Jobs?

The Beer:  Ready for the party.

The Bicycle:  Looks like my shoulder is not permanently damaged and I could be on the road in another week or so (it will cut into my golf game, but I'll live).

The VRWC:  The Recall.  It was about Act 10, right?  Solidarity, workers "rights".  Voldemort Walker and all that.  No?  It's about jobs?  OK.  Let's talk about jobs.

  • Milwaukee is hemmoraging jobs.  Unemployment is up from 7.5% to 10.5% over the last 6 years.  The effects are most pronounced in the inner city.  Even far-lefty Eugene Kane recognizes it.
  • Milwaukee taxes continue to increase under Barrett.
  • Democrats in the State Legislature killed a mining bill that would have brought thousands of good paying UNION jobs to northern Wisconsin and, just as importantly, to employers based in Milwaukee like P&H and CAT.  Barrett was silent as his party stopped that bill to poke a finger in Walker's eye.
Vote for Walker in the recall.  It is in your own interest to do so.  We've been "Wisconsin Fisted" for too long. The collusion between local governments and public employee unions and between school boards and the WEAC has gone on years and years and years.  The days of underpaid and overworked public employees and teachers is long past.  It is now the opposite.  Proof?  Have you been to the DMV?  Have you attended a school board meeting?  The prosecution rests.

Private-sector union readers, I have no quarrel with you.  I am providing you with a service you will not get from your leadership.  A return to Democrats  The continue to burden your employer with taxes and regulation, leaving them with no choice but to move or lay you off.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On The Cusp

On this day, May 2, 2012, the last best hope for mankind, the great experiment in self-determination, in Liberty is on the cusp of disappearing in all but name.  That which we hold dear has been under attack for 50 years and until a few years ago, most of us never knew it.  That which you have earned, that for which you traded the sweat of your brow, the calluses on your hands and the knowledge of your mind is nearly gone.  At RCP, polls show more approve of Obama's job performance than do not and very few approve of Congress.  Polls show Obama ahead of Romney, some by as much as 7 points.  Admittedly, it is early.

Here in Wisconsin, the recall is a statistical dead heat.  Scott Walker, the adult in the room, is head to head with the "Wisconsin Fisters".  I do not expect that poll to change at all.  It will be all about turn-out.

The Left is going after the brass ring.  They believe they have the ability to extinguish Capitalism from the globe (which they have nearly done, anyway) and make the world more "fair".  And when they say "fair", they mean less for you and more for them.

"Lazy?  Here's a handout...go #Occupy"
"Successful?  Shut your taxes"
"Yell loudly and disrupt, we'll pay you off"
"Give money to my campaign and there are special favors for your business, whether Wall Street Banks or 'Green Energy'"

The orchestration of this mass chaos comes directly from the #Occupier in Chief.  I do not believe we will be saved by the vote.  I know we will not be saved by a military coup.  I do not believe Congress has the intestinal fortitude to impeach a President who continues to ignore court orders, who defies Congress and the Constitution at every turn and promotes the violence in the streets we have seen from the #Occupy movement.

The regulatory rulers are systematically destroying business and industry, depriving us of the cheap, abundant energy that is the legacy of our fathers.  They deprive us of the once burgeoning manufacturing jobs that filled this great nation.  They take away the God-given Right to be secure in our property.

I suppose this is a call to arms, of sorts.  If we win, we are only beginning; the Left is relentless.  If we lose, we are undone and defeated.  We will not rise from these ashes in my lifetime.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salon Celebrates Anarchy,Communism and Violence

In Salon, The Rise of Generation Occupy claims:

Around the world, young people—students, workers, and the unemployed—are bringing their grievances to the public square. Protests have spread throughout the world, from Tunis to Cairo, Tel Aviv to Santiago de Chile, and Wall Street to Oakland, California. The specific grievances differ across the countries, yet the animating demands are the same: democracy and economic justice.

I don't claim to know what is going on in Tunis or Cairo or Tel Aviv or Santiago De Chile, but I do know what is going on in the streets of the United States of America.  What we have here is an economy weighed down by a massive government bureaucracy, eating massive taxes.  According to the Journal of Libertarian Studies, June 2007, 2/3 to 3/4 of redistributed tax dollars are lost in bureaucratic overhead.  with every new administration and every new Congress, the beast grows ever larger and more insatiable.  In my lifetime, from the Great Society programs and the War on Poverty to Medicare Part D and Obamacare, politicians have used this tax money to buy votes.  "Vote for me and I'll set you free!"

As we continue to be weighed down by ever more tax and a greater regulatory burden, business is loathe to hire.  Deekawife 3.0 sees this daily in her line of work.  I know this from direct experience.

The problem of youth unemployment reflects much larger and deeper problems of inequality of income, education, and power, problems that are common throughout the world. The young people occupying Wall Street and protesting in hundreds of American cities are channeling sentiments felt very widely throughout American society. Their defining message, “We are the 99 percent,” draws attention to the way that the rich at the very top have run away with the prize in recent years, gaining great wealth and great political sway while leaving the rest of society to wallow in wage cuts, unemployment, foreclosures, unaffordable tuition and health bills, and for the unluckiest, outright poverty.

Sachs is just plain wrong here.  The rich become rich because nearly all abandoned the "safe" option of going to school and taking a "safe" job with a "safe" employer.  They took a risk, they took advantage, they became successful.  The wage cuts and unemployment are a function of the government's failure to force free trade and end the flow of cheap illegal labor into the country.  Wage cuts are forced on business so they can "compete" globally in a world where most other governments subsidize or outright own industry.  Where they flood the US with cheap goods that we buy.  Our own government can end this one tomorrow.  Get out of the way of business and industry, allow the reasonably unfettered manufacture of goods here using cheap energy readily available in the form of coal and natural gas.  Drill Baby Drill.  And let's not forget "crony capitalism" brought to you by GM, GE, Wall Street and Solyndra.
The root cause of the foreclosure issue goes directly to a government that demanded everyone should have a "right" to home ownership.  The federal government removes any risk from mortgage lenders via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Mortgage lenders, in turn give mortgages to anyone and everyone.  And people who no longer get any kind of economic reality in the public (government-funded and run) schools (propaganda centers) add a $30,000 boat and $50,000 SUV to the bill.  No wonder they don't have any furniture in their house.  And these are generally the parents of #Occupiers.  It's no wonder #Occupiers can't figure this out.

Unaffordable tuition and healthcare, again comes from government intervention and subsidy.  Government subsidizes tuition by (again) guaranteeing loans.  Free money for colleges and universities.  Does anyone see a pattern here?

The only country in the world where youth protests are not against an oppressive government is here in the US.  the protests are anti-capitalist and anarchist.  Socialism has never worked.  Anywhere...ever.  I challenge anyone to show me where a "worker's paradise" has remained a "worker's paradise".   The #Occupiers are ignorant of this fact and are driven by greed and envy.  They have been propagandized by the government since day one.  Their parents are ignorant as well.  

Our capitalistic, democratic representative republic worked exceptionally well for 200 years.  As the federal government has become larger and more intrusive, the country has become less prosperous.  It is as plain as the nose on anyone's face, if  they choose to see.