Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., April 17 & 18


We kick off this weekend's newsbites with a positive story out of Temple, Texas...

19 comments:

William R. Barker said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/15/AR2010041505964.html

In an era when students talk back to teachers, skip class and wear ever-more-risque clothing to school, one central Texas city has hit upon a deceptively simple solution: Bring back the paddle.

* YA JUST GOTTA LOVE TEXAS...!!!

Most school districts across the country banned paddling of students long ago. Texas sat that trend out. Nearly a quarter of the estimated 225,000 students who received corporal punishment nationwide in 2006, the latest figures available, were from the Lone Star State.

* HMM... I WONDER WHICH OTHER STATES STAND WITH TEXAS?

But even by Texas standards, Temple is unusual. The city, a compact railroad hub of 60,000 people, banned the practice and then revived it at the demand of parents who longed for the orderly schools of yesteryear. Since paddling was brought back to the city's 14 schools by a unanimous board vote in May, behavior at Temple's single high school has changed dramatically, [Temple School Board President Steve] Wright said, even though only one student in the school system has been paddled.

"The discipline problem is much better than it's been in years," Wright said, something he attributed to the new punishment and to other discipline programs schools are trying. Residents of the city's comfortable homes, most of which sport neighborly, worn chairs out front, praise the change.

Corporal punishment remains legal in 20 states, mostly in the South, but its use is diminishing. Ohio ended it last year, and a movement for a federal ban is afoot. A House subcommittee held a hearing on the practice Thursday, and its chairman, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), is gearing up for a push to end the practice once and for all. She plans to introduce legislation within weeks.

* AND SOME DOUBT THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE STRIVING TO DESTROY OUR CONSTITUTION... (*SIGH*)

* REGARDLESS OF WHERE ONE STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS, THIS IS NOT A FEDERAL MATTER AND CONGRESS HAS NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO MAKE IT ONE.

William R. Barker said...

Allow me to add - to clarify - my comment from the preceding post concerning Democrats and the Constitution.

It's not ONLY certain Democrats who don't give a crap what the Constitution allows and doesn't allow... (*SIGH*)... it's also many - perhaps even most - Republicans.

Folks... the Constitution is the ultimate "rule" of this "game" we call the Republic of the United States of America.

Every time a politician - of whatever political Party or ideological allegiance - acts in such a way as to damage the Constitution that politician aims a dagger at the heart of our Republic.

BILL

William R. Barker said...

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=530624

Starting in 1997, Fannie began offering a 97% loan-to-value mortgage - well above the standard 80% LTV.

* HMM... NOW WHO WAS PRESIDENT IN 1997... LET ME SEE... (*RUEFUL CHUCKLE)... BTW - YOU FOLKS REMEMBER WHO THE SECRETARY OF HUD WAS BACK THEN, RIGHT - ANDREW CUOMO.

In fact, HUD in 2000 required Fannie and Freddie to underwrite fully half of their mortgages for lower-income, higher-risk borrowers - a quota that remained in effect for the rest of the decade.

[B]y 2001, it was offering mortgages with no down payment at all, along with other deficiencies.

* AHH... OUR BOY BUSH! (SEE, FOLKS... THE FACTS ARE THE FACTS AND THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT.)

The Obama administration says it wants to "reform" Fannie and Freddie. But it won't propose legislation to revamp the mortgage companies until next year, if even then.

[Indeed,] in testimony last week, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan circled the wagons around the "affordable housing mandates" that pushed Fannie and Freddie into the risky subprime market. "As we work to reform our housing finance system, it is essential to keep in mind our broader housing policy goals," he said. "A reformed housing finance system should ensure broad access to mortgage credit for minorities."

Here we go again.

(*MIGRAINE HEADACHE*)

It's plain that Donovan, like other housing-rights activists, has not learned any lessons from the subprime scandal. He's also in denial about HUD's role in it, arguing that the affordable housing goals it foisted on Fannie and Freddie were not the cause of their collapse.

Rather, he claims, the mortgage giants underwrote risky subprime loans and securities simply to increase profits.

But officials with both firms swear their hands were forced by HUD. They testified they had to lower their underwriting standards and absorb substantial costs to meet HUD's political mandates.

* AND THE ABOVE QUOTED STATES FRO 1997... 2000... 2001... BEAR THIS OUT.

The promised reforms of these failed government-sponsored enterprises are a farce. Democrats are not going to relinquish control of Fannie and Freddie. They'll remain wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party.

The federal government — which shouldn't be involved in the mortgage business at all — now controls virtually 100% of the secondary mortgage market. This is outrageous considering the government caused the failure of Fannie and Freddie, not the market.

Dissolving Fannie and Freddie into smaller, private companies is the best way to protect taxpayers and homeowners from more harm. If only the folks who brought on their demise weren't in charge.

William R. Barker said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303491304575187870520285274.html

President Obama says his atomic diplomacy "will make America safer."

[Question: What impact will the new START treaty signed by President Obama] have on America's ability to develop and deploy the best missile defenses available[?]

Starting with the Reagan-era Strategic Defense Initiative, the Kremlin has sought to tie America's hands on missile defense. The Kremlin says that this is precisely what it has negotiated with START. The Administration says it didn't. They can't both be right.

* NOW THAT'S JOURNALISM! THAT'S REPORTING... EDITING... DOING ONE'S JOB! YOU REPORT WHAT EACH SIDE SAYS... THEN YOU FACT-CHECK.

Speaking on March 30, Ellen Tauscher, the State Department's chief treaty negotiator, said "there are no constraints to missile defense in the START treaty."

Let's go to the treaty text. The preamble notes "the interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms," thus linking existing weapons and America's missile defenses. Article V contains a binding clause that the U.S. or Russia "shall not convert and shall not use ICBM launchers and [submarine-launched ballistic missile] launchers for placement of missile defense interceptors therein."

Someone must have pointed out the sections above, because on April 14 before the House Armed Services Committee Ms. Tauscher modified her take. "The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs," she said. (Emphasis is ours.)

The distinction is more than academic. The Obama Administration may not currently plan to convert an ICBM silo into a missile defense site. But Mr. Obama won't be in office beyond 2017, and a future President might want to. START wouldn't allow it.

The Administration has cut spending for missile defenses, killing or moth-balling innovative programs to hit rockets in their early "boost" phase. In place of the Bush interceptors intended for Poland, Mr. Obama says the U.S. will deploy a ground-based Aegis Navy interceptor system in Europe by 2020. However, the Aegis system remains in development, and you can bet the Russians will raise objections eventually.

START's reductions in nuclear weapons are tolerable, but restraints on missile defenses are not. Before it ratifies the pact, the Senate needs to insist that President Obama personally clarify the limits implied by the treaty text, and in clearer terms than Ms. Tauscher's recent fudges. The Senate should also state clearly itself, in an addendum to the treaty if need be, that it is recognizing no limits on the ability of the U.S. to defend itself against missile attacks.

William R. Barker said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303348504575184120546772244.html

'I said all during the campaign last year that I was going to govern as if I was a one-termer," explains New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on a visit this week to the Journal's editorial board. "And everybody felt that it was just stuff you say during a campaign to sound good. I think after the first 12 weeks, given the stuff I've done, they figure: 'He's just crazy enough to do it.'"

Call it crazy, or just call it sensible: Mr. Christie is on a mission to make New Jersey competitive once again in the contest to attract people and capital.

After taking office in January, Mr. Christie declared an official state of emergency. This allowed him to freeze $2.2 billion in spending that had already been authorized. Now he needs a Democratic legislature to turn his freeze into an actual cut and to enact the deeper reductions contained in his 2011 budget.

It might well happen. Many Democrats recognize the state's deep-seated fiscal woes. Mr. Christie has already signed into law a bipartisan plan that begins to reform the state's generous benefit system for government workers. Facing unfunded liabilities of $90 billion in pension and medical plans, Mr. Christie worked with lawmakers to change retirement benefits for new workers and to require all new state employees to pay 1.5% of their medical insurance costs. Until now they were paying nothing.

* 1.5% IS A FRIGG'N JOKE. PUTTING ASIDE MY BELIEF THAT EMPLOYERS SHOULDN'T BE PAYING ANY PORTION OF THEIR EMPLOYEES (AND EMPLOYEE'S FAMILIES) MEDICAL INSURANCE COSTS AND ALSO PUTTING ASIDE THAT IF THEY DO THE BENEFIT COSTS SHOULD BE TREATED AS TAXABLE INCOME TO THE EMPLOYEE, AT THE VERY LEAST EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE PAYING 50% OF THE COSTS FOR THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE. (STILL... KUDOS TO CHRISTIE FOR AT LEAST MAKING THE FIRST POSITIVE MOVE.) (*NOD*)

He wants to go further. "We need to move forward to try to make some changes in the pension system for current employees," he says. "There's all kinds of problems in doing that, some legal. . . . You can't take away vested benefits, but the argument of whether increases going forward are actually vested or not is an interesting legal issue that we're going to attempt to challenge. . . ." He adds that the current retirement age for state employees, 62, "needs to be moved up further."

(*THUMBS UP*)

* BTW, WE NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THE WHOLE IDEA OF "PENSIONS" AS WELL. PAY PEOPLE WHAT YOU'RE "DONATING" TO THEIR PENSIONS AND LET THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES DECIDE HOW TO INVEST THEIR MONEY.

* ANYWAY, FOLKS, READ THE ARTICLE/INTERVIEW FOR YOURSELVES. IT'S VERY INTERESTING AND INDEED... UPLIFTING. (*NOD*)

William R. Barker said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041603993.html

Believing that a crisis is a useful thing to create, the Obama administration - which understands that, for liberalism, worse is better - has deliberately aggravated the fiscal shambles that the Great Recession accelerated.

* THAT'S GEORGE F. WILL TALKING... NOT GLEN BECK... NOT BILL BARKER. (THOUGH WILL SPEAKS FOR ME IN THIS REGARD AND WE KNOW THIS HAS LONG BEEN BECK'S LINE AS WELL.

[E]very day 10,000 more baby boomers are joining the ranks of recipients of Medicare and Social Security, two programs with unfunded liabilities of nearly $107 trillion. In the context of this concatenation of troubles, the administration's highest priority was to put an enormous new health-care entitlement on the welfare state's rickety scaffolding. Why? Because the liberals' lunge to maximize government's growth depends on quickly creating a crisis that can be called a threat to the entitlement menu and to the currency as a store of value. Then the public can be panicked into accepting the addition of a VAT to the existing menu of taxes.

When liberals advocate a value-added tax (VAT), conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it - after the 16th Amendment is repealed.

A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.

* "SUBJUGATING AMERICANS TO GOVERNMENT..." I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF. (*NOD*)

A VAT is collected on value added at stages during the process of production, but most of its burden is borne by consumers. They file no VAT returns, so its stealthiness delights the political class, which can increase it in small, barely noticed increments, with every percentage point yielding another $100 billion.

* AS TO OUR PRESENT SYSTEM...

Corporations do not pay taxes; they collect them, passing the burden to consumers as a cost of production. And corporate taxation is a feast of rent-seeking - a cornucopia of credits, exemptions and other subsidies conferred by the political class on favored, and grateful, corporations.

[As to the personal income tax,] because the income tax is not broadly based, it radiates moral hazard: Its incentives are for perverse behavior. The top 1% of earners provide 40% of that tax's receipts; the top 5% provide 61%; the bottom 50% provide 3%. So the tax makes a substantial majority complacent about government's growth. Increasingly, the income tax is codified envy. A VAT is the political class's recourse when the resources of the minority that is targeted by the envious are insufficient to finance ravenous government.

* ON THE OTHER HAND... RETURNING TO THE VAT...

Because a VAT potentially taxes everything, it would be riddled with exemptions. This is because it maximizes the political class's opportunities for showing favoritism, by, for example, exempting certain "green" goods. It also widens [the political] class's scope for the pleasure of being bossy.

* IN CONCLUSION...

Although some taxation is necessary, all taxation diminishes freedom. Adding a VAT without subtracting the income tax would constrict Americans' freedom much more than the health-care legislation does. Because the 16th Amendment will not be repealed, adoption of a VAT would proclaim the impossibility of serious spending reductions and hence would be the obituary for the Founders' vision of limited government.

William R. Barker said...

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=530619

Rather than protesting the greatest expansion of government in U.S. history, Tea Party attendees should be thanking Big Government for all it's done. At least, that's what President Obama thinks.

As the Associated Press reported Thursday, the president said he was "amused" by the Tea Party faithful gathering in cities across America to protest soaring government spending, ballooning debt and the explosion in taxes that will be needed to pay for it all.

"You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.

(*SNORT*)

U.S. spending and indebtedness [is] growing at an alarming rate. Government spending now totals 25% of GDP, a quarter above its long-term average. More spending means more debt. In 2008, total federal publicly held debt was about $8.5 trillion — an amount Uncle Sam took 220 years to accumulate. By 2020, that will soar to $20.3 trillion, a 139% jump. No surprise the Government Accountability Office last week said the U.S. is on "an unsustainable long-term fiscal path."

So let's see: The administration and its allies in Congress pass what can only be called the most financially irresponsible series of bills in our nation's history, imposing a crushing tax burden on our children and our children's children, while lowering all Americans' standard of living, and we should thank them for it?

A report from the House Ways & Means Committee's GOP members notes that, since January 2009, Congress and the president have enacted $670 billion in tax increases. That's $2,100 for each person in America. At least 14 of those tax hikes, the report says, break Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Roughly $316 billion of the tax hikes — 14 increases in all — hit middle-class families, the report says.

* ER... UMM... "THANKS...???" (*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)

52% of Americans in a recent New York Times/CBS Poll said President Obama's policies are moving the U.S. towards socialism.

* HE IS.

The president can belittle people all he wants. That's his prerogative.

Democrats ridicule Tea Party followers as yahoos, racists and illiterates, a mob willing to be led. They [- WE -] are anything but.

Indeed, they [- WE -] have shown their [- OUR -] seriousness by putting out their own "Contract From America." It's a common sense document, proposing 10 concrete steps to bring sanity back to our government and make it accountable once again. Sadly, the mainstream media won't cover it. But if you're interested, go to www.thecontract.org, and see if you don't agree.

William R. Barker said...

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=530502

Given Iraq's progress these last years, it's hard to find anyone who still argues - as the current troika now directing U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, once did - that President Bush's 2007 troop surge was a mistake.

To a then-Sen. Clinton, the surge's purported success required a "suspension of disbelief."

* AND FULL DISCLOSURE (AS AWAYS!)... I WAS OPPOSED TO THE SURGE AS WELL. ALTHOUGH WE WON'T KNOW FOR SURE FOR SEVERAL YEARS TO COME... (*PAUSE*)... IT APPEARS THAT I WAS AS WRONG AS OBAMA, BIDEN, AND CLINTON.

Many on the Left no longer oppose the Bush-Petraeus plan of slow, graduated withdrawal from Iraq, as this strategy is now sanctioned by President Obama. In the words of Vice President Biden, Iraq may well become one of "the Obama administration's" greatest achievements.

(*CHUCKLE*) IF NOTHNG ELSE, THERE'S CERTAINLY HUMOR IN THE CHUTZBA...!

Finally, there was the assertion that anti-war protests were all genuinely based on opposition to the American presence in Iraq rather than fueled, in large part, by partisan politics. But since January 2009, when Obama was sworn into office, there have been almost no anti-war demonstrations against the still-sizable American presence there.

(*SNORT*)

It's true that many original supporters of the three-week removal of Saddam Hussein underestimated the ordeal of establishing a constitutional state in his absence. But it's also evident that many who damned the war did so mainly to embarrass then-President George Bush.

* UNFORTUNATELY... (*SIGH*)... BOTH INTELLECTUAL CONSISTENCY AND BASIC INTEGRITY ARE ATTRIBUTES FAR TOO MANY LACK.

Rodak said...

If a teacher hit my kid, as much as I hate violence, I would personally fuck that teacher up, big-time.

William R. Barker said...

(*SNORT*)

Of course you would, Rob...

(*CHUCKLE*)

But then again you wouldn't have your child attending a public school where corporal punishment was allowed - would you?

(*SHRUG*)

So... it seems to me... the matter of what you would or wouldn't do is moot.

BILL

Rodak said...

It doesn't seem to me that such a ruling could be made in a public school individually; it would have to be the policy of a school district. So there wouldn't be any choice within the school system. Where I live there are no private schools available that are preferable to the public schools--even assuming that I could have afforded a private school. This ain't New York.
(the word verification for this comment is "hitical")

William R. Barker said...

ROB WRITES...

"It doesn't seem to me that such a ruling could be made in a public school individually; it would have to be the policy of a school district."

(*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)

Who said - or inferred - that a public school - singular - could make the decision...???

Rob... re-read the original newsbite. (Hell... follow the link and read the full unabridged story!)

(*SMILE*)

ROB CONTINUED...

"Where I live there are no private schools available that are preferable to the public schools - even assuming that I could have afforded a private school..."

So...? You're point...?

Then if you lived - along with school aged children - in a district that permitted corporal punishment I suppose your choices would be to either home school your child(ren) or send them to school where they'd be under the authority of that school district's rules.

(*SHRUG*)

Again... I'm not sure I'm getting whatever point it is you're trying to make.

Are you simply reiterating that law or not, you'd take the law into your own hands if a child of yours was (legally) paddled?

(*SHRUG*)

If so... fine... it's a free country, Rob; you're free to post your sentiments here; heck, I'd even go so far as to say you'd be free to actually follow through and "f-up" a teacher (or TRY to) who (legally) paddled your kid.

Of course you'd then have to face the consequences.

(*SHRUG*)

BILL

William R. Barker said...

* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7601929/Climategate-a-scandal-that-wont-go-away.html

If you were faced with by far the biggest bill of your life, would you not want to be confident that there was a very good reason why you should pay it? That is why we need to know just how far we can trust the science behind the official view that the world is threatened with catastrophe by global warming – because the measures proposed by our politicians to avert this supposed disaster threaten to transform our way of life out of recognition and to land us with easily the biggest bill in history.

[A]s we know, the official science on which all this rests has taken quite a hammering. Confronted with all those scandals surrounding the “Climategate” emails and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the political and academic establishments have responded with a series of inquiries and statements designed to show that the methods used to construct the official scientific case are wholly sound. But as was illustrated last week by two very different reports, these efforts to hold the line are themselves so demonstrably flawed that they are in danger of backfiring, leaving the science more questionable than ever.

The first report centred directly on the IPCC itself. When several of the more alarmist claims in its most recent 2007 report were revealed to be wrong and without any scientific foundation, the official response, not least from the IPCC’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was to claim that everything in its report was “peer-reviewed”, having been confirmed by independent experts.

But a new study put this claim to the test. A team of 40 researchers from 12 countries, led by a Canadian analyst Donna Laframboise, checked out every one of the 18,531 scientific sources cited in the mammoth 2007 report. Astonishingly, they found that nearly a third of them – 5,587 – were not peer-reviewed at all, but came from newspaper articles, student theses, even propaganda leaflets and press releases put out by green activists and lobby groups.

In its own way even more damaging, however, was the report from a team led by Lord Oxburgh on the scientific integrity of the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Two sets of evidence have been used more than anything else to drive the worldwide scare over global warming. One is a series of graphs showing how temperatures have suddenly shot up in recent decades to levels historically unprecedented. The other is the official record of global surface temperatures. For both of these, the CRU and the key group of top British and American scientists involved in those Climategate emails have been crucially responsible.

Lord Oxburgh himself is linked to various commercial interests which make money from climate change, from wind farms to carbon trading. None of the panel he worked with on his report were climate “sceptics”; and one, Dr Kerry Emanuel, is an outspoken advocate of man-made global warming. Even so, it was surprising to see just how superficial their inquiry turned out to be, based on two brief visits to the CRU and on reading 11 scientific papers produced by the research unit in the past 24 years, chosen in consultation with the Royal Society (which is itself fanatical in promotion of warming orthodoxy).

* To be continued...

William R. Barker said...

* CONTINUING... (Part 2 of 2)

** WOAH...! CORRECTION...! THREE-PARTER...!!! (Part 2 of 3)

The crown jewels of the IPCC’s case that the world faces catastrophic warming have been all those graphs based on tree rings which purport to show that temperatures have lately been soaring to levels never known before in history – thus eradicating all the evidence that the world was hotter than today during the Medieval Warm Period, long before any rise in CO2 levels. Best known of these graphs, of course, was Michael Mann’s “hockey stick”, comprehensively discredited by the expert Canadian statistician Stephen McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick. But the IPCC was able to defend its case with the aid of another set of “hockey sticks”, based on different tree rings, produced by Mann’s close allies at the CRU.

The most widely quoted of the Climategate emails was that from the CRU’s director, Philip Jones, saying that he had used “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. If there was anything in the CRU’s record which a proper inquiry should have addressed it was the story behind this email, because what it highlighted was the device used by the CRU to get round the fact that its tree-ring data hopelessly failed to show the result the warmist establishment wanted. When their Siberian tree rings showed temperatures in the late 20th century sharply dropping rather than rising, the “trick” used by Prof Jones and his colleague Dr Keith Briffa, copied from Mike Mann’s own “hockey stick”, was simply to delete the downward curve shown by the tree rings, replacing them with late 20th-century temperature data to show the dramatic warming they wanted.

The significance of this sleight of hand can scarcely be exaggerated. Why, in using this misleading graph, did the IPCC not explain the trick that had been played by its leading scientists? If tree rings were so inadequate in reflecting 20th-century temperatures, why should they be relied on to reflect temperatures in earlier centuries? Why, when fresh Siberian tree ring data came to light, making a nonsense of the CRU’s earlier temperature reconstructions, did the CRU simply ignore the new data?

* To be continued...

William R. Barker said...

* CONCLUDING... (Part 3 of 3)

Anyone who has followed the meticulous analysis of this curious story by Steve McIntyre on his Climate Audit website might well conclude that we are looking here at a complete travesty of proper scientific procedure, matched only by the bizarre methods used by Mann himself to construct his original hockey stick. Yet these are the men, Mann, Jones and Briffa, who acted as the “lead authors” of the key chapters of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports.

They quite shamelessly promoted the rewriting of history produced by themselves and a small group of colleagues – the so-called Hockey Team – which the IPCC in turn used as its main evidence to convince the politicians that the world faces unprecedented warming.

Yet scarcely a hint of this hugely important story is contained in the Oxburgh report, which simply glosses it over, hoping to appease critics by throwing in a few vaguely critical comments about how Jones and his team were a trifle “disorganised” in archiving their data. It ignores the utterly damning critiques of the CRU’s methodology produced by McIntyre and McKitrick. It does not even begin to question the way the CRU has compiled its global temperature record, relied on by the IPCC as the most authoritative of all the official data sources for surface temperatures.

More damaging still was the charge by senior Russian scientists that, in compiling its global record, CRU had cherry-picked the data supplied from Russia, suppressing that from most of the country while retaining the data from the vicinity of cities which, thanks to the “urban heat island” effect, showed a warming trend. So even the accuracy of CRU’s temperature record has been called seriously in doubt, although one would never have guessed it from Oxburgh.

As is reflected in so many political tragedies, from Macbeth to Watergate, it is often not the original dark act itself which leads to nemesis but the later attempts to “trammel up the consequence”. Nothing will do more to reinforce suspicion of the CRU’s conduct than the failure, first by those MPs, and now by the team led by Lord Oxburgh, to address properly the way in which it appears to have abused the principles of true science – a scandal which should be of concern not just to us here in Britain, who paid for it, but across the world.

William R. Barker said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/business/18view.html?ref=business

In a recent paper, Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna, economics professors at Harvard, found that in developed countries, spending cuts were the key to successful fiscal adjustments - and were generally better for the economy than tax increases. Their conclusion was based on data since 1970 from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The received wisdom in the United States is that deep spending cuts are politically impossible. But a number of economically advanced countries, including Sweden, Finland, Canada and, most recently, Ireland, have cut their government budgets when needed.

Most relevant, perhaps, is Canada, which cut federal government spending by about 20% from 1992 to 1997. The Liberal Party, headed by Jean Chr├ętien as prime minister and Paul Martin as finance minister, led most of this shift. Prompted by the financial debacle in Mexico, Canadian leaders had the courage and the foresight to make those spending cuts before a fiscal crisis was upon them. In his book “In the Long Run We’re All Dead: The Canadian Turn to Fiscal Restraint,” Timothy Lewis describes Canada’s move from fiscal irresponsibility to a balanced budget - a history that helps explain why the country has managed the current global recession relatively well.

To be sure, the spending cuts meant fewer government services, most of all for health care, and big cuts in agricultural subsidies. But Canada remained a highly humane society, and American liberals continue to cite it as a beacon of progressive values.

Rodak said...

I'm not willing to pay high property taxes (plus millage) to support public schools where they beat children, mine or yours.

William R. Barker said...

ROB WROTE...

"I'm not willing to pay high property taxes (plus millage) to support public schools where they beat children, mine or yours."

First of all, Rob... (*LAUGHING OUT LOUD*)... you live in frigg'n OHIO... somehow I doubt you pay what I would consider "high property taxes."

(*CHUCKLE*) (*FRIENDLY ELBOW TO THE RIBS*)

Regardless... (*STILL CHUCKLING*)... you'd either pay your property taxes or move. Those would be your choices. If you refused to pay and stayed, the authorities would simply "take" what they had coming (plus fines, interest... perhaps throw you in jail for awhile) via legal channels.

Again, Rob, while I appreciate the blogging bluster, back in the real world... (*PAUSE*)

(*SHRUG*)

BILL

Rodak said...

Right. You just pick up and move. What could be easier? (Talk about "the real world"--sheesh!)

Property taxes are not high here by east coast standards. But neither are salaries. Believe it.

But that's beside the point. The principle (or the principal) is the thing here.