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Showing posts from October 23, 2005

Exxon Record Profits is Great News!

Despite the fools in the media, and all around the country, that may be calling Exxon's record profits "absurd" and "profiteering," allow me to do a quick Economics lesson 101. Profits attract competition. Competition brings prices down. Competition improves the market, product quality, and benefits everyone overall. So, why are they complaining? Because for some people, it's easier to complain about the evil corporations, than to know the facts and speak truth. I think people like to complain about this sort of thing out of self-righteous pride.

Taxing the energy industry is NOT going to help anyone. While it will hurt the energy industry, the true victims will be the consumer, who will face higher prices. Let Exxon enjoy its profits. I would welcome further deregulation, encourage further competition, and facilitate the building of new refineries. Let's send the extremist enviro-nazis back to the looney bin they came from. Maybe then we can start seein…

Values Voting or Evangelical Identity Politics

Is this the choice? I don't think that the evangelical activists are really interested in access, and willing to sacrifice their values for it. I would tend to think that more people respect their values than the media or the polls show, giving these "voices" like Dobson much more access.

While this sort of access may surprise some in the mainstream media, it doesn't surprise most American's who hear their own sentiments being voiced on the radio and TV. Read the American Daily's opinion piece regarding the evangelical's support for Miers and the choices being made. It is good food for thought.
At issue is not just the effectiveness of evangelical activism – although the fact some Christian Right leaders are such an easy sell may explain why only two of the seven Republican-appointed justices are solidly anti-Roe – but its central purpose. Are evangelicals values voters or just another group practicing identity politics?

Christian conservative leaders are ab…

Wilma breaches Havana's defenses

Update: More from Peter Krupa on the AP reporting from Cuba.
I wouldn't be too surprised if this story was written by a government lapdog. It's pretty obvious that a native Spanish speaker wrote it (you can call a flood an "inundation" in English, but it's not exactly common). Plus it has all the typical "isn't Castro great?" touches you find in the Cuba News Agency and Ahora.cu.
HT: Babalublog.com
***

The BBC News is reporting that "hundreds of people have been rescued from homes in Cuba's capital, Havana, after sea defenses succumbed to flooding brought by Hurricane Wilma." The story reports that some residents are saying that the devastation is the worst since the "storm of the century" in 199.

Meanwhile, the murdrer dictator, always ever hungry for some public attention, offered Mexico aid. At the same time, there are reports that electricity was shut down in Havana as a "precaution." It seems like the hurricane gave…

Miers: Withdrawn

It's all over the news. I heard it this morning on Fox, and then Laura Ingraham was talking about. I have to say, I am releaved. She did the noble thing by withdrawing. It is my hope the president will follow through with a stronger, originalist and couragous nominee. There is no need for stealth candidates.

Ingraham was commenting this morning on a Miers speach that is cause for concern, and makes the withdrawal even more so welcome. Here are her comments.
Now that Harriet Miers has withdrawn, we have to learn the lesson of the last three and a half weeks. In the text of a 1993 speech she delivered to a Dallas women's group, Harriet Miers sounded more like John Edwards than John Roberts: "We undeniable [sic] still do have a justice system that does not provide justice for all as provided by the Pledge of Allegiance. One justice for rich, one justice for poor. One justice sometimes for minorities, one for whites." On judicial activism, she punts, writing: "When y…

Migrations Seen as Opportunity for Evangelization

Vatican Agencies issues a joint letter on the issue of immigration and evangelization.
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Church must make of migrations a vehicle for dialogue and proclamation of the Christian message, say a pair of
Vatican dicasteries.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for
Migrants and Travelers made that point in a joint letter dated Oct. 7.

The letter, addressed to those in charge in dioceses of the pastoral care of
migrants, is signed by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the congregation, and
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the pontifical council.

Both acknowledge that "the present migrations are the greatest human movement of all times."

The letter seeks to promote application of the 2004 Vatican instruction "Erga
Migrantes Caritas Christi" (The Love of Christ toward Migrants), written to respond
"to the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants."

The cardinals encourage rea…

Army helps curb illegal immigration

Here is a great report by the Associated Press on the Army Times web site. As the story says, this helps free up resources from the Border Patrol. It's about time the government started taking this problem seriously and started enforcing existing immigration laws. I am not saying I think all the immigration laws are right, but we are a nation of order and law.

The second step is to begin looking at our immigration process and fixing it taking into account the realities of our economy. Hat tip to RedState.org Red Hot.
COLUMBUS, N.M. — The U.S. Border Patrol is getting help from the Army to slow illegal immigration along New Mexico’s southern border.

Armored vehicles from a reconnaissance squadron based in Fort Lewis, Wash., were stationed along a 20-mile stretch of N.M. 9 between Columbus and Playas on Thursday, watching for illegal immigrants.

Some of the vehicles with the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment were equipped with mounted machine guns and long-range surveillance equipment…

South FL Expected to be Without Power for up to 2 Weeks

I just called my relatives in FL. Everyone is doing fine, and thankful the weather was cool last night. Weather forecast is that its going to warm up tomorrow, so the suffering starts. They are being told they may be without power for up to two weeks, as it seems a main station was damaged. So, its more than just downed power lines.

Other than a smashed car, lost roof shingles, and a lost shed, not to bad. It seems Florida just can't get out of the way of these storms in the last couple years. It is one of those times I am glad to be out of FL, and living in Colorado. But, then again, we have our blizzards, hail, and thunder.

Best wishes to everyone in the storm's path as they work towards recovery.

Dobson as a Witness Would be Political Grandstanding

Enough Said.
Dr. Dobson as a Witness? Dr. James Dobson has been witnessing for decades, but now Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) says he is likely to summon Dr. Dobson to testify before his panel as it considers the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. "My instinct is that they'll be called. And the American people are entitled to clarification," Specter told CBS's "Face the Nation" yesterday. Specter was referring not only to the President of Focus on the Family, but also to other Evangelical leaders. The Senator may not be a regular listener to Dr. Dobson's nationally broadcast Focus on the Family program, but his staff should at least inform him that Dr. Dobson has already clarified his remarks before a radio audience of millions. Any effort to haul Dr. Dobson before the Committee should be seen for what it is--political grandstanding.

But if the Committee is intent on getting the whole story of judicial confirm…

U.S. Commerce Secretary Offers Program to Help Eliminate Corruption and Bribery in Central America

This is a great initiative, specially when you consider there is a financial incentive to it--more trade. Let's hope it makes a difference.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 21, 2005

U.S. Commerce Secretary Offers Program to Help Eliminate Corruption and Bribery in Central America

San Salvador, El Salvador -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez today in El Salvador announced the U.S. will help El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in their existing efforts to stamp out bribery and fight corruption by extending the Good Governance Program to the three countries. Gutierrez said the Program compliments the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

“Our Good Governance Program will complement CAFTA’s provisions by promoting private sector leadership and private–public partnerships to fight corruption and fortify the rule of law,” said Gutierrez in remarks to the American Chamber of Commerce.

“The private sector is an engine of growth and champion of change througho…

Reaction to Dr. Bernanke Nomination to Fed Chairman

I contacted our local economics expert, Dr, Paul Prentice, who is a UCCS Professor, and President of Farm Sector Economics, for a reaction and comments to Dr. Bernanke's nomination.

Dr. Prentice suggested readers check out Dr. Bernanke's website for insight into his qualifications through his c.v. and his publications. (http://www.princeton.edu/~bernanke/)
In my opinion, the most important qualification for Fed Chairman is understanding that the Fed's primary job is long run price-stabilization, i.e. stabilization of the value of the currency, rather than stabilizing the short run business cycle. This means that the Fed should do less fine-tuning of monetary policy in order to try to fine-tune normal economic cycles. The Fed should instead focus on more of a long run "fixed-money-rule" as proposed by Nobel economist Milton Friedman.

As a macroeconomist, Dr. Bernanke appears to be more inclined toward long run price stability, aka "inflation targeting". Not…

Keep Your Hands off My Bridge to Nowhere

Via the Washington Post, more on the story on the bridge to nowhere in Alaska.
Republicans in Congress say they are serious about cutting spending, but they learned yesterday to keep their hands off the "Bridge to Nowhere."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a staunch opponent of pork barrel spending, tried to block $453 million for two Alaska bridges that had been tucked into the recent highway bill. Coburn wanted to redirect the money to the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, a major thoroughfare that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the veteran Alaska Republican, was dramatic in his response. "I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."
Coburn's measure, offered as an amendment to the 2006 transportation appropriations bill, failed 82 to 15. The Senate also narrowly defeated spending an additional $3.1 billion on emergency hea…

Hurricane Wilma Radar Image: Smashes Florida with 125+ MPH

The worst is past. HT: Drudge

Hurricane Wilma Barrels Toward Florida

Just talked to my parents in Miami this evening, and as usuall, they are not worrying to much about the storm. Not to minimize preparedness, but they live in a great area that rarely floods. For the first time I ever heard, my mother is talking about getting storm shutters. Its so dificult to know whats real with the way newspapers seem to sensationalize storm news. Washington Post has more news on the evacuation efforts and preparations.
NAPLES, Fla. Oct. 23 -- After lashing Mexico's Cancun region with 135 mph winds, Hurricane Wilma turned to the northeast, gathered speed Sunday and was barreling toward Florida, where residents took shelter after days of nervous anticipation and emergency preparedness leaders made last-minute pleas to those who resisted mandatory evacuation orders.

Many residents had fled the Florida Keys and the coastal areas of Naples and Fort Myers, where evacuations were ordered. Up and down the roadways of southwestern Florida, shopping centers and fast-food r…

Compassion Must be Voluntary, Vote No for CO Ref. C & D

I found this interesting comment from a Denver Post reader reacting to Bob Ewegen's column, "People of Faith rally to C and D." The reader is right on.
In aruging for Referendums C & D, Bob Ewegen is correct that the principles of all major religions teach that we have a moral obligation to care for the poor and disadvantaged. But voting to take from some to give to others doesn't count as compassion.

Each person must decide whether and how to assist the poor using his or her own time, talent, and treasure. There is nothing wrong with collective efforts, but participation must be voluntary. The problem with C and D is that they are government solutions, founded on coercion.

Rich Cantillon, Centennial, CO.
(The Denver Post, Saturday, October 22, 2005; Page 15C) I too have found that the arguments in favor of Referendum C & D are great arguments for compassion, but they ignore that coerced and forced compassion is no compassion at all.

Why is it that Liberals and th…

Health Care Economics: How much damage can political leaders do?

The Washington Post is reporting on a Hong Kong newspaper report Saturday that China says it will close its borders if it finds a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu there. And so it goes--our politicians making things worst! The fact is there is a crisis in the United States in regards to the lack of vaccine makers, but its not the pharmaceutical companies' fault.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China will close its borders if it finds a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu there, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Saturday, while a defiant Taiwan said it would copy a patented antiviral drug.

Saving lives would be Beijing's top priority in efforts to contain a possible outbreak of bird flu, even if it meant slowing the economy, Huang Jiefu, a vice minister of health, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.

The World Bank said while prevention measures would cost a lot, the economic damage from a pandemic would be far worse.According to a W…

BOLIVIANS DREMAND A FREE TRADE PACT WITH THE U.S.

Thoousands of Bolivians are marching demanding the opportunity to trade with the U.S. Basic economics teaches that this would make sense, and would benefit all involved. Publius Pundit has more on the story.
Now let’s face facts: Bolivians do not want communism. Most Bolivians do not want Evo Morales as their next president. Bolivians especially do not want Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez running their country as their newest satellite. Bolivia’s a nation in distress and they want to work their way out of it through free trade. Go see the local sentiment of Bolivians on Jim Schultz’s site - the tongue-lashing these local Bolivians give to the well-meaning left-leaning Berkeley gringo about his misreading of what’s going on in their country is unbelievable. Except when you realize that Bolivians also are marching in their thousands in the streets for free trade. The U.S.’s number one priority right now must be to extend a hand of equality, of better-living-through-free-trade to these gutsy…

What's Anne Rice been up to? Getting healthy, finding God—and writing her most daring book yet

What's up with Ann Rice? There is an interesting article in MSNBC about her latest book, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt." I'm looking forward to reading it. Coming from a stellar writer, it is good to hear she is opening up her horizon, and exploring the other side of the Spiritual world--Jesus Christ. From first impression, I would not put any faith on her doctrinal accuracy, but as a work of pure fiction, considering her ability to research, should be a facinating work. I'm curious.
"For the last six months," she says, "people have been sending e-mails saying, 'What are you doing next?' And I've told them, 'You may not want what I'm doing next'." We'll know soon. In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, will publish "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. &…

Allard (R-CO) & Salazar (D-CO) voted to Kill the Coburn Amendments

Just a couple days after receiving a convincing letter of commitment to cutting pork from Senator Allard, both Colorado Senators Allard and Salazar voted to kill the Coburn Amendments, that would have killed $900.000 in pork spending in RI, Washington, and Nebraska. Mark Tapscott has more.
The U.S. Senate voted 86-13 against three anti-pork spending amendments offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. The Coburn amendments would have repealed $500,000 previously authorized for a sculpture park in Seattle, Washington, $200,000 to build an animal shelter in Westerly, RI, and $200,000 to build a parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska, and re-directed the funds to help pay instead for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

It appears the majority of senators think it is more important to shelter dogs and cats in Rhode Island than people in Louisiana and Mississippi made homeless by Hurricane Katrina.I may not be a politician, and some would say I don't understand the complexities of compromise, and "getting …