Climate Experts blame a Population Collapse during a Severe Drought on Anger not Famine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

Here’s another study by climate experts to show why we don’t have to worry about anything climate experts say (see Climate change linked to increase in violence, war posted 8/2/2013 on cbcnews).

The world is likely to become a more violent place as temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, a new study suggests.

Published in Science, the study links elevated temperatures and changes in rainfall to the rise of personal assaults and group conflicts such as civil war…

“We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict … across all major regions of the world,” researchers said.

Hsiang also noted the collapse of the Mayan civilization occurred during periods of severe drought more than 1,200 years ago.

Wow.  Severe drought 1,200 years ago caused the collapse of the Mayan civilization.  Because they got violent with the rising temperatures and turned on each other.  Killing themselves out of existence.  That’s one explanation for why the Mayan civilization collapsed during a severe drought.  Here’s another.  That severe drought caused a famine.  Without food these people starved to death.  And those who didn’t fought over the diminishing food supplies.

Today when we have a severe drought we complain about high food prices.  Because our agricultural techniques are so advanced that even with a severe drought there is always enough food to feed us.  And with fossil fuels there is always fuel for ships, trains and planes to transport food from places not suffering a severe drought to a place that is.  Even perishable produce.  Something that just wasn’t possible 1,200 years ago.

There is a theory called Occam’s razor.  Which states the simplest explanation is often the correct explanation.  If you hear the pounding of hooves in the United States you think of horses.  Not zebras.  This is what these climate experts are telling us.  They want us to think zebras where there are only horses.

Did people die out during a severe drought because they were so angry over climate change that they started killing each other?  Or did they die out during a severe drought because there was no food to eat and they starved to death?  Is it zebras?   Or horses?  Occam’s razor tells us it’s horses.  And it probably is.

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Greece is cutting their Goods and Service Tax (GST) to replace the Lost Economic Activity the High GST Caused

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

There are few things more enjoyable than going out to a nice restaurant.  Where you and your significant other can enjoy a fine meal.  And some adult beverages.  A couple of cocktails each before dinner.  A couple of glasses of wine each with dinner.  Then dessert and coffee after dinner.  It doesn’t get better than this.  But it can get costly.  Especially when there is a 23% GST (see Greece slashes restaurant taxes by Alanna Petroff posted 8/2/2013 on CNNMoney).

This week, the Greek government slashed the restaurant sales tax on food and drink across the country, making it cheaper for everyone to go out and grab a meal.

The restaurant sales tax, which was 23%, has been cut down to 13%…

It’s expected that the break will cost the government €100 million in lost tax revenue in the short term, but will ultimately benefit the country in the long run as it boosts tourism spending and encourages restaurant owners to declare more of their revenue to the government.

They acknowledge that a high GST tax (goods and service tax) rate discourages people from going out.  But the notion that cutting a tax rate will cost the government is a foolish Keynesian notion that must be done away with.  For example, let’s look at the numbers for the above noted dinner out.  If each entree is €8, each cocktail/glass of wine is €5, each dessert is €5 and each coffee is €2 the total for a dinner out is €70.  Add in the 23% GST (€16.10) brings the total up to €86.10.  That’s a lot of money.  So let’s say we can only do this twice a week.

The best part of going out is relaxing over adult beverages.  Which is often the largest part of the bill.  In our example, we drink a total of 16 adult beverages in those two dinner outs (and walk home/back to the hotel or take a taxi as we shouldn’t drive anywhere after enjoying 4 adult beverages during a meal).  Our total GST comes to €32.20.  Equivalent to the cost of 6.4 adult beverages.  In other words, the GST makes us pay for 6.4 adult beverages that we’re not allowed to drink.  So our 2 nights out we pay for 22.4 adult beverages but can only drink 16 of them.  If we went out 4 nights a week we’d pay for 44.9 adult beverages but could only drink 32 of them.  Or drink about 71.3% of what we paid for.  Which would limit our evenings out.  Now let’s look at what happens when the GST is only 13%.

The GST for our 2 nights out only costs us 3.6 adult beverages.  Not 6.4.  Which isn’t too bad.  So we are more willing to eat out.  If we go out 4 nights a week that GST now only costs us 7.3 adult beverages.  In other words, we pay for 39.3 adult beverages while getting to drink 32 of them.  Or about 82%.  Which would encourage us to go out more than before.

So with the high GST rate we may go out only twice a week and pay €32.2 in GST taxes.  But at the lower GST rate we may go out 4 times a week and pay €36.40 in GST taxes.  A 4.2% increase.  And because the lower tax rate is getting people to go out the restaurant owner doesn’t have to cheat the government out of the tax to get people into the restaurant.  If the tax rate is reasonable people will pay it and the owner will pass it on to the government.

This is something Keynesians don’t understand.  They see only loss tax revenue with a cut in tax rates.  Not the additional economic activity those lower tax rates will generate.  Which is why Keynesians have horrible economic records.  Like President Obama.  And the Eurozone nations.  While people who understand classical economics have good economic records.  Like Ronald Reagan.  And Margaret Thatcher.

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The Cruel March of Technology now has the USPS in its Crosshairs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

The United States is not the only country trying to figure out what to do with a dated institution long past its prime that few people use these days.  Something that was a large part of our parents’ lives.  But becoming more and more meaningless to the younger generations.   The Postal Service (see Canada Post needs to reduce home delivery by Daniel Fontaine posted 7/31/2013 on Vancouver 24 hrs).

The reality today is tech-savvy Canadians are no longer enamoured with their postal service, nor do they rely upon it to operate their daily lives. Thanks to online banking, e-mail, scanners and texting, Canada Post and its costly, outdated service look ancient by comparison…

Today, door-to-door mail service in many rural or even less-populated urban areas is no longer an option. Canada Post abandoned the front-door policy in new subdivisions, instead favouring group mailboxes…

… would it really impact those getting home delivery if they received their mail only twice a week? I doubt it would make a whit of difference — except perhaps to the bottom line of Canada Post. Reducing home delivery means paying fewer postal workers and a more efficient operation…

But don’t expect the public-sector unions and a majority of home-delivery recipients to let daily mail service go without a fight, even if the business case no longer exists to maintain this costly level of service.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been on life-support for a long time.  First it was email.  Then ecommerce.  Then online bill paying.  Then texting.  With FedEx and UPS delivering the things we buy on line with our tablets and smartphones what’s left for the USPS?  Besides junk mail?  Even the Social Security Administration uses e-banking.  The volume of mail has fallen so far that they cannot raise stamp prices high enough to cover their operating costs and fund their pension plan.  Unless they can get people to mail a postcard for $57.  Or more.

There used to be video stores all over the place.  As renting videotapes was a booming business at one time.  But the same reasons that have made the USPS obsolete have made the video store obsolete.  There are still a few around.  But it is hard to compete with vending machines renting movies at the grocery store.  And watching them over the Internet.  Where they can charge less as they don’t have the costs of a brick and mortar store to pay for.  And this is the problem the USPS has.  There are less costly and faster alternatives available.  Why pay to mail a letter that will take days to travel to the recipient when you can email something for free that arrives seconds after sending?  Even the video stores don’t have competition that bad.

Remember receiving a telegram?  Probably not.  Something else that has long since fallen by the wayside.  The telephone put that to rest.  Today people can call with bad news.  They don’t have to send a telegram.  Putting a lot of telegram deliverers out of a job.  But life went on.

So perhaps it’s time to pull the plug on the USPS.  Or greatly reduce the service.  Maybe twice a week.  For let’s face it, nothing good comes in the mail these days anyway.  Bills, junk mail and jury duty summons.  Things we just won’t mind waiting an extra week to get.

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A Broken Family and Bullying for being Gay drove Bradley Manning to the largest National Security Breach since the Pentagon Papers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

You get in trouble in the military if you have an affair.  Why?  Because that secret could give someone power over the adulterer.  This is the stuff they made spy movies about during the Cold War.  If the Soviets found out a person’s adulterous secret they would demand top secret information from the adulterer to keep that secret from becoming public.  A lot of traitors were made this way.  Which is why the military likes their people to be happily married.  With a regular, run of the mill boring life.  So there is nothing that can fester and boil over one day.  And compromise U.S. security (see Revealed: How an alcoholic mother and being kicked out of home for being gay turned a geeky Midwestern boy the biggest leaker in U.S. history by Dan Bates posted 7/30/2013 on the Daily Mail).

He was a ‘mess of a child’ who was tormented for being gay, kicked out of home at 18 by his father and once threatened to stab his step mother with a knife.

His own mother drank too much, he could not hold down a job and once literally crawled up a wall because he felt his family were ignoring him.

Perhaps it was no surprise then, that Bradley Manning was angry at the world – angry enough to hit back at any figure of authority that was within his grasp.

He has now been convicted of leaking classified information but given the troubled life he led Manning was always a time bomb waiting to go off…

Even at a young age Manning had a festering lack of respect for authority and refused to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance to God…

In 2000 his already turbulent life took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced…

Manning spent four years there and, according to reports, was taunted by his classmates because he was gay and because he was American.

Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in school, has said: ‘It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages…’

He met Tyler Watkins, a freshman at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, west of Boston, who called himself a singer and a drag queen on his blog…

Manning made weekend visits to see Watkins and met the lesbian, gay and transgender community he was part of. He also got involved with the university’s hacker community…

He had already been noticed by those around him for his keenly developed political views, and even in Iraq he posted Facebook that he was ‘beyond frustrated with people and society at large’…

Three months after being stationed in Baghdad, Manning came home for leave for two weeks and told Watkins that he had ‘gotten his hands on’ some sensitive information and was considering passing it on to Wikileaks.

Manning was no doubt an angry young man – he is still only 25 today – and spent his life doing things his own way because he had no other choice.

So it is hard to believe that he was entirely acting out of the wider good when he gave 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, the largest national security breach since the Pentagon Papers.

How much of his motive was cold-blooded revenge for a lifetime of rejection, only Bradley Manning will know.

I never knew that Manning was gay.  I don’t recall the mainstream media reporting that small bit of information.  All they said was that Bradley was a hero.  For exposing the crimes of the Bush administration.  While condemning the treachery of Edward Snowden who exposed the crimes of the Obama administration.  That is, who compromised national security during the Obama administration.  For sneaky things are only crimes in the Bush administration.  Not in the Obama administration.  Apparently.

So he was gay.  An atheist (based on that thing about the Pledge of Allegiance).  Liked hacking computers.  And was angry at the world.  Particularly the straight world.  For the way the straight world treated him while growing up gay.  Which is, sadly, not that uncommon.  Bullying of gay kids.  Which does who knows how much damage to these kids.  Some are so distraught from this bullying that they have even committed suicide.

The Army needs to do a better job with their background checks.  If someone discovered this information now someone could have discovered it before he was put into a position where he could do great harm.  Especially someone who was involved with a university’s hacker community.  Which should have been enough to bar him from having access to any computer that is a portal to classified information.  For law abiding (and Army regulation-abiding) people shouldn’t be hanging out with people who illegally hack into computer systems.

One can’t help but think that had they kept Manning out of the Army for being gay he could not have leaked 700,000 classified documents to our enemies (who no doubt read these on the Internet like everyone else did).  Of course, banning gays from the military would only drive them underground.  Where gay servicemen would harbor a great secret that could give someone power over them.  Like an adulterer trying to hide an affair.  Then again, an adulterer would have to be found out.  A spy would have to discover the secret to apply pressure for information.  Whereas Manning just gave it up because he was angry at the world.  Making him more dangerous.  Less unpredictable.  And should have been easier to screen out of a position having access to classified information.  Something the military should consider before assigning anyone to a position with such access again.

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President Obama increases Joblessness and Poverty with his Policies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

The political left is ruining the country.  Every time they get into power they leave a swath of destruction in their wake.  And we hear the same things over and over again.  The plans these people have to fix the things they’ve destroyed.  We heard Jimmy Carter.  And now we’re hearing the same things from President Obama.  But they’re just empty words.  For if things get worse while you’re in office it’s you.  Not everything else (see Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work by Hope Yen, Associated Press, posted 7/28/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.

Renew his emphasis on the economy?  To renew something you had to have done something first.  The president is in his 5th year in office.  And all he’s done is implement policies that has discouraged job creation.  Obamacare is causing employers to freeze hiring and push some employees to part time.  Obamacare, then, has increased joblessness.  And forcing people into lower-paying part-time jobs has increased poverty.

Shutting down the oil business in the Gulf of Mexico destroyed good-paying jobs in the oil business.  Refusing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline has prevented the creating of good-paying construction jobs.  And the additional good-paying jobs in the oil business that would have processed this new oil coming to American refineries and out into the distribution network.

The president’s war on coal is shuttering coal mines.  And destroying good-paying jobs in the mining industry.  And moving away from cost-efficient coal-fired power plants has increased the cost of electric power for businesses and households.  Something else to put pressure on hiring.  Leading to more joblessness.  And poverty.

Things have gotten worse during the Obama presidency because of his anti-business policies.  When you have anti-business policies you don’t create an environment for job creation.  Which is the source of all of our problems.  People can’t get a good-paying full-time job because President Obama is destroying them.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, liberal Democrat policies make a bad situation worse.

Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones.

“It’s time that America comes to understand that many of the nation’s biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty. He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama’s election, while struggling whites do not…

For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

The political left won’t tell kids to stop having so much sex.  In fact, they’re facilitating it.  By giving free condoms to high school kids.   Making abortion available on demand.  And even providing the morning-after pill to any girl regardless of age without a prescription or parental notification.  Because kids are going to have sex no matter what we say.  A message heard loud and clear by our kids.  Who are having a lot of sex.  Hooking up to satisfy their needs.  Then going on their way.  Seeing no need to get married.  Especially the guys.  Who never had it better.

The enlightened attitude of the political left has made it a veritable smorgasbord out there.  Objectifying women like never before.  Where men look at women as sexual flavors.  And wonder what they feel like tonight.  This is the hookup.  And it isn’t conducive to making long-lasting relationships.  These guys don’t even want to talk to these women.  They want to take care of their business.  And leave.  Returning to their male friends.  Where they can enjoy the things they really like once their sexual needs are satisfied.

This is why marriage rates are declining.  Because with the left’s objectification of women what’s the point of marrying them?  This is the world a girl finds herself in after getting pregnant.  And doesn’t want to get an abortion.  She is on her own.  And there is no faster way to poverty than being a young, single mother.  If she doesn’t graduate from high school or can’t go on to college because she has to raise a baby what chance does she have?  While others are getting an education she is working a job that doesn’t require an education.  When her high school classmates are graduating from college she is still working that same job.  Because she missed out on getting the college education that could have given her a career with a high-paying job.  Instead working a job that requires no advanced education.  The kind that doesn’t pay well.  Because they’re often entry-level.  The kind high school kids work.  And those in college.  Who then quit these jobs to begin the career they went to college for.  But what a single mother can’t do.  Because without that education she doesn’t have that option.

The obvious solution to this problem is for these girls to wait for marriage before having a baby.  When a parent can stay at home with the baby while the other is building a career that lifts them out of the poverty level.  If the left would stop objectifying women people will stop hooking up and get married instead.  To build a career.  And a family.  Instead of just giving in to their base impulses and enjoying the moment.  And living a life of abject poverty.  For like the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait.  And if you wait until marriage before having children life will be so much better than life as a single mother.  As the data shows.

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