Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Evaluating GOP Candidates for Kentucky's Fourth Congressional District

I am taking some time today to do something I consider very important: evaluate the candidates for the U. S. House seat for the fourth district in Kentucky.  As you might guess, this is where I live.  While I am not really a Republican in spirit, I am registered as one and am thus entitled to vote in the upcoming May primary in Kentucky.

I am not going to take the time to visit rallies for each of these candidates in an attempt to find out who they are and what they stand for.  In our digital twenty-first century, that should not be necessary.  I have simply located the respective campaign website for each candidate, and done my evaluations based on the information I found there.  I try to be a rational voter.  What follows is my evaluation of the candidates based on today’s research.  (It is subject to change if new information or reasoning comes to my attention.)

The good news is that, from what I have seen, none of these candidates is horrible.  In fact, in a very general way I would say that they are all above average.  We are blessed with decent people running for office around here, something I greatly appreciate about this area.

But at this point, I have a preliminary ranking.  So I am going to list the candidates in my current (April 25, 2012) order of increasing preference (so it is not good to be first on this list!) along with a link to each candidate’s website.  I also have a few comments on each candidate.

Seventh Place, Marc Carey - Marc touts his Republican credentials, but when I come to his “issues” section he tells me nothing.  He promises to say something in the future.  Marc, the future is now.  The election is next month.  We need specifics on where you stand, and we need them yesterday.

If you post some specifics, and they are good ones, you might move up my list.  And by the way, it’s very nice that you have been active in the Republican Party.  But there are plenty of people with horrible ideas who have been active in the Republican Party.

Sixth Place, Brian D. Oerther - Brian has given me a bare bones outline of his positions.  But it is so brief that I am unable to do a significant evaluation.  Most of what I see looks very good, as far as it goes.  But I need more detail if you want any hope of getting my vote.

For example, under “Reform Government” you say you want to “Cut Government Programs.”  Nice, but which ones do you want to cut.  Are you willing to cut some of the things that many people clamor for?  You don’t even mention the abortion issue, and that is very important to many people around here.  Tell us more and we might change our minds.

Fifth Place, Walt Schumm - Walt’s platform is not unattractive.  But it is also very limited - not as limited as the preceding two, but limited.  And even in what is presented, I find some ambiguous items, and even a somewhat troubling one.

You say you want to “promote a consolidated and viable national energy policy.”  What would that include, exactly?  Why do we even need an “energy policy”?  Why not let people buy what energy they want and likewise allow producers to produce it?  You need at least some more explanation.

On the troubling side, you also say that you want to “Balance interests of environmental groups and businesses.”  This makes it appear that you do not understand that “environmental groups” have been given special legal standing to file lawsuits to promote their own flawed ideas.  The interests of environmental groups do not need to be “balanced” with anything.  Such groups should have no special standing.

I do like your mentions of the Constitution.  I especially like your point of “asserting that only Congress has the right to declare war.”  You are not a bad candidate.  We just need more clarity from you.  It is not so much who you are as what you think and propose that interests me.

Fourth Place, Alecia Webb-Edgington - From what I can see at her website, if Alecia is nominated, I could vote for her with some enthusiasm.  She touts her endorsements by other Republicans, and while that is fine, it does not impress me.  Again candidates, I don’t care who likes you.  I care about what policies and idea you like.

Alecia, you have some solid ideas, and obviously you have much experience in state government.  But sometimes experience in government in a candidate worries me a bit.  Rand Paul is a good example of a guy with no office-holding experience who jumped right into the Senate of the United States and is doing a great job if you see defending individual liberty as the job of your Senator - and I do.

One specific part of your “the issues” section that disturbed me a bit was your statement under “Energy” as follows: “I will work to enact an all-of-the-above energy policy to increase America’s energy supply.”  If by “all-of-the-above” you are including things like wind and solar, you don’t really understand our energy problems.  What we need is a government hands-off energy non-policy.

Third Place, Gary Moore - These top three spots were very close in my mind - almost tied, in fact.  But not quite tied.  Gary has many good proposals that show a good understanding of what government should, and just importantly, should not, do; of what government can, and cannot, do.  Gary, this statement on your “Issues” page under “Job Creation” catapulted you to my top tier of candidates: “The Government does not create jobs - the private sector does.”  Well said.

Your Right-to-Life endorsement attracts me to your campaign, as do many of your positions.  You are obviously a guy who understands individual liberty.

Second Place, Thomas Massie - Thomas, you and the next guy are nearly tied for first.  Your statement on the issues tells me that, if you are nominated, I will be able to vote for you with a very high degree of enthusiasm.  It is clear that you understand what is wrong now, and what could be done to fix it.  Your ideas on education are especially good.

(Note to the Massie website builders: get rid of those “read more” links on the “Issues” page.  There is never that much more, and they just become very annoying.  Just extend the page a little.  But I didn’t take off any points for that!)

One thing that makes Massie a first-rate candidate is his clear assumption, revealed throughout his statements, that government has definite limits.  He is clearly a smart guy, with two degrees from MIT!  (I would almost hate to trap such a smart fellow in Congress!)

Thomas, know that in my mind you were only barely edged out of first place by . . .

First Place, Tom Wurtz - Tom Wurtz has a plethora of direct policy proposals that he explains in well-written detail.  And they are good, liberty-enhancing ideas from which we would all benefit.  You don’t have to guess what Wurtz thinks - its all there for you to read.  And it is in a very attractive format, for that matter.

Not only does Wurtz have an in-depth platform, he has additional entries on all sorts of relevant political topics that help me understand not just what he thinks, but how and why he thinks it.  This is what I need to understand a candidate.  I can believe he wrote all this stuff himself because he has written several books.  I saw nothing that I didn’t like - and with me, that is quite something!

Tom, as far as basic idea content is concerned, you were about tied with the second and perhaps even the third place guys.  But in reading much on your very attractive website, I picked up something repeatedly that made me put you in first place.  You not only understand individual liberty and its blessings, but you demonstrate a certain “butt-kicking” attitude toward promoting our liberty.  It is going to take that kind of attitude to save our country.

And while this might be a bit superficial, your picture looks like the old-enough-to-know-the-score but still young-enough-to-pull-it-off kind of guy called for in these troubled times.  So you get first place, and my vote in the coming primary, unless I get some new information between now and then.

Truth Deficit

Here is an interesting story about a young father who was prompted by the anguish of the loss of a child to “try out” twelve different religions, one per month, during 2011.  During his youth he had been a Baptist of some stripe.  During this time his wife remained a Christian, which led – as they report and you might expect – to some family tension.

What is most interesting is the perspective of this young couple on the whole experience.

According to the wife, the husband’s exploration of other religions cause him to be “more patient. There was more of a sense of peace about him.”  According to the story, after the experiment, the husband “still meditates daily using various prayer books, and he attends Mass occasionally at a Catholic church.”

The husband (Andrew) kept a blog about the whole experience.

It is amusing that anyone would think that a religion could really be “tried out” in the space of a month.  I suppose that is our culture of the short-term (and even instantaneous) at work.

But there is something even more telling in this project.  Scanning everything I could find about this, I noticed something very significant that was glaringly absent from Andrew’s blog (I sampled it), the stories, and so forth.  There is no mention of truth in the whole thing.  Andrew took religions for a one month test drive.  He reports various experiences and attitudes he gained from those test drives.  But there is no mention, not even a hint that I could find, that he ever considered the truth of these various religions.

All religions make claims, at least implicit claims, about the nature of God, of human beings, and of reality.  Did Andrew never wonder whether or not these various claims are true?  That is, do they describe reality accurately?

There are many deficits in the world today, but of these, the greatest is the deficit of truth.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Constitution Does Not Dicate Motives!

Michael Medved: Constitution clearly states no religious tests in politics

The ugliest byproduct of this year's protracted struggle for the Republican presidential nomination involves the unwelcome return of the discredited, dangerous old idea of imposing religious tests on candidates for public office.

Before Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign, exit polls from his landslide victory in the Louisiana primary showed a stunning 73 percent of Republican voters insisted it "matters that a candidate shares my religious beliefs" -- expressing the conviction that it's appropriate to judge a prospective president based on his theological orientation. Only 12 percent took the position that it matters "not at all" if a candidate's religious outlook differed from their own.

There's an obvious irony to this situation: Many of those same social conservatives who claim to revere the plain text of the Constitution seem determined to ignore its prohibition on religious tests for federal office.

Article VI, Clause 3 unambiguously states that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." This sweeping language, adopted at the original Constitutional Convention two years before the First Amendment's famous prohibition on "establishment of religion," left so little doubt as to its meaning that not even the most imaginative jurists or politicians have attempted to interpret it away.

Professor Gerald Bradley of Notre Dame Law School flatly declares that "no federal official has ever been subjected to a formal religious test for holding office."

Of course, some fervent social conservatives will protest that the evaluation of legally qualified candidates based on their theological perspectives hardly amounts to a "religious test" officially banning aspirants from the ballot or public positions.

But most of the Founders objected even to informal religious tests and demonstrated a consistent willingness to confer positions of responsibility on those who did not share their religious beliefs.

Kent comments:

I have seen this attempt before, and I expect (unfortunately) to see it again.  It is the claim that some people’s unwillingness to vote for a Mormon somehow violates the Constitution.  Medved can prattle on all he wants that “Many of those same social conservatives who claim to revere the plain text of the Constitution seem determined to ignore its prohibition on religious tests for federal office.”  It remains the case that an individual decision to vote in a certain way based on the religious views of the candidate does NOT – not in any way, not even a tensie wensie little bit – violate the Constitution.

Even if, as Medved claims “most of the Founders objected even to informal religious tests” it remains the case that the objections of Founders do not form part of the Constitution, except to the extent that they put them into the Constitution.  I have searched the Constitution high and low, including all the Amendments, and NOTHING there even hints at any requirement on why a voter decides to vote in a certain way.

It’s just not there.  And would we really want it to be?  Imagine the situation if reasons and motives within individual voters were part of the Constitution!

We can debate until the next election and beyond the merits of Mormons as candidates.  Let’s face it, Mormons believe some very strange and weird things IF they actually know and believe all the things taught by the leadership of their group.  Do those weird things have any impact on political policy positions?  That is a very good question, one many Christians are going to have to answer this year as they go to the polls.

Are theological views isolatable from political views?  I tend to think they are not.  Does a willingness to believe weird and strange religious things call into question one’s general good judgment?  That one is worth thinking about – I have no ready answer, but it is a question worth some consideration.

However individuals decide those and many related questions, it is well past time for Medved and his kin to shut up on the ridiculous claim that individual use of religious criteria to evaluate candidates is somehow un-Constitutional.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Nut Jobs

[The following is from the Media Research Center.  It is both amusing, and alarming.  Many prominent environmentalists, along with their media flunkies, are insane, as this will show.]

Earth Day Special: The Media's Top 25 Worst Environmental Quotes

This Sunday marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day and for 25 of those years the MRC has documented the liberal media’s role in advancing the left’s green agenda. From fretting about overpopulation to scaring viewers about global warming, for over 25 years the media have championed the capitalism-killing agenda of the modern environmentalist movement.

So sacrosanct the liberal media believes its mission to be, that they haven’t even bothered to hide their bias. CNN’s environmental editor Barbara Pyle, as quoted in the July 1990 issue of American Spectator, actually bragged: “I do have an axe to grind...I want to be the little subversive person in television.” Time magazine’s science editor Charles Alexander, at a September 16, 1989 global warming conference, confessed: “I would freely admit on this issue we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy.”

That advocacy has been on full display as reporters and anchors have gone overboard in scaring their audience about the perils of our effect on the Earth, from overpopulation to global warming. In its January 2, 1989 “Planet of the Year” Time magazine’s editors warned: “Unless the growth in the world population is slowed, it will be impossible to make serious progression on any environmental issue.” Two years later, in an ad for its “Lost Tribes, Lost Knowledge” issue that appeared in the April 27, 1992 Sports Illustrated, Time magazine again warned: “Nature has a cure for everything, except the spread of Western civilization.”

Perhaps the media’s most popular scare tactic has been the specter of global warming. CNN’s Don Harrison, on the August 1, 1989 primetime special Climate in Crisis, hyped: “Global warming could mean economic upheaval. It could bring suffering. It could bring starvation.” Narrator Roy Scheider, in a ten-part PBS documentary aired in 1990 starkly intoned: “The environmental revolution has made us understand where we humans are taking the Earth: Towards a world poisoned by pollution.”

The forecasts coming from the media have been apocalyptic. Reporter Mark Phillips, on the January 16, 1990 CBS Evening News predicted that if nothing was done, global warming “would turn much of the planet into a desert.” On the January 11, 1990 Today show, it wasn’t arid land to be feared, but rather too much water as ecologist Paul Ehrlich predicted: “The Supreme Court would be flooded. You could tie your boat to the Washington Monument.”
Sixteen years later the Today show was still in the outlandish prediction business, as on the May 24, 2006 Today show, then co-anchor Katie Couric prompted former Vice President Al Gore, “What do you see happening in 15 to 20 years or even 50 years if nothing changes?...Even Manhattan would be in deep water?” Gore responded: “Yes, in fact the World Trade Center Memorial site would be underwater.”

Of course being a lead spokesman for the global warming hysteria movement meant Gore was elevated to almost deific status by the liberal media. Former Time reporter Margaret Carlson, on the October 13, 2007 Bloomberg TV’s Political Capital, deemed him a “prophet.” However, if any critic dared to express skepticism they were trashed. In his magazine’s special Earth Day, 2000 issue Time’s Michael Lemonick dismissed: “Only a handful of the most doctrinaire die-hards still dispute the idea that human activity is heating up the planet.” The cover of the August 13, 2007 Newsweek denounced the “well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change. Inside the denial machine.” NBC’s Anne Thompson, on the August 16, 2007 Nightly News, mocked: “Deniers are confusing the issue and delaying solutions...The scientific debate is no longer over society’s role in global warming. It is now a matter of degrees.” CNN’s Miles O’Brien, on the October 12, 2007 Newsroom, went as far as to cast global warming skeptics as “dead enders.”

When e-mails surfaced, during the ClimateGate scandal, that showed science was being perverted to advance a hoax, the liberal media leapt to the movement’s defense. ABC’s Clayton Sandell, on the December 6, 2009 World News, assured viewers “the science is solid, according to a vast majority of researchers.” NBC’s Anne Thompson, on the December 7, 2009 Nightly News huffed: “It doesn’t matter what’s in those e-mails - the Earth is changing.” Wyatt Andrews, on the December 9, 2009 CBS Evening News, scoffed: “ClimateGate is a sideshow.”

The same disgust the media exhibited against those bringing reason to the ClimateGate debate was also brought against conservatives attempting to scale back overly-burdensome regulations. When the GOP controlled Congress attempted to do just that in 1995, the late Peter Jennings, called it “the most frontal assault on the environment in 25 years.” NBC’s Roger O’Neil, in a July 28, 1995 Nightly News story on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, feared: “if the plants and animals can’t survive, what future is there for the human species?” On the August 5, 1995 edition of CNN’s Capital Gang, Time’s Margaret Carlson complained: “This is deregulation madness! We’re gonna have dirty water, dirty air.”

The following collection of 25 quotes represents the worst of the media’s environmental pandering culled from the MRC’s archive:

# 25. Billions of Lives At Risk

“Will Billions Die from Global Warming?”
— ABC’s on-screen graphic from the January 31, 2007 Good Morning America.

# 24. Who Needs Tanks, When You’ve Got the EPA?

“And yet, Congresswoman Schneider, in 1989, fiscal 1989 as we say in America, the Environmental Protection Agency got $5.1 billion dollars and the Defense Department got $290 billion dollars. What’s that tell us about our priorities?”
— ABC anchor Peter Jennings on the September 12, 1989 Capital to Capital special “The Environment: Crisis In the Global Village.”

# 23. $6 a Gallon Gas Will Save the Earth!

“You’re also looking at a [global warming] solution here in Europe: smaller vehicles, more energy efficient, many which use diesel fuel which is more efficient. And the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling. A lot of big ideas and innovations coming out of Europe.”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo reporting from Paris for Earth Day, April 20, 2007 Good Morning America.

# 22. If We All Died Would the Earth Even ‘Miss Us?’

  Co-host Matt Lauer: “The book is called The World Without Us, and it asks the question what would happen to planet Earth if human beings were to suddenly disappear....And really it’s all about trying to figure out how long it would take nature to reclaim what we’ve created.”
  Co-host Meredith Vieira: “The mess.”
  Lauer: “How long it would take nature to fix the mess we’ve made?...Would the Earth miss us at all? How long would it take for it to fix the problems we created?”
— NBC’s Today, September 4, 2007.

# 21. Someone Get the Statue of Liberty a Life Preserver Before She Floats Away!

  Tom Brokaw: “About 10 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ice, most of that in the polar regions. But if enough of that ice melts, the seas will rise dramatically and the results will be calamitous....If this worst-case scenario should occur, in the coming centuries New York could be abandoned, its famous landmarks lost to the sea.”
  Dr. James Hansen, Goddard Institute for Space Studies: “Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami -- they would all be under water.”
— From Brokaw’s two-hour Discovery Channel special, Global Warming: What You Need to Know, excerpt shown on the July 15, 2006 NBC Nightly News.

# 20. Earth to George W. Bush: You Make Me Sick!

“No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth....Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us....Something has gone grievously wrong. That something is global warming....It’s undeniable that the White House’s environmental record — from the abandonment of Kyoto to the President’s [George W. Bush] broken campaign pledge to control carbon output to the relaxation of emission standards — has been dismal.”
— Time’s Jeffrey Kluger in the magazine’s April 3, 2006 global warming cover story: “Be Worried. Be Very Worried.”

# 19. Big Oil Caused Hurricane Katrina

“The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming....Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue....As the pace of climate change accelerates, many researchers fear we have already entered a period of irreversible runaway climate change.”
— Former Washington Post and Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan in an August 30, 2005 Boston Globe op-ed.

# 18. When You Fill Up Your Tank, You’re ‘Fighting Science’

“ExxonMobil - I think this is a real group of bad guys, considering that they have funded all the anti-global-warming propaganda out there in the world. And Bush is just not going to go against guys like that. They are bad, bad guys, because of what they are doing in fighting the science of global warming.”
— New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in an interview published in Rolling Stone, October 17, 2002.

# 17. Put Down That Hairspray Can or Else We’ll All Be Riding Camels to Work!

“If nothing is done to reverse ozone damage, scientists predict hundreds of millions of skin cancer cases in the U.S. alone, not to mention increased global warming that would turn much of the planet into a desert.”
— Reporter Mark Phillips on the January 16, 1990 CBS Evening News.

# 16. ‘Radical’ Republicans Could Kill Off Snail Darters, Owls, Even You!

“The noises coming from [Rep. Sonny] Bono and many of his fellow Republican signers of House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s ‘Contract with America’ signal a radical shift in Congress’s attitude toward environmental issues -- a shift that may bode ill for the health of snail darters, spotted owls, and even the human species.”
— Time reporter Dick Thompson in a February 27, 1995 story headlined “Congressional Chain-Saw Massacre: If Speaker Newt Gingrich gets his way, the laws protecting air, water and wildlife may be endangered.”

# 15. GOP’s Full ‘Frontal Assault’ on the Environment

“Next week on ABC’s World News Tonight, a series of reports about our environment which will tell you precisely what the new [Republican] Congress has in mind: the most frontal assault on the environment in 25 years. Is this what the country wants?”
— Peter Jennings in an ABC promo during the July 9, 1995 This Week with David Brinkley.

# 14. Earth Would Be Okay It Weren’t for Us Pesky Humans

“Ultimately, no problem may be more threatening to the Earth’s environment than the proliferation of the human species.”
— Anastasia Toufexis, “Overpopulation: Too Many Mouths,” article in Time’s special “Planet of the Year” edition, January 2, 1989.

# 13. Ronald Reagan = Earth Day Buzzkill

“The missteps, poor efforts and setbacks brought on by the Reagan years have made this a more sober Earth Day. The task seems larger now.”
— Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 20, 1990.

# 12. Heed the Words of the ‘Prophet’ Al Gore

“You know, Bob, you’d still be holding your breath and kicking your feet if what had happened to Al Gore in Florida had happened to you. He rose above a great injustice....He became a prophet on an issue that is crucially important to the world.”
— Ex-Time reporter Margaret Carlson to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bob Novak on Bloomberg TV’s Political Capital, October 13, 2007.

# 11. Climate Change a Greater Threat Than USSR’s Nukes

“Despite the danger that climate change poses, the resources currently devoted to studying this problem -- and combating it -- are inconsequential compared with the trillions spent during the Cold War. Twenty years from now, we may wonder how we could have miscalculated which threat represented the greater peril.”
— Time contributor Eugene Linden, September 4, 2000.

# 10. Ted Koppel to Global Warming Skeptics: The Earth is Round!

  Karen Kerrigan, Small Business Survival Committee: “To say that the science is actually bunk.”
  Host Ted Koppel: “I was just going to make the observation that there are still some people who believe in the Flat Earth Society, too, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.”
—  Exchange on the December 9, 1997 Nightline.

# 9. Call in the Climate Cops!

“Put an international tax on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases....Find a way to put the brakes on the world’s spiraling population, which will otherwise double by the year 2050....Give the United Nations broad powers to create an environmental police force for the planet.”
— Time list of “What They Should Do But Won’t” at the United Nations “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, June 1, 1992.

# 8. Matt Lauer: Let’s Face It, There’s ‘Too Many of Us’

“Today, life on Earth is disappearing faster than the days when dinosaurs breathed their last, but for a very different reason....Us homo sapiens are turning out to be as destructive a force as any asteroid. Earth’s intricate web of ecosystems thrived for millions of years as natural paradises, until we came along, paved paradise, and put up a parking lot. Our assault on nature is killing off the very things we depend on for our own lives....The stark reality is that there are simply too many of us, and we consume way too much, especially here at home....It will take a massive global effort to make things right, but the solutions are not a secret: control population, recycle, reduce consumption, develop green technologies.”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer hosting Countdown to Doomsday, a two-hour June 14, 2006 Sci-Fi Channel special.  

# 7. New York City: Iceberg Capital of the World

  Bryant Gumbel: “At the risk of starting an argument, are you a believer in global warming?”
  Mark McEwen: “Absolutely.”
  Jane Clayson: “Of course.”
  Julie Chen: “Yeah.”
  Gumbel: “So am I....And you wonder what it’s gonna take. I mean, is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, ‘Oh, yeah’?”
— Exchange during CBS Early Show’s co-op time at 7:25 am on April 18, 2001.

# 6. Meredith Vieira Freaks Out: ‘Are We All Gonna Die?’

“So I’m running in the park on Saturday, in shorts, thinking this [warm weather] is great, but are we all gonna die? You know? I can’t, I can’t figure this out.”
— Co-host Meredith Vieira talking about global warming on NBC’s Today, January 8, 2007.

# 5. One Day ‘You Could Tie Your Boat to the Washington Monument’

“There is an even greater threat that scientists can only speculate about. As global temperatures rise, they may cause the massive West Antarctic ice sheet to slip more rapidly. Then we’ll be facing a sea-level rise not of one to three feet in a century, but of 10 or 20 feet in a much shorter time. The Supreme Court would be flooded. You could tie your boat to the Washington Monument. Storm surges would make the Capitol unusable. For Today, Paul Ehrlich in Washington, DC, on the future shoreline of Chesapeake Bay.”
— Ecologist Paul Ehrlich reporting for the January 11, 1990 Today show.

# 4. PBS Hires the Guy from ‘Jaws’ to Scare You About Global Warming

  Actor Roy Scheider: “Earth Day appealed to every one.”
  Children singing: “Oil drops are falling on their heads/And that surely means that soon they will all be dead.”...
  Scheider: “The environmental revolution has made us understand where we humans are taking the Earth. Towards a world poisoned by pollution. Towards an atmosphere disrupted by greenhouse warming and losing its protective layer of ozone. Towards rivers, oceans and beaches made unusable by sewage and toxic waste. Towards unmanageable piles of garbage filled with the squandered resources of the planet. Towards a population of 10 billion in 60 years, twice as many as today. With the prospect of feeding those billions from farmland eroded toward the breaking point. It will be a world in which wild things have no room to live. A world in which forests have disappeared. Only the environmental revolution can save the planet from this fate.”
— Actor Roy Scheider narrating ten-part PBS series Race to Save the Planet aired from October 7 to 11, 1990.

# 3. Too Bad Obama Cut NASA’s Budget

“Could global warming one day force us into space to live?”
— ABC’s Sam Champion teasing an upcoming segment on Good Morning America, February 8, 2008.

# 2. Ted Turner: We’re All Going to Be Eating Each Other!

“Not doing it [fighting global warming] will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years, and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down.”
— CNN founder Ted Turner on PBS’s Charlie Rose, April 1, 2008.

# 1. Save the Earth, Stop Breathing!

“It’s a morbid observation, but if everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem.”
— Newsweek Senior Writer Jerry Adler, December 31, 1990 issue.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stop S. 1832 Dead In It’s Nasty Little Tracks!

Here is something worth your attention.  I obtained this information from The Heritage Foundation (thank you, HF!).  It concerns a proposal to allow states to tax sales that originate in other states.  Aren’t we Taxes Enough Already?  I sent the following to my members of Congress.  I hope you will do the same.  (Copy and paste if you wish, editing as you see fit.)


I am opposed to S. 1832, and I hope you will oppose it, too.

It is not surprising that states want a new source of revenue. After all, they're struggling with their bloated budgets in this weak economy. But overriding the Quill decision (which prohibited states from collecting sales taxes on sales outside their jurisdictions) would only give states an incentive to increase taxes instead of cutting the size, scope, and cost of government. And it would be consumers and businesses that pay the price.

There are business groups, too, who are lobbying for the law, arguing that it would protect "Main Street" retailers and "bricks and mortar" stores that are supposedly at a disadvantage. But these groups seek enactment of S. 1832 so that states can prefer in-state businesses over out-of-state businesses in the kind of anti-competitive economic discrimination the U.S. Constitution was in part adopted to prevent.  Furthermore, every sale of goods involves at least one physical facility located in one state or another, which means that those businesses already can be taxed by at least one state. In short, no one is "untaxable."

At a time when the U.S. economy is struggling to get back on its feet, Congress should not enact a law that interferes with the independent decisions of millions of consumers in the free marketplace and overturns the settled expectations of businesses that have made market decisions under the current rules for two decades. And it shouldn't give state governments a reason to take more money from taxpayers instead of getting their spending under control.