Monday, October 31, 2011

Behind the "dying polar bears" eco-scare is...

...yet another scam by environmentalists. Don Surber comments: "So we have an expert on birds guessing that white blobs on a photo are drowned polar bears. That’s it. That’s the science."

Yet from this "science," from one non-expert guessing what's in a photo, comes national policy decisions that are destined to cost billions upon billions of dollars and countless jobs.

Welcome to the Brave Green World.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" activists ARE the world's richest one percent

Yes, you read that correctly: Most of the Occupy Wall Street activists -- who scream indignantly about income inequality, and who want confiscatory taxes imposed on the "wealthiest one percent" -- are themselves among the world's wealthiest one percent:
In America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year. We are, however, among the richest nations on Earth. How much do you need to earn to be among the top 1% of the world?


That was the finding World Bank economist Branko Milanovic presented in his 2010 book The Haves and the Have-Nots. Going down the distribution ladder may be just as surprising. To be in the top half of the globe, you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it's $5,000 per year. Enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000....

The global distribution figures may seem incomprehensibly low, but consider a couple of statistics you're likely familiar with: According to the U.N., "Nearly half the world's population, 2.8 billion people, earn less than $2 a day." According to the World Bank, 95% of those living in the developing world earn less than $10 a day.

Those numbers are so shocking that you might only think about them in the abstract. But when you consider them in the context of the entire globe, including yourself, the skewing effects they have on the distribution of income is simply massive. It means that Americans we consider poor are among some of the world's most well-off. As Milanovic notes, "the poorest [5%] of Americans are better off than more than two-thirds of the world population." Furthermore, "only about 3 percent of the Indian population have incomes higher than the bottom (the very poorest) U.S. percentile."

In short, most of those protesting in the Occupy Wall Street movement would be considered wealthy -- perhaps extraordinarily wealthy -- by much of the world. Many of those protesting the 1% are, ironically, the 1%.
Now, I wonder how many of the protestors would be eager to have their own incomes and property confiscated in order to "level" income disparities with the rest of the world? Think they'd like to live in the "equality" of, say, $3 per day incomes?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Muslim alternative to capitalistic interest payments: insolvency

Okay, here's my belly laugh of the day:"Sharia-compliant mortgage lender in receivership":
UM Financial was one of the first companies in Canada to offer so-called Islamic financing to Muslims who believe that sharia, or Islamic law, prohibitions against usury include interest on things such as mortgages.

UM would buy a property then lease it to a client so they were paying rent instead of interest. Some homeowners complained that the firm would also charge extra fees.

The company had $50 million in financial backing from Central 1 Credit Union of which almost $29 million is outstanding.

Qayum Mian knew he was paying a premium on his Markham house for the seven years he used UM Financial — he estimated up to 2 percentage points more than if he’d gone through a bank — but was happy to pay the price “because my conscience was satisfied.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" does NOT represent the American middle class

Democrat pollster Doug Schoen explodes the Democrat/progressive Narrative about the "Occupy Wall Street" gang. It's a wishful-thinking-based storyline (promoted by the liberal media) that casts the demonstrators as righteously aggrieved "victims" of capitalism, who represent the views of "99 percent" of Americans and their aspirations. Reports Schoen:
Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%)....

What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.

Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).

Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That's why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.
Team Obama and their willing media accomplices are such prisoners of the leftist Narrative that many actually believe that these street agitators and social misfits reflect the demographics of Middle America. We can only hope that continue to drink this Kool-Aid until November 2012.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Public education" in the Age of Equality

I don't really think that I need to comment on this.

Except to say that, in the Age of Egalitarianism -- which is what our president and his party are all about -- not only can you be "too big to fail," you can be "too incompetent to fail," also.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

"Pathological Altruism"

Well, I haven't read this book yet, but it has been getting plenty of MSM buzz, including from the New York Times.

But I'm confused. Didn't Ayn Rand first make this an issue, oh, around 1943, in The Fountainhead?

And isn't she still being denounced and mocked for it, to this very day?

Why is it that a truth isn't a truth unless it's "discovered" and propagated by a gang of Establishment academics?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A personal message from Vince Flynn

I just received by email a copy of this personal message from bestselling thriller author Vince Flynn. It speaks for itself.

I had the honor of interviewing Vince a few years ago (and I’ll be re-posting that interview on my “Vigilante Author” blog soon). In addition to being a great writer, he is one of the most personable and principled men I know.

I know all of you will wish this wonderful man a full and speedy recovery as he continues his gallant battle with cancer.

My fiction site: "The Vigilante Author"

Just a reminder:

Anyone looking for posts about fiction, self-publishing, and my own novel HUNTER: A Thriller, should visit my separate blog, "The Vigilante Author." My latest two posts there (late Sept./early Oct.) contain my extensive list of "The Best Thriller Writers -- Ever."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

EPA thugs use fake "wetlands" charges to bully Idaho couple

Check out this video.

These poor people -- trying to build a home on obviously bone-dry land that the EPA has arbitrarily, ex post facto declared to be a "wetland" -- face the loss of their property plus noncompliance fines of $30,000 per day.

Fortunately, they have the wonderful Pacific Legal Foundation on their side, on a battle headed to the Supreme Court. But countless other victims of environmentalist bullies, within government and without, don't have a champion. Hmm... maybe they could use the help of a vigilante....