Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

28 July 2010

Fear Makes Money and Credit Scarce

Steve H. Hanke, professor of Applied Economics at The Johns Hopkins University and Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, wrote an interesting article entitled Money Dominates.  He notes there is a controversy going on in which some in the government or among Obama's advisors favor more government stimulus and some want an end to very high rates of government spending and so are considered to be for "austerity."

The stimulus spenders include Prof. Paul Krugman, Prof. Lawrence Summers (Dir. of the National Economic Council), Prof. Christina Romer (Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers), and Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner.  The austerity side is represented by Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Dr. Peter Orszag (Dir. of the Office of Management and Budget).  Germany and most of the other G20 countries are now favoring austerity.

The Keynesians believe government deficit spending will be stimulative whether the spending is done by printing money or by borrowing.  Monetarists, such as Milton Friedman was, hold that government spending is stimulative when it is done with printed money, but may not be stimulative if financed with borrowing.  Usually, government deficit spending is done with a combination of printed and borrowed money, so it is hard to test who is right.  However, the Japanese experience of the 1990s did separate the two sources of deficit spending with only borrowed money and the economy continued throughout to drag and sink.  The other example was from 1992 - 1997 in the U.S.  The deficit spending was based on printing money then and the economy expanded.

Hanke notes that Prof. Tim Congdon studied a 28-year period for the U.S. and found that the number of years that the economy behaved as the Keynesians claim it should was half the number of years in which it did not perform as they claim it should.  So, it is clear the Keynesians are wrong and the monetarists are at least less wrong.  In our present recessionary case, broad measures of money have fallen.  This is why the $862 billion stimulus of February 2009 was so ineffective.  This is why the U.S. and Europe are stuck with sub-normal growth rates and will remain so for some time.

The money supply situation is given in the following table:

Several measures of the money supply are given and these become broader and broader as one goes down the rows.  In August of 2008, before the recession in the U.S., the Federal Reserve deposits were $0.84 trillion, but in June of 2010, it had increased this greatly to $1.9 trillion, or by a factor of 2.25!  Yet, M2, the measure of money representing the traditional bank deposit liabilities was a mere $8.6 trillion, rather than the $17.6 trillion that would have been the case if the same M2 multiplier to the Federal Reserve deposits applied as had in August 2008.

At least the M2 value had increased, but as we go to wider and wider measures of the money and credit supply, we find that the measures have shrunk instead of grown!  The shadow bank liabilities are those of investment banks, private equity pools, mortgage finance companies, and structured investment vehicles.  They are down.  The international positions of banks holding U.S. dollars are also down.  Finally, over-the-counter derivatives are down in value.  Money and credit are in short supply.

What has caused this decrease in the effective money supply for doing business?  Fear and uncertainty.  When FDR said that all the American People had to fear was fear itself, he was being much less than honest.  Those who understood business and the economy had much justification for fearing FDR and his arbitrariness, his mad experiments, his general ignorance of economics and business, and his disdain for business.  So to do today's businessmen have good reason to fear Obama and his Democrat Congress and for the same reasons.  The bankers and financiers are especially frightened and uncertain in the face of the new regulatory legislation which actually tosses most of the regulations into the lap of the bureaucracies to formulate over the next few years.  It will be some time before the bankers and financiers have knowledge once again on how they may and may not act.  For a long while they will have difficulty calculating the return of investments and loans, so they are sitting on more of their money until they can figure out what the future holds for them.  This is the rational thing to do.  Meanwhile, the recovery will be, at best, at very slow growth rates and little hiring will be done.  This is the consequence of fear and uncertainty.

27 July 2010

Many Doctors Do Not Want to Be Obama's Slaves

Grace-Marie Turner wrote a good summary of doctor's reaction to the onslaught of ObamaCare for The Orange County Register.  Here is a summary of her summary:
  • 28% of seniors had trouble finding a primary care doctor in 2008 compared to 24% in 2007.
  • Only 38% of primary care doctors in Texas will take a new Medicare patient.
  • The Mayo Clinic has stopped taking Medicare patients at several locations.
  • The postponed 21% cut in doctor payments, will now have to be 30% in January.
  • The American Osteopathic Association says only 40% of doctors will be able to continue seeing Medicare patients after the cut occurs because they will lose money on each patient.
  • ObamaCare requires a big investment in information technology.
  • ObamaCare requires more paperwork and cookbook medicine, eliminating individual tailoring.
  • A simple error can result in a $10,000 fine.
  • 70 million Baby Boomers are about to go on Medicare.
  • The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a 150,000 shortfall of doctors by 2025.
  • Longer waits for treatment and more emergency room visits will result.
  • There is no increase in the number of residencies to train more physicians.
  • 13% of internists will not treat Medicare patients at all.
  • A financial planner with many doctor clients says half of them want to retire in 2013, just before the worst of ObamaCare takes effect in 2014.
This is just as one would expect.  Why would highly educated and dedicated professionals submit to the Obama slavery?  Would you really want one of the physicians who would accept slavery to perform an operation on you?  I would much rather have a proud professional, so when the time comes, I will just have to scrape up the money to pay one of the doctors who will not take Medicare patients.  There just isn't a free lunch when it comes to quality medical care. 

Well, maybe there sometimes was when the doctor had the freedom to donate his services for people really in need, but now that everyone simply plans to take advantage of him with the ObamaCare thugs pointing a gun at him, it is not likely he will be feeling charitable.  All you proud and capable doctors have little choice but to refuse Medicare moocher patients.  Better to refuse them than to spit on them.

Of course, if we are not a nation of voting fools, we will so throw the rascals out of Congress and the White House that we can repeal the ObamaCare nightmare with all its intended slaves and moochers.

26 July 2010

Ruling Against Arizona Immigration Law Would Set Broad Precedent Against State Assistance to Federal Law Enforcement

U. S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, "Why can't Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people who have entered or remained in the United States?"  I assume in the context it was clear she was talking about those here illegally.  The Obama Justice Department is arguing that the Arizona law be declared unconstitutional because it is preempted by federal law because immigration enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.  The judge seems critical of this preemption argument in her questioning.  She is being asked to grant a preliminary injunction against the Arizona law to keep it from taking effect while the federal challenge in the courts proceeds.

The Arizona law, SB1070, empowers police to question those they have a "reasonable suspicion" are illegal immigrants and send them to federal authorities for possible deportation.  The government argues that the supremacy clause of the Constitution requires that the Arizona law be ruled unconstitutional.  The fact that the Arizona law in no way contradicts the federal law apparently does not matter to the federal government.  The fact that the Arizona law simply has Arizona police asking the federal authorities to check to see if the person is here illegally and if they are not, they will be delivered to the federal authorities who will decide whether to deport them or not, does not matter.  Clearly, the Arizona law and Arizona police are not taking over the critical decisions of fact or interfering with the decision to deport or not.  They are simply assisting the federal decision makers.

Kneedler also argued that the Arizona law is an interference in foreign policy because it is making foreign governments mad.  Since when do foreign governments get to decide when U.S. laws will be enforced inside the U.S.? 

Kneedler also complained that federal agencies may be overwhelmed with immigration status checks and deportation requests.  The federal government is making the case that they wish to enforce federal law selectively.  That is, for person A, it will be enforced, but not for person B.  Does this mean the personal income tax should be enforced selectively also?  Perhaps the anti-trust laws should be enforced selectively?  Actually, they are.  Should the prohibition against laws abridging freedom of speech be selective?  Clearly the Democrat Congress thinks they should be.  Should the federal laws against murdering Federal judges or Congressmen be enforced selectively?  Ooopps, maybe not that one.

It is a bad principle of law when laws are not enforced equally against all lawbreakers.  If a law is a valid attempt to protect the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as all laws are in a legitimate government, then it must be equally enforced.  If it cannot be equally enforced, then it should not be law.

The Arizona law is clearly constitutional.  But, if it is determined by the courts that the law is unconstitutional, this will have a silver lining.  Basically, the finding would set the precedent that state cooperation with federal authorities to enforce federal laws is itself an interference with federal preemption!  Given that most federal laws, unlike immigration law, are unconstitutional because they are not based on powers given to the federal government, which are few and mostly pertain to foreign powers, and that many such laws are actually interferences with the state police power or the rights retained by individuals, it would be a great thing if the states and local governments could use the precedent of the overthrow of the Arizona law as justification for not assisting the federal government in any enforcement of federal law.  Federal authorities would then clearly have the books loaded with laws they could not enforce, except very selectively and infrequently.  That may result in the People understanding that these laws should not be on the books and need in most cases to be repealed.  It may result in many police powers being returned to the states and many rights violations by the federal government being ended.

How did these many federal infringements come about?  Teddy Roosevelt.  He was the first President who believed and even said that if he thought something should be done, he would do it if the Constitution did not explicitly tell him he could not do it.  Since the Constitution was written under the philosophy that the federal government had few powers and they were each carefully enumerated, there was no effort to create a list of the infinite number of powers an illegitimate government or a megalomaniac President might claim, but which were denied to them.  By inverting the purpose of the Constitution, Teddy Roosevelt gave himself a clean slate to become the tyrant he wished to become.  He observed that he saw no problem with a huge concentration of power in the hands of one leader.  Neither did Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Obama.

23 July 2010

The Startling Inconsistency of Americans in Believing that Democrats are More Ethical in Government

Chuck Roger at Clear Thinking notes the weird inconsistency of Americans in believing that Republicans would perform a host of governmental policy tasks better than Democrats, except that Democrats would be more ethical.  It is mighty strange that the Democrats' linkages with Labor, Trial Lawyers, Teachers Unions, horrible inner city schools or holding pens, an affinity for unkept promises, an equal affinity for baldfaced lies ("You can keep your doctor and your medical insurance, if you want to."), the unethical spending of our children's and grandchildren's income forever, the call for 2 years of slavery, the medical bureaucratic death panels, the advocacy of Ginny Mae and Freddy Mac, Congressional leadership tax evasion, some highly political Wall Street firms, and a host of heavily subsidized alternative energy companies have not resulted in more ethical condemnation.

The process of waking up can take a remarkable long time for the People.  But, they have made big strides toward understanding compared to the sad lack of it in recent history.  Perhaps, given time, they will come around on government ethics as well.  I hope the Republicans will show they can refrain from small-minded mark-ups as their strength in Congress is increased by the 2010 election.  For those of them who talk up "family values", perhaps they could try hard to live up to their own professed values.  I would prefer they concentrate on limiting the power of government and allow individual families to enjoy their own idea of "family values," but they should at least not be hypocrites.

22 July 2010

Slavery Resurrection Plan by Democrat Congress

HR5741 requires every American between the ages of 18 and 42 to serve the federal government for two years as the President sees fit.  Uniformed armed services, Homeland Security, and civilian community service are covered.  Every American of the age range from 18 to 42 will be medically and mentally evaluated for suitability for service.  This measure is being pushed by Democrats, including Charles Rangel.

I find myself wondering if this is the means by which some Democrats wish to hold onto power in the face of the rising opposition to the socialist program of the Democrats, many of whom greatly admire the power of thugs such as Hugo Chavez and the Communist Party in China to get their way with the people by the simple expedient of using force to quell their individual rights.  Suppose the Tea Party movement actually succeeds in voting the socialists out of power, will they step down or will they declare a national emergency while calling the Tea Party enthusiasts racists and terrorists?  Will they call those enthusiasts to service and use military discipline to control them?  Will they use Democrat and socialist enthusiasts called to service to quell the demands of the Tea Party enthusiasts that the federal government obey the Constitution?  One has to wonder why voluntary service is not recognized as serving our rational national security interests very well.

Once again, there is good reason to wonder why some people wish to ignore the 13th Amendment of the Constitution outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude.  This is just another step of the sort that ObamaCare took in claiming implicitly that no individual owns his own body.  Our bodies have already been claimed by the federal government and now many in the ruling socialist cabal want to claim two years of our lives as theirs to dispose of.  Worse yet, Congress wants to assign that power to the President.  This bill must be defeated and the ObamaCare expropriation of our bodies must be repealed.  It will never make sense to say that each American has an equal and sovereign individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if we do not.

Federal Spending and Revenue

Brian M. Riedl of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation has put out a very useful report called Federal Spending by the Numbers 2010.  It is chock full of graphs of the spending and revenues of the recent past and projections to 2020.  For example:

It is interesting to note that the long term rate of federal revenues has been about 18.0% of GDP, but the federal spending rate has exceeded that level by 2.3% of GDP on average year after year.  It is clear we have long been politically unwilling to live within our means and that if we allow the Obama plan to stay in place, we will either have to tax ourselves at a much higher rate than we have historically or we will be spending at rates of about 8.3% of GDP higher than federal revenues.  Such rates of spending are unsustainable.  If taxes are increased that much, the economy will stumble and future growth in the economy and standard of living will suffer terribly.  If taxes are not increased drastically, the accumulated deficits will leave America bankrupt.  It is impossible not to see the critical necessity of drastically reigning in the Obama spending plans.

Here are two more fascinating plots from this Heritage Foundation report showing the effects of future spending on the three major entitlements:

Medicare in particular is an overwhelming spending problem.  By 2050, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will require the complete historical average of federal revenues just to fund them.  Medicare was already going to be a major problem before ObamaCare was passed to make it an even worse problem.  Note that in today's dollars, the average extra tax burden of these three entitlement programs alone will be $12,636 per household!  Do you have that much money available to give to the federal government?  Think about it.

21 July 2010

If Falsely Accused of Racism You Had Better Not Work for Obama

A short video of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia Director of Rural Development, made the rounds on YouTube on Monday and seemed to imply she was a racist.  She was forced to resign from the Agricultural Department on Monday as the result of three phone calls made by Cheryl Cook, the USDA's deputy undersecretary, who stated that the White House demanded her immediate resignation.  In the video, Sherrod had stated that she made less than her full effort to save the farm of a white farmer in Georgia from foreclosure.  The video was a snippet of a talk she gave to a local Georgia chapter of the NAACP back in 1986.  In the rest of the talk, she had told the story of how she had come to realize while helping the white farmer that race was not the issue.  The farmer's wife came out on Tuesday with the dismayed statement that Sherrod had played a critical role in saving their farm from foreclosure and was forever her friend.

On Monday, the President of the national NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous, called for Sherrod's resignation because the NAACP has a zero tolerance policy for racism.  This followed closely on the heels of Jealous calling the Tea Party movement racist.  On Tuesday, the NAACP changed its mind, when someone finally checked on the testimony of Eloise Spooner, the farmer's wife.  The NAACP blamed Fox News and Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart for their error, despite the fact that the NAACP had the complete speech given by Sherrod in their possession and could have reviewed it before calling for her resignation.  Fox News did not have that complete video.  Finally, the media also talked to Sherrod, which the White House was unwilling to do.  But, on Tuesday, the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, defended his demands for Sherrod's immediate resignation.  He made it clear he is afraid of rumors of racism.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, that maven of careful fact-checking of the left, laughed that Fox News had covered the Sherrod incident and had not early picked up on the problem with the out-of-context video clip.  Neither had the other news outlets who covered the story on Monday.  Yet, according to Maddow, Fox News alone caused Sherrod to be "fired."  Fox News was only one of many to initially get the story wrong.  This is not good, but neither is it good for Maddow to follow up an out-of-context story by trying to turn it into another out-of-context story.  This just makes her a laughingstock.  It is not the first time.

More damning yet, how could the White House call upon a federal employee to resign without even listening to her side of the story first?  What kind of jerk employer would call for a resignation and never bother to check into the context of an accusation?  If Fox News was at fault, at least it might have been alerting people about a matter that needed further looking into.  The White House and the Secretary of Agriculture should have done that looking into it before asking for a resignation.  And having made a colossal mistake, they should be prepared to admit it now.

Who does Shirley Sherrod blame for her "firing?"  She blames the White House and the NAACP.  Strangely enough, she is not blaming Fox News.  She says the NAACP's high profile claims that the Tea Party movement is racist caused them to prematurely call for her resignation.  One might expect that opposition to racism should be based on a concept of justice, but it is now clear that both the NAACP and the White House are sadly deficient in the concept of justice.

20 July 2010

Krauthammer - Obama's next act

Charles Krauthammer, in his column piece called Obama's Next Act, claims that almost everyone is underestimating Obama.  He says Obama has accomplished a huge part of his ideological goals.  He has
  • "Irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy" with ObamaCare and put the country inexorably on the road to national health care in a manner to bring about one of the most massive redistributions of wealth in U.S. history.
  • The financial "reform", creating 243 new regulations, will provide government control of banks, "storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home buyers and credit bureaus," among many other economic activities.
  • The Stimulus Bill was the largest spending bill ever and helped to lock in a requirement for further tax increases.
  • The nationalization of student loans [gives the federal government control of who goes to college and which college they will go to --- in time.]
  • The Medicare and Medicaid entitlements dominate future government budgets.  ObamaCare freezes out future reductions in programs, so there is no possibility for deficit reduction except to increase taxes massively, probably with "a European-style value-added tax.
Krauthammer says "the next burst of ideological energy -- massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and 'comprehensive' immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) -- will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012."  Krauthammer seems almost to expect Obama's reelection.

I am not as pessimistic as Krauthammer is, but he is right that Obama has accomplished a plunge deep into socialism.  The extraction process will be fraught with difficulties and dangers.  We are on the verge of losing the very concept of America as the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave and replacing that transitionally with America, the Land of the Moocher, the Home of the Irresponsible, before it becomes permanently, America, the Land of the Slave, the Impoverished without homes.  To prevent this, we must overturn each and every socialist accomplishment of Obama listed above.  There is no other route to the salvation of the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We must come to control the House, the Senate with a super-majority, and the presidency by the 2012 election.  The consequence of not doing so is death.  Or slavery, if you think there is a difference.

19 July 2010

Williams: The Founder's Vision Versus Ours

Professor Walter E. Williams has once again written an essay I very much admire.  Every American should read this essay to understand the essence of the American ideal of government and as inspiration for the second American Revolution in which we must engage the enemy once again to save the American Republic and to finally bring about its perfection in individual liberty for all.  I am sure you will enjoy The Founder's Vision Versus Ours.

14 July 2010

The Federal Lawsuit Against the State of Arizona and Immigration Reform

After Eric Holder complained that the Arizona law allowing the police to determine the immigration status of people stopped for apparent violations of the law would lead to racial profiling even before he read the Arizona law, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the Arizona law.  The lawsuit makes no racial profiling claim, but instead insists that Arizona is infringing on the powers of the federal government.  In fact, the Arizona law is much more concerned than is federal law about avoiding racial profiling and in general about the rights of legal immigrants to go about their business without interference.  What is more, the Arizona law does not allow the Arizona police to make the final determination on the immigration status of those they suspect of having violated immigration laws and it does not allow them to transport such people across any borders.  Arizona police simply turn such suspects over to the federal immigration authorities.  Those federal authorities can simply release the people turned over to them, if they decide to do so.

So, if the Arizona law cannot on the face of it be held to cause undue racial profiling and the Arizona authorities will not be interfering with the federal authorities decision-making powers on immigration matters or on deportations, why is the Justice Department filing this lawsuit?  There are two principal reasons:
  • As is frequently noted, the Democrats are making a play for the Hispanic vote in the upcoming elections, which otherwise appear to be a catastrophe for them.
  • Present policy is for the Democrat administration not to enforce the immigration laws and the Arizona law will document the fact that the federal government is not doing so and does not want to do so.
The Arizona law was passed exactly for the reason that the federal government was not enforcing the federal law on illegal immigrants.  It was intended to put the federal government in the very awkward position of having people presented to them who had no evidence of citizenship or legal immigration and seeing what the federal government would do with them.  If the federal government simply turns them loose, the state of Arizona will be able to generate data showing how many probable illegal immigrants the federal authorities turned loose.

Eric Holder has threatened that if any future case for racial profiling can be made as the Arizona law is put into use, if it escapes the present attempted federal injunction against it, Arizona will face another federal lawsuit.  This would hold Arizona to a much higher standard than the federal government itself is held to.  Federal courts have ruled that the federal government itself is not restrained from racial profiling and federal law itself is not very concerned with a careful avoidance of restraint upon the right of legal immigrants to go about their business.  The Arizona law is a model law compared to that of federal law.  If the Democrat administration were not hypocritical, it would be acting to change federal law to make it more concerned with human rights and making it more like the Arizona law.  Any future federal lawsuit based on racial profiling will subject the federal law to an unfavorable comparison to the Arizona law and may be therefore ill-advised.

So overall, the Arizona law affronts the Democrat federal administration in numerous ways:
  • It pushes the federal government to enforce the federal laws when it does not want to, so it will earn more Hispanic votes in future elections.
  • It documents any effort on the federal government not to enforce the immigration laws.
  • It points to the hypocrisy of the federal government on racial profiling.
  • It points to the long on-going failure of the federal government to create enforceable immigration laws.
  • It makes it more apparent that the present large numbers of illegal immigrants are in a very undesirable state of vulnerability which could be eliminated by more rational federal laws.
We should have secure borders and we should have a very liberal immigration law which allows both more permanent residents and guest workers who intend to return to their native country in a short while or a few years.  The securing of our borders is needed to reduce the terrorism threat and to weed out criminals.  It is a fundamental duty of the federal government to provide secure borders.  On the other hand, just as we should favor free trade in general, guest workers and immigrants intending to establish resident status are simply fulfilling the right of people to pursue their happiness.  The fact that we have a welfare state and some under-educated guest workers and immigrants will put strains on it, is an awkward fact, but one which is simply a consequence of the immoral welfare state.  It is one of very many ways in which the welfare state infringes upon the rights of man, in this case to engage in free trade, to earn a living, and by redistributing income from working citizens to new immigrants and guest workers.

The fact that we prohibit the use of marijuana and other drugs has generated much of the crime that many associate with the illegal immigrants.  I am undecided about the wisdom of making many of the drugs illegal, but it is very clear to me that there is no sound argument for making marijuana illegal.  The crime due to illegal drugs would at least be diminished by legalizing marijuana.

Most people who have evaluated the work ethic of the great majority of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. have found it to be worthy of praise.  For my part, I have observed crews performing lawn care tasks which are very hardworking.  I have also observed a crew replacing sidewalks in front of my lab and doing a very capable job of it.  I do not know for certain that the crew members were illegal immigrants, but I suspect that many were.  I also have a nephew in Oklahoma who performs extensive home repair work and hires crews headed by resident Hispanic Americans.  He suspects many of the members of the crews brought in are illegal immigrants.  He has nothing but praise for their work effort, the quality of the work they do, and their initiative.  An immigration policy which allows such workers a legal status is to everyone's advantage, save perhaps a few lazy and under-educated Americans who cannot compete in the workplace, but want a free ride.

Our present immigration policy makes it very difficult for Hispanics to enter the U.S. legally.  First, the quotas are set at quite low levels.  Second, the fees to be paid may seem reasonable to Americans who are among the wealthiest people in the world, but they are very high for the under-educated and impoverished people of the countries in Latin America to our south.  The only way many such people can come up with so much money is to first enter the U.S. illegally and find work here.

The argument is often made that we should not encourage those who break U.S. laws by entering the U.S. illegally.  The argument is not without some justification.  However, we presently have immigration laws which are widely recognized as being irrational and when desperate people break irrational laws, that is morally difficult for someone who values human life to condemn.  The idea that it is immoral to break the law rests upon the assumption that the law is consistent with the protection of the rights of the individual.  When the law is not properly dedicated to that purpose, it becomes immoral.  Many, many laws in the U.S. are presently highly immoral.  There are fundamental moral reasons why the federal government is constitutionally constrained to have very few powers and those few powers were carefully enumerated.  The fact that the federal government has long ignored the severe limitations on government powers has long since removed the moral obligation of people to obey many of the federal laws.

Returning specifically to the immigration laws, it should be noted that laws which are unenforced or which are very selectively enforced, also lose their justification for calling upon a moral obligation to obey them.  The immigration laws have been ignored and unenforced by many federal administrations now, both Republican and Democrat.  The moral argument that we should not grant any form of amnesty to illegal immigrants rests upon our wish that our laws deserved to be obeyed.  It is based on the idea that our laws are rational and moral.  But when laws are not rational and moral, as many of our laws no longer are, then this prejudice in favor of the law must be set aside until we have addressed the real problem.  That real problem is that we are obligated to change the law to one that is rational and moral.  Such a program will recognize immigrants and guest workers as productive people who are making a positive contribution to our free markets and our society.

For these reasons, we should create new immigration laws after the corrupt power of the present Obama administration is constrained by a Congress with at least the House or the Senate under Republican control.  An amnesty program which imposes little in costs and inconvenience for those presently working as illegal immigrants in the U.S. should be put in place.  This program should require that illegal workers obtain recommendations from American citizens and legal residents as to their character and work ethic.  The borders should be secured with a greater effort there, but mostly the reform will be to allow much easier legal paths to permanent residence and to guest worker status.  With a rational and moral immigration and guest worker program in place, then we will be justified in believing that our laws should be obeyed.  This will require that we finally have a comprehensive reform of immigration laws, which we have not had in conjunction with previous amnesties.  Then we must evenly and equally enforce the new rational and moral law.

09 July 2010

9 July Updated Version: Do IR-absorbing Gases Warm or Cool the Earth's Surface?

Preface:  This is still another updated and improved version of my earlier posts on this issue.  In this version, IR-absorbing gases heated by IR radiation emitted from a warm Earth surface or by IR reflected from the Earth's surface, cool only partially by re-emitting IR radiation, which Alan Siddons was good enough to note was a needed correction to my earlier versions.  Strangely, I had discussed that this was the case, but I had not accounted for it in the calculation!  The net result of the calculation now appears to be a surface cooling effect averaged over the daytime cooling effect and the nighttime warming effect.

This version has been removed since a much improved version is to be published in a book called Slaying the Sky Dragon, Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

04 July 2010

4 July Version: Do IR-Absorbing Gases Warm or Cool the Earth's Surface?

An improved version of this post is found here.

This post has been removed since a greatly expanded and improved version is to be published in the book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

The 2010 Atlas Society / Free Minds Summer Seminar

I have been posting relatively little this last week, since I have been attending the 2010 Atlas Society / Free Minds Summer Seminar being held in Alexandria, VA since 30 June.  The seminar continues through 7 July.  Today, there are no activities, however, so I intend to make a couple of posts.

I have been a member of the Atlas Society for 11 years.  The Atlas Society, founded by my friend David Kelley, "promotes the philosophy of Objectivism and its core values: reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom."  The Atlas Society has great appreciation for the work of Ayn Rand and believes we can acquire invaluable understanding from her work.   At the same time, it is not dogmatic and believes every individual should think independently to further develop a philosophical understanding of human life and principles by which to guide their own life.  It is impossible to imagine John Galt thinking that it would be impossible for him to take any action with philosophical implications without first consulting Ayn Rand or asking what she would do in his situation.  No, in the complete context of his life, he would figure out how what his personal values were and he would act on them in his own way.

The Atlas Society has just launched a new website with much new content on the philosophy of Objectivism.  It has recently started the Business Rights Center with my friend Roger Donway as Director.  "The Business Rights Center is dedicated to defending businessmen who are wrongly defamed by the media and unjustly prosecuted by the government. The BRC also strives to expose and challenge the false premises of today’s post-Enlightenment, anti-business intelligentsia."  The Atlas Society also puts out the very interesting quarterly magazine, The New Individualist, edited by Sherrie Gossett.  This really is a very fine magazine.  It is worth reading from cover to cover and its layout is always high art.  It is such a work of beautiful art, that you will actually feel the need to wash your hands before you pick it up.

02 July 2010