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

31 March 2019

The Electoral College is Vitally Important

The Democrat Socialist Party wants to eliminate the Electoral College.  Others are pushing a compact among the states to have each state ignore the votes of its own citizens and award their electoral college votes to the Presidential candidate who won the plurality of votes in the nationwide election.  This interstate compact does not eliminate the Electoral College, but it does eliminate its purpose.

Both of these ideas would have awful consequences.  Among them are:

  • Already extensive voter fraud will explode.  Contrary to the oft repeated claims of academics, who are in the pocket of the Democrat Socialist Party, that voter fraud is insignificant, actual election managers have known for decades that every Democrat Socialist Party Presidential Candidate has 150,000 fraudulent votes in Philadelphia.  New York City, Boston, Providence, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago will all deliver large numbers of fraudulent votes to the Democrat Socialist Party also.  Voter fraud can only operate on a massive scale where one political party has long held power over an area with a large population for a long period of time.  A nationwide plurality contest will make it much harder to triage the many cases of voter fraud for investigation.  With the Electoral College, one can focus voter fraud investigations on those areas where the vote will actually change the outcome of the state-wide election and the way its Electoral College votes are cast.

  • The Democrat Socialist Party presidential candidate will spend even less time in rural areas of the country and in towns and small cities than they already do.  It is a great advantage to have the richest lode of one's voters crowded together in a few large cities.  Limited time and money can be far more effectively focused on these high density ant-nests of humanity than is possible for a candidate who seeks the votes of Americans living in lower population density areas of the nation.  Post-election maps will show even more of the nation in red even as a few dots of blue carry the Presidential election.  Future Presidents will be less and less able to claim that they are the President of all the People.  It will become ever easier for them to disregard those who live in fly-over country and to designate them the Deplorables.

  • Legitimate government is government that protects the exercise of every citizen's individual rights.  Unfettered democracy is actually pressed to trample the rights of many citizen's in order to purchase the votes of a plurality of citizens.  In many cases, the interests of people living in cities and high density areas are different than those who live in lower density areas.  The city-dweller may be very happy to have all the products he needs that require natural resources as inputs to come from China, Africa, and South America.  He may be more ready to buy into environmental scare tactics than some who live in a mining area.  The city-dweller might be susceptible to using the government to drive down food prices at the expense of farmers and those who process and transport food materials.  The city-dweller likely has no interest in the fate of fishermen.  He is likely to want federal tax deductions for heavy state and local taxes at the expense of more rural people with less expensive governments.  The city-dweller will push for expensive subsidies for public transportation at the expense of people from lower density population areas.  City-dwellers and the Democrat Socialist Party are already very often seeking to force employers to pay high minimum wages such as the commonly demanded $15/hour wage.  Even in cities a minimum wage requirement does great harm to those who are little educated, have low work skills, or are little motivated to work.  But minimum wage requirements on the national level are even more devastating in rural areas where businesses have fewer potential customers and where the cost of living is commonly much lower.  Our Republic, under which the Electoral College is a key leg, was designed to discourage a portion of the disregard that an unfettered democracy has for individuals and minorities of the electorate.

  • That party most eager to have a federal government which provides goodies to its voters while showing a great willingness to harm those who do not vote or who vote for another party will benefit most from keeping the Electoral College from doing the task it was set up to do by the Framers of the Constitution.  The Framers knew the dangers of democracy.  They knew that governments are biased in favor of increasing their power over the People.  They put many checks and balances into our system of federal governance in order to provide for our welfare by minimizing the dangers to individuals and minorities that democracies are inclined toward and by making it harder for governments to increase their power and control over the lives of the People.  When the state legislatures were no longer allowed to designate the electors to the Electoral College, the federal system was undermined.  The power of the states was diminished.  This made it easier for a party to ignore many states as it sought power at the federal government level.  

  • A constitutional amendment is required to eliminate the Electoral College.  Such amendments are hard to pass.  An amendment ultimately requires the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.  This is pretty much an impossible task for the Democrat Socialist Party to achieve, since so many of the states are clearly to be ignored by them once they have eliminated the Electoral College.  The idea that everyone's vote should count in a Presidential election has a lot of naive appeal to many Americans, so the compact between the states that each state will cast its electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote across America has some appeal.  It requires the approval of many fewer state legislatures than does an amendment to the Constitution.  Many of the states to be ignored by the future government can also be ignored in the process of putting this compact into play.  I do wonder if once the People of a state have voted for candidate A, but candidate B wins the national popular vote, how stable the compact of legislatures will be when the People of that state find their own legislature betraying their state-wide vote.  For instance, imagine that Trump had won the popular vote.  Can you imagine the uproar in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California when their electoral votes were cast for Trump?

  • The entire plurality that Hillary Clinton won over Donald Trump was based on the vote in California, where Republicans are largely disenfranchised by a state election system that places Democrat Socialists running against Democrat Socialists for virtually every state-wide office in the general election and few if any Republicans are on the ballot.  This Democrat Socialist voting system is a strong voter suppression factor.  The interstate compact to award each state's electoral votes to the popular vote winner will encourage more states solidly controlled by a party to adopt this form of voter suppression.  All evidence to this point is that Democrats are more willing to suppress the vote of Republicans than Republicans are eager to suppress the Democrat vote. 

Most of the support for weakening the Electoral College is in the Democrat Socialist Party.  That is the same party that wants to have children, felons, and non-citizens vote, a $15 minimum wage, welfare for those who choose not to work, Medicare for all, no power except intermittent wind and solar, ever more federal land, regulations against any environmental harm that can be imagined by Chicken Little, catastrophic man-made global warming based on faulty physics and lacking any catastrophe, open borders with a welfare state, and which discourages people from having children.  There is no lunacy too loony for the Democrat Socialist Party which is well-represented by the donkey or ass and in some states also by the white segregationist rooster.

Hilary Clinton's loss of the last election brought on a new sense of urgency to undermine the Electoral College with her claim of a majority of the votes.  Actually, she only had a plurality.  What is more, the sum of the votes to the smaller government parties such as the Republican, Libertarian, and Constitution parties was greater than that for the likes of the Democrats, Green, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Socialist Workers parties.

Rather than more unfettered democracy, we need more institutions and laws that protect individuals and minorities of all kinds -- not just racial, gender, or sexuality -- from the brutal use of force and the harms that a plurality of voters and their chosen power-hungry politicians are all too often eager to inflict upon them.

19 March 2019

Letter to President Trump Recommending a President's Commission on Climate Security

I recently defended Prof. William Happer from an absurd and highly irrational attack upon his qualifications to head a President's Commission on Climate Security which was published on the front page of the Washington Post.  Many of the alarmist advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming are adamantly opposed to any critical review of the science and the claims of catastrophe resulting from increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or from small temperature increases should they occur.  They are terrified that further debate and evaluation of these claims that would drain many trillions of dollars out of our economy and lower the standard of living of all Americans will reveal to the public many of the errors in their physics and their hugely exaggerated claims of harmful effects.

There are many critics of the so-called consensus science of catastrophic man-made global warming.  Some of us have just sent the following letter to President Trump recommending the formation of a President's Commission on Climate Security.  I am publishing a copy of that letter, which I have signed, below:

The point of posting the letter here is to take full responsibility for my action in signing this letter.  Those who will damn me are welcome to do so, though it would be much more effective if you can provide a rational reason for doing so.  I am confident that in subsequent decades my action in standing up for my evaluation of the claims of catastrophic man-made global warming will be proven to be correct and courageous.  I am willing to bet my reputation that I am among the American heroes who advocated strongly against the horrendous mistake of believing in catastrophic man-made global warming and the highly destructive acts that have and likely will continue to occur as a result of that erroneous and not infrequently larcenous claim.  A man is not a real man unless he stands with integrity for his ideas and his principles.

17 March 2019

Comments on Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy by Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute and Tom Harris of International Climate Science Coalition wrote an interesting article on the absolute absurdity of the Green New Deal (GND) program of the Democratic Socialists which is on-line at American Thinker, entitled Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy  It is well worth reading in its entirety, but I am going to note some of its interesting points here and make some comments of my own on GND.

As you should know, the Green New Deal aims to eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels removed from the ground over the next 12 years, because its advocates claim that once again the Earth will die along with all humans in that time-frame if we do not do so.  This sort of doomsday prediction is a common claim of religious people who are frustrated by a lack of attention.  Believe our religion or the world will end.  The Green Religion has already given us many the world-will-end deadlines, yet we have managed to survive them all to date.  There have not even been any close calls!

The GND also wants to rid us of nuclear power plants and as many hydroelectric dams as possible in 12 years as well.  For all fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and lost hydropower we are to substitute solar, wind, and biofuel power.  The biofuel option is an odd one, since most of the argument against fossil fuels is based on the false claim that the carbon dioxide emissions their use entails will cause catastrophic global warming.  It is as though the Green Religion advocates are ignorant of the fact that the use of biofuels also results in carbon dioxide emissions directly upon their use.

Lehr and Harris make some particularly interesting comments on solar power limitations.  Solar power farms based on silicon photovoltaics produce a national average of 5 to 7 watts per square meter.  The U.S. Energy Administration says that making the photovoltaic material uses 3,370 kilowatt hours of energy per square meter of solar collector surface.  Lehr and Harris noted that solar collectors take up a little over 50% of the area of the land of a solar farm, so one can calculate that even at the 7 W per square meter high end of the solar farm efficiency range, it takes 27.5 years of solar farm operation simply to recover the energy input cost of making the solar collector material, assuming that the collector material covers half of the solar farm land area.  Note that Lehr and Harris say it takes more than 50 years, but they forgot that the collector material covers only a little over half of the area of the solar farm. This does not even count the energy that otherwise went into building the solar farm and operating it for those 27.5 years.  It has to be noted that many solar farms to date have not operated more than a small fraction of 27.5 years before they were abandoned as uneconomical to operate.  No one actually thinks that the average solar farm of the next decade is going to last 27.5 years either.

They also note that even in very sunny areas of the U.S., a 1,000 megawattt solar farm would take 51 square miles of land.  Note that the U.S. uses energy at about the rate of 1.3 x 1014 W, which requires about 13,000 of these 1,000 megawatt solar farms to replace.  This would require about 663,000 square miles of solar farms, assuming that all of them were in the sunniest parts of the USA.  This is almost exactly the size of Alaska, but Alaska is hardly suitable and even though it is the least inhabited of our states in terms of population density, the Green Religion would never allow its being turned into nothing but solar farms.  Much of southern California might be relatively suitable, but getting all of the Democrat Socialists who live there to move out and make way would meet with their resistance and only provide less than a tenth of the necessary land area.  Probably much less than a tenth given the interference of mountain ranges.  Building such solar farms will always meet with much local resistance.  Before a few hundred such solar farms could be built, the Green Religion would turn massively against them being built anywhere with claims that some subspecies of animal would be threatened or some scenic view ruined.

The Green New Deal is indeed a fantasy.  It is also a nightmare.  Many of its backers have given no thought to whether it is possible.  Many know it is not possible and only want it to be pursued because it will destroy the energy industries we all rely heavily upon. The GND will provide much more power to the government which the Democrat Socialists plan to use to exercise ever greater control over our individual lives.  Controlling our energy use and our healthcare with a government controlled single payer system will make the people nothing but slaves to the Democrat Socialist elite.  Raw and brutally exercised power is the real motivation for the GND and for single-payer healthcare.

Jay Lehr and Tom Harris say that much of their article is based on data and arguments by Bruce Bunker, Ph.D., in his 2018 book The Mythology of Global Warming, published by Moonshine Cove.