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

21 March 2022

The SEC Proposes Rule on Infrared-Absorbing Gas Emissions and Climate Risk

The SEC wants to force publicly traded businesses to predict how climate change might harm their businesses and how they might be a cause of global warming themselves.  They proposed rules for such on Monday, 21 March 2022.

Few companies are themselves expert in predicting the future climate or future weather.  They are being asked to use the available scientific knowledge about future climate and future weather. They also have to use this available scientific knowledge about the role that emissions of infrared-absorbing gases, commonly called greenhouse gases, will have on these future climate and weather conditions.  What is more, they are to be forced to predict how governments in the USA will limit and condition their operations based on fears of climate change.  Still worse, they are to be forced to make predictions of how people and nations around the world will respond to fears of climate change.

All of these requirements are proposed within a framework of censored science and of poor science with a very wide range of predictions, most of which predict much larger effects due to infrared-absorbing gases then have actually been observed.  For instance, temperature increases and the frequency of bad weather events have consistently failed to live up to the predictions of the greenhouse gas climate scare-mongers.  How can a company predict what the effect of global warming and increased bad weather events will be on its operations when the published, rubbish science cannot predict what the relation between infrared-absorbing gas emissions and subsequent warming and nasty weather events will be?  The reality, which the Democrats who have proposed these SEC rules ignore, is that increased infrared-absorbing gases in the atmosphere has a very, very small effect in causing additional warming.  The requirement, however, will be that companies will have to make their predictions based on exaggerated warming and bad weather events in line with the climate scare-mongers.

The climate fright-masters will no doubt also require that companies make these exaggerated effect predictions based on exaggerated negative effects upon their own business.  These predictions will also have to be based on some exaggerated overall effects upon the US economy and on the world economy.  They will also assume that many nations will long continue to raise the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations due to lax regulations limiting their emissions.  Exaggerated individual company effects will justify further exaggerations of the general negative effects upon the US and the world economies.

The effort for a company to perform these predictions honestly would be tremendous.  Honest predictions have nothing to do with the purpose of the proposed SEC regulations, however.  Formulas will be adopted for this purpose, which the publicly traded companies will be forced to adhere to.

So why is this being done?  The reason is that every publicly traded company is to be made to appear to believe in catastrophic man-made global warming and to take it seriously.  This in turn is to rachet up the fear that Americans have of catastrophic man-made global warming.  The self-reporting of company activities that might be affected by bad and warming weather and of company gas emissions will also give the government further information it can twist into a story of future disaster.  That disaster story will then allow even more regulation of businesses, no doubt expanding far beyond those that are publicly traded.

Catastrophic man-made global warming due to adding infrared-absorbing gases to the atmosphere given its present composition is a failed hypothesis.  For Democrats and some Republicans, this is not a reason not to use the fear of it to justify ever-increasing governmental controls over our lives.  Governmental controls are always resisted by the people, unless they are afraid of something.  Catastrophic man-made global warming is another such fear-creating tool.  The claim that businesses generally want to do harm to people has long been such a tool and is still at play in this SEC proposed rule as well.

12 March 2022

Who was buying Russian Oil?

I have read that though Germany was buying more Russian oil relative to its GDP than was the USA, the USA was paying Russia more money for oil than any other country.  This is not true unless Red China is paying vastly less per barrel of oil than we are.  Germany and the Netherlands must be paying less per barrel as well.  Just look at the actual amount of oil countries were buying from Russia.

It has been Red China that has made the largest contribution by far to the Russian war machine.

Inflation and its Effects are Worse than Most People Think

You know that the government's consumer price index leaped up to 7.9% in February, compared to a year ago.  We have all heard that this is its highest level in 40 years.  Frequently, the government likes to remove the effects of food and energy prices, because they can fluctuate greatly and because they affect the non-elites the most.  That gasless, foodless inflation rate leaves an inflation rate of 6.4% for February compared to a year earlier.  The Producer Price Index went up even more at 9.7% compared to a year ago.  This promises price increases going forward.

Barron's has stripped out all the costs except those that are not necessary goods for everyone.  Essential foods, housing, gasoline, and utilities constitute these necessary core items.  The inflation rate for these critical items for February was 16%.

Since then, about one-tenth of the world's oil and about a quarter of the exported wheat has vanished, thanks to the Russian invasion of the Breadbasket of Europe, namely Ukraine.

It is not enough that less than wealthy Americans lost their jobs and small businesses in horrific waves of brutal Covid-19 mandates.  Now the senseless over-spending of the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate and House of Representatives has drastically diluted the value of the dollar.  The same Americans most hurt by the Chinese Communist Party generated and released Covid-19, the Democrat fear-driven response of mandates directed at small businesses, and the rising energy costs due to the irrational belief in catastrophic man-made global warming are being slammed to Earth. 

The Democrats are brutally unfeeling and staggeringly irrational.  About half of all Americans voted for them and gave them the power to do this this evil work.  Many of them are now the greatest victims of the Democrat misuse of their rule.

08 March 2022

Biden Administration Misdirection on US Oil Production

 The Biden administration is making a habit of misdirecting Americans on the causes of the increases in the cost of oil in several respects.  They have repeatedly made the claim that U.S. crude oil production is at an all-time high, for instance.  Here is the actual data on U.S. Crude Oil production per week according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

The peak in average daily crude oil production was in the weeks of 28 February and 13 March 2020 when the average daily oil production was 13,100 thousand or 13.1 million barrels of oil.  Oil production was reduced after that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expected lowering of demand for oil as people stayed home or at least stayed closer to home.  The week of 29 January 2021, Biden's first full week in office, the daily average oil production was 10.9 million barrels of oil per day.  The week of 25 February 2022 the daily average crude oil production was 11.6 million barrels.  This was due to some recovery in oil demand and the price of oil due to the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is still 1.5 million barrels per day below the U.S. peak oil production.

Another Biden administration misdirection is the claim that 9,000 oil leases for oil production means that any shortfall in oil production is the fault of oil production companies.  The Biden administration has made it abundantly clear that they want the prices of oil and natural gas to skyrocket, which means they want their production to lag the demand for them.  They want this to encourage the massive mistake of a false belief in an existential catastrophe due to man-made global warming.  Oil and gas production has no long-term future according to their belief system.  Twice the Keystone XL pipeline was put on track for construction and twice its construction was halted by the Democrats and the Russian-funded environmentalist special interest groups with whom they collaborate.  This has caused the loss of massive sums of capital to its investors.  Other pipeline projects have also suffered as the Democrats ruined the investment climate.

One cannot make use of a lease to drill oil if one is not allowed to produce on that lease under reasonable environmental rules.  One cannot make use of an oil lease if one cannot build a pipeline to deliver the oil to a refinery.  One commonly cannot drill or build a pipeline if one cannot borrow money from banks and other lending institutions.  The Biden administration has been strongly discouraging banks and other lenders from making loans for purposes tied to oil production, oil transport, and oil product production.  They have discouraged liquification facilities and liquified gas transport capability.  They have also placed a moratorium on further leases on federal land and on offshore oil drilling. 

If the Biden administration were to give you the go ahead to invest a billion dollars into an oil and gas production effort, would you feel comfortable that they would not halt you in the midst of your investment or at a late stage in that investment?  If you were not very cognizant of that risk, you would certainly not be someone who should have any control over the investment of a billion dollars.

The Biden administration is definitely responsible for an unfavorable climate for oil and gas production.  It is extremely dishonest of them to claim that any shortfall in oil and gas production is due to the failure of the oil and gas industries.


Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine

Anne Applebaum tells the horrible story of the Holodomor, the Stalin-lead extermination of Ukrainians by hunger in Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine.  The Russians proved brutal and anything but good Slavic cousins to the Ukrainians.

Thanks to Stalin's policies, at least 5 million people died due to famine in Russia from 1931 to 1934.  Of these, it was the Ukrainians in the Breadbasket of Europe who died in the largest numbers.  At least 3.9 million Ukrainians starved to death.  Stalin had Russians thugs take all of their food from them and would not allow them to leave to find food elsewhere.

This was not the end of his attempts to destroy any possible dissent in Ukraine.  As the famine struck down so many Ukrainians, Stalin also had virtually all Ukrainian intellectuals, educated professionals, and public officials rounded up and jailed or murdered.  Any Ukrainian associated with the independent Ukrainian Republic from 1917 to 1922 was especially eliminated.  People who had promoted Ukrainian history or the Ukrainian language or literature were sent to labor camps or murdered.  Stalin feared the desire of Ukrainians to be Ukrainians and to be independent.  He wanted to squash all aspirations of a separate Ukrainian nation.  Putin is of the same mind.

02 March 2022

Russia is Ruled by Men Inured to Death Who Grew Up in the USSR

 Emeritus Professor R. J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii estimates that the Soviet Empire murdered about 62 million people between 1917 and 1987.  Putin and the Oligarchs of Russia grew up in the Soviet Union environment.  To them, the murder of people to support the power of those who rule the country is the ingrained method of ruling.  Murder is the primary tool of a strong ruler.  Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and now Putin have all utilized this tool with devotion.  The vast regions of the Russian Federation would not have such a low population density were those 62 million people to have survived and thrived and multiplied.

The West needs to understand this, though it seems very incomprehensible.  Ukrainians certainly have greatly suffered from this in the past and are doing so once again.  One day the Russians will surely fall victim to an expanding Red China eager to wrest the Asian lands of an underpopulated Russia from it as well.  Russia has lost an incredible sum of human talent and will lose its Empire as a result.  Time is heavily against Russia.