Archive for February, 2015

The ideology of handouts: Not as good as you might think.

The Ideology of Handouts

The Statist premise is that poverty is a purely economic problem: the needy simply lack the material resources to lead productive, happy lives (to be accomplished by taking money from the tax payer and giving it to the tax receiver or so-called needy), and anyone who opposes this redistribution is selfish and insensitive. Supply these resources, the theory runs, and you will have solved the problem of poverty. 


This simple economic theory of poverty led to a single underlying principle for welfare programs (redistribution). Since the needy just lacked goods and services to become productive members of the community, it followed that all you had to do was give them these things (redistribute wealth). You didn’t have to see that they stopped engaging in the behavior that plunged them into neediness. You didn’t have to ask them to apply themselves, or to work, or to save, or to stop using drugs, or to stop having babies they couldn’t support, or to make any other kind of effort to improve themselves. In other words, the welfare programs the war-on-poverty activists designed embodied something-for-nothing giving, or what we usually call “handouts.”

I recently asked my friend’s daughter what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day.
 Both of her parents, liberal Democrats (socialists), were standing there, so I asked her, ‘If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?’ She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’ Her parents beamed with approval.
“Wow…what a worthy goal,” I told her. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.” 
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?” “Welcome to the Tea Party.”
While the state of neediness we call poverty does involve a lack of material resources, it also involves a mass of psychological and moral problems, including weak motivation, lack of trust in others, ignorance, irresponsibility, self-destructiveness, short-sightedness, alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity, violence, and most important of all risk factors-intelligence (or the lack thereof). To say that all these behavioral and psychological problems can be “abolished” is a denial of the common-sense facts.

“It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before” – (Unknown, but brilliant).

Believe it or not.




New tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States?

In 2012, a total of 9,951 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, an incidence of 3.2 cases per 100,000 population. This represents a decrease of 6.1% from the incidence reported in 2011 and is the 20th consecutive year of declining rates. Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, 1,388 (44.2%) did not report a new TB case during 2010–2012. Want to take bets on the 2015 incidence?

So let’s look at the details: The TB rate in foreign-born persons in the United States was 11.5 times higher than in U.S.-born persons (a U.S.-born person is defined as a person born in the United States or its associated jurisdictions,) or a person born in a foreign country but having at least one U.S.-citizen parent).

What do you think that means?

Calendar year 2008 was the coolest year since 2000?

In August the 8th, 2009  the Goddard Institute for Space Studies analysis  of surface air temperature measurements reported  that the calendar year 2008 was the coolest year since 2000.

But don’t be fooled because, at present, measurements of surface air temperature are impossible to measure with scientific accuracy. Satellite data, on the other hand appears to be vastly superior scientifically speaking.

Recently, much scientific debate has focused on the global temperature of the Earth’s lower atmosphere as measured by orbiting satellites. And while these data are exceedingly precise, verified by multiple satellite observations, and balloon measurements taken in-situ, they reveal no discernible warming trend in the Earth’s lower atmosphere over the last 18+ years.

Dr. Roy W Spencer (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center) and Dr. John Christy (The University of Alabama in Huntsville) have used the Microwave Sounding Units (MSUs) flying aboard NOAA’s TIROS-N weather satellites to construct a continuous record of lower tropospheric (from the surface to about 4 miles) temperatures since the first MSU was launched in late 1978. The lower tropospheric temperature trend has been calculated to be -0.04 degrees C/decade.

In the March 13, 1997 edition of Nature, two scientists, James Hurrell and Kevin Trenberth, report that sea-surface temperatures monitored by buoys and ships at various locations in the tropics show, for the same period as the satellite record, a warming trend of +0.12 deg. C/decade, in apparent disagreement with the satellites. This so-called “disagreement” between satellite and surface temperature measurements is not new.

Despite the fact that Hurrell and Trenberth estimate of the temperature of the atmosphere through a simple linear regression model based only on the sea surface temperatures, and a global climate model simulation with the same sea surface temperatures but no stratospheric volcanic aerosols, while the MSU data actually measure the temperature of the free atmosphere, Hurrell and Trenberth conclude that the satellite data must be wrong.

However, the satellite data are in agreement with the data from weather balloon measurements.”There isn’t a problem with the measurements that we can find,” Spencer explained. “In fact, balloon measurements of the temperature in the same regions of the atmosphere we measure from space are in excellent agreement with the satellite results.” Dr. Christy explained further, “In particular, we’ve examined these two `breaks’ claimed by Hurrell and Trenberth. Even in these disputed intervals, we find excellent agreement between the two independent, direct atmospheric temperature measurements from balloons and satellites.”

The disagreement between satellites and surface-based thermometers, furthermore, is not geographically uniform. “Over Northern Hemisphere land areas, where the best surface thermometer data exist, the satellites and thermometers agree almost perfectly”, said Dr. Christy of UAH. “It is primarily over the oceans where they disagree by a couple of tenths of a degree C. This is most likely a well-known phenomenon in which the temperature in the deep atmosphere is not as strongly linked to the surface temperature as it is over land.”

So now you know the truth.