vegan cows

Go Vegan to Stop Climate Change!

Blame it on the cows!

The sky is falling, the ozone is fading and the earth is warming. And who is the biggest culprit in this fiasco? Cows. That’s right. Cows. C-O-W-S! Freakonomics has an incredible article with the details.

Turns out, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change. Eating less meat means fewer animals in the stockyards and fewer animal “emissions” means less global warming. Overall, the point seems pretty strong: global veganism could do more than any other single action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Vegans are still considered as sort of “out there,” a fringe group of animal rights activists with pasty skin and protein issues. However, as a recent report from the World Preservation Foundation confirms, ignoring veganism in the fight against climate change is sort of like ignoring fast food in the fight against obesity.

Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines, stop eating meat.

Turns out I am a person that is easily offended by double-standards. If you accept the conventional wisdom of man-made global warming caused by greenhouse gases, you should unequivocally embrace veganism. If you are unwilling to do that, then you must admit that hamburgers are more important to you than the environment. And climb down off your moralizing hobby horse while you’re at it please.

Who Is Running the Show?

RT Chuck Ledbetter –  “Sometimes I wonder if the government is run by smart people who are just putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” Mark Twain

Freedom From Government

Quotes from Thomas Jefferson –

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

Single Mothers: The Unintended Consequences

I was unaware that single mothers raising their children could cause a major problem for society.  Then I read a book by Levitt and Dubner, entitled Freakonomics, and more recently a second by Ann Coulter, Guilty.  Both books detail the hidden damage of single mothers on our society. Teen crime

The issue:  Single mothers have often been touted as heroines and, I suspect, some are.  Let’s be clear though. Women that have never been married are at odds with the historical pattern for healthy, stable homes and this deviance is catching up with us here in the USA. While data is scarce, we are learning that the majority of children of a single parent are running away with crime statistics.  1) The strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison was that he was raised by a single parent, and 2) 70% of inmates in state detention centers serving long-time sentences were raised by single (never married) moms.

Significance:  Aside from ethical and moral considerations, the additional costs to society are in areas like welfare payments, health care, and incarceration.  Less obvious would be the lost potential of children who are born without the guiding hand of a father.

Past:  The Trend was toward wayward children of single moms before Roe v. Wade, 22 Jan 73.  Then it changed:  for a while.  The most likely person to have an abortion was a girl/woman, unmarried, in her teens, poor, or a combination.   In the 1990s, just when children born after Roe v. Wade reached their teens, the crime rate dropped.  Legalized abortion had led to less crime.

Teen violencePresent:  It’s back again.  A never-married parent is becoming more common in single-parent homes. Between 1970 and 2007, the proportion of children living with a never-married parent increased from 7 percent to 42 percent. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Care Statistics shows that 2007 was a record-setting year when it comes to American births. Not only did we beat out the apex of the baby boom in terms of sheer birthrate, but also we hit a record with births to unwed mothers at a whopping 40 percent. Furthermore, teen pregnancies increased for the second year in a row after a long period of decline throughout the ’90s and early part of this decade.

Current:  Children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of al teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children. (Source: Index of Leading Cultural Indicators) An opposing point of view:  probably a reference to Ann Coulter:

“There is one social commentator, all too visible in the media, who is so vile that I make a point of not ever watching her or mentioning her name. I’ve been getting some e-mails about her in the past week. Apparently, she’s been bashing single mothers. Her latest claim, according to the “Living Single” readers who have gotten in touch with me, is that single mothers, together with liberals, are responsible for all of the nation’s ills. I haven’t heard her version and I’m not going to look it up. I’m totally open to other points of view but I don’t want to encourage hateful expressions of them. So regardless of what she actually did say, I thought that readers might like to see my take on single mothers. Here is what I wrote for the Huffington Post on Mother’s Day in 2007.”

This is a female blogger who feels that the single parent is the object of scorn.  And she refuses to check out what is being said.  Understand:  Single moms are not the object here – it is the damage done, for whatever reason, by the teenagers of single moms. So what?  An extensive review of marriage research released in September by the Brookings Institution and Princeton found that children fare best when raised by their married, biological parents. Still, more couples are cohabiting, which tends to be less stable for children.

Thesis.  What I think / feel?  What is the social trend? I come from a generation and a faith believing that the only form of marriage is between one man and one woman.  Further, this is the only arrangement where a child should be brought into the world.  Teenagers having sex, with the girl becoming pregnant, in almost every case will yield one or more of the results described above.  I have helped to raise seven children and am thankful to God that none had to experience any of this trauma.

One observation is, “What we have called our ‘teen pregnancy’ crisis is not really about teenagers. Nor is it really about pregnancy. It is about the decline of marriage.”  I agree with this blogger.  And the trend is international.  I lived in Germany for seven years during the recent past and for reasons unexplained to me, cohabitating couples having a child (almost always, only one), was the norm. I am told that television and the movies reflect our social mores but I am often unsure which is influencing which.

Politics, too, seems to be entering the fray.  The Obama administration is not only in favor of abortion but is installing officers in high HHS government posts that are in favor of abortion on demand.  On the positive side, easy abortions may again reduce teenage crime statistics, but what is it doing to the potential children who could might find a cure for AIDS, or assist humanity by achieving distinction in science, arts, and/or sports? Your call!!

Dr. Bud ColegroveDr.Bud Colegrove has a Ph.D. in Economics and has been teaching with the University of Maryland and other institutions since 1992. From 1974-1992 he worked as an Electrical Engineer with the US Navy and industry. Dr.Bud has recently begun writing for Faith and Facts as well as Whip the Liberals.

EDIT ***********

I am adding a postcript to this post to clarify the postition of Faith and Facts, Dr.Bud, and myself (Bruce).

The purpose of this post is to point out a social problem and encourage the discussion of possible solutions. We do not blame women and certainly do not absolve men for the problems pointed out in this article. The fact is that the nuclear family has changed and husbands are absent too often. The results are usually bad. We think that should change. So, rather than tell us, “Women are not to blame,” or “Men are pigs,” I suggest you provide meaningful actions we can take in our communities, churches, and politics to reverse this ill-effect.

Also, the single mothers we are talking about are not the victims of divorce. Please re-read the article carefully. The high crime stats are related to single mothers that have never been married. Women that have forsaken the traditional model of family with increasingly negative results.

We realize this is a sensitive issue and are not trying to bash women or misstate the problem. We are, however, hoping to foster discussion that helps move our society in a better direction.

The Real Cost Of The Bailout

A number of people have asked me to document how we have spent over $4 trillion in money. Turns out, the graphic below was a snapshot of bailout money and now the total has risen to almost $7 trillion. I believe the final total may top $15 trillion. Of course, I said all this months ago but it feels somewhat good to say, “I told you so” to some folks.

1. See the figures below.
2. Bloomberg estimates that the Federal Reserve has spent $3 trillion and pledged $5.7 trillion which would make the total bailout over $12 trillion.
3. I was on a radio program with Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) recently and he confirmed that trillions are being spent without approval of Congress.

Financial Crisis Balance Sheet

Government Entity Sum in Billions of Dollars
Federal Reserve
(TAF) Term Auction Facility 900
Discount Window Lending
Commercial Banks 99.2
Investment Banks 56.7
Loans to buy ABCP 76.5
AIG 112.5
Bear Stearns 29.5
(TSLF) Term Securities Lending Facility 225
Swap Lines 613
(MMIFF) Money Market Investor Funding Facility 540
Commercial Paper Funding Facility 1800
TALF 200
(TARP) Treasury Asset Relief Program 700
Other:
Automakers 25
(FHA) Federal Housing Administration 300
Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac 350
TARRA – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 787
Total $6,814.5

*References includ US National Archive, US Dept of Defense, US Bureau of Reclamation, Library of Congress, NASA, Panama Canal Authority, FDIC, Brittanica, WSJ, Time, CNN.com, and a number of other websites.

Bar Stool Economics

.

Something they don’t teach at Business School (or in Washington).

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10!’

‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I got’

‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

HT to Lisa

Dow Tanks – Again

The Dow Jones Average has experienced the largest two day drop since 1987, reminding us that our financial troubles are far from over. Jobless claims and a shrinking have crushed earnings reports and stock prices. Overnight, Japan was down 6% and European stocks were down 5-10%. Russia is in trouble and China is not doing well.

Exxon, Cisco, Kroger, Tyco, GM, Intel, Blackstone, Amazon, Wells Fargo, all down. If President-elect Barack Obama has a plan for all this, now is the time to speak up since “change has come to America.”

Of course, many, including me, predicted that since Obama was part of the cause of our economic turmoil that his eleection would not solve the problems. Rather, electing Obama would deepen the problems.

It turns out that people on Wall Street are quite intelligent. The masses may have believed the lie that George Bush and John McCain were responsible for this mess but the smart folks know better. They can also read the tea leaves and predict the impact of “Spread the Wealth” on the economy and the impact of raising taxes on corporations.

By the way … will someone give the Obama leadership a basic lesson in macro-economics. American corporations has one of the highest tax rates in the world. When taxes increase, companies move jobs overseas and increase prices at home, passing the cost along to the consumer. If they cannot pass along the costs, companies delay hiring and/or lay off workers.  Hmmm. Higher prices and fewer jobs result from increasing taxes on companies. Not sure that is what we want from a President.

See Hot Air and Bloomberg

Obama Ad Lies About Family Income

In a recent television ad, Barack Obama claims that family incomes are falling:

“For eight years, you’ve been told that the way to a stronger was to give huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and somehow prosperity would trickle down. Well now we know the truth. It didn’t work. Instead of prosperity trickling down, pain has trickled up. Working family incomes have fallen by $2,000 a year.”

According to the Tax Foundation, that is not actually true.  They go on to say it is “not even in the ballpark.”

Faith and FactsReal incomes for working families have not even fallen by $2,000 in the entire eight year period of the past eight years, according to the Census Bureau; and that’s even judging by an income metric (cash money income) that doesn’t include in-kind benefits like the value of employer-provided health insurance. . . .

…median family income in 2007 (most recent year data is available) was at an all-time high, and mean working family income (which can be skewed by very high income earners) has actually only fallen by about $348 in real terms since 2000. The latter implies an average decline of about $50 per year, meaning Obama is overstating the decline by about forty-fold.

I realize that in any campaig, both parties make claims that are disputed by their opponents. One role of the media is to fact-check these claims/accusations and report the truth.

Sadly, the mainstream media is embedded so deeply in Obama’s hip pocket they refuse to analyze an outrageous accusation such as this one.

Don’t expect the MSM to call attention to the fact that this ad by Barack Obama and the Democrats is an outright lie.

AIG Needs $38 Billion More

We just loaned them $85 Billion. But that wasn’t enough.

Everyone. Together now. “I told you so!

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it was lending billions of additional funds to cash-strapped American International Group Inc.

Under the program, the New York Federal Reserve Bank will provide $37.8 billion in additional cash to certain domestic life insurance subsidiaries of AIG  in return for investment-grade, fixed-income securities.

AIG already has an $85 billion line of credit with the Fed. As of last week, AIG had used $60 billion of this loan, according to Fed data.

This new program will allow AIG to replenish liquidity, the Fed said. At the same time, the securities will provide enhanced protection to U.S. taxpayers, the central bank said.

These big wigs spent over $440,000 on a party when they got the first loan. No telling how much they will spend now.
Take a look at:
Right Voices

LA Times edits out McCain’s remarks on economy

Yesterday, McCain blasted Obama and the Democrats for the mess we are in. How does the LA Times cover the story? They pretended he never said anything about the !

Right Voices.