Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are scientists coming back to science?

One of the lighter moments in our movie, An Inconsistent Truth, is when we’re making the point that of all the factors global warming alarmists point to they ignore that big, burning ball of fire in the sky.  We conclude the segment with a paraphrase of political guru James Carville.  It’s the sun, stupid.

Sometimes there’s a point when scientists are so immersed in the science that they can’t see the obvious.  The proverbial not being able to see the forest for the trees.  I believe the great global warming debate will go down in history as one such example.

The French news agency, AFP, recently ran a story on how the sun has been surprisingly
quiet lately.  Scientists like to package things as chaotic as the sun into nice, little packages that can be studied and presented in nice, little, peer-reviewed papers.  The only problem is the sun is unpredictable.  Usually we can expect around 120 sunspots per day in a “normal” 11-year cycle, they tell us.  The most recent cycle was forecast to peak at around 90 sunspots per day.  It’s coming in at about half that, or roughly a quarter of the 250-year average.

Interestingly enough, scientists tell us the last time this happened was around 1650 to 1715.  They refer to that as the Maunder Minimum, named after a 19th century husband and wife scientific team who discovered the anomaly.  Many scientists now believe the Maunder Minimum sparked what is now referred to as the Little Ice Age, a period of prolonged cooling that ran from about 1650 to 1850.

And guess what happens after you come out of a little ice age.  You start to warm a bit, as we have since 1850.  Now that the sun is quiet it would make sense that we’d begin another cooling phase, as many scientists now predict.  Instead of common sense another theory captured the imagination of scientists and that is a theory that manmade CO2 is now driving climate change.  The only problem with that theory is there doesn’t seem to be any correlation.

No one is denying that carbon dioxide levels have risen substantially over the last 100 years.  The problem with the theory is the temperatures haven’t followed the rise in CO2.  In fact, as we point out in the movie, if you go back and closely examine the historic record you’ll find that temperature rise precedes the rise in carbon dioxide.  In other words, as the planet heats the ocean temperatures rise and give off more CO2.

It’s interesting that this week much of the nation has been going through a cold snap.  We must be careful that we don’t confuse weather change with climate change.  The global warming alarmists are famous for this.  Any time there’s an unusual heat wave they trot out their theory of global warming.  On weeks like this they’re conspicuously quiet except for those who call this “extreme weather” and blame it on humans.

The odd thing is there is no scientific scenario in which CO2 would cause dramatic cooling.  This whole theory of CO2 causing weather extremes is nonsense.  Either additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing the planet to heat up or it’s not.  The greenhouse effect is just that.  Greenhouses get warmer, not colder or wetter or dryer or stormier.  These folks are so determined to blame humans that they ignore common sense and even science itself.

There is basically one dominant factor that determines whether we’re going to be warm or whether we’re going to be cool. 

It’s the sun, stupid! 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Come on, folks. Get a grip.

I want it known up front that I am a pet lover.  I have owned pets all my life.  I wept out loud when my 18-year-old cat, Smokey, died.  We have a Jack Russell that I affectionately refer to as my Jack Russell terrorist.  With my pet street creds out of the way I want to address the subject at hand.

My story begins at a beachside restaurant in Pensacola Beach, FL just a couple of weeks ago.  I was enjoying my breakfast from the sumptuous breakfast bar when a couple came in and was seated not far from me.  In addition to the earth boots and other attire that gave them the look of two professors who just walked off the campus of Berkeley, the woman had a dog with her.  A rather large one, too.  I’ll admit the canine was well-behaved but when she went to the breakfast bar she took Fido with her.

Now, I had already enjoyed my breakfast - thank goodness - and was just enjoying a second cup of coffee and checking my e-mail.  As I was leaving I had planned to discreetly ask the hostess if dogs were now allowed in restaurants in Florida when the woman walked in front of me with the dog.  He was wearing a neckerchief that read “Service Animal.”  I decided to hold my tongue but I couldn’t help wonder what kind of pansy excuse she had for dragging her dog along everywhere she went under the guise of a service dog.  She certainly wasn’t blind.

After bringing the subject up on my radio show I was educated to the fact that some dogs are used to predict seizures.  Others are trained to sniff out foods that may trigger food allergies.
  I get all that but I also know there are lots of people who abuse the “service animal” laws.

As it happened, right after my encounter there was a rash of news articles on the subject.  One, from CBS News, focused on just how easy it is to obtain a service animal vest for your pet.  Apparently anyone can go online and buy one and there doesn’t appear to be a law to stop them from using them.  And, of course, businesses are scared to death they’ll be sued if they dare say anything.  It’s getting completely out of control.

The bad part is these people who try to pass their pets off as service dogs are doing a disservice to those people who actually need a service dog to lead a free and independent life.  Some businesses are starting to get wise and the CBS piece featured a man with a legit service dog who had been ejected from restaurants simply because non-service dogs were acting up and his was assumed to be fake, too.

But I’m curious about the psychology here.  What kind of person - assuming they’re not in physical need of a service dog - has to take their pet with them everywhere they go?  I’ve heard the excuse of separation anxiety.  They claim the pet has it but it’s really the pet owner.

Again, I love Jack like he’s part of the family but I understand his place in the family.  He’s not a human.  He’s not as important as one of my kids.  He’s a dog.  People who don’t realize the difference have serious mental issues and the last thing they should be doing is subjecting the rest of us to their neuroses. 

If you just can’t go out to eat without your dog, maybe it’s best you stay home.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So easy a 20-year-old could do it

When three 20-year-old computer programmers managed to build an Obamacare website in mere days with more bells and whistles than, and it actually worked, the Obama administration’s ineptness was further exposed.  One of the programmers noted that’s problem was it didn’t offer the plans and the prices up front.  Instead, it requires applicants to enter all of the their personal information - including some odd questions about personal habits having nothing to do with health care - before it reveals the applicant’s cost.

The website designed by the young programmers works much like the health insurance calculator that’s been up for months at the Kaiser Family Foundation website.  The Kaiser website asks you your age, number of dependents and whether any of those to be covered are smokers.  Then it calculates not only how much your policy will cost but how much of a subsidy you’ll get. waits until the last moment to reveal that information.

Can you imagine finding a product on and being required to enter in your credit card information and address before it tells you how much the product will cost?  And they wonder why only 3 percent of eligible applicants have signed up. 

The young programmers were scratching their heads at the simple “error” in but it’s no error.  It’s by design.  Some news reports suggest the site was originally designed to show you the prices first but someone in the Obama administration had that idea scrapped and the site had to be redesigned at the last minute.  That may partially explain why it’s been error-plagued.

So, why would the administration not want you to see the prices up front?  They still claim that most people will save money through the exchanges.  Were that true they would gladly post the costs up front to attract more applicants.  The truth is there’s no way most people will save money.  If that were the case the whole program would be upside down from day one, despite Obama’s contention that Obamacare will reduce the deficit, not add to it.

Supporting that contention is Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economics professor and one of the architects of the Massachusetts plan.  He admitted to that in order for Obamacare to work the insurers must cancel lower-premium plans for healthy patients in order to drive them to the exchanges.  There’s no “free lunch,” he told Politico.  He says Obamacare is structured on the assumption that health insurance companies that chose to be a part of the exchanges would get a defined number of customers.  That’s why they’re canceling policies and sending them to the exchanges.  Once there, these same customers are finding their premiums have doubled or tripled or worse.

When you understand that you understand why the Colorado exchange ran print and Internet ads featuring young white males doing keg stands urging them not to blow their beer money on healthcare.  Join the exchange, they were urged.  Why?  Because the “keg-standers,” who are primarily 26 to 32-year-old white males, are the least likely to use health services.  Obamacare has to have them to pay for those who are high risk.  The only problem is the keg-standers aren’t showing up at the exchanges.  And why would they?  More than likely they get their insurance through their employer and even if they don’t, they’re low-risk enough to get a cheaper policy through a private exchange unassociated with Obamacare.

The whole program was doomed to failure from the start.  And Obama knew it.  He just hoped you’d never find out.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Friday, November 8, 2013

While you weren't looking . . . amnesty

While you were obsessing over the latest incarnation of out-of-control government, whether it be Obamacare or the NSA, forces were diligently working behind the scenes to pass amnesty.  Sen. Jeff Flake - appropriately named - tells The Arizona Republic that he senses “some active movement” on a House version of amnesty.  Flake tells the paper the House bill “won’t prohibit those who are here illegally now from getting on some sort of track that already exists.”  He adds, “It just wouldn’t create a special path like we did in the Senate bill.”

What I’m trying to figure out is why in the world we need to be doing anything other than enforcing the laws we already have.  It’s against the law to break into this country.  You do it once it’s a misdemeanor.  Twice or subsequent times and it’s a felony.  Once again, Congress seems obsessed with concentrating on the symptoms of the problem rather than the problem.

They tend to overcomplicate the issue like they do everything else.  Fixing the illegal immigration issue is simple.  There’s a reason why 20 million illegal aliens have invaded our
country.  They’re here for either the jobs or the benefits or both.  You cut those off and they go home.  Stop feeding the cats and you get rid of the cat problem.

I can’t tell you how long I have been proposing Demagnetize America.  You fine businesses for their first offense in hiring illegals.  If they do it again, you jerk their business license.  Problem solved.  Illegal aliens are not going to come here if they can’t find a job.

At the same time you have to cut off the benefits.  Again, it takes stiff penalties to make that work.  A slap on the wrist won’t cut it.  That’s exactly why the IRS is still targeting conservatives.  There is no down side.  You get caught, like so many IRS officials have, and there’s no repercussion.

It’s like everything in life, if the risk outweighs the gain you have a better chance of stopping the bad behavior.  Horse thieves used to be hanged.  Why was that?  It was because stealing a horse was such an easy thing to do and people depended on their horses for transportation and work.  The only way to curtail the crime was to make the penalty so great that the risk would outweigh the gain.

Hiring an illegal alien is one of the easiest things to do.  However, the unintended side effects are enormously destructive.  Illegal aliens clog our courts, our prisons, our hospital emergency rooms.  It costs billions to educate their children.  Illegal aliens kill American citizens daily either through car accidents or murder.  They soak up a disproportionate amount of our social services.

Instead of going to the root of the problem our congress seems determined to make it worse.  They want to legitimize the illegals who are already here seemingly unaware that in doing so they ensure another, larger wave of illegal immigrants.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What was once extreme is now mainstream to the mainstream media

There’s one piece of advice I’ve given my kids that I hope sticks with them throughout their lives.  Don’t let anyone else define you.  That may sound like odd advice given all the other pearls of wisdom a father can give his children but if people are allowed to define you then they’re allowed to control you.

That’s basically what’s happened to the tea party movement.  The mainstream media have defined the tea party as some extremist movement along the lines of the KKK.  In fact, the hopelessly leftist Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Tea Party Nation as a hate
 group.  You see, anyone or anything that opposes the socialist/leftist agenda is considered a hate group.  Yours truly was, at one point, designated a “hate speaker” by the Southern Poverty Law Center for my opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens.  I, of course, don’t allow anyone to define me, least of all a bunch of pathetic liberals like the SPLC.

So, what is so hateful about the tea party?  Understand that the tea party is not a party, it’s a movement.  It’s a movement like civil rights was a movement.  The civil rights movement had some obvious goals; among them equal public access for blacks and elimination of discrimination in hiring and admissions to universities, not to mention desegregation of public schools.

The tea party movement has goals, too.  Among them are fiscal responsibility, a constitutionally limited government and free market economics unencumbered by government over-regulation.  In fact, if you’ll read the founding documents you’ll understand
exactly what the tea party movement is all about.  Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Ben Franklin, were they alive today, would be part of the tea party movement.  They were the original tea partiers but somehow that’s too radical for today’s political landscape.

That’s because the political landscape has been warped into something our founding fathers would scarcely recognize.  The amount of debt we’ve accumulated as a country would, no doubt, frighten our founders.  The bounds to which our constitutionally limited government have been stretched would probably infuriate the founders to the point they would insist we dissolve this republic experiment.  In fact, they fought a war over far less intrusive and restrictive government.

And the free market is now anything but.  Wall Street, like a heroine addict, is now dependent on the slow drip of smack coming from the federal reserve in the way of quantitative easing.  People assume that what’s best for Wall Street is best for the country forgetting that Wall Street is a whore and doesn’t really care if the infusion of cash is coming from a Twitter IPO, the fed chairman or the federal government.  That doesn’t mean that capitalism has failed.  It simply means the free market is no longer free.  The “free” part means free from outside manipulation.  

So, when the government is controlling the market it’s no longer capitalism but socialism or worse.  Many folks, including our current president, don’t like our country as currently constituted.  They feel if they can just change it - i.e.: do something about this pesky capitalism - it’ll be a great place.

These people need to understand one thing.  Capitalism and the United States are joined at the hip.  If you are anti-capitalist you are, by definition, anti-American.  To say that America would be a great place if we could only do away with the free market system is to miss what this country is all about.

When someone says they despise the tea party that should tell you all you need to know about them.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.