Politics in cartoon form.

Now that’s a bumper sticker with which I may actually deface my car.

Poor Hillary! Why is it that I cannot find it within me to FEEL SORRY FOR HER.

There are plenty of RINOs (not my favorite appellation). However, I think McCain, Murkowski and Collins are deserving! As William Kristol phrased it they “McCain, McSaw and McConquered.” And we lost.

The Dems are really lost. They came up with their new campaign slogan: A Better Deal. They can’t even be original. The phrase harkens to FDR’s “New Deal” and Truman’s “Square Deal.” I guess they are enamored with the word “deal.” Too bad they can’t DEAL with the Republicans – only Resist.

Ouch! The cartoon below hits home!

I am sick of the “Russia” story. It is an insult that Washington thinks anything Russia did influenced my vote!

But the Dems will keep pushing the story.

Roy Filly

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Fun with government spending.

The title is somewhat misleading. You may, instead, upchuck breakfast after reading this missive.

[Sources: The Trump Budget, by John Stossel; $2 Million Bathroom, by John Stossel; From $250 Million to $6.5 Billion: The Bay Bridge Cost Overrun, by Eric Jaffe; 10 years later, did the Big Dig deliver? By Anthony Flint]

Let’s start with the Budget. The Democrats decried President Trump’s budget outline saying his cuts were “terrible.” Of course, the New York Times chimed in with “Promises Little but Pain!” And, it goes without saying that Pravda on the Potomac (otherwise known as the Washington Post) said that it was “Harsh and shortsighted.”

So, the President proposed his budget outline. Congress went on to pass a “budget” and Mr. Trump signed it. Oh, THE PAIN… the HARSHNESS! It was TERRIBLE! Have you heard about the “pain?”

Of course not. Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, here is what Congress did:

  • The President asked for a $4.7 billion dollar cut to the Agriculture Department, but instead Congress increased the department’s appropriation by $12.8 billion.
  • The President asked for a $15 billion dollar cut to Health and Human Services, but instead Congress gave them an extra $2.8 billion.
  • The President asked for a $6.2 billion dollar cut to Housing and Urban Development. Did he get it? No! Congress gave HUD a $500 million increase.
  • Etc, etc.

Milton Friedman didn’t even want an Agriculture Department or Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Let’s turn our attention to State government fiscal fiascos. Let’s begin where I live – a bastion of Democrat governance – the Bay Area. The new Bay Bridge cost $6.5 billion to build. The original estimate was $250 million. However, when it went to the ballot box in 1996, the California Department of Transportation announced the state would spend seven years and just over $1 billion to replace the eastern span which was damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake (1989). The “scheduled” completion was 2003. It wasn’t opened until late 2013. After the citizens voted to cough up the $1 billion, then it was up to the legislature to approve any “cost overrun.” Quelle surprise!

It is even more appalling when one chronicles the increases:

  • $250 billion – 1995
  • $1 billion – 1996
  • $1.3 billion – 1997
  • $2.6 billion – 2001
  • $5.5 billion – 2005
  • $6.5 billion – 2012

But the Big Dig in that eastern bastion of Democrat rule made the Bay Bridge look like peanuts. The “Big Dig” is the most expensive highway in US history. It is the Central Artery and Tunnel project through Boston. The “absolute” cost is difficult to know because it took so long the value of the dollar changed multiple times. Its “cost” was $14.6 billion. The original “estimate” was $2.6 billion.

Oh well, politicians think we’re stupid. Perhaps they are right! We always say “Throw the bums out!” The “bums” still seem to be in charge.

Roy Filly

 

 

 

 

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Rewriting the human genome.

There have been two remarkable advancements in genetics. The first, CRISPR, led to the second.

CRISPR (you don’t really want to know) stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. So, that was an obvious waste of words, but what it allows scientists to do is truly remarkable. This revolution has seized the scientific community. Research labs worldwide have adopted this new technology because it facilitates making specific changes in DNA.

[Source: First Human Embryos Edited in U.S., by Steve Connor]

It was only a matter of time before some scientist accomplished this in a human embryo and that “matter of time” has now passed. Researchers at the University of Oregon have created genetically modified human embryos. The research group was led by Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov who successfully changed the DNA of a large number of one-cell human embryos with this new gene-editing technique. (Three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.)

Mitalipov and colleagues, however, have broken new ground by demonstrating that it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases. And, by the by, none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days and there had never been any intention of implanting them into a womb. (The ethics of experimentation on human embryos is too complex for this missive, so I won’t be discussing it.)

But again, I assure you it is only a matter of time. In my career I had the opportunity to sit and participate in many parent conferences where difficult reproductive choices were made. No one is saying this will be easy.

However, imagine you and your spouse at your first visit to your obstetrician after the drug store pregnancy test wand turned blue. The obstetrician says, “I see you have diabetes in your family. Would you rather your fetus does not have this?” It could be worse. You could have Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, or Charlie Gard’s disease – infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome – in the family genome. What would your answer be? Would you honestly answer that you would prefer that your offspring be at risk for these diseases? (I stated the example for effect, but genetic engineering would require a visit before the drug store pregnancy test wand turned blue.)

But the process is more dramatic for the child than simply eradicating its propensity to develop a given disease. This process is termed “germline engineering” because any genetically modified child would then pass the changes on to subsequent generations via their own genetic code. That is to say that the defect would be abolished from your family FOREVER.

It is a short step (not scientifically, of course – the following will take a long time) to less critical questions:

  • Would you rather your child had 10 more IQ pints?
  • You are both obese. Would you rather your child not be at risk for obesity?
  • You are both rather short. Would you rather your child be 6 inches taller?

My friends we are about to enter an era where profound ethical questions will need to be answered. But let me assure you that regardless of the answers to those question these techniques will be applied to humans and there will be NO STOPPING IT! An American law or a United Nations edict will not stop this inevitable outcome now that it is scientifically possible.

Be prepared for designer babies.

And thanks to JM for suggesting I write about this.

Roy Filly

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To the New York Times: Coal is not dead.

A few weeks after Mr. Trump was elected the New York Times informed us that “Coal Isn’t Coming Back.” The message was that the President’s promise to save the coal mining industry would never happen. The Financial Times was right in sync with the New York Times:  “Coal Is Dead; Long Live the Sun.”

[Source: Coal is No. 1, by Stephen Moore]

Here are a few statistics for the New York Times editors (data from the Energy Information Administration):

  • the single largest source of electric power for the first half of 2017 was coal.
  • coal outpaced natural gas as a source of electricity (albeit by only 1%)
  • coal is anticipated to generate 3.453 million kilowatts per day this year
  • wind and solar will barely generate one seventh of this amount
  • mining (not just for coal) increased 21.6 percent (compared to US industry in general which was up 2%)

The issue of jobs is somewhat different. The left states (and is correct) that these increases do not translate necessarily to lots more jobs. That is because coal mining has become highly efficient and is done with far fewer workers than previously. But let’s look at this issue from the productivity perspective. The Institute for Energy Research has completed a study documenting that it takes wind and solar at least 30 times more man-hours to produce a kilowatt of electricity than is required to produce that same energy from coal or oil. So should we move toward inefficiency to produce jobs? If that’s the plan I can create a few million jobs by banning tractors!

[From the Moore article] But coal jobs are not just tied to the actual mining of coal. Coal is tied to steel jobs, trucking jobs and manufacturing jobs. Using cheap and efficient energy makes every other American industry more productive and thus makes American employers far more competitive in global markets. Productivity creates higher-paying jobs in America; it doesn’t destroy them.

Dear New York Times editors, it appears that the coal industry will be around for a while.

Roy Filly

 

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Impeachment. Some facts.

The Democrats have this dream that they will impeach Donald Trump. So what’s up with “impeachment” as a process? How else can a president be removed from office? The facts show that “impeachment” is a talking point, not reality.

[Source: The Impeachment Fantasy, by Tod Lindberg]

There are five ways for a president not to finish his/her term. There are three “legal” means of removing a president from office (and two “natural” means not to finish a presidency):

  • Among the two “natural” means is death – a “no-brainer,” as the saying goes
  • And the second is resignation

No “legalities”are required in the above circumstances. Certainly presidents have died in office.

  • 1841: William Henry Harrison.
  • 1850: Zachary Taylor.
  • 1865: Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1881: James A. Garfield.
  • 1901: William McKinley.
  • 1923: Warren G. Harding.
  • 1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • 1963: John F. Kennedy.

Of course, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy were assassinated. I am quite certain that some Democrat or another (maybe a whole passel of Democrats) has considered this possibility, but then there is the Secret Service with whom they would need to contend. Of course, Kathy Griffins and the Resistance are still free to roam the land and buy long-range rifles or knives for beheading. Only President Nixon resigned, but he did so with almost certain knowledge that he would be impeached and convicted. So, I’m not sure that counts.

The legal means include:

  • Uncontested removal by the vice president and the majority of the cabinet because the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” (the 25th Amendment)
  • Presidentially contested removal by the vice president and cabinet majority (again, under the 25th Amendment), which then goes to Congress and requires agreement by two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate
  • Congressional impeachment, which entails House majority approval of one or more articles of impeachment, a trial in the Senate with a verdict in favor of removal. The Chief Justice, John Roberts, would preside over the trial and two-thirds of the Senate must vote “guilty.”

While the 25th Amendment has been used multiple times to give the Vice President authority for short periods of time, no president has been removed from office using this Amendment. It is actually easier to remove a president by impeachment than by the 25th Amendment. Impeachment only requires a 2/3rds majority in the Senate while the 25th Amendment requires 2/3rds majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Only two presidents have been impeached and neither was removed from office because a 2/3rds majority in the Senate could not be obtained for either. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. The House concluded that these presidents had acted illegally (so-called “high crime or misdemeanor”).

President Johnson was charged with violation of the Tenure of Office Act. He had removed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton without the consent of the Senate. However, in an unrelated case, the Supreme Court later ruled his action was indeed a power of the Presidency. A previous attempt to impeach Johnson, in December 1867, failed by a vote of 57 in favor, 108 against, with 66 Johnson-hating Republicans refraining from voting to impeach him because no genuine violation of the law was at issue. I doubt today’s Democrats will suffer from this pang of conscience!

The case against President Clinton was different. The crimes that were alleged were the actual crimes of perjury and obstruction. However, despite my conclusion that he perjured himself under oath, he was NOT CONVICTED BY THE SENATE. The Senate acquitted President Clinton on both articles of impeachment, falling short of a majority vote on either of the charges against him. (The Senate even rejected the charge of perjury, 55 to 45, with 10 Republicans voting against conviction.)

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi admits that she has not yet seen enough evidence to warrant Trump’s impeachment – although I am confident she continues to hope. So, the difficult and arduous path (footnote) to impeachment, while not a zero percent chance, falls remarkably close to being within the “slim to none” category. And Democrats would be well advised to heed the following “joke.”

Roy Filly

Footnote: The course to impeachment.

  • Assumes Special Counsel Mueller finds criminal activity on the part of the president (However, in the Clinton matter, Ken Starr was appointed pursuant to the now-defunct Independent Counsel Act, which explicitly charged him to provide the House with any “substantial and credible information .  .  . that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.” Mueller has no such authority under his appointment.)
  • Can Mueller indict the President if he discovers a “crime?” To indict a sitting president is without precedent and a proposition the Supreme Court has never directly considered.
  • The Judiciary Committee would need to decide to start an investigation (the Judiciary Committee has 24 Republican members and 17 Democrats)
  • Then conduct it
  • Then approve articles of impeachment to send to the House floor.

 

 

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Plug-in electric cars. So how’s that going?

I do not object to electric cars. I wouldn’t mind owning a Tesla Model S except that it retails for $150,000 with the options I want. The federal government will give you $7500 back as a tax credit and California (where I live) will foot another $2500. So basically taxpayers subtract $10,000, but still there are no “poor” or “lower middle class” Americans driving around in Teslas.

[Source: Tesla Battery, Subsidy and Sustainability Fantasies, by Paul Driessen]

Justifications for electric vehicles were:

  1. Combustion engines pollute. However, emissions have steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did.
  2. We were “running out of oil.” HoweverAmerica’s hydraulic fracturing revolution eliminated that as an argument.
  3. Batteries are rechargeable. Building batteries and recharging them – not so clean. (Footnote)

What to do? What to do? Ah, yes. Climate change and global warming… let’s invoke those.

But here the problem is that plug-in electric vehicles account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide (and Tesla sales are less than 1% of US auto sales). Also, when subsidies are taken away sales plummet. Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark when government subsidies were eliminated. Only 6 Teslas were sold in the first quarter in Denmark. Tesla’s U.S. subsidies are also soon scheduled to be eliminated. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero. The same thing will happen to other companies that produce electric vehicles when sales reach 200,000.

As well, other “bennies” of owning an electric car are fading. Communities and states are gradually reducing access to high occupancy vehicle lanes and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey electric vehicles (electric vehicles are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles).

Do any of you remember this PLEDGE? “We’ll commit ourselves to getting one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid cars on our roads within six years. And we’ll make sure these cars are built not in Japan, not in China, but right here in the United States of America.” – Senator Barack Obama, 8/5/2008. We are now at almost double the amount of time in Obama’s promise and we’re nearly halfway there! And, they were NOT all “built right here in the United States of America.”

As well, Progressive/Statist/Altruists can hardly put their efforts in the “altruist” column. A 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer electric vehicle subsidies. And, as I am a California resident, its legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla.  And how will the new law accomplish that, ask you? By increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest, answer I… altruism at its finest!

But, say you, it is important to advance lithium battery technology. OK, answer I, however it is important to realize that all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Watt hours per day. Worldwide, humanity uses over 50,000 billion Watt hours daily. (And, by the by, taxpayers are subsidizing a Tesla battery plant being built in Nevada to the tune of $1 billion.)

Well, you decide the logic of these enterprises.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

Batteries are an essential component of hybrids. Regenerative braking lets hybrids generate and store their own energy to power the vehicle at low speeds and while idling. Unfortunately, both nickel-hydride batteries and the newer lithium-ion batteries rely on the mining of nickel, copper and so-called rare earth metals. The production of lithium-ion batteries account for 2 to 5 percent of total lifetime hybrid emissions and nickel-hydride batteries are responsible for higher sulfur oxide emissions, roughly 22 pounds (10 kilograms) per hybrid compared with 2.2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) for a conventional vehicle [sources: Samaras and Burnham et al].

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Sperm and destiny.

Demographics is destiny.

Arthur Kemp

For some… situations there are no solutions.

James Lee Burke

I know that the topics of the day are “healthcare reform failure/Republican traitors in the Senate/Scaramucci-Priebus/Sessions swinging the breeze/collusion with Russia/North Korean missiles.” However, all of those make me want to upchuck my breakfast and become an anarchist. So let’s look at a completely different scary topic.

What topic is that, ask you? Why male sperm counts, answer I. Really? What possibly could be interesting about male sperm counts, ask you? They’re plummeting, answer I.

Sperm counts of men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plunging, according to a new analysis. The above graph is based on data that includes nearly 43,000 males. Numerous variables were considered (fertility status, age, ejaculation abstinence time, semen collection method, sperm count method and geographic location). The sample included 50 different countries. Therefore, it is almost certainly accurate. And this is a mere 40 years. Homo Sapien males have been producing sperm for 200,000 years. We don’t have accurate data over that time span, but…

I am not saying that the graph above and the graph below are directly related, but ultimately they will be directly related. It remains true that it only requires one sperm cell to fertilize an egg and even at the current ejaculate volume and numbers there are still 137 million sperm available.

Nonetheless, among the study sample was a high proportion of men in Western countries with sperm concentrations below 40 million/ml. This is concerning because evidence indicates that a sperm concentration below this threshold is associated with a decreased monthly probability of conception. The cause of this decline is uncertain, although you can be confident that the environmental alarmist crowd will blame “climate change.”

Again, I am not suggesting that sperm count decline is the reason for declining total fertility rates, but when it inevitably becomes a factor it’s “Katie bar the door.”

[Source: The Coming Demographic Crisis, by Bruce Thornton, Research Fellow, Hoover Institute]

  • Each women must average a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 children for populations to remain stable.
  • In the developed world, and even in the developing world, fertility is below the 2.1 mark, meaning that populations are declining.
  • Nations that have a TFR of 1.4, predicts that their populations will decline by 50 percent in 45 years.
  • The European Union has an average TFR of 1.5.
  • Fertility rates are also dropping in developing regions like Latin America, where the average fertility rate fell from six children in the 1960s to 2.5 children by 2005.
  • Compared to Europe, the United States’ 2.0 TFR looks good; however, the number is largely dependent on the fertility rate of Hispanic women, which is 2.35.
  • If Hispanic fertility rates drop in the United States as expected, the U.S. TFR would drop substantially (and, generally speaking, the TFR declines generationally in Hispanic immigrants – RF).

The “low fertility trap” hypothesis was pioneered by demographer Dr. Wolfgang Lutz of the Vienna Institute of Demography. Proponents note that no society has ever recovered from a sustained birth rate of under 1.5 children per woman.

This is because after a few decades of very low birth rates, very simply, there are no longer enough potential mothers to have enough children to recover, and an irreversible downward spiral begins. Gender based selective fetocide only hastens the end (China, India). Simultaneously, they say, a more subtle cultural shift also occurs: childlessness and small families become the norm, thereby institutionalizing the trend of low birth rates.

From, Global Aging and the Crisis of the 2020sby Neil Howe and Richard Jackson: “Demographic trends have played a decisive role in many of the great … political upheavals … of history. By the 2020s, an ominous new conjuncture of demographic trends may once again threaten widespread disruption. We are talking about global aging, which is likely to have a profound effect on economic growth, living standards, and the shape of the world order.”

I have written several times that demographics will define the future of socialist/ collectivist thought, and not in a user-friendly way. It appears that the day of reckoning is close upon us. The 2020s are the years during which the culmination of lower birthrates and increased longevity will require that some very difficult choices must be made. In the 2020s the postwar baby boomers retire in force. The median ages of Western Europe and Japan, which were 34 and 33 respectively as recently as 1980, will soar to 47 and 52 by 2030. The working-age population has already begun to contract in several large developed countries, including Germany and Japan. By 2030, it will be stagnant or contracting in nearly all developed countries.

The “age wave” is as unstoppable as a tsunami. The notion of “cradle to grave” government assistance will necessarily come to an end – particularly the “grave” portion of the equation.

My friends, the writing is on the wall. Democrats who say we do not need to change our “entitlement” culture are the political equivalent of screaming at the tsunami to stop! These progressive/altruist notions simply cannot coexist with the realities of demography.

Roy Filly

 

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2018 or 2020 – take your pick.

As my readers know, I used to be Democrat. It was the days of the “Blue Dog” Democrats. Those days are gone and most people under the age of 35 have no idea what a “Blue Dog” Democrat is (footnote 1).

The Democrat Party is in serious disrepair. Let me ask you, who is the leader of the Democrat Party? Is it Nancy Pelosi (age 77 years), or Chuck Schumer (age 66 years) or Diane Feinstein (age 84 years) or Bernie Sanders (age 75 years)? Elizabeth Warren, who may appear “younger,” is actually 68 years old. And Hillary? She’s 69 years old.

Let me also ask, “Who is their next presidential candidate?” I don’t have an answer and I know of no “list,” but, more importantly, neither do they.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is field-testing some new bumper stickers and slogans (these are not jokes):

  • “Democrats 2018: We win moral victories, not elections”
  • “She persisted, we resisted”
  • “Democrats 2018: I mean, have you seen the other guys?”
  • “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future”

The Democrat Party believes they can “rebuild” the “Blue Wall” (footnote 2). Their latest slogan may be “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” However, their platform remains:

  • Higher taxes
  • More government regulations
  • Less gas and oil production
  • Loose immigration policies
  • Promotion of identity politics

Does anyone (even the Democrat leadership) really believe they will abandon these notions? This will likely capture the Warren/Sanders voters, but not many others. Instead, it appears that their plan is either to remove Trump (the “Impeach” crowd) or to so delegitimize him such that he is rendered impotent to enact his agenda (the “Leak” and “Resist” Crowd). Do they really believe that their vaunted “Blue Wall” who elected Trump because of his pro America policies will flock back to the Democrat Party because they STOPPED HIM FROM DOING WHAT THEY ELECTED HIM TO DO?

Roy Filly

Footnote 1: The Blue Dog Democrats was a caucus of United States Congressional Representatives from the Democratic Party who identified as conservative Democrats. They were fiscal and defense hawks. There is still a Blue Dog coalition but has fewer than 20 members and no voice in Democrat policies.

Footnote 2: “Blue wall” is a term that has been used by political analysts and pundits referring to the notion that the Democrat Party had established such an advantage in many, mostly contiguous (hence “wall”), states that the electoral map made a Republican victory an uphill battle from the start. The voters maintaining the “Blue Wall” were predominantly working class Americans.

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Smog.

No one likes smog.

From 1974-76 while serving in the USAF Medical Corps I was stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. California smog was at its peak and the Los Angeles basin wherein Riverside resides was Smog Central.

Riverside is essentially the eastern extent of the Los Angeles basin. Therefore, the breezes off of the ocean pushed LA smog onto Riverside where the San Gabriel mountains along the northern border, and the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains to the east essentially trapped the smog which accumulated and accumulated and accumulated… over Riverside.

Mount San Gorgonio is the highest peak in Southern California (top image below) and stands at 11,503 feet. It is snow-capped for most of the year. Very near to it is its spectacular but lower neighbor, San Jacinto Peak. Although not as high as Mount San Gorgonio, San Jacinto Peak has the highest escarpment in the United States and is a majestic mountain (bottom image below).

Here’s the reason for the geography lesson (and thanks for your indulgence as I prattled on). I swear on my sainted mother’s grave that the following statements are true. My apartment was a mere 35 miles from Mount San Gorgonio and 50 miles from San Jacinto Peak. From July through September 1974 I NEVER SAW EITHER MOUNTAIN. (Around September the Santa Ana winds blow the smog back to LA and the air in Riverside clears.) It was impossible to see these massive mountains because the smog was so dense. Even more dramatic was that the “brown air” on most days made it impossible to recognize the colors of traffic signals! You simply knew that the “red light” was at the top and the “green light” was on the bottom, BUT THE COLORS WERE NOT RECOGNIZABLE.

While one can easily argue that the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went completely off the rails when it decided to list CO2 as a “pollutant,” back in its early years it worked diligently to “clear the air.”

And succeed it did. Vehicle emissions today are only 3% of what their predecessors emitted. Too bad the EPA decided to focus all of its efforts on CO2 as a “pollutant” when, in fact, it actually is the staff of life.

Roy Filly

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You can learn a lot from graphs.

It is amazing how private sector unions have lost power. However, public sector unions are still huge. (See footnote for some memorable quotes.) And it is no wonder that union leaders want America to be more like Sweden!

Interesting… danger and annual pay are not remotely connected.

Yikes! And I’ll bet that if there was a separate statistic for the “under-20-crowd” TV would be well back in the rearview mirror.

Angela Merkel strikes down calls for a ceiling on number of refugees granted asylum. It appears that her southern compatriots disagree.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

Multiple choice: Who made this quote. “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.

Rand Paul, Senator from Tennessee

Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States

George Meany, former President of the AFL-CIO

Answer: George Meany. Public sector unions are commonplace today, but, in the 1950s, the labor movement thought the idea absurd.

The proper business of a labor union is to get higher wages, better hours and good shop conditions for the workmen. But when labor en masse plunks its vote for its own party, then the spirit of party loyalty begins to obscure labor’s objectives … So we have … workers trading votes not for the immediate objective of wages, hours and shop conditions, but for power …

William Allen White (Importantly, Mr. White, a prominent newspaper editor, was a leader of the Progressive Movement.)

There was no precise moment when the tide began to turn against labor unions in America. There was no single catastrophic event — no landmark strike that was broken, no massive organizing campaign that was turned back, no key negotiation that went poorly for labor. But beyond any doubt, since the early 1980s, unions have lost many of their resources and much of their influence.

Gary Chaison (An academic Ph.D. who is one of the leading authorities on unions)

Regarding labor unions: … eventually they become just another street gang. Spiritually, psychologically, they’ve always been just a street gang. (As Governor Scott Walker learned.)

Rudi Giuliani

(When asked what he wanted) We want more, and when it becomes more, we shall want still more. And we shall never cease to demand more… (That pretty much sums it up!)

Samuel Gompers (American Labor Union Leader)

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