The recent release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study, which showed a worldwide temperature increase of about 1°C since 1950, was heralded by many as proof of global warming. Some skeptics, however, noted that the BEST data also showed that temperatures had remained unchanged for the past decade, suggesting that any warming trend had ended around the turn of the century.
Meteorologist and climate-science blogger Anthony Watts has gone those skeptics one better. Having analyzed U.S. temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, Watts declared in a column for the Daily Caller: “The trend for the continental United States for the past 10 years is not flat, but cooling.”
Watts broke the data down by winter, summer, and annual temperatures in each of nine designated regions in the continental United States. For wintertime he found that “every region … has a negative temperature trend for the last decade,” ranging from -1.3°F in the Western Region (California and Nevada) to -8.74°F in the East North Central Region (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan).
Many Wall Street occupiers are echoing the Communist Party USA's call to "Save the nation! Tax corporations! Tax the rich!" There are other Americans, on both the left and the right — for example, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner — who call for reductions in corporate taxes. But the University of California, Berkeley's pretend economist Robert Reich disagrees, saying, "The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox." Let's look at corporate taxes and ask, "Who pays them?"
Virginia has a car tax. Does the car pay the tax? In most political jurisdictions, there's a property tax. Does property pay the tax? You say: "Williams, that's lunacy. Neither a car nor property pays taxes. Only flesh-and-blood people pay taxes!" What about a corporation? As it turns out, a corporation is an artificial creation of the legal system and, as such, a legal fiction. A corporation is not a person and therefore cannot pay taxes. When tax is levied on a corporation, who pays it?
There's an entire subject area in economics, known as tax incidence, that investigates who bears the burden of a tax. It turns out that the burden of a tax is not necessarily borne by the party or entity upon whom it is levied. For example, if a sales tax is levied on a cigarette retailer, the retailer does not bear the full burden of the tax. Part of it will be shifted forward to customers in the form of higher product prices. The exact amount of the shifting depends upon market supply and demand conditions.
With Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou agreeing to step down in order to secure more bailout funds from the ECB, attention turned immediately to Italy’s financial problems that dwarf those of Greece’s. The Greek PM’s decision now clears the way for an interim government to agree formally to the new austerity measures demanded by the European Union as a condition of receiving additional financing by the end of the month. Those funds are needed to pay Greece’s bills through January 2012.
The bond market shifted its attention to Italy on Monday, driving interest rates on its 10-year bond to a record-high 6.66 percent, the highest since the country entered the union in 1999 and perilously close to the “bailout” levels reached before Ireland and Portugal were forced to ask for help from the European Central Bank. Said David Ader, head of government bond strategy at CRT Capital Group, “We’ve seen one European bank and one U.S. brokerage fail. We know there are strains for French banks. We [were] wondering how long it [would] be before Greek default worries spread to Italy and Spain. In a situation like that, money managers are going to decide simply to take their risk down.” The resulting sell-off in the bond market flowed over to the Euro as well, as it came down from its Greek-euphoria highs of last week by nearly 3 percent, and it could lose 6 percent by the end of the year according to the CEO of Intermarket Strategy in London, Ashraf Laidi.
The Obama Administration, through the testimony of a Department of the Interior official, has expressed its opposition to legislation that would add the prayer offered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the onset of the 1944 D-Day invasion to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
During House hearings on the World War II Memorial Prayer Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management, testified that the memorial should not be altered, arguing that the addition of the prayer through a plaque or inscription would “dilute” the memorial’s message.
“It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration,” explained Abbey, “simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial’s central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors.” He said that the Interior Department “strongly believes that the World War II Memorial, as designed, accomplishes its legislated purpose to honor the members of the Armed Forces who served in World War II and to commemorate the participation of the United States in that conflict.” Abbey argued that federal law actually prohibits such additions, noting that the “Commemorative Works Act specifically states that a new commemorative work shall be located so that it does not encroach upon an existing one.”
The U.S. government is demanding almost $7,000 from the family of jailed Border Patrol agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz, who was prosecuted in what critics called an outrageous miscarriage of justice aimed at placating Mexican officials. But advocates for the family are still fighting back.
Diaz was accused of improperly lifting the handcuffs of an illegal alien caught smuggling drugs across the border, and then lying about it to investigators. The Mexican government filed an official complaint almost immediately.
After being cleared by two investigations, the Obama administration decided to prosecute Diaz anyway. Following a mistrial, he was convicted and sentenced to two years in federal prison and a fine. Of course, he also lost his job, leaving his wife and six children in a tough situation.
Now, making matters worse, the U.S. government is demanding immediate payment of at least $6,870 it claims Diaz owes. In a letter received recently from the Department of Justice obtained by The New American, the Diaz family was urged to pay up now or face the consequences — plus interest and fees.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is pushing for a federal probe of the post-ACORN group New York Communities for Change (NYCC) for engaging "in fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests." The proposed investigation stems from a Fox News article published in late October regarding the organization’s crooked involvement in the OWS movement, where NYCC officials allegedly coordinated "guerrilla" protest events and hired ACORN-affiliated employees to attend the protests and collect donations in a deceitful manner.
Writing Monday to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Rep. Issa called for an investigation into allegations that the group "solicited donations from union members under false pretenses and misappropriated those funds to support the protesters." As The New American reported last week:
NYCC Executive Director Jon Kest and his top aides have been working at OWS protests and generating money for the NYCC for various expenses related to the movement, including supplies, staff wages, and travel expenses for ex-ACORN employees. "All the money collected from canvasses is pooled together back at the office, and everything we’ve been working on for the last year is going to the protests, against big banks and to pay people’s salaries — and those people on salary are, of course, being paid to go to the protests every day," a NYCC staff member told Fox.
Government programs often begin with limited, easily identifiable purposes, then grow over time to become expensive, wasteful, and even dangerous monstrosities. Such is the case with the federal War on Drugs, which began with little fanfare under a modest 1914 anti-narcotics law and has since grown to enormous proportions, eviscerating the Bill of Rights and entangling the United States in countries all around the globe in a futile effort to eradicate the supplies of highly sought-after commodities.
The National Education Association (NEA) held its most recent convention in Chicago in July 2011. While they expressed some dissatisfaction with President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, they decided to endorse the President for a second term as the lesser of the two evils. Nevertheless, the delegates did not hesitate to approve of a resolution directing the NEA’s president to “communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately” to President Obama and Secretary Duncan that the NEA was appalled with Duncan.
According to Phyllis Schlafly’s Education Reporter: “The resolution went on to lay out 13 charges against Duncan, including focusing too heavily on charter schools, failing to respect and honor the professionalism of teachers, weighing in on local hiring decisions, and focusing too heavily on competitive grants (i.e. Race to the Top).”
The resolution was endorsed by the union’s board of directors, which gave it its highest priority. The union has been screaming bloody murder over the lay-off of teachers and support staff due to budget cuts. But even the NEA has had to trim its own budget by $14 million by downsizing its national staff.
One of the things that has struck me, when I have gone on luxury cruise ships, is that most of the passengers look like they are older than the captain — and luxury cruise ships don't have juveniles as captains. The reason for the elderly clientele is fairly simple: Most people don't reach the point when they can afford to travel on luxury cruise ships until they have worked their way up the income ladder over a long period of years.
The relationship between age and income is not hard to understand. It usually takes years to acquire the skills and experience that high-paying jobs require, or to build up a clientele for those in business or the professions.
But those in the media and in politics who are currently up in arms, denouncing income inequalities, seldom mention age as a factor in those inequalities.
The shrill rhetoric about differences in income proceeds as if they are talking about income inequalities between different classes of people. It would be hard to get the public all worked up over the fact that young people just starting out in their careers are not making nearly as much money as their parents or grandparents make.
“I think that the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government — they need to be run out of this country,” declared Patricia McAllister from the speaker’s platform at Occupy Los Angeles. It’s a timeworn message, the myth of the almighty Jews behind the curtain, pulling the strings to exploit humanity and drain economies.