Sunday, June 7, 2009

Socialist Backlash? France, Germany Among European Nations That Move Right After Elections

Is there a socialist backlash starting in Europe? For decades, Europe has been the poster child for socialism. Over recent years, the tide had started to change. As I reported on my Review blog conservatives are making a comeback in Europe. The elections of France's Sarkozy and Germany's Merkel were just the beginning. Over the last few days, elections all over Europe has begun to bear significant fruit of this backlash against socialist failures:

Conservatives raced toward victory in some of Europe's largest economies Sunday as exit polls showed voters punishing left-leaning parties in European Parliament elections in France, Germany and elsewhere.

Some right-leaning parties suggested the results vindicated their reluctance to spend more on company bailouts and fiscal stimulus amid the global economic crisis.

Projections showed Germany's Social Democrats heading to their worst showing in a nationwide election since World War II. Four months before a German national election, the outcome boosted conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes of ending the tense left-right "grand coalition" that has led the European Union's most populous nation since 2005.

The results from France wasn't any better for socialist parties:

Exit polls suggested France's governing conservative party scored a resounding victory with 28.3 percent of the vote, followed by the opposition Socialist Party with 17.5 percent.

French Socialists said their defeat signaled a need to rethink left-wing policies to unseat Sarkozy.

Ya, you should "rethink" your policies. For example, your party should drop all of that socialist fantasy nonsense and join us in the real world where capitalism and individual freedoms are paramount and the most effective way to ensure success in any country's economy. Entitlement programs just make people lazy, and they don't have the drive to be everything that they can be because the government will take care of them from cradle to grave.

All over Europe a socialist backlash seems to be taking root:

Opinion surveys and exit polls showed right-leaning governments edging the opposition in Italy and Belgium as well as Germany and France. Conservative opposition parties were tied or ahead in Britain and Spain, opinion polls showed.

A center-right European leader, Graham Watson, had this to say about the election results:

"People don't want a return to socialism and that's why the majority here will be a center-right majority."

While Britain didn't have any major elections this year, the socialist backlash seems to taking root there as well:

In Britain, dissident Labour legislators said a plot to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown could accelerate after the party's expected dismal results in the European elections are announced.

Opponents say the Labour leader has been so tainted by the economic crisis and a scandal over lawmakers' expenses that the opposition Conservatives are virtually guaranteed to win the next national election, which must be called by June 2010.

Of course, the Associated Press and others in the mainstream media blame the "far-right" and other "fringe" groups gains this past week not as a sign of a significant shift in Europe but as a sign of "low voter turnout":

Exit polls also showed gains for far-right groups and other fringe parties due to record low turnout.

They repeatedly focused on low turnout to try to imply the victories as not a true indicator of the beliefs of Europeans. Also, they tried to peg some of the groups as bigots by their "Anti-Islamic" platforms.

Bulgaria, Hungry, and Poland are also moving more to the right.

Greece and Portugal are the only European countries that seems to be moving more to the left.

It's a welcome sign from across the pond. Hopefully, this is just the beginning. If Europe admits the socialist experiments as failures, maybe Americans will learn from their mistakes before we make the same ones over here.

Numerous polls show that Americans are already growing tired of it. TEA parties have popped up all over the country with plans for more on July 4th. The 2010 elections are beginning to look scary for the Democrats. It could be 1994 all over again.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Waxman's Folly: Proposed Bill Includes Provision That Allows Global Warming "Victims" to Sue Government

Whenever the Democrats want to pay back their base, everyone must pay for it. This time their looking to bestow their trial lawyer constituency with a significant reward for voting Democrat.

Reps. Henry Waxman (CA) and Edward Markey (MA) wrote a bill that allows individuals to sue the government for ailments allegedly caused by climate change. This could conceivably mean that people suffering with anything from something as serious cancer to something as minor as asthma or sunburns could sue the US, state, and local governments because they neglected to put restrictions on man-made gases that some say cause global warming. Not only that, but one could also sue for ailments that they don't even have but could "expect to suffer" from an ailment.

According to the Washington Times:

"The measure sets grounds for anyone 'who has suffered, or reasonably expects to suffer, a harm attributable, in whole or in part,' to government inaction to file a 'citizen suit.' The term 'harm' is broadly defined as 'any effect of air pollution (including climate change), currently occurring or at risk of occurring.'"

Leave it to two trial lawyers to dream this up. Frivolous doesn't even start to describe this new potential type of litigation. It would create a whole new breed of lawyers. They will make "ambulance chasers" look like boy scouts.

This is absolutely asinine. It's like suing churches because one might believe that God allegedly failed to prevent them from getting sick. The only people that this would good for is the trial lawyers.

They will get rich exploiting the "victims" and the government, and by extension every single taxpayer in this country. The government is having enough trouble paying for the Democrats' wish list as it is.

This will spark a massive onslaught of frivolous lawsuits against the government. As unpredictable as juries and judges can be, it could lead to big sums of money being awarded to people because of activist judges and juries, especially in the more liberal parts of the country.

Many people today are looking for that one big score so they won't have to ever work again. They see Uncle Sam as the rich uncle with deep pockets that they can squeeze some money from without any consequences. However, the government can't pay the bills they already have. We don't need to add more leeches sucking on a piggy bank that has already been bled dry.

How could this ever be considered a good idea? People nowadays are too sue-happy as it is. Do we really need to make it easier for them to sue the government in order to get a big payday?

The bill would limit the amount that any one person could be awarded at $75,000 in a year and $1.5 M lifetime. Considering that there are over 306 million potential litigants, I mean people, in this country right now, that would be about $540 M that could be conceivably given out.

The legal theory behind this bill is extremely flawed. Assuming climate change exists, the government isn't directly responsible for the carbon emissions that cause it. It's a stretch to say that they're even liable for global warming effects.

Secondly, how can one be able to sue for an ailment that they don't even have yet? It would be the equivalent of someone suing McDonald's because they "expect to suffer" from coffee burns sometime in the future... maybe.

Plus, you have to wonder where and when would it stop. Being able to sue the government for global warming would open the door wide open to sue companies for their contributions to the release of man-made gases that allegedly cause climate change. This would devastate industries like the automobile and airline industries already teetering on the edge of collapse. It wouldn't just put the final nail on the coffin. It would fill in the 6-foot deep hole with cement instead of dirt.

Other industries like energy, transportation, and different manufacturing industries would be thrown into a tailspin, if this bill was enacted. It'll cost more to make and transport the goods to sell. The only way they could survive would be to pass on the cost of the lawsuits onto the consumer by driving up the prices of everything we use and buy. All kinds of insurance in this country are already sky high because of Frivolous lawsuits. What happened to insurance would happen to most of the industries in this country.

Let's also consider that the United States only emits slightly over 20% of the world's emissions. What about the other 80%? China and the European Union emits 33% of greenhouse gases combined. China's cities have a perpetual fog that surrounds them because of the amount of air pollution in the air.

Russia and India aren't exuding as much gases as the previous countries, but they are industrializing countries that care very little about restricting emissions. Their carbon footprint is getting increasingly bigger all the time.

Can we file lawsuits against those countries for their contributions to the problem? On the flip side of the coin, would this bill allow people from other countries to sue our government for global warming caused ailments? If you consider the $1.5 per person limit from before, the 6 trillion people in this world could bankrupt the US.

Finally, global warming is just a theory, if not a myth. Should we be giving so much weight and plausibility to a half-baked belief in man-made climate change that we could be risking sweeping and devastating consequences for years to come?

This is a transparent attempt for the Democrats to pay back their trial lawyer base. There is no other logical reason to include this provision in the proposed bill.

The mainstream media has buried the story, but it must be brought to light. I would recommend that you call your representative and senators and express your objections to this provision.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rosa Brooks Loses Touch With Reality Writing Her LA Times Swan Song

In her last article for the LA Times before going to work for the Pentagon advisor for the Obama Administration, Rosa Brooks said the only way for the press to survive so that they can keep government in check is for the government to bail them out.

Please, someone give Ms. Brooks a drug test. She must be on something.

She seems to fail to realize that the great majority of people are usually reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. As we have seen with AIG and GM, the government will ultimately exercise their ability to control what companies do and who is hired and fired by being able to have the power of the pursestrings over the companies. Therefore, if newspapers and journalists rely on the government for their salaries and survival, they will be less likely to say anything bad about the government because of the fear of losing funding or jobs.

It would give the government too much power over the press. It would bring an end the freedom of the press, at least for the ones that were bailed out. There is a reason why the freedom of the press was in the first amendment in the Bill of Rights. It is one of the cornerstones needed to keep free society like our own free. The government would be able to bury any story that would air their dirty laundry and affect their chances of getting re-elected.

A great example is when Rod Blagojevich tried to blackmail the Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Cubs. Hot Rod refused to give them any "f'n" money for Wrigley Field unless they would get rid of certain "A-holes" that wrote pieces that expressed their unfavorable opinions of the "damn" former Illinois governor and his policies.

If Rod was able to exert this kind of pressure on the paper and almost succeed with indirect control of a company's money flow, imagine what those corruptable officials in government could do with direct control of their money flow. Our newspapers would devolve into just being a mouthpiece for whoever is in charge in Washington. Our press corps would start resembling cheerleaders much like the press in dictatorships with state-run media in Venezuela and N. Korea have turned into with their coverage of the "Dear Leaders". Then again, the way the papers have covered "The One we've been waiting for" maybe they're already cheerleaders anyway, but at least they have a choice to be a cheerleader or not. If the papers are bailed out, they won't have a choice.

Brooks: "Some might say I have a 'new job,' but because I'll be escaping a dying industry -- and your tax dollars will shortly be paying my salary -- I prefer to think of it as my personal government bailout."

Does she not realize that one of the main reasons why the industry is "dying" is because of hacks like her that distort the truth to promote her own liberal agenda as she did here.

By the way, is it discomforting to anyone else that my tax dollars are going to pay her salary now, or is it just me?

In response to her piece, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air had some major disagreements with her spotty at best theory. First of all, "it’s a myth that faulty reporting led to the war; Democrats and Republicans both used the same intel and gave the same answers on Iraqi WMD, as did all of the Western democracies.  The intel was wrong, a problem that better reporting would not have solved."

He, also, rightly debunks her claim that the media was supportive of the Iraqi invasion in 2003. He goes on to wonder if papers were dependent on the Bush Administration would they do a better job of holding him accountable than one independent.

Let me get my magic 8-ball.

I agree with Ed to a certain extant about Brooks' view on the absurdity of equating the government's role in the newspaper industry to its role in roads and schools. Roads are definitely something that the government should control. Although, I'm not totally sold on the idea that the government should have such a huge role in the school system. They've run our schools into the ground. Why let them keep control of it ? Also, I believe that they shouldn't have so much control over what is taught to our kids especially in relation to evolution and other controversial subjects.

A newspaper bailout as Brooks presents it is a horrific idea. It'll just be another step towards socialism a la Venezuela.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

EPA + CO2 = < GDP

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Obama administration are preparing to put more regulations on carbon dioxide emissions. Since many in the scientific community blame carbon dioxide for causing global warming, Lisa Jackson, the new EPA administrator, wants to find the latest research and prepare documentation that will explain our need for such regulations.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I am personally a huge skeptic when it comes to whether global warming is actually happening and whether we are causing it, if it is. So, I don't believe that the new regulations would be necessary anyway.)

The fact is the new restrictions on carbon dioxide that have been proposed will raise the costs of energy like gas and coal. The price of manufacturing cars will go up as well because the manfactures would have to reinvent a car that will be able to comply with the new regulations.

This would be the last straw for the Big 3 in Detroit. If it costs Detroit more to make the cars, then, they will have to pass that higher cost onto the consumer in order to stay profitable. The already high price of cars will skyrocket, and people won't be able to buy the cars that they want, especially with the credit crunch in this country.

The three "too big to fail" pigs in Detroit will have to keep asking the government for more of OUR money because the Obama administration and the Democrats would be making it impossible for them to rebound and become profitable.

General Motors (GM), Chrysler, and Ford are getting attacked from both flanks in their fight for survival and profitability. The UAW is digging in their heels to demand that their workers continue to be paid way more than anyone else in the industry. They won't allow any of them to lower the wages. Although, they made some significant compromises. They eliminated jobs bank (which allows workers to receive 95% pay and benefits for a year after they were laid off from the Big 3), won't give automatic raises, and limited overtime that workers could get per week. Even with the compromises that they made, the UAW is still putting the Big 3 in a distinct disadvantage in their competition with other car manufactures.

Now that they were finally able to get the UAW to bend a little, why is the EPA wanting to make it even harder for them to turn around their businesses by making them retool all of their plans because of more restrictions that Lisa Jackson and most of the Democrats want to force them to comply to? These new requirements will make GM, Chrysler, and eventually Ford need more time and more of our money to make them viable again. GM and Chrysler have already asked for more money from the government this past week to stay alive. If Congress ever gets a backbone and says, "No" to them, it will guarantee bankruptcy and most likely bring about their fall.

The new EPA regulations would be the final nail in their coffin, if it comes to pass. They are already teetering on the verge of collapse without this kind of "help" of the administration. It is like a lifeguard trying to save the drowning man by giving him a ball-and-chain instead of a life jacket.

The automobile industry is not the only ones that would feel the effects of this ill-advised policy. Every industry will be hit with the higher prices of coal and gasoline. It will cost more to transport goods across the country and worldwide. Therefore, they will also have to pass the higher cost of transportation on to the consumers. As a result, consumers will buy less of their products or stop buying them altogether. After they stop selling, they will have to start laying people off because of a lack of sales. If sales dip too low, they will have to go out of business which will put everyone in the company out of work.

The rise in regulations will also hurt those of us that have the misfortune of having to live, eat, or leave the house. The cost of heating and air will skyrocket. Unless you want to live in the winter using just your fireplace in the winter (assuming the EPA won't try and regulate the carbon emissions coming from your fire), you will pay more to stay warm. Also, staying cool in the summer will also be much more costly.

It'll cost more to take the kids to school or go buy groceries. It'll also cost more to buy those groceries because of the higher transportation costs the companies will have to pay to get the food to the store.

This is just a bad idea any other time, but it could be a catastrophic one at a time such as this. The economy is holding on by a thread already. We don't need something like this to unravel that one string. The gross domestic product (GDP) will plummet, unemployment would go into the double digits, inflation will go nuts, and it could get us in a full blown depression.

Obama, just say no to the environmentalists. If the auto industry and the rest of economy rebounds, then you can try and get more regulations in gradually, but you can't sacrifice this nation's economy long term for the short term benefit of appeasing part of your base.

You need to put our money where your mouth is. You need to show that post-partisan spirit that you claimed to have throughout your campaign.