Ol' Buffalo Soapbox

Error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -- Thomas Jefferson
As long as man's beliefs, or any part of them, are based on error, he is not completely free, for the chains of error bind his mind. -- Bruce R. McConkie
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. -- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

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Index to the Ol' Buffalo Soapbox

A Class in Economics American Defined
Aviation Safety Bad American
Bill of Lefts Bill of Rights
Borders, Language and Culture Duty to Country
Duty to God Duty to Others
Education Environment
Equal Pay vs Fair Pay Fairness
Family, Spiritual and Mental Health Page Forsaken Roots of the United States
Global Warming Gun Control
Health Care Homosexual Marriage
If You Don't Like My Point of View Kaye's Bill of No Rights
Lazy News Media Ol' Buffalo Blog
Ol' Buffalo Issues Index Marriage
Parable of the Ant and the Grasshopper Politically Correct 10 Commandments
Politicians Public Prayer
Quotes on Issues and Politics Religion in the Classroom
Rights Defined Separation of Church and State
School Prayer School Prayer (Quotes)
Slavery Reparations Tax Cut Parable
Taxes Victimization and Responsibility
Welfare Voting

Environment and Global Warming

St. George is still struggling to convince the public that its solar project is a good idea. In an article in today's paper, Levi Belnap, president of the Utah Solar Energy Association said, "...with cost drops and government incentives, it's become a lot more realistic..." Yet, like the $100 million solar project at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas (which saves the base only $1 million per year in electric costs -- that's 100 years to pay back the investment), and the new wind farm under construction near Milford, this system will never pay for itself before it is worn out -- even with "government incentives." As a taxpayer, I'm sure getting tired of paying for those "government incentives." Except for remote applications where running traditional power lines, Congress must stop subsidizing industries that are not economically viable such as solar and wind power and electric and hybrid cars. Not only is each of these non-viable, they are also environmental disasters. At the point of use, they seem clean ("green"), but in reality, they only displace the pollution someplace out of sight of the user. People who favor these "green" scams don't know science, don't understand economics, won't do the math, and enjoy having the government force other people to pay their bills for them. (25 Sep 2009)

Yesterday, the local newspaper proudly carried an announcement that the 17-acre, 100-kilowatt "SunSmart" solar farm completed earlier this year near St. George, Utah earned a "Smart Energy Innovation Award." The reporter admits that this solar project, like all on-the-grid solar and wind systems "is unlikely to pay itself off at current power rates." This, even after applying a significant government subsidy at taxpayer expense! Another factor which the reporter did not address is the substantial toxic waste resulting from the manufacture of solar system components. This solar project is typical in that it is an economic scam and an environmental disaster. Today, ironically, the same local newspaper carried an article about the installation of a new 40 megawatt gas turbine (which covers only a few hundred square feet) to provide electricity to the same community. I'm confused. Isn't that solve-all-energy-problems solar system so proudly heralded in yesterday's Spectrum supposed to take care of all our energy needs? As today's article clearly illustrates, when you really need to get some work done, do it the old fashioned way -- with coal, oil, or gas. Another example of flawed logic and math is the new solar system at Nellis AFB, Nevada (certainly not off the grid) that will (5 seconds of mental math) take 100 years to pay itself off -- if it lasts that long! Solar- and wind-power are viable only for for small applications that are so far off the grid that it is cost-prohibitive to run conventional electrical lines. It is clear that the environmental movement is composed primarily of people who know little about economics, math, or science and rely on the government (ultimately the taxpayer) to subsidize the snafus they ignorantly create. Unfortunately, our Congressman Jim Matheson is apparently one of those who refuses to apply economics, math, or science to issues such as this. All government subsidies of "alternative energy" scams such as solar and wind power and electric and hybrid cars must cease immediately. (20 Aug 2009)

Another environmentalist-imposed environmental disaster is in the news. This time, it's a wind farm in central Utah. Why does the article say nothing about the heavy government (taxpayer) subsidies necessary for this project to even begin? This is but one more example of profoundly lazy news reporting -- or worse, complicity with radical environmentalists and pandering politicians. Wind power, solar power, bio-fuels (including ethanol), and electric and hybrid cars are all economic failures. They would not exist without taxing the people to force these technologies into the market. They also are environmental disasters in that they not only are ugly eyesores (as dekai17 and Senator Edward Kennedy say of wind power). They simply displace the pollution somewhere out-of-sight-out-of-mind (has any environmentalist considered the incredible toxic waste created by the solar cell industry, for example?). Without taxpayer subsidies, the solar-power project at Nellis AFB, Nevada that Mr. Obama so proudly displayed a few weeks ago will take over 100 years to pay off! It is time for politicians, journalists, environmentalists, and voters to learn something about science and economics and muster the courage to say "BS"! (7 Jul 2009)

The "American Clean Energy and Security Act" (HR.2454) is extremely dangerous to the liberty and prosperity of Americans and to free-enterprise. I am deeply concerned that, once again, Speaker Pelosi shamelessly pushed giant, horrendous legislation through the House before it was read or understood. The taxes imposed by this legislation will substantially increase the cost of goods and services (by over $12,160) for every American family to solve a non-existent problem -- alleged man-caused global warming. It even imposes many unconstitutional restrictions which Congress has no legal authority to impose such as the inspection of homes for plug-ins for electric and hybrid cars. Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." This is why I was profoundly disappointed that I saw no evidence that Utah's Congressman Jim Matheson fought this legislation with any significant energy or courage (although I commend him for voting against the bill). Any failure to aggressively fight bad legislation such as this is tantamount to approving it. Compromises, amendments, or alternative legislation that mitigates the damage of such dangerous bills are likewise unacceptable. Legislation that is less bad is bad nonetheless and must never be passed. I urge every Senator to aggressively, publicly, and visibly fight against the "American Clean Energy and Security Act". It must be killed at all costs! (30 Jun 2009)

Yesterday, the Obama administration issued another dishonest, fear-mongering report on climate change. Here are some simple facts the "dire" report left out: Sea level is 500' higher now than a few thousand years ago. Lake Bonneville covered much of Utah and Nevada while ice covered much of North America about the same time. It was warmer a thousand years ago (the Viking era) than it is today. The point is that Earth's climate has always gone through cycles because of its relationship with the Sun -- not man. To presume that man has the power to affect global climate one way or the other is the epitome of arrogance and ignorance. The temperature has dropped over the past 10 years while the radicals are whining about global warming! The radicals who want ever more control over our lives -- especially Obama and Gore -- are very selective about the "facts" they choose to use in imposing their agenda on the people by fostering fear and panic on a largely ignorant government-educated public. Man-caused global climate change is a scam! And Republicans don't have the courage to say so! (17 Jun 2009)

Utah's Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert is attending a series of Western Governors' meetings on climate change (radical environmentalists can't make up their minds whether Earth is warming or cooling). He has expressed skepticism over whether man's role in global climate change is settled. He sides with thousands of scientists who disagree with Al Gore on climate change. Anyone who was awake during those basic science and geography classes back in grade school knows that Earth has always gone through climate cycles They know that the planet was warmer a thousand years ago than it is today. They know about Lake Bonneville which covered much of Utah and Nevada. They know much of North America was covered with 4,000 feet of ice just a few thousand years ago. They know that the oceans were once 500 feet lower than they are to day and that man's CO2 did not cause sea level to rise to where it has been for the past several thousand years. Anyone who has been outdoors long enough to be remotely aware of the incredible power of the Sun (which also goes through cycles) to heat and illuminate the earth is far more powerful even than Al Gore's power to illuminate minds. To presume that man is so powerful he can affect climate in spite of solar and Earth climate cycles is the epitome of arrogance and ignorance. I applaud Lt. Governor Gary Herbert for staying awake in those science classes through which the radical environmentalists and Governor Huntsman slept. (16 Jun 2009)

Much talk has centered on the creation of "green" jobs. Our delusional president has promised to create thousands of them out of thin air. "Green" jobs are those in industries, such as "renewable" or alternative energy, that are not viable without substantial infusion of money (green) at the expense of the taxpayer. "Green" jobs are a cruel joke played on a science-illiterate populace by science-illiterate politicians and activists. It is the biggest scam ever attempted. An we, the people, are falling for it. Hard. (25 May 2009)

I seem to recall, from my grade school days back in the 50s, that much of North America was covered with up to 4,000 feet of ice and that most the lakes of Canada and northern US (including the Great Lakes) are a product of the last Ice Age (Were the many ice ages man-caused too?). The fact that Blowhard-in-Chief and Commander of Hot Air, Al Gore, was sleeping through that part of his grade-school geography class cannot change the fact that Earth's climate has always varied from ice ages to pole-to-pole warmth. I abhor pollution (such as the trash left behind at Obama's inaugural by his worshipers) as much as anyone. But, to presume that man is more powerful in affecting weather or climate (no, they aren't the same thing) than ol' Mr. Sun and variations in Earth's orbit is the epitome of arrogance and manifests profound ignorance of basic science. (26 Jan 2009)

This idea that one can save energy by using tax credits is a scam perpetrated on the taxpayer. I acknowledge the fact that sometimes alternative energy is necessary, such as a home or cabin located miles from the nearest power line. Other than that, most, if not all, alternative forms of energy (solar, wind, ethanol, etc) require significant taxpayer subsidies to be viable. The notion that these subsidies are free money is naive and selfish. Somebody else had to work (ie give up his personal time) to produce the funds to subsidize that solar panel on your roof and that hybrid car in your garage. Most forms of alternative energy, in addition to being a burden on the taxpayer, simply displace the resulting pollution to somewhere else. For example, the chemical processes necessary to create your "clean" solar energy result in considerable waste that is extremely toxic. Without subsidies, alternative-energy sources cannot pay for themselves within their expected life time. Some alternative energy sources (ie ethanol which needs more energy to produce than it produces) are simply wasteful. I oppose taxpayer-funded subsidies for all so-called alternative sources of energy as well as other products that require subsidies to be commercially viable (ie that hybrid or electric car that lugs around a ton of batteries that will become expensive-to-replace toxic waste in a very few years). I am unalterably opposed to politicians using my tax money to support these marketplace failures! Congress must take immediate and aggressive steps to eliminate subsidies and mandates for all technologies that are not viable in a free market. And, of course, if a technology is viable in a free market, it needs no subsidies nor mandates. (30 Nov 2008)

The Boxer-Warner-Lieberman bill makes it increasingly obvious that Congress is clueless and completely our of touch with what's going on in the environment, the economy, the nation, and the world. Congress is even more clueless and out of touch with regard to the correct solutions. Clearly, the only things Congress is interested in are pork and incumbent protection. Instead of giving relief from high gas prices or protecting the environment, Boxer-Warner-Lieberman will raise gas prices and create a massive special-interest-favoring, lobbyist-controlled, political pork dispensing machine dressed up as environmentalism. The real solution to the price of gasoline and other energy needs is for Congress to get itself out of the way of developing domestic petroleum resources, domestic coal resources, and domestic nuclear energy. Despite the deluded claims of Al Gore, these resources can be exploited safely and cleanly. Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately reject the Boxer-Warner-Lieberman bill and anything even remotely like it. (3 Jun 2008)

There are many who promote ethanol as the biofuel green savior of the world's fuel needs. The solution is particularly attractive to mega farms, who receive substantial subsidies for corn-ethanol production. It seems that most legislators see growing corn as simple as pumping oil or gas from the ground, not realizing the amount of energy and chemicals needed for its production. Expert opinions claim a 1-to1 ratio (or worse), achieving no positive energy outcome from the input. While ethanol may be somewhat kinder on the environment than petroleum, its production is not so, with the nitrogen needs being most problematic. Those high-nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides used in corn production are never completely absorbed by the plants and the rest goes into our underground water supply. The runoff eventually accumulates in rivers, like the Mississippi, which empties this leftover nitrogen soup into the gulf of Mexico, enlarging the already New Jersey State sized "dead zone" where aquatic life no longer exists. The US goal for biofuel by 2017 is 35 billion gallons, and yet if achieved would only displace 3.5 percent of gasoline use. To meet this goal, the entire US corn crop would need to be used, taking away from the world's poor a food source that will triple in need by 2050. The price of corn recently doubled due to the demand for corn for ethanol production. While being applauded as a green solution, its promotion as an answer to our energy needs only brings about greater destruction of land cleared of carbon absorbing trees, the destruction of animal habitats, and ignoring the water intensive needs for growing on the scale proposed. The idea that biofuel can be an overall solution is masked and made palatable by its allegedly green nature and promotion as a green answer for use in our allegedly green cars and in our allegedly green homes, when in fact it is a concept that will only become more unwieldy and detrimental in the future. This grasping at straws approach will only eventuate in the straw that will break the proverbial camel's back. Morris Berman notes that, "An idea is something you have; an ideology is something that has you." At this time, it would seem biofuel ideology has a hold on consumers and politicians, all acquiescing with a green fervor. And the farmers are exploiting this fervor at the expense of the taxpayer, the environment, and future generations. If something is so impractical (ie ethanol and other biofuels, solar- and wind-powered electricity, hybrid and electric cars, etc.) that it must be federally mandated or subsidized, it is not worth pursuing. In fact, these allegedly green technologies are very anti-green, having serious adverse economic and environmental effects, and must be abandoned. If a crop or product or service (ie ethanol, solar/wind power, Airbus, public transit, wages, etc.) cannot succeed without government subsidies or price/wage supports, it is not inherently viable and must be allowed to fail in the market place. I am unalterably opposed to politicians using my tax money to support marketplace failures! Congress must take immediate and aggressive steps to eliminate subsidies and mandates for all technologies that are not viable in a free market. And, of course, if a technology is viable in a free market, it needs no subsidies nor mandates. (11 Mar 2008)

Approximately 15% of National Park properties allow at least some hunting. Most do not. Few National Parks are large enough or remote enough to be truly independent and self-sufficient ecosystems. Consequently, natural wildlife balances are usually disrupted. Overpopulation is a frequent result with subsequent destruction of habitat. In at least one case, the balance between predators (which are also protected from hunting) and their prey is out of balance. The excess of predators is taking a larger than optimum toll on elk calves and other young wildlife. Although the affected herds have overpopulated, they consist largely of older animals who have passed their prime. Without human intervention to control predators and to harvest the elderly elk, these herds may soon reach a point where they will be unable to recover once they begin to starve from overpopulation and habitat damage. I am told that employees (or contractors) of Rocky Mountain National Park, because of the anti-hunting rules under which it operates, plans to shoot some 700 elk per year and allow the meat to rot in the field -- at a cost of nearly a million dollars a year. This is unconscionable! Clearly, some National Parks are not suitable for hunting due to man-made park characteristics such as proximity to homes or extremely small park boundaries. However, most National Parks will be improved by properly managed hunting. Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately intervene and direct the National Park Service to employ hunting as a means of managing wildlife. This may entail modifying anti-hunting wording of legislation that established some of the parks. (29 Jul 2006)

Everyone's favorite sourpuss, Al Gore, is staring this year in his own dramatic home movie entitled "Inconvenient Truth." Perhaps it would better entitled "Exaggerated Truth." Gore has long contended that modern inventions of mankind are responsible for the imminent destruction of our globe. He is particularly fond of "global warming." (Remember that just a couple of decades ago, the same human activity was allegedly causing global cooling.) Over the past 30-40 years, industry in the western world has made unimaginable progress in reversing pollution -- a feat which Gore and his "scientists" seem unaware of. Our water, sky, and soil are cleaner than they have been for more than a hundred years. Gore and his "scientists" need to take a closer look at the science of climatology. In doing so, he will learn that throughout millions of years of geological history, the climate has made untold numbers of quite dramatic shifts in climate. In fact, just a few thousand years ago, Seattle was buried under thousands of feet of ice! Yes, global warming really does happen -- but it wasn't Gore's internal combustion engine that melted the ice that buried Seattle. I wonder if fear-mongering Gore and his "scientists" are aware that Earth was warmer during the Viking era (1000 years ago) than it is today. Gore's presumption that man is even capable of significantly affecting Earth's climate is the epitome of arrogance when you compare our effect to that of the sun. Consider the effect that just one day of heating by the sun has on Earth. Just a few minutes in the sun on a July afternoon in Las Vegas or an hour in the dark on a January afternoon in Barrow lets one know that that's a mighty powerful sphere up there. Our current warming cycle can best be explained, both logically and scientifically, by our relationship to the sun and the sun's own cycles. As Gore's "scientists" must surely know, the sun has dramatic variations in its sunspot cycle resulting in a brighter, hotter sun at times and a cooler sun at others. Perhaps Gore's "scientists" would like to blame that phenomenon on the internal combustion engine, too. Add to that Earth's precession and variations in our distance to from the sun and one has a much more valid explanation for climatological variations than the exhaust from my lawn mower. Having no desire to live in filth, I also naturally oppose any unnecessary pollution of our soil, air and water (even including the mucus and cigarette butts cads spit onto the streets and sidewalks). What Gore apparently really wants is the total dismantling of US industry and a return to the stone age. (Even the bronze and iron ages would surely be unacceptable to Gore, since such manufacturing requires the use of fire.) To abandon the technical advances of modern society to calm Gore's fears is irresponsible, unacceptable, unwise, and unscientific. Al Gore, please go away. (18 Jun 2006)

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Health and Welfare

Yesterday, the Dumocrat-controlled House of Representatives passed health care and health insurance legislation that is estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years alone. This is the most sweeping change to US healthcare since president Lyndon Johnson won congressional support to introduce Medicare (broke, even though it denies more claims than all insurance companies combined) for the elderly 44 years ago. The current bill is typical in that it further extends the power of the central government far beyond that intended by the Constitution. Thirty-nine Dumocrats (including my own Representative Jim Matheson) voted against the bill, primarily because of fears of retaliation from voters in mid-term elections late next year. The way Congress works, however, is that the Dumocrat leadership will allow a few defectors --  if the bill will still pass -- to protect the defectors at the next election. I doubt Matheson would have had the courage to vote no if Speaker Pelosi had demanded his vote. Over the past few days, Matheson has hinted at a "no" vote by saying he was trying to make a few amendments to the bill but was not satisfied with the results. In September, I wrote to Matheson to say, "There is no healthcare legislation under consideration that can possibly be fixed by any amendment or compromise whatsoever. All federal healthcare legislation must be killed immediately! No legislation is infinitely better than bad legislation with compromise and amendments that only make it less bad." My opinion remains the same. All compromise in politics is compromise with evil! A "no" vote from Matheson is insufficient. Instead of merely trying to amend this horrendous bill, he should have worked to stop it altogether. Matheson has again utterly failed to live up to his oath of office wherein he swore to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that [he] will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." (8 Nov 2009)

We have the best health care system in the world. The world comes to US for health care when they can't get it at home -- including from industrialized nations such as Canada and the UK where health care has been nationalized. The world comes to US for innovations in medicine. Our doctors and nurses travel around the world at their own expense (or at the expense of charitable organizations) to share their expertise with developing nations. In spite of this, power-hungry politicians say our health care system is broken and in crisis and only they can rescue it. The solution is simple to fix whatever health care "crisis" we might have:
• Determine what is actually wrong and fix only that -- don't use problems or perceived problems as an excuse to nationalize the entire health care and health insurance industries! Whatever problems exist in the health care and health insurance industries are typically caused by excessive government interference in the free market.
• Stop giving anchor-baby citizenships and enforce immigration laws to force illegals out of the country. Ban tax-exempt status for any entity that gives aid to illegals. Ban the tax-deductibility of all donations given to any entity that gives aid to illegals. Impose a 100% income tax on any entity that employs illegals. These simple steps will eliminate the burden of a substantial portion uninsured health care consumers.
• Eliminate all unconstitutional national programs and agencies (including Medicare, SCHIP, Medicaid, etc.) and eliminate all direct and indirect federal funding of non-profit organizations (including Planned Parenthood, AmeriCorps, ACORN, etc.) and cut taxes accordingly. That will allow consumers to keep their own hard-earned money to actually pay their own bills.
• Eliminate laws that unnecessarily interfere with the free market -- particularly in the health insurance business. Allowing competition (not imposing competition from government as suggested by Nancy Pelosi) in the market will drive down insurance rates.
• We must have tort reform that will make ambulance chasers like John Edwards find honest work. Make it possible for medical practitioners to make decisions based on good medicine rather than on avoiding frivolous and excessive litigation.
• Make the cost of health insurance 100% tax-credit for individuals and employers.
• Make charitable giving a 100% tax-credit (perhaps then, even stingy people such as Joe Biden will give a meaningful amount to charity). In the tax code, establish a special category of charity that would pay for medical treatment of those who cannot afford their own health care.
These are simple steps that Congress can and must do immediately that will shrink government, restore liberty to the people, and provide an environment in which the health care and health insurance industries can improve themselves through the free market.
Every congressman must fight against the power grab that is underway over health care and health insurance. There can be no compromise whatsoever! (17 Oct 2009)

I listened to Mr. Obama's speech to Congress on health care "reform" (9 Sep 2009). The only segment of the speech with integrity and worth listening to was the lone voice calling out, "That's a lie!" (How I wish there were more in Congress with the courage to call a lie a lie!) Eight-five percent of this nation has health insurance and full access to the world's best health care because they work for it and earn it. That success story is far better than government's performance in nearly any area one can imagine. To presume that government can fix anything, let alone health care is preposterous. There is absolutely nothing about our current health care that government can improve except to comply with the US Constitution and butt out and allow the free market to recover. The 15% without health insurance can largely be resolved by a government with the integrity to enforce immigration law. The remaining uninsured will be cared for by charity, as they have in the past, if government will allow the workers of this nation to keep the money they work hard to earn. I am appalled that even congressmen from my own state are willing to "reform" (expand government's role in) health care. I view this betrayal the same as a football player who knowingly moves the ball toward the opposing team's goal. He may not move the ball as fast or as far as the opponents might, but he is helping the wrong team to win nevertheless. There is no healthcare legislation under consideration that can possibly be fixed by any amendment or compromise whatsoever. All federal healthcare legislation must be killed immediately! No legislation is infinitely better than bad legislation with compromise and amendments that only make it less bad. (10 Sep 2009)

In an effort to rally the flagging support for healthcare reform, and to make it harder for Republican cowards to oppose it, Democrat lawmakers are planning to name the legislation that will be debated in Congress this fall after the late Aristocrat-Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. I have no problem with the name change. In fact, I endorse it. Regardless of how the legislation is named, it must be soundly defeated -- as virtually all of Senator Kennedy's legislation should have been. The only legitimate and necessary healthcare reform is to get government out of the way of health care success by eliminating federal and state laws and policies that impede competition in a free market and to eliminate congressional healthcare perks. The only role government should have in healthcare (other than healthcare for servicemen and veterans) is to protect consumers from unsafe drugs and procedures and from fraudulent practices. I urge Congress and the man some call president to ensure that the health care "reform" legislation is named for Kennedy and then defeat it! (2 Sep 2009)

I oppose any and all government control over the US healthcare and insurance system. Specifically, I oppose the so-called “Public Option” proposals -- the “Affordable Health Choices Act” and other similar bills -- which amount to government-run, socialized health care that will impose massive taxes on the American people while further restricting their liberty (the Left's ultimate goal). Like most Americans, I prefer getting my health coverage through private insurance rather than the federal government. That’s because government healthcare always results in higher costs and rationing. I have a right to make my own healthcare decisions that are consistent with my ethical and religious convictions. I do not want politicians and bureaucrats dictating the health care and insurance decisions of myself and my employer and imposing (at my expense) procedures (ie abortion) that are contrary to my ethical and religious convictions. Especially in these difficult economic times, I flatly reject any new government healthcare plan that imposes new taxes or burdens on individuals or businesses. To address long-term health care costs, Congress must, instead, focus on tort reform to get lawyers out of the healthcare decision-making process, fundamental reform of the tax treatment of health insurance, embark on real "entitlement" reform to relieve our children and grandchildren of crushing debt and taxation, and specifically ban any and all care (other than life/limb-saving care) for illegal "immigrants". There is no healthcare legislation under consideration that can possibly be fixed by any amendment or compromise whatsoever. All federal healthcare legislation must be killed immediately! No legislation is infinitely better than bad legislation with amendments that only make it less bad. (22 Jul 2009)

If you think health care is expensive now (one study claims a dubious $7,600), wait to see what it costs when it's "free". The best way to control health care costs is to get the lawyers out of the health care business. Litigation with outrageous lawsuit awards and settlements is one of two primary causes of high health care costs. (The other is superior technology -- often used unnecessarily to preempt litigation.) I defy anyone to name one program that is run by the government that runs well and is cost-effective. The root of socialism (which is what many want for our health care system) is covetousness. Instead of working for a health care program similar to mine, the have-nots simply want me to pay for a comparable program for them. Some power-hungry politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and B. Hussein Obama, simply want control of the biggest sector of the nation's economy. (23 May 2008)

The Global Poverty Act (HR.1302 - S.2433) would demand that the president develop "and implement" a policy to "cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015. This is expected to cost the American taxpayer $845 billion! This bill passed the House by a voice vote last year because most members didn’t realize what was in this "feel-good" legislation. This is not surprising, because few congressmen are wise enough and responsible enough to read the bills they vote on. (See the badly-needed "Read The Bills Act".) As a former military officer and as a current international airline pilot, I have traveled to over 120 nations. I've seen the profound poverty that this legislation pretends to address. I can say with great confidence that the greatest poverty is generally in nations with corrupt and/or oppressive and/or ineffective governments. Congress has no constitutional authority to remedy this situation. Any aid would only line the pockets of those corrupt government officials. The way to combat poverty is education. Education and the will to overcome poverty must come from within each individual and his own nation. The missionary efforts of the various Christian churches is perhaps the best way to accomplish this. The Christian message is more than religious, it motivates and gives hope and ideals to believers. It includes a message of personal responsibility, service to others, and teaches leadership skills to its adherents. In their wake, missionaries leave schools and various projects to improve living conditions and to create jobs. It's a slow process, but it's lasting. Having the US government simply throw money at the problem is historically extremely temporary, wasteful, and ineffective. These people need to learn how to fish. If we keep throwing them fish, the fish will rot. And, they don't even like the kind of fish we give them! Again, I remind Congress that it's not our nation's job to cut global poverty nor does Congress have any constitutional authority whatsoever to attempt to do so. I urge the Senate to aggressively oppose the Global Poverty Act (HR.1302 - S.2433). (24 Mar 2008)

I support the President's veto of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and I applaud this week's House vote to uphold his veto of HR-976 a bill that would have unnecessarily expanded SCHIP to "children" aged 25 . Now, I urge Congress to work with the Whitehouse to work out a compromise SCHIP bill that will downsize and phase out the SCHIP program as well as all other socialist programs (ie Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, food stamps, etc) that have been imposed upon workers and taxpayers over the past 70 years or so. There is no Constitutional authority for Congress to have ever legislated any of them. (19 Oct 2007)

I oppose HR-3162, S-1893 and any socialist copycat bills that would raise taxes to expand the State Children's Health Insurance (SCHIP) program. This bill relies on tapping more from a dwindling source of revenue and opens the door to a bigger, more dangerous federal role in healthcare. Congress ought not to be raising taxes on anything at this crucial point in our economic growth, but hitting tobacco products to fatten SCHIP is simply a scam. Using this revenue source, we would actually need to recruit millions of new smokers just to be able to meet the funding liabilities of this bill. Taxpayers have had enough of these budget-busting games. Additionally, Congress and the federal Government have NO Constitutional authority whatsoever in the socialist issues of children's health and health care in general. Congress and the Whitehouse must reject this massive expansion of SCHIP and the tax increase attached to it. (31 Jul 2007)

A coworker today observed, "It should be up to every individual to decide for themselves, not the government, what they want to do with their lives." There once was a country whose leaders and citizens honored such an ideal and established a constitution and government to make it happen. Sadly, later generations of citizens abandoned that ideal, elected leaders who would take care of them from cradle to grave, and all citizens of that nation are now wards of the state at some level at great expense to those who work hardest. (12 Nov 2006)

As if we don't have enough laws controlling our every act, there is now a bill in Congress (HR-503) to prohibit the sale of horse meat for human consumption! In my carnivorous opinion, consumption of horse meat is no more of a problem than eating pork or beef or chicken. In fact, horse meat was not uncommon in the US until about 60 years ago. The consumption of horse meat should be regulated only by appropriate health standards and a free market. Nevertheless, I oppose any commercial use of mustangs. (9 Sep 2006)

A year after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the news media and certain politicians are still pointing fingers with glee at those they consider culpable for the lack of, and delay in, disaster relief. Unfortunately, not enough finger-pointing is directed at the people who should have born the majority of responsibility for relief: the victims (and the families of victims) who were unprepared or who chose to disregard warnings. All problems are best and most efficiently solved at the lowest possible level. The personal problems caused by personal choices in the hours prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans must not be a burden on those who made better choices (such as to never live in a coastal below-sea-level city or to leave that city when advised). When the people choose to not take responsibility for their own welfare as far as they are able, and expect government to take that responsibility, we all lose the individual freedom our nation's founders fought for and become a burden on the ever shrinking body of responsible people. The Federal government must not respond to Katrina by rebuilding New Orleans nor by expanding the size or role of FEMA. (29 Aug 2006)

Illegal drugs are stealing the souls of our people. The so-called "war on drugs" is a failure. It has tried to stem the illicit drug trade primarily by attacking supply. The results are more drugs on the street and a few press conferences to brag about the tiny portion of drugs that are interdicted and the handful of smugglers and distributors that get caught. The "war on drugs" has made the illegal drug trade a highly lucrative business for gangs with a consequent increase in violent crime. The most logical way to deal with the drug abuse problem is to stop the demand. How? Require frequent random drug tests of everyone receiving government aid such as welfare, long-term unemployment compensation, student financial aid, etc. While we're at it, reduce that aid by a percentage equal to the percentage by which the intended recipient exceeds normal body weight. (8 Aug 2006)

We need legislation that will ban direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. I agree that consumers should have adequate information about medical options, but direct-to-consumer advertising cannot feasibly provide that information. Instead, such advertising may result in patients shopping around for a doctor who is willing prescribe a drug which the patient saw advertised, but which may not be the best option for that patient. By banning direct-to-consumer advertising, patients will be more likely to get the information they need from the appropriate professionals: physicians and pharmacists. A ban on direct-to-consumer advertising would force drug manufacturers and distributors to concentrate their advertising where it belongs -- on physicians. This brings up a related issue which should be included in this legislation. Physicians should be required to attend semi-annual refresher training conferences to stay on top of new treatments, including drugs. This would be a good time for drug manufacturers to "advertise" to the appropriate audience. (6 Jun 2006)

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