God Save Us from Our Media

There is no need for further commentary on President Trump’s State of the Union.  Those who love him, hate him, or show indifference seem convinced he gave a good speech and chose good points.  Even those who really despise the man gave him mild kudos this morning. Polls indicate considerable approval for the State of the Union: 76%, 73%, 78% . . . and these from CBS, ABC and CNN, no less!

What remains, however, is the media bias against him, and possible distortions to deceive listeners.  When Trump firmly stated, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” USA Today’s hideous coverage cut out briefly.  We heard, instead, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America . . . be a socialist country.”  Accident?  Almost certainly, but I would never put it past them to “cause a glitch.”

It should be noted how many times our President said something very important to, and popular with, Americans, and yet USA Today chose to completely ignore the seated Democrats who did not stand or even applaud America’s many successes, or how obediently they responded when Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Monarch of the House, indicated for them to stand or remain seated.

At the same time, USA Today had a staff of “researchers” eager to debunk anything the President said, and ran a “counter-commentary of fact-checking” throughout the address.  Scraping their so-called “facts” from any source available (as long as it had a differing opinion) or redefining what the President actually said. For instance, when Trump gave a solid number of new jobs in our nation, USA Today chose a different set — “non-farm payrolls” only to slightly diminish the number so they could claim a lie.

Some might say it is a prerogative of a “free press” to report what they choose. Thomas Jefferson certainly disagreed! “The only security of all is in a free press,” he said. But even in his own day, he acknowledged that, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”  Ben Franklin dramatically stated that, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

Whether government censorship, ideological, or political disdain, no press is “free” if it ignores, alters or abolishes truth in deference to opinion, popular or not. Napoleon knew that, “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets,” he said.

Readmission of Slavery

“[A]fter the admission of slavery, it was right to say nothing of Christianity . . . It is easy to be inconsistent. Congress made this important declaration, ‘that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ and these truths were held to be self-evident. . . For God’s sake, then, let one more effort be made to prevent so terrible a calamity.” – Timothy Pickering, 1785

Among men, perhaps the spirit of slavery can never be fully washed away.  It never died after the Civil War, nor after Reconstruction, nor into the 20th Century.  We still have slavery today, even in its different form.  Most of us are quite comfortable as sloggers, with the possession of our lives under the exacting care of masters, bosses, and freedmen corporations.

Slavery is comfortable enough.  Although it prevents us from realizing the wealth of our successes, it takes care of us.  We are housed and fed, essentially, and left somewhat free in our off time, as long as it is properly scheduled.  Depending on our owner, and his name, whether Dept of or Corp., on duty or off we have some options remaining, some places to go, and some things to do, even as the list of prohibitions slowly grow.

In fact, we rarely think about it.  Most of have never had property seized or bought land that we cannot use.  We rarely suffer more than being fired or held to a steady wage despite our health or productivity.  We can always change owners.  At least, one or two of them.  If we object to ABC Corp, we simply move to XYZ.  If New York’s agenda disgusts us, we move to New Jersey and its demands.  Easy-peasy, even as they, too, respond and react to the fed.

Jove fixed it certain, that whatever day
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.
– Homer, the Odyssey

It even becomes hilarious when we realize that the very 14th Amendment to the Constitution intended to free us from the burdens of slavery is the one that gives our masters their superhuman powers.  Yes, just like “all men are created equal” allowed us to own slaves in 1785, the 14th Amendment makes us slaves in 2019.

So quit complaining, child.

NEW Old Climate News

A wide array of regional arctic volcanoes created an explosion of energy (heat) in the arctic, from 1997 through 2008, with aftershocks continuing.

Yes, of course they knew this in 1998 and 1999. They didn’t talk about it until now, because they had to devise a way to incorporate several million tons of TNT equivalent into the “anthropogenic mix.” That’s right, it had to fit with “man made global warming.” Evidently, it took 20 years to work out their strategy, because those arctic “heat bombs” are just now being introduced to the public. This is tongue in cheek, but only partly. It is frighteningly plausible.

But even that isn’t the problem. I watched a few shows about the “catastrophic release of methane from ice bubbles in the arctic” recently. For laughs. It was presented as truth.  Claims of “whole truth and nothing but truth” were not offered.

You see, this “catastrophe” of methane is natural. normal, predictable, and well known. Bacteria produce methane when it’s too cold or if there is a conspicuous lack of oxygen. Normally, CO2 is the product of bacteria, but if it gets really cold, they use four hydrogen molecules instead of the two oxygen molecules to expel their waste as methane, CH4. It’s a balancing act. Nature uses CH4 and lots of water to produce CO2 + H2. The H2 mixes with oxygen or ozone in the air to form water.  Overall, methane lasts a total of nine or 10 years in the atmosphere.

The chemistry is important.  First, whether carbon dioxide or methane, it is 100% naturally produced.  Second, the amount of carbon is the same whether it mixes directly with oxygen or hydrogen. When warm and flowing, CO2. When cold and frozen, CH4. 

Methane always turns into CO2, because CO2 is the “normal” product.  When it can’t “burn” yet, the methane allows the bacteria to live, storing the energy in the molecule.  The natural “burn” of methane ultimately equals the alternative production of carbon dioxide, but it allows it in an exposed environment, up high in the atmosphere where more of the heat can dissipate into space when it reacts with ozone, O3. (God stuff, I tell you!  It is always beyond remarkable how it works!)

Generally, released methane determines how much O3 is in the atmosphere.  We get “ozone holes” after a lot of methane (and other reactive gases) are released quickly . . . like immediately after the hot summer of 1998. The thermal release from the volcanic activity started the melting arctic that released methane from the thawing ice.  Right now, and always, ozone is high in cold areas, where it is waiting for the methane release of cold bacterial production.  Of course there are more factors, but you get the idea.

Ozone is considered a greenhouse gas, but it is really quite different.  Ozone protects us from UV radiation while the methane is low. and reflects heat back to earth while it stays cold. (More God stuff.)

Notice that cold decreases CO2 production.  CO2 follows the temperatures.  That is no new discovery, either.  CO2 has always followed temperature.

The science is very fun and interesting, but this is past 500 words already.  How much CO2 is produced from burning natural gas (methane) in a machine, furnace, or engine?  The same amount as having it boil from the ice, which is the same amount as skipping it and producing carbon dioxide directly.  The only real, notable difference is that there is more CO2 produced when it’s warm.  That is not a catastrophe.  It is from nature, and from nature’s God.

Money that Used To Be Yours

In theory there is only one rational meaning for Inflation: an increase in the quantity of money, without a corresponding increase in the need for money, so that a fall in the objective exchange-value of money must occur. In other words, inflation of the money supply causes rising prices because more dollars equals a lower value of those extra dollars.

Inflation is the debasement, the devaluation, of money. Consider it this way: if our coins were made of gold, or our paper money could be redeemed for gold coins, the amount of money would be limited entirely by the amount of gold in reserve or circulation in the nation. If our nation then decided to make its coins out of 50% gold and base metal combined, every coin and every dollar would suddenly be worth half, and there would be twice as many coin equivalents available. (True story, incidentally.)

When this inflation of currency happens, the government demands an exchange without an exchange-value. You are required by law to turn in your gold coins for the shiny new ½ gold coins. If you had $100, you suddenly have $50 in purchasing power. That’s inflation. What happens? Prices go up, only because the exchange-value went down. Guess what happens when the Fed says, “Just start the presses and print all you can?

The rising prices are what we normally see. That’s a shame, because we want to blame the business cycle, or greed. It is greed, but greed at the government and bank level.

Printing money is a tax, and a very dangerous, greedy tax.

Milton Friedman called inflation, “taxation without legislation.”  He knew it was a scam.  Keynes knew this. “By a continuing process of inflation,” he said, “government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

As you can see in the real hockey stick chart above, inflation is a significant part of the Obama legacy.  Obama was a Keynesian. Bush helped with the first two trillion, but the rest belongs to Obama.  Reality?  In seven years of the Obama administration, we were bilked for seventy-five cents of every dollar we had.  And we get taxed for all of it.

Universal and Free Defined

What do the words “Universal” and “Free” mean in the context of health insurance and education?  Miriam-Webster calls Universal “including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception.”  What a wonderful thing that would be!  When applied to health insurance or education, can it be possible? 

Universal is a great thing, meaning “for everybody.”  Universal education, however, means “for those who qualify.”  Universal health insurance means “with these qualifications and limits.”  The “universal” aspect is the insurance and education offered, the qualifications to obtain it, the high cost to every citizen, and the restrictions imposed on every applicant.  (“You may not take that class because your aptitude is not high enough,” and, “You may not have that operation because you are not suffering sufficiently.”)

Free, in the case of health insurance and education, only carries one sense, “not costing or charging anything to the recipient.” It clearly never hints at “without cost.”  It certainly does not include the aspect of civil freedom (not subject to the control or domination of others) or the idea of free will (given voluntarily or spontaneously) or freedom from restraint (not compelled or demanded.)

In fact, the restrictions, obligations, costs, confinement, control, and limits of “free” are the opposites of reality, or what we call Orwellian speech.  “Free” is incredibly expensive, inconvenient, tyrannical and imposing.

Free and Universal also mean “without recourse.”  Already, the ACA has required hospitals and clinics to fill in “physician’s assistants” for real doctors.  Is your healthcare better and cheaper now than it was before Obamacare?

When related to any compulsory system, only the government mandates and bureaucratic limitations are  “free” are “universal.”  As the quality plunges, the better question might be, “Why do the costs keep going up as we approach free?”