Daily Wisdom

November 18, 2010

Still Autumn in NJ

Most of the leaves are down around my house, but here's a couple that are still going as of today. A big maple in front of my house, and a smaller one alongside my back deck...

God Bless...

November 13, 2010

I Honor Back

Hat-tip to Heirborn Ranger for this one. Best viewed in full screen mode...

November 11, 2010

Green and Mean

We've all heard that phrase "Lean and Mean". It is descriptive of an organization, typically a company, that is not overstaffed and perhaps a bit understaffed. It is "lean" because there is no extra fat to cut out. Cutting anyone from the organization would mean cutting into "muscle". In other words, it would be painful and counter-productive. The word "mean" implies aggressiveness. The organization is ready to do battle in the marketplace where it operates. The phrase exudes efficiency and competitiveness.

You might be forgiven then, if you thought that's where I was headed with this article. Perhaps the phrase "Green and Mean" conjures up visions, like a slick TV commercial, of efficient "green" companies that boast of: using solar panels or wind turbines, making their product from recycled materials, or reducing CO2 emissions more than their competitors. But you would be wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Green" companies are not more efficient than others. In fact, they are often less efficient. Electric power generated from "green" renewable sources generally costs more than that made from fossil fuels. Solar panels don't make electricity very well when it gets dark or when they are covered with snow. The inverters they use to convert electricity from DC into AC require maintenance, and sometimes they need replacement before the installation has paid for itself. Wind turbines don't make electricity when the wind stops blowing. In fact, the big wind turbines actually consume power to keep them running, because stopping and starting those suckers is hard on the gears.

And companies that introduce "green" programs spend time, effort and money on something other than making their intended product or streamlining the services they offer. Companies that make their products from recycled materials generally face problems and costs that another company which uses new raw materials will not have to deal with. "Green" chemicals typically cost more and may not work as well as the standard garden variety. So there is nothing inherently efficient or competitive about "green" companies whatsoever. For the cynics, going "green" is nothing more than a marketing ploy. For the believers, it is an effort to do something "noble".

No, when the phrase "Green and Mean" came into my head I was thinking about the fact that some environmentalists have a tendency to be downright mean. I was thinking about Al Gore, who has no qualms about forcing his propaganda slide show onto young school children so they can have nightmares about ocean levels rising and drowning them while they sleep in their beds. And all so he can make millions of dollars on some phony carbon credit trading scheme.

No, I was thinking about the people who make TV commercials that show polar bears falling from airplanes, or the end of the world as we know it, or teachers exploding students that are less than enthusiastic about the green agenda. I was thinking about eco-terrorist groups like the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) who burn down or blow up homes, offices, laboratories, and vehicles in the name of the environment. I was thinking about people like Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) who go around attacking commercial fishing vessels. I was thinking about the animal rights activists who care more about fish and birds than they do about human beings. And I was thinking about those environmentalists who could dare contemplate the extermination of millions of humans because, in their view, humanity is a disease that infects the planet.

The Bible teaches us that man was made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1). It says that the Creator made man "little less than God" (Psalm 8:5). It says that we were made by God to "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26). God told mankind to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28).

And that is what mankind has done. We have been fruitful and multiplied. We have been subduing the earth, one small step at a time. We have tamed animals. We have tamed the land and made it grow crops. We have tamed the rivers and the tides. We have tamed the elements by building homes that are warm in winter and cool in summer. We have tamed travel by building vehicles that take us across town, across the ocean, around the globe, and even into outer space. We have explored the depths of the sea. We have tamed long distances with communication devices. We have tamed diseases. We have tamed ignorance through education. We have tamed weather to the extent that we can predict most of it days in advance. We have tamed the energy of the atom through nuclear power.

God has blessed mankind with abundance. He has given us plants and animals for food. He has given us water to drink. He has given us stones to build with. He has given us minerals and metals to fashion implements. He has given us gas and oil for fuels. And He has given us intelligence to mold and manipulate the world around us, in order to make it a better place in which to live. We have used what God has given us and obeyed His will to subdue the earth. Yes, we should not pollute the earth, but we have even made great strides to reduce pollution.

But now, after all this progress, the environmentalists would have us abandon our Creator and worship His creation instead. They would have us worship the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, and the plants of the field. These environmentalists are tyrants that would make the earth into a god and mankind into slaves that serve it. They make humanity meaningless and nature preeminent. You can be put in jail for killing a baby eagle, but not for killing a baby human that survives an abortion procedure. You must protect the life of a tiny fish on the endangered species list, but it's acceptable to assist in the suicide of a living human being.

Although mankind has progressed over the centuries, there remains at least one earthly obstacle that man has not subdued, and that is tyranny. In order for freedom and liberty to flourish, tyranny must be abolished. Tyranny is the mountain we must scale, the ocean we must cross, the disease we must cure, the enemy we must defeat. Tyranny comes in many forms, and radical environmentalism is just one of them.

November 05, 2010

Stimulus Spending And Job Growth: Update 17

Well, it's that time again. Time to update Obama's stimulus-driven job creation results. For the month of October, there was a net gain of 151,000 jobs. That's good news for President Obama, because there had been a string of net job losses for the last several months. August and September's job figures were also revised upwards according to the latest data from the US Dept of Labor. This meant fewer job losses in September than originally reported, and an actual net job gain for August (discounting the temporary census job losses).

Barack Obama said his stimulus package would create approximately 4 million "new" jobs over two years. In order to create 4 million jobs in 24 months, the Obama administration would have had to create approximately 166,667 jobs per month to reach his target, assuming linear job growth. That scenario is shown as violet in the following graph.

I developed a curve showing what I thought might be a more "Likely" scenario -- plotted as light blue in the following graph. As you can see from the graph, the actual trend was somewhat worse than I had predicted -- plotted as yellow and red. The trend generally followed the trajectory I had originally envisioned until about May of this year (Month 15). Obama's "Summer of Recovery" was virtually non-existent. Since May, job growth has essentially flat-lined.

Instead of having to create 166,667 new jobs per month to reach his original target of 4 million new jobs, President Obama now needs to create 1,471,000 jobs per month -- in order to make up for the 2 million jobs that were lost since the stimulus bill was signed.

According to US DOL statistics, the official unemployment rate continues to be 9.6%, because there are 14.8 million unemployed people in the United States who are actively seeking work. But there are another 2.6 million people who are only "marginally" attached to the work force because they did not seek work in the last month, and another 9.2 million people who are working part-time only because they can't find a full-time job.

I am sorry to once again report that I continue to remain unemployed. Activity has fallen off in recent weeks. I know God has a plan for me, but I continue to covet your prayers.

November 01, 2010

Autumn in New Jersey

Some views from around my house October 31, 2010...

Sign The Repeal Pledge

I know the first doctor in this commercial. She is a lifelong friend of my wife...

Go to The Repeal Pledge.