Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Battlegrounds and what they mean

What’s New Today

Story # 1 and #2 are today’s signs of desperation.  #3 examines the July unemployment numbers.  They are difficult to understand since there are two separate surveys and two different sets of numbers released by the BLM.  #4 shows how the left is accusing Romney of being a stealth candidate.  Have we ever known less about a candidate than we did Barack Obama?  #5 tells the tale of a self-proclaimed nice guy not being very nice.  #6 then has his apology.  #7 looks at the difference between tolerance and convictions.  #8 is the good news about fossil fuels. 

Today’s Thoughts

It appears Clint Eastwood’s half-time in America commercial in the SuperBowl wasn’t an endorsement of Barack Obama.  Eastwood has come out for Romney saying "I think the country needs a boost."

Senator and former Democratic nominee for President, John Kerry said that global warming was as great a threat as Iran developing nuclear weapons.  I don’t know how to break this to him, but in a nuclear explosion, it gets much hotter than anything global warming will do

Given that actions speak louder than words, one thing you can do is look at where the candidates are spending their money: nearly all of Obama’s campaign spending (and Romney’s too) is directed at states that Obama carried in 2008. This means that notwithstanding the media cheerleading, Obama is playing defense, not offense.”

1.  Signs of Desperation

The White House is really getting specific when it comes to the unemployment rate.
Rather than 8.3% -- the rounded-up figure -- Obama economic adviser Alan Krueger writes on the White House website that the real jobless rate is 8.254%.

"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July)," wrote Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

He added: "Acting BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was 'essentially unchanged' from June to July."…

When you take a number like this that has been “seasonally adjusted” and take it out to 3 decimal places, you are desperate to deny what it’s telling you. 

2.  Signs of Desperation part 2

Both presidential candidates are trying their hardest to reach out to young voters with varying degrees of success. Mitt Romney has been chipping away at President Obamas lead with young voters, but new information has come to light about Romney’s personal background that young voters can easily relate to: high school report cards. Yes, somehow got its hands on a report card from Romney’s freshman year of high school.

Romney took English 3, Elementary Algebra, Biology, French 1, and Art 3. He is credited in his art class for having a “real ability in painting,” but admitted that Romney is “not as industrious or as responsible as he might be.”

The rest of the report card contains similar comments about Romney’s potential to do better in class, and under additional comments, the following is written about Romney’s overall performance.
“Mitt is doing well. He is a more responsible citizen this year.”

Publishing Romney’s freshman in high school report card is another sign of desperation by the Democrats even as they are telling us we don’t need to see Obama’s college transcripts. 

3.  July Unemployment Figures

There were 195,000 fewer people employed in the United States in July than in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the national unemployment rate ticked up from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.

Meanwhile, 150,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force during the month and did not seek to find a job.

In June, according to BLS, there had been 142,415,000 employed in the United States.  In July, that dropped to 142,220,000--a decline of 195,000.

Similarly, in June, there were 155,163,000 people in the civilian labor in the United States. To be counted in the civilian labor force, person must be 16 years old or older, not be in the military, prison or a mental institution, and either have a job or have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.

In July, the number of people in the civilian labor force was 155,013,000 --a decline of 150,000 from June….

The labor statistics are confusing because the job number and the unemployment rate are derived from two separate surveys done by the labor department.  Add to that that the jobs number is then seasonally adjusted and you can see the problems.  It is then updated and for the past few months that updated number has reduced the initial jobs number (this past number it was adjust by almost 20% down from the initial number).  Here’s the bottom line.  The numbers are not very good. 

4.  Who is the Stealth Candidate?

The latest line of attack on Mitt Romney by Obama supporters is the most breathtaking yet: Romney, we are told, is a stealth candidate.

Michael Tomasky, who wrote the controversial Newsweek cover story declaring that Romney is a “wimp,” now accuses Romney of a “desire to sneak into the White House all but unexamined by voters.”
Holy Double Standard! Romney certainly could have handled the release of his tax returns better, and it’s likely he is concealing embarrassing details. But Barack Obama, aided and abetted by a subservient media, spent much of his 2008 campaign trying to conceal his radical roots and evading questions about his past. Stanley Kurtz, the author of the new Speading the Wealth:  How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, has demonstrated convincingly that the Obama campaign lied to reporters (including me) about Obama’s involvement with the socialist New Party and his work for the infamous ACORN operation (which subsequently went bankrupt following a 2009 scandal).

Similarly, scholar Paul Kengor has written a new book on Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s teenage mentor, entitled “The Communist.” Dave Weigel of Slate acknowledges that “Kengor’s bang-on right: Davis was an avowed Communist, and the media of 2008 didn’t care.” But Weigel thinks “Obama never pretended not to know Davis” and notes that Davis appears as the black-power advocate “Frank” in the president’s 1995 book Dreams from My Father. True enough, but Obama was certainly leery of too much scrutiny of Davis: The audio version of Dreams, read by Obama himself, removes all 24 references to “Frank” that appear in the printed text. Why the difference? Perhaps because the audio version wasn’t recorded until 2005, when newly elected U.S. senator Barack Obama was already contemplating a run for the White House…

This isn’t a sign of desperation, but it certainly is one of audacity.  Accusing someone of your own sins is something that you need to be narcissistic to do.

5.  Self-Proclaimed “nice guy” spews hate

Adam Smith, former CFO and treasurer of medical supplies manufacturer Vante, caused quite a stir when he put up a video of himself bullying a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee in Tucson on YouTube. (Click the link and you can watch it)

Smith berates the worker about her company in the video, which was initially titled ”Reduce $’s to Chick-Fil-A’s Hate Groups.” It has since been taken down (though others have uploaded it too).

"I don't know how you live with yourself and work here," he tells the employee at the window. "I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better." 

“I’m a nice guy, by the way … totally heterosexual," he continues. "Not a gay in me, I just can’t stand the hate.”…

6.  Update: Self-Proclaimed Nice Guy Apologizes after losing his job

Former Vante CFO Adam Smith struck a nerve when he put up a video of himself bullying a worker at the Chick-fil-A drive-thru window. 

There was widespread criticism, and he was promptly fired from his position at Vante for how he acted.
Now, Smith has taken to YouTube again, posting a nearly eight minute video in which he apologizes and clarifies some questions that have been floating around….

Smith is a typical self-righteous jerk.  From proclaiming he was a “nice guy” to berating someone for working at a place whose owners have a different opinion that he holds, Smith doesn’t realize the irony as he proclaims his hatred for intolerance. 

7.  Tolerance vs Convictions

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."  G.K. Chesterton

And to be "without convictions" is to surrender to the Orwellian existence as depicted in "1984."  Slack jawed.  No opinions, no convictions. To exist without convictions is to surrender to all.   Turn in your permit to be a thinking human being.

Chesterton suggests that people should have convictions.  He is correct. Pure tolerance would be to have no opinion, no conviction.  The Orwellian society in "1984" demanded its members to be so. Those who sheltered convictions were forced to mask them.  Yet those in power were severely "intolerant." Is that where we are headed?

But Liberals have convictions do they not? I maintain that those demanding tolerance are actually saying "don't have convictions that conflict with mine." Hence, tolerance or the state of being tolerant really has little to do with discussion or being open minded.  When a liberal asks you to be tolerant, he is commanding you to quit holding your conviction, likely the one that is countervailing to his own precious conviction.

Yet, if we are dealing with those who refer to themselves as "liberals", mustn't they own up to the attributes of the moniker "liberal"?  Can a Liberal, or someone who calls himself such, demand tolerance? A liberal, by most definitions, suggests open mindedness. A person "favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms" (Oxford Dictionary). The word "respectful" is the key word. It seems these liberals are not respectful of the opinions, or as Chesterton mentions, the "convictions" of others.

Today, liberals seem to demand.  They do not respect or allow for other reasonable stances. There are mandates. You must buy health insurance.  Where is the respect for "individual rights and freedoms" here?

There are decrees.  "Take your business elsewhere. Your values are not of our city."

It is great sport to make these points to those who call themselves liberals and demand tolerance.  Use this phrase to "Freeze" the liberal mind:

"Please be more tolerant of my intolerance."

Liberals think that intolerance of intolerance isn’t intolerance.  Of course they mean that they get to determine what intolerance v what a correct value is. 

8.  Shale Boom will reshape US Refining

Over the next three years, the redrawing of the nation’s petroleum transport map will reshape  the nation’s refining industry, creating potential new winners and losers in the industry, a new study by consulting and research firm Hart Energy found.

Hart Energy forecasts the nation’s rail system will expand to carry an additional 4.5 million oil barrels per day and pipeline capacity will grow by more than 9 million barrels of oil per day, in its 2012-2016 analysis of the domestic energy industry. Driven by the rapid rise of unconventional crude development and domestic production, the new national grid could pick new favorites in the refining industry.
Refineries close to unconventional oil will benefit from larger margins, likely leading to greater utilization and new construction, researchers determined.

“Refiners without access or appetite for light U.S. unconventional crudes, that rely on waterborne imports of higher-priced light and heavy crude imports over water, or powered by fuels derived from petroleum rather than lower-cost U.S. shale gas, will likely succumb to bearish cyclical and secular global refining market forces,” the report states.

The authors project unconventional crude production, including oil from shale and other tight rock formations, will grow by 1.7 million barrels per day, primarily in the Midwest, Rockies and Gulf Coast regions.

Currently, the nation’s pipelines largely move crude and other hydrocarbons from the coast northward to the nation’s population centers. However, booming oil production in North Dakota and other northern states has left a glut of oil trapped at the Cushing, Okla. storage center. There’s a lack of transportation to carry the oil south to Gulf Coast refining hub.

“Unconventional oil production is concentrated in areas not ideally aligned with legacy pipelines and refining infrastructure,” said Greg Haas, manager of integrated oil and gas research. “If all that crude is delivered to the southern refining fleet, the onrush could remake the Gulf Coast into the ‘Cushing Coast’ with rising stockpiles, sated refineries, insufficient outbound pipeline capacity, and discounted crude prices.”

This is great news for the US.  There is a boom going on which will get even bigger.  Construction of new pipelines, increase in rail traffic as well as high paying jobs in the oil fields will not only create new jobs, but will bring in new taxes into the US economy helping with the deficit.  Imagine, energy that contributes to reducing the deficit rather than “green” energy that adds to the deficit.

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