Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kyoto Treaty Dies in Cancun

I've posted before my disdain for those who want to control free people through regulations claiming to "combat" some global weather "crisis".

I will not get into the "Global Warming" or "Climate Change" (whatever they want to call it) debate here. There is enough here to make me happy, the eventual end of the Kyoto Treaty.

Funny thing about the Kyoto Treaty, far as I know, nobody who signed up ever keep their promises. Neither in actually reducing production of supposed "green house emissions", or a change in world weather.

"Men Make Plans, God Laughs"

CancĂșn climate talks in danger of collapse over Kyoto continuation

The UN climate talks in CancĂșn were in danger of collapse last night after many Latin American countries said that they would leave if a crucial negotiating document, due to be released tomorrow, did not continue to commit rich countries to emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

The potential crisis was provoked by Japan stating earlier this week that it would not sign up to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Typical protesters with their heada in the sand
Other countries, including Russia, Canada and Australia are thought to agree but have yet to say publicly that they will not make further pledges.

Kyoto is considered iconic to developing countries because it is the only legal agreement that binds rich countries to emissions cuts. It is feared that wealthy countries, led by the US, which has not ratified the treaty, want an agreement that will commit them only loosely to targets.

Britain and the EU have said they are prepared to sign up to a second commitment period – provided others do so too.


Thank you Britain and the EU for standing up to your convictions!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Russia's Covert War

It is rare nowadays that in the mass media much news about Georgia hits the front page. How much of this covert war is still going on?
I suspect currently it is the old fashion cloak and dagger stuff, espionage and whatnot which Russia employs to muzzle true independence of Georgia.

Russia waged covert war on Georgia starting in '04
Russia waged a covert war against Georgia that included missile attacks, arms shipments to anti-government rebels and car bombings since 2004, a newly disclosed U.S. Embassy cable says.

REMNANTS OF WAR: A South Ossetian honor guard pays his respects at a war memorial in the village of Khetagurovo on Sunday amid the wreckage of cars burned during the brief Russia-Georgia war in August 2008. Russian troops have stayed in South Ossetia to this day. (Associated Press)

Among the secret war operations were a 2007 helicopter gunship attack on the headquarters of a pro-government group in the Georgian province of Abkhazia, and the murder of Georgian police officers in the town of Gory. Known inside the Russian security services as "active measures," the tactics employed against Georgia included political disinformation campaigns, industrial sabotage and assassinations.

"The variety and extent of the active measures suggests the deeper goal is turning Georgia from its Euroatlantic orientation back into the Russian fold," said the cable, signed by the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, John Tefft.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Government By Executive Order

I remember back when President Obama was giving a campaign speech which started with him decrying those evil Special Interests. Funny guy he is, saying this to a gathering of union members.

Gee, if Unions are not a Special Interest I don't know what is. So having not other options he will use executive powers to reward that special interest.  The unfortunate thing is I doubt the rank and file will benefit.

Government By Executive Order
A new Labor Department plan shows the president still has wide power to implement an anti-business agenda.


Because President Obama will now have a tough time getting his liberal agenda through a more Republican Congress, many Democrats are urging him to ram it through using the executive branch's unilateral power.

John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress, even issued a list of executive orders and rule-makings last month that Mr. Obama can use to "push the country to a better place." If the Department of Labor is representative, his advice is in sync with moves already under way.

On Sept. 22, Labor's Office of the Solicitor—which employs 400 attorneys to enforce the nation's labor laws—issued a draft "operating plan" to dramatically increase pressure on employers. A source inside the department says the plan has been adopted.

One tactic to be employed by the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) division will be to "deter [employers] through shaming." Ms. Smith told me she didn't know what that means. But whatever it might involve, it doesn't sound appropriate for an agency charged with carrying out the law in an even-handed fashion.

• "Engage in enterprise-wide enforcement." Ms. Smith said that means targeting multiple work sites of the same company. A department source says it also is likely to involve enforcement agents from the Wage and Hour Division and from OSHA showing up at the same time. The plan also calls for "Imposing shorter deadlines for implementing remedial measures in conciliation agreements and consent decrees."

• "Engage in greater use of injunctive relief," which means using court injunctions rather than fines to enforce compliance. The department plan also wants to "identify and pursue test cases" that could stretch the meaning of the law.

All of this is in stark contrast to the approach of the previous administration. "Laws and regulations at the local, state and federal level are a dizzying array of sometimes conflicting requirements," Elaine Chao, the secretary of labor from 2001 to 2009, told me. "The best way to protect workers is to help employers understand their legal obligations and promote collaborative working relationships between employers and workers on safety and other issues."


Goodbye Sweden

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Very Busy Iran

In Iraq, a Very Busy Iran

No kidding

Also supporting Syria in its hegemony in Lebanon.

BAGHDAD—Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables provide new details on the U.S. assessment of how Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps has promoted Tehran's influence in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The demise of archenemy Saddam Hussein, with whom Tehran fought an eight-year war in the 1980s, presented the Iranians with an unprecedented opportunity, and they appear to have exploited it from Day One.
The leadership of the Qods Force—the Guards' paramilitary and espionage arm—"took advantage of the vacuum" in the aftermath of the fall of Mr. Hussein's regime to begin sending operatives into Iraq when "little attention was focused on Iran," according to an April 2009 dispatch from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The cable was part of a trove of classified U.S. diplomatic communications made public this week by WikiLeaks.

In Iraq, a Very Busy Iran

Europe Hates Competition

Who is the King of the Hill?

Seems the European Union wants to knock over the King of the Hill.

BRUSSELS—The European Union's antitrust cop began a formal investigation of Google Inc. that zeroes in on its core search and advertising businesses, cementing the Silicon Valley company's position as Europe's premier corporate target.

The inquiry has been percolating since at least February, when Google disclosed that the commission, the EU's antitrust watchdog, was looking into complaints from other, smaller Web services.

Europe Zeroes In on Google

Sour Grapes

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Airport Security Can Get Worse

What more do we need to just clog up the whole TSA works?


How to Make Air Travel More Infuriating
If you think TSA is dysfunctional and unpopular now, wait until it unionizes.

. . . if you think TSA is dysfunctional and unpopular now, wait until it unionizes. This month, the Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled that 50,000 TSA personnel will be allowed to vote on whether or not to join a union with full collective bargaining rights.

After 9/11, Congress wisely decided to forbid TSA employees from coming under union work rules out of fear that it could compromise security. Imagine if every change in procedures had to be cleared with union shop stewards. While it is not easy to fire TSA personnel now, just think how difficult it will be to remove bad employees if they are covered by union job protection agreements.

But in 2007, the new Democratic Congress eliminated the ban on collective bargaining, and as soon as Barack Obama became president in 2009 his appointees began pushing unionization for TSA. Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted in Congressional testimony that she backs collective bargaining rights for TSA employees, overriding the considered judgment of all previous TSA administrators that such rights are at cross-purposes with the flexibility TSA needs to meet certain threats.

Why didn't we use private contractors in the first place?

John Mica of Florida, the new GOP chair of the House Transportation Committee, told me last month that we should have followed the advice of Israeli security experts and used private contractors and psychological tests to counteract terrorism in the wake of 9/11. At least one busy airport -- Orlando International -- is preparing to dump TSA in favor of a private security company, which is allowed under an opt-out provision in the federal law governing airport security. "Having TSA going towards unionization is just the wrong way to go," said Mr. Mica.



Allahu Akbar !

To bad nobody was killed or injured.


Al Gore Change Stance on Ethanol Fuel

On this site I have been more than harsh about Al Gore.

Now, for this he gets two thumbs up!

On this site I was very critical of ethanol, fuel produce mostly from corn. My main problem was taking food, turning it into fuel jacking up food prices. For me it doesn't matter a lot, but there are poor people, like in Mexico where corn is a staple.

Anyway, besides consumers subsidizing this folly, our government also takes taxpayers dollars.

I kept track of the failure of ethanol as a fuel product a while and bored of it as the concepts failure did not attract popular attention.

Now a new hero on this issue, Al Gore has stepped up to the plate.

Al Gore's Ethanol Epiphany

He concedes the industry he promoted serves no useful purpose.

Go Al !

Anyone who opposes ethanol subsidies, as these columns have for decades, comes to appreciate the wisdom of St. Jude. But now that a modern-day patron saint—St. Al of Green—has come out against the fuel made from corn and your tax dollars, maybe this isn't such a lost cause.

Welcome to the college of converts, Mr. Vice President. "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Al Gore told a gathering of clean energy financiers in Greece this week. The benefits of ethanol are "trivial," he added, but "It's hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."

No kidding, and Mr. Gore said he knows from experience: "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for President."

Mr. Gore's mea culpa underscores the degree to which ethanol has become a purely political machine: It serves no purpose other than re-electing incumbents and transferring wealth to farm states and ethanol producers. Nothing proves this better than the coincident trajectories of ethanol and Mr. Gore's career.