Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The Census Bureau has released population figures for the country as of July, 2008. Only two states (Louisiana and North Dakota) decreased during the period. Louisiana does not surprise me but North Dakota did. The fastest growing state on a percentage basis is Nevada.

The fastest growing Region is the West, followed by the South. Overall the US population has risen 8% since 2000.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Currently the UN is meeting in Poland to discuss the Topic of Man-Made Global Warming. The 52 Scientists who authored the UN IPCC are opposed by the 650 Scientists (including former members affiliated with the UN). The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Members page has published many articles and facts which do not support the UN IPCC. UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims highlights the fact that 12 times as many scientists disagree with the UN's 52 who agree.
POZNAN, Poland - The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.
Also featured on the Minority Page of this US Senate Committee are links to FACTS. Interesting FACTS such as the PLEDGE which Al Gore asked the people of the World to sign, the Goracle will not himself SIGN. Ask yourself why!!! For all of us, the matter of Global Warming is a matter of concern. But is Global Warming Man-Made? and therefore something we need to act on with drastic measures? More and More Scientiests are saying NO!!!
“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet. [Emphasis mine]
Clearly the words of AL GORE "It's Settled" are not true. It is time for doing what we can to preserve the planet, but the DRASTIC Political solutions the "Chicken Little" types are calling for are not warranted at this time.

More and more FACTS are pointing to the fact that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not the cause of Global Warming and therefore Man-Made CO2 is not the cause of Global Warming. How do I know that? Since 2001 the temperature of the Earth has not increased while the CO2 levels have significantly increased.

World Cools On Man-Made Global Warming

Monday, December 8, 2008


WE HAVE BECOME COMPLACENT - THAT'S DANGEROUS. Complacent about the real threat of another Terrorist Attack aka 9/11 in the USA. Ray Kelly is the Police Commissioner in New York City. Mr. Kelly is in a position to know what is possible, but are the authorities listening? Ray Kelly's Wiretap Alarm says not nearly enough to prevent an attack similar to Mumbai, India.
India's three days of carnage stand as another warning about how easily terrorists can perpetrate a major attack. So when top New York City counterterrorism officials declare that U.S. intelligence laws are shackling their powers to prevent the next Mumbai, it ought to raise more than eyebrows.
After reading this article please ask yourself if total privacy is worth the loss of life this privacy allows? Or should we give up some reasonable amount of personal privacy to save lives by preventing the Terrorists from using American Legal Procedures to Handcuff the authorities? So when Mr. Kelly speaks are the right people listening? NO!
Instead, almost nobody seems to care. Seven years without an attack on the U.S. mainland has created a growing public complacency. And the anti-antiterror lobby has exploited that complacency to assail and constrain critical Bush Administration intelligence programs, making it harder to intercept terrorists before they strike. As a consequence innocent Americans may be killed.
We need to open our collective eyes to how much the success of the Bush Administration has wrought. President Bush, despite the Democrat Liberals, have been able to prevent further attacks similar to 9/11 and Mumbai. But the success has come at the price of reducing the perceived danger.
What Democrats have done, in essence, is to insert an unelected judiciary into the wartime chain of command. As Mr. Kelly notes, this is producing a "lack of accountability" and "the lack of transparency into the inner workings of the FISA process." If some faceless FISA judge denies a surveillance request from Mr. Kelly and New Yorkers die as a result, that judge will answer to no one. Under current FISA rules, we won't even know who that judge is. Meanwhile, the very Members of Congress who insisted on FISA's limitations will blame the executive branch that they put under the supervision of those anonymous judges.
There is no supportable justification for the current restrictions on warrant-less wiretaps for communications which originate or end outside the USA. Those afraid of losing their privacy due to Government Warrant-Less Wiretaps in these cases are generally the same people who gladly use services like "On-Star" and "Lojack". Both these services allow 24-7 monitoring of our driving. We surrender our privacy for this Intrusion, but not to prevent Lives From Being Lost. Remember this "Big Blue Button" privacy mentality when NSA, FISA and Warrant-Less Wiretaps are attacked.

Personally I trust Ray Kelly a Hell-of-a-lot more than the Liberal Congress.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Price of Tradition Rising

Every year (for the last 24) the cost of one of the more popular Christmas Songs has been calculated. And the Cost of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has risen faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI). TRUE LOVES TO FACE MOST EXPENSIVE CHRISTMAS EVER AS PNC CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX JUMPS 8.1 PERCENT IN 2008
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 1, 2008 – The PNC Christmas Price Index increased by a lavish 8.1 percent over last year, the second biggest leap in the history of the whimsical economic analysis by PNC Wealth Management based on the cost of gifts in the holiday classic, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

According to the 24th annual survey, the cost of the PNC CPI is $21,080 in 2008, $1,573 more than last year. The PNC CPI exceeds the U.S. government’s Consumer Price Index – the widely used measure of inflation calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index is up 3.7 percent this year. The core CPI has increased 2.2 percent since Oct. of 2007.
Apparently the Swans are to blame for the biggest price increase; or at least the cost of them is.
The seven swans a-swimming proved to be a driver of this year’s index, carrying the greatest weight with a whopping 33.3 percent increase due to their scarcity. True Loves will spend $5,600 this year for Swans compared with $4,200 in 2007, accounting for $1,400 of the $1,573 increase. The swans typically have the largest swings in price in the PNC CPI.

Much like the government’s CPI, the PNC CPI also measures a "Core Index"—up just 1.1 percent this year - that excludes the swans. The core Consumer Price Index excludes volatile energy and food costs and is generally lower than the headline figure.
Those wishing to tighten the "Economic Belt", so to speak, might be tempted to substitute some other gift for the Swans. But the article adds a caution for those considering such a move. Remember it's not the cost, but rather the thought which counts.
“Omitting the seven swans a-swimming may be a tempting way for a True Love to hold the line on costs, but one would be advised to proceed with caution," warned James Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management.

“Because our analysts can only measure the actual cost of this seasonal treasure, not its sentimental value, True Loves may want to budget a little more carefully this year in order to purchase all the items in the song,” Dunigan said.
It appears that the cost of Birds includes the "Turtle Doves" too.
Large percentage increases were also seen in turtle doves (37.5 percent, to $56 from $40); partridges (33.3 percent, to $20.00 from $15.00) and pear trees (33.3 percent, to $199.99 from $149.99), according to PNC.
But there is some good news. The Cost of Some items fell this year.
True Loves will pay less for the five gold rings this year. Retail prices dropped by 11.4 percent (to $349.95 from $395) as retailers are trying to move luxury merchandise in light of concerns with the slowing economy, PNC found.

Two other costs in the CPI dropped this year: three French hens and Six geese-a-laying. This year the hens cost $30, a drop of 33.3 percent over last year, and the geese cost $240, falling one-third. Four calling birds remained steady, costing $599.96, the same as a year ago.
But the minimum wage is another cause for the increase.
As the only unskilled laborers in the Christmas Price Index, the eight maids a-milking received a raise for the second straight year, due to another increase in the federal minimum wage. Before 2007, they had not received a raise since 1997.

The federal minimum wage increased this year to $6.55 per hour, following last year’s $5.85. In the last two years, the maids a-milking have seen their wages rise by $1.40 per hour, an increase of 27 percent. Still, the maids will cost the True Love $52.40 this year, only $5.60 more than a year ago, a relative bargain in the PNC CPI.

The cost of most performers in the index—the drummers drumming, pipers piping and Llrds-a-leaping—jumped a modest 3 percent, essentially a cost-of-living increase, reflecting the current labor market in which the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent after sitting below 5 percent for much of the decade. Only the price for the Ladies Dancing was unchanged this year.
If you look for bargins by doing your shopping on-line, the figures are not good.
For those True Loves who prefer the convenience of shopping online, PNC Wealth Management calculates the cost of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts purchased on the Web.

This year, the trends identified in the traditional index are repeated in the Internet version, with an overall price growth of 2.8 percent, significantly less than the traditional PNC CPI increase of 8.1 percent.

True Loves will pay a grand total of $31,957 to buy the items online, almost $11,000 more than in the traditional index.
The Bottom Line is ...
As part of its annual tradition, PNC Wealth Management also tabulates the “True Cost of Christmas,” which is the total cost of items gifted by a True Love who repeats all of the song’s verses. This holiday season, very generous True Loves will pay more than ever before—$86,609—for all 364 items, up from $78,100 in 2007, a staggering 10.9 percent increase.
PNC also provides a link for a Historical look at the cost of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".(www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


According to this New York Times Article (Panel Fears Use of Unconventional Weapon), the world will face a Nuclear, Biological or other Unconventional Attack by 2013. For those of you who thought the War on Terror was limited to Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden, this is your wake-up call.
An independent commission has concluded that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years unless the United States and its allies act urgently to prevent that. [Emphasis mine]
More importantly, are we the USA ready for a possible Terrorist attack using Unconventional Weapons? For that matter, are we ready for an attack like the Mumbai, India attack of last week?
In a report to be released this week, the Congressionally mandated panel found that with countries like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons programs, and with the risk of poorly secured biological pathogens growing, unconventional threats are fast outpacing the defenses arrayed to confront them.
At the same time, the American people have become complacent. Complacent because President George Bush has done such a good job of preventing attacks.
“America’s margin of safety is shrinking, not growing,” the bipartisan panel concluded.
I must admit that so far, to my surprise, President Elect Obama has shown a retreat from his Primary Rhetoric concerning the Terror Threat that exists in the World. Hopefully this will continue to translate into an extension of the Patriot Act and support for the NSA and/or other Intelligence Gathering Activities.
Prepared before last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai — which American officials say were most likely carried out by Pakistani militant groups based in Kashmir — the report also singled out Pakistan as a top security priority for the coming Obama administration.
Mumbai shows we cannot take Intelligence Information on Terrorist Activities lightly. Apparently India's Government did. Fortunately for India, the Terrorists were overly optimistic about the casualties their attack would inflict.
“Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” the report states in the opening sentence of the executive summary.
This opening sentence is a chilling look at the present situation. We need to be pro-active and act now, unless we wish to be re-active later. As this paragraph from this article indicates, we need to shift our focus and attention to a much higher level.
Like the 9/11 Commission, this panel called for overhauling the jurisdiction of the Congressional committee that reviews the proliferation of unconventional weapons. “Congressional oversight is dysfunctional,” the report concluded. [Emphasis mine]
Hopefully since this was a Bi-Partisan Congressional Committee, President Elect Obama and our House and Senate are listening. One last thought - THIS REPORT SAYS BY THE END OF 2013, BUT DOES NOT RULE OUT TOMORROW!!!