Wednesday, August 29, 2012

With more small businesses closing every day, this type of letter needs to go out to all employees:

To All My Valued  Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the  office about the future of this company, and more  specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed  for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the  good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your  job.

What does threaten your job however, is the  changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as  your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for -  it is against the law to discriminate based on political  affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc.

Please vote  for who you think will serve your interests the best.  However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which  might help you decide what is in your best interest. First,  while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers  against employees, you have to understand that for every  business owner there is a back story.
This back  story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see  and hear.  Sure, you see me park my Mercedes  outside.  You saw my nice home at last year’s Christmas  party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up  some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you  don't see is the back story.

I started this company  12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot  studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was  converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort  into building a company, which by the way, would eventually  employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles  because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I  drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission.  I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on  weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying.  In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work,  discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my  friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They  drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore  fancy designer clothes.  Instead of hitting Nordstrom's  for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the  Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look  like it was birthed in the 70's.

My friends  refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I,  however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into  a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I  too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends  supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at  the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and  then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for  me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a  weekend all to yourself.  I unfortunately do not have  the freedom.  I eat, ****, and breathe this company  every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no  weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is  attached to me like a 1 day old baby.
You, of  course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice  house, a nice car, the vacations... You never think about the  back story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is  falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right  decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the  people who didn't.

The people that overspent their  paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I  earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.  Yes,  business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid  is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of  running this business, and employing you, is starting to  eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell  you why:

I am being taxed to death and the  government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes.  Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll  taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes  on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes  and then guess what?   I have to pay taxes for  employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all  the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my  time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for  $288,000 for quarterly taxes.  You know what my  "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question  I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy  who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over  2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or,  the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth  child waiting for her next welfare check?

Obviously,  government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this  country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of  your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean,  why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only  50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job  is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand ..  to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the  economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I  didn't need to pay taxes, guess what?   Instead of  depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I  would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated  substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed  the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and  better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you  have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't  defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring  him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his  heart?   Business is at the heart of America and  always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not  kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe  the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American  economic engine.

Nothing could be further from the  truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where  am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new  taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be  swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your  co-workers.   You can then plead with the  government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your  child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem anymore. Then,  I will close this company down, move to another country, and  retire.

You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country  that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive.  My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed,  and with it, will be my citizenship. 

While tax  cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget  the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to  tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero. So, when you make  decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the  economics of business ownership and who doesn't?  Whose  policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and  you should know who might be the one capable of saving your  job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy  Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.

If you lose your  job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at  the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this  country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed  its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in  the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no  employees to worry about.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Well worth the read:

By its actions, the IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Unreliable

Foreword: Readers may recall that we covered the InterAcademy Council finding here on WUWT, in IAC slams IPCC process, suggests removal of top officials followed by IPCC’s Pachauri should resign for “failures of leadership” Now, with virtually no notice, the IPCC has implemented a change in response to these findings, essentially admitting their past work was flawed both procedurally and factually. As a sidenote, we have Donna Laframboise to thank for much of the work in uncovering flaws in the IPCC. – Anthony

By Joseph L. Bast
On June 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a statement saying it had “complete[d] the process of implementation of a set of recommendations issued in August 2010 by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), the group created by the world’s science academies to provide advice to international bodies.”

Hidden behind this seemingly routine update on bureaucratic processes is an astonishing and entirely unreported story.  The IPCC is the world’s most prominent source of alarmist predictions and claims about man-made global warming.  Its four reports (a fifth report is scheduled for release in various parts in 2013 and 2014) are cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. and by national academies of science around the world as “proof” that the global warming of the past five or so decades was both man-made and evidence of a mounting crisis.

If the IPCC’s reports were flawed, as a many global warming “skeptics” have long claimed, then the scientific footing of the man-made global warming movement — the environmental movement’s “mother of all environmental scares” — is undermined.  The Obama administration’s war on coal may be unnecessary.  Billions of dollars in subsidies to solar and wind may have been wasted.  Trillions of dollars of personal income may have been squandered worldwide in campaigns to “fix” a problem that didn’t really exist.

The “recommendations” issued by the IAC were not minor adjustments to a fundamentally sound scientific procedure.  Here are some of the findings of the IAC’s 2010 report.

The IAC reported that IPCC lead authors fail to give “due consideration … to properly documented alternative views” (p. 20), fail to “provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors” (p. 21), and are not “consider[ing] review comments carefully and document[ing] their responses” (p. 22).  In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed.

The IAC found that “the IPCC has no formal process or criteria for selecting authors” and “the selection criteria seemed arbitrary to many respondents” (p. 18).  Government officials appoint scientists from their countries and “do not always nominate the best scientists from among those who volunteer, either because they do not know who these scientists are or because political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications” (p. 18).  In other words: authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.

The rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers by politicians and environmental activists — a problem called out by global warming realists for many years, but with little apparent notice by the media or policymakers — was plainly admitted, perhaps for the first time by an organization in the “mainstream” of alarmist climate change thinking.  “[M]any were concerned that reinterpretations of the assessment’s findings, suggested in the final Plenary, might be politically motivated,” the IAC auditors wrote.  The scientists they interviewed commonly found the Synthesis Report “too political” (p. 25).

Really?  Too political?  We were told by everyone — environmentalists, reporters, politicians, even celebrities — that the IPCC reports were science, not politics.  Now we are told that even the scientists involved in writing the reports — remember, they are all true believers in man-made global warming themselves — felt the summaries were “too political.”

Here is how the IAC described how the IPCC arrives at the “consensus of scientists”:
Plenary sessions to approve a Summary for Policy Makers last for several days and commonly end with an all-night meeting.  Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report (p. 25).
How can such a process possibly be said to capture or represent the “true consensus of scientists”?
Another problem documented by the IAC is the use of phony “confidence intervals” and estimates of “certainty” in the Summary for Policy Makers (pp. 27-34).  Those of us who study the IPCC reports knew this was make-believe when we first saw it in 2007.  Work by J. Scott Armstrong on the science of forecasting makes it clear that scientists cannot simply gather around a table and vote on how confident they are about some prediction, and then affix a number to it such as “80% confident.”  Yet that is how the IPCC proceeds.

The IAC authors say it is “not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty” (p. 34), a huge understatement.  Unfortunately, the IAC authors recommend an equally fraudulent substitute, called “level of understanding scale,” which is more mush-mouth for “consensus.”

The IAC authors warn, also on page 34, that “conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.”  Yes, but that doesn’t keep the media and environmental activists from citing them over and over again as “proof” that global warming is man-made and a crisis…even if that’s not really what the reports’ authors are saying.

Finally, the IAC noted, “the lack of a conflict of interest and disclosure policy for IPCC leaders and Lead Authors was a concern raised by a number of individuals who were interviewed by the Committee or provided written input” as well as “the practice of scientists responsible for writing IPCC assessments reviewing their own work.  The Committee did not investigate the basis of these claims, which is beyond the mandate of this review” (p. 46).

Too bad, because these are both big issues in light of recent revelations that a majority of the authors and contributors to some chapters of the IPCC reports are environmental activists, not scientists at all.  That’s a structural problem with the IPCC that could dwarf the big problems already reported.
So on June 27, nearly two years after these bombshells fell (without so much as a raised eyebrow by the mainstream media in the U.S. — go ahead and try Googling it), the IPCC admits that it was all true and promises to do better for its next report.  Nothing to see here…keep on moving.
Well I say, hold on, there!  The news release means that the IAC report was right.  That, in turn, means that the first four IPCC reports were, in fact, unreliable.  Not just “possibly flawed” or “could have been improved,” but likely to be wrong and even fraudulent.

It means that all of the “endorsements” of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science — which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis — were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised.  It means that the EPA’s “endangerment finding” — its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health — was wrong and should be overturned.

And what of the next IPCC report, due out in 2013 and 2014?  The near-final drafts of that report have been circulating for months already.  They were written by scientists chosen by politicians rather than on the basis of merit; many of them were reviewing their own work and were free to ignore the questions and comments of people with whom they disagree.  Instead of “confidence,” we will get “level of understanding scales” that are just as meaningless.

And on this basis we should transform the world’s economy to run on breezes and sunbeams?
In 2010, we learned that much of what we thought we knew about global warming was compromised and probably false.  On June 27, the culprits confessed and promised to do better.  But where do we go to get our money back?

Joseph L. Bast ( is president of The Heartland Institute and an editor of Climate Change Reconsidered, a series of reports published by The Heartland Institute for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

My dad always said that banks only loan money to people who don't need it.  We decided to apply for a home equity loan for various reasons.

We have a couple of credit cards we use to pay household bills and then we pay the bill in FULL when it is due.  I had one card we were carrying a balance on at 0%.

The lender demanded that we have NO balance showing on any credit card accounts before they would continue to process the loan application.  Whaaaa.....???  The cards I have give between 1% and 5% cash back, but I can't continue to get that benefit so I can show that I don't need a loan to be able to get a loan.

So being wise with my credit cards is working against me.  Think about it, if I get a 5% cash back on purchases and I make $500.00 worth of purchases every month, that means in a year I get $300.00 cash back every year.  That is enough to make the payment on the loan for one month.

$  500.00
x         12
$ 6000.00
x        .05
$  300.00

As the saying goes:  Go Figure! 

So, I have paid off the credit cards now so it looks like we don't need a loan.  I hope the credit card companies don't get mad at me for not needing their credit too.