the daily doyle


Global Cooling, um, Warming, um, Climate Change
June 18, 2011, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Political stuff

Maybe global warming isn’t so bad. Have you heard about the potential for an upcoming ICE AGE, global cooling to the max?

Read this, from Newsweek:

“The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

Before you start to panic and stock up on canned foods, you should know that the above article was published in Newsweek in 1975. Yes, in 1975, according to Newsweek, Scientists were almost unanimous in their belief that global temperatures were about to take a nose dive, and we were about to be in danger of starvation because the Earth was going to be too cold.

It’s logical that cooling temperatures would cause great famine and disaster on a large scale. Food grows in the warmer months and grows more in hotter climates.

Now, in 2011, the narrative is that the Earth is about to become too warm. The impending disaster is a little harder to understand than what would happen with global cooling. Higher temperatures mean more food production usually; so global warming is not a matter of famine and starvation. The big scare in global warming is that the polar ice will melt, raising ocean levels and endangering coastal areas, and that we will be threatened with increasing levels of violent weather – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods.

Is any of this true? Former President Al Gore made a movie about global warming. A lot of people saw it and he made a lot of money from it. He won a Nobel Prize for his efforts to convince people that global warming is real and is caused primarily by man’s activities.

Al Gore is a politician, an extremely liberal politician, not a scientist. I’m a writer, not a scientist. Neither Al nor I approach this subject from a purely scientific viewpoint. He has his agenda. I have mine.

Al Gore is an example of many of today’s politicians who promote the issue of global warming and who are using it to attempt broad sweeping changes in the way people live.

The issue of global warming is generally split along party lines. People and politicians on the left (the Democrat party in the USA) are generally those who speak out about global warming and push for drastic government action. Those on the right (Republicans, Libertarians, etc. in the USA) tend to concentrate more on other issues, like increasing opportunity for prosperity and promoting freedom.

The drastic change desired by the politicians is essentially a reduction in what are termed “greenhouse gases”, any gas that is believed to rise to the upper atmosphere and serve to contain the heat of the sun, warming the earth. The big push lately has not been so much to reduce gas emissions directly but to have larger companies and countries pay more for their emissions.

And what do I want? What is my selfish agenda? I do have one. I want a clean planet that I can enjoy, along with my fellow human beings, my friends the animals, and the plants that we all enjoy to look at and to eat. Simple. I am a true environmentalist. However, I’m not in favor of the vast sweeping changes and restrictions and wealth redistribution desired by the left. I also want opportunity to grow, prosper and enjoy life to the fullest. I want the freedom to hop on a jet and go to Hong Kong if I want to. I value a clean, pretty planet. I value freedom. What’s the point of a nice environment if we have no rights to enjoy it.

There may be such a thing as global warming. We have evidently been in a warming trend for a couple of decades. However, the Earth has a long history of cyclic changes, related to solar activity, volcanoes and many other factors not caused by man.

History speaks of growing crops in Greenland, which is now too cold. The Earth has experienced many ice ages. It’s complete folly to look at the last couple hundred years of temperatures and decide that this should be the temperature from here on out.

I like to listen to this reading from Charleton Heston. It’s from Michael Crichton, author of Jurrassic Park. Heston read it on the Rush Limbaugh show some years ago, and I believe Rush plays it again every Earth Day. The message is essentially that the Earth has been here a long damn time and will continue to be here a long damn time, that our beliefs that we’re somehow going to destroy the Earth is illogical. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGodDOLvBxw

Once upon a time, London (and just about every other city) was a dirty, sooty place. Coal, wood and oil were burned for heat. Now London is much cleaner, nicer place. What happened? Government intervention to limit emissions, which would have essentially created “cooling” in all the houses of London? No, it wasn’t the government. It was the free market, creating better solutions for heating and energy production.

So perhaps if the politicians wanted a cleaner planet, they’d look at what worked before, the free market. Perhaps what they really desire is more control, less growth and prosperity.

I have no quarrel with the idea of using energy more efficiently, as a personal choice. If you’re going down to the store on the corner for a quart of milk, ride the bike, don’t drive the Hummer. But even if you drive the Hummer around the block all day, just for fun, don’t let anybody tell you that the planet is falling apart and it’s your fault.

As an aside, “global warming” as a movement has changed to “global climate change”. Some data in the last couple of years seems to indicate that our warming period is coming to an end. But the movement still has an agenda.

Everyone, enjoy life, enjoy the planet, be smart with our resources but use all you need and want.

-Doyle



I Love Milton Friedman
June 17, 2011, 12:25 am
Filed under: General stuff, Political stuff

With such a definitive title, it’s pretty obvious this article isn’t going to be especially critical of Milton Friedman.

Anyone reading the title probably had one of the follow thoughts:

1. Yeah man, righteous, Milton was the grooviest.

2. What? He was the worst – wrong, wrong, wrong, and partially responsible for the bloodshed and violence of the Pinochet regime in Chile.

3. Who?

Those in category 3, who didn’t even know the name Milton Friedman, need a better education. Mr. Friedman was an economist and also a statistician, a Nobel Prize winner, from back in the day when winning a Nobel Prize meant something. He would be considered very, very conservative by today’s meaning of the word yet he often said, “I’m no conservative; I’m a liberal; I believe in freedom.”

For category 2 folks, you have even further to go. You have to UN-learn what you already know and then take a fresh look at the greatest economist of the modern era. I’m looking forward to comments from anyone in this category.

And category 1, we’re on the same page. You get it. In terms of economics, freedom, government and a true respect and love for people, Friedman had no peers.

Just to get the dry stuff out of the way, Friedman was born in 1912 and died in 2006. He was chiefly an economist and Professor of Economics, teaching at the University of Chicago for decades. He was an adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

“The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that’s why it’s so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -Milton Friedman

He advocated free-market solutions to just about everything. He was opposed to almost all government intervention. As such, he strongly opposed the popular Keynesian view of economics, which advised that governments should borrow money and spend big to get the economy going in times of economic hardship. Those who call themselves “liberal” generally opposed and sometimes even hated Milton Friedman.

Friedman was involved in the economic recovery of Chile throughout the 70s and 80s. Through public talks of his own in Chile and through Chileans who studied under him at the University of Chicago, Friedman’s economic free-market principles worked their way into the culture there and led to a faster economic growth in Chile than any other Latin American country through that period. Unfortunately part of that time, Chile was ruled by a brutal military government and those who opposed Friedman have attempted to blame him for various acts of violence and human rights violations.

Though he’s gone, he left a legacy of his books and many writings. There are also many videos, from his many television appearances and lectures on college campuses. Many are available on YouTube.

If you’re in category 2 or 3 as described above, you can begin your education, or re-education, simply by searching for his name on YouTube.

Friedman definitely holds some controversial viewpoints such as legalizing drugs and (his critics’ favorite) eliminating the requirement that physicians be licensed. You’ll have to read his book Capitalism and Freedom, or listen to his lecture on the subject to understand why.

This short article is not intended to fully cover Friedman’s views, only to generate interest and to get the readers to look further into the subject, to find their own agreements and disagreements.

In the videos particularly and in books as well, one thing comes through very clearly. Friedman has a genuine respect and love for people. He has unending confidence that people will do the right thing if given the freedom to do so, a vast departure from the common belief among many today that man will only do good if forced by an oppressive government.

I encourage all readers to look further into the principles of this great man, Milton Friedman.

-Doyle



Should a 15-year-old Be Allowed to Drink?
June 16, 2011, 12:19 am
Filed under: Fun stuff

In Albania… sure! Albania has no legal limit on what age a person can buy or drink alcohol. Same thing for Armenia, Viet Nam and a few other places. In Russia there is no restriction on the age to drink it but you must be 18 to buy it. Most places restrict what age someone must have achieved in order to legally drink.

For the USA, the drinking age is 21. However, just as there are exceptions to every rule, there are exceptions to the rules about underage drinking. In most states, it is legal for persons under 21 to drink, but only in certain locations and if their parents are serving it to them.

So, if someone is 15 years old, is that too young to drink alcohol, at all?

I decided to take an informal survey. These were the responses:

“Hell yeah, party on, wooooohoooooooooo! Gimme!” -from 15-year-old Monica, staggering out of Señor Frog’s club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

“No, hell no, F… no! She needs to be 15, not grown up. She also needs to keep her … in her pants and her … in her shirt, damn it.” -a concerned parent

“It should not be miscontrued that I do not disagree with a youth’s right to not be free from the freedom to drink alcohol.” -politician

“Uh… what?” -stoned 16-year-old

“It’s up to the parent and no one should have any right to interfere” -another concerned parent

“I’d say YES, and even younger!” -Jose Cuervo salesman, Cancun

The survey results weren’t really conclusive. It seems there are differing positions on the subject, each completely valid when viewed from a particular viewpoint.

Possibly the real question hinges on how drinking now will affect the future behavior and life of the teenager who will get older. The jury is definitely still out on that question. On the one hand, it can be considered bad to encourage alcohol use and by setting that kind of example. Of course it’s probably just as bad for the teen to see adults drinking, even if they themselves don’t. Young people learn some behavior by example. If they see that adults drink alcohol to have a good time, that’s the lesson they learn.

On the other hand, not allowing young people to drink at all could also have poor consequences. The drink you cannot touch is “forbidden fruit”. It’s human nature to desire that forbidden fruit and this can lead to more alcohol use, now and into the future. If alcohol is made available, some teens will certainly take advantage of that fact. Others will gradually just lose interest.

In the end, it’s a matter of opinion on which of the above applies to any particular 15-year-old. Certainly people are very different from each other. And parental rights are certainly paramount. No one has a right to interfere with the parents’ choice on whether the teenager will get to drink, or will be forbidden.

Alcohol in moderation can certainly add some zest and interest to life. Alcohol can just as well be a gateway drug to harder stuff, ruining your liver and straining your relationships.

“If drinking is interfering with your work, you’re probably a heavy drinker.  If work is interfering with your drinking, you’re probably an alcoholic.” -Author Unknown

Personally, I rarely drink. And I did not let my kids drink at 15. But as above, it’s a personal choice.

-Doyle



Guest Post – Americans Attacked by Mexican Spider Monkeys (Satire from Elvin Verdad)
June 12, 2011, 10:58 pm
Filed under: General stuff

This is an article written by my friend Elvin F. Verdad. It’s SATIRE, so don’t take it too seriously. But have some fun with it. I love the way Elvin writes. -Doyle

Americans Attacked by Mexican Spider Monkeys

By Elvin F. Verdad

The spider monkeys of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico are generally a source of entertainment to the tourists of the Aventura Spa and Cove resorts. The hotel organizes groups each morning and afternoon so the guests can see them. Most guests have a good laugh and take a picture to have a pleasant memory to share with the folks back home.

Often the monkeys seem amused by the behavior of the people and seem to perform for them as they play and jump from limb to limb.

The monkeys are harmless to people, cute and silly. Usually. But it’s just not a good idea to antagonize a three foot high wild animal. That’s especially true of a wild animal with strength equal to the average prize fighter, long sharp teeth and sharp claws on both hands AND feet!

Most people might think this is common sense. But it isn’t that “common” to find a great deal of common sense in hillbillies. This week at the resort, common sense took a vacation as two guests decided to try and get a close up monkey experience. It started with Lia Goldman and Bartholomew Mayweather of Hazard, Kentucky simply attempting to take a picture of three monkeys in a tree. When they could not get a good shot, Mr. Mayweather evidently got an inspiration. He shouted “watch this!” and charged into the jungle, camera in hand shouting HEY MONKEY! MONKEY! MONKEY! And tried to climb the tree.

The spider monkeys were not amused. Mr. Mayweather was treated for head and back injuries and for a sprained ankle gained as he tripped while running full speed down the road with a monkey on his head yelling, “help, I got a monkey on my head!”  Ms. Goldman fared better. While she was attacked viciously, the monkey only basically damaged her rather large and highly sprayed hairdo.

Dr. Jesus Gonzalez, who treated the couple’s injuries, stated, “I see all kinds of injuries in my practice but I rarely see this much stupid.”

An innocent tourist was injured as well as she was laughing so hard she hyperventilated and dropped her heavy camera on her foot. Luckily though, she did get a good photo of the attack and won the resort’s “funniest photo of the day” contest. Ironically the prize was a small statue of a man with a monkey on his head.

It’s possible that alcohol was involved in the incident.

———————————-

If you liked this article, check out more of Elvin’s work at http://www.thespoof.com/profile.cfm?uID=3499



Principles Versus People
June 7, 2011, 1:13 am
Filed under: Political stuff

The problem with politics today is that there is far too much focus on the person, the candidate, the face, and a wanton disregard of principles.

Well, it is not THE problem, there are lots of problems. But this is certainly one of them.

Those who call themselves “liberals” hated George W. Bush with a vehement visceral passion we just haven’t seen for a long time.

The same group loved Barack Obama with an equal amount of passion.

We hear endless reports of PEOPLE in politics – Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, Mit Romney, on and on and on. We hear little real discussion of the issues involved. The issues are mentioned but given scant attention.

In our last US presidential election, everyone knew in great detail about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, her daughter’s pregnancy and the fact that she said she could see Alaska from her house (which she didn’t, by the way, that was Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live). However, think about it. Do you know, or did you ever know what Sarah Palin’s plan was to save Social Security, her position on securing the border, her policies to get the economy going. I’ll bet you don’t know.

Barack Obama promised hope and change and a new direction. But did he actually say what that direction was? Oh, he was specific about a few items, that polled well – “close Gitmo”, “get out of Iraq and Afghanistan”, “affordable healthcare”, but these were buzzwords, not concrete plans.

This is a problem across the board but I think there is a huge gap between Republicans (or more accurately conservatives) and Democrats on this one. As I see it, conservatives at large care a lot more about principles and less about the person. Democrats seem to care more about the people.

There was a fascinating radio segment during our last presidential election season, where “shock jock” Howard Stern sent one of his crew (Sal) out to interview Obama supporters. They went to a principally Democrat community where basically EVERYBODY supported Obama. But here’s the twist – the interviewer fed them John McCain’s positions, exactly opposite what Obama said he wanted to do and the people were all for it. It was proof positive that they supported Obama, the person, and were oblivious to principles. It’s quite entertaining. http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/12/howard-stern-interviews-obama-supporters.php

In my experience, conservatives and to a large degree, Republicans (no, they are not quite the same thing) care about principles, doing what they believe to be right, not people. We don’t normally put our faith in people. Once in a while there will be a shining star that we revere but even then it’s never the person, it’s the fact that they embrace the principles we like. Reagan is the best example. We didn’t care about Reagan as a person, until we saw him apply the principles, then he’s been our golden boy ever since.

Obama, and the other side, Democrats and people who call themselves liberal, are a different story. The left embraced Obama before they had any idea if he had any principles at all, and they will go through all kinds of mental antics to try to make whatever he does somehow sound like a good idea.

So what’s important, the personality or the principle?



Death Doctor Dead as a Doornail
June 4, 2011, 1:22 am
Filed under: General stuff

Just how dead IS a doornail anyway? And what the hell is a doornail?

I had to look it up. That phrase, dead as a doornail, has been in use since about 1350. Even Shakespeare used it.

Evidently there is some question about its exact meaning. It could be a real nail, as used in a door that would be driven through the door and pounded flat on the other side. You could never use that nail again so it would be “dead”. Then again, some think it was a word used for the piece of metal or nail head where the door knocker landed each time someone announced his arrival. After being repeatedly knock in the “head”, it could be considered very dead. Other references say it came from a time when nails weren’t used in doors at all. So “dead as a doornail” would be dead as something that never even existed.

Ok, enough of that.

What about Jack?

He’s dead, as of today. May his soul rest in peace if that’s what souls do. I figure he’s off to the next adventure.

There are few people who have ever existed that were as polarizing as Doctor K. People either hated him with a passion, or deeply respected him as a freedom fighter. Jack, as you probably know, was renowed as the “doctor of death”, the nation’s most prominent supporter of assisted suicide.

Does that mean if someone had a bad day or experienced a known side effect of psychiatric drugs, suicidal ideation, that the good doc would help them position the gun and pull the trigger? No. Kevorkian helped terminally ill patients who were staring down a short and painful life path to end their suffering. And, of course at the time, end their life.

It’s a tough question, suicide. I’m strongly opposed to suicide, in general. In the vast majority of cases, suicide is simply a non-confront of the situation, an attempt to escape, a computation of the lowest order that makes everyone else wrong.

I’m not pro-suicide but I’m very much pro-freedom. If someone has the right to life, and we do as affirmed by the Constitution and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he has a right to not have life.

If this is a controversial position, so be it. I am in favor of assisted suicide in cases of terminally ill patients with no hope of recovery and no likelihood of an acceptable life in their own estimation.

I have great respect for Jack because he chose to fight for this right despite all the controversy and opposition. He even went to jail for his dedication.

“The American people are sheep. They’re comfortable, rich, working. It’s like the Romans, they’re happy with bread and their spectator sports. The Super Bowl means more to them than any right.” -Jack Kevorkian

So we’re left with Jack’s legacy, and hopefully a little more freedom for all. He also left some fascinating artwork; he was a painter. His work is, well, memorable. Some pieces are definitely along the “doctor of death” theme. And some others are pretty good; I wouldn’t mind owning one.



My Favorite Things
June 1, 2011, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Stupid stuff
  • Roadtrips!
  • Tomatoes!
  • Old pickup trucks!!!
  • Scientology
  • Harley Davidsons!
  • Water!
  • Arepas! (Venezuelan food, come over here one morning early, be nice to me and I’ll make you one)
  • Freedom!
  • Raisin toast!
  • Massages, mmmmmmmmmmmm (especially Thai massage, so good; if you’ve never had one you just don’t know how good massage can be)
  • Fords!
  • Kid Rock!
  • Amy Smart!
  • Hooters! (the restaurant, as far as you know)
  • Sundays!
  • Firetrucks!
  • Joe Balogna’s (Italian restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky, SO good. If you’ve never been, pack up the Ford and take a road trip)
  • Blue!
  • The Blues!
  • The Blues Brothers!
  • Bluegrass! (the music, not the grass!)
  • Cherries!
  • Skateboards!
  • Hummus!
  • My chiropractor, Rick Argall (damn he’s good)
  • And my favorite place, um, too hard to pick – Eastern Kentucky, Long Island, Grand Cayman, Caracas, Hawaii, Pacifica, Possum Kingdom, Disney World… all the above and a hundred others. My favorite place is usually either where I am right now or where I’m going next. Right now my favorite place is my house, with Miami and Cancun following up at #2 and #3.
  • Aston Martins (yes, I know I chose Fords as a favorite already. Maybe I shouldn’t have two favorite car companies. But let’s consider it as two categories – cars I can afford and cars I can’t afford… yet)

What’s the purpose of this article? I thought I’d just list my favorite things and see if I could find some common denominator, some theme to my life. As far as I can tell, there isn’t. It does seem that Blue things are pretty popular, but there are a series of red things (cherries, tomatoes, firetrucks) as well.

So my life has no central theme, no consistency. I can live with that. But my life is full and rich, eclectic might be a good word. I just couldn’t live with myself if all the favorites were too predictable, fitting along the lines of some stereotype, like this one, favorites of the hillbilly:

  • Country music
  • Fried catfish
  • Mud
  • Lard
  • Biscuits
  • Gravy
  • Monster trucks
  • Anything that goes BOOM!

Or this one, favorites of the country club crowd:

  • Perrier
  • Golf
  • BMWs
  • Plaid
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Rolex
  • Izod

What is it that makes a person choose a favorite? Why do some prefer Oldsmobiles over Studebakers, The Cincinnati Reds over the Toronto Blue Jays, Italian food over Chinese?

“You may say you don’t pick favorites, but everybody picks favorites.
Whether you like it or not you have an opinion, therefore, you pick favorites.” -Unknown

I don’t think there is an easy answer. At least for my favorites, some are just pure emotion, and I couldn’t choose anything else even if I tried. Like Harley Davidson, there is just no other motorcycle, would never even think of another choice. But some others take thought and comparison, weighing all the aspects to come up with a winner and even then maybe doing a little eenie-meenie-minee-mo to get the final answer. I put Sundays on the list but could have easily chosen Saturdays if I wanted.

Also, over time, some of my favorites may change completely. I may scrap the blues and choose classic rock. That’s just the way it is.

In the comments, I’d love to hear some of YOUR favorites.

Doyle