Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Consumer Confidence Highest in 4 Years

Consumer Confidence Highest in 4 Years

Hey, this really is the environmental president!

Land stewardship, Fuel Cells and cleaner air and water.

Sounds good to me. All that, and the president likes to bicycle as well :)

"I got to spend the first part of my day riding a mountain bike in Napa Valley -- it's a good place to ride. A little hillier than I would have liked. But it's a spectacular way to commune with nature."

I do characterize this administration as an environmentally
friendly one, especially with respect to his campaign recently
to change our oil dependence. Those who are biased against
President Bush will never give credit where credit is due. Even
President Clinton did not make this kind of stride towards oil independence.
The pulpit of the State of the Union Address is one where everyone
who cares to is watching, and that was a major stroke to declare
that we need to remove ourselves from oil dependence, and he
is backing up that rhetoric with action.

Friday, April 21, 2006

$3.00 a Gallon

I thought, at least according to the past rhetoric coming from Democrats and Environmentalists, that a higher price for gasoline was supposed to be a good thing? Good because it will do the obvious: cause folks to slow down, drive less, and pollute less. That is happening. But now that it is at this high rate, those same outspoken critics of the automobile are criticizing the oil companies. They should be applauding the oil companies for saving the environment. A senator from N. Y. wants to investigate the oil companies. He should be on his pulpit telling everyone what a grand stroke this high price is. I suppose because government doesn't get credit, that his hypocrisy is evident. I think we should all just buy bicycles and forget the cars ;)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Buying or selling shares?

This is an interesting article on Wall Street...

"For every share bought, there's a share sold. Makes sense on the surface. But dig a little deeper and you realize that the shares you're buying are available to you only because the person on the other side of the trade decided that your cash was worth more than that stock. What does that person know that you don't?"

Tax, Borrow and Spend versus Borrow and Spend

We have two major parties in this country...
D: Tax, Borrow and Spend
R: Borrow and Spend
Where is the party that doesn't spend?

Here is one possible solution:
Move tax day from April 15th to November 1st!
Taxpayers won't be too keen on taxation
or spending shortly after having to pay
their taxes. Politicians will have to pander
to that sentiment and will change their
taxing habits, and eventually will have to
change their spending habits.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Streets of France

Funny, isn't it, how the illegal immigrants in our country are way more 'civil' than the legal citizens of France. Case in point, the recent rioting and lawlessness in the streets of France, yet at about the same time, the so-called illegal immigrants are marching peacefully in the streets of the bigger cities of the United States. And France is the country that is often lauded over the U.S. by those who oppose the war in Iraq as being better than us. What right does France have to criticize us about the war, when they can't even get their own civil situations in order? I assert that France is going down the drain fast, and is in no way 'better' than the U.S. In fact, they have no room to criticize the United States for anything. They still owe us big time for saving their butts in WWII. The leaders in France are simply a bunch of spoiled egalitarian elitist brats.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The economy is booming again.

This should be on the front page of every paper.

Bush's tax cuts are working!

If this keeps up, there will be Republican gains
in congress in the fall.

Remember: It's the economy stupid.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Global Warming -- 'give me a break'

Recently I've been told the following:
"According to the current issue of Scientific American, hybrid cars doubled in sales last year and are expected to more than double again by 2010. The demand is there. It always has been. Detroit just refused to acknowledge it. They created their own demand. What's more, they predict greener hybrids to come out in the near future and in larger sized autos."

To me this sounds like good news.

I've also noted that recently, the Bush administration is raising the corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards for light trucks and SUVs from the current 21.6 to 24 mpg in 2011. To me, this makes sense. Making this kind of change should be done gradually to allow manufacturers to adjust. And from an ABC news report I also heard that the auto makers actually welcome this, because they recognize a shift in demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. So what's the problem?

I myself subscribe to the economic laws of supply and demand. Demand is shifting the curve to higher fuel economy, but why. That's not too difficult to glean, because the cost of fuel is increasing. It just follows. But if you believe the bulk of the so-called environmentalists (those that are the outspoken leaders, not those like me who cherish nature), they are not happy. They give the environment a bad name in my opinion. They want too much, and whine about it incessantly, and demand things that the economy cannot brunt. Their way would be the highway, for the economy that is. This is one of the less harsh examples of their rhetoric:


I'm all for attacking menaces to the environment. Proven menaces are air pollution, for instance. Burning of coal places so many particulates and sulfur in the atmosphere, which harms plants and animals. That's real pollution. What I'm not for is this fictitious invented crisis of global warming. A made up crisis based on inexact science and furthermore linked to man's creation of CO2: an even less obvious causation between CO2, man's contribution to CO2, and global warming.

How many people have died or are suffering from global warming? Zilch. But think of the recent headlines with respect to coal mines. Not only do coal miners die from coal mines, but the burning of coal has been proven to reduce the life span of people, and cause all kinds of health problems.

Now think about the real hypocrisy of these environmental leaders: They are against Nuclear Energy. Compare and contrast the deaths caused by this form to the burning of coal. There is no comparison. The latter is way worse. Yet if their conviction is that global warming is the ultimate dooms day, and that man is the major cause, then they should be all behind nuclear energy because there are virtually zero emissions of CO2 with this form of energy. And these days, the technology behind this form of energy generation are as safe as can be, with a track record of NO deaths in the U.S. Let us start to use logic rather than emotion in these debates.

Saving Land Saves Money

Republished from a friend:
Did you know that ...

“Saving Land Saves Money”

Without exception, residential land development costs a community more in services, infrastructure, etc., than it does to generate tax revenue – leaders of our municipality can quote numbers that qualify the cost per student, average students per household, tax revenue generated per household, etc., etc. Did you know that the PROGRESSIVE ACTION is for communities, municipalities, cities and entire counties to take land out of development in order to stabilize taxes? Here are just a few things to consider:
Benefits of Municipality purchasing Public Lands:

  • Community purchase of open space removes property from (residential-inspired) tax rolls
  • Surrounding (as far as ½ mi away) – not just abutting – properties increase in value – thereby increasing tax base w/out increasing taxes
  • That increase results in quicker turnover among potential home buyers
  • True, by removing property from tax rolls a small amount of communities’ taxes must be shared by remaining property owners – however in short period of time increase valuation of properties more than compensates the shortfall
  • Tax base is stabilized by lessening impacts and increasing per property value of existing properties
  • Commercial/industrial expansion can increase tax base without same impact as residential development, however be careful – double-edged sword as commercial/industrial development also brings residential growth leading to increased services, traffic, pollution, noise, crime, loss of community character and rural identity

Bottom line: BALANCE residential growth w/ open space preservation w/ commercial/industrial expansion

…and THAT requires proper planning and zoning!

Murrysville needs to ask itself – “Where do we stand right now with open space vs. developed land? Commercial vs. residential vs. open space?” et cetera. I have been told that we are above the desired/mandated acreage of open space per person/household, however, when will we know to quit? Are studies being done? Specifically, FISCAL IMPACT STUDY or Costs of Community Services studies (COCS)? “The goal is not to prevent growth, but to encourage a balance between development and open space which tends to get lost without these types of analyses.”

Murrysville should consider purchasing land or the Purchase of Development Rights or Transfer of Development Rights.

Fantastic files to read, available online, for some food for thought or motivation for smarter planning and decision-making:



addresses better models for dev

addresses conservation easements



Preservation of open land helps control the rapid cost of development. “In recent referenda, both locally and nationwide, voters have overwhelmingly supported public funding to preserve open spaces.” (p. 1, “Saving Land Saves Money”, )

Today, landowners have more options than selling to a developer. Their choices have been broadened by municipal preservation programs such as conservation easements, outright acquisition, purchase of development rights, transfer of development rights, agricultural security areas, .

Pages 1 and 6 of this publication list some of the over 55 counties and towns in New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Maine where voters approved park, open space, trail, and farmland preservation measures.

Stop The Tax Code Insanity

Stop The Tax Code Insanity ... By Tom Bevan ...

What else need be said. This is so logical to all of us, yet politicians just don't get it. I suppose they need to keep it complicated so that we don't get wise to their spending habits.
"Just how burdensome is the current U.S. tax system? Consider the facts: the Office of Management and Budget estimates Americans will spend 6.4 billion hours and $265 billion this year alone complying with the obligations of a tax code that now contains more than 66,000 pages of rules and regulations. More than 6 in 10 Americans now hire someone to help prepare their returns every year.

Not to be redundant, but this is crazy."

Earth Day

Earth Day at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA; April 22nd ... say no more.

Mr. Punky's virtual reality

Apparently, Bill Gates has three screens on his desk at Microsoft, synchronized to form a single desktop. Mr. Punky doesn't need screens, his whole world is a virtual desktop. His reality.

Introducing ... Mr. Punky Kitten

Mr. Punky Kitten's reputation proceeds him; yet this published incarnation of his daily thoughts is a new personification of a familiar idea; "the embodiment of Mr. Punky"; and stands as a tribute to the hope and growth that all can appreciate as is the testament of this life.

As a former male model and a member of an all kitten rock band (who played the xylophone), his views are respected and sought. Thus begins this blog.