Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Global Warming Meltdown

"Climate-gate", in my opinion, is the biggest scandal of my lifetime. Global warming is the biggest and most costly hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Congress had passed a measure to tax Americans and our businesses based on our carbon footprints in order to stop global warming, for crying out loud. This bill was being sent to the Senate. (See my post entitled "Carbon Footprint Free Ourselves Into Oblivion".) And now thanks to climate-gate, global warming is unraveling before our eyes. And what a sight to see!! If only you know where to look. The dinosaur media (traditional television news stations such as CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and the like) has barely been covering it.

Professor Phil Jones is the director of the research unit at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in Britain. This research unit "was regarded as the leader in climate research and the fount of raw data on which the science was based. Phil Jones was regarded as an archbishop in the Church of Global Warming." (Pruden) A couple of months ago some e-mails were discovered between Jones and fellow researchers in which they all admitted to manipulating global warming data and hiding discriminatory evidence. Now that this is all coming to light, Jones has resigned and has gone on record saying that there has been no evidence of global warming in 15 years and that the earth has been warmer than now in at least two different warming cycles in the last 1,000 years. This means there is no proof for man-made warming of the atmosphere. Keep in mind this retraction on global warming was given by the leader in global warming; the scientist who was in the past "proving" global warming with what we now know is manipulated data, some of which has now been destroyed.

Plain and simple, all of this means that there is no crisis of man-made global warming. We are done with talking about it as a plausible event. It is back to being a hypothesis with as much to back it up as the older hypothesis when the scientist/politician coalition claimed we were about to enter the next ice age. The Waxman-Markey bill (cap and trade) can no longer pass based on this new evidence. This is one of the biggest stories of our day. A large group of scientists conspired to create this imaginary disaster in order to make money. In my opinion, this conspiracy extended to working with politicians as well. (I stated in an earlier post that I don't believe Al Gore actually believed in the cause.) So here you have a conspiracy to steal trillions of dollars from the American people in the name of our planet. And it has been uncovered. The question is, will we all talk about it and investigate this scandal for the big story it is, or will it simply slip away quietly in the night without much notice as the hole in the ozone crisis did. If the tree of global warming falls down in the forest and noone is there to watch it (on television news coverage), will anyone hear it? The dinosaur media is hoping you won't. I, for one, will enjoy watching it all unfold as I am sure there will be more fallout to come.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sneaky Tax Hikes

Our city is in the process of constructing a new and very large city hall. The old one was not that old, and it is certainly still in good condition. But someone wanted a larger and newer one built right next to the old one. In a recession, government, even at the local level, does not feel the need to modify their spending. Hmmm, but now how to pay for it? Tax increases in a recession for an unnecessary new city building wouldn't have garnered enough support. So they found a way to raise taxes unofficially in a way that most wouldn't notice. They kept appraised property values artificially high and thus issued a sneaky property tax increase.

Our houses here in our city were reappraised a few years ago at the height of the real estate bubble right before it popped. We saw a dramatic increase in our property taxes at this time. Although I don't agree with the property tax in principle, I couldn't protest that tax hike at that time. However, the very next year when the real estate bubble popped, property values were down and five properties on my street couldn't sell with some of them ending up later in foreclosure. At that point the increase in property taxes needed to be addressed. Well, the kind-hearted city knew this and decided to lower property values. But they still wanted a new city hall, so they dropped my property value by only 5%.

Some of my neighbors were aware that their property was still being over-valued, but they didn't know what to do, or the dispute process seemed too complicated, so they let it go. I, however, have experience working as a commercial real estate appraiser, so I knew exactly how wrong the city was and what to do about it. The process was lengthy and cumbersome, but now 3 months after my 2009 property taxes have been paid, I have won my fight against the city. In the face of overwhelming evidence, they agreed to lower my property value by an additional 10% which will save me hundreds of dollars each year over the next several years. This is by no means a small amount.

My distaste for government at the local level has increased through this process. As someone with real estate appraisal background, I knew the city had not even performed an appraisal to determine our property value. Their methods of arriving at property values and their evidence used was flawed and would never hold up in court. And yet the process to rectify this debacle involved me doing lots of legwork, the city denying my petition without even looking at my evidence, and ending up with it finally being resolved only after a court hearing. (I didn't sue; it was more of an arbitration.)

I am now more determined than ever that government must be limited. Given any kind of power, even local governments will manipulate and take advantage of the populace as needed for what they want. I stand firm, as written about in an earlier post, that I will never vote for a tax increase no matter what it is. Government is too inefficient and makes too many bad decisions without caring about what is in my best interest for me to voluntarily give them any more money to squander.