Hurricanes and Global Warming

THURSDAY….1-31-08…I recall, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, activists and other protesters crediting global warming for causing that disaster. They chanted, banged on drums and waved signs saying next year was going to be even worse. (I never understood what the banging on drums was supposed to accomplish.) Anyway, they said hurricane Katrina was a portend of things to come —unless we stopped global warming.

Global warming caused the oceans to heat up, they said, thereby making hurricanes even more frequent and more devastating. Of course, the following year came and went, and nothing happened, then another year, and nothing happened. No vicious hurricanes, no devastation….and yet, global warming was supposed to be happening faster than originally thought. Or, so we’ve been told.

But now comes word from the recent meteorology conference that rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming could DECREASE the number of hurricanes hitting the United States. Oh….so now I get it. Since global warming was supposed to increase the amount and devastation of hurricanes, and that didn’t’ happen… is global warming that is responsible for DECREASING the number of hurricanes.

According to, the new study challenges research which suggested that global warming could be contributing to an increase in the frequency and the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. After all, hurricanes feed on warm water, leading to conventional wisdom that global warming could be revving up more powerful hurricanes. According to this new research, conventional wisdom was wrong. Global warming has caused a decrease in the number and intensity of hurricanes.

Dr. Tim Ball, writing in the Canadian Free Press says “There is no question that we have a great deal to learn about the drivers of global climate change. But this is not the primary problem right now. As Mark Twain said “It ain’t what you DON’T know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

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End of world delayed

WEDNESDAY 1-30-08…It wasn’t too many months ago when we were told that the earth would have a close encounter with a large space rock in January of 2008. Observers were giving odds of it hitting the earth….one in fifty, one in a hundred and so on. Finally, the asteroids closest approach was scheduled for January 29th. That was yesterday. Planet earth dodged a bullet.

Oh….the asteroid flew by right on schedule, passing 1.4 times the distance to the moon. According to, it was the largest asteroid to come near the Earth in more than twenty years. But New Scientists says we don’t have to worry about any more of ‘em coming in close proximity until the year 2027.

The last time an object of about the same size was observed to approach Earth at about the same distance was back in September of 1985, according to Don Yeomans, who heads up NASA’s Near Earth Object program at the Jet Propulsion lab in Pasadena. He says similar passes probably occur more often but simply go undetected. There’s lots of objects zipping by that aren’t seen until they’ve already passed.

He says about 7,000 asteroids of about the same size are expected to venture near Earth’s orbit, and so far, only twenty percent have been discovered. But, not to worry. The next one isn’t due until 2027; plenty of time to develop ways to alter an asteroid’s course if it becomes necessary. After all, American ingenuity always comes through in a clutch. Doesn’t it?

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Talk Radio and 2008 Election

TUESDAY 1-29-08…This election cycle is turning out to be the most interesting election that I’ve ever witnessed. That’s one of the reasons voter turnout for the February primary is predicted to be record breaking. Things on the democrat side are fairly cut and dried. The winner will be either Mrs. Bill Clinton, or Barak Obama. It’s a whole different ball game on the Republican side.

No single candidate has risen to the top. Republicans have not galvanized behind any of the their candidates. And neither have talk show hosts! That, in itself is a shock. John McCain’s mother was asked “how much support do you think your son has among the base of the Republican party? She said….and I quote….”I don’t think he has any. I’ve not seen any help whatsoever.”

But this year, conservative talk show hosts have been relatively silent when Talk radio, which, in the past, has a been a powerhouse conservative media. it comes to the Republican primary. Rush Limbaugh says he just may not bother backing a Republican nominee this year. Michael Reagan has been noticeably silent on any of the nominees. Michael Savage says he hasn’t endorsed a candidate this year.

Talkers Magazine is reporting that Mike Gallagher, the sixth most listened to radio host, doesn’t have a single candidate that he’s backing. Another conservative talk show host, Glenn Beck isn’t endorsing any of the Republican candidates. So….what’s happening? Why aren’t they rallying around a “leader of the pack?” Simple. There IS no leader of the pack, and there’s not a true conservative in the bunch.

Some claim to be. In fact, McCain made the bald-faced statement that he is the only true conservative among the candidates. His voting record proves otherwise, a fact that is not lost among conservative talk show hosts. So, the power of conservative talk radio hosts has been muted. How will their absence affect the upcoming Primaries? Only time will tell.

Government Rebate Checks

MONDAY 1-28-08….There’s a lot of talk and anticipation regarding rebate checks the government plans to hand out to everybody. People making plans about just how they’ll spend it…or not. It’s like the fantasy plans people make when discussing how they’d spend lottery money, if they were to win the lottery. Buy a new house, new car, travel the world, tell the boss to go to hell.

But, winning the lottery is a fantasy. Getting a government rebate check is close to being a certainty. Call it “anticipated revenue.” That’s what cities and states call it when trying to come up with a budget. If it can’t be balanced, they fill in the missing amount by guessing what the anticipated revenue will be. Viola! A balanced budget.

If the anticipated revenue doesn’t materialize, they’ve got a big problem. In California’s case, it’s a fourteen and a half billion dollar problem. At this point in time, the anticipated rebate checks from the government shouldn’t be considered anticipated revenue. It shouldn’t even be considered revenue until you actually see it….in your hand.

The deal will be passed by the House, and if the Senate should pass the House version, it’ll get into your hands…quickly. But certain members of the Senate want to “tinker” with it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with senators Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer want changes made. If they succeed, there’ll be no quick rebate checks because the bill will have to go through a conference committee. And THAT will take time. Lots of it.

Democrat Senator Max Baucus says his committee will recommend changes. Charles Schumer said other proposals will include new public works spending and a summer youth jobs program. The point here is, don’t consider the rebate checks anticipated revenue. Don’t spend it, until you get it.

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The USS Missouri pays rent at Pearl?

FRIDAY….1-25-08…Sometimes, interesting little items that I think would make interesting Tidbits for the B.S. Notebook, get lost in the shuffle of other news. With the economy, and the primary elections getting front and back page coverage in most of the mainstream press, it doesn’t leave much room for the interesting little items that people should know about.

Such is the case for the item coming out of Honolulu. Most people consider the battleship USS Missouri a national treasure. The famous ship on which the formal surrender of Japan brought world war two to a close sits nose to nose at the gravesite of the battleship USS Arizona. Both, a fitting memorial to the beginning and the end of world war two.
But, the Navy considers the USS Missouri as a tenant that has to pay rent if it want to stay at Pearl Harbor. The rent is more than two hundred thousand dollars a year. That’s what the battleship Missouri memorial pays to dock, where thousands of tourists pay to tour the ship and the USS Arizona memorial. Since signing the lease for the dock space, the memorial has paid more than one and a half million dollars in rent.
Now, they’ve asked the Navy to lower the 200 thousand dollars annual rent. The Navy has rejected the request. Congressman Neil Abercrombie says he’s disappointed in the navy’s rejection, and he’s asking it to reconsider. But, the Navy says….it’s required to get fair market value for the dock space.
One has to wonder just who established “fair market value” for dock space on what used to be “battleship row”. If the historic battleship USS Missouri has to be moved….who, or what would take Its place at the dock? Nothing could! Battleship row itself, is a memorial. The whole controversy will undoubtedly end up in congress…..which is a good thing, no matter which political party is in control.
Now, if you have a comment, you can email at kpay dot com, or to me personally at bsessions, at sunset dot net. Or put a comment in the form below. I am Bruce Sessions, with Tidbits from the B.s. Notebook.

Real “change” in presidential campaigns

THURSDAY—1-24-08 …One of the things I keep hearing during the current presidential campaigns —is the word “change.” I hear it mostly from the Obama campaign, and since I’m hearing it too from members of the public, some of the other candidates are starting to throw that word around, too. It’s almost as if the word “change” has never before been used in an election campaign.

Yet, there’s always change when a new administration takes over. But since the Obama campaign was the first to glom onto the word this time around, I started paying closer attention. The man is without doubt, a persuasive speaker, and he leaves his listeners wanting more. He talks of change, and when the speech is over, people feel refreshed, and they, too…..start talking of change.

Some recent comments from the rank and file went this way: One said “I see there is a possibility for real change.” Another one said….”for once, it’s not just a choice between the lesser of two evils…but a chance for change.” Another said “we’re in a state of emergency in America and it’s time for a change.” And still another agreed that the timing is right for CHANGE.

That seems to be the word that has galvanized Obama’s supporters….BUT I have yet to hear this question from anybody. Change…..from what… what? Now THAT was a question I remember being asked by the keynote speaker….at the democrat convention back in the decade of the eighties. So, you see, the word “change” is really not new….for political campaigns.

But the question for all candidates who’re espousing “change” should still be asked —and answered. Change…..from what…..TO what?” Now, If you have a comment, you can email to kpay dot com, or to me personally at b sessions, at sunset dot net. I’m Bruce Sessions, with Tidbits, from the B.S. Notebook

The FDA and cloned food

WEDNESDAY—1-23-08…The Food and Drug Administration says…..eating meat and drinking milk from cloned cows is safe to eat and drink. Well….that’s comforting. The FDA says it found nothing in the food that could potentially be hazardous. The food in every respect is indistinguishable from food from any other animal.

The FDA’s food safety chief Dr. Stephen Sundlof said……it’s beyond our imagination to even find a theory that would cause the food to be unsafe. Hmmm. That’s nice to know. And we’ll soon be seeing milk from cloned cows in the supermarket dairy case, and it doesn’t even have to be labeled that it’s from cloned cow. Same with a T-bone steak or filet mignon.

That eventually is supposed to bring prices down….since so much of it will be available to the public, and to other consumers world wide. And I guess that’s a good idea, since we still have people starving in some areas of the world. It’ll help alleviate hunger.

I’m trying to imagine how I’m going to feel when I first sit down to dinner ready to cut into a nice tri-tip from a cloned cow. I’ll be thinking of the words from the FDA saying “It’s beyond our imagination to even find a theory that would cause the food to be unsafe.” Then, as I start to take my first bite, the headline in last week’s Sacramento BEE will jump out at me: It reads “Merck Pharmaceuticals upbeat as thousands sign up for Vioxx settlement.

Vioxx –that’s the painkilling drug approved as “safe” for consumers by the FDA. Then, also, the news last week that the popular cholesterol drug Vytorin, approved as safe by the FDA may not work to protect arteries and may in fact “worsen” clogging. That’s according to the American College of Cardiology. That was followed by news that the drug Zocor …approved by the FDA as “safe”….is in the same category. Then there was Celebrex…approved as safe by the FDA…which now comes with a warning on the label that it CAN cause you to have a heart attack or stroke.

Then, I’ll just put down my knife and fork and think “Maybe I’ll just wait a couple o’ years, and let others blaze the trail on eating this cloned stuff. If they survive, then, I’ll take a stab at it. Until then, I think I’ll just stick to the way nature made the cows……not the way cloners have done.  Now, if you have a comment, you can post one below to me personally.