Global warming is upon us! Break out the winter coats and sunblock.

As the country suffers its worst freeze in decades, many are debating whether this proves or disproves the global warming theory. Let me summarize how weather events are caused by global warming.

Global warming causes extreme cold.
Global warming causes extreme heat.

Global warming causes flooding.
Global warming causes drought.

Global warming causes more hurricanes.
Global warming causes fewer hurricanes.

Global warming causes more tornadoes.
Global warming causes fewer tornadoes.

To summarize, if there is a weather event out there or if there is no weather event, it is being caused the global warming. The science is settled and the global warming deniers will burn in hell, unless hell freezes over because of…global warming.

The State of the Union: The Path to Tyranny continues

An essay this weekend at Politico looks at the similarities between the fall of the Roman Republic and the United States today. I was asked by a friend to give my opinion.

The parallels between the fall of the Roman republic and our country are so numerous. Decline of virtue. Loosening morals. Redistribution of wealth. Multiplicity and mutability of laws. Ignorance and disdain for religion and the Constitution (way of the elders). Debt and monetary devaluation. Panem et circenses.

In The Path To Tyranny (2010), I wrote, “As of 2009, the federal debt held by the public was 55 percent of GDP,[1080] a large but manageable amount. The debt was just 41 percent at the end of 2008 and the 40-year average is 36 percent. The problem though lies in the future, not the present. By 2035, the debt is projected to be between 79 and 181 percent of GDP and, by 2080, it is predicted to be between 283 and 716 percent of GDP. The United States is clearly on the road to bankruptcy if the situation does not improve. Given that the deterioration intensifies just after 2020, we have just ten years to fix our government. Ten years may sound like a long time, but barring a real revolution, one with guns and violence, governments rarely change that quickly. It has taken the progressives and modern liberals a hundred years to produce our large government, but we have just one-tenth the time to reverse the trend. Not just stop new spending programs, but actually reduce the current commitments of the U.S. government.”

Unfortunately, we have kicked the can down the road for the last four years. If anything, the fiscal problems have gotten worse, not better, and the political situation has certainly gotten worse.

What scared me most, short term, is that this economic recovery officially started five years ago. As far as recoveries go, this one is a little long in the tooth. Some time, we will experience another recession. Deficits will go from the current $700-$800 million up to $2 trillion or so. Starting from such a weak economy to begin with, it this recession hits sooner rather than later, the lower and middle classes will be hit hard and will demand action from the government. It is in the throes of such economic despair and political incompetence that power accumulates in a single hand. I truly believe we are just one recession away from seeing a Caesar in our country. The apparatus is already in place (executive orders, non-enforcement of the law, NSA spying, etc.). One good crisis is all that is needed.

Fortunately, I don’t see anyone on the horizon with the charisma and skills to be this Caesar. Caesar was a great man, a great warrior, great politician, and great speaker. Obama is none of those, though some think he speaks well. If he had been competent, he could have done even more damage. God bless incompetence. Hillary Clinton is no Caesar either. Fortunately, I don’t see one, but then I am not predicting a potential rise of a new Caesar in the immediate future. It won’t happen until after the next recession has run a number of years. Think of the German economic misery of the 1920s that gave rise to Hitler. It takes many years before the people give up hope and give up their freedoms. As I wrote four years ago, I am looking for such an event to take place around 2020, if we don’t fix our problems, which so far we have only made worse.

Now available on CSPAN3 (online): Michael E. Newton talking about “Hamilton and Washington’s Wartime Relationship”

Alexander Hamilton scholar Michael Newton and Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society Founder Rand Scholet talked about George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s wartime relationship. Hamilton joined the Continental Army in 1776 and was appointed Washington’s aide the following year. He would later serve as President Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury. Despite the differences in their temperaments and personalities, the two men forged a long military and political partnership.

Watch at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/314099-1

Michael E. Newton on CSPAN 3 this Sunday talking about “Hamilton and Washington’s Wartime Relationship”

Alexander Hamilton scholar Michael Newton and Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society Founder Rand Scholet talked about George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s wartime relationship. Hamilton joined the Continental Army in 1776 and was appointed Washington’s aide the following year. He would later serve as President Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury. Despite the differences in their temperaments and personalities, the two men forged a long military and political partnership.

Sep 1, 2013 08:30 (C-SPAN 3)
Sep 1, 2013 19:30 (C-SPAN 3)
Sep 1, 2013 22:30 (C-SPAN 3)
Sep 7, 2013 15:30 (C-SPAN 3)
Sep 8, 2013 02:30 (C-SPAN 3)

Show will be available online as well (live and on demand) at:
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/314099-1
http://www.c-span.org/History/Events/The-Presidency-Alexander-Hamilton-amp-George-Washington39s-Relationship/10737441073/

Guns don’t kill people, smoking does.

With all the talk about further gun control, a simple look at the frequency of firearm deaths compared to another killer is in order.

There are approximately 75 million gun owners in this country. At the same time, there are about 45 million smokers.

Self-inflicted gun deaths (i.e., suicides using guns) total approximately 19,000 suicides per year. Meanwhile, self-inflicted smoking deaths total 443,000. Let’s see how this looks as a proportion of gun owners/smokers.

Self-inflicted firearm/gun deaths vs. smoking deaths

Self-inflicted firearm/gun deaths vs. smoking deaths

But who really cares that smoking is 38 times more likely to kill the smoker than a gun is to kill its owner (through suicide)? If smokers want to kill themselves, so what? The real issue is how many other people are killed by these items. A madman with a gun killing 30 people is clearly more dangerous than a cigarette. Or so we are told…

In the United States, approximately 11,000 people are killed each year in firearm-related homicides. Meanwhile, less than 1,000 are accidentally killed by guns each year. In contrast, over 49,000 people are killed by second-hand smoke each year.

Again, a simple chart of deaths per million of gun owners and smokers is quite revealing.

Second-hand gun/firearm deaths vs. second-hand smoking deaths

Second-hand gun/firearm deaths vs. second-hand smoking deaths

As the above results show, the smoker not only is 38 times more likely to kill himself than a gun owner, he is also 7 times more likely to kill someone else.

I propose universal smoker registration. I further propose limits on how many cigarettes and cigars one can buy, limits on the nicotine content of cigarettes and cigars, hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences for anyone who smokes in or near smoke-free zones, and expansion of smoke free zones to include any area in which non-smokers may be. We have to protect our children from these dangerous, homicidal killers known as smokers.

If you are afraid of guns, you better stay off the roads.

Some gun facts:

“Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths.”

“In Philadelphia, the percentage of those killed in gun homicides that had prior criminal records increased from 73% in 1985 to 93% in 1996.”

Subtracting out suicides and those killed who had a criminal record, in other words, looking at the average law-abiding citizen, about 2,000 Americans are murdered by guns each year.

Now, another interesting fact:

About 32,000 people are killed in automobile accidents each year.

That’s more than total firearm-related deaths, three times more than the numbers of murders using guns, and sixteen times the number of people without criminal records who are killed by guns.

My advice to all those innocent people with no plans to commit suicide who are worried about guns: stay off the roads—they are much deadlier than guns.

236th Anniversary of the Battle of Harlem Heights

On this date 236 years ago (September 16, 1776), George Washington led his troops to victory at the Battle of Harlem Heights. It was Washington’s first victory. It is also, according to some accounts (but not others), the first time that George Washington met Alexander Hamilton, making it a very important day in history.

This plaque on Broadway near Columbia University commemorates the victory. (I took these photos on August 19, 2012.)