What Should We Do About Global Warming? 1


By Tom Quiner

As seen in the Des Moines Register on November 29, 2009

Two heartbreaking tragedies hit Great Britain earlier this decade.

Tragedy #1 killed 2,000 people .   Tragedy #2 killed 25,000.

If you went by the media coverage, tragedy #1 was worse.  Those people died from a heat wave that swept the entire European continent back in 2003.  Media coverage positioned the cause of the catastrophe as global warming.  Press coverage was huge.

What was the cause of tragedy #2?  Excess cold.  It received minimal coverage.  In fact, cold temperatures  account for about seven times the number of deaths in Europe  overall  than heat-related deaths.  BBC coverage was modest.  International coverage was nonexistent.

If global warming is real, what will it do to us?  For one thing, it will help reduce deaths related to cold temperatures.

Former Vice President and global warming activist, Al Gore, told us “the debate is over” when it comes to global warming.  And yet recent and surreptitiously obtained correspondence from global warming scientists reveal some have been manipulating and suppressing data to support their cause.

What is one to think other than the debate isn’t over?

The subject of climate change raises three legitimate questions:

  1. Is the earth in fact warming?
  2. Is it caused by man?
  3. Can we do anything about it?

These questions are debatable, and the debate rages.

There is another question that isn’t discussed enough:  is this problem the best place to spend limited resources?  In other words, are there other problems, big problems, that are more fixable than global warming?

Let me introduce you to The Copenhagen Consensus (www.CopenhagenConsensus.com).  They assembled eight top international economists (including three Nobel laureates) to crunch numbers on the world’s biggest challenges.  Specifically, they assigned a cost/benefit ratio to a wide-ranging list of problems.  Since resources are limited and all of our problems can’t be fixed, countries are forced to prioritize.  These economists give us a fresh, analytical way to approach the challenges we face.

The video clip below gives you a quick introduction to the Copenhagen Consensus:

The results were surprising.

The Copenhagen Consensus believes that mankind is in fact changing the planet’s climate. However, they believe its impact is manageable.  They believe there are some upsides (fewer deaths due to cold temperatures and longer growing seasons) to offset some of the downsides.  But their numbers reveal that the cost/benefit ratio of reducing carbon emissions worldwide is cost-ineffective.  An investment of $800 billion over the next century would reduce temperature increases by just 0.4 degrees.

Is that worth it?  Every dollar spent in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions will generate but 90 cents in offsetting benefits.

On the other hand, the Consensus tells us that each dollar invested in clean energy research and development will generate $11 in results, especially technologies that allow us to store more energy from intermittent energy sources like wind and solar.

They looked at another problem:  disease in third world countries.  Affordable drugs can reduce the consequence of heart disease and diabetes. Malaria is a growing problem in these countries, too, because it’s getting harder to treat.  These problems are fixable with money.  The Copenhagen Consensus says $500 million could save a half a million lives a year, most of them children.  Every $1 spent fighting disease in these countries generates $20 in benefits.

Malnutrition is a big problem in parts of Asia and Africa.  Every dollar spent in research to make technological improvements generates $16 in economic benefits.

In all, the panel identified and ranked 30 international challenges based on prioritization, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency.  Carbon reduction finished dead last.  Issues such as expanded immunizations for children, improvements in third world rural water supplies, and microfinancing programs are a few that give a much bigger bang for the buck than cap and trade policies.

Global warming generates the most media coverage.  It’s a movement with big money and celebrities behind it.  It’s the issue of the moment.

Let’s be sure our political decisions are backed up with honesty and sound thinking.

Democrats propose bill to limit conservative free speech 2


By Tom Quiner

The public increasingly rejects the Democrat’s leftward lurchings.  Polls show that the Dems may take a big hit at the polls this November.

What’s a political party to do when the public rejects their message?  How about pass a law that restricts the free speech of the opposition?

That is the net effect of a bill proposed on April 30th by Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats.  The bill is called:  “the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act.”  (No, I didn’t make that up, that’s what they’re really calling it.)

For the sake of rhetorical efficiency, let us call it “the Disclose Act.”

In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal today, eight former commissioners of the Federal Election Commission voice their opposition to the bill.

Here is what it the bill will do, according to these former commissioners (Joan Aikens, Lee Ann Elliott, Thomas Josefiak, David Mason, Bradley Smith, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Michael Toner, and Darryl R. Wold):

• favors union political free speech over corporate free speech in violation of longstanding campaign finance laws.

• increases the regulatory burdens (and financial costs) on grass-roots movements and low-budget campaigns.

• infringes on First Amendment rights of free association as recognized by the Supreme Court in NAACP v. Alabama.

• increases government regulation of political free speech on the web without touching the Mainstream Media (which tilts Left).

My previous posts talked about the growing dominance of public employee unions.  The Disclose Act will give them more political power at the expense of the little guy.

Groups opposed to the growing size of our government at the expense of working class families are going to find it increasingly difficult to mount political opposition, thanks to the Democrats.

The Federal Election Commissioners summarized the impact of the legislation this way:

“The Disclose Act’s abandonment of the historical matching treatment of unions and corporations will cause a substantial portion of the public to doubt the law’s fairness and impartiality. It makes election law even more complex, more incomprehensible to ordinary voters, and more open to subjective enforcement by those seeking partisan gain.”

Does this bill bother you?  If it does, express your concerns to your legislators immediately.

This bill erodes our precious right to free speech.

Government unions ask us to sacrifice Reply


By Tom Quiner

Here’s what I said on my recent post titled, A Tale of Two Protests:

“Something’s wrong when public employee unions donate lavishly to one political party, the one that keeps the perks and jobs flowing for these unions, while the rest of America sacrifices and suffers.”

Here’s a response I received back:

“I agree with you on this, but it was my impression that you felt that there shouldn’t be limitations on PAC contributions, plus you agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling that there shouldn’t be limitations on what corporations or any private group can spend to influence people or politicians. Isn’t this just what the public employee unions are doing? Exerting their constitutional right to overly influence our politicians?”

My response:  Yes, that is what they’re doing, and I support their right to make PAC contributions without limit.

Having said that, it’s time for push back.

Here’s the dynamic at work:  unionized private companies can’t compete as well with their non-unionized counterparts.  For example, Honda and Toyota increased jobs as General Motors and Chrysler shed jobs.

Unions have successfully organized government workers because government has two huge advantages:  there’s no competition and they never go out of business.

They lobby for higher taxes and increased government spending to pay for their growing perks.

I reiterate:  there is some top notch talent working for government at different levels.  But the recession we’re in shows how out of whack things have gotten:

• Total union compensation grew twice as fast as the private sector’s last year (2.4 vs. 1.2 percent).

• The average state or local government employee earns $39.83 an hours in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector (according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

• More than 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions while just half of private-sector workers do.

As the Heritage Foundation shows in the chart below, unionized government employees now exceed private union members:

Union dollars pour into the coffers of the Democratic Party.  Democrats are beholden to these unions and have aggressively shifted our tax dollars into government worker’s paychecks,

If you’re okay with this, vote Democrat.

If you’re not, write a letter to the editor or get people to this blog.

If you’re not, donate a few bucks to a PAC that calls for sanity in government spending.

If you’re not, vote for someone else.  It may be a Republican.  But if you do vote for a Republican, make it clear that you demand fiscal accountability.  That includes leveling the playing the field between public and private sector employees.

Government employees work for us, not the other way around.

Why we need to pass “A Woman’s Right to Know” Legislation Reply


By Tom Quiner

“What’s a fetus?”

That was the question posed by the young woman to an employee of Planned Parenthood.  She asked because she was six to eight weeks pregnant.

Here is what Planned Parenthood told her:

“The fetus is the developing embryo inside of you.  But at this point, there’s nothing developed at all.  There’s no legs.  No arms.  No head.  No brain.  No heart.  At this point, it’s just the embryo itself.”

The Planned Parenthood employee went on to tell the pregnant girl that raising a baby is expensive.  She suggested abortion is the cost-effective solution.

And then she says that if someone is truly against abortion, they should be willing to take in all of these ‘aborted’ children and raise them themselves.

These are direct quotes taken from an undercover video at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The video was shot by Live Action Films.

To clarify:  The fetus does have a head.  It does have a brain.  It does have arms.  It does have a heart.  It does have legs.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

To clarify:  Approximately 555,000 married American couples seek to adopt.  But only 22,000 infants are adopted.  These stats come from the National Council for Adoption.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

Take a few minutes and watch the film below.

I wrote a piece that appeared in the Des Moines Register on Super Bowl Sunday.  You’ll find the column below.

It expressed my concerns on the high abortion rate in the African-American community.

It expressed my advocacy for passage of “The Woman’s Right to Know” legislation.

This type of legislation requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Such legislation was passed in Oklahoma.  The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion group, is aghast.  They say the law forces women to hear about information that is irrelevant to her medical care, like does the fetus have a heart, a brain, arms, and legs.

Evidence of the fetus’ humanity is irrelevant to pro abortion groups.  However, this kind of evidence is apparently very important to pregnant women.  Among women planning an abortion, nine out of ten who view an ultrasound of the baby in their womb change their mind.  The sight of an object with arms, legs, and a head opens their minds and hearts to the reality that they carry a person in their womb, not a blob of formless cells.

After the column below appeared in the Des Moines Register, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson responded as follows:  “Suggesting that the Women’s Right to Know Act would help reduce abortion in the African-American community is insulting. That implies that women of color are incapable of or unable to make this very personal, difficult decision. In reality, this bill is designed to shame women, to intimidate them when they are in a vulnerable situation.”

The video above says it all.  Planned Parenthood personnel may not always be trustworthy with the facts about the fetus.  They insult their clients (regardless of their color) by withholding critical information on the most important decision a woman will ever make:  whether or not to terminate the life of the baby in her womb.

In fact, withholding information of this nature is more than an insult, it is criminal.

Peggy Hamill, State Director of Pro Life Wisconsin, knows how important accurate information is to pregnant women:

“As a sidewalk counselor at Milwaukee Planned Parenthoods, I have had post-abortion women fall apart in my arms, sobbing, immediately regretting their abortions. Nothing can prepare a woman for an abortion.  This new footage reconfirms that Planned Parenthood is not providing women with complete, accurate medical information about their developing baby, much less the after effects of the abortion ‘procedure.'”

A Woman’s Right to Know legislation is a compassionate way to stem the abortion epidemic that particularly afflicts the African-American community.  Yes, it would impact Planned Parenthood’s profits.  Perhaps that’s why they’re so opposed to this type of legislation.

Encourage legislators in your state to pass A Women’s Right to Know bill next session.  Do it in the name of compassion.

Does Black Genocide Matter? 3


By Tom Quiner

As seen in the Des Moines Register on February 7, 2010

One out of two African-American pregnancies end in abortion.

Does it matter?

I was advised by a voice I respect that I’m walking into a minefield, that perhaps a white guy shouldn’t be writing about black abortion.  I drove out to the Maple Street Baptist Church to ask Reverend Keith Ratliff about it.

Reverend Ratliff, who is African-American, said “any caring individual has a right to write about life.”  Even more, he characterized abortion as a “silent genocide” in the African-American community.

Blacks represent twelve percent of the population, but account for 36% of all abortions.  He told me abortion is the biggest killer in the African-American community, topping cancer, heart disease, AIDs, and homicide.

Why talk about black abortion today?  Here’s why:  this is Black History Month.  It’s a fair bet our schools aren’t going to talk about it.  After all, they had a chance to hear about it a couple of years ago when Dr. Alveda King visited Des Moines.  Dr. King is Martin Luther King’s niece.  She speaks out nationally on the impact abortion is having on the African-American community.  Roosevelt High School, which had invited her to Des Moines to speak, rescinded the invite.

Her topic evidently isn’t a fit subject for public schools.

I ask again, does it matter?

After all, a revered woman influenced the world with these words: “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

Yes, Margaret Sanger’s legacy is alive today.  Her organization, Planned Parenthood, has built clinics in inner cities throughout America with much support from our political establishment.  In fact, Reverend Ratliff says 78 percent of PP clinics are in minority neighborhoods.  Although they can’t be credited with performing all of the 650,000 annual abortions being performed on the African-American unborn, they have the lion’s share of the market.  At $450 per abortion, the African American community accounts for nearly $300 million a year in revenue for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Abortion is big business.

Its impact is measurable.  The total fertility rate for the African-American community has dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1, down to 1.97.

An important part of our American community is dying off in what is characterized as genocide by some in the black community, to the financial benefit of others.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday.  Focus on the Family is running a controversial Super Bowl ad that celebrates the life of Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow.  His Mom was faced with a tough choice when she carried Tim in her womb.  Her doctor encouraged her to abort because of health risks she faced.  She chose life.

Today’s Super Bowl ad is dangerous.  It humanizes “choice.”  Women’s groups are outraged and demand that CBS drop the ad.  Erin Mattson, VP for the National Organization for Women (NOW) said “This ad is hate masquerading as love.”

Try to follow that logic on that one.  Here is the ad that appeared on Super Sunday:

The solution to abortion is education according to Reverend Ratliff.  Here in Iowa, our legislature has attempted to do just that with the “Woman’s Right to Know Act.”  This bill requires an informed consent before an abortion takes place.  It includes the opportunity for a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus.

Something amazing happens when the mother views her fetus:  it turns into a person.  It turns into a she, instead of an “it”.  Nine out of ten moms change their mind and don’t have the abortion after viewing this ultrasound.  She chooses life, just as Tim Tebow’s mom did.

Isn’t that what our President wants, for abortion to be legal, but rare?

Dehumanizing slavery was a tragic chapter in the history of Black America.  Dehumanizing abortion is our current history.

If this matters to you, ask your legislators to let the Woman’s Right to Know Act come to the floor for a vote.

If this doesn’t matter to you, I ask why?