Carbon emission clarity 1

By Tom Quiner

The Kyoto Protocol was ratified in 1998.

It was designed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to combat global warming. Almost every nation in the world has signed it and ratified, the U.S. being one of the conspicuous holdouts.

Nonetheless, our carbon emission production is in sharp decline as a percentage of the world total, as the chart above reveals. And our emissions are not increasing as fast as nations who DID sign the protocol, as the data from the Statistical Abstract shows below:

Change in carbon dioxide emissions from consuming fossil fuels, 1997 to 2008:

US:  4.4%

Canada:  5.0%

Switzerland:  5.6%

France:  8.0%

Netherlands:  10.1%

Iceland:  19.0%

World:  31.2%

Spain:  34.9%

India:  70.7%

China:  110.3%

Remember these numbers the next time one of your liberal friends says the U.S. isn’t doing enough to fight global warming.

Time for the B.O. Tax? Reply

By Tom Quiner

According to important people, two of the smartest people around are Barack Obama and Warren Buffett.

And I would agree that these are two smart and accomplished men.

They share the same political opinion when it comes to taxation: that the rich, also  known as the most-productive Americans, should be taxed more.

Mr. Buffett says:

“The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings (capital gains and dividends) but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.”

Pat Buchanan responded with a reasonable question:

“Why doesn’t he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government? He’s got about $40 billion… You get all this noise from these big rich folks. Let them send checks and set an example instead of writing op-eds.”

Mr. Obama had an opportunity to make a sizable donation to the federal treasury when he won his Nobel Peace Prize, but he opted not to.

Doesn’t Mr. Buchanan’s suggestion make sense? Shouldn’t Mr. Obama and Buffet lead by example by donating sizable chunks of their wealth to the IRS because they feel such actions are just and moral?

We could honor them by naming this initiative after them.

We could call this new voluntary tax the Buffett/Obama Tax, or better yet, the B.O. Tax in honor of two great men vying to take the whiff of elitism out of our tax code.

All it takes is these two great men to lead by example. Should they again opt out, we may suspect that there’s something rotten in … Denmark the Democratic Party.

Respect Reply

By Tom Quiner

What is the essence of being human?

One quality immediately hits me. It’s the ability to respect.

It’s the ability to respect human life.

It’s the ability to respect our neighbors, to love them as ourselves.

It’s the ability to respect our environment, to be good stewards of this great land.

What is involved with being respectful? For one thing, it involves showing consideration. And for another, it involves not violating something.

I think this is what is so baffling many on the political right when it comes to those on the political left.

Those on the right consider it natural, logical, and imperative to respect human life in the womb. But the left doesn’t. They aggressively block any laws designed to protect such life.

What is so baffling is that the left bends over backwards to protect rodent life and insect life with the passage of endangered species laws.

Why does one political perspective view the fetus with no respect, while another reveres it?

And yet both sides of the political spectrum support endangered species laws.

The political left also respects the environment. They have passed laws that make it time-consuming and expensive to move forward on construction projects in the name of protecting wet lands and animal life. This is one of the reasons President Obama’s “shovel-ready” projects never materialized when they passed the mammoth stimulus package. It takes five to seven years of legal groundwork to simply get started building new roads. The environmental red tape is just that complex. Any benefits of those types of projects take more than a decade to realize.

This leads me to an inexplicable dichotomy.

Two huge rallies took place at the nation’s capital a year ago, in the same space where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech.

One was Glen Beck’s huge rally. The other was the liberal response.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered for each.

So, who left the premises in better condition: the liberals or the conservatives?

Most folks would assume it would be the liberals, because they CARE more about the environment. Right?

But that’s not what happened, according to Mr. Beck’s video footage at the top of this post. According to Mr. Beck, conservatives left the space cleaner than they found it. They picked up their own trash.

The video footage of the liberal’s rally shows they left a huge mess behind.

Which leads us back to the question of respect.

If liberals really respect the environment more, why would they show such disrespect to the environment surrounding the Capital Mall? It’s possible Glen Beck doctored the videos and the whole thing is an anti-liberal conspiracy inspired by hate-mongering conservatives.

What do you think? Do the videos smack of truth?

The evidence is pretty damning. When environmentalists had a chance to show us how they demonstrate respect for Mother Earth, what did they do? They fumed, they fomented, and unleashed their full fury for the benefit of the panting media.

And then they walked away leaving a garbage dump behind.

Do you call this respect?

The president’s vacation Reply

By Tom Quiner

The president is under fire for taking a fancy vacation while the rest of America pinches pennies.

I’m not a detractor on this issue. In fact, I support the president’s vacation for two reasons.

First, he has the most difficult job in the world. The pressure must be unbearable at times. He needs some downtime. Even on vacation, though, the president’s time is never entirely his own. He still has daily demands on him that make it difficult to completely unwind.

For the sake of our country, presidents need regular vacations.

Secondly, the president can do less damage while on vacation. Look at the damage President Obama has inflicted on this country when he’s working. Conservatives would be wise to applaud the president’s vacation time and encourage him to take more.

The tyranny of tolerance 2

By Tom Quiner

I bet you’re like me. You have friends, family, acquaintances with same-sex attractions.

You love them regardless.

You want them to be safe.

You want them to be happy.

For many people of faith, there’s more to it, though. They care about their soul. They worry that acting on same-sex impulses threatens their salvation.

You may agree or disagree.

But you can’t take away the legitimate concerns people with this faith belief hold.

Today, though, if you disagree with the idea of gay marriage, you are immediately labeled as being a “homophobe.”

You are publicly decried as being a human being who hates another, simply because you disagree with his/her political position on this issue.

The debate on same-sex attractions began evolving in the 90s. Then, the political call was for tolerance. Americans are very tolerant, very accepting of many things. Sometimes we’re slow to get it, but by and large, this has been a nation of great compassion.

So although Americans did not want the same-sex lifestyle to be woven into the fabric of our nation as a legitimate, alternative lifestyle, they took the stance that what goes on in the bedroom is private.

Fair enough.

Times have changed.

Those who called for tolerance in the 90s had a different agenda. They really wanted acceptance of their lifestyle and  political  power.

They got it, and boy are they intolerant.

Ask Jerry Buell.

This former teacher of the year in Mount Dora, Florida, was temporarily suspended from his teaching duties at Mount Dora High School.

His offense? He made a politically incorrect post on his Facebook page as follows:

“I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up. And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”

He added a second post a few minutes later:

“By the way, if one doesn’t like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles and God’s laws, then go ahead and unfriend me. I’ll miss you like I miss my kidney stone from 1994. And I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”

Free speech has been replaced by politically-correct speech in this new age of intolerance. Mr. Buell learned the hard way.

Intolerance has spread to the abortion debate.

How many times have you heard someone say, “although I’m personally against abortion, I don’t see how I can impose my will on someone else.”

Let me translate this “tolerant” view:  “although I personally think that the object in the womb is a human being and that it would be infanticide to kill him or her, I don’t see how I can impose my opinion on someone else.”

This “tolerant” approach has led to an intolerance breathtaking in its brazenness.

Catholic doctors and hospitals that refuse to perform abortions are under attack. Pro-borts, with the financial backing of Planned Parenthood, are pulling out the stops to undo conscious-protections for people with ethical concerns about abortion.

Congress refused to omit abortion from Obamacare.

Here in Des Moines, Dr. Alveda King was disinvited from speaking at Roosevelt High School because a couple of parents didn’t like her politically-incorrect pro-life position.

There is no tolerance on the political Left when it comes to these issues.

How do we handle these issues? By making a case with unwavering intelligence, respect, and conviction.

The Catholic Church says it beautifully in its Catechism. They call for people with same-sex attractions to live chastely, and that they:

“… must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard must be avoided.”

Jesus accepted people the way they were. But he called on them to change their lives.

And he called on us to love, or as Mother Teresa of Calcutta put it, to “love ’til it hurts.”