Tuesday, December 29, 2009
By Matt Kokkonen, Candidate for 33rd Assembly District

Global warming is probably one of the most contentious issues currently. Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, documents his belief that humans are the cause of this warming and of an impending catastrophe on the planet. Therefore, many experts call for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. Dissenting experts claim that global warming is cyclical as evidenced by the several historical ice ages and periods of warming. They also point out that the increase in carbon dioxide has always followed periods of warming rather than being caused by the warming.
In order to substantiate the claim for global warming, accurate historical data must be available. Weather data has been recorded and collected by the National Weather Service. Its U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is comprised of1221 reporting stations within the 48 contiguous United States. These records generally include the period 1900 – 1995. Each station is subject to certain quality-control and homogeneity testing and adjustment procedures. If the data is not reported, it is filled in with data from other nearby sites. Obviously, this can and has introduced major errors in temperature readings.
The National Weather Service through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)   has also established standards for the proper siting of the reporting stations and the sensors. They define five classes of sites:
     Class I - Sensors are located at least 100 meters (330 feet) from artificial heating or reflecting surfaces, such as buildings, concrete surfaces, and parking lots.
     Class 2 - Artificial heating sources are located 30 meters (100 feet) away from sensor.
     Class 3 - Artificial heating sources are located 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error of 1°C
     Class 4 - Artificial heating sources are less than 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error greater than 2°C.
     Class 5 - Temperature sensor located next to or above an artificial heating source, such as a building, rooftop, parking lot, or concrete surface. Introduces an error greater than 5°C.
I went to observe two of the1221 climate-reporting stations. The one in Paso Robles has placed the sensor on a concrete pad, with cars parked against the pad and a building next to it. In addition, it is located next to a major city street with constant heavy automobile traffic. Consequently, the readings from this reporting station have been high, showing an error greater than 5°C or approximately 8°F for several years. It is most disturbing to realize that erroneously high readings from stations like this have been used by climatologists to claim man-caused global warming.
Cal Poly also has a climate-reporting station. Its sensor is located five feet from the gravel road and 40 feet from a concrete walkway next to buildings. However there are broken down RVs right next to the sensor. One of them has been sitting there for several years as a heat sink. In addition, there are several chemical test pools between 100 and 200 feet away.
Both of these stations fail NWS’ own standards and reporting procedures. In fact, research done by Meteorologist Anthony Watts of “SurfaceStations.org” shows that almost 90% of the 1221 stations report rising temperatures because they are badly sited. It shows that the data has been seriously erroneous. The temperature readings have been consistently too high. The foundation for the claim for man-made global warming which is based on historical data gathered from San Luis Obispo County’s two reporting stations is fallacious. Unfortunately, the reported temperature data, not the earth, is cooked by man.

Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and political activist. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd District, receiving over 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd District.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Dear President Obama
By Andy Caldwell

I am writing to you to ask you for your help.  I understand your country has suggested that poor countries like the one I live in could be the beneficiaries of $100 billion per year to mitigate the impacts of global warming.  In spite of the fact that any warming we have experienced is negligible at best, we would nonetheless be happy to take money from your people.
We are not exactly sure what to do with the money however.  You see, over three billion people like me live on $2.50 per day or less.  We don’t exactly generate much of any pollution.  We don’t have clean water, cars, refrigerators, air conditioning or heaters.  We are simply poor.  When we have food, we do cook it if we have some fuel for a fire, typically wood or coals or dried dung.  Would we have to eat all our food at room temperature if we take your money? Many of us live in very simple houses made of natural materials, or wood, tin, or cardboard.  Will these materials still be okay as long as they are renewable or recycled?
Would it be all right if our country uses your money to become industrialized and raise our standard of living?  Or, is that why China and India are having a problem with your proposal?  That is, would raising our standard of living necessitate industrial emissions of some sort that would defeat your goal of saving the planet? 
Speaking of saving the planet, I would like to speak with you about saving lives.  I recognize the hypothetical deaths that could arise from global warming, but in the meantime, I was wondering if we could use the money to address real causes of death in countries like mine?  Do you actually deal with real world problems?  If you do, we could sure use your help to save lives in imminent danger.
There are tens of millions of babies in Africa that have died unnecessarily from malaria because environmentalists from your country in essence banned the production of DDT.  This ban is still in effect even though spraying for mosquitoes in and around our residences was never controversial, only the use of the chemical in open fields.  Could we use the money to produce and use DDT?
There are many places in the world where tribal, ethnic, religious and civil wars are resulting in man-made famines and misery like you wouldn’t believe.  Untold numbers of people live in squalid refugee camps.  Could we maybe use your money to come to the United States?  We don’t care how warm it is there due to climate change, it would be better for us there than here.  If not, could we hire your military to come protect us?  Our mothers and sisters are getting raped, and our fathers and brothers get shot or have their arms cut off.  It is really bad.
Additionally, we lose tens of thousands of lives every year from the ravages of Mother Nature.  Typhoons, earthquakes, floods, drought, pestilence, and the like.  It would be great if we could use your money to modernize and protect our communities with engineering standards that would help us to withstand these ravages as your country does.  The question is, how can we build our infrastructure without the use of unsustainable materials such as concrete, steel, and petroleum based products like asphalt?
A final plea.  Please don’t give the money directly to our leaders, they keep the money for themselves and never do anything good with it to actually help the poor.  Your country should know that by now.
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 41 year resident of the Central Coast.
For contact information, visit the COLAB website at
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Friday, December 18, 2009
Rules of Engagement
Are we fighting a war or not?   Sometimes I wonder. Wars are generally all-out efforts to kill the enemy and destroy their ability to fight. The goal is to win, and to do that it’s necessary to kill people and break things.
However, there are some rules, although not everyone observes them. The most widely accepted are The Geneva Conventions, which Wikipedia describes as follows:
The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three additional protocols that set the standards in international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war. The singular term Geneva Convention refers to the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of World War II, updating the terms of the first three treaties and adding a fourth treaty. The language is extensive, with articles defining the basic rights of those captured during a military conflict, establishing protections for the wounded, and addressing protections for civilians in and around a war zone. The treaties of 1949 have been ratified, in whole or with reservations, by 194 countries.
Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity. Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault. Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion. However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.
Unfortunately, as terrorism has appeared on the scene, the generally accepted standards of The Geneva Conventions have fallen by the wayside. Terrorist combatants wear no uniforms, represent no specific nation and observe no rules, including attacking and killing women and children, even those in their own societies. 
Furthermore, the forces of Political Correctness have influenced our military mindset to the point that the United States has exceeded the basic standards of The Geneva Conventions by imposing extraordinary Rules of Engagement (ROE) on our military, which can jeopardize their safety in combat zones.
Based on individual soldier accounts, WorldNetDaily reports that current ROE restrictions include:
·        No night of surprise searches.
·        Villagers are to be warned prior to searches.
·        Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police must accompany U.S.   units or searches.
·        U.S. soldiers may not fire at insurgents unless they are preparing to fire first.
·        U.S. forces cannot engage insurgents if civilians are present.
·        Only women can search women.
·        Troops can fire on insurgents if they catch them placing an IED but not if they walk away from where the explosives are.
In addition, the ROE often require varying levels of approvals before action can be taken.
One company commander has been quoted as saying, “We can’t do anything if we don’t have the ANA or [the Afghan National Police]... We have to follow the Karzai 12 rules. But the Taliban has no rules…Our soldiers have to juggle all these rules and regulations and they do it without hesitation despite everything. It’s not easy for anyone out here.”
Imposing restrictive ROE’s is not just some theoretical exercise in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans, that they have caused the loss of life is well documented. For example, in one case, four U.S. Marines (fighting in Kunar Province) twice radioed for artillery support during a combat action, which was refused. As a result, they were killed. Who knows why those in command would not or could not give their authorization?
So, while we are supposed to fight with one hand tied behind our backs by observing PC Rules of Engagement, our enemies are free to engage in the most heinous actions, torturing and beheading people, hiding among the local population, using them as shields, committing the most violent acts against both our military forces and civilians alike.
Under the circumstances, my conclusion is that we should be less concerned about the constraints of The Geneva Conventions than taking the fight to the terrorists without hesitation. The idea that we can fight a war in which we hamstring our military because of some PC notion that we are morally superior to our enemies is counterproductive. My sense is that they also believe they are better than their enemy, us, which permits them to win by any means possible, no matter how despicable.
© 2009 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at www.opinionfest.com
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Monday, December 14, 2009
Is Medicare Really A Good Deal?
Suppose you don’t want the government’s health care plan for seniors? What then? Can you opt out?
You may wonder: Who would not want Medicare health insurance? It’s generally touted as the best health care plan that money can buy. However, it’s not such a good deal for the taxpayers. At last count, the program was some $11 trillion dollars in debt, that is, it had an unfunded liability of $11 trillion.
The reason Medicare seems to work well for senior patients is because providers’ fees for services, doctors, hospitals, labs, etc., are not set by market competition. Instead, they are unilaterally established by the federal government. In other words, fees are not determined by the free market. The government decides how much they will pay, regardless of cost. What’s surprising is that, even with that advantage, Medicare consistently loses money.
Furthermore, Medicare health insurance is not really an option or much of an option for seniors, because it’s mandated by the Social Security Administration, which operates the program. Seniors who wish to opt out are confronted with a penalty that would be prohibitive.
The Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) provides some interesting but somewhat startling information about Medicare that is generally not known:
·        “Medicare has the final say on hospital and doctor fees and threatens to expel doctors from the program if they charge patients extra for ‘deluxe’ versions of services already covered by the program.”
·        “Medicare dictates what services and treatments are ‘medically necessary’ and covered” for patients. “Some patients have found that Medicare coverage has actually hurt, rather than helped their treatment regimen.”
·        “Medicare requires that claims be submitted to the federal government and audits provider/patient information for fraud and abuse. Seniors who want to maintain a truly confidential doctor-patient relationship might opt to pay privately.”
·        “Individuals entitled to monthly (Social Security) benefits which confer eligibility for (Hospital insurance) may not waive...entitlement.” If a senior wants to avoid the requirement to enroll in the Medicare benefit program, he or she is required to repay all retirement benefit payments they have previously received from the Social Security program.
·        The federal government enforces mandatory enrollment in Medicare by requiring citizens to sign up for Medicare hospital coverage (Part A) at the time they apply for Social Security benefits.
IHF also reports that Medicare was not originally supposed to work this way: “When Medicare was created in 1965, Congress promised that the program would not interfere with citizens’ freedom to purchase private health insurance. The original Medicare law…included the following provision” (which remains unchanged):
Sec. 1803 OPTION TO INDIVIDUAL TO OBTAIN OTHER HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTION: Nothing contained in this title shall be construed to preclude any State from providing or any individual from purchasing or otherwise securing, protection against the cost of any health services.
However, the Medicare law was also subsequently amended to include a provision that “penalizes physicians who accept private payment for Medicare-covered services: any doctor who does so must stop seeing all Medicare patients for two years.”
Considered in light of the current health care debates in Congress, the foregoing information offers strong evidence about how Medicare health insurance coverage has been mandated for seniors and how existing government health care programs can be imposed on patients and changed at the whim of Congress.
While the rationale for forcing all seniors to sign up for Medicare may make sense from the standpoint of providing a large base of participants to generate sufficient revenue for the program, it’s important to bear in mind that what the government bestows it can also take away from citizens.
It’s also worth noting that when the time comes to fund the $11 trillion deficit in the Medicare program, it will have to be done by increasing taxes or reducing services, or both. Furthermore, the health care bill that is currently being considered by the Senate proposes to expand enrollment in the Medicare program by lowering the age requirement to 55, to provide health care services for many of those who are currently uninsured, while, at the same time, cutting Medicare funding by $500 billion over five years. This will immediately add an estimated 35 million new enrollees in addition to the approximately 45 million people currently enrolled in the Medicare program (in 2008). 
So, how can Medicare possibly continue to provide the same level of services to seniors when the number of enrollees is increased by 75% and its funding is cut by about 40%?
As usual, the actions of Congress turn logic on its head.
© 2009 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at www.opinionfest.com
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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Perceiving the Truth from Propaganda
Andy Caldwell, Santa Maria Times,  12/10/09 
I have been afforded the opportunity to interview academics and scholars from throughout the world.  I have to say I am quite frightened by what I have learned.  I am even more concerned about what the average citizen does not know about what is happening in our world today.
For instance, due to a virtual media blackout, unless you peruse certain internet sites or watch Fox News, you have not heard about what is perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time involving some leading scientists and academics on the subject of global warming.  The scandal has been dubbed Climategate.  It involves the most important and central scientists in the world who have led the effort which would serve to scare us into believing that the core manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors of the world are destroying the planet and something must be done immediately or else. 
Well, somebody hacked into a computer and made public a number of very incriminating emails exchanged among these leading scientists which detail fraud and a coverup.  The facts are, the planet quit warming ten years ago and nobody on Al Gores bandwagon wants to fess up to the fact.  In fact, in spite of the scandal, just the opposite is true.  Barack Obama is slated to go to a meeting in
Copenhagen to encourage negotiations that will serve to produce a global treaty to save the planet.  Such a treaty would undermine our national sovereignty and destroy what is left of the manufacturing and industrial sectors of our economy.  It will cause all of our energy prices to go through the roof and actually result in energy rationing as will Californias own version of these type of regulations.
California, we have a similar scandal involving rules affecting diesel engines.  It turns out that the lead staff member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) faked his Ph.D and in the process cast a huge cloud of uncertainty over the findings of a series of studies that stand to cost the California economy over $20 billion.  To make matters worse, it was discovered that some members of the Air Resources Board knew about the academic fraud and kept the information from their fellow board members and the regulated community for as long as they could.  I have interviewed bonafide scientists from UC Irvine and UCLA and they assure me that the diesel engine rule is based upon junk science.
In light of these scandals, it really turned my stomach to witness Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for a picture of what
San Francisco is going to look like when it is underwater due to rising ocean levels, due to melting ice caps, due to global warming.  In light of Climategate, he could not be more oblivious.  He has also thus far ignored the CARB scandal even though he is directly responsible for the agency as it is filled with his own political appointees!
All this brings me to a quote from the late Michael Crichton, the famous physician, author, director and producer who wrote a book called State of Fear, which dealt with the subject of a coverup concerning global warming.  In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in
San Francisco, Mr. Crichton said the following,  I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
Andy Caldwell is host of the Andy Caldwell Show and the Executive Director of COLAB.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at
This column first appeared in the Santa Maria Times.
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