Weather Modification Bill~on to the Senate

By: Skyepony , 3:47 PM GMT on October 10, 2005

Came across some stuff about the weather modification bill~

U.S. Senate Bill 517 and U.S. House Bill 2995, a bill that would allow experimental weather modification by artificial methods and implement a national weather modification policy, does not include agriculture or public oversight, is on the �fast track� to be passed early in 2006.

This bill is designed to implement experimental weather modification. The appointed Board of Directors established by this bill does not include any agricultural, water, EPA, or public representatives, and has no provisions for Congressional, State, County, or public oversight of their actions or expenditures.

This experimental weather modification bill will impact residents across the United States, not just in California. Many current and ongoing weather modification programs (47 listed by NOAA in 2005), including the one in Wyoming that is designed to increase the snowpack, may be diverting rainwater away from Oklahoma and Texas, two states that are currently fighting fires caused by a lack of rainfall. We have no idea what the unintended consequences of the Wyoming action or other experimental weather modification programs might be now or in the future.

This bill is out of the committee & on to the Senate ~link

Here is a link to the bill

Final results for proposed policy change that would stop NWS & etc from duplicating the weather info that the private sector could provide. Looked okay with NWS, not treading on TV & radio's markets by not requiring NWS forecast being used unless the weather is extreme. The public has free access through other mediums as well as the same types of access as the private sector, when it comes to the multible wonders that NWS has to offer.

Basically only 138 people commented (shame shame, after all our hard work & Dr Masters urgings). Though I noticed wunderground was mentioned more than once in the comments:) 128 against (yeah), from the public. 7 for, including a long letter from the weather channel. 1 completly off topic. & 2 against because it wasn't clearly stated well enough that the government would hand over all the weather info to privite industry & stop forecasting all together ~ 1 was accuweather & the other was National Council of Meteroligists (who by the way recomends NOAA not only stop forecasting but to help privite industry find the most profitable ways to package info for private industry to sell back to us).

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The Interactive Weather Information Network (IWIN) has been proposed for termination. NWS will accept comments on the proposed termination from Nov 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006 ~HERE~ The site boasts: over One BILLION served since 1997 and over 10,000 Web sites on the Internet link directly into the IWIN system. It's a pretty nifty site. Alot of their reasons for the termination sound familiar:
~Information on IWIN is available on other NWS websites;
~Termination of IWIN is in line with planned consolidation of NWS web farms;
~Allow NWS to focus dissemination efforts to fewer systems to save resources and allow better focus on mission.

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Many of us has said there is no way they'll privatize the desemination (destributing) of the weather info gathered by govt agencies & govt funded universities. Yes, we have a bill not doing much in committee, but that's just the smoke.

There's also a small bad section in a larger bill that's a great bill conserning the operation of NOAA, NWS & etc. This would allow congress in closed doors to decide the fate of our online free info from NOAA, Navy, NHS & etc. as well as our daily forcasts from NWS.

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The following is in bill S 786 IS1S which is currently in the committee for commerce, science & transportion. If it passes it goes strait to the Senate.

(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service (other than a product or service described in subsection (a)(1)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless--

(2) MODE OF ISSUANCE- Data, information, guidance, forecasts, and warnings shall be issued under paragraph (1) through a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers of products or services and by such other mechanisms as the Secretary of Commerce considers appropriate for purposes of that paragraph.

(d) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN DISCLOSURES- An officer, employee, or agent of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, or any other department or agency of the United States who by reason of that status comes into possession of any weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning that might influence or affect the market value of any product, service, commodity, tradable, or business may not--

(1) willfully impart, whether directly or indirectly, such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning, or any part thereof, before the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning to the public under subsection (c); or

(2) after the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning to the public under subsection (c), willfully impart comments or qualifications on such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning, or any part thereof, to the public, except pursuant to an issuance that complies with that subsection.

(e) REGULATIONS- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

(f) PRODUCT OR SERVICE DEFINED- In this section, the term `product or service' means a product, service, device, or system that provides, senses, or communicates meteorological, hydrological, climatic, solar, or oceanographic data, forecasts, or other similar information.

~A link to all the Senators that sit in this committee, this includes links to the Senator's web sites. There are many, so see if one lives near you;)
E-Mail your Senator

*And there's this*

This bill (below) is a stealth hidden companion bill to the privitization senate bill, if the senate bill is passed along with this bill, the House and Senate can get together in Committee behind closed doors and privitize weather information dissemination, according to provision in Section 5 e quoted below. (personally I think it's where the weather info from the universities would eventually end).

Title: To provide for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3] (introduced 1/4/2005) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 5/19/2005 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

"Section 5. (e) Public-Private Partnerships- Not less than once every 5 years, the Secretary shall develop and submit to Congress a policy the defines processes for making decisions about the roles of the National Weather Service, the private sector, and the academic community in providing weather -related and climate-related products, technologies, and services . The first such policy shall be completed not less than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act. At least 90 days before each submission of the policy to Congress, the Secretary shall publish the policy in the Federal Register for a public comment period of not less than 60 days."

This would be most detrimental to our safety. The web sites for all govt. weather data would be no more (NWS, NHC, NOAA, etc.) This could also put a halt to the weather info flowing from the universities since many are govt. funded. We would no longer have the access to the Hurricane Hunters raw info as well.

US citizens taxes pay for the gathering of all this info, if this bill passes, we would then pay for it again from privite companies. With the lack of free info the price would be more than it is now. Also we would have access only to the info that the companies chose to allow us to access. If this was limited, it would hamper the abilites of us amature forcasters.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the bill threatens to push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet era" � a questionable move in light of the four hurricanes that struck the state last year. Nelson serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has been assigned to consider the bill.

"The weather service proved so instrumental and popular and helpful in the wake of the hurricanes. How can you make an argument that we should pull it off the Net now?" said Nelson's spokesman, Dan McLaughlin. "What are you going to do, charge hurricane victims to go online, or give them a pop-up ad?"

Please feel free to discuss the weather political issues here & please post any info you find on the subject.
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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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108. RobDaHood
2:18 AM GMT on January 07, 2017
"Lets do the time warp again..."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
107. LakeWorthFinn
6:18 PM GMT on January 06, 2017
I hear ya SNK! Bring it on...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9:28 PM GMT on January 02, 2017
Note to Snake: on Jan 2nd, 2017, you will have big bada boom thunderstorms at 6 PM.
Better have the stir fried chicken dinner finished before the storms get to your house. LOL
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12:42 AM GMT on January 02, 2017
Note to Snake: On New Years Day, Jan 1st, 2017, you will have big bada boom
thunderstorms over your house at 742 PM, turn off your computer now. heh heh heh
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104. StormDrain
1:29 AM GMT on December 30, 2016
Pancho and Lefty
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103. aquak9
7:04 PM GMT on December 29, 2016
I wish I could post to myself- and Skye, too- back then, and tell them what wondrous things were in our future.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6:51 PM GMT on December 29, 2016
I think this WU Worm Hole stuff is bending all the letters to the right. heh heh heh
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101. LakeWorthFinn
6:34 PM GMT on December 29, 2016
Aqua wins FOIST and 100th post!
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100. aquak9
2:15 PM GMT on December 29, 2016
(aqua takes FIRST on Dec 29!)
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99. LakeWorthFinn
12:15 AM GMT on December 29, 2016
Hi WW, aqua and snk, I'm in da hole with ya'lls!
I became a member 4 days before this blog, on Oct 6th 2005!!! This is so cool, we have found the fountain of youth - I'm only 50 years old!!!
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98. WeatherWise
10:56 PM GMT on December 28, 2016
Hahahaha....and guess who else is in Skye's 2005 blog and I was a member but never crossed over to blog side until about two years ago.
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97. WeatherWise
10:53 PM GMT on December 28, 2016
Okay, I figured out what triggered the city fav troll or whatever tonight. I clicked on Skye's blog and then clicked on Blacksburg one of favs. It claims it is 38 there and talking about snow there....but the things the cities changed to all of those strange I backed out and the normal cities came back. I opened the second window to explain what happened in my blog....of course it sad I had no entries and has switehed to those weird cities again and normal cities came back when I backed out so don't bother with the deleting a zillion and redoing all your favs as it is a WU glitch of some sort and the whole page turned to Italic. Really weird.
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96. aquak9
12:19 AM GMT on December 27, 2016
oh wait, I'm here again.

Hi snk.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7:52 PM GMT on December 22, 2016
Quoting 94. aquak9:

(waves hi to Snk, who is somehow posting in a 2005 blog, even though his born-on date wasn't until 2008, hahahah)

ROFLMBO - I'm BAAAAACK again too!!! Or 3 or 4 times now.
Waves to Aqua who seems to end up here too. LOL
I also end up on the Doc's blog from 2005, and Rob's blog from 2008.
I'm beginning to forget what year I'm supposed to be in now. heh heh heh
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94. aquak9
1:46 AM GMT on December 22, 2016
(waves hi to Snk, who is somehow posting in a 2005 blog, even though his born-on date wasn't until 2008, hahahah)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12:14 PM GMT on December 21, 2016
This is getting really sad.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2:20 PM GMT on December 20, 2016
How did I end up in 2005 again? This time travel is a pain in the neck. LOL
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91. aquak9
2:14 AM GMT on December 15, 2016
oh hai!
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89. WeatherWise
3:41 AM GMT on November 09, 2015
Are comments not working tonight?
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88. Wxgeezer
5:09 AM GMT on February 25, 2006

For what it's worth, everyone, I heard on NPR this week that the esteemed Senator Santorum may be running into some difficulty in his re-election campaign. If he's up to his a** in alligators trying to preserve his political life, the NWS legislation may not be quite so important to him.

For this exercise, I wish I still lived in Pittsburgh.

Do we know anyone in PA who is working for his opponent? Unfortunately, I don't.

-- Wxgeezer
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87. Skyepony
1:29 AM GMT on January 19, 2006
cyclonebuster~ I guess if this passes you could more readily contact one of the several companies that are already dabbling in weather modification. It appears this may have been going on since the 1974 law. 23 states currently have some type of laws about this. I think there was a current abstract at the American Meteralogical Society site, but need to be a member to see full text. There & Somewhere on NWS had NOAA's Weather Modification Office in charge to make sure companys were following state laws. NWS also required NOAA's Weather Modification Office to report modifications as they occured & the expected change to the forcast. I can find no link to the Weather Modification Office.
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86. cyclonebuster
8:16 PM GMT on January 18, 2006
Hey where do my tunnels fit in all this?
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85. Skyepony
4:31 AM GMT on January 13, 2006
Palmettobug~ thanks for the card~

~kinda let the blog die for now though I'll get the word out about commenting on IWIN to NOAA again right before the dead line.
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84. palmettobug53
1:57 AM GMT on December 25, 2005
Merry Christmas!

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82. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:02 PM GMT on November 20, 2005
i hop that they to not take that web site off line at all i like that web site it is a fun way to look uo the weather
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81. guygee
5:35 AM GMT on November 17, 2005
Skyepony - I use IWIN every day to view the Florida forecast discussions. It is really nice in that all of the state discussions are grouped together, and archived for 24 hours, so if you miss the afternoon or early morning main discussions that are NOT on the NWS sites after they do the late morning/early evening updates, you can still read them on IWIN.

This is really bad news, I didn't notice the announcement at the top of the IWIN page until you pointed it out.

I do not get this one at all: "Allow NWS to focus dissemination efforts to fewer systems to save resources and allow better focus on mission". So the NWS "mission" is NOT broad public dissemination of weather information? So the public is better served by FEWER weather information outlets? I cannot believe that running the the IWIN site takes much in the way of "resources" to maintain in the larger picture, and it is an important public service.
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77. cgableshurrycanegal
1:54 AM GMT on November 13, 2005
WOW! Skye, in reading through the blog I see that a good bit has transpired since I last popped in. Inc'ing Wilma...
I sent out a post with all the info, pretty much verbatim from your blog, to everyone on all my email lists. Got only one sour-puss on a dog list who accused me of politicizing the list... suggested that weather had always been a safe topic of conversation and since the one politician mentioned was from another state clearly I had no vested interest in his future...::eyebrows raised:: Most folks were unaware of this and totally flipped out, they were going to repost everywhere they could and also send in their own comments to their gov't reps. Hadn't realized how out of touch I'd been on this until catching up this evening... ::snort:: guess getting hit with a hurricane does that to a community... then again, some folks wouldn't get that or they wouldn't promote insane bills...
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75. Skyepony
7:06 PM GMT on November 12, 2005
Just wondering if others use IWIN & what they thought of it.
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72. guygee
6:14 PM GMT on November 06, 2005
Skyepony - I have been researching the history of the partial privatization ("privatisation", in the "Queen's English") of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM). Predictably, I had to read through many PDF documents and decode the "marketeering weasal language" to figure out how it happened, but it seems that the plan to partially privatize access to weather data began in 1995 and was put into place in the late 1990's. "Soft" weather data is still publicly available, but "hard data" is very expensive. I think taking a look at these charges portends our own future should we allow the politicans to drag us down the path of weather privatization.

Here is the link to the prices for "subscriber-only services" for ABOM data:

Here is a summary of monthly subscription charges for online access (in OZ dollars):

National Weather Charts $59.55
Satellite Imagery- IR Hourly/Vis 3 hourly $59.55
Antarctic Sea Ice imagery $59.55
Weather Watch Radar $59.55
Realtime AWS and Synoptic Obs (decoded and including Lat/Long) $10.80

If you want access to Model Data, there is an initial "Establishment fee" of $758.10, AND a MONTHLY subsciption charge of $113.70!

The charge for "Realtime AWS and Observations (decoded)" is an "Establishment fee" of $1847.60 and an annual fee of $108.30!!

Currently, one Australian Dollar is worth about 74 cents in U.S. currency, but still, add up all those charges above and
decide for youself if you can afford "privatization" and the "efficiency of the private weather sector".

Ironically, the Australian Constitution specifically states:

51.The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: -
(viii.) Astronomical and meteorological observations:


Is is hard to imagine how the politicians in Australia equate "peace, order, and good government" with charging its citizens these outrageous fees for weather information.
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71. guygee
8:41 AM GMT on November 06, 2005
Skyepony - I've also noticed how the Orlando TV media tries to put a "sunny face" spin on their local weather forecasts for the benefit of the tourists. That innocuous sounding "slight chance of coastal showers" often translates into one of those heavy popcorn downbursts that quickly washes out your planned outdoor activites for the day. They also often seem to underestimate the difference in the wind from inland to that directly on the beach, which can make the difference between a beautiful day at the beach and one of those days when you get sandblasted. To get the "true picture", I ignore the TV forecasters and go directly to the Melbourne NWS site, and read the daily discussions - precisely the source of information that is in danger of being taken away from public view by the privateers.

I think another reason that the coporate media downplays the hurricanes, is that if we keep getting direct landfalls it could really have an adverse effect on the local economy, not only with tourists but also with the retirees that may change their mind about moving down here. A lot of people in the construction and service industries are dependent on attracting the "upscale" retirees and their money down here to keep the economy growing, especailly with all of the layoffs in the space and high-tech sectors lately.

As for your link, this caught my eye:
"Undercover officers set up shop as customers at a Fern Park motel. One of the accused prostitutes is just 16 years old and what she and two other women were trying to sell for $1,500 in room 305 at the Comfort Inn Northeast is so shocking it can't be reported."

What adults consent to do I don't care, and I would say LOL except that I think it is so sad that a 16 year old girl is caught up in that kind of degrading life. Still, I am having a hard time imagining what could be so shocking; the only thing I can think of is that those three women were going to make the guy attend one of those jewelry parties and buy something...
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70. guygee
6:11 AM GMT on November 06, 2005
bdenyer-I hope Skyepony will forgive our little discussion on the general politics of government and the role of private enterprise, as I see this topic as being relevant to the current and ongoing efforts to privatize the functions of the National Weather Service and NOAA. Yes, privatizing the NWS is just another form of crony capitalism designed to rob the public of important assets and distribute the proceeds upwards to a very few elite "friends" of the corrupt politicians. So it is worth discussing other such privatization efforts in this light.

I sincerely apologize that I took you to be a right-wing follower of the current administration, but since privatization of government functions for the purpose of advancing crony capitalism is an outstanding characteristic of this administration, I hope you will forgive my error. Surely, no true "conservative" or economic libertarian could support the fiscal irresponsibility of this administration.

I also did not intend to personally "smear" you with my comments regarding Social Security, rather, I believe the statement "Social Security is going bankrupt" is itself a "smear" that was created and propagated by right-wing think tanks for the purpose of spreading fear, undermining, and ultimately destroying our Social Security System.


I see the current efforts to dismantle Social Security as just another scheme to rob the public treasury and redistribute the wealth "upwards" to the administrations Wall Street cronies.

There is, in fact, no imminent "crisis". Even using rather pessimistic economic projections, "The Trustees of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs project in their 2005 report1 that the combined trust funds are sufficient to pay full benefits for the next 36 years, until 2041."
But does this mean that Social Security will be "bankrupt" in 2041? No. "If nothing is done for the next 36 years, when the trust runs out, Social Security will still be able to pay 7080% of promised benefits just from normal payroll taxes." Link

Is drastic action required to "save" Social Security? No.
"The complete elimination of the income cap would affect fewer than 7% of wage earners, but it would cover more than three-quarters of the expected shortfall."
Combine this with slightly increased immigration and slightly more optimistic economic forecasts, or a few other minor adjustments, and the so-called "crisis" is easily overcome.
So how certain are we that the Social Security trust fund will begin running short in the year 2041? As it turns out, that estimate is the most pessimistic of all. According to Link
In barnstorming the country over Social Security, administration officials predict that American economic growth will slow to an anemic rate of 1.9 percent as baby boomers reach retirement. Yet as they extol the rewards of letting people invest some of their payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts, President Bush and his allies assume that stock returns will be almost as high as ever, about 6.5 percent a year after inflation.

In fact , according to a review of The Social Security Trustees 2005 Annual Report:
href="" target="_blank">Link

The Social Security Trustees 2005 Annual Report confirms that the program remains financially sound, despite politically motivated efforts to undermine public confidence. Every year the Trustees, who include the Secretaries of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, the Social Security Commissioner, and two presidential appointees, project Social Security finances 75 years into the future. Because long-term forecasts are speculative, the Trustees make three different projections. The projections require numerous assumptions about birth rates, immigration rates, unemployment, average wages, and the like. Over 75 years, small differences in assumptions can result in large differences in outcomes. The Trustees make three different projections based on different assumptions. These three scenarios are called the low-cost (most optimistic), intermediate, and high cost (least optimistic) projections.

The low-cost projection shows the system fully funded for 75 years and beyond. The intermediate estimate, the one usually cited in public reports, and the high-cost estimate both project that in several decades the system will have funds for only partial benefits unless changes are made. []

Strong economic growth leads to a strong Social Security system. If the U.S. economy continues to grow at the same rate it did during the last century, then Social Security will be able to fully fund benefits throughout the 21st century.

bdenyer, as for your question and conclusion "what if I invested in some stock or bond mutual funds, which historically return 11% and 6% per year, respectively? Then I would end up with a whole lot more money than I am going to thanks to the federal governments inefficiency."

You seem to be ignoring inflation in your "historical return" figures. From these figures: Link , using a long-period averaging filter, the performance of the
Dow Jones from the period 1906 1999 can be viewed as three separate bear market bull market cycles:
1906-1921 Avg. Annual Return: 1.58%
1922-1928 Avg. Annual Return: 17.20%
1929-1949 Avg. Annual Return: 1.69%
1950-1965 Avg. Annual Return: 10.60%
1966-1982 Avg. Annual Return: 1.59%
1983-1999 Avg. Annual Return: 15.30%

Using these figures, the average annual return for the entire period is 6.8%, before taxes.

I would like to see you argue your point about greater returns with all of the people who had planned to retire on their private accounts after the bursting of the 2000-2001 stock market bubble. Also, consider the fact that the Dow had started 1965 at 874. Seventeen years later, at the end of 1981, it closed at 875. This does not include dividends, but it also does not include the total inflation that totaled 179% for the period. Another devastating bear market began with a new high in January, 1973 in the S&P 500 at 121.74, then falling for 21 months to a low of 60.96. That is a drop of 50%. From the low the S&P 500 began a slow recovery. It didn't break its January 1974 high until July 1980, almost six and a half years later More recently, the NASDAQ declined by 77.8% from its highs in 2000 to its lowest point in 2003.

So I think it is valid question, do we want Social Security or Social Russian Roulette?

But what if todays Social Security system is dismantled, could we still expect to invest in the stock market with an average annual return of 6.5%. I think the answer is obviously and emphatically no. Stocks will become a retirement investment commodity, to a much greater degree than today. Money will pour into the stock market, and demand will greatly exceed supply, creating an enormous stock market bubble. As we know, all bubbles must burst. Excerpting from Link , Dr. Michael Hudson, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, concludes:

Talk of bubbles has become popular in recent years, but most discussions miss the key point. Although optimism is inherent in the human spirit, it rarely effloresces into the kind of frenzy necessary to float a bubble without help from the government. In fact, many of history's most famous bubbles have been sponsored by governments in order to get out of debt. Britain, in 1711, persuaded bondholders to swap their bonds for stocks in the South Sea Company, which was expected to get rich off the growth industry of its day, the African slave trade. By the time the South Sea bubble collapsed, the government had indeed paid off its war debtand speculators were left holding worthless "growth sector" stocks. In 1716, John Law organized France's Mississippi bubble along the same lines, retiring France's public debt by selling shares to create slave-stocked plantations in the Louisiana territories. It worked, for a while.
The U.S. government is now attempting to run the same kind of scam. Bush would like to persuade Social Security claimants to exchange the security of U.S. Treasury bonds for a chance to buy growth stocks on which a much higher return is hoped for. No modern blue-sky venture comparable to the South Sea or Mississippi companies is needed. The stock market itself has become a bubble, borne aloft from the burden of generating actual goods and services by a constant flow of new retirement dollars.
There is no denying that channeling trillions of Social Security dollars into the stock market would produce short-term gains. But once this money is spent, the markets are likely to retreat. That is what happens after a financial bubble. Then we will be right hack where we are today, only much the poorer and with no guaranteed pension system for elderly Americanswho will, of course, need guaranteed pensions more than ever as they watch their stock holdings continue to shed value. Indeed, many other countries are just now recovering from their own dismal experiences with what Augusto Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher called "labor capitalism" and Bush calls, with no apparent irony, an "ownership society."
In the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes urged governments to run budget deficits in order to increase the economy's spending power on goods and services. His point of reference was the "real economy"the economy of production and consumption, of investment in capital and in the labor to operate that capital. Whereas Keynes spoke of governments priming the pump with public spending programs to get domestic investment and employment going, Bush now seeks to prime the stock market pump with Social Security contributions. It is the next natural step from our real economy to the economy of dreams.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
69. Skyepony
4:46 AM GMT on November 06, 2005
Well ~ ya'll brought some interesting topics to light. Guygee & Bdenver~ worthy adversarys i can agree. It's been 10 years or more since my economics 101 & beyond, a lovely refresher & well tied to the privatization issue as well. In therory not having monopolys is important to our economics, this way anyone with the ambition & education can live the american dream, also companys would act in the best intent of their product or service instead of the big picture impact of their conglomerant as a whole. The problem with the therory is it underestimated greed. Companys have found ways around these laws, a few get split up by the government from time to time, but for the most part monopolys have gone some what unchecked for at least the last 15 years. Globalization seems to have played a role here. Now for privatizing the weather info in central fl. WFTV (local ABC channel) is owned by Disney. Disney not only has the theme parks in Orlando but cruises out of the port in Brevard county. Lastnight's weather report was more about what was happening at Disney, Lake Eola & the beaches. Tom Terry was saying how lovely the beach weather was to be a few days ago ~ all the while getting a hand or his body in front of the coastal showers best he could. I've come to understand if Tom says ~ hold on to the little one's hand at the beach tommarrow ~ most likely someone's gonna have a near or death experience from riptides the next day. ABC & CBS both have been pushing tourism during the weather for more than a year now. The weather is always forcasted beautiful for peak theme park days, no matter the weather, they'll tell ya 1 of the 2 day weekend will be beautiful then conceed. A few years ago it seemed the local news did everything to keep our tourists from killin themselves in a rip current ( swim paralell to the shore), overheating or getting an ammeba from swimming in pond during the summer. Pulse was right on about the calm in storm from our local weather. I wasn't by no means out of the cone of doom on Wilma. We had hurricane winds for a hour, Kennedy Space Center (a bit north) had 98mph sustained. Local weather forcast didn't include this possibility of such winds or the interaction of that cold front hitting the warm water on the east coast & spawning tornados(it's common here & to be expected). NHC told us, but many floridians watch the news instead, who in all reality seem to be working for the tourist industry lately. I can't trust the private industry in this area to give me an accurate forcast.

Rant over for now~

Guygee you one upped bdenver with the privatized disaster planning:) That was some new info to me as well as another reason why privatization doesn't always work. Wow checked it out ~ good sources & double checked clean, also quoted Dr Masters on his get out of NO they brought in the body bags blog. Also another good point is ~ was it Aulstralia that privatized their weather info with a higher than normal body count? I think ya brought this up but i don't remember a link.

oh finally saw a Wilma story on news Link Saw it on FOX ~ found it on WFTV. They busted a bunch of prostitutes workin in cfl that had been displaced by storms:() lol ~blog on people~
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
68. ProgressivePulse
8:39 AM GMT on November 05, 2005
I will clarify my statement. NHC had this track on Wilma and intensities pegged for a while before she hit, locals were not relaying the same information. Was not until they started to broadcast updates from the NHC, did people start to realize what was comming and they did start a while before the storm, but people were at ease with our local forcast that they appeared to not even care. Before Frances and Jeanne the days before the storm, gas was not to be had and if it were there were lines, store shelves empty. Day before Wilma hit I was on my way to my uncles to hang shutters at 9am. I pulled right into an empty gas station and filled up, went to the grocery store to pick up the makings for breakfast and noticed the shelves fully stocked. People soon realized that we would feel worse winds than we had with Frances and Jeanne. Was it the NHC or was it the Locals, I believe it was the locals.
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67. ProgressivePulse
7:59 AM GMT on November 05, 2005
In reference to skyepony's question about Rita coverage, ummm I haven't heard anything about Rita in some time now and very little only a week after the storm. Only Katrina and brief bits about Wilma, for which a friend called and told me national news was saying that the keys and miami dade were the only places being reported to have major damage. If I were to listen to privatized weather during Wilma I would have been just as unprepared as a vast number of Floridian's were. With concentrated populations like we have here, 2 or 3 days is not enough.
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66. bdenyer
7:09 AM GMT on November 05, 2005
Ah yes, right wing lies. It's always much easier to smear someone than face the truth about unpleasantries such as social security. Concerning Fascism: "...More generally, uncapitalized, fascism is State control of economics, typified by government-run cartels of nominally private entities." (
Sounds surprisingly similar to the U.S. under FDR.

You seem to think that I am right-wing. This is not true. I have as much contempt for the right as I do for the left, and King George II is certainly not my president. Perhaps on that we can agree, worthy adversary!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
65. guygee
5:24 AM GMT on November 05, 2005
bdenyer - Funny you should bring up the government's response to Katrina. Perhaps you forget that FEMA was assimilated into the "Department of Homeland Security" and was refocused towards vague "terrorist threats" and away from natural disaster response. The emergency response plan for New Orleans was privatized, government funding was drastically cut, and the disaster ensued. I invite any open-minded reader to research further here:

Since this is not a blog on the attempted dismantling of the Social Security System, I will forego refuting your spreading of the right-wing lies on how "Social Security is going bankrupt". I invite other readers to muster their healthy distrust of the mass media and to research this issue for themselves.

Perhaps we should just agree to disagree, especially when you call me a Marxist without any justification at all. If anything, I would describe myself more of a Keynesian. Perhaps that is a shade of gray that doesn't fit in with a "with us or against us" worldview.

I referred to the two Roosevelts, Teddy and Franklin. You call Franklin Roosevelt a "fascist"? Perhaps you forget who the real fascists were during the WWII?

BTW, Lyndon Johnson came before Nixon, not after. I stand by my statement that every president since Nixon has been an economic neoliberal, but it is a matter of degree: Yes, Carter did make exceptions for some states that violated human rights, and George W. Bush is overly reliant on the use of military might rather than "the market". Perhaps Clinton and Reagan are the best examples.

Here is some recommended reading for you my friend: "The Great Transformation" by Karl Polanyi. It is for the most part an historical account of how the elite forced the "laissez-faire" economic model on the population of the developing world, and how these actions created cyclic depressions, market bubbles, panics, and great wars. Just in case you get confused by complexity, this author was a socialist but not a Marxist. Yes, there is a difference.
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64. bdenyer
4:25 AM GMT on November 05, 2005
guygee- Perhaps we are drifting away a bit from the issue of weather privatization. But you have tempted me to respond and set straight a few misconceptions. A note: when I speak of efficiency, I don't just mean a lower cost. Of course the governent can do things with a lower cost, silly! It pays its workers less, etc. etc.

"In Economics 101 we learn that a 'free market' is composed off 'an infinite number of suppliers and an infinite number of consumers.' "

What you are referring to here as a free market is in fact a perfectly competitive market, which is indeed a highly idealized, unrealistic model that is only an approximation of a few special cases. A market is free if it is free from government intervention; that is, the government does not have the authority to tell buyers and sellers how much of, to/from whom, and at what price to buy and sell goods and services.

That is called an oligopoly, a market that effectively operates as a monopoly. In such a market, the suppliers will charge the highest price that the market will bear.

An oligopololistic market is not a monopolistic market, unless the firms form a cartel and collude to set prices at monopolistic levels. Take the airline industry, for example. Those companies are certainly not behaving monopolistically; look at all the price wars that ensue between the competing companies. And guess what: in any market, the suppliers charge the highest price the market can bear, which is a consequence of the laws of supply and demand. Companies should not charge less than the market will bear, as consumers should not pay more than the market determines. Equilibrium of supply and demand is a delicate balance between the interests of buyers and sellers.

As far as government efficiency is concerned, there are many examples that do support my claim. One of them is the case of Hurricane Katrina (yes, I am at least trying to work some meteorology into this ;-) ). Where was the federal government? Where was the vaunted FEMA? While Wal-Mart was distributing supplies to disaster victims, President Bush was riding his bike; the director of FEMA was emailing his minions asking if he could go home yet. Actually, Wal-Mart stockpiled disaster supplies and set aside trucks to distribute them before the storm, whereas the FEMA chief thought a wait of two days to send in relief workers was necessary to train them properly. Hell, FEMA even refused the help of other FEDERAL agencies: the Navy with a 600 bed hospital ship, local fire departments from around the nation.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Aaron F. Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish in the New Orleans suburbs, told host Tim Russert that if "the American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis." He's not the only one who glimpsed what might have been if there were no such thing as FEMA in the first place.

"Let's look at another "market", the retirement savings
investment market."

Ah yes, retirement accounts. Im very glad you mentioned this. Keep in mind that the individual accounts that have been proposed are still government-run. The first argument against retirement accounts is that they reduce incentives for private saving. According to the Solow Growth model, this reduction in private saving slows economic growth below a level that could be achieved by a higher rate of saving. For a fuller discussion of this, see Macroeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw. Furthermore: social security is going to go bankrupt, unless drastic action is taken. This means either benefit cuts, higher taxes, or more likely both; regardless, someone is going to get screwed at this point. But what if there were no social security? What if the government instead decided that people were not too inept after all to manage their own finances? Lets say I invested the 11% of my hard-earned income that the government steals and gives to other people. If I took that and just put it in a savings account, I would likely end up with more than I will get with Social Security. Since I know a bit about money, lets say I invested in some CDs or money market accounts. Better yet, what if I invested in some stock or bond mutual funds, which historically return 11% and 6% per year, respectively? Then I would end up with a whole lot more money than I am going to thanks to the federal governments inefficiency.

Last point, promise: is a myth, it is a religion of sorts. This religion was popular on a national scale in the late 19th to early 20th century. History proved that laissez-faire economics leads to social dislocation and disaster, and it took the two Roosevelt presidencies to finally put the "robber barons" out to pasture. But now this religion has experienced a revival, in the form of "Global Economic Neoliberalism", and every
president after Nixon has been a disciple of this new religion.

This is no religion, my friend. In fact, it is rather your ideology which is much more comparable to religion; its bible is called The Communist Manifesto. Laissez-Faire economics led to America becoming the most prosperous, free, and powerful nation in the history of this planet. Capitalism did indeed suffer at the hands of Roosevelt; but it will take more than fascist presidents to alter the laws of human action. I find it interesting that you say that every president since Nixon has been a disciple of neoliberalism. Lyndon Baines Johnson would no doubt roll over in his grave at such an accusation; and surely you are not suggesting that Jimmy Carter is? Reagan, Ill give you. ;)
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63. guygee
3:19 PM GMT on November 04, 2005
Posted By: bdenyer at 8:57 PM GMT on November 03, 2005.
[...]Who knows where we might be now if the government
hadn't clumsily stepped in and crowded out the rest of the
market so long ago. We have to remember that since the
government operates outside of market forces, it is
inherently less efficient than private businesses operating
in a competitive market.

bdenyer- Your statements above are based on ideology, plain
and simple. In Economics 101 we learn that a "free market"
is composed off "an infinite number of suppliers and an
infinite number of consumers." That is an idealized market
that does not exist here on "Earth" except as an
approximation and only for brief periods in history. The
reality is that without government intervention the
"suppliers" eliminate or buy out competitors until there are
very few large corporations left in the market sector,
while the number of consumers remains large. That is called
an oligopoly, a market that effectively operates as a
monopoly. In such a market, the suppliers will charge the
highest price that the market will bear.

Translation for weather data collection and information: If
privatized, the detailed hard data will become very
expensive, and the public will be left with the goofy
graphics and sparse information as in "USA Today".

A comparison of the Health Care markets in the U.S. and
Canada provide a good counterexample to your statements:


"There's a prevailing assumption that any government-run
enterprise is financially inefficient and most private
companies are not. It was a recurring theme during the
public debates when the Clinton Administration attempted to
introduce universal health care coverage. The belief held
sway in that era, despite the existence of a 1991
government-initiated survey showing that the administrative
costs of Medicare were 3%, as opposed to 25% for private
insurance companies.

In the same year, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, and David U.
Himmelstein, MD, reported in The New England Journal of
Medicine that people in the U.S. spent about $450 per
capita on health care administration in 1987, as compared
with Canadians who spent one third as much."

Let's look at another "market", the retirement savings
investment market. Chile is a country that has no "Social
Security", the system is completely privatized. According to

Excerpt: "The Chilean private accounts completely replace
the social security system that existed before the private
account system was started. ...The administrative costs of
the pension fund companies in the Chilean system in 1998
averaged 1.4 percent of account balances... Accumulated over
the working life, 28 to 33 percent of the contributions of
the average Chilean worker who retired in 2000 went to fees
... These statistics on fees, however, do not include the
cost of annuitizing benefits or of other forms of benefit
payout. The fee for annuitizing in Chile, where
annuitization is voluntary and is done through private life
insurance companies, averages 5.3 percent of the account
balance at retirement."

Compare to the current U.S. Social Security System:
Excerpt: "On average, less than 0.6 cents of every dollar
paid out in Social Security benefits goes to pay
administrative costs. By comparison, systems with individual
accounts, like the ones in England or Chile, waste 15 cents
of every dollar paid out in benefits on administrative

bdenyer, your statement that "since the government
operates outside of market forces, it is inherently less
efficient than private businesses
" is a myth, it is a
religion of sorts. This religion was popular on a national
scale in the late 19th to early 20th century. History
proved that laissez-faire economics leads to social
dislocation and disaster, and it took the two Roosevelt
presidencies to finally put the "robber barons" out to
pasture. But now this religion has experienced a revival,
in the form of "Global Economic Neoliberalism", and every
president after Nixon has been a disciple of this new religion.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10:32 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
Here is why its not fair to change things in my opinion...

There is a system in place that has been paid for by taxes and if you are going to take this info and deny access to it except to people with enough capitol/clout than what you are basically doing is subsidizing those companies with our tax dollars...and in turn forcing people to pay for info they currently get for free...this is illogical ...and not right.

Not only that...this information IS essential to many people and buisnesses so now you are forcing the issue on people ...

Now the way it is currently is perfect for everyone...buisnesses get to take info and repackage it as a value added service...obviously, people pay for these services or the accuweathers,etc...would no longer exist...yet people who choose to get the info from the horses mouth still can...

This is not about Bush & co.... or the evil empire...
trust me, everyone in DC is a crook....and I bet if you look at who is sponsoring the bills and their re-election contribution funds than everything becomes clear...

Maybe we all need to put our money together and donate $50,000 to Mr Sanitariums re-election campaign...

I bet he would change his tune

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
61. bdenyer
9:09 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
skyepony- I agree with your point about the data that is required to make the forecasts. Perhaps if the government is to gather the data to make the forecasts, they could then sell it for a price to private weather companies, rather than financing it through taxes. But perhaps we should also note that with respect to gathering data, the private sector was never really given a chance. Who knows where we might be now if the government hadn't clumsily stepped in and crowded out the rest of the market so long ago. We have to remember that since the government operates outside of market forces, it is inherently less efficient than private businesses operating in a competitive market. So maybe private businesses, given the chance to invest in weather research, could be leaps and bounds ahead of where we are now. Think about all of the data sparse regions of the world that have such an impact on the accuracy of forecasts. One of the big constraints about dealing with this is the budget that the government provides the NWS with. Maybe a private company with some capital to invest could make a difference there. BTW, I wasn't referring to you in my earlier political comments; obviously this is a topic of a somewhat political nature and your comments have been entirely appropriate and balanced. But I do think that there are some people who are posting making unqualified, vague statements about politics in general, and not necessarily about the case at hand. I have no love for Bush and the republicans in congress; nor do I have any love for the democrats. But I would rather discuss the problem and solution to it than throw a vague temper tantrum about the current political situation. Yeah, so this is way too long. But dialogue thus far has been good.
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60. Skyepony
8:44 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
bdenver~ That would have been my comment, yes I understand my taxes (an average of $2.50 to $4.50 per person) pays for this, perhaps I even shoulder a little more than others. But it is a small price to pay for a forcast that wasn't derived by a company that owns the local theme park. I can get to this info anytime without shelling out a dime (other than what uncle takes). & really the big expence is in obtaining the data to make the forcast, which by the way your vital private industry wants no part of. They want taxpayers to pay to gather info then sell us back our weather forcast.

I prefer to keep this as non political as I can. We have for the most part focussed on the facts. Once in a while a name is mentioned. Ussually who to write or it is noticed who wrote a bill. As for the political venting, better here than in a blog that is trying to concentrate on a storm. I like to learn from both sides, see both sides. We as a nation need really not be devided by if we are Rep or Dem.
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59. bdenyer
7:00 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
I have a problem with this phrase: "online free info from NOAA, Navy, NHS & etc. as well as our daily forcasts from NWS". You say that it is free, but it is not. You should realize that someone is paying for it--and thanks to the wonderful, progressive tax system in this country, some are paying more than others. The government has monopolized weather-related industries for long enough; privatization is long overdue. And please, this is a WEATHER blog, enough about the president and his evil henchmen in congress trying to screw the common man. Some of you people really don't understand how ignorant you are coming off.
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