March 22, 2017
People routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 113. That’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 parts per billion of hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) in water.
Nevertheless, Cr-6 is a handy weapon in radical environmentalists’ war on coal, because it is found in fly ash from coal-fired generating plants, and many people are easily terrified by "detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina both set the same allowable Cr-6 limits, and health experts note that the chemical comes not just from coal fly ash, but from natural rock formations across the USA.
However, anti-coal activists want absurdly low Cr-6 standards applied to all water. Perhaps even more absurd, they want utility companies to dig up millions of tons of coal ash, and haul it in tens of thousands of dump trucks, perhaps hundreds of miles … to who knows where? In whose backyard?
The silver-tongued liars’ playbook
Coal ash scare stories are the latest tactic in their long war on coal-fueled electricity generation
Coal-fired power plant scrubbers now remove 80-90 % of airborne particulate, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants. But that means "fly ash” and noncombustible residues (what we used to call clinkers) must be sent to landfills. That’s opened a new front for anti-energy activists, who use accidents, "detectable” pollutants in water, and scary stories about health threats to advance their agenda.
In 2008, a Tennessee Valley Authority earthen retainer dam near Knoxville ruptured, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of rain-soaked fly ash into a nearby river, lake and neighborhood. Twelve homes were damaged by the muck, which contained low levels of arsenic, cadmium and other metals. The TVA’s cleanup efforts were less than exemplary, as were its measures to prevent the accident in the first place.
Companies and regulators clearly must do more to prevent accidents and pollution – and more to educate people about the actual risks involved. With a new fly ash playbook being tested in North Carolina, Virginia and other states, as part of the war on coal and the keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground campaign, those informational efforts are vital.
Duke Energy operates 14 coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Carolina – and several large fly ash facilities. Like coal itself, the ash contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6 or Cr-6) and other metals that can be toxic to humans in high doses. Blazing temperatures bond the vast majority tightly in glassy vitrified ash, and well maintained impoundments ensure that few seep out.
However, tiny amounts can still escape into nearby surface waters and groundwater. Highly sensitive scientific instruments can now detect parts per trillion – the equivalent of a few seconds in 3,300 years. In 2016, an NC state toxicologist ruled that metallic levels detected in surface and ground water around the state were dangerously high. He blamed ash from coal-fired power plants and persuaded Tar Heel health officials to send "do not drink” letters to several hundred families living near coal ash disposal sites.
In his view, there is "no safe level” for exposure to Cr-6, and the state should slash its allowable level from 100 parts per billion down to 0.07 ppb (1,428 times lower). Other health officials reviewed the scientific literature, determined that amounts detected pose no health risk, noted that Cr-6 often seeps from natural rock formations into surface and ground water, and rescinded the warning letters. But the resulting controversy continues, and the company, regulators and politicians are trying to resolve it.
Duke Energy and many health experts maintain that Cr-6 levels found near the ash facilities (and miles away, from natural sources) are far below what cause health risks. But it wants to assuage concerns among families closest to the ash facilities. So the company offered to provide alternatives to their well water, by giving them access to public water sources or installing state-of-the-art home filtration systems.
In January 2017, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) granted preliminary approval to these company plans for homes within one-half-mile of a coal ash impoundment. Final approval is contingent on state health and environmental departments certifying that water provided via these systems meets "applicable” or "appropriate” standards for each location.
Now activists say Duke and other companies should move millions of tons of ash from multiple depositories. Not only would that involve hundreds of thousands of dump truck loads, millions of gallons of fuel, and huge trucks lumbering through towns and along back roads and highways. A far more basic question is: Take it where, exactly? Who would want it? Activists certainly offer no viable alternatives.
Companies previously proposed turning fly ash into cement blocks or gravel, for construction projects. Activists quickly nixed that option, even though it would involve virtually no contamination risks. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the real reason for all the vocal consternation is that these agitators simply want to drive coal out of business. Indeed, the same unaccountable, silver-tongued agitators also detest natural gas-generated electricity … and drilling and fracking to produce the gas. They oppose nuclear energy, and even want hydroelectric dams and power plants removed. They claim to support wind and solar, by conveniently ignoring the huge downsides pointed out here, here, here, here and elsewhere.
Forcing utility companies to spend billions relocating huge ash deposits to "lined, watertight landfills” (in someone else’s backyard) will bring no health or environmental benefits. But it will bankrupt companies, send electricity prices soaring, and hurt poor, minority and working class families the most.
If rates double from current costs in coal-reliant states like North Carolina and Virginia (9 cents per kilowatt-hour or less) to those in anti-coal New York or Connecticut (17 cents), families will have to pay $500-1,000 more annually for electricity. Hospitals, school districts, factories and businesses will have to spend additional thousands, tens of thousands or millions. Where will that money come from?
Virginia’s 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1,850,000 per year for electricity at 9 cents/kWh, but would pay $3,500,000 at 17 cents: a $1.6-million difference.
Will businesses have to lay off dozens or hundreds of employees, or close their doors? If they pass costs on to patients or customers, where will families find the extra cash? What will the poorest families do?
The war on coal, petroleum, nuclear and hydroelectric power is a callous, eco-imperialist war on reliable, affordable electricity, on jobs, and on poor and minority families. Policies that drive energy prices up drive people out of jobs, drive companies out of business, drive families into green-energy poverty.
Preventing ruptures and spills means selecting, building and maintaining the best possible ash landfill facilities. Safeguarding public water and health means properly addressing actual, proven toxicity risks.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina set allowable Cr-6 limits at 100 ppb for drinking water (equivalent to 100 seconds in 33 years or 4 cups in 660,000 gallons of water). The state also applies a 10 ppb standard for well water. No one applies a 0.07 ppb standard (70 parts per trillion).
In 2015, the NCDEQ tested 24 wells two to five miles from the nearest coal plant or coal ash deposit; 20 had Cr-6 levels above 0.07 ppb but far below 100 ppb, underscoring its diverse origins. May 2016 tests could not even detect the chemical in Greensboro water, the News & Record reported.
A 2016 Duke University study found that hexavalent chromium is prevalent in many North Carolina surface and ground waters. Some comes from coal ash deposits, but much is leached from igneous and other rocks found throughout the Piedmont region of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Other health experts note that Cr-6 is found in 70% to 90% of all water supplies in the United States. Applying a 0.07 ppb would mean telling hundreds of millions of Americans not to drink their water!
Moreover, studies have found that Cr-6 in water is safe even at 100 ppb or higher. A 2012 paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that regularly drinking water with 210 ppb of Cr-6 poses no health risks. (The real health problems involve airborne Cr-6.) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, US EPA and other studies buttress those findings.
Equally important, an ability to detect a substance does not mean it poses a risk. Cancer is certainly scary, but the risk of getting cancer is not the same as dying from it. And people routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the National Safety Council puts the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash at 1 in 113; that’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 ppb Cr-6 in water. Drinking and smoking fall into the same category.
However, all too many people seem easily terrified by "detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. 100% clean is not necessary, not possible, not found in nature and not a sound basis for public policy.
Coal and chemical controversies like these offer our nation, states and communities excellent opportunities to find novel solutions that recognize sound science, hidden agendas, often limited options, and undesirable repercussions of poorly informed policy decisions. Let’s hope they are up to the task.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment.
People like thinking the best of themselves, which is partially why we have "trigger warnings,” https://www.google.com/#q=trigger+warning&*&dobs=trigger%20warning "microaggressions” https://www.google.com/#q=microaggression&*&dobs=microaggression and claims of "taking offense” -- so these complainers don’t have to come to terms with the fact they’re spoiled, self-absorbed, tyrannical brats.
Here’s how it works: when accusing you of "microaggressing,” the truth is that, generally, these snowflakes just don’t happen to like what you’re saying. But shouting "Shut up! I hate that type of expression!” makes you seem intolerant. So to preserve your image and self-image, you use the ploy of shifting the onus onto the one whose speech you want to suppress.
Note that actual ideas are often targeted. Examples are "I believe the most qualified person should get the job” and "Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough,” which academia has identified as "racial microaggressions.” http://www.theblaze.com/news/2015/06/27/classic-tip-encouraging-hard-work-now-considered-a-racial-microaggression-by-college/ The principle is: if you can’t refute it, boot it.
Since coining psychobabble terms is in today, I’ll label this onus-switching "Oppression Transference.” The snowflake oppressor stifles the speech of his victim by making the latter seem the oppressor -- a microaggressor, an agent of triggered feelings or offender in chief.
Another major factor is that, lacking the power of the state, the snowflake has to use social pressure to impose his will. He might just put you in a gulag were he a Stalin, but he’s not, so he shackles you with political correctness.
Since snowflakes pride themselves on tolerance, it should be emphasized that they don’t even understand the concept. "Tolerance” always implies the abiding of a perceived negative. You’d likely never have to tolerate a fine car or delectable meal, but you would have to tolerate a stubborn cold or bad weather (unless you’re a masochist).
In other words, if, let’s say, you like homosexual behavior or just don’t care about it, that’s not called tolerance; it’s called affinity or indifference. A prerequisite for tolerating it is considering it a negative.
Thus, the true measure of tolerance is how well you handle things you don’t like. And pro tip: if you’re so triggered by "Where are you from?” and "You speak English really well” -- which are also labeled microaggressions -- that you participate in a Stalinesque effort to purge such things from discourse, you’re not just not tolerant; you’re not even tolerable.
Snowflakes are also pathetically self-centered and self-absorbed. If your feelings are hurt by the terms "black hole” or "man up,” well, you need to man up. If you think The Great Gatsby, Mrs. Dalloway, or The Merchant of Venice needs a trigger warning, you’re not just a sniveling little wimp. You also haven’t learned an important life lesson once imparted during toddlerhood: Your feelings just aren’t that important.
There are seven billion people on this planet with seven billion sets of feelings. When snowflakes demand their feelings be the arbiters of policy, they’re saying that their emotions should be preeminent, with others who feel contrary being subordinate. Worse still, they’re saying that their feelings, which are subjective, should trump what should be the yardstick for policy: the objective, principles such as the imperative of encouraging the expression of Truth.
This is the crux of the matter. Saying that something originating within you (feelings) should take precedence over Truth, which exists outside of you, is a universal and is meant to be feelings’ arbiter, is the epitome of self-centeredness.
There is the occasional academic who stands against the snowflake phenomenon, such as Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s great president, Dr. Everett Piper, who penned an open letter to his students titled "This is Not a Daycare. It’s a University!” But modern universities, which now resemble dens of iniquity where all the hookers have Ph.Ds, are generally the problem. http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/
For instance, the term "microaggressions” was popularized by a Columbia University professor, Derald Wing Sue, who got the idea from a more original Ivy League lunkhead. Brown University was content to let students establish "a ‘safe space’ that offered calming music, cookies, Play-Doh, and a video of frolicking puppies to help students cope…,” reported the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/12022041/How-political-correctness-rules-in-Americas-student-safe-spaces.htmlAnd institutions of lower learning have created charts of microaggressions so all us bigots can know what not to say. An example is the following from the University of Wisconsin:
As for trigger warnings, there’s an interesting thing about them. The people complaining about the "graphic violence” in The Great Gatsby weren’t raised in a cloistered Amish cocoon; they grew up imbibing the most violent, perverse Hollywood fare imaginable. So I suspect that what really bothers them is something else -- such as the more traditional paradigm for society older works portray.
Tragically, the "educators” facilitating snowflakism are ignorant of the harm they do. The University of North Carolina warns that saying to a woman "I love your shoes!” or "nterrupting a female-identified colleague…” can be a microaggression. So can saying to "a person of African descent: "Can I touch your hair?’” because it sends the message "Your appearance is exotic and foreign to me.”
Okay, but what if my appearance really is exotic and foreign to the person? When I was 19, I visited a rural Taiwanese town, a place where homes still had straw roofs. I was brought to the elementary school, and it just so happened that the children had recess. Circling around me curiously, it was plain they’d never personally seen a blondish white person before. The friend I was with told me they wanted to shake my hand, and, after extending it, it wasn’t long before I had a dozen Chinese lads on each arm screaming and pulling me like it was a tug-of-war. It was a fun experience I’ll never forget.
The point is that this curiosity is normal. And here’s another life lesson: If you can’t understand that or are offended by it, you’re abnormal. Thankfully, this abnormality can be cured.
But here’s where the harm lies. Is a couple, or two friends, closer when there’s nothing they can’t discuss? Or when many subjects are off limits and they must walk on eggs?
By creating the latter situation, the snowflake enablers are actually building walls between people. When you can’t acknowledge obvious differences among people -- whether they relate to race, ethnicity, sex, religion or something else -- you’re playing pretend. Another word for this is pretense, which has as a synonym "charade.” Also note one of its antonyms: honesty.
How do you combat trigger-warning tyranny? Stop being defensive. The people effecting it are trying to shut you up as they purge Truth from your tongue. They’re using social warfare against you, so strike back; fight fire with fire and put the onus on them. Call them what they are: intolerant, spoiled, self-centered, evil tyrants. Take no prisoners.
Only when these oppressors masquerading as victims are stilling their tongues, fearing the scorn, ostracism and possible career destruction threatening sane people today, will we know we’ve made America great again. Remember, people who cannot be reasoned with, can only be fought.
Sorry for light blogging folks; I have a lot on my plate right now. I promise for some new posts tomorrow - or I hope so, at any rate.
March 21, 2017
Greg Walcher has been deeply involved in forest management and other natural resource policy issues for decades. In this article, he assesses the current sad state of our national forests – and the policies that too often make the situation even worse – and asks a simple question:
Are we willing to do anything to improve our forests and wildlife habitats, and in the process perhaps address climate change, except the one thing that might help the most? It’s a question that deserves some serious thought and robust debate.
A serious climate opportunity
Why does government refuse to do the one thing that would help our forests and climate?
For years, politicians have waged war on coal, stifled oil and gas production, and advocated carbon taxes and other extreme measures to reduce carbon dioxide, while ignoring one of the most important things they could do to help.
It reminds me of my own lifelong battle with weight and the associated health issues. I get so frustrated that I sometimes swear I would do anything – anything! – to lose weight. Well, anything except eat less and exercise. But anything else.
That same kind of hypocrisy surrounds rants about our carbon dioxide emissions. Even people who are "deeply concerned” about dangerous manmade climate change drive cars, heat their homes, and sometimes even turn on lights. They embrace modern living standards, while also embracing faddish environmental claims and policies that contribute mightily to problems they insist disturb them greatly.
A popular bumper sticker screams, "TREES ARE THE ANSWER.” Yet when it comes to managing our national forests, many of those same advocates look away, while millions of acres of once healthy trees die, fall down, rot or burn up.
It’s ironic, because those forests provide the world’s greatest resource for cleaning carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; because the rotting and fires themselves emit greenhouse gases; and because atmospheric carbon dioxide makes all plants grow faster and better and with improved tolerance to drought.
As Colorado State Forester Mike Lester testified recently before a state legislative committee, "When so many trees die and large wildfires follow, our forests quickly turn from a carbon sink into a carbon source.” Trees absorb carbon dioxide as people absorb oxygen, and that balance is critical to sustaining life, as we all learned in grade school.
Yet instead of doing everything in our power to make sure we have abundant thriving forests of healthy trees, we allow them to die and burn and thus belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.
Lester’s excellent testimony accompanied the release of the Colorado State Forest Service’s annual Report on the Health of Colorado Forests. This year’s assessment is the worst ever, and hardly anybody noticed. There was no outcry from global warming alarmists around the world, as there should have been. In fact, their silence on this issue is deafening. And it’s not just Colorado. It’s every state, and beyond.
The more concerned people are about climate change, the more they should be interested in active management to restore forest health. Yet many of the groups pushing urgent climate policies are the same groups that continue to fight logging, tree thinning and other management necessary for healthy forests. The result is more of the same disasters we have seen unfolding for over 20 years: dead and dying forests, catastrophic wildfires, habitat devastation, loss of human property and lives, and destruction of wildlife.
The new forest health report shows that over the last seven years, the number of dead standing trees in Colorado forests increased almost 30 percent, to an estimated 834 million dead trees. There are billions across the other Rocky Mountain States.
The report makes clear that this continuing trend of tree mortality can lead to large, intense wildfires that totally incinerate and obliterate forests, soils and wildlife. In fact, it is only a matter of time before this happens, if the U.S. Forest Service does not act.
Ironically, the most productive forest health restoration projects in Colorado have been partnerships of the State Forester with water providers like Denver Water, Northern Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. That’s because 80 percent of Colorado’s population depends on water that comes from the national forests.
However, the U.S. Forest Service, which owns almost all of the forestland in the State, continues to work with its hands tied behind its back, its timber programs woefully underfunded and vast sums syphoned off every year for fire suppression. Fire control ought to be funded separately, so that active management of healthy forests is not the perpetually lowest priority.
The Forest Service spends a fortune on planning, writing reports, and defending itself against environmental lawsuits, leaving few funds for what it is really supposed to be doing.
What a golden opportunity for the new Congress and Trump Administration. Reversing this demoralizing trend would restore forests, protect and increase wildlife, bring back thousands of forest products jobs, revitalize rural economies, and do more to reduce carbon dioxide than any previous policy.
The previous Administration created the Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, and Regional Climate Change Hubs, maintained a Climate Change Adaptation Library, mapped drought frequency and intensity, and created massive reports blaming humans for climate change. One study was a vulnerability assessment for the Southwest and California, titled "Southwest Regional Climate Hub and Climate Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies.”
All this activity is impressive, and scientific study will always play a role. But none of it actually affects climate change. Growing healthy trees would. Can we get back to that?
Or like me and my weight problem, are we willing to do anything to address climate change and improve our forests and wildlife habitats, except the one thing that might help the most?
Greg Walcher is president of the Natural Resources Group and author of "Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back.” He is a former secretary of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
The Social Cost of Carbon is a key foundation for numerous Obama-era energy policies, regulations and programs. Climate alarm activists insist the SCC is rooted in solid science and economics, but it is actually little more than Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting – and worse.
The SCC assumes fossil-fuel-driven carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous manmade climate change, and blames U.S. emissions for every conceivable climate-related cost worldwide. But it fails even to mention, much less analyze, the tremendous and obvious benefits of using oil, gas and coal to power modern civilization – or the undeniable benefits of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere helping crops and habitats grow faster and better. Finally, the SCC totally ignores the social, economic, employment and environmental costs of the regulations imposed in the name of saving the planet by converting America to a totally carbon-free energy system.
The social cost of carbon regulations
Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor
Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek
"If you could pick just one thing to reduce poverty, by far you would pick energy,” Bill Gates has said. "Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” World Bank VP Rachel Kyte and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen agree.
The UN Development Program also calls energy "central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that "coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so.
Indeed, fossil fuels created the modern world and the housing, transportation, other technologies and living standards so many of us take for granted. They are essential for electricity and life, and over the past 250 years they more than doubled average life expectancy in countries that took advantage of them.
But the Obama Administration and radical environmentalists despise fossil fuels and used every tactic they could devise to eliminate them. One of their most important schemes was the "social cost of carbon.”
Federal agencies used the SCC to calculate the "hidden costs” of carbon dioxide emissions associated with fossil fuel use, by assigning a dollar value to every ton of CO2 emitted by power plants, factories, homes, vehicles and other sources. However, the entire process was little more than junk science and Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting.
First, each ton of U.S. emissions averted would initially have prevented a hypothetical $25/ton in global societal costs allegedly resulting from dangerous manmade climate change: less coastal flooding and tropical disease, fewer droughts and extreme weather events, for example. But within three years regulators arbitrarily increased the SCC to around $40/ton.
That made it easier to justify the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement, and countless Obama Era actions on electricity generation, fracking, methane, pipelines, vehicle mileage and appliance efficiency standards, livestock operations, carbon taxes, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies.
Second, the supposed bedrock for the concept is the now rapidly shifting sands of climate chaos theory. New questions are arising almost daily about data quality and manipulation, the degree to which carbon dioxide affects global temperatures, the complex interplay of solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces, and the inability of computer models to predict temperatures, sea level rise or hurricanes.
Meanwhile, as the 2015-16 El Nino dissipated, average global temperatures rapidly fell back almost to their 1998-2014 level, according to Britain’s Met Office and other experts. That means there has been no measurable planetary warming for 18 years. Nor are other predicted disasters happening in the real world.
That means the very notion that U.S. emissions impose major climate costs is increasingly indefensible. Moreover, developing nations are burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide at many times the U.S. rate; that means even eliminating their use in America would have no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.
Third, the SCC scheme blames American emissions for supposed costs worldwide (even though U.S. CO2 emissions are actually declining). It incorporates almost every conceivable cost of oil, gas and coal use on crops, forests, coastal cities, property damage, "forced migration,” and human health, nutrition and disease. However, it utterly fails to mention, much less analyze, tremendous and obvious carbon benefits.
That violates a 1993 Bill Clinton executive order requiring that federal agencies assess both benefits and costs of proposed regulations. It is also irrational, and completely contrary to human experience.
Fossil fuels created the modern world and lifted billions out of destitution and disease. They supply over 80% of the energy that powers United States and other modern civilizations; they will continue doing so for decades to come. They generate up to $70 trillion in annual global GDP.
Using readily available data on global living standards, economies, disease, nutrition, life spans and other benefits – and the government’s own SCC cost figures and methodologies – we estimate that carbon benefits exceed costs by orders of magnitude: at least 50 to 1 and as much as 500 to 1!
The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that fossil fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when the total amount of energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today. That means these notable benefit-cost ratios will continue. The Obama Era SCC ignores all of this, too.
Fourth, SCC schemes likewise impute only costs to carbon dioxide emissions. However, as thousands of scientific studies verify, rising levels of this miracle molecule are "greening” the Earth – reducing deserts, and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. No matter which government report or discount rate is used, asserted social costs of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere are infinitesimal compared to its estimated benefits.
Fifth, government officials claim they can accurately forecast damages to the world’s climate, economies, civilizations, populations and ecosystems from U.S. carbon dioxide emissions over the next three centuries. They say we must base today’s energy policies, laws and regulations on those forecasts.
The notion is delusional and dangerous. The rate of change in energy generation and other technologies has become exponential over the past several decades, with forecasting ability declining at an equal rate. Uncertainties over man and nature-driven climate changes during the next 300 years are equally colossal. Combining all the SCC assumptions, methodologies, fabrications and omissions, and injecting its absurd predictions into high-speed computer models, just means bogus forecasts are generated more quickly.
Finally, the most fundamental issue isn’t even the social cost of carbon. It is the costs inflicted on society by anti-carbon regulations. Those rules replace fossil fuel revenues with renewable energy subsidies; reliable, affordable electricity with unreliable power that costs two to three times as much; and mines, drill holes, cropland and wildlife habitats with tens of millions of acres of wind, solar and biofuel "farms.”
Anti-carbon rules are designed to drive energy de-carbonization and modern nation de-industrialization. Perhaps worst, their impacts fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families. Those families spend proportionately three to ten times more of their incomes on energy than families earning $50,000 to $250,000 a year. They have little discretionary income and face the greatest risk of having their electricity cut off – as happened to 330,000 families during 2015 in ultra-green Germany. Worldwide, billions of people still do not have electricity – and the SCC would keep them deprived of its benefits.
Bureaucrats, activists, scientists and corporate rent-seekers certainly welcome the SCC mumbo-jumbo. They have profited the most from the countless billions that Obama regulatory agencies lavished on them every year, and from the tens of billions that Mr. Obama stashed in dozens of agencies, programs and crannies throughout the government, so they couldn’t easily be found or cut.
Above all, they would profit massively from the $93 trillion that the Financial Stability Board’s climate task force says the world must spend in low-carbon infrastructure programs over the next 15 years, as part of the Obama-UN-FSB-Climate Crisis, Inc. plan to de-carbonize and de-industrialize the planet.
Taxpayers, consumers and families would be hammered if the Climate Cabal got even more power over energy policies, economic growth, livelihoods and living standards. Thankfully, eliminating the social cost of carbon and programs implemented under it requires little more than applying the same rules and standards that government regulators have imposed on Volkswagen, Fiat and Wall Street dishonesty.
That is why the Trump Administration is challenging the SCC, climate cataclysm deception, and the bloated EPA budget behind so much of it. It’s why the House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight Subcommittees held a hearing on the SCC, and why we and other experts will eviscerate it during the upcoming Heartland Institute 12th International Climate Conference in Washington, DC.
It’s time to rescind and defund the SCC – and replace it with honest, objective cost-benefit analyses.
Roger Bezdek is an internationally recognized energy analyst and president of Management Information Services, Inc. Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and human rights.
March 20, 2017
Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, writes a scathing letter criticizing the 20 states Attorney General who have launched a climate crusade and which his committee has been investigating. He has been met by a wall of silence, despite the demands of these same AG's for transparency where oil companies and "deniers" are concerned. He has reserved his big guns for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, both of whom he suspects of taking money (lots of it) from the Green lobby.
According to Congressman Smith:
"For nearly a year, the congressional committee I lead has been trying to understand the effects of these investigations on scientific research. Unfortunately, the attorneys general have obstructed our inquiry at every turn. Last July, after two months of unanswered requests for information, the committee issued subpoenas to Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Healey.
The subpoenas asked for communications between Green 20 offices and environmental activists. This would show the level of coordination in this campaign to harass and silence scientists who challenge prevailing climate-change orthodoxies. The attorneys general have refused to comply, hiding behind vague excuses."
Mr. Smith is particularly worried about the chilling affect these investigations will have on government-funded scientific research; it is clear that these AG's want to silence honest scientists who disagree with the politically approved paradigm of global warming.
"The hypocrisy of the attorneys general here is evident—though perhaps understandable. Mr. Schneiderman has accepted nearly $300,000 in campaign donations from environmentalist donors, including members of the Soros family. He has also used the investigation as a way to curry favor with anti-Exxon billionaire Tom Steyer for a potential gubernatorial run, according to the New York Post.
Perhaps Mr. Schneiderman is afraid of what the House committee might confirm in the course of its investigation. Is he using his public office to advance the priorities of interest groups that support his personal political ambitions?
The American people deserve to know how Mr. Schneiderman’s and Ms. Healey’s actions affect the nation’s scientific community. By refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, they have shown they have something to hide.
To borrow their premise, this obstruction is a coverup—and they must be held accountable for their hypocrisy. On Feb. 16, the House committee reissued the subpoenas, as is customary at the beginning of a new Congress. Although the attorneys general have not yet made any effort to cooperate, I remain hopeful that they will act in accordance with their public statements about transparency and accountability and will comply with the committee’s investigation."
Indeed, the global warming swindle has been quite lucrative for many scientists who have profited both personally and professionally from the vast sums of money poured into climatology as a result of the global warming scare. National Review covered this money trail.
From the article:
" The federal government — which will gain unprecedented regulatory power if climate legislation is passed — has funded scientific research to the tune of $32.5 billion since 1989, according the Science and Public Policy Institute. That is an amount that dwarfs research contributions from oil companies and utilities, which have historically funded both sides of the debate.
(Global Warming Alarmist Scientist Michael) Mann, for example, has received some $6 million, mostly in government grants — according to a study by The American Spectator — including $500,000 in federal stimulus money while he was under investigation for his Climategate e-mails."
mann isn't alone in this. And there is a dark network of billionaires and shadowy foundations (such as George Soros' Tides Foundation) that funds Climate Alarmism at a prodigious rate. See this chart for a detailed analysis of the Gang Greenhouse funding and see here for a comparative analysis of government funding for Leftist Environmental groups compared to similar conservative organizations. It is eye-opening.
And then there is this from the U.K. Guardian:
"Starting in 2009, the Energy Department has employed three funding and loan programs – along with pressure from President Obama and Vice President Biden – to monetize 33 projects. Section 1705 of the 2009 Recovery Act; Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and the 1603 Treasury Program. 1705 and the ATVM have guaranteed $34.5 billion in taxpayer money, which has given America such notable losers as Solyndra, Fisker Automotive, Beacon Power, the Vehicle Production Group, Abound Solar and SoloPower. There are more "green” sinkholes out there still, waiting to implode.
Treasury Program 1603 alone awarded free taxpayer cash to campaign donors cum green energy execs to the tune of $19,349,675,402.00 How is private money supposed to compete with those kinds of numbers?"
"A survey of 3247 US research scientists who address global warming causes – all publicly funded through the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services – published in the science journal Nature, showed that 503 of them admitted to altered the design, methodology or results of their studies, due to pressure from funding sources. Those were just the scientists willing to be honest; it is safe to assume a much larger number."
And James Hansen, Godfather of the Global Warming War of the Worlds hysteria has made out quite well. winning a "prize from the Heinz Foundation worth $250,000 and was co-winner of the Dan David Prize worth a million smackers. As Jeff Jacoby points out:
"Other awards have gone to other prophets of doom. And the potential rewards don't stop there. For those who toe the politically correct line on global warming, there have been big book contracts, hefty speaking fees, worshipful magazine profiles, softball TV interviews. Should any of that call their objectivity into question?"
So Mr. Hansen, who once dishonestly tried to claim the Bush Administration was "muzzling him" while he was touring to promote Global Warming alarmism on NASA's dime, has made out like a bandit. So have so many other "objective scientists" .That
Remember, Climatology was a dreary backwater discipline, a branch of meteorology until the global warming scare came along (after global cooling fell on it's face). Now it is big money, and if you want to play you had better bray. A researcher who says "well, the Earth has warmed a very miniscule amount but it is not statistically significant and our research doesn't suggest it is anthropogenic" will wind up teaching high school science in Peoria Illinois. It's doom or die.
Which makes any opposition research not just a crisis but a first rate emergency to the whole racketeering scheme. That is why it was vital that the force of Law be used to silence critics of the hysteria - and why Democratic Attorneys General have tried to impose the most onerous legal sanctions. It is a protection racket worthy of Al Capone.
Jeff Sessions should look into racketeering charges against THEM!
See also this for more on the big score made by the enviro lobby.
Here is a paper delineating new research of the carbon cycle. The authors conclude that CO2 only stays in the atmosphere FOR FOUR YEARS and that human industrial emissions have contributed a scant 15% of atmospheric CO2 in the industrial era - just 4.3@ of the total atmospheric CO2. That's 4.3% of a trace gas that constitutes 0.038% of the planet's atmosphere!
Compare this to the hysterical claims that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of thousands (and some of the Gang Green will even try to claim millions) of years; a four year turnover is not something that should force us to fundamentally transform human civilization into a low power, stratified, world system. The environmental lobby wants us to throw the baby out with the bathwater because the water has some soap in it.
Poverty kills, and schemes to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions will absolutely lead to increased poverty, especially among the poorest on Earth. The Left's plan to deal with that is to simply take wealth away from the proudctive First World and give it to the poor (at a time when the First World will become less productive thanks to the strangling regulations the Environmentalists seek to impose.) In the end poverty will hit SOMEBODY. Liberals want it to strike the formerly wealthy West, a punishment for being rich. That helps nobody - not the rich, the middle class, nor the poor. Restraints and restrictions lead to less productivity. In the end, that leads to more poverty, and womena and minorities will assuredly be the hardest hit. Poverty kills.
But nobody dies from 0.2 molecules per 10,000 of air increases. Nobody.
If people want to save the world they would be better served INCREASING our carbon dioxide output; it would mean greater wealth for all, which would mean more for the poor. Oh, and perhaps we should worry a bit more about thermonuclear war, which is a rising possibility as countries like Iran and North Korea move inexorably toward the abilty to nuke other countries. Sufficient unto the day, as the Bible says.
Hat tip: Helen Dyer
San Jose Residents Suffer ‘Heartbreak’ After ‘Failure’ by Anti-Trump Mayor
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who infamously blamed Donald Trump for bloody anti-Trump riots in his city last June, is facing increasing criticism from residents affected by last month’s floods, which he admitted were a "failure” for the city.
Liccardo, a Democrat, and his administration failed to warn local residents when Coyote Creek swelled. One local resident tried to warn his neighbors before toxic waters — including fuel and sewage — inundated their neighborhood. In the end, many of the 14,000 locals who were forced to flee did not realize the threat until it was too late and they had to be rescued.
The San Jose Mercury News reports:
It’s been nearly one month since the catastrophic Coyote Creek flooding, but the repairs have just begun for most residents, who are left to grapple with mounting repair bills, unstable housing situations, severe health risks and an overwhelming resentment toward city and Santa Clara Valley Water District officials they felt could’ve done more.
Since his ignominious role in the June debacle, Mayor Liccardo has been at the forefront of opposing the Trump administration on every issue. However, he faces a mounting administrative and political crisis.
Read the Mercury News‘ full account of survivors’ frustration here.
What Biblical tale does this remind one of? I'd say the first of ten problems that plagued a certain Egyptian ruler, namely....
1 - Blood
When Pharaoh persisted in his refusal to: liberate the children of Israel, Moses and Aaron warned him that G‑d would punish both him and his people. First, the waters of the land of Egypt were to be turned into blood. Moses walked with Aaron to the brink of the river. There Aaron raised his staff, struck the water, and converted them into streams of blood. All the people of Egypt and the King himself beheld this miracle; they saw the fish die as the blood flowed over the land, and they turned with disgust from the offensive smell of the sacred river. It was impossible for them to drink of the water of the Nile, far-famed for its delicious taste; and they tried to dig deep into the ground for water. Unfortunately for the Egyptians, not only the floods of the Nile but all the waters of Egypt, wherever they were, turned to blood. The fish died in the rivers and lakes, and for a whole week man and beast suffered horrible thirst. Yet Pharaoh would not give in.
I wonder if the late Charlton Heston is now talking things over with Moses and arranging certain things to happen to Northern California Democrats. And I wonder if it will start raining frogs and hail in San Jose soon...
March 19, 2017
Thomas Jefferson letter to Charles Hammond
August 18, 1821
It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression . . . that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; . . . working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.
It has been rightly pointed out by a number of individuals that Federal law gives absolute authority to the President of the United States in matters of immigration and determinations of the national security implications of said immigration and travel. Despite this fact, a Federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from implementing temporary travel restrictions on citizens of countries that pose a potential security threat to the United States. (This after Mr. Trump attempted to accommodate the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by changing the terms of the order to comply with the Court's demands.) The word overreach is far too tame for what this judge and the 9th Circuit have done; it is a complete usurpation of power.
First, some background; the Trump travel ban was originally struck down by Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York, a woman appointed by Barack Obama in 2014 and by Judge James Robart in Seattle. It was then upheld by the most ridiculous court in the land, the 9th Circuit, which took the view that since Mr. Trump promised to restrict Muslims from coming here he is somehow a bigot and not entitled to fulfill his pledge, law or precedent be damned. In other words, the Court simply disagreed with Trump's views. After reworking the order (with the help of legal experts) another judge - Hawaii punchy Derrick Watson - who was a 2013 appointee of Osama’s and an old colleague of the former Il Duce at Harvard Law.
According to the U.K. Guardian:
"There are indications, though, that Watson’s viewpoint may have been further influenced by his Hawaiian heritage and his long record of advocacy for immigrant rights and civil rights. While with a San Francisco law firm in the early 2000s, he devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono cases defending the rights of Mexican restaurant workers being held in slave-like conditions and to landlord-tenant disputes.
The complaint filed by Hawaii’s attorney general against the Trump travel ban contained an explicit reference to some of the most painful chapters in the islands’ history – the Chinese Exclusion Acts and the imposition of martial law and internment of Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At the time, the US supreme court upheld the government’s argument – similar to Trump’s – that it had the executive authority to defend national security as it saw fit. But the court’s ruling in Korematsu v United States has since been described as a "stain on American jurisprudence” and has been widely repudiated in federal court rulings if never explicitly overturned."
Do they really want to discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act? Well, legal precedent is not on their side here.
In Fong Yue Ting v. United States (1893) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/149/698/case.html The Supreme Court ruled that The U.S. has the right to refuse to admit a foreigner and to compel a foreigner to leave and that deportation (or refusal of admittance) is not a punishment but a right of sovereignty held by the U.S.
The syllabus to the ruling reads:
"The right to exclude or to expel aliens, or any class of aliens, absolutely or upon certain conditions, in war or in peace, is an inherent and inalienable right of every sovereign nation.
In the United States, the power to exclude or to expel aliens is vested in the political departments of the National Government, and is to be regulated by treaty or by act of Congress, and to be executed by the executive authority according to the regulations so established, except so far as the Judicial Department is authorized by treaty or by statute, or is required by the Constitution, to intervene.
The power of Congress to expel, like the power to exclude, aliens, or any specified class of aliens, from the country, may be exercised entirely through executive officers; or Congress may call in the aid of the Judiciary to ascertain any contested facts on which an alien's right to remain in the country has been made by Congress to depend.
Congress has the right to provide a system of registration and identification of any class of aliens within the country, and to take all proper means to carry out that system.
The provisions of an act of Congress, passed in the exercise of its constitutional authority, must, if clear and explicit, be upheld by the courts, even in contravention of stipulations in an earlier treaty"
Then there is this:
1) Due Process does not require judicial fact-finding.
(2) Knauff: Π an alien wife of a U.S. citizen. Finding of court was that she was inadmissible and was excluded from entry. The Court classified her admission as a privilege rather than a right and characterized the exclusion of an alien as a fundamental sovereign act "inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation.”
(3) If entry would be prejudicial and alien is determined to be a danger then reasons can be kept secret as to why alien has been denied access.
(4) "Whatever the procedure authorized by Congress is, it is due process as far as an alien denied entry is concerned.” (p.47)
In short, the Courts do not have jurisdiction here.
And then there is Shaughnessy v. United States ex rel. Mezei.https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/345/206/case.html In Shaughnessy the Courts ruled that THEY do not have authority to allow a resident alien back into the country - only the Attorney General can make the determination.
Held: the Attorney General's continued exclusion of the alien without a hearing does not amount to an unlawful detention, and courts may not temporarily admit him to the United States pending arrangements for his departure abroad. Pp. 345 U. S. 207-216.
(a) In exclusion cases, the courts cannot retry the Attorney General's statutory determination that an alien's entry would be prejudicial to the public interest. Pp. 345 U. S. 210-212.
(b) Neither an alien's harborage on Ellis Island nor his prior residence in this country transforms the administrative proceeding against him into something other than an exclusion proceeding, and he may be excluded if unqualified for admission under existing immigration laws. P. 345 U. S. 213.
(c) Although a lawfully resident alien may not captiously be deprived of his constitutional rights to due process, the alien in this case is an entrant alien or "assimilated to that status" for constitutional purposes. Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding, 344 U. S. 590, distinguished. Pp. 345 U. S. 213-214.
(d) The Attorney General therefore may exclude this alien without a hearing, as authorized by the emergency regulations promulgated pursuant to the Passport Act, and need not disclose the evidence upon which that determination rests. Pp. 345 U. S. 214-215.
What is especially galling is that Barack Obama banned immigration from the same Muslim countries that Trump has now done - and there was no outrage as we are now witnessing. According to Townhall Trump is using the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorism Travel Prevention Act - signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama - to restrict travel from the very countries Mr. Obama designated. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/01/29/news-bulletin-the-list-of-muslim-nations-in-trumps-socalled-muslim-ban-are-ones-obama-choose-n2278021
There was nary a peep from the activists posing as judges in this case about Obama's program.
Ignored completely is U.S. code 1187 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1187 which clearly grants the Director of Homeland Security the authority to ban certain foreign nationals from traveling to the U.S. without a Visa (as refugees do.) . https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1187
Of course, there is code 1182 which reads in part:
(A) In general Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in—
any activity (I) to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or (II) to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,
any other unlawful activity, or
any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,
(i) In general
An alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible.
(and now comes the big kicker_:
(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
In Roberto Saavedra Bruno, et al. v. Madeleine Albright The D.C. Court of Appeals said:
"Administrative Conference of the United States, which had
proposed the specific language enacted as s 702(1), explained
that the courts would still refuse "to decide issues about
foreign affairs, military policy and other subjects inappropri-
ate for judicial action." 1 Recommendations and Reports of
the Administrative Conference 191, 225. On the same sub-
ject, the Administrative Conference pointed out that "much of
the law of unreviewability consists of marking out areas in
which legislative action or traditional practice indicate that
courts are unqualified or that issues are inappropriate for
judicial determination." Id.
These considerations underlie the Court's long-standing
recognition that "any policy toward aliens is vitally and
intricately interwoven with contemporaneous policies in re-
gard to the conduct of foreign relations, the war power, and
the maintenance of a republican form of government. Such
matters are so exclusively entrusted to the political branches
of government as to be largely immune from judicial inquiry
or interference." Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580,
588-89 (1952); see also Reno v. American-Arab Comm., 119
S. Ct. 936, 947 (1999). Though it may be "error to suppose
that every case or controversy which touches foreign relations
lies beyond judicial cognizance," Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186,
211 (1962), it is nevertheless "not within the province of any
court, unless expressly authorized by law, to review the
determination of the political branch of the Government to
exclude a given alien." United States ex rel. Knauff v.
Shaughnessy, 338 U.S. 537, 543 (1950).8
In view of the political nature of visa determinations and of
the lack of any statute expressly authorizing judicial review of
consular officers' actions, courts have applied what has be-
come known as the doctrine of consular nonreviewability.
The doctrine holds that a consular official's decision to issue
or withhold a visa is not subject to judicial review, at least
unless Congress says otherwise.9 For the greater part of this
And here is another point to ponder; Donald Trump did not even take this action, but rather the Director of Homeland Security did. The judges in these cases have laid all blame on Mr.Trump, using his campaign rhetoric as their guide. But as this article in The Atlantic pointed out about Barack Obama's DAPA program:
"Here’s the thing: No one should have been confused about "whether the president had lawful authority to [promulgate DAPA].” The president did not—but that’s legally irrelevant. Obama’s legal authority is not at issue in the case. Really. Truly. Not even a little bit. Obama did not take the legally relevant action; Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson did. It’s a program of which he is the legal author and for which he, not the president, is legally accountable. Politically and institutionally, this is a critically important difference.
Johnson inferred that he had the authority to exercise this program from statutes enacted by Congress. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, for example, explicitly charges the DHS secretary with "establishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” Other statutes suggest Congress approves of deferred-action policies. The arguments for and against the secretary’s use of his powers are complicated and technical, but they are arguments about statutory authority, not Article II of the Constitution or the scope of presidential prerogative. Put simply, the question is whether Johnson is reading statutes properly."
Get it? Obama was excused from responsibility because Jeh Johnson made the decisions and not his Wonder. But now the blame is being heaped on the President by liberal judges who have no right to make that assumption.
In fact, Trump had few choices open to him, as The Atlantic claims of Obama:
"He could not have forced Johnson to promulgate a program, however; in the face of impasse, Obama would be able only to fire this secretary and try to appoint another. When Obama refers to "his” powers or "my” actions, he mainly insures that all the opposition to the program, both legal and political, will get focused with laser-like intensity on him, rather than Johnson."
So why couldn't Obama force his DHS Secretary but Trump must? And if John F. Kelly is the architect of this policy why are the Courts holding Mr. Trump's campaign rhetoric to account in their rulings?
This was an absolutely terrible chain of decisions by partisan hacks. The plaintiffs had no standing in the case. Also, the U.S. Constitution is not an universalist document; it is inapplicable to foreign nationals. These courts were not just wrong but criminal in their contempt for American law. Congress should consider impeaching the judges involved.
If Mr. Trump simply ignores these rulings he would be well within his right, but a shift in power in Congress would guarantee his impeachment. There is the rub; this is an impeachment trap, and I suspect the Democrats and their trained bathrobe-wearing gibbons of jurisprudence know it. Trump does not want to walk into the trap. But he may have no choice here.
If the courts get away with this power grab they will have provoked a Constitutional crisis and forever changed the balance of power as it was intended in the Constitution. They have become legal anarchists, judicial pirates. One of the remedies given to the Presidency was to refuse to enforce a court ruling. Alexander Hamilton made that clear in Federalist #78. Obama did that with impunity. But times have changed.
These courts should change the style of their robes; they can keep the black, but they should emblazon the Jolly Roger in a prominent place. They have become little more than pirates, after all.
March 18, 2017
Mike Rowe, of "Dirty Jobs" fame on tv, briefly lays out the case for good jobs that are not filled today (he mentioned specialy mechanics at Caterpillar, for example) because - in part - we are telling our high school students that they must go to college and often major in liberal arts or general business management or gender studies rather than have any of them try to match their skills to mechanical or technical jobs because their high school guidance counselor thought these other jobs "aren't cool." And this is also part of the reason why many veterans are having trouble finding work and are unemployed or even homeless.
Mike Rowe has a foundation that deals with technical school scholarships, etc., which can be found at http://profoundlydisconnected.com
From 2013, a seven and a half minute Youtube video talking to Bill Maher.
Mike Rowe testifies in the U.S. Congress about how we have demonized hard work in our society and not publicized good paying jobs.
The first two and one half minutes of this 5.5 min. video on Youtube, as Mike Rowe tells a Congressman about something that can realistically be a way out of homelessness for unemployed veterans.
From Townhall. Written by Mark Meckler, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, Citizens for Self-Governance, and the Convention of States Project.
He says "I know the real Americans who have been working to make this nation great again before it was a campaign slogan. These aren’t just "likely voters." These are the folks who walk precincts, knock on doors, work candidates’ phone banks, donate money, support causes and disproportionately influence their friends and neighbors. In this nation, we pay more attention to the talking heads on television than these high level influencers, even though these grassroots activists have a disproportionate impact on both public opinion and the results of elections.
Maybe that’s why almost every "professional” political expert was gobsmacked by the election of Donald Trump?
Anyway, I asked these highly engaged activists some questions, because I know what they think matters. Within hours, thousands had responded from all fifty states. The results are far more important than whatever the pundit on CNN is telling you we think.
I wanted to get to the heart of what these activists are thinking. For example, I asked, "What letter grade would you give President Trump in terms of keeping his campaign promises to grassroots?” You might not have heard this statistic from any mainstream media report, but 67% gave Trump an "A."
Republican leaders didn’t fare quite as well. "What letter grade would you give Republican leaders for working with President Trump to keep his campaign promises?” I asked. Forty-one percent gave Republican leaders a "C."
More specifically, the grassroots are sick of Republicans in Congress. When I asked people to give letter grades to them based on their ability to fulfill legislative priorities, the results were even worse: 37% gave Republicans in Congress a "C" in that category.
Guess who scored lower than Republicans in Congress? The unelected "fourth branch” of government, which is supposed to provide healthy checks and balances on what’s going on in Washington, D.C., has been apoplectic over the new administration. Their hysteria has made normal Americans unwilling to trust them. When asked to score the members of the media on how well they’ve covered the goings on of the new administration, 79% gave them an "F."
"CNN and others in the mainstream media continue to beclown themselves with their outrageous bias,” one grassroots activist replied. Another said "the parsing, misdirection and contradictions are all very disturbing.” In particular, the "Russian hacking" story is ruining whatever shred of trust remained between reporters and citizens. One activist told me it is "absolutely a false narrative in order for the left to distract Trump and other conservatives from discovering the real story that Obama administration has been using the deep state and surveillance state to go after political rivals."But another group is even less popular than Republicans in Congress and members of the media. Democrats received the lowest scores for their inability or unwillingness to reach across the aisle and cooperate with the new leaders. "What letter grade would you give Democratic leaders for working with Republicans in Congress?” I asked. The mainstream media won’t tell you that Americans are sick and tired of their behavior. Three thousand five hundred and forty-seven respondents gave Democrats an F. Two hundred and eighty-eight mustered up a D for the highly partisan politicians. In a related question, the majority of respondents believe Democratic leaders refuse to accept the results of the election. (Note to Democrats, this was not intended to be a compliment.)
Now, dear readers, you know that when I post something, I usually leave the "meat" for you to discover by going to the main article, which is found here: https://townhall.com/columnists/markmeckler/2017/03/17/polling-the-grassroots-the-most-accurate-survey-the-media-wont-conduct-n2300585?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=
Now the military is using prisoners to make body armor, after their helmet-making failure:
Army Recruits Prisoners to Make Body Armor
Building parts for Patriot missile systems was just a warm-up, apparently, for a government-owned company that relies on federal inmates making as little as 23 cents an hour. On Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced that it handed Federal Prison Industries a no-bid, nearly $20 million contract to build body armor.
It’s the latest in a decades-long string of military deals for FPI, also known as Unicor. Over the years, the company has supplied parts for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the Cobra atta
ck helicopter, and the iconic Patriot interceptor system. (More about that in a second.)
But this deal is particularly odd, because FPI’s track record with protective equipment is, to put it generously, uneven. In May of last year, the Army recalled 44,000 FPI-made protective helmets after they failed ballistic testing. FPI then promptly got out of the helmet business.
That rather serious blemish on FPI’s record hasn’t stopped the Army from going back to the firm for $19,767,468’s worth of bulletproof "Outer Tactical Vests.” According to the Army’s contract announcement, the gear is supposed to be "for Pakistan” — presumably, for the Pakistani military. (Although a State Department told suppliers Wednesday that it wants 1,000 vests in Pakistan, too.)
Read the rest!
I bet some of these helmets are still around. And these helmets could have been made in private factories which would have given veterans job opportunities.
Federal inmates were hired to make combat helmets for the US military, but it did not go well
Federal-prison inmates in Beaumont, Texas, manufactured more than 100,000 defective helmets for the US military, even hiding some from inspection and sending others directly to the battlefield, according to a federal report by the US Department of Justice that was released on Wednesday.
The report, a joint effort by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), found multiple instances of fraud in the manufacturing and sale of Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH) and Lightweight Marine Corps Helmets (LMCH) produced through the program between 2006 and 2009.
The helmets had a slew of defects, "including serious ballistic failures...blisters and improper mounting-hole placement and dimensions, as well as helmets being repressed," according to the report.
The helmets were also found to have been made using "degraded or unauthorized ballistic materials, expired paint, and unauthorized manufacturing methods."
More than 126,000 ACHs were recalled by the end of the program, costing the government more than $19 million.
The inmates were hired by ArmorSource, a private corporation that was the official manufacturer of the ACH, and Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a government-backed organization established to educate inmates and help them find work.
Read the whole thing.
SEE ALSO http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/army_recruits_prisoners_to_make_body_armor
March 17, 2017
We're constantly told that we have three equal branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. But is the Judiciary really equal to the others? I mean, in the way it is set up? True, the Supreme Court supposedly is, but how about all the other courts, including the courts that have just been shooting down the President's "Travel Bans?"
Michael Walsh has a great article in Pajamas Media that sheds a lot of light on the situation, and suggests a remedy.
Once again, a lawful executive order on "immigration" has been blocked by a couple of federal judges. To the Left, of course, this is a triumph of "representative democracy" but to the rest of us it's anything but. The idea that a single federal judge, anywhere, can -- for any reason, or no reason at all -- frustrate the legitimate functioning of the Executive branch makes absolutely no sense, except in the political sense.
So this battle over Trump's "Muslim ban" offers us a handy occasion to school the federal judiciary in the constitution, and to remind it that it's skating on very thin ice indeed if it continues down its partisan path. Because, far from being a "co-equal" branch of government, almost the entirety of the federal court system is a creature of Congress, and can be restructured or abolished at any time. Don't believe me? Take a look at Article III, here presented in its entirety.
"As the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Pretty clear, no? And that's really all you need to know about this "co-equal" branch of government. But, just for fun, let's take a look at the next bit:
The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.
So the purview of the Supreme Court is remarkably limited constitutionally -- and still subject to Congressional regulation and oversight. Congress, in fact, can strip the court of any of its non-constitutionally arrogated jurisdictions.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
And that's it. Doesn't sound very "co-equal," does it?
I'm sure you all remember receiving a few years ago, via e-mail, a bracing quote from the then-Prime Minister of Australia to the effect that "Australia will not change to accommodate demands of Muslims to recognize sharia law, Muslim dietary requirements, etc." And we all said "Why can't we be as gutsy?"
It appears Australia herself needs a dose of the ex-Prime Minister's steel. Because things are deteriorating. I found this on Urgent Agenda, quoted from Heatstreet:
Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job.
Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney.
Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students.
One female teacher reportedly quit her job after it got too much for her. She claims she quit after receiving death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her.
The teacher also said she made numerous complaints back in 2014 about the extraordinary behavior in the class. For example, she said, she was abused by students after she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.Read the entire Urgent Agenda article here: http://www.urgentagenda.com/PERMALINKS%20IX/MARCH%202017/17.THREATS.HTML
I am assuming that if that one teacher quit her job, it indicates that the school is not properly backing her. In other words, the school is wimping out, much in the manner of American liberal-controlled schools. Sad!
Kurt's on a roll here, guns blazing from both hands.
Over the top, as always, but fun to read.
Jack Kemp repllies:
Dana, I don't know what's all caving in on them leftists, as the Schlichter article claims. The right has its victories (such as the Trump election), but...
Today Amer. Thinker had a piece on a 6'5" young thug hitting radio talk show host Michel Savage near Savage's hom, in a restaurant.
There was also an article about liberal Jews shocked at the antisemitism rise in America, yet tells how they ignored the teaching in Palestinain schools of hatred of Jews and the leftist Jews encouraging Muslim immigration into the U.S., with its many virulent antisemites. http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/03/living_with_antisemitism_in_america.html
Amer. Thinker also has an article on the left's ability to hold two contradicory positons at the same time. The article calls it cognative dissonance but it could easily be also called stupidity or hypocrisy.
And there is one on the UN's radical feminist attempts to control everyone in the world.
I would not be in such a hurry to claim "Mission Accomplished." I think the war is ongoing - and it started over one hundred years ago in America.
Well, you could say that the guy hitting Savage is a matter of frustration, although Savage might disagree. It's a matter of certainty that the Left has declared all-out war on everybody else, whether or not they realize they are losing it. And your other points are very good. One might almost think cognitive dissonance was invented by liberals, who, after all, have no "center" to guide them
March 16, 2017
The Chinese are planning to cut back on their use of coal in an effort to support the price thereof.
According to Mining.com:
'The Chinese leader also said China would cut 150 million tonnes of coal capacity this year, about half of the 290 million tonnes cut in 2016.
China may also soon reinstate coal production curbs in an effort to avoid the return of an oversupply and improve the profitability of its heavily indebted coal industry. The curbs would come in the form of limiting mines' operations to 276 days a year, from the current 330 days.
Coal, particularly the steelmaking kind, rocketed last year after Beijing introduced production restrictions."
Now is the time to reinvigorate the U.S. coal market. If the Chinese are going to cut production we should ramp it up, force them to sell for less. Not only is that good business but it also hamstrings their efforts to displace America and assume superpower status. The Chinese are not our friends and the more money they have the more mischief they can make (like building artificial islands in the sea to encroach on Japanese territory.)
Americans continue to look at foreign affairs through the prism of Barney the Dinosaur. Not everyone is a friend. It's time we start acting like leaders and stop pretending we are in Mr. Roger's neighborhood.
This American Thinker story below is about the woman Marines who posed for erotic videos thinking they were in a no-risk situation and the results of their documenting their fun and games were everyone else's fault and bad judgement. It recalls a short argument I once got into with a woman photographer. She was was one of a bunch of media people staked out a few years ago in front of former Congressman Anthony Weiner's previous residence during his sexting and Twitter photo sending scandals. Weiner was my Congressman and he lived at that time near me in an apartment with his address being at the appropriately named Ascan Avenue (pronounced "ass-can avenue").
There I was, out on the street in front of Weiner's building, passing the time talking and kidding with journalists and photographers who have real paying job press jobs from CNN, the NY Daily News, etc., with real NY City Police Dept.-issued Press Passes. One woman photographer with a Germanic accent said to me, "Why do you men take such photos of yourselves?" Apparently she never heard of Playboy Magazine or the pornographic film business - or she wanted to pretend she hadn't. I replied to her by saying, "I've never taken a nude photo of myself in my life," a statement that implied that she was condemning all men for the actions of one exhibitionist jerk named Anthony Weiner. She dropped her argument at that point.
Now on to the current not so surprising young Marine hormonally driven scandal.
March 16, 2017
Female Marines outraged that others watched their sex videos
What do you do if you're a woman in the Marines, and you make a sex video, and your fellow Marines see it? Claim you're being sexually harassed, of course!
It seems that a number of female Marines are having sex with male Marines and filming it, and then, when they break up, the male Marines share the sex videos with their comrades. This is said to have provoked a major crisis in the Marines.
Marine officials on Sunday said the branch was looking into a number of Marines, as well as current and former service members, who shared naked and compromising photos of their female colleagues on social media through a shared drive on a Facebook group called Marines United.
"It's Marine Corps wide," said Marine Pvt. Kally Wayne, 22, who joined in 2013 and was removed from the service three years later for disciplinary problems. In early 2016, her ex-boyfriend, a Marine, posted a sex tape they had made in 2013 to a Marines Facebook group, which quickly spread, eventually getting posted on Marines United, which has 30,000 members, where it appeared sporadically.
I guess you could said that her sex tape went viral. I think they should change her rank from Pvt. to Non-Pvt.
"I went to the police to get them to take it down and they told me because I didn't live in North Carolina they couldn't do anything," Wayne said. "I went to his command and they said, 'Why don't you not make sex tapes?'"
Wayne said she knows at least 10 other women who have endured online sexual harassment.
How is it sexual harassment for other people to view your sex video?
There are more stories like this. The New York Times has the story of a brave Marine who has to endure her comrades watching her striptease video.
"I wanted to make sure I could do anything male Marines could," she said. "I didn't want anyone to hold me to a lower standard."
Later, she was dating a Marine, and when he was stationed outside of Arizona, she sent him a short strip tease video.
The video was soon added to the cache of hundreds of photos and videos of active-duty Marines and veterans – filed with the subject's name, rank and place of duty – that is being circulated by Marines United and other groups.
Herein lies the problem. The problem is not male Marines watching striptease videos of female Marines. The problem is women in the Marines.
Women and men can and do work together in the workplace. But the armed forces are different. Soldiers are stationed in close quarters 24 hours a day. They are often cut off from their husbands and wives, who keep them happy in that special way. In such a situation, you have the perfect recipe for sexual tension that can disrupt unit cohesion.
What happens when sergeants start dating privates and corporals start dating captains? What happens when officers are perceived to be showing favoritism to subordinates they are having sex with, or subordinates are attempting to seduce their superior officers?
This is why having women in the military is problematic at best. The reason these videos were circulated is because female Marines were dating male Marines in their own ranks. It has enormous potential to disrupt unit cohesion.
The viewers of the videos are blameless. The only ones to blame are the unhappy boyfriends who disseminated the videos and the female Marines who made them in the first place. If the worst thing male Marines have done is to view nude videos made by their female comrades on a Facebook page, then I would say the problem of real sexual harassment in the military is close to zero. The problem of unit cohesion, however, is very real.
But instead of having a discussion about the proper role of women in the military, the military is now on a hunt for homemade porn that got on the wrong Facebook page.
The Boss Hog of OPEC is trying to get American oil producers to collude with his price-fixing cartel in order to drive up market prices for oil.
From the article:
"OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, appears to be pressing his idea for the U.S. producers to join OPEC in cutting production this week at an oil industry conference in Houston. But according to guidelines (see below) issued by the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), "agreements of a type that always or almost always tends to raise price or to reduce output are per se illegal….The Department of Justice prosecutes participants in hard-core cartel agreements criminally." Therefore, I believe his efforts will fail.
In addition to suggesting U.S. producers collude with OPEC, he also has met secretly with oil traders and banks to get feedback on OPEC's market manipulation, denied there was ever a price war, and blamed the current glut on American shale oil producers. His meetings with hedge funds and banks might be helpful to OPEC, and I wonder how OPEC will reciprocate if it gets help."
So now the Thanksgiving Turkey is trying to recruit the barnyard chickens into joining them on the table. If American oil producers have good sense they will reject this devil's pact. Oh, and it's illegal. In 2008 Donald Trump stated:
"The biggest problem I never hear anybody talk about. I told you about it once. Every time they lower interest rates, the cartel, because I call it a cartel - the illegal monopoly - raises oil prices. So the monopoly, because that's what it is, a total illegal monopoly. If businesses ever formed OPEC, everybody would be put in jail."
Indeed they would.
But constraint of trade is always good where the Democrats are concerned, and I suspect Barack Obama would have encouraged U.S. producers to join so he could drive prices up and push renewables (which is a will-o-the-wisp intended to drive up prices and reduce our "carbon footprint" through economic backsliding and poverty.) Trump is, hopefully, made of better stuff.
Let us reason together; a production cut would mean more money for oil producers and is a tempting thing to shale producers, as it is more expensive to frack than to drill normally. That would mean more profits. However, it would ultimately mean closing viable new fields and the OPEC countries could restart any time they liked. This would mean ultimately that the new American producers would be at the mercy of our barefoot Islamic Caliphs in the oily sands of Arabia and whatnot. The Arabs know this, which is why they are so keen to get us to cut production. It is much more expensive to develop American oil than to just suck it out of the ground Bedouin style.
And ultimately it is geopolitically vital for them to get us out of the game. There would be no rising Islam worldwide were it not for the oil revenues which have allowed them to fund and finance Jihad across the globe. A total collapse of oil prices would be great for consumers but would put the Arab countries back in the Middle Ages from whence they came. It would also destroy what is left of the communist Venezuelan dictatorship, and bankrupt the eeevvvilll Russkies. All of this is to the good from an American perspective - not so good from the perspective of our enemies. Naturally, the internationalists and the Leftist cadre see common cause with the Death to America oil derrick crowd.
Oil is the lynchpin of modern post-industrial civilization, and cheap oil is the key to not just prosperity but the eventual overthrow of despotism worldwide. Most of the world's current despots are oil tycoons, or at least survive because of the idiotic efforts to restrict the flow of energy. Energy is called power for a reason. It isn't just something to power your car or your smart phone; it's what powers the political classes. THAT is why they want to restrict it - and why we MUST make it as cheap and available as possible. Anything designed to contain it is antithetical to our principles of freedom and justice.
Competition in an industry is always good. It is vital in this business. Let's run those drills and push those despotic sheiks and Russian oligarchs back into the slimy holes they climbed out of!
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