Rangel: ‘Millions of kids’ being shot down by assault rifles – Washington Times

Rangel: ‘Millions of kids’ being shot down by assault rifles – Washington Times.

By Jessica Chasmar – The Washington Times

New York Rep. Charlie Rangel appeared on MSNBC this morning to opine about the assault weapons ban getting dropped from the Senate gun-control bill.

He made a few claims about politics as usual and the power money can have in this type of a case, but his most noteworthy comment was about his knowledge on crime statistics.

“I’m ashamed to admit it but its politics and its money, The NRA has taken this position, there is no reason, there is no foundation. There is no hunter that needs automatic military weapons to enjoy the culture of going hunting,” the Democrat told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing.

A0cohaHCQAAztNM.jpg large“We’re talking about millions of kids dying — being shot down by assault weapons,” he continued. “Were talking about handguns easier in the inner cities, to get these guns in the inner cities, than to get computers. This is not just a political issue, it’s a moral issue…”

The FBI’s 2011 data says only 323 people were killed by rifles, compared to 728 people who were killed by hands, fists, feet etc. Handguns are much more likely to be used in a homicide with 6,220 killed nationwide in 2011.

 

MILLER: The high-capacity magazine myth – Washington Times

MILLER: The high-capacity magazine myth – Washington Times.

Anti-gun crowd deliberately misleads the public

afreepeopleDeception is the key component in the latest push for more gun control laws. During her soap opera press conference Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein used a liberal clergyman to give her the moral high ground in her campaign to infringe on the Second Amendment.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, donned his clerical collar for the all-Democrat event to say he can “no longer justify a society” that “permits the sale of high-capacity magazines designed for the purpose of simply killing as many people as quickly as possible.”

The anti-gun crowd labels any firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10-rounds “high-capacity.” It’s a scare tactic.

(This is the second of a four-part series on dispelling common gun myths. Click here to read part one, MILLER: The Assault Weapon Myth)

Many firearms come from the factory with devices that feed between 15 to 30 rounds — some hold more, some less depending on their configuration and purpose. Ten is a number chosen out of thin air for reasons of political theater. The gun grabbers use it to imply the higher-capacity magazines enable murderers to kill more people, but it doesn’t actually work out that way.

In a 2004 study for the Department of Justice linked on Mrs. Feinstein’s own website, Christopher S. Koper, a professor of criminology, reported that “assailants fire less than four shots on average, a number well within the 10-round magazine limit” of the “assault weapons” ban.

“Studies prove that the arbitrary magazine capacity restriction that was in place for a decade did not reduce crime,” Lawrence Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, told The Washington Times. “In searching for effective means to reduce violence, we should not repeat failed policies, especially when they infringe on the constitutional rights of the law-abiding.”

Violent crime has decreased 17 percent since the assault weapons ban expired.

In the latest incarnation of Mrs. Feinstein’s ban, we would see the return of an ammunition limit that had no proven impact on crime while it was in effect from 1994-2004. The proposal outlaws all ammunition feeding devices — magazines, strips and drums — capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

gun-controlOn Tuesday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, reintroduced the legislation he has been pushing since the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2010 that he calls the “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act.” The bill, which has 17 Senate cosponsors, has a companion measure in the House with the backing of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and 58 of her colleagues.

Even though Mrs. Feinstein used to carry a handgun in San Francisco for her own personal protection, she does not realize what other gun owners know: It can take about two seconds, or less, to drop an empty magazine and insert another.

Criminals are likely to carry as many magazines as they need, but individuals with their guns concealed for self-defense purposes often aren’t able to bring extra magazines. Especially in a stressful situation, it can take several rounds to stop a dangerous criminal.

The limitation on magazine capacity is a direct handicap on the right to self-defense. Mrs. Feinstein’s entire bill infringes on the right to keep and bear arms, but her randomly selected magazine restriction is one of the most offensive provisions.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

Another failure of liberalism – Tea Party Nation

National Fatherhood Initiative

National Fatherhood Initiative (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Another failure of liberalism – Tea Party Nation.

 

Posted by Judson Phillips

 

Liberals like to scream about the causes of poverty.  As with everything else they scream about, they cannot get their facts right.

 

 Poverty is not caused by racism or injustice.  It is caused by government policies.   One of the biggest root causes of poverty is the government policies that create fatherless families.

 

 From the Washington Times:

 

 Nicole Hawkins‘ three daughters have matching glittery boots, but none has the same father. Each has uniquely colored ties in her hair, but none has a dad present in her life.

 

As another single mother on Sumner Road decked her row-house stoop with Christmas lights and a plastic Santa, Ms. Hawkins recalled that her middle child’s father has never spent a holiday or birthday with her. In her neighborhood in Southeast Washington, 1 in 10 children live with both parents, and 84 percent live with only their mother.

 

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

 

America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.

 

People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said.

 

 

 

 The government policies that liberals champion have created an expressway to poverty.   In the inner city, women with three, four or five children all with different fathers is not uncommon.   The women don’t care if they get pregnant.  After all, the government is there to give them money.  The men just want to be able to have sex with a woman without the commitment of marriage.   Unfortunately, the welfare programs in this nation encourage illegitimacy and punish the creation of families.

 

 The simple truth is, one of the fastest ways to avoid poverty is not to have children until you are married and stay married once you have children.

 

 That truth is so simple, even a liberal should be able to understand it.

 

DRIESSEN: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species – Washington Times.

Thousands of birds killed by wind turbines

 

The American Wind Energy Association wants its production tax credit (PTC) for wind electricity extended yet again. Congress should say no — and terminate the PTC now.

Wind energy is expensive and unreliable. It does nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is land- and raw-materials-intensive, parasitic and redundant. Whenever the wind is low or inconsistent, every megawatt of wind power must be supported by electricity generated by fossil-fuel plants. Even more damning, wind turbines disrupt wildlife habitats and butcher birds and bats that are vital to ecological diversity and agriculture.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats.

New studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year.

These shocking figures reflect the presence of more than 39,000 turbines in the United States, many located in habitats with large numbers of raptors, other birds and bats, says Mark Duchamp, president of Save the Eagles International. The estimates are based on a 2012 study by the Spanish Ornithological Society, which used data from 136 official turbine-monitoring studies in Spain, and is corroborated by a 1993 study of bird mortality from wind turbines in Germany and Sweden, Mr. Duchamp says.

Over the past 25 years, an estimated 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by turbines just at Altamont Pass, Calif. According to Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand, the subsidized slaughter “could now easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our Western states, plus many bald eagles. Entire flocks of birds often get mowed down by turbine blades, whose tips move at 100 to 200 mph.

In an 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont wind facility, no eagles have nested for more than 20 years even though the area is prime habitat, Mr. Wiegand says. Overall, there has been an 80 percent population decline for the golden eagle in Southern California, he notes.

Since wind turbines began proliferating, Oregon has had a 47 percent loss of raptors and Iowa has experienced a 42 percent decline in bird populations, according to FWS and Department of Natural Resources research.

After being nursed back from the brink of extinction, magnificent 5-foot-tall whooping cranes face annihilation because of thousands of turbines within their 200-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long migration route, former FWS whooping crane coordinator Tom Stehn fears.

More than 200 endangered cranes have “gone missing” in recent years, and now FWS is delaying its 2012 “whooper” count until after Congress votes on the PTC. It also has changed its methods for counting turbine kills to ones Mr. Stehn calls “unacceptable and useless for species recovery management.”

The new methods help hide turbine kills, according to Mr. Wiegand. The Interior Department has used sage grouse and lesser prairie chickens to justify restrictions on oil leasing and drilling. It has prosecuted oil companies for the unintentional deaths of 28 mallards in North Dakota. Yet it has never penalized a single wind-turbine company.

Now the Fish and Wildlife Service wants to issue “programmatic take permits” that would allow wind-turbine operators to systematically, legally and “inadvertently” injure and kill eagles, cranes and condors.

The Department of the Interior and FWS also let monitoring ornithologists search for dead birds within 130 to 165 feet of turbine towers, thus missing numerous birds that were flung farther by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere. What’s more, they search for carcasses only once every few weeks, enabling scavengers to take most away. In addition, wind facility crews remove and bury carcasses illegally, Mr. Wiegand and Mr. Duchamp say.

Officials also let operators treat kill data as proprietary trade secrets, safeguarded under nondisclosure agreements or put into private databanks immune from Freedom of Information Act requests. They impose high security at turbine sites to make accurate, honest, independent mortality counts impossible. Moreover, they filter, massage and manipulate data to make mortality appear minimal.

No other American industry is allowed to operate with such immunity and impunity. It is time to end the wind PTC and the blatant favoritism and exemptions for the wind-power industry. Big Wind must be held to the same standards, laws and regulations that apply to other industries.

Industrial wind operators must be required to permit access by unbiased outside experts to their facilities to ensure compliance with the law and facilitate regular and independent bird and bat mortality counts. They must be required to comply with the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other environmental laws.

Before acting on the PTC, Congress should demand an accurate and verifiable 2012 winter count for the whooping cranes, hold hearings on bird and bat kills, and prohibit the FWS from implementing a programmatic take permit system. It should demand an independent multiyear study of bird and bat mortality at every wind facility in America before allowing another turbine facility to be built in the United States.

Failure to take these actions will cause an ecological catastrophe of monumental proportions.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

EDITORIAL: Chilling climate-change news – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Chilling climate-change news – Washington Times.

New leak shows predictions of planetary warming have been overstated

unfreezoneWhen politicians want evidence to back up their belief that mankind is heating up the planet, they turn to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Nobel Prize-winning organization was responsible for the famous hockey-stick graph used to demonstrate the purported warming effect of man-made carbon dioxide. IPCC’s notoriety has turned out to be a two-edged sword, as leaks continue to undermine the group’s core message.

In a statement Friday, IPCC officials confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft of the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report on climate. Skeptics seized upon a chart within the document that compares past IPCC predictions with actual temperature readings. The scientific models of 1990’s First Assessment Report forecast temperatures would rise fast, reaching alarming levels by 2010. The mercury refused to cooperate with the warming hypothesis that year. In 2012, temperatures also were frostier than the generous assumptions in each of the group’s four previous reports.

A sensible explanation is that Mother Nature has been playing a more powerful role in determining the weather than some would care to admit. “Natural events created the biggest peaks and dips in the observations portion of the IPCC chart, and the observations run cooler than the models,” meteorologist Anthony Watts told The Washington Times. The biggest recent drop in global temperatures in 1992 was due to the lingering effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The highest temperature in 1998 coincided with El Nino.

Even though the official charts show no significant warming trend in the past 15 years, the planet may be even cooler than the IPCC figures suggest. Mr. Watts, who runs the Watts Up With That website, points out that IPCC is using adjusted data. In a forthcoming scientific paper, he demonstrates that improper placement of weather stations has resulted in the temperature increase being overstated by 92 percent. The last thing government officials want to hear is that the planet isn’t actually warming.

Reality puts IPCC in a bind. Despite the draft chart’s implicit admission that climate models have exaggerated warming, IPCC has not backed down from the tale that carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of industrial society, is heating the planet. At the same time, the organization realizes it can no longer hide from the widely known temperature data. Billions of dollars are at stake, and politicians expect IPCC to continue drumming up the fears of imminent cataclysm necessary for advancing their classic tax-and-spend liberal agenda. The spending comes in the form of subsidies to trendy “green” companies (usually run by powerful Democratic donors), and cap-and-trade schemes supply the tax revenue.

Because governments control scientific research funding, it’s likely the final version of the IPCC report will find a more creative way to disguise the conflict between theory and reality. It may already be too late. Since the 2009 release of the leaked Climategate emails, the public has been less willing to fall for the claim that mankind can control the weather through public policy. In an ideal world, IPCC scientists would realize the next report is their best chance to come clean.

The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: EPA regulates water – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: EPA regulates water – Washington Times.

Life-giving substances shouldn’t be treated as pollutants

The environmentalist movement has gone off the deep end. It’s bad enough that the courts have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare carbon dioxide, one of the essential components of life on this planet, to be a pollutant. Now the same bureaucratic zealots are going after water itself.

On Friday, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II appeared in federal district court in Alexandria to contest the EPA’s use of the Clean Water Act to punish Virginia and Fairfax County for sending too much water into a watershed. “These regulations are expensive, cumbersome and incredibly difficult to implement,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “And if we can’t stop this from happening in Fairfax County, it’s bound to happen across the state over and over again and at a huge price tag to the taxpayers of the commonwealth.”

The EPA’s latest action is a classic example of how Washington agencies constantly expand their purpose. Congress first adopts legislation bearing a title nobody could reasonably oppose — who’s against clean water? Over time, the courts and bureaucrats systematically extend the meaning of formerly innocuous definitions. Now instead of keeping lead out of drinking water, the agency is keeping water out of creeks.

Specifically, the agency has established a set of limits for the amount of water that can flow into Accotink Creek, which runs through Fairfax County and drains into the Potomac. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the county are on the hook for storm water that falls from the sky onto county and city roads. This water then flows into storm drains that empty into the creek. EPA hypothesizes that heavy water flows stir up “sediment,” which does fall under the Clean Water Act’s definitions. Instead of going after sediment levels directly, however, EPA has declared it can go ahead and directly target water-flow levels, which Mr. Cuccinelli says goes too far in pushing the jurisdictional envelope.

According to documents filed with the court, complying with the EPA’s bizarre rule would cost state and local governments $320 million. Mr. Cuccinelli told the court this could result in the loss of homes, as “efforts to achieve such a reduction in storm-water flow as demanded by EPA would require significant public takings of private property in order to build numerous new storm-water management structures.”

Even if VDOT and Fairfax County jump through the federal hoops, there’s no guarantee that the insects, birds and algae in Accotink Creek will see any improvement in the quality of their life. The real control of the amount of water that flows into the creek is in the hands of Mother Nature, not Uncle Sam. That’s why the court should step in and shut down the EPA’s latest power grab.

The Washington Times

 

Inside the Beltway: Libertarians question gun-free zones – Washington Times

Inside the Beltway: Libertarians question gun-free zones – Washington Times.

By Jennifer Harper – The Washington Times

2nd-Amendment-Cartoon“We’ve created a ‘gun-free zone,’ a killing zone, for the sickest criminals on the face of the Earth,” says R. Lee Wrights, vice chairman of the Libertarian Party, in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., killings. “And we’ve made the children of this country the victims.”

The 1990 Federal Gun Free Schools Zone Act, which prohibits carrying firearms on school grounds in most cases, “criminalizes the right to self-defense in places filled with the most vulnerable citizens,” Mr. Wrights says. He argues that would-be shooters would be deterred by “merely the knowledge” that armed people could be present in a potential target area. “They’re not going to walk into a police station, and why not? Because that’s where the guns are,” Mr. Wrights observes, adding that after 9/11, Congress allowed firearms in airline cockpits.

bretterbring“It’s time to take the same approach with teachers, school administrators, and security guards, who should be allowed to carry the tools necessary to protect the students in their care,” Mr. Wrights adds, insisting that gun-free zone policies should be re-examined.

“We must stop blinding ourselves to the obvious: Most of these mass killings are happening at schools where self-defense is prohibited,” says Carla Howell, executive director of the Libertarian Party. “Gun prohibition sets the stage for the slaughter of innocent children. We must repeal these anti-self-defense laws now to minimize the likelihood they will occur in the future, and to limit the damage done when they do.”

THE NEWTOWN-VIDEO GAME CONNECTION

Some continue to ponder the influence of graphically violent video games and movies following Newtown. “The violence in the entertainment culture — particularly, with the extraordinary realism to video games, movies now, et cetera — does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent. It doesn’t make everybody more violent, but it’s a causative factor in some cases. We ought to ask the entertainment community, what are you going to do to tone that down?” Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Independent, told Fox News Sunday.

A1oY9n6CQAImJcc.jpg largeHe suggested more scrutiny from Capitol Hill policymakers. “In our society, you always try to do it voluntarily. But I think we’ve come to a point where you’ve got to say, if not, maybe there’s some things we can do to tone it down,” Mr. Lieberman said.

THE NEWTOWN-FAITH CONNECTION

Former presidential hopeful and Fox News host Mike Huckabee had another explanation.

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” Mr. Huckabee asked.

“Because we’ve made schools a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability. That we’re not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before, you know, a holy God in judgment. If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that,” Mr. Huckabee told Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto.

DISAGREEMENT CULTURE

gun-control“The public broadly perceives that Americans themselves are divided over core values. Nearly seven in 10 Americans say the country is divided when it comes to the most important values, while 29 percent believe Americans are largely in agreement and united,” says Gallup analyst Lydia Saad.

New findings reveal that 80 percent of Republicans cite this divide, along with 63 percent of Democrats.

“The difficulty President Obama and Congress are having in coming to agreement on important issues may, therefore, not be unique to Washington; rather, it may generally reflect the way things are — or at least are perceived to be — in the country more broadly. Whether that is a bad thing, or the natural result of the United States’ large size, diversity, and freedoms that allow political arguments to go on unfettered, is a separate issue,” Ms. Saad notes.

THE DEMOCRACY RACE

A new rating of the most “democratic” nations on the planet places the U.S. in 15th place in a list of 104 countries. The Vienna-based Democracy Ranking Assoc. offers an annual assessment of the “quality” of democracy among the populations, taking into account such factors as political rights, civil liberty, press freedom, corruption, political stability, “gender gap” issues and myriad socioeconomic indicators.

The top 10 nations on the list are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Austria.

“The United States dropped from ranking position 14 to 15, but improved in scores from 78.3 to 78.5, with gains in politics, environment, health, and knowledge, but losses in economy and gender,” the report said.

comegetCanada, Belgium, Britain and Australia outrank the U.S. The nations with the lowest rankings are Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Libya, Syria and in last place, Yemen. See the findings here: http://www.democracyranking.org

POLL DU JOUR

• 61 percent of U.S. voters are concerned that Obama administration policies “will move the country toward socialism”; 89 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

• 49 percent of voters overall say the economy will be better in the next year; 20 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

• 42 percent of voters overall expect President Obama to be considered a great or good president; 7 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall expect Mr. Obama to be considered below average, or “one of the worst presidents”; 73 percent of Republicans and 5 percent of Democrats agree.

• 42 percent overall say that 2012 was a “good” year; 28 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

• 41 percent say 2012 was a “bad” year; 57 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox news survey of 1,012 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 9-11.

Weary sighs, hopeful accolades to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

MILLER: Gun-carry ban death rattle – Washington Times

MILLER: Gun-carry ban death rattle – Washington Times.

Illinois forced to allow citizens to carry loaded firearms

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

bretterbringNew life is being breathed into the Second Amendment. After it was beaten down by activist courts over the decades, the nation’s top justices finally decided two years ago that the founders meant what they wrote.

In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court majority held it was unconstitutional for the Windy City to forbid residents to keep handguns in their homes. On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the phrase in the Bill of Rights about “bearing arms” has meaning as well.

President Obama’s home state of Illinois is the only state with a blanket ban on carrying a handgun outside the home. The court found this prohibition was unconstitutional. As Judge Richard A. Posner wrote, “A woman who is being stalked … has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress.”

The judge nodded to the state’s position that a gun is a potential danger to more people in public than if only kept at home, but he added that knowing “many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid.” When the bad guys aren’t sure whether a victim can fight back, they’re less likely to attack.

A0cohaHCQAAztNM.jpg largeAlan Gura, attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), argued on behalf of Michael Moore, an Illinois resident who had been allowed to carry a firearm off duty as a corrections officer but was denied a permit as a civilian jail superintendent.

“Illinois’ ban on carrying a loaded firearm for self-protection is now history, and now no other state can come back and ban carry,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb told The Washington Times in an interview Tuesday. The court gave the state legislature 180 days to craft a new gun law “with reasonable limitations” on allowing for carry rights.

Mr. Gottlieb said his organization is paying close attention to whether the lawmakers outside Chicago have enough votes to create a “shall issue” state for carry. In the unlikely event that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn vetoes the bill, the state would default to full carry rights with no restrictions as a result of the decision. “If Illinois puts in an overly restrictive law, we’ll go back to court again,” Mr. Gottlieb warned.

idiot-controlThe National Rifle Association (NRA) led the fight as well. Attorney Chuck Cooper argued on behalf of Mary Shepard, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in both Utah and Florida but not her home state of Illinois. “This ruling is a major victory for all law-abiding citizens in Illinois and indeed across the country,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The Shepard case has paved the way for the people of Illinois to be able to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Second Amendment activists now need to set their sights on the District, the last outpost where the right to bear arms is not recognized in any way. The D.C. Council should realize it’s only a matter of time before its carry ban is overturned. It should avoid the drawn-out legal battle by giving residents a chance to defend themselves on the mean streets of the District.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times.

Raising energy costs will stifle economy, kill jobs

By Paul Driessen

carbontaxThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to unleash its first wave of carbon-dioxide regulations. Some members of Congress want to tax hydrocarbon use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Moreover, United Nations climate alarmists are trying to devise a new treaty to regulate energy use at the international level. Even one of these government actions would send shock waves through the economy. If all three are imposed (or worse, imposed in conjunction with Obamacare and other tax increases on job and wealth creators) the impacts will be devastating.

This climate crisis threatens our energy use, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. The actions are being justified by assertions that they will stabilize the Earth’s climate, prevent global-warming disasters and raise hundreds of billions of dollars to cover “essential” government spending.

Our planet’s climate has never been stable and never will be. Despite rising carbon-dioxide levels, average global temperatures have not risen for 16 years. There is no empirical evidence to support assertions and computer models that claim carbon dioxide drives climate change or to suggest that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, and stormy and quiescent periods throughout Earth’s history.

These inconvenient truths are irrelevant to anti-hydrocarbon campaigners, who are using “dangerous man-made climate change” as the best pretext yet devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather phenomenon is due to human carbon-dioxide emissions. Whether it’s warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms or fewer storms, “It’s exactly what we predicted,” climate alarmists say.

This is not science. It is political science, rooted in an ideological loathing of fossil fuels, economic growth and humanity itself.

youlie2The consequences for average workers and families will be dire.

These actions are intended to increase the cost of the hydrocarbon energy that powers our economy. Yet raising the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, lighting, heating and air conditioning will raise the price of food, materials and equipment. This will severely impact the bottom line for factories, utilities, offices, farms, shops, airlines, shippers, hospitals, schools, churches, charities and government offices. The poorest families may get rebates for their increased energy costs, but institutions will not. They will be forced to reduce wages, hours and benefits, hire fewer full-time employees, lay off people, outsource operations to countries where energy costs are lower or even close their doors.

Taxes paid by companies and employees will dwindle. Instead of paying taxes, newly jobless workers will collect unemployment and welfare benefits from shrinking government coffers. Charities will have much less money, even if deductions for donations remain in the U.S. tax code.

Unemployment will bring reduced nutrition, increased stress and higher rates of heart attack and stroke, spousal and child abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide and premature death. The social, economic and health care costs will further “fundamentally transform” America, as President Obama says he is determined to do.

Even if Congress legislates carbon taxes, nothing suggests that EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will refrain from imposing EPA’s anti-hydrocarbon rules on top of them or that the White House and Senate will reject any new U.N. treaty. There is no hint that the Interior Department will cease using the Endangered Species Act and other laws to shut down oil and gas drilling while ignoring the growing slaughter of eagles and whooping cranes by wind turbines. The Energy and Defense departments, the EPA and Congress are unlikely to stop spending more in borrowed funds to subsidize corn ethanol and Navy biofuel schemes.

These anti-hydrocarbon policies also mean the U.S. Treasury will be deprived of hundreds of billions of dollars in lease bonuses, royalties, taxes and other revenues that it would realize from the development of our nation’s vast oil, natural gas and coal deposits. Instead, the United States will be forced to pay billions more for imported oil, often from unethical, environmentally reckless countries.

New hydrocarbon energy restrictions and “green” energy demands will deprive developing-nation families and communities of abundant, reliable, affordable energy; obstruct economic and human rights progress; and keep entire nations impoverished. They will kill millions more from lung infections (from burning wood and dung), intestinal diseases (from contaminated water), malnutrition and diseases of poverty and eco-imperialism.

Those countries will receive far less foreign aid from increasingly cash-strapped Western nations. Little good will come of the Green Climate Fund cash the United Nation says industrialized nations should transfer to kleptocratic rulers in poor countries as reparations for supposedly causing climate change.

For every nation, this coerced energy and economic deprivation will make it increasingly difficult to adapt to future climate changes that nature inevitably will bring our way. So much for the modern era. Mankind ought to have the wealth and technology to adapt far more easily than our ancestors were able to do.

Climate alarmists are doing everything in their power to avoid discussing these issues and to vilify anyone who brings them up. However, we need to have this debate, and we need to have it now — especially in Congress and our state legislatures — before destructive decisions are imposed on us and our children.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

 

MILLER: Crimes of gun-grabbing mayors – Washington Times

MILLER: Crimes of gun-grabbing mayors – Washington Times.

Second Amendment group exposes Bloomberg’s hypocrisy

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

Mike Bloomberg is on a mission to take away everyone’s guns. New York City’s billionaire mayor has bankrolled a coalition of municipal chiefs from coast to coast who tirelessly lobby for new laws restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The irony is that many in his coalition of pedophiles, embezzlers, wife beaters, cheaters and violent thugs are no longer eligible to legally own a gun.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) on Monday detailed the crimes that have been committed by members of Mr. Bloomberg’s gang, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). In its research, SAF found a significantly higher rate of felonious activity among the mayors who teamed up with hizzoner than among the 8 million citizens who are licensed to carry concealed firearms.

“If Mayor Bloomberg wants to align himself with this criminal element of mayors to push for gun control, we think the public should know about it,” SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb told The Washington Times in an interview.

The gun-rights advocate — who financially supported bringing the landmark Heller and McDonald gun-rights cases to the Supreme Court — said the investigation was prompted by Mr. Bloomberg’s throwing big money into political races. “Mayor Bloomberg set up this PAC with millions of dollars to go after pro-gun rights people running for office,” said Mr. Gottlieb. “We’re not going to let him attack our rights scot-free. We’re going to attack back.”

Mr. Gottlieb’s group launched an advertising campaign in newspapers, magazines and websites that lists 18 of the most dangerous anti-gun mayors who have been part of Mr. Bloomberg’s alliance. Among them are Gary Becker of Racine, Wisc., who was sentenced to three years in jail for felony child enticement and attempted sexual assault of a child. Detroit’s former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, assaulted a police officer and perjured himself. Sheila Dixon, who hosted Mr. Bloomberg and his MAIG conference in her city of Baltimore, Md., was convicted while in office of perjury and embezzling funds.

Larry Langford of Birmingham, Ala., got 15 years in the big house for a staggering 60 counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. The hypocrisy award goes to the late Frank Melton from Jackson, Miss., who violated his own city’s gun possession ordinances. SAF plans to publicize any time another mayor in the group goes bad. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a member of MAIG who denies residents all rights to bear arms, has also been under federal investigation for campaign finance fraud.

Many of these city leaders couldn’t get past the front counter at a gun store, as every buyer undergoes an FBI instant background check. The system is designed to deny transactions for anyone who has been under indictment or convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in prison or for assaulting a spouse or child.

As Mr. Gottlieb noted, “Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should be looking for background checks of who he signs up to be in his mayor’s coalition rather than worrying about background checks of gun owners.” Neither a spokesman for MAIG nor Mr. Bloomberg’s office responded to request for comment.

The anti-gun types need to clean house before trying further to restrict law-abiding citizens’ right to defend themselves.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

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