Earth Day’s Big Lie – Tea Party Nation

Earth Day’s Big Lie – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Monday, April 22, is Earth Day. Begun in 1970, it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. It is the global platform for the Big Lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) is causing the Earth to warm and the basis of the environmental movement’s ceaseless efforts to reduce the use of energy for any reason.

Carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has been increasing, but the Earth has been cooling due to reduced solar radiation. CO2 has virtually no relationship to the climate except to show up well after a significant change has occurred.

On April 18, the Wall Street Journal reported that the International Energy Agency had announced that, despite spending “more than $2 trillion in investment into renewable-energy projects…the world had made almost no progress over the past 20 years in reducing the carbon content of its energy supplies.” It has never needed reduction. How many hospitals, schools, bridges, and other useful things that could have been built instead?

According to Wikipedia: “Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. It is present in all known life forms, and in the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen.] This abundance, together with the unique diversity of organic compounds and their unusual polymer-forming ability at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth, make this element the chemical basis of all known life.” (Emphasis added)

Not one single piece of vegetation can exist without CO2. Without vegetation all animals and all humans would die. The Earth would look like Mars. One of the pillars of environmentalism is that humans are the greatest threat to the existence of the 4.5 billion-year-old Earth. The essence of Earth Day is that you are the enemy, primarily for your use of energy (coal, oil, and natural gas).

A global propaganda campaign will glorify Earth Day and its message is that you must change your life to accommodate the lies that sustain the environmental movement and permit government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency to strangle the economic life of the nation.

On Earth day there will be thousands of events to promote its anti-energy, anti-technology, and anti-humanity message.

There are thousands, of environmental organizations. Here, for example, are some Earth Day recommendations from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

# Wash clothing in cold water. According to the NRDC, “this saves a great deal of money as the bulk of the energy tied to clothes washing is used to heat water.”

# Cut clothes dryer energy by 20 to 40 percent. “It is more efficient to spin water out of clothing than bake it out in the dryer.”

# Select the ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ picture setting on your TV.

An environmental group called the Food Tank recommends the following:

# “Get in touch with agriculture. “This time of year, many people are starting to plan vacations.” Forget Disney Land; instead choose a “farm-stay” in which participants spend a few days or weeks living with a host family…helping around the farm in exchange for free food and lodging.”

# “Buy food with less packaging.” This ignores the fact that modern packaging ensures the safety of the foods you purchase. Even ancient civilizations either burned refuse or created landfills.

# Do-it-Yourself projects such as “turning old t-shirts into produce bags to save plastic, starting seeds in eggshells…”

Behind the many Earth Day suggestions is the environmentalists’ insistence on a general return to an era when household tasks were undertaken without machines that used electricity, before the ubiquitous benefits of plastic, and less cars were on the roads. In the 1940s my late mother had to wash clothes by hand and hang them in the back yard or basement to dry. Food was kept cool in an ice box before the invention of refrigerators. This is Earth Day’s idea of saving the Earth.

Everyone wants clean air and clean water. We have it. The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts of the 1970s have achieved their goals. Substituting “clean energy” such as solar and wind power has proven to be expensive and impractical as neither of these produce sufficient energy (about 3% at present) to power America. Taxpayers have lost billions in the government loans made to solar and wind power companies while traditional sources of power contribute billions to the economy.

The Earth is not endangered, nor should it be worshipped as a pagan religion.

Behind environmentalism is panoply of schemes intended to enrich those who advocate “global warming” and/or “climate change.” Governments around the world are abandoning “clean energy” programs and returning to traditional and abundant forms of energy.

The “science” behind climate change and the claim of a “consensus” among the world’s scientists is a lie. Computer models have been rigged to produce “warming” data while the planet has been in a natural cooling cycle for the last seventeen years!

On Earth Day, you will be assailed by these and countless other claims, but you will do yourself and the Earth a big favor if you ignore them.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Obama Halts Global Warming by Executive Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Global Warming

Global Warming (Photo credit: mirjoran)

 

Obama Halts Global Warming by Executive Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

 

President Obama has apparently halted global warming by a secret executive order, which, amongst other things, commands the seas to stop rising, the world to begin to heal and the Chevy Volt assembly line to show a profit in 2013 despite a MSRP of $39,999, less $7,500 in government rebates.

 

This is the only conclusion that I can come to as I ponder the Global Warming Alarmists Brigade’s latest effort in pseudo-science, or what I like to call “Science for Journalists.”

 

Recently Shaun Marcott, Ph.D., published a paper that “proves” that the world is warmer now than at anytime during the last 4,000 years.

 

And the hucksters in the media, if they don’t exactly believe it, at least they publicize it. 

 

“In the new research… Shaun Marcott, an earth scientist at Oregon State University, and his colleagues” reported the New York Times “compiled the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures over the past 11,300 years, virtually the entire Holocene. They used indicators like the distribution of microscopic, temperature-sensitive ocean creatures to determine past climate.”

 

That all sounds very impressive and meticulous, but is the reconstruction accurate?

 

Ummm, no.

 

David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change from the Heritage Foundation told me that the data was rigged in the same way that the famous “Hockey Stick” graph was rigged.

 

The original global warming Hockey Stick was rigged by Michael Mann- the Ph.D. is implied– in order to bring overall historical global temperatures down, so that our present day temperatures can look warmer by contrast.

 

“As a young, relatively unknown recent Ph.D. graduate,” says James Taylor, Forbes columnist and a fellow researcher at Heritage, “Mann attained wealth, fame and adulation among global warming alarmists after assembling a proxy temperature reconstruction that he claimed showed global temperatures underwent a steady, roughly 1,000-year decline followed by a sharp rise during the 20th century. The media reported on the Mann hockey stick reconstruction as if it settled the global warming debate, but objective scientists pointed out several crucial flaws that invalidated Mann’s claims.”

 

Mann achieved these results, in part, by cherry picking data by using proxies for temperature data- proxies like the “distribution of microscopic, temperature-sensitive ocean creatures”- rather than data that would conflict with his goal of showing dramatic, current-day temperature increases.

 

While Manna’s data showed that temperatures were hotter now than any time in 1,000 years, Marcott goes him four times better by showing that the earth has never been hotter in 4,000 years.

 

Taylor, however, says “many temperature studies, including studies presented by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate current global temperatures are cooler than the vast majority of the past 4,000 years.”

 

So do historical records.

 

In fact, records indicate that temperatures today aren’t even the hottest in the last 1,000 years. 

 

Matt Ridley, a global warming supporter, writing in the Wall Street Journal, concludes that there is ample reason to believe that temperatures are cooler now than during the Medieval Warm Period, saying “the evidence increasingly vindicates the scientists who first discovered the Medieval Warm Period.”

 

Ridley cites four recent scientific studies that tend to support the notion that temperatures were hotter then.   

 

Mann’s hockey stick- and Marcott’s too- eliminated an historical epoch called the Medieval Warm Period, a period during which archeological, written and historical records suggest temperatures may have been warmer than today’s.

 

The Medieval Warm Period was a period that saw the Vikings colonize Greenland, between the 10th and 15th Centuries, for example, disappearing just as the climate began to cool. It would have been impossible to conceive of the Vikings being able to colonize Greenland without significantly warmer temperatures. It also would have been impossible to have grown varieties of flora that were found on Greenland during that period were the temperatures as cold as today’s.

 

Data actually suggests that the earth stopped warming 15 years ago.  This pause in warming wasn’t anticipated in any climate change models created by global warming advocates.    

 

And that’s really the rub when it comes to climate science.

 

When the data doesn’t go their way- which is almost always- they either re-write the science, the history or rely on an Obama executive order.  

 

 

 

Bad Science and Bad Journalism are a Bad Combination – Tea Party Nation

Bad Science and Bad Journalism are a Bad Combination – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

 

On Wednesday, March 6, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee sent out a notice that its hearing on global warming was cancelled due to the chilly weather and a snowstorm that was about to hit the nation’s capital.

 

The Committee was going to be treated to “a comprehensive briefing on how well scientists understand the climate and humans’ effect on it.” On the same day in 1961, the temperature had hit a record 81 degrees. In 1888, it had been 10 degrees. Anyone who thinks that humans had anything to do with either is mistaken. When it comes to the weather, the only thing that humans do is endure or enjoy it.

 

Understanding it, something that puzzles paleoclimatologists, climatologists, and meteorologists, is the big secret that the public is not supposed to know. For example, none of these folks understands why clouds do what they do. The reason for this easy to understand, the definition of the weather is “chaos.”  It’s the reason meteorologists cannot predict what the weather will be more than four or five days from now.

 

Instead, we continue to be the victims of global warming charlatans, some of whom are “scientists”, while other scientists have been engaged in debunking their lies since the 1980s. The only thing we know for sure is that the global warming “scientists” are destroying the public’s confidence in the integrity of climate science.

 

The Wall Street Journal ran a story on March 9, “In Study, Past Decade Ranks Among Hottest”. It was about a study published in a recent issue of the Journal Science claiming that a one degree temperature variation resulted in 2000-2009 being “one of the warmest since modern record-keeping began.” Their claim is that the planet will be warmer in 2100 than it has been for 11,300 years. That’s about the amount of time since the end of the last ice age and the beginning of the Holocene, an epoch of warm weather that gave rise to civilization—about 5,000 years ago.

 

Such predictions are utterly bogus. They are based on rigged computer models which have been constantly be exposed for their lies. Both the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government engage in this fraud. The study cited was funded by the National Science Foundation. A problem the public encounters is the often inaccurate information put forth by NOAA, NASA and other government agencies. One literally needs a background in the science involved to know when they are off the mark.

 

Climatologists measure changes in centuries, not decades. As the article asked, is the alleged hottest decade the result of “greenhouse gas emissions from human activity—or can it be explained as part of natural, long-term variations in temperature?” Generally unknown to the public is the fact that water vapor is a major “greenhouse gas” and plays a significant role in the earth’s overall temperature.

 

The “Science” study drew immediate criticism. James Taylor, the editor of The Heartland Institute’s “Environment & Climate News”, a national monthly, said “Global temperatures are essentially the same today as they were in 1995, when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were merely 360 parts per million.” These levels “rose ten percent between 1995 and 2012, yet global temperatures did not rise at all.” That’s worth repeating, “global temperatures did not rise at all.”

 

This does not stop the “Warmists” from concocting their “studies” or journalists from repeating their lies in newspapers like The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal article was more cautious and balanced.

 

As Marc Morano noted at ClimateDeport.com, a leading skeptics’ website, the earth is cooler today than 28% of the past 11,300 years. Yes, cooler. It has been cooling for nearly seventeen years and it is the direct result of an unusual solar condition. It is supposed to be in a “solar maximum with lots of sunspots, magnetic storms, but there are few at this time, resulting in less radiation and cooler temperatures for the Earth.

 

Moreover, since the intervals between ice ages are approximately 11,500 years, we are closer to another ice age than any bogus warming.

 

“The new study is also counter to the preponderance of existing peer-reviewed studies,” said Morano, “showing the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warming were both as warm or warmer than today without benefit of modern emissions or SUVs.”

 

In 2009, one of the nation’s leading climatologists, MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, wrote, “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in (a) global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.”

 

“Such hysteria,” warned Dr. Lindzen, “simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing.”

 

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

The Big Brother Society? – Tea Party Nation

The Big Brother Society? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

coexistGeorge Orwell was an optimist.

 And he had no clue as to what we would find with marriage of technology and tyranny.

 We no longer have any privacy.  The government can now find out anything it wants to about us.   Big Brother is now watching us all.

 From the Wall Street Journal:

 Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.

Not everyone was on board. “This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.

Through Freedom of Information Act requests and interviews with officials at numerous agencies, The Wall Street Journal has reconstructed the clash over the counterterrorism program within the administration of President Barack Obama. The debate was a confrontation between some who viewed it as a matter of efficiency—how long to keep data, for instance, or where it should be stored—and others who saw it as granting authority for unprecedented government surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

comegetNow, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans “reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information” may be permanently retained.

The Constitution was put in place to restrain the government from abusing its citizens.  Now, we have swept aside the whole idea of the rights of the citizen standing above the power of the state.

 Our founding fathers would be appalled by what is going on in government.

 Given the government’s track record for abusing citizens and releasing information that could be embarrassing to those who oppose the government, we should all be very afraid.

The Utter Desperation of Global Warming Liars – Tea Party Nation

 

The Utter Desperation of Global Warming Liars – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

The more the public grows skeptical of the global warming hoax, the more desperate the charlatans behind it become.

There is no global warming if by that one means a sudden, dramatic increase in the overall temperature of the Earth. It is not, nor ever was, caused by an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere; currently a miniscule 0.038 percent. Climate science has demonstrated that CO2 increases show up centuries after a major change in the Earth’s temperature, not before.

In recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Dr. John Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, said, “It is popular again to claim that extreme events, such as the current central U.S. drought are evidence of human-caused climate change. Actually, the Earth is very large, the weather is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally. The recent ‘extremes’ were exceeded in previous decades.”

Recent examples of the Warmists to convince the public that the Earth is in peril include an opinion by the president of the radical Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, in The Wall Street Journal, and a PBS television report featuring NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, offering a statistical analysis as bogus as his 1988 testimony that global warming was man-made and going to kill us all if we didn’t destroy the economy by outlawing CO2 emissions.

Noted meteorologist, Anthony Watts, whose website, WattsUpWithThat, is a treasure trove of real climate science, dismissed Hansen’s PBS presentation of bell curve charts claiming the current drought conditions as proof of global warming. “This bell curve proves nothing,” said Watts. “This is nothing but a political ploy from a man who has abandoned any pretext of professionally done science in favor of activism.” Watts’ research has demonstrated how corrupt many of the temperature findings have been due to the sites where thermometers have been placed as well as the many places on Earth where there are none.

In The Wall Street Journal Krupp penned a plea for “A New Climate-Change Consensus.” Bear in mind that the nexus of the global warming hoax has been the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and it has claimed for years that a “consensus” of scientists worldwide agrees that global warming is real. The data on which the IPCC claim was made was exposed in 2009 when emails between the scientists providing it revealed their panic over the signs of a global cooling cycle that had begun in 1998. The Earth has been cooling ever since.

Science does not work by consensus. It works by the rigorous testing of hypotheses and theories.
Even Krupp noted that “One scorching summer doesn’t confirm that climate change is real any more than a white Christmas proves it’s a hoax.” True. However, year after year of thoroughly debunked “data” by our own government agencies like NASA doesn’t make it real either. Did I mention that Dr. Hansen is the Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies?

About the only truth Krupp stated was that “Some proposed climate solutions, if not well designed or thoughtfully implemented, could damage the economy and stifle short-term growth.” Or any growth for that matter.

As this is written, the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to apply draconian limits on CO2 emissions for every single entity of the U.S. economy from large companies to small businesses. Despite centuries of U.S. coal reserves, the EPA has been hard at work putting coal mining operations and coal-burning plant that generates electricity out of business.

Steven Goddard, writing in the August 6th edition of Real Science, was quick to point out that “There were twice as many daily all-time high temperature records set or tied during the 1930s as in the 2000s, for USHCN stations which were operational during both decades. That is why he (Hansen) doesn’t start his baseline (for the charts he showed in the PBS program) until the 1950s.”

Neither Krupp’s sweet words of inducement to global warming skeptics, nor Dr. Hansen’s lies add up to the fact that there is no global warming and never was except in the minds of those who sought to profit from selling “carbon credits” to industries and individuals who wanted permission to cause emissions of CO2 for any reason.

There ought to be a chart concerning how global warming lies rise and fall with each climate event like a drought or each new revelation of scientific fact that disputes and debunks the hoax.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

 

Ethanol: The Power of a Really Bad Idea – Tea Party Nation

 

Ethanol: The Power of a Really Bad Idea – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

It took some eighty years for Communism to fail in the former Soviet Union. Along the way, millions were sent to gulags and millions more died from starvation and World War Two added to the death tolls. Spreading Communism like a religion, it had similar results in China and everywhere it has been adopted.

It takes a long time to rid the world of a really bad idea and, in the latter part of the last century, environmentalism sprung up like a weed to overwhelm the common sense of people with its mix of lies and hatred for humanity.

What does this have to do with the price of corn? A lot.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an ethanol mandate exists that requires refiners to blend this moonshine with gasoline for the alleged purpose of reducing the emissions that driving a car produces. We are told it contributes to cleaner air and the effects of global warming—which is not occurring.

What it actually does is ruin your car’s engine because it is highly corrosive and it reduces the mileage you would get if it was not part of the gasoline blend. It also ensures that the growers of corn have a government mandated requirement that it be purchased. It is a farm lobby bonanza.

As Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out about the RFS, “No matter how much of the U.S. corn crop is ruined by drought, no matter how high corn prices et, no matter how many people in developing countries are imperiled, the RFS requires that billions of bushels of corn be used to fuel cars rather than feed livestock and people. This is crazy.”

What most people, being city folk, don’t realize is how great a role corn plays in the nation’s economy, its export generates, and the astonishing list of uses to which it is put other than as a vital food for livestock—beef, pork and poultry—and consumed in hundreds of ways by people.

Corn is used in bakery products, baby foods, brewed beverages (bourbon, beer, ale), carbonated beverages, cheese spreads and foods, cereals, condiments, chewing gun, prepared mixes (pancakes, waffle, biscuit, cake flour, puddings), gravies and sauces, canned soups, coffee “creamers”, frosting and icings, in instant coffee, marshmallows, sweetened ice tea, most snack foods….I could go on, but the list is long, very long.

The Wall Street Journal, on July 19, reported that corn and soybean prices leapt to records on rising fears that the searing Midwest drought is further eroding the size of the coming harvests for two of America’s most important crops…The drought now covers more than half of the continental U.S. and covers a wider stretch of the country than in any drought since 1956, according to the U.S. government.”

And, even so, the Journal reported that “U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the situation wasn’t bad enough to warrant a reduction in government mandates for how much ethanol—typically made from corn—is blended into gasoline.” As for as Vilsack is concerned the RFS mandate must be enforced.

Marlo Lewis asks “Why as a matter of law should ethanol producers get first dibs on the U.S. corn crop?”

“What should their interest legally trump that of every other industry and consumer affected by corn prices?”

“Why should they have a legal privilege to jump to the front of the line ahead of meat, poultry, and dairy producers, or those who export grain to hunger-stricken countries?”

If we got rid of the ethanol mandate tomorrow our cars would last longer and drive farther. Since they are on our roads and streets anyway, does anyone really believe that air quality would be significant affected?

So ethanol, like communism and environmentalism, is yet one more very bad idea that is backed by the power of government mandates that benefit its growers, but does little else of any value for consumers.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

 

The End Nears for a 50-Year Mistake – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative Columnists

The End Nears for a 50-Year Mistake – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

In retrospect, there were two conspicuous giveaways that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was headed for victory in last week’s recall election.

One was that the Democrats’ campaign against him wound up focusing on just about everything but Walker’s law limiting collective bargaining rights for government workers. Sixteen months ago, the Capitol building in Madison was besieged by rioting protesters hell-bent on blocking the changes by any means necessary. Union members and their supporters, incandescent with rage, likened Walker to Adolf Hitler and cheered as Democratic lawmakers fled the state in a bid to force the legislature to a standstill. Once the bill passed, unions and Democrats vowed revenge, and amassed a million signatures on recall petitions.

But the more voters saw of the law’s effects, the more they liked it. Dozens of school districts reported millions in savings, most without resorting to layoffs. Property taxes fell. A $3.6 billion state budget deficit turned into a $154 million projected surplus. Walker’s measures proved a tonic for the economy, and support for restoring the status quo ante faded — even among Wisconsin Democrats. Long before Election Day, Democratic challenger Tom Barrett had all but dropped the issue of public-sector collective bargaining from his campaign to replace Walker.

The second harbinger was the plunge in public-employee union membership. The most important of Walker’s reforms, the change Big Labor had fought most bitterly, was ending the automatic withholding of union dues. That made union membership a matter of choice, not compulsion — and tens of thousands of government workers chose to toss their union cards. More than one-third of the American Federation of Teachers Wisconsin membership quit, reported The Wall Street Journal. At the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, one of the state’s largest unions, the hemorrhaging was worse: AFSCME’s Wisconsin rolls shrank by more than 34,000 over the past year, a 55 percent nose-dive.

Did government workers tear up their union cards solely because the union had lost its right to bargain collectively on their behalf? That’s doubtful: Even under the new law, unions still negotiate over salaries. More likely, public-sector employees ditched their unions for the same reasons so many employees in the private sector — which is now less than 7 percent unionized — have done so. Many never wanted to join a union in the first place. Others were repelled by the authoritarian, belligerent, and left-wing political culture that entrenched unionism so often embodies.

Even before the votes in Wisconsin were cast, observed Michael Barone last week, Democrats and public-employee unions “had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall.” Their tantrums and slanders didn’t just fail to intimidate Walker and Wisconsin lawmakers from reining in public-sector collective bargaining. They also gave the public a good hard look at what government unionism is apt to descend to. The past 16 months amounted to an extended seminar on the danger of combining collective bargaining with government jobs. Voters watched — and learned.

There was a time when pro-labor political leaders like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Fiorello LaGuardia regarded it as obvious that collective bargaining was incompatible with public employment. Even the legendary AFL-CIO leader George Meany once took it for granted that there could be no “right” to bargain collectively with the government.

When unions bargain with management in the private sector, both sides are contending for a share of the private profits that labor helps produce — and both sides are constrained by the pressures of market discipline. Managers can’t ignore the company’s bottom line. Unions know that if they demand too much they may cost the company its competitive edge.

But when labor and management bargain in the public sector, they are divvying up public funds, not private profits. Government bureaucrats don’t have to worry about losing business to their competitors; state agencies can’t relocate to another part of the country. There is little incentive to hold down wages and benefits, since the taxpayers who will be picking up the tab have no seat at the table. On the other hand, government managers have a powerful motivation to yield to government unions: Union members vote, and their votes can be deployed to reward politicians who give them what they want — or punish those who don’t.

In 1959, when Wisconsin became the first state to enact a public-sector collective-bargaining law, it wasn’t widely understood what the distorted incentives of government unionism would lead to. Five decades later, the wreckage is all around us. The privileges that come with government work — hefty automatic pay raises, Cadillac pension plans, iron-clad job security, ultra-deluxe health insurance — have in many cases grown outlandish and staggeringly unaffordable. What Keith Geiger, the former head of the National Education Association, once referred to as “our sledgehammer, the collective bargaining process,” has wreaked havoc on state and municipal budgets nationwide.

Now, at long last, the pendulum has reversed. The 50-year mistake of public-sector unions is being corrected. Walker’s victory is a heartening reminder that in a democracy, even the most entrenched bad ideas can sometimes be unentrenched. On, Wisconsin!

Armed EPA Agents Visit Asheville Man – Tea Party Nation

Armed EPA Agents Visit Asheville Man – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Sometimes a small incident says volumes about a large government agency. In this case the Environmental Protection Agency.

Around 1.45 PM on May 23, Ashville, North Carolina resident Larry Keller was in the midst of an international call which he had to cut short in order to answer his front door. He found two armed agents of the EPA who were accompanied by an Ashville Police officer.

According to a May 24 news story in the Ashville Tribune, a weekly newspaper to which I am a contributing columnist, the agents had blocked his and his neighbor’s driveways with their cars. They had driven all the way from Raleigh to confront him.

What had he done? The unannounced visit had been occasioned by news that Dr. Al Armendariz, a regional EPA administrator whose 2010 lecture had been videotaped and been released by the office of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on April 25th. In the lecture, Dr. Amendariz had said that the agency’s “general philosophy” was to “crucify” oil and gas producers.

He compared the agency’s “philosophy of enforcement” to the way, as a Wall Street Journal editorial reported, “Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. “They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them, And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. The point is to ‘make examples’ of alleged lawbreakers.”

The case in point had been Range Resources, a driller who had been exonerated of charges of water pollution as the result of fracking. As the Wall Street Journal noted, the reference to executions “raise(d) questions not only about” not only Dr. Arnendariz’s comments “but the EPA’s larger impartiality and judgment.”

Keller, who describes himself as “a bit of a political activist” had emailed the EPA Director of External Affairs, Dr. David Gray, saying “Hello Mr. Gray. Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello?”

That was enough to dispatch two armed agents to his front door. He was told by one agent that “…my choice of words in the email could be interpreted in many ways.” They did not identify themselves, but asked if he had ever been arrested. He responded swiftly that he had not. When he asked for a copy of his email, they refused to provide it because “the case was still under investigation.”

His wife arrived home and the agents did not want a witness so “They left in a big hurry.”

The Ashville Tribune by Catherine Hunter quoted Keller who described their attitude as “accusatory” reporting that he compared “their tactics to those of Nazi Germany SS methods.”

Keller contacted the agent’s supervisor, Michael Hill, and was told that the incident with Dr. Armendariz “had prompted so many emails and calls that authorities in Washington, DC ordered an investigation.”

Keller’s email inquiry to contact Dr. Armendariz was treated as a threat when it clearly was not. Since when is trying to contact an EPA administrator a crime?

“I want the world to know,” said Keller, “the government is reaching into the privacy of our homes and computers. I’ve never been so offended by the power of government in my life.”

Do we really want an EPA that uses such tactics against a citizen who has merely indicated an interest in contacting one of their administrators to comment on what he had said during a lecture?

Do we really want an EPA whose working “philosophy” regarding the oil and gas industry is to “crucify” it in order to regulate it and, as we know, is trying to thwart drilling, as well as to end the coal industry that provides an energy resource that produces one half of all the electricity in the nation?

It is, as noted, just one small incident, but it reflects the way the EPA functions in a presumably free society. Over the years I have read of many incidents in which the EPA has asserted powers to impede the most innocent actions of citizens and it is long past the time when this agency is reined in by Congress.

The only option at this point is to rid the nation of the Obama administration, crack down on the EPA, and rid us of the threat it poses in its efforts to deny entire industries from providing the energy the nation requires and attacks our agricultural and ranching communities for practices that reflect its normal operation.

As they used to advertise horror films, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” An EPA that operates on the basis of intimidating its chosen enemies and that seeks to intimidate citizens inquiring about it, is reason enough to be afraid.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent expose by Sharon Terlep about how Obama’s economic policies end up as bad investments- for the rest of us.

You know? The 99 percent non-bailout people.

OK, it’s really not about that.

It’s about how even the worst union workers and plants under the UAW bailout got bailed out, while great workers at productive plants got the shaft- because they weren’t UAW shops.

Reports Terlep:

In the end, “we had to take care of our own members,” says Cal Rapson, the former UAW vice president leading negotiations with GM. “It was unfortunate what happened to the others. But there wasn’t enough to go around.”

There never is enough when you’re a union boss and you are getting an $80 billion bailout.



That’s supposedly why we elect a president of the United States.

The president is supposed to be the president of ALL of us. But as Obama has made increasingly clear, he’s only the president of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke and Eric Holder, and the half the Keystone pipeline that he himself squashed as well as Bob King, titular president of the UAW. 

Because the truth is, as president of the United States, Obama has made a real fine UAW president.

I don’t think there is a special interest, a lobby or a donor who Obama wouldn’t screw over in order to take care of the 1 percent of workers who represent the UAW:

Despite being one of GM’s most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company’s 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM’s bankruptcy two years later, Moraine’s 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry’s rebound.

Oh, yes. The Moraine plant was a union shop, just not UAW. Instead the folks at the Moraine were represented by the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers.

Right: Who?

That’s what Obama thought too.

Since 1990, the UAW has given $27,371,075 to Democrat candidates and $184,500 to Republicans according to the database Opensecrets.org.

In other words, while GM and Chrysler shareholders and bondholders got the shaft, the UAW realized a 292,200 percent return on their investment from the money that they have invested in Democrat politicians.   

The International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers? They got no return at all. Perhaps because they aren’t listed as a donor for any candidates.

But that’s far better than the negative return that taxpayers are seeing from the bailout;

bailouts that tended to favor Obama’s biggest donors in 2008- financial services and unions.

The latest inspector general report says total bailout losses so far equal about $133 billion, with about 19 percent of that loss coming from the automotive industry

Over time, some of that money may be recouped, but total losses are expected to be from $50 billion to $75 billion, and they could be higher.

The total bailout cost for automakers to taxpayers is expected to be about $25 billion. 

Thanks Obama.

That plan is really working out for some of you.

TYRRELL: All the angry liberals – Washington Times

TYRRELL: All the angry liberals – Washington Times.

It doesn’t take a shrink to figure out they’re driven by resentment

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. – The Washington Times

I was innocently making my way through the weekend newspapers when I came upon a “think” piece in The Washington Post by a dreamer named Chris Mooney, a self-confessed “liberal.” Yes, he actually admitted to it.

He has conferred with psychologists to ascertain the difference between liberals and conservatives. By the way, it is always a tip-off when one writes that he has resorted to psychologists, as opposed to political philosophers, to explain what are, after all, political differences. What the writer is saying is we now have “science” on our side, as opposed to mere learning, and the scientists’ findings are unassailable – and, as it turns out, claptrap: tendentious, self-regarding claptrap.

Now comes Mr. Mooney’s claptrap: “There’s now a large body of evidence showing that those who opt for the political left and those who opt for the political right tend to process information in divergent ways and to differ on any number of psychological traits.” To come to the point, liberals “score higher on a personality measure called ‘openness to experience.’ ” And conservatives, “in contrast, tend to be less open – less exploratory, less in need of change.” We conservatives appreciate “order and structure.” You will recall how open to experience liberals have been when we have attempted to introduce vouchers, charter schools, missile defense and supply-side economics. Liberals are wildly curious about conservative positions on all manner of issues. As for openness, may I suggest you light up a fat cigar, say, in an outdoor cafe, or ride your bicycle without a helmet. See how open our liberal friends are then.

Fortunately, last weekend I also read the Wall Street Journal (that is how open “to experience” I am) and came across an interview with the distinguished British political philosopher – and, I might add, American Spectator contributor – Roger Scruton. Mr. Scruton, as luck would have it, had some arresting things to say about the differing mentality of liberals and conservatives – all without having to resort to the partisan findings of lightweights and imposters. He said of liberalism: “My own view is that left-wing positions largely come about from resentment – I agree with Nietzsche about this – a resentment about the surrounding social order. They have privileges; I don’t. Or, I have them, and I can’t live up to them. Things should be organized differently. And there’s always some sense on the left that power is in the wrong hands.”

That comports very well with my long-held thesis that there is only one political value that all liberals through the generations continue to profess. It is not personal liberty. It is not public order. It is disturbing the peace. Think about my aforementioned fat cigar. A generation ago, no self-respecting liberal denied our ability to smoke in public, and a lady with a cigar was admired widely. Today it is a capital offense, or should be. Liberals’ one unchanging political value is to disturb the peace, and let us pause to note that in almost any civilized criminal code, disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor. In Araby, it probably is a capital offense.

Mr. Scruton’s observation about the liberals and their resentments is a perfect opening for introducing a lady who this week needs no introduction, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who said of Ann Romney that she “has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.” Mrs. Romney raised five boys, beginning when both she and her husband were undergraduates. Oh, and let us not forget the comic genius Bill Maher, who that added Ann Romney “has never gotten [expletive] out of the house to work.”

These liberals may suffer superior “openness to experience,” but their openness is limited to things their leaders approve of, and, more fundamentally, they are very angry. They are angry with anyone who presumes to seek high public office against them – even a candidate’s wife. They are angry because they are losing.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of the American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. He is author of the forthcoming “The Death of Liberalism” (Thomas Nelson).