environmntal-news

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: March 20, 2017

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult WiseEnergy.org for more information).

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.

Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

Wind Energy is an Attack on Rural America

As Wind Grows, So Does Its Opposition

Five Key Reasons to Pull the Plug on Wind Subsidies

Proposed US Carbon Tax — A Recipe for Disaster

The War on Affordable Electricity

Science Deniers in the Wind Industry

Short video: Poison Wind

How Would Oklahoma’s Anti-Wind Tax Affect The State’s Industry?

Europe’s Lessons Teach Us — Don’t Go Green!

RGGI Works Well — It Just Doesn’t Reduce Much Carbon

How Leonardo DiCaprio Can Persuade Me on Climate Change

A Handy Primer for Deluded Warmists

Climate-Change Models are Flawed Because Climate Science is so Incomplete

Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere

G-20 Poised to Signal Retreat From Climate-Change Funding Pledge

Getting to the Bottom of a Climate Crusade

Solar Panels Increased Emissions of a Gas 17,200 Times More Potent Than CO2

President Trump’s Proposed OMB Budget

Greed Energy Economics:

Five Key Reasons to Pull the Plug on Wind Subsidies

How Would Oklahoma’s Anti-Wind Tax Affect The State’s Industry?

The War on Affordable Electricity

Proposed US Carbon Tax — A Recipe for Disaster

‘Conservative’ Carbon Tax Prescribes Liberal Dose of Nonsense

Massachusetts’ Promotion of Turbines Risks $18 Billion in Tourism Income

Wind Turbines Kick Seniors to the Curb in Canada

Amazon Wins NC Offshore Lease Bid, for $9 Million

UK Budget 2017: Solar industry facing 800% tax increase

NY PSC Wants Utilities to Bury Costs of Renewable Energy

Turbine Health Matters:

Once Turbines Arrive, Say Goodbye to Peace and Quiet

Science Deniers in the Wind Industry

Mass DEP After Ten Years Of Wind Turbine Testimony Again Takes No Action

Vermont’s PSB proposes new turbine setback and noise rules

Wind Turbines and Aviation Safety

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:

Short video: Poison Wind

Environmentalists Question Wind Project off Fire Island (NY)

Miscellaneous Energy News:

Wind Energy is an Attack on Rural America

Europe’s Lessons Teach Us — Don’t Go Green!

RGGI Works Well — It Just Doesn’t Reduce Much Carbon

As wind grows, so does its opposition

Globally, clean energy has been on the decline for the last 20 years

Five Ways Trump Can Improve Environmental Policy

How the EPA Could Gut Climate Change Regulations

OPEC is losing the global oil game

NC County Eyes Stiffer Solar Rules

Proposed Legislation Would Freeze NC’s Energy Mandate

GOP lawmaker confronts Gov Kasich on Ohio’s green-energy mandates

Renewable energy is defective solution in search of a problem, money, and power

South Australia – A Renewable State?

Is the Lappeenranta renewable energy model realistic?

Wind is a financial and political boondoggle

Elaborate Wind Turbulence Study Set to Improve Modeling

Weather service concerned that wind project could interfere with forecasts

Falmouth Wind Turbine Lawsuits and RICO statute

Oklahoma chamber wants state military commission involved in wind project siting

Little Reactors a Big Energy Boon

Manmade Global Warming Articles:

How Leonardo DiCaprio Can Persuade Me on Climate Change

A Handy Primer for Deluded Warmists

Solar Panels Increased Emissions Of A Gas 17,200 Times More Potent Than CO2

Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere

Getting to the Bottom of a Climate Crusade

A New SLR Analysis for the US East Coast

Useless’ Climate modeling is the hot new thing at a green bank

Yale Climate Opinion Maps (2016)

German Minister Announces the End of Unilateral Climate Targets

Trump Reported to Cut US UN Funding in half

Trump to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews, Source Says

Trump Orders EPA to Zero Out Global Warming Programs

To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

Bills to fix EPA “science” introduced in the House

Those “devastating” EPA reductions

Driving policies through fraud and fear-mongering

A Conservative Children’s Book: Carbon Comes Out of the Closet

Financial Stability Board Climate Deceit

Hundreds Of Scientists Urge Trump To Pull Out Of A 25-Year-Old UN Environmental Treaty

Discussion of “Hottest Year on Record” for Australia

Debunking the Climate Scam

The Natives Are Getting RETless

Obama Hid Over $77 BILLION in Climate Change Funds

President Trump’s Proposed OMB Budget

See Prior AWED Newsletters

100days

VIDEO: President-elect Trump on First 100 Days

The President-elect shares an update on the Presidential Transition, an outline of some of his policy plans for the first 100 days, and his day one executive actions.

Watch and enjoy. You’ll be pinching yourself:

Here’s a list of the initiatives President-elect Trump says he wants to pursue starting on day one:

  • U.S. trade — issue a notice of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • U.S. energy — cancel what Trump described as “job-killing” restrictions on American energy production.
  • Regulations — the incoming president says he will seek to formulate a simple rule: for every one new regulation, two old regulations would be eliminated.
  • National security — Trump says he will ask the Department of Defense to develop policies that protect US infrastructure from cyber attacks and “all other forms of attacks.”
  • Immigration — ask the Department of Labor to investigate abuses of visa programs that “undercut the American worker.”
  • Ethics reform — a 5- year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and a lifetime ban on the same officials lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Trump Makes Good Moves On Ethics Issue

How Trump Can Reverse Obama Climate Change Regulations

In 2006, These Democrats Still in Office Voted to Build a Wall

Former Staffer Defends Jeff Sessions From Decades-Old Liberal Attack

Trump’s Refusal to Take Presidential Salary Rare, but Not Unprecedented

term limits congress

Paul Ryan just asked for help to pass Congressional Term Limits

This is just days after President-Elect Trump declared on 60 Minutes that he wanted to “drain the swamp” in D.C. by passing Term Limits.

This is all good news.

However,  Speaker Ryan also said he needed help.  He said he wants the House Judiciary Committee to put the Term Limits bill together.  And they will need USTL’s help to do that.

Just because Speaker Ryan or even President-Elect Trump want Term Limits doesn’t mean the rest of the Congress will go along.

The professional politicians HATE Term Limits.

However, we have to try!

That’s why I need your help now more than ever.

We need to make sure than any Term Limits bill in the House is a real one.  Not a phony Term Limits measure that gives the professional politicians cover back home.

Then we need to rally the American people behind this bill.

I expect we will have President Trump on our side in this fight.  But it’s going to be very, very tough.

The American people are going to have to rally like never before.  And U.S. Term Limits will have to lead the charge!

Simply getting a vote on a real Term Limits amendment in the House will help us secure support for the Term Limits Convention in the states.

Actually convincing the House to pass it would rock the country!

So, we need to move quickly.  This is a golden opportunity.

Please give anything you can to this emergency effort.

jill-cody-america-abandoned

The Author of America Abandoned — ‘The United States is now an Oligarchy’

SAN JOSE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — In her eye-opening new book America Abandoned: The Secret Velvet Coup That Cost Us Our Democracy, author and political activist Jill Cody minces no words about where the U.S. stands in 2016. “Our country, the alleged United States of America, is technically no longer a democracy. It has been abandoned to an oligarchy, defined as ‘a government run by the few’ and ‘a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.'”

Cody, whose book was just published this month, explains how multibillionaires managed to take control of Congress, the Supreme Court and, thus the country in a Velvet Coup that few saw coming. She traces its origins to a 1971 memo written by Louis Powell called the Powell Memorandum. The confidential memo for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce laid out a road map to further the interests of the Chamber’s version of free enterprise capitalism—a road map that was promoted by a parade of highly paid corporate lobbyists and Powell’s eventual appointment to the Supreme Court.

As the presidential election looms, carrying with it the possibility of a billionaire making it to the White House, Cody can talk about:

  • 7 ways the Velvet Coup caused the abandonment of ordinary Americans.
  • Why government should not be run like a business and who benefits if it is.
  • What Living in the Black or Living in the Red means, and how our individual and organizational choices could either rescue or ruin America.
  • How we can boldly recapture our middle class and democracy with personal activism and heightened voter participation.

PRAISE FOR AMERICA ABANDONED

“From right wing conservatives to Wall Street fat cats, progressive writer Jill Cody delivers a no-holds-barred look at a country that’s becoming politically, morally and financially bankrupt.” Thom Hartmann, nationally syndicated talk show host and bestselling author

ABOUT JILL CODY

America Abandoned is Jill Cody’s first book. Her life-long passion for knowledge and desire to inspire change in politics, the environment, higher education and organizational development led her to pursue a 31-year career in public service. She was personally trained and authorized by Vice President Al Gore to share his presentation on An Inconvenient Truth. She has assisted in coordinating national and international strategic planning meetings on Information Literacy in Washington D.C., Prague and Egypt. Cody earned a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University and devoted her career to public service.

hawaii-endangered-species

What? Feds Propose 49 New Endangered Species for Hawaii

From Federal Register September 30, 2016 (actually published Sept 29, 2016)

AGENCY:  Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:  Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:  We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list 10 animal species, including the band-rumped storm-petrel (Oceanodroma castro), the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly (Megalagrion xanthomelas), the anchialine pool shrimp (Procaris hawaiana), and seven yellow-faced bees (Hylaeus anthracinus, H. assimulans, H. facilis, H. hilaris, H. kuakea, H. longiceps, andH. mana), and 39 plant species from the Hawaiian Islands as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (Act). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act’s protections to these species.

DATES:  We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 30, 2015. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES:  You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R1-ES-2015-0125, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2015-0125, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments,below, for more information).

read … Federal Register

MN: Endangered species list gets longer

Brazil impeachment president fee

4 Myths about Impeaching Brazil’s President by Juan Carlos Hidalgo

On Sunday night, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted overwhelmingly (367-137) to open impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. The Senate will now vote on whether to take the case and try her, which is all but guaranteed. As a matter of fact, barring some unforeseen event, Dilma’s days as president are numbered.

These are Brazil’s most turbulent months since the return to democracy in 1985. Not only is the president about to be removed from office, but the country is also mired in its worst economic recession since the 1930s. It is not coincidence that Dilma’s popularity (10%) stands at a similar level to Brazil’s fiscal deficit (10.75%), the unemployment rate (9.5%), and the inflation rate (9.4%). The economic and political crises are feeding off of one another.

Here are some facts and myths regarding this impeachment process:

1. “It’s a coup!”

For some in the Latin American left, anything that cuts short a president’s tenure in office —even if it’s an impeachment process stipulated in the Constitution— is a coup. The same narrative was applied when left-wing President Fernando Lugo was impeached by Paraguay’s Congress in 2012.

The impeachment process and the crimes for which a president can be impeached in Brazil are clearly outlined in articles 85 and 86 of the Constitution. Moreover, the entire process has been overseen by the Supreme Court, which has thus far found no fault in how things have been conducted. It’s important to add that 8 of the 11 justices in the Supreme Court were appointed by Dilma and her Workers’ Party predecessor, Lula da Silva.

Tellingly, when the Guatemalan Congress voted last year to strip right-wing President Otto Pérez Molina of his immunity, so he could be prosecuted for corruption charges, no one claimed it was a coup.

2. “Dilma hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing”

It is true that Dilma hasn’t been accused of personally being involved in the Petrobras bribing scheme that inflicted loses of $17 billion on the state-owned oil company. Even though she was the chairwoman of the oil giant when most of the corrupt deals took place, her defense is that she was unaware that this was going on; at any rate, not a very good show of competence.

However, President Rousseff is not being impeached over the Petrobras corruption scandal, but over her government’s illegal handling of budgetary accounts. In this regard, it was an independent court — the Federal Accounts Court — that ruled that the Rousseff administration had broken the law. According to article 85 of Brazil’s Constitution, this is a crime for which a president can be impeached.

3. “Most of the members of Congress are implicated in corruption scandals”

This is actually true. According to an NGO called Transparência Brasil, 60% of members of Congress have been convicted or are under investigation for various crimes, including corruption and electoral fraud. The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, has been charged with taking millions of dollars in bribes under the Petrobras scheme.

It is true that Brazilians aren’t simply dealing with a corrupt ruling party, but a crooked political class. Impeachment won’t fix this, but it will certainly set a powerful precedent. However, if the ultimate aim of Brazilians is to clean up the political system, they must be more rigorous in how they elect their political leaders in the future.

Other reforms are badly needed, such as overhauling the rules that grant immunity to members of Congress when they face criminal charges. Brazilians who have taken to the streets demanding the ouster of Dilma should now set their sights on political reform and those who oppose it.

4. “There is a political vendetta against the Worker’s Party from the Judiciary and the right-wing media”

It is true that Brazil’s judicial institutions, including the federal police, the attorney general’s office, and leading judges have been very active uncovering, prosecuting and convicting politicians involved in corruption scandals. But those implicated thus far have belonged to different political parties, including those of the opposition. As mentioned above, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies leading the impeachment process against Dilma has been charged with corruption.

The media has also played a critical role in exposing the Petrobras scheme. This is good. Unlike other South American countries where the press has been stifled by their governments, in Brazil there is a vibrant and free press that hold politicians accountable, and not only those that belong to the incumbent party. As a matter of fact, big news outlets considered “anti-Workers’ Party” have exposed the shenanigans of Speaker Eduardo Cunha and pointed out the fact that numerous Congressmen impeaching Dilma are also facing their own corruption charges. This doesn’t look like a cover-up.

The impeachment process is without a doubt a distressing affair for Brazil’s young democracy. But the country will emerge stronger if the right lessons are learned.

Cross-posted from Cato.org.

Juan Carlos HidalgoJuan Carlos Hidalgo

Juan Carlos Hidalgo is a policy analyst on Latin America at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

obama duncan

Obama’s former DOE Secretary Wanted More Mayoral Control of Public Schools Nationwide

Not long after President Obama brought former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Arne Duncan to Washington, D.C., to become U.S. Secretary of Education, Duncan spouted out this March 31, 2009, declaration regarding his desire to establish mayoral control over more school systems. As NBC Chicago reports:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday that mayors should take control of big-city school districts where academic performance is suffering.

Duncan said mayoral control provides the strong leadership and stability needed to overhaul urban schools.

Mayors run the schools in fewer than a dozen big cities; only seven have full control over management and operations. That includes Chicago, where Duncan headed the school system until joining the Obama administration.

Speaking at a forum with mayors and superintendents, Duncan promised to help more mayors take over.

“At the end of my tenure, if only seven mayors are in control, I think I will have failed,” Duncan said.

He offered to do whatever he can to make the case. “I’ll come to your cities,” Duncan said. “I’ll meet with your editorial boards. I’ll talk with your business communities. I will be there.”

To my knowledge, no school system has been placed under mayoral control since Duncan was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Education in December 2008. Certainly there was no rush for U.S. cities to place their education systems under control of a mayor. And though there is a lot more about Duncan to which one might tie failure (not the least of which are his coercive No Child left Behind waivers), let us consider a marvelous irony about mayoral control in Duncan’s own backyard of Chicago, Illinois:

On March 03, 2016, the Illinois House passed a bill to convert CPS’s mayorally-appointed school board into an elected board. The legislation, HB 4268, sponsored by Rep. Richard Markwell (D-Chicago) passed by a vote of 110-4 and is currently in the Senate. From the article:

The bill would partition the city into 20 local districts and a 21st board member would be elected at large as president. Each would serve an initial five-year term if elected on March 20, 2018, then four years each to coincide with municipal elections.

The legislation also addresses a few regular criticisms of the appointed board by pushing at least half of the elected board’s meetings until after hours so working parents and community members can attend.

Some believe that the Senate might not get to act on HB 4268 because of addressing Illinois’ state budget crisis. Still, what is remarkable about HB 4268 are the numerous House sponsors the bill has garnered along the way– 44 co-sponsors in all– and all Democrats– the same party affiliation as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Duncan praises mayoral-run districts for their top-down control– which logically appeals to a guy who held states ransom via Title I funds connected to his NCLB waivers. From Duncan’s 2009 NBC spiel:

Duncan told The Associated Press that urban schools need someone who is accountable to voters and driving all of a city’s resources behind children.

“Part of the reason urban education has struggled historically is you haven’t had that leadership from the top,” he said.

“Where you’ve seen real progress in the sense of innovation, guess what the common denominator is? Mayoral control,” Duncan said.

I do not know of anyone who would describe what Emanuel has done to CPS as “progress” and certainly not as “innovative.”

Furthermore, Emanuel made sure he was not “accountable to voters” by suppressing evidence of the Laquan McDonald shooting until after his runoff election against Chuy Garcia on April 07, 2015.

As of February 01, 2016, Emanuel’s approval rating hit a record low of 27 percent. As WGN-TV reports:

According to the poll, only 27% of Chicagoans approve of the job he is doing.  41% believe he should resign.  55% would support legislation to allow a Chicago mayor to be recalled.

59% of those surveyed say Emanuel is not honest and trustworthy. 70% believe his administration is not transparent. Only 25% believe Emanuel is in touch with people like them.

The mayor’s slide in the polls has accelerated as the result of his handling of the investigation into the police shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald.  A police dashcam video that shows McDonald being shot 16 times was not released until last Spring, after Emanuel was re-elected.

58% of the poll respondents believe the mayor was not justified in withholding the release of the video; 74% don’t believe his statements about the shooting.

985 registered Chicago voters were polled between January 20 and January 28.  The poll has a margin of error of 3.2%.

Looks like Emanuel is losing his mayoral control on many fronts.

As for the condition of CPS under his (and his appointed board’s) control, Emanuel is also taking a hit. As HB 4268 co-sponsor Greg Harris (D- Chicago) notes on his web page circa November 2015:

There is only one school district in the State of Illinois that does NOT have an elected school board, and that is the Chicago Public Schools.  Currently all members of the Chicago Board of Education are appointed by Mayor and are not accountable to the parents, students or communities they serve. It is time for a change. That is why I am proud to cosponsor HB 4268 which would change Chicago’s school board from appointees to an elected school board.

We know about the recent pay-to-play scandals rocking CPS. But for our neighborhoods there are so many other reasons that we need to take back control of our schools. We have seen our neighborhood schools losing resources for enrichment programs such as music, art, sports, foreign languages, advanced placement and special education. This year, CPS is proposing over $8.7 million in cuts to schools in our area.

It is also worth noting that at the same time the Board is cutting our schools and asking for a property tax increase, we will be paying $238 million in termination fees to banks and investors to get us out of interest rate swaps and other financial deals that the CPS Board itself instigated.

Harris posted the above appeal right around the time of the CPS scandal related to a federal investigation and guilty plea of former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Emanuel’s withholding emails related to the incident.

Add to the above the following observations regarding an Emanuel-controlled board by Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis in the March 03, 2016, NBC article:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has complained for years that the appointed board rarely listens to teachers and families when imposing decisions — or it wouldn’t have closed 50 schools or rubber-stamped a no-bid contract deal that since ousted the CEO and might land her in prison.

“Nearly one year ago, 90 percent of Chicago voters expressed their support for an elected school board, and now, the city’s students and their families are closer to ending the devastation of mayoral control and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Board of Education,” Lewis said. “The CTU now calls on the Senate to pass this bill and give the voters what is long overdue — democracy in our education.”

Mayoral control has not worked in Chicago. Whether or not Duncan admits as much in 2016 is irrelevant. He is currently in no position to advocate for mayoral control.

However.

Illinois should stay alert to Duncan’s December 2015 return to Illinois and the possibility of his doing so in order to qualify to run for governor in November 2018.

For now, as of February 2016, Duncan is not in the public eye, though he has signed Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to represent him, as Deadline reports, “in all areas including books and speaking engagements.”

I wonder what Duncan would get CAA or any other agency to market as his USDOE success in a future bid for any political position of note, Illinois governor included.

And I wonder if he plans to write or speak on the glories of mayoral control, especially in Chicago.

Three words:

Litter box liner.

The First Amendment Could Break the Grip of Government Unions

The First Amendment Could Break the Grip of Government Unions by Charles W. Baird

On January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. It will be one of the Court’s most consequential cases this term. A decision in favor of Rebecca Friedrichs, a California public school teacher, could begin to undo the catastrophic damage caused by the widespread unionization of government employees in the 1960s and 1970s.

Municipal bankruptcies, state insolvencies, decaying public education, political corruption, and attacks on the freedom of speech and freedom of association of government employees are only the most visible wreckage of that disastrous mistake.

The question before the Court is whether forcing government employees to pay dues to a government employee union is a violation of the First Amendment.

In the Abood decision (1977), the Supreme Court sanctioned such coercion. Government workers could be forced to pay for the collective bargaining activities of the unions that represent them, but, the majority held, they could not be forced to pay that portion of dues unions use directly for political advocacy, as that would violate their right to free speech.

In his concurring opinion, Justice Lewis Powell warned the Court that there is no “basis … for distinguishing ‘collective bargaining activities’ from ‘political activities’ so far as the interests protected by the First Amendment are concerned. Collective bargaining in the public sector is ‘political’ in any meaningful sense of the word.”

In Abood, the majority disregarded Powell’s concern. But in Friedrichs, the Court will have to reconsider Powell’s insight that collective bargaining in the government sector is inherently political. The wages, salaries, and other conditions of government employment are political questions: they directly affect voters, taxpayers, and the actions of government agencies. Therefore, no employee should be forced to pay dues or fees for government sector collective bargaining.

If the Court finally agrees with Powell, no union will be able to force any government employee to pay union dues or fees for anything. This will shut down the vicious cycle whereby government unions collect forced tribute from government workers and then use it to help pro-union politicians obtain and maintain political power — who then empower and enrich the government employee unions.

The California Teachers Association (CTA) is panicked by the possibility of losing this case. It’s been showing this PowerPoint presentation throughout the state to try to prod its sympathizers to counterattack. It begs for ideas for “next steps and timelines necessary for CTA to respond to the impact of a negative rulings [sic].”

At the end of the presentation, the CTA finally does what it should have alwayshad to do: It considers how it might do a better job of convincing teachers that union membership is worthwhile. Forced dues and fees make it unnecessary for unions to justify themselves to their captive members.

The unions’ main argument in support of forced dues and fees is the chimerical “free rider” problem. They argue that, under the principle of “exclusive representation,” certified unions must represent all government employees, and if any of those workers did not pay dues and fees, they would receive the benefits of union representation for free. That would be unfair.

But this argument raises a more fundamental question: Why should government unions represent any workers who are not their voluntary members? Without exclusive representation, there could be no free riders. Without free riders, there is no case for compulsory union dues — political or otherwise.

Exclusive representation is not before the Court in this case, but if forced dues and fees in government employment are forbidden, exclusive representation itself may be challenged. After all, forcing anyone to accept the representation of an unwanted union as a condition of government employment seems clearly to violate that worker’s freedom of association. I look forward to such a case.

Charles W. BairdCharles W. Baird

Charles Baird is a professor of economics emeritus at California State University at East Bay.

He specializes in the law and economics of labor relations, a subject on which he has published several articles in refereed journals and numerous shorter pieces with FEE.

ObamaRollingWithSomeKhakis

Only Obama Can Shut Down the Government

The inclination many establishment Republicans have shown for premature legislative and ideological surrender is, at times, only matched by their eagerness to surrender the messaging battle as well.

Committed conservatives are already fighting a difficult messaging battle. They face committed liberal activists, far-left elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, an entrenched federal bureaucracy, an ideologically blinded media, an influential entertainment community, and an insulated, left-leaning academic community. We do not need to waste precious resources fighting against our own party. But the establishment has backed us into a corner by integrating the language of the Left into its own messaging.

I witnessed this recently at a Republican debate I attended for Florida’s 18th congressional district. The moderator of the debate asked the candidates a question about a vote for or against a debt ceiling hike, and insinuated via the wording of the question that a “no” vote would be a vote for shutting down the government. I was hoping the candidates would see through the messaging magic trick the debate moderator was playing on them, but many did not. By answering this “question,” without challenging the inaccurate premise of the question, many of the candidates lent credence to the premise that the GOP is responsible for “shutting down the government.” This is complete garbage and no activist, candidate, elected official, or responsible member of the GOP with a media voice should make room for this nonsensical idea.

Democrats, and their ideologically-aligned media friends, invented the false narrative that the GOP is responsible for any government shutdown as a tool to force the GOP to forfeit the constitutional congressional power of the purse, which the GOP-led House of Representatives rightfully holds.

Now that the narrative has been firmly implanted in the American public conscience, with the assistance of many in the GOP, and with Republican leadership afraid to tell the truth about how the government “shuts down,” the GOP insider class has effectively disempowered itself, along with the voters who busted their butts to get them elected and millions of conservative Americans who are pleading for their lawmakers to fight back against President Obama’s “fundamental transformation.”

Here are the very simple, and indisputable facts, about government “shutdowns.” The Republican-led House of Representatives has the constitutional duty to put forth, and pass, a federal budget. When a compromise budget is accepted by both the House and the Senate, it is then passed on to President Obama who can choose whether to sign the budget. If the president refuses to sign the budget and the government “shuts down”—a misnomer in itself because the government’s essential functions continue unabated during a “shutdown”— it is the exclusive result of presidential inaction. This requires no leap in logic or world-class imagination to figure out.

With this said, I am pleading with Republicans across the grassroots and elected spectrum to please stop saying, “We shouldn’t shut down the government.” Of course we shouldn’t shut down the government because we can’t shut down the government. Only the president can do that.

Do you really think that if the roles were reversed, and the Republicans held the White House and the Democrats held the House and Senate, that the media narrative would be the same? Of course not. The media would be blaming the Republican President for “shutting down the government” if he refused to sign the Democratic congress’ budget.

So please stop playing along like media lapdogs and carrying their messaging water for them. Just gather yourselves together and commit to doing the right thing and not the easy thing, and tell the people the truth. We deserve it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of President Obama is by Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP Photo.

dollar with us capitol in red

Gallup: More Americans Say Federal Government a Threat

The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is there for a simple reason: Our Founding Fathers wisely understood that even a national government of supposedly limited powers could overstep its bounds and infringe upon the rights of the people. In the landmark Heller decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the Founders considered the Second Amendment a failsafe that would provide the people with the means “to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down.”

Whatever else can be said about the efficacy or integrity of the government these days, America is fortunate that its people still have ample means to seek peaceful redress of grievances. Yet a new poll shows that the Founders’ concerns about the overreaching tendencies of centralized power remain on the mind of many U.S. citizens. Gallup reported on Monday that the share of Americans saying that the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens” has risen from 30 percent in 2003 to 49 percent today.

Those who believe the government poses a threat say that it does so in a wide variety of areas, ranging from the feeling that the government wields too much power in general, to numerous specific concerns. Gallup notes, however, that “[t]he most frequently mentioned specific threats involve gun control laws and violations of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, mentioned by 12% who perceive the government to be an immediate threat.” That was a greater percentage of Americans than those expressing concern over government surveillance of Americans’ email and phone activities, Obamacare, and encroachments on freedom of religion and other First Amendment rights.

Gallup also reports that during the four-year gap between its 2006 and 2010 polls, the share of Democrat and Democrat-leaning respondents believing the government posed a threat decreased from 59 percent to 26 percent, while the share of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents holding the same opinion increased from 24 percent to 63 percent. For that reason, Gallup concludes that party affiliation tends to determine whether a person perceives a threat, with Democrats more likely to having felt threatened during the presidency of George W. Bush and Republicans more likely to having the same opinion since Barack Obama took office.

However, Gallup’s numbers show that adherents of both parties are more threatened by government power under Obama than they were during the Bush administration. Comparing responses from the two parties by averaging the results of the four polls taken during each administration shows that Democrats are four points more suspicious of government under Obama than Republicans were under Bush. The poll also shows that, overall, Republicans are more threatened by the government under Obama than Democrats were under Bush.

But make no mistake.  Any way you break down the numbers, a growing number of people of all political persuasions see the Obama administration as a threat to our freedoms.

Gallup’s take-away from its polls is that “the persistent finding in recent years that half of the population views the government as an immediate threat underscores the degree to which the role and power of government remains a key issue of our time. . . . From the people’s perspective, then, a focus on the appropriate role for government should be at the forefront of the nation’s continuing political discourse and should be a key point of debate in the current presidential election campaigns.”

The United States is unique in its commitment to an armed citizenry. It is also unique in the level of personal freedom and self-determination enjoyed by its citizens. We don’t think that’s a coincidence. We also don’t think it’s any surprise that more Americans are feeling concerned about a government that increasingly signals it doesn’t trust them with their fundamental freedoms, including the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

One solution, of course, is provided by Article II of the Constitution, which details the manner in which Americans are to elect their president. We again have the opportunity to exercise that sacred freedom next year. Candidates on both sides of the aisle have already begun articulating their views on the Second Amendment, and gun owners should be paying close attention. If Americans again elect an executive who does not hold the trust of the people, we will have only ourselves to blame.

rogue nation film

The Most Impossible Thing in “MI: Rogue Nation” by Jeffrey A. Tucker

There’s a scene in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” that seems entirely plausible. The bad guy is transferring a huge amount of money, something like $1 billion. He has a hand-held device and clicks the button. We see a progress bar. The operation takes only a few seconds and then there is a ding. Done! Wow, impressive.

Surely, this is the way rich, powerful, well-connected people do it.

Actually, this is the most impossible thing that happens in the movie. It is more impossible than holding one’s breath for 3 minutes, more impossible than hanging onto the side of an airplane as it takes off and lands, and more impossible than riding a motorcycle at 120 miles an hour around curvy Moroccan roads and not crashing.

It can’t be done — not with any existing service. Viewers hardly question that it should be possible to move money that quickly. Sadly, it is not. Our money transmission technologies in real life are like the 1950s.

The only way to do what they did would be the use of a technology invented in 2009 but is still in extremely limited use, for now: cryptocurrency like Bitcoin operating on a distributed ledger. Otherwise, you are going to have to wait several weekdays, pay high fees, or have a trusted (credit-based) relationship with some third-party provider.

There is currently no way, using national money, to move a billion dollars from one person to another instantly. You can’t do it with a million dollars. There are better and worse ways to move thousands of dollars, but they all cost money, all require a trust relationship, and all take time. And there is no way to do this peer to peer using even $1 (except, of course, physically handing you a piece of paper in person).

National Currencies Limit Transfer Choice

Consider the most common way of moving money from me to you. It is ACH, which stands for Automated Clearing House. It moves a total of $40 trillion per year in 25 billion transactions, and is increasingly preferred over credit cards. It seems clean and, once you have verified accounts, works without a credit relationship.

However, it is slow. It takes at least one day and as much as four days, not including weekends. If you push on Thursday, the funds might not be there until Tuesday. It’s also expensive: 1-3%, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize you can get a nice car for how much it costs to move $1 million.

ACH is the most advanced, most common, most direct, most reliable method. And it is still terrible. It’s closely related to wiring money — an ancient method that uses Western Union (founded 1851!) or Moneygram (the new name for Travelers Express founded in 1940). These are very expensive services, though they are very fast.

PayPal is a mixed bag. If you have a balance or have it directly linked to your bank account, there are no fees, though there is a transaction limit of $10,000. If you are using a credit or debit card, the fees can be 3%. And the clearing time can be 3-4 business days, though if you have a balance in your account, the transfer is instant. This doesn’t really mean anything, though, because it takes 3-4 days to make the PayPal balance achieve liquidity outside of PayPal. If you are using it internationally, the fees go through the roof, regardless.

Other services improve on this record. Google Wallet is one of the best. It’s been known to be fast when it is linked up to your bank account. But you can’t know for sure. It could take several days. And there are strict limits to the amount to you can move. If you have more than $50,000 to send in a week, you are completely out of luck.

It is the same with Square Cash, except that this service absolutely requires a debit card hook up. It is mercifully free of fees, but you have to wait 30 days before your account is verified, and, until that time, you are limited to moving $1,000.

There is a fancy new application on Facebook that allows you to move limited amounts of money, and it is wonderful and exciting.

Except: it can take three to four days before your money movies via instant messaging. And Facebook doesn’t permit credit cards, debit cards, or other third-party payment systems.

SnapChat is experimenting with something similar.

There are many other services that are desperately trying to resolve the problem. Think of companies like Dwolla, which started in 2008 with such promise. But this company, just like PayPal and everyone else, bumped into a crazy system of regulations that forced compliance with every form of “know your customer” rules and navigating a highly regulated banking system with a money that is ultimately controlled by government and, therefore, moves digitally only according to its diktat.

Risks of Anachronistic Systems

Another big flaw is that any one of these trusted third parties can reverse, freeze, or seize the transaction funds and there’s nothing anyone can do to avoid this risk. For a billion dollar transfer, the risk of seizure, freezing, or reversal would be enormous and would last for months.

It’s not a surprise that innovation is difficult under these conditions. We can get ever fancier interfaces, ever more accessibility, ever friendlier ways of going about things. All of this is great.

But, in the end, transferring money from one person to the next bumps into the same problems: trust, fees, waiting times, dollar limits, and grave problems with international transfers. Each problem has a slightly different source. But they all add up to the weird reality that doing what would seem completely normal in 2015 — moving money instantly from here to there — is still exceedingly difficult.

How much further are we going to get into the digital age before our monetary and payment systems catch up? There is a crying need. Everyone knows it. This is why so many people are excited about Bitcoin.

Bitcoin blows up the current system through several critically new innovations. It combines a money and payment system into one single process, bypassing national monies altogether. It also bypasses the banking system completely through a ledger system that is open source and monitored through software. It also requires no trust, credit, or identity verification. If you have an Internet connection, and you hold some amounts of the currency, you can move that property from you to anyone else in the world without asking anyone’s permission.

The time for transaction processing is almost instant; the transaction clearing time can be several minutes. Compare that clearing time to 1-3 days for equity markets, 3-5 business days for a check or wire transfer, and 60-90 days for a credit card transaction.

The costs associated with moving cryptocurrency are negligible. For example, in December 2014, there was an $81 million transaction that cost just $0.40 to conduct. That compares to the $2.4 million or so this same transaction would cost using conventional payments systems and national monies.

This is a huge benefit of Bitcoin but only one feature of a larger innovation. Cryptocurrency completely rethinks the way we bundle, title, move, and verify all kinds of information. The potential applications for this technology are awesome to consider. It’s not just about money, though that would be significant enough. The spillovers affected titling, securities, and all forms of contracts.

The headlines over Bitcoin today are all about the fallout from the failure of one firm, Mt. Gox, an early mover in the space that mishandled its business. It’s just another in a long series of blows Bitcoin has endured in the 6 years of its existence. And yet, when you look at it today, you see an innovation that has been tested, survived, and thrived.

Bitcoin is Mission Impossible — an innovation that finally moves money into the 21st century — coming true.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

term limits nashville tn

Defended: Term Limits in Nashville, TN

Don’t you just love when citizens take a stand against slippery politicians? That’s what happened last week in Nashville, when U.S. Term Limits helped citizens defeat two anti-term limits proposals foisted on them by the city’s Metro Council.

Nashville Council members have now tried five times to weaken their two-term limit, failing each time because voters are too smart to allow it.

Councilwoman Emily Evans thought she had finally figured out how to trick the people, combining weaker term limits and a smaller Council size into one ballot measure. But thanks to the efforts of local activists and USTL on the ground, that was not to be.

A late yard sign campaign informed citizens at every polling place that Evans’ amendment was crooked, and it was beaten in a landslide 26-point margin. The special interests that funded her campaign were shocked!

USTL assists in local term limits campaigns because elected officials at all levels will veer into corrupt and self-serving behavior. When this happens, the wealthy lobbyists and donors who prop up politicians will do everything they can to beat term limits.
We cannot let it happen.

Thank You,

Nick Tomboulides
Executive Director, U.S. Term Limits

rand paul hands fingers extended

Senator Rand Paul Introduces ‘Read the Bills Act’

AKRON, Ohio /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “Congress has to read the bills, if they want to claim they represent us,” declares Jim Babka, President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. “The ‘Read the Bills Act’ restores fiduciary duty in Congress.”

Under the Read the Bills Act (RTBA, S. 1571), members of Congress would have to sign an affidavit indicating they’ve read the bill or heard it read to them before voting “For” the bill. Courts would be prohibited from enforcing laws that didn’t meet this requirement.

“You can’t claim ignorance of the law as a defense in court,” Babka continues. “So there shouldn’t be any excuse for politicians to pass huge bills they haven’t read.”

Senator Paul has been featuring this issue as one of his priorities while on the campaign trail.  The Senator himself observes that, “Too often in Congress, legislation is shoved through without hearings, amendments or debate. Elected officials are rarely given an adequate amount of time to read the bills in full, and unlike Rep.Nancy Pelosi, I believe we must read the bills before passing them into law.”

RTBA also requires the bill to be posted online for seven days before the final vote. This, Senator Paul notes, will give Americans “sufficient time to read and give input to Members of Congress as they consider legislation.”

This simple, “transpartisan” act is hard for members of Congress to accept. But Americans love it. Grover Norquist, in his book, Leave Us Alone, called the bill an essential reform for transparency, applauding the fact that it prohibits sneaking-in last minute deals.

Babka commends Senator Paul. “He’s not only re-introduced this bill, which would be a law that would protect individuals, but he’s also put forth a Read the Bill rule, which would require the Senate to have a waiting period of bill publication for the vote. Truly, he’s committed to this issue.”

To help attract more co-sponsors to Senator Paul’s bill, DownsizeDC.org offers a free tool for constituents to deliver letters directly to their Representative and two Senators. Here’s the link: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/rtba/

DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

http://www.DownsizeDC.org

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putin obama

Soviet Fascism in the 21st Century: The Ideology of Death and Destruction

The killing of five servicemen in Tennessee mobilized the entire security forces looking for a motive and wrongly identified the shooting as a Domestic Terrorism. For me the motive is as clear as a blue sky—it was an act of Islamic terror. The entire week starting on July 14, 2015 was full of killings, deceit, and destructions going on in America and around the world. It was an apogee of the ideology I called Soviet Fascism and its assaults on the West. The picture was presenting a system of political believes and all its deadly components acting simultaneously. I am writing about the ideology again, because 55 per cent of young people in America are planning to leave the country. I feel, it is my duty to educate them and tell them the truth about the political party called Democratic Party, which is responsible for the destruction going on in our country and throughout the world.

Liberals and Conservatives

The term “Classic Liberals” came to life as a representation of the people with strong principles and beliefs, embracing a certain philosophy in a conception of liberty. It describes and indicates various types of individual freedoms, such as religious liberty, political liberty, freedom of speech, right of self-defense, and the like. This is a very positive identification of the “Classic Liberals” in the history of the nineteenth century. They are for all the liberties plus they are the patriots of their country, pursuing national security along the path of the truth. They are self-sufficient and love the flag, country, and religion. I love them and share their ideas and feelings. I don’t like “Modern Liberals.”

The “Modern Liberals.” have usurped the honorable term of liberty that has nothing in common with their activities and agenda. Lacking a grasp of reality, they have always been soft on Soviet Socialism and now actually soft on Soviet Fascism. All the good words describing “Classic Liberals” belongs to the people who call themselves Conservatives, who are for SMALL government. They are self-sufficient, they love the flag, country, and religion.  Contrary to them, “Modern Liberals” are apologist for a big government, controlling people and economy, as Obama has been doing during his entire presidency. They are using Stalin’s Political Correctness to do so in order to fool and mislead you.

The defrauding of the political names and their political titles had happened and this is the crux of the matter. I have some explanation of how it happened and proof that all negative development in our country has been caused by the ignorance of some and, perhaps, treachery of others within the “Modern Liberals,” we called them today Liberals or Leftist. I see a constant use of Stalin’s Political Correctness by them in both domestic and foreign affairs to deceive, fool and mislead people—a typical manipulation of the human mind.

In writing this series, I am trying to open up an avenue showing the way Socialism proceeds from a theory to reality, from the 19th to the 21st century. To a certain degree it is the avenue of politics and semantics from Karl Marx to Joseph Stalin. Semantics is a branch of Linguistics, it is the study of the word’s meanings and ways in which the meanings changed and developed. Stalin, by deceiving the world used it to create his own ideology of Socialism by preaching Marx’s postulates—the fraud, I have been presenting since the first article of this series. Stalin’s Political Correctness is the reflection and manifestation of his fraud to fool you during two centuries. Pay attention to Semantics—Social and Socialist are two completely different words: not all Social-Democrats in Europe are Socialists, some are.

Big Brother is Watching You

Eric Arthur Blair, who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. It was around the 1930s and 40s, when he completed his brilliant book—1984. Living in the Soviet Union at the time, I couldn’t read it. The book was forbidden by the Stalinist regime. Coming to America, I was able to read it when my knowledge of English allowed it. And… I was stunned—that book was about my childhood and my life in the Soviet Union. The narrative of a communal apartment and its kitchen had described my exact life in Leningrad, and the smell of cabbage that has followed me since. The world classified the book as a fiction and satire, I would argue that– the book is much more than that.

All works of George Orwell presents a thoughtful and careful warning to the decent people of Western civilization. You wouldn’t argue that his warning is a thoughtful one, it is careful, because Orwell was writing and publishing his works at the time of Stalin’s butchery in Russia. I have an impression that besides the smell of cabbage, Orwell also grasped Stalin’s Political Correctness, which is a central issue of all his writings—a manipulated human mind. Fiction allowed him to create without a fear of being assassinated.  Don’t forget, Trotsky was assassinated by Stalin’s order in the 1940s.

Orwell knew Stalin’s character and his connection to the Muslim culture and Islam. Using his knowledge, he is definitely addressing the upcoming generations and that is the reason, I am reporting about Stalin’s time as a child of Stalinism. Let me illustrate my thoughts by using George Orwell’s words, which will remind you of your own life in America today:

In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

This was said in 1930-40s—during Stalin’s time, when I had lived in Leningrad. Look at my identification of Political Correctness: “To indoctrinate us in the Stalinist ideology, an arsenal of different devices was used: lies, fraud, deceit, distortion, and fabrication, perjury, and so on to cover-up the crimes committed and substitute the promising result with a process…

“… Political Correctness is a Stalinist policy, driven by the political agenda, a skillfully crafted design and a long-term strategy of war against Western civilization and creation of One World Government.”

Do you grasp the resemblance with Orwell and the reason why I am writing about Stalinism?

A malignant and Ubiquitous Ideology of Stalinism

Never underestimate the power of a symbol: Symbol plays an extremely important role in history and in our lives today. Stalin was and is a mighty symbol of power in Russia today. Below is a quotation I took from a chapter in my book that shows Stalin’s role in the creation of the Chinese Communist State and Russia’s activities in the Middle East. Pay attention to a tremendous symbol of Stalin and his ideology of Socialism—it plays a crucial role in the 21st century of the world and that is the reason I dedicated all my writings to that exact topic. Remember, history repeats itself, please, see the beginning of the chapter The Red Menace: From China to Jihad, in What is Happening to America, written in 2006, p.145:

“In accordance with my habit, I would like to return to the chronology in the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy of the 1950s-1960s. The next target in the agenda after China was the Middle East—to control oil reserves and suffocate the West. It was Stalin’s idea. He was the first to acknowledge a new Jewish State in 1948, hoping for another satellite now in the Middle East. When Israel turned her face to the United States, the Stalinist foreign policy had drastically changed—the intelligence forces, a second echelon, came to achieve world domination by hook or by crook. Stalin had tremendous experience as a commissar for the nationalities in the country of more than one hundred different ethnic groups. He knew how to deal with them, and pitted them against each other—it was his paramount agenda. Now it was the Middle East’s turn to experience Stalinism.”

That means a total indoctrination and a process of radicalization by Stalin’s ideology in the countries of the Middle East for the last 65 years—as a result the ideology of Radical Islamism was born. If you want to know how it was done, please, read the above mentioned book and also The Russian Factor. Yet there is another reason to present Stalinism to the world and especially to the young Americans who planned to leave the country, it is that—Stalinism is Soviet Fascism. Many young people do not know anything about the Iron Curtain, Cold War, or the KGB activities. For them Russia has changed to the better after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Wrong! Nothing has changed in Russia, Stalinism is the ideology of the current Russia with the same agenda—destruction of Western civilization.

The leftists pretend not to know that. But, I hope, you remember Obama’s and Hillary’s reset with Russia in 2013-2014. Look attentively it is again the tactics of delays, which provide Russia with time to organize Iran’s nuclear deal, I believe the entire issue was created and highly coordinated by Russia, behind the scene through Iran’s Rev. Guard. Read my description of an inextricable connection of Russia and Iran to achieve the Russian agenda to change the balance of power in the Middle East, making its proxy a major force in the region, regardless of oil’s prices going down. Iran is a huge market for Russian arms and equipment’s, which will compensate losses in the price of oil.

Only understanding Russia’s role in current geopolitics, we can answer this question:

WHY IS OBAMA ABANDONING 70 YEARS OF U.S. NONPROLIFERATION POLICY?

Never mind the finer points of the bargain being struck with Iran.

“Since the beginning of the nuclear era, scientists have understood that the exact same technology could be used to produce fuel either for nuclear energy or for nuclear weapons. The two methods for producing nuclear fuel, uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, therefore, became known as “sensitive nuclear technologies.” The United States has always opposed the spread of sensitive nuclear technologies to all states, including its own allies, and it should not make an exception for Iran.”  Tablet, by Matthew Kroenig June 15, 2015.

The answer to the question is clear to me—the old Soviet/Russian policy 1950-1960 of inflaming the Middle East and instilling the Soviet style leaders is alive and well. Obama is a contemporary conduit of this policy and due to this policy the world is more dangerous today than ever before—Stalinism and its Soviet Fascism is working around the globe in the 21st century. Political Correctness is used by all parties involved: America, Iran, and Russia. Watch how the Obama administration makes incredible concessions to two global sponsors of international terrorism Iran and Russia. The way the liberals have been soft on the Soviet Union in the 20s century, is similar to the way they are collaborating with Putin’s Russia today.

Some observes compare the Obama nuke deal with Iran, and betrayal of Israel to Munich’s betrayal of Czechoslovakia by the West. Perhaps, yet I can tell you even more. If you compare the Obama deal to Clinton’s nuke deal with North Korea, you will be surprised—they are identical. I have a suspicion that both documents had been designed by the same group of people. I haven’t checked it, because I believe that both have been designed by Russians. Do you remember the Russian military document dated 1955? The Soviet Academy of Science had produced the research. I am afraid that both deals with Korea and Iran have the same master- architects in the best traditions of Soviet Fascism.

In addition to that, I’d like to make another two points: Obama sold Ukraine to Russia as well. Have you seen the tactic of delay and procrastination in helping Ukraine? And the second one: it was Clinton, who did two things to the contrary to the American interests in 1994—he made nukes deal with North Korea and

prohibited carrying arms in the military recruit’s stations. Please, consider the results of both and many other Clinton’s “achievements” in 2015. Maybe infiltration of Soviet Fascism to the American soil had begun much earlier?

What does Jane Harman know about Soviet Fascism? I ask about Jane Harman because I watched her on the Fox channel in the Sunday Show, of July 19, 2015. I was surprised that the incompetent Democrat was chosen to answer the questions. I was even more surprise when she became a Director of the Center. Watching her as a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee I knew how poor her knowledge of Russia was and the assignment to lead the Woodrow Wilson Center disappointed me. I am not alone having a negative opinion of her. Read what another person thinks about her and the Center.

“I wrote that last year in two exposés: “The Selling of the WWC” and “The WWC Desecrates its Namesake’s Legacy.”  They revealed that the Washington, DC based Wilson Center is violating its Congressional mandate and is up to its neck in tainted corporate cash. A leading Congressman, a Wilson family descendant, citizens’ groups, and many others agreed. One prominent journalist called the WWC “a global joke.”

The Marriage from Hell: Jane Harman and the Woodrow Wilson Center

By David Boyajian / January 9th, 2012

I am a grantee of the Woodrow Wilson Center and due to that, I have a connection with other professors who were researching the Soviet Union and Russia in their respective universities. They informed me that since Obama’s presidency the money for research of Russia or the topics connected to Russia are not available.

If you read the whole article, you will grasp my concept of the Obama/Putin joint venture. Yes, the Woodrow Wilson Center is “a global joke” and Obama wants to make all university studies of Russia a joke, a global one. As you can see it is something more than only concessions to Iran—it is capitulation to Soviet Fascism. All written is the results of multifaceted activities of American Democratic Party working in cahoots with Russia, the major sponsor of Global Terrorism. The leadership of the Party is making America blind, deaf, and defenseless.

I can give you a list of the Democratic Party’s activities against American interests, which are helping Russia in WWIII. This war is a forceful application of the ideology by violence. The recent sanctuary regions are the direct fronts against America. Show me the logical reason for the sanctuary regions at the time of war. There is none. Moreover, look at the hundred cities allowing protections for the illegal aliens, who violated our law. In the last year they killed 125 people. Look at those regions and cities, they are all runs by the Democrats against American interests. The brother of recently killed Kate Steinle is right: “The system failed my sister and evil killed her.”

Another example is the Planned Parenthood harvesting for aborted baby’s bodies parts to sell. Just listen to the doctor describing the process and your heart will bleed. Don’t you sense a smell of German Fascism in the 1930-40? I do. All Planned Parenthood centers are run by the Democrats. Of course, there are some decent Democrats, but the leadership of the party is adhered to the ideology of Soviet Fascism and to prove the fact, I am writing this column and making a logical case for you.  Unfortunately, the Republicans are not using that major fact, they also don’t know Soviet Fascism and the difference between Social and Socialist.

“As we have seen with the last election, resulting in a Republican-controlled House and Senate, things in Washington didn’t change at all. The socialist agenda continues, regardless of which party is in control. What is needed is for all voters who are concerned with the destruction of their country from within to recognize who the socialists are. If we are ever to really turn things around politically, we must vote for candidates who believe in the constitution as the basis of law and uphold traditional American values and morals.”

Read more.

I am afraid that some Republicans cannot assess correctly importance of the immigration’s issue. It is one of the major fronts in WWIII. The illegal alien situation has been a major problem festering in America for decades, yet “most Presidential candidates are afraid to address the issue because of the established political correctness machine in Washington.” Yes, I agree and addressed the topic many times. Look at Trump, he is the first candidate making the real discussion on the issue and none of the Republican candidates vigorously supported him, they have no idea of Soviet Fascism and WWIII—without this knowledge it is impossible to win the Presidency.

Trump actually exposes Republican’s weakness; they like the incompetent medical doctors are fighting the symptoms not the disease and The Red Menace grows and is fighting us—the killings keep going on. To win the Presidency the identification of the enemy and its moduse operandi is imperative– Knowledge of Soviet Fascism is a must.

I will end the column, the same way I ended the preceding one: A compromise is not a dirty word, a compromise with Soviet Fascism constitutes Treason.

To be continued at www.simonapipko1.com.

fee raising the bar

Razing the Bar: The bar exam protects a cartel of lawyers, not their clients by Allen Mendenhall

The bar exam was designed and continues to operate as a mechanism for excluding the lower classes from participation in the legal services market. Elizabeth Olson of the New York Times reports that the bar exam as a professional standard “is facing a new round of scrutiny — not just from the test takers but from law school deans and some state legal establishments.”

This is a welcome development.

Testing what, exactly?

The dean of the University of San Diego School of Law, Stephen C. Ferrulo, complains to the Times that the bar exam “is an unpredictable and unacceptable impediment for accessibility to the legal profession.” Ferrulo is right: the bar exam is a barrier to entry, a form of occupational licensure that restricts access to a particular vocation and reduces market competition.

The bar exam tests the ability to take tests, not the ability to practice law. The best way to learn the legal profession is through tried experience and practical training, which, under our current system, are delayed for years, first by the requirement that would-be lawyers graduate from accredited law schools and second by the bar exam and its accompanying exam for professional fitness.

Freedom of contract

The 19th-century libertarian writer Lysander Spooner, himself a lawyer, opposed occupational licensure as a violation of the freedom of contract, arguing that, once memorialized, all agreements between mutually consenting parties “should not be subjects of legislative caprice or discretion.”

“Men may exercise at discretion their natural rights to enter into all contracts whatsoever that are in their nature obligatory,” he wrote, adding that this principle would prohibit all laws “forbidding men to make contracts by auction without license.”

In more recent decades, Milton Friedman disparaged occupational licensure as “another example of governmentally created and supported monopoly on the state level.” For Friedman, occupational licensure was no small matter. “The overthrow of the medieval guild system,” he said, was an indispensable early step in the rise of freedom in the Western world. It was a sign of the triumph of liberal ideas.… In more recent decades, there has been a retrogression, an increasing tendency for particular occupations to be restricted to individuals licensed to practice them by the state.

The bar exam is one of the most notorious examples of this “increasing tendency.”

Protecting lawyers from the poor

The burden of the bar exam falls disproportionately on low-income earners and ethnic minorities who lack the ability to pay for law school or to assume heavy debts to earn a law degree. Passing a bar exam requires expensive bar-exam study courses and exam fees, to say nothing of the costly applications and paperwork that must be completed in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. The average student-loan debt for graduates of many American law schools now exceeds $150,000, while half of all lawyers make less than $62,000 per year, a significant drop since a decade ago.

Recent law-school graduates do not have the privilege of reducing this debt after they receive their diploma; they must first spend three to four months studying for a bar exam and then, having taken the exam, must wait another three to four months for their exam results. More than half a year is lost on spending and waiting rather than earning, or at least earning the salary of a licensed attorney (some graduates work under the direction of lawyers pending the results of their bar exam).

When an individual learns that he or she has passed the bar exam, the congratulations begin with an invitation to pay a licensing fee and, in some states, a fee for a mandatory legal-education course for newly admitted attorneys. These fees must be paid before the individual can begin practicing law.

The exam is working — but for whom?

What’s most disturbing about this system is that it works precisely as it was designed to operate.  State bar associations and bar exams are products of big-city politics during the Progressive Era. Such exams existed long before the Progressive Era — Delaware’s bar exam dates back to 1763 — but not until the Progressive Era were they increasingly formalized and institutionalized and backed by the enforcement power of various states.

Threatened by immigrant workers and entrepreneurs who were determined to earn their way out of poverty and obscurity, lawyers with connections to high-level government officials in their states sought to form guilds to prohibit advertising and contingency fees and other creative methods for gaining clients and driving down the costs of legal services. Establishment lawyers felt the entrepreneurial up-and-comers were demeaning the profession and degrading the reputation of lawyers by transforming the practice of law into a business industry that admitted ethnic minorities and others who lacked rank and class. Implementing the bar exam allowed these lawyers to keep allegedly unsavory people and practices out of the legal community and to maintain the high costs of fees and services.

Protecting the consumer

In light of this ugly history, the paternalistic response of Erica Moeser to the New York Times is particularly disheartening. Moeser is the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. She says that the bar exam is “a basic test of fundamentals” that is justified by “protecting the consumer.” But isn’t it the consumer above all who is harmed by the high costs of legal services that are a net result of the bar exam and other anticompetitive practices among lawyers? To ask the question is to answer it. It’s also unclear how memorizing often-archaic rules to prepare for standardized, high-stakes multiple-choice tests that are administered under stressful conditions will in any way improve one’s ability to competently practice law.

The legal community and consumers of legal services would be better served by the apprenticeship model that prevailed long before the rise of the bar exam. Under this model, an aspiring attorney was tutored by experienced lawyers until he or she mastered the basics and demonstrated his or her readiness to represent clients. The high cost of law school was not a precondition; young people spent their most energetic years doing real work and gaining practical knowledge. Developing attorneys had to establish a good reputation and keep their costs and fees to a minimum to attract clients, gain trust, and maintain a living.

The rise in technology and social connectivity in our present era also means that reputation markets have improved since the early 20th century, when consumers would have had a more difficult time learning by word-of-mouth and secondhand report that one lawyer or group of lawyers consistently failed their clients — or ripped them off. Today, with services like Amazon, eBay, Uber, and Airbnb, consumers are accustomed to evaluating products and service providers online and for wide audiences.  Learning about lawyers’ professional reputations should be quick and easy, a matter of a simple Internet search.  With no bar exam, the sheer ubiquity and immediacy of reputation markets could weed out the good lawyers from the bad, thereby transferring the mode of social control from the legal cartel to the consumers themselves.

Criticism of the high costs of legal bills has not gone away in recent years, despite the drop in lawyers’ salaries and the saturation of the legal market with too many attorneys. The quickest and easiest step toward reducing legal costs is to eliminate bar exams. The public would see no marked difference in the quality of legal services if the bar exam were eliminated, because, among other things, the bar exam doesn’t teach or test how to deliver those legal services effectively.

It will take more than just the grumbling of anxious, aspiring attorneys to end bar-exam hazing rituals. That law school deans are realizing the drawbacks of the bar exam is a step in the right direction. But it will require protests from outside the legal community — from the consumers of legal services — to effect any meaningful change.

Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall is the author of Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism (Rowman & Littlefield / Lexington Books, 2014). Visit his website at AllenMendenhall.com.