Growing Opposition to Florida’s ‘Legalize Pot’ Amendment 2

Florida’s leaders continue to come out daily in opposition to Amendment 2.

Most recently, Attorney General Pam Bondi made it clear that her position has not changed:

In addition, both the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association have shared their positions on Amendment 2:

The Florida Police Chiefs Association stated:

You can read the Florida Police Chiefs Association’s full Press Release and theFlorida Sheriffs Association’s full Resolution here and here.

They are joined by the President of the California State Sheriff’s Associationwho has urged Florida voters not to make the same mistake that Californians did:


North Dakota Sheriff: Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Are ‘Hostile,’ ‘Armed,’ and ‘Not Peaceful’


If the Obama administration thought their actions to halt part of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline would calm things down in North Dakota, they were mistaken. If anything, protests have intensified.

Dozens of people have been arrested by local law enforcement, and the Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzeisen, bluntly stated to the Obama administration, “These are not peaceful protestors.”

They are armed, hostile, and engaged in training exercises which can only be intended to promote violence, whether on Corps property or elsewhere. These rioters have left Corps and Standing Rock property on multiple occasions and travel several miles to enter private property to assault employees, private security personnel, and damage property that will take millions of dollars to repair. A number of these individuals have been observed brandishing weapons.

One anti-pipeline protester went on a local North Dakota radio show to talk about “lawlessness” he saw taking place inside the camps.

A union leader in North Dakota spoke to local North Dakota radio about the hostile environment created by pipeline opponents for those working on the pipeline:

Pam Link of the Local 563 chapter of the Laborers International Union of North America was on air with my colleague Jay Thomas on 970 AM WDAY. She spoke with Jay about the issues the pipeliners are going through with the #NoDAPL protests.

She painted an ugly picture, describing one incident where a worker filling up his truck at an area gas station was “beaten” by masked protesters.

“I wish people could imagine the situation our union workers have been put in,” she said, adding that hundreds of the workers are from right here in North Dakota.

“No one should have to be going to work threatened and put in an unsafe position,” she added.

Link said workers routinely show up at their work sites along the pipeline routine to find equipment damaged. Not that they get much of a chance to address the damage. She also said workers are routinely run off by protesters just a couple of hours after starting their work days.

There are a “handful of workers who have left the job,” Link said, though added that most of the workers are sticking and want to get the project completed.

This hostile environment has expanded and is affecting farmers and ranchers far from the pipeline’s route. Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, told North Dakota blogger Rob Port, the protests are anything but peaceful:

He said farmers and ranchers in areas even as far away [sic] as 20 or 30 miles from the protests are feeling “frustration, fear, anxiety, and tension.”

“It’s just like living down in an area that seems like a battle zone,” he said.

“These are innocent people who are caught in harm’s way,” he added.

He said he’s spoken to farmers and ranchers from the area who have sent their children to live in the Bismarck/Mandan area during the protests because they don’t feel safe. He said ag producers are having troubles harvesting their crops or tending to their cattle because of the protest activities and the law enforcement response they provoke.

In one instance he said he spoke to a farmer who lives 20 miles away from the main protest area who had a protester chain himself to a light pole in his farm yard.

“This is terrible,” he told me.

It should be noted that one of the protesters’ key talking points–that the pipeline will destroy cultural artifacts–has been upended. North Dakota State Historical Society’s archaeologists have found no evidence of cultural items on the pipeline’s route.

Both the energy industry and labor unions turned up the volume on the administration’s delay of Dakota Access Pipeline.

The presidents of the International Union of Operating Engineers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, United Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers sent a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that he “stand up for American workers” and allow construction to continue, NBC News reports:

The unions, which collectively represent 3.5 million workers, said the weeks-long halt in construction of the pipeline at Cannon Ball, North Dakota, had caused “hardships for thousands of families.” The unions said 8,000 of their members are currently working on the $3.7 billion project.

“The intervention by the Departments of Justice, Interior, and the U.S. Army to indefinitely halt a project that is more than halfway constructed and has received state and federal approval raises serious concerns about the future of infrastructure development in America, and the livelihoods of our members,” the group wrote in a one-page letter.

The energy industry reinforced labor’s points. On a press call, the American Petroleum Institute’s Robin Rorick warned that Obama administration actions threatened the rule of law saying it set “a dangerous precedent for other non-oil and gas projects like roads, bridges, tunnels and electricity transmission lines.”

Last month, Matt Koch at the Institute for 21st Century Energy also noted it is “also unfair to the communities along the pipeline route that support the project, and all Americans who stand to benefit from increased energy and economic security once the project is completed.”

Both industry and labor reminds us that the pipeline went through years of reviews at the state and federal level that included many opportunities for the public and interested groups to offer input. Permits were lawfully approved under that thorough process.

When asked to issue an order blocking pipeline construction, federal Judge James Boasberg looked at the facts and concluded the Army Corps of Engineers followed proper procedures and bent over backwards to gather input from the public, including Native American tribes who could be affected. He denied issuing an injunction, yet an hour later, the Obama administration chose to halt construction near the protest area, putting us in the situation we’re in.

The United States is a nation of laws. This administration should stand up for the rule of law, law-abiding construction workers, and local communities and not extreme anti-energy groups.It should stop impeding this necessary energy infrastructure project.


What If… America’s Energy Renaissance Never Actually Happened?



Projections of mortality and causes of death, 2015 and 2030

This infographic displays data from the World Health Organization’s “Projections of mortality and causes of death, 2015 and 2030”. The report details all deaths in 2015 by cause and makes predictions for 2030, giving an impression of how global health will develop over the next 14 years. Also featured is data from showing how life expectancy will change between now and 2030.

All percentages shown have been calculated relative to projected changes in population growth.

MEDIGO – Mortality and Causes of Death. 2015 and 2030: a comparison

How much longer will we live in 2030?

Life expectancy worldwide has increased since the start of the century and will continue to rise, with areas considered to be ‘developing’ seeing the biggest increases. Despite this there will still be a huge disparity in life expectancy around the world.

MEDIGO – Mortality and Causes of Death. 2015 and 2030: a comparison

Top 10 killing diseases in 2015

Although progress is being made in some areas, there are also reasons for concern. Of the top 10 causes of death in 2015, 7 will cause even more deaths in 2030.

MEDIGO – Mortality and Causes of Death. 2015 and 2030: a comparison


Expert: Illegal Aliens are an ‘Unarmed Army’ waging ‘Bio Terrorism’ against America

There have been growing reports of illegal aliens and refugees coming to the United States infected with diseases that have been previously eradicated. I reached out to Dr. Bob McCann, a licensed physician and certified lawyer in Florida, about this growing threat.

The following is information that Dr. McCann provided to me,

A flood of illegals has massively surged at our southwestern borders. The economic impact of medical care, education and incarceration for illegals forced on taxpayers is bankrupting states.

Why are such swarms entering the U.S. illegally NOW, particularly children? Newspapers in Mexico and Central and South America are actually describing U.S. “open borders,” encouraging people to come with promises of food stamps or “amnesty.” It is textbook Cloward-Piven strategy to overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a “new socialist order” under federal control.

Carried by this tsunami of illegals are the invisible “travelers” our politicians don’t like to mention: diseases the U.S. had controlled or virtually eradicated: tuberculosis (TB), Chagas disease, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, measles, plus more.

A public health crisis, the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime, is looming.

Hardest hit by exposures to these difficult-to-treat diseases will be elderly, children, immunosuppressed cancer-patients, patients with chronic lung disease or congestive heart failure. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is the most serious risk, but even diseases like measles can cause severe complications and death in older or immunocompromised patients.

TB is highly contagious – you catch it anywhere around infected people: schools, malls, buses, etc. The drug-resistant TB now coming across our borders requires a complex, extremely expensive treatment regimen that has serious side effects and a low cure rate.

Chagas, or “kissing bug” disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is carried by the triatomine bug that transmits disease to humans. Although “kissing bugs” are already here, they are not as widespread as in Latin America. Right now, Chagas disease is uncommon in the U.S., so many doctors do not think to check for it.

Chagas causes debilitating fatigue, headaches, body aches, nausea/vomiting, liver and spleen enlargement, swollen glands, loss of appetite. When Chagas reaches the chronic phase, medications will not cure it. It can kill by arrhythmias, congestive heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest.

Vaccine-preventable diseases like chicken pox, measles and whooping cough spread like wildfire among unvaccinated children. Other illnesses, along with scabies and head lice, also thrive as children are transported by bus and herded into crowded shelters – courtesy of the federal government. Treatment costs are borne by taxpayers.

Our public health departments complain of being overtaxed by a dozen cases of measles or whooping cough. How will they cope with thousands of patients with many different, and uncommon, diseases? Americans, especially Medicaid patients, will see major delays for treatment.

Dr. McCann concluded that we must:

Stop illegal immigration!

Infectious diseases that we had controlled are returning such as tuberculosis was almost non-existent in the USA, Leprosy (a biblical disease) spreads by infected illegal aliens working in fast food, dish washing and hotels. Whether it’s dengue fever, now in Florida, Hemorrhagic Fever coming up from Texas border towns or E-coli intestinal parasites arriving with illegal aliens from Mexico daily, every American citizen is under a form of ‘Bio Terrorism’.

Illegal immigration is a mounting invasion from an ‘unarmed army’ of disease carrying illegals who carry head lice, leprosy, tuberculosis and hepatitis A, B, and C.

While many focus on illegal aliens taking jobs away from Americans who are seeking work, another issue is the rising costs to all American taxpayers of dealing with this form of Bio Terrorism.

Illegal immigration and refugee resettlement are creating a heath crisis in the U.S. This is a clear and present danger to every American, their families and children.


Dr. McCann is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a Roman Catholic of Irish decent. He is the second of four sons born to Harry McCann Jr., a Steel Worker, and the late Catherine (Dwyer) McCann, a Homemaker. Dr. McCann attended Annunciata Catholic Grammar School, and graduated from George Washington High School in the Chicago Public School System. In 1975, Dr. McCann joined the United States Navy and served honorably in the Hospital Corps. Dr. McCann received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy in 1979 and attended college on an Illinois Veteran’s Scholarship and the G.I. Bill. Dr. McCann obtained his Associate of Science degree from Thornton Community College located in South Holland, Illinois and his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University located in DeKalb, Illinois. Dr. McCann is married to Rosemarie G. (Mrzik) McCann. They own a home in Bradenton, FL where they have resided for the last 6 years.

Dr. McCann received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 1988 from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. Dr. McCann is a Member of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA), a Member of the Federation of State Medical Boards, and a Fellow of the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners (AAOE). Dr. McCann practices Emergency Medicine and Aviation Medicine.

Dr. McCann is designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner. Dr. McCann is a licensed commercial pilot with single and multi-engine/instrument ratings, and he enjoys flying complex and multi-engine aircraft.

Dr. McCann obtained his Juris Doctor degree with Honors from the Florida Coastal School of Law located in Jacksonville, Florida in 1999. Dr. McCann is a practicing member of the Florida Bar; the District of Columbia Bar; the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; and the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, Atlanta, Georgia, and the United States Supreme Court as of June 9, 2008. Dr. McCann practices Health Care Law, Administrative Law, and Litigation.

Dr. McCann currently practices both Medicine and Law and has lectured on medical investigations including Bioterrorism and Counterterrorism, Medical Ethics, Prevention of Medical Errors, and Proper Prescriptions of Controlled Substances.


Refugee child died arriving in Chicago; look for many more problems as the DOS crams them into your towns

West Virginia: Is Catholic Charities bringing in foreign laborers for a poultry plant to compete with Americans?

All the reported cases of Zika in the United States


California Sheriff Urges Floridians to Vote No On Amendment 2

In an Op-Ed published in the Pensacola News Journal on Sunday, California Sheriff Sandra Hutchens urged Florida voters not to make the same mistake that California did:

“… yes — California’s medical marijuana law was a joke. Even the coauthor of the law admits it — describing medical marijuana dispensaries as little more “than dope dealers with storefronts.” But it looks like the same joke is being played on Florida, only there would be no hope of fixing the inevitable problems and unintended consequences.”

Read more below:

“… Floridians have the rare opportunity to look into a crystal ball and see precisely what’s in store for them should their own medical marijuana initiative pass. The question is: Will Floridians actually take a look before they pass Amendment 2 and legalize pot in Florida?

[ … ]

“Fortunately, Floridians have every resource at their disposal to see exactly how a law like this will pan out in their state. Just Google “Weedmaps” and take a look at a city, such as San Diego. Perform a YouTube search of real live budtenders — all of whom are also medical marijuana cardholders and look perfectly healthy. Look at a menu from one of California’s “medical” pot shops. They hold products like: Blueberry Crack, Lemon Kush, Ganja Gum, Edipure Sour Sea Creatures.

[ … ]

“With the truth right in front of you, this should be an easy decision.

“Don’t be duped. Vote No on 2.”

To read the full piece click here.

Dakota Access Pipeline protestor

Arrests, Arson, Anger: Why anti-energy protesters are making it ugly in North Dakota

August temperatures aren’t the only things flaring up in the Great Plains as anti-energy protesters try to stop construction of an oil pipeline.

Emboldened by President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015, anti-energy protesters have set their sights on stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A valuable addition to U.S. energy infrastructure, the pipeline will cross four states connecting the oil-rich Bakken region in North Dakota with other pipelines in Illinois, allowing oil to reach refineries and making America less dependent on foreign imports.

Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Source: Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says the $3.7 billion project will create 8,000 – 12,000 construction jobs and inject $156 million in sales and income taxes to local economies. Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon notes it has the backing of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).

Approval of the pipeline’s construction went through the standard process of public hearings and comment periods with four states and the federal government. But the public permitting process hasn’t stopped protesters.

In North Dakota, hundreds of protestors—many not from the area–have built a camp near a construction site where the pipeline will travel under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline’s water crossing there in July.

The protests have turned ugly. Local public radio reports that construction has been halted because law enforcement worried that some protesters had pipe bombs and guns. Dozens have been arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct. The FBI is investigating an incident where someone pointed a laser pointer on a North Dakota state government plane that was watching the protesters.

The protests got so bad that on Friday North Dakota’s Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) issued an emergency declaration in the construction area to make “available other state resources for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and well-being of the general public and those involved in the protest.”

On Tuesday, LIUNA, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Teamsters, and United Association sent a letter to Gov. Dalrymple urging him to allow construction to restart:

We strongly encourage you to utilize the power of your office to keep our workers safe and to ensure protestors are following the letter of the law of North Dakota. While they may have a right to protest, we also have a right to do our jobs in a safe environment. Protestors who did not avail themselves of nearly two years of public discourse of the project should not be allowed to continue endangering themselves, construction workers, or law enforcement while trespassing on land legally leased to this project.”

North Dakota hasn’t been the only place where violence has broken out. Earlier this month, along the pipeline’s path in Iowa, three arsons were committed, damaging $1 million in heavy construction equipment.

Pipelines are Safe

Protesters argue that the pipeline will threaten local water supplies, but the fact is pipelines safely move oil all the time. A report from the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines finds that 99.999% of crude oil and petroleum products are safely delivered. In 2014, 9.3 billion barrels of crude oil were delivered—a 31% increase since 2010.

While more oil has been transported, there have been fewer spills. “The number of pipeline incidents per year in public spaces (i.e. outside of operator facilities) have declined by more than half since 1999,” the report notes.

What’s more, pipelines aren’t a new thing. Hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines every day safely move energy to households and businesses that need it. For instance, the amount of crude oil pipelines has increased by 29% to 72,400 miles in the last five years.

Map of U.S. pipeline transportation system. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Map of U.S. pipeline transportation system. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Part of “Keep It In the Ground” Movement

Given that pipelines have been around for decades, have a strong safety record, and the Dakota Access Pipeline was closely studied before receiving its permits, we should wonder what the protests are really about.

It’s not fears about water pollution. As North Dakota resident Rob Port at, who has been all over this story explains, it’s about stopping oil development period:

The protesters say the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River at its confluence with the Cannon Ball river near the reservation, puts clean water at risk. That’s certainly an important issue for the reservation, which draws its drinking water from the river near the pipeline crossing, but it’s worth remembering that the American landscape is dotted with pipelines crossing rivers. There are thousands upon thousands of pipelines in America, and building them would have been impossible if we didn’t know how to get them across rivers.

Which makes the claims of the protesters about the Dakota Access project curious. This project is nothing new. It’s an important bit of infrastructure for America’s renewed energy industry. It’s of particular importance to North Dakota’s oil industry in that it will ease oil transport headaches and make development in this state more resilient to low prices.

As new infrastructure, it’s a game changer. But in terms of its actual construction? This isn’t groundbreaking stuff.

But then, these protests aren’t really about the pipeline. They’re about obstructing infrastructure which would support the on-going development of oil resources

The activists air-dropping into North Dakota from all over the country, and even the world, are not anti-pipeline so much as they’re anti-oil. That’s an important distinction. While it may be within the realm of the reasonable to protest a specific infrastructure project, I think most Americans would consider trying to choke the domestic oil industry to death by blocking infrastructure to be an extreme goal.

Don’t believe me? Consider the website for EarthJustice, an activist group which has filed a lawsuit against the pipeline on behalf of the Standing Rock tribe and is currently seeking an injunction to block legally the on-going construction protesters like Woodley are trying to block physically.

The group describes themselves as “opposing infrastructure development that could lock us into decades of dirty fuels.”

“We are working with affected communities to fight pipelines, export terminals and other major infrastructure projects that will spur more gas drilling and burning for decades to come,” the group says in the portion of their website dedicated to describing their work.

Block the infrastructure, block the development.

The “Keep it in the ground” movement rears its head, not that they’re their hiding that fact. Bold Alliance founder Jane Kleeb, one of the ringleaders in opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, told Politico, “What should have happened after Keystone got rejected was a huge influx of resources to local and state groups fighting pipelines.”

Stopping the Dakota Access Pipelines and making it more difficult to get oil out of the Bakken—no matter the cost to jobs and energy security—is a means to their radical end of eliminating energy use in the U.S.



Make Babies, and Don’t Let the Greens Guilt Trip You about It by Steven Horowitz

Several years back, the economist Bryan Caplan wrote a wonderful book called Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. Caplan argued that most parents underestimated the benefits of larger families and were engaging in costly parenting strategies that yielded few real benefits. Thus, he said, if you love kids, you should have lots of them.

From NPR this week comes a story that might well be called “anti-Caplan” in every dimension. It is a profile of bioethicist Travis Rieder and others like him who argue that it is immoral to have many children, if any at all, because of the burden that additional children place on the Earth’s ecosystem. Given that we are already, Rieder claims, on the road to climate disaster, adding more children will both make matters worse and condemn those children to a horrible life on a worsening planet. His argument might well be called “Altruistic Reasons to Have Fewer Kids.”

More specifically, he argues that children are what economists call negative externalities: “We as parents, we as family members, we get the good. And the world, the community, pays the cost.” As it turns out, that claim is almost entirely wrong. It is parents who pay most of the costs of having children and the rest of us who reap the benefits.

I am not going to contest some of the claims about climate change Rieder and others in the article invoke. He does tend to take the most extreme predictions of climate models as gospel truth when the recent data have suggested that reality is closer to the much more modest predictions. However, even if the worst case scenarios are true, Rieder misses a number of important points about population growth that need to be considered.

Human Beings are Producers

He, like so many environmentalists, sees human beings only as consumers of resources. So one core statistic he trots out is that the amount of CO2 saved by not having a child is roughly 20 times what we can save through traditional things like driving hybrids and recycling. Therefore, he and the other people discussed in the story conclude, if we really want to “save the planet,” we should have fewer, if any, children.

But this is single-entry economic and moral bookkeeping. This view ignores the idea that humans are also producers. As Julian Simon reminded us so often, more people not only means more hands to work and more minds to create, it means more different people with different ideas. Increases in population not only deepen the division of labor and productivity by their sheer numbers, they also take advantage of the fact that each of us is unique which leads to new ideas and innovation.

Human progress depends upon the increasing productivity that comes from a finer division of labor and new ways of doing things. And those are the result of more people.

It’s not, as a student in the article suggests, that one of those kids that isn’t born might have come up with a “solution for climate change,” but that each and every one of those kids that isn’t born would have contributed to greater economic growth, which is nothing more than the more effective and efficient use of the resources we have.

Such growth is what has made it possible for the Earth to sustain 7 billion lives of increasing length, comfort, and quality. Reducing the population might mean we use up more resources by losing the efficiencies that come from a larger population’s greater ability to innovate and productively specialize.

The benefits of having more kids are not primarily to the parents involved, though as Caplan points out there are many. More people means we are better able to beat back omnipresent scarcity and carve out a more inhabitable planet for more people who live longer, better lives.

This is the most fundamental error of so many environmentalists, especially those arguing for reductions in the population: they see humans only as consumers of resources and not the source of the very innovations that enable us to use resources more effectively and the riches that enable us to have a cleaner, healthier planet.

Demographic Transition

The other crucial point Rieder and people like him miss is that the Earth’s population is already in the process of stabilizing. One of the most agreed upon empirical facts of history is the so-called “demographic transition.” As societies become wealthier and more industrialized, the incentives facing parents change and family size falls. Once mom and dad, or perhaps only one of them, can earn enough income to support a family, and there’s no farm or cottage industry that requires the whole family pitching in, the need for many children is much less and parents seek to control their fertility.

The Western world began to go through this transition over a century ago, and the rest of the world has followed in turn. Most of the Western world is dealing with fertility rates that are below replacement, and rates of population growth in all but a handful of countries worldwide have fallen in the last few decades.

Thankfully Rieder does not want to use Chinese-style coercion to limit family size, but he’s not afraid to tax larger families more heavily. Even that isn’t necessary given the reality of the demographic transition:  in a free society, human beings naturally limit their fertility as they get wealthier. Again, the best way to save the planet is not to have fewer kids, but to have as many as you can afford and let their productivity enable us to use resources with more efficiency and create more progress.

Anti-Life, Anti-Human

The radical wing of environmentalism is, as Ayn Rand said decades ago, “anti-life” and “anti-human” in its belief that humans are the scourge of the planet and not the source of its progress. After all, if the important thing is saving the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, why stop by persuading people to not have kids?

Why not persuade currently living people, especially young ones, to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by killing themselves? The logic is no different.

That they don’t make that argument suggests that “saving the planet” really isn’t the overriding issue here. Like so much else in the Green movement, this seems to be about protecting their own comfortable lives against what they think will happen when everyone else is able to live lives like they have. They got their progress and health and children, but everyone else needs to sacrifice for the sake of the planet. That Rieder does have a child is some evidence of this point.

Not only is Rieder’s argument deeply immoral and reactionary in how wrong it is, it turns out to be far less altruistic than it first seems. Nothing could capture the total failure of radical environmentalist anti-natalism better than calling it “selfish reasons everyone else should have fewer kids.” Let’s hope, for the sake of both actual humans and the planet we live on that these environmentalist arguments are as infertile as their proponents wish humans were.

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions.

He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

How Will Internet Work on Mars

VIDEO: How Will Internet Work on Mars?

 in an column posted a video on how the Internet would work on the planet Mars. Chelsea asks: How will Internet work on the Red Planet? The Shortcut Team took a deeper look at what it might look like.

Video Transcript:

Here on Earth, the Internet is powered by a web of fiber-optic cables. But how would it work on Mars? NASA has plans to put settlers on the Red Planet, so there’s a chance people you know may live there someday — and when they do, they’ll want high-speed Internet. Problem is, space Internet can be as slow as dial-up.

That’s because current methods rely on old-school radio transmissions. This wouldn’t work very well for Martians looking to stream or chat in real time. At their nearest, Mars and Earth are 34 million miles apart; and that’s why, with today’s tech, transmissions between Mars rovers and Earth have a delay of about 20 minutes.

Since we can’t run Internet cables between planets, we’ll need to use satellites differently than we do now. NASA thinks lasers may be the answer. A laser wave is about (one hundred thousand times) 100,000x shorter than a radio wave. That means more room to carry data in the same amount of space — about 5x more. Smaller waves also mean better signal strength and a more reliable connection.

Fortunately, the tech we need already exists. In a mission called the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration, NASA tested laser transmission speeds that shattered previous records. Experts believe lasers will be able to handle HD videos and more.

Today, radio messages to Mars are routed through retired satellites. But the network would need more, and newer, satellites to handle data-heavy requests like streaming. NASA is focussed on upgrading and adding to existing satellites to build a laser-powered space Internet network.

So, how will the Internet work on Mars? Much the way it works here on Earth — just with lasers and satellites instead of cables. We have some work to do to get there, but the future of movie marathons on Mars looks pretty bright.


pot pushers dirty little secret

VIDEO: Their Dirty Little Secret

Cully Stimson of The Daily Signal wants to know if you’d be surprised to hear that an FDA-approved THC drug already exists.

“What if that drug had been rigorously tested through clinical trials?” he asks. “[T]o make sure that it worked as promised, was properly dosed, and had no unanticipated side effects?

“And what if you could get that lawful drug from your doctor in pill or liquid form?”

Would that surprise you?

Then maybe it would also surprise you to hear that there are in fact “three FDA-approved THC drugs and that at least five more are on the way.”

Stimson suspects it would: “because the pot pushers—those that push smoked and edible marijuana as ‘medicine’—don’t want you to know about these safe alternatives.”

“The three FDA-approved drugs are Marinol, Cesamet, and Syndros. Drugs like Syndros show great promise for countering today’s dangerous “medical marijuana” movement.

[ … ]

“Since these are all medical cannabinoids, they do not require smoking. They are also safer to use because levels of THC can be monitored.”

Stimson thanks Ed Rosenthal (former Editor of High Times Magazine) and Richard Cowan (former Director of NORML — National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) for the current public perception.

“They realized that if they convinced enough people that smoking marijuana was ‘medical marijuana,’ that would be the beginning of a movement toward full legalization,” writes Stimson.

Click here to read Cully Stimson’s full piece.

And to watch Richard Cowan and Ed Rosenthal reveal their age-old scheme to fully legalize marijuana in the video below:

“Once there’s medical access, if we continue to do what we have to do and we will, then we’ll get full legalization,” Cowan explains.

pothead vote no on 2

Florida: Top 10 Reasons to Vote ‘No’ on Amendment 2

Vote No on Amendment 2 released the top reasons to vote against making marijuana legal in the Sunshine State.

1. It’s Permanent -Amendment 2 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment, that means it could never be changed, limited or altered by law enforcement, local governments or the state legislature. And while some Constitutional Amendments allow for a local option, Amendment 2 specifically does not.

2. Caregivers – So-called “caregivers” are empowered to dispense pot with no medical training required. This provision is just like California’s law, which one of its authors later called “dope dealers with storefronts.” And, once again, there’s NO LIMIT to the number of “patients” a caregiver can have.

3. Budtenders Not Pharmacists – “Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers” are not legitimate pharmacies, in fact, you won’t find a single licensed pharmacist behind the counter of any Amendment 2 style Pot Shop. Instead, you’ll find a so-called Budtender with no medical training, but lots of first-hand experience smoking pot.

4. It’s De Facto Legalization – The authors of Amendment 2 tried to hide their gaping Pot Legalization Loophole behind a long list of conditions, but if you read the fine print you’ll find this clause: “… or any other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated …” Just like in California, anyone with anxiety, migraines, trouble sleeping or a sore throat will be able to legally purchase pot.

5. Kid Friendly Pot Candy-Amendment 2 specifically authorizes edibles and the pot industry manufactures them to look just like the junk foods your children know and love. In states like California, where medical marijuana is legally sold, children as young as 21 months are being rushed to the emergency room as a result.

6. It’s Not Your Father’s Mary Jane -Today’s pot is 10X more potent; which means this is not the marijuana of Woodstock. The average THC content has soared from less than 1% in 1972 to nearly 13% and higher today.

7. No Local Option – Because there’s no local option to allow communities to ban, limit or restrict the location of pot shops. If Amendment 2 passes you can expect the seedy elements of the pot industry to move in right next door to your neighborhood, your church, your business and even your child’s school.

8. 2,000 Pot Shops – The Florida Department of Health estimates that under Amendment 2 Florida will have 1,993 pot shops. That means Florida will be home to more pot shops than McDonalds, Starbucks and 7-Elevens combined.

9. No Prescription – Amendment 2 does NOT require a doctor’s prescription in order to obtain pot because a prescription would violate federal law. Instead “patients” are given a flimsy certification which has no medical standing and is not recognized by the medical community as legitimate.

10. They Didn’t Fix It -While the original amendment limited caregivers to just 5 “patients,” the supposedly “new and improved” amendment gives caregivers license to acquire, possess, administer, transfer and deliver pot to AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF USERS. So basically caregivers are no more than legitimized drug dealers. This isn’t the plan that someone would write if they were only concerned about providing medicine to the sick.

dark winter with casey photo

Florida based Veritence Corporation’s Two Major Climate Predictions Come to Pass

John L. Casey, founder of Veritence Corporation and author of Dark Winter, on April 11, 2016 made two major climate predictions.

Prediction 1.  We can now add this new event and date to our memories – February 2016. This is the month when global temperatures began a final long term decline into a deep and potentially dangerous abyss of record cold that will last for thirty years. Read more.

Prediction 2. Like the past 200 years of relatively continuous growth in global temperatures, the 2015-2016 warm temperatures were caused by the Sun. Unfortunately, the last two decades of solar heating, which have simultaneously permitted bumper crops for the world’s hungry masses, is in my opinion, the last of its kind for at least the next 400 years. The warmth we have enjoyed and that of generations to come is over. Read more.

Casey notes,

As of today’s latest satellite global temperature data from Dr. Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama, Huntsville that is exactly what has happened – March, April, May and now June have seen dramatic drops in global temperatures -exactly as I predicted. I expect the rest of the year to continue to show this prediction was correct. According to Dr. Spencer, the last two month drop is the steepest in 37 years! See “”

See Dr. Spencer’s chart below.

temperature chart


The mission of Veritence Corporation is to provide consulting advice and related services to the government, business community, and the general public in its areas of expertise. These areas include climate science, space programs and space policy, geophysics, and management advice in complex scientific and engineering projects.

To achieve the Veritence mission we will:

1. Become a vocal and visible public advocate for truth and integrity at all levels of government involving the mission areas.

2. Provide requisite consulting services to Veritence Corporation clients.

3. Make recommendations to the government and the public for establishment of important science and engineering goals.

speech codes

Democrats want to add suppression of free speech to their national platform

Horrifyingly, the Democratic National Committee unanimously voted to make the suppression of free speech, in the form of prosecuting companies and pro-fossil-fuel organizations, part of their official platform proposal.

Many detractors of Donald Trump have (rightly) worried about his comments indicating the possibility of violating the First Amendment. But now the Democrats want to make it official policy to violate the First Amendment rights of fossil fuel companies and advocates.

I’m not going to let them get away with pretending that this is a matter of justice and prosecuting fraud. I’m going to go to the Democratic National Convention from July 25-28 to challenge the very people who want to invade my privacy and, by the logic of their position, throw me in jail.

If you’re potentially interested in joining me there, let me know. Also, if you have any political or media contacts who might help bring more attention to this cause, let me know as well.

Here is a new 10-minute speech I gave last week defending fossil fuels and free speech. I’ve been told that it’s very powerful. If you agree, please share with your personal network and with any prominent commentators you follow.

Note: since I describe my incident with the Mass. Attorney General in vivid detail, the video does contain some adult language. If that’s a problem, please enjoy the interviews mentioned below, which are all PG rated.


IAEA: Iran producing ‘Chemically Man-Made Uranium’

Last summer during the intense Congressional Hearings on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Rep. Michael Pompeo (R-KS) went to Vienna to pay a visit to Yukio Amano, Director General of UN Nuclear Watchdog agency, the IAEA.  They came back with disturbing revelations about so-called secret deals by the Obama Administration regarding inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Especially concerning the Parchin military research site located 19 miles southeast of Tehran.  Parchin had been the suspected site of so-called Prior Military Development of nuclear triggers that had allegedly ceased in 2005.  In  September 2015,  Sen. Cotton and Rep. Pompeo  accused  IAEA  chief Amano of misleading the Congress to ensure passage of  JCPOA  when  Iran  self collected samples at the Parchin test site. Now there is evidence that IAEA test environmental samples taken last fall at the Parchin site revealed particles of “chemically man made uranium.”

Parchin Test Site 7-2015

Parchin, Iran Military Complex. Source: DigitGlobe AFP

In October 2014, during negotiations of the P5+1 JCPOA there was a blast at the Parchin test site. We wrote in an NER/Iconoclast blog post, “Washington-based Nuclear Watchdog Confirms Blast at Parchin Nuclear Trigger Test Site in Iran.”

The blast there occurred on Sunday night local time. It produced a glare that could be seen 13 kilometers (approximately 10 miles) distant, as well as blew out windows.  The Iranian regime’s IRNA and opposition Samha news agencies reported on the blast at Parchin that killed two workers.  The Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) released evidence of damage at the Parchin test site based on satellite imagery, “Finding the Site of the Alleged Explosion at the Parchin Military Complex”.   Their analysis found:

After analyzing the sections of the Parchin military complex visible in satellite imagery, ISIS believes that one site located in the southern section of the complex could be the possible location of the explosion. This site is close to a series of bunkers, indicating that it could serve as a support area for the activities taking place there. Several signatures that coincide with those expected from an explosion site are visible here. Two buildings that were present in August 2014 are no longer there, while a third building appears to be severely damaged. In total at least six buildings appear damaged or destroyed. Several trucks are present at the site. The shape and size of these trucks is consistent with those of either fire or debris removal trucks. The irregular line and color of the vegetation seems to indicate that some unexpected activity took place (possibly a fire, explosion, scattering of debris etc.). Finally, grey debris is visible at the center of the potential explosion area and is also scattered into the surrounding vegetation.

It was reported that the imagery shows that the damage is consistent with an attack against bunkers and that the locality is adjacent to another installation where work was being conducted that involves controlled detonation of fuses intended to serve as triggers for nuclear devices.

However, it is important to note that there is no evidence of either an attack or nuclear weapon-related activities at this specific site. There may be confusion over alleged high explosive nuclear weapon-related activities at another site at Parchin that occurred prior to 2004.

Following the release of the JCPOA on July 15, 2015, we wrote in an NER article, The Iran Nuclear Deal – a Pandora’s Box.

The devil is in both the details of the JCPOA and what was excluded.  Especially concerning was the matter of satisfying the IAEA’s complaint about Iran’s alleged non-compliance with requests for information on prior military nuclear developments (PMD).  For example  the development of explosive triggers at the Parchin research facility. Ayatollah Khamenei basically nixed any IAEA inspections of facilities and programs under the country’s IRGC control. At first denied by the Obama Administration, so-called ‘secret’ side deals between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic were justified because that was the protocol under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. A Wall Street Journal report on July 27, 2015 provided assessments by Congressional lawmakers who were briefed on these arrangements concluded that the IAEA would not conclusively discover the extent of Iran’s PMD. The Administration contested that would not stand in the way of verifying future commitments.

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the predictable consequences of the Islamic Regime’s  activities at the Parchin military test site were revealed in the second  report since January 15, 2016 that lifted sanctions.  ISIS made the following assessment of a May 26, 2016 IAEA report, “Parchin: Will the IAEA Verify the Absence of Nuclear Weapons Activities in Iran?

ISIS noted this background:

On May 27, 2016, the IAEA released its second report on Iran’s compliance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2231 (2015), which codified into international law the JCPOA. The report states that the IAEA conducted “complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to sites and other locations in Iran.” It is not specific about which sites the inspectors visited and does not provide any other information pertaining to Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA ban on activities related to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.

In particular, the report does not state whether inspectors visited the Parchin military complex, which is the location of a site linked to high explosive work prior to 2004 related to the development of nuclear weapons. The IAEA was unable to form a conclusion about such nuclear weapons related activities when it visited the site during the fall of 2015 as part of its investigation into Iran’s possible military nuclear activities.

Discovery of “chemically man made uranium”:

Despite the IAEA’s use of a non-standard sampling approach at Parchin, environmental samples taken during the fall visit identified “chemically man-made particles of natural uranium.” However, the IAEA did not make a definitive conclusion about the use of nuclear material at the site.

The IAEA only stated that the number of particles with this specific composition was not enough to assert the use of nuclear material there, and provided no further explanation for their presence in the last two safeguards reports.

An ambiguous sampling result would normally trigger re-sampling at the main building of interest at the site and also at adjacent areas or buildings. However, there is no available information indicating that this re-sampling has taken place.

U.S. officials have stated to our Institute that this finding confirms that uranium was present at the Parchin site and indicates that nuclear weapons related experiments involving the use of uranium were indeed carried out there.

The presence of these particles confirmed the U.S. government’s suspicions that something nefarious happened at the Parchin site. However, the IAEA has not agreed with this conclusion and has appeared hesitant to seek a return visit to Parchin for additional samples.

A senior IAEA official refused to answer a query on May 27, 2016 about whether Parchin or other military sites have been visited since Implementation Day.

The IAEA also refused to state to the media which specific sites were visited under complementary access.

The Wall Street Journal in its report on the IAEA test samples taken at the Parchin test Site in October 2015 noted these comments from a former Obama nuclear negotiator and critics of the JCPOA:

Robert Einhorn, a top Iran negotiator during the Obama administration and now a nuclear expert at the Brookings Institution , said: “The assumption in the [U.S.] government is that these were nuclear weapons-related experiments. The evidence is, technically, inconclusive. But the administration believes it has other information that confirms there was weapons-related activity there.”

The man-made uranium found at Parchin, which has only low-levels of fissionable isotopes, can be used as a substitute for weapons-grade materials in developing atomic bombs, according to nuclear experts. It can also be used as component in a neutron initiator, a triggering device for a nuclear weapon.

Critics of the nuclear deal have cited the presence of uranium at Parchin as evidence the Obama administration didn’t go far enough in demanding Iran answer all questions concerning its past nuclear work before lifting international sanctions in January. They also argue that it is hard to develop a comprehensive monitoring regime without knowing everything Iran has done.

Note what ISIS did in May 2016 to disclose the activities at Parchin and the State Department reaction:

ISIS obtained commercial satellite images of Parchin last month that showed new construction in an area where the explosives testing is believed to have taken place.  David Albright, head of the institute, said the construction would likely “further complicate” efforts to investigate the presence of uranium at the military base.

Obama administration officials confirmed the U.S. government has also seen the new construction at Parchin, but doesn’t believe it is related to nuclear work.

“Parchin is an active military facility, and construction there does not necessarily indicate any nuclear-related activity,” said a State Department official. “At this time, we have no information that would lead us to believe that there is undeclared nuclear activity taking place anywhere in Iran.”

Obfuscation and denial of this latest revelation about what may have been going on at Parchin begins to question the principal foreign policy legacy that President Obama will leave behind for his successor to deal with on Iran’s Nuclear intentions. In the meantime, Sen. Cotton and Rep. Pompeo will  keep a watching brief for Congressional investigations on the alleged “robust and intrusive inspection system” of the IAEA that the Administration relies on for JCPOA compliance by an untrustworthy Islamic Republic in Tehran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Nat Sec Daily Brief.


Ignorant Judge Lets “Trans” Man Legally Change His “Sex”

In an unprecedented move, an Oregon judge has allowed a so-called “transgender” man to legally change his sex from female (he had previously been allowed to choose female) to “non-binary.” It’s newsworthy enough to have made it to Drudge, but even that fact doesn’t do justice to the grave threat presented by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn’s ruling.

I’ll cut to the chase. Even if you accept the legitimacy of “transgender” status (more on this later), here’s what must be understood:

Psychologists and transgender activists do not say “sex” and “gender” are synonymous.

Rather, they often take pains to point out — sometimes quite dogmatically — that “sex” is a biological distinction while “gender” is a psychological one. As wrote in March, “In general terms, ‘sex’ refers to the biological differences between males and females, such as the genitalia and genetic differences. ‘Gender’ is more difficult to define but can refer to the role of a male or female in society (gender role), or an individual’s concept of themselves (gender identity).” You can find essentially the same definitions at Monash University’s website and numerous other places.

Even the man who petitioned Judge Hehn for the “sex change,” a fellow going by the name “Jamie” Shupe, has in so many words acknowledged the above. As The Oregonian reports, “I was assigned male at birth due to biology,” Shupe said. “I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine.”

Judge Hehn is clearly operating far above her pay grade. Like most people, she apparently views “gender” as a synonym for “sex,” oblivious to the evolution (or devolution) of the term and concept.

Up until relatively recently, “gender” was mainly used in grammar, pertaining to the categories into which words are divided, such as masculine, feminine and neuter. It was not traditionally used in reference to people.

This started to change with the now discredited quack psychologist Dr. John Money. In 1966, he originated the debunked “gender neutrality” theory and appears to have been the first person to popularize the application of “gender” to people. Even so, such usage of the term didn’t really catch on until the last 20 or 25 years.

And what was the purpose of this language manipulation? You couldn’t convince people many decades ago that there were more than two sexes, because that there are only two was rightly cemented in their minds. The biological distinction was the only thing people conceptualized and accepted. But “gender” was the perfect term as it included more than two categories: masculine, feminine and neuter. And thus did we see an attempt at the 1995 Conference on Women in Beijing to adopt language stating that a family could comprise up to five “genders”: male heterosexual, female heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian and bisexual (the attempt failed owing to Vatican opposition). Of course, that’s now old hat — the shape-shifting libertines now define scores of “genders.”

But no matter. Once the term caught on and most everyone accepted that a person could have “gender” — and once a minority had accepted that there could be more than two — the next step was to add to the concept the notion that a person could be “transgender” and transition from one to another. It’s incrementalism; step by step, inch by inch.

And now that even more people have accepted the fluidity of “gender” and virtually everyone confuses the term with “sex,” we’re witnessing the next step: the attempt to eliminate the concept of the biological distinction itself. The idea is that there will only be “gender,” and “sex” will just be a term describing what you do with a sentient biped (in most cases) who, hopefully, won’t transition in the middle of the act.

So first was just the correct concept of “sex” (biological), then the introduction of a new concept, “gender” (perception of what a person is). Then there was the confusion of the two terms attended by the expansion of the new concept and advent of another new concept, “transgender.” Now, with the terms long viewed as synonyms, we’re seeing the attempted elimination of the concept of “sex.” And just as the man on the street mindlessly adopted the term “gender,” expect to see a concerted effort to eliminate the term “sex’s” use in the legal realm.

And the proof is in the pudding. Note that among the more than 60 “genders” now imagined by the sexual revolutionaries is “cisgender,” whose definition is, “denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their [sic] biological sex; not transgender.” In other words, normality is now listed as just one of scores of flavors of the day along with abnormality. In this way of “thinking,” it’s no better to be a normal woman than a cross-dresser masquerading as a woman. So the first step was to try to normalize the abnormal, and now the effort is on to “denormalize” the normal.

Do you now see why I and a few others warned, for years and years and years and years, that we shouldn’t use the word “gender” in reference to people or embrace any aspect of the Lexicon of the Left? The side that defines the vocabulary of a debate wins the debate.

As for Judge Hehn, I doubt she’s sophisticated enough to understand any of the above. She likely was just operating on misconceptions and emotion. But as former “transsexual” Alan Finch said in 2004, “You fundamentally can’t change sex. … Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists.” No, you can’t change sex. You don’t have “gender” unless you’re a word. And you shouldn’t be able to change sex in legal documents, either. You are what you are.

Judge Hehn’s ridiculous, destructive ruling should be overturned if possible, and she should be removed from the bench. Judges who can’t separate fact from fiction, emotion from reason or, even, boys from girls, need to be playing with blocks, not with our laws.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to

earthquakes usa

Federal and State Leaders Warned to Prepare for Catastrophic Earthquakes and Volcanoes

ORLANDO, Florida — The International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC), announces today that the United States government has received its final warnings about heavy infrastructure damage, and loss of life predicted from catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the immediate future.

Based on extensive climate change and seismic research conducted since 2010, by leading scientists and researchers in both fields, the IEVPC has just issued its last warnings to the U.S. government and governors of the states affected, to begin immediate preparations for the worst series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions the US has seen in the last 200 to 350 years.

Specifically, within the federal government, the IEVPC has notified the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA), an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the US Geological Survey, (USGS), an arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), to start at once to prepare the country for these predicted disasters. Mr. John L. Casey, CEO at the IEVPC, has sent warning letters to FEMA during 2015 and recently on May 13, 2016. He has also passed on these warnings to the USGS and all governors in the affected states within the past two weeks, completing the IEVPC’s final notifications.

According to Dr. Dong Choi, geologist and IEVPC Director of Research in Australia, “Years of research have shown without question that declines in solar activity are strongly correlated with the planet’s worst earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Now that the next decline or ‘solar hibernation’ has begun, we will face significant risks to our people beginning as early as next year and lasting for at least twenty years.”

An Associate Scientist at the IEVPC, Dr. Arun Bapat, a seismic expert in India, adds, “The IEVPC has demonstrated that multi-parameter systems for earthquake prediction are the best means for advance warning of impending quakes. Now, combined with Mr. Casey’s seminal research on climate change, there is little doubt that we are heading into a very difficult time of latent seismic threat for our people.”

Similarly from Dr. Giovanni Gregori, a theoretical physicist and IEVPC Associate Scientist in Italy, “The IEVPC and Mr. Casey’s work on climate is closely related to geodynamic activity. For example, according to my “tide-driven” (TD) dynamo concept and the associated tectonic effects – we should expect the next several years to see an increased general seismic and volcanic activity. Accordingly, a solar hibernation is certainly very likely to be associated with a substantial release of planetary energy, and consequent revival of geodynamic and volcanic activity with all related hazards. All leaders worldwide need to take heed of the challenging and potentially dangerous period we are entering, and prepare their nations and their people accordingly.”

Dr. Thomas Jordan, one of the most respected geologists in the United States, and Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, has recently concluded in a May 4, 2016 article in the LA Times, for example, that the San Andreas fault is “…locked, loaded and ready to go,” meaning a magnitude 8.0 or larger earthquake called ‘the big one’ could strike the region at any time.

Letters addressed to FEMA, the USGS, and governors also noted that the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) as well as most of the state of South Carolina are just as likely to sustain major, if not record quakes along with the high risk San Andreas fault and Cascadia Subduction zone in the West Coast states.