On Selling Classical Liberalism by Alberto Benegas-Lynch, Jr.

Some say we classical liberals should do a better job of “selling ideas.” And maybe we should, but I have my doubts. Indeed, transmitting ideas is a different process altogether. And I base my own conclusions in the wisdom of Leonard Read.

When a consumer buys a product, he has to understand what kind of service the good in question will provide. But it is not at all necessary for him to be aware of the production process involved. (For example, when you buy toothpaste, you expect the product to clean your teeth.) On the other hand, when someone puts an idea forward—if the listener is neither a fanatic nor a fundamentalist—it often will be necessary for her to grasp the causal chain involved in its production, so she can fully understand the idea. It would be difficult for someone, say, to understand how DNA works without first understanding something about genes, as well as something about molecules.

Further, the selling process does not apply to ideas—especially in relation to classical liberalism—because our worldview does not specify (nor could it) what will result from the adoption of a truly open society. And yet a salesman incapable of explaining the result of buying and using the product he intends to sell would not be in business for very long.

In other words, selling a good or a service is generally not the same as transmitting an idea.

Of course, such does not contradict any criticism by those who think we classical liberals fail to transmit our ideas skillfully. In fact, I think we often do a poor job, and because we tend to be easier on ourselves than on others, we should reconsider our communication defaults. Instead of complaining about others’ inability to understand what freedom really means, we certainly ought to work on our modes of presentation and polish our messages. And of course we should do more homework—both about how people receive messages and how best to craft them.

An Open Adventure of Thought

Having said all this, I want to return to another reason the selling process is not adequate for the marketplace of ideas. I am inspired to do so by Leonard Read’s The Coming Aristocracy, although in some respects I will give a different turn to what he expressed.

When freedom is adopted, the adventure of thought remains open. Karl Popper writes in The Poverty of Historicisim that “future knowledge is not possible in the present.” This will never be understood by authoritarians who act as if they know what will happen in their own lives, not to mention in the lives of the billons of other people, with innumerable relations among them.

The almost infinite unforeseen consequences of their actions, in the context of ever-changing conditions, are unknowable. Only the monumental presumption of knowledge by statists allows them to move with such confidence, as if information were pulled from a shimmering well in the temple of State (instead of dispersed among billions). But knowledge cannot be concentrated in the hands of bureaucrats, however arrogant. And their power is really just concentrated ignorance.

Thomas Sowell, in Knowledge and Decisions, explains that the matter would not be in any way solved if there were available computers with gigantic memories, because the data simply do not exist before these uncountable actions take place. This is also why Ludwig von Mises has demonstrated that without private property and prices, economic calculation is impossible. It’s why price interference by planners distorts the allocation of resources, which in turn means we are unable to read market signals correctly. And this leads to misinformation, malinvestment, capital overconsumption, and, finally, reduced wages and incomes in real terms.

Of course, all of this isn’t easy to “sell,” even in an overview. Neither, of course, is suggesting to the uninitiated that they read Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions or Mises’ “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.”

Semantics

Still, Warren Nutter helps to clarify some of the semantics in this debate in one of the pieces collected in Political Economy and Freedom. Specifically, Nutter distinguishes between “development” and “progress.”

In the first case, “development” is more of the same (a tumor has developed, for example, which can be forecasted) and that is why planners often use this expression; in the second case, however—despite contemporary socialist buzzwords—the future, real “progress,” is open and unknown, and thus cannot be planned.

The trust of classical liberals in freedom is based not only on iterative experiences of success, but in the need for each person to decide how his or her own life is to be lived. Instead of being domesticated by governments, people can govern themselves and determine their own destinies, which amounts in any case to an unplanned harmony.

In the final analysis, can we seriously suggest an idea whose results we cannot predict? But this is precisely the advantage of freedom: We can trust in people to manage their own lives. If there are those who prefer to delegate decision-making powers to others—instead of supporting socialist political trends that extend this delegation to everyone, with or without their consent—they can appoint tutors, consultants and counselors who cannot so easily rob people of their dignity.

It is as if those that appreciate and love freedom were to cry as loud as they possibly could, “Let me be human! Let me manage my own affairs!”

As the Adams—Smith and Ferguson—taught, each individual pursues his own particular interest, but if they are to become successful they must satisfy others’ needs. In this way they participate in the creation of an order that was not in their initial purposes (nor in their faculties) to create.

Government, in this stage of cultural evolution—despite the fertile, continuing debates on externalities, public goods, and prisoners’ dilemmas—is to protect justice. That means, as Roman Ulpiano famously put it, “to give each one what belongs to each one.” Such is a tribute to the sanctity of the institution of property rights.

As Hayek explains, ideas are a complex phenomenon that require a difficult and long chain of reasoning—especially in the field of social sciences where there are no laboratory experiments. On the other hand, as we said, for the selling process the marketer need only concentrate on the benefits of the final product. This is the reason the teaching process demands so much reading and time with instructors.

This is the long way. But it may be the only way.

Sales Redux

By the same token, it is not acceptable to connect liberal ideas to marketing, because such normally requires the ability to detect (and in rarer cases inspire) what people want so as to provide it. In our case, on the contrary—although it may be paradoxical—to a great extent liberals must work against the trends of the ideas market (since people can want socialist redistribution—or at least can be inspired to believe they do) in order to protect the market process itself. If statist ideas should prevail, the market would largely disappear.

Finally, in another sense, ideas are not subject to being sold in another way. That is, a person who maintains the virtues of integrity and decency will not sell his or her principles. As Al Pacino said in Scent of a Woman, “There isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.”

ABOUT ALBERTO BENEGAS-LYNCH, JR.

Alberto Benegas-Lynch, Jr. holds two doctorate degrees, one in Economics and one in Business Administration, is president of the Economic Science Section of Argentina’s National Academy of Sciences, author of 17 books and a former member of the Board of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Proud Little Englander: Words from Victorian England continue to haunt advocates of freedom and peace by B.K. Marcus

A battle of words from Victorian England continues to haunt advocates of freedom and peace in the 21st century.

British Sky Broadcasting’s An Idiot Abroad is the latest attempt by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of the BBC’s The Office, to find humor in humiliating and ridiculing their friend Karl Pilkington—this time by sending him around the world to “experience” other cultures.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fLYsKe2o0g0[/youtube]

Merchant explains: “He is a typical Little Englander and he doesn’t like going out of his comfort zone.”

In the context, it’s clear what he means, but I had never heard the term Little Englander used that way. The word comes down to us from the history of classical liberalism, where the British hawks called the anti-interventionist opponents of the British Empire “Little Englanders” to distinguish them from the true patriots of Great Britain.

The 20th-century equivalent smear, used both in the United Kingdom and the United States, is “isolationist”—implying that the opponents of an expansive interventionist foreign policy are trying to shut out the rest of the world, bury our heads in the sand, and attempt to wish away the impositions of an ever more global culture. By implication, it is the interventionists who are cosmopolitan and internationalist.

Merchant’s use of the Little Englander epithet is a tiny, throwaway line, not at all the emphasis of the show—although it does get repeated in every episode of the first season, since it’s part of the opening.

So why should we care? Isn’t this just another example of how language changes over time with shifts in political and historical context?

Not quite. A quick Internet search suggests that while both meanings are current, the primary definition is still anti-imperialist, followed by the “colloquial” usage that means xenophobic.

Two recent examples of the term’s use in British magazines illustrate this semantic divergence.

The Economist

In “Great Britain or Little England?” The Economist magazine frets that “Britain is on the way to becoming more solvent but also more insular,” opining that “the trick for Britain in the future will be to combine a smaller, more efficient state with a more open attitude to the rest of the world.”

Apparently, a “more open attitude” would take the form not of voluntary exchange between free individuals across international borders, but rather of precisely the sort of governmental intervention that classical liberals disparaged as “foreign entanglement.”

One irony is that The Economist is itself a descendent of the original Little Englanders. The magazine traces its lineage back to the Anti–Corn Law League, the early free-trade manifestation of the Manchester School.

The classical-liberal Manchester School is remembered most for its opposition to protectionism, which was rightly perceived in the 19th century as a way to tax the poor to benefit the landed aristocracy. The Economist has not remained a liberal publication in this historically libertarian sense, but it has generally honored its free-trade roots. Has it lost track of the other side of the Manchester coin—opposition to war, imperialism, and foreign entanglements?

Spiked

In contrast to The Economist‘s conflation of anti-interventionism and xenophobia, Spiked magazine ran a piece last fall by Patrick West called “A ‘Little Englander’ and proud.”

Unlike Merchant or The Economist, our Spiked author does address the history: “The term ‘Little Englander’ was coined in the late-nineteenth century, an imperialist slur directed at members of the Liberal Party who were opposed to the Second Boer War (1899–1902).”

And the article’s subtitle highlights the irony of the a historical colloquialism: “Ignore the jibes of the pro-intervention crew: it’s the Little Englanders and ‘isolationists’ who are the true internationalists.”

What Was Lost?

So what are we to make of this irony, these opposed connotations of nationalist bigotry on the one hand and peaceful internationalism on the other, wrapped up in a single term?

For one thing, the contrast is no accident—no more than it is an accident that the term liberal can mean left- or right-wing, pro- or anti-market, an advocate of hard capitalism or soft socialism, depending on the context and the speaker.

At the time of the Manchester School, when the slur Little Englander was being coined, the term liberalunambiguously meant a reformer who wanted to dismantle the conservative status quo. Liberals were unequivocally in favor of individual freedom, open borders, free trade, and international capitalism in its anti-Mercantilist and anti-Marxist sense. They opposed big government, high taxes, tariffs, political privileges, and all but the most limited and purely defensive war.

It was this final value—a principled preference for peace over war—that led the interventionists to coin the term Little Englander. Liberalism, as a term and as an ideology, was too popular for the conservatives and socialists to attack it directly. Socialists therefore connived to appropriate the term through redefinition. Conservatives, in contrast, attacked the liberals’ patriotism with the dichotomy of Great Britain and Little England.

There is a division within libertarianism over the question of vocabulary and the importance of semantic positioning. While some debate the definition of, for example, capitalism or patriotism, others argue that it is folly to get stuck in struggles over terminology. Explain what you mean, the latter contend, and don’t worry over the words.

I understand why the semantic quibbling can seem both endless and pointless, but the lesson I take from the linguistic history of our movement, broadly defined, is that the words do matter. The slurs work, and their effects can still be felt over a century later, when the specific debates have long been forgotten.

So what was lost in the imperialists’ semantic victory with the term Little Englander? Why should we care if an entertainer uses it to signal his friend’s parochialism? What does it mean for the future of freedom when we have reached the point where even The Economist, without any apparent irony, uses a term of derision that was originally aimed at its founders—and uses it in keeping with the worldview of the political interventionists the magazine was founded to oppose?

What was lost was the connection in the public mind between the philosophy of freedom and a policy of peace. To be pro-capitalism and anti-poverty strikes our contemporaries as perverse. A philosophy that is pro-market and anti-war creates cognitive dissonance in today’s mainstream, and yet these values were assumed to go together at the height of our movement’s popularity and effectiveness. In letting our opponents, both on the left and the right, redefine the terms of the debate, we have allowed ourselves to descend to the position where we constantly have to explain what we don’t mean.

This is not to say that we should let ourselves be derailed by terminological disputes. But neither should we let go of our history—or the language of that history.

The principled advocates of liberty can even reclaim, I hope, some of the terms used against us—anarchismcapitalismisolationism, among others. That these terms can cause misunderstanding is not sufficient reason to abandon them. Everything about our philosophy can cause misunderstanding among the uninitiated.

I look forward to the day when we can join Spiked in proclaiming ourselves proud Little Englanders (whether we have any personal connection to England or not) and be understood to stand for cosmopolitan open-mindedness, individual liberty, and a policy of peace.

ABOUT B.K. MARCUS

B.K. Marcus is senior editor at Liberty.me and a publishing consultant at InvisibleOrder.com.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Obamacare and minimum wage push connected?

The US Department of Labor map (above) shows minimum wage laws in the various States as of January 1, 2014. Where Federal and state law have different minimum wage rates, the higher standard applies. Minimum wage and overtime premium pay standards are applicable to non-supervisory non-farm private sector employment under state and federal laws.

  • Green States with minimum wage rates higher than the Federal
  • Yellow States with no minimum wage law
  • Blue States with minimum wage rates the same as the Federal
  • Red States with minimum wage rates lower than the Federal
  • Brown American Samoa has special minimum wage rates

We know many people are now being hired to work less than 30 hours a week so employers don’t have to provide Obamacare. Think that move has anything to do with the push by Democrats to dramatically increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10?

Well, if you do the math you will find someone working at the minimum wage of $7.25 for 40 hours grosses $290.00 a week. Someone working 29 hours a week at $10.10 an hour would gross $292.90 per week!

Not bad, work 25% less and make the same amount of money. For entry level workers this must sound like a dream come true.

How do you think the Democrats arrived at $10.10 an hour, by coincidence?

When I grew up minimum wage jobs were filled primarily by high school and college kids, , until illegal aliens took them.

Illegal aliens are excited to have a job paying $7.25 an HOUR since a worker at the Ford plant back in Mexico (thanks to Nafta) makes $7.50 per DAY.

Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood Agenda

It is a task just to keep up with the conflicts dividing America, so it is no surprise that many Americans are unsure of what occurred during the “Arab Spring” that began in 2011 and its aftermath since then. It is likely, too, that most do not know who or what the Muslim Brotherhood is, but it has been around a long time seeking to control events in the Middle East and North African nations. It also plays an astonishing and frightening role in America.

“The Brotherhood’s peak in the United States came with the victory of Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election of 2008,” says Walid Phares in his book, “The Lost Spring; U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid”. “The network, via its front groups, supported the campaign, not as a formal entity, but as a prelude to receiving influence within American bureaucracies and the new administration when Obama took office.”

“The factions within the global lobby had an overarching common interest: to push back against the forces of secular democracy in the Arab world and Iran, and thus against their representatives and friends within the United States and Europe, for the real threat to the Islamists in the East was a secular liberal revolution backed by the West.”

Phares is an internationally acknowledged and respected expert on terrorism, the Middle East, and events that reflect Islamism, the movement to impose strict Islamic law—Sharia—and other cultural restrictions globally, but most specifically in nations where Islam is the dominant faith.

It’s important to know that the Muslim Brotherhood has been around in the U.S. for decades, as often as not working through front organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Student Association, and others. Using petrodollars, it has supported the creation of Islamic studies departments in universities and maintains a communications program to present through the U.S. media its interpretation of events and thus influence public perceptions and opinion.

Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood members who joined his administration after he took office in 2009 were caught completely off guard, however, by the Arab Spring, the name given to a number of revolutions to cast off despots ruling the Middle East. It began in Tunisia, spread swiftly to Egypt, then to Libya, and affected events in other nations of the region. It was led initially by the youth that were connected to one another by communications technology such as iPhones and the Internet. They were joined by secular groups, Muslims who did not wish to live under the repression of fanatical Islamists. Swiftly, ordinary Muslims, women, and others joined them.

In retrospect, a nation whose embassies from Lebanon to Tanzania had been under attack by al Qaeda for decades and which had suffered 9/11, an act of Islamic terrorism on its homeland, would seem unlikely to elect a man whose father was a Muslim, who had spent some of the years of his youth in Muslim Indonesia, and whose brother was an active member of the Brotherhood, to be President. But he was. Twice. This represents almost suicidal stupidity.

From the very beginning of his first term, the White House announced that he would take steps to change America’s image in the Arab and Muslim world. Pharas noted that his first interview was with al Arabiya TV on January 29, 2009 to assert that “The United States was the aggressor in the region” and that “the Jihadists were not the aggressors against humanity.”

There was no denying that the U.S., in the wake of 9/11, had been at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001 and in 2003 had waged a war in Iraq to rid it of Saddam Hussein. Both wars had the intention to introduce and help establish democracy in those nations. By 2009 Americans were war-weary and Obama made it clear in his campaign that he would pull our troops out and talked of shutting down Guantanamo detention center where the worst captured terrorists were being held.

Within two months of taking office, Obama went to Cairo where he identified America as the cause of the ills afflicting the Middle East. “When millions of young men and women hit the streets of Tehran in mid-June 2009, they initially protested voter corruption and the forced reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinijad as president. Later they pushed against the entire regime. The world,” said Pharas, “witnessed a moment in which the regime in Iran was very close to crumbling.” Obama’s response was not to support the democracy movement, saying he did not want to “meddle” in Iranian elections.

This was repeated during the Arab Spring as, time and again, Obama withheld support for the outpouring of desire for democracy in the affected nations, waiting until the Muslim Brotherhood, the only organized faction, was able to seize the movements in order to impose their own control. In Egypt, the people had to fill the streets of Cairo and other cities a second time to oust them from power.

How successfully has the Brotherhood infiltrated the circles of power in the U.S.?  Huma Abedin was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Azizh Al-Hibri serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Areef Alikhan serves in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with Mohamed Alibiary and Kareem Shora who are members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; and Mohamed Magid who is a member of the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. There are others. Too many others.

Obama made sure that the word “terrorism” disappeared from the government’s vernacular. When soldiers at Fort Hood were murdered by a jihadist, it was classified as “workplace violence” and the whole concept of the “War on terror” disappeared. It was replaced by the charge that any criticism of al Qaeda and other jihadist groups was “Islamaphobia.”

Obama would tell Americans that “I consider it as my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Instead, we had a President who would seek to make a deal with Iran, the foremost supporter of terrorism worldwide and a nation determined to make its own nuclear weapons to intimidate the Middle East and the world.

We have a President who turned his back on the forces in the Middle East seeking to install democratic governments. That struggle is far from over, but they and the world must wait until Obama leaves office before real progress can be made against the Muslim Brotherhood and the jihadists.

For now, one of the most powerful Islamists in the world resides in the White House.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED VIDEO:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/jWR-o9O94U0[/youtube]

 

RELATED STORY: Long Island, NY mosque funded jihad in Afghanistan

Florida League of Women Voters Celebrates Voter Fraud?

The Florida League of Women Voters appears to be against any strenuous review of voting rolls with the intent of removing ineligible voters. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner in 2013 began a process called “Project Integrity“. The idea was to check Florida voter rolls against the Department of Homeland Security SAVE database to insure those in Florida illegally do not vote. The Secretary’s office would verify someone is on the SAVE database and registered to vote in Florida, then that name would be sent to the local Supervisor of Elections (SOE), who would then re-verify if the voter is ineligible. The SOE would then remove that name from the voter rolls.

Project Integrity has been opposed by the Florida League from the start.

“Using the federal SAVE Program to conduct this ‘cleaning’ of the voter rolls is like taking a chihuahua on a hunting expedition — it is an inappropriate tool for this application,” says League President Deirdre Macnab. The League will be watching to ensure that the rights of eligible voters are not undermined. “We urge the Secretary’s office to look for ways to engage the state’s electorate and use the Department of State’s resources to make the voting process more accessible to citizens, rather than more strenuous,” Macnab concluded.

When Secretary Detzner stopped Project Integrity the League celebrated that decision stating “Florida voters should be delighted by this news.” We sent the following questions to Macnab:

  1. Should voter rolls be updated to remove all those not eligible to vote?
  2. Should voter rolls be updated to meet federal and state laws on voter eligibility?
  3. In a press release on suspension of Project Integrity the FL League of Women Voters stated “ Florida voters should be delighted by this news.” 
    Should illegal aliens be allowed to vote? If so, how many and why?
  4. Why do you use the word “purge” in your press release? Purge implies ethnicity. Ineligible means illegal. Does the League agree?
  5. Your presser states “Previous purges initiated by the Department of State have resulted in embarrassment for the state of Florida and have done nothing to make our elections process more secure.” What does updating voter rolls have to do with security? What are you referring to when you state “embarrassment for the state”. Please send me a poll or study that has this as a finding.
  6. You state, “Prior to the 2012 election, over 182,000 registered voters were inappropriately targeted by the state as potentially ineligible.” Where did you get this number?
  7. There are examples of people who are contacted and later retained on the voter rolls. Is it not proper for local Supervisors and the Secretary of State to check eligibility? Why is it inappropriate to look at potentially ineligible voters?

We received the following reply from Macnab on April 2, 2014:

Every voter takes an oath when they register to vote and pens their signature to the registration form. A new voter pledges that the information provided is both accurate and truthful information. To violate that oath is a felony, punishable by law. In the same vein, we should take the same precautionary steps to honor any voter’s oath before we consider removing them from the voter rolls. Unfortunately in Florida, we have seen instances where eligible voters are removed, with faulty and inaccurate voter list maintenance instituted by the Secretary’s office. The League believes only eligible voters should vote, and we have a process that is working: we know that the independently elected Supervisors of Election and their staff at the county level are working every day to ensure that lists are up to date and that only eligible voters are in fact voting. There are a number of news stories available if you Google this subject that can provide back up to the numbers you mentioned.

On that same day National Review Online reported:

North Carolina’s Board of Elections found that tens of thousands of registered voters from the state have personal information matching that of registered voters in other states, and appear to have voted in states other than North Carolina in 2012. In some cases, votes were cast under names of individuals who had passed away before Election Day.

The review searched databases in 27 other states and 101 million voter records for information such as matching names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.

The review found that 35,570 North Carolina voters from 2012 shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals who voted in other states. Another 765 Tar Heel State residents who voted in 2012 had the the same names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as voters elsewhere.

Read more.

The updating of voter rolls is the responsibility of each of Florida’s 67 Supervisors of Elections. Removing those ineligible to vote is a constant battle. Floridians would think that any effort to insure only those eligible vote and those eligible do vote would be a top priority of the Florida League of Women Voters. However, that may not be the case.

RELATED STORIES:

Florida: 3,000 Voter Registrations List a UPS Store as a Residence
The Stolen Election of 2012
League of Women Voters Assists Radical Leftist Dream Defenders

The Stolen Election of 2012

The April 2, 2014 edition of National Review Online contains a blockbuster story detailing the results of a widespread vote fraud investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. In their review of the 2012 General Election, the board searched some 101,000,000 voter records in databases of 27 other states, using the same names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of individuals who voted in the North Carolina General Election.

What they found provides convincing proof that Democrats were not going to take any chances in 2012; they were not going to allow Mitt Romney to ruin Barack Obama’s chances for a second term. What the study of the 2012 election shows is that 35,570 North Carolina voters shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals registered to vote in other states. Another 765 North Carolina voters had the same first names, last names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as those who voted in other states, stretching credulity to its absolute limits. Barack Obama carried North Carolina in 2012 by a margin of just 14,177 votes (0.33%). To what extent were those voters residents of North Carolina who also voted in 27 other states, or were many of them residents of 27 other states who also voted in North Carolina?

In another recent study by the State of Virginia, it was found that some 44,000 Virginia voters are also registered to vote in Maryland. Of course, fraudulent voting by Democrats is not unique to North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. For Democrats, vote fraud is a way of life… standard operating procedure. And if the Republican Party had any leaders fit to be called leaders, they would see to it that the voting statistics of every state in the nation are evaluated in exactly the same way as the North Carolina voting age population.

For starters, the North Carolina attorney general should hold a press conference, extending an invitation to the 765 North Carolinians with the same first names, last names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers as individuals who were found to have voted in other states to come forward and identify themselves. Those individuals should be allowed to plead guilty to felony vote fraud, pay a hefty fine, and lose their voting rights for a period as prescribed by law.

Of course, not all those who engage in vote fraud could be expected to self-identify themselves. In such cases, the North Carolina attorney general should conduct forensic examinations of absentee ballots held in North Carolina and other states, lifting latent fingerprints from absentee ballots and subjecting signatures to expert handwriting analysis. Those who fail to self-identify, but whose latent fingerprints are later found on absentee ballots should be indicted, tried, subject to a heavy fine, and sentenced to prison. Upon being sentenced for felony vote fraud they should also lose voting rights as prescribed by law.

Federal law requires that all state election boards retain absentee ballots for at least twenty-two months following an election. Many states require ballots to be retained for twenty-four months, or longer. So it is essential that investigators conduct studies of double voting within two years following an election or much of the evidence of vote fraud will be destroyed.

In a recent speech before Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Barack Obama attempted to rally his base by charging that Republicans are attempting to suppress the black vote in the coming 2014 General Election. Demonstrating once again that he is the dimmest bulb on the porch, he said, “The principle of one person-one vote is the single greatest tool we have to redress an unjust status quo.  You would think there would not be an argument about this anymore.  But the stark, simple truth is this:  The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago.”

Of course, as is the case with almost everything Obama says, he was not speaking the truth; he was only saying what he thought would appeal to his low-information base. The fact is, except for Democrat-sponsored fraud, the right to vote has not been threatened at all in recent decades, compared to the years between the Civil War and the mid-1950s. In those years Democrats used the KKK to intimidate and/or murder thousands of blacks for no other reason than that they insisted on the right to vote. Yes, the one person-one vote principle is a critical concept in our system, but that means one person-one vote, not one Republican-one vote and one Democrat-two votes or three votes, as most Democrats see as their birthright.

He went on to say, “Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote…” So if that is a true statement, it must also be correct to say that Republicans have led efforts to make it impossible to board an airplane, to cash a check, to make purchases with credit cards, to enter public buildings, to sign up for food stamps, to sign up for unemployment benefits, and to purchase beer, wine, liquor, and cigarettes. But we all know that’s not the case, so once again Obama is caught telling untruths to people who are either too dumb or too gullible to know that they’re being propagandized by a four-Pinocchio liar.

The truth is, since the vast majority of those behind prison bars are registered Democrats… those who’ve either attempted to disrupt the social order or who’ve attempted to enrich themselves at the expense of others… it is only fair to say that it is Democrats who are directly responsible for most of these impositions on our time and integrity.

He said, “Now, I want to be clear! I am not against reasonable attempts to secure the ballot.  We understand that there has (sic) to be rules in place.  But I am against requiring an ID that millions of Americans don’t have.  That shouldn’t suddenly prevent you from exercising your right to vote.  So, yes, we’re right to be on guard against voter fraud.  Voter fraud would impinge on our democracy, as well.  We don’t want folks voting that shouldn’t be voting.  We all agree on that. Let’s stipulate to that, as the lawyers say.”

Unfortunately, with an attorney general like Eric Holder, Obama can stipulate all he wants to. It means about as much as a doctor stipulating that a patient suffers from a terminal, but curable, disease, but then prescribes no course of treatment. Eric Holder has been handed irrefutable evidence of vote fraud crimes by Democrats, all of which have been filed in the “round file.”

Then, suggesting to his gullible listeners that vote fraud is not a problem, he offered a few statistics. He said, “One recent study found only 10 cases of alleged voter impersonation in 12 years… 10 cases.  Another analysis found that, out of 197 million votes cast for federal elections between 2002 and 2005, only 40 voters… out of 197 million… were indicted for fraud…”

Since a great many Democratic precincts regularly produce far more than ten cases of in-person voter impersonations, the people who put words on Obama’s teleprompter must have searched long and hard to find a source that would attest to only 10 cases in the entire United States in a 12 year period. Since Obama failed to cite the source for his statistics, one might suspect that they came either from Eric Holder or from the PR office at the Democrat National Committee.

It apparently escaped Obama’s attention that, in 2012, in precincts all across the country, in major cities with heavy Democratic majorities and powerful Democratic machines, Mitt Romney was completely “skunked,” receiving not a single vote out of hundreds of thousands of votes cast. This, of course, is not only a statistical improbability, it is a statistical impossibility, but it went completely unchallenged by Romney and the Republican National Committee.

Giving a tip-of-the-hat to a former racist Democrat president, Obama told his nearly all-black audience that, at the time Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, some of his advisors were recommending caution, saying, “Well, all right, just wait.  You’ve done a big thing now; let’s let the dust settle, don’t stir folks up.” But Obama quotes Johnson as replying, “No, no, I can’t wait.  We’ve got to press forward and pass the Voting Rights Act.  About this there can and should be no argument.  Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote.”

Of course, that represents only Obama’s sanitized version of what Johnson may have said at the time. According to two Democratic governors who flew with him on Air Force One, what LBJ actually said was, “I’ll have those n_ _ _ ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

The point is, African-Americans are rarely told the truth about where white Democrats actually stand on the issue of race. If the Republican Party had leaders worthy of the title, they would begin to tell them the truth, treating them as if they are grownups.

To the best of my knowledge, only one fraudulent voter in the entire state of Ohio went to jail for vote fraud in 2013. According to a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Melowese Richardson was convicted of voting 5 times for Barack Obama in 2012. She was released on March 11, 2014, after serving only eight months of a five year sentence on the grounds that she is mentally ill… a condition not uncommon among Obama voters.

It’s long past time that Republicans moved forward with a national voter registration database, tying every registered voter to a name, address, birth date, and Social Security number. It’s also long past time that we began making a lot more Melowese Richardsons, whether Democrats or Republicans. And if we don’t have Republican leaders with the stomach for the task, then it’s time to get new Republican leadership. We don’t have to jail all Democrats who commit fraud… we could never build enough jail cells… we only have to jail enough of them to make the rest wonder if perhaps they’ll be the next to hear a knock on their door.

RELATED STORY: Judges and Voter ID If the state provides free IDs, is there really an “unjustified burden” on poor voters? 

Florida’s In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens Violates Federal Law

While I am a strong believer in states rights under the 10th Amendment, I also believe that states should follow existing federal laws. Following and enforcing immigration laws, for example, has been the rallying cry for Republicans and some Democrats. If Florida is harmed by  an immigration law then Governor Scott should work with the state congressional delegation to alter or abolish the law. The Florida legislature should not pass and Governor Scott sign a law that violates federal immigration law.

Case in point is the Florida legislature passing HB 851 giving illegal aliens in-state college tuition. This effort has been fully embraced by Governor Rick Scott, former Governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez  in the name of “lowering the cost of tuition for all Florida students.” The problem is HB 851 violates federal immigration law and requires Florida to provide the same in-state college tuition rate to all citizens of the United States.

According to  Hans A. von Spakovsky and Charles D. Stimson giving in-state college tuition to illegal aliens violates federal law. The following is the full text of their November 2011 column titled “Providing In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens: A Violation of Federal Law“:

Federal law prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State”—unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States. Today, 12 states are circumventing this federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense. Because at least one federal court of appeals has held that there is no private right of action under the specific statute in question—§ 1623 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996—the U.S. Department of Justice must enforce this statutory provision against states that have violated federal law. Yet even as it sues states like Arizona and Alabama for trying to assist the enforcement of federal immigration law, the U.S. government refuses to sue states that are incontrovertibly and brazenly violating an unambiguous federal immigration law. Such inaction is unacceptable: The President and the Attorney General have an obligation to enforce every provision of the United State’s comprehensive federal immigration regulations—including the federal law prohibiting state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State.”

In 1996, Congress passed—and President Bill Clinton signed into law—the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).[i] Section 1623 of this federal statute prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States.[ii] Today, 12 states[iii] allow individuals who are in the United States illegally to pay the same in-state tuition rates as legal residents of the states[iv]—without providing the same rates to others. By circumventing the requirements of § 1623 these states are violating federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense.

A Nation of Laws, Not of Men

The United States is a country of immigrants—men and women who sought opportunity and freedom in an exceptional new land. Americans take pride in their heritage and this country’s generous policies regarding legal immigration. Yet, as citizens of a sovereign nation, Americans retain the right to decide who can and cannot enter this country—and what terms immigrants and visitors must accept as a condition of residing in the United States. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, Congress sets America’s immigration policy. State officials have considerable influence in Congress over the crafting of immigration laws, and they may take steps to help enforce federal law.[v] However, state officials cannot act contrary to a congressional statute.

America is a “nation of laws, not of men,” and thus her citizens must abide by the rule of law. But even if the operation of the rule of law was not imbedded in the U.S. Constitution and legal system, every generation of Americans should re-affirm its virtue and security. These concepts, ancient as they are, and quaint as they may sound to some, provide the bedrock principles of this nation’s constitutional republic. To abandon them in individual cases—where, for example, it seems opportunistic or personally appealing—is to render them unavailable in the preservation of all other rights.

The Constitution, the States, and Immigration

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides that Congress has the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Over the decades, Congress has done just that, imposing a variety of conditions on those who wish to immigrate (e.g., such individuals must do so openly and in accordance with established legal process) and on those who might be visiting (e.g., such individuals must not overstay their authorized visit).

Unambiguous federal law regarding who may receive the benefit of in-state college tuition is part of these conditions. Specifically, § 1623 of IIRIRA provides that

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizens or national is such a resident.[vi]

Thus, it is obvious that Congress meant to prohibit state colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens unless the state institutions also offer in-state tuition to all students, regardless of whether they live in the state or in another state. Congress may have assumed that state colleges and universities would not be able to “afford” offering in-state rates to everyone because these schools rely on the higher tuition from out-of-state students to help subsidize public colleges, and thus they would not offer in-state rates to illegal aliens.[vii] But the law itself provides a choice and only requires states to treat out-of-state citizens and illegal aliens equally.

IIRIRA, once signed into law by President Clinton, should have settled this issue. But some states have continued to offer lower tuition to illegal aliens without offering the same to all students—a direct violation of federal law. Specifically, 12 states have circumvented the express language and clear intent of the statute by erecting proxy legal justifications for offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens. These states have asserted these legal arguments in courts and forced others to waste time and resources in litigation to try to enforce federal law. Such state policies not only violate federal law; they also:

  • Encourage illegal immigration;
  • Are fundamentally unfair to students from out-of-state who are U.S. citizens; and
  • Force taxpayers to subsidize the education of illegal aliens.

Beyond these immediate concerns, there is another, larger issue at stake: the federal government’s preeminent power to regulate immigration. The Supreme Court has held that the “[p]ower to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.”[viii] However, not every state action “which in any way deals with aliens is a regulation of immigration and thus per se pre-empted by this constitutional power, whether latent or exercised.”[ix] In order for a state statute affecting immigrants (legal or illegal) to be valid, it cannot be expressly preempted by federal immigration law and must “not otherwise conflict with federal law.”[x]

State laws that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens are both expressly preempted by, and in conflict with, § 1623—unless the state also provides in-state tuition rates to all other American students regardless of their state of residence. However, none of the states that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens have changed their state laws to provide such tuition rates to out-of-state students who are U.S. citizens.

Circumventing Federal Law 101

To avoid IIRIRA’s mandate that in-state tuition be determined “on the basis of residence within a State,” some state lawmakers have created alternative criteria through which students might qualify for in-state tuition. Such alternative criteria are intended to act as a substitute for actual residence, which, in turn, creates the patina of compliance with the federal statute: Since residence is not at issue, there is, so these states argue, no conflict between federal and state law. In reality, however, the states are targeting illegal aliens for in-state tuition.

Maryland’s Senate Bill 167, which was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley (D), is a typical example of such chicanery. This bill exempts individuals, including “undocumented immigrants,” from paying out-of-state tuition if the person attended a secondary school in the state for at least three years, graduated or received a GED in the state, proves that he or his parents have filed Maryland income tax returns annually for the three years the student attended school in Maryland, and states that they will file an application to become a permanent resident.[xi]

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler provided a dubious legal opinion regarding Senate Bill 167 to Gov. O’Malley on May 9, 2011. Gansler concluded that federal law (in particular, 8 U.S.C. § 1623(a)) does not preempt Senate Bill 167. The opinion suggests that Senate Bill 167 is not subject to the preemptive effect of § 1623(a) because the former “looks to factors such as time of attendance in Maryland schools and graduation from Maryland schools to define an exemption from nonresident tuition” [xii] and not residence. There are at least two problems with that legal analysis.

First, federal law permits a state to grant in-state college tuition to an illegal alien only if the state affords the same benefit to non-Maryland residents. The purpose of that law is to allow a state to treat illegal aliens like nonresidents for college tuition purposes: If the state does not charge more to the latter than to in-state students, then it may charge the same amount to illegal aliens (who, in an abstract sense, are akin to non-Marylanders). But Maryland’s law does not use that formula; Gansler claims that the bill does not require “residence” in Maryland to attend college and receive in-state tuition since it looks to “time of attendance” in Maryland high schools.

However, the regulations of the Maryland Board of Education authorize local schools to require “proof of the residency of the child” for admission into public schools for kindergarten through high school.[xiii] In fact, the Web site for the Prince George’s County Public Schools says that “proof of residence shall be a prerequisite of admission to the public schools” and parents and guardians who are registering their children for school the first time must file an “Affidavit of Disclosure as required by law, verifying their legal residence in Maryland.”[xiv] Montgomery County also tells parents enrolling their children for the first time that “all students…must provide verification of age, identity, residency, and immunizations.”[xv]As the state’s attorney general, Gansler has constructive knowledge of this residency requirement. The fact that he ignores it throws into question the premise on which his entire legal opinion rests.

No one who lives in, and went to high school in, for example, Wyoming, could satisfy the eligibility requirements of Senate Bill 167; the new law does not apply to non-Marylanders. As such, because the Maryland bill does not put non-Maryland residents on a par with Marylanders, the bill cannot give illegal aliens a break on state tuition.

Second, Gansler’s letter states that “the entire purpose of the bill is to design a law that will enable the State to continue to provide services to young undocumented aliens.”[xvi] The purpose of the bill, therefore, is to achieve the result that Congress outlawed in 8 U.S.C. § 1623(a)—granting in-state college tuition to illegal aliens without also granting that benefit to non-Maryland residents.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down state legislation enacted to evade federal statutory or constitutional requirements. Indeed, the Court has rejected such legislation even when state lawmakers do not reference a suspect or disfavored classification:

The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government.[xvii]

For example, in 2000, the Court struck down a Hawaiian statute that limited voting in certain elections to individual descendants of those who lived in Hawaii prior to 1778.[xviii] The statute’s eligibility requirements made no mention of race but were an obvious pretext for Polynesian heritage.

These state statutes that are intended to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens are similar pretextual attempts to evade the federal immigration statute.

The Martinez Legal Fig Leaf

The few federal cases on this issue filed by citizen university students and their parents against such state laws have not reached the substantive merits of the preemption issue because the courts have held that individuals do not have standing to sue under this statutory federal provision.

For example, in Day v Bond, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit brought by nonresident citizen university students and their parents against the state of Kansas. Section 1623 does not create a private right of action and the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring an equal protection claim.[xix] The court held that the injuries claimed by the plaintiffs failed to satisfy “the requisite standing criteria.” These injuries included:

  1. The denial of equal treatment caused by the Kansas law that made it impossible for nonresident U.S. citizens to obtain the same in-state benefits;
  2. The increased tuition faced by the plaintiffs since the burden of subsidizing illegal alien beneficiaries is passed along to other students through tuition hikes;
  3. The harm that results from competition for scarce tuition resources; and
  4. The extra tuition paid by nonresident plaintiffs during the academic year over the in-state tuition paid by nonresident illegal aliens, as a consequence of the discriminatory law.

On the other hand, illegal aliens who have sued states for denying admission to post-secondary institutions as a violation of their constitutional rights have had their lawsuits thrown out on the merits. InEqual Access Education v. Merten,[xx] a Virginia federal district court held that, although illegal aliens had standing to bring suit, Virginia was under no obligation to allow illegal aliens to attend Virginia colleges and universities. Virginia’s law was not preempted by federal law and did not violate due process: “It defies logic to conclude that…Congress left states powerless to deny admission to illegal aliens.”[xxi] The court concluded that the “persuasive inference to draw from § 1623 is that public post-secondary institutions need not admit illegal aliens at all, but if they do, these aliens cannot receive in-state tuition unless out-of-state United States citizens receive this benefit.”[xxii]

As the National Conference of State Legislatures notes in a report on in-state tuition for illegal aliens, in order to try and “maneuver around the [§ 1623] requirements, the eleven states that have enacted laws granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented students have tried to word the legislation so that it is contingent on high school attendance and graduation, and not based on residency within the state.”[xxiii]But Texas bases its definition of residency for college admission on an individual (or his parent) establishing domicile in Texas not later than one year before the academic term in which the student is enrolled in college or graduating from a Texas high school who “maintained a residence” continuously for three years before graduation.[xxiv] Similarly, California bases residency on high school attendance in California for three or more years and graduation from a California high school.[xxv]

The California Supreme Court bought into this legally questionable argument in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California.[xxvi] The court recognized that the question of federal preemption of California’s residency law depended on whether the three-year high school attendance requirement is an “exemption based on residence within California.” However, the court held that the requirement that a student attend a California high school for three years and graduate was not a residency requirement. It overturned the California Court of Appeals, which had come to the legally straightforward conclusion that the California law was intended to benefit illegal aliens living in the state and the “wording of the California statute…creates a de facto residence requirement.”[xxvii] The court of appeals did not consider it relevant that the eligibility criteria did not correlate 100 percent with residency.

The California Supreme Court made the illogical claim that because § 1623 is not an “absolute ban” on illegal aliens receiving such tuition benefits, that section of federal law is not in accord with the expressed intention of Congress in its immigration legislation to “remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits.”[xxviii] The court also ignored the fact that the state had adopted the law specifically to benefit illegal aliens living in California and that the overwhelming majority of those who qualified for the benefit were only illegal aliens.

While this legally erroneous decision may be the law in California (at least for the time being), it is not the law anywhere else in the country. Although the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition of certiorari filed by the plaintiffs, it is black letter law that such a denial has no precedential effect whatsoever;[xxix]this issue has not yet been decided on the merits by any federal court.

And yet, offending states continue to ignore the clear language provided by a federal court in the Mertendecision, and instead rely on the preferred outcome found in a state supreme court ruling—a shortsighted and legally specious approach to governing.

Unwise Public Policy

Giving illegal aliens a financial break at state colleges and universities is not only illegal; it is also immensely unpopular with American taxpayers. An August 2011 Rasmussen poll found that 81 percent of voters oppose providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. Seventy-two (72) percent of voters believe parents should be required to prove their legal residency when registering their children for public school.[xxx]

These results, however, should hardly come as a surprise: In 2005, it was estimated that the cost to taxpayers of providing in-state tuition in California was between $222.6 million and $289.3 million, while the cost to Texas taxpayers was between $80.2 million and $104.4 million.[xxxi]

Granting financial preference to illegal aliens also discriminates against otherwise qualified citizen students from outside the state. Furthermore, states that offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens act as a magnet for more illegal aliens to come to the state. Arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive, and not supported by the facts.

An Obligation to Enforce Federal Law

States that offer in-state tuition for illegal aliens are in violation of federal law. In doing so, these states are also acting against the will of the American people.

The applicable statute and the case law are clear: If there is no private right of action under § 1623, the U.S. Department of Justice must enforce this statutory provision against states that have violated federal law. Yet even as it sues states like Arizona and Alabama for trying to assist the enforcement of federal immigration law, the U.S. government refuses to sue states that are incontrovertibly and brazenly violating an unambiguous federal immigration law.

The President and the Attorney General have an obligation to enforce the provisions of the United States’ comprehensive federal immigration regulations—including the federal law prohibiting state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State.”

ABOUT HANS A VON SPAKOVSKY AND CHARLES D. STIMSON

Hans A. von Spakovsky and Charles D. Stimson are both Senior Legal Fellows in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation;  von Spakovsky served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department (2002–2005) and Stimson was a federal prosecutor and later Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (2006–2007).

J Street Rejected by National Jewish Umbrella Group

Hooray, for the majority of Jewish national organizations who voted today against admitting J Street, the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (COPMAJO).  JNS.org reported this long awaited crucial vote in an article, “J Street rejected by American Jewish umbrella group in ‘big tent’ litmus test”:

In what many observers will see as the de facto expression of mainstream U.S. Jewry’s outlook on J Street, members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Wednesday voted 22-17 (with three abstentions) to reject the membership application of the self-labeled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby. J Street secured the votes of only about a third of the Conference’s 50 members.

The 42 Conference members in attendance in New York exceeded the 75-percent quorum needed to hold the vote, but J Street fell significantly short of the required threshold of a two-thirds affirmative vote from the Conference’s full membership. The result that 25 organizations either voted against J Street or abstained meant that half of the Conference’s members declined to support J Street’s application.

Jeremy Ben Ami

Jeremy Ben Ami

The JNS.org article went on to explain why the COPMAJO rejected J Street:

J Street said in a statement, “This is a sad day for us, but also for the American Jewish community and for a venerable institution that has chosen to bar the door to the communal tent to an organization that represents a substantial segment of Jewish opinion on Israel.”
[…]

The Forward reported that at an April 11 meeting during which J Street had failed to win the endorsement of a crucial committee for membership in the Conference.  J Street was questioned over donations it has received from liberal billionaire George Soros—whose foundations have come under scrutiny for allegedly funding anti-Israel groups—and over the lobby’s support of the United Nations-sponsored Goldstone Report, which accused Israel of war crimes against the Palestinians. Furthermore, J Street was accused of collaborating with anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine.

Some Conference members were also troubled that J Street, if voted in, would have been the only organization in the Conference of Presidents that endorses or raises money for political candidates through a political action committee.

Andrea Levin—executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a Conference of Presidents member—told JNS.org that J Street is taking positions “totally out of sync with the Jewish mainstream,” noting its opposition to a 2011 congressional letter criticizing Palestinian incitement in the wake of the Itamar massacre that killed five members of an Israeli family, and more recently, its refusal to condemn the Fatah-Hamas unity deal.

{…}

Yet Sarah Stern—president of the Washington, DC-based Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) think tank and policy group—believes members of Congress are often confused about where J Street stands on Israel. She noted that J Street “has consistently taken the same positions as the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).” CAIR has been accused of being a front group for the Hamas terrorist group, and NIAC routinely takes anti-Israel positions.

[…]

Dr. Charles Jacobs—president of Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, the group behind the new documentary “The J Street Challenge”—explained that J Street breaks a long-honored tradition between American Jews and Israel.

“[American Jews] can freely criticize Jewish leaders in Israel—we can do it publicly, but we who do not live there or have our children on the front lines do not have the right to use our American power to circumvent Israeli democracy, and to try to lobby to get an American administration to impose our views and policies on the Israelis. … J Street’s entire program is designed to break this longstanding agreement,” Jacobs told JNS.org.

There is no reason why the ”pro-Peace Pro Israel” mantra of J Street qualifies it to be inside the Big Tent of the COPMAJO.  J Street was seeking the declaration of an instant Palestinian State based on the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA is corrupt to the core, fraudulently lining the pockets of PA President Abbas, his sons and crony circle with billions of dollars in UN, US and EU aid.  The PA has even been called out by human rights groups for violating its own citizens’ human and civil rights. Moreover, it doesn’t meet the 1933 Montevideo Convention defining a state. The unity deal, which was the last straw, was a desperate move by both Fatah and an increasingly isolated Hamas. Hamas is a US designated terrorist group whose 1988 Charter seeks destruction of the Jewish State. Even the Obama White House had to admit that Israel had no alternative but to end the charade.  Fatah-Hamas alliance alleged that it now rejected genocidal violence against the Jewish nation could be trusted as a peace partner in any deal.  Israel rejected this assertion.

It is not lost on this observer that this vote occurred  following  the verbal faux pas of  US Secretary  of State Kerry  saying that if a peace deal wasn’t struck by Israel  its Arab citizens would be subject to  the equivalent of the racist apartheid system of South Africa. All that did was to feed grist for the agit-propaganda mills of Muslim advocacy campus groups in the US promoting Israel Apartheid Awareness.  One example is the Students for Justice in  Palestine  (SJP) with its dorm eviction notice campaign against Jewish students at a host of American universities. Then there is the anti-Israel Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), a misnomer, as it supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  Unfortunately, Jewish BDS groups have been backed by some like minded Jewish Federations in New York and Orange County California.

The New York activist group JCCWatch.org organized yesterday evening’s 100 Shofar blast in a protest rally at the mid-town Manhattan headquarters of the UJA Federation of New York. This event was  directed at the  New York Jewish Federation’s  CEO, John Ruskay for inviting The New Israel FundPartners for Progressive Israel and  B’Tselem  to be included in the annual  Salute to Israel  Parade on  June 1, 2014. They are backers of BDS and even the campus Israel Apartheid Awareness weeks.

When PM Netanyahu announced suspension of the Final Status talks, J Street’s mantra virtually collapsed. No instant Palestinian state is possible.   Further, J Street’s agenda was blown out of the water by the Palestinian Authority’s Campaign 194 to seek backdoor admittance as a full member at the UN by signing 15 international protocols and agreements.

Today’s COPMAJO vote sends an important message to the United Reform Judaism movement, whose head, Rabbi Rick Jacobs had backed  J Street being brought into the big tent.  URJ, with a large contingent of its members in the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet constitutes a “back to the future” anti-Israel movement reflecting the pre-Holocaust views of the American Council of Judaism (ACJ). The ACJ rejected a Jewish nation in the ancient homeland, instead staying the assimilation course in America.  The ghost of Jeremy Ben Ami’s late Palestinian Zionist Revisionist father and member of the Bergson Group during WWII in America, Yitzhak Ben Ami, must be spinning in his grave over today’s COPMAJO decision. Zionism prevailed, while anti-Zionism was sent packing.

RELATED STORY: ADL Supports J Street Joining US Conference of Presidents

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The 2014 state of wind energy: Desperately seeking subsidies by Marita Noon

With the growing story coming out of Ukraine, the ongoing search for the missing Malaysian jet, the intensifying Nevada cattle battle, and the new announcement about the additional Keystone pipeline delay, little attention is being paid to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy—or any of the other 50 lapsed tax breaks the Senate Finance Committee approved earlier this month. But, despite the low news profile, the gears of government continue to grind up taxpayer dollars.

The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE) did not originally include the PT; however, prior to the committee markup hearing on April 3, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) pushed for an amendment to add a 2-year PTC extension. The tax extender package passed out of committee and has been sent to the Senate floor for debate. There, its future is uncertain.

“If the bill becomes law,” reports the Energy Collective, “it will allow wind energy developers to qualify for tax credits if they begin construction by the end of 2015.” The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) website calls on Congress to: “act quickly to retroactively extend the PTC.”

The PTC is often the deciding factor in determining whether or not to build a wind farm. According to Bloomberg, wind power advocates fear: “Without the restoration of the subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry might not recover, and the U.S. may lose ground in its race to reduce dependence on fossil fuels driving global warming.” \

NRELThe National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report earlier this month affirming the importance of the subsidies to the wind industry. It showed that the PTC has been critical to the development of the U.S. wind power industry. The report also found: PTC “extension options that would ramp down by the end of 2022 appear to be insufficient to support recent levels of deployment.… Extending the production tax credit at its historical level could provide the best opportunity to sustain strong U.S. wind energy installation and domestic manufacturing.”

The PTC was originally part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It has expired many times— most recently at the close of 2013. The last-minute 2012 extension, as a part of the American Tax Relief Act, included an eligibility criteria adjustment that allows projects that began construction in 2013, and maintain construction through as long as 2016, to qualify for the 10-year tax credit designed to establish a production incentive. Previously, projects would have had to be producing electricity at the time the PTC expired to qualify.

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, which represents the interests of oil, coal, and natural gas companies, called the 2013 expiration of the wind PTC “a victory for taxpayers.” He explained: “The notion that the wind industry is an infant that needs the PTC to get on its feet is simply not true. The PTC has overstayed its welcome and any attempt to extend it would do a great disservice to the American people.”

As recently as 2006-2007, “the wind PTC had no natural enemies,” states a new report on the PTC’s future. “The Declining Appetite for the Wind PTC” report points to the assumption that “all extenders are extended eventually, and that enacting the extension is purely a matter of routine, in which gridlock on unrelated topics is the only source of uncertainty and delay.” The report then concludes: “That has been a correct view in past years.”

The report predicts that the PTC will follow “the same political trajectory as the ethanol mandate and the ethanol blenders’ tax credit before it.” The mandate remains—albeit in a slightly weakened state—and the tax credit is gone: “Ethanol no longer needed the blenders’ tax credit because it had the strong support of a mandate (an implicit subsidy) behind it.”

The PTC once enjoyed support from some in the utility industry that needed it to bolster wind power development to meet the mandates. Today, utilities have met their state mandates—or come close enough, the report points out: “their state utility commissioners will not allow them to build more.” It is important to realize that the commissioners are appointed or elected to protect the ratepayers and insure that the rates charged by the utilities are fair and as low as possible. Because of the increased cost of wind energy over conventional sources, commissioners won’t allow any more than is necessary to meet the mandates passed by the legislatures.

The abundance of natural gas and subsequent low price has also hurt wind energy’s predicted price parity. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), in Bloombergsaid: “If gas prices weren’t so cheap, then wind might be able to compete on its own.” David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy Inc.—which builds both gas and renewable power plants—agrees: “Cheap gas has definitely made it harder to compete.” With the subsidy, companies were able to propose wind projects “below the price of gas.” Without the PTC, Stephen Munro, an analyst at New Energy Finance, confirms: “we don’t expect wind to be at cost parity with gas.”

The changing conditions combined with “wide agreement that the majority of extenders are special interest handouts, the pet political projects of a few influential members of Congress,” mean that “the wind PTC is not a sure bet for extension.” Bloomberg declares: “Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator.” Mike Krancer, who previously served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, in an article in Roll Callstates: “Washington’s usual handout to keep the turbines spinning may be harder to win this time around.”

Despite the claim of “Loud support for the PTC” from North American Windpower (NAW), the report predicts “political resistance.” NAW points to letters from 144 members of Congress urging colleagues to “act quickly to revive the incentives.” Twenty-six Senate members signed the letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and 118 House members signed a similar letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). However, of the 118, only six were Republicans—which, even if the PTC extension makes it out of the Senate, points to the difficulty of getting it extended in the Republican-controlled House.

Bloomberg cites AWEA as saying: “the Republican-led House of Representatives may not support efforts to extend the tax credits before the November campelection.” This supports the view stated in the report. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) held his first hearing on tax extenders on April 8. He only wants two of the 55 tax breaks continued: small business depreciation and the R & D tax credit. The report states: “Camp says that he will probably hold hearings on which extenders should be permanent through the spring and into the summer. He hasn’t said when he would do an extenders proposal himself, but our guess is that he will wait until after the fall elections. …We think the PTC is most endangered if Republicans win a Senate majority in the fall.”

So, even if the PTC survives the current Senate’s floor debate (Senator Pat Toomey [R-PA] offered an amendment that would have entirely done away with the PTC), it is only the “first step in a long journey” and, according to David Burton, a partner at law firm Akin Gump Hauer and Feld, is “unlikely on its own to create enough confidence to spur investment in the development of new projects.” Plus, the House will likely hold up its resurrection.

Not to mention the growing opposition to wind energy due to the slaughter of birds and bats—including the protected bald and golden eagles. Or, growing fears about health impacts, maintenance costs, and abandoned turbines.

All of these factors have likely led Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co.—the biggest U.S. turbine supplier—to recently state: “We’re planning for a world that’s unsubsidized. Renewables have to find a way to get to the grid unsubsidized.”

Perhaps this time, the PTC is really dead, leaving smaller manufacturers desperately seeking subsidies.

About the Author: Marita Noon

Marita NoonThe author of Energy FreedomMarita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

Secure property rights: Hold government to the law by Ron Arnold

Cliven Bundy marched into my life one Friday morning in January 1992 in a protest bound for a federal courthouse in Las Vegas. He held up one side of a street-width banner that asked, “Has the West been won or has the fight just begun?”

To my great relief, just as Bundy promised, nearly 200 ranchers from all over the state marched behind him, yelling “Property rights!” Nearly a mile later, the marchers fell silent and filed into the courtroom where Wayne Hage of Pine Creek Ranch faced arraignment for the felony of cleaning brush out of his ditches without a U.S. Forest Service permit.

The Forest Service had already confiscated Hage’s cattle and left him bankrupt, just as the Bureau of Land Management would try with Bundy 22 years later.

Hage had already filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service in the U.S. Court of Claims, just as Bundy now has cause to do against the BLM – last week, during their failed attempt to confiscate Bundy’s cattle, agents wantonly bulldozed his water supply into oblivion without court authority.

Wayne Hage did not stand in that courtroom alone because I was honor bound to prevent it – I had published his 1989 book, Storm Over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands, which unleashed the federal fury.

The message terrified abusive bureaucrats: There are private rights in federal lands – vested rights, not privileges.

His book, the product of three intensive, grueling years consulting with dozens of experts and sifting through many archives, found the dirty little secret that could destroy the abusive power of all federal Western land agencies – by making them obey their own laws.

It was so stunning that a sitting Supreme Court justice secretly sent Wayne a message marveling at his shining intellect – burnished with a masters degree in animal science and honed by academic colloquies as a trustee of the University of Nevada Foundation – and warning of the titanic battle to come.

How true: Hage was convicted of brush cutting but acquitted on appeal. His own lawsuit against the United States took almost 20 years, but proved there are private rights in federal land. He died of cancer in 2006 before he could see how great a victory he had won – and how the battle is still just beginning, as Bundy foresaw.

Wayne’s son, Wayne N. Hage, now manages Pine Creek, and his daughter Ramona Hage Morrison is his intellectual heir. She helped research his book, lived the courthouse agonies with her father and assisted with his seminars on protecting ranchers’ rights. Morrison said:

Private rights in federal lands were recognized in an 1866 water law. It says, Bundy cattle“… whenever, by priority of possession, rights to the use of water have vested and accrued, and the same are recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, laws, and the decisions of courts, the possessors and owners of such vested rights shall be maintained and protected in the same.”

That Act was passed a long time ago, but every federal land law since then contains a clause with language similar to, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impair any vested right in existence on the effective date of this Act.”

Most ranchers don’t know that and federal agencies exploit their ignorance with harassment that runs them off the land. Actually, understanding vested rights is not too hard – they’re absolute rights not subject to cancellation – but proving up those rights by assembling your chain of title and other technicalities and then making the government protect them is very hard.

The agencies know they don’t own the water rights, so their lawyers fight viciously with misdirection to save their empire from the owners. Ranchers lose in court because they don’t know how to prove up their vested rights and they don’t get lawyers who know the precision required to plead a vested rights case. Very few lawyers know.

Ranchers, get smart. Don’t assume anything. You probably believe a lot of things that aren’t true. Get busy and prove up your vested rights as we did. Get a court to adjudicate them as we did. Yes, your whole life will be one battle after another, like ours. Seek help to develop an army of supporters, as we did. You can shout freedom slogans all you want, but only the courts can destroy the root power of federal abuse.

The BLM has now withdrawn. Bundy has his moment of triumph. The cries of victory are thrilling.

But we know it’s not over yet. The BLM did not leave because angry citizens outnumbered their assault force by 100 to 1. Nothing has touched the BLM’s ability to return.

Get real: the BLM invaders left when it got ugly because it’s an election year and they’re all Democrats. They’ll be back.

Supreme Court 3Property rights defenders can stop them. We can go on the attack in the courts with organized funding to adjudicate protection for every last vested right in the American West. We have the laws to do it. We now need organization, money, brains, and the will to make it happen. Every vested right that we protect will destroy that much federal power to abuse.

Let no ranching family go unprotected.

That’s the hard way, but it’s the only way that works. Stay on target: the federal power to abuse must be destroyed.

EDITORS NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.

About the Author: Ron Arnold

Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Local communities face onslaught from self-anointed planners by Bonner Cohen, Ph.D.

A growing number of initiatives by elitist organizations, working hand-in-glove with local kindred spirits, is transforming once-self-governing communities into instruments of environmental political correctness.

Cloaked in the mantle of providing for “sustainable” or “livable” communities, these programs include such fashionable ideas as “open space,” “heritage areas,” “view sheds,” ”smart growth,” “clean energy,” and “combatting climate change,” – just to name a few.

What was once largely the domain of far-away UN conferences and obscure academic journals has now made its way to Main Street. Planning commissions, which have spread like wildfire over the past couple of decades and whose members are unelected, produce an endless array of schemes designed to micro-manage every aspect of commercial, residential, and recreational life. No town, no matter how small, is safe from the meddling of planners in and outside of government.

The Shadow of Agenda 21

The proliferation of efforts by green elites to mold communities in their own image is a consequence of the rise of the environmental movement – both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Those efforts received a substantial boost with the adoption of something called Agenda 21 at the conclusion of the June 3-14, 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment & Development in Rio de Janeiro. Agenda 21 is described by UNbuildingthe UN Division on Sustainable Development as “a comprehensive plan of development to be taken globally, nationally, and locally by organizations of the United Nations Systems, Governments and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts (sic) on the environment.”

A 300-page document divided into 40 chapters, Agenda 21 has many goals, including changing consumption patterns, conserving biological diversity, protecting fragile environments and the atmosphere, and achieving more sustainable settlements. Agenda 21 provides a blueprint for the kinds of structural changes the proponents of sustainable development (a term left purposely vague) want to see take place.

Merely setting goals, however, was not enough; the task of implementing Agenda 21 fell to another UN body, the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Founded in 1990, ICLEI is an association of local and regional governments as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) – all sharing a commitment to sustainable development. ICLEI’s membership currently numbers over 1200 cities, towns, counties, and NGOs in 84 countries. In the United States, 528 cities belong to ICLEI, including New York, Los Angeles, Dubuque, Iowa, and Arlington, Texas.

ICLEI’s U.S. website, www.icleyus.org, informs its visitors that $618 million in funding for grants and technical assistance is available for state, local, and tribal governments. The largess comes courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Energy, Interior, and Transportation and is be used for climate and energy initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Lest they have any doubts about the organization’s commitment to combatting climate change, visitors also can read about ICLEI’s new emissions-management software.

Another organization spreading the gospel of sustainable development is the appropriately named American Planning Association (APA). Founded in 1978, APA provided a ready-made vehicle for taking the goals of Agenda 21 to the local level. A forum for the exchange of views and proposals among urban and regional planners of every description, APA has state chapters throughout the country. In addition to its well-attended conferences, APA uses its website, www.planning.org, to get the message out. Its website, for example, touts the virtues of solar power and bike-sharing as ways communities can reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.

When such “lofty” goals are adopted by local governments, they have real-world consequences for those on the receiving end of the elitists’ grand vision. Open space in a case in point. Thomas Sewell, senior fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, notes that open space comes at an enormous cost to perspective homeowners and those seeking affordable apartments to rent. “What that lovely phrase means is that there are vast amounts of empty land where the law forbids anybody from building anything,” he says. “Anybody who has taken Economics 101 knows that preventing the supply from rising to meet demand means that prices are going to rise,” he explains. “Housing is no exception.” (Washington Times, April 23, 2014)

The “Plantocracy”

Indeed, all across the country, the lives of ordinary citizens are under siege by the grandiose schemes of what we will call the “plantocracy.” Consider:

  • In Ohio, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) teamed up with the Montgomery County Commission, the Washington Township Board, and an assortment of NGO “stakeholders” to have a bike path added to a road-widening project. The bike path comes within seven feet of the front door of a local resident’s 164-year-old farm house. In July 2013, bulldozers flattened hedges and trees in front of the historic farm house to make way for the bike path. The owner of the property protested vehemently, but to no avail. An official with the MVRPC justified the bike path and the destruction to private property it wrought by saying, “Doing so reduces the amount of carbon and harmful emissions into the atmosphere so that our air is cleaner.” (Range, Winter 2013-14)
  • In Washington, a bill, HB 2386, introduced in the legislature would create the State Maritime Heritage Area that would include “all federal, state, local, and tribal lands that allow public access and are partly located within one-quarter mile land inward of the saltwater shoreline (of the Pacific Ocean)…” Language in the bill assures the public that nothing in the legislation “creates any regulatory jurisdiction or grants any regulatory authority to any government or other entity” or “abridges the rights of any owner of public or private property within the designated area,” or “established any legal rights or obligations, including in regards to any environmental or administrative review process involving land use.” Opponents of the legislation ask why, if the designation is so benign, does Maryland have a 19-member Maryland Heritage Authority and a 10-member board appointed by the governor to oversee the state’s heritage areas. The question is a reflection of the well-founded mistrust of such schemes on the part of ordinary citizens.
  • In Isle of Wight County, Virginia, local officials are trying to prohibit a farmer from allowing a disable friend from staying overnight on his property in an RV. County officials claim that the use of the RV constitutes an unauthorized “campground” in violation of local zoning ordinances. “Cases such as this one are becoming increasingly common across the country as overzealous government officials routinely enforce laws that undermine the very property rights that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution,” says John Whitehead, president of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute.

Defenders of Agenda 21 and ICLEI are quick to point out that they have no regulatory authority and cannot enforce any of their recommendations. That’s true. But once the genie is out of the bottle and finds its way into the rules, regulations, ordinances, “green” building codes, and land-use restrictions of local governments, what comes out does have the force of law behind it. The plantocracy, with all the interlocking relationships it has with well-funded and well-connected interests, is a beast that is roaming the countryside searching for its next prey.
Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

About the Author: Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT.

Should California dictate U.S. energy policies? by Paul Driessen

Can the rest of America afford its Alice in Wonderland energy policies for? (Can California?)

California loves to be seen as the trendsetter on energy and environmental policies. But can we really afford to adopt their laws and regulations in the rest of America? Heck, can the once Golden State afford them itself? The path to hell is paved with good intentions, counter-productive policies – and hypocrisy.

The officiajoblessinCAl national unemployment rate is stuck at 6.7% – but with much higher rates for blacks and Hispanics and a labor p labor participation rate that remains the lowest in 35 years. Measured by gross national product, our economy is growing at an abysmal 1.5% or even 1.0% annual rate.

Meanwhile, California’s jobless rate is higher than in all but three other states: 8.1% – and with far worse rates as high as 15% for blacks, Hispanics, and inland communities. First the good news, then the insanity.

Citigroup’s Energy 2020: North America report estimates that the United States, Canada, and Mexico could make North America almost energy independent in 6 years, simply by tapping their vast recoverable oil and natural gas reserves. Doing so would help lower energy and consumer prices, insulate the three nations from volatile or blackmailing foreign suppliers, and spur job creation based on reliable, affordable energy, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Driving this revolution is horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. According to Citigroup, IHS Global Insights, the EIA, and other analysts, “fracking” technology contributed 2.1 million jobs and $285 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, while adding $62 billion to local, state and federal treasuries! Compare that to mandates and subsidies required for expensive, unreliable, job-killing wind, solar and biofuel energy.

Fracking also slashed America’s oil imports from 60% of its total needs in 2005 to just 28% in 2013. It slashed our import bill by some $100 billion annually.

By 2020 the government share of this boom is expected to rise to $111 billion. By 2035, U.S. oil and natural gas operations could inject over $5 trillion in cumulative capital expenditures into the economy, while contributing $300 billion a year to GDP and generating over $2.5 trillion in cumulative additional government revenues. What incredible benefits! But there’s more.

A Yale University study calculates that the drop in natural gas prices (from $8 per thousand cubic feet or million Btu in 2008, and much more on the spot market, to $4.00 or so now) is saving businesses and families over $125 billion a year in heating, electricity, fertilizer and raw material feed stock costs.

The only thing standing in the way of a U.S. employment boom and economic and industrial renaissance, says Citigroup, is politics: continued or even more oppressive anti-hydrocarbon policies and regulations.

Here’s the insanity. Fully 96% of this nation’s oil and gas production increase took place on state and private lands. Production fell significantly on federal lands under President Obama’s watch, with the Interior Department leasing only 2% of federal offshore lands and 6% of its onshore domain for petroleum, then slow-walking drilling permits, according to the Institute for Energy Research.

The President continues to stall on the Keystone pipeline, while threatening layers of expensive carbon dioxide and other regulations, to prevent what he insists is “dangerous manmade climate change.” His EPA just adopted California’s expensive all-pain-no-gain rules for sulfur in gasoline, and the Administration and environmentalists constantly look to the West Coast for policy guidance.

poweroutageGovernor Jerry Brown says 30 million vehicles in California translate into “a lot of oil” and “the time for no more oil drilling” will be when its residents “can get around without using any gasoline.” However, that rational message has not reached the state’s legislators, environmental activists, or urban elites.

California’s ruling classes strongly oppose drilling and fracking – and leading Democrats are campaigning hard to impose at least a long temporary ban, based on ludicrous claims that fracking causes groundwater contamination and even earthquakes and birth defects.

Meanwhile, California’s oil production represents just 38% of its needs – and is falling steadily, even though the state has enormous onshore and offshore natural gas deposits, accessible via conventional and hydraulic fracturing technologies. The state imports 12% of its oil from Alaska and 50% more from foreign nations, much of it from Canada, notes Sacramento area energy consultant Tom Tanton.

The record is far worse when it comes to electricity. The Do-As-I-Say state imports about 29% of its total electricity from out of state: via the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Phoenix, coal-fired generators in the Four Corners area, and hydroelectric dams in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest, Tanton explains.

Another 50% of its electricity is generated using natural gas that is also imported from sources outside California. Instead, the Greener-Than-Thou State relies heavily on gas imported via pipelines from Canada, the Rockies and the American Southwest, to power its gas-fired turbines. Those turbines and out-of-state sources also back up its numerous unreliable bird-killing wind turbines.

It adds up to a great way to preen and strut about their environmental consciousness. They simply leach off their neighbors for 62% of their gasoline and 79% of their electricity, and let other states do the hard work and emit the CO2.

These foreign fuels power the state’s profitable and liberal Silicon Valley and entertainment industries – as well as the heavily subsidized electric and hybrid vehicles that wealthy elites so love for their pseudo-ecological benefits, $7,500 tax credits, and automatic entry into fast-moving HOV lanes.

Meanwhile, California’s poor white, black, Hispanic, and other families get to pay $4.23 per gallon for regular gasoline, the second highest price in America – and 16.2 cents per kWh for residential electricity, double that in most states, and behind only New York, New England, Alaska, and Hawaii.

However, the state’s eco-centric ruling classes are not yet satisfied. Having already hammered large industrial facilities with costly CO2 cap-and-trade regulations, thereby driving more jobs out of the state, on January 1, 2015, they will impose cap-and-trade rules on gasoline and diesel fuels. That will instantly add at least 12 cents more per gallon, with the price escalating over the coming years.

CARCULTURERegulators are also ginning up tough new “low-carbon fuel standards,” requiring that California’s transportation fuels reduce their “carbon intensity” or “life-cycle” CO2 emissions by 10% below 2010 levels. This will be accomplished by forcing refiners and retailers to provide more corn-based ethanol, biodiesel, and still-nonexistent cellulosic biofuel.

These fuels are much more expensive than even cap-tax-and-trade gasoline – which means the poor families that liberals care so deeply about will be forced to pay still more to drive their cars and trucks.

In fact, Charles River Associates estimates that the LCFS will raise the cost of gasoline and diesel by up to 170% (!) over the next 10 years, on top of all the other price hikes.

In the meantime, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany, and a hundred other countries are burning more coal, driving more cars, and emitting vastly more carbon dioxide. So the alleged benefits to global atmospheric CO2 levels range from illusory and fabricated to fraudulent.

Of course, commuters who cannot afford these soaring prices can always park their cars and add a few hours to their daily treks, by taking multiple buses to work, school and other activities.

There’s more, naturally. Much more. But I’m out of space and floundering amid all the lunacy.

Can we really afford to inflict California’s insane policies on the rest of America? In fact, how long can the Left Coast afford to let its ruling classes inflict those policies on its own citizens?

About the Author: Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which is sponsoring the All Pain No Gain petition against global-warming hype. He also is a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death.

Supporting Paul Weston

Paul Weston, a political candidate in Britain, was arrested and charged with racism and hate crimes for reading a quote from Winston Churchill about Islam. We must start resisting this kind of fascism.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/xGYCf82ord0[/youtube]

Common Core: The Chain of Betrayal

Who have we always trusted as the voice of the parents and teachers?  The PTA of course.  Most parents have attended meetings and supported PTA, but times are changing.  Many of our other pillars of education have been destroyed as well.  No longer can we send little Johnny off to school trusting he will come home smarter and stronger from the experience.

The PTA has betrayed the children and its own mission statement by accepting large sums of money from the Gates Foundation and GE to name a few, to promote their takeover of education through Common Core for their financial gain.  Just examine the Gates Foundation web site on contributions to advocate common core.

Make no mistake, this is a massive sellout.  Instead of advocating for our children, PTA and others were paid to advocate for Common Core, a national education program providing billions of dollars to GE, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Pearson PLC (3rd largest shareholder is the Government of Libya) and other high tech companies.  In partnership with our Federal Government, these groups have wrested control of education from parents and teachers and put it into the hands of nameless and unaccountable bureaucrats.  They have copyrighted the standards and will control all aspects of education, hardware and software for schools, testing and training teachers, delivering inflexible curriculum and testing of children.  Parental control is ended and teachers have become class monitors with scripted lessons, monitored and controlled so they don’t deviate from the Government Planned indoctrination.

I was recently on the textbook adoption committee for Lee County Schools, the 34th largest district in the country.  We could choose any textbooks we’d like as long as they were all Common Core aligned.  Most textbook companies and testing companies are now owned by Pearson PLC, and all contain gross errors in history and massive UN propaganda.

These same companies and groups have compromised others who were supposed to advocate for the children, the parents and the voters as well.  In fact, the Gates Foundation report above shows at least 196 grants for the purpose of advocating for Common Core.  The State Boards of Education received money.  Foundation for Education in Excellence (Jeb Bush) took large sums and now is the platform for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.  It’s no wonder he sold the children down the river with the promise of support of the richest companies and the wealthiest people in the World in his pocket.  He used the same tactics before when he founded the Foundation for Florida’s Future to build a war chest for Florida’s gubernatorial race using ties to his father and his brother to get money from out of state donors under the radar.

Let’s look at the strange bedfellows involved:  George Soros (Center for American Progress), President Obama, Eli Broad, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, The US Chamber of Commerce, PTA, Business Round Table, many governors including Rick Scott, all are advocating Common Core.  What do they have in common?  All share either a financial or political benefit or both.

Where do our children’s interests enter?  The children are called “human capital” by the creators of Common Core for good reason.  Business groups have bought the (untrue) line that Common Core will create better and more manageable employees to produce profit.  They cite the lamentable decline in performance of our public schools but wrongly adopt common core, more of the same, as the solution.  You see, the decline parallels the level of national/ international interference in the education process.  The US Department of Education now has over 230 programs costing over $200 Billion per year and yet graduation rates have fallen by about 10% since its inception and test results have significantly declined.  It’s not possible to know exactly how much damage has been caused by Federal interference because tests have been dumbed down and results are measured differently to disguise the failure.  The Cato Institute report on the USDOE is clear. 

Common Core is the final nail in the coffin of American Exceptionalism.  Here’s the startling history of education from noted historian, David Barton:  He shows that what used to be an 8th grade education in America is now equivalent to more than a high school diploma.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6bNl3qhBDcM[/youtube]

Every test and study has shown that parental involvement is the primary determinant of success in learning.   Meanwhile, Common Core removes parents, teachers, local districts, and states from any control of education whatsoever, by the linking of federal money (Title One, Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind Waivers) to adoption of Common Core’s uniform curriculum and National Testing.  Data collection on each little child is required and will follow the child from pre-K to work.  It will contain medical files, discipline records, family status, family religion, family political party, test scores, psychological profiles and more.  The advocates of Common Core are drooling over the marketing potential of this vast store of information as President Obama, through executive order, has reduced protection of data so that parental consent is no longer required.

Emphasis on collaborative learning reduces individual initiative and individual thought.  Forcing 70% of reading to be “informational” rather than classical works, dulls creativity and imagination.  The book, “Story-Killers” documents these effects in actual classrooms.  The author, Dr. Terrence Moore, speaks on this subject:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABCDEFGH[/youtube]

Common Core math standards have been likened to “new math” an experiment ended decades ago as a major debacle.  Instead of pilot testing programs, Common Core was rolled out nationwide with no back-up plan.  This one size fits all math education does not even offer learning math facts as we have for hundreds of years as an alternative.  Convoluted schemes which are age inappropriate, confuse and destroy the confidence of young learners.  It may never be regained.

This massive attack and infusion of propaganda on our children must be stopped now because it is an existential threat.  As Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the Government in the next.”  We have powerful and wealthy people and organizations with resources beyond our imagination with the goal of taking control of education, our children and our future.  We have the truth, our voices and our votes.  This is NOT just an ISSUE for us.  This is our children and we will never let this happen on our watch.

People are rising up all over the country to stop Common Core as George Will writes, “Viewed from Washington, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man’s hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.”

Political battles are now being won and lost on this issue as in the Florida Congressional District 19, where an “outsider” Curt Clawson, beat sitting State Senate Majority Leader, Lizbeth Benaquisto by 12 points largely because of her duplicity on Common Core.  Her conservative base was not fooled by her superficial conversion after sponsoring a bill in 2013 to implement Common Core as she is allied with Jeb Bush.  His tentacles reach far in Florida where he is a major donor and supporter of many State Legislators including Governor Scott.

Florida Governor, Rick Scott, should take this seriously as he has the identical problem.  He betrayed his base by pretending to listen while completely adopting Common Core under a new name.  He is already trailing his besmirched opponent, Charley Crist, and every vote is critical.  His advisors may believe that Republican votes will come home rather than vote for Crist but he forgets that there is a third option.  Voters will stay home, boiling mad and turned off to his betrayal of their children for the support of establishment presidential candidate, Jeb Bush.

RELATED STORIES:

The Dying of the Light: How Common Core Damages Poetry – by Esolen, Highfill, Stotsky
AP: Common Core a Defining Issue for GOP 2016 Hopefuls

President Obama: Request you prepare the USA for Dangerous Cold Climate

The Orlando, FL based Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) delivered a letter to the White House this morning for President Obama, in which it warned of the dangers expected from the ongoing climate change to decades of record cold weather.

This predicted historic event is caused by a rare, yet repeating 206-year cycle of the Sun which the SSRC calls a “solar hibernation.” During these hibernations, the Sun dramatically reduces the energy by which it keeps the Earth warm.  In past occurrences of these solar hibernations, the Earth was struck by two of the worst cold climate periods ever recorded, each of which witnessed global crop devastation, civil and political strife, and warfare.

One historian classified the last hibernation from 1793 to 1830, as the world’s “last great subsistence crisis.” That period was also called the Dalton Minimum, because of the scientist who kept track of temperatures then and the reduced energy output of the Sun as measured by a low number of sunspots during that period. The previous hibernation from 1615 to 1745 was called the Maunder Minimum and was far worse than the last hibernation both in terms of the depth, and extent of the cold epoch but also in the global crop devastation. Russian scientists are saying we are heading into another Maunder class solar hibernation starting this year.

John Casey

John Casey, President, Space and Science Research Corporation.

The letter to President Obama coincides with the seventh anniversary of discovery of the 206-year cycle that led to the formulation of the ‘Theory of Relational Cycles of Solar Activity,’ or the ‘RC Theory.’ The RC Theory creator and SSRC President Mr. John Casey, has since been leading the effort in the United States to alert the US government, the media, and US citizens about the dangers associated with this regular, albeit ominous cycle of the Sun. The SSRC record of major climate predictions using the RC Theory has been recognized as one of, if not the best public record of climate prediction in the US. That includes a successful record of predictions better than NASA, and NOAA, and by far exceeds that of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC).

According to Mr. Casey, “There is overwhelming evidence that global warming no longer exists and that the use of CO2 and the greenhouse gas theory by the UN and our own government represents what I and other scientists believe is the greatest scientific fraud in history. Sadly, even though the Earth is now cooling rapidly, we still see the current US administration and other countries trying to force-feed this bad science on their citizens. The record winter of 2013-2014 along with others in the past six years is but one example of how this recently started solar hibernation will continue to make the Earth much colder. The SSRC’s Global Climate Status Report, now shows that of twenty-four global climate parameters that we monitor, eighteen are showing a cooling trend is in place.

“I am also particularly concerned how the President’s climate policies will hit African Americans, other minorities and the poor the hardest, in terms of higher energy bills they will be paying and that they will be totally unprepared for the cold climate ahead. That matter is also addressed in the letter the White House received today.”

Read the full letter to President Obama by going here.

ABOUT THE SPACE AND SCIENCE RESEARCH CORPORATION

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) is a leading independent US climate research company. It is the foremost institution in the United States dedicated to the analysis and planning for the next climate change – forecast to be one of decades of record cold weather.

The SSRC maintains active communication channels with some of the world’s best experts in the field of solar physics and climate research pertaining to the matter of the next climate change. In addition it has a dedicated list of “Supporting Researchers” who have committed their name and assistance to the mission of the SSRC. The SSRC also updates key US government leaders of the status of climate change activity centered on its area of expertise.

The SSRC possesses the capability to conduct planning and research on how best to prepare individuals, businesses, and governments at all levels for the next climate change to a period of long lasting and potentially dangerous colder weather.