Updated Status of the Climate Change Fraud

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Gina McCarthy, EPA

Happy Earth Day! Heck, Happy Earth Week!! Gina McCarthy, Chief Protector of the Environmental Protection Agency, is engaged in a week of traveling the USA – five cities in all – “to ask Americans to act on climate change through simple actions to reduce carbon pollution in their daily lives.” In case you were planning to fly to five cities to celebrate Earth Week, don’t. Take Gina’s advice – not her example. Incidentally, Gina flies home to Boston most weekends to be with her family.

Earth Week is wonderful because it makes so many people happy. The Greenies and Alarmists are happy because they get to do something to save the planet. We skeptics are happy because we get to watch the ridiculous, hypocritical, foolish things they do that they think will save the planet. This week their obvious hypocrisy and stupidity illustrate the weakening of their Climate Change fraud.

To start things off,  President Obama, late on Friday afternoon, decided to delay yet again a decision on the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, until after the November midterm elections. Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager, who has pledged $100 million to support Democrat politicians who oppose KXL, was jubilant. Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, whose BNSF railroad carries oil from Alberta to the Gulf, was pleased. Mr. Steyer has also pledged additional millions for the Obama Presidential Library. Nothing could better illuminate the venality of the Obama administration and the Democrat Party.

Working men and women, however, hoping for the 40,000 jobs the pipeline would create, were not as pleased. “This is once again politics at its worst,” said Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.“In another gutless move, the administration is delaying a finding on whether the pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process — and which has nothing to with the national interest.”

I’m sorry for the members of O’Sullivan’s union – which twice endorsed Obama for president, claiming he would “work to create jobs.” Pretty obvious who Obama works for, and that the “climate change” fraud is a weapon against the American middle class – whose median wealth is now second to the Canadian middle class. That’s why the latest Gallup poll shows increasing skepticism and decreasing belief. Since 2001, the number of the deeply skeptical has doubled; the number of “concerned believers” (Gallup’s term) has remained the same; the “mixed middle” group has lost about 10% – all of whom have joined us, the skeptics. None have joined Gore, Obama, the IPCC, and the other alarmists. There’s a reason for that.

gallup

Remember the TV Showtime documentary, Years of Living Dangerously, airing on Sunday evenings? I wrote about the first episode a week ago, pointing out that drought in West Texas is not convincing proof of “climate change.” The second episode aired this week; it failed to make the top 100 cable shows, and was beaten in its time-slot by a rerun of the animated cartoon, Bob’s Burgers. Yikes! Showtime spent $20 million on this turkey, directed by James Cameron. The emotional appeal doesn’t seem to be working.

subsidiesFinancially, you’ll be happy to know our Federal Government is spending less of your tax dollars on subsidies for wind power farms. The bird lovers among us will be pleased that fewer raptors and song birds are being sliced and diced. From Investors’ Business Daily:

The federal government has spent some $100 billion in taxpayer subsidies on green energy since 2006. Now we are seeing the flimsy and declining returns on that investment.

The wind industry saw its growth tumble by 92% last year, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and that’s off of a very low base to begin with.

Big Wind blames the decline in output on uncertainty over the future of a federal wind industry tax credit — an absurdly generous subsidy of 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour produced.

This handout is what keeps those giant turbines twirling. These subsidies have been thrown at the renewable energy industry for more than a decade and always with the promise by AWEA that profitability is right around the corner. Sure it is.

The reality is that the wind industry is to energy production what Amtrak is to intercity transportation — a perpetual tax-dollar burning machine.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily

yalenewsFrom its dreadful effects on the working middle class to the subsidies it steals from our pockets, the “climate change” fraud has been a disaster. But perhaps its greatest failure has been its absurd catechizing in the halls of higher education, among those with the most advanced educations. For example, from The Yale News, dated 21 April:

Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today’s California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

Led by scientists at Yale, the study focused on Antarctica during the Eocene epoch, 40-50 million years ago, a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.

Merciful Heavens! 50 million years ago, Antarctica, like India and Australia, was an island continent in the South Atlantic, 2000 miles from the South Pole. Northern hemisphere continents were also dispersed away from the North Pole. Ocean currents flowed freely across the poles; major mountain ranges had not arisen. For these and other reasons, world climate was much warmer and more equable. Apparently there are senior editors at the Yale News who are unaware of continental drift, the foundation of modern geology. Faculty adviser? Let’s hope not.  The effect of the climate change fraud has been to dumb down science education, even at the highest levels. Unquestioning acceptance of authority is deadly to science.

We should be grateful for blessings – even small blessings. Vladimir Putin is helping convince even the most fervent believers in “climate change” that there are worse things. Michael Fallon says yesterday was the kickoff in development of shale gas in the UK. Who’s Michael Fallon? He’s the UK Minister for Energy and Climate Change!  Even politicians can sometimes see the light – if the threat to reelection is strong enough.

Egyptian doctor: Cause of Palestinian suffering is HAMAS, not Israel

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is an Egyptian doctor and in addition has a Master’s degree in cognitive psychology. Dr. Tawfik as a youth was a radical Muslim and joined a terrorist organization Aislmsti – Al Jamaa Al Islamiya, along with Dr. Ayman Al Zhavari, who later became bin Laden’s deputy and currently is the head of Al Qaeda. Twenty-five years ago we met Dr. Tawfik Hamid that Islam today’s combative, sowing destruction and terrorism and so has reformed radical Islam and the scripture of Islam.

Dr Hamid is currently active in promoting peace and human rights, advocating for peace with Israel and argues that the suffering of the Palestinians is caused by leadership that is militant and fanatic, and who wants to exterminate the Jews and uses the suffering Palestinians to further their political and religious dogmatism.  He says cynical manipulation that makes the Palestinian leadership suffering of her people, not only it is immoral, it is against the Palestinians. those who need to change, are the Palestinians and Israel. everyone to take An example of President Sadat, says Dr. Hamid. The solution is in the hands of the Palestinians and not Israel’s hands. And while this situation does not change for the Palestinians, the suffering of the Palestinians will not come to an end. 

[youtube]http://youtu.be/b0m3RghOcFo[/youtube]

 

RELATED STORY: Hamas TV celebrates jihad murder of Israelis: “Our harvest is your heads”

Original in Hebrew:

קוגניטיבית. בצעירותו היה מוסלמי רדיקלי והצטרף לארגון טרור איסלמסטי – אל ג’מעה אל איסלאמיה, יחד עם ד”ר אימן אל זהאוורי, מי שלימים הפך להיות לסגנו של בן לאדן וכיום עומד בראש ארגון אל קעידה. לפני -נה הכיר ד”ר תאופיק חמיד בכך שהאסלאם של היום לוחמני, זורע חורבן וטרור ולכן יש לערוך רפורמות קיצוניות באסלאם ובכתבי הקודש של האסלאם. כיום הוא פעיל למען שלום וזכויות אדם, מטיף לשלום עם ישראל וטוען כי סבלם של הפלסטינים נגרם בשל הנהגה לוחמנית וקנאית הרוצה להכחיד את היהודים ומשתמשת בסבל הפלסטינים לצרכים פוליטיים ודתיים-דוגמתיים. לדבריו, הניצול הציני שעושה ההנהגה הפלסטינית בסבל בני עמה, לא רק שהוא איננו מוסרי, הוא פועל לרעת הפלסטינים. מי שצריך להשתנות, הם הפלסטינים ולא ישראל. על כולם לקחת דוגמה מהנשיא סאדאת, אומר ד”ר חמיד. הפתרון מצוי בידיים של הפלסטינים ולא בידיה של ישראל. וכל עוד לא ישתנה המצב אצל הפלסטינים, סבלם של הפלסטינים לא יגיע לקיצו.
תרגום בעברית.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Soman. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Jerusalem: Muslim Horde Attacks Jewish Children on Temple Mount

Watch this video and maybe you will begin to understand the facts of life and the facts of Islamic Jihad. There will never be peace between Muslims and Jews because Muslims are commanded by their doctrine to HATE Jews and maintain enmity until Jews convert, submit or die.

If this is an accurate analysis of Islamic theology (and it is) then why do we kid ourselves into thinking that if the Jews hand over Jerusalem to the Muslims then the little Jewish kids will be able to walk safely among the zombie Muslim hordes on the temple Mount?

WAKE UP FOLKS!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/oT26_gB678I[/youtube]

 

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Vladimir Putin Caesar and Our Great Geo-political Turning Point

We are witnessing, I believe, a turning point in geopolitical history, one future historians may analyze as we have the Roman Empire’s fall. Vladimir Putin is making a move — and it’s not just against Ukraine. It may not be just a move against Eastern Europe. It’s not even, perhaps, just a move against US world dominance.

There was a time when the USSR was the “evil empire, a godless Golgotha. But that was then. Now, in 2013-14, Putin has seen fit to say, in his December State of the Nation speech, “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. …Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”

This roughly coincided with Russia’s enactment of laws prohibiting homosexual propaganda and was a salvo against both the West’s Great Sexual Heresy and what enables it: moral relativism.

In another shot at relativism, Putin averred, “Society is now required…to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning.”

The Russian president then took aim at multiculturalism: “Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures.”

And now we’re seeing the release of Russian Culture War 2.0. In a document called “Foundations of the State Cultural Policy,” the Kremlin is doubling down and writes, “Russia must be viewed as a unique and original civilization that cannot be reduced to ‘East’ or ‘West.’ …A concise way of formulating this stand would be, ‘Russia is not Europe.’” The document goes on to state that Russia rejects “such principles as multiculturalism and tolerance” and “projects imposing alien values on society.”

No, this is not your grandfather’s Russia.

But it very well may be your great-grandfather’s.

There are a few different things, I suspect, going on here. The 20 years after the Cold War’s end had been a period of relative co-operation between Russia and the West, but you can’t define yourself by going along (to get along) with the world’s cultural hegemon; you can’t be band leader by playing second fiddle. So Putin is defining his nation as the un-morally-wild West. In addition, he knows that to rally a people behind you, you need a boogeyman, your Eurasia, the “Nappy” (Napoleon) who will “get you,” British children, if you’re not good.

Yet it isn’t just that Putin is restarting the Cold War. Nor is he just an old-line KGB Bolshevik, as some stuck in commentary amber have suggested. He’s smart enough to realize that Marxism is, as the kids today would say, just so “played.”

He more likely wants to be the next czar.

What’s my theory? Try this on for size: It isn’t just that Putin wants to restore lost Russian glory.

He sees a chance to be a historic figure.

Note here that you don’t have to be good to be historic; Roman statesman Cicero called Julius Caesar an “ambitious villain,” but Caesar’s name is far better known than Cicero’s. And let’s consider what might be Putin’s calculation: the West has long been the world’s cultural trend-setter, spreading an increasingly un-Christian creed to all corners of the Earth. Of course, not everyone is on board. The Islamic abode wants nothing to do with it, but it’s Muslim; sub-Saharan Africa is largely opposed, but it lacks clout. As for South America, in addition to lacking clout it’s confused; and while China is gaining power, it’s largely pagan and non-committal on the culture war.

Enter the second Vladimir the Great.

Putin doesn’t just see a chance to define himself — and to unite the Russian people behind him — via opposition to the West, as his Marxist comrades once did.

He sees a chance to do it as today’s Charlemagne.

There’s an unsatisfied market for Christendom’s standard bearer, and Putin perceives an opportunity to exploit it. China won’t do it, Africa can’t, South America wouldn’t and couldn’t. But just as the original Vladimir the Great Christianized the Kievan Rus’, just as Charlemagne forged and helped Christianize modern Europe, Putin has a chance to lift the cross — and himself — high.

And the West is a gift that keeps on giving insofar as this goes. Our cultural Marxists are on the march, smell blood and will not stop. They will continue spending us into insolvency, perverting us into prone position, relativizing us into risibility and “immigrationizing” us into irrelevance. Even now, not satisfied with placing another great nail in marriage’s coffin, our militant secularists are making moves to legitimize pedophilia and bestiality. It’s onward Luciferian soldiers.

And for Putin, it’s onward Christian soldier. As our degradation advances, Russia’s star can rise commensurately. Putin knows the West is in decline. He sees the demographic trends, that the US is transforming into a Third World/Hispanic nation and Western Europe into a Third World/Muslim continent. He knows that if there is another superpower in the near future, it will be Russia or China. And he knows what card he has to play to win this game.

Of course, while we could argue about whether the Christian-soldier solution is tactic and strategy or just tactic, it is so obviously prudent that it’s inconceivable Putin wouldn’t have pursued it. Just consider the benefits, starting with justification of Russian expansionism. If you’re a typical Russian, might not the idea that “the West is decadent, debauched, exhausted and effete” justify, in your mind, a Russian manifest destiny? Might it not be natural and wholly in accordance with man’s nature to believe that your moral superiority gives you the right to dominate? Note that this is the theory that helped justify the colonial powers’ imperialism: they were bringing civilization to a world of darkness. And it’s what we do to this day, applying secular values as standard. How often have we heard intervention in the Islamic “stan” du jour justified by pointing out that its rulers oppress women and are intolerant? The judgments are different, but the desire to claim the moral high ground is the same.

Then consider foreign relations. The USSR used to jockey for world influence with us; whereas before they had to market Marxism, however, now they can peddle purity. Standing against decadent Western secular-imperialism can win Russia many friends in Africa and even the Middle East, and most of the Far East will go with the dominant power.

Lastly, even if Putin is a functional atheist — even if his road to Heaven is paved with bad intentions — he surely knows that if Russia wants to prosper, Western secular/hedonist isms must be rejected. And why wouldn’t he know? As Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov and others have explained, it was his erstwhile Marxist buddies who encouraged those movements in the West for the purposes of undermining our civilization.

But we’re doing a very good job of undermining it ourselves, and Putin is more concerned with building his own. Pat Buchanan recently wrote about this and pointed out that Putin may very well view his realm as “The Third Rome:”

The first Rome was the Holy City and seat of Christianity that fell to Odoacer and his barbarians in 476 A.D. The second Rome was Constantinople, Byzantium, (today’s Istanbul), which fell to the Turks in 1453. The successor city to Byzantium, the Third Rome, the last Rome to the old believers, was — Moscow.

Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism.

…Putin is saying the new ideological struggle is between a debauched West led by the United States and a traditionalist world Russia would be proud to lead.

Note here that the term “czar” is derived from the Latin word Caesar. And while Putin may be just as satisfied to be Julius or Augustus as Constantine, I’m quite sure that Marxism is no longer his bag. That would be playing second fiddle again — and the last thing the Russians want to be is like us.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

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Voter’s Remorse Over Obama

I don’t recall when I first wrote about Obama telling lies, but it surely must have been early in his first term, if not even earlier in the 2008 campaign. So much of the information about his life was subject to question that it raised my concern.

The way Obamacare was reamed through a Congress that hadn’t even read the bill put me on full alert. No Republican voted for it.

When you have spent your early years as a journalist as I did you tend to develop a healthy skepticism regarding politicians. There are some very good people who go into politics, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who see it as an easy way to line their pockets. They are the “Eddie Haskell’s” if you are old enough to remember the unctuous character from “Leave It To Beaver.” Glad-handers, back-slappers, and generally smooth talkers.

I was not surprised to read a February 19 article in the Washington Examiner by Paul Bedard. “Poll: Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again” was the title and my first response was surprise that that many would still vote for him. Only???

In the poll 71% of the Obama voters now inclined to vote for someone else if they had the chance said they ‘regret’ their vote to reelect the President. So a majority of those taking The Economist/YouGov.com poll would vote for him again, but nearly all regret having done so.

This is a definition of stupidity. I think Obama and his cohorts counted on this high level of indifference to the facts about his first term.

Among the sample of those who would vote for someone else if they could, 100% of the Hispanics said they would and 80% of the whites said they would. However 61% of the blacks said they would still vote for Obama. It strikes me that many in the African-American community are quick to speak out against any perceived prejudice, but when it comes to electing Obama, skin color was a major factor. I suspect that many are unaware of how Obama’s policies have left the black community with soaring numbers of unemployed, far in excess of other racial groups.

Among women 84% said they would vote for someone else, but just 61% men agreed. The most surprising element of the poll was that 55% of Democrats—yes Democrats—wished they had not pulled the lever for Obama and 71% of independents agreed.

All second term Presidents achieve lame duck status at some point when their power to influence the Congress to support their programs kicks in. Arguably, Obama achieved that in 2010 when voters returned power in the House of Representatives to Republicans. The Senate’s response—mostly Majority Leader Harry Reid’s—was to deny any but a few of the many bills generated in the House an opportunity to be debated and voted upon.

The gridlock that resulted and which Obama endlessly decries was created by the Democrats in the Senate.

Efforts by Republicans were rebuffed along with all manner of charges that they were anti-women and anti-immigrant, among other absurdities. When the Republicans tried to get the insane borrowing and spending under control by shutting down the federal government as a response to raising the credit limits, they were portrayed as political cavemen.

AA - Obamacare DisasterObama is a President who has made it clear that he considers the Congress as an obstacle to his transformation of the nation from a capitalist to a socialist economy in which Big Government functions as the re-distributor of taxpayer funding with an emphasis on programs that, like food stamps, added millions to that handout.

It took the launch of Obamacare to make it abundantly clear how incompetent the Obama administration was and is. The impact on the stagnant job market saw jobs disappear or be turned into part-time, lower-wage positions. People discovered they could not keep their family physician or specialist. Even access to nearby hospitals was denied for some.

We are now being told that being unable to find work is an opportunity to pursue one’s hobbies. Denigrating working for a living is so un-American it is mind-boggling.

The media coverage of Obama’s first term and now the first years of his second protected him against the failure to revive the economy after the 2008 financial crisis. The scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi were shunted aside so that the passage of time would diminish their impact. Those who reelected him were not paying attention! Or they just didn’t care.

One can only hope voters are paying attention now and, in the November 2014 midterm elections, they will elect Republican candidates who will have an opportunity—particularly in the Senate—to limit the damage that Obama continues to inflict on the economy and in the area of foreign affairs.

Based on the poll, it took Obama voters over five years, going on six, to conclude they had made a bad choice—but 79% would still vote for him!

That members of Congress, pundits, and others now routinely call Obama a liar is a good sign because he is. But he is also still President of the United States of America and I suspect he doesn’t care what people say about him anymore.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of The Peoples Cube.

Why is Obama decimating the military while arming federal agencies?

The rate at which this administration is arming federal agencies is quite alarming. Case in point–the recent standoff against Cliven Bundy in Nevada. In recent years, armed federal government agents have stormed against citizens in Ruby Ridge, Miami (the Elian Gonzalez case), and Waco, Texas (the Branch Davidians). Each of these assaults occurred under a Democrat presidential administration. Enabled by lies and deceit, could it be that liberal progressive socialism only works by fear, intimidation, and coercion? Or is Obama more afraid of the American people than our enemies abroad?

I find it humorous that liberal progressives accuse their opponents of being fascists, but the liberals are actually the most intolerant and oppressive when it comes to free speech, expression, and petition of redress of grievances by the American citizenry.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) now have armed agents. The Department of Justice is heavily partisan — and that assertion has nothing to do with racism. I support our law enforcement agencies having the proper resources and equipment to fulfill their mission of keeping us safe from criminals and enemies who have penetrated our sovereign borders. However, we do not need to become a “police state” where our government agencies start to resemble special operation strike troops of the U.S. mlitary.

During the 2008 campaign, I recall then-Senator Obama stating, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Just like the fundamental transformation of America, what exactly did this mean? And just as amazingly, behind the young inexperienced junior Senator, you can see American military veterans applauding.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Tt2yGzHfy7s[/youtube]

So, as we decimate our military, cut retiree and veteran benefits, and cut benefits to our military families, we are arming federal agencies. Why?

I don’t know about you, but I ain’t about to be a sheep heading to the slaughter.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

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[youtube]http://youtu.be/jEXb54PuC0I[/youtube]

Why was Ann Coulter banned from CPAC?

Hey Conservatives…we have a problem. How does the most popular speaker at the annual, preeminent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) get banned from formally speaking at the 2014 event?

Well, in this short video, we will set the context and Ann Coulter will explain exactly how SHE was banned from this year’s CPAC event, an event by-the-way, that is sponsored by the prestigious American Conservative Union (ACU). As you will see, there is a nefarious individual behind the ACU/CPAC activities and The United West (TUW) will present evidence over a multi-part investigative Micro-Series, exposing conservative icon, Grover Norquist, as an ideological “Enemy-of-the-State.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/nDA3LQBB6XY[/youtube]

 

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EDITORS NOTE: This video is part of TUW’s Micro-Series entitled: “Bad Guys, Government Lies, Muslim Spies” carried exclusively on this e-Magazine. The featured photo is courtesy of  Gage Skidmore. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Florida’s School Board Treachery! Part 2

Many have sent letters to Governor Scott, the legislature and the members of the State Board of Education and they were all very good letters. I had so many of you send me what you had written before sending them out and I am honored for your trust.

Florida is in a serious and precarious position having the additional burden of all of those mentioned above plus Jen Bush and the rest of the crony club to deal with. We, true Florida are angry and frustrated because we have listened and learned and we know their concern is not for our children but for their coffers. Money, Power and Control!

Having written about the Chairman of the School Board first I thought I would jump to the end to introduce the new members of the State School Board since they are both so interesting.

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

Let me introduce you to Rebecca Fishman Lipsey!

In her biography she states she is a life-long educator at the age of 32. Let’s take a look at how she got to that experience.

She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Psychology in 2004; attended Bank Street College of Education 2004-06 for her Masters and during the same period was teaching for Teach For America (TFA) in the NYC schools. Two years of actual teaching and then in 2006, she became a Program Director for TFA, but she is a life-ling educator!

If you have never heard of Bank Street College of Education it is probably because you are a strong Christian Conservative. Bank Street is not, to say the least, anything but Progressive.

Bank Street College of Education was founded by Lucy Sprague Mitchell as the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE). They were deeply involved in the creation of the “Head Start” program along with the National Education Association which created the Educational Policies Commission (EPC). Bank Street in their teaching and beliefs stated they were influenced by revolutionary educator John Dewey and other humanists concluding they were building a new kind of educational system which is essential to building a better, more rational, humane world.

John Dewey! Governor Rick Scott, who recommended Rebecca Fishman Lipsey to sit on the Florida State School Board?

The Bureau of Education Experiments (BEE) also founded by Mitchell and her husband, stating their purpose was to “combine expanding psychological awareness with democratic conceptions of education. With a staff of researchers and teachers, the Bureau set out to study children – to find out what kind of environment is best suited to their learning and growth, to create that environment, and to train adults to maintain it”. CHANGE AGENTS!

A CHANGE AGENT you say! What is that? A change agent is identified as someone, usually a teacher who is trained to “identify the resisters in your community” (those parents/taxpayers who resist all the value destroying programs being implemented from the likes of people like Jeb Bush, Achieve, CCSSO and NGA,   National Diffusion Network, and the U.S. Dept. of Education to name a few).

This idea of Change Agents came from Havelock’s work and his 1970 book “Innovations in Education – A Change Agent’s Guide”. He was a federally-funded Marxist who chaired the classics departments at both Harvard and Yale teacher training program of which the U.S. Dept. of Education was promoting, funding and distributing WORLDWIDE in the 80’s.

And, of UTMOST importance, the Guidance Counselor’s journal stated in a special issue it published in May 1977on “death education” that all these programs which had “education” hanging off the end of them: “sex, drugs, alcohol, death, bullying”, etc. were designed to do the opposite of what they told the parents and taxpayers they were designed to do. They were designed TO CHANGE THE CHILDREN’S VALUES FROM ABSOLUTES TO NO ABSOLUTES! (NO RIGHT, NO WRONG)

Scott, in case as a non-educator you are unaware, JOHN DEWEY was a professed MARXIST. His colleague’s would state, “Deweyism is the genuine fulfillment of Marxism”!

According to the Teach for America web site you would think they are the only ones concentrating on the low-income and poverty ridden students. The truth is this has been going on for years and they continue to use those students for experiments in education and then when it fails, blames those same students for them being given trash to learn by.

Currently the TFA website states Florida has their teachers not only in Miami-Dade but Jacksonville (KIPP). Watch those test scores go down! What does TFA look for in “teacher” quality? Well, according to their web site page it says nothing about having been educated to be an educator. By attending their five-week (that’s a #5) summer training program these young college graduates are “ready, set, go”! Compensation isn’t bad either!

Check back to Part 1 on some of the KIPP teachers who are NOT certified.

Of note here is Ms. Lipsey has been working for TFA as a Program Director in Miami-Dade and this was one of the things the Miami-Dade Superintendent requested on the Race To The Top grant – money to fund an “additional” 350 TFA teachers.

Andy Tuck the second newbie on the FL SBOE –

tuck

Richard Andrew Tuck

His name is Richard Andrew Tuck and he is from Sebring – a citrus grower and state school board Chair Chartrand stated upon his appointment, “It’s only appropriate that on the Florida Board of Education we have a citrus grower”! Really? Is that to mean along with his push for the Common Core Standards he maybe also believes in the school-to-work agenda to put the kids in the fields?

Tuck is listed on state records to be the owner and manager of Tuck Groves, Natural AG Solutions LLC and Southeast AG Management LLC.

Never having heard of him before I went to several friends in Highlands County where Tuck is from to ask their thought! Not good! Progressive, Common Core is a done deal – accept it. He was responsible for bringing the Internal Baccalaureate program to Highlands which in case you do not know is a Progressive United Nations/UNESCO curriculum that is also proprietary and no one in the FL DOE oversees anything about it.

Tuck served as a member of the Florida School Boards Association from 2012 to 2013 and was also on the Highlands County School Board for 5 years along with serving at one time as the counties Chairman of the Republican Party. His bio is not much different than Chartrand’s – a lot of words and organizations.

I was told he is Congressman Rooney’s fund raiser and he also held a fund raiser for Gov. Scott. In 2012, Scott appointed Tuck to the State Transportation Committee (I see nothing that gives him a background in this area either).

Now comes the interesting part – he also serves on the Central Florida Regional Planning Council which I think is what got him the appointment to the Florida Department of Management Services Task Force which was formed after the legislature made changes to Chapter 2013-223 Laws of Florida (HB 85) which gives FREE REIGN to any and all PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP dealings in this state. No more bidding process to name one.

At least in part the Florida State Board of Education smells to high heaven and the parents/taxpayers of Florida can expect no help from them in regard to the CCS as was witnessed by their unprofessional behavior by some of the board members and the Commissioner of Education at last week’s meeting.

Governor Scott liked this bill and I will address that at another time. Part 3 to come.

RELATED STORIES:

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Florida’s School Board Treachery! Part 1

It is becoming increasingly clear that the only preservation for the children of Florida and their futures is to change how things are done in Florida. We must return the position of Commissioner of Education to an elected position; change the positions on the State School Board to an elected position or both.

The cronyism in Tallahassee has reached the highest levels it has ever been. The ethics bill last year was a smoke screen to fool us as an effort on their part to be good boys and girls. However the legislation passed in no way touched the real problems in that city and our government.

Appointing people to positions that hold the power such as the Commissioner and State School Board leaves parents out of the equation in regard to education and makes them answerable to whom?  Each other and a governor who has in recent months shown us he cares less about listening to parents concerns in regard to their children’s education and it is more important to him to have dinner with Jeb Bush.

Our past 2 governors,  Bush and Crist along with Rick Scott since the changes in the Florida Constitution in 2003 have given us 5 Commissioners of Education who are currently sitting on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education; John L. Winn, Eric J. Smith, Gerard Robinson, Tony Bennett and now Pam Stewart. Has Jeb Bush been Florida’s perpetual governor?

Given the timing of the change to the Constitution (2003), the following commissioners (John Winn & Eric Smith) were given a seat on Jeb Bush’s foundation which of course is what Bush did after leaving the governor’s office – form his foundation. Do you see a little long range plan laid out here?

All of these people support the trash education of the Common Core Standards and the taxation without representation of the Charter/Choice/Voucher scheme along with the unelected school boards of the Charter schools removing the parental input into the equation. They don’t want you to know about the failures of the charter schools – much larger by percentage than traditional public schools.

The focus here is to make the Charter School Management (CSM) companies rich and the heck with what our kids learn! CSM’s fill coffers!

I want to give you the background on those dictating the futures of our children. You got a good look into the disrespect and arrogance of the SBOE Chairman this past Tuesday. We saw the board members talking to each other, messing with their iPads or phones, conversing with the administrative assistant through the whole time while over 95 taxpayers explained their point of views in regard to Common Core and education in general.

They didn’t even have the decency to have a conversation amongst themselves in regard to any of the issues brought up by the speakers before taking their vote. The 2 new board members (and there is history there also) spoke basically in favor of the vote that was about to take place with Tuck (new kid on the block) even stating we have to move into the 21st Century.

Florida State School Board:

gary chartrand

Gary Chartrand

Gary Chartrand came to the board in 2011 and of course is now serving as its chairman. His business background is pretty impressive as being one of those individuals who sits on every board you can think of. It is always supposed to make your resume look better. Other than the KIPP Charter school thing I can’t find any reason for Scott to appoint him to the board.

Know that no matter how impressive Chartrand’s bio is, it is what it doesn’t say that is important. He has absolutely no background in education except for being involved in bringing Kipp Charter schools and Teach for America (TFA) teachers to Jacksonville. He is a lot like Al Gore – “he knows not of what he speaks”. And his actions are getting rather loud.

Not a classroom, not a school office, not even a school janitor – he has no qualifications to sit on the Florida State Board of Education.  It is a little bit like asking a Construction Engineer to teach a Home Economy class (do they still have those?). Or maybe a professional chef to build a bridge!

Under Chartrand’ s direction the board’s 3 decisions in regard to a choice for the states “Unelected” Commissioner of Education have been less than stellar and it would lead those who follow these things to ask who was really behind these choices. Remembering our last five (5) including our present commissioner are also “reformer’s – (formerly chief’s for change) on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education.  Maybe they just wanted to make sure they had someone who would tow the line.

The main problem here is these choices rather than being individuals interested in actually improving our children’s education, the choice of commissioners were those whose main goal was to privatize our education instead. (Charter Schools)

Chartrand has been applauded for the KIPP Charter schools in Jacksonville – but of course he has given his allegiance to Charter schools. The state’s agenda is charter schools; however his results shown here so far are not any better than his performance as the SSBOE chairman. Chartrand, who helped raise $9 million to bring a KIPP elementary school to Jacksonville, also donated $1 million toward the network’s elementary school in the same city.

KIPP Impact Middle School is of course planted in a “low-income” area which to this writer gives them an out excuse for failure which is where a good amount of charter schools put themselves, low-income areas. 98% of the students are minority and 89% are Title I students both of which bring in extra funds for the school. Started in 2010, their first year grade was an F with less than 30% achieving the FCAT of 25% or less in reading and for math 67% reached the level of 25% or less. Not good.

When Commissioner Robinson made his famous trip to Jacksonville to look into the implementation of another KIPP school (I wonder what his interest was?), he was asked by a reported if he was going to take into consideration the existing Kipp school had received and F, he responded, “we don’t use that as the criteria for allowing new schools to open”.

Wow! Given the Florida State School Board allows D and F Charter schools (of which there are many more than traditional public schools) stay open for far longer than they should, one does have to ask “What are they doing”?

The mission statement for KIPP Jacksonville Schools is to prepare our students with the academic and character skills necessary to succeed in high school, college and the competitive world beyond.  Not at this rate!

Something else I discovered while doing this posting. KIPP and Charter Schools USA send their teachers to what is called the Clarion Council For Educational Greatness in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Though not clear, it looks like it is owned by Charter Schools USA and when you go to the web site and try to see what the training is – you have to have a “Clarion Training” password. Secrets, always secrets.

KIPP’s Accountability report for the 2010-2011 school years – AFRICAN-AMERICAN, ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED KIPP IMPACT MIDDLE SCHOOL has not met federal adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind because it needs improvement in one or more areas.  Because this is a Title I school, your student may be eligible for school choice options under No Child Left Behind.

Charter schools are School Choice so where do these students go if the school were to remain a failure. In fairness I admit they garnered a C the following year after the change to the grading process – no figures for the 2012-2013 year. But then the full accountability figures have not been posted on the Florida DOE web site since 2011. HUM!

More on Kipp Jacksonville Schools according to the 2012-13 FL Charter School Accountability Report:

Kipp Imagine:  4 of the 8 teachers are Teach For America teachers; 6 of the 8 teachers are not certified but are being paid at the same rate as the certified with benefits; average salary with benefits $48,125; 86.66% rated NOT Highly Qualified; 82.35% Teaching out of their field; in the hole financially at the end of the year $14, 000+ and have a large note due to KIPP,Inc.

Kipp Voice:  8 of the 12 teachers Are Teach For America teachers; only 1 is NOT certified; 100% of the teachers are teaching out of their field; their salaries are equivalent to those of Imagine.

Both schools are NOT certified and rent their building from McDuff Qalicb, Inc. of Jax and they are in a relationship with Kipp, Inc. but how is not clear. Both schools hold board meetings once a quarter and at one of the recent meetings Gary Chartrand asked Ashley Ferguson who is listed as the principal of both schools about her views on the Common Core vs. Florida State standards. There was general discussion about this.  She is also a TFA girl!

It’s too bad that Chartrand couldn’t find it in his heart to leave his ego at the door of the board room but then we tin-hatter’s all know that most of the people we are dealing with today have enormous ego’s.

Part 2:  Andy Tuck and Rebecca Fishman Lipsey – the new kids

RELATED STORY: Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford Co-Chairs Fundraiser for Jebs Foundation for Florida’s Future

It’s Hard Being a Black Conservative

“We’re not being governed. We’re being ruled by incompetence.” – Allen B. West, LTC, US Army (Ret.)

Cover - Guarden of the Republic

Click on the book cover to learn more.

It is refreshing to read a book that reflects one’s own views and “Guardian of the Republic” by Allen West, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army for over twenty years and a former, one-term congressman from Florida, who is perhaps best known these days as a Fox News channel contributor. He is a very conservative, articulate black American.

As he points out, “The Left must destroy black conservatives because it cannot afford to have freethinking, independent-minded black Americans. When the Left wins, our community loses. The result of such blind loyalty is that many black voters have come to resemble Vladimir Lenin’s ‘useful idiots.’ They make up an electorate that is completely taken for granted and no one even bothers to listen.”

It is ironic that the first black President will not only be remembered as our worst, but that his failure will reflect on the entire black community in America even while men like West and other blacks of real achievement exist.

For now, it is definitely an uphill struggle for black conservatives, particularly for those in public life. “The mainstream media,” says West, “have a clear tendency to recruit other blacks to denigrate and demean black conservatives” and have “sought to disrespect and deny the existence of black conservatives, but they’re losing the battle and they realize it. The big lie that has resulted in the twenty-first century economic plantation will be exposed and defeated, and our community will be restored.”

I don’t know when I first heard West, but I suspect it was during his run for Congress. I do recall I was instantly and enormously impressed. He won that race and served from 2011 to 2013 representing Florida’s 22nd District. His race for reelection was a classic case of electoral tampering, misconduct, and political slander by those who wanted to defeat him.

“One of my biggest frustrations and concerns about America (is that) our electorate doesn’t have a clue about who we are or whence we came.” Much of his book is devoted to a mini-history lesson regarding the founders, the Constitution, and the principles that set America on the path to greatness among nations. West holds two masters degrees; one from Kansas State University in political science and the second from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in military arts and sciences.

He had just over twenty years to practice military arts, but he had set his heart on joining the Army early on, joining the ROTC in college and thereafter being recognized at every stage for his intellect and his leadership skills. He was deployed to Kuwait in 1991 and Iraq in 2003.

West is plain-spoken. He defines our fundamental governing principles as “limited government, fiscal responsibility, a free market, individual sovereignty, a strong national defense, and an understanding that all of man’s freedoms come ultimately from God.”

And then he says, “Measured against our fundamental governing principles, we clearly do not have good government—heck, we suck! We have excessive debt, growing poverty, exploding deficits, an expanding nanny-state, and an anemic economy.”

“The sad thing is,” says West, “there seems to be no reprieve in sight. Why? Because, as a nation, we have become uninterested, uninformed, and disengaged from the truth.”

Throughout his book, West mixes lessons regarding the system the Founders implemented and his fears about the present generations of Americans, given the last two elections. “I fear national-level elections have become nothing more than a version of American Idol,” says West at one point. He concludes his first book saying, “We have to turn off the brain-draining reality TV shows for a few hours and read, think, assess, and challenge ourselves to be better.”

West has had a remarkable life to this point and he could choose to make a lot of money in some corporate position or as an entrepreneur, but he wants to reach out, not just to the black community, but to all Americans because he is worried about where President Obama has taken the nation he loves and wants to see it saved from unimaginable and unconscionable debt.

We need a lot more men like Allen West. The black community needs to pay him and other black conservatives more attention. The rest of us should hope that a change in future administrations will bring his talent to bear on the restoration of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Poll: GOP Voters Want Politicians to Support Natural Marriage

gop marriag

Click on image for downloadable copy of the survey.

WASHINGTON, PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Family Research Council (FRC) and American Values released the results of a commissioned national survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies showing that 82 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage “should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” 74 percent strongly agreed with this statement.

The same survey found that the voters want their elected leaders to promote this view in public policy: 75 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters disagree that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.” 67 percent strongly disagreed with this statement.

FRC President Tony Perkins made the following comments in response to the survey:

“Republican voters continue to resist the demands of cultural elites who want to see the party abandon the very core values that gave rise to American exceptionalism. The vast majority of the GOP base continues to believe that marriage is a non-negotiable plank of the national platform and want to see their elected officials uphold natural marriage as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage and promote in law.

“The results of this survey are no surprise especially considering what has taken place in recent months. Republican voters, like everyone else, have seen that redefining marriage is really about fundamentally altering all of society. Redefining marriage undermines our fundamental freedoms of speech and religion and in the case of the Mozilla CEO, even the ability to engage in the democratic process without the fear of losing one’s livelihood.”

American Values President Gary Bauer made the following comments:

“Public policy makers are doing a great disservice to themselves and future generations by continuing to misread the convictions of the American people, who overwhelmingly support the institution of marriage as a unique union of one man and one woman. The misinformation campaign waged by media elites muddies the debate and attempts to isolate those who support the time-honored traditions and values shared by every major world religion throughout human history.

“Incredibly, the debate is no longer about privacy and tolerance. Religious liberty, free speech and rights of conscience are now at stake. This survey should remind political and cultural leaders that this debate is far from over. If anything, it is taking on a new sense of urgency for millions of men and women of faith.”

To view the results of the survey, click herehttp://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14D62.pdf

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Poll: 43% of the Dutch want fewer Moroccans

The virulent attacks on Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) by opposition parties in the ruling coalition in The Netherlands and threats to have him prosecuted for his “fewer Muslim” comments in our April NER article “Geert Wilders Once Again Endures a Firestorm of Criticism” have backfired.   A new poll commissioned by the PVV reveal that Dutch voters reject those threats categorically.

A news release by the PVV today noted “43% of the Dutch want fewer Moroccans”:

At the request of the PVV, the independent research bureau “Peil.nl / Maurice de Hond” conducted an opinion poll into the view of the Dutch regarding the presence of Moroccans in the Netherlands.

No less than 43% of all the Dutch prefer to have fewer MoroccansOnly 3% wants more Moroccans, while 48% does not care how many Moroccans there are in the Netherlands. A majority of the voters of PVV (95%) and of the governing VVD (59%), but also more than one third of the voters of the Socialist SP and more than a quarter of the Labor voters prefer to have fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

A majority of 55% of all Dutch is opposed to a criminal prosecution of PVV-leader Geert Wilders.

Geert Wilders: “The figures are very clear. Millions of Dutch agree with me. It is great, too, that a majority of the Dutch is of the opinion that I should not be prosecuted.”

This latest poll bolsters a previous one of Dutch parties in the European Parliamentary elections just one month away on May 22 to the 25th that showed the PVV in the lead.  See our March 17th Iconoclast post, “Wilder’s Freedom Party Leads Poll for Dutch European Parliament Elections”.    We noted:

Geert Wilders” Freedom Party (PVV) leads in Dutch polls next month’s European Parliament elections.  According to a report in the Dutch publication,  Spitsnieuws:

A TNS NIPO poll published today predicts that the PVV, the Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, will become the biggest party in the European elections in the Netherlands.

According to the poll the PVV is going to win the European elections on 22 May with 18.1% of the votes, followed by the Liberal VVD of Prime Minister Mark Rutte with 16.2% and the liberal-democrat D66 party with 15.7%.

The losers of the European elections would be the Christian-Democrats and Labor.

At the conclusion of our April NER article we said:

We hope that those Dutch folks who went to the polls on March 19th and gave the PVV victories in several smaller municipalities may be joined by others in the majority, who didn’t vote. That might provide the PVV with a victory in the May EU parliamentary elections. We have seen Wilders bounce back from previous episodes like a proverbial cat with nine lives.

Both polls taken in the Netherlands clearly indicate that the groundlings aren’t buying the ‘extremist’ charges and calls for prosecution of Wilders. Instead they may be auguries of a possible significant victory for the Freedom Party candidates in the May 2014 European Parliamentary elections.

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

The Progressive Income Tax: Backed by the envious, used by the greedy by DOUG BANDOW

Most Americans dislike the income tax, now more than a century old. The rates are too high. The provisions are unfair. The recordkeeping is onerous. The revenues are wasted.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

But there are fans. The politicians, certainly, of both parties. What good would it do to serve in Congress if you didn’t have any money to spend? There are other sources of public money, to be sure, but none so effective at plucking the geese while minimizing the hissing. Withholding means many Americans look forward to receiving a refund even though that means they have provided an interest-free loan to the very officials conscripting people’s money for dubious purposes.

The beneficiaries of the politicians’ largesse also share in the income-tax lovefest. Uncle Sam needs money to write checks. He can borrow, but there’s a limit to investors’ credulity. Borrow too much and they might doubt Washington’s ability to repay. Moreover, robust tax collections are necessary to repay debts. So creditors, too, benefit from the income tax, even if they don’t enjoy paying on the other end.

Don’t forget about the armies of tax preparers and IRS agents who, at the end of the day, end up with much of the deadweight loss.

Then there are the fans of expensive and expansive government. Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic argued that the money collected has gone for building infrastructure, cleaning the environment, and keeping us safe from foreign threats. Alas, a lot of federal building is politically driven, conservation measures spend huge amounts inefficiently to control minimal problems, and military outlays go to defend scores of foreign societies rather than our own. In all these cases, less would be more.

More dangerous may be the social engineers. For instance, Yale economics professor Robert J. Shiller suggested using the income tax to mitigate “some of the worst consequences of income inequality.” He proposed indexing taxes to income inequality.

It’s a genuinely nutty idea: Inequality measures are sensitive to data distortion based on dates chosen, units measured, and more. Moreover, they incorporate no judgments about how the inequality arose. Were opportunities obstructed, systems manipulated, wealth extracted, people defrauded? Or did a generally free society operate naturally and deliver ever-changing income and wealth patterns? If the latter, what is the government trying to “correct”? And if the former, is the government correcting the right things?

Worse, though, is the weird presumption that seizing private wealth from mostly productive taxpayers and giving it to political operators noted for their electoral skills rather than economic judgment would somehow remedy financial disparities. There is no evidence that increasing Washington’s resources would yield greater social or economic justice, improve economic efficiency or growth, or make people wealthier or freer.

To the contrary, experience demonstrates that the majority—most people outside of those who make their living from the federal trough—are likely to end up worse off. Extensive bureaucracies soak up a lot of money before it leaves government hands. Cash gets tossed at influential interest groups, such as businesses, non-profits, contractors, and unions. Benefits for the poor are dwarfed by middle class welfare, such as Social Security and Medicare. Federal largesse gets bestowed on foreigners through misnamed foreign aid, which long meant taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. America’s defense budget is another form of foreign aid, subsidizing some of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

Providing more money to expand these and other programs is supposed to close the income and wealth gaps? The social engineers just assume that the benevolent dictator model, in which angels enact direct transfers that make people healthier and happier, can actually exist.

Unfortunately, the income tax creates additional harms. By taxing work, the levy discourages work. The higher the rate, the greater the incentive to choose leisure and invest in consumption and tax shelters. Moreover, credits and deductions give legislators the opportunity to play social engineers, providing subsidies and manipulating behavior sub rosa.

The greater the resulting complexity, the more wealth is wasted in compliance activities rather than invested in productive endeavors. Indeed, the system most benefits tax professionals who profit from the system’s failings. Today the tax code and IRS rules run nearly 75,000 pages. And there never is any certainty; my Cato Institute colleague Chris Edwards noted nearly 5,000 tax changes over the last decade. Ever-confused taxpayers are a captive audience for tax preparers and litigators.

Income taxes impose a number of other burdens. There is no financial privacy, since Uncle Sam is empowered to rummage through everyone’s personal affairs. And taxpayers are expected to maintain potentially extensive records for possible inspection for years. For instance, use a home office and you’d better keep your utility bills, home repair charges, and gasoline receipts!

Moreover, as Edwards pointed out, the entire enforcement process is built around a denial of due process. From start to finish the burden of proof falls on the taxpayer, not the government. The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is out the window. Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures don’t apply. Sixth and Seventh Amendment guarantees of a jury trial don’t cover the U.S. Tax Court.

Contrast this with the sales tax. You pay it when you purchase something and you are done with it. You don’t have to keep personal records. You don’t have to file a return. There is no government rummaging around through your bank records for enforcement.

Even social engineering usually is at a minimum. Consumption levies typically include little variations of rates among goods, with at most occasional exemptions of “necessities” and surcharges for “luxuries.” There seldom is much attempt to manipulate rates to achieve objectives other than raising revenue. Even politicians don’t claim that they can use the sales tax to solve the “problem” of income inequality.

The first income tax in U.S. history was proposed in 1814 to fund the ill-fated War of 1812. Happily, the conflict ended before Congress could demonstrate the dire consequences even of taxation with representation. In 1861, a desperate national government turned to the income tax to fund its war to conquer the Southern states seeking to separate. Americans sacrificed both independence and liberty in that conflict.

A search for revenue to replace declining tariff collections led to another income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court declared the levy unconstitutional. Legislators probably could have met the jurists’ objections by scaling back the tax. Instead, 15 years later Congress proposed a constitutional amendment, which was approved on February 2, 1913, during the heyday of the Progressive Era. From modest beginnings it has grown into a monster.

There is a necessary role for government, but it is far more limited than today’s Leviathan in Washington. Government must be funded, but it should be by something other than today’s income tax, which has made it far too easy for politicians to mulct the public. There are many reasons for Americans’ steady and serious loss of liberty, but the income tax ranks high among them.

doug bandowABOUT DOUG BANDOW

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

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

CLICHES OF PROGRESSIVISM #2 — Because We’re Running Out of Resources, Government Must Manage Them

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government.

Our society is inundated with half-truths and misconceptions about the economy in general and free enterprise in particular. The “Clichés of Progressivism” series is meant to equip students with the arguments necessary to inform debate and correct the record where bias and errors abound.

Leaders and experts who support free enterprise and who understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and entrepreneurship will author the pieces. A book will be released in 2015 featuring the best editorials in the series. The opinion editorials and columns will be published weekly on the websites of both YAF and FEE: www.yaf.org and www.FEE.org.

See the index of the published chapters here.

#2 — Because We’re Running Out of Resources, Government Must Manage Them

Milton Friedman once said “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” The great economist wasn’t just being cute. He’s pointing to a very serious problem with government management of resources. And in this chapter, we’ll talk about why it’s a problem. But first we should ask: Why are people so concerned that we will run out of resources? And how can we find a reasonable balance between using resources and conserving them?

When most people think about resources, they think about the possibility they might be used up. And running out of resources means there will be nothing left for future generations. This scares people. So the notion goes something like: If parents let kids get into the groceries on the first night of the camping trip, there won’t be any sandwiches left for the picnic. The parents wisely ration the resources and restrict the kids’ access so that there is something to left for later. People who think government should manage resources are thinking that government will behave like wise parents. But does it?

What you may not have realized is that people in the market—under certain conditions—find a balance between consumption and conservation, which one might call “sustainable.” But first there has to be a complete market mechanism. This may be hard for some people to get their heads around, because most people think markets cause over consumption. And certain kinds of markets can.

Healthy markets only exist under certain rules. The main rules are what we might call the Three Ps: Private property, price signals and profit. These are the basic conditions of exchange. Without them there can be no healthy market.

Private property means that an individual has full ownership of a resource. We know who the owner is, how much they own and that right cannot be taken away arbitrarily. The owner may also have the authority to divest himself of the resource. That means we know the difference between mine and thine and in so knowing, we have the one of the conditions under which to conserve, trade, or consume.

Prices are what economist Steven Horwitz calls “information wrapped in an incentive.” When the price of some resource goes high enough, owners have the incentive to do any number of things. They might use less of the resource (i.e. conserve it), they might find new creative ways to increase the supply of the resource, or they might find a substitute, which ends up conserving the resource. Of course, we make any such choice because we expect of future returns, otherwise known as profit. And in this equilibrium created by prices, property and profit markets balance use with conservation.

Consider a resource that was once highly sought after: whale blubber. Whale blubber was used as an energy resource in the 19th century. But in the case of whales, there were only two of the three Ps. Whalers had prices and profit, but no private property. The whales belonged to what is known as the Commons—which meant anyone could hunt them. Unsurprisingly they were nearly hunted to extinction. Because no one owned them, whalers had a perverse incentive to hunt them quickly. The whales rapidly became scarce. Indeed, as the number of whales went down, the price of each individual whale went up and the incentives to hunt increased. But this can’t happen if there is a robust private property regime in place. If people could own whales, their incentive is not destroy them unsustainably, but to raise them. (Ironically, fossil fuels saved the whales thanks to substitution.)

In the 19th Century American West, wild bison (buffalo) roamed the unfenced, commonly-held Plains by the millions. They were hunted nearly to extinction. By contrast, people could own and raise cattle and the use of barbed wire on private property made it feasible to do so. Today, there are far more cattle in the Plains than bison and even where bison are privately-owned, their long-term survival is now better assured than it ever was on “public” property.

Consider trees. In North America, there are more trees than there have been in over a hundred years. Not only do foresters have incentives to regrow trees they harvest, they have incentives to cut them at a sustainable rate. Of course, in certain parts of the world—like Amazonia and Africa—concerns about forest clearing are justified. The big difference between forests in North America and South America? In one case, forests are largely government managed and in the other they largely privately managed.

Since 1900, U.S. forestland acreage has remained stable for more than a century. Unlike some regions in the world where deforestation is happening at a rapid pace, the US has actually maintained its forestland for the past 100 years. When one includes the heavily forested Northern Forests of Canada, forestland in North America since 1900 has grown—by a lot, according to the UN State of the World’s Forests reports.

By contrast, forests in many parts of the world are losing ground, even losses in these areas are slowing. Still, that leaves the question: why are North America’s forests growing while forests in other areas being lost? Certainly the biggest factor is whether the country has the Three Ps. The absence of property rights is known as the Tragedy of the Commons. If we look at the facts around the world, places that have stable private property rights have stable forestland. Places that don’t have tragedies of the commons—with its attendant rush to exploit.

Political leaders in areas without private property rights have tried to solve the problem of over-exploitation of forestland through the application of government management—that is: simply forbid people from using the resource or have the government allocate it “sustainably.” Contrary to Progressive conservation clichés, neither policy works particularly well.

In the case of bans, black markets form and there is a race to exploit the resource. Poachers and illegal exploiters emerge as the problems persist. For example, black rhinos are under threat in Africa despite bans. Because the profit motive is even stronger under bans, risk takers come out of the woodwork. In the case of government allocation of resources, the process can easily be corrupted. In other words, anyone who is able to capture the regulators will be able to manipulate the process in his favor. What follows is not only corruption, but in most cases considerations of “sustainability” go by the wayside, along with all the market mechanisms that constitute the true tests of sustainability.

 

Max Borders
Editor & Director of Content
The Freeman

Summary

  • It is simplistic to assume that people will blindly use up what sustains them without regard to the incentive structures they face; if they have incentives to conserve, they will do so.
  • Private property is a powerful incentive to conserve resources. You lose if you squander what’s yours.
  • When property is held “in common,” you have a license to use and abuse resources with little incentive to nurture and improve them.
  • For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/pn3qlfbhttp://tinyurl.com/ot533p3 and http://tinyurl.com/ngchvyo
Max Borders

Max Borders

ABOUT MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

RELATED STORY: CLICHES OF PROGRESSIVISM #1: Income Inequality Arises From Market Forces and Requires Government Intervention

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

Amnesty for Illegals Cannot be Defended

I am totally perplexed by Republicans who advocate amnesty for those who entered the U.S. illegally. We Republicans are supposed to be the party of law and order, a party that stands on clearly defined principles. Let’s cut through the pompous rhetoric: The issue of amnesty is only about cheap labor. All the other arguments are merely background noise. With the national unemployment rate just under 8 percent, how can you argue that illegals are doing jobs that Americans refuse to do?

With all the unemployed engineers (partly because of the shutdown of NASA’s Space Shuttle program), how do you justify increasing the number of H-1B visas? The special visa allows companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for up to six years. How can six years still be considered temporary?

How do you explain to a kid in Virginia that he or she has to pay out-of-state tuition to attend the University of Maryland while but a student in the country illegally is allowed to pay in-state tuition? Why should someone in the country illegally be able to obtain a benefit that even an American citizen can’t have? Aren’t these Republicans supporting discrimination against American citizens in their lust of the Hispanic voter?
Linking amnesty to winning the Hispanic vote is not a winning or sensible strategy. One has nothing to do with the other. There is no unanimity within the Hispanic community on the issue of amnesty, therefore why are some operatives linking this issue to the future of the Republican Party? One can be against amnesty without being mean and nasty. But to equate supporting amnesty as a prerequisite to proving that you are not mean and hateful is an insult to our intelligence. As if this weren’t bad enough, can someone please explain to me the logic of any Black person supporting amnesty when the Black unemployment rate is in double digits?

We can have honest disagreements on the issue of amnesty; but please don’t give me the perverted reasoning supporters of amnesty have been using: “it’s an act of love,” “they are only looking for a better life,” “it’s not their fault.”

But these same proponents who want to justify ignoring the law based on some irrational, emotional tick refuse to apply the same empathy towards “Pookie” and “LaQueesha,” who represent inner city America.

When “Pookie” gets arrested for carrying a recreational amount of crack and get sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years for a first time, non-violent offense, where are these Republican thespians advocating for an empathetic approach to law enforcement? When a Black woman in Florida fires a warning shot in the air to stop an abusive former husband from beating her and gets 20 years mandatory minimum, where are the Republican voices of empathy?

If we are going to claim to be a nation of laws, then we can’t allow emotion to cause the unequal distribution of justice to continue. If your basis for giving amnesty to illegals is “their intent”—they only want to make a better life; then how can you not apply the same logic to “Pookie” and “LaQueesha?” Can you not make the same argument that they only want to make a better life for themselves and their families?

Pro-amnesty Republicans sound like a bunch of liberals when they refuse to advocate for the enforcement of current immigration law because they claim to know the “intent” of the law breaker. These same pro amnesty members of the House and Senate have been relentless in accusing President Obama for not being trustworthy on health care (“you can keep your own doctor”), but are willing to work with and trust him on the enforcement side of the immigration debate.

If you can’t trust Obama on healthcare, how can you trust him on immigration?

RELATED STORY: Illegal Aliens, Non-Citizens Caught Voting In Florida In Vast Numbers