March 23, 2017

Five Dumbest Questions for Gorsuch

Dana Mathewson

"Hey, Minnesota, we're Number One!"

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/five-dumbest-questions-to-gorsuch.php

A NOTE FROM JACK KEMP:

The issue: Klobuchar pressed Gorsuch about his views on originalism, a concept in which judges adhere to the strict meaning of the Constitution when it was written.
The question: "So when the Constitution refers, like, 30-some times to ‘his’ or ‘he’ when describing the president of the United States, you would see that as, well back then, they thought a woman actually could be president of the United States even though women couldn’t vote?”

END QUOTE

My response to Sen: Klobuchar...

First of all, Senator Klobuchar, women I believe did have the vote in New Jersey way back when for a time but that is technicality. Secondly, even if I take your premise that no woman could vote in 1788, it was theoretically - theoretically - possible for MEN to vote a woman into the Office of President from the beginning of the U.S. Constitutional government. It just wasn't likely to happen. Although Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution refers to the qualifications for President and states in its second sentence "He shall hold his office," this use of "he" is a generic use of the male pronoun for mixed sex groups of the possible candidates. If it were legally interpreted as Male Only, Hillary would have not gotten the nomination of her party. Later on in Article 2, Section 1, it states that "No person except a natural born citizen," etc. can become president. It does NOT say "No person except a male natural born citizen," etc. Thirdly, the office of "How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin" and poor Constitutional scholarship is located several blocks away from the Capitol and in the new Obama family residence.

DANA REPLIES:

There's a suspicion that the donkeys may try to cut a deal with the elephants over this one. Let's hope the elephants don't cave. Oh, Grahamnesty and McVain will, and maybe Collins, but it'll take five of them to ruin things.

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My -- uh -- senator covers himself with lutefisk

Dana Mathewson

Al Franken is a senator. Yep, that's what the Minnesota Secretary of State's website says. Can't prove it from his actions, though. He certainly acts more like the (failed) comedian he used to be.

In trying to make a negative impression on Supreme Court Justice candidate Gorsuch, he only succeeded in beclowning himself more than usual. Power Line's Paul Mirengoff watched the proceedings and provided the following account. If Franken is the Democrats' biggest gun, well, we have nothing to fear. But pity me everytime I receive an e-mail that says "Contact your senator(s)!"

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/observations-on-the-gorsuch-hearing-part-two-al-franken-strikes-out.php

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Lawlessness Advocated at SLU; Making a Safe Space for Illegal Invaders

Timothy Birdnow

In another story from St. Louis University, the staff of the U news calls for SLU to become a sanctuary campus in violation of federal law.

After praising illegal invaders to the hilt the editors write the following lie:

"Undocumented immigrants do not pose the threat to our country that individuals like Trump have claimed. The Center for Immigration Studies, a nonprofit research organization that is against granting legal status to undocumented immigrants, has not found that undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. "There’s no evidence that immigrants are either more or less likely to commit crimes than anyone else in the population,” Janice Kephart, a CIS researcher, said in 2015."

End excerpt.

This is a lie because they use the word immigrant and not illegal alien. There is a vast distinction because immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes (by and large) but that does not mean illegal aliens are not. They committed a crime just by breaking and entering this country. The fact is, illegal aliens are quite prone to crime.

According to Ben Shapiro:

"On the other side of the argument, Northwestern University researcher Jorg Spenkuch has found, according to Reason, "a ten percent increase in the share of immigrants–roughly one percentage point based on numbers from the 2000 Census–is estimated to lead to an increase in the property crime rate of circa 1.2 percent, while the rate of violent crimes remains essentially unaffected.”

The Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-illegal immigration group, cites criminal statistics from certain counties, like Maricopa County, Arizona, where 22 percent of felons are illegal immigrants; they point out that as of 2009, "57 percent of the 76 fugitive murderers most wanted by the FBI were foreign-born”; they rip the "poor quality of data used” in the PPIC and IPC studies, with good reason. Why this controversy? Shouldn’t it be easy to determine the criminality rate of illegal immigrants by, for example, determining the place of origin for those currently in America’s prisons? It would be, but as Ann Coulter has pointed out, the government refuses to measure such statistics:

Instead of counting the immigrant stock filling up our prisons, the government issues a series of comical reports claiming to tally immigrant crime. The Department of Justice relies on immigrants’ self-reports of their citizenship. The U.S. census simply guesses the immigration status of inmates. The Government Accounting Office conducts its own analysis of Bureau of Prisons data. In other words, the government hasn’t the first idea how many prisoners are legal immigrants, illegal immigrants or anchor babies."

End excerpt.

and according to Randall Hoven at American Thinker:

"The Government Accountability Office has data that show otherwise. Here is the leading sentence from a 2011 GAO report (GAO-11-187, Criminal Alien Statistics, March 2011).

"The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available), and the majority were from Mexico.”

(SCAAP is the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and in this context means "illegal aliens” – a GAO term meaning "Noncitizens whom ICE verified were [or whom states and local jurisdictions believe to be] illegally in the United States at the time of incarceration”.)

As for those federal prisoners, the GAO states, "In fiscal year 2005, the criminal alien population in federal prisons was around 27 percent of the total inmate population, and from fiscal years 2006 through 2010 remained consistently around 25 percent.”

The Washington Post cites an even higher number for 2013, 38.6%, yet dismisses those federal numbers as "not indicative of general crime trends of non-citizens,” because most criminals are incarcerated in state or local facilities."

Hoven goes on to show unequivocally that illegals commit violent crimes at a much higher rate than do citizens. But the government doesn't keep records and they unquestionably fudge the data (remember we don't even know how many illegal aliens we have in this country.)

Legal immigrants generally WANT to be here and will not do something to jeopardize that. Illegals are different.

And even if it is true, the logic is flawed because we would have ZERO crime from illegal aliens if they were not here. That is the flaw in all the arguments over statistics. Even if illegals were generally good residents the fact remains we would have no problem with crime in their community if there was no such community. The fact is they are all criminals; they broke the law coming here, and break the law on a regular basis by stealing that which rightfully belongs to American citizens. They use social services they have not paid for, take jobs they have no right to take, force our government and businesses to employ translators because they don't speak our language, and steal our resources in dozens of ways, from police protection to medical care to schooling. They may not be malicious but they are criminal.

And the answer from the U News editors is to break the law yet again.

Sanctuary policies must be met with firm resolve by Mr. Trump and those who care about the United States. I would suggest cutting off financial aid to SLU if they should declare themselves a sanctuary campus; that would get their attention! Colleges are far heavily subsidized by government, and most students attend on the taxpayer dime. If they want to flip the taxpayers the bird they can underwrite their own college education.

It is that simple. We should not allow this to happen; it only requires resolve.

California and Maryland both want to be sanctuary states. Well, fine! If they want to annul the laws of the land then they can finance their little utopias themselves. Trump could order all Federal institutions be removed from those states; all military bases, all government offices, etc. How long will they hold out? These hypocrites want our money but don't want to follow our rules.

In the end, Jesuit values at SLU do not include lawlessness. Jesus told His Disciples to obey the laws, yet here we have some snot-nosed spoiled brats calling for illegality because they don't like the fact we have borders. It's time reality bleeds through the cocoon of their safe spaces.

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Unions Invade SLU Campus

Timothy Birdnow

My old alma mater is going to the dogs. Having invited students to participate in the Ferguson riots, then welcoming the Occupy SLU terrorists and promising to build a memorial to them (which they have yet to do although they did remove a statue of the founder of the Jesuit order in America to make space). Now they have provided a forum for the Service Empoloyees International Union (SEIU), the radical left-wing Obama-worshipping labor union.

According to the U News:

"On Wednesday, March 1, a group of citizens, students and faculty marched from the Clock Tower to DuBourg Hall hoping to send a message to the administration here at Saint Louis University to change how they treat their adjunct staff.

The march was coordinated by the Service Employees International Union Faculty Forward program that organized marches at universities across the country as part of its "Day of Action.” The march was in response to the recent appointment of Betsy DeVos, as well as other actions made by the current administration,"

End excerpt.

First, this is about unioinizing the adjunct faculty and not about trying to get a fair shake for them. Labor unions are dying because they ignored the Samuel Gompers admonition for unions to remain neutral on politics. American labor unions have morphed into European-style socialist entities in recent decades, forcibly taking union dues from their members to fund a radical agenda at odds with the beliefs of most of the members. And they have done little over the years to save jobs or protect workers. A classic example is the influx of illegal aliens, something the unions support because their political masters support it. Illegal aliens take union jobs, but the workers are expendable; what matters is the Progressive movement and the fundamental change that this influx will engender in America.

I was a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers union for 15 years. They were complicit in cheating me and the other people I worked with out of our pensions, so I have little love for the self-seeking scoundrels who run big labor.
cutting
That said, one must ask what Betsey Devos or Donald Trump have to do with adjunct professors. Why are these adjuncts protesting Trump, who will likely make their jobs more secure by cutting back on the foreign competition and by improving the economy? Also, why are students joining the march when a unionized adjunct faculty will guarantee higher tuition? Of course, the adjuncts are signing their own death warrants; adjuncts are hired because they work cheap. They are the migrant labor force in academia. Yes, they are mistreated (I know because my brother has been one for years) but what benefit is derived if they are unemployed? My brother has lost many classes in recent years precisely because of this effort to "help" the adjuncts. Universities simply cut their classes.

Universities are no longer about learning; they have become cesspools of political and radical social revolution. I really don't know why anyone wastes tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to have their children radicalized by these bow-tie revolutionaries.

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The undeniable innovation-leadership impulse

Paul Driessen

In this article, entrepreneur and West Virginia University Professor James Smith offers some thought-provoking insights into the nature of and need for more people with an unquenchable impulse for innovation and leadership. It’s very different from the articles I usually send out, but well worth your time and reflection.

The undeniable innovation-leadership impulse

How can society better ensure that leaders and innovators are there when we need them?

James E. Smith, PhD

Leadership is too often overlooked by the very societal systems that rely on it. Every social and organizational level depends on leaders and their direct and indirect efforts, to provide progress, success, even survival. History books worldwide are filled with stories of strong-willed, compulsive, focused, charismatic, and occasionally troubled but ultimately successful visionaries who became the needed leaders and innovators for a given era.

The search for, and development of, leaders and innovators should be a mandate, devoid of random chance or choice.

Any leader or innovator must confront unique social, economic and environmental factors. Many also face adversity, financial crises and physical woes, while dealing with serious social and interpersonal issues. Often viewed as scoundrels, these dreamers with questionable sanity were risk takers willing to put themselves, and often their family and friends, in financial jeopardy.

However, this common set of traits must often be combined with a "fire in the belly,” an inability to resist solving a need or undefined, ambiguous problem that to them is obvious – coupled with the compulsion to lead us in a better direction, despite objections from many quarters. We often don’t know what is best for us until we can view it through a rear-view mirror.

Fortunately, leadership is not limited to just those few who made the history books, or The History Channel. We find evidence of leadership attributes all around us. In any social environment, leaders organize us, direct us, and provide the needed lubrication to counter the inevitable social friction of just being around each other.

As a society, we have either been enormously lucky in finding these invaluable individuals who come to our rescue, or there is a natural order to things that effectively requires or ensures that an innovator or leader rises to meet the challenge when serious problems become evident.

The general contention is that nearly all of us have a latent leadership potential that is often unrealized, but can inspire or compel us to take the lead and solve problems of the day when a true need arises.

It might also be interesting to consider leadership and innovation as an impulse that is triggered by need that is perceived or otherwise, by a crisis, or possibly just by an inner urge, like an itch that needs to be scratched. Indeed, leadership and innovation surface continuously in any number of situations. Apart from a crisis-based need, many awakenings are people or situation-dependent, with little or no way to predict their arrivals.

This leadership potential is not to be confused with everyone’s desire to be the master of his or her own destiny. The designation of master or boss holds its own criteria, which often involves a change of perceived stature or authority within management hierarchy. Whereas the boss manages prescribed, daily activities, the leader finds a way to solve the bigger problem, by questioning, altering or eliminating perceived best practices.

The distinction appears within a leader’s direct sphere of influence. There is most likely a segment of the population, as history is apt to show us, that has the visionary attributes not only to solve today’s problems, but also to anticipate the growing issues of tomorrow.

The "sky is falling” reaction rarely works. Thus, it is the behind-the-scenes proactive leadership that keeps the sky blue and in its proper orientation. Leaders also tend to keep a cool head when Chicken Little is running around, often because they not only see the actual problem, but also because they have the confidence and experience to realize they can solve it, should they have the opportunity.

You don’t have to be a world-class player to be a great coach, but you do need to have mastered the fundamentals of the game.

The magnitude of problems varies, along with according consequences. Yet, the solution must arrive in a timely fashion. In most instances, the problems and respective solutions were generational in nature. Each had time to incubate, a period to learn and train the problem solvers, followed by the opportunity to implement the solution. This process likely took at least one or more generational cycles to implement.

The populace was also afforded a comfortable interval to accept the change or solution, which is required to avoid negative reaction and push back. This proves vital when the required changes were perceived to be too radical, affecting too many comfort-based life style changes, or possibly affecting the vested interests of the status quo.

It should be noted that, in previous generations, the general public handled the cultural, economic and technological changes better than was expected or anticipated by the then-contemporary thought leaders. Consider for instance the social and economic changes that occurred due to scientific and engineering technology advancements during the century from 1850 to 1950. The landscape of that period changed continuously and dramatically, but no one sailed off the edge of the world.

Without a leadership presence within, how can we expect to lead others to needed changes in our future?

Technology has provided a means to improve social and personal security, while also providing the potential for greater longevity and personal satisfaction. As the world’s population continues to grow, mankind will become increasingly reliant on advanced technologies to maintain and increase the expectations of better-informed and equipped world populations. At some point, the only solutions to managing the needs of society will come from technological advances and breakthroughs.

Enhanced, visionary leadership is critical if we are to progress and stay ahead of the problems created simply by taking up space on this planet. Meeting these growing needs and expectations will happen only if we recognize that change is a fundamental requirement for any progressive, forward-moving system, and change will not be obvious to people who are immersed in survival mode or the current solution-set of the day. The individuals who are best able to identify and mentor these essential individuals are themselves leaders and innovators.

An accelerating and growing population exerts social and environmental pressures that shorten the problem-to-solution cycle. Patiently waiting for the next great visionary leader and innovator means we are already seriously behind the solution curve, which increases both the social and environmental pressures that will have to be contended with later.

We cannot go back to a simpler time. The future demands progress. Reaching our shared destiny requires tough decisions by leadership and major disruptions to our shared life style. We must not only find and embrace those few leaders who will rise to the top naturally.

We also need to stimulate, train and reward all who recognize a need and want to brave the normal slings and arrows that result when a person takes the road less travelled.

Given the time and nature of problems this globe will face, at least some individuals will develop their leadership skills in answer to those needs. With the growing nature of the complexity and number of these problems, a more pro-active approach to fostering and encouraging the development of these leaders and innovators will hopefully become mandatory. At every educational level, including all levels of our educational and training process, we must allow and help students develop their leadership skills.

Most likely it will take today’s recognizable leadership to mentor the next generation. From there, the newest leaders will need to provide the same service to the next, hopefully larger group, until the rewards reaped by these individuals become so obvious and ingrained that the educational system adapts to the survival method of leadership and innovation. What will it take to get the current system to acknowledge and foster the solutions to this need?

James E. Smith, PhD is director and a professor of the Center for Industrial Research Applications in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of West Virginia University

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Tim's AT Article at Yahoo

Timothy Birdnow

Lookee here! I made Yahoo News!

Considering the fact that Yahoo is all about liberalism and works dilligently to suppress "fake" real news, I am quite surprised to see that my blogpost at American Thinker actually made the cut. And it's about the excesses of gun control at that!

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March 22, 2017

Vote Fraud in Illinois

Timothy Birdnow

The media and the Democrats claim there is no vote fraud in the United States. Batguano! Here is one example of what is unquestionably the tip of the iceberg in regards to vote theft.

According to the Belleville News Democrat:

"BELLEVILLE

A 40-year-old Cahokia man has been sentenced to two years in state prison for falsifying or tampering with an absentee ballot.

Brian O. McDouglar unlawfully took the absentee ballot of a voter with whom he had no relation and deposited it into the mail, according to court records. Marking or tampering with an absentee ballot is a Class 3 felony.

Since 2010, there have been seven felony conviction for violations of election laws in St. Clair County."

End excerpt.

Cahokia and the rest of the metro east area - Illinois suburbs of St. Louis - are heavily Democratic communities. Wanna bet this guy wasn't a Trump supporter?

But the media assures us that there is no vote fraud in the U.S. and that efforts to secure the voter rolls via I.D. and purging old voter registration is somehow going to frighten honest voters and suppress the vote. I don't know about you, but I have a bridge to sell you if you believe that.

Vote fraud is a serious matter. It strikes at the heart of the system of governance we enjoy in this country. It should be actively pursued and punished severly. Kudos for the judge in this case! This is a crime that should carry far more than 2 years in the slammmer.

My quesition is, for every one caught and prosecuted how many get away with it?

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The silver-tongued liars’ playbook

Paul Driessen

People routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 113. That’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 parts per billion of hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) in water.

Nevertheless, Cr-6 is a handy weapon in radical environmentalists’ war on coal, because it is found in fly ash from coal-fired generating plants, and many people are easily terrified by "detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina both set the same allowable Cr-6 limits, and health experts note that the chemical comes not just from coal fly ash, but from natural rock formations across the USA.

However, anti-coal activists want absurdly low Cr-6 standards applied to all water. Perhaps even more absurd, they want utility companies to dig up millions of tons of coal ash, and haul it in tens of thousands of dump trucks, perhaps hundreds of miles … to who knows where? In whose backyard?

The silver-tongued liars’ playbook

Coal ash scare stories are the latest tactic in their long war on coal-fueled electricity generation

Paul Driessen

Coal-fired power plant scrubbers now remove 80-90 % of airborne particulate, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants. But that means "fly ash” and noncombustible residues (what we used to call clinkers) must be sent to landfills. That’s opened a new front for anti-energy activists, who use accidents, "detectable” pollutants in water, and scary stories about health threats to advance their agenda.

In 2008, a Tennessee Valley Authority earthen retainer dam near Knoxville ruptured, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of rain-soaked fly ash into a nearby river, lake and neighborhood. Twelve homes were damaged by the muck, which contained low levels of arsenic, cadmium and other metals. The TVA’s cleanup efforts were less than exemplary, as were its measures to prevent the accident in the first place.

Companies and regulators clearly must do more to prevent accidents and pollution – and more to educate people about the actual risks involved. With a new fly ash playbook being tested in North Carolina, Virginia and other states, as part of the war on coal and the keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground campaign, those informational efforts are vital.

Duke Energy operates 14 coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Carolina – and several large fly ash facilities. Like coal itself, the ash contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6 or Cr-6) and other metals that can be toxic to humans in high doses. Blazing temperatures bond the vast majority tightly in glassy vitrified ash, and well maintained impoundments ensure that few seep out.

However, tiny amounts can still escape into nearby surface waters and groundwater. Highly sensitive scientific instruments can now detect parts per trillion – the equivalent of a few seconds in 3,300 years. In 2016, an NC state toxicologist ruled that metallic levels detected in surface and ground water around the state were dangerously high. He blamed ash from coal-fired power plants and persuaded Tar Heel health officials to send "do not drink” letters to several hundred families living near coal ash disposal sites.

In his view, there is "no safe level” for exposure to Cr-6, and the state should slash its allowable level from 100 parts per billion down to 0.07 ppb (1,428 times lower). Other health officials reviewed the scientific literature, determined that amounts detected pose no health risk, noted that Cr-6 often seeps from natural rock formations into surface and ground water, and rescinded the warning letters. But the resulting controversy continues, and the company, regulators and politicians are trying to resolve it.

Duke Energy and many health experts maintain that Cr-6 levels found near the ash facilities (and miles away, from natural sources) are far below what cause health risks. But it wants to assuage concerns among families closest to the ash facilities. So the company offered to provide alternatives to their well water, by giving them access to public water sources or installing state-of-the-art home filtration systems.

In January 2017, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) granted preliminary approval to these company plans for homes within one-half-mile of a coal ash impoundment. Final approval is contingent on state health and environmental departments certifying that water provided via these systems meets "applicable” or "appropriate” standards for each location.

Now activists say Duke and other companies should move millions of tons of ash from multiple depositories. Not only would that involve hundreds of thousands of dump truck loads, millions of gallons of fuel, and huge trucks lumbering through towns and along back roads and highways. A far more basic question is: Take it where, exactly? Who would want it? Activists certainly offer no viable alternatives.

Companies previously proposed turning fly ash into cement blocks or gravel, for construction projects. Activists quickly nixed that option, even though it would involve virtually no contamination risks. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the real reason for all the vocal consternation is that these agitators simply want to drive coal out of business. Indeed, the same unaccountable, silver-tongued agitators also detest natural gas-generated electricity … and drilling and fracking to produce the gas. They oppose nuclear energy, and even want hydroelectric dams and power plants removed. They claim to support wind and solar, by conveniently ignoring the huge downsides pointed out here, here, here, here and elsewhere.

Forcing utility companies to spend billions relocating huge ash deposits to "lined, watertight landfills” (in someone else’s backyard) will bring no health or environmental benefits. But it will bankrupt companies, send electricity prices soaring, and hurt poor, minority and working class families the most.

If rates double from current costs in coal-reliant states like North Carolina and Virginia (9 cents per kilowatt-hour or less) to those in anti-coal New York or Connecticut (17 cents), families will have to pay $500-1,000 more annually for electricity. Hospitals, school districts, factories and businesses will have to spend additional thousands, tens of thousands or millions. Where will that money come from?

Virginia’s 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1,850,000 per year for electricity at 9 cents/kWh, but would pay $3,500,000 at 17 cents: a $1.6-million difference.

Will businesses have to lay off dozens or hundreds of employees, or close their doors? If they pass costs on to patients or customers, where will families find the extra cash? What will the poorest families do?

The war on coal, petroleum, nuclear and hydroelectric power is a callous, eco-imperialist war on reliable, affordable electricity, on jobs, and on poor and minority families. Policies that drive energy prices up drive people out of jobs, drive companies out of business, drive families into green-energy poverty.

Preventing ruptures and spills means selecting, building and maintaining the best possible ash landfill facilities. Safeguarding public water and health means properly addressing actual, proven toxicity risks.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina set allowable Cr-6 limits at 100 ppb for drinking water (equivalent to 100 seconds in 33 years or 4 cups in 660,000 gallons of water). The state also applies a 10 ppb standard for well water. No one applies a 0.07 ppb standard (70 parts per trillion).

In 2015, the NCDEQ tested 24 wells two to five miles from the nearest coal plant or coal ash deposit; 20 had Cr-6 levels above 0.07 ppb but far below 100 ppb, underscoring its diverse origins. May 2016 tests could not even detect the chemical in Greensboro water, the News & Record reported.

A 2016 Duke University study found that hexavalent chromium is prevalent in many North Carolina surface and ground waters. Some comes from coal ash deposits, but much is leached from igneous and other rocks found throughout the Piedmont region of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Other health experts note that Cr-6 is found in 70% to 90% of all water supplies in the United States. Applying a 0.07 ppb would mean telling hundreds of millions of Americans not to drink their water!

Moreover, studies have found that Cr-6 in water is safe even at 100 ppb or higher. A 2012 paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that regularly drinking water with 210 ppb of Cr-6 poses no health risks. (The real health problems involve airborne Cr-6.) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, US EPA and other studies buttress those findings.

Equally important, an ability to detect a substance does not mean it poses a risk. Cancer is certainly scary, but the risk of getting cancer is not the same as dying from it. And people routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the National Safety Council puts the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash at 1 in 113; that’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 ppb Cr-6 in water. Drinking and smoking fall into the same category.

However, all too many people seem easily terrified by "detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. 100% clean is not necessary, not possible, not found in nature and not a sound basis for public policy.

Coal and chemical controversies like these offer our nation, states and communities excellent opportunities to find novel solutions that recognize sound science, hidden agendas, often limited options, and undesirable repercussions of poorly informed policy decisions. Let’s hope they are up to the task.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment.

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Trigger-Warning Tyrants

Selwyn Duke

People like thinking the best of themselves, which is partially why we have "trigger warnings,” https://www.google.com/#q=trigger+warning&*&dobs=trigger%20warning "microaggressions” https://www.google.com/#q=microaggression&*&dobs=microaggression and claims of "taking offense” -- so these complainers don’t have to come to terms with the fact they’re spoiled, self-absorbed, tyrannical brats.

Here’s how it works: when accusing you of "microaggressing,” the truth is that, generally, these snowflakes just don’t happen to like what you’re saying. But shouting "Shut up! I hate that type of expression!” makes you seem intolerant. So to preserve your image and self-image, you use the ploy of shifting the onus onto the one whose speech you want to suppress.

Note that actual ideas are often targeted. Examples are "I believe the most qualified person should get the job” and "Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough,” which academia has identified as "racial microaggressions.” http://www.theblaze.com/news/2015/06/27/classic-tip-encouraging-hard-work-now-considered-a-racial-microaggression-by-college/ The principle is: if you can’t refute it, boot it.

Since coining psychobabble terms is in today, I’ll label this onus-switching "Oppression Transference.” The snowflake oppressor stifles the speech of his victim by making the latter seem the oppressor -- a microaggressor, an agent of triggered feelings or offender in chief.

Another major factor is that, lacking the power of the state, the snowflake has to use social pressure to impose his will. He might just put you in a gulag were he a Stalin, but he’s not, so he shackles you with political correctness.

Since snowflakes pride themselves on tolerance, it should be emphasized that they don’t even understand the concept. "Tolerance” always implies the abiding of a perceived negative. You’d likely never have to tolerate a fine car or delectable meal, but you would have to tolerate a stubborn cold or bad weather (unless you’re a masochist).

In other words, if, let’s say, you like homosexual behavior or just don’t care about it, that’s not called tolerance; it’s called affinity or indifference. A prerequisite for tolerating it is considering it a negative.

Thus, the true measure of tolerance is how well you handle things you don’t like. And pro tip: if you’re so triggered by "Where are you from?” and "You speak English really well” -- which are also labeled microaggressions -- that you participate in a Stalinesque effort to purge such things from discourse, you’re not just not tolerant; you’re not even tolerable.

Snowflakes are also pathetically self-centered and self-absorbed. If your feelings are hurt by the terms "black hole” or "man up,” well, you need to man up. If you think The Great Gatsby, Mrs. Dalloway, or The Merchant of Venice needs a trigger warning, you’re not just a sniveling little wimp. You also haven’t learned an important life lesson once imparted during toddlerhood: Your feelings just aren’t that important.

There are seven billion people on this planet with seven billion sets of feelings. When snowflakes demand their feelings be the arbiters of policy, they’re saying that their emotions should be preeminent, with others who feel contrary being subordinate. Worse still, they’re saying that their feelings, which are subjective, should trump what should be the yardstick for policy: the objective, principles such as the imperative of encouraging the expression of Truth.

This is the crux of the matter. Saying that something originating within you (feelings) should take precedence over Truth, which exists outside of you, is a universal and is meant to be feelings’ arbiter, is the epitome of self-centeredness.

There is the occasional academic who stands against the snowflake phenomenon, such as Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s great president, Dr. Everett Piper, who penned an open letter to his students titled "This is Not a Daycare. It’s a University!” But modern universities, which now resemble dens of iniquity where all the hookers have Ph.Ds, are generally the problem. http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/

For instance, the term "microaggressions” was popularized by a Columbia University professor, Derald Wing Sue, who got the idea from a more original Ivy League lunkhead. Brown University was content to let students establish "a ‘safe space’ that offered calming music, cookies, Play-Doh, and a video of frolicking puppies to help students cope…,” reported the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/12022041/How-political-correctness-rules-in-Americas-student-safe-spaces.htmlAnd institutions of lower learning have created charts of microaggressions so all us bigots can know what not to say. An example is the following from the University of Wisconsin:

As for trigger warnings, there’s an interesting thing about them. The people complaining about the "graphic violence” in The Great Gatsby weren’t raised in a cloistered Amish cocoon; they grew up imbibing the most violent, perverse Hollywood fare imaginable. So I suspect that what really bothers them is something else -- such as the more traditional paradigm for society older works portray.

Tragically, the "educators” facilitating snowflakism are ignorant of the harm they do. The University of North Carolina warns that saying to a woman "I love your shoes!” or "nterrupting a female-identified colleague…” can be a microaggression. So can saying to "a person of African descent: "Can I touch your hair?’” because it sends the message "Your appearance is exotic and foreign to me.”

Okay, but what if my appearance really is exotic and foreign to the person? When I was 19, I visited a rural Taiwanese town, a place where homes still had straw roofs. I was brought to the elementary school, and it just so happened that the children had recess. Circling around me curiously, it was plain they’d never personally seen a blondish white person before. The friend I was with told me they wanted to shake my hand, and, after extending it, it wasn’t long before I had a dozen Chinese lads on each arm screaming and pulling me like it was a tug-of-war. It was a fun experience I’ll never forget.

The point is that this curiosity is normal. And here’s another life lesson: If you can’t understand that or are offended by it, you’re abnormal. Thankfully, this abnormality can be cured.

But here’s where the harm lies. Is a couple, or two friends, closer when there’s nothing they can’t discuss? Or when many subjects are off limits and they must walk on eggs?

By creating the latter situation, the snowflake enablers are actually building walls between people. When you can’t acknowledge obvious differences among people -- whether they relate to race, ethnicity, sex, religion or something else -- you’re playing pretend. Another word for this is pretense, which has as a synonym "charade.” Also note one of its antonyms: honesty.

How do you combat trigger-warning tyranny? Stop being defensive. The people effecting it are trying to shut you up as they purge Truth from your tongue. They’re using social warfare against you, so strike back; fight fire with fire and put the onus on them. Call them what they are: intolerant, spoiled, self-centered, evil tyrants. Take no prisoners.

Only when these oppressors masquerading as victims are stilling their tongues, fearing the scorn, ostracism and possible career destruction threatening sane people today, will we know we’ve made America great again. Remember, people who cannot be reasoned with, can only be fought.

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Apologies for no blogging today

Timothy Birdnow

Sorry for light blogging folks; I have a lot on my plate right now.  I promise for some new posts tomorrow - or I hope so, at any rate.

Tim

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March 21, 2017

A serious climate opportunity

Paul Driessen

Greg Walcher has been deeply involved in forest management and other natural resource policy issues for decades. In this article, he assesses the current sad state of our national forests – and the policies that too often make the situation even worse – and asks a simple question:

Are we willing to do anything to improve our forests and wildlife habitats, and in the process perhaps address climate change, except the one thing that might help the most? It’s a question that deserves some serious thought and robust debate.

A serious climate opportunity

Why does government refuse to do the one thing that would help our forests and climate?

Greg Walcher

For years, politicians have waged war on coal, stifled oil and gas production, and advocated carbon taxes and other extreme measures to reduce carbon dioxide, while ignoring one of the most important things they could do to help.

It reminds me of my own lifelong battle with weight and the associated health issues. I get so frustrated that I sometimes swear I would do anything – anything! – to lose weight. Well, anything except eat less and exercise. But anything else.

That same kind of hypocrisy surrounds rants about our carbon dioxide emissions. Even people who are "deeply concerned” about dangerous manmade climate change drive cars, heat their homes, and sometimes even turn on lights. They embrace modern living standards, while also embracing faddish environmental claims and policies that contribute mightily to problems they insist disturb them greatly.

A popular bumper sticker screams, "TREES ARE THE ANSWER.” Yet when it comes to managing our national forests, many of those same advocates look away, while millions of acres of once healthy trees die, fall down, rot or burn up.

It’s ironic, because those forests provide the world’s greatest resource for cleaning carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; because the rotting and fires themselves emit greenhouse gases; and because atmospheric carbon dioxide makes all plants grow faster and better and with improved tolerance to drought.

As Colorado State Forester Mike Lester testified recently before a state legislative committee, "When so many trees die and large wildfires follow, our forests quickly turn from a carbon sink into a carbon source.” Trees absorb carbon dioxide as people absorb oxygen, and that balance is critical to sustaining life, as we all learned in grade school.

Yet instead of doing everything in our power to make sure we have abundant thriving forests of healthy trees, we allow them to die and burn and thus belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

Lester’s excellent testimony accompanied the release of the Colorado State Forest Service’s annual Report on the Health of Colorado Forests. This year’s assessment is the worst ever, and hardly anybody noticed. There was no outcry from global warming alarmists around the world, as there should have been. In fact, their silence on this issue is deafening. And it’s not just Colorado. It’s every state, and beyond.

The more concerned people are about climate change, the more they should be interested in active management to restore forest health. Yet many of the groups pushing urgent climate policies are the same groups that continue to fight logging, tree thinning and other management necessary for healthy forests. The result is more of the same disasters we have seen unfolding for over 20 years: dead and dying forests, catastrophic wildfires, habitat devastation, loss of human property and lives, and destruction of wildlife.

The new forest health report shows that over the last seven years, the number of dead standing trees in Colorado forests increased almost 30 percent, to an estimated 834 million dead trees. There are billions across the other Rocky Mountain States.

The report makes clear that this continuing trend of tree mortality can lead to large, intense wildfires that totally incinerate and obliterate forests, soils and wildlife. In fact, it is only a matter of time before this happens, if the U.S. Forest Service does not act.

Ironically, the most productive forest health restoration projects in Colorado have been partnerships of the State Forester with water providers like Denver Water, Northern Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. That’s because 80 percent of Colorado’s population depends on water that comes from the national forests.

However, the U.S. Forest Service, which owns almost all of the forestland in the State, continues to work with its hands tied behind its back, its timber programs woefully underfunded and vast sums syphoned off every year for fire suppression. Fire control ought to be funded separately, so that active management of healthy forests is not the perpetually lowest priority.

The Forest Service spends a fortune on planning, writing reports, and defending itself against environmental lawsuits, leaving few funds for what it is really supposed to be doing.

What a golden opportunity for the new Congress and Trump Administration. Reversing this demoralizing trend would restore forests, protect and increase wildlife, bring back thousands of forest products jobs, revitalize rural economies, and do more to reduce carbon dioxide than any previous policy.

The previous Administration created the Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, and Regional Climate Change Hubs, maintained a Climate Change Adaptation Library, mapped drought frequency and intensity, and created massive reports blaming humans for climate change. One study was a vulnerability assessment for the Southwest and California, titled "Southwest Regional Climate Hub and Climate Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies.”

All this activity is impressive, and scientific study will always play a role. But none of it actually affects climate change. Growing healthy trees would. Can we get back to that?

Or like me and my weight problem, are we willing to do anything to address climate change and improve our forests and wildlife habitats, except the one thing that might help the most?

Greg Walcher is president of the Natural Resources Group and author of "Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back.” He is a former secretary of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

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The social cost of carbon regulations

Paul Driessen

The Social Cost of Carbon is a key foundation for numerous Obama-era energy policies, regulations and programs. Climate alarm activists insist the SCC is rooted in solid science and economics, but it is actually little more than Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting – and worse.

The SCC assumes fossil-fuel-driven carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous manmade climate change, and blames U.S. emissions for every conceivable climate-related cost worldwide. But it fails even to mention, much less analyze, the tremendous and obvious benefits of using oil, gas and coal to power modern civilization – or the undeniable benefits of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere helping crops and habitats grow faster and better. Finally, the SCC totally ignores the social, economic, employment and environmental costs of the regulations imposed in the name of saving the planet by converting America to a totally carbon-free energy system.

The social cost of carbon regulations

Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor

Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek

"If you could pick just one thing to reduce poverty, by far you would pick energy,” Bill Gates has said. "Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” World Bank VP Rachel Kyte and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen agree.

The UN Development Program also calls energy "central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that "coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so.

Indeed, fossil fuels created the modern world and the housing, transportation, other technologies and living standards so many of us take for granted. They are essential for electricity and life, and over the past 250 years they more than doubled average life expectancy in countries that took advantage of them.

But the Obama Administration and radical environmentalists despise fossil fuels and used every tactic they could devise to eliminate them. One of their most important schemes was the "social cost of carbon.”

Federal agencies used the SCC to calculate the "hidden costs” of carbon dioxide emissions associated with fossil fuel use, by assigning a dollar value to every ton of CO2 emitted by power plants, factories, homes, vehicles and other sources. However, the entire process was little more than junk science and Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting.

First, each ton of U.S. emissions averted would initially have prevented a hypothetical $25/ton in global societal costs allegedly resulting from dangerous manmade climate change: less coastal flooding and tropical disease, fewer droughts and extreme weather events, for example. But within three years regulators arbitrarily increased the SCC to around $40/ton.

That made it easier to justify the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement, and countless Obama Era actions on electricity generation, fracking, methane, pipelines, vehicle mileage and appliance efficiency standards, livestock operations, carbon taxes, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies.

Second, the supposed bedrock for the concept is the now rapidly shifting sands of climate chaos theory. New questions are arising almost daily about data quality and manipulation, the degree to which carbon dioxide affects global temperatures, the complex interplay of solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces, and the inability of computer models to predict temperatures, sea level rise or hurricanes.

Meanwhile, as the 2015-16 El Nino dissipated, average global temperatures rapidly fell back almost to their 1998-2014 level, according to Britain’s Met Office and other experts. That means there has been no measurable planetary warming for 18 years. Nor are other predicted disasters happening in the real world.

That means the very notion that U.S. emissions impose major climate costs is increasingly indefensible. Moreover, developing nations are burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide at many times the U.S. rate; that means even eliminating their use in America would have no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

Third, the SCC scheme blames American emissions for supposed costs worldwide (even though U.S. CO2 emissions are actually declining). It incorporates almost every conceivable cost of oil, gas and coal use on crops, forests, coastal cities, property damage, "forced migration,” and human health, nutrition and disease. However, it utterly fails to mention, much less analyze, tremendous and obvious carbon benefits.

That violates a 1993 Bill Clinton executive order requiring that federal agencies assess both benefits and costs of proposed regulations. It is also irrational, and completely contrary to human experience.

Fossil fuels created the modern world and lifted billions out of destitution and disease. They supply over 80% of the energy that powers United States and other modern civilizations; they will continue doing so for decades to come. They generate up to $70 trillion in annual global GDP.

Using readily available data on global living standards, economies, disease, nutrition, life spans and other benefits – and the government’s own SCC cost figures and methodologies – we estimate that carbon benefits exceed costs by orders of magnitude: at least 50 to 1 and as much as 500 to 1!

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that fossil fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when the total amount of energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today. That means these notable benefit-cost ratios will continue. The Obama Era SCC ignores all of this, too.

Fourth, SCC schemes likewise impute only costs to carbon dioxide emissions. However, as thousands of scientific studies verify, rising levels of this miracle molecule are "greening” the Earth – reducing deserts, and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. No matter which government report or discount rate is used, asserted social costs of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere are infinitesimal compared to its estimated benefits.

Fifth, government officials claim they can accurately forecast damages to the world’s climate, economies, civilizations, populations and ecosystems from U.S. carbon dioxide emissions over the next three centuries. They say we must base today’s energy policies, laws and regulations on those forecasts.

The notion is delusional and dangerous. The rate of change in energy generation and other technologies has become exponential over the past several decades, with forecasting ability declining at an equal rate. Uncertainties over man and nature-driven climate changes during the next 300 years are equally colossal. Combining all the SCC assumptions, methodologies, fabrications and omissions, and injecting its absurd predictions into high-speed computer models, just means bogus forecasts are generated more quickly.

Finally, the most fundamental issue isn’t even the social cost of carbon. It is the costs inflicted on society by anti-carbon regulations. Those rules replace fossil fuel revenues with renewable energy subsidies; reliable, affordable electricity with unreliable power that costs two to three times as much; and mines, drill holes, cropland and wildlife habitats with tens of millions of acres of wind, solar and biofuel "farms.”

Anti-carbon rules are designed to drive energy de-carbonization and modern nation de-industrialization. Perhaps worst, their impacts fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families. Those families spend proportionately three to ten times more of their incomes on energy than families earning $50,000 to $250,000 a year. They have little discretionary income and face the greatest risk of having their electricity cut off – as happened to 330,000 families during 2015 in ultra-green Germany. Worldwide, billions of people still do not have electricity – and the SCC would keep them deprived of its benefits.

Bureaucrats, activists, scientists and corporate rent-seekers certainly welcome the SCC mumbo-jumbo. They have profited the most from the countless billions that Obama regulatory agencies lavished on them every year, and from the tens of billions that Mr. Obama stashed in dozens of agencies, programs and crannies throughout the government, so they couldn’t easily be found or cut.

Above all, they would profit massively from the $93 trillion that the Financial Stability Board’s climate task force says the world must spend in low-carbon infrastructure programs over the next 15 years, as part of the Obama-UN-FSB-Climate Crisis, Inc. plan to de-carbonize and de-industrialize the planet.

Taxpayers, consumers and families would be hammered if the Climate Cabal got even more power over energy policies, economic growth, livelihoods and living standards. Thankfully, eliminating the social cost of carbon and programs implemented under it requires little more than applying the same rules and standards that government regulators have imposed on Volkswagen, Fiat and Wall Street dishonesty.

That is why the Trump Administration is challenging the SCC, climate cataclysm deception, and the bloated EPA budget behind so much of it. It’s why the House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight Subcommittees held a hearing on the SCC, and why we and other experts will eviscerate it during the upcoming Heartland Institute 12th International Climate Conference in Washington, DC.

It’s time to rescind and defund the SCC – and replace it with honest, objective cost-benefit analyses.

Roger Bezdek is an internationally recognized energy analyst and president of Management Information Services, Inc. Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and human rights.

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March 20, 2017

Firewalls and Racketeering by the Gang-Greenous Environmental Nazis

Timothy Birdnow

Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, writes a scathing letter criticizing the 20 states Attorney General who have launched a climate crusade and which his committee has been investigating. He has been met by a wall of silence, despite the demands of these same AG's for transparency where oil companies and "deniers" are concerned. He has reserved his big guns for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, both of whom he suspects of taking money (lots of it) from the Green lobby.

According to Congressman Smith:

"For nearly a year, the congressional committee I lead has been trying to understand the effects of these investigations on scientific research. Unfortunately, the attorneys general have obstructed our inquiry at every turn. Last July, after two months of unanswered requests for information, the committee issued subpoenas to Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Healey.

The subpoenas asked for communications between Green 20 offices and environmental activists. This would show the level of coordination in this campaign to harass and silence scientists who challenge prevailing climate-change orthodoxies. The attorneys general have refused to comply, hiding behind vague excuses."

End excerpt.

Mr. Smith is particularly worried about the chilling affect these investigations will have on government-funded scientific research; it is clear that these AG's want to silence honest scientists who disagree with the politically approved paradigm of global warming.

Smith continues:

"The hypocrisy of the attorneys general here is evident—though perhaps understandable. Mr. Schneiderman has accepted nearly $300,000 in campaign donations from environmentalist donors, including members of the Soros family. He has also used the investigation as a way to curry favor with anti-Exxon billionaire Tom Steyer for a potential gubernatorial run, according to the New York Post.

Perhaps Mr. Schneiderman is afraid of what the House committee might confirm in the course of its investigation. Is he using his public office to advance the priorities of interest groups that support his personal political ambitions?

The American people deserve to know how Mr. Schneiderman’s and Ms. Healey’s actions affect the nation’s scientific community. By refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, they have shown they have something to hide.

To borrow their premise, this obstruction is a coverup—and they must be held accountable for their hypocrisy. On Feb. 16, the House committee reissued the subpoenas, as is customary at the beginning of a new Congress. Although the attorneys general have not yet made any effort to cooperate, I remain hopeful that they will act in accordance with their public statements about transparency and accountability and will comply with the committee’s investigation."

End excerpt.

Indeed, the global warming swindle has been quite lucrative for many scientists who have profited both personally and professionally from the vast sums of money poured into climatology as a result of the global warming scare. National Review covered this money trail.

From the article:

" The federal government — which will gain unprecedented regulatory power if climate legislation is passed — has funded scientific research to the tune of $32.5 billion since 1989, according the Science and Public Policy Institute. That is an amount that dwarfs research contributions from oil companies and utilities, which have historically funded both sides of the debate.

(Global Warming Alarmist Scientist Michael) Mann, for example, has received some $6 million, mostly in government grants — according to a study by The American Spectator — including $500,000 in federal stimulus money while he was under investigation for his Climategate e-mails."

End excerpt.

mann isn't alone in this. And there is a dark network of billionaires and shadowy foundations (such as George Soros' Tides Foundation) that funds Climate Alarmism at a prodigious rate. See this chart for a detailed analysis of the Gang Greenhouse funding and see here for a comparative analysis of government funding for Leftist Environmental groups compared to similar conservative organizations. It is eye-opening.

And then there is this from the U.K. Guardian:

"Starting in 2009, the Energy Department has employed three funding and loan programs – along with pressure from President Obama and Vice President Biden – to monetize 33 projects. Section 1705 of the 2009 Recovery Act; Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and the 1603 Treasury Program. 1705 and the ATVM have guaranteed $34.5 billion in taxpayer money, which has given America such notable losers as Solyndra, Fisker Automotive, Beacon Power, the Vehicle Production Group, Abound Solar and SoloPower. There are more "green” sinkholes out there still, waiting to implode.

Treasury Program 1603 alone awarded free taxpayer cash to campaign donors cum green energy execs to the tune of $19,349,675,402.00 How is private money supposed to compete with those kinds of numbers?"

[...]

"A survey of 3247 US research scientists who address global warming causes – all publicly funded through the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services – published in the science journal Nature, showed that 503 of them admitted to altered the design, methodology or results of their studies, due to pressure from funding sources. Those were just the scientists willing to be honest; it is safe to assume a much larger number."

End excerpts.

And James Hansen, Godfather of the Global Warming War of the Worlds hysteria has made out quite well. winning a "prize from the Heinz Foundation worth $250,000 and was co-winner of the Dan David Prize worth a million smackers. As Jeff Jacoby points out:

"Other awards have gone to other prophets of doom. And the potential rewards don't stop there. For those who toe the politically correct line on global warming, there have been big book contracts, hefty speaking fees, worshipful magazine profiles, softball TV interviews. Should any of that call their objectivity into question?"

So Mr. Hansen, who once dishonestly tried to claim the Bush Administration was "muzzling him" while he was touring to promote Global Warming alarmism on NASA's dime, has made out like a bandit. So have so many other "objective scientists" .That

Remember, Climatology was a dreary backwater discipline, a branch of meteorology until the global warming scare came along (after global cooling fell on it's face). Now it is big money, and if you want to play you had better bray. A researcher who says "well, the Earth has warmed a very miniscule amount but it is not statistically significant and our research doesn't suggest it is anthropogenic" will wind up teaching high school science in Peoria Illinois. It's doom or die.

Which makes any opposition research not just a crisis but a first rate emergency to the whole racketeering scheme. That is why it was vital that the force of Law be used to silence critics of the hysteria - and why Democratic Attorneys General have tried to impose the most onerous legal sanctions. It is a protection racket worthy of Al Capone.

Jeff Sessions should look into racketeering charges against THEM!

See also this for more on the big score made by the enviro lobby.

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Carbon Dioxide Cycles in 4 Years, Man Responsible for just 4.3%

Timothy Birdnow

Here is a paper delineating new research of the carbon cycle. The authors conclude that CO2 only stays in the atmosphere FOR FOUR YEARS and that human industrial emissions have contributed a scant 15% of atmospheric CO2 in the industrial era - just 4.3@ of the total atmospheric CO2. That's 4.3% of a trace gas that constitutes 0.038% of the planet's atmosphere!

Compare this to the hysterical claims that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of thousands (and some of the Gang Green will even try to claim millions) of years; a four year turnover is not something that should force us to fundamentally transform human civilization into a low power, stratified, world system. The environmental lobby wants us to throw the baby out with the bathwater because the water has some soap in it.

Poverty kills, and schemes to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions will absolutely lead to increased poverty, especially among the poorest on Earth. The Left's plan to deal with that is to simply take wealth away from the proudctive First World and give it to the poor (at a time when the First World will become less productive thanks to the strangling regulations the Environmentalists seek to impose.) In the end poverty will hit SOMEBODY. Liberals want it to strike the formerly wealthy West, a punishment for being rich. That helps nobody - not the rich, the middle class, nor the poor. Restraints and restrictions lead to less productivity. In the end, that leads to more poverty, and womena and minorities will assuredly be the hardest hit. Poverty kills.

But nobody dies from 0.2 molecules per 10,000 of air increases. Nobody.

If people want to save the world they would be better served INCREASING our carbon dioxide output; it would mean greater wealth for all, which would mean more for the poor. Oh, and perhaps we should worry a bit more about thermonuclear war, which is a rising possibility as countries like Iran and North Korea move inexorably toward the abilty to nuke other countries. Sufficient unto the day, as the Bible says.

Hat tip: Helen Dyer

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San Jose and it's Mayor Face Biblical Plagues

Jack Kemp

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/03/19/san-jose-residents-suffer-heartbreak-failure-anti-trump-mayor/
San Jose Residents Suffer ‘Heartbreak’ After ‘Failure’ by Anti-Trump Mayor
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who infamously blamed Donald Trump for bloody anti-Trump riots in his city last June, is facing increasing criticism from residents affected by last month’s floods, which he admitted were a "failure” for the city.
Liccardo, a Democrat, and his administration failed to warn local residents when Coyote Creek swelled. One local resident tried to warn his neighbors before toxic waters — including fuel and sewage — inundated their neighborhood. In the end, many of the 14,000 locals who were forced to flee did not realize the threat until it was too late and they had to be rescued.
The San Jose Mercury News reports:

It’s been nearly one month since the catastrophic Coyote Creek flooding, but the repairs have just begun for most residents, who are left to grapple with mounting repair bills, unstable housing situations, severe health risks and an overwhelming resentment toward city and Santa Clara Valley Water District officials they felt could’ve done more.

SECTION OMITTED

Since his ignominious role in the June debacle, Mayor Liccardo has been at the forefront of opposing the Trump administration on every issue. However, he faces a mounting administrative and political crisis.
Read the Mercury News‘ full account of survivors’ frustration here.
END

What Biblical tale does this remind one of? I'd say the first of ten problems that plagued a certain Egyptian ruler, namely....


1 - Blood
When Pharaoh persisted in his refusal to: liberate the children of Israel, Moses and Aaron warned him that G‑d would punish both him and his people. First, the waters of the land of Egypt were to be turned into blood. Moses walked with Aaron to the brink of the river. There Aaron raised his staff, struck the water, and converted them into streams of blood. All the people of Egypt and the King himself beheld this miracle; they saw the fish die as the blood flowed over the land, and they turned with disgust from the offensive smell of the sacred river. It was impossible for them to drink of the water of the Nile, far-famed for its delicious taste; and they tried to dig deep into the ground for water. Unfortunately for the Egyptians, not only the floods of the Nile but all the waters of Egypt, wherever they were, turned to blood. The fish died in the rivers and lakes, and for a whole week man and beast suffered horrible thirst. Yet Pharaoh would not give in.

END

I wonder if the late Charlton Heston is now talking things over with Moses and arranging certain things to happen to Northern California Democrats. And I wonder if it will start raining frogs and hail in San Jose soon...

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March 19, 2017

Raises a good constitutional question

Wil Wirtanen

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/16/editorial-the-hateful-idea-of-hate-crime/

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Judicial Piracy and Plunder of America’s Immigration Law

Timothy Birdnow


Thomas Jefferson letter to Charles Hammond
August 18, 1821

It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression . . . that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; . . . working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.



It has been rightly pointed out by a number of individuals that Federal law gives absolute authority to the President of the United States in matters of immigration and determinations of the national security implications of said immigration and travel. Despite this fact, a Federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from implementing temporary travel restrictions on citizens of countries that pose a potential security threat to the United States. (This after Mr. Trump attempted to accommodate the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by changing the terms of the order to comply with the Court's demands.) The word overreach is far too tame for what this judge and the 9th Circuit have done; it is a complete usurpation of power.

First, some background; the Trump travel ban was originally struck down by Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York, a woman appointed by Barack Obama in 2014 and by Judge James Robart in Seattle. It was then upheld by the most ridiculous court in the land, the 9th Circuit, which took the view that since Mr. Trump promised to restrict Muslims from coming here he is somehow a bigot and not entitled to fulfill his pledge, law or precedent be damned. In other words, the Court simply disagreed with Trump's views. After reworking the order (with the help of legal experts) another judge - Hawaii punchy Derrick Watson - who was a 2013 appointee of Osama’s and an old colleague of the former Il Duce at Harvard Law.

According to the U.K. Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/16/derrick-watson-hawaii-judge-trump-travel-ban

"There are indications, though, that Watson’s viewpoint may have been further influenced by his Hawaiian heritage and his long record of advocacy for immigrant rights and civil rights. While with a San Francisco law firm in the early 2000s, he devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono cases defending the rights of Mexican restaurant workers being held in slave-like conditions and to landlord-tenant disputes.

The complaint filed by Hawaii’s attorney general against the Trump travel ban contained an explicit reference to some of the most painful chapters in the islands’ history – the Chinese Exclusion Acts and the imposition of martial law and internment of Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At the time, the US supreme court upheld the government’s argument – similar to Trump’s – that it had the executive authority to defend national security as it saw fit. But the court’s ruling in Korematsu v United States has since been described as a "stain on American jurisprudence” and has been widely repudiated in federal court rulings if never explicitly overturned."

End excerpt.

Do they really want to discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act? Well, legal precedent is not on their side here.

In Fong Yue Ting v. United States (1893) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/149/698/case.html The Supreme Court ruled that The U.S. has the right to refuse to admit a foreigner and to compel a foreigner to leave and that deportation (or refusal of admittance) is not a punishment but a right of sovereignty held by the U.S.

The syllabus to the ruling reads:

"The right to exclude or to expel aliens, or any class of aliens, absolutely or upon certain conditions, in war or in peace, is an inherent and inalienable right of every sovereign nation.

In the United States, the power to exclude or to expel aliens is vested in the political departments of the National Government, and is to be regulated by treaty or by act of Congress, and to be executed by the executive authority according to the regulations so established, except so far as the Judicial Department is authorized by treaty or by statute, or is required by the Constitution, to intervene.

The power of Congress to expel, like the power to exclude, aliens, or any specified class of aliens, from the country, may be exercised entirely through executive officers; or Congress may call in the aid of the Judiciary to ascertain any contested facts on which an alien's right to remain in the country has been made by Congress to depend.

Congress has the right to provide a system of registration and identification of any class of aliens within the country, and to take all proper means to carry out that system.

The provisions of an act of Congress, passed in the exercise of its constitutional authority, must, if clear and explicit, be upheld by the courts, even in contravention of stipulations in an earlier treaty"

End .

Then there is this:

1) Due Process does not require judicial fact-finding.
(2) Knauff: Π an alien wife of a U.S. citizen. Finding of court was that she was inadmissible and was excluded from entry. The Court classified her admission as a privilege rather than a right and characterized the exclusion of an alien as a fundamental sovereign act "inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation.”
(3) If entry would be prejudicial and alien is determined to be a danger then reasons can be kept secret as to why alien has been denied access.
(4) "Whatever the procedure authorized by Congress is, it is due process as far as an alien denied entry is concerned.” (p.47)

end

In short, the Courts do not have jurisdiction here.

And then there is Shaughnessy v. United States ex rel. Mezei.https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/345/206/case.html In Shaughnessy the Courts ruled that THEY do not have authority to allow a resident alien back into the country - only the Attorney General can make the determination.

Held: the Attorney General's continued exclusion of the alien without a hearing does not amount to an unlawful detention, and courts may not temporarily admit him to the United States pending arrangements for his departure abroad. Pp. 345 U. S. 207-216.

(a) In exclusion cases, the courts cannot retry the Attorney General's statutory determination that an alien's entry would be prejudicial to the public interest. Pp. 345 U. S. 210-212.

(b) Neither an alien's harborage on Ellis Island nor his prior residence in this country transforms the administrative proceeding against him into something other than an exclusion proceeding, and he may be excluded if unqualified for admission under existing immigration laws. P. 345 U. S. 213.

(c) Although a lawfully resident alien may not captiously be deprived of his constitutional rights to due process, the alien in this case is an entrant alien or "assimilated to that status" for constitutional purposes. Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding, 344 U. S. 590, distinguished. Pp. 345 U. S. 213-214.

(d) The Attorney General therefore may exclude this alien without a hearing, as authorized by the emergency regulations promulgated pursuant to the Passport Act, and need not disclose the evidence upon which that determination rests. Pp. 345 U. S. 214-215.

End excerpt.

What is especially galling is that Barack Obama banned immigration from the same Muslim countries that Trump has now done - and there was no outrage as we are now witnessing. According to Townhall Trump is using the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorism Travel Prevention Act - signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama - to restrict travel from the very countries Mr. Obama designated. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/01/29/news-bulletin-the-list-of-muslim-nations-in-trumps-socalled-muslim-ban-are-ones-obama-choose-n2278021

There was nary a peep from the activists posing as judges in this case about Obama's program.

Ignored completely is U.S. code 1187 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1187 which clearly grants the Director of Homeland Security the authority to ban certain foreign nationals from traveling to the U.S. without a Visa (as refugees do.) . https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1187

Of course, there is code 1182 which reads in part:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

(A) In general Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in—
(i)
any activity (I) to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or (II) to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,
(ii)
any other unlawful activity, or
(iii)
any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,
is inadmissible.

[...]

(i) In general

An alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible.

(and now comes the big kicker_:

(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

End excerpt.

In Roberto Saavedra Bruno, et al. v. Madeleine Albright The D.C. Court of Appeals said:

" Administrative Conference of the United States, which had
proposed the specific language enacted as s 702(1), explained
that the courts would still refuse "to decide issues about
foreign affairs, military policy and other subjects inappropri-
ate for judicial action." 1 Recommendations and Reports of
the Administrative Conference 191, 225. On the same sub-
ject, the Administrative Conference pointed out that "much of
the law of unreviewability consists of marking out areas in
which legislative action or traditional practice indicate that
courts are unqualified or that issues are inappropriate for
judicial determination." Id.

[...]

These considerations underlie the Court's long-standing
recognition that "any policy toward aliens is vitally and
intricately interwoven with contemporaneous policies in re-
gard to the conduct of foreign relations, the war power, and
the maintenance of a republican form of government. Such
matters are so exclusively entrusted to the political branches
of government as to be largely immune from judicial inquiry
or interference." Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580,
588-89 (1952); see also Reno v. American-Arab Comm., 119
S. Ct. 936, 947 (1999). Though it may be "error to suppose
that every case or controversy which touches foreign relations
lies beyond judicial cognizance," Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186,
211 (1962), it is nevertheless "not within the province of any
court, unless expressly authorized by law, to review the
determination of the political branch of the Government to
exclude a given alien." United States ex rel. Knauff v.
Shaughnessy, 338 U.S. 537, 543 (1950).8

In view of the political nature of visa determinations and of
the lack of any statute expressly authorizing judicial review of
consular officers' actions, courts have applied what has be-
come known as the doctrine of consular nonreviewability.
The doctrine holds that a consular official's decision to issue
or withhold a visa is not subject to judicial review, at least
unless Congress says otherwise.9 For the greater part of this



And here is another point to ponder; Donald Trump did not even take this action, but rather the Director of Homeland Security did. The judges in these cases have laid all blame on Mr.Trump, using his campaign rhetoric as their guide. But as this article in The Atlantic pointed out about Barack Obama's DAPA program:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/us-v-texas-wasnt-really-about-presidential-power/489047/

"Here’s the thing: No one should have been confused about "whether the president had lawful authority to [promulgate DAPA].” The president did not—but that’s legally irrelevant. Obama’s legal authority is not at issue in the case. Really. Truly. Not even a little bit. Obama did not take the legally relevant action; Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson did. It’s a program of which he is the legal author and for which he, not the president, is legally accountable. Politically and institutionally, this is a critically important difference.

Johnson inferred that he had the authority to exercise this program from statutes enacted by Congress. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, for example, explicitly charges the DHS secretary with "establishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” Other statutes suggest Congress approves of deferred-action policies. The arguments for and against the secretary’s use of his powers are complicated and technical, but they are arguments about statutory authority, not Article II of the Constitution or the scope of presidential prerogative. Put simply, the question is whether Johnson is reading statutes properly."

End excerpt.

Get it? Obama was excused from responsibility because Jeh Johnson made the decisions and not his Wonder. But now the blame is being heaped on the President by liberal judges who have no right to make that assumption.

In fact, Trump had few choices open to him, as The Atlantic claims of Obama:

"He could not have forced Johnson to promulgate a program, however; in the face of impasse, Obama would be able only to fire this secretary and try to appoint another. When Obama refers to "his” powers or "my” actions, he mainly insures that all the opposition to the program, both legal and political, will get focused with laser-like intensity on him, rather than Johnson."

End excerpt.

So why couldn't Obama force his DHS Secretary but Trump must? And if John F. Kelly is the architect of this policy why are the Courts holding Mr. Trump's campaign rhetoric to account in their rulings?

This was an absolutely terrible chain of decisions by partisan hacks. The plaintiffs had no standing in the case. Also, the U.S. Constitution is not an universalist document; it is inapplicable to foreign nationals. These courts were not just wrong but criminal in their contempt for American law. Congress should consider impeaching the judges involved.

If Mr. Trump simply ignores these rulings he would be well within his right, but a shift in power in Congress would guarantee his impeachment. There is the rub; this is an impeachment trap, and I suspect the Democrats and their trained bathrobe-wearing gibbons of jurisprudence know it. Trump does not want to walk into the trap. But he may have no choice here.

If the courts get away with this power grab they will have provoked a Constitutional crisis and forever changed the balance of power as it was intended in the Constitution. They have become legal anarchists, judicial pirates. One of the remedies given to the Presidency was to refuse to enforce a court ruling. Alexander Hamilton made that clear in Federalist #78. Obama did that with impunity. But times have changed.

These courts should change the style of their robes; they can keep the black, but they should emblazon the Jolly Roger in a prominent place. They have become little more than pirates, after all.

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March 18, 2017

Mike Rowe talks about real jobs that go begging

Jack Kemp

Mike Rowe, of "Dirty Jobs" fame on tv, briefly lays out the case for good jobs that are not filled today (he mentioned specialy mechanics at Caterpillar, for example) because - in part - we are telling our high school students that they must go to college and often major in liberal arts or general business management or gender studies rather than have any of them try to match their skills to mechanical or technical jobs because their high school guidance counselor thought these other jobs "aren't cool." And this is also part of the reason why many veterans are having trouble finding work and are unemployed or even homeless.

Mike Rowe has a foundation that deals with technical school scholarships, etc., which can be found at http://profoundlydisconnected.com

From 2013, a seven and a half minute Youtube video talking to Bill Maher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls1YhhMHdNY

Mike Rowe testifies in the U.S. Congress about how we have demonized hard work in our society and not publicized good paying jobs.

The first two and one half minutes of this 5.5 min. video on Youtube, as Mike Rowe tells a Congressman about something that can realistically be a way out of homelessness for unemployed veterans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xp1qv_t-iU

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Polling the Grassroots: The Most Accurate Survey the Media Won't Conduct

Dana Mathewson

From Townhall. Written by Mark Meckler, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, Citizens for Self-Governance, and the Convention of States Project.

He says "I know the real Americans who have been working to make this nation great again before it was a campaign slogan. These aren’t just "likely voters." These are the folks who walk precincts, knock on doors, work candidates’ phone banks, donate money, support causes and disproportionately influence their friends and neighbors. In this nation, we pay more attention to the talking heads on television than these high level influencers, even though these grassroots activists have a disproportionate impact on both public opinion and the results of elections.

Maybe that’s why almost every "professional” political expert was gobsmacked by the election of Donald Trump?

Anyway, I asked these highly engaged activists some questions, because I know what they think matters. Within hours, thousands had responded from all fifty states. The results are far more important than whatever the pundit on CNN is telling you we think.

I wanted to get to the heart of what these activists are thinking. For example, I asked, "What letter grade would you give President Trump in terms of keeping his campaign promises to grassroots?” You might not have heard this statistic from any mainstream media report, but 67% gave Trump an "A."

Republican leaders didn’t fare quite as well. "What letter grade would you give Republican leaders for working with President Trump to keep his campaign promises?” I asked. Forty-one percent gave Republican leaders a "C."

More specifically, the grassroots are sick of Republicans in Congress. When I asked people to give letter grades to them based on their ability to fulfill legislative priorities, the results were even worse: 37% gave Republicans in Congress a "C" in that category.

Guess who scored lower than Republicans in Congress? The unelected "fourth branch” of government, which is supposed to provide healthy checks and balances on what’s going on in Washington, D.C., has been apoplectic over the new administration. Their hysteria has made normal Americans unwilling to trust them. When asked to score the members of the media on how well they’ve covered the goings on of the new administration, 79% gave them an "F."

"CNN and others in the mainstream media continue to beclown themselves with their outrageous bias,” one grassroots activist replied. Another said "the parsing, misdirection and contradictions are all very disturbing.” In particular, the "Russian hacking" story is ruining whatever shred of trust remained between reporters and citizens. One activist told me it is "absolutely a false narrative in order for the left to distract Trump and other conservatives from discovering the real story that Obama administration has been using the deep state and surveillance state to go after political rivals."

But another group is even less popular than Republicans in Congress and members of the media. Democrats received the lowest scores for their inability or unwillingness to reach across the aisle and cooperate with the new leaders. "What letter grade would you give Democratic leaders for working with Republicans in Congress?” I asked. The mainstream media won’t tell you that Americans are sick and tired of their behavior. Three thousand five hundred and forty-seven respondents gave Democrats an F. Two hundred and eighty-eight mustered up a D for the highly partisan politicians. In a related question, the majority of respondents believe Democratic leaders refuse to accept the results of the election. (Note to Democrats, this was not intended to be a compliment.)

Now, dear readers, you know that when I post something, I usually leave the "meat" for you to discover by going to the main article, which is found here: https://townhall.com/columnists/markmeckler/2017/03/17/polling-the-grassroots-the-most-accurate-survey-the-media-wont-conduct-n2300585?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=


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Army Recruits Prisoners to Make Body Armor

Jack Kemp

Now the military is using prisoners to make body armor, after their helmet-making failure:

https://www.wired.com/2011/03/prisoners-body-armor/

Army Recruits Prisoners to Make Body Armor

Building parts for Patriot missile systems was just a warm-up, apparently, for a government-owned company that relies on federal inmates making as little as 23 cents an hour. On Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced that it handed Federal Prison Industries a no-bid, nearly $20 million contract to build body armor.

It’s the latest in a decades-long string of military deals for FPI, also known as Unicor. Over the years, the company has supplied parts for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the Cobra atta

ck helicopter, and the iconic Patriot interceptor system. (More about that in a second.)
But this deal is particularly odd, because FPI’s track record with protective equipment is, to put it generously, uneven. In May of last year, the Army recalled 44,000 FPI-made protective helmets after they failed ballistic testing. FPI then promptly got out of the helmet business.

That rather serious blemish on FPI’s record hasn’t stopped the Army from going back to the firm for $19,767,468’s worth of bulletproof "Outer Tactical Vests.” According to the Army’s contract announcement, the gear is supposed to be "for Pakistan” — presumably, for the Pakistani military. (Although a State Department told suppliers Wednesday that it wants 1,000 vests in Pakistan, too.)

Read the rest!

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