A conservative news and views blog.
- Name: Timothy Birdnow
- Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Monday, August 27, 2012
Timothy Birdnow One of the cornerstones of the Obama power grab has been the definition of political enemies as terrorists. They tried it with the Missouri fusion center report http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/03/missouri_police_given_chilling.html, with the Department of Homeland Security report, and have tried to re-inforce this numerous times, claiming the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was an act of domestic terrorism spawned by Tea Party "hate speech". The Southern Poverty Law Center has been particularly vociferous in its charges against "right wing hate groups" and attacks on the Tea Party and lovers of liberty - such as Ron Paul supporters, returning vets, pro-lifers, etc. have become standard fare among Democrats. There is method behind this madness; it's intended to create a paradigm from which certain issues can be framed and which can justify certain actions against American citizens. The TSA's disgraceful behavior is but one example justified by the "domestic terrorist" shibboleth. Another is the purchasing of tens of thousands of rounds of hollow point bullets by groups like NOAA and the Social Security Administration. The Department of Homeland Security has pursued this posthaste http://www.infowars.com/war-on-terrors-new-targets-veterans-tea-partiers-anti-fed-activists/ and there has been a concerted effort to claim the attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/dhs/all/ was Tea Party related. (In point of fact the guilty party had been in psyops for the U.S. military years before - suggesting he may be working covertly with the government. There was no shred of evidence he had any relations to the Tea Party.) With the general elections to be held in just a couple of months and with Mr. Obama running neck-in-neck (which, given the abyssmal economy and general malaise of the times really means Mr. Obama is in real trouble) there is need for a game-changer. That game changer must have certain things that it can accomplish; it must impugn the President's political enemies, give the President grounds for strongarm actions against those who oppose him, and perhaps even justify suspending the election - something that a growing number of reasonable people fear Mr. Obama may well try. Here it is. http://www.newser.com/story/152934/obama-assassination-plot-troops-called-selves-fear.html?utm_source=part&utm_medium=united According to government officials a cabal U.S. soldiers planned to assassinate Barack Obama and overthrow the government of the United States. The comically named group (called Forever Enduring Always Faithful or FEAR) planned to take over Fort Steward, bomb a dam, and assassinate the President. It appears that a sargent was one of the leaders. According to the article: "•Aguigui reportedly funded the militia using $500,000 in insurance and benefit payments from the death of his pregnant wife a year ago. Aguigui was not charged in his wife's death, but the prosecutor told the judge her death was "highly suspicious." •In addition to using the money to buy $87,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles, other guns, and bomb components, he also used the insurance payments to buy land for his militia group in Washington state, said the prosecutor." End excerpt. How insidious! He actually used insurance money to buy guns and land! But what does this have to do with the "Domestic Terrorist" business, and how is it intended to empower Obama and his supporters? The article had this to say: "•Aguigui called himself "the nicest cold-blooded murderer you will ever meet." And also a former Republican? Gawker reports that Aguigui appears to have attended the 2008 Republican National Convention as a page. •Militia members wore distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol." End excerpt. See, Aguigui was a Republican! Proof postive that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the DHS memo were correct all along! But what of the anarchy symbols? Anarchy is not generally associated with conservatives, Tea Partiers, or any of the alleged evil radical right. Anarchy is generally associated with the socialists, who believe they must destroy the corrupt and depraved society by violence to usher in a new age, a socialist utopia. It is the Occupy Crowd that advocates anarchy, not the Tea Party, not Pro-Lifers, not Ron Paul people. But this could be used much as the Nazis used the Reichstag fire to justify the creation of the Third Reich, and one must wonder if there really was such a cabal as FEAR at all, or was this a black op, the creation of a bogus terrorist group by order of the Commander in Chief. This has such drama; a right-wing extremist attempt to murder our brave and noble President shortly before the elections (why didn't they just wait to see what happened in November?) This can stoke sympathy for the President, justify a crackdown on the Tea Party, perhaps even justify suspending elections or suspending the transition of power. Interestingly enough, this very actions was predicted. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/46516 According to Doug Hagmann: "According to this insider, the Trayvon Martin case is just the tip of the iceberg. “You certainly don’t have to be a genius to understand how Obama and his team played the public on this issue, and it’s far from over. But that’s not the sole element of what we’ll see this summer.” “Remember the shots fired at the White House not too long ago?” asked my source. There was an element of outrage that was squandered, according to ‘team Obama.’ In fact, Obama and some of his closest advisors, especially [Valerie] Jarrett were incredibly angered that the outrage was seemingly tempered. It should have been an opportunity to use our force against the Tea Parties, the gun clingers, the Constitutionalists, and everyone who has complained about Obama. DHS should have stepped in right then, and used that event to start the clampdown,” this source stated about White House comments. This source stated that from that point on, the DHS must become more responsive and aggressive. Watch for a false flag event against Obama or his family, something that will outrage ‘black America.’ It will be carefully choreographed, but executed in a manner that will evoke the ugliest of reactions and create racial chaos in this country that will make the Watts riots, 1968 and the Rodney King riots pale in comparison. That’s the third leg in this.” End excerpt. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to see more of this as the election draws near, and probably something quite shocking will emerge. Don't believe any of this; it's theater, a plot indeed, but not one by "right wing nutjobs" but rather by the very people who will then step in to "save America". If these soldiers can be used to justify tightening the screws they will be. Doubtless this is something that will loom quite large in days to come. Strange how this story broke when the Republicans were holding their convention... The Republic faces dangers like never before in its history. The checks and balances no longer work, because for too long timid men cowered in the face of the tyrants. Republicans want nothing more than to bend their knees to keep what power they have, and the Courts were long ago overrun by liberal ideologues. There is nothing standing in the way of tyranny but the American citizens. This is aimed at stopping the ones who get it - and who will resist. It's been the Obama Administration plan all along. "
Our SimCity government
Paul Driessen The similarities between the popular SimCity game and our increasingly unpopular governments are uncanny … and troubling. My op-ed this week with climatology professor David Legates explores this disturbing trend. As it observes, the SimCity game has intruded into our real world. In fact, it is being replicated in our real world, at the local, state and especially federal level. Far too many politicians, planners, bureaucrats and judges see themselves as intellectually gifted rulers, who know what’s best for us citizens. They treat communities, businesses, families and people like let’s-pretend virtual realities in a SimCity, SimState or SimNation – helpless, ill-prepared to make our own decisions, and in need of constant, pervasive “guidance.” What America needs today is LibertyCity – as a game to teach the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and free and responsible citizenship. Indeed, we need LibertyCity in reality too – at all levels of our society and government, to replace the nanny state that seeks to rule every aspect of our lives and livelihoods. Governments treat us like Sim-citizens: with fewer rights for us and no accountability for them Paul Driessen and David Legates Back in 1983, during the information processing Cretaceous Period, Maxis developed a new genre of educational, yet entertaining computer games. The latest version will be released next year. SimCity allows players to build virtual cities by zoning land, adding buildings to enhance the needs and desires of Sim-citizens, adjusting tax rates, building power and transportation networks, and making other municipal decisions. Players don’t win or lose. They employ their knowledge of city life and urban planning to determine whether their SimCities thrive – or become uninhabitable urban deserts. Sim-citizens are essentially helpless. They don’t populate your city unless you, the benevolent dictator or mayor, give them what they need and want. You can zone land residential, but citizens cannot live there unless you create commercial land nearby, so that a supermarket can be built. They can’t get to the supermarket until you build a road. Now they are happy but have nowhere to work. So you zone more commercial land and create jobs, by establishing businesses, highways and rail lines. To keep them happy, you, the all-seeing, all-knowing mayor, build stadiums and parks. And on and on it goes. The beauty of SimCity is threefold. First, players get to be overseers of growing virtual communities, calling the shots and having the citizenry respond to their decisions. They really can tell their Sim-citizens, “If you are successful, it’s because I invested in roads and bridges, and created this Sim-system that allowed you to thrive. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. I made it happen!” Second, the lives of every Sim-citizen are completely dependent on the actions of the players/mayors, who succeed only if they are intelligent, thoughtful and responsible. However, no matter what happens, the virtual citizenry can’t assemble, protest or vote them out of office. Third, even if players make monumental mistakes, create a fetid urban cesspool, or even kill off their virtual populations, they just start over, without accountability or penalty. After all, it’s only a game. The problem with SimCity game theory is likewise threefold. First, it has intruded into our real world. Far too many politicians, planners, bureaucrats and judges see themselves as intellectually gifted rulers, who know what’s best for us citizens. They treat communities, businesses, families and people like let’s-pretend virtual realities in a SimCity, SimState or SimNation – helpless, ill-prepared to make our own decisions, and in need of constant, pervasive “guidance.” They live in a theoretical world, in which their actions have only hypothetical consequences on virtual people. Instead of limited government focused on real needs, problems and priorities, we now have massive, intrusive government deciding and regulating every facet of human life and behavior. Instead of free, responsible people making free, responsible decisions, so long as they do not harm others, supposedly omniscient, benevolent governing elites seek to control energy and transportation systems; what people may eat, drink and even say; what kinds of cars they may drive, toilets they may flush, and shopping bags they may use; even what kinds of views they may hold if they want permission to open a business. Government of, by and for the people has almost “perished from the Earth.” Instead, government by fiat presents us with 2,700-page laws drafted by legislators who “know what’s good for us,” coercively enacted so that “we can learn what’s in them” – and turned over to unelected, unaccountable, equally omniscient and benevolent technocrats who convert the laws into 27,000 pages of new regulations and 270 new criminal sanctions. Second, SimCity methods too often substitute for the real world. Our ruling elites increasingly use computer models to create virtual reality energy, economies and businesses, and “observe,” “measure,” forecast and govern the real world outside their windows. Too often, the models are based on erroneous or politicized assumptions, compounded by outdated or incorrect data – and yet are used to produce GIGO analyses and conclusions that determine and justify agendas, decisions, taxes, laws and regulations. If predictive models say we are depleting our oil and gas reserves, we should ignore new exploration, drilling and production technologies that are dramatically increasing petroleum output. If hockey stick models say rising carbon dioxide causes catastrophic global warming, we should discount actual global temperature trends and past weather and climate events of equal magnitude and duration. If Keynesian models conclude that higher taxes and deficit spending will bring prosperity, then 8.3% unemployment and 1.7% growth simply mean we need even more taxes, regulations and “stimulus.” A spinoff program, SimEarth, purported to model the climate and allow players to regulate climate conditions by adjusting atmospheric gases, continental drift, reproductive rates of various life forms, topography, solar output and other factors (which is more than most IPCC climate models consider). Players could also create oxygen generators and other technologies, to fine-tune their planets’ atmosphere, climate and evolutionary processes. An unfortunate legacy of SimEarth is the fallacy that humans really can centrally-manage our Real Earth’s climate – a belief that is seen clearly in today’s energy and climate change policies and the almost religious belief in climate model prognostications. Third, under SimCity rules, politicians and bureaucrats steadily acquire, and constantly seek, more power and control over the businesses, lives and livelihoods of more people. They seem to forget that Americans are not virtual Sim-citizens, but real breathing people, with real families, businesses, needs, homes, hopes and dreams that are buffeted, punished and sometimes destroyed by excessive laws and regulations. Worse, the ruling classes too often exempt themselves from the rules and penalties they inflict on everyone else. They want decision-making power, the right to spend billions in taxpayer money, the authority to impose regulations and penalties on companies and citizens. But they refuse to accept responsibility, conduct due diligence or be held accountable when they make monumental blunders that cost people their businesses, livelihoods, homes or lives. To them, it seems, it’s only a game. Thus, members of Congress impose Obamacare but can’t be bothered to pass a budget or rein in runaway bureaucracies. Energy Department officials responsible for Solyndra and other “green” bankruptcies keep their jobs and keep pouring billions of OPM (other people’s money) into new crony-corporatist schemes. An ATF official deeply involved in the “Fast and Furious” debacle that got agent Brian Terry killed goes on “extended leave” but keeps his six-figure salary, fattens his government pension and double-dips at J.P. Morgan. The modelers and scientists implicated in ClimateGate and other highly questionable activities get more billions to advance an hydrocarbon eradication agenda. And on and on it goes. When playing SimCity, it’s always tempting to seek more control – to be able to say to Sim-citizens: “You need to live next to that industrial complex” or “You have to move into that 10-story housing complex that has apartments of 800 square feet per family.” It worked under communism; it should be an option in the game. For that matter, SimCity dictators should be able to raise Sim-citizen taxes and hire jack-booted thugs to rough up Sim-recalcitrants who refuse to obey. Claiming victory would be so much easier, even if the outcome was a dismal failure – just as under real world totalitarian governments. The United States cannot and must not operate under SimCity rules. It is the people – not the government – who innovate, improve the world, care most deeply about their fellow citizens. It is the people who create businesses and jobs, provide goods and services, and allow free, responsible, hard-working fellow citizens to achieve more than they ever could on their own. As President Obama suggested, government can and should help facilitate this. But too often it throws obstacles in the way, and functions as a not-so-benevolent SimCity dictator. What we need is a LibertyCity game. It would be like SimCity, and players would still be mayors, but citizens would enjoy and be responsible for government of, by and for the people. Make taxes oppressive, and you get replaced. Squander money by padding the pockets of your friends, and you land in jail. Invest in fly-by-night enterprises like Solyndra or Fisker Automotive, and you are out of office. Turn into a heavy-handed dictator, and you get kicked out of your own game, and the 13-year-old down the street takes over. Maybe then both you and the kid would learn how government is supposed to work. In fact, we need LibertyCity in real life too – right here, once again, in the United States. Maybe in 2013, we can play LibertyCity, instead of laboring four more years under arrogant SimCity centralized government control. Actually, that’s what the November 6 election is really all about. ___________ Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. David Legates is a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware.
Forgetting Bad War Memories – Possible Today?
Jack Kemp In “Jarhead,” the classic book about Gulf War I, a group of Marine veterans travel to Michigan to attend the funeral of one of their former war buddies named Troy who died in a civilian automobile accident. With the Marines drinking constantly, only slowing down hours before they had to lift Troy’s casket at the cemetery, they decide a day after the funeral to visit the favorite bar of their late buddy. The story then tells how one of the Marines then voiced is anguish to a female bartender, saying “that if she could get him so f***ed up that he forgot Troy was dead, he’d give her $100.” The problem is that even if the bartender had some drink strong enough to make the Marine forget his buddy’s death, its effects wouldn’t last into the next day. But that young Marine’s wish, of wanting to quickly (or instantly) overcome his grief, is shared by every sober doctor and psychologist who works to relieve Post Traumatic Stress, be it military and/or civilian in origin. Researchers studying the chemical composition of memory processing, especially repeatedly occurring bad memories that cause frequent nightmares, have yielded some results, small victories. A January 2012 article at NPR’s website explains: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/16/144672190/ending-nightmares-caused-by-ptsd?sc=fb&cc=fp BEGIN QUOTE Scientists wanted to find out the reason why people with PTSD can't sleep and dream normally. One theory comes from Matthew Walker, a psychology researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. His particular interest lies in rapid eye movement, or REM. It's the time during sleep when a lot of dreaming occurs. It's also a time when the chemistry of the brain actually changes. Levels of norepinephrine — a kind of adrenaline — drop out completely. REM sleep is the only time of day when this happens. That struck Walker as a mystery. "Why would rapid eye movement sleep suppress this neurochemical?" he asks. "Is there any function to that?" Walker found that in healthy people, REM sleep is kind of like therapy. It's an adrenaline-free environment where the brain can process its memories while sort of stripping off their sharp, emotional edges. "You come back the next day, and it doesn't trigger that same visceral reaction that you had at the time of learning." SECTION OMITTED Walker's theory suggests that in people with PTSD, REM sleep is broken. The adrenaline doesn't go away like it's supposed to. The brain can't process tough memories, so it just cycles through them, again and again. END QUOTE A “diversion” here from the article’s discussion will explain a relationship not often mentioned in pieces for a general readership, but significant as background information. Ironically, this same adrenaline is what the Mahdi militia used to raise their bodies and psyches to superhuman levels by way of ingesting large amounts of American epinephrine pills at the battles of Fallujah and some other clashes with U.S. Forces in Iraq. These pills kept the Mahdi insurgents hearts pumping and fighting even after their arms could no longer hold the weapons shot away from them. http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001531.html Of course that meant American soldiers and Marines, whether facing the Mahdi militia or other fighters, had to develop their own heightened level of adrenaline-induced awareness to overcome them, whether the insurgents were taking these pills or not. Returning to the topic of the NPR article’s discussion of the brain’s processing of hyper-vigilant traumas, it further notes what doctors have recently found to regulate a brain’s nighttime adrenaline-induced hyper state: BEGIN QUOTE So, what if you could make the adrenaline just go away? Enter prazosin.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000625/ Pfizer Inc. introduced the drug under the brand name Minipress in the 1970s to treat high blood pressure. Dr. Murray Raskind http://www.va.gov/providerinfo/PUGETSOUND/detail.asp?providerid=1756, a VA psychiatrist in Seattle, says the drug, now generic, can cost anywhere between 5 and 15 cents. And, actually, it's not terribly effective as a blood pressure medication, he says. But what prazosin does do is make people less sensitive to adrenaline. About a decade ago, Raskind starting giving prazosin to some of his PTSD patients, including one Vietnam War veteran. "He had this recurrent nightmare of being trapped by the Vietcong forces in a landing zone and having his best friend killed in front of his eyes by a mortar round," Raskind says. After a few weeks of treatment with prazosin, the veteran came in for a follow-up appointment. Raskind says the veteran told him that he wasn't sure the medication was working. He was still having the same dream over and over — just about something else. He told Raskind that in the new dream he was in his fifth grade classroom and there was a test. If he didn't pass the test, he wasn't going to be promoted to the next grade. But he never even got the assignment. "I said, 'That's my nightmare!' " Raskind says. Indeed, the veteran's new dream was the stress dream of a healthy brain trying to work things out, Raskind says. This year, the VA is expected to finish up its trial for prazosin. It's already prescribing the drug to about 15 percent of its PTSD patients. Raskind, of course, would like to see that number rise. END QUOTE As positive and promising as prazosin is, notice that the article still says the Veterans’ Affairs/Administration doctors thought it was only appropriate for one in seven cases of PTSD under their care. Without saying it directly, we are being told that despite our modern high tech computer and drug era research, we are still only in the early days of understanding human memory processing. The situation is somewhat analogous to just after Pasteur developed the germ theory – but before others had developed the quinine cure for malaria and the streptomycin cure for tuberculosis. But prazosin is one of the first effective ways of managing – and possibly curing – PTSD. Before finishing, another well known old “home remedy” for lowering blood pressure and stress is definitely worth mentioning. It is one that WebMD states has nearly twenty-five years of research showing its effectiveness in lessening anxiety and high blood pressure. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/health-benefits-of-pets Technically called “pet therapy,” it is simply owning a dog. American soldiers at distant battlefields have adopted stray dogs for generations. A recent book, “From Baghdad with Love” and its sequel, “From Baghdad to America,” http://www.amazon.com/From-Baghdad-America-Marine-Rescued/dp/1602397430/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346028363&sr=8-1&keywords=from+baghdad+to+america tell of how a stray pup kept one Marine officer in touch normal life and “his humanity” - even in the chaos of fighting house to house in Fallujah. Further evidence of how effective this “home remedy” can be was recently brought to my attention when YouTube presented me with a video recommendation based on my past searches. In it, a former U.S. Airman stationed in the Middle East credits a shelter dog with saving his life after his Stateside PTSD developed. If you watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuTyEcBi_n4&feature=g-vrec and listen closely, you will hear the significance of what he is saying. The dog doesn’t judge him. The serviceman feels he can obviously tell his concerns to the dog without worrying that the animal will repeat his stories and embarrass him in front of military and civilian friends, and his family. The serviceman appears to have initially judged himself as not capable of companionship with others after returning Stateside, yet his new dog broke through that self-fulfilling (and self-defeating) thought pattern, unconditionally accepting him and leading him to believe that whatever happened during his deployment overseas, he is still able to be a companion to this dog. And that new reality lead to his believing he could once again be a companion to his friends and family. The term “home remedy” has gained a double meaning here. The dog has made the Airman’s residence a home once again – and that is a significant initial step towards a remedy. There are other, more sophisticated accounts of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress way beyond the scope of this small article - and of this writer. What is presented here just touches the surface of this issue and yet will hopefully be of benefit to some readers. I should have more to say next month concerning two books on PTSD, one published and one about to be published, both written by professionals who also served in combat zones and later worked assisting other veterans for many decades.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
The Neurobiology of Obama Supporters
Timothy Birdnow Medical researchers have discovered the key to the electoral success of Barack Obama and other Democrats. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-brain-gullibility-center.html "The ventromedial area of the prefrontal cortex of the brain—a softball-sized lobe in the front of your head, just above your eyes—appears to be responsible for allowing you to pause after hearing or reading something and consider whether it's true, according to a study published recently in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience."
Global Warming Alarmism - Then and Now
Timothy Birdnow Fear of Global Warming in the Arctic - in 1947! http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/1947-international-agency-needed-to-stop-the-arctic-meltdown/ Here is the 1947 article: "ARCTIC PHENOMENON Warming Of Climate Causes Concern LOS ANGELES, May 30. – The possibility of a prodigious rise in the surface of the ocean with resultant widespread inundation, arising from an Arctic climatic phenomenon was discussed yesterday by Dr. Hans Ahlmann, a noted Swedish geophysicist at the University of California Geophysical Institute. A mysterious warming of the climate was slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, Dr. Ahlmann said, and, if the Antarctic ice regions and the major Greenland ice cap should reduce at the same rate as the present melting in the Arctic, oceanic surfaces would rise to catastrophic proportions and people living in the lowlands along their shores would be inundated. He said that temperatures in the Arctic had increased 10deg. Fahrenheit since 1900—an "enormous" rise from a scientific standpoint. The waters in the Spitsbergen area in the same period had risen three to five degrees in temperature and one to one and a half millimeters yearly in level. "The Arctic change is so serious that I hope an international agency can speedily be formed to study the conditions on a global basis," he added. He pointed out that whereas in 1910 the navigable season along western Spitsbergen lasted three months it now lasted eight months." End excerpt. This at a time well before the sharp rise in carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere. Please note; this Dr. Ahlman of the UC Geophysical Institute is calling for an international governing body. It seems the media was just as alarmist and hysterical then as now. And it seems that they were just as wrong-headed to push apocalyptic change. So if global warming is caused by Man, what caused the global warming that Dr. Ahlman worried about? Cookfires and human flatulence?
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Obamarica; Ripe for Reichhood
Timothy Birdnow The TSA has been showing up at Republican campaign events. Yes, the Transportation Safety Administration has been sending armed agents to campaign events run by the opposition party. According to this article at Conservative HQ: "About 18 months ago, TSA chief John Pistole (pictured, with President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano) told USA Today he wanted to "take the TSA to the next level," building it into a "national-security, counterterrorism organization, fully integrated into U.S. government efforts." Since that time, the TSA has been showing-up at all kinds of locations, mostly transportation-related mind you, and conducting VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) sweeps, which target public transit related places." [...] "What is truly remarkable about these security sweeps, Servatius noted, is that they don't just involve federal, state and local law enforcement officials. The TSA brings in squads of bureaucrats from state and federal agencies as well -- everything from transportation departments to departments of natural resources -- and they don't need a specific threat or probable cause to do it, reporters have been told. Having the TSA cover train stations, bus terminals and other transportation-related facilities has a certain big government logic to it, even to those (like us) who think the mere existence of the TSA is a gross invasion of privacy and a violation of the Constitution. However, swarming the campaign events of the opposition party -- particularly when the candidate has questioned the need for the TSA -- is another matter. The TSA is not the apolitical organization the Secret Service strives to be. It is a thoroughly politicized bureaucracy fighting to expand its reach, and a few Republicans in Congress are all that have stood in its way." End excerpt. Couple this with the gargantuan amount of ammunition being ordered by such agencies as NOAA and the Social Security Administration (against all logic), and the recent war gaming of a military action against "Tea Party Terrorists", the drawing up of "refugee camp" plans throughout the country, the National Defense Authorization Act giving Obama the power to round up U.S. citizens and detain them indefinitely, etc. and you have a chilling political atmosphere. This better befits the Third Reich than America. There are some who claim we are in the planning stage to suspend the elections. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/46516 It's happened before in world history. There is no reason to believe America is somehow immune to falling under the heel of a dictator. What has prevented it here is the U.S. Constitution and an armed, informed public willing to defend that Constitution. We still have the document but nobody pays it any mind, and the public really doesn't care about defending it - or even knows what is in it. This country is ripe for Reichhood.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Science of Rape Pregnancy Statistics
Timothy Birdnow Representative Todd Akin caused a firestorm with his rape comments, particularly his use of the phrase "legitimate rape" and his claims (he said doctors have told him this, not that he had read the literature or done the research himself) that a woman's body can "shut it down" meaning they are less apt to get pregnant. The firestorm over this has been a glittering jewel of ignorance on display, as Akin's comments have been paraphrased in every conceivable fashion. People claim Akin said a woman CANNOT get pregnant, or that he said rape is illigitimate in most cases, etc. Most people did not actually read his statement. One of the criticisms being made everywhere of Akin is that, according to research, 5% of rape victims get pregnant - a higher percentage than women who engage in consensual sex. Akin has been called an idiot by many, the claim being that a simple Google search shows how terribly wrong Akin's comment was. I decided to repeat the experiment; I Googled it. Yes, the search results were chock full of publications, many including science journals, that verified the 5% number. But when I tried to find the research that gave that 5% number I kept coming back to the same New England Journal of Medicine paper by Melissa Holmes et. al. "Rape-related pregnancy: Estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women". This number which is now accepted as Gospel on the internet has come entirely from one 1996 research study. This makes no sense; I know that other researches must have tried to duplicate the results, yet there is nothing to be found on the internet. I even tried switching to several science search engines and found nothing. Zip. Only this study, and a study of women raped in Yugoslavia conducted by the U.N. (and I give the U.N. about as much credibility as Jerry Springer). Nothing on Google suggests that the authors of the NEJOM piece were particularly biased, but that proves nothing. I find this quite disturbing. Also, I could only gain access to the abstract for this paper, the "meat" of it being behind a pay wall. I wanted to see the methodology employed. Here is the abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248 The abstract describes the methodology thusly: "STUDY DESIGN: A national probability sample of 4008 adult American women took part in a 3-year longitudinal survey that assessed the prevalence and incidence of rape and related physical and mental health outcomes." End excerpt. So, this was a survey of women who had reported being raped. My question; how did this survey actually determine the particulars? Did they differentiate types of rape, such as staturory? How did they determine if the women were telling the truth? I imagine they adopted the "women do not lie about these things" outlook, but a realistic person knows that, yes, women sometimes do lie about such things (as do men) and while from a legal or moral or spiritual position we should give the benefit of the doubt to the woman, in a scientific research study we need stricter controls to actually determine what is true. I looked at another study done by Dr. Holmes; the abstract stated that the participants were surveyed over the telephone. If she used that methodology there, did she (and PhD's Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG, Best CL.)use it here? How accurate is a survey conducted over the telephone, especially about so intimate and personal a subject? Here are the results as determined by Holmes et al: "RESULTS: The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion. CONCLUSIONS: Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization." End excerpt. I find this high level of confidence to be dubious. Why aren't there corroborating studies online? Did the study verify the actual dates of the rapes and calculate the pregnancy term to verify that the woman became pregnant from the rape? Were DNA test results checked where available? This does not seem to me to be good science. I may be wrong; as I said, I couldn't get past the pay wall. Also, I may be missing out on a good deal of the literature. But if that is the case, it is damning to the search engines; why is it so difficult to find this literature on the internet? We know Google is a left-wing operation, as is Yahoo, but still I can find things on them that Google or Yahoo do not want to make generally known. They bury things but do not censor them usually. The fact that this was about the only study - and that I couldn't find any others even using research search engines - suggests that this is the only one of its kind. It's as though the entire global warming debate hinged only on the 2007 IPCC report. Nobody would accept that, yet it is being accepted here. I suspect we have not the foggiest idea of how many women get pregnant with a rapist's child. Over at Tea Party Nation Judson Phillips - a former prosecutor - admitted that his experience was that few rape victims became pregnant. In his experience, that is. He was not making a blanket statement but simply stating his personal experience. Cortisol and adrenelin disrupt the harmonal balance during a traumatic incident like a rape, and the hormonal balance is often critical to conception. Also, in single incidents the rapist may find it difficult to actually penetrate into the woman's womb. Of course, a captive woman may be repeatedly penetrated and each act increases the chances of pregnancy. In the cases of such things as incestuous rape the woman is violated not just one day but over the course of months or even years. Make no mistake about it; women do get pregnant as a result of rape. I am not trying to suggest otherwise, nor was Todd Akin. And Akin should have had the sense to avoid this portion of the comment as it was not germain to the central point (which he made) that the baby was not at fault for the crime. As for "legitimate rape", the source of the firestorm? There have been instances - many of them - of women who have falsely accused men of this heinous crime. Consider the case of Brian Banks http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/brian-banks-accuser-money-wanetta-gibson.html, who spent five years in prison due to a false rape charge (the alleged victim friended him on facebook and asked for his forgiveness while he languished in prison). Consider the case of Jawara Brockett and Darrell Dula, who were prosecuted by Brooklyn authorities despite a recantation by the victim http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/brooklyn-das-office-woman-rape-accusation-jawara-brockett-darrell-dula_n_1434981.html. Or what of William McCaffrey who spent three years on a false charge? http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/woman-recants-false-rape-charge-freeing-man-after-3-years-in-prison/ What of the Duke Lacross players? Yes, women DO occasionally lie about such things. And this is "illigitimate rape" from a statistical standpoint. So too is a statutory rape charge when the boy is 17 and his girlfriend 15. He has broken the law and should be punished, but this incident should not be lumped into the "legitimate rape" category. But we no longer worry about what is true in America but what sounds kind. Akin made the fatal error of sounding hard-hearted. During the 1990's many feminists were arguing (among themselves) that the use of accusations of rape empower women. "All sex is rape" according to feminist Andrea Dworkin, and if that is the case any sexual activity opens a man to accusations of rape. http://reason.com/archives/2005/04/19/womans-hating Now Dworkin was a radical and hate-filled woman, and does not represent the majority of women. But it does represent a certain viewpoint, one that was quite active during the 1990's (until Bill Clinton destroyed it.) Remember the accusations against Clarence Thomas? Anita Hill followed him from job to job, and then accuses him of sexual misconduct. And we were supposed to believe "women don't lie about this". As I say, most don't. And make no mistake; rape is a terrible, evil crime. But we must return to the basic question; was Todd Akin wrong? I don't think we can answer this question in any meaningful way. But I don't think we can claim unequivocally he is wrong. But he was unsympathetic. In the touchy-feely postmodern America that is far worse.
Arming the Government Against Americans
By Alan Caruba The push to disarm Americans has been around a long time. An estimated ninety million Americans own guns legally and in states that permit concealed carry the crime rate drops precipitously by comparison with others that do everything they can to make the purchase and carry of firearms difficult. Gun ownership in America is the highest since 1993 with estimates of 300 million guns owned by citizens. Ownership crosses political party lines and other demographic cohorts. From its earliest days as a nation, the Founding Fathers were united in the need for an armed citizenry as a response to the potential tyranny of a government that might seek to impose its will on Americans through force. The notion that one can keep criminals from acquiring firearms is idiotic. In cities like Chicago with laws that all but deny gun ownership, the murder rate is off the charts. By June, 228 residents of Chicago had been killed, compared to 44 troops in Afghanistan’s combat zones. There’s a reason gun sales in America soared after the election of Barack Obama. Nobody except his brainwashed minions trust him. Over the past three and a half years he has issued more than 900 Executive Orders, many of which grant him and the federal government extraordinary control over all aspects of life for Americans. The hallmark of every totalitarian regime is gun control, the disarming of citizens. This is, after all, a President who disparaged Americans who he said, “cling to their religion and their guns.” As columnist, Chuck Baldwin wrote in 2007, “One thing the national news media will always ignore is the practice of lawful self-defense. For example, most people are probably not aware of the fact that American citizens use a firearm to defend themselves more than 2.4 million times every year. That is more than 6,500 times every day.” “This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. Furthermore, of the 2.4 million self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual assault. And in less than eight percent of those occasions is a shot actually fired. The vast majority of the time (92%), the mere presence of a firearm helps to avert a major crime from occurring.” Why then is the Obama administration in the process of purchasing millions of bullets for agencies, some of whom have nothing to do with national defense? In May I wrote about an Ashville, North Carolina citizen who wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/05/armed-epa-agents-visit-ashville-man.html inquiring about the address of an employee who gained overnight fame when it was reported he wanted to “crucify” oil companies. Two EPA agents, fully armed, showed up without notice at his front door. Why does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration need to purchase ammunition? NOAA is devoted to studying the weather and providing notice of events such as hurricanes. Why would meteorologists need to be armed? Why does the Social Security Administration need to purchase ammunition? A spokesman for the SSA compared its investigators to state or local police officers who are armed while on “official duty.” Why would the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) specifically purchase 750 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition in March and follow up with an additional 750 million? In a recent article in AmericanThinker.com, retired Major General Jerry Curry noted in The Daily Caller http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/will_obama_keep_power_by_any_means_necessary.html, “This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen.” The article asked whether Obama would seek to hold onto power “by any means possible.” Granted that DHS is charged with protecting the homeland, but is there any indication that the nation is under threat of an invasion and, if so, isn’t it the job of the U.S. military to respond to such a threat? Or perhaps the answer is the belief within the Obama administration that it might face a massive insurrection if it tried to take over the nation by delaying the November elections or imposing martial law as the result of a contrived national threat? A recent issue of Small Arms Journal contained an article titled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future.” It game-played in full operational detail how the Army would put down a local Tea Party insurrection. Does anyone except those inside the Obama administration believe that the Tea Party would ever engage in such an effort? This is the same administration actively trying to suppress a Congressional investigation into operation “Fast and Furious” that encouraged the transmittal of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, allegedly to track them, but instead some were used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent. So guns for the cartels are okay, but guns for law-abiding Americans are not. The Attorney General has been held in contempt of Congress for his failure to be forthcoming in the investigation. The massive purchase of ammunition by agencies that have little or no relationship to the nation’s security raises questions and concerns that cannot be dismissed or ignored. They are apiece with a variety of all actions the Obama administration has taken that suggest the suppression by force of any response Americans might take if they believed it intended to impose a dictatorship. © Alan Caruba, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
"Unaligned" Nations to Meet in Tehran
Timothy Birdnow 118 nations will meet in Tehran next week for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH23Ak02.html Interesting choice of locations, wouldn't you say? War with Iran is looming, and the "nonaligned" countries - which now include Putin's Russia and the People's Republic of China - are going there. Action against Iran is going to be very, very unpopular across the globe. But what of it? Brazil has no dog in this fight, nor does South Africa, nor do most of these nations. Russia and china both DO have dogs here (and they better keep them away from the Obama dinner table) and are trying to forstall an attack. This poses a serious problem. Iran cannot be allowed to develop a deliverable atomic device, yet they are on the verge of doing precisely that. I once replied to a commentor on a message thread who asked why it's taken over fifteen years for Iran to develop nukes while the Manhattan Project was able to do it in four. The answer is that Iran is not just trying to develop a working device - a Little Boy, which was a massive thing requiring a heavy bomber to move - but are working to develop a much smaller weapon, one that can be used on a missile. They are working on triggering the weapon with an implosion system rather than the simple gun type trigger. Implosion systems are tricky, but they can greatly reduce the size of an uranium bomb, and the Iranians are working feverishly to develop rockets capable of carrying such a device. That is key; what value is there in building a bomb that can't be used? Modern technology would prevent Iran from using a big, lumbering bomber as a delivery system. If Israel saw such a craft coming they would simply shoot it down. Iran needs a missile capable of carrying their home-made nukes. And they need to develop this while circumventing American and U.N. scrutiny. If they get this weapon they will use it. Another point to ponder; If Iran can build a fissile weapon that can be mounted on a missile, and get the missile close enough to the U.S. (it would be easy to do this to Israel, I might add) they could use an EMP to knock out our electric grid - and most of our advanced electronics. This would be far worse than most people realize; everything uses high tech electronics these days. No cars, no planes, no radios or television, no internet, no pumps for water or gas or anything. Food will rot in the farmers fields while people starve. A commission I wrote about this at American Thinker http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/07/emp_and_the_unfought_victory.html some years back - and was shouted down by a number of people, one of whom claimed to have been with Operation Starfish Prime, the 1962 nuclear test that airburst a 2 kiloton bomb over Johnston Atoll (it blew up radios and light bulbs all over Hawaii, 800 miles away). I was told that it would require a thermonuclear device to be energetic enough to take down the entire U.S. grid. Balderdash, I say. According to FAS:http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/design.htm "An enhanced radiation (ER) weapon, by special design techniques, has an output in which neutrons and x-rays are made to constitute a substantial portion of the total energy released. For example, a standard fission weapon's total energy output would be partitioned as follows: 50% as blast; 35% as thermal energy; and 15% as nuclear radiation. An ER weapon's total energy would be partitioned as follows: 30% as blast; 20% as thermal; and 50% as nuclear radiation. Thus, a 3-kiloton ER weapon will produce the nuclear radiation of a 10-kiloton fission weapon and the blast and thermal radiation of a 1-kiloton fission device. However, the energy distribution percentages of nuclear weapons are a function of yield." Increasing the radiation output is key. What happens in an EMP is that the nuclear bomb releases a burst of gamma rays which strip the electrons from atoms in the air, propelling them in a shock wave. The resultant current surge is very fast, too fast for surge protectors and the like. The result is that any electronic gadget that is not protected will fry. It takes a faraday cage to protect an electronic device from an EMP. So it's possible to boost a fission bomb's radiative output to that of a ten kilotom fusion weapon - ideal for an EMP. No doubt the Iranians have been thinking along these lines. Here is the Executive Summary of the Commission tasked with investigating American preparedness for an EMP attack. http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf It has been estimated by said commission that a full-scale EMP (at least in 2005) could kill 80% of the American population or more. Imagine that; the U.S. goes from a population around 300 million to 60 million! Why? We would be going back to frontier days technology but with a modern population. And we wouldn't HAVE frontier technology. How many people keep horses at home? How many horse-drawn plows are laying around? Telegraph lines? Steam locamotives? Mule wagons? We would have to rebuild such tech while people are starving. Much of the population would take to the roads in search of food, making it impossible for anyone to organize. It would be worse than The Road Warrior. If Iran had the means to threaten the U.S. with such a catastrophe... So Iran must be stopped. But we have far too few allies in this; most countries don't care. They figure it will be no skin off their noses, and it may be fun to watch the greatest power in human history brought to her knees. Be careful what you wish for, I always say; an American collapse would be an unmitigated disaster for the entire world. The commerce done with the United States supports much of the world's population, and if America falls so too do our fairweather friends. But they don't seem to realize it, and, with the duplicity of Russia and China, are prepared to not just bite the hand that feeds but to devour it. And with Barack Obama in trouble in his re-election bid, it seems likely some strike on Iran will happen between now and the election. This is going to be one wild ride, folks!
Can Akin Quit?
Timothy Birdnow Todd Akin has missed the withdrawl deadline set forth by Missouri law. What does that mean? It is still possible for Akin to quit the Senate race, but there are a few caveats. Here is the actual statute: http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/laws/ch_115_pgs_3-152.pdf#search=%22law%20on%20withdrawing%20from%20a%20race%20with%20a%20court%20order%22 Section 115, 359 2. Except as provided for in section 115.247, if there is no additional cost for the printing or reprinting of ballots, or if the candidate agrees to pay any printing or reprinting costs, a candidate who has filed or is nominated for an office may, at any time after the time limits set forth in subsection 1 of this section but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the sixth Tuesday before the election, withdraw as a candidate pursuant to a court order, which, except for good cause shown by the election authority in opposition thereto, shall be freely given upon application by the candidate to the circuit court in the county of such candidate’s residence. No withdrawal pursuant to this subsection shall be effective until such candidate files a copy of the court’s order in the office of the official who accepted such candidate’s declaration of candidacy. End I want everyone to pay careful attention; Akin will have to obtain a court order, an order which CAN BE BLOCKED BY ELECTION AUTHORITIES. Most pundits assume that it will be a simple matter to get Akin out of there now, but I am not so sure; St. Louis County is run by Democrats, and the Secretary of State in Missouri is one of the most aggregious, partisan vote riggers in America - Robin Carnahan. Granted, somebody will have to show cause to keep Akin off the ballot, but I have little doubt Rob'em Robin is busily searching the statutes to find a way to deny a withdrawl by Akin now. Whether we like it or not we may be stuck with Akin. THAT is why it was such a terrible idea for our side to panic and launch a crusade to remove the man. Akin could have been quietly pressured, but the GOP establishment (who have always hated Akin) would have none of that, and far too many conservatives were happy to sharpen the knives and plunge them in. Take a look at this hysterical rant that appeared at American Thinker yesterday, for a prime example.http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/todd_akin_must_go.html Now here is an ostensible concervative in a conservative publication making such statements as: "Congressman Todd Akin is an utter disgrace" "Forgiveness does not require political suicide, or irresponsible silence in the face of outrageous conduct" "Before anyone else accuses Republicans of throwing Akin under the bus, let's get our metaphors right: We can't throw Akin under the bus, because he is in the sewer." "Given the vile remarks he made" End excerpts. Vile remarks? In the Sewer? Outrageous conduct? What world is the author (John T. Bennett) living in? Akin made some injudicious, careless, perhaps even inaccurate statements, but hardly vile. But THAT is where our noble and brilliant leaders and pundits have taken this. They did not defend Akin, or even try to understand what it was he said. They went into full panic, turned on the man like a pack of wolves, and devoured him. This need not have been catastrophic, but the behavior of our own side has made it so. I am ashamed to call myself a conservative, given the outrageous, vile, in the sewer way people on our side have behaved. The Democrats never do this. Why? Because they know that running like scared rabbits gets to be a habit, and that victory belongs to the bold and the strong, not the weak and timid. They have no logic on their side, nor do they hold the moral high ground, but they manage to win a disproportionate number of political offices throughout America, and they do it because, well, the media supports them, but also because they don't give up the fight. Remember Bill Clinton? He was considered finished after the Lewinsky scandal broke, and people expected him to resign. He refused. He was impeached. He refused to resign. He fought tooth and nail, and is now considered by the popular culture to be one of our better presidents. (He's not, but many in the public see him quite favorably - and did at the time.) People respect strength, respect a willingness to fight. The Democrats, natural born street fighters, understand this. Our side continues endlessly to adopt the "high ground", the position reserved for bullied nerds in the grammar school food chain. Every bullied kid makes the same argument "I'm not descending to THEIR level" and subsequently descends to the ground with blood spurting from mouth or nose. Our side is even worse, for we kindly bloody our own noses or bust our own lips. Now, having destroyed Akin by our own hand, we may find ourselves stuck with him on the ballot. Did our oh-so-brilliant leaders ever once consider THAT? What options will the GOP have? A write-in campaign, perhaps; it worked in Alaska with Lisa Murkowski, but Alaska is far different than Missouri. A write-in candidacy will split the GOP vote. I really don't see that as a viable option. But we may have to do so at this point. It should never have reached this point, but too many on our side wanted to get headlines by trashing Akin, and now they have destroyed him. At this point Akin needs to step down - if they will let him. But Akin is a fighter, and he seems determined to see this thing through. I would love to see him win despite his standing (indeed, because of his current standing) within the GOP, but I doubt he can do it. And I doubt he will.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Jack Kemp forwards this: THE campaign poster to end all posters... The Quote of the Decade: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Obama's Communist Mentor
Obama's Communist Mentor By Alan Caruba I have been reading about Frank Marshall Davis since Dr. Jerome Corsi tried to warn Americans about Barack Obama in his 2008 book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.” Dr. Corsi noted that “On December 5, 1956, Frank Marshall Davis appeared in executive session before the U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating ‘the scope of Soviet activity in the United States. It was one of the McCarthy-era committees seeking to expose communist considered to be a security threat. A year earlier, in 1955, the Commission on Subversive Activities organized by the government of the territory of Hawaii identified Davis as a member of the Communist Party USA.” In the 1970s, when Obama was an adolescent growing up in the care of his grandparents in Hawaii, among their circle of friends was Davis. His grandparents wanted to provide a black man as a role model for the young mixed-race child, the result of a short marriage between their daughter and Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan she had met while both were studying Russian at the University of Hawaii. Obama came of age in a household devoted to leftist ideologies so it was no surprise that Davis was among their circle of friends. He had moved to Hawaii from Chicago in the late 1940s, continuing a lifetime of work as a journalist editing and writing for newspapers advocating the communist ideology and the party line set forth by the Soviet Comintern, short for the Communist International whose aim was to extend communism worldwide. It directed the work of the Communist Party USA whose members were devoted to the Soviet Union. Most members like Davis, when questioned, denied membership, taking the Fifth Amendment. While today’s leftists have successfully smeared Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the work of the congressional committees to expose Soviet infiltration of the U.S. government as “McCarthyite” historians have since revealed the depth of penetration by Soviet spies in the administrations of FDR and Truman. Later declassified intercepts of messages to them, known as the Venona Papers, reveal how vast the Soviet espionage program was. Presently the leading historian on communism in America is Dr. Paul Kengor, the author of “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries have Manipulated Progressive for a Century.” His latest book is “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis—The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.” “There were hundreds of thousands of American communists like Frank,” writes Dr. Kengor, “who agitated throughout the twentieth century. They chose the wrong side of history, a horrendously bloody side that left a wake of over 100 million corpses from the streets of the Bolshevik Revolution to the base of the Berlin Wall—double the combined dead of the century’s two world wars.” Davis’ influence over Obama is carefully documented by Dr. Kengor who says, “The people who influence our presidents matter.” Americans have learned this truth, starting with Obama’s 2008 campaign and over the course of his term in office. In his memoir, “Dreams from my Father”, written before his rise to fame, Obama provides a trail of hints as to his long history of association with leftists. Primary among them was Frank Marshall Davis who came into his life in the 1970s. Not once in his memoir does Obama identify him, referring to him only as Frank, neglecting to mention that Davis was “a pro-Soviet, pro-Red China, card-carrying member of Communist Party USA” whose card number as 47544. It should come as no surprise that Davis found Chicago a favorable place to live. It was where he founded and edited the Chicago Star, “known among the locals as the ‘Red Star.’” He would repeat this later in Honolulu. “Frank Marshall Davis’s political antics were so radical,” writes Dr. Kengor, “that the FBI placed him on the federal government’s Security Index, which meant that he could be immediately detained or arrested in the event of a national emergency, such as a war breaking out between the United States and the USSR.” I grew up during the early years of the Cold War that commenced following the end of World War Two and I vividly recall the fear that the Soviet Union would wage war, particularly after it had acquired the atomic bomb, the result in part from Soviet spies that provided vital information about our bomb. Americans have lived through nearly four years of what can only be described as an attempt to take over our government and “fundamentally transform” it away from the limits of the Constitution to a nation in which the government, under Obama, seized General Motors to nationalize it, imposed Obamacare to take control of our healthcare system, and attacked “millionaires and billionaires” as greedy capitalists. His slogans have been “change” and “forward”, longtime favorites of communists. On November 6, 2012, Americans will have just one chance to rid the nation of Barack Obama, an acolyte of Frank Marshall Davis and a friend of many who scorn America. If he is reelected, he will do what communists have always done when the opportunity arose. He will seize complete control of the machinery of government to enslave Americans who were duped into voting for a man whose true past was and continues to be carefully hidden by the mainstream media, a man mentored by a notorious communist. © Alan Caruba, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Brewer Blocks Illegal Alien's from Driver's Licences, Benefits
Timothy Birdnow Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has issued an Executive Order preventing illegal aliens who have come in under Obama Executive Order work visas from obtaining Arizona driver's licences or other state benefits. According to the article: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/16/brewer-blocks-undocumented-immigrants-from-receiving-public-benefits/ "PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday ordered state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy. In an executive order, Brewer said she was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants." [...] "Brewer's order said the policy's federal paperwork doesn't confer lawful status on illegal immigrants and won't entitle them to Arizona public benefits. However, it said the policy change "could result in some unlawfully present aliens inappropriately gaining access to public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers who enacted laws expressly restricting access to taxpayer funded benefits and state identification." Brewer directed state agencies to start any necessary emergency rulemaking processes to implement her order." End excerpts. If Mr. Obama wants to act unlawfully, he should do it without support from the individual states. He has refused to assist Arizona in enforcing Federal law, after all, and now has backdoored amnesty through Executive Order. Governor Brewer has done the logical thing here. Will the Department of Justice sue Arizona to compel the state to pay for Mr. Obama's demands?
Too Much or Too Little Ado About China?
Timothy Birdnow Many (and most especially the Chinese themselves) are predicting that China will become the dominant world power this century. All of the metrics are looking up for China; manufacturing, resource development, rising demand, etc. But there is more to becoming a world leader than merely having a strong economy. There is innovation, both technical and intellectual. There is the matter of good government, and the satisfaction of the people who live under it. There is religion - something ignored by modernity yet critical for the long-term health of any society (it's that very ignoring that has caused the decline of America and Europe before her). But, while a nation may appear strong, often that is an illusion. Certainly many thought the Soviet Union was a mighty regime, capable of overtaking America - until the rot in her roots was exposed and the populace prefered to face bullets to starvation. Writing at American Thinker Stephen Mauzy makes the case that American fears of China are unwarranted. http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/too_much_ado_about_china.html I ultimately agree with his conclusion, but not exactly with the way he arrives at that conclusion. Let me explain... Mr. Mauzy opens his argument with this: "No country raises more suspicion in America than China. For one, it's big and it's far away; size and distance arouse suspicion, because size and distance stimulate our imagination to run amok. Citizens in big, faraway lands inflate into superior beings -- people with more discipline, stronger work ethic, and higher intelligence. This, in turn, deflates our own self-confidence." End excerpt. I disagree in almost every way. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is big and far away, yet we in America devote little time to worry about the DRC. Outer Mongolia is big and far away, too, as is Kazakstan, or Brazil for that matter. The reason China is feared is that 1.there are over a billion of them 2.they have a modern nuclear arsenal, space technology including satellite killers, and, thanks to William Jefferson Blythe Clinton they have rockets capable of hitting America's cities with those nuclear weapons c.they are a communist country d.their generals have all claimed war with the United States is inevitable e.they have launched cyber attacks on the u.S., hacking secure servers and the like f.they maintain an aggressive espionage system to steal American secrets and technology g.they don't play by our economic rules, but rather are happy to pollute, to burn as much carbon as they wish, and to pay workers pennies while we have environmental laws, labor unions, and a host of other restrictions. Remember that the Olympic athletes in Beijing could barely train outside because of the air pollution; we can't compete economically against a cavalier regime. h. they own our debt, meaning they own us I. they back our enemies in Iran and elsewhere J.they drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico in such a way as to steal from our oil pool K. thanks to teh one child policy they are a nation of mostly young men, young men with no natural aggressive outlets and no civilizing restraints from women. That last is an explosive one; the chances for marriage and home life in China are dropping for the young, since there are so few women to go around, and so you have an angry young generation. That aggression will have to be channeled somewhere, and the government must understand the dangers of letting it simmer; it could end in revolution against the ruling regime. The traditional way nations have channeled aggression is to launch foreign adventures. Those who are frightened of China are not shivering at shadows; there are reasons to fear. Oh, and that "superior intelligence" business has a kernal of truth, as many of our children can barely read or write thanks to liberal academic theory and the ascendency of the teacher's unions. The chinese have a powerful incentive; learn or wind up breaking rocks. In America students figure if they don't bother to learn anything they can always become rap artists or politicians or school administrators... Mauzy goes on to explain why the rosy economic data that suggests China will become the dominant economic power are not so rosy, and I cannot disagree. One thing he fails to mention is that a huge amount of China's wealth is tied to U.S. debt, a sure loser for them. If the U.S. fades so does China; they have hitched their wagon to a falling star, and our success or failure is critical for China's prosperity. Mauzy states: "Conflict arises when "economic power" is used synonymously with military power. Greater economic affluence provides a larger base from which government can expropriate resources for military advantage. The United States government has historically enabled economic prosperity, which has enabled the United States government to expropriate a large portion of GDP in absolute terms for the military. The United States government accounts for 43% of the world's military spending -- spending six times as much as China's government. The fear is that China's growing prosperity will provide its government a larger base from which to draw more military power. The irony is that the right's saber-rattling on this fear motives China's government to draw more military power from the economy, thus producing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Doesn't it make more sense to just shut up and let commerce between the two regions flourish?' End excerpt. Here I fear Mr. Mauzy sees things in far too limited a fashion; economic power also means a weaker nation cannot obtain certain things for itself and must bend to the stronger which can supply them. This strengthens the stronger nation in all areas, as businessmen from other countries come to do commerce, students come to learn how to do it, and a general intellectual ferment percolates throughout the superior country while the weaker languishes in mediocrity. Other industries suffer because mediocrity begets mediocrity. If you aren't selling aircraft because another nation is building better and cheaper ones, what does that do to your aircraft industry? With sagging aircraft sales schools aren't as well funded, and those things which support the aircraft industry likewise languish. Everything suffers, not just the aircraft manufacturers. The nation grows weaker in all ways; economic, cultural, political, and militarily. And let's not forget the people themselves. Success breeds a more vibrant, confident population, one with more hope. A nation that believes in itself, that believes in the way it does things, is going to flourish and grow. Success breeds success. Why is Europe so weak now, when only a hundred years ago the Europeans were stronger than America? Because they adopted the social welfare state, certainly, but it is because the peoples of Europe lost their spirit. America overran the west, and the Soviet Union the east, and the colonial empires demanded independence, something the Europeans could not afford financially to deny them. The loss of empires and the coming of the Cold War simply made Europeans give up, many of them. Yes, Europe is still prosperous today. but no longer does anyone take Europe seriously as a potential world power. It has become interested in kitchen table issues only, an overbureacratized system designed to make life easy for it's citizenry rather than challenge them. It was the competition from rival powers - even the friendly rival power of the United States - and Europe's inability to meet that challenge that led them to turn their backs on competition. This is something totally overlooked by many; Marx's view of the material nature of Man has become triumphant. Not that people like Mr. Mauzy are Marxist, but the materialistic vision has seeped into our general consciousness, and we tend to overlook the very real emotional/spiritual aspects of all this. We shouldn't; ask any football coach about the importance of team spirit. Oh, and China is not maintaining a strong military out of fear of the United States. When has America threatened such a country in the past? Yes, we move militarily where we have vital national interests, but China is not such a place, and the leaders of China know it. This is the worst possible argument, one befitting a commentator on MSN. Let us continue: "The fear is a remnant of the Cold War, but communism is dead everywhere, having been supplanted by fascism. China is a one-party state, and that in and of itself isn't bad if that one party is a party of property rights, free markets, and an open society. China's government is none of these; China is run by fascists. They permit some private-property ownership and commerce, but principally to regulate and profit from it. Profits to the government are hardly maximized by agitating your largest, most affluent trading region." End excerpt. SAY WHAT??!!! First, let me state that the Cold War was only considered "won" by our side, and we dismantled the system and went home. It did not die in the new Russian Federation, where Vladimir Putin is trying to revive the old Soviet System under a more brown than red banner. It did not die in Cuba, and it has reared it's ugly head in Venezuela. China never renounced Communism. Just because all the industries in a nation have not been collectivized does not mean a system is not communist. Vladimir Lenin had his New Economic Program which allowed small private holdings and private businesses - later crushed by Stalin. In fact, it was believed by Marxists that nations must go through stages to arrive at pure communism, and capitalism was a necessary stage. Lenin himself argued that Imperialism was the last stage of capitalism before the coming of communism, and the policy being pursued by China may well be considered her imperialistic stage. One must doubt that the Chinese have ever given up on their goal. Let us be clear on definitions; Socialism is the ownership, either real or de-facto, of the means of production. Communists aim to nationalize those means of production, usually putting them directly under the management of a government agent. They are then wholly owned by the government, and are run via government decree. Fascism is also a form of socialism, one that MAY see some industries owned directly by government but more often that keeps the private ownership technically in place while putting the business entirely at the service of the state. While Fascism leaves private managers in place they generally must be supervised by agents of the government, and obey innumerable government directives. The goal is the same under fascism as communism, just the means of getting to the end result differ. Under these definitions the U.S. is a fascist state; some industries (General Motors for example, or the Post Office) are owned by government and the rest are regulated and controlled by the central government. It may be a soft fascism, but fascism it is. So where is the dividing line between fascist and communist? In terms of economics it's a matter of degree. (The principle difference is that communism is international in outlook and purely materialistic while fascism is national in outlook and tries to take the people's emotional and spiritual needs into account.) This Wikipedia page (hardly a rock solid source, I know) gives the names of 197 major corporations owned by the government of the People's Republic of China. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Government-owned_companies_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China Where is the line between fascist and communist? I would call the PRC a communist state with fascist tendencies. At any rate, the author's point is valid; the PRC has none of the more necessary aspects of cultural/political/social development for a long-term, stable economic powerhouse. But she DOES have the necessary ingredients for a spoiler, like so many nations in the past. The Soviet Union was one such, and held much of the world under her heel for decades. History is replete with such nations. And to blythely assume that because China does not have the makings of a long term power does not make her a threat is ludicrous; what makings of a long-term threat did the Mongols have? They pillaged all of Asia and parts of Europe. What of the Ottoman Turks? The Huns? What of the Comanche in Texas? None of these groups could be said to be likely world powers yet all of them were for a time - and the Turks are still in Asia Minor today, after holding a vast empire for centuries. Mauzy concludes with words of wisdom: "Fomenting bogeymen in distant lands is the cheapest political trick. China's, India's, Russia's, Brazil's, or whatever country's citizens gaining economically are not gaining at the expense of United States citizens. They are gaining because their governments are loosening the tethers and permitting them to gain. If United States citizens lag other countries' citizens in creating value and wealth, they have only themselves to blame, because they are allowing more wealth-sapping fascism into the economy and allowing themselves to be fooled into believing the blame for lower economic growth resides elsewhere." End excerpt. I couldn't agree more. Ours is a problem of rising neo-fascism here in America. Ours is a problem of not competing. I don't think, though, that we are fomenting bogeymen; China is a real cause for concern, not just because of economic challenges. There are real differences between our people and hers. What happens if China seizes Taiwan? All the economic arguments go out the window in a war scenario. I agree China is going to prove a paper tiger; the Chinese leadership is unwilling to do what it should to make the country long term stable. I suspect India is going to sneak past China, and the second half of the twenty first century will be the Indian Century, not Chinese. I welcome that, in fact, because India is a nation much more congenial and sane than is Red China. Asia would be safe under Indian leadership - something I can't say is true under Chinese. India is not expansionistic. India is imbued with Western thought and Western values, and the traditional Indian values are much more agreeable than many other non-Europeans. China, I feel, would be a return to the Great Khan. Yes, paranoids have enemies too. We should not be paranoid, but neither should we be blissfully ignorant. China is not our friend in the end, and we would do well to remember that fact.
When Guns are Confiscated only Social Security Clerks will have Guns
Timothy Birdnow The Social Security Administration is purchasing 174,000 hollow point bullets. http://cnsnews.com/news/article/social-security-administration-explains-plan-buy-174000-hollow-point-bullets The ostensible reason given by the SSA is the police powers of special agents (how many gun battles are they planning to have that they need so many bullets?) and the need to protect clients at SSA offices. Hmm. Haven't liberals been telling us that guns are the problem, and that we need restrictions on guns to keep people safe? Isn't giving such weapons to a bunch of file clerks and bureaucrats dangerous? We know postal workers go bonkers and shoot up post offices; why are we arming caseworkers and pencil pushers at the now overworked SSA? And hollow point bullets are designed to cause maximum damage by expanding after they hit someone. Do special agents want to KILL those social security cheats? It seems to me that somebody at SSA wants the power to compel, to threaten, much more than the power to protect. Hollow point bullets are banned by the Hague convention for use in warfare, and the state of New Jersey bans private individuals from possessing them. But we'll gladly give them to Social Security administrators! This order speaks volumes about the darker intentions of some in our government. Barack Obama called for an internal police run by the Feds http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/obama_proposing_american_oprichnina and arming the Social Security Administration sure smells like the creation of his private military by backdoor channels. Why would they need so many bullets? The only reason I see for ordering so many is that it is planned to be able better armed than the citizenry should something happen, something like the declaration of martial law. And that is not an impossibility; Obama signed an executive order giving himself the authority to declare martial law during peacetime. http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-executive-order-national-929/ And don't forget the FEMA camps; the Administration made plans to establish internment camps ostensibly to protect Americans. www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/new_nationwide_fema_camps_should_raise_eyebrows Taken separately these incidents would not be much cause for concern, but together they are disturbing. If trouble should erupt, who will end up with those hollow point bullets? I suspect many of them will fall into the hands of SEIU workers, Mr. Obama's staunchest allies. This may be paranoid delusion, and the order may in fact be to carry out the mission of the SSA, but a free nation does not need to arm such people. If the SSA requires protection they should utilize the civilian police like everyone else. If they need to enforce the law then they should be able to ask for help from the F.B.I. or other agencies dedicated to enforcing the law. There is no reason for an agency dedicated to redistributing wealth to possess a private army. That was exactly what ivan the Terrible's Oprichnina was; the Oprichniki were his private terrorist army, and he used them to control Russia. This appears to me to be more of the same. If nothing else it is an enormous waste of taxpayer money. When guns are taken away from the citizens only the criminals - or the Social Security Clerks - will have guns. I'd rather take my chances with the criminals.
Jon Droz Commentary; The BlackSmith Tax Credit (BS-TC): A victim of politics
Paul Driessen My colleague John Droz is well known and respected for using the scientific method to assess the technical, economic and environmental merits (or lack thereof) of proposed energy alternatives. That analytical approach has often caused him to be sharply critical of industrial wind turbines. After reading a recent magazine article that worried about the difficulties faced by the heavily subsidized wind turbine industry, in once again renewing the infamous Production Tax Credit, Dr. Droz concluded that the debate over perpetuating these subsidies would be much better understood if another Eighteenth Century technology were substituted for wind turbines – namely blacksmithing. The BlackSmith Tax Credit (BS-TC): A victim of politics An important centuries-old industry is again forced to play the waiting game John Droz ------------------------------------------ The following article was inspired by a recent magazine story about the difficulties faced by the wind turbine industry, as it deals with further delays in gaining yet another extension of the 20-year-old Production Tax Credit (PTC) for generating electricity sporadically, unreliably and at great expense using wind energy. We thought the situation would be much clearer and more accurate, if another Eighteenth Century technology were substituted for wind energy, in discussing wind energy subsidies. ------------------------------------------ Jobs and the economy – these messages are being trumpeted as of utmost importance to our nation during this presidential campaign season. Meanwhile, with the BlackSmith industry still on pins and needles regarding another extension to the BlackSmith Tax Credit (BS-TC), no orders have been placed for nails, hinges or other items made by BlackSmith shops in the United States for 2013. Despite their decades-long efforts to improve their forge, fuel, hammer and pig iron technology and quality – while also modernizing the design of the wrought iron nails, hinges, chairs, candlestick holders, gates, foot scrapers, lanterns and other items they make – BlackSmith manufacturers are now left with no other choice but to begin dismissing employees. Just this week, two BlackSmith-related manufacturing layoffs have been announced. First, hammer manufacturer IAVAHammer said it will be forced to lay off 230 people at its facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. Days later, anvil manufacturer DIMMprospects said it will close its Tulsa, Oklahoma plant in November, and 167 people will be laid off. President Barack Obama used a campaign stop in Pueblo, Colorado to push for the BS-TC extension. He is visiting the Vesta Forge Products manufacturing plant, which in July celebrated the production of its first 1,000 wrought iron ornamental garden decorations. However, Vesta CEO Rube Goldberg told The Denver Post earlier this year that the company may be forced to lay off 1,600 employees in Colorado if the BS-TC isn’t extended. “We serve many families and communities,” Goldberg said, “by providing important everyday products. Although our process is old-fashioned and slow, and our products cost much more than modern mass-produced steel items, a lot of people like Vesta’s salute to tradition. “Moreover,” he continued, “we use charcoal and hand-operated blowers, instead of oil or natural gas or the high-tech equipment found in many factories today. Tradition is important. In fact, our goal is to build at least one hundred new BlackSmith shops over the next decade, to manufacture thousands and thousands of heavily subsidized home products annually. We could never do this, we could never keep this tradition, this vital nostalgia alive, if politicians cut off the BS-TC and other subsidies.” It’s true that the BS-TC has bi-partisan support in the Senate and Congress. And just last week, a Senate committee passed an extension to the BlackSmith tax credit. Yet ironically, in preparation for a presidential race where jobs will likely prove to be of utmost importance, BlackSmith jobs are falling by the wayside. Many in the BlackSmith industry, and even former presidential advisor Carl Rover, think the BS-TC will not see an extension until the lame duck session. This kind of last-minute extension will of course lead to an increasing number of layoffs and extend the jolting stop-and-start momentum that this industry has experienced in the past. And while a one-year extension may be helpful in saving or regaining some jobs, it will do little to build the long-term health of the BlackSmith industry. Harry Tokien, VP and chief service officer of Mitsutushi Foundry Systems, expressed concern regarding the unpredictable nature of the market, due to policy uncertainty, while speaking at the recent Associated BlackSmiths of America ForgePower lobbying event. “The stop-start nature of U.S. regulations really prohibits the long-term nature of R&D and planning for sales,” he said. “If we have a repeat of 2004, it will be difficult for us to deliver, due to suppliers and supply chains not being able to catch up.” A one-year extension would also do little to ensure that projects are actually built, since many BlackSmith projects take months to complete from start to finish. “This every 12-month hopscotch doesn’t do anything for long-term strategy. We’ve got to have a level playing field that brings some stability, via continued subsidies that enable us to compete with more efficient, modern facilities, and lets us perpetuate this beautiful vestige of the horse-and-buggy era,” said Duncan Gerbil, interim CEO of Snoozalong Industries, during the ForgePower event. For now, though, it seems the BlackSmith industry will likely remain a victim of politics – at least until after the elections. _____________ John Droz is a physicist and environmental advocate
Friday, August 17, 2012
And Down will come GM, Cradle and all
Timothy Birdnow General Motors will be bankrupt if current trends continue. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/gm_headed_for_bankruptcy_-_again.html GM's market share continues a steady decline, and car sales are way down - thanks to the mandates imposed by government. What is not stressed enough here is that it will fail after the election. This is important, because it will either simply add to the general decline under Obama, and the Administration will not really lose anything, or it will fail under a Romney presidency. That is critical, because the media will do their best - and likely succeed - to convince the public that Romney wrecked a recovering company. Make no mistake; this will end up on Romney's plate. The public doesn't follow the business news that carefully, and the media reported GM as recovering thanks to the assistance of government. When it files for bankruptcy the Democrats will howl, and the media will ask "what happened to the GM recovery?" and will demand an accounting for the money squandered by the Obama Administration, only now it will be the money "Romney squandered". Romney and Ryan are in a terrible position, as the chickens will come home to roost during their tenure of office, and they will be the ones to take the blame. The economy is like an oil tanker; if you want to turn into the San Francisco Bay you start turning near Bellingham, Washington. Ronald Reagan had a terrible time of it for the first couple of years of his Presidency as Carter had obliterated the economy, and Reagan did not have the problems that Romney will have. Reagan had a terrible economic malaise, but it was at least economic policy that could be corrected. Romney is coming in during a depression that has lasted since 2008 (and if accounting tricks are not used it certainly meets the definition of a depression with real unemployment currently in the mid teens (the U6 is at 15.1%, which calculates the unemployed and not just those applying for or currently receiving unemployment) which places it below the Great Depression peak but still at depression levels. http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/02/why-the-official-8-3-percent-unemployment-rate-is-a-phony-number-and-what-it-means-for-obamas-reelection/ Reagan had stagflation and high interest rates, and Romney will not, but Reagan did not have the catastrophic debt that Romney will have to deal with, and economic growth would have to be unbelievable to get it under control. There will have to be major cuts and high growth rates, and the Democrats will fight budget cuts at every turn and demand tax hikes - something guaranteed to kill economic growth. Romney simply does not have any wiggle room. And the media is going to lay the blame for every problem squarely on his doorstep. A GM collapse will be hung around Romney and Ryan's necks. We need to start warning the public now. The key is to lay the blame where it belongs now, not wait for the fall. The public must know that GM is in trouble, and that thanks to the government's intervention in it's internal affairs. GM has done nothing that any government run industry in any country has done in the past, after all; government run industries cannot compete on a level playing field because they are not subject to market discipline but must kowtow to the hand that feeds, which is government. When it becomes about subsidies rather than profits it quickly degenerates into unresponsiveness and poor workmanship. Take Amtrac; I once rode an Amtrac train on an hour and a half trip to a small town not far from St. Louis. The trip there took over three hours. The trip home? a wait of over four hours past arrival time, a two plus hour train ride with snotty attendants in a car that reeked of disinfectant. It was an unpleasant experience made so by the incompetence and lack of concern for the customers on the part of the whole rail line. It was the DMV of transportation. That is the end product of governmental control and subsidy. And so GM, forced to sink gobs of money and effort into the ridiculous Chevy Volt and make go-carts instead of vehicles sought by consumers, is reaping the rewards of government service. It was inevitable, and the public must be made to understand this now, not later. If GM folds without the public being properly prepared Mitt Romney will take the blame. Obama could not care less, especially a lame-duck Obama. And the media will STILL find a way to blame the GOP.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Lindsay Leveen commentary -- Delaware opens Pandora's Box with BloomEnergy black box
Paul Driessen Energy policies in Delaware have gone down a path that surprises even the most fertile imaginations and cynical souls. In the case of Bloom Energy, some truly big hitters are involved in what can only be described as highly suspect permit applications, crony capitalism, political pressure and secretive backroom deals that will benefit the few at the expense of countless taxpayers and ratepayers. What these arrangements could do to energy prices in Delaware and other states served by the PJM electricity grid is scary to ponder – and Bloom is trying to cut similar deals in North Carolina and elsewhere. I hope you enjoy this electrifying political saga. Taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, coastal zone permits and crony capitalism spell big trouble Lindsay Leveen In November 2011, Bloomenergy applied for permits to build an energy center in a Delaware protected coastal zone area. The center would employ solid oxide fuel cells powered by natural gas and housed in casings that look like huge boxes – Bloom boxes or “energy servers.” The application raised alarms among Delaware citizens worried that they were being handed a Pandora’s Box of unwelcome rate hikes and other surprises. Because of my energy, chemistry and thermodynamics expertise, they asked me to review it. Solid oxide fuel cells have been around for more than fifty years. However, Bloom claims it has improved on their performance, through proprietary breakthroughs in materials science. Perhaps so. But my doubts that its servers are capable of performing at the levels hyped by Bloom grew when the company never provided details about how its mysterious fuel cells actually worked. As I read the 163-page application, http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/CZA/Lists/Coastal%20Zone%20Act%20Application%20Status/Attachments/16/CZA%20Permit%20Application%20-%20Nov%2016%20complete.pdf instead of revelations, I found techno-speak, questionable calculations and outright misinformation. Bloom’s black box technology remains shrouded in mystery, accompanied by boom boxes boasting energy, CO2 and pollution savings, while the company importunes politicians for taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies. It’s an intriguing situation. The First State of the Union (Delaware) is examining the first state of matter (solid, as in solid oxide fuel cells) and discussing matters of state with heavyweight “venture” capitalists who have some of the best connections imaginable, from both sides of the political aisle. They seek rubberstamp approvals for special tax treatment, electricity rates and environmental permits, for a “green” technology that is still more mythical than scientific. As I tried to decipher the black box, on page 6 of the application I found the following statement: “The Red Lion Fuel Cell Installation will provide up to 47 [megawatts] of electrical power that will be connected to the PJM electrical grid. The project will consist of 235 Bloomenergy ES-5700 Energy Server fuel cells that will utilize pipeline quality natural gas. The project will be built in phases, the first phase consisting of 27 MW of capacity, and the second phase an additional 20 MW. Each fuel cell has a base load electrical output of 200 [kilowatts], with a maximum natural gas usage of 1.32 [million] Btu/hr (i.e., 1,282 SCFM [standard cubic feet per minute] at 1,030 Btu/SCF heating value).” [The PJM is an East Coast wholesale power market.] However, at this rate of fuel use, the Bloom Box would be less than 1% efficient – suggesting that Bloom meant each server needs 1,282 SCF per hour – a careless error. Correcting this reveals that each 200-kilowatt server will need 1,467 SCF per hour – significantly higher than the corrected 1,282 SCF/hour. On page 161, Tables 1 and 2 http://www.greenexplored.com/2012/06/table-1-and-2-of-bloom-energy-delaware.html revealed that each Bloom box emits 884 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity (MWHE) generated. Since natural gas yields 117 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/calculator/ind_assumptions.html per million BTUs of energy used, each Bloom ES-5700 Server needs 7,555,600 BTUs to generate one MWHE. Because the actual energy in one MWHE is 3,412,141 BTUs, the box’s conversion efficiency http://www.asknumbers.com/mwh-to-btu.aspx is only 45.2% – far lower than the 60% efficiency a Bloom representative recently presented to a NASDAQ reporter. Bloom’s application also explains in detail how much cleaner Delaware’s air will be with 235 ES-5700 Servers generating 47 megawatts of electricity. However, those 235 Bloom black boxes cost the same as one 350-MW combined cycle natural gas generator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_cycle, which would be 53.3% efficient, using the same fuel, based on its higher heating value in a CC generator. That means the same taxpayer/ratepayer investment that Bloom wants for its Red Lion Installation could get Delaware eight times more clean electricity, if the money were spent on a CC gas generator. Table 2 also says its 235 “clean” ES-5700 Servers would emit 22.56 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) per day. But even paint booths in Delaware auto body shops are prohibited from emitting more than 15 pounds of VOCs per day. Moreover, if the same amount of power had been generated by combined cycle gas turbines, only 0.249 pounds of VOCs would be emitted daily. That’s 90 times less pollution! Bloom servers also emit 1.2 times more CO2 per MWHE than a Siemens, GE, Mitsubishi or Alstrom combined cycle gas turbine. These errors and misleading claims make Bloom’s application seriously flawed, and possibly fraudulent, if not corrected. But perhaps the biggest problem is yet to come. Because of the Bloom servers’ low efficiency and high capital cost, Delaware citizens will pay Bloom over $200 per megawatt hour of power delivered to their PJM grid. But in January 2012 the US Energy Information Agency said the projected “levelized” cost of electricity over the next 30 years from advanced gas-fired combined cycle power stations is $65.50 per MWH. In other words, Bloom plans to charge First State citizens three times the $65 rate, for dirtier power. Talk about a carbon tax! How long will Delaware families, businesses, hospitals, schools and churches be able to survive with those electricity rates? How did Bloom Energy pull off this boondoggle? Well … One Bloom director http://www.bloomenergy.com/about/board-of-directors/ had the sitting President of the United States over for dinner, and has an ex-Vice President of the USA as a business partner. Another director was formerly Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The current Vice President hails from Delaware. They are all good friends of Delaware’s “green” Governor and Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). The Chinese would call it guanxi (connections). Some Americans would say it’s crony-capitalism on steroids. Less charitable types might suggest that Delaware’s new motto should be: “We don’t tolerate corruption. We insist on it.” Whatever you call it, it works. It proves the right Delaware political connections can get Bloom the electrical connections, subsidies and rates it wants – even when it submits thermodynamic hogwash in a permit application to convert a protected ecological area into a huge, expensive, inefficient, polluting power station that will send electricity prices skyrocketing. Yes – the same DNREC approved Bloom’s permit on May 4, 2012! But as John Paul Jones said, “We have not yet begun to fight!” And the fat lady has yet to sing. _____________ Lindsay Leveen is a chemical engineer who studied thermodynamics in graduate school at Iowa State. He blogs at www.GreenExplored.com and explains complex science issues in lay terms.