Monday, July 30, 2012

Another View of Multiculturalism’s Poisons

It has always baffled me that those pushing the concept of multiculturalism do not understand the irony of celebrating cultures that millions have made great sacrifices to escape, even often risking their lives, in order to live in the bosom of our unique American culture. My grandmother, at age 17, left a dirt floor hut in Caserta, Italy to come alone to Providence, RI where she worked in a factory to earn the means to bring all the rest of her family here. They all strove to become as American as possible, while still appreciating Italian culture.

How multiculturalism undermines freedom

BY CLIFFORD MAY June 24, 2012 San Angelo Std. Times

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Back in the day, when I was a newspaper columnist in Denver, representatives of the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League paid a visit.

Over coffee, they told the opinion editor and me that they had a program, "A World of Difference," that "celebrates America's diversity." They asked for our editorial support.

The editor and I had the same reaction: Would it not be better to celebrate all the things we have in common, all the things that, as Americans, unite us? Our friends left the meeting mightily miffed.

At the time, I viewed such initiatives — the ADL was hardly alone — as well-intentioned if somewhat ham-handed efforts to combat prejudice. I later realized this was part of a larger campaign to promote multiculturalism — which also seemed like a fairly harmless attempt to encourage appreciation of varying styles of art, dress and cuisine.

Only years later did I come to realize: Multiculturalism is an ideology with far-reaching, and damaging, consequences.

This was forcefully driven home to me by a book probably not featured at your local bookstore: "Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism" by Salim Mansur, a University of Ontario political science professor.

Mansur recounts that back in the 1970s, Canada became the first Western nation to embrace multiculturalism on an official level, "sponsored by the state, supported by taxpayers, and monitored and enforced by thought police (human rights commissions)." He makes a compelling case that adopting this ideology has damaged Canada and much more: Multiculturalism, he writes, has been "destructive of the West's liberal democratic heritage, tradition, and values based on individual rights and freedoms."

Mansur observes that "freedom is the distinguishing feature of the West," a core value that came under ferocious attack in the 20th century from fascism and communism. In the current era, "the West is confronted with a new, or third, challenge of totalitarianism in the form of Islamism and its asymmetrical assault on liberal democracy, increasingly since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, against the United States."

Multiculturalism insists that all cultures are equal and equally deserving of respect and celebration. It ignores the plain fact that freedom emerged and flowered in the West due, Mansur writes, to the "unique transmutation of Western culture and civilization brought about by the Enlightenment and the new scientific method pioneered by Galileo ..." These influences "subjected religion to the scrutiny of reason."

In the lands of Islam, it is generally the other way around: Reason is subject to the scrutiny of faith. Multiculturalism makes believe that there is no serious conflict between these two schools of thought.

Worse, by emphasizing collective identities and group rights, and by pushing for equality of results rather than equality of opportunity, multiculturalism undermines individual freedom and devalues the Western cultures that have nurtured and defended it.

In Canada, the U.S. and other countries that accept a continuing stream of immigrants from non-Western societies, Mansur says multiculturalism also empowers new citizens "to demand that their host country adapt" to their cultural requirements while relieving them of any responsibility to weave themselves and their children into the cultural fabric of their adopted homeland.

Mansur's insights stem from experience as well as academic study. Born an Indian Muslim in Calcutta, he is Canadian by choice and conviction. His defense of Western values, his self-identification as a "dissident Muslim" whose "faith does not take precedence over my duties ... to Canada and its constitution" has resulted in two "fatwas" calling for his death.

That, too, is diversity. Should we really celebrate it?

Mansur makes clear that Islamists are motivated by an intense desire for power and domination, and a deep antipathy for the West's "civic culture, its freedom and democracy." He adds that Islamists "find that multiculturalism increasingly in the post-9/11 world works in tandem with their interests to weaken the West politically and culturally from the inside."

The truth is there are differences that matter. Some cultures value freedom of religion; others see no virtue in giving false religions free rein. Some cultures believe women should have the same rights as men and minorities the same rights as the majority; others consider that a blasphemous notion. Some cultures are willing to compromise for peace; others prize victory and are willing to fight and die for it.

But the big trap of multiculturalism is simply this: If all cultures are equal, why defend your own? The culture that replaces it will be just as good, won't it?

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. Contact him at

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Melting Pot Yes, Multiculturalism No

When I taught at Stonehill College I had a sign on my office door that said, “Melting Pot Yes, Multiculturalism No”. I put it up to encourage attacks by colleagues so I could confront and debate them. If you think that I was spoiling for a fight, you are correct, because I had recently learned something that has shaped my thinking ever since, late in life, I became a college professor: I learned that many liberals hated America and wished to tear her down.

All my adult life I had defended American actions, conservatism and the rights of individuals – in discussions and arguments with progressives, thinking always that they had the same objective that I had, to work for a better America based on Constitutional precepts and Christian and Jewish values. I was wrong, but I never realized until Stonehill (which, ironically is a Catholic college operated by people who love their country) that the people I usually opposed were full of hate.

Multiculturalism is one of the policies that progressives are using to destroy American values and traditions. Below is an excerpt from a presentation that explains this made at The Clairmont Institute a few years ago. To read the entire presentation, go here.

The Intellectual Errors and Political Dangers of Multiculturalism

“Let us turn to the politics of multiculturalism, and in particular what it means for American politics. Rejecting the waves of modern philosophy crashing down on Europe at the time, the Americans in 1776 attempted something never before attempted: they founded a nation upon a self evident truth, a truth bound up in the "laws of nature and of nature's God." As Abraham Lincoln reminded us at the Gettysburg cemetery, "our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." That proposition has been the single greatest cause of the rise of American freedom, happiness, and prosperity. The entire American experiment in free government stands or falls by the principle of equality, and whether Americans remain dedicated to the cause of defending it.

But Americans will not defend what they do not believe to be true. Under the influence of multiculturalism, increasingly the upper intellectual ranks of Americans have come of the opinion that there is nothing they believe to be true, and they persist in teaching that to our children. Indeed, the most sinister aspect of multiculturalism, politically, is that it teaches American students and citizens to discard their loyalty to the United States, in the name of "diversity," and to abandon anything that smacks of "patriotism."

For a nation such as the United States, one dedicated to the natural rights of man, this is problematic—especially in a time of war. It is from multiculturalists that one hears the resurrected phrase, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Of course, even some multiculturalists winced when those "freedom fighters" crashed airplanes into their cities, murdering their friends and relatives. But not all of them. Today one can still read in the journals of the multiculturalist left, such as the New York Times or The Nation, that America was ultimately to blame for September 11th, and that we should focus our efforts on reaching out to the "others" who live and think differently than do we.

Some multiculturalists try to square patriotism with their multiculturalism by arguing that what unites Americans is our diversity. But the conclusion of this argument is unsustainable. Individual rights, religious and civil liberty, and the rule of law are either good, or they are not; a nation cannot affirm both simultaneously. Put another way, if America stands for everything, it can stand for nothing. As one multiculturalist intellectual extolled in the New Yorker last fall, "the whole meaning of American life is that there is no such thing as the meaning of American life."

Whether he rejects or redefines patriotism, the multiculturalist believes patriotism must be subdued and subordinated to the wider claims of multicultural diversity. One solution is to subject American patriotism to the multi-national, and therefore multicultural, control of international organizations such as the United Nations or the newly formed International Court of Justice. In the rare cases that a multiculturalist will support coercive action against one culture, that action must receive the blessings of the international community, the only source of "multicultural justice," regardless of the (im)moral character of the nations that might comprise the international community. For the American multiculturalist, America is ours, which means it is not the "other," which means American in itself cannot be worth defending.

When thinking about the politics of multiculturalism, we should recall that multiculturalism not only exercises leftist political influence, it is a product of those politics. Some multiculturalists try to defend the advent of the term "multiculturalism" as a new, positive way to speak about "diversity." In some sense this is true. But it was not by chance that the term "multiculturalism" was coined at the same moment, in the mid to late 1980s, when race-based preferences and quotas were coming under increasing public and legal scrutiny.

At that time, the arguments for remedying past discrimination and forcing racial parity in schools and businesses were failing to persuade the American people. Why should Americans of all colors today pay for the sins of some in the past? What do Americans of all colors today owe to the many fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion to make America the free country it is? And who believes that all ethnic groups are equal in preparing their children for college or work? In their desperate search for a new defense of the discriminatory policies of affirmative action, liberals concocted the notion that without race based preferences and quotas, there would be no "diversity" in the classroom and workplace. Multiculturalism was intended to lend academic authority to the racial politics of affirmative action, as multicultural centers and departments began to spring up in colleges and universities around the country. This was the political basis for multiculturalism.

Let us conclude here. Intellectually, multiculturalism is indefensible. As I believe I have shown, it is embarrassingly inconsistent. It is refuted and undermined by its own argument. Politically, multiculturalism is dangerous. Multiculturalism represents nothing less than the political suicide of the West, and in particular the crown jewel of the West, the United States of America. Multiculturalism attempts to undermine the good principles upon which America is built, and it is corrosive of the patriotic spirit that fills the hearts of free men and women. Though it operates much more subtly, multiculturalism is no less a threat to our free institutions than the terrorists who attack our cities with airplanes. It is the test of the American people whether they have the intelligence to identify multiculturalism for the mistake it is, and the resolve to ensure that it does not triumph over this, the last best hope of mankind."

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Thoughts on Aurora and Holmes

There is one thing we should recognize, although there is a large segment of our population that has closed their minds to it: the only way to stop such a massacre would be for a permit-holder carrying a firearm to have shot him once he started shooting, and Aurora has gun control laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from possessing such a permit and firearm.

May I remind everyone that since states began issuing Concealed-Carry permits the overall gun-crime rate has dropped precipitously, and in every state that has begun to issue such permits, the state rate has dropped as well – with absolutely no increase in gun-crimes by permit holders. These are the facts. Those driven by emotion, and not by reason, want to ignore these facts, but they cannot be ignored.

We are shocked by such incidents, but, again, a little perspective:

From the Huffington Post:

“If there is one saving grace it is to be found in statistics. Fox has collected data on every mass murder in the United States going back to the mid-1970s and, though we certainly see and hear about these incidents more quickly today, the numbers of such incidents have not increased over time. He counted 19 in 1976 and 18 in 2010, with the range going from a low of seven in 1985 to a high of 30 in 2003. The FBI defines a mass murder as one in which four or more people are killed.

In fact, he and others noted, overall homicide rates in the United States have fallen to their lowest levels in decades.”

And from the National Post:

“Mass public killings create a huge psychic impact but are actually a small percentage of all U.S. mass murders and a miniscule portion of all murders in general, an American criminologist says.

Grant Duwe, who works for the Minnesota State Department of Corrections and is the author of Mass Murder in the United States: A History, has looked at 1,202 mass murders between 1900 and 2009. Of those, 12%, or 142 incidents, were massacres in public such as the Denver shooting early Friday morning and at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Columbine in 1999.

But those kind of mass public shootings accounted for less than one-tenth of 1% of all murders in general, he said.

“This is no consolation to those who have lost loved ones, but it’s important we keep these events in perspective.”

The reason society believes these mass public shootings have become more prevalent is in part because of media coverage, Mr. Duwe said.”
There is a long article by a psychiatrist named Mark Ragins that is well worth reading by those who believe that mental health professionals can spot people like James Holmes and are actually responsible for not preventing the Aurora massacre. Here are two excerpts:

“Murders - especially random mass murders -- are frightening. And when we're frightened, we look for explanations that will restore some sense of safety to the world. That's one reason so many people are speculating about whether James Holmes, the suspect in Friday's horrific Colorado shootings, is mentally ill.

In some ways it would be reassuring to find out that he is. Then we could begin figuring out new ways to keep ourselves safe. Some people would argue for better outreach to the mentally ill, for providing more and better mental health services or strengthening involuntary commitment laws. We would have something to blame and something to do to prevent this kind of thing from happening again…..

I'm a psychiatrist who has spent my life working with people who have severe mental illnesses, and murder is no more sensible in my world than in yours, and it's just as frightening. Murder is unpredictable, extraordinarily rare and shocking. That's as true in those with mental illness as it is in those without it.”

Go here to read the entire article.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

ACLU Defends Sex Offenders, As Usual

It’s been a while since I wrote about the ACLU, an organization that I have strongly opposed since the horrific Curley case in Massachusetts in 1997. Curley was a young boy who was violently assaulted sexually by two homosexuals while tied to a tree, and then beaten to death. His parents filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) after they learned that NAMBLA had a website that coached homosexuals on how to entice young boys and how to avoid detection by the police. The ACLU entered the case as a friend of the defendant, NAMBLA.

It also didn’t endear me to the ACLU when they sued a high school principal in Westerly, RI for telling a student she could not wear a tee-shirt to school that contained an obscenity that defamed President Bush. The multiple and continuing attempts to stamp out all signs of Christianity in America also raise my ire, and I wonder how many voters understand that when the ACLU wins a so-called, religious freedom court case, it is a federal law that the defendants (usually a small town) have to pay exorbitant legal fees to them. This provides a major source of funds to the ACLU, and always makes me believe they have a double motive beyond misguided attempts to defend the First Amendment.

Every place I have lived has an ordinance that prevents known sex offenders from living near places where children are likely to be found, like schools and playgrounds. Imagine my chagrin when I read this in my morning paper today:

      RI's ACLU asks court to protect 3 sex offenders from        homelessness

By W. Zachary Malinowski July 16, 2012 Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that makes it a felony for registered sex offenders to live within 300 feet of a school.

The lawsuit, filed by Katherine Godin, a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU, claims that three plaintiffs face homelessness if the law is enforced against them.

Two of the plaintiffs, Dennis Gesmondi and Dallas Huard, live in Warren Manor II, a facility run by NRI Community Services, a nonprofit provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The third plaintiff, George Madancy, would also face homelessness or hospitalization if forced from his apartment, the suit says.

Godin said that all three men had been upfront with police and probation officials about where they reside. They all live close to elementary schools.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Senator McCain, Please Just Shut Up

The Muslim Brotherhood does not hide the fact that it has the same aims as al Qaeda, including the re-establishment of the Caliphate, installing the Sharia in every country, destroying Israel, and doing away with all Shia Muslims (as well as Christians). Representative Michelle Bachmann recently pointed out that the mother, the father and the brother of the top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were or are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.  In the past, associations this close have always been grounds for denial of a security clearance.

My readers know that I have little love for either Representative Michelle Bachmann or for Glenn Beck, but she has pointed out something that has to be looked at very closely, and Senator McCain should just shut up.

If these were normal times, perhaps we would not be so concerned, but when you have a president who was raised a Muslim, who started off his presidency by apologizing and bowing to Muslim dictators, who instructed his new head of NASA that his main goal there was to raise Muslim self esteem, and who seriously tried to get Israel to retreat to their indefensible 1967 borders, you have to be concerned.

The following is a transcript of an interview she gave Glen Beck yesterday:

Michele Bachmann responds to attacks after she calls for investigation into Muslim Brotherhood

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM EDT

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann joined The Glenn Beck Radio Program on GBTV this morning to discuss the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington, DC and the attacks on her in the wake of her calls for an investigation. The full interview is available in the clip above.

Transcript of the interview is below:

GLENN: There are a few people in Washington D.C. that I trust and tell the truth. There are a few people that call me every time they turn on a water faucet from Washington D.C. and they say, “I just want you to know I’m holding a press conference today because I turned on a water faucet.” You’re like, oh. And after a while, I don’t take those people’s phone calls and after a while I stop reading their e mails. And there are a few people that are in it for the wrong reasons. And then there are a few people Jim DeMint is one of them, Michele Bachmann is one of them, Mike Lee is one of them that do it for the right reasons and are clean. I mean, we were talking about this with Jim DeMint the other day. Look what Jim DeMint has done. Jim DeMint just stopped the Law of the Sea Treaty. I mean, that’s that’s a pretty amazing thing to do. You can’t take Jim DeMint out because he’s clean. Does he make mistakes from time to time? Sure. Everybody does. But look at what this guy has done. Michele Bachmann is the same way. She’s a good, decent person. May not agree with her all the time, but she’s a good, decent woman. And she is standing and she’s on the intelligence committee. Rarely do I get calls from Michele Bachmann. But when I do, they’re always important. And she has called me a few times and lately it’s been about the Muslim Brotherhood because I’ve been I’ve been talking to people in Washington D.C. and saying, “Hey, what’s the deal with the Muslim Brotherhood thing? Are we looking into this?” Michele called me this morning and she said, “Glenn, there are decent people up on the Hill that are trying to expose the Muslim Brotherhood and it is spreading. This disease is spreading so rapidly, it is breathtaking.” This goes to a documentary that we did about, what, four months ago, three months ago where we exposed what this president is doing with the Muslim Brotherhood and how it is infiltrating all levels. And we’re at a place now that if we don’t stop it, we’re approaching a point of no return. And they are purging everything from our military, from our FBI. So we’re not even teaching what the Muslim Brotherhood stands for. We’re not teaching what radical Islam even is. So how are you ever going to find it? How are you ever going to recognize it? It’s out of control.

The inspectors general were asked a few questions by a few members of congress. Michele Bachmann is here to talk about it and this is important. I beg you to listen because the elephant media and Drudge, Fox, have come out on the wrong side on this issue. They are following John McCain’s lead. It’s the wrong lead. And if you’re not there to back these people up, they’re going to be eaten by CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Michele Bachmann, welcome to the program.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Glenn, thank you so much. What an important topic, and I have to say that you and the people at The Blaze have been leading the pack on this. And thank you for the wonderful documentary that you’ve done because the influence today of the Muslim Brotherhood at the highest levels, from the White House, to the Pentagon, to the FBI, even to our United States military truly is breathless and people have to know about it.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me what happened. You and who else wrote a letter to the inspectors general’s office and said, “There are some questions here that need to be addressed.”

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: That’s right. It was three members of the intelligence committee: Myself, Lynn Westmoreland from Georgia, Tom Rooney from Florida and two members of the judiciary committee, Trent Franks of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas all signed onto a letter. We asked numerous questions of the federal government because a letter was sent well, let me just back up. After the Fort Hood tragedy, a report was issued that said the real problem in our government is that we are not teaching FBI agents or our military to recognize radical Islam. So that’s what we need to do. We need to teach about it.

Well, in response to that, 50 over 50 Muslim organizations wrote a letter requesting that the White House start a task force to stop that from happening. Five days after the White House got this letter, this October 19th letter and people can see it on my website, or maybe you have it on The Blaze five days after the White House got this letter from the 50 Muslim groups, they started the purge of the federal government. Let me tell you, the federal government doesn’t do anything in five days. But they started the purge of the FBI. So now the FBI, who are supposed to be trained in radical Islam, elements have been purged off their training materials so they are no longer being taught about what radical Islam is in order to be able to truly identify it ahead of time. This is serious. This is also happening throughout our United States military, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security. And the word “purge” isn’t my word. That’s the word used by the 50 Muslim organizations. They demanded that the president purge the training materials and the trainers. And so already people have been fired who formerly were teaching what radical Islam is. They’ve been fired or they’ve been reassigned. And they ask that the library be purged. Americans don’t purge libraries, but they demanded that the FBI’s library be purged. All of this was happening and so we wrote a letter to the inspectors general asking the question: Don’t you think you should look into the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and what it is they’re seeking to do.

GLENN: Okay. So you write this, which is your job.


GLENN: Your duty to protect and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.


GLENN: There is no question in any sane person’s mind that the Muslim Brotherhood I mean, look at this look at this guy who ran and won the presidency in Egypt. He says, “Oh, I’m a moderate. I’m a moderate.” As soon as he wins, it’s Sharia law, we’re going down, you know, death for Allah is our highest goal. It’s the all the same crap. So

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: And they call for Jerusalem to become Egypt’s capital, not Israel’s capital. They call for the demise of Israel and the demise of the United States. They believe in civilization, jihad, which is to come into the United States and subvert the United States from within. I know it sounds like radical stuff, but all you have to do is look right, just look at the Muslim Brotherhood and who they say they are.

GLENN: Okay. So when you wrote this letter, then Keith Ellison comes out. And Keith Ellison is he has a record of being the Mafia hitman.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Well, he has a long record of being associated with CAIR and with the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR is an unindicted co conspirator, as stated in the large terrorist financing case that we’ve had in the United States of America and so he came out and essentially wanted to shut down the inspectors general from even looking into any of the questions that we were asking. So he wanted to shut it down. In response I wrote another letter back to Keith Ellison, a 16 page letter which I would encourage all of your listeners to go and read this letter. It’s what I call a bulletproof letter. I have 59 footnotes with one example after another of the penetration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the federal government. One of the most recent is so outrageous, it’s hard to believe. Two weeks ago the State Department broke its own law, like I said, and let a foreign terrorist come into the United States, into the White House, meet with the National Security Council

GLENN: Listen to this.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: and demand the release of the blind Sheik. This is absolutely outrageous.

GLENN: There’s more to this story that I think is even more outrageous. Not only did they break their own laws, give this guy a special waiver, bring him into the White House. This is a guy who is a known part of a known terrorist organization. He then campaigns to have the blind sheikh released, but who pays for his airline ticket?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: We do. The taxpayers. What I want to know is did we upgrade him to first class. I mean, this is this is outrageous what has happened. And so then now what’s happened is the attack machine has been turned on myself and the other members of congress who have been asking the questions, that somehow we’re the Muslim haters, we’re the witch hunters, we’re the new Joe McCarthyites because we’re asking these questions. All the while two weeks ago the Obama administration breaks federal law to bring someone that we list on the State Department as a terrorist organization, a member of that terrorist organization, we bring him into the White House? You don’t get any higher when it comes to intelligence secrets, you don’t get any higher than the National Security Council. He sits down with the National Security Council in our White House and has the guts to demand that we release one of the worst, most violent terrorists that we have behind bars. He wants us to let him out of prison, to let him go free, the guy who was the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the blind sheikh.

GLENN: So let’s

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: And you don’t hear a peep about this.

GLENN: No, of course not. Let me let me take you here because one of the more controversial things is you say Anthony Weiner’s wife will is has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, this is important because she works for Hillary Clinton.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: She is the chief aid for the to the Secretary of State, and we quoted from a document, and this has been well reported all across Arab media, that her father her late father who’s now deceased was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her brother was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and her mother was a part of what’s called the Muslim Sisterhood. It would be, we have requirements to get a high level security clearance. One thing that the government looks at are your associations, and in particular your family associations. And this applies to everyone. It would be the same that is true with me. If my family members were associated with Hamas, a terrorist organization, that alone could be sufficient to disqualify me from getting a security clearance. So all we did is ask, did the federal government look into her family associations before she got a high level security clearance.

GLENN: And it’s not an unreasonable thing to ask seeing that this president and this administration has didn’t know apparently didn’t know that Van Jones was the founding one of the founding members of a radical revolutionary, anti American, Communist organization, and he’s in the White House.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: That’s right. That’s right, and it’s not

GLENN: So something is somebody’s dropping the ball some place, or somebody knows.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: That’s right. And somebody has been dropping the ball since the beginning of the Obama administration. And this isn’t intent to be partisan or out to get the president. I mean, quite honestly on the intelligence committee I’m happy to report we are the most bipartisan committee I’ve ever been a part of, and with all of these unprecedented leaks that have been coming out from our federal government, all of which, by the way, undermine Israel, and Israel’s ability to defend herself against a nuclear Iran, we are with one voice, Democrat and Republican, outraged by these leaks that are coming out of the administration. Never before in the history of the country have we seen this level of leaks coming out, but at the same time there’s also a parallel track of influence from the Muslim Brotherhood in the highest levels of the federal government, and we think that we need to get answers to these questions. And that’s the purpose of our letters. We’re asking that the inspectors general answer these questions, and Keith Ellison is trying to shut this, these questions down from getting addressed.

GLENN: I’m really tight on time and I want to hit a couple of other things. Stu’s got Stu’s been going over all of this information, and he’s got one question for you.

STU: Well, I see here that you did like, too, the actual military document that talks about what is a potentially disqualifying condition for security clearance. It says, quote: Contact with a foreign family member, if that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure or coercion. Then goes on to say the subject’s closest and most frequent contacts are the ones most likely to present a security risk. And you’re talking about both her father, who’s now deceased, her mother and her brother. So I think the media seems to be holding you to this standard that you have to have this case completely proven when it seems like what you’re saying is, is there a legitimate process question: Are they actually asking these questions before handing out these clearances.

GLENN: Right. This has been I mean, your links and your footnotes and they’re down, by the way. I don’t know if you know that, Michele. But the Al Jazeera links that you put in and you said, here, go link go find the story on Al Jazeera. We can’t get to them this morning.


GLENN: Oh, yeah. We’re going to need

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Gosh. Maybe we can go maybe we can go in the past and dig them up so that we can resurrect them.

GLENN: Yeah, we’re going to have to get them because they’ve either been scrubbed or they’re being hammered, you know, by so much traffic which I highly doubt.


GLENN: So that’s I mean, you have links showing that in Al Jazeera’s own coverage.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Well, these links were up as of last Friday.

GLENN: Yeah, well, they’re not

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: I wrote the letter and we got it out by midnight last Friday night and the links were up last Friday. So they’ve taken them down. Gee.

GLENN: I will tell you that that’s not unusual. As we’ve followed these stories like this, that’s really not unusual anymore.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: That’s even more reason why we should be looking into this.

GLENN: Yeah. Let me just say this to you and then one more quick question. I just wrote a letter to the president of my company for The Blaze and he’s in charge of all content. He’s kind of our news, you know, our uber news director, if you will, he’s the president of content. And I just said we know the truth on this story. We’ve had this for a while. I do not want this company to sit down on this. So we are going to cover this and continue to cover this to make sure that people hear this story because, Michele, you guys are absolutely right and it is a matter of national survival.


GLENN: Let me ask you


GLENN: Let me ask you one quick question. John McCain and all of the elephant media are falling right in line with the Muslim Brotherhood. Bullcrap. What did John McCain do yesterday?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: He went on the Senate floor and he gave a spirited defense of Huma Abedin, who is a friend of his. And so that’s what he did and I think

GLENN: But you’re not saying that she is compromised? You’re saying have we looked into this, right?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: That’s right. That’s all we’re saying because we did not infer that she is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or that she’s working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

GLENN: Right.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Our point was regarding the security clearance.

GLENN: Right.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: And did she have to go through the same sort of process that anyone else has to go to. Did they check the boxes. Because if the State Department breaks American law to bring a terrorist into the White House, a member of a terrorist organization, it certainly is conceivable that maybe they looked the other way on issuing the security clearance. That’s all we’re doing is asking a question.

GLENN: I have to tell you, we’re at war. We’re at war with people in the Middle East, and her she’s compromised forget about the Muslim thing. She’s compromised or could have been compromised. Her husband was sending dirty photos of himself. I mean, you know, in a wartime, you would never put that person in a delicate situation because the family has already been compromised. But I digress.


GLENN: Thank you very much. Go ahead.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: I was just going to say the Muslim Brotherhood elements have declared war against the United States.

GLENN: All right.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: and Israel. And we need to recognize that they are at war, even if we don’t fully, are onto this. And we’ve got to, but I thank you and everyone at The Blaze for taking this on because the media has a completely different view of it. So thank you.

GLENN: Well, they’re always they’re almost always wrong, especially when it comes to these things. Michele, thank you very much and keep up the fight. Never sit down. We’ve got your back.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Unbelievable 9/11 Boatlift

The video shown below, which is a record of the evacuation of thousands from Manhattan Island as the Towers were collapsing, reminds us of Dunkirk, when almost 350,000 British and French soldiers were rescued, mostly by hundreds of small boats, from death or capture by German forces. I did not even know of the 9/11 Evacuation by boat, another unforgettable heroic event, until a friend sent me this video.

It also reminds me of just how angry I get when I am also reminded of the attempts by Obama and other liberals to downplay 9/11, to downplay the daily attacks by Muslims on Westerners and others, and to make us believe that, somehow, Christianity is a greater threat to Americans than is Islam. I will never forget when, over a week after Major Hasan murdered all those soldiers at Fort Hood, one of my liberal Democrat friends tried to tell me that there was no evidence that this was a terrorist attack. We knew by then that Major Hasan had shouted “Allahu Akbar” while shooting, that he had a website glorifying Muslim terrorism and that he had been in touch with Al Qaeda operatives.

What is it with liberals and their hatred of Christians while they defend Islam and overlook its savagery and its unbelievable treatment of women? The only thing I can think of is that liberals and Muslims have one thing in common: they both believe that their cause is so noble that it is morally acceptable for them to lie and deceive in the advancement of that cause.

If you want to go to Youtube and watch this great video fullscreen, click here.

Thanks to my friend, Bob, in California.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Here's How It Starts

Portsmouth wind turbine shut down; needs $460,000 in repairs

By Alex Kuffner July 16, 2012 Providence Journal

The wind turbine at Portsmouth High School.

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. -- In March 2009, officials heralded the installation of a 336-foot-tall wind turbine at the high school. It was the largest in Rhode Island, and they believed it would generate dollars as well as watts, selling power into the electric grid.

For three years, the $3-million windmill fulfilled that promise, making the town about $400,000 after maintenance and debt payments.

But in February, technical problems started shutting down the turbine for weeks at a time. In June, it stopped again, and it hasn't started since.

Last week, the Town Council learned that the turbine's gearbox had failed and needed to be replaced for at least $460,000 -- completely erasing those three years of income.

The situation has left council members angry and exasperated.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obamacare and the Great Society

I oppose Obamacare.  I oppose it because it represents the culmination of President Johnson’s “Great Society”, which I consider the first main cause of the unraveling of American society.  (The second main cause, also a product of Johnson’s efforts, was the Vietnam War.)  Some who read this may think that I am a little nuts or just plain stupid, but in my opinion, AFDC Welfare has turned a large segment of our population into bums, and has dumped millions of rudderless, fatherless children into our prisons; while Medicare, the second bastion of the “Great Society”, has bankrupted our medical system.

If I am right, the worse thing in the world we could do to our children is to give them Obamacare, which would complete the liberal agenda to make everyone dependent on the federal government for every important aspect of their lives, and make Churchill’s description of socialism “where everyone is poor” come true.

How can you say that Medicare was a mistake, you ask, while millions of elderly seniors, including you, depend on it for all their medical needs?  I absolutely believe that if there had been no Medicare, the incredible explosion in medical costs would not have happened, and I would be paying less for a private health-insurance policy than total Medicare costs, when all the deductions, taxes, fees and subsidies are taken into account.

People just don’t fully understand what has happened to medical costs.  My first child was born in 1953.  The total cost for everything was $65.00.  My second child was born about a year later in Boston’s Lying-In Hospital.  The total cost was $300.00.  My third child was born in the same hospital in 1956.  The total cost was exactly the same, $300.00.  I don’t remember the cost for my fourth child, born in 1964, probably because I had health insurance by then.  Some studies now show that the average cost to have a child today is about $9000.00.

What has caused this massive explosion in medical costs?  One reason is inflation; a second reason is the dramatic increase and improvement in drugs and diagnostic equipment; but I believe that the main reason is what always happens in a free society when there is unlimited demand for a limited supply of a commodity or service.  In other words, Medicare.

Medicare may have been a costly mistake, but millions are dependent on it, and it must not be undermined.  However, that is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing to move everyone eventually to single-payer government insurance.  They have shifted $500 billion dollars from future Medicare subsidies to pay a portion of Obamacare costs, and they have cut payments to the point where 83% of American doctors are considering opting out of the Medicare program.  We seniors will have nowhere else to go when Medicare collapses, and unfortunately some of us will die before our time.

Obamacare must be stopped.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Muslim Heckler Attacks Congressman West

The Players: Nezar Hamze, Executive Director of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), and Allan West, Republican Congressman from Florida.  I thought I knew my history, But Congressman West puts me to shame.

It seems to me that every time an American Muslim leader appears in the news, it increases my distrust for Muslims.  Events of the last 40 years have also convinced me that Islam, being both a violent religion and also a political movement devoted to world domination, is inimical to American laws, values and traditions.

Thanks to Dave for sending me this.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

An Expert Appraisal of Alternative Energy

People in poor countries are dying because we are diverting huge amounts of corn to producing a fuel, ethanol, that some studies have shown consumes more energy than it produces. We are siting windmills everywhere without factoring in the maintenance cost, nor are we remembering that to gain additional capacity, we also have to build conventional plants to take over when the wind doesn't blow. And then there's Solyndra and half a billion wasted; enough said.

The day will come when alternative sources of energy will become pracical and useful to mankind, and we have to fund research to bring it about; but it is not here yet, and liberal politicians must be prevented from bankrupting us, destroying our economy and actually killing people by trying to foist an immature technology on the world. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's largest professional organization, and is highly respected by engineers and scientists of all disciplines.

A Skeptic Looks at Alternative Energy

It takes several lifetimes to put a new energy system into place, and wishful thinking can’t speed things along

By Vaclav Smil / July 2012 IEEE Spectrum

In June 2004 the editor of an energy journal called to ask me to comment on a just-announced plan to build the world’s largest photovoltaic electric generating plant. Where would it be, I asked—Arizona? Spain? North Africa? No, it was to be spread among three locations in rural Bavaria, southeast of Nuremberg.

I said there must be some mistake. I grew up not far from that place, just across the border with the Czech Republic, and I will never forget those seemingly endless days of summer spent inside while it rained incessantly. Bavaria is like Seattle in the United States or Sichuan province in China. You don’t want to put a solar plant in Bavaria, but that is exactly where the Germans put it. The plant, with a peak output of 10 megawatts, went into operation in June 2005.

It happened for the best reason there is in politics: money. Welcome to the world of new renewable energies, where the subsidies rule—and consumers pay.

Without these subsidies, renewable energy plants other than hydroelectric and geothermal ones can’t yet compete with conventional generators. There are several reasons, starting with relatively low capacity factors—the most electricity a plant can actually produce divided by what it would produce if it could be run full time. The capacity factor of a typical nuclear power plant is more than 90 percent; for a coal-fired generating plant it’s about 65 to 70 percent. A photovoltaic installation can get close to 20 percent—in sunny Spain—and a wind turbine, well placed on dry land, from 25 to 30 percent. Put it offshore and it may even reach 40 percent. To convert to either of the latter two technologies, you must also figure in the need to string entirely new transmission lines to places where sun and wind abound, as well as the need to manage a more variable system load, due to the intermittent nature of the power.

All of these complications are well known, and all of them have been too lightly dismissed by alternative energy backers and the media. Most egregious of all is the boosters’ failure to recognize the time it takes to convert to any new source of energy, no matter how compelling the arguments for it may be.

An example is the 2008 plan promoted by former vice president Al Gore, which called for replacing all fossil-fueled generation in the United States in just a decade. Another is Google’s plan, announced in 2008 and abandoned in 2011, which envisaged cutting out coal generation by 2030. Trumping them all was a 2009 article in Scientific American by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil engineering at Stanford University, and Mark Delucchi, a researcher in transportation studies at the University of California, Davis. They proposed converting the energy economy of the entire world to renewable sources by 2030.

History and a consideration of the technical requirements show that the problem is much greater than these advocates have supposed.

What was the German government thinking in 2004, when it offered a subsidy, known as a feed-in tariff, that guaranteed investors as much as €0.57 per kilowatt-hour for the next two decades of photovoltaic generation? At the time, the average price for electricity from other sources was about €0.20/kWh; by comparison, the average U.S. electricity price in 2004 was 7.6 cents, or about €0.06/kWh. With subsidies like that, it was no wonder that Bavaria Solarpark was just the beginning of a rush to build photovoltaic plants in Germany. By the end of 2011, Germany’s PV installations had a capacity of nearly 25 gigawatts, which was more than a third of the global total. If you subsidize something enough, at first it can seem almost reasonable; only later does reality intervene. This past March, stung by the news that Germans were paying the second highest electricity rates in Europe, the German parliament voted to cut the various solar subsidies by up to 29 percent.

Such generous subsidies are by no means a German peculiarity. They have been the norm in the new world of renewable energies; only their targets differ. Spain also subsidized wind and PV generation before cutting its feed-in tariff for large installations by nearly 50 percent in 2010. China’s benefits to its wind-turbine makers were so generous that the United States complained about them to the World Trade Organization in December 2010. In the United States the greatest beneficiary so far has been neither solar nor wind but biomass—specifically, corn used to produce ethanol.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the excise tax credit for ethanol production cost taxpayers US $6.1 billion in 2011. On top of that direct cost are three indirect ones: those related to soil erosion, the runoff of excess nitrate from fertilizers (which ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, where it creates dead zones in coastal waters), and the increased food costs that accrue when the world’s largest exporter of grain diverts 40 percent of its corn to make ethanol. And topping all those off, the resulting fuel is used mostly in energy-inefficient vehicles.

You might argue that subsidies aren’t bad in themselves; indeed, there is a long history of using them to encourage new energy sources. The oil and gas industries have benefited from decades of tax relief designed to stimulate exploration. The nuclear industry has grown on the back of direct and enormous R&D support. In the United States it received almost 54 percent of all federal research funds between 1948 and 2007. In France it got the all-out support of the state electricity-generating company. Without that subsidy, the industry would never have managed to get its recent share of more than 75 percent of the French electricity market. We must therefore ask whether the subsidies for alternative energy can deliver what their promoters promise.

NUCLEAR ENERGY: AN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY THAT’S BEEN PUSHED Nuclear power was the first major energy technology to owe its development largely to government investment and subsidies, as can be seen from its very different fortunes in these three countries.

Make no mistake—they promise much. The most ardent supporters of solar, wind, and biomass argue that these sources can replace fossil fuels and create highly reliable, nonpolluting, carbon-free systems priced no higher than today’s cheapest coal-fired electricity generation, all in just a few decades. That would be soon enough to prevent the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide from its current level of 394 parts per million to more than 450 ppm—at which point, climatologists estimate, the average global temperature will rise by 2 °C. I wish all these promises would come true, but I think instead I’ll put my faith in clear-eyed technical assessments.

The matter of affordable costs is the hardest promise to assess, given the many assorted subsidies and the creative accounting techniques that have for years propped up alternative and renewable generation technologies. Both the European Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association claim that wind turbines already produce cheaper electricity than coal-fired power plants do, while the solar enthusiasts love to take the history of impressively declining prices for photovoltaic cells and project them forward to imply that we’ll soon see installed costs that are amazingly low.

But other analyses refute the claims of cheap wind electricity, and still others take into account the fact that photovoltaic installations require not just cells but also frames, inverters, batteries, and labor. These associated expenses are not plummeting at all, and that is why the cost of electricity generated by residential solar systems in the United States has not changed dramatically since 2000. At that time the national mean was close to 40 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour, while the latest Solarbuzz data for 2012 show 28.91 cents per kilowatt-hour in sunny climates and 63.60 cents per kilowatt-hour in cloudy ones. That’s still far more expensive than using fossil fuels, which in the United States cost between 11 and 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2011. The age of mass-scale, decentralized photovoltaic generation is not here yet.

Then consider the question of scale. Wind power is more advanced commercially than solar power, but with about 47 gigawatts in the United States at the end of 2011 it still accounted for less than 4 percent of the net installed summer generating capacity in that country. And because the capacity factors of U.S. wind turbines are so low, wind supplied less than 3 percent of all the electricity generated there in 2011.

It took 30 years—since the launch of small, modern wind turbines in 1980—to reach even that modest percentage. By comparison, nuclear power had accounted for 20 percent of all U.S. generation within 30 years of its launch in 1957, and gas turbines achieved 10 percent three decades after they went into operation in the early 1960s.

Projections of wind-power generation into the future have been misleadingly optimistic, because they are all based on initial increases from a minuscule base. So what if total global wind turbine capacity rose sixfold between 2001 and 2011? Such high growth rates are typical of systems in early stages of development, particularly when—as in this case—the growth has been driven primarily by subsidies.

And a new factor has been changing the prospects for wind and solar: the arrival of abundant supplies of natural gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from shales. Fracking is uncommon outside the United States and Canada at the moment, but it could be used in many countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, which also have large shale deposits. Some countries, such as France and Germany, have banned the technology for fear of possible environmental effects, but such concerns accompany all new energy technologies, even those touted for their environmental virtues. And natural gas can be used to generate electricity in particularly efficient ways. For example, combined-cycle gas plants exploit the heat leaving the gas turbine to produce steam and generate additional electricity using a steam turbine. What’s more, gas turbine modules with up to 60 megawatts of capacity can be up and running within a month of delivery, and they can be conveniently sited so as to feed their output into existing transmission lines.

The siting of massive wind farms is also becoming increasingly contentious—many people don’t like their look, object to their noise, or worry about their effect on migrating birds and bats [see “Fixing Wind Power’s Bat Problem,” in this issue]. This has become a problem even for some offshore projects. For example, a vast project off Martha’s Vineyard island, in Massachusetts, which was supposed to be the first offshore wind farm in the United States, has been stalled for years because of local opposition. The intermittence of the wind makes it hard to estimate how much electricity can be generated in a few days’ time, and the shortage of operating experience with large turbines introduces even greater uncertainty over the long term. We’ll just have to wait to see how reliable they’ll be over their supposed lifetimes of 20 to 30 years and how much repair and maintenance they will require.

And, of course, you can’t use wind turbines unless you’re prepared to hook them to the grid by building lots of additional high-voltage transmission lines, an expensive and typically legally challenging undertaking.

Assuming that any major wind farms in the United States would be built on the Great Plains, where there is sufficient wind and land, developers would need to construct many thousands of kilometers of transmission lines to connect those farms to the main markets for electricity on the coasts. Of course, the connection challenge is easier for small countries (particularly if they can rely on their neighbors), which is one reason why Denmark became a leader in wind power.

In the United States, the problem goes beyond building new lines; it is also necessary to add them to an existing grid that is already stressed and inadequate. The most recent Report Card for American Infrastructure, prepared with 2009 data by the American Society of Civil Engineers, gives the country’s energy system a D+, largely because the grid is relatively old and its operations are repeatedly challenged by spikes of high summer demand. Raising that grade is more than a technical challenge, because improvements in infrastructure often face entrenched political opposition—the not-in-my-backyard syndrome.

As for Europe, there may be better interconnections, but it faces other problems in converting to wind and solar power. Its economic prospects are bleak, and that will limit its ability to invest massively in new technologies. Even Germany, the strongest European Union economy and a great proponent of new energies, has a difficult road ahead; it must find a replacement for its nuclear plants after having decided, following Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima, to phase them out. This is no small challenge at a time when Germany is cutting its subsidies for wind and solar power and its economy is close to recession.

Government intervention is needed because the odds are poor that any private program will be massive enough to speed the conversion to new sources of energy. But even governments in the rich countries are having trouble shoring up essential infrastructure, mainly because of mounting debts. Their causes include uncontained health-care costs, trade deficits, uncompetitive manufacturing, and tax-revenue shortfalls. At the same time, government subsidies to new energy technologies haven’t delivered on an often-made promise: They haven’t created many new, permanent, well-paid jobs either in the EU or the United States.

The ultimate justification for alternative energy centers on its mitigation of global warming: Using wind, solar, and biomass sources of energy adds less greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. But because greenhouse gases have global effects, the efficacy of this substitution must be judged on a global scale. And then we have to face the fact that the Western world’s wind and solar contributions to the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions are being utterly swamped by the increased burning of coal in China and India.

The numbers are sobering. Between 2004 and 2009 the United States added about 28 GW of wind turbines. That’s the equivalent of fewer than 10 GW of coal-fired capacity, given the very different load factors. During the same period China installed more than 30 times [PDF] as much new coal-fired capacity in large central plants, facilities that have an expected life of at least 30 years. In 2010 alone China’s carbon-dioxide emissions increased by nearly 800 million metric tons, an equivalent of close to 15 percent of the U.S. total. In the same year the United States generated almost 95 terawatt-hours of electricity from wind, thus theoretically preventing the emission of only some 65 million tons of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, China is adding 200 GW of coal-fired plants by 2015, during which time the United States will add only about 30 GW of new wind capacity, equivalent to less than 15 GW of coal-fired generation. Of course, the rapid increase in the burning of Asian coal will eventually moderate, but even so, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cannot possibly stay below 450 ppm.

Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of energy transitions is their speed. Substituting one form of energy for another takes a long time. U.S. nuclear generation began to deliver 10 percent of all electricity after 23 years of operation, and it took 38 years to reach a 20 percent share, which occurred in 1995. It has stayed around that mark ever since. Electricity generation by natural gas turbines took 45 years to reach 20 percent.

In 2025 modern wind turbines will have been around for some 30 years, and if by then they supply just 15 percent of the electricity in the United States, it will be a stunning success. And even the most optimistic projects for solar generation don’t promise half that much. The quest for noncarbon sources of electricity is highly desirable, and eventually such sources will predominate. But this can happen only if planners have realistic expectations. The comparison to a giant oil tanker, uncomfortable as it is, fits perfectly: Turning it around takes lots of time.

And turning around the world’s fossil-fuel-based energy system is a truly gargantuan task. That system now has an annual throughput of more than 7 billion metric tons of hard coal and lignite, about 4 billion metric tons of crude oil, and more than 3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. This adds up to 14 trillion watts of power. And its infrastructure—coal mines, oil and gas fields, refineries, pipelines, trains, trucks, tankers, filling stations, power plants, transformers, transmission and distribution lines, and hundreds of millions of gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and fuel oil engines—constitutes the costliest and most extensive set of installations, networks, and machines that the world has ever built, one that has taken generations and tens of trillions of dollars to put in place.

It is impossible to displace this supersystem in a decade or two—or five, for that matter. Replacing it with an equally extensive and reliable alternative based on renewable energy flows is a task that will require decades of expensive commitment. It is the work of generations of engineers.

About the Author
Vaclav Smil, a distinguished professor in the department of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, dates the interests that inform his article “A Skeptic Looks at Alternative Energy” to his student days at Prague’s Carolinum University more than 50 years ago. “Contrary to the currently popular assertion of accelerating innovation,” he says, “most technical improvements are evolutionary and take time to make a real difference. Consequently, I think little of claims of near instant transformations of any complex system.”

About the Author

Vaclav Smil, a distinguished professor in the department of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, dates the interests that inform his article “A Skeptic Looks at Alternative Energy” to his student days at Prague’s Carolinum University more than 50 years ago. “Contrary to the currently popular assertion of accelerating innovation,” he says, “most technical improvements are evolutionary and take time to make a real difference. Consequently, I think little of claims of near instant transformations of any complex system.”


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Monday, July 02, 2012

True Perspective On Obamacare

It’s been a sickening month with all the opinions offered on what SCOTUS was or was not going to do – and after Thursday’s bombshell, all the opinions on what it means. My take is that Christopher Chantrill has it right in the following piece; it’s all up to us.

Roberts Hands a Poisoned Chalice to the President

By Christopher Chantrill July 2, 2012 American Thinker

What in the world was Chief Justice Roberts trying to do by voting with the liberals on ObamaCare? Conservative opinion is all over the map, but conservative talk show hosts were clear, as I drove south from liberal Seattle to liberal Ashland, Oregon, on June 28, 2012, that the ball was in the voters' court.

Whatever you think of Roberts' decision, his message was unequivocal. If you don't like ObamaCare then you'd better vote it down in November. In this he gives conservatives real clarity.

If the Supreme Court conservatives had voted down ObamaCare by a vote of 5 to 4 the liberals would not have accepted it, any more than the pro-life movement accepts Roe v. Wade. There was only one way in 2012 to make a Supreme Court decision to invalidate ObamaCare stick, and that would have been for Justice Kagan to join the conservative majority in a 6-3 decision. Why Kagan? Look at the other three liberals: Ginsburg was a liberal ACLU lawyer; Breyer was a Kennedy staffer; Sotomayor an affirmative action pick -- liberal hacks every one. But Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School and Solicitor General; she is the liberal educated elite. Her vote to overturn would have been an admission from the educated establishment that ObamaCare was unjust and wrong.

Good luck with that. So the only way to make liberals accept a repeal of ObamaCare is by the brute force of political power, the mandate of the voters expressed at the ballot box, just as Chief Justice wrote in the majority decision.

Chief Justice Roberts did his level best to "nudge" the voters. First of all, he ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional because it is really a tax. This means that Mitt Romney and a dozen SuperPACs can tell the voters that President Obama has raised taxes on the middle class. Secondly, Roberts ruled that the federal government cannot penalize states that don't accept expanded Medicaid.

These two poison pills hand the president a poisoned chalice. "Tell it like it is," Howard Cosell used to say: a tax is a tax. Forget using Medicaid as a bludgeon to force the states to enroll the near poor.

The central weakness of ObamaCare is the same as the HillaryCare of 18 years ago. It does nothing for the middle class. The middle class already has health insurance. The Obamis tried to surround this truth with a bodyguard of lies about everyone being able to keep their present health insurance and with the canard that a penalty is not a tax. Now Chief Justice Roberts has insisted on telling the American people the truth.

If Americans vote against President Obama in November it will be the third election that liberals have lost on the health care issue. Perhaps liberals will finally get the point.

It is, of course, grossly unfair that the liberals can create unjust law with the help of the Supreme Court but conservatives can't use it to repeal injustice. But life is unfair. Liberals get to use the Supreme Court as their pet pony because they are the educated elite and the aristocratic branch of government is naturally the branch of the educated elite. Conservatives merely add up to a sub-culture allied with movements of resistance on abortion, guns, and taxes.

The generation-long conservative strategy for turning the Supreme Court from a liberal rubber stamp into a bench with respect for the Constitution as written is a good one. But it cannot make liberals abandon their program of political domination and what James C. Scott in Seeing Like a State calls "internal colonialism," the domestic liberal equivalent of the old imperialist program of using raw power to bring the benefits of civilization to the backward natives whether they like it or not.

This means that Chief Justice Roberts is right. There is no short cut to reforming the welfare state and ending its reign of injustice and oppression. It must be accomplished through the expression of the American popular will.

Ultimately conservatives must still persuade the liberal educated elite that their once noble program has turned into a cesspit of injustice and cruelty that visits its harshest cruelties on the people it is supposed to help, the folks in Charles Murray's underclass Fishtown, the single mothers on welfare and the men that have dropped out of the work force. But intelligent people don't abandon their closed system on their own. They will only be persuaded by the ruin of their hopes and the destruction of their power. That is what elections are for.

Today conservatives are disappointed. The Supreme Court failed to wave a magic wand over ObamaCare and make it disappear in a pinch of fairy dust. But it gave us a bracing dose of reality and did us the favor of handing President Obama a poisoned chalice to drink from. Tomorrow conservatives must return to the fight.
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