Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just a Thought or Two

By Rich Kozlovich

Watching what people in general do and believe is amazing in itself, but as I watch the world I never cease to be amazed at the incredible things prominent people say and do.

Today's features were heavily concerned with freedom of expression. If the leftists have their way….freedom of expression will end….except they will be able to say whatever they wish to say. The Supreme Court just heard a case involving legislation that bans politicians in Ohio from lying during political campaigns. I know your first thought - you're kidding, right? No, and bureaucrats will be the ones who will decide who's lying. Can you imagine putting Eric Holder in charge of that?

Can you imagine the reaction from Andrew Jackson and John Adams to such legislation? The presidential campaign in 1828 was the dirtiest campaign in U.S. history. Both sides said terrible things about each other. The only difference was most of what was said about Jackson was true, and most of what was said about Adams wasn’t, but it was all dirty. Apparently all politicians at all times consider lying to be a birth right. But it has become a free speech issue that carries some serious consequences, and we need to pay attention to this ruling when it comes down.

I’ve been publishing this particular blog for about seven years, but it’s been in the last two years when I really started getting noticed. I believe in publishing the truth, and I don’t believe in ‘equal’ time with those with whom I disagree because they have the main stream media for that. However, I do believe it’s important to show what they’re saying in order to provide the necessary intellectual arguments to defeat them. I believe it’s necessary to publish as many facts in opposition to the left/green coalition as possible. I believe it’s necessary to explain how to use those facts because they win the battle of emotion, they always have. We win the battle of facts, we always have. To win the war we need to win the battle of emotion and the battle of facts. P&D is devoted to that end.

As I have reported in the past Paradigms and Demographics is now being viewed around the world. Originally it was mostly the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, with some interest in India and Australia. About two years ago I changed P&D from a green issues only anti-green blog to a pro-humanity blog covering all issues. Why? As time went by I realized it was impossible to talk about green issues without talking about leftist issues, as they are part and parcel of the same package, and P&D took off! This month the top ten for the month was - United States, China, France, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The all time hit list is the United States, Germany, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Canada, Ukraine and Slovenia.

The United Kingdom has dropped significantly on the charts over this last year and no hits in the last week. Australia and India have dropped off the top ten and Canada is off this month’s top ten. China is rising fast. They were fifth last month and fourth now on the all time top ten. Every month they’re number two, and they will be number two on the all time list by the end of summer. I expect to see more interest in Eastern European countries and possibly even more interest from the French. But, who knows, however I have a regular reader, who I believe is a geologist, who tells me that he starts his news day with P &D. My thanks to him for his interest and my thanks to all who have been readers of Paradigms and Demographics. I hope to turn this into a for profit venture and expand on history as well as current events, because we can't understand why things happen now if we don't understand the history behind those events.  Once we understand that we have clarity, which leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to truth.  Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality.

Liberty GB's Paul Weston: Arrested for Quoting Churchill

Written by Diana West Wednesday, April 30, 2014



Don't miss Sun TV's Michael Coren's interview with Liberty GB candidate Paul Weston (click "Read More"), who was arrested in Britain this week for a speech quoting from the following passage by Winston Churchill from 1899 edition of The River Wars (excised from contemporary abridged editions):

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.....To Read More.....

Caruba's Corner

The Supreme Court Helps the EPA Shut Off Electricity in America, By Alan Caruba

April seems to be the month in which the Supreme Court devotes itself to decisions that have no basis in real science and can do maximum damage to the economy. Invariably, the cases are brought against the Environmental Protection Agency and are decided in its favor.

In April 2007, the Court decided that carbon dioxide, the second most essential gas for all life on the planet was “a pollutant”, the definition the EPA had applied to it in order to regulate it. Now comes word that the Court had concluded that the EPA may regulate power-plant emissions that blow across state lines as per a 2011 regulation, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Not content having put nearly 150 or more coal-fired power plants out of commission, the Court’s rule now gives them the authority to do the same thing to about a thousand power plants in the eastern and western regions of the U.S. that will have to adopt new pollution controls or reduce operations…….In an article, “The EPA’s Science Problem”, Arnold Ahlert, noted in early April that “In a stunning admission, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency neither possesses, nor can produce, all the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans via the Clean Air Act. In short, science has been trumped by the radical environmental agenda.”………

 

Denial is a River in Sudan

By Mark Steyn April 28, 2014

Commenting on Conrad Black's much-read analysis of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, Kathy Shaidle observesIt is in fact very easy to imagine Mann winning. The Supreme Court of today is not the same Supreme Court that ruled on Hustler, for one thing; for another, the West is more comfortable with censorship and less familiar with basic principles of free speech.

I touched on the latter en passant in our Sunday MailboxIn Australia and in Britain and even in America, free peoples are losing the habit of free speech. And, when you lose the habit of free speech, you lose the habit of freedom.

I'd like to explore that a little. In Australia, they're trying to get rid of Section 18c, which is (roughly) the equivalent of Canada's late and unlamented Section 13 thought-crime law, which was finally repealed last year. The Aussie campaign is not going well. "There is a danger that the Coalition resolve to repeal Section 18C will weaken further,"warns The Independent Australian, saying there's an "urgent need to submit your views on 18C amendments by April 30th" - which is round about right now in Oz time…..there are far more lobby groups for censorship -under polite euphemisms such as "diversity", "human rights", "hate speech" - than there are for freedom of expression…..To Read More…..

My Take - The author goes on to note that in England a man has been arrested and charged with a "Racially Aggravated Crime"for quoting Winston Chruchill, because Churchill's book was insensitive to Muslims. So during WWII when Churchill said,

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.",

he would have been considered 'insensitive' to German, Italian and Japanese feelings, and would have been prosecuted?

Brits have lost their minds, their insight, their understanding of history and their courage! Of course a great many young Brits may not understand why Winston Churchill even wrote a book where he expresses his views on Muslims since a few years ago a study revealed that 45% of British students thought Winston Churchill was an astronaut. It’s hard to be courageous when we're ignorant as to why courage is necessary, and leftists have made historical ignorance a virtue.
 
But one thing we know for sure - Churchill was wrong when he said, "we shall never surrender". And American leaders - and a large segment of America's population - are just as bad. Both of which are working diligently to join the England's leaders to be members of the Club For the Galacticly Stupid. 

There is one more thing.  If this continues we're going to see civil violence and disobedience at levels that will make the L.A. riots seem tame. 

Leftist Hate Crime Hysteria

April 30, 2014 by Arnold Ahlert

Two Democratic Congressman and Attorney General Eric Holder are spearheading equally disturbing efforts to monitor and control the behavior of Americans—even if the Constitution and the truth get trashed in the process…… As it is with so many leftist agendas, it remains up to the bureaucrats at the NTIA to determine what constitutes unacceptable speech that falls outside the purview of First Amendment protections. The bill leaves such interpretations up to the Justice Department (DOJ) and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights…… Civil liberties lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate clarifies the agenda here. “This proposed legislation is worse than merely silly. It is dangerous,” he explained. “It is not up to Sen. Markey, nor to the federal government, to define for a free people what speech is, and is not, acceptable.”

My Take Holder's mind is so full of logical fallacies it amazes me he functions at all, let alone his DOJ….Oh wait…..I forgot….the DOJ doesn’t function. Holder goes on to explain that “Racial disparities contribute to tension in our nation generally and within communities of color specifically, and tend to breed resentment towards law enforcement that is counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime” as a justification for hate speech legislation.
 
So, let me see if I understand this correctly? It’s important to stop hateful speech because hateful speech makes black and Hispanic men commit crimes, and makes criminals resent law enforcement!  Is that right? Or are those three pieces of information that have nothing to do with one another?  Is this ‘disparity’ in the criminal justice system between ‘people of color’ and the white population the result of "hate speech"? Well perhaps it is, if we consider the "hate" spewed out by people like Al Sharpton, who excoriates whites for every ill that has befallen the ‘people of color’ in the nation, but says nothing about the need for responsible personal behavior in the black community, as in black men marrying the black women that have their babies.

Holder states as proof of his views that half of all black men are incarcerated at some point in their life. Is hate speech causing that, and whose 'hate speech' is he talking about that's supposedly promoting all this crime?  Especially since it's ‘people of color’ who are committing most of the crimes in the U.S., and “black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicides at ten times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined.”  He fails to tell us who these hateful people are, or fails to mention black radicals who generate emotional excuses for blacks who commit crimes - which seems to me would encourage blacks to commit more crimes.  So perhaps he has a point.  All that radical leftist hate filled ranting may be why more 'people of color' are in prison.

Leftists decry the reason for this disparity as flawed statistics, but the New York Times pointed out that in 2009 that in New York City “blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crime in New York in 2009, including 80 percent of shootings and 71 percent of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of reported gun assaults.” Here is a fact that I’m willing to bet Holder and his leftist comrades won’t share with the public!

“The vast majority of the victims of violent crime were also members of minority groups.”

Here’s another fact Holder failed to point out. Non-Hispanic whites..... committed 5 percent of the city’s violent crimes in 2009, 1.4 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.” So that disparity has nothing to do with “hateful speech” by whites - at least that seems reasonable to me.  However, if you consider Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the racists at the NAACP as promulgators of ‘hate speech’, which creates excuses for criminal behavior, like the ‘knockout game’, where young blacks attack whites for no reason, and in some cases killing them.  Especially if these whites are women, old, helpless, outnumbered and safe to attack.  Is that the kind of criminal behavior Holder thinks can be prevented by monitoring ‘hate speech’? 

Well, perhaps he has a point.  As an example; has anyone uttered more ‘hate’ speech than Louis Farrakhan and his followers who refer to whites as “the enemy”, and Jews as the black community’s “worst enemy”. That must be the kinds of “hate speech” Holder and his leftist comrades have in mind? Right?

After all, it’s the black population that’s committing most of the crimes in the U.S, and it just isn’t in NYC either. In 2011 Chicago’s blacks committed “94.8 percent of homicides were committed by blacks and Hispanics, and 94.2 percent of their victims were black and Hispanic as well.”

So just who are these leftist comrades trying to protect? Criminals of “color”, or victims of color? Clearly they could care less about white victims. So what "hate speech" is he concerned about, and who are the promoters of this "hate speech"? It would seem to me that those committing the most crimes are mostly black, and motivated by hate speech from black radicals. Perhaps if Sharpton, Farrakhan, Jackson and all of their ilk, had to wear a muzzle for five years we could then determine if eliminating their hateful speech from society had an impact on the criminal behavior of black society.

But as for legislation to “find” hate speech, and who utters it, I have to ask; why is there a need for such legislation when the leftists with whom he hobnobs are publically and openly spouting it daily.   Is it possible he has another agenda?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Caruba's Corner

Much Ado about the Ukraine, By Alan Caruba

Events in the Ukraine are now big headlines and the topic of a torrent of commentaries by experts on Russia, the European Union, NATO and related subjects. The whole thing began after protests forced its president to flee to Russia, followed by the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea as disputes between Eastern and Western Ukraine broke out.

At the time and still now I thought it was a predictable action and one that did not involve “invading” the Crimea since Russia has for many years had several thousand troops already stationed there to service and protect its military and naval facilities. Rather than wait around for the Ukrainians to resolve their conflict, the Russians took the reasonable, rational action of annexation. Crimea had been a part of Russia for hundreds of years and the Ukraine was as well. The national language there is Russian.......

What Have You Said in Private?

Dennis Prager | Apr 29, 2014

A private recording of racist remarks by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, in a telephone conversation was released last week. Among other comments, Sterling said to his former mistress, a black Mexican woman known as V. Stiviano:

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? ... You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games. I'm just saying, in your lousy f---ing Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people. ... Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."..... Similarly, recordings of private speech must also remain private unless they pose a danger to others. When the media report private conversations that pose no threat of violence, they encourage more and more people to record and release private conversations. That, far more than the NSA trolling of billions of phone calls in order to identify terrorists, poses a real threat to privacy. Where are the civil liberties groups and libertarians on this issue?....To Read More......
 
My Take - First of all - this guy’s a jerk - so I don't feel any sympathy for him. What's this old fool doing with this seemingly wild young girl? Where's the wife that helped him build his empire?

I disagree with Prager about recordings though. These were public utterances - he should have known better! Furthermore, it might be a really good thing for more exposure of utterances by prominent people on both sides. I found years ago that if you really want to get someone's attention....just say something negative about them....sure enough, they were bound to be within hearing distance.

And why is it everyone MUST like every group, racial or otherwise?  If someone doesn’t like a racial group does that really make them a racist?  Prejudice and racism are two of the most misused words in modern English. To be prejudiced means to pre-judge.  To be a racist is to hate people simply because they belong to a particular racial group.  Well, what if you don’t like a group because they act badly?  Is that prejudice or is it an evaluation?  If you find the activities of a particular racial group is doing things you don’t approve of is that racism or an evaluation?

Based on what I heard he seemed to be saying that society has a view of reality that caused him problems because of her conduct.  Although his choice of girlfriend seems a bit strange if all they claim is true, but maybe he really doesn’t like blacks and Hispanics.  So what?  A lot of blacks – politically prominent blacks - feel the same way about whites and Hispanics!  Do they all have to give up their careers or sell their businesses?  Let’s stop all this phony outrage.  If you scratch the surface of everyone in the United States you will find strong negative feelings about some group or other.  Get over it!

One more thing.  Does it seem strange to anyone besides me someone was recording this whole thing? 

The Establishment Republican-Leftist Alliance

By Arnold Ahlert

During the first weekend in April, Republican leaders in the House and Senate held a retreat with the Republican Main Street Partnership on Florida’s Amelia Island. No ordinary conservative political powwow, the meeting brought together establishment Republicans and leftist-supported advocacy groups, whose shared interests include neutralizing the conservative grassroots movement and passing legislative items on the Left’s agenda.

The meeting was hosted at the Ritz Carlton by the Republican Main Street Partnership’s offshoot “Main Street Advocacy.” Former Ohio Congressman and left-wing Republican Steve LaTourette fronts the group.

How left-wing? In 2013, Yahoo reported that LaTourette was ready to drop the word “Republican” from the Republican Main Street Partnership and accept Democrats into the fold. A month later, he partially backed off, insisting the group wouldn’t support Democrats even if it changed its name—while he still maintained the group would “work collaboratively with anybody who wants to find common sense solutions.” Yet in a series of articles for entities such as Politico, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, LaTourette made it clear that he sees conservatives as the primary source of congressional dysfunction…… RedState’s Erick Erickson compiled a list of contributors to Defending Main Street PAC. Further exploration of those contributors reveals the disturbing level of collaboration between Republican leadership and their leftist supporters. They include David Bonderman, the multi-billionaire founder of Ft. Worth, Texas-based TPG Capital. His campaign contributions have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates, as well as Democrat PACs and Super-PACs. ….To Read More…..

Demonizing the Helpers

April 29, 2014 by Thomas Sowell

It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.

The Walton Family Foundation — created by the people who created Walmart — has given more than $300 million to charter schools, voucher programs and other educational enterprises concerned with the education of poor and minority students across the country.

The Walton Family Foundation gave more than $58 million to the KIPP schools, which have had spectacular success in raising the test scores of children in ghettoes where the other children are far behind in academic performance.

D.C. Prep, in Washington, whose students are mostly poor and black, has also received grants from the Walton Family Foundation. Its test scores likewise exceed those of traditional neighborhood schools, as well as the test scores of other local charter schools. Other wealthy people across the country have been doing similar things for years, including high-tech tycoons like Bill Gates and Michael Dell. It is one of the great untold stories of a unique pattern of philanthropy that makes America truly exceptional.

Yet these philanthropists have been attacked by the teachers’ unions and by others in the education establishment, including academics…..To Read More…..

Institutionalizing a Culture of Fear and Corruption

Friday April 25th, 2014 by Craig Eyermann

One of the more disturbing trends that we’ve seen develop with the federal government’s bureaucrats in recent years is the growing extent to which they are placing their interests ahead of those of the American people. What makes what we’re seeing develop so disturbing is that we’re not just seeing the work of a culture of corruption, but rather the institutionalization of corruption.

That point is perhaps nowhere more clear than in a new staff report issued by the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, which reveals some of the extent to which Charles Edwards, one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector Generals, abused his authority as “watchdog” for the American people to instead watch out more for the interests of senior officials at DHS...... Just see what has become of the IRS and the Department of Justice when these government agencies have put the interests of their friends ahead of the American people. And if you want to know what the human cost is for that kind of institutionalized corruption, just consider the stories now breaking about the conduct of senior Veterans Administration officials.

These are things that can only happen when the federal government’s bureaucrats have carte blanche to put their corrupt interests ahead of those of the American people.....To Read More......  

Ban “Giving Back”



Christina Hoff Sommers offers a great fact check on the propaganda currently being spread to “Ban Bossy”, here. As she details, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign is rooted in cherry-picked data and at least one extremely old study that conveniently support her premise. Girls overall are doing better than boys, and “Bossy” is irrelevant to the conversation.

I don’t favor campaigns against words. As the youngest of six children, I was the target of quite a bit of teasing growing up, and Mom well taught me, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

On a more serious level, Independent Institute Research Fellow Donald Downs was recently honored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for his path-breaking work against campus speech codes (such as our book, Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus).

Unfortunately, the largely liberal (now there’s a misnomer if ever there was one) attempt to control who can say what has now moved off the campus and into the mainstream, and has further expanded to witch hunts against private citizens’ private giving to causes liberals decide are verboten (e.g., Brendan Eich and the Kochs)…..To Read More…..

Some Basics of State Domination and Public Submission



Familiarity may indeed, as the saying goes, breed contempt, but it also breeds a sort of somnolence. People who have never known anything other than a certain state of affairs—even an extraordinarily problematic state of affairs—have a tendency not to notice it at all, to relate it, so to speak, as if they were sleepwalking through it. Such is the situation of modern people in relation to the state. They have always known it, and they take it completely for granted, regarding it as one might regard the weather: whether it brings rain or sunshine, lightning bolts or soothing spring breezes, it is always there, an aspect of nature itself. Even when it proves destructive, its destruction still qualifies as something akin to “acts of God.”…..however, ultimately for nearly all of the world’s people, the state has existed as an ever-present predator and all-around abuser of human rights, its power to dominate and plunder propped up by its adroit exploitation of people’s fears, many of which have been of the state itself, others of external threats to life and limb from which the state purported to protect its subjects……two main questions come rushing to mind:

(1) Who do these people—that is, the state’s kingpins, Praetorian guards, bootlickers, and key private-sector supporters—think they are to treat us as they do?
(2) Why do nearly all of us put up with the state’s outrageous treatment?..... To Read More……

My Take - An answer to his last question is really much easier than it appears. Gibbons wrote in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that "we tolerate despotism because of the things we own". And since people will always be people - motivated by all the same wants, needs and desires all people have always been motivated by - it's still true today. However, what happens if the economy collapses and nothing that's owned means anything? During the siege of Leningrad in WWII people sold works by Rembrandt for a bag of potatoes, and far worse to keep from starving. A stable economy is the binding glue for every society, and when that glue is destroyed there is no binding force, and people will do what is in their own best interests, individually or collectively in small groups. If we delusionally believe “that can’t happen here”, we need to start reading some history books and stop listening to bloviating phonies like O'Reilly,

There is one more thing. Many years ago I was in a union working for a company that was abusive. I never liked being abused and had the tendency to say so. Naturally the company lackeys came after me with glee, since most of them were little tyrants and enjoyed being little tyrants.  I warned them they didn't know who they were dealing with because they never had a Serbian working there before.  Things didn't turn out as gleefully as they desired. The real shocker for me was the glee my fellow union members felt over these attacks against me. Why? Because as long as they were coming after me they were being left alone.

So when we see the government going after the Bundy's of the nation we also see idiots on the right jumping on the bandwagon over some ill spoken views and allow the abusers of society - and I include the agents of the left in the main stream media - to get away with their abuses by distracting everyone from the main issue. And guys like O'Reilly - who isn't a conservative, we need to get that - jumps right on the bandwagon with them.

Bundy's failure to pay the required fee will cause him to ultimately fail in his crusade, but this has triggered a national debate as to why the federal government owns almost 30% of the land mass of this nation in the first place. The government didn't start all this land grabbing until the early 1900's, when the progressives began infesting the nation, and it has only gotten worse. The Bundy affair is not about race, it's about tyranny, and property rights are foundational to a free society! We really do need to get that!

Some Basics of State Domination and Public Submission



Familiarity may indeed, as the saying goes, breed contempt, but it also breeds a sort of somnolence. People who have never known anything other than a certain state of affairs—even an extraordinarily problematic state of affairs—have a tendency not to notice it at all, to relate it, so to speak, as if they were sleepwalking through it. Such is the situation of modern people in relation to the state. They have always known it, and they take it completely for granted, regarding it as one might regard the weather: whether it brings rain or sunshine, lightning bolts or soothing spring breezes, it is always there, an aspect of nature itself. Even when it proves destructive, its destruction still qualifies as something akin to “acts of God.”…..To Read More……

Senator Harry Reid rides to the rescue! BLM Siege At Bunkerville – The Real Story

Big profits are being threatened by animals grazing on prime real estate, but the real story has been lost in a haze of ‘inciteful’ rhetoric - A rancher’s refusal to sell his land and stop his cattle from grazing nearby may have created a crisis in the real estate industry

By Steve Miller (Bio and Archives) Monday, April 28, 2014

Neil Kornze joined the Bureau of Land Management in 2011. He has been leading the BLM as Deputy Director for the past year. Before his appointment, Kornze worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

In 2013, following a five year recession, business in Mesquite, Nevada, five miles north of Bunkerville and 80 miles north of Las Vegas, began a miraculous recovery. Millions of dollars began to be invested in the area, and tired resort properties were lavishly refurbished. Retirement communities such as Sun City Mesquite sprung back to life and realtors began to again find buyers for expensive riverside or golf course frontage homes.

However, unbeknownst to the public, several miles down the Virgin River from the City of Mesquite, a lone holdout Mormon rancher named Cliven Bundy was about to throw a wrench in the works and bring anticipated development in the Riverside Road and Gold Butte area to a sudden stop because his cattle were “trespassing” on some of the most desirable real estate in Clark County. He was to act alone because all his fellow ranchers had sold their spreads earlier.

Enter United States Senator Harry Reid……To Read More……

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

by Ryan Young 28 Apr 2014

The number of new regulations this year broke the 1,000 mark, and the number of rules affecting small businesses passed 200.

On to the data:

·    Last week, 60 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 84 new final rules the previous week.
·    That's the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 48 minutes.
·    So far in 2014, 1,012 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,163 new regulations this year. This would be the lowest total in decades; this will likely change as the year goes on.
·    Last week, 1,248 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
·    Currently at 23,229 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 72,591 pages, which would be the lowest total since 2009.
·    Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Twelve such rules have been published so far this year, none of them in the past week.
·    The total estimated compliance costs of 2014's economically significant regulations currently ranges from $1.64 billion to $2.01 billion. They also affect several billion dollars of government spending.
·    Eighty-one final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
·    So far in 2014, 203 new rules affect small businesses; 27 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:....To Read More.....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Caruba's Corner

Holocaust Memorial Day and the Pathetic Palestinians

By Alan Caruba

“The demands, conditions, stipulations, and decisions pouring out of Mahmoud Abbas’s office in the last month or so have persuaded everyone concerned that the Palestinian’s mind is in a total muddle,” opined an April 24 Israeli-based newswire Debka File. It reported that Israel’s Prime Minister, Binjamin Netanyahu, had broken off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), also known as Fatah, after Abbas, its leader, had announced Fatah would unite with Hamas, another Palestinian group with which it had been at odds since 2007.

Confusing? You’re not alone. As Debka File put it, “No one in Jerusalem or Washington can figure out what he wants. And even his closest aides believe that he doesn’t know his own mind and are afraid of what he may dream up next.”......To Read More....

Mora County’s Drilling Ban, the Moral High Ground or Moronic?

A property rights battle is playing out with huge national implications and almost no one knows it is taking place

By: Marita Noon (Diary) April 28th, 2014
 
This appeared here and I wish to thank Marita for allowing me to publish her work. I have added some emphasis! RK

In a little “frontier” community in northern New Mexico, a property rights battle is playing out with huge national implications and almost no one knows it is taking place. The outcome of two lawsuits that are pending against Mora County and its Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance have the potential to impact an individual’s ability to use and profit from his or her own land—not just in New Mexico, but from coast-to-coast.

One year ago, on April 29, 2013, in a 2-1 vote, Mora County Commissioners made headlines by making the little county the first in the country to ban oil-and-gas exploration and production outright. Several communities have passed moratoriums or bans on hydraulic fracturing. Others, such as nearby Santa Fe County, have enacted rules and regulations that are so restrictive on drilling practices that they essentially do ban oil-and-gas drilling. But none have gone so far as to totally outlaw all development of hydrocarbons.

Mora County is proud to be taking a stand and believes that it has done an important thing. The commissioners think they have the rights locally. They don’t care what the federal or state constitutions say. They’ve passed this ordinance anyway. It’s one thing to say you can’t drill in this county. It’s something else again to say, “You know those constitutional rights you thought you had? Well, they don’t apply in this county.”

Marino Rivera’s family has been in Mora County for generations. He supports the drilling ban, but, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican (SFNM), he knew the county would get sued. “The ban is unconstitutional. I think we all knew that going in.” He felt that it was worth the fight just to “make a statement.”

County Commissioner John Olivas, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners—who is on staff at the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance as a “traditional community organizer” and is also listed as the “northern director,” believes “the ordinance is defensible” and claims the little county is “ready for the fight.”

“Why is it wrong for citizens of Mora Country to say no to corporations?” Olivas asks.

Olivas characterizes himself as a part of a great crusade. He said: “we see these lawsuits as merely a beginning—of a waking up that must occur across our communities and the country to understand that we are caught within a system that virtually guarantees our destruction.” Olivas sees the effort as part of a movement that is bigger than an oil-and-gas ban in an area that doesn’t have any current drilling activity. He wants to “not only call out corporate decision makers for what they do—but begin to dismantle what they’ve spent so many years building.”

Olivas concludes his statement with a call to join the resistance movement, citing 150 communities that “have now begun to walk the path the people of Mora are walking.” He told New Mexico Watchdog: “I think it can lead to a domino effect.”

The Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance

Mora County’s ordinance was a triumph for the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)—which calls itself a “public-interest law firm.” About its work, the website states: “CELDF has assisted more than 150 communities across the country to establish Community Rights ordinances that today are protecting communities from a range of harmful practices, from shale gas drilling and fracking to the land application of sewage sludge.”

Funding for CELDF has come from such sources as the Heinz Endowments of Pittsburgh, chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz ($162,000 from 2000-2002); the Norman Foundation of New York City ($180,000 from 2003-11); the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation of New York City ($165,000 from 2001-11); and the Park Foundation of Ithaca, New York ($135,000 from 2008-11). It has also received support from RSF [Rudolf Steiner Foundation] Social Finance, a leader in what the magazine Inc. calls “do-gooder finance.”

In a press release about Mora County’s vote, CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey, Esq., claims: “Mora is joining a growing people’s movement for community and nature’s rights.”

The Mora ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons within Mora County.” In June 2013, the commission voted to expand the ban to individuals as well. Additionally, under the ordinance, any permits or licenses issued by either the federal or state government that would allow activities that would compromise the county’s rights would be considered invalid.

Commissioner Paula Garcia, was the one “no” vote a year ago. Like her two colleagues, she opposes oil-and-gas drilling in Mora County, but she voted against the ordinance because, as she told the E&E (Environment and Energy) reporter: “the ordinance is so ambitious and experimental that it leaves the county vulnerable to a legal challenge by industry and then the county will have to go back to square one if it loses in court.” Garcia told the Albuquerque Journal: “It’s very experimental in that it has a lot of provisions in there that haven’t been tested. Most of the attorneys I’ve talked to said this is not likely to hold up in court.”

The ordinance tests U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to the 1800s that recognize corporations as having many of the same rights as citizens and challenges state and federal powers. IPANM President Richard Gilliland, in a press release, said: “What the Mora County Commission has done with the ordinance is an insult to the U.S. Constitution and every free citizen.”

The plaintiffs in one lawsuit are being represented by the Mountain States Legal Foundation—which, on March 10, won a landslide (8-1), property rights case before the Supreme Court: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States.

William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating officer at the Mountain States Legal Foundation, believes this is an important fight. He says:

The lawlessness we have seen emanating from Washington, DC, has spread like a wildfire across the country. When elected politicians, senior administration officials, and career bureaucrats proudly proclaim that the Constitution is irrelevant and the law is whatever they say it is, it is little wonder that officials across the country follow their bad example. From coast-to-coast, isolated units of local government have declared that, regardless of what the federal and state constitutions or federal and state laws provide, they will bar their residents from using their property, creating jobs, and generating revenue and if the locals do not like it, then they can sue. I am proud that landowners in Mora County and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico have the courage to demand adherence to constitutional liberties and the rule of law and have asked Mountain States Legal Foundation to represent them in that important battle.

Attitude About-Face

Originally emboldened by talk that little Mora County was going to lead the nation in a “community rights” movement, in the face of lawsuits, many locals feel that they’ve been used. Meetings that used to attract more than 100, now have the same 30 people over and over.

One resident said: “People want to support a cause until they realize it is expensive.” Another: “Outsiders are trying to bring California to Mora.” Still another: “The county is out of control. It is broke.”

The SFNM reports: Many Mora County residents “believe the ban was an ill-advised move that will have high costs for an already cash-strapped county government and it will gain it nothing except attention. Others say the ordinance is an example of an outside Anglo group using a poor, minority county for its own ends.”

Defending the ordinance, Olivas told the Los Angeles Times (LAT) that the “remarkably untouched” environment “provides a sustainable living for most people.” He wants the oil-and-gas folks to “leave us alone. Let us enjoy what we have.”

Just what does Mora County have?

Olivas told the LAT: “We are one of the poorest counties in the nation, yes, we are money-poor, we are not asset-poor. We’ve got land, we’ve got agriculture, we’ve got our heritage and we’ve got our culture.” In the same LAT piece, 63-year-old Roger Alcon said: “We’ve lived off the land for five generations. …We have what we need. We’ve been very happy, living in peace.” Alcon’s comments close out the article: “We have what we need. To me, the fresh air and the land, and water. It’s better than money.”

Not everyone agrees.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions reported that Mora County had the second-highest unemployment rate in the state in March, at 14.4%; only Luna County was higher at 20.5%. None of the rest of the state’s 33 counties had unemployment rates in double digits. The SFNM adds: “Jobs are hard to come by. The primary employment is local government, the schools, the Mora Valley Health Services and the rural electric cooperative. The county budget is under $1 million.”

Many local residents were interviewed for background on this story. They addressed the desire for the jobs the resource development could bring. Others expressed frustration over the use of fear, not facts, in making the ban decision. One said: “They’re taking corporations rights now, next they’ll come and take mine.”

Even Garcia, who didn’t vote for the ban, but supports the premise, says she is not comfortable with CELDF using the county as its “soapbox.” She told the SFNM: “The reason I didn’t support the ordinance in April is that I wasn’t sure the majority of people knew the county was going to be used as a test case—not on an oil and gas fracking ban, but on the question of corporate personhood. I’m not in favor of fracking, but the language of the ordinance gave me pause.”

CELDF’s Linzey calls the situation: “The fight that people have been too chicken to fight over the past 10 years, which is essentially deciding who makes the decisions about the future of the places where people live.” An E&E report on Mora County declares: “Ultimately CELDF is hoping that Mora’s ordinance, one of 34 other local oil and gas ordinances it helped put on the books, will be challenged in court. It wants to test its legal argument that community rights should trump corporate rights.”

Linzey and his on-the-ground operative Kathleen Dudley (who is working to get a similar ordinance passed in other New Mexico towns and communities), have convinced the commissioners and some of the people of Mora County that that they are taking the moral high ground. When, in fact, they are the only community foolish enough to make themselves susceptible to being the guinea pigs for Linzey’s radical ideas.

In the New Mexico state legislature, bills have been introduced that would cut the capital allocations that come from oil-and-gas development to counties that ban extraction. In the case of Mora County, it receives approximately $4.5 million annually for its schools, $1.4 of that comes directly from the oil-and-gas industry. In 2013, Mora County received $2,145,310 for capital outlay projects. $2,038,000 of that was contributed by the oil-and-gas industry.

Mark Van Dyke, Chief of Staff, for Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez, reports that there is not much chance such a bill will ever pass, but was more optimistic about a different bill that would give the communities that are producing 31 percent of the state’s budget more funding to cover, for example, the additional wear and tear on their roads—after all, they are helping the state, while incurring damage done to roads, bridges, and lands.

National Impacts

Mora County doesn’t have any drilling activity but it is important as a part of the national battle.

La Jicarita—which calls itself “an online magazine of environmental politics in New Mexico”—states: “CELDF works in a national arena and sees itself as taking the high road, a radical approach to social change that asserts the ‘rights’ of communities and ecosystems and works towards ‘federal constitutional change.’”

In November seven fracking bans were on ballots—three in Ohio and four in Colorado. Several were in locales with no oil-and-gas potential development. As Pendley indicated, all of these fracking and drilling bans and/or moratoriums are part of an attempted national movement. The “symbolic” votes in communities with no oil-and-gas development are part of a strategy to target left-leaning constituencies where ordinances can be passed and momentum can be built.

On February 28, 2014, the Los Angeles City Council passed (10-0) a largely symbolic ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits. Officials from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency that oversees oil drilling in Southern California, said there have been no recent reports of fracking within Los Angeles’ city limits. There are 1800 oil and gas wells in the city of Los Angeles, only about 10 percent are active. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the possibility of people losing their jobs in the oil industry due to the decision.

CELDF affiliated groups, have popped up in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, CA. They are preparing their own community rights ballot measures aimed at outlawing hydraulic fracturing. The CELDF website brags of involvement in these efforts. The Global Exchange—which calls itself “an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world”—has the following on its website: “in Santa Barbara, following a Democracy School and a crowded public event, residents have decided to work with Global Exchange to explore what a rights-based ordinance could mean for their community.” The CELDF Democracy School is what launched the battle in Mora County.

The left, understanding the potential national implications, is paying attention to what happens in Mora County. A piece posted on ThinkProgress.com’s ClimateProgress site, states: “the amount of resources now unavailable to the oil and gas industry does not matter as much as the precedent the ordinance sets for other counties, cities, and even states that want to put an end to fossil fuel extraction. … If the IPA’s lawsuit against Mora succeeds, there will be a strong basis for future challenges to any other similar law or ordinance. However, if Mora’s ordinance holds up in court, it will become that much harder for the oil and gas industry to challenge future bans on fossil fuel extraction that may crop up in other places.”

The Mora County story, isn’t just about Mora County and it isn’t just about oil-and-gas drilling—or even about fracking. It reflects a battle being played out across America.

Karin Foster, executive director for the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPANM), who was working with the group to file the first of the two lawsuits, says: “It is about business and our American way of life. It is time for industry, business and the general public to fight back to expose the hypocrisy of the people who drive their cars, turn on their lights, take hot showers, wear their Patagonia jackets, and drink their Starbucks coffee at town hall meetings in Mora County.”

Author’s note: Text is adapted from a full report published in the May 2014 edition of Green Watch.

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