Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quote of the Day!

"James Madison warned (in Federalist 48) that government power “is of an encroaching nature.” If unresisted, it produces iniquitous sharing of other people’s property."

Taken

By Sarah Stillman, August 12, 2013 Issue

…..Jennifer Boatright..…drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend….to buy a used car…. officer named Barry Washington pulled them over……The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services…… Later, she learned that cash-for-freedom deals had become a point of pride for Tenaha, and that versions of the tactic were used across the country. “Be safe and keep up the good work,” the city marshal wrote to Washington, following a raft of complaints from out-of-town drivers who claimed that they had been stopped in Tenaha and stripped of cash, valuables, and, in at least one case, an infant child, without clear evidence of contraband…… you needn’t be found guilty to have your assets claimed…..in some states, suspicion on a par with “probable cause” is sufficient. Nor must you be charged with a crime, or even be accused of one……To Read More…..

Stopping the abuse of civil forfeiture

By Tim Walberg September 4, 2014

Imagine you are driving down the highway on your way to buy a car. You spent months researching years, makes and models, and you finally found somebody who was selling the exact ride you were looking for at a reasonable price. Suddenly, police pull you over for allegedly going 37 mph in a 35 mph zone. Upon discovering the $8,500 in cash you have on hand, the officers take you to jail and threaten to charge you with money laundering unless you turn over the money. Frightened, you give it to them.

This may sound like something out of a Hollywood movie, but it’s a true story, and incidents like it happen all too often across the country because of our civil forfeiture laws.

Fortunately, the victim in the above story, Roderick Daniels, had his property returned by officials due to media attention and legal pressure. But the power to take property without due process continues to be abused by local, state and federal law enforcement officials. In my state of Michigan, grocery store owner Terry Dehko had his bank account seized by the IRS because it suspected him of being a money launderer. Dehko would make cash deposits in the bank across the street every night to reduce the threat of robbery and because of coverage limits on his store’s insurance policy. Charges were never filed, but Dehko had to fight in court to prove that his money was not being used in a criminal enterprise. ….To Read More….

When government is the looter

By George F. Will Opinion writer May 18, 2012

Russ Caswell, 68, is bewildered: “What country are we in?” He and his wife, Pat, are ensnared in a Kafkaesque nightmare unfolding in Orwellian language.
 
This town’s police department is conniving with the federal government to circumvent Massachusetts law — which is less permissive than federal law — to seize his livelihood and retirement asset. In the lawsuit titled United States of America v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, the government is suing an inanimate object, the motel Caswell’s father built in 1955. The U.S. Department of Justice intends to seize it, sell it for perhaps $1.5 million and give up to 80 percent of that to the Tewksbury Police Department, whose budget is just $5.5 million.
 
The Caswells have not been charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime. They are being persecuted by two governments eager to profit from what is antiseptically called the “equitable sharing” of the fruits of civil forfeiture, a process of government enrichment that often is indistinguishable from robbery........ “Equitable sharing” — the consensual splitting of ill-gotten loot by the looters — reeks of the moral hazard that exists in situations in which incentives are for perverse behavior. To see where this leads, read IJ’s scalding report “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture” (http://ow.ly/aYME1), a sickening litany of law enforcement agencies padding their budgets and financing boondoggles by, for example, smelling, or imagining to smell, or pretending to smell, marijuana in cars they covet......To Read More....

Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

By Marian R. Williams, Ph.D.
Jefferson E. Holcomb, Ph.D.
Tomislav V. Kovandzic, Ph.D.
Scott Bullock


March 2010
 
Editor's note: This appeared here.

 Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property.

Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head. With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.

Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture chronicles how state and federal laws leave innocent property owners vulnerable to forfeiture abuse and encourage law enforcement to take property to boost their budgets. The report finds that by giving law enforcement a direct financial stake in forfeiture efforts, most state and federal laws encourage policing for profit, not justice.

Policing for Profit
also grades the states on how well they protect property owners—only three states receive a B or better. And in most states, public accountability is limited as there is little oversight or reporting about how police and prosecutors use civil forfeiture or spend the proceeds.

Federal laws encourage even more civil forfeiture abuse through a loophole called “equitable sharing” that allows law enforcement to circumvent even the limited protections of state laws. With equitable sharing, law enforcement agencies can and do profit from forfeitures they wouldn’t be able to under state law.

It’s time to end civil forfeiture. People shouldn’t lose their property without being convicted of a crime, and law enforcement shouldn’t be able to profit from other people’s property.

The Imaginary Islamic Radical

Daniel Greenfield - Posted here on 29 Jan 2015

 The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.

But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side? It can’t be beheading people in public.

Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.

It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.

Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.
And there are few Islamic terrorist groups that don’t have friends in high places in the Muslim world.

If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?

Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.

Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.

If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?

From a Muslim perspective, ISIS is radical because it declared a Caliphate and is casual about declaring other Muslims infidels. That’s a serious issue for Muslims and when we distinguish between radicals and moderates based not on their treatment of people, but their treatment of Muslims, we define radicalism from the perspective of Islamic supremacism, rather than our own American values.

The position that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and Al Qaeda is extreme because the Brotherhood kills Christians and Jews while Al Qaeda kills Muslims is Islamic Supremacism. The idea of the moderate Muslim places the lives of Muslims over those of every other human being on earth.

Our Countering Violent Extremism program emphasizes the centrality of Islamic legal authority as the best means of fighting Islamic terrorists. Our ideological warfare slams terrorists for not accepting the proper Islamic chain of command. Our solution to Islamic terrorism is a call for Sharia submission.

That’s not an American position. It’s an Islamic position and it puts us in the strange position of arguing Islamic legalism with Islamic terrorists. Our politicians, generals and cops insist that the Islamic terrorists we’re dealing with know nothing about Islam because that is what their Saudi liaisons told them to say.

It’s as if we were fighting Marxist terrorist groups by reproving them for not accepting the authority of the USSR or the Fourth International. It’s not only stupid of us to nitpick another ideology’s fine points, especially when our leaders don’t know what they’re talking about, but our path to victory involves uniting our enemies behind one central theocracy. That’s even worse than arming and training them, which we’re also doing (but only for the moderate genocidal terrorists, not the extremists).

Our government’s definition of moderate often hinges on a willingness to negotiate regardless of the results. The moderate Taliban were the ones willing to talk us. They just weren’t willing to make a deal. Iran’s new government is moderate because it engages in aimless negotiations while pushing its nuclear program forward and issuing violent threats, instead of just pushing and threatening without the negotiations. Nothing has come of the negotiations, but the very willingness to negotiate is moderate.

The Saudis would talk to us all day long while they continued sponsoring terrorists and setting up terror mosques in the West. That made them moderates. Qatar keeps talking to us while arming terrorists and propping up the Muslim Brotherhood. So they too are moderate. The Muslim Brotherhood talked to us even while its thugs burned churches, tortured protesters and worked with terrorist groups in the Sinai.

A radical terrorist will kill you. A moderate terrorist will talk to you and then kill someone else. And you’ll ignore it because the conversation is a sign that they’re willing to pretend to be reasonable.

That’s more than Secretary of State Kerry is willing to be.

Kerry views accusations of extremism as already too extreme. ISIS, he insists, are nihilists and anarchists.

Nihilism is the exact opposite of the highly structured Islamic system of the Caliphate. It might be a more accurate description of Kerry. But as irrational as Kerry’s claims might be, they have a source. The Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood successfully sold the Western security establishment on the idea that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism was by denying any Islamic links to its actions.

This was like an arsonist convincing the fire department that the best way to fight fires was to pretend that they happened randomly on their own.

Victory through denial demands that we pretend that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a wholly irrational position, but the alternative of a tiny minority of extremists is nearly as irrational.

If ISIS is extreme and Islam is moderate, what did ISIS do that Mohammed did not?

The answers usually have a whole lot to do with the internal structures of Islam and very little to do with such pragmatic things as not raping women or not killing non-Muslims.

Early on we decided to take sides between Islamic dictators and Islamic terrorists, deeming the former moderate and the latter extremists. But the dictators were backing their own terrorists. And when it came to human rights, there wasn’t all that much of a difference between the two.

It made sense for us to put down Islamic terrorists because they often represented a more direct threat, but allowing the Islamic dictators to convince us that they and the terrorists followed two different brands of Islam and that the only solution to Islamic terrorism lay in their theocracy was foolish of us.

The Islamic terrorist group is more mobile, more agile and more willing to take risks. It plays the short game and so its violent actions are more apparent in the short term. The Islamic dictatorship takes the longer view and its long game, such as immigration, is harder to spot, but much more destructive.

ISIS and the Saudis differ in their tactics, but there was very little in the way of differences when it came to how they saw us and non-Muslims in general. The Soviet Union was not moderate because it chose to defer a nuclear confrontation and because it was forced to come to the negotiating table. It was still playing a long game that it never got a chance to finish. The Saudis are not moderate. They are playing the long game. We can’t win the War on Terror through their theocracy. That way lies a real Caliphate.

Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.

Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.
We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.

I wish to thank Daniel for allowing me to publish his work.  Daniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and blogger and a Shillman Journalism Fellow of the David Horowitz Freedom Center


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Obama Disses Alaska

Alaska's "pristine" wildlife refuge

By Alan Caruba

This originally appeared here and I wish to thank Alan for allowing me to publish his work. RK
 
Fifty million Americans who live in the northeast will experience what is predicted to be a historic blizzard from Monday evening through Tuesday. Cities and towns will virtually or literally close down. People will be told to stay indoors for their safety and to facilitate the crews that will labor to clear the roads of snow.

In other words, welcome to Alaska, a place that is plenty cold most of the year and which is no stranger to snow and ice.

Alaska, however, has something that the whole world considers very valuable; oil and natural gas. Lots of it. In 1980 a U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the Coastal Plain could contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In 1987, the U.S Department of Interior confirmed the earlier estimate, saying that “in place resources” ranged from 4.8 billion to 29.4 billion barrels of oil. Recoverable oil estimates ranged from 600 million barrels at the low end to 9.2 billion barrels at the high end.

A nation with an $18 trillion debt might be expected to want to take advantage of this source of revenue, but no, not if that debt was driven up by the idiotic policies of President Barack Obama and not if it could be reduced by the same energy industry that has tapped similar oil and natural gas reserves in the lower 48 states by drilling on private, not public lands.

Instead, on Sunday President Obama referred to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as “an incredible place—pristine, undisturbed. It supports caribou and polar bears” and other species and, guess what, tapping its vast oil and natural gas reserves would not interfere in any way with those species despite the whopping lie that “it’s very fragile.”

At Obama’s direction, the Interior Department announced it was proposing to preserve as wilderness nearly 13 million acres of land in ANWR’s 19.8 million-acre area. That would include 1.5 million acres of coastal plains that Wall Street Journal reported to be “believed to have rich oil and natural gas reserves.”

Not a whole lot of people choose ANWR as a place to vacation. It is a harsh, though often beautiful, area that only the most experienced visitor might want to spend some time. I would want to make every environmentalist who thinks any drilling would harm the area have to take up residence in its “pristine” wilderness to confirm that idiotic notion.

They would find plenty of caribou, polar bears and other species hanging out amidst the oil and gas rigs, and along the pipe line. The Central Arctic Caribou Herd that migrates through the Prudhoe Bay oil field, just next to ANWR has increased from 5,000 animals in the 1970s to more than 50,000 today. There is no evidence than any of the animal species have experienced any decline.

The Coastal Plain lies between known major discovery areas and the Prudhoe Bay, Lisburne, Endicott, Milne Point and Kuparuk oil fields are currently in production In 1996, the North Slope oil fields produced about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day or approximately 25% of the U.S. domestic production. Alaska is permitted to export its oil because of its high levels of productivity.

So why has Obama’s Department of the Interior decided it wants to shut off energy exploration and extraction in a whopping 13-million acres of what is already designated as a wildlife refuge and along its coastlines on the Beaufort and Chukchi seas? The answer is consistent with Obama’s six years of policies to deny Americans the benefits of the nation's vast energy reserves, whether it is the coal that has previously provided 50% of our electrical energy—now down by 10%--or access to reserves of oil and natural gas that would make our nation energy independent as well as a major exporter.

The good news is that only Congress has the authority to declare an area as wilderness. It has debated the issue for more than 30 years and in 12 votes in the House and 3 votes in the Senate it has passed legislation supporting development and opposing the wilderness designation.
 
And guess who is the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee? Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaskan Republican. She also heads up the appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the Interior Department!
 
This latest Obama ANWR gambit is going to go nowhere. It does, however, offer the Republican Congress an opportunity to demonstrate its pro-energy credentials.
“I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska,” said Sen. Murkowski when informed of Obama’s latest attack.
 
© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TEDx talk: How the organic movement became anti-GMO

Rob Saik | January 27, 2015 | TEDx

Rob Saik, professional agrologist, certified agriculture consultant and founder of Agri-Trend, spoke at TEDx Red Deer, Alberta on GMOs. “Do you believe that agriculture can feed 9 billion people?” he asked. “The real question is will agriculture be allowed to feed 9 billion people?”  “I believe the anti-science movement is the biggest threat to global food security today. The voices of science are being drowned out by the voices of fear and paranoia,” he said. Saik believe that the technology to feed people already exists. He urged the audience to celebrate the accomplishments of fertilizer, pesticides and genetic engineering in boosting agricultural production while also providing more sustainable ways of farming. For example, Bt crops have lowered pesticide use, he said, while adoption of GMOs in Brazil has helped relieve pressure to tear down rainforests by increasing yields on land already converted to agriculture…..To Read More…..

Pests invade Europe after neonicotinoids ban, with no benefit to bee health

Rebecca Randall | January 27, 2015 | Genetic Literacy Project

This month, more than 100 natural food brands, including Clif Bar and Stonyfield, joined together in a drive to encourage the Obama Administration to ban pesticides linked to bee deaths. The culprit, they say, is neonicotinoids, which is a class of chemicals commonly called neonics, introduced in the 1990s, that are mostly coated onto seeds to help farmers control insects……Last November, the NRDC submitted signatures from almost 275,000 of its members urging EPA to respond to its legal petition to expedite the review of neonics……. While many environmental activists, and some scientists, have coalesced around the belief that neonics as a likely culprit, most mainstream entomologists disagreed [saying] “extremely dubious” that banning neonics, as many greens are demanding, would have any positive effect……. Cities, states and provinces in Canada, egged on by environmental activists, are beginning to act unilaterally. Ontario voted to ban the chemicals, as have several cities or counties, including Vancouver; Seattle, Thurston County, Wash.; Spokane, Wash.; Cannon Beach, Ore.; and Shorewood, MN. Oregon held a hearing recently to consider a policy that would limit neonics use……Last fall, UK farmer Peter Kendall said he sprayed his crop with pyrethroids three times last year before giving up, replanting and spraying again. This increased spraying with harsher chemicals may harm the honeybees, which the neonics ban intended to protect in the first place. . A 2014 study by researchers at the University of London found that exposure to pyrethroids can reduce bee size….To Read More…...

My Take - When are we going to stop listening to these eco-maniacs from organizations like the NRDC? When people stop giving them billions - the government stops awarding them grant money - when sue and settle is dealt with legislatively - when they start being sued by those they attack and when someone in authority somewhere in the world decides they need to be prosecuted under criminal law for the damage they cause and the lives their policies have cost. One more thing. I found it interesting that pyrethroids are now being called one of those "harsher" chemicals. When did that happen? There was a time when they were touted by activists as an alternative to "harsher" chemicals. Now they are one! Let's try and have clarity on this. It will never matter what "better alternative" we adopt to appease these activists because they can't be appeased. Whatever is adopted today will be attacked tomorrow. We really do need to get this once and for all!
 
Appeasement doesn't work!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Outed by FOIA – EPA strategy memo reveals deep flaws in the integrity of the agency, and lack of integrity of the press

Anthony Watts / 22 hours ago January 26, 2015

Attorney Chris Horner writes in with this bombshell which shows how “evangelism” has replaced factual analysis at the EPA, which is helped along by a compliant mass media. See the attached document obtained via FOIA.
His take on it includes:

* Obtained from the ongoing “Richard Windsor” FOIA, precisely as FOIA intended this allows the American public to see what bureaucrats and, in this case, ideological activists in government say among themselves and their pressure group allies, helping us keep a proper perspective about what these same activists tell the public.

* What this memo shows is the recognition that EPA needed to move its global warming campaign away from the failed global model of discredited Big Green pressure groups and their icons, that it has proved “consistently — an unpersuasive argument to make.” In it we see the birth of the breathtakingly disingenuous “shift from making this about the polar caps [to] about our neighbor with respiratory illness…”.

It also shows the conviction that if they yell “clean air” and “children” enough they, the media and the green groups will get their way....... Possibly most refreshing is the acknowledgement of EPA’s symbiotic relationship with a “cadre of reporters” who EPA expects to demand an agenda — according to EPA, just like pressure groups — to which demands EPA will respond.…..To Read More….
 
My Take - Okay, just because EPA and the green movement has been caught in a couple of "sue and settle" collusion cases.....okay.....a ton of collusion "sue and settle" cases, that does not justify believing in conspiracies......is it? 
 
Okay, let's quelch this conspiracy stuff right now.  Please watch the shiny swinging object and just relax and listen to my soothing and calming voice  - There's no such thing as a conspiracy- There's no such thing as a conspiracy - There's no such thing as a conspiracy - There's no such thing as a conspiracy - There's no such thing as a conspiracy..... 
 
Now when you awaken from your trance you will remember nothing .....NOTHING..... except that there's no such thing as a conspiracy.   Do you understand? 
 
Yes Master! 
 
Oh, one more thing to remember - Green is good - green is good - green is good.....

Random thoughts on the passing scene by Thomas Sowell

It's my opinion that Thomas Sowell is one of the finest thinkers in the nation today, and it isn't because he understands complicated issues to well, it's because he has the unique ability to convey those complicated issues in ways that make them easily undestood. No small intellectual feat!

Thomas Sowell posted another of his insightful Random Thoughts on Tuesday Jan 27, 2015 - thirteen in all.   Here's number one.  To see the rest go here.

1. Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.

The Temperature at Which Global Warming Freezes

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

The sky over New York City was a falling sheet of white. Trails of footprints, work boots, paw prints, sneakers and bird claws, told their own story of how the residents of city were getting through the blizzard to their daily errands. Shoppers lugged home milk as if cows were going extinct. Miniature snowmen decorated mailboxes and garbage trucks towing orange plows clattered down empty streets.

Nowhere in the city was the blizzard more pronounced than in Central Park, designed a century ago to create a miniature forest in the heart of Manhattan. Even the tallest trees, taller than any others in the city, were layered with coats of snow and visibility had vanished into a cloud of whiteness.

And walking along a path in the Ramble, I heard a woman lecturing her children on the dangers of what else, but Global Warming.

There is a madness to walking through a blizzard and discussing Global Warming. A theory according to which we should be sliding toward the tropics, awash in fleeing polar bears and Florida style temperatures, instead of frantically shoveling our driveways.

To believe in Global Warming while stamping the snow off your boots is not a matter of science. It is a matter of faith. The scientist sees what is, while the believer has faith in what he cannot see. The scientist does not see Global Warming in a blizzard.

The Warmist does. To see Global Warming while walking through a blizzard, is itself an act of faith.

Every winter, Global Warming advocates stake their bets on a mild winter. And every winter the snow and ice break their cars and shoes, but never their faith.

Last year the New York Times was predicting the end of snow. This year the New York Times building is snowlogged, but still keeping the faith.

No matter how much slush trails through its lobby, its writers must continue to show people the pernicious effects of people driving to work and using extra shopping bags. Digging out of a snowstorm and their own lies, Global Warming advocates claim that colder winters are actually another effect of global warming. Which may be renamed to Global Temperatures We Don't Like.

Walking through Central Park, it's easy to see how perverse the modern day environmentalist has become in his view of the relationship between man and nature.
Central Park was inspired by one of the co-founders of the Republican party, New York Post editor, William Cullen Bryant, and co-created by Republican architect and landscape designer Frederick Olmsted, to harmonize the natural world and the urban one through human industry.


The New York Republicans of the 19th century viewed public parks as part of their civilizing mission.

Central Park was created as part of an ongoing battle with the corrupt Democratic Tammany Hall machine, which wanted segregated slums and downtrodden workers who would rush to them as saviors and vote how they were told.

Bryant and Olmsted saw parks as a way to improve human health, inspire public citizenship and build a strong republic.

Central Park's beauty is both natural and artificial. Modern environmentalists often mistake it for a preserved space, but its natural beauty was the work of human craftsmanship. The original site was a mess of swamps. The sort of place that the EPA fights tooth and nail to protect for the environment. Had Central Park remained a mass of swamps, the city and the country would have been worse for it.

Instead of preserving the wetlands, Central Park's planners dredged them. They created a place of great natural beauty by taking what was best in the natural world and matching it to human use, instead of blindly worshiping at the pagan altar of "Mother Nature". They built a lake so that visitors could row boats. They set up rambling paths between woodlands of trees that they planted. A meadow rose along with sheep and a shepherd. Everything was natural and artificial.

While today's environmentalists are fixated on holding back human development in order to maintain wetlands, banning DDT to save the mosquito and campaigning against agriculture to reduce population growth-- the visionaries behind Central Park did not restrict human development for the sake of nature, instead they used human industry and the state of the art technology of the time to turn a decrepit site used for slaughterhouse refuse, swamps and shantytowns into a magnificent park that seems effortlessly natural.

They did not do it to glorify nature, but to improve man.

Environmentalists demonize human industry and accomplishment as evil because they worship nature. Humanity spoils the unspoiled natural environment. It kills the mosquitoes, destroys malaria and turns lovely swamps into ugly parks full of hideous children enjoying themselves.

In their worldview, for the environment to prosper, humanity must go into decline. And when humanity prospers, they insist that the environment is in decline.

Conservationists, who included the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt, valued the natural world for what human beings can learn about themselves from engaging with it. That was the philosophy behind Central Park, which to this day remains an elegant demonstration of human accomplishment as applied to the natural world.

Global Warming is an ideological weapon by the environmentalists against human civilization. It is part of a broader anti-civilization agenda by the left, which values the natural world only because it sees it as a "primitive" antidote to the complexities of civilization. That romanticism is the borrowed hostility of the nomad to the farmer (and it is very telling to look at Europe and see its intellectuals championing the virtues of Bedouin nomads over London and Paris) taken up by bored intellectuals, arguing against the complexity of civilization and for the noble barbarism of the savage.

Where the conservationist values the natural world because of its beneficial impact on the human spirit through cultivation and achievement, the Environmentalist does not truly value the natural world, he does not love nature, he only hates civilization. Where the conservationist sought out the natural world for its civilizing effects, the environmentalist seeks it out for its decivilizing effects. He does not want to be a better human man, but less of a man. He wants to be a noble savage.

The conservationist sought to integrate the natural world into our lives in order to build a better civilization. The environmentalist is not interested in building a better human civilization. His objective can only succeed if every human being, every building, factory, car and artifact vanished off the face of the earth tomorrow. His environmentalism is a mask for his hostility to human civilization.

Central Park does not duplicate Manhattan before the arrival of the settlers, a trendy bit of landscaping that environmentalists are rather fond of. But then who besides environmentalists would fancy the idea of reverting Manhattan to a swamp bordered island with poor water sources and high rates of disease? Instead it creates something better, improving on the natural world, cultivating land into a transcendent statement that is more about man than nature.

Where Global Warming insists that everything humans do just makes the world worse, Central Park is a shining statement that says we make it better.

Every Warmunist ad is a parable about the evil of humans who chop down forests, pour oil into the oceans and refuse to put things into clearly marked recycling containers. Central Park opens up the natural world to human activities. The ideas of Olmsted about good citizenship and the natural world did not involve teaching people to leave the natural world alone, but to make it a part of our cities.

Environmentalists today sneer at this attitude. They clamor against hunting and fishing. They agitate to restrict human access to national parks. They push Zero Population Growth and mandatory birth control. Their "Green", like that of the Islamic Green, burns with hate for the Red, White and Blue. For human civilization.

Much of the public thinks environmentalism is a good idea, because they think it's ultimately meant to benefit them. Environmentalism however is an ideology that champions the Supremacy of Nature, better known as the ecosystem covering the surface of the Earth, over man. Where Conservationism believed in the Supremacy of Man, and the utilization of the natural environment for mankind's benefit, the environmentalist doesn't give a damn about mankind's benefit. Less so than he does about an endangered mollusk.

Walking through the blizzard, the trees wreathed in bridal veils of snow, I heard their voices in the distance, a distance that in the whiteness may have been only a dozen feet away. "The scientists say Global Warming is coming", the mother said. "It's too cold out for that," answered the little girl.

I wish to thank Daniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and blogger and a Shillman Journalism Fellow of the David Horowitz Freedom Center for allowing me to publish his work. 

Pam Geller's Atlas Shrugs!

Jihad in the Philippines: Muslim Fighters Kill 27 Cops: Officials - The Philippines has made extraordinary concessions to the violent Muslim uprising. But as we know, that only leads to more violence and more demands for an even bigger Islamic State. Islamic terror rages on in the Philippines. Worse, these supremacist savages are rewarded. The modern-day manifestation of the caliphate, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has “observer status” in the “talks” between the Philippine government and the jihadist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Muslim terrorists slaughter and the OIC “mediates.”  It would be comical if it weren’t so deadly. The Philippines (a former American protectorate and 95% Catholic country) has had to give up territory and “share wealth” with...

BBC Chief: We must not call Charlie Hebdo killers ‘terrorists’ - This is a perfect example of the sickness in the media that I rail against every day. Sanitizing savagery. Whitewashing Islamic jihad. My G-d man, they are beheading journalists. Why is the BBC sharpening the dull blade at their own necks (and ours)?
Infiltration.  We are under siege by the jihadists, a siege made possible by their their step and fetchit errand boys on the left.  This is why Atlas Shrugs is so critical……

Turkish court orders Facebook to block pages insulting Mohammad - Obama’s number one “trusted” and “most favorite” ally, Turkey — the “moderate” Muslim country. It is astonishing how much damage the abdication of the leader of the free world can do in so short a period of time. The twentieth century of Ataturk is now a mere historical blip. The secular Muslim countries of Africa and the Middle East are drowning in a sea of blood unleashed by devout Muslim wars.  And Obama has been instrumental in all of it…..

Pentagon Creates Essay Contest To Honor Saudi King, Muslim World - President Obama couldn’t go to France to stand for freedom of speech in the wake of the Islamic slaughter of the editorial staff of a French weekly magazine but he’ll fly to Saudi Arabia for the King of shariah and then force feed this dung down the throats of our schoolchildren.  We are under siege, my fellow Americans. Jihad in the White House.  Dhimmitude and submission at the most senior levels.  TR: The Pentagon announced Monday that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has come up with a way to honor the recently deceased Saudi monarch, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz: an essay contest.  Despite Saudi Arabia’s abysmal record on human rights, the contest, to be hosted by the National Defense University,......

84% of “Palestinian” Muslims believe Israel was behind Paris jihad mass murder - Here’s the craziness: thousands of “Palestinian” Muslims protested Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech. They support the slaughter commanded under Islamic law (Shariah). They agree with the murderers. But at the same time, they have no trouble holding the completely conflicting view that the Jews did it. No wonder they are so violent — their brains explode along with their bombs.  “Israel was behind terror attacks in France,” by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, January 25, 2015:  Following the terror attacks against the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish store in which Muslim terrorists killed 17 people in France earlier this month, columnists writing for the official Palestinian...

Thousands of Muslims Protest Charlie Hebdo Cartoons - Instead of seeing tens of thousands of Muslims protesting the slaughter of writers and cartoonists, we see the Muslim world standing in support of the savage law that calls for the death of those who criticize this monstrous ideology.  “Pakistan: 30,000 rally against Charlie Hebdo and the freedom of speech”, thanks to Jihad Watch, January 25, 2015.  How good it would be if, in the face of these ongoing and growing protests, we had a Western leader who would stand up and explain why the freedom of speech is important, and declare that we were determined to defend it. But we don’t.   “Blasphemous caricatures:...

Italy: Muslims Urinate on and Destroy Virgin Mary Statue - More of that mutual respect and mutual understanding we are always being schooled on by our Islamic superiors. Imagine if anything, even remotely like this, was ever attempted in a mosque — the mind reels. Photo above from a previous desecration of a Virgin Mary statue by Muslims.  They are slaughtering people and burning churches because of a couple of drawings. Imagine this.  Italy: Muslims Destroy and Urinate on Virgin Mary Statue, [Source: Alerta Digital] Portuguese (thanks to Raymond Ibrahim), January 17, 2015.  January 9. A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by...

Pamela Geller, Breitbart: American Muslim Group Attacks American Sniper, Demands Eastwood and Cooper Denounce Fictional ‘Islamophobia’ - Do read my column today at Breitbart. It’s not to be missed.  American Muslim Group Attacks American Sniper, Demands Eastwood and Cooper Denounce Fictional ‘Islamophobia’, Pamela Geller, Breitbart, January 25, 2016 One of the foundational principles of the Bush Doctrine was and is the oft-repeated dictum, “You are either with us or against us.” Little did President Bush know that the American Muslim community was…against us.  George Bush believed that the moderates in the Muslim world would denounce and destroy the devout (that is, the “radicals”). He was expecting a war within Islam that never actually took place. Imagine Bush’s dismay when he discovered that no one was behind him, like John Belushi in Animal...




 

The Pity Party

January 27, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield 8 Comments

Progressives will always claim that no matter how badly their plans go wrong, at least their terrible policies were well-intentioned.   The regimes that shot orphans, starved entire cities into submission and committed genocide were “caring” in comparison to the heartless Dickensian capitalists who did nothing for the poor except create cheap products and jobs. They might have killed millions, but their red hearts were in the right place.

They didn’t just spend all their time gobbling caviar and diving into swimming pools full of all money like the millionaires of the West. Instead they gave speeches about Marxism-Leninism, killed anyone who wasn’t up on their dialectical materialism and then gobbled working class caviar and dove into proletarian swimming pools full of money.....To Read More.....

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dear Northeast, How’s that solar working out for ya?

Down two power plants since the last polar vortex, the Northest is facing an energy crisis this winter

by Marita Noon

A couple of months ago, effective in November, National Grid, one of Massachusetts’ two dominant utilities, announced rate increases of a “whopping” 37% over last year. Other utilities in the region are expected to follow suit.

It’s dramatic headlines like these that make rooftop solar sound so attractive to people wanting to save money. In fact, embedded within the online version of the Boston Globe story: “Electric rates in Mass. set to spike this winter,” is a link to another article: “How to install solar power and save.” The solar story points out: “By now everyone knows that solar power can save homeowners big money on utility bills.” It claims that solar works even in New England’s dreary winters and cites Henry K. Vandermark, founder and president of Solar Wave Energy in Cambridge, as saying: “Even snow doesn’t matter if your panels have a steep angle. It just slides right off them.”

Solar is not the panacea it is promoted to be, though it is true that—after a substantial investment, heavy government subsidies (funded by all taxpayers), and generous net-metering programs (that raise costs for non-solar customers)—solar systems can save money on the typical homeowners’ monthly bill. (An unsubsidized system averages about $24,000.)

New England has seen one big power plant close within the past year—Salem Harbor Power Station in Salem, MA, went “dark” on June 1, in part due to tightening federal regulations. Another major closure will take place within weeks: Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

A new, state-of-the-art natural gas plant on 18 acres of the 65-acre Salem site will replace the Salem Harbor plant (photo). The remaining 47 acres will see redevelopment, including renewable energy. But, that plan has received pushback from environmental groups that want it fully replaced with renewables. TheBoston Globe states: “A decade ago, replacing the aging plant with a far cleaner natural gas facility would have thrilled environmental and public health advocates.” The Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against the project’s approval, claiming the state “failed to adequately consider its own climate change law when state energy officials approved the Salem plant.” In February, the group settled the suit after it caused construction delays and reliability concerns.

Just days before the plant closed, a report from The Daily Climate addressed the controversy over usage of the Salem Harbor site: “Many activists pushed back, arguing for wind or solar generation or non-energy uses, such as a marine biotechnology research facility.” One activist group: HealthLink, “has marshaled opposition to running a gas line to the new plant,” and another: Grassroots Against Another Salem Plant (GAASP), “has pledged to use peaceful civil disobedience to block construction of the gas plant.”

The state of Massachusetts has offered three closed, or scheduled to be closed, coal-fueled power plant sites $6 million to pursue renewable energy projects—even though wind and solar require full back up from fossil fuel power plants so electricity is available in the frigid Northeast winters. Additionally, a new report from two Stanford Ph.D.’s, who spent 4 years trying to prove renewables can, ultimately, replace fossil fuels, have had to admit defeat: “Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”

Having lived with the 63-year-old Salem Harbor plant in her back yard for 20 years, Linda Haley, doesn’t, according to WGBH News, “understand why Salem would encourage use of a non-renewable fossil-fuel resource like natural gas when alternative investments in Green technology finally seem possible.”

These stories reveal the snow job that has been perpetuated on the general public regarding renewable energy. They don’t understand the need for power or how it works. They seem to believe that when a rule passes a magic wand waves replacing older, but still fully functional, power plants with wind or solar — that doesn’t produce electricity 24/7/365 as do the decommissioned coal or nuclear plants — and which require far more land to produce the same amount of, albeit intermittent, electricity.

An iced-up wind turbine or a solar panel covered in 7 feet of snow—even if some of it slides off—doesn’t generate electricity. And the cold days of a Northeast winter create one of the times when energy demand peaks.

Remember last winter’s polar vortex, when freezing weather crippled the Northeast for days and put a tremendous strain on the electric supply?

Congress, following the near crisis, brought in utility executives to explain the situation. Regarding the nation’s electrical output last winter, Nicholas Akins, the CEO of the biggest generator of coal-fueled electricity in the U.S., American Electric Power (AEP), told Congress: “This country did not just dodge a bullet—we dodged a cannon ball.” Similarly, Michael Kormos, Executive VP of Operations for PJM Interconnection (the largest grid operator in the U.S. overseeing 13 states), commented on operations during the polar vortex: PJM was “never—as some accounts have portrayed—700 megawatts away from rolling blackouts. … On the worst day, January 7, our next step if we had lost a very large generator would have been to implement a small voltage reduction”—industry speak for the last option before power outages.

About last winter’s grid reliability, Glenn Beck claims: “I had an energy guy come to me about 3 weeks ago. …He said, ‘We were one power plant away from a blackout in the East all winter long… We were using so much electricity. We were at the top of the grid. There’s no more electricity. We’re at the top.’”

This winter’s extreme weather—with new records set for November power demand—has already arrived. Come January, there will be not one, but two, fewer Northeast power plants since last year—not because they had to be retired, but because of EPA regulations and public sentiment. In a November 17 op-ed, former Senators Bayh (D-IN) and Judd (R-NH) said: “Vermont Yankee produced 26% of New England’s power during the peak of last year’s frigid weather.” The Northeast won’t have Vermont Yankee’s power this January.

Without these two vital power plants, what will the Northeast do?

For several months, since I had a chat with Weather Bell AnalyticsJoe Bastardi at the International Conference on Climate Change, I’ve continued to say that I fear people will have to die due to power outages that prevent them from heating their homes in the winter cold, before the public wakes up to the damage of these policies. AEP’s Atkins seems to agree. He told Columbus Business First: “Truth be known, something’s probably going to have to happen before people realize that there is an issue.”

“New England is in the midst of an energy crisis,” claims WGBH News. The report continues: “Residents and businesses are facing a future that may include ‘rolling blackouts’ on days when usage is highest.”

ISO New England, the agency that oversees the power grid, warns, in the Boston Globe: “Boston and northeast Massachusetts are ‘expected to face an electricity capacity shortage’ that could lead to rolling blackouts or the use of trailer-mounted diesel generators—which emit far more pollutants than natural gas—to fill the gap.” Ray Hepper, the lawyer for ISO New England, in a court filing, wrote: “The ISO simply cannot make megawatts of generation materialize that are not on the system.” In an interview, he added: “We’re really, as a region, at the point of needing new power plants.”

As the Salem Harbor story illustrates, natural gas will likely fuel those new power plants and environmental groups are expected to challenge construction. Plus, natural gas faces cost volatility. On November 20, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in the wake of November cold, not experienced since the 1970s when global cooling was predicted, featured an article titled, “Chill pushes up natural-gas prices,” that stated: “Natural-gas stockpiles shrank by more than expected last week reflecting surging demand.” As in the ’70s, many are now projecting, based on solar activity and other natural variables, a long global cooling trend.

While the Boston Globe, in September, said: “The upcoming winter is not expected to be as cold as last season,” Bastardi told me otherwise. He said: “This winter could be as cold and nasty as last year and in a worst case go beyond that to some of the great winters of the late 1970s, lasting all the way into April. As it is, we still have a winter comparable to last year forecasted, though the position of the worst, relative to averages, may be further southeast than last year.” During a November 19 appearance with Neil Cavuto, Bastardi suggested that we may see a bit of warming after November, but will have one, or two, very cold months after that.

The WSJ quoted Brian Bradshaw, portfolio manager at BP Capital in Dallas: “‘Everyone thinks it’s not possible’ to have another winter like last year, ‘But the weather does impossible things all the time.’” The WSJ added: “The natural-gas market is setting up for a repeat of last winter.”

So, why, when natural gas prices sit at historic lows that experts predicted will lower electricity rates, is the Northeast facing double-digit increases? The answer: there is no magic wand. The changes have been mandated, but the replacements aren’t ready yet. Ray Gifford, former commissioner with the Colorado Public Utility Commission, told me: “I don’t see how the gas infrastructure in New England can be built fast enough to replace retiring baseload capacity.”

Within the past decade, natural gas went from supplying less than a fifth of New England’s power to one half—which could be great if New England had natural gas, but it is, as Tim Maverick, Commodities Correspondent for Wall Street Daily, says: “gas-starved.” After last winter’s freezing weather, Maverick wrote: “The Northeast was slapped in the face with the reality that there’s not sufficient pipeline infrastructure to provide it with the mega-energy pull it draws in the colder season. This is probably because not one new pipeline infrastructure has been introduced in over 40 years. Natural gas consumption in the Northeast has grown more than 20% in the last decade, and not one new pipeline has been built. Current pipelines are stuffed and can carry no more supply.”

At the Edison Electric Institute financial conference on November 11, AEP’s Atkins confirmed that the proposed timeline to cut pollution from the EPA will shutter coal plants before completion of construction of new power plants using other fuels, or the infrastructure to move the needed natural gas around.

The lack of available supply results in higher prices. The Boston Globe explains: “Gas supplies for home heating are purchased under long-term contracts arranged far in advance, so utilities have the advantage of locking in lower rates. Power plants, on the other hand, often buy shorter term and are more exposed to price movements in the spot markets.” In the winter’s cold weather, the gas goes to people’s homes first. Different from coal, which is shipped by train, with a 30-day supply easily held at the point of use, the switch to natural gas leaves power plants struggling to meet demand, paying higher prices.

Addressing the 2013/2014 winter, Terry Jarrett, a former public service commissioner and a nationally recognized leader in energy, utility, and regulatory issues, said: “Natural gas couldn’t shoulder that burden, due in part to a shortage of infrastructure to deliver gas where it was needed—this despite record-setting production in the Marcellus Shale and elsewhere. But more importantly, whereas coal’s sole purpose is to generate electricity, natural gas is also used for home heating. And when push comes to shove, heating gets priority over generation.”

Last winter, coal and nuclear met the demand to keep the lights on and heat homes and businesses. AEP reports that 89% of its coal plants, now slated for retirement, ran at capacity just to meet the peak demand.

These shortages in the Northeast occur before the implementation of Obama’s Clean Power Plan that experts believe will shut down hundreds of coal-fueled power plants nationwide by 2016. New pipelines and new plants need to be built, but “not-in-my-backyard” attitudes and environmental activists will probably further delay and prevent construction as they have done in the Northeast, which will result in higher electric bills nationwide.

“Because less-expensive coal generation is retiring and in part is being replaced by demand-response or other potential high energy cost resources, excess generation will narrow and energy prices could become more volatile due to the increasing reliance on natural gas for electricity generation,” PJM’s Kormos told Congress.

The lessons for America’s energy supply learned from the Northeast’s far-reaching experiment, which has only resulted only in price increases and potential energy shortages, are twofold. First, don’t shut down existing supply until the replacement is ready, as legal action and local attitudes can slow its development. Second, you can cover every square inch of available land with wind and solar, but when extreme weather hits, it requires a reliable energy supply, best met by coal and nuclear.

Current policy direction will have all of America, not just the Northeast, freezing in the dark. I hope it can it be turned back before it is too late.

NOTE: A version of this content was originally published at Breitbart.com.