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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Friday, January 31, 2014

From Dr. Tim Ball's "A Different Perspective"

Overpopulation: The Fallacy Behind The Fallacy Of Global Warming.
by Dr. Tim Ball on January 7, 2014
 “It occurred to me…” Academic gowns show universities are medieval institutions being dragged kicking and screaming into the 17th century. Global Warming was just one issue The Club of Rome (TCOR) targeted in its campaign to reduce world population. In 1993 the Club’s co-founder, Alexander King with Bertrand Schneider wrote The First Global Revolution stating, […]
by Dr. Tim Ball on December 31, 2013
“It occurred to me…”When the call centre message says”All our assistants are busy, they really mean we don’t have enough staff.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set climate research back thirty years, mostly by focusing world attention on CO2 and higher temperature. It was a classic misdirection that required planning. The IPCC was […]
by Dr. Tim Ball on December 14, 2013
 “It occurred to me…””When the call centre message says ”Your call may be recorded for quality” they mean we are covering our backsides. The following article is a response to a question about an article I wrote for Anthony Watts site linked in the first line below. Anthony wrote to me pointing to the question […]
by Dr. Tim Ball on December 10, 2013
 “It occurred to me…” The tail always wagged the dog: Now, because of political correctness, the flea on the hair on the tail wags the dog. Cover story of the November 25, 2013 Canadian weekly magazine Macleans pictures self-appointed Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki. The caption reads, “Environmentalism Has Failed” “David Suzuki loses faith in the […]

Thursday, January 30, 2014

From Shaw's Eco-Logic

January 27, 2014

Another Environmental Lie Exposed: Bees are Thriving

By Alan Caruba
I cannot say it strong enough. Do not believe the lies that environmental groups, particularly those that receive millions from liberal foundations and from members who never question the “science” they claim to justify massive scare campaigns.
One such organization is Friends of the Earth (FOE) and its latest claim is that bees are dying all over the world as the result of the use of pesticides in agriculture and by people protecting their gardens. It is a lie.
The attack on the use of pesticides began in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” that claimed that their use posed a threat to human life. She said “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.”
The problem with her opinion is that humanity cannot alter nature, but can protect itself against the diseases and other problems. Humanity endures nature in the form of climate that currently is cooling much of the Earth. Were it not for science, we would not have put an end to polio and reduced other diseases such as malaria by killing the mosquitoes that spread it. We would not have learned how to create water purification systems that protect the residents of cities worldwide. We would not have learned how to increase crops that feed millions thanks to genetic modification.
Is humanity at risk? There are seven billion of us, more than any previous time on Earth.
Why do I defend pesticides? Because, since the 1980s, I have served pest control trade associations by providing communications programs. In the 1980s I worked for a corporation that produced one of the most extraordinary pesticides invented; one that was applied with water! It so alarmed the Environmental Protection Agency, that it insisted that its multi-million dollar registration be repeated and that company decided to cease making it available in the U.S.
What do pesticides do? They protect us against trillions of insect and rodent pests that spread diseases while some represent millions in property damage—termites—every year. In June 2011, the EPA announced it intended to ban the sale of “the most toxic rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products” to residential customers. The only result of such a ban would be millions more rats and mice in their homes!
Rachel Carson’s book predicted the massive loss of bird species due to the use of pesticides. It was a bestseller and is still in print. She was wrong, but she triggered the beginning and growth of environmental groups that have used the same bad “science” to unleash all manner of fears on Americans and worldwide. Friends of the Earth is just one of them.
Recently I received a FOE email from Lisa Archer, its food and technology program director, in which she reported a Valentine’s Day project to stop Home Depot and Lowe’s stores from selling pesticides. The project is based on the totally false claim that all the bees are dying from the use of pesticides; in particular neonicotid pesticides that are widely used in agriculture.
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) disputes this while acknowledging that “In the last decade, a massive decline in bee populations was detected. It was given the name of “Bee Colony Collapse Disorder” and “while the problem seems to have abated somewhat after 2010, periodic declines continued, and fears of recurrent major extinctions persisted.” The fears have been fanned by environmental organizations, but the ACSH revealed new research by scientists affiliated with the Department of Agriculture here and in China, reviewed in “The Scientist” that “provides the first evidence that the bee problem in fact, stems from the tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), not from pesticides.”
Not from pesticides despite the FOE’s claim that “neonicotinoid pesticides are killing bees” noting that Europe is banning them. Europe is a hotbed of environmental fears and, ironically, is reversing its trend toward solar and wind energy after it has driven up the cost of electricity there and harmed its economic growth.
The ACSH reports that “the bees may pick up the virus from the pollen of plants that they feed upon, and that the virus may be spread to other bees by mites that feed on them. Once it has gained a foothold in a bee, the researchers determined that TRVS can replicate itself in the bee’s body.”
“This process of a virus moving from one species to another is call ‘host shifting’”.
Writing in 2012, Rich Kozlovich, a pest control expert, reported that “it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed bee hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 percent over the last five years.”
He also noted that “most staple foods—wheat, rice and corn—do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating.”
These well-established facts mean nothing to FOE or other environmental organizations seeking to demonize pesticides. It means nothing to the EPA that has banned many extraordinarily effective pesticides from use to protect humans and property.
It is the advances of modern science that have protected and extended human life. Banning them just exposes Americans to a range of diseases, some of which kill. Until more Americans understand that the real threat is the EPA and the environmental groups spreading baseless fears, they will continue to be at risk.
© Alan Caruba, 2014

State of the Union: Economic Band-Aids for Poverty and Unemployment

By Ryan Young on January 28, 2014
One of progressivism’s most admirable traits is its concern for the little guy. But many progressive policies for alleviating poverty, unemployment, and other social problems don’t work as advertised. This is because those policies often focus only on the desired outcome, and ignore the deeper processes that ultimately generate those outcomes. This misplaced focus was on full display in President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
This is a subtle point that would benefit from an analogy. Suppose, while slicing vegetables, that you accidentally cut your finger. The sensible thing to do is put on a band-aid. But in the long run, you are far better off knowing and practicing proper knife safety. The band-aid eases the immediate problem. But if you focus on the long-term process of safety, you are far less likely to get hurt in the first place…… To Read More.....

State of the Union: President Gets Minimum Wage and Gender Pay Gap Wrong

by Aloysius Hogan on January 29, 2014
President Obama surprised few in his State of the Union address, which was dominated by egalitarian and populist themes. The president is entitled to his ideology, but not to his own facts. On both the minimum wage and gender pay gap, the president’s position runs counter to the economic reality.
President Obama voiced strong support for legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. He also encouraged cities and states to raise their minimum wages, citing the five states to have done so in the past year, while calling on businesses themselves to increase employee pay. Every employee would certainly like to be paid more. Unfortunately, increasing the minimum wage will decidedly not promote economic growth nor help our present employment woes......To Read More......

State of the Union: More on the President’s Debunked Wage Gap Claim

by Hans Bader on January 29, 2014
Aloysius Hogan has already debunked the president’s wage gap claim in his State of the Union Address in an earlier post, noting that labor economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth found that “men and women make about the same” per hour in each “individual” occupation after taking into account factors like “job responsibility” and “experience.”  What’s noteworthy is that even fact-checkers for some liberal newspapers such as The Washington Post are finally taking issue with the president’s claims in this area. In his State of the Union address, President Obama said,
Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.
But as the fact-checker for The Washington Post (which hasn’t endorsed a Republican for President since 1952) noted yesterday, this figure is quite misleading, since it involves comparing apples to oranges: Women on average do not work the same number of hours men do per year, nor do female workers have the same individual or occupational characteristics as male workers:……To Read More…..

Krugman Claims Mises Couldn’t Explain the Great Depression

Mises Daily: Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Joseph T. Salerno
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. —Mahatma Gandhi
Final victory draws ever nearer for Austrian economics. Over the weekend, the New York Times, with its intellectual cachet rapidly waning and its finances in parlous straits, ran a tedious and rambling hit piece on Rand Paul. The article went out of its way to target the Mises Institute, the longtime home of mainline Austrian economics. Lew Rockwell’s response graciously accepted the honor associated with being recognized as a leading intellectual threat to establishment economics and the American welfare-warfare state by the regime’s leading media mouthpiece. Hard on the heels of the first Times article comes another attack on Austrian economics. This one appears in an op-edby house Keynesian Paul Krugman whose one-note diatribes have long ceased to outrage or amuse. Even Krugman’s title, “Soup Kitchens Caused the Great Depression,” has been recycled. And it is not rendered any less tired by the addition of “the AFF Edition,” an idiosyncratic acronym which, as Krugman is forced to explain in the first sentence of the text, means “Austrian Founding Fathers.”.....To Read More.....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yuri Maltsev Explains the Tea Party

Mises Daily: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Yuri N. Maltsev
Mises Institute: What were the origins of what is now called the Tea Party movement?
Yuri Maltsev:  As we explain in our book, the modern Tea Party movement began with a fundraiser by Ron Paul supporters on December 16th, 2007 (the 234th anniversary of the pre-revolutionary Boston Tea Party) and a backlash against the policies of President George W. Bush. This Tea Party fundraiser was followed by an even bigger one, the unprecedented Ron Paul “money bomb” of November 5th.
The rising trend of anti-government protests saw a huge surge in February, 2009 after the famous impromptu speech by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli against the federal government’s bailout of irresponsible borrowers in the country’s ongoing mortgage crisis. “The government is promoting bad behavior,” he declared, standing on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Chicago. Turning to the traders working behind him, he said, “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” The video of his rant went viral that same day and bolstered an already-planned round of protests in at least 40 cities across the country on February 27, 2009....To Read More....

Income Inequality claims: Wrong-Headed Liberalism

January 27, 2014 by David L. Goetsch
Hurting from the implosion of Obamacare and the revelation that its namesake lied to the American people about his misnamed Affordable Care Act, liberals running for office have been forced to find another song to sing. Not surprisingly, they have found one: income inequality. Income inequality has become mantra for progressive politicians who are concerned about the effect Obamacare will have on their re-elections. Ask a progressive politician about President Obama’s you-can-keep-your-doctor promise, and you will get an earful about income inequality. Show a progressive politician your cancelled health insurance policy, and you will hear a lecture on income inequality. Give a progressive politician a copy of the notice of increased premiums you just received from your insurance company, and you will be treated to a dissertation on income inequality. Liberals have decided to confront their Obamacare problem by changing the subject. The new subject they plan to focus on is income inequality……..Read the rest here:

Rebutting the Lefts Continuous Accusations of Racism

January 27, 2014 by David Risselada
Forward: The information used in this article comes from a position paper I wrote in response to an essay called “White Male, White Privilege.” The essay is available for review at The Radical Conservative. The position I took concerning racism and social justice prompted my professors to claim I wasn’t fit for the field of social work because the whole educational curriculum revolved around the idea of White America oppressing blacks and other minorities, which you know is something I write about quite often. We simply must be ready at a moment’s notice to rebut these claims of racism with facts, and we mustn’t be afraid to educate others about them as well. Its overwhelmingly obvious that the agenda is to cause racial strife while claiming that blacks and other minorities are systematically oppressed. We all know this isn’t true.
Earlier this week, Attorney General EricHolder once again claimed that the United States of America is a nation of cowards when it comes to the issue of race.  Holder originally made this comment in 2009, and in a recent interview, after being asked if he would take it back, refused to do so. He continues to maintain the position that minorities are oppressed by the white male, and Americas society and cultural norms have nothing but negative impacts on minorities and women. This is just another lame example of how the left projects their failures onto the rest of us and uses race as an excuse for everything. This week we also heard the president accuse America as a whole for not liking him because he is black. This was based on his rapidly diminishing popularity; we also heard him blame Rush Limbaugh for people not liking him. As if we are all like little democratic voters, running around looking for someone to tell us what to think. President Obama and Eric Holder would have you believe that capitalism and our constitution are why we have a divided society when in truth; it is their racial identity politics that leaves this nation more polarized than it has been in decades.......Read the rest here:

Europe Begins to Retreat from Her Green Policy

by Marilyn Assenheim

Europe, considered the long-time leader in the sanctimonious war against global warming, is backing off its crusade. This is big news everywhere; just not in America.…(EU) Commission sources have long been hinting that the body intends to move away from ambitious climate protection goals. At the request of Commission President José Manuel Barroso, EU member states are no longer to receive specific guidelines for the development of renewable energy…As of 2020 at the latest — when the current commitment to further increase the share of green energy expires — climate protection in the EU will apparently be pursued on a voluntary basis.”
The significance of this news is two-fold. Firstly, the story matters because it doesn’t originate from some penny-ante outfit. The EU’s withdrawal from its previous stance comes directly from the European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch. Europe has been beleaguered by onerous environmental policies since 1972. The cost to member nations and their citizens (through usurious taxing) has been astronomically expensive......

Forty years of experience have finally slapped Europe back to consciousness. Here, however, America is being clubbed into a coma. The subject of global warming is not a science. It is, rather, a religion. Those tasked with protecting America and her interests, seek to saddle her, instead, with manufactured burdens and greater dependence on her enemies. Why?……Read the rest here

Our Smartest President?

Bruce Bialosky | Jan 26, 2014

It all kind of started to fall apart when he said “… no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” That was of course after he committed more than $800 billion to government expenditures that would supposedly stimulate the private economy after the 2008 financial crunch. The fact that President Obama was so blindly ignorant about what it takes to get any construction project done in this country -- with the burdensome laws in place -- was foretelling of the avalanche of examples deflating the moniker foisted upon us that our latest and greatest President was “our smartest President.”……. The question of the President’s aptitude revolves principally around operation of the government. It would be different if he were anti-government, wanting to slash and burn operations. One would think that he would know about how government operates and then proceed to speak intelligently about how it does. He often seems befuddled…….. In the end those who attempted to convince us Obama is such a smart guy have been betrayed by their own naiveté. It is characterized by the column in New York Times detailing how Obama’s most loyal followers (New York liberals) have been caught in the Obamacare debacle with cancelled policies and soaring premiums. One of the intelligentsia who attempted to convince us how brilliant our President is was quoted as saying this about Obamacare – “I’m for it, but what is the reality of it?” Enough said……To Read More……

Missing the Constitution, Part 2: The Government Says We Can’t

by Rebecca Wilde
We have not, for the most part, really noticed that we lost the Constitution. It was there when I was a little girl and a teenager in the 1960′s and 1970′s, so far as I knew. It had been under assault for awhile, but I didn’t know that. My parents and teachers taught me basic civics, and I understood that we had the Constitution so we could read what we wanted to and go to church and not get dragged off and shot in the night as happened in the Soviet Union.
Little by little, we’ve lost much since then. I have watched it. It did not start with Roe vs. Wade, but that is when I was old enough to notice it. Even as a pre-teen, I understood that the Supreme Court had created a law for everybody because the judges wanted it that way. I suspected that it was in order to limit the population, since a lot of people thought we had too many people, though that concern was not a constitutionally valid reason for overturning the laws of fifty states. The Supreme Court was meant to protect our constitutional rights, but it cannot do that if justices dictate law drawn from penumbras, emanations, personal preferences or values, or even foreign law. It is a powerful branch of government, and when its members rule us, that is tyranny…..To Read More……..

My Take - The author says it would be difficult getting the Constitution back.  Tell me the history and I will give you the answer!  Every subject, issue, problem or value has a foundational logic, or lack thereof.  Find that foundation, or the failure to develop a logical foundation, and you begin to have clarity.  Once the facts are established we have understanding.  Only then can we have good decision making! 
Here’s the answer! 
If the sixteenth and seventeenth amendments were repealed it would become infinitely easier.   Don’t know what 16 and 17 say?  Personally researching a subject is a good opportunity for personal growth and enlightenment.   Best wishes!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Nobel World

By James B. Rogers, South China Morning Post, January 27, 2014

This year, the Nobel Prize for economics went to two American professors and one British-Cypriot academic. The award brings plaudits and 10 million Swedish kronor (HK$11.4 million) to each of its laureates, but an examination of the real world indicates that the prize has a shaky basis in reality. If nothing else, the committee awarding the prize should take a few basic courses in economics and history.....

But 40 years later, the world is experiencing a historic shift from West to East. The great economic successes since 1969 are certainly not the United States or Europe. In this span, the US went from the largest creditor nation in the world to not just the largest debtor nation in the world, but the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. That U-turn may deserve a prize, but one that brings embarrassment rather than prominence.......

In fact, one esteemed Nobel laureate published a paper in 1994 titled “The Myth of Asia’s Miracle” in the journal Foreign Affairs. The same winner proclaimed loudly in 2009 that it was untrue that huge amounts of Western assets had moved to Asia. Perhaps he had to try to cover for his 1994 paper. He has not returned his award. (This same laureate insisted this year that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had nothing to do with the mortgage and housing collapse.).......

And don’t even get me started on the Peace Prize.

My Take - It is said that statistics is the arcane science. Well, so is economics. David Brinkley once talked about how many presidents he had known in his career and noted none of them understood economics. Well, why would they? Economists clearly don't understand economics. If they did there wouldn't be so many differing opinions as to what it is.   Unfortunately the ones who embrace stealing gigantic amounts of money from the people in the form of taxes, and borrowing un-payable sums to spend on “social justice programs” that are bottomless money pits seem to be in charge.  Let me make this clear.  This kind of clabbered thinking permeates all the academic disciplines, including science! Being politically correct has become more important than being factually, practically or morally correct. 

Climate Change: A Serious Threat to Science

Marita Noon Jan 27, 2014
The current cold covering a large portion of the country has, once again, brought out the climate change alarmists with claims of “serious threat.”  Due to his respected position, as climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego Institution of Oceanography, Richard C.J. Somerville’s recent “Cold comfort” column was published in newspapers throughout the country.  In it, he grouses that the public doesn’t take the “consequences” of climate change seriously—pointing out that they are “here and now.” He cites: “only 54 percent of the public sees it as a global threat to their countries—and only 40 percent of Americans do.”
Somerville suggests: “people either are scientifically illiterate or reject science when it conflicts with their core values or religious convictions.” He posits: “the medical profession and communication experts may have much to teach those climate scientists” because “Priming patients to appreciate the value of medical diagnostic tests has been shown to make them more likely to take these tests and then act on the results.”
What Somerville misses in the analogy is that the data back up the medical case. For example, getting a mammogram catches breast cancer early and increases survival rates. The data have shown that medical science is correct.  On the contrary, the data don’t support the claims made by climate scientists—but they just keep making them. Apparently they believe the “big lie” propaganda technique used so effectively by Adolf Hitler.....To Read More.....

We Win the NY Times Prize

Mises Daily: Monday, January 27, 2014 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

The New York Times, whistling past the financial graveyard, paused over the weekend to smear the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, our other scholars, hardcore libertarianism, and me. Why? Because our ideas and our youth movement are gaining real traction. It is in effect a compliment. They have never faced opposition like ours before, and Ron Paul’s tremendous resonance with young people has only made things worse from the Times’s point of view. The Times wants opponents who play the game, who accept the presuppositions of the regime, and who are willing to confine themselves to the narrow range of debate to which the Times would prefer to confine the American people......we have much to recommend us. We don’t back down and apologize when we’re smeared by the state’s media. We relish it as an indication that we’re doing our job. We tell the truth about the state: its wars, its expropriations, its militarized police, its propaganda. We don’t peddle the elementary-school propaganda that the state is a public-service institution seeking the public good. We believe that the great products of civilization — indeed civilization itself — are the result of spontaneous human cooperation. The parasitic class that holds the levers of power in the state apparatus may try to condition the public to believe that central planning and threats of violence — the hallmarks of the state — deserve credit for human progress, but our scholarship proves the opposite......To Read More.....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

America in lockdown

Paul Driessen

This appeared here. My thanks to Paul for allowing me to publish his work. RK

President Obama insists he is determined to create jobs in America. He recently announced the creation of “promise zones” for five communities around the nation and a “manufacturing institute” aimed at fostering more high-paying jobs in energy efficiency. He’s says he has “a pen and a phone” to “sign executive orders and take executive actions that move the ball,” where Congress has failed to implement policies he believes are needed.
Unfortunately, the executive orders and actions Mr. Obama seems to have in mind will do little to create jobs beyond the Washington Beltway – and much to do the opposite. An obvious example is his EPA’s plan to impose additional carbon dioxide emission restrictions, to save the planet from global warming, climate change, climate disruption, extreme weather or whatever term alarmists are using these days.
Another is to issue regulations and spend billions more to mandate and subsidize expensive energy efficiency, wind and solar, biofuel, alternative-fuel vehicles and other technologies, companies and financing schemes. That is what some “green” energy business leaders recommend in a report that they recently presented to the White House, promoting a “clean energy future.”
These actions will ensure employment for more bureaucrats, blue state friends and campaign contributors. But they will also ensure continued unemployment for blue collar workers and “fly-over country.” They depend on government direction and ideological compatibility, taxpayer subsidies, and crony-corporatist arrangements among businessmen, politicians and regulators.
They will make barely a dent in a chronically feeble economy in which 94 million Americans are not working; four million are long-term unemployed; the 63% labor participation rate is the lowest in 35 years; and many of the employment gains due to a magical government formula that turns 300,000 full-time jobs into 400,000 part-time positions. The President’s proposed actions likewise will not reverse the rapid increase in 49ers – companies that won’t hire more than 49 employees, because that would trigger ObamaCare and a host of other taxes and regulations, causing even more unemployment.
Extending unemployment benefits another 3-6 months, and sending our grandkids the bill, will not soften or reverse this damage. Nor will raising the minimum wage, thereby compelling more companies to automate or find other ways to trim work forces and costs, leaving even more people unemployed. But America does offer countless opportunities for President Obama to use his executive powers to unshackle the US economy, create jobs and generate revenues.
First and foremost, he could instruct his overly zealous Executive Branch agencies to delay, pare back and eliminate regulatory and paperwork burdens. Far too many of those rules are justified only by anti-hydrocarbon ideologies, computer models, cherry-picked studies that do not reflect genuine mainstream science or medicine, and even illegal experiments on human test subjects.
The Heritage Foundation calculates that the EPA alone has promulgated more than 1,920 regulations over the past five years, including twenty “major” rules that are costing the United States more than $36 billion annually. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s latest “10,000 Commandments” report says the total federal regulatory burden on America’s businesses and families now exceeds $1.8 trillion per year!
$379 billion of that is for environmental rules that often bring dubious benefits, and frequently impose human health and welfare costs well in excess of any supposed improvements. For example, EPA itself admitted that it was unable to quantify any direct health benefits from its costly utility “air toxics” MACT rule – and a January 2014 analysis demonstrates that the health and societal benefits of using oil, natural gas and coal outweigh any alleged “social costs of carbon” by at least 50 and as much as 500 to one.
President Obama could certainly order the issuance of permits to build the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, and instantly create thousands of jobs. He could also order the EPA, Interior Department, Forest Service and other federal agencies to unlock the lands and resources that are now off-limits.
The President brags that “we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.” Indeed, domestic production rose from 5.6 million barrels per day in 2011 to 6.4 million bopd in 2012. However, production from federal onshore and offshore areas has fallen significantly under his watch – and 96% of the production increase was on state and private lands.
That is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. America’s federal lands – onshore and offshore, in Alaska and our eleven westernmost Lower 48 States – contain numerous oil, gas, coal, rare earth and other mineral deposits. Many have already been delineated, while others await discovery and development via modern, ecologically sensitive prospecting, drilling, mining and production technologies. However, the vast majority of these resources are off limits: officially locked up in restrictive land use categories (some of which should not be changed) or simply made unavailable by bureaucratic fiat and foot-dragging.
Technically recoverable energy resources on these onshore and offshore lands total 1,194 billion barrels of oil and 2,150 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Institute for Energy Research analyst Daniel Simmons noted in congressional testimony. At $100 per barrel of oil and $4 per thousand cubic feet of gas, those resources are worth $128 trillion! Developing them could generate some $150 billion in bonuses, rents and royalties over the next ten years alone – plus billions more in local, state and federal tax revenues, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Using those CBO numbers, an IER study concluded:
If the government made more of these areas available for exploration and production, America’s GDP could increase by $127 billion annually for the next seven years, and $450 billion annually in the long term. Those activities would create 552,000 jobs annually over the next seven years, with annual wage increases of up to $32 billion, hugely benefitting workers’ and families’ health and welfare.
Over the next 37 years, opening these lands would also increase America’s cumulative economic activity by up to $14.4 trillion … employment by 1.9 million jobs per year … wages by $115 billion annually … and local, state and federal royalty and tax revenues by a cumulative $3.8 trillion!
However, Simmons points out, the Interior Department has leased only a paltry 2% of federal offshore areas and less than 6% of onshore lands for oil and gas development. It has also stalled endlessly on issuing permits to drill on lands it has leased, in areas that are supposed to be available for multiple use and energy development. Its Bureau of Land Management’s proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands will likely delay, block and lock down the many benefits associated with fracking.
Access to metals and minerals on public lands is likewise subject to “bureaucratic discretion.” America’s “dedicated public servants” are thwarting development of Alaska’s Pebble Mine gold, copper and molybdenum deposit; Montana’s Finley Basin tungsten, copper, gold, silver and molybdenum deposit; and Arizona’s Rosemont Copper project – all of which would generate thousands of jobs and billions in payrolls and government revenues. Meanwhile they are fast-tracking permits for bird and bat butchering wind turbines – and considering 30-year eagle-killing permits for the installations.
In conducting these energy and mineral exploration and development projects, we can and must protect human health and environmental quality – from genuine threats, not speculative, exaggerated or computer scenario risks. We cannot afford to keep our lands, resources, jobs and revenues under lock and key.
If President Obama really does care about creating jobs and opportunities for the middle class, he will think and act outside of his ideological box, and pay less attention to his most rabid environmentalist base. We will know soon whether he is capable of doing that – and what kinds of executive orders and actions he really has in mind to move the ball on job creation.

Who is Winning the War on Poverty

Written on Friday, January 24, 2014 by Tony Huddleston
After fifty years, the War On Poverty is a bigger failure than the War On Drugs. It’s nearly impossible to get an accurate cost, but estimates range between 15.9 and 21 trillion dollars (current value). By way of comparison, the total cost of all US military conflicts since the Revolutionary War is between 6 – 7 trillion dollars (current value).
One of the reasons it is hard to estimate a cost is that there are dozens of programs spread out among over a dozen federal entities. It’s hard enough trying to keep track of how many agencies and departments we have, let alone all of the money they waste.
Not all costs can be measured with dollars. The majority of casualties in this war are women & children, and it has become generational all too often. Families have been broken apart. Since 1973, poorer households headed by married couples have dropped from over 51% to under 39% today. Children living in poverty initially dropped from 27% to a low of 14% in 1969. Since then, however, is has risen and fallen with the economic cycles of the country and stands at 21.8% today. Poverty among Hispanics has also increased by 3%.........So, who is winning this war?  Simple. Politicians, bureaucrats, civil rights “activists” and anyone else in the exploitation and grievance industry....... To Read More....
My Take - One estimate puts the cost at 50 trillion dollars, but that's neither here nor there because for years I have been asking the same question.  Where is all this money?
If in 1960 we gave every family a half a million dollars that was living below the poverty line - told them that was the end of societies largesse – told them they would be on their own from now on - we would have eliminated poverty and saved trillions of dollars.  So where is all that money?  
It clear the 'poor' didn't get it. But during this time period government agencies have grown massively and activist organizations have flourished. That must be where the bulk of that money went. We've been defrauded! Why? Because we were told that money was for the poor. That was a lie!
There is a side bar to all of this.  We’re starting to – once again – hear how we need to stamp out poverty and equalize income.  First of all, that’s not the government’s job!  Why would we allow people who have never had real jobs make such decisions?  Secondly, does anyone really believe anything will change?  If we were to take all the world’s wealth and spread it around equally so that everyone had exactly the same amount of money, property, etc., in five years most of the rich would be rich again and most of the poor would be poor again.  Get over it!

Missing the Constitution, Part 1: The Constitution Says We Can

Written on Saturday, January 25, 2014 by Rebecca Wilde

No matter how old you are or what political philosophy you prefer, America is not as free as when you were born. Before any of us were born, our forefathers gave us the Constitution, not to spell out our rights, but to recognize that we have rights that are natural or God-given that the government neither grants nor may infringe. But the Constitution does not guarantee anyone anything whatsoever. Only America’s adherence to the Constitution could do that. To the extent that we see it as the unique document that it is and revere it and cherish and defend the rights it represents, it protects us, in its way. But, ultimately, it is the people in a constitutional republic who stand up for constitutional rights, if the people are to retain them.

I fear we no longer enjoy constitutional rights, rights that are God-given and self-evident. I make that provocative assertion, based not on a study of case law or court rulings, but on the way I and my fellow citizens live and look at the society around us and our government and our freedom. Lawyers and scholars can debate the Constitution’s specifics and make scholarly legal arguments, but we ordinary citizens can understand whether or not we fear the government......To Read More....

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Golden Goose Versus the Golden Fleece, Part I

By Rich Kozlovich
Recently Dan Moreland of Pest Control Technology published an article on September 26th, 2013, declaring, Scientists Deserve Our Respect, Not Our Ridicule”!  The truth is there are so many logical fallacies in this article I can’t list them all, but I’ll do my best. 
Dan goes on to tell us about a scientist by the name of Dr. John Eng, who received the ‘Golden Goose Award’ because of his research to help diabetics.  Anyone who knows someone who suffers from this affliction has to be grateful for his efforts, because these people truly suffer as they age.  He and his associates “discovered that the venom of some animals can impact the human pancreas”.  In the end the work he and his colleagues did with the saliva of Gila allowed them to develop a compound that stimulated the pancreas, helping to prevent those “debilitating health problems from blindness and nerve damage to kidney failure and heart disease.” And they should be commended!  He clearly deserved the recognition he received.  So what’s fallacious about that?  Nothing, if that was all there was to the article.  Let’s explore this. 
After outlining the recognition this man so richly deserved Dan goes on to discuss the “Golden Fleece Award” that Senator Proxmire (I know, most of you are too young to remember him) presented to those whom he felt wasted government money, including grant money to academia.   While the “Golden Goose Award” is presented positively, The “Golden Fleece Award” is presented negatively in this article.  That’s a logical fallacy known as an  incomplete comparison – “in which insufficient information is provided to make a complete comparison.”
The comparison made between the Golden Goose Award and the Golden Fleece Award also gives way to a fallacious logic known as fallacy of division – assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.” 
Just because Eng was deserving doesn’t mean everyone else who portrays themself as a 'scientist' is deserving - of awards that is.  They are certainly deserving of things commensurate with their work - which I will discuss in a later article - and receiving awards isn't among them.   The implication from Dan is that scientists as a whole are being treated unfairly. You may wish to view the false dilemma fallacy (false dichotomy, fallacy of bifurcation, black-or-white fallacy) – two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more. 

Then to further enforce this line of false logic Dan states;
“Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and forward-thinking legislators like Congressmen Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Charlie Dent (R-PA), as well as our industry’s own Robert Dold Jr., who represented Illinois' 10th Congressional District from 2010-12, Eng’s work was honored at the “Golden Goose” Awards earlier this month in Washington, D.C……. “This was a bi-partisan effort to highlight the benefits of science,” Dold told PCT. “Frankly, we need to highlight all the great things that are occurring in the sciences so we are encouraging our young people to pursue careers that find solutions to problems.”
“Dr. Eng’s research demonstrates the necessity of federally supported basic research,” added Rep. Dent. “In 1992, there was no way of knowing that Gila monster venom contained a compound that would one day change the lives of millions of diabetics. We owe it to future generations to lay the groundwork now for tomorrow’s breakthroughs.”
“Dr. Eng’s research shows that we can’t abandon science funding only because we don’t know where it might lead,” said Rep. Cooper.
While Cooper acknowledges that ‘not every dollar’ is spent worthily he claims he chooses to “support those men and women who think differently about the world, who look at a Gila monster and don’t simply see a common lizard, but a creature with untapped scientific possibilities that could have a positive impact on the health of millions of people around the globe.”
Okay, let’s explore this.  First of all claiming that “legislators like Congressmen like Cooper, Dent and “our industry’s own Robert Dold Jr.,” support this is a logical fallacy known as an appeal to authority, “where an assertion is deemed true because of the position or authority of the person asserting it”    Perhaps all these politicos also believe in standing on a hill and waving a flag that says “I stand foursquare for consensus”.  Well quite frankly, I don’t care what they think because - it isn’t their money.  Its money we don’t have, and the most disturbing thing is most of this borrowed money we give to academia is wasted in a big way, which I will demonstrate in a follow up article.  And consensus isn’t science, its politics. 
He goes on to call them “forward-thinking”, which clearly implies that those who disagree are backward thinking.  And naturally, that makes him and those who agree with him just a little better than those who don’t agree, committing another logical fallacy known asmoral high ground fallacy – in which a person assumes a "holier-than-thou" attitude in an attempt to make himself look good to win an argument.”  Is this rhetoric of going “forward” in fact steps backward?  I will address this later in the article.
The reality is the very foundations for Dan’s article, and apparently his views on this subject, are founded on another fallacy known as cherry picking (suppressed evidence, incomplete evidence) – act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.”
The basis for this article is a false analogy – an argument by analogy in which the analogy is poorly suited, and he clearly made a hasty generalization (fallacy of insufficient statistics, fallacy of insufficient sample, fallacy of the lonely fact, leaping to a conclusion, hasty induction, secundum quid, converse accident) – basing a broad conclusion on a small sample.”
While I think research grant money can be an important step toward human progress in medicine, as well as other disciplines; it’s my contention that the vast majority of it amounts to nothing more than academic welfare.   
Many years ago 60 Minutes Morley Safer interviewed a ‘scientist’ who received a $100,000 grant ( that was when $100,000 was really a lot of money) to show that people really liked parks, especially when they had grass, trees, streams, rocks, etc.  Safer said that to him this appeared to be nothing more than academic welfare?  I could have told them all of that without charge.  But even more important, just how valid are all these studies on which we have spent billions and impact public policy?
A friend of mine, Dr. Jay Lehr, one of the original group that helped create the EPA and its foundational pieces of legislation, co-wrote the book titled, The Fluoride Wars.  He noted over the years there had been thousands of studies regarding fluoride and the impact it may play on human health, many of them conflicting, and many of them with methodological flaws.  A team of researchers attempted to establish a minimum acceptable set of standards for the inclusion of a study in their assessments.  Among those from York University found only 214 studies out of the thousands that have appeared in print during the period 1951 – 1999 that met their acceptance criteria, and of these, only 26 provided a defensible analysis of the direct impact of fluoridation on dental caries. 
Twenty six out of literally thousands were found worthwhile.  There are two questions that need to be asked now.  First, what was the reaction from the anti-fluoride crowd, and secondly, is this pattern repeated over and over again. 
First of all, no study – no matter how well done, no matter how many times it’s replicated, no matter how much evidence we see with our own eyes that supports its conclusions will be acceptable to activists, if it doesn't support their views.  One of the anti-fluoride activist leaders, Don Caron, stated;
“I guess the York study wasn’t actually a study as studies go,” he wrote, “because this study didn’t study animals or people, it simply studied studies.  Although this was touted to be the study to end all studies, almost immediately both the green party and Fluoride Action Network published their studies of the York study that studied the studies pointed out that this study that studied the studies had left some 3000 studies unstudied, and they called for a study of studies that would study all studies and therefore not necessitate a further study of the study of the studies as the study had done.”
The authors of this study expected kudos for taking a network of foggy studies and creating as system that would lend clarity to this issue in hopes of developing understanding.  Instead they received ridicule.  The point is this – studies may generate money – but they don’t necessarily generate facts or understanding, and there sure seems to be a large majority within the scientific community that doesn’t care, because 'truth' isn't the holy grail of science.  Its grant money!
So then, who are the forward thinkers here, and what award should the majority of these people of science receive?   The Golden Goose or the Golden Fleece?   Respect or ridicule?  I will deal with that in a much larger way in following articles.  And the answer to the second question – Yes! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Endangered Animal Act of Futility

By Alan Caruba
This appeared here.  Thanks to Alan for allowing me to publish his work.  RK
David W. Snook, 57, of Bridgewater, New Jersey died on Wednesday, January 15, when two deer leaped into the path of his Dodge Ram on Route 206. One of them was airborne when it smashed through the front windshield, striking him before exiting out the rear window. This caused the truck to veer into the guard rail and come to rest in a ravine.
In 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection estimated that the Garden State was home to 110,000 deer. Each year about 35,000 are killed in hunts and those of us who live here owe the hunters a debt of gratitude. In my county of Essex, home to Newark, the freeholders regularly hire hunters to cull the herd that shares its home with one of the most densely populated counties in the state.
Need it be said that the animal rights crowd is always upset about this. New Jersey also has a fairly sizeable bear population and during the hunting season, between 250 and 450 are “harvested” as the Fish and Game agency calls it. They have been found in all 21 counties of the state. And state officials now estimate that there are more coyotes in New Jersey than bears.
Suffice to say New Jersey’s animals are not suffering from a decline in species, nor facing extinction any time soon. My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that this is true nationwide. However, to justify one of the dumbest laws ever passed, the Endangered Species Act, some 1,500 species are classified with fuzzy definitions of being “threatened”, “endangered” or “recovered.”
The Act was signed into law in 1973 by Richard Nixon, who also gifted us with the Environmental Protection Agency, currently doing everything in its power to destroy the coal industry and plants that use it to generate electricity. They claim that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a threat to the climate, but ignore the many other natural sources of CO2, including all seven billion humans that exhale six pounds of it a day. And that all species would die without CO2 maintaining all the vegetation on Earth.
What is never mentioned is that species extinction has been around as long as there have been species. It was not CO2 that killed the dinosaurs and 75% of other species that had dominated the Earth for 180 million years and there were no humans around to blame for the Great Permian Extinction when more than 90% of all life on Earth disappeared—animals, plants, trees, fish, and even algae. Most geological eras have come to a close with calamitous events.
In December 2013, the Obama administration granted industrial wind farm operators a 30-year permit to kill legally protected bald eagles and golden eagles without being subject to legal repercussions. Wind energy has killed 1.4 million birds and bats every year, including those regarded and protected as threatened such as California condors, bald eagles, and Indiana bats. Apparently, if you are producing 1% percent or so of electricity, it’s okay to kill these creatures. Meanwhile everyone else pays higher electricity bills.
The dirty little secret about the Endangered Species Act is that environmentalists have used it for years to deter all manner of economic development by claiming some fish or other creature was endangered if you built a hospital, new homes, or in the case of the dunes sagebrush lizard which lives in the West Texas and Southeast New Mexico Permian Basic when oil companies want to explore and extract this energy resource that will generate jobs and huge tax revenues to help reduce the national debt.
It is insanity to think humans can or should do anything to “save” various species. The most dramatic and tragic evidence of this has been the twenty-year effort to “save” the northern spotted owl. The result was to close millions of acres of federal forests in the Northwest from logging, devastating the once flourishing timber industry.
In July 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would permit the killing of barred owls believed to be killing the spotted owls. The sawmills that once thrived are mostly gone, along with their jobs, and revenue. The forests are overgrown and are immense fire traps. And the Fish and Wildlife Service thinks that spending $127 million might restore the spotted owl population over the next 30 years.
This kind of stupidity is criminal.
How effective has the Endangered Species Act been? As it enters its 41st year it has “recovered” less than 2% of the approximately 2,100 species listed as endangered or threatened since 1973. A December 17 Wall Street Journal article reported that “it has endangered the economic health of many communities and created a cottage industry of litigation that does more to enrich environmental activist groups” that pays their salaries.
The Endangered Species Act is a huge failure. It should be repealed, but don’t expect Congress to do anything that sensible.
© Alan Caruba, 2014