Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fan those sparks to a flame - fight on for conservative viewpoints

Enough being depressed about the elections
Think about other dark times in our history … gather strength – and get back to work!
Chris Skates

Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying on our backs and hugging the elusive phantom of hope, until our enemies have bound us hand and foot?
– Patrick Henry

I don’t know about you, good reader, but I am tired. I am tired of talking and hearing about politics. I am tired of talking heads on “expert” panels telling me what “most Americans” truly want, or truly believe in, when those same experts clearly have no idea what I think or what anybody I know thinks.
I am tired of losing. I am tired of losing elections, my income through taxes, my country through a trampling of the Constitution, my culture to hedonism, my children’s future through liberalism – and my once energized political campaigners to depression.
When I am honest with myself, since the election there have been times when I’ve had to force myself to write my columns. I wonder if anybody is listening, or if anyone cares about what is happening. Even among those loyal Americans who are reading this and that care very deeply, even among my fellow conservatives, I sense an overall feeling of burnout and defeatism. I know it is there because I’ve struggled with it myself. 
But the message I want to share with each of you today, and the message I think Patrick Henry was communicating back in his era was this: Get over it!!
Remember, I am talking to the man in the mirror as much as I am talking to anyone. But do any of us really have anything to be “burnt out” about? When we compare the challenges and sacrifices that we face to those faced by our founding fathers, the soldiers at Valley Forge, the prisoners on the Bataan Death March, or the paratroops and Army troops who shivered and died during the Battle of the Bulge – we begin to feel very soft and very silly.
I recently had a chance to talk to a man whose father flew fifty combat missions as a waste gunner in WWII. His father NEVER talked about the war. When he tried to talk about it, he got so emotional that he couldn’t finish the story. This man told me that one day his father did share one of his most difficult experiences. He had completed the milestone of his fiftieth air combat mission, and therefore the war was over for him. He didn’t have to go up again.
He could have caught a flight back to the US, but he chose to wait for his best friend, who was on his 49th mission. When his friend was leaving for number 50, the two agreed that they would celebrate and then fly back home together. His friend’s plane came back to base terribly damaged. When it landed the father knew in an instant that his friend was dead. He had to fly home alone.
“You don’t know,” the father wagged a finger at my friend that day. “You don’t know what we went through. I can’t describe it in words. You don’t know what we went through, so that you could be free and have the quality of life that you have now.”
So what should our generation do? Should we throw up our hands and quit trying to change the government through the legal and peaceful means that were won and preserved for us? Should we dig bomb shelters and buy survival food, and then turn on “American Idol” – and tune out of the public discourse, as we wait for the whole American system to collapse?
I know many of us are discouraged. I know the “mainstream media” force us to compete in a heavily rigged game. I know that we have been, and continue to be, blindsided by the ferocity with which our protections against an intrusive state are being bulldozed, and the way our values have suddenly become passé. Still, we barely know what tough times are.
We have yet to absorb anything like the blows that our ancestors took, while never wavering.
If we learned nothing else at the Conservative Political Action Committee events, we should have learned this: The heart is there. The fight is there in the people. Our fellow political soldiers have not given up.
It is therefore incumbent upon every one of us to fan those sparks to a flame. We have to be our own media. Rush, Beck and Hannity, et cetera are not enough. We must inform our own neighbors. We must cajole the non-participants in our own communities into full engagement and participation.
We have to fight, and then falter, and then get up and fight some more. With or without this or that minority group or special interest group’s vote, there are more than enough people in this country to defeat the nation-collapsing progressive agenda.
Ninety three million eligible voters did not vote in 2012. We must make it our mission to bring those voters to the polls in 2014 and 2016 as conservative voters.
Patrick Henry’s challenge to his countrymen is all the more fitting now. This is no time to let up, no time to give up, and no time to surrender.
Chris Skates is an energy specialist and novelist who won the best historical fiction award from the Christian Writers Association for The Rain: A Story of Noah and the Ark, and rave reviews for his second novel,Going Green: For Some It Has Nothing To Do With The Environment.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lying Liberals think FACTS are untruths, but do not see green misinformation for what it really is—LIES

Greenie lying bastards

Big Green’s complaints about Donors Trust and climate skeptic money are hollow and pathetic
Ron Arnold
Pathetic and desperate. There’s no other way to describe the new “we hate-industry” movie, Greedy Lying Bastards. Producers spent nearly $2 million to complain about climate skeptic money, in yet another Big Green attack on anyone who disagrees with the climate fanatic industry, which is itself a multi-billion-dollar global enterprise that seeks to impose anti-energy policies in the name of preventing climate change. 
As to content, the Bastards movie is pretty much the same tired parade of the Left’s favorite whipping boys: the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil and other “black hats” are to blame for global warming, think tanks of similar views are mere stooges, out for the money – and other intolerant, insulting, odious characterizations. The movie’s tagline, “They are destroying our world. Now is the time to stop them,” is so easy to turn around on the accusers that you wonder why they used it.
The cost of jet fuel that Bastards burned zooming to American filming locations – and to four countries in Europe, two in Africa, one in South America and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu – didn’t faze the producers or the funders. Neither did their enormous CO2 footprint. Nor did the fact that Big Green is fed with vastly larger sums from foundations, governments and ideological individuals than the entire gamut of “dangerous manmade global warming” skeptics.
Its context, though, makes this film altogether different from most industry-bashing movies. Bastards writer and director Craig Rosebraugh was formerly the mouthpiece for the eco-terrorist network Earth Liberation Front. He gave the media “communiqués” from nameless criminals, including a cell of now-convicted felons who firebombed a university horticulture center. The zealots incinerated a priceless collection of endangered-plant species, because they erroneously believed scientists there were breeding genetically modified trees.
An appropriate tagline for that exploit – and Rosebraugh’s Bastards – should be “Green radicals are destroying our civilization. Now is the time to stop them.”
Just before Bastards premiered, Greenpeace published a hit piece headlined, “Donors Trust laundering climate denial funding: The shadow operation has laundered $146 million in climate-denial funding.” A few days after that, New York-based media producer Democracy Now! broadcast a story called The ATM for climate denial: Secretive Donors Trust funds vast network of global warming skeptics.”
This flank of the attack surge began with a PBS Frontline broadcast last October, followed by inquires by The Nation (November), the Center for Public Integrity (December), and Mother Jones (January), all resulting in February articles. The appearance of pre-arrangement, of course, is merely the old journalism fact of life, that the liberal media feed each other, and not necessarily collusion.
What did Donors Trust do to deserve this four-pronged (so far) attack? Nothing. That is, nothing beyond disagreeing with climate jihadists (or whatever the appropriate counterpart to “climate deniers” may be). I spoke with Donors president and CEO Whitney Ball, who told me that all the “shadow” and “secrecy” and “black box” and “dark money” accusations in these attacks could apply to every 501(c)(3) public charity, not just Donors Trust.
By Internal Revenue Code rules, the identity of these donors is not available for public inspection, no matter which group is involved. But the general reader doesn’t know that – so it sounds nefarious. If you’re dubious, contact Greenpeace or any of those other groups, and ask for their individual donor list. You won’t get it. 
Donors Trust, is a “donor-advised fund,” established to promote liberty and help like-minded donors preserve their charitable intent. When donors make a gift to a donor-advised fund, they surrender all legal control over the gift to a steward 501(c)(3), but they may recommend recipients. Thus, “donor advised.” 
In return, donors receive an immediate tax deduction and guaranteed anonymity. The anonymity protects donors from recipients eager for more grants. Being a secret donor is a good way to stay off junk mail lists and not have to worry about fundraiser phone calls during dinner time. And when it comes to donors who give to any 501(c)(3)s, all of them are secret, liberal and conservative alike.
Donors Trust also has its own rules. If a donor requests a liberty-oriented recipient with no more than 25% of its revenue from government sources, Donors Trust generally approves, though it is not legally obliged to do so. 
Greenpeace engages in the same practices it labels as “laundering” when its critics are involved: receiving grant money from donors such as the Packard Foundation ($1.5 million in 2011; total from all foundations, $18.1 million), and then granting it to other non-profits. In 2011, for example, Greenpeace gave $4 million to US groups and $5.6 million to European groups, according to their IRS Form 990.  
The attacks against Donors Trust try to make donor-advised funds sound alien, unusual, and dangerous. However, they are so common that Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab all run one.  IRS Form 990 even devotes a page to reporting on DAFs and asks every non-profit if it maintains DAFs. (It’s in Schedule D, Part 1, for the curious.) Tides Foundation, for example, houses hundreds of them.
Tides has also given over $1 billion to leftist causes, says its website (versus $2 million to “climate deniers,” aka groups that challenge claims that humans are causing catastrophic climate change.)
One of the most egregious insults to seep out of this insult-laden barrage came from UK Guardian correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, during a recent Democracy Now! broadcast.
Ms. Ball asked, “How is it that the Tides Foundation, which funds environmental causes and does not publish donor lists, is never characterized in the same way by reporters?” Goldenberg replied: “There’s something really different here.” Donors Trust grantees “spread information that is factually incorrect, that is untrue…. You can’t draw this equivalence here.” In contrast, DT’s organizations, Goldenberg insisted, “were funded for the express purpose of spreading disinformation.”
Based on the Tides output I’ve seen, it’s the other way around: the climate alarmists are spreading deceit, disinformation, climate horror stories and junk science that have no basis in fact and made Climategate 1 and 2 such fascinating reading.
Anyone who sees the Bastards movie credits might think the film was “funded for the express purpose of spreading disinformation.” Consider the sources.
The Bastards movie boasts a “Thanks to” list of 117 contributors, including Denis Hayes of the Bullitt Foundation, EarthJustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), Greenpeace USA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Noam Chomsky, Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine LaboratoryVladimir Romanovsky, of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, and Russell Train, who was the second administrator of the increasingly alarmist Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

All have career or financial vested interests in the climate change scare and would be harmed by any public doubt about their theories and political agendas. Well-funded climate skeptics are a direct threat to their incomes, career prospects, political success and reputations.
Anyway, just for your information, a massive database of IRS Form 990s shows that total US foundation support for environmental causes over the past decade or so is 331,256 grants totaling $19.3 billion, with a “b.” The portion specifically devoted to global warming or climate change is $797 million.
And the Greedy Lying Bastards producers are complaining about a couple million to manmade climate cataclysm skeptics. The film’s pathetic efforts underscore how desperate climate alarmists have become. There goes 30,000 feet of good (hydrocarbon-based) film stock, all shot to hell.
Ron Arnold is executive director of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Portions of this report originally appeared in the Washington Examiner, which is investigating environmentalist funding.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In a burst of common sense, a governmental agency cuts wasteful programs, instead of across-the-board cuts. How revolutionary!!!

Read CARE favorite Diana Furchtgott-Roth's take on the issue

To Navigate $8M Sequester, BLS Cuts Green Jobs 

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

March 5, 2013

In a triumph of common sense, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is responding to the sequester by eliminating its count of green jobs, an $8 million annual waste of taxpayer funds.

BLS press spokesman Gary Steinberg told me, "Permanent across-the-board cuts generally do not work for the BLS, as this approach jeopardizes the quality of all BLS data. Instead, the BLS strategic approach is to reduce or eliminate selected product lines or programs, rather than reduce the quality of all programs by spreading the cut equally."

In addition, BLS is ending its comparisons of international statistics (savings: $2 million), and its count of mass layoffs (savings: $1.7 million). The three programs scheduled for elimination cost $12 million, 2 percent of BLS's $613 million budget.

More government agencies should use the BLS approach of setting priorities rather than using across-the-board cuts. Mr. Steinberg explained that while the programs targeted for elimination produce important information, the data from BLS's principal federal economic indicators, such as the employment situation and the inflation indices, are more critical for monitoring and understanding trends in the U.S. economy.

There is no reason for BLS to collect data on firms' layoffs. Data are widely available in the press, few users access them, and their elimination has been suggested for over five years. Data on international comparisons are published by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and their elimination was proposed in the fiscal year 2011 budget.

The most egregious misuse of taxpayer funds is the green jobs survey, issued for the first time last March.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for the federal definition of green jobs under Title X of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed into law by President George W. Bush. Title X was originally a stand-alone bill, the Green Jobs Act, sponsored by then-Representative Hilda Solis, a California Democrat. Solis became Secretary of Labor in 2009, and was charged with implementing her legislation.

Ms. Solis resigned in January. Perhaps that is why BLS is discontinuing the survey.

In his 2008 campaign, President Obama called for the creation of 5 million green jobs over the next decade. His administration then proceeded to give out grants and guaranteed loans for green energy projects to try to make his dream into reality.

Last year BLS tallied 3.1 million green jobs in the U.S. economy. When people hear of green jobs, they think workers are making wind and solar power, and electric cars and batteries. But most were jobs that had always existed, but were colored green for the purpose of the BLS survey.

For instance, BLS counts plumbers who install "Lo-Flo" toilets as having green jobs, but not plumbers who put in regular fixtures.

Farmers who grow corn for ethanol have green jobs, so do farmers who grow both corn for ethanol and corn for people or animals to eat. But if the farmer grows corn only for eating (either by people or animals), that farmer doesn't have a green job.

A green job must meet one of five BLS definitions, including "environmental compliance, education, training and public awareness." As I write this column, my job is counted as green, but if I were writing about Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve's excess production of greenbacks, my job would not be green.

Similarly, those who manufacture paper cups with environmental logos are counted by BLS as having green jobs, but if the cups did not have such a message, the jobs would not be green.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Labor Department with $500 million for grants in research and training for green jobs. The funds were awarded to state workforce agencies, community colleges, and nonprofits.

They were used to train workers in green industries such as hybrid- and electric-car auto mechanics, weatherization of buildings, and solar panel installation.

However, the grants have a low success rate, concluded the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor in a report on the $500 million program, published in October.

Assistant Inspector General Elliot Lewis wrote that 113,000 people had participated in the green jobs training programs, and $329 million had been spent, by June 30, 2012. Of these participants, 72 percent had completed training; 27 percent of participants entered a new job; 22 percent of participants got a job relating to their training; and 10 percent kept their new jobs for at least six months. However, six months had not yet elapsed for all participants who had entered new jobs.

That's a cost of about $28,000 for each job retained for six months or more.

A report last month by the Gregory Friedman, Inspector General of the Energy Department, found here, describes the misuse of a $150 million grant awarded to LG Chem, a South Korean-owned battery manufacturer in Holland, Michigan. LG Chem was supposed to create 440 jobs and make enough batteries to run 60,000 electric cars by December 2013.

According to Mr. Friedman, "we confirmed that employees spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies during regular working hours." LG Chem, meanwhile, filled U.S. demand with batteries made in South Korea. That's money from Uncle Sam for green jobs in Asia.

The Pentagon should learn from BLS and eliminate its $510 million, three-year program to develop new biofuels for ships and tanks. These biofuels cost $27 per gallon, rather than $3.80 per gallon for conventional fuel. With the Pentagon facing a $43 billion sequester this year, in addition to previous cuts of $260 billion over five years, this is not the time for a $510 million experimental program.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly told the public, most recently in his State of the Union Address, that renewable energy will create "tens of thousands of good, American jobs." And that the federal government must invest in renewable energy to make them exist.

Yet Labor Department data show that relatively few green trained workers got jobs in renewable electric power (14 percent), the manufacture of sustainable products (5 percent), energy efficiency assessment (8 percent), energy efficient vehicles (1 percent), deconstruction and materials use (2 percent), or biofuels (1 percent).

February's jobs numbers will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. No one except Mr. Obama will care whether the new jobs are green. Kudos to BLS for cutting the green survey.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Want to go back to outhouses and walk-ups? Keep being green—It's going to happen sooner rather than later!

Britain Narrowly Escapes "Green" Blackout

By Dennis T. Avery

For years, many of us have warned the “green energy” craze would throw First World countries into blackouts, factory knockouts, more deaths among the elderly and all manner of avoidable tragedies. It nearly happened to Britain in January, as bitterly cold weather put a massive strain on Britain’s creaking power plants.  

London’s Sunday Express says 1 million homes narrowly escaped blackout last month as the island suffered its fifth harsh winter in a row. Blackout was only avoided because of an oil-fired power station, which is, itself, due to be closed before next winter. Only now,  after 30 years of cheerleading, are British media finally waking up to the awful future they have been demanding.

The basic problem: Britain feels it put man-made warming on the world map with its Met office and East Anglia University computers. They became determined to lead the world’s “green energy” revolution.  However, Britain’s wind turbines, despite decades and billions in subsidized investment, today provide only 7 percent of its electricity. And the turbines must be backed by fossil fuel powered plants, in “spinning reserve,” equal to at least 80 percent of their installed capacity.


1. A whole fleet of Britain’s older coal and oil-fired power stations are being phased out under an EU commandment driven by CO2 hysteria.
2. They have scheduled another 10 percent of the generating capacity for phase-out next year.
3. The Met Office has finally admitted there’s been none of the predicted man-made warming for 16 years!
4. UK coal power is fading just as the North Sea gas, which has powered the UK’s newer stations, is running out.
5. British leaders had been counting on a big new set of new nuclear power plants, but the advent of fracking and cheap shale gas has frightened investors about the billions of investment dollars they might never get back.

After my New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years, came out in 2007, I wrote that the man-made warming frenzy would implode—but would meanwhile cost trillions in misdirected global investment dollars.  The warmists since have been giving ground oh-so-slowly as the non-recoverable costs of the renewable fuels “investments” continue to mount.

The German industries that have powered the EU’s economic engine now threaten to leave Europe unless they can get energy as cheaply as India, China—and the U.S. (America’s shale gas revolution has pegged its natural gas prices at about one-third of Europe’s.)

Reuters reports German renewable energy subsidies may cost its consumers an extra $1.34 trillion over the next 20 years (about $6,400 per family)—but won’t provide much dependable power!

Elsewhere, Spain is being sued by green investors after it cut back unsustainable solar and wind subsidies over the past two years, and the Bulgarian government has resigned after consumer protests against high EU-mandated electricity costs.

In the U.S., James Hanson’s NASA continues to “adjust” the temperature records from the 1930s to mask the reality that they were higher than recent “record highs.” Our next big cost will be the dismantling of U.S. coal power.  Obama has ordered his EPA to cut back electricity, starting with the coal-fired plants and working up to the natural gas from “fracking.” In case you might have forgotten, the President has not revised his basic goals, which include our having less energy available and only at prices “which will necessarily skyrocket.”

No one yet admits that the “Greenpeace Plan” would kick us back to the days of inner city walk-up apartments, with privys to match.  

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442; email to cgfi@mgwnet.com. Visit our website at www. cgfi.org