People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, July, 2016
Remember the meaning of Independence Day
by Jonathan DuHamel
(Reprinted and revised from July 2014)
During a sultry July 240 years ago a group of 56 men–among them doctors, educators, and clergy–aged 26 to 70, signed The Unanimous Declaration of the United States of America, a then treasonous document that would break the bonds between the 13 colonies and Mother England.
The fortunes of those 56 men was varied. Nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were jailed and brutally treated. One lost all 13 of his children; and the wives, sons and daughters of others were killed, imprisoned, harassed or deprived of all material possessions. Seventeen signers lost everything they owned, and all were hunted as traitors, with most separated from home and family. But none of the signers ever betrayed his pledged word. There were no defectors. No one changed his mind. Lives and fortunes were lost, but their sacred honor was never sacrificed.
The signing of the Declaration would pit a poorly equipped and badly trained militia of 10,000 men against an armada of British ships with 42,000 sailors and the British army.
The reasons for the break with Britain were laid out beginning with this basic principle:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Freedom was not free for those Colonial patriots who committed treason 240 years ago. Nor is it free today. But the further removed generations are from that two-centuries-old insubordination and the ensuing conflagration, the dimmer the magnitude of their dedication and sacrifice. In the comfort and security of freedom we are complacent; we take that great gift for granted.
Now we find ourselves in similar bonds of slavery as those who declared independence from England two centuries ago. We find the right to life, liberty and property threatened, not by an absent king, but by an increasing almighty and ever-present government; a government that has “erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”
In the “Seven Principles of Animalism” in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, those in power deliberately, letter by letter, smeared and blurred and eventually erased the seven original principles. The animals shook their heads and rubbed their eyes in astonishment and incredulity at the changes, but in the end were convinced that only one Principle had ever existed. It read, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Today we rub our eyes and shake our heads in astonishment and incredulity. . .
-that Politicians who wanted a means of legal plunder have changed the meaning of “welfare” from “the state of faring well” to “the redistribution of wealth.”
-that Freedom of religion and speech and the press have mutated to abolition of religion, politically correct speech, and an advocacy press.
-that “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” has metamorphosed into a protection for criminals–who acquire their guns on the black market–while law-abiding citizens are having them stripped away.
-that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” has been trampled by governmental agencies that trespass on private land in search of endangered species which are used to confiscate the land and a government that electronically spies on our every communication.
-that State Powers have been appropriated by the Federal Government via legislation, executive order and bureaucratic regulation.
In the song, “God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood sings, “the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away.” Every new regulation takes freedoms away. Every new bureaucracy takes freedoms away. Every new government intrusion takes freedoms away.
The Declaration provided a list of grievances against King George. In one form or another, many of those grievances can be applied to our current federal bureaucracy which has become bloated and dictatorial.
Our Americanism and our Constitution are on the endangered species list, and it’s time to reclaim both.
“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 48, 1788.
“Whether President Barack Obama realizes it or not, his second term represents a crisis of American self-governance. He is offering a large-scale demonstration that as the federal government grows ever larger, with ever more expansive responsibilities, it becomes increasingly dysfunctional, plagued by a culture of complacency in key agencies with no sign of serious accountability for consequential mistakes.” –Jim Geraghty
State of the Union, your government at work:
“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” —James Madison (1829)
Federal Lab Forced To Close After ‘Disturbing’ Data Manipulation
by Ethan Barton, Daily Caller
Nearly two decades and $108 million worth of “disturbing” data manipulation with “serious and far ranging” effects forced a federal lab to close.
The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics – including many related to the environment – from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years. Read more Read Inspector General Report
Committee Finds Federal Agencies Proactively Avoid the NEPA Process to Secure Predetermined Outcomes
The House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight hearing titled “Investigating the Appropriate Role of NEPA in the Permitting Process.”
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was designed as a regulatory compliance framework for projects or actions requiring a federal permit. In practice, the NEPA process has often proven overly burdensome, costly and time-consuming for a range of economic sectors.
In many cases, federal agencies have used NEPA to delay or deny permitting. More recently, the Obama Administration has begun bypassing NEPA to preemptively deny project approval. Attorney Roger Martella, Jr. emphasized that uncertainty surrounding the NEPA process has a paralyzing effect on critical economic growth and energy independence projects.
“Despite the extraordinary contributions NEPA has made to informed decision making over 45 years, NEPA also is at risk for being hijacked as a tool of obstructionism by providing for unnecessarily broad review. Improperly stretching NEPA’s reach can lead to vast delays and uncertainty before agencies and the courts,” Martella said.
New Homeland Security Records Reveal Top Officials Were Exempted from Strict Ban Placed on Web-Based Personal Email Accounts Despite Heightened Security Concerns
Judicial Watch today announced it obtained 693 pages of Department of Homeland Security records revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns. The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.
The records were obtained in response to a February 2016 court order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia following a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:15-cv-01772)). Read more
GOP AGs warn Dems that if climate skeptics can be prosecuted for ‘fraud,’ so can alarmists
By Valerie Richardson, Washington Times
If Democratic attorneys general can pursue climate change skeptics for fraud, then also at risk of prosecution are climate alarmists whose predictions of global doom have failed to materialize.
The “cuts both ways” argument was among those raised by 13 Republican attorneys general in a letter urging their Democratic counterparts to stop using their law enforcement power against fossil fuel companies and others that challenge the climate change catastrophe narrative.
Consider carefully the legal precedent and threat to free speech, said the state prosecutors in their letter this week, headed by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Read more
Under Obama: 8 Islamic Terror Attacks That Could Have Been Prevented
It didn’t take long after the attack at a gay bar in Orlando, which claimed 49 lives and injured at least 53 others, for the public to learn that the terrorist, Omar Mateen, had been on a terrorism watch list and was twice interviewed by the FBI.
In fact, FBI director James Comey said on Monday that there were “strong indications of radicalization.” In other words, this attack didn’t come out of the blue. So why wasn’t something done before Sunday?
This has become a deeply troubling pattern during the Obama administration. In fact, in all the past major Islamic terror attacks carried out on U.S. soil, federal officials either ignored or overlooked warning signs that arguably could have prevented the carnage. Read more from IBD
EPA Science Panel Stacked With Experts Paid Millions By EPA
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) science advisory panel tasked with reviewing ozone regulations is stacked with experts who have collectively received millions in agency funding over the years.
Of the 20 scientific advisers sitting on EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Ozone Panel, 17 have received a total of $192 million in EPA grants. This news only fuels the argument that EPA’s science committees aren’t “independent” as required by federal law, because they are stacked with experts who rely on the very agency they are overseeing for money. Read more
Lies, Damned Lies, And The EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’
Investor’s Business Daily
President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” is on pause, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in March after more than two dozen states filed suit to stop it. A new report shows why the plan should be scrapped entirely, and the EPA sued for fraud.
By its own admission, the EPA says Clean Power Plan is one of the most sweeping regulations ever enacted. It would require electric companies to cut CO2 emissions 32% within 25 years — basically by shuttering coal plants and force feeding “renewable energy.”
In pushing the Clean Power Plan, the EPA claimed it would cost industry $9 billion a year, but produce up to $54 billion in annual health benefits, including “avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.”
Turns out, the benefits of the Clean Power Plan will be closer to $0, while the costs would be far higher than the EPA claims. That’s the conclusion in an in-depth report by the Manhattan Institute’s Jonathan Lesser.
Put simply, Lesser says the EPA’s benefit calculations are based on faulty assumptions and statistical legerdemain. He notes, for example, that since the Clean Power Plan will have an infinitesimal impact on global CO2 levels, it can’t have a $20 billion impact on health.
The EPA also claims $34 billion in side benefits because the rules will reduce other pollutants. But Lesser notes that the EPA has been double counting this co-benefits, using them to justify other costly rules, and that there’s likely to be zero improvement in health, given how clean the air is already.
EPA regulations to cut mercury emissions, for example, relied almost entirely on these supposed co-benefits to justify the $9.6 billion price tag. The direct health benefits from the reduction in mercury was negligible.
While the EPA wildly exaggerated the health benefits of the Clean Power Plan, it also made assumptions guaranteed to minimize the actual cost of the rule, Lesser found.
This isn’t the first time the EPA has been charged with fudging the numbers and relying on faulty science to justify massively expensive regulation.
The EPA has long claimed, for example, that cutting smog pollution will sharply reduce asthma attacks, as it is doing with the Clean Power Plan.
But the data show the opposite. As smog levels have plunged across the country, asthma levels have climbed.
The EPA also assumes in all its regulations that there is no safe level for any pollutant, a claim that defies science and common sense. At some point, there’s nothing to gain from squeezing another molecule of pollution out of the air.
Even those who take global warming seriously should insist that the EPA come clean about the real costs and dubious benefits of its regulations. (Source) Meanwhile, the Department of Energy says that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will “reduce economic growth, increase electricity costs, and result in almost 400,000 jobs lost over the next 15 years”.
A Cry for Due Process in the West: Anatomy of a Broken System
by Clifford C. Nichols
In Otero County, New Mexico, the U.S. Forest Service recently fenced off the water in the Lincoln National Forest.
Its purpose? To keep cattle (but, interestingly, not elk) from sharing the supposed habitat of a mouse that has been declared endangered.
The result? To effect the public’s purpose of protecting an allegedly endangered rodent, the federal government has, for all practical purposes, taken from the ranchers, whose cattle are now deprived of water, the following private property:
Their water rights;
Their cattle, should they and their calves die for lack of access to that water; and ultimately
Their livelihood, if the deprivation of their water destroys the continued economic viability of the affected grazing allotments, and ultimately, the entire ranch itself.
Should these ranchers be made to bear the brunt of the economic impact of the public’s purpose to protect an endangered species? Logically and constitutionally speaking, they should not. The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides, “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Therefore, logic would seem to dictate that the next question really should be, has there been any compensation given, or even offered, to the ranchers for this “taking”? Unfortunately, based on my past experience litigating such cases, I presume I am safe in believing that the short answer to this question is … not likely.
If I am correct, the next logical question would then seem to be, is there a legal remedy available to the ranchers to enforce their constitutional right to compensation? Again, logic and the Constitution would suggest that there should be. The clause in the Fifth Amendment immediately preceding the Takings Clause is the Due Process Clause. It provides that no citizen “can be deprived [by the government] of … property, without due process of law.” But in the instant case, have not the ranchers been deprived of their property without any due process being afforded them prior to the “taking”, or at any reasonable time thereafter? Sadly, in this instance I would again have to presume I am safe in assuming that the answer to this question is … most likely. Read more
You have probably seen this before, but it’s worth repeating:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take
care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
CLIMATE SCIENCE AND SPECULATION
NOAA: 75% chance of La Nina by September, cooler temps coming
by Thomas Richard, Examiner.com
NOAA announced that there is a 75 percent chance a La Niña will form in the equatorial Pacific Ocean by fall, a phenomenon that is the flip side of the now-deceased El Niño. Currently, sea surface temperatures have returned to normal and experts think a La Niña will develop from July through September, bringing cooler temps this winter. La Niña events occur when cooler-than-normal surface waters of the equatorial (tropical) Pacific Ocean are observed. So if the 2015-2016 El Niño was the powerful “king” behind our recent warm weather and so-called hottest-year-ever claims, La Niña is the “queen” who plans to take back the throne. This flipping back and forth is part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, and it occurs every 5 to 7 years. Read more
Experts Debunk Obama’s ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’ Estimate — It Might Be Negative!
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
A soon-to-be-published paper challenges the Obama administration’s so-called “social cost of carbon” estimate, which puts a monetary value on the supposed future damages from global warming.
But the new study’s authors not only say the administration’s “social cost of carbon” (SCC) is overblown, they also argue it might actually be negative based on observed temperature increases, not just climate models. That means there’s actually benefits to emitting carbon dioxide. Read more
James Hansen’s climate predictions – how did they turn out?
In 1986, James Hansen, then head of NASA’s GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies), claimed that average global temperatures would rise by one-half a degree to one degree Fahrenheit from 1990 to 2000 if current trends are unchanged and the global temperature would rise by another 2 to 4 degrees in the following decade.
In November 1990 the UAH satellite observations of global temperature found that “global lower troposphere temperature anomaly” hit 0.25 deg C. Twenty years later, for which date Hansen made a specific quantitative prediction that global temperature would have increased by at least 1.4 deg C and up to 2.8 deg C, the UAH global lower troposphere temperature anomaly was -0.17 deg C. The temperature went down. If things went according the Hansen’s mid-point prediction, the temperature in 2015 should have been 3 deg C higher than 1990. UAH observations show that global temperature actually rose 0.08 deg C. (Source)
Important study: Waste heat is a major source of national warming, significantly pollutes climatic record
by Anthony Watts
The greenhouse effect isn’t the only thing warming things up. There is also the waste heat released when we generate and use energy – even clean energy. Yet the regional impact of that heat – which moves from warm buildings, engines and power plants into the world around us – has not been well accounted for. A new study now shows waste heat may explain some temperature variations at a national scale better than do global climate change models. Read more
Harsh Winter/Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice Hypothesis Flops, Brand New Study Shows!
By P Gosselin
Some 15 years ago we were told that snow and ice in the wintertime would be things of the past.
Then Europe and North America experienced a series of harsh winters and climate scientists, turning on a dime, suddenly declared them the result of global warming.
Now that claim too is turning out to be a farce as well.
A team of scientists of the University of Colorado Boulder and the NOAA led by Lantao Sun examined the mechanism more closely on 25 May 2016 in a new study in the Geophysical Research Letters. They were unable to confirm the relationship between sea ice melt and cold continental winters. The cold winters were neither explainable by the shrinking Arctic sea ice, nor by anthropogenic factors, the scientists found. A pronounced and underestimated natural climate variability is much more at play here. Read more
New study shows no wildfire increases due to global warming, slight decline in recent decades noted
by Anthony Watts
A new analysis of global data related to wildfire, published by the Royal Society, reveals major misconceptions about wildfire and its social and economic impacts.
Prof. Stefan Doerr and Dr Cristina Santin from Swansea University’s College of Science carried out detailed analysis of global and regional data on fire occurrence, severity and its impacts on society.
Their research, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, looked at charcoal records in sediments and isotope-ratio records in ice cores, to build up a picture of wildfire in the past.
In contrast to what is widely portrayed in the literature and media reports, they found that:
Global area burned has seen an overall slight decline over past decades, despite some notable regional increases. Currently, around 4% of the global land surface is affected by vegetation fires each year.
There is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.
Direct fatalities from fire and economic losses also show no clear trends over the past three decades.
The researchers conclude:
“The data available to date do not support a general increase in area burned or in fire severity for many regions of the world. Indeed there is increasing evidence that there is overall less fire in the landscape today than there has been centuries ago, although the magnitude of this reduction still needs to be examined in more detail.” Read more
Study: States Supporting Green Energy Have Higher Electricity Prices
by Bonner R. Cohen
States promoting renewable energy through subsidies, mandates, and other programs have the highest electricity costs in the nation, according to an analysis by the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF).
For example, DNCF’s report shows California and West Virginia sit on the opposite ends of the energy-price spectrum, likely as a result of their energy policies. DCNF data show California had among the nation’s highest power prices, paying 14.3 cents per kilowatt hour (Kwh), and has 183 policies supporting green energy. West Virginia had among America’s cheapest power prices—consumers there paid 7.91 cents per Kwh—and only 11 policies supporting green energy. Read more
Bat Killings by Wind Energy Turbines Continue
“A research review published in January of this year found that wind turbines are, by far, the largest cause of mass bat mortality around the world. White-nose syndrome, the deadly fungal disease that has decimated bat populations throughout the northeastern U.S., came in second.” Scientific American
Denmark Abandons Green-energy Religion
The Wall Street Journal
The economic costs of Europe’s green-energy religion keep mounting, and now its more devout disciples are starting to doubt the faith.
Witness Denmark’s reconsideration of its plans to build new coastal wind farms that would add 350 megawatts of generating capacity.
The Danes are the world champions of wind farms, getting some 42% of their energy from wind last year. But that power hasn’t come cheap, since Danish households pay the highest electricity charges in Europe mostly thanks to Copenhagen’s green levy on electricity bills, the Public Service Obligation (PSO).
Nor is the power particularly reliable. On some gusty days, Denmark’s wind farms produce more power than the western part of the country needs. On other days the turbines are still. A consequence of the hefty subsidies for wind construction is that if Denmark were to export its surplus power on windy days, taxpayers would effectively be subsidizing someone else’s energy consumption.
So some politicians have jumped at a chance for a rethink courtesy of the European Commission, which in 2014 ruled the PSO violates European Union subsidy rules. In addition to illegally subsidizing local green-power firms, the PSO also dragged on Denmark’s economy. Because the levy moved inversely to market-based energy prices, the tax ate the windfall that Danes otherwise would have enjoyed from falling oil and gas prices. With the economy struggling to hit even 1% growth, voters started asking why they’re paying more taxes on electric bills than other Europeans in order to subsidize wind farmers.
As a result, Parliament is preparing to end the PSO instead of mending it. The plan is to pay some green subsidies from general government revenues, to be raised by increases to income or other taxes once the PSO tax on electricity bills disappears. But with taxes already high, Copenhagen will struggle to raise them enough to replace the revenue lost when the PSO ends. This has triggered a long-overdue debate about cutting some of the subsidies.
The proposal to delay construction of some coastal wind farms will save an estimated seven billion Danish krone ($1.06 billion) over 12 years. If approved by Parliament, this would mark a welcome step toward economic and fiscal sanity. (Source)
Government Interventions in Markets Are Often Not Justified and Yield Dismal Results
by Alan Carlin
When governments usurp the roles that are most efficiently played by markets by interfering in them, the results are almost uniformly disastrous. There are cases, usually serious, proven pollution problems, where such government intervention is advisable, but these are rarer than widely believed.
A case in point is government selection of energy sources. No valid case has been made that such decisions are best made by government. Environmentalists often argue that the market fails to take into account the effects of fossil fuels on climate change/global warming and government should intervene to reduce these climate risks. The problem, of course, is that although fossil fuel use may well affect conventional pollutants (such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide), we already have the world’s strictest standards in the US in this regard and the connection between fossil fuel use and climate is speculative at best while its connection to improved living standards is quite certain. If there are any such effects on climate, they are not catastrophic and appear to be minor at most. But that has not stopped alarmists (including environmentalists and left of center politicians) from claiming that government should intervene immediately to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Read more
Study: Replacing Nuclear With Wind Would DOUBLE CO2 Emissions
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller
Replacing nuclear power with wind in Sweden would literally double the country’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to a study published Monday by scientists from the Max Planck Institute and the Royal Institute of Technology.
The study found that replacing nuclear with wind power would make the electrical grid unreliable. Conventional natural gas and coal power plants would be needed to compensate for the unreliability, which would create more CO2 emissions. The study was published in the peer-reviewed European Physical Journal Plus.
Sweden gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric plants and nuclear reactors, so the country generates very few CO2 emissions. Sweden consumes very large amounts of electricity and energy on a per capita basis, but hydro and nuclear powers mean Swedish carbon emissions are relativity low compared to those of other countries. Sweden has nine operating nuclear power reactors, which provide about 40 percent of the country’s electricity. Read more
“Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And in the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism.” –French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
“One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.” –Ayn Rand
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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