Tag Archives: alternative energy

The Congress-Copenhagen Connection

minute-man-2-lithoIn several ways, the future of America will be decided in the next thirty days.  Four events are scheduled that will have a profound effect on the level of freedom and liberty enjoyed by the American people, passage of the 2009 budget; the initial negotiating session in Bonn, Germany on the U.N. “Climate Change” plan;  Domestic legislation on global warming by Congress; and legislation on national health care.  All four have the potential to greatly expand the reach of the federal government, further erode state sovereignty, adversely affect the national economy, and diminish the level of liberty and freedom for citizens.

The Copenhagen Accords

The U.N. plan also threatens the erosion of our national sovereignty.  The first negotiating session for the “Copenhagen Accords” began Sunday, March 29, in Bonn under the auspices of the United Nations.  Goals for the accords are set forth in a sixteen page informational document to be distributed to participants. They are expected to be signed by December 2009. Unlike the Kyoto Accords, indications are that the Copenhagen Accords will have the support of both Congress and the White House.

An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily Saturday, begins with a reference to Czech President Vaclav Klaus who once called global warming “a new religion, a Trojan horse for imposing a global tyranny worse than communism.”

“Details about the Copenhagen Conference prove how right he was”, comments the IBD editor.

The centerpiece of the new accords will be an international “Cap and Trade” scheme that, if implemented, will result in a massive transfer of wealth from advanced industrial nations, particularly the United States, to underdeveloped and developing nations like those in Africa, South and Central America, China and India.  In addition to wealth transfer, the UN’s “informational notes” predicts a major relocation of businesses as companies flee from highly regulated countries to those with fewer regulatory policies.

The two domestic industries hardest hit by the new regulations will be energy and transportation.  Both rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels and they cannot be outsourced.  The costs associated with “cap and trade” and carbon taxes will be passed on to consumers through higher prices.  When added to the inflation caused by the Treasury Department’s printing of trillions of dollars to pay for the Obama economic plan the result is sure to be a lowering of the standard of living for everyone.

There is, however, a ray of hope so far as the UN plan is concerned, assuming that we still have a Constitution in place next year when a treaty is likely to be presented to the Senate for ratification.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a two-third majority in order to ratify a treaty. The constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote in the Senate cannot be set aside with the Reid-Pelosi “reconciliation” plan they intend to use to bypass any attempt to filibuster bills dealing with domestic climate change, energy conservation and healthcare.

A more immediate threat comes from a domestic cap and trade scheme legislated by Congress.  The domestic plan would have all the negative aspects of the UN plan and will probably have popular support among the uninformed voters that make up the major segment of the voting public.  What makes new cap and trade regulations more likely is the fact that many Republican Congressmen and Senators have bought into the pseudo-science of “global warming”.  There is little chance that such a bill could be successfully filibustered, even if the opportunity was given.

There seems to be little we can do other than protest to stop the anticipated legislation on both climate change and healthcare.  Aside from the outrageous spending spree already underway by the federal government, climate change and health care legislation pose the biggest threats we will be facing in the near future.

Eventually we will make the transition from fossil fuel to an alternative—when the time is right. When that happens it will be because of entrepreneurial innovation and consumer demand not because of central planning by the government.  That is always the way progress comes about.  We did not make the transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile because of government initiative, but because of American ingenuity and the free market.  Government interference in the free market always causes dislocation in the economy and results in unforeseen and unnecessary problems for the consumer.  Government can, to a certain extent, affect production through regulations, but it cannot dictate consumption except by trampling on the liberties of its citizens.

Both Climate change legislation and health care legislation are doomed to failure in the long run  because they violate two basic principles of the human condition.

The Problem with Central Planning

Two terms familiar to every business school student are “span of control” and “economy of scale”.  Span of control has to do with the principle that the human mind is limited in its capacity for gathering, absorbing and using information efficiently.  Economy of scale has to do with the consolidation of operations in order to improve efficiency.  The merger craze of a few decades ago brought out the shortcoming of both these theories.

Large companies bought up smaller companies in order to take advantage of the economy of scale only to find that they had stretched the span of control to a point that could no longer be managed effectively. Companies go from acquisition to centralization, to decentralization, to “spin offs” in an effort to find the optimum balance between the span of control and the economy of scale.  Few ever find it, and private businesses have an advantage over government in that they are merit based and motivated by profit.  Governments are politics based and motivated by the desire for power.

Centrally planned economies have never worked, and cannot work, because they always violate the principle underlying “span of control”.  The founders understood this principle well when they drafted the Constitution.  That is one of the reasons why they limited the power and size of the central government and reserved policy decisions affecting the daily lives of citizens to states and local communities.

Health Care

America has the best and most innovative health care system in the world.  It’s artificially high cost is primarily the result of a manufactured demand caused by our third-party payment system created by employer paid health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Until we deal honestly with that problem, we cannot solve the problem of unaffordable health care.

The only way to solve the problem of healthcare costs is to allow the market to function.  Add the amount being paid by companies for employee health insurance to employees’ paychecks, return taxes paid for Medicaid and Medicare to the taxpayer and let the taxpayer pay for their own catastrophic health insurance and routine healthcare, “out of pocket”.

When our automobile breaks down we think nothing of paying five hundred or a thousand dollars to get it fixed.  Certainly, our body is more important than our car.  Yet, we have created an expectation that when our body breaks down or develops a temporary “problem” the expense of getting it fixed should be born by someone else.

The expense for indigent health care can and should be born by states, local communities and families, as it once was.  No one should go without needed health care, and they do not today.  The problem is that as the system is now working the cost of  indigent care is born by hospitals and emergency rooms and passed on to other patients through elevated cost for hospital services or to the taxpayer through hospital reimbursements.

The problems caused by government planned and administered healthcare schemes in Canada, England, France, and elsewhere are well documented and widely known.  In spite of this, our politicians are determined to force nationalized health care on everyone, in one form or another.  The inevitable result will be lower standards of care for patients and unsustainable cost to the taxpayers.  Eventually, health care and our arrogant attempts to control climate, unless checked, will result in the demise of capitalism.  If one doesn’t get us, the other one will.

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Obama’s Four Year Plan

minute-man-2-lithoThe actions of President Obama during his first two months in office do not to make any sense politically.  Now, as incompetent as Obama appears to be, no one has ever said that he has no sense, so, he must have a plan.   I know, he tells us his plans several times every day even if it means he has to spread the carbon footprints of Air Force One all over the continent in order to do so.  The problem is he tells us his “plans” but never his “plan.”  It always helps in understanding what’s going on if we take a look at the big picture.

We can start by looking at his worldview.  We know from his biography and life experiences that his worldview is socialistic.  Throughout his life, his mentors and close associates have always been adherents of radical socialism.  His childhood mentor and family friend, communist poet Frank Davis, his political patrons, William Ayers and Bernadette Dorn, and his pastor and mentor for twenty years, Jeremiah Wright all contributed to his worldview.

Throughout his lifetime, he was trained and groomed to someday lead the socialist movement in America.  With the help of that movement, he became the President of the United States.  Unlike his icon, Franklin Roosevelt who had twelve years to carry out his socialist plans, and would have had sixteen had not death intervened, Obama has at most, eight.  In fact, it is highly likely that he will be limited to only four years in office.  That explains his frantic efforts to get everything done “yesterday.”

It has become obvious, even to his moderate and independent supporters that his long-term goal is to transform the U.S. into an Americanized version of the socialist nations of Western Europe.  He has only four years to accomplish that goal or, at least, to push it beyond the point of no return.  The critical parts of his plan has to be accomplished within the first two years of his administration while he still has a socialist/Democrat Congress to push his plan through. That is the reason he has been forced to abandon the socialist tactic of “incrementalism” that has served the socialist movement so well in the past.

Although details of his plan puts him at odds with two of the three major socialist parties, the Democratic Socialist of America and the Socialist Party USA, his four-year plan supports the basic principles of both parties and is in lockstep with the Democratic Party, the largest and most powerful socialist party in America, .  Even though not all the socialist parties agree with Obama on every point a look at their platforms shows they are not widely separated in principle.

The four pillars of DSA’s Economic Justice Agenda:

1.  Restoring progressive taxation to the levels in effect before the Reagan administration, and enacting massive cuts in wasteful defense spending;

2.  Ensuring government resumes its appropriate roles through:

  • Providing single-payer universal health insurance, and expanding public initiatives in childcare, elder care, pension security, as well as primary, secondary and higher education;
  • Regulating finance and investment (as was done with the Glass-Steagall Act), controlling interest rates (forbidding usury), providing election protection, ending pollution, strengthening oversight of workplace health and safety, guaranteeing net neutrality, breaking up the concentration of media ownership;
  • Investment in green jobs, clean and sustainable energy, clean water, public transportation infrastructure, publicly financed election campaigns;

3.  Enacting the Employee Free Choice Act – which would restore the right of workers to organize unions and to bargain collectively –as part of a broader effort to rebuild a powerful labor movement capable of achieving equity in the labor market

4.  Implementing a U.S. foreign and trade policy that promotes global institutions that advance labor, environmental, and human rights, regulate transnational corporations, and allow small farmers worldwide to earn a living in their own homelands.

By coincidence, these also happen to be four of the main elements in the Obama Agenda.  That is, if you believe in coincidences.  In order to accomplish these goals it will be necessary to Destroy free-market capitalism and replace it with a planned economy and establish tighter controls over the American population. The basic principle of socialism, redistribution of wealth, is not specifically mentioned in the above list, but is the principle underlying all four.

For a closer look at this part of the plan, we go to the Economic Platform of the Socialist Party USA.

“…2. We call for worker and community ownership and control of corporations within the framework of a decentralized and democratically determined economic plan.

3. We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.

4. We call for a full employment policy. We support the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.

5. We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks.  In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries.

6. We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.

7. We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale…” (CPUSA economic platform)

Notice the income spread between plank 3 and plank 6; an annual minimum income of $31,200 for everyone and a maximum of $312,000 for CEOs and other high-earners.  The current tactics of the Democratic Party to demonize corporations and their high-paid executives and the attempt to cap executive pay and bonuses for segments of the economy receiving money from the government, in particularly the automotive and financial industries, may act as a model for future attempts to widen the effort to other parts of the economy.

The same rationale can easily be used for spreading government control of wages from companies receiving bailout money, to companies doing business with the government, to businesses engaged in international commerce and eventually to business in general.

Other parts of the socialist’s platforms that tie neatly into Obama’s plan for a new America include:

“1. We call for public ownership and democratic control of all our natural resources in order to conserve resources, preserve our wilderness areas, and restore environmental quality.

2. “The U.S. must immediately return to participation in international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol, limiting carbon emissions, and accept a major role in worldwide efforts to control global warming…” (CPUSA platform on the environment)

1. “We call for the development of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass to end dependence on fossil fuels.” (ibid. energy)

3. “We call for an end to the U.S. occupation of the province of Guantanamo, Cuba.

4. We call for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank-East Jerusalem and Gaza, and an end to all U.S. aid to Israel, as a precondition for peace.

5. We support an immediate cutoff of all U.S. military aid to Colombia, and all other recipients.

6. We call for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.

7. We stand for unconditional disarmament by the United States…” (ibid. international affairs)

It is clear that unless the American people intervene, Obama will implement the most important parts of the socialist agenda, and that he has only four years to accomplish it.  We have less time than that to stop it.  So, put down the mouse and pick up the phone.  Call your Congressman and Senators and tell them you have had enough.

A Pelosi-Obama Preview of Socialist Rule for America

As the American electorate debates the issue of transforming our Constitutional Republic into a Democratic Socialist state, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are giving us a preview of what we can expect after a socialist takeover. Words alone do not seem to be enough. Mainstream Conservative commentators and talk show hosts appear to have a blind spot similar to their left wing counterparts, only for a different subject.

For years, the left in America has tried to ignore the threat of Islamic terrorism. Osama Bin Laden sends taped messages on a regular basis informing the world of their intentions and the left continues to ignore them. Barack Obama, the ultimate denier, continues to cling to his belief that they can be pacified through cooperation and dialogue, even expressing a willingness to meet personally with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, if he is elected President. Above all else, the left resists admitting to the obvious identity of the enemy, radical Islamic Terrorism.

Too many conservatives have the same blind spot toward socialism. Barack Obama delivers speech after speech espousing one socialist objective after another, yet conservative writers and commentators continue to speak of him as if he were just another liberal Democrat. In fact, many of them would be among the first to defend Obama if he should be referred to publicly as a socialist, contending that it was divisive hate speech and any attempt to label him a socialist would be “crossing the line“.

In predicting what life in America would be like under a socialist administration, Obama supplies the words and Pelosi supplies the actions. Together they present a clear picture to all but the most determined self-deceivers. Obama has spent the past year going from one end of the country to the other promising change and specifying distinctively what those changes would be, and yet, conservatives are still complaining that he never tells us what he intends to change.

How much clearer could he be? The first thing he has promised to change is our entire economic system. Market driven, free enterprise will be a thing of the past. As he has said on more than one occasion, our economy needs to be geared toward the needs of the people not the profits of big business. What they consider to be excess profits will be taken by taxation and redirected into “investments” for the public good. No clearer example of this could be given than his proposal to take so-called excess profits from oil companies and use them to subsidize competing products.

Earlier this week he announced that we must end the era of oil in our time. He has promised to replace our dirty oil based economy with a “green economy”. To do this he has promised to “invest” (subsidize with taxpayer money) alternative energy sources. Someday, if we survive, there may be sources of alternative energy, but not in this century. The best we can hope for in the foreseeable future are supplemental energy resources.

The only reliable, economically feasible energy sources we have now are oil, coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear. All of these, with the exception of hydroelectric, would be controlled by government under Obama‘s policies. Hydroelectric is self-restricting. Wind, solar, bio, and thermal can never be more than supplemental. Wind, solar and thermal are too intermittent in nature and bio is too costly in terms of the commodities it displaces to ever be more than supplemental sources.

The primary source of energy for transportation and commerce will continue to be oil for generations to come. We can supplement it with biofuels and electricity but we cannot replace it. Since, under Obama’s plan we will not be able to increase the availability of oil the only choice is to decrease its use. Proposed programs to conserve energy not only hinder economic expansion, it also limits personal liberty.

The recent rise in world oil supply resulting from lower oil consumption over the past few months is heralded by the left as a victory for their policies. It is a victory only insofar as their policies are designed to make oil too expensive to use. For years, the left has been calling for added taxes in order to raise the price of gasoline and discourage its use. The ban on new exploration and drilling, coupled with an increase in global consumption has accomplished that goal for them. The rise in world inventories only indicates less economic activity, fewer jobs, and less liberty for us all.

I read somewhere that Americans have driven three million miles less in the past year. That means they are taking shorter vacations and staying closer to home; they’re making less trips to the beach; they’re going on fewer family outings; and they are taking fewer “impulse” trips. In other words, they are experiencing less personal liberty to pursue the things they enjoy.

In overhauling our economy, changes that can’t be forced through “incentives”, prices, and taxes will be made through regulations. The ban on incandescent bulbs and tougher CAFE standards forcing us to drive smaller, less safe cars are only two examples of the changes we can expect to be mandatory in our lifestyles.

The second change Obama has promised is a change in the relationship between government and the people. The traditional idea that the purpose of government is to secure the natural rights of its citizens is to be replaced with the idea that the purpose of citizenship is to serve the needs of the state.

In his Denver speech, July 2, Obama announced, “I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States”. He then goes on to describe plans for recruiting students, young people, seniors and people of all ages into voluntary “public service”.  Part of his plan to funnel efforts of the people into state approved projects involves the establishment of a new “Social Investment Fund Network”.

This new spending will be used in coordinating the “grass roots, the private sector, the foundations, the faith-based organizations, the private sector and the government” toward “our most pressing national challenges”. To help accomplish this goal he has promised to launch a new “Social Entrepreneur Agency”.

The third change promised is a change in our relationship to the world. In his Berlin speech, Obama declared himself to be a “citizen of the world”. World citizenship is another basic doctrine of socialism. Under this doctrine, people are encouraged to migrate from country to country without regard for national boundaries. National citizenship becomes more or less meaningless.

As a good citizen of the world community, our military would be increasingly under the direction of the United Nations and our citizens increasingly subject to a world court. Taxpayer money would be used to finance social programs in third world countries and developing nations.

A fourth area slated for change is the structure of the family. The traditional structure consisting of a father, a mother and two or three children will continue to give way to families made up of any combination of males, females, and children. Gay marriage, gay adoption, trans-gender and bi-sexual relationships will become even more commonplace.

Under the Obama plan, the primary care and training of children will become more and more the purview of the state. From early childhood through primary and secondary education, children would be under the direction of state approved day-care and pre-school before moving on to union dominated public schools. By the time a young person graduates from college they will have been exposed to a thousand hours of mandatory socialist indoctrination via “community service” in college and pre-college programs. These “community service” projects directed by the state will be little more than internships in the socialist lifestyle.

The urban public school systems will keep on turning out an underclass of citizens unqualified for success in the modern economy. This underclass will continue to be exploited by the state to expand its control over the general population in the name of public safety, humanitarian compassion, and social justice.

A fifth change Obama will attempt to implement is more stringent control over the media. The centerpiece of the plan for controlling political thought in American will be the reinstatement of the “fairness doctrine” in broadcasting which if possible will be expanded to include the internet much as it is in China today. The purpose will be to silence opposition and conservative thought.

The changes promised by Obama involve nothing less than a complete overhaul of the American way of life. Institutions of finance, manufacturing, transportation, education, family, religion, and communication, will all undergo cataclysmic changes.

I realize most of my readers believe these changes are impossible because the American people would never permit it. That’s where Ms. Pelosi comes in. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi have similar personalities. Both are natural-born despots. You only have to look at the tactics of Pelosi as Speaker of the House over the past two years to see a preview of the next decade should the socialist/democrats win a major victory in November.

The ultimate example of Pelosi tactics in suppressing opposition is her stance against increasing our supply of oil through domestic drilling. Rather than permitting debate on the issue, she closed Congress and returned to her socialist kingdom in “la-la” land.

The two positions with the most authority under the Constitution were the President and Vice-President, the President as chief executive, Commander in Chief over the armed forces, director of foreign relations and chief administrator of justice, the Vice-President as President of the Senate. Only John Adams, the first Vice-President, under George Washington, attempted to exercise his responsibility as Senate President. Vice-Presidents since then, starting with Thomas Jefferson, have been content to abdicate that responsibility to the Senate Majority Leader with the exception of ceremonial occasions and in the case of tie votes.

Since becoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has assumed authority eclipsing both the President, and Vice-President. A socialist triumvirate consisting of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in the top three positions of power would result in an erosion of liberty and a level of tyranny unknown in our two-hundred and twenty year history.

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