When you consider that a bunch of global warming propagandists, the 19th Conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions has been meeting in Warsaw this month are still claiming that we are in the midst of global warming, you have a demonstration of how great a hoax has been perpetrated on the peoples of the world.
These people and the scientists who supplied the falsified and inaccurate climate models to support the global warming claims have committed a criminal fraud.
Bit by bit, the truth in the form of increasingly cold weather is causing people to wonder whether they are being duped. The media has either buried the stories of extraordinary cold events or continues to tip-toe around the truth.
An example is a recent Wall Street Journal article by Robert Lee Hotz,“Strange Doings on the Sun”, Hotz reported that “Researchers are puzzled. They can’t tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun’s brightness or the wavelengths of its light.”
After describing the fact that the Sun has entered a period of reduced sunspot activity, always a precursor to a cooling cycle and even an ice age, Dr. David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, is quoted as saying “It may give us a brief respite from global warming, but it is not going to stop it.”
Plainly said, you cannot trust what government scientists have to say about global warming. The government’s policy since the late 1980s has been that global warming is real and poses a great threat to the Earth. What Dr. Hathaway and other “warmists” are desperately trying to ignore is the fact that the Earth entered a natural and predictable cooling cycle around 1997 or 1998. It has been cooling ever since!
In 1997 Robert W. Felix authored the definitive book on the coming ice age in his book, “Not by Fire, but by Ice.” It is still widely available. His website,IceAgeNow.info provides updated information on the many weather events around the world that demonstrate an ice age—whether it is a mini-ice age or a full-scale one—is occurring. Felix says that a major Ice Age, when it begins, will come on very swiftly.
One post on Felix’s website is about Victor Emanuel Velasco Herrera, a geophysicist at the University of Mexico, who predicts that the “Earth will enter a ‘Little Ice Age’ which will last from 60 to 80 years and may be caused by the decrease in solar activity.” You don’t have to be a geophysicist to figure out that less solar activity adds up to a colder Earth.
2014 is the year many scientists believe an ice age, “mini” or full-scale will begin. Herrera hedged his prediction saying that “with the mass production of current carbon dioxide (CO2) it is unlikely that we will see a major ice age like the one experienced 12,000 years ago.” Carbon Dioxide plays no role in warming the Earth. It is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The implications of an ice age, no matter how long or short, is its impact on the growing of crops to feed everyone. Dr. Tim Patterson of Canada’s Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences, in a May 18, 2007 article in the Calgary Times, wrote that satellite data “shows that by the year 2020 the next solar cycle is going to be solar cycle 25—the weakest one since the Little Ice Age (that started in the 13th century and ended around 1860)…should be a great strategic concern in Canada because nobody is farming north of us. In other words, Canada—the great breadbasket of the world—might not be able to grow grains in much of the prairies.” This prediction applies as well, of course, to the U.S. production of grains.
Other scientists have been sounding the alarm, predicting dramatic cooling to begin in the current decade. Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a Fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, has noted that “Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012, real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.” While the years cited by scientists may differ, they are in agreement that we are looking at decades of cold.
In the years since the late 1980s when “global warming” was unleashed on the world as the greatest hoax of the modern era, billions have come to believe the Earth was threatened by greater warming cause by man-made “greenhouse gases” resulting from industrial and all other uses of fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. While carbon dioxide has, indeed, increased in the atmosphere, the truth is that the Earth has entered a cooling cycle and that it is on the cusp of very cold weather for decades. We could even cross over into a full-fledged Ice Age because one is overdue at this point in time.
You cannot depend on what the mass media tells you. They are hardwired to continue the global warming hoax. You can, however, educate yourself with books such as Robert Felix’s. You can use Google to find out more about ice ages. You can and should prepare yourself for changes in the Earth’s climate that will have vast impacts on the global economy and on the ability to grow enough crops to feed the world’s population.
[Originally published on Warning Signs]
During hearings on the nomination of Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Senator David Vitter asked her position on Senator Rand Paul’s bill to audit the Fed. She replied that while she supports “transparency,” she also guards “independence,” and so opposes the bill. The two things – transparency and independence – are not the same.
The argument for independence is strong. There is a negative correlation between central bank independence and the rate of inflation. In countries with more independent central banks, the decision of the political branches to deficit spend is made separately from the decision of the central bank to finance the deficit with newly-created money. The political branches are therefore subject to the discipline of the bond market. Thus, central bank independence both directly (by immunizing the money supply from deficits) and indirectly (by subjecting the budget to the discipline of the bond market) supports sound money.
The gold standard could be viewed as the ultimate form of independence. Indeed, with a gold standard, you wouldn’t even need a central bank. Or, if you have a central bank along with a gold standard, the central bank’s power over the money supply would be limited. Hopefully, it would be able to, and would actually intervene during times of financial crisis so as to prevent deflation from breaking out (something the Fed failed to do during the Great Depression).
With fiat money, because there is no natural check on the money supply, central bank independence becomes very important. Furthermore, the goals of monetary policy also become important. Is the goal exclusively to maintain the purchasing power of the monetary unit, to include preventing both inflation and deflation? Or, are there multiple (and even conflicting) goals, such as fighting both inflation and unemployment, and possibly also keeping the interest rates on government debt low?
The more expansive are the goals for monetary policy, the more difficult it is to discern what the central bank is trying to do. Is the central bank, for example, compromising on inflation to fight unemployment? Do huge deficits put pressure on the central bank to expand the money supply? Because of these uncertainties, it is argued, the financial markets need to “listen in” to the deliberations of central bankers so as to maintain confidence in their fidelity to the goal of maintaining th purchasing power of the monetary unit. Transparency, therefore, has little to do with being accountable to the political branches of government. It’s about allaying the concerns of the financial market in the face of accommodative monetary policy.
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, opinion leaders across the world are arguing that we will see more frequent and more severe extreme weather due to man-made global warming. This makes no sense. If increasing greenhouse gas emissions were to cause the world to warm significantly, an unlikely scenario, temperatures at high latitudes are forecast to rise the most, reducing the difference between arctic and tropical temperatures. Since this differential drives weather, we should see less extreme weather in a warmer world, not more.
The lack of extreme weather increase with global warming is one of the few areas of agreement between the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC—see ipcc.ch) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. In 2012 the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. In their latest assessment report released on September 27, 2013, IPCC scientists concluded that they had only “Low confidence” that “damaging increases will occur in either drought or tropical cyclone activity” as a result of global warming.
The NIPCC report released on September 17, 2013 concluded the same, asserting that “In no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”
While Typhoon Haiyan was certainly a tragic event, it is important to recognize that the number of tropical cyclones making landfall in the Philippines has not changed significantly over the past century. For the North Atlantic, forecasters predicted that the 2013 hurricane season would be more active than usual. But it has been one of the weakest hurricane seasons since record-keeping began about 50 years ago. No major hurricane made landfall, something that has not happened in 45 years. 2013 also saw the fewest number of North Atlantic hurricanes since 1982.
Regardless, devastating events such as Haiyan will always happen from time to time. So, instead of wasting vast sums of money vainly trying to stop such events from happening, we need to prepare for and adapt to them as best we can. This would include doing such things as burying electrical cables underground and reinforcing buildings and other infrastructure. Had the evacuation shelters in the Philippines been of more study construction, far fewer people would have died. We also need to support reliable energy sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and hydro-power, to ensure that we have plenty of energy to heat and cool our dwellings as needed. Weak and intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar are simply not up to the task at hand.
The real tragedy in all this is that most climate funding is devoted to supposedly preventing climate change that may happen in the future, not to helping people impacted by natural climate variability today in places like the Sahel in Africa and Northern Canada. According to the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) report (October 2013), of the approximately $357 billion US (almost $1 billion per day) that was spent on climate finance across the world in 2012, only 6% of it went to helping people in today’s world prepare for and adapt to climate change. CPI’s 2011 report demonstrated that, even within developing countries, only 5% of climate finance went into adaptation, a mistake that cost many lives this week in The Philippines. The rest of the money all went to trying to stop climate change that might happen decades in the future. This is essentially giving more value to the lives of people yet to be born than those suffering today due to the impacts of climate change, however caused.
People from across the political spectrum should speak out about this immoral approach, starting at the UN climate change conference currently underway in Poland. Developing countries must demand that adaptation negotiations be totally separated from the pointless, and usually fruitless, mitigation discussions. This will this greatly simplify adaptation negotiations and increase the likelihood of significant climate adaptation agreements. In contrast to mitigation where China and the United States continue to argue over who should go first and the very foundation of the issue is under dispute among scientists, no one doubts that climate change has dangerous impacts on the world’s poor.
Moving adaptation negotiations to conferences entirely separate from the UN mitigation-focused extravaganzas is crucially needed to give the topic a fresh start. Then, assisting countries in need due to natural climate variability will become an issue of foreign aid, one that should be debated as a humanitarian concern, not an environmental one.[Tom Harris' article was originally posted on canadafreepress.com]
Granted, the Front Range brain trust has set a low bar for itself, what with the shivering co-eds they paid to walk around Denver in their skivvies. And who could forget last month’s Brosurance ad featuring the dumbest, whitest seventh-year undergrads in the state keg-standing their nation to insolvency?
One would think that the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative would have watched a few Mad Men eps before trying their hands at another campaign. Au contraire.
Worried that the bro-only focus left out the ladies, the site DoYouGotInsurance.com (actual name) decided to make young women look dumb too.
“Shotskis keep us happy. Flu shots keep us healthy. Saving money on flu shots leaves us more money for fun shots.” It’s hard to believe that an adult wrote that copy, let alone an advertising professional. But we can be thankful that the white girl, white girl, white girl, white girl and white girl don’t have to skimp on their drinking budget for something as trivial as basic healthcare.
Another equally lame ad (this one featuring a white girl and a white girl) shows the duo drinking wine while clumsily exercising so they can stay “smokin’ hot.” I like a drink as well as the next guy, but I never considered ordering my neighbors to pick up the tab.
Please note that the only Latina in the new ad series is pregnant. Way to reinforce those stereotypes, guys.
The ads get downright depressing with the introduction of white girl #8 and some dude so skeevy that he makes Robin Thicke look like Ned Flanders.
This ad made Obamacare look so bad that many liberals on Twitter apparently thought it was a parody attacking the program. Alas, it was all too real. Now that the health exchange has promoted binge drinking and the hook-up culture, what’s next — a date-rape themed ad? (I probably shouldn’t give them ideas.)
Effective ads aimed at millennials are aspirational: young people are shown to be smart, savvy and sophisticated. Smart marketers want twentysomethings to become customers, so they wouldn’t dream of insulting them.
But Obamacare marketers portray millennials as drunken, irresponsible, libidinous morons fighting over keg taps and groping Axe-sprayed collar-poppers. Why insult your target market?
The answer is simple: Obama thinks you’re stupid.
The President and his hired guns have figured out that smart, independent, free-thinking millennials know Obamacare is a sham. Sophisticated young consumers realize they shouldn’t pay overpriced monthly insurance rates when they can just pay $95 if they get sick. And this net-savvy generation knows better than to put personal information on a broken website with endless security issues.
Not surprisingly, Colorado’s lousy ads don’t seem to be working. To date, only 3,700 poor souls have signed up, or 1 in 1400 Coloradans. Looks like the ad guys have a lot more people to insult.
[First published at FreedomWorks.]
Why the concern over President Obama’s Executive Orders? It is human nature that desensitization will creep in as related to frequency, making felt outrage over each successive mandate seem less intense or serious. The result: executive orders are likely to become more frequent and increasingly more extreme in their content in the absence of any serious push back to reign them in.
Not only concern, but an element of fear should abide in all Americans who believe in free enterprise and freedom of choice over having elected President who is resorting to executive orders, when unable to get legislation passed by Congress, to wrest control away from the American people. The American people didn’t vote for an Imperial president in 2008, such as our President has morphed into.
As was noted in Part 1 , Obama’s latest Executive Order on November 1st was geared at the takeover of this nation’s climate-change policy through measures that would prepare this nation for climate-related challenges. Reining in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and specifically coal-burning plants, received top billing in keeping with the misguided belief that gas emissions from power plants represent this nation’s largest contributor to global warming.
During this past week, the EPA held “listening sessions” in eleven cities as part of the administration’s public outreach campaign as it implements harsh new limits on carbon emissions from power plants. The sessions were hosted at EPA regional offices in cities across the nation. Cities where listening tours were held to hear questions, concerns and complaints about its new global-warming regulations included San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. Kansas City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Usually the EPA conducts public hearings after specific regulations are proposed. Could the unusual step of hosting listening session before starting the process be related in any way to the EPA’s need to seek cover before proceeding with the regulations they already plan to adopt? Advocates of the Sierra Club and Beyond Coal campaign were most likely present at each of the eleven listening sessions, not shy in giving the EPA cover with messages urging the adoption of the most stringent carbon emissions limits.
Although the EPA sees itself as open to all points of views, why were towns avoided that rely heavily of coal mining, as well as those that depend on coal-fired power plants to support their local economy? Not surprising at all given an EPA that targets coal-burning plants as the largest contributor to global warming.
The new rules will definitely have a spill-over effect on the mining industry, for as demand for coal decreases, U.S. power-generation facilities will be forced to close resulting in a loss of jobs and economic uncertainty and downturns.
Regarding the implementation of coal plant carbon rules, the Obama administration has requested the EPA to have the rules ready for review by June 1, with finalization to take place by mid-2015. This would gives states a year to implement the new standards, which is not considered a long enough time to comply with the regulations. The development of technology to solve the environmental challenges will take both time and investments in research.
Chicago was the second-to-last stop on Friday, November 8th, before Philadelphia later in the day, of the eleven EPA-sponsored “Listening Tours” in major U.S. cities. The hearing was held at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago to gather public discourse on the Obama administration’s “Climate Plan.”
The Chicago-based Heartland Institute registered to attend and presented testimony at the EPA-sponsored Chicago event as a well qualified and renowned think tank world-wide in the promotion of sound science and market-based (rather than government-based) solutions to environmental problems. Headed by President and CEO, Joseph Bast, The Heartland Institute recently released a major new report on climate change science, produced by an international team of 40 scientists, which challenges the overly 2013 alarmist report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The following article was posted by James Lakely, Director of Communications at the Heartland Institute, following the testimony of Heartland’s two Policy Advisors, Steve Goreham and Paul Driessen, on Friday, November 8th at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago, Heartlanders at EPA Hearing in Chicago: Reject Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
The presentations of Steve Goreham and Paul Driessen were limited to three minutes each. Although it would be prudent to read the two presentations in full, for brevity sake only the first part of each presentation is noted below.
Steve Goreham (Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition of America):
December 7, 2009 is a date that will live in infamy. Not in memory of Pearl Harbor, but because on that date, the Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Ladies and gentlemen, that is bizarre. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. It’s an odorless, harmless, invisible gas. It does not cause smoke or smog. The white vapor above a power plant’s cooling tower is condensing water vapor . . .
Paul Driessen (Senior Policy Advisor for a Constructive Tomorrow):
The EPA says carbon dioxide from America’s coal-fired power plants is causing dangerous climate change. It says computer models support these claims. But the models are useless. Their predictions have been totally wrong — and none of EPA’s claims about hurricanes, tornadoes, rising seas and other alleged dangers have been accurate. Climate change has been ‘real’ since Earth began. The Dust Bowl, hurricanes, the Little Ice Age. . .
Paul Driessen, as the first speaker, took it upon himself to write his impressions of what happened at the Chicago’s EPA “public listening” program following his presentation. Jim Lakely obtained permission from Paul Driessen to make Driessen’s insightful comments public. As such they appear on the following blog post by Lakely.
Driessen commented first about the opening statements made by EPA public officers, then a brief capsule of his own there minute presentation, followed by a summary of what happened during the rest of the hearing.
Below is a brief overview of Driessen’s EPA Chicago listening tour writeup:
After Driessen’s presentation, a half dozen citizens, including several Indiana coal miners who had driven all the way to Chicago, outlined how EPA’s proposed rules would put them out of work and devastate their families and communities. . .
Then the alarmists began presenting their remarks. The first person ignored the purpose of the hearing. . . and made the ridiculous claim that ‘air pollution’ has now been ‘linked to’ cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s! . . . The absurd claim simply underscores the abysmal state of environmentalist ‘thinking”. . .
It’s clear that EPA’s mind is absolutely made up on the issue, and these ‘listening’ sessions are just for show. . . EPA can be assured of plentiful upper class ‘environmentalist’ speaker — who will happily applaud the new rules . . . but these urban elites won’t be hammered immediately the way coal mining, factory and many small business job, families and communities will be.
Already nine state (Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming) have teamed up against the Obama administration in an upcoming Supreme Court case over the unwise environmental regulation. Filed was a friend of the court brief opposing the EPA’s administration agenda to reduce air pollution on Thursday, October 29th, with the claim that the EPA doesn’t have the authority to attempt to regulate power plant emissions that cross state line.
As was stated by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) who is leading the states’ effort:
The move is by the EPA is just one more effort to slam the door on energy-producing states. It is a blatant attempt to promote a reckless agenda that picks winners and lowers and puts our nation’s goal for energy independence in a tenuous position.
Oral arguments are scheduled in the high court on December 10, with the final decision made by next summer.
A possible takeover of this nation’s climate change policy definitely calls for following the money. For with government in charge of the purse strings to control how and where money is being spent (and lost through failed green energy projects), the additional money and power abducted by the government will grant government more money and power to silence climate change skeptics such as The Heartland Institute.
The final paragraph of Paul Driessen’s writeup sums up the situation:
EPA’s actions and proposed rules are despicable and absurd. But they will not be stopped, unless the US Supreme Court and other courts finally step in and say ‘Enough.’
Part 1 is HERE.
[Originally published in the Illinois Review]
A new poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRSC) is asking residents in key the Senatorial swing-states of Arkansas, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Louisiana about their feelings on “carbon pollution.”
Well, the results are in and what did we learn? No one knows what “carbon pollution” is because it was never defined in the survey.
All survey responses are heavily dependent on the language used in the questions. Biased language in the questions will result in biased (but politically expedient) answers. The general public can’t be expected to give an informed answer to the question when they aren’t sure what the question is asking. One of the questions on the NRDC survey reads:
Currently, there are no limits on how much carbon pollution power plants can emit. The EPA is planning to propose standards limiting carbon pollution released by power plants into the air. Do you favor or oppose these standards?
It’s actually amazing that only 51 percent of the respondents said they favored regulating “carbon pollution” from power plants — because quite frankly, the intentionally misleading language makes it sound scary. Any time the word “pollution” is thrown around people will be for regulating it, even if they aren’t sure what they are regulating.
But, there is an important follow-up question to ask, are the survey takers worried that carbon dioxide is polluting the atmosphere, or are they worried that the carbon leaving power plants is itself polluted? Like the age old question “How many licks to the center of a Tootsie-Pop?” the world may never know.
Pollsters use misleading questions to manipulate survey takers and get the answers they want, but these surveys do very little to give insight into how the public actually feels, let alone thinks. Manipulative surveys become even worse when coupled with a U.S. population notorious for being easily duped when it comes to scientific issues.
Remember last April Fool’s Day when those zany morning DJ’s Val St. John and Scott Fish were nearly charged with felonies after telling their listeners that dihydrogen monoxide (also known as water) was coming out of their faucets? Their April Fool’s joke resulted in what USA Today called a “small scale panic,” and the DJ’s were admonished by the Florida Department of Health, all because people didn’t know the scientific name for water.
Penn and Teller performed a similar feat when they convinced hundreds of self-proclaimed environmentalists to sign petitions encouraging that “something be done” about that very same dihydrogen monoxide that has “corrosive properties” when it comes in contact with metal. With the right spin, even water can sound life-threatening.
That’s the problem with using scary, misleading, and meaningless buzzwords. Couple an organization with financial and political incentives to mislead and misrepresent the issues with the general public’s general lack of knowledge about science and you clearly have the perfect recipe for an NRSC fundraising letter and scary campaign commercials — but not an accurate survey of people’s opinions on “carbon pollution.”
Whatever that is.
President Barack Obama today announced a “fix” for his beleaguered health care law, allowing state health commissioners to allow the sale of insurance plans that don’t adhere to the mandates in the Affordable Care Act. (Transcript.)
The following statements from health care policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution.
“President Obama is flailing desperately for some path to solving a problem of his own creation. The fact that plans people liked are being canceled is a feature, not a bug, of his national health care overhaul. Now he is attempting to beg insurers and state insurance commissioners to go along with a brazen, and likely illegal, attempt to play for time, extending 2013 plans into the next year. This would require an enormous amount of cooperation from insurers, and it is already being rejected as unworkable by Democratic insurance commissioners in many states.
“Ultimately, Obama’s fix is not a fix at all – it is just an attempt to shift blame away from the White House, which is where most of the blame for this debacle ought to fall.”
“First, kill the plans by regulations, then try to resurrect them? The whole idea of insurance depends on faith that the plan you are funding will continue to exist. Who can believe this now? Our access to care will depend on the whim of government until we declare independence.”
“The president’s speech today is the perfect metaphor for the legislation that will define his presidency: not ready on time and failing to deliver what it promised. The president has shown once again that Obamacare is not ready for prime time and neither is he.
“A creature of academia and community organizers, the president lives in a bipolar world: one world of theories to which he clings no matter what the facts, and one in which the forcefulness of demands – “What do we want? We don’t know. When do we want it? NOW!” – is the only thing needed to achieve any given goal.
“But facts are stubborn things, and in the end win out. The facts are that Obamacare was an ill-conceived and unworkable plan, poorly executed, and thus doomed to fail from the start. A Democratic president and Congress have put the nation through a great deal of turmoil for nothing. Let’s hope that whitehouse.gov/typhoon works a whole lot better than the Obamacare Web site.”
“President Obama’s proposal today at best only delays by one year the breaking of his fundamental promise to the American people, that if you like your plan you can keep it. It is also unclear whether this decree is even possible – forcing insurers to renew policies on short notice that they had long planned to eliminate because of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements may not be feasible for many or most of them.
“Between cancelled policies and a Web site that prevents people from signing up for new coverage, it is possible that millions of Americans will find themselves uninsured on January 1 solely because of this ill-conceived and poorly implemented law. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and enact reforms that put patients and providers at the center of health care, not politicians and bureaucrats.”
“President Obama’s ‘fix’ amounts to unilaterally rewriting a massive, integrated package of legislation adopted by Congress. The ‘fix’ amounts to new legislation – but enacted without Congress. The president has no constitutional authority to rewrite statutes, especially in ways that impose new obligations on people, and that is what the fix seems to entail. Indeed, Congress is working on legislation quite similar to the president’s fix, demonstrating the primarily legislative nature of these issues.
“President Obama did not specify what statutory authority, if any, he thinks authorizes him to make such dictats, and given the gargantuan length of the Obamacare statute, he might still be looking. Apparently, the president is claiming a broad enforcement discretion. It is true that the chief executive has some room to decide how strongly to enforce a law. But here, Obama is apparently suspending the enforcement of a law for a year – simply to head off actual legislation not to his liking.
“Indeed, the fix goes far beyond ‘non-enforcement’ because it requires insurers to take certain new action to enjoy the discretion. This is government by decree, not by law.
“Obama is evidently convinced that he needs to allow this and that and another thing, like some king! A president is supposed to preside — which means stand by and guard! This country is going down the tubes.”
Tibor R. Machan
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise
Argyros School of Business & Economics
The recent typhoon that hit the Philippines- Typhoon Haiyan- has caused an uproar from the global warming alarmists. One such alarmist, Susan Brooks Thistlewaite, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post on Tuesday in which she identified global warming skeptics as “morally evil”.
In this podcast, The Heartland Institute’s Senior Environmental Expert, James Taylor, responds to Thistlewaite’s accusations and discusses his expert perspective on Typhoon Haiyan and its relation to climate change.
Typhoon Haiyan was a real catastrophe and devastated the Philippines, but Taylor says that the severity of the storm was hyped and wildly over estimated. Taylor explains that to say the typhoon was caused by global warming goes against the facts.
Instead of using global warming as an excuse to add more government regulation, Taylor suggests that we allow policies that spur economic growth, which will increase human welfare and allow for the technology that will improve environmental impacts, like pollution.
Listen to the podcast in the player above.
But apparently you’re not. Crain’s recently published“Pullman inching closer to national park status,” an article detailing plans by Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Rep. Robin Kelly of Chicago to introduce a bill to make Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood a national park. They and local supporters say a national park designation could “bring much-needed funds and development to the neighborhood.”
The article notes the approximately 300 acres of empty factories and occupied bungalows and mansions in the district already have city and national historic landmark status. If these historic landmark designations have failed to generate the economic growth people in the area desire, there’s no good reason to expect economic growth from declaring the area a national park.
Have you ever been to the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois? It’s one of the poorest areas of the state. Yellowstone is America’s greatest national park, but it’s hardly a bastion of economic power and prosperity. Creating a national park doesn’t guarantee sudden wealth. Where there is lots of wealth in or near a national park, nearly all of it would be there without the park.
NOTHING TO SHOW
The article also notes, “Over the past 20 years, the state has spent about $20 million stabilizing and restoring (the vacant Pullman factory and administration complex) without being able to find new uses for them.”
There’s the nub. Illinois state government has nothing to show for its $20 million of spending. The state government is beyond broke and unable to pour more useless millions into Pullman. Chicago’s finances are a mess and likely to worsen, as revealed in the Chicago Tribune’s recent series of articles on the multibillion-dollar borrowing and economic development scams perpetrated during the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. Rather than face the reality of failed stimulus, Mr. Durbin and company have decided to throw more good money after bad. Unlike the state and city governments, the federal government has a printing press, but even this might not be enough.
“One of the largest obstacles is coming up with enough money to consider this opportunity when we are currently hard-pressed to pay for our existing historic sites,” Crain’s quoted Mr. Durbin saying.
When even he acknowledges the abysmal fiscal situation of the federal government he helps run — and declares the federal government is “hard-pressed to pay for our existing historic sites” — there’s no way a responsible person could endorse creating another federal park to add to the government’s fiscal problems.
Crain’s also quotes a nonprofit community development leader as saying: “The general consensus is the park needs to happen before (President Barack Obama) leaves office,” because that’s where Mr. Obama was a community organizer. “We’re hopeful we can convince him that the park will be part of his legacy.”
Millions for a 300-acre monument to a sitting president is hardly money well-spent.
[Originally published on Crain's Chicago Business]
Is it possible that President Obama was never advised that governing by Executive Order is not the wisest thing to do? It’s definitely not the panacea he may think it is! According to Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer, who teaches history and public affairs:
Administrative actions don’t have the same kind of impact in defining a president as big legislative accomplishments and they are more susceptible to being overturned. The next president can change them. That’s always the problem.
Noted recently in Business Insider, because of Obama’s limited ability to achieve his policy goals through legislation [brought about by his own belligerent attitude], he very well may increase his use of executive power on three of his legislative agenda priorities: 1) the farm bill, 2) immigration reform, and 3) a more lasting budget deal.
Rumblings are even under foot that Obama is seeking to halt insurance cancellations of individual insurance policies resulting from his healthcare law through means that wouldn’t require legislation.
In an Executive Order issued on Friday, November 1st, President Obama appeared to be seeking a chance to obtain a climate legacy as he faces the grim reality that much of his agenda is seemingly falling apart in Congress? Obama lost on gun legislation earlier in the year. There is a perception that immigration reform is on life support. To top off Obama’s obvious frustration over his elusive, floundering agenda, what was to be his signature first-term achievement — Obamacare — suffered a disastrous roll out. The promise of having the site up and running by Nov. 30th sounds like a pie-in-the-sky dream.
It was through the stroke of a pen that President Obama issued his latest executive order with its goal to prepare the U.S for the impacts of climate change. Not unexpectedly there has been a mainstream media blackout since the mandate was signed and sealed on November 1st, insuring that Obama’s continued and blatant disregard of the division of power among three set branches of government has resulted in yet another under-the-radar abduction of control by Obama. This takeover concerns our nation’s climate change policy. While the lack of concern by the mainstream media and others is predictable, inexcusable is why Congress is no where to be found with this latest usurpation by the President of their power?
Obama’s November 1st executive order builds on the Climate Action Plan unveiled in June, whose centerpiece was to be the application of new regulations to power plants.
Obama’s November mandate goes even further by citing facts from the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which basically amounts to a rubber stamp of the highly questionable finding of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCP).
Following is an excerpt from President Obama’s new executive order, “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change”:
The impact of climate change — including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise — are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economics, and public health across the Nation. These impacts are often most significant for communities that already ace economic or health-related challenges, and for species and habitats that are already facing other pressures.
New rules for power plants regulations mandate that CO2 emission from new coal-fired power plants are to be no more than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hours of electricity produced. The most efficient plant produces about 1,800 pounds.
In common layman language, the mandated rules would require a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions below that of the most efficient coal-fired plants, this despite the absence of surface warming in the past sixteen years and how climate models consistently overestimate global warming. For all practical purposes, the new CO2 emissions rules would effectively prohibit the construction of new coal-fired power plants.
Also mandated by Obama’s Executive Order was the establishment of a volunteer “Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience” as a venue for suggesting ways in which the federal government can help communities face “the impacts of climate change,” including bracing for longer heat waves, heavier downpours, more severe wildfires and worse droughts.
This task force, to be composed of governors and mayor, must report to the White House within a year to suggest ways the government can best “remove barriers, create incentives and otherwise modernize federal programs to encourage investments, practices and partnerships that facilitate increased resistance to climate impacts, including those associated with extreme weather.”
Recommended suggestions will more than likely include infrastructure projects like bridges and measures to manage floor control. Such projects, however, do come with a hefty price tag, a tall order as no new federal funds were offered to support the task force.
Those who are tasked with carrying out Obama’s Executive Order are EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, both dedicated members of Obama’s green team. McCarthy and Moniz are powerful advocates and defenders of the premise held by those who promote climate change action, “that the artificially contrived climate science debate has ended.”
Gina McCarthy and Ernest Moniz will be making a series of speeches and media appearances to support and to promote what could provide the basis for a second-term climate legacy for Obama.
But things aren’t full steam ahead for McCarthy or Moniz in that a Pew Research Center poll conducted in mid-October shows that just 44% say believe that human activity causes global warming. They will have lots of convincing to do on the trail.
As is so often the case, much in the same way Obamacare and the Common Core Curriculum are being sold to the public, executive orders are spun in a way to have the pubic believe that the government knows what is best for us. Here within lies the crux of the problem of Obama’s Executive Order on Climate Change: It’s government grabbing for control which further involves following the money.
As reported by Fox News on November 1st in a story aired about Obama’s Climate Change mandate:
The federal government will control all of the purse strings They will make certain that they get their piece of the pie, grabbing more taxes and funds to apply where and to whomever they please. They will use all of the buzzwords platitudes necessary to lull their acolytes while lining their pockets and those of their cronies. All the while creating a nation devoid of states’ rights.
It goes without saying that the climate change mandate will result in crippling the economy and the economic well-being of the American people, all under the false and misguided premise that this nation and its people must be prepared for and made ready for what is only a perceived future climate change without scientific evidence or backing to merit the enactment of what would amount to extreme pain without gain!
Stay tuned for Part II, tomorrow. Renowned scientists associated with The Heartland Institute bump heads with environmentalists at Chicago’s EPA listening tour, as the EPA prepares to draft new regulations to regulate greenhouse gases under the 40-year-old federal Clean Air Act.
[Originally published in the Illinois Review]
After the devastating Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, the Heartland Institute’s Senior Environmental Expert, James Taylor appeared on Blaze TV to discuss policy implications of climate change.
Blaze’s contributor, Will Cain, prompts James Taylor to address the dilemma of the climate change solutions provided by the United Nations which do not take into account costs. Taylor, like the NIPCC, asserts that cutting carbon dioxide emissions would have a minimal impact on climate. Rather than using the solutions being advocated by the United Nations, which funnel money from Western Democracies to overseas companies that are tied to the government, Taylor calls for a “…championing of policies that allow people to have inexpensive energy, so they have more money for stronger housing and other infrastructure that will help them weather the storm.”
James Taylor is not only a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, but managing editor of Heartland’s Environment and Climate News. He writes a weekly column on Forbes online, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS and CBS for energy and environmental analysis.
Douglas County, a wealthy suburb near Denver, has perhaps the most innovative school district in the country. Its School Board has, since 2011, voluntarily chosen policies most districts regard with horror: the country’s first district-run vouchers (now tied up in court); a market-based pay scale for teachers; dropping their teachers union contract; rejecting national education standards and tests for locally decided, higher goals; and sponsoring materials and activities for home-school families.
This year, the ousted local union decided to attempt a comeback.
It sponsored a slate of four candidates seeking a majority on the seven-member board to reverse the district’s pioneering efforts. The race caught national attention and campaign donations, including from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The union candidates lost.
Conventional wisdom says suburban voters don’t feel a need for education reform, believing the local schools they pay higher housing costs and a property tax premium for are high-quality, despite the evidence showing otherwise.
To be sure, with high turnout, nearly half of Douglas County voters voted against the pro-market candidates, so clearly not everyone in the district likes the new policies. But typically effective union political organizing still failed against a board willing to risk innovating beyond the status quo.
The election demonstrates that organizing by parents and local citizens can be as effective as unions’ efforts. Douglas County’s School Board flipped pro-reform in 2009 after a deliberate campaign by politically conservative parents under the name Parent-Led Reform.
The parents were sick of contract negotiations held behind closed doors, plans to build schools for nonexistent students under contracts granted to a sitting board member and repeated requests to raise taxes. This sort of behavior is routine for school districts. Rather than rail at national politics they had little chance of influencing, Douglas County residents decided to go local.
Their campaign strategy and favored policies now have a strong track record — three election wins in a row — and Parent-Led Reform is looking to show other grassroots groups how to replicate their success.
As many have acknowledged following President Barack Obama’s election and re-election, conservatives don’t play the political ground game as well as progressives.
A network of government-financed nonprofits, community organizations and political groups such as unions are powerful, high-touch forces against more atomized and politically broad counterparts like chambers of commerce and churches. The results of progressive politics are now so obviously rotten — see the Obamacare rollout and the nation’s horrifying, child-enslaving fiscal condition — that some conservatives have turned to drastic, politically implausible national initiatives such as a constitutional convention.
It’s easy to understand the desperation for a quick fix when big government ruins more and more lives every day. But it has taken our nation 250 years to get into this mess, and one election or attempt to amend the Constitution or a pander-fest to illegal immigration will not get us out.
Shifting our culture back toward individual liberty and personal responsibility will require at least an entire generation of sustained effort, on myriad fronts small and large. For one, America’s statist education system cannot help but produce statists, and that has to change.
The Douglas County election results can and should sow similar efforts around the country to reclaim local institutions to protect freedom and demonstrate effective self-government. There’s never been a more pressing time.[Article originally posted on watchdog.org]
I recently read somewhere that there are so many laws and regulations on the books of federal and state governments that we are all breaking a law at some point every hour of the day. I have little doubt of that.
Alexis de Tocqueville, the author of “Democracy in America”, was a Frenchman living under a monarchy that, not long after the American Revolution would be overthrown. In contrasting America’s emerging society with his own, he wrote “[Tyrannical] power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.”
“For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”
I had a college professor who said that no government is more than two weeks from being overthrown if it cannot feed its people. This was the case of the French Revolution and, in more modern times, a major reason for the initial overthrow of the Egyptian government.
The Socialist movement that emerged in the early years of the last century is a perfect example of a tyranny that seeks to control all aspects of people’s lives.
Food is critical to our lives and there is no lack of those in government and outside of it who are intent on determining, controlling, what we can freely choose to eat. Some are just petty do-gooders like New York Mayor Bloomberg intent on imposing his views on the citizens of the Big Apple.
Others spread fear like those who rant about Bisphanal-A, a beneficial chemical that protects people against food poisoning. The World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have all discounted its risk to human health. I have written extensively about BPA and you can visit the blog, The BPA File, I maintain in its support. Another example of food fear-mongering has been the smear campaign against finely textured beef that was subjected to some very bad, inaccurate media coverage last year, called it “pink slime.” It is a filler that has been commonly used for decades in ground beef and other food products. I wrote about it in March 2012. To avoid more attacks, Cargill Inc. has announced it will begin labeling ground beef that contains it.
There have been and are some foods that pose a threat to health and that is why, in 1906, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came into being, signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt. Originally called the Food, Drug, and Insecticide organization, later shortened to the FDA. By 2008, it had 9,300 employees and I have little doubt they perform a very useful, necessary service.
The FDA recently ruled that trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats or oils, are unsafe in food. They are deemed a potential prime factor that could lead to heart attacks and strokes. In her excellent book, “Fat—It’s Not What You Think”, Connie Leas, while dispelling many misconceptions about fat, noted that “Beginning about the 1950s, believing that saturated fats were implicated in heart diseases, medical organizations such as the American Heart Association, and government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, urged Americans to abandon traditional fats, such as butter, in favor in favor of trans fats such as margarine.” Leas said they were wrong and, though it has taken more than a half century, it is a good thing the FDA has finally ruled against their use.
Lately in the news is the trend of food companies who are no longer using the terms like “natural” and “all natural” when describing their products. A recent Wall Street Journal article by Mike Esterl reported that “The Food and Drug Administration has no definition, says a spokeswoman, but rather a long-standing policy that considers ‘natural’ to mean that ‘nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.” To varying degrees, while all foods start out as natural, food processing plays a role in the final product. Spending more money for “organic” food is a waste of money.
All food starts off as organic. This simple truth is lost on those who have an irrational fear of genetically modified crops and there is a worldwide movement to create a baseless fear of GM crops. As Dr. Marc Van Montagu noted in a recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “In fact, people have consumed billions of meals containing GM foods in the 17 years since they were first commercialized and no one problem has been documented.” One would think that is self-evident since “Mankind has been breeding crops—and thereby genetically altering them—since the dawn of agriculture. Today’s techniques for modifying plants are simply new, high-precision methods for doing the same.”
In a world of heavily-funded propaganda to create various fears about food, it behooves us to educate ourselves about the real science and real facts about what we eat and drink. Were it not for GM crops, the growing population of the world would lack the vast amounts of food it provides. It says a lot about the planet’s capability to produce all manner of food that one of the problems we hear about lately, whether it is America or China, is obesity. There is a cure for it—EAT LESS.
We should be mindful of what and how much we consume.[Article originally posted on Alan Caruba's Warning Signs Blog]
Ben Domenech, the Heartland Institute’s Senior Budget and Healthcare expert, joined the panel on Blaze TV Tuesday to discuss Bill Clinton’s comments in an interview on ozy.com regarding Obamacare. While it has been official Democrats are weaning on their ardent support for the Affordable Care Act, Clinton called on President Obama to honor his statement that citizens had the option to keep their health care plans, even if it meant changing the law.
Proceeding on the premise of the fix-it approach, Ben Domenech asserts that allowing people to keep their health care plans would be virtually impossible at this point. States such as California have pushed major private health care companies out, as we have seen with Aetna. Bill Clinton’s comments show a breaking away from the Clintons and Obama’s budding friendship. This platform is now paving the way for potential 2016 Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton to sweep in and save the day.
If you like this kind of analysis, sign up for The Blaze. And be sure to also check out Ben’s outstanding new publication The Federalist; subscribe to Ben’s politics and policy newsletter The Transom; sign up for his free Consumer Power Report weekly email newsletter on health care policy from The Heartland Institute; and also listen to his contributions to The Heartland Daily Podcast and the Coffee & Markets podcast.
… and that is not an exhaustive list of Ben’s projects. He’s the hardest working man in new media!
Political humorist and Heartland friend Bill Mellberg appeared last week on the Stevie Jay and Diane Ducey show on ESPN Radio 93.5 in Champaign-Urbana, IL to imagine a world in which President Obama not only wasn’t re-elected president, but didn’t win his first Senate race in 2004.
In Bill’s parody, Obama operates a used car lot, “Crazy Barry’s Obama Car, Used Car, Car Emporium”, where he only sells American, union made cars fromthe “workers paradise” of Detroit. We don’t want to give too much away, so just listen in the player above.
In a recent editorial Summers argues that in spite of the false start and misunderstanding surrounding the implementation of ObamaCare, everyone in Congress should do all in their power to help it to be a success.
Why? Because otherwise “government loses the ability to deliver for citizens and citizens lose respect for government. Our Democracy is the loser.”
Mr. Summers uses the analogy of war. “Everyone understands that when the country is at war, even a war they oppose, vigorous oversight is essential, but, in the end, there is an obligation to support American troops. In the same way, history will not judge kindly those who, having lost political debates, go beyond vigorous oversight and seek to subvert enacted programs. “Opposing Bad Laws Does not Weaken Democracy
Let’s take some historical examples. In 1850, the U.S. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act. It stated that any runaway slave had to be returned to his master, even if he had escaped to what before the Civil War were the “free states” in which human slavery was already prohibited. Indeed, any person harboring a fugitive slave was subject to a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.
It was argued at the time that the act was an attempt to calm the fears of the Southern slave states that the Northern states would try to undermine that “peculiar institution” by offering refuge and protection to those who could successfully escape to one of the “free states.”
Should every American have done his best to track down and turn in runaway slaves, and inform on neighbors, friends, and even relatives who were hiding such slaves? After all, it was the law of the land; it was meant to maintain the “unity” of the country against the dangers of regional division.
Abolitionists and other opponents of slavery considered it to be an abomination against morality and justice to make it a crime to give “aid and comfort” to the fugitive slave. Of course, instead, there were many in the Northern states who assisted in what was known as the “underground railroad,” which helped runaway slaves to illegally escape to Canada where slavery had long been abolished.
Were these active opponents of slavery who had, up to that time, lost the “political debate,” to now do nothing to challenge the law, lest Americans lose their respect for government, and weaken democracy?Criticizing Bad Wars is Not Unpatriotic
Larry Summers uses the analogy of war, when he says, even if you have opposed a war, it is your duty as an American is to support the troops. But what if it is an unjust war? That is, a war that is not in defense of the nation in response to the aggressive attack of another country, or to any present and evidently clear “danger”?
Instead, it is a war in which your government is the aggressor against another nation. In which the soldiers of your country are violating the freedom and property of another people. Should the attitude be “my country, right or wrong,” due to your government’s military adventure placing the servicemen of your nation in “harm’s way”?
There was a small number of Germans who chose to oppose the Nazi regime during the Second World War. During about a six-month period in 1942-1943, a small group of German students known as the “White Rose” clandestinely distributed anti-Hitler leaflets and wrote anti-war graffiti on walls. Six of the most prominent members of the “White Rose” were captured by the Gestapo and shortly afterward beheaded.
Were they young men and women of moral courage and character, or were they enemies of national unity preventing the government from “delivering” on its promises, and therefore undermining “respect” for the Nazi German government?
I am sure that Mr. Summers would accuse me of drawing upon two unfair examples that have nothing in common with implementing something as “well intentioned” as ObamaCare.Political Paternalism versus Individual Liberty
But that is the point. Is ObamaCare a “benign” and “socially just” piece of legislation that merely is intended to assure an equality of reasonable and “fair” access to health care for all in America?
Or is it, instead, a threat to the traditional values and principles of a free society, in which it is neither the duty nor responsibility of the government to act as a paternalistic “master” dictating and imposing what those in the government consider “good” for the people?For the opponents of ObamaCare it is precisely an issue of personal liberty versus political servitude. That Mr. Summers and others who share his views on this and related policy issues cannot see how anyone can view it in such “ideologically extreme” terms, merely shows the opponents of the Affordable Care Act how far the country has moved away from its founding understanding of the meaning of individual freedom and self-responsibility.
Or as the famous 19th century German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once expressed it, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Many of the consistent opponents of increasing government power and paternalism in American society are following in the footsteps of the 18th and 19th century classical liberals, who considered it their moral duty to defend personal, social and economic liberty.Changing Masters Still Equals Servitude
Both private slavery and political servitude in the form of government dependency were viewed as the enemy of the rights of the individual to his life, liberty and honestly acquired property. Such political paternalism stripped the individual of his personal dignity and his opportunity to be a self-governing, free human being.Changing “masters” from the absolute king or the plantation owner to the “will of the majority” in an election does not change the essence of servitude one bit. Thus, there is nothing “unpatriotic” or “disrespectful” of government in a democracy when those who may have temporarily “lost the debate” continue to insist that the “debate” is not over. Wrong-headed and misguided legislation has been overturned in the past. And such will be the case, no doubt, in the future again. For the critics and opponents of ObamaCare the issue of liberty versus political paternalism is not decided based on one vote. It is a battle of ideas and policy that is a continuous one.
And if some members of Congress, expressing the will of their constituents, wish to use all lawful and Constitutionally permissible means to limit the damage of what they see as legislative threats to that liberty, then they are neither unpatriotic nor disrespectful of representative government.
They are merely defending the conception of liberty that inspired the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the United States Constitution.[Article originally published on Epictimes.com]
President Obama is demanding, by Executive Order, what congress will not give him by vote. With winter approaching and the “ObamaCare” mess hanging over his shoulder, he is now ordering the U.S. economy to hitch itself to more and more of the costly and erratic “renewable” energy sources. These have already bankrupted Spain and are about to bankrupt Great Britain and Germany.
Spain, Britain, and Germany are already years further down the road to the “renewable” blackouts President Obama now demands for America. Spain is already broke, and Britain is heading for mass energy poverty for its people. German industries meanwhile threaten to flee their country in favor of markets where they can get electricity that competes with coal in China and India.
In Britain, the government’s Energy Act demands the nation produce 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current government share of 12 percent. The target for 2050 is a whopping 80 percent! The high cost of building nuclear reactors has ruled out that option; the EU is demanding that coal be phased out. Britain has big shale gas deposits, but the country has not approved fracking for the gas.
The only new power source the UK has left itself is thousands of huge, barge-mounted wind turbines in the turbulent North Sea! These sea-going windmills cost more to build and vastly more to maintain than land-based turbines—and could quadruple England’s future electric bills. British chemical plants are already starting to shut down, even as London newspapers predict fuel poverty (spending more than 10 percent of income for heat) for nearly half the population.
Germany’s Angela Merkel impulsively announced the end of German nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima tidal wave. Now Germany is burning more coal than ever, despite a national goal of getting 80 percent of its energy from renewable fuels, cutting greenhouse emissions by 80 percent and slashing electric usage by 25 percent.
Even without the hoped-for reduction in human CO2 emissions, the world has gotten no warmer since 1998, and today’s temperatures are little different from those of a century ago. The President nevertheless still believes what Greenpeace told him back when he was a community organizer—CO2 is the all-time threat to the planet.
Meanwhile, China demands that rich nations kick in $100 billion per year for energy subsidies in the poor countries that are not warming. India blames the industrial countries for the global non-warming and demands they “solve” it.
Even the International Panel on Climate Change is now admitting that the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age were global climate shifts, not unlike the Modern Warming. More and more evidence points to a long, natural solar cycle that we are still struggling to understand. The Antarctic ice expanded between 1979 and 2012 on both land and sea, and never mind the warming predicted for both poles. Even the Arctic has cooled sharply in the past few years, after a 30-year warming. This supports the Russian claim of a 70-year Arctic warming/cooling cycle. Worldwide, sea levels are rising no faster and droughts have not increased.
Most interesting of all, the IPCC says in its new report that the reduced trend in the earth’s warming has been due to “volcanic eruptions.” It is true that volcanic eruptions can darken the sky and reduce the solar heat that reaches the earth. Moreover, at the same time they add to the CO2 concentration in the air.
You ask which major volcanoes erupted during the 1998–2012 period? The reality is none. Meanwhile, the modest eruption of an Icelandic volcano in 2010 released more CO2 than was prevented by all of the ultra-costly human efforts to limit CO2 emissions.
With no recent warming, what new evidence do we have about CO2 being the world’s big problem? Again, the answer seems to be “none.” President Obama is leading us like lemmings into the same suicidal behavior that is destroying Europe’s prosperity—with no apparent impact on the CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere. Why the economic suicide, Mr. President?
[Article originally posted on canadafreepress.com]
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote an excellent column in last week’s Wall Street Journal titled “Germany Reinvents the Energy Crisis.” The headline suggests it is just about Germany, but it is not. It is about us, too.
Jenkins understands that global warming is just a temporary infatuation of the longer-lived environmental movement. That movement’s campaign against affordable energy began before global warming was perceived as a problem (or opportunity) and is deeply rooted in the movement’s Malthusian fear of resource depletion and naïve longing to return to a pre-capitalist utopia.
This is why, when global warming predictions and claims are exposed as being fraudulent, they simply say: ”Oh, whatever. It’s still a good idea to move away from fossil fuels.” It is, Jenkins writes, “an idea seemingly impervious to experience and part of the mental baggage of every politician likely to get elected in our world.”
Some of us are pondering what Jenkins refers to near the end of the article as “the big question”:
… how far will the political upheaval go when an entire elite is implicated in an unsatisfactory energy experiment, which inevitably has become wrapped up in public disappointment with another failed elite project …
Jenkins is referring to German politics and the European Union, but the domestic project that immediately comes to mind is Obamacare.
The high cost of Obama’s war on coal will soon become apparent, just as it has in Germany and the rest of Europe, and just as the high cost of Obamacare is penetrating the consciousness of the average guy. The backlash will be fierce, just as it has been against Obamacare. But in the case of Obamacare, only a small percentage of the public has been affected (yet). In the case of Obama’s energy policy, everyone will pay.
A GOP that understands that being pro-energy, pro-jobs, and pro-prosperity could win the Senate and the White House in 2016, riding a wave of dissatisfaction over energy and health policies. Democrats aren’t deaf or blind, and they will start peeling away from the President and the Baptists (environmentalists) and Bootleggers (renewable energy companies) who run his faction of their party.
Repeal of bad energy policy has already started in states with Republican governors. Those governors are the ones to watch, support, and root for in 2016.
Read the whole thing.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article titled “Gold Fades From Investment Picture.” It cited a sale of 12,000 ounces of gold by the Russian central bank. That may sound like a lot, but let’s put it in perspective. 12,000 ounces is less than one-half (0.37) of a metric tonne—but Russia has been regularly buying about 100 tonnes every year.
In the last 4 1/2 years, it bought 477 tonnes of the metal. So the sale of less than a half tonne is certainly not disturbing. That sale followed 11 consecutive months of Russian purchases, totaling 12.722 tonnes in 2013, including 6.3 tonnes in July alone.
Central banks are still buying gold, but perhaps less of it. Through August of this year, they added 6.2 million ounces, compared to 9.6 million ounces for the same period in 2012. Significantly, the report that central banks are buying less gold does not include China’s central bank. The central banks of Canada, Denmark and Mexico were among the few who sold small amounts of gold so far in 2013, but at least 15 central banks bought gold, including Turkey’s, which bought 82 tonnes.
China has not disclosed its central bank gold purchases since 2009, but it is known to have been buying from, among other sources, mines within the country. These include mines owned by the Chinese as well as those owned by foreign companies who must sell to the government at market prices. China is the top gold producing nation in the world. It is also the top consuming nation as the public as well as the central bank are avid buyers. The government encourages people to buy gold as part of its goal to “store wealth among the people” and makes it easy for them to do so. They can buy it at any bank or at gold stores throughout the country. These look like jewelry stores, but they exist to sell gold. The government even runs TV ads encouraging people to buy gold.
Vast amounts of gold enter China, mainly from Hong Kong, which is a Special Administrative Region that operates under different rules from the rest of China, and is the most significant supplier of the coins and bars the public buys.
This chart illustrates four important things: (1) the steady upward trend in Shanghai gold deliveries throughout the period and the surge in 2013, (2) Shanghai’s decline in the last month is tiny compared not only to the previous month but to many larger declines throughout the chart which did not reverse the long uptrend, (3) the short vertical black lines accompanying each red line on the chart show that gold deliveries on New York’s Comex are very minor compared to Shanghai’s and, moreover, that Comex’s decline last month was several-fold larger than occurred on the Shanghai exchange, and (4) that Shanghai’s physical delivery is almost equal to the gold production of the entire world. This year the SGE is on track to deliver 2125 tons of gold this year, 87 % more than in 2012.
Western media and other information sources concentrate on what is happening in U.S. markets and seldom enlighten Americans about what is happening in Shanghai, Hong Kong and other Asian markets, which in this case tell a vastly different story. After the $200 drop in the gold price in April, Americans were told of the drop in the gold price and mass selling of gold ETFs and gold mining shares in the U.S., but few were made aware of the upsurge in physical gold buying in Asia. For example, “buyers outnumbered sellers by a huge margin.” according to Reuters. “At Ginza Tanaka, the headquarters shop of Tanaka Holdings, gold buyers waited for as long as three hours for a chance to complete a transaction.”
Bullion traders reported trading volumes doubled and the buy/sell ratio was 95 to 1. Premiums for physical delivery in Shanghai jumped to an unheard of $34.82 per ounce. Japanese individual investors doubled gold purchases on April 17 at Tokuriki Honten, the country’s second-largest retailer of the precious metal. In Australia, “the volume of business… is way in excess of double what we did last week,… there’s been people running through the gate,” said Nigel Moffatt, treasurer of Australia’s Perth Mint.
In Bangkok, Thailand, crowds filled the stores and eagerly waited in multiple lines to buy gold jewelry and coins. Merchants in Macau and Hong Kong reported 150 percent increase in sales in late April. Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong more than tripled since 2012, from 62.5 metric tonnes to 223.5 tonnes.
On April 26, the Chinese Gold & Silver Society in Hong Kong reported it had sold out all its inventory and placed orders in Switzerland four times larger than normal in response to demand. According to Economic Times, India imported 142.5 tonnes in April and 162 tonnes in May, compared with an average monthly rate of 86 tonnes in the first quarter 2013.
Koos Jansen [link] is one of the best sources for information on China. Here is one of his charts, which shows the phenomenal growth in Chinese gold buying:
This year an unprecedented amount of gold has been distributed in a historic transfer of wealth from the West to the East. It came mostly from the United Kingdom. As of October 10, 2013, 1137 tonnes of gold were exported so far this year from the UK with 1002 tonnes going to Switzerland, 101 tonnes to Hong Kong and 89 to Dubai. These exports came mostly from ETF sales of gold stored in the UK and from the London Bullion Market Association. Four of the largest gold refineries in the world are in Switzerland. They have been recasting some of the 400-oz gold bars into smaller, more convenient sizes and exporting them to Hong Kong, which serves as an outlet not only to China but to Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries.
Data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department show the phenomenal increase in Hong Kong-Switzerland gold commerce, which is a conduit for the massive transfer of wealth to the East.
After WWII when there were fears of an invasion from the Soviet Union, Germany stored much of its gold in the U.S., London, and France. In 2012 the federal audit office, the Bundesrechnungshof, told legislators that Germany’s gold in foreign storage had never been audited and ordered that this to be corrected. In October 2012 the government requested the return of all of Germany’s 1,500 tonnes of gold stored in the U.S. The Fed, according to NSNBC.me, said “that isn’t possible to do.” The Fed refused to allow the Germans to even see their gold, citing “security” and “no room for visitors”
Later a few German representatives were allowed only into an anteroom, not an actual storage area, below the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where the gold was said to be stored. They were shown 5 or 6 gold bars and told these were “representative for Germany’s holdings.” But if gold bars are not numbered and allocated, they can be shown to any number of banks as “their” gold. Apparently there later was a second visit, when the Germans were allows to “look into” one of nine storage rooms but were not allowed to enter the room or touch the gold.
Three months later, in January 2013, it was announced that the U.S. and Germany agreed the U.S. would return 300 tonnes of gold to Germany in a series of shipments that would take until 2020 to complete. The U.S. would continue to store the remaining 1,200 tonnes of Germany’s gold.
All this certainly gives the appearance the New York Fed did not actually have the gold. If the bank had it, why not give it to Germany? Why would it return only 300 tonnes? And why would that take 7 years to accomplish this? People who know more about transporting such cargo than I do say it could be done in a week if necessary; certainly several weeks or even months would be more than adequate—but 7 years?
Germany had previously repatriated 940 tons of its gold from the Bank of England without undue delay. If the New York bank did not have the gold, it would have to buy it to repay Germany, and a large purchase would push up the price, which the bank certainly did not want. The needed gold would have to be bought in small amounts over an extended time. Alternatively, and more likely, the bank may have the gold, but it may have been leased, hypothecated or encumbered in some manner so that it could not be transferred to Germany. These possibilities, too, would require additional time to unwind.
Now let’s examine the big drop in the gold price in April. It began on April 12 when 400 tons of gold were offered for sale immediately on the opening of the market. Such a large sale on the opening was obviously an intent to panic the market, which happened. If an investor had a large amount of gold to sell, you would expect he’d want the best possible price. Instead of selling the full amount immediately, he would have split it into several smaller orders fed in throughout the trading day, or perhaps several days, in order to minimize the downward impact on the price. Also, many traders take their clues from what happens on the open before they place their own orders. The huge sale of 400 tons on the open immediately set a downward tone for the market. And as prices plummeted, stop-loss orders were hit, adding more selling pressure and further depressing prices.
The sale of 400 tons was so large it almost certainly came from a central bank. The Fed was an obvious choice. Of course, the Fed would not place such an order itself; it would be done through one of the Fed’s bullion banks (those “too big to fail”) such as Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan. A large drop in the gold price would present an opportunity to acquire gold at bargain prices and help the Fed out of the bind it had created for itself in the shortages in German and other central bank accounts. Of course, it would also create a profit opportunity for the bullion banks themselves.
Most Americans find it incredulous that the Fed would be involved in manipulations that left it unable to honor its custodial agreement with Germany. But the European Central Bank website states, regarding statistical treatment of Eurosystem’s International Reserves: “reversible transactions in gold do not have any effect on the level of monetary gold regardless of the type of transaction (i.e. gold swaps, repos, deposits or loans), in line with the recommendations contained in the IMF guidelines.”6 (Emphasis theirs). Thus central banks are permitted to carry physical gold on their balance sheet even if they’ve swapped it or lent it out entirely.
It is also significant that back in 1999 a study by the International Monetary Fund found that central banks of 80 nations were lending out their gold reserves. The loans amounted to 15 percent of their gold. The central banks were operating as fractional reserve banks.
In May 2013 a research assistant for Stansberry & Associates visited the Federal Reserve’s gold vault in downtown Manhattan. He was surprised how tiny it was, only about the size of a locker room at his high school. From his estimated size of the vault, he calculated it could hold 615,000 bars of gold. He was told there were 533,000 bars there—but the vault was no more than half full, at best. He calculated a discrepancy of 106 million ounces, equal to $169 billion.
In 1998 Fed chairman Alan Greenspan testified at a House Banking Committee, “Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities, should the price of gold rise.” In other words, if gold prices go up, the Fed would make sure they come back down. Why? Apparently because of fear a rising gold price would weaken the dollar’s exchange rate and the Fed’s control of interest rates, but it would also discourage people from buying gold as an investment. In 2013, gold prices were much higher than in 1998, giving the Fed a stronger reason for knocking down the gold price.
Solid gold serves as a basis for the “paper gold” of futures contracts and creates a multiplier effect in the process. Here’s how it works. Big bullion banks borrow gold from central banks and then bring the leased gold to market. They sell the same gold to multiple parties and use the cash to buy something (e.g. bonds) and use a portion of the proceeds to hedge their future exposure through futures contracts.
Leased gold must eventually be returned to the central banks because the leases have time limits. The time limit is the window of opportunity for the buyer of the lease, but it is also a window of risk that the gold price may rise and eventually force the bullion bank to buy at a loss in order to be able to return the leased gold to the central bank. The solution is to go into the futures market and buy for delivery of gold at a specific suitable price on a specific date in the future. Then the bullion bank is assured of a future profit and doesn’t care whether the price goes up or down in the meantime.
New York’s Comex is the leader in gold futures contracts, accounting for 82 percent of the world trade in them. But the overwhelming majority of these do not involve any physical exchange of the metal; they are simply paper trades—or now, digital ones—because most positions are closed out before the delivery date. A buyer will almost always sell his contract before delivery is due, and a short seller will do just the opposite. Neither trader will see the gold, and the Comex will have exactly the same amount of gold in storage as before those traders participated. Physical delivery is a very small part of Comex business. The Comex warehouses gold to back its contracts and offer a delivery option, though some concerns have been raised about its adequacy of the metal in the event of a large increase in delivery requests.
The volume of physical deliveries from the London Bullion Market is nine times larger than that of the Comex. The LBM is the center for a very large majority of the leasing operations I have just described. Many members of the Comex exchange are also members of the LBM.
Decades of excessive U.S. government spending—which has accelerated under President Obama—has created doubts about the future of the dollar. In his first term of office, he added as much to the national debt as all the presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush combined. In the fifteen months following collapse of the housing/mortgage bubble in 2008, the Fed created more money than in all the years combined since 1913 when it was founded.
Because the dollar is the reserve currency of the world’s monetary system and 85 percent of foreign exchange transactions are denominated in dollars, distrust has grown worldwide about not only the dollar but the international monetary system itself. The uncertainty about how all this will end—which must happen—has led people to turn increasingly to possession of physical gold. ETFs, gold mining stocks, mutual funds, and commercial custodial accounts of gold all depend on a counterparty, which may fail in a time of turmoil.
Distrust will continue to grow as it becomes increasingly evident that the dollar’s situation is hopeless, that government policies are not working as promised, that one must find a refuge from the dollar—and that gold is the best option. Here are some facts to consider, which point to further distrust—and ultimate demise—of the dollar:
(1) the federal debt, now at $17 trillion, is greater than everything being produced in the country. The gross national product (GDP) of the U.S. was $15.89 trillion in 2012 ($15.97 trillion in Q3 estimate for 2013).
(2) The $17 trillion debt does not include future costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which run $55 trillion, bringing the total to $72 trillion. Government Medicare and Medicaid costs, even without ObamaCare, will rise 5 times faster than Social Security costs in the future. Even more with ObamaCare.
(3) Total net household wealth in the U.S. (including real estate, durable goods, deposits, pensions, mutual funds, corporate equities and “other”) is $74.82 trillion. Thus what the U.S. government owes roughly equals everything in the country owned by everyone.
(4)The GDP of the entire world is estimated at $72 trillion. Thus the U.S. with 4 and 1/2 percent of the world’s population owes roughly what the entire world (including the U.S.) produces.
(5) Several economists project far greater future federal government costs. For example, Laurence Kotlikoff, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a member of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, puts the cost of the federal government’s unfunded obligations at $202 trillion, almost 3 times the GDP of the entire world.
The economy in the U.S. added an average of only 143,000 jobs monthly in the third quarter of 2013, not enough to equal population growth. That’s down from 182,000 in the second quarter and 207,000 in the first quarter. Unemployment remains stubbornly above 7 percent. The labor force participation rate, which is the number employed plus those looking for work, has fallen since Obama became president in January 2009. The rate then was 65.7%.
By the end of Sept. 2013, it had fallen to 63.2%, as the number of Americans not participating in the labor force increased by more than 11 million people. Massive government spending and interventionism by the administration has failed to stimulate economic growth. That requires free markets and sound money.
The situation in Europe is also discouraging. Despite bailouts of Greece and several other countries and massive loans totaling a trillion euros by the European Central Bank to 521(!) banks in December 2011 and to 800(!) banks in February 2012, the promised results have not occurred.
The European Union on November 5, 2013, downgraded its expectations for euro-zone growth next year and said the unemployment rate will probably stay near record high levels through 2015. France received two extra years to bring its deficit under 3% of GDP as required by EU rules. Spain is forecast to miss its budget target by a wide margin. The latest government plan, negotiated with the EU, called for a deficit cut to 4.1% of GDP, but the European Commission now forecasts the Spanish deficit at 6.6% in 2015.
Spain, Portugal and Greece could be left with unemployment rates above 15% for years. The international inspectors say Greece must take further measures to cover a projected failure to meet its target for next year and will require additional aid in mid-2014, when the current aid package expires. But Greece has refused any further across-the-board budget cuts or tax increases. So what will happen?
The grand worldwide experiment with fiat money has failed. It will come to an end. The world has never experienced such a lengthy period as we have now seen without a money backed by precious metal. That will change. If the U.S. and the rest of the Western world do not return to gold-backed money, some other country will. Think China. A gold-backed Chinese currency would attract wide support in Asia and perhaps from countries like Russia and Germany.
One way or another, the world will return to gold because it is necessary for a sound monetary system, which, in turn, is necessary for economic growth and the exercise of individual rights. That is what freedom means and what it requires.
Gold is money. Everything else is credit. — John Pierpont Morgan.
[First published at American Liberty.]
I was thinking of Susan and her book again this weekend. Yep, that would be Professor Susan Crawford of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law and her book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.
I was thinking of Susan because, in catching up on my stack of weekend reading, I came across this recent Wall Street Journal article, “Cutting the Cable Cord and Getting ‘Phone TV’”[subscription required]. I’ll get back to the article shortly, but first a word about Captive Audience.
As you may know, the whole premise of Professor Crawford’s book is that Comcast especially, but other cable operators as well, are monopolies and that, therefore, they should be operated as public utilities. Just like the electric utilities – rate regulation, non-discrimination obligations, and all.
I have discussed Professor Crawford’s book in more detail in earlier pieces, including this one,“Captive Audience’s Captive Thinking.” Please read the entire piece if you haven’t done so. But, for my purpose here, I’ll just reproduce the way I began the essay:
“Captive Audience” is flawed because Professor Crawford relies on an incorrect – indeed, a hypothesized - view of the communications and information services marketplace to construct the case for monopoly power. And then she offers anachronistic, legacy regulatory measures to remedy the supposed ills that exist in her hypothesized market. In my view, the book more appropriately might have been titled, “Captive Thinking: Viewing Today’s Telecom Industry Through An Analog-Era Lens.”
The book’s central thesis is unmistakably clear: Comcast possesses monopoly power with respect both to the provision of broadband services and the provision of video programming. While less clear, at times it appears Professor Crawford may be making the same monopolistic power claim with regard to Time Warner Cable and other cable operators.
While it doesn’t come until the very end of the book, the proposed remedy for this supposed monopolistic power is unmistakably clear as well: “America needs to move to a utility model.”
I am confident that if you read, or event skim, Professor Crawford’s book, you will see that I have fairly captured the essence of her views. Indeed, on the very first page, she calls Comcast “a monopoly provider of wired high-speed Internet access” and then on page 2 asserts that, as a result of its merger with NBCU, Comcast “would probably make content too expensive for any potential data distributor.” By page 53, Professor Crawford has concluded, “cable’s advantages eventually became unbeatable.”
End of story!
Except of course, it is not the end of the story – because Professor Crawford fails to appreciate the ongoing dynamism of today’s digital age communications marketplace, and the capacity of this marketplace to foster competition and consumer choice. Simply put, Professor Crawford’shypothesized view of her hypothesized market, dominated by Comcast and other cable operators, has turned out to be wrong, certainly at least for now and for the foreseeable future.
Recall that Professor Crawford suggests the Comcast – NBCU merger “would probably make content too expensive for any potential competing data distributor.” Now back to the WSJ article,“Cutting the Cable Cord and Getting ‘Phone TV,’” which begins: “The way things are going ‘cable TV’ may have to be replaced by ‘phone TV.’” It contains lots of figures indicating the extent to which AT&T and Verizon are taking market share away from cable operators against whom they compete. For example, the article reports that, according to recent third quarter results, “[t]he top two cable providers, Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, Inc., shed 435,000 video customers in the quarter, while AT&T and Verizon added 400,000.”
According to analyst Craig Moffett, “[t]he third quarter results are a reminder that the biggest threat facing the cable industry is competition from phone companies….”
The article reports that cable executives and analysts contend Verizon and AT&T have largely won market share using discounted pricing and promotional packages. This sounds like marketplace competition to me, and competition that is benefiting consumers.
And AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is quoted to this effect: “It’s going to be a dogfight between us and cable for the next 20 years. They will invest, and they will step up. We will invest. It will go back and forth.” This dogfight sounds like marketplace competition to me – indeed, vigorous competition – and competition that is benefiting consumers.
And by the way, in this competitive environment, “they will invest” and “we will invest” are not empty words, but proven reality. According to a recent study by the Progressive Policy Institute, AT&T, Verizon Communications, CenturyLink, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable all ranked in the top twenty of non-financial companies making capital investments in the U.S over the past year. All this investment is the result of marketplace competition, and it is benefiting not only consumers but the nation’s economy as well.
Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t have a dog in this competitive dogfight. And unlike Professor Crawford, I don’t pretend I can predict ultimate winners and losers among the competitors in a dynamic marketplace, or know how the market structure will evolve in the years to come. In any event, it’s not my business to predict winners or losers.
But what I do know is this: With the ongoing technological changes and evolving business models and experimentation, the marketplace in which Comcast and other cable providers presently operate is competitive. Of course, by definition, the same is true for the cable operators’ competitors, AT&T, Verizon, and all the other broadband providers, including the various wireless and satellite operators.
So, I think it is seriously wrong for Professor Crawford to brand Comcast and other cable operators “monopolies.” And it would be a mistake of huge proportions to heed her call to regulate broadband companies as utilities, just like electric power companies, which by and large continue to retain dominant market power. Imposing a utility-like regulatory straight jacket on broadband providers, say, to prohibit experimentation with various usage-based billing plans tailored to the needs of different customers’ preferences, is a sure-fire recipe for stifling innovation that benefits consumers and investment that benefits the nation’s economy.
I wish I could get Susan to agree that it’s no time to let captive thinking premised on a hypothesized market trump the competitive realities of the broadband marketplace. If such thinking ever were to lead to regulating broadband providers as public utilities, rest assured that consumers would be the real losers.
[Originally published on the FSF Blog]