The Great Green Fleet, chicken fat, and Hillary Rodham

Unicorn_boat

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

 

Remember when Dylan sang at Clinton’s first inaugural [in 1993] in front of the Lincoln Memorial as fighter jets flew overhead in battle formation? Actor-activist Ron Silver saw those jets roar across the sky, and, recalling the ’60s days of rage in that same place, he was troubled. But (after all, he was invited) it soon passed. A sudden realization reconciled him to the scene: “Those are our planes now,” he thought.

– Thomas de Zengotita in Harper’s magazine

When the Left is put in charge of the military, don’t be surprised when the military starts to reflect leftwing values.

Many ideas for saving energy or for getting energy from alternative sources may have merit. It may be a good idea, say, to use roll-up solar blankets to power Marines’ GPS devices in Afghanistan, or to coat the hulls of ships with “anti-fouling” coatings to reduce drag from barnacles. But when the armed forces are required to carry out an agenda based on ideology, rather than science and logistics and the needs of the military, how can we be sure that any given policy is in furtherance of national security rather than politics?

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) once noted the trade-offs involved in “imposing a green agenda on the Department of defense”: “Which would you rather have? Would you rather spend $4 billion on Air Force Base solar panels, or would you rather have 28 new F-22s or 30 F-25s or modernized C-130s? Would you rather have $64.8 billion spent on pointless global warming efforts or would you rather have more funds put towards modernizing our fleet of ships, aircrafts and ground vehicles to improve the safety of our troops and help defend our nation against the legitimate threats that we face?”

The Obama administration has its priorities straight, unfortunately—using the armed forces to promote environmentalist projects like the Great Green Fleet.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi and ambassador to Saudi Arabia, declared in 2009 that one of his goals was the creation of the GGF, a carrier strike group that would run on “sustainable” forms of energy—actually, a combination of nuclear power and biofuel/standard fuel blends. (The term “sustainable energy,” which is ill-defined and inaccurate, generally refers to forms of energy not based on carbon.)

By the standard definition, a carrier strike group includes an aircraft carrier and the ships and planes that travel with it: at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. It may also include submarines, attached logistics ships, and a supply ship. There are currently 11 carriers—accordingly, 11 such groups—in the U.S. Navy.

The carrier strike group was dubbed the Great Green Fleet in reference to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, which included 16 battleships and circled the world in 1907-09 to demonstrate that the United States had become a major power on the world’s seas.

The GGF sailed in July 2012 during the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercise, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, conducted with U.S. allies such as Australia, Canada, and Japan. The carrier, USS Nimitz, was nuclear powered. Otherwise, the group ran on a 50/50 mix of petroleum and biofuel derived from cooking oil and algae. The group is set to deploy fully this year.

Government officials openly proclaim that the GGF is intended to promote the biofuel industry. National Defense magazine reported in 2009: “Mabus is confident that if the Navy and Marine Corps create a demand for biofuels, the market will respond by increasing production and lowering costs.” Mabus said, “A lot of these fuels are already out there. But there’s no demand for them. . . . I’m hoping that by providing demand, it will incentivize industry.” That’s the standard rationale for crony capitalism, that, if the government declares winners and losers in a rigged marketplace—if it decides who gets rich and who goes broke—the benefits will eventually trickle down to the rest of society.

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Convention rules, ’splained

GOP 2012

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Your cheatin’ heart
Will pine some day
And crave the love
You threw away
The time will come
When you’ll be blue
Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you…

  • Hank Williams

Don’t kid yourself. Members of the Republican Establishment intend to steal the presidential nomination for one or their own, and they have the power to do it. The only thing that would stop them is the price they could pay when voters figure out what they’d done.

That’s why, in a March 16 interview with leftwing CNN personality Chris Cuomo, Donald Trump predicted that, if he were unfairly denied the Republican nomination, there would be trouble. “I think we’ll win before getting to the convention, but I can tell you, if we didn’t and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re, you know, 100 short and we’re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we’re way ahead of everybody. I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. You know, I’m representing a tremendous—many, many millions of people, in many cases first time voters.”

Among the Trump-deranged, his remark set off a firestorm. Well, not literally a firestorm. I mean the term “firestorm” metaphorically, like when Trump said “riots.” He meant that his supporters would get very upset, justly so, if it appeared that the party elite stole the nomination and corruptly denied Trump his shot at the presidency. By “shot,” I do not mean literally that he or anyone else would shoot at anyone. Whew. When you’re dealing with people as stupid and/or corrupt as the Hillaryites, the RINOs, and most of the Washington commentariat, you really have to watch your language. I don’t mean “watch” literally, of course… Oh, never mind.

It’s a good thing Trump didn’t say, “Hell would break lose.” If he had, his critics would be demanding that those in charge of security in Cleveland engage the services of exorcists.

 

Legal cheating

This effort by the Republican Establishment to win the nomination one way or the other, by hook or by crook, has been in the works a long time. Jeb Bush, speaking in December 2014 at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council dinner, outlined his vision of a winning strategy for a Republican campaign in 2016, that a candidate would have to “lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles. It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you.”  At the time, the statement didn’t seem to make sense. If you lose the primary campaign, you won’t be on the ballot in the general election, so how can you “lose the primary to win the general”?

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Labor Watch March 2016: PATCO’s Revenge: Capitol Hill cronyism may give the air traffic controllers what they always wanted

Airplane

PATCO’s Revenge
Capitol Hill cronyism may give the air traffic controllers what they always wanted [PDF here]
by Steven J. Allen

UPDATE: After this article went to press, this happened:
http://www.flyingmag.com/atc-privatization-bill-thrown-out
ATC Privatization Bill Thrown Out
FAA maintains control over air traffic control, for now.
By Pia Bergqvist

A sigh of relief could be heard last week by many in the aviation industry as the bill that, if passed by Congress, would have privatized air traffic control was tossed out. At least for now. ATC privatization has been a high priority for the Committee’s chairman, Bill Shuster, who is known to be closely linked with Airlines for America, an organization in favor of privatizing ATC services. A4A’s president and CEO Nicholas Calio has worked for years with Shuster to transfer air traffic services away from the FAA, claiming that the agency is incapable of putting through NextGen, the modernization of the air traffic control system. General aviation alphabet groups lobbied heavily against the bill as the suggested not-for-profit ATC services organization would have been governed by an airline-centric board and funded by user fees. With the FAA funding running out at the end of March, a temporary extension is expected soon while the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee drafts a new FAA reauthorization bill.

  • Robert Poole, Searle Freedom Trust Fellow and director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, responded to this article. Click HERE for the response. 

Here’s the article from the March Labor Watch:

Summary: Momentum is building behind a fake “privatization” of air traffic control proposed by a second-generation congressman whose family is notorious in Washington for wheeling and dealing and for extremely close relationships with lobbyists. The scheme would create a “Fannie Mae of the Air” authority that would be insulated from public accountability and beholden to a powerful union—a union that Ronald Reagan faced down in one of the most consequential political fights of the 20th Century.

In 1981, the air traffic controllers union, PATCO, went on strike and held hostage the safety of the flying public. President Reagan fired the controllers and broke the union. It was a pivotal moment, arguably altering the course of history at home and abroad. Now, Washington politicians and lobbyists, testing the bounds of ethical behavior, are working feverishly to create an unaccountable, special-interest-controlled monopoly “corporation” to run the nation’s air traffic control system—one that would give the controllers’ union the deal of a lifetime.

Straddling the realms of federal and private-sector employment, the controllers would get the benefits of both—high salaries and pensions, government-level job protection, and an end to the ban on strikes.

Call it PATCO’s Revenge.

Controllers strike!
Air traffic controllers are, in the most-cited definition, “people trained to maintain the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system.” In the popular mind, they’re the people, often ensconced in towers at airports, responsible for making sure that airplanes don’t fly into each other.

In the U.S., the Army and the Post Office developed radio-based systems that led to the nation’s first Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, regulating the movement of planes at a specific airport in Cleveland in 1930. Soon, ATC grew into systems regulating air traffic from departure to destination, beginning with the first Air Route Traffic Control Center in Newark in 1935. By the 1950s, radar was in use to control airspace around major airports.

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was founded as a professional association in 1968 with the assistance of attorney F. Lee Bailey, who was famed for the Sam Sheppard and Boston Strangler cases and, later, for the Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson cases. From the beginning, PATCO made trouble, declaring “Operation Air Safety” on July 3, 1968, a work-to-the-rule protest in which controllers adhered strictly to established standards for keeping aircraft separated. That led to significant delays.

The Federal Aviation Agency (now Administration) agreed to a voluntary payroll deduction for PATCO dues, on condition that the group remain a professional association. But in January 1969, the U.S. Civil Service Commission declared PATCO to be a union instead. In June, PATCO conducted a three-day protest in which many members called in sick, it being illegal for government workers to strike. In March 1970, another “sick-out” involved a reported [Click HERE for the rest of the article]

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“A special place in hell”

Albright

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, introducing Hillary Clinton at an event the Saturday before the New Hampshire primary, noted that “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

In the primary, Bernie Sanders beat Clinton by 11 points among women.

The New Hampshire result came as a disappointment to the Clinton campaign, which hoped to garner votes based on Secretary Clinton’s gender. She is certainly a strong advocate on women’s issues—supporting taxpayer-funded sex-selection abortions, which target little girls; backing Obamacare, which forces a 60-year-old woman working behind the counter at McDonald’s to pay for the birth control of a 30-year-old soon-to-be-millionaire graduate of Georgetown Law; and working to install regimes in North Africa and the Middle East that subjugate and sexually mutilate women. (WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, of all people, noted correctly that she “set back women’s rights in the Middle East by hundreds of years.”)

She has served as a role model for certain feminists by riding her estranged husband’s coattails into the halls of power while smearing his sexual-abuse victims as whores, trailer trash, and members of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy. A self-described “Progressive,” she supported the Iraq War and the bailout of Wall Street millionaires, and she pledged to undo the First Amendment in order to protect herself from criticism. (The pro-First Amendment decision in Citizens United, she said on New Hampshire Primary night, must be overturned; it was, she said, a travesty because it allowed “a right-wing attack on me and my campaign.”)

She has advanced gender equality by proving that a woman in politics can be as corrupt as any man—with the “commodities deal” scheme for laundering payoffs from polluters… the Whitewater deal (selling people real estate they couldn’t afford, repossessing the properties, repeating the process)… the apparent mass collection of information, suitable for use in blackmail, from Republicans’ FBI files… Clinton flunkies’ role in the sale of missile technology to China… the granting of presidential pardons based apparently on political considerations and cash… the Benghazi deception (silencing critics of radical Islam while leading voters in 2012 to believe wrongly that Al Qaeda was “on the run”)… the theft of at least 66,000 government e-mails (and the storage of those e-mails, containing some of our country’s most precious life-or-death secrets, in a way that made them readily available to our country’s enemies)… and the “speaking fees” (ha!) that made Hillary and Bill and Chelsea ultra-rich. In the eight years prior to her presidential run, which included Hilary’s time as secretary of state, the Clintons raked it in at an average of almost $350,000 a week. Politico reported last September: “She earns more for a 20-minute speech to an industry trade group than a dozen fast-food workers make in a year.”

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Bernie Sanders, ox, gets gored

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

So, Sanders voters…

Tell us again how vote fraud is just something that Republicans make up.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/02/02/some-democratic-precinct-results-unaccounted/79682184/

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/02/bernie-hopes-fair-count-missing-precincts/79683596/

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2016/02/02/bernie-sanders-campaign-claims-shenanigans-in-90-iowa-precincts-n2113648

http://atr.rollcall.com/sanders-campaign-party-lost-5-percent-of-iowa-vote/

http://wtkr.com/2016/02/02/did-hillary-clinton-really-win-the-iowa-caucuses/

http://observer.com/2016/02/despite-stunning-moral-victory-sanders-should-seek-iowa-recount/

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/voter-fraud-and-missing-precincts-how-clinton-stole-iowa/ri12583

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/02/02/some-democratic-precinct-results-unaccounted/79682184/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/02/politics/new-hampshire-primary-2016/index.html

http://www.mediaite.com/online/video-raises-questions-about-voter-fraud-in-iowa-caucus-sandersclinton-vote/

—–

Of course, this is not the first time that a party’s corrupt Establishment wing has done this.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/03/gop-candidates-await-iowa-verdict.html

http://americablog.com/2012/01/did-romney-win-iowa-through-gop-election-fraud.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/01/santorum-i-might-win-iowa-recount-071443

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/report-santorum-finished-34-votes-ahead-of-romney-in-new-iowa-tally-votes-from-8-precincts-missing/2012/01/19/gIQAJGuRAQ_story.html

http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/2014/q1/romney-admits-gop-stole-2012-nomination-for-him/

 

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Green Watch January 2016: Kitzhaber and Hayes, “Greens” vs. Transparency: How do environmentalist politicians protect themselves from being held accountable?

Kitzhaber and Hayes: “Greens” vs. Transparency
How do environmentalist politicians protect themselves from being held accountable?  [PDF here] [This is Part 3. Click HERE for Part 1. Click HERE for Part 2.]
By Steven J. Allen

Summary: In Parts 1 and 2, we reported on the tangled web of power-hungry and greedy special interests—environmentalists, business people, and government officials (including White House advisors and governors of other states)—that was exposed in the scandal that forced the governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber (D), to resign.  In this final installment on the Kitzhaber-Hayes affair, we examine the ways the scandal is tied to key goals of the environmental Left.  One key goal: making it much, much harder for voters to hold “green” politicians accountable for the disastrous results of their policies.

This month, in Part 3 of our look at the scandals that forced Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber to resign, we examine a trip to Shangri-La (well, Bhutan) … the ways in which billionaires want to measure your happiness … how British Columbia took a “climate” stand, along with Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia … how Walmart cashed in on paper-drying … and how Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, after being advised on how to avoid the appearance of impropriety, just couldn’t take a hint.

Warming is coming. Run!
In last month’s issue of Green Watch, we were introduced to Kate Gordon, who was listed as a board member of the Clean Economy Development Center (the shadowy group that provided a “fellowship” to Oregon’s then-First Lady Cylvia Hayes). Gordon links billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer to the concept of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), which we’ll get to in a moment.

Some background: To the “green” Left, cost-benefit analysis is a problem. Even some environmentalists admit that many supposed anti-Warming measures would do real harm to the economy, especially to poor and working-class people—greater harm than the Warming itself. To get around that problem, activists have worked to build up the current and future threat of Warming. It’s been blamed for everything from the spread of AIDS to the future extinction of coffee beans and red-headed humans, from bumpy plane rides to the loss of people’s sex drives to a rise in the pitch of the croak of the coqui frog of Puerto Rico. [See Green Watch August 2014.] Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a recent Democratic presidential debate that “In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.”

Summing up all the Warming harm is hard work, and work to which billionaire Steyer has turned his attention. In February 2014, Anne C. Mulkern of E&E [Energy and Environment] reported:

High-profile billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer held center stage at an event here [in Santa Barbara, California] . . . In his final minutes, Steyer announced that he planned to launch an effort to quantify what inaction on climate change could cost the country. When a reporter afterward raced for Steyer, he begged off questions, waving for his aide, Kate Gordon.

[For the rest of the article, click HERE.]

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Not letting ethics get in the way of a good science story or irreproducibility in the way of a good study

 [Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Due diligence in press coverage of scientific studies? Most of the time, reporters can’t be bothered.

Any journalist who writes a first-generation story based on a scientific study is attesting to the fact that he or she (a) has read the study and (b) has concluded independently that the study is, in all probability, valid—that the study was actually conducted as the study’s author claimed, that proper scientific procedures were followed as the study was carried out, and that the results were fairly analyzed.

(“First-generation” means that the story is the first one to report on the results of the study, or is among the first wave of such stories. Requiring the same of every journalist who later cites a study-based story would be an impossible standard to meet, but even second-generation and later stories should display appropriate skepticism.)

The journalistic standard is: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.” Yet, when it comes to their stories based on supposed scientific studies, reporters almost never bother to read the studies.

Here’s an example. In September 2014, hundreds of newspapers published a version of this story (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/climate-change-will-disrupt-half-of-north-americas-bird-species-study-says.html  ):

The Baltimore oriole will probably no longer live in Maryland, the common loon might leave Minnesota, and the trumpeter swan could be entirely gone.

Those are some of the grim prospects outlined in a report released on Monday by the National Audubon Society, which found that climate change is likely to so alter the bird population of North America that about half of the approximately 650 species will be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find new places to live, feed and breed over the next 65 years. If they do not — and for several dozen it will be very difficult — they could become extinct.

The four Audubon Society scientists who wrote the report projected in it that 21.4 percent of existing bird species studied will lose “more than half of the current climactic range by 2050 without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.” An additional 32 percent will be in the same predicament by 2080, they said.

Politico considered its version of the story so important that, in its print edition, it placed the story on the front page above the name of the publication.

The stories about the Audubon report shared one important characteristic: Not a single one of them was written by a reporter who had read the report. How do I know that? Because the report wasn’t finished. It was, at the time of the press coverage, in the process of being reviewed for publication. (The New York Times article had a link that appeared to lead to the study, but it was actually to an Audubon Society webpage that contained a cartoon explaining the study.) A scientific study that hasn’t completed the peer-review process isn’t a real study that can be cited, as has been noted by Global Warming activist and Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes.

Only a few news stories about the Audubon study mentioned that it wasn’t actually finished yet. One exception: Michele Berger’s piece on the Weather Channel website (https://weather.com/science/news/climate-change-could-hurt-half-north-americas-birds-20140909 ), which noted: “Though the work hasn’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, [the lead author] said two manuscripts are in the late stages of the process and a third is about to be submitted.”

The news stories about the Audubon report were based not on the study itself, but on the press release about the report, or on other news reports about the Audubon report, or, perhaps, on that cartoon on the Audubon website.

The next time you see an article based on a scientific study, try to find a copy of the study. Often, it’s nowhere to be found, or it’s behind a paywall, which keeps out any reporter who can’t or won’t pay $20 or $30 or whatever the fee is. (That’s pretty much all reporters.)

Even if a reporter can find a copy, that wouldn’t help much in most cases. As is clear from coverage of Global Warming, the percentage of reporters who are competent on matters of science—who can read a scientific study and make an informed judgment about its validity—is very small.

With any scientific study, there are questions about whether the study was well designed, and whether it was well conducted, and whether the resulting data were interpreted reasonably. The key, as it is in all science, is replicability (reproducibility). (A magazine of science-related satire is named The Journal of Irreproducible Results.)

The key question is: If someone else does the same research or conducts the same experiment, will he or she get the same result?

If it’s not replicable, it’s not science.

Often, it’s not replicable.

Consider a recent effort by The Reproducibility Project.

Smithsonian magazine (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/scientists-replicated-100-psychology-studies-and-fewer-half-got-same-results-180956426/ ) reported on an effort to replicate studies in peer-reviewed psychology journals.

According to work presented today in Science, fewer than half [actually, almost 60 percent] of 100 studies published in 2008 in three top psychology journals could be replicated successfully. The international effort included 270 scientists who re-ran other people’s studies as part of The Reproducibility Project: Psychology, led by Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia.

The eye-opening results don’t necessarily mean that those original findings were incorrect or that the scientific process is flawed. When one study finds an effect that a second study can’t replicate, there are several possible reasons, says co-author Cody Christopherson of Southern Oregon University. Study A’s result may be false, or Study B’s results may be false—or there may be some subtle differences in the way the two studies were conducted that impacted the results.

“This project is not evidence that anything is broken. Rather, it’s an example of science doing what science does,” says Christopherson. “It’s impossible to be wrong in a final sense in science. You have to be temporarily wrong, perhaps many times, before you are ever right.”

Across the sciences, research is considered reproducible when an independent team can conduct a published experiment, following the original methods as closely as possible, and get the same results. It’s one key part of the process for building evidence to support theories. Even today, 100 years after Albert Einstein presented his general theory of relativity, scientists regularly repeat tests of its predictions and look for cases where his famous description of gravity does not apply.

“Scientific evidence does not rely on trusting the authority of the person who made the discovery,” team member Angela Attwood, a psychology professor at the University of Bristol, said in a statement “Rather, credibility accumulates through independent replication and elaboration of the ideas and evidence.”

Digital Journal described the replication effort this way (http://www.digitaljournal.com/science/why-some-science-is-actually-bad-science/article/455538 ):

Good science needs to be repeatable. Sometimes claims made in journals cannot be replicated. One of the reasons for publishing science papers is so another qualified scientist can replicate the research. The experimental claims made don’t always stack up. One group from Stanford University recently attempted to a reproduce the findings of 100 psychology papers. They only managed to achieve similar results for 39 of the studies, meaning that around 60 percent of the described studies were so poorly constructed they could not be proven.

It’s a growing scandal in science, that a lot of science—particularly with regard to controversial political issues—isn’t actually science. About which, more in a subsequent column.

 

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Shocked—shocked!—at bias going on in Paris

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

2015’s best (worst?) demonstration of media bias on environmental issues:

As politicians completed their work on the Paris Treaty (the one on Global Warming), Miranda Johnson, environment correspondent for the London-based The Economist (one of the world’s top newsmagazines), likened the air of excitement in the pressroom to that among spectators at a classic soccer game.

image002

 

When the Treaty was finalized, Johnson celebrated by posting cellphone video showing the jubilation among her fellow journalists.

image004

image006  image008  image010

For the rest of our lives, whenever we need to cite an example of journalistic ineptitude, ignorance, extremism, and general kookery… well, we’ll always have Paris.

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Filthy dirty “clean energy”

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

There was a time when the protection of our natural resources was a noble cause—a time when environmentalists, or conservationists as they were known then, were the good guys.

Today, conservation/environmentalism has devolved into a scam, a con game at a level that’s beyond the ability of the human mind to grasp. The Powerball jackpot and the grosses from the new Star Wars are nothing compared to the money that’s being made from Global Warming and related causes.

Those feeding from the trough include academics and journalists, “climate science” activists and bureaucrats, politicians and, increasingly, crony-capitalist business people who want to get their hands on some portion of the trillions of dollars that, if the “greens” have their way (and they probably will), is to be pickpocketed from the world’s poor and from the American working class/small business class.

Let’s take one small example of a “green” con, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard in Oregon. [Keep in mind that, in Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber was recently forced to resign in a scandal involving his girlfriend/First Lady/environmental advisor Cylvia Hayes, who was mysteriously on the payroll of environmentalists. See Green Watch November 2015 at http://capitalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/GW1511-final-for-posting-151116.pdf and December 2015 at http://capitalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/GW1512-final-for-posting-151208.pdf , plus the January 2016 issue to be posted next week.]

 

The Low-Carbon fraud

Oregon has had an LCFS law since 2009, but it was set to expire in 2015 without reaching its long-term goals.  Two attempts by Kitzhaber to eliminate the expiration date had failed.  Then, in the aftermath of the Governor’s resignation, lawmakers extended the program.  It passed the state senate on the governor’s last full day in office.

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Labor Watch January 2016: Working Class Heroes: Today, the heroes are those who stand up to corrupt and useless unions

Working Class Heroes
Today, the heroes are those who stand up to corrupt and useless unions [PDF here]
By Steven J. Allen

Summary: From a lift-truck driver for a cold-storage warehouse, to a worker at a peach farm, to an autoworker-turned-activist, to a teacher who helped create a local-only union—in workplaces across the country—Americans are waking up and taking power into their own hands, no longer standing idly by while unions abuse their power.

Today, more and more workers are discovering that, yes, they can stand up to unions that waste their dues money on big salaries or on providing support to politicians.
Here are some stories of people who’ve fought back, with varying degrees of success.

Karen Cox
Karen Cox is a lift-truck operator who works for Americold Logistics in Rochelle, Illinois. Based in Atlanta, Americold operates more than 175 temperature-controlled warehouses around the world.

Cox came to work one day and discovered, to her surprise, that she was now a member of a union—specifically, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. RWDSU is a semi-autonomous division of the United Food and Commercial Workers that represents service, clerical, sales, and maintenance workers, as well as employees in the citrus, food processing, tobacco, jewelry, and novelty and toy industries.

This was the union’s third attempt at the plant. A union representative, Roger Grobstich, said, “We have some workers there who were part of previous attempts to organize. They stayed at Americold despite opportunities for great jobs elsewhere. We have a leader there who said he was going to stay at Americold until they had a union there, and that’s what has happened.”

The 111 workers at the facility were unionized using “card check,” a process in which workers are asked to sign cards supporting a union.

Often, a worker will sign under pressure, or will sign because he or she has been misled about the effect of signing the card, or will sign based on the belief that the collection of signatures will result, at most, in an election to decide whether the workplace is unionized. In fact, the cards can be used to unionize a workplace without an election.

“It was like spring of 2012, and rumors started going around about union trying to come in,” Cox said. “I didn’t take that seriously because my co-workers that I knew, we were all pretty content with our jobs. I came into work one day and the union was just there. A lot of people that signed those cards were told that by signing they are just going to get information about the union that is, you know, possibly going to be representing them.

“A lot of people didn’t know that if the union got enough of those signatures—50 percent plus one—that the company could recognize them and they come in [Click HERE for the rest of the story]

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