Tag Archives: Big Government

Former Obama official admits Democrats manipulated climate data to push policy

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

This story is from the Daily Signal, and it also appeared at the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington, D.C., often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion.

Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.

“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.

He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the assessment was technically incorrect.

“What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print, is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” he said. The U.N. published reports in 2014 essentially mirroring Koonin’s argument.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century” and current data shows “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.”

Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added.

Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for instance, recently jump-started an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.

[…]Neither agency responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Why would the Obama administration lie about science?

Well, first of all, after being elected, Obama funneled piles of taxpayer money to so-called “green” businesses owned by his campaign fundraisers.

Here is an example reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

New disclosures show that one of President Obama’s bundlers is the wife of an executive at an energy company that received a more-than-$1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a solar power plant.

Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000. She began bundling for Obama in the first quarter of 2012. Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration’s clean energy spending, records show.

The U.S. Department of Energy granted NRG Solar a $1.237-billion loan in September 2011 to help build NRG’s California Valley Solar Ranch, which is described as “a 250 MW alternating current PV solar generating facility” by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Few became senior vice president of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2008. He was named President of Reliant in May 2009 when NRG Energy acquired Reliant for $287.5 million. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief customer officer of NRG Energy.

“This investment and its outcome represent a pattern in which the Obama Department of Energy took promises of technological development with an undue amount of credence,” says energy expert Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Scientists looking for grant money to research global warming have a lot to gain from exaggerated results. It’s a vicious circle: the scientists scream about a crisis, and the government funnels them more money to them to research “solutions”. Everybody wins – except taxpayers who have to foot the bill.

Venezuela solves hunger by banning bread lines, and solves crime by banning self-defense

Two socialists shake hands: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez
Two socialists shake hands: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez

First, let’s review who has been running Venezuela, and what they’ve been doing in the last few decades.

Here is an article from March 2013 from the radically leftist Slate. The headline is “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle: The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains”. The author is “a senior writer for the International Business Times”.

He writes:

Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

What did Chavez do, precisely, that caused the Venezuelan economic to boom? Well, he nationalized private industry and redistributed wealth from job creators and entrepreneurs to the poor.

As The Week correctly put it, while “Chavez’s policies of redistribution and nationalization of oil assets endeared him to Venezuela’s working class” and produced many laudable results, the country’s “oil-centric economy has taken away resources from other areas that are badly in need of development.”

It’s a miracle! Yay for socialism! Well, that’s what leftists thought – this time, for sure, the laws of economics would be suspended and unicorns would fly.

Reason.com reports on what happened next:

The tragedy of Venezuela continues unabated, but that doesn’t mean the government of President Nicolás Maduro has stopped trying to fix problems like the devastating scarcity of food which has led to malnutrition, riots, food truck hijackings, vigilante lynchings of petty thieves, and the starvation of zoo animals.

No, Maduro hasn’t admitted the failure of Chavismo — the brand of Bolivarian socialism imposed on the oil-rich country by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez — instead, Venezuela’s embattled leader has launched a war on “anxiety.”

The National Superintendency of Fair Prices has reportedly instituted a policy of fining bakeries that allow lines to stretch out their front doors, according to PanAmPost. The head of this particular bureaucracy, William Contreras, claims the lines aren’t a true indicator of a severe shortage of bread, but rather, a political “strategy of generating anxiety.”

[…][T]his is indicative of the magical thinking of Venezuela’s socialist government: the breakdown of the economy couldn’t possibly because of failed economic policy, and scarcity must be the result of a greater conspiracy.

Fine, so they solved the problem of not enough bread by banning line-ups for bread. Great. But what about Venezuela’s astronomically high murder rate? What will they ban to solve that?

Easy, peasy: by seizing the guns of law-abiding people, just like Hillary Clinton wants to do.

Daily Wire reports:

Venezuela is descending further into the misery of socialism, as their government confiscated 2,000 pistols, shotguns and other firearms on Wednesday.

Reuters reports that the firearms were “crushed and chopped up” at a square in Caracas and ammunition was registered through laser technology as part of Interior Minister Nestor Reverol’s recent initiatives to further disarm the Venezuelan citizenry.

“We are going to bring disarmament and peace,” Reverol declared.

Venezuela currently has the second highest murder rate in the world, and Caracas is the most violent city in the world. In 2012, dictator Hugo Chavez completely banned private gun ownership, and yet crime rose.

Naturally, taking away the guns of law abiding people increases the rate of violent crime. In the UK, where the ban on handguns resulted in the doubling of violent crime in the four years after the ban. This is known by anyone who has spent more than two minutes studying the history of these laws in other times or places.

In my last post, I reported about how Venezuela had resorted to forced labor (slavery) to grow more food.

Here’s what CNBC reported:

The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that “effectively amounts to forced labor” in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.

It’s so bad that Venezuelans are breaking into zoos to kill and eat the animals. Now that’s real progressive animal rights for you. But they can solve this by banning the eating of meat.

Slavery, food lines, lousy health care, crime sprees, confiscating guns from law abiding citizens. All to be expected when Democrat party policies go into effect. If Democrats wins the House, Senate and Presidency, we’ll see the same here – we’re not any better than any other country. Nothing magic about the United States, if we get away from our Constitution.

Related posts

Why are boys struggling to succeed in school and to find jobs?

Although you might think that there are no reasons for boys underperforming in school and work, a little research shows that this is not the case.

The first reason boys are struggling is because of no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce allows either person in the marriage to end the marriage for any reason or for no reason at all. It was passed because radical feminists and trial lawyers pushed for it. Each special interest group stands to benefit from it in different ways. Feminists oppose the complementary nature of marriage, and trial lawyers just want to drain as much money as they can out of disintegrating families.

70% of divorces are initiated by women, and this is because women tend to emphasize their own subjective feelings of happiness over the objective commitment they make at the wedding. Women today are influenced by feminism to care more about their happiness than they do about loving and serving others, especially husbands and children. This is especially true of the ones who lack trustworthy male influences. The most unstable relationships are lesbian relationships, because there you have two happiness-seekers and no promise-keepers.

In addition, feminism causes women to lose the ability to evaluate men according to traditional male roles, making them vulnerable to predators who do not have the ability to commit to them self-sacrificially. Do you ever wonder why you see single mothers living with atheist men who deliver pizzas and playing video games at age 30? Why is that? Because feminism taught her that men are not better when they are chaste providers and protective mentors. According to feminism, men have no special role as protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader.  Many just pick the best-looking, most entertaining, least demanding, easiest to control man they can find. Someone who doesn’t lead her to behave morally, control her emotions, and put the needs of others above her own desires.

So what happens to boys when marriages can be dissolved so easily?

This article from the Centre for Economic Policy Research explains:

To assess the long-run effect of divorce, we analyse children’s human capital and demographic outcomes. First, we examine college attendance. In Austria, college attendance implies that this person graduated from a higher secondary school. Second, we check the labour market status (employed; unemployed; out-of-labour force) up to the age of 25 years. Third, we examine children’s own family formation behaviour (i.e. fertility and marriage). Finally, we investigate the probability of early mortality (below 25 years of age). Our results show that parental divorce – due to a high level of sexual integration in fathers’ workplaces — has a negative effect on children’s long-term outcomes. Our main findings for human capital outcomes are summarised in Figure 1…

Here’s Figure 1:

Figure 1
Figure 1 (click for larger image)

And Figure 3:  The effect of parental divorce on employment over time.

Figure 3
Figure 3

If you want boys to transition into marriage-minded men, you need to fight against no-fault divorce.

The War Against Boys

The other problem affected boys is also rooted in feminism. Feminism is deeply suspicious of male teachers and male administrators in the schools. As a result, schools tend to be dominated by female teachers and female administrators. Many of these women are feminists, and they seek to change the nature of education from something that is fair to boys and girls, to something that punishes boys and gives the advantage to girls. In addition, feminists in the education industry tend to oppose allowing boys to attend all-male schools, where boys perform at much higher levels.

This article in the left-leaning The Atlantic explains how the school system punishes boys and favors girls – from kindergarten to the workplace, where women receive affirmative action preferences.

Excerpt:

American boys across the ability spectrum are struggling in the nation’s schools, with teachers and administrators failing to engage their specific interests and needs. This neglect has ominous implications not only for the boy’s social and intellectual development but for the national economy, as policy analysts are just beginning to calculate.

[…]Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.

Boys in all ethnic groups and social classes are far less likely than their sisters to feel connected to school, to earn good grades, or to have high academic aspirations. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research documents a remarkable trend among high-achieving students: In the 1980s, nearly the same number of top male and female high school students said they planned to pursue a postgraduate degree (13 percent of boys and 15 percent of girls). By the 2000s, 27 percent of girls expressed that ambition, compared with 16 percent of boys. During the same period, the gap between girls and boys earning mostly A’s nearly doubled—from three to five percentage points.

This gap in education engagement has dire economic consequences for boys. A 2011 Brookings Institution report quantifies the economic decline of the median male: For men ages 25 to 64 with no high school diploma, median annual earnings have declined 66 percent since 1969; for men with only a high school diploma, wages declined by 47 percent. Millions of male workers, say the Brookings authors, have been “unhitched from the engine of growth.”  The College Board delivered this disturbing message in a 2011 report about Hispanic and African-American boys and young adults: “Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.” Working-class white boys are faring only slightly better. When economist Andrew Sum and his colleagues at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University examined gender disparities in the Boston Public Schools, they found that for the class of 2007, among blacks and Hispanics, there were 186 females for every 100 males attending a four-year college or university. For white students: 153 females to every 100 males.

Note that radical feminists and socialists oppose solving this problem:

In the U.S., a powerful network of women’s groups works ceaselessly to protect and promote what it sees as female interest. But there is no counterpart working for boys—they are on their own.

[…]The reluctance to face up to the boy gap is evident at every level of government. In Washington, President Obama established a White House Council on Women and Girls shortly after taking office in 2009, declaring: “When our daughters don’t have the same education and career opportunities as our sons, that affects…our economy and our future as a nation.” On the other hand, the proposal for a Council for Boys and Men from a bi-partisan group of academics and political leaders has now been languishing in Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s office for two years.

Similarly, in Maine, the Portland Press Herald ran an alarming story about the educational deficits of boys—reporting that high school girls outnumber boys by almost a 2-1 ratio in top-10 senior rankings, that men earn about 38 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded by Maine’s public universities, and that boys both rich and poor had fallen seriously behind their sisters. But the director of Women’s Studies at the University of Southern Maine, Susan Feiner, expressed frustration over the sudden concern for boys. “It is kind of ironic that a couple of years into a disparity between male and female attendance in college it becomes ‘Oh my God, we really need to look at this. The world is going to end.’”

The rest of the Atlantic article explains how to solve this problem. And the proven solutions clearly show that the problem is not with boys, it’s with an education system that discriminates against boys, making it harder for them to learn the skills they need to find work.

So, the tendency of young men to stay home and play video games comes from discrimination against men in the education system, and no-fault divorce laws that allow spouses (mostly women) to divorce easily. It is women who need to do a better job of “womaning up” to attack no-fault divorce and discrimination against boys in school. But pro-male voices among women are few and far between. Women tend to go along with what makes them look good to others in the culture, and what gives them the most autonomy to pursue happiness (unless they are balanced out by strong men who lead them), and that means the most women tend to just ignore the root causes of male decline.  When I see single women overwhelmingly supporting the anti-male Democrat party, it just tells me that they are not serious about marriage. Whether they intend to or not, they are killing marriage with their political support for misandry.

It would be nice if we got some leadership from pastors in the churches on this issue. It would be if nice the pastors could challenge women to think about how their voting and advocacy of certain policies affect boys. Basically, if pastors could get women to think “and then what happens” to boys who experience no-fault divorce and anti-male schools. But most pastors are like women, and they put more emphasis on being liked based on what is valued in the secular culture. It’s easier for them to remain ignorant and bash men than to pick up a book on education or divorce and read it. If we have a crisis of masculinity, it began in the church, from the “men” behind the pulpit. They need to man up and challenge the feminism that is killing marriage.

Do government-run public schools succeed at educating children?

CNS News compares per-pupil costs to the taxpayer to student proficiency levels in a variety of Democrat-dominated cities.

Excerpt:

In Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party held its national convention, the public schools spent a total of $18,241 per student in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In Detroit… the public schools spent a total of $18,361 per student that year.

In Washington, D.C., where the federal government makes its home, it was $23,980.

What did these schools produce while spending more than $18,000 per student? Not well-educated children.

In the Philadelphia public schools in 2015, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores published by the Department of Education, 80 percent of eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Eighty-four percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

In the Detroit public schools, 96 percent of eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Ninety-three percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

In the District of Columbia public schools, 83 percent of the eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Eighty-one percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

If you pay federal taxes — no matter where you live and no matter where you send your children to school — you help subsidize the public schools in Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

In fact, if you pay federal taxes you help subsidize the public schools all across America.

What I have noticed about American education is that whenever anything is said about the poor performance of the government-run public schools, the teacher unions and school administrators all cry that the problem is not enough money.

But as you can see, we have been spending more and more money on these schools, but not getting any return on the investment:

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

Where is all that money going? A lot of it is donated to Democrats:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

(Source)

The Democrats repay the teacher unions by protecting them from competition from private schools and homeschoolers. Democrats shut down every attempt by Republicans to reform public school education to make it more responsive to parents.

In the free market, there is no protection for businesses that fail to perform. They have to shape up or shut down. Maybe instead of shoveling taxpayer money into a bottomless pit, we should give money for each child’s education directly to the parents, and let theparents choose schools that actually focus on the job of educating the children in valuable skills?

The CNS News article continues:

The cost and the poor performance of public schools in the United States should inspire Congress to do two things: Shut down the federal Department of Education and enact legislation creating complete school choice for families that reside in the District of Columbia.

Voters in states and local communities elsewhere in the country can then decide for themselves whether or not to replace the relatively small percentage of local school revenue that now comes from the federal government.

But the right decision would be for states and local communities to stop giving their education money exclusively to government-run schools.

Instead, they should give that money to parents — and let parents decide where to send their children to school.

Communities should grant every child in their jurisdiction a voucher worth the same amount of money currently spent per pupil in the local government schools. Then they should let families decide whether they want to send their children to one of those government schools or to a private school.

Attaching the money to the child makes the parents the consumer, and empowers them to buy the right school – the school that does the job that they want the school to do. Instead of focusing on global warming, gay rights, transgender bathrooms and putting condoms on cucumbers, the schools should be focused on math, engineering, technology and science. STEM is where the money is – not in liberal crybaby indoctrination.

Canadian court rules that Christian university cannot uphold Christian moral values

Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue
Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue

This article about religious liberty in Canada is from Vancouver Sun. (H/T Glenn)

Excerpt:

Ontario’s top court has dismissed an appeal from a private Christian university that forbids sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, denying its proposed law school accreditation in the province.

The ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday dealt a significant blow to Trinity Western University in a legal battle which pitted freedom of religion against equality rights.

A panel of three appeal court judges found that while the university’s religious freedom had been infringed upon, the institution discriminated against the LGBTQ community.

Trinity Western — which is fighting similar cases at appeal courts in Nova Scotia and British Columbia — expressed disappointment at the ruling, saying it would be taking its fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Ontario case saw the Evangelical Christian institution based in Langley go up against the Law Society of Upper Canada after the regulatory body voted not to accredit the university’s planned law facility.

At the heart of the dispute was Trinity Western’s “community covenant” or code of conduct, which all students are required to agree to.

The key point about the code of conduct is that it doesn’t discriminate against any particular group, e.g. – LGBT. It also forbids excessive drinking and premarital sex by heterosexuals:

It includes requiring students to abstain from gossip, obscene language, prejudice, harassment, lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, drunkenness and sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Now read this next part carefully. Although there was no legal support for denying a Christian university religious liberty and freedom of association, there was the hurt feelings of the LGBTQ community:

“The part of TWU’s Community Covenant in issue in this appeal is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community, and it hurts,” the appeal court ruling said. “The LSUC’s decision not to accredit TWU was indeed a reasonable conclusion.”

In Canada “it hurts” means the end of human rights like religious liberty and freedom of association. Why? Because the Christian community in Canada has – for decades – voted to increase the size of government at the expense of liberty, in order to get free stuff. It doesn’t matter if the Christians who wanted a Christian university are hurt. Or that the Christian students at TWU are hurt. Only the hurt of the LGBT community matters, and their hurt changes laws, criminalizes dissent and annihilates natural rights. There are no such things as freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in Canada. There never was free speech, either. Anything that might hurt the feelings of left-wing groups has to be made criminal.

I’ll put this as plainly as anyone can: Canadian “Christians” have been voting to transfer wealth and power to a big secular government for years. They wanted government to cover health care, and now the government thinks that health care is providing free sex changes, free IVF and free abortions. Canadian “Christians” wanted their 30 pieces of silver more than they wanted the freedom to act as if the Bible was true in public. It turns out that the more wealth and power that you transfer to a secular government, the more likely they are to abuse that wealth and power in trampling out any ideology that interferes with their buying votes from their favored special interest groups.